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What *does* make a difference?, Doesn't ABXing show more differences on some things?
post Nov 8 2010, 06:01
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I've been reluctant to post this because they seem like stupid questions, but my beliefs have been turned upside down so much this week i donno what's "stupid" anymore. So, here i go, even though i'd bet that all three comparisons below would be detectable.

Note that none of this is about perceived quality. It's about not being able to tell appreciable differences via ABXing.

I've been reading up on ABX tests all week and i just give up. I don't get it. There seem to be a few stand-outs such as cables, and devices with D/A converters that don't make any difference, but i'm about ready to throw up my hands in frustration. I just don't get it.

Speakers can be so physically different. I've got the Anthony Gallo Acoustic Reference 3.1's. They are about 3' tall, have rounded "cabinets" around the cones, a cylindrical tweeter and a 10" side firing driver. How can they sound the same as a speaker built around a single fostex driver, or an 8' tall 3' wide Sound Labs panel speaker or a Wilson Audio Maxx ( http://www.wilsonaudio.com/product_images/...groom_large.jpg ).

It is the consensus of the forum that tube amps, class t/d and class A/AB of the same relative power sound the same for the most part? What about different tubes in tube amps? Is tube rolling pointless from a sonic perspective? I mean again, tube amps. and the other types are working in a very different physical manner so how can they not be detectable from one another?

I saw some snickering at room treatments. Is the forum suggesting that room treatments and digital room correction make little to no difference in sound quality? I mean hard/absorbent surfaces do effect what frequencies reach your ears at what times (or at all), so my mind says that logically has to make a difference. Digitally flattening out a response curve has to effect the sound, right? Now, i'm not talking about the *value* of such treatments. Most of the time i see an expensive bass trap or a pricey colorful audiophile pillow that i'm supposed to put on my wall i think "I bet my mate who's a quilter could make me something that would do that same thing or i could just hang a blanket on the wall" Regardless of whether or not you use the $2k room treatment, change your curtains or move the couch for the same effect, the effect wouldn't likely be a placebo would it? Why would recording studios and concert halls work so hard at it?


This post has been edited by BearcatSandor: Nov 8 2010, 06:02

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post Nov 9 2010, 22:50
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Thanks for the info Arnold. I'm still new at all this sciency thinking stuff :") I'll read up on that page tonight. *bookmarks it*

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post Nov 10 2010, 01:07
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QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Nov 9 2010, 16:50) *
Thanks for the info Arnold. I'm still new at all this sciency thinking stuff :") I'll read up on that page tonight. *bookmarks it*

Afraid I've been slow on the draw again. In any case, I agree with Arnold. You can build your own bass traps, tube and otherwise, and there are various web sites with DIY projects, though of course there are no performance guarantees. But there is a science to it, as there is to most of audio. Not everything is a scam!

If you're interested in the topic, I recommend Everest's Master Handbook of Acoustics. Also Sound Reproduction: The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms, by Floyd Toole. Not that you should feel guilty if you don't choose to delve that deeply.

BTW, what I suspect the Ambisonics recommendation was about was running two subs monophonically at opposite walls in a symmetrical room. That's a recognized means of smoothing bass modes. And corner placement increases bass level, though in most real-world cases uniform bass response is more important than gain (since it's harder to achieve smooth bass than it is to get high bass output). You can achieve marginally more with four subwoofers than with two. Beyond that, adding subs doesn't improve bass uniformity.

So, very broadly --

- If your main interest is in smoothing bass for one listener in the "stereo sweet spot," you might as well just get things as smooth as you can by changing speaker and listener positions and then use low frequency room correction.

- If you want to smooth bass for multiple listening positions, as in a home theater environment, you'll have to start worrying about multiple subs and/or room treatment, since EQ alone can't optimize bass response in a large area of the room.

The one thing I'd caution you about, if I haven't already, is not to get so carried away by room treatment that you overdo it. The trick is to identify your biggest problem, treat it, then measure and listen. One step at a time. Excessive treatment can have side effects that have been demonstrated to have a detrimental effect on perceived sound quality, not to mention your budget and your decor.
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Posts in this topic
- BearcatSandor   What *does* make a difference?   Nov 8 2010, 06:01
- - saratoga   QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Nov 8 2010, 00:01)...   Nov 8 2010, 06:29
|- - greynol   QUOTE (saratoga @ Nov 7 2010, 21:29) Diff...   Nov 8 2010, 06:50
- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Nov 8 2010, 00:01)...   Nov 8 2010, 21:11
- - BearcatSandor   Thanks for the replies folks. That does make me fe...   Nov 8 2010, 21:34
- - Josh358   QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Nov 8 2010, 00:01)...   Nov 9 2010, 03:45
|- - BearcatSandor   QUOTE (Josh358 @ Nov 8 2010, 19:45) I agr...   Nov 9 2010, 19:12
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Nov 9 2010, 13:12)...   Nov 9 2010, 21:38
|- - knutinh   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Nov 9 2010, 21...   Nov 10 2010, 09:57
- - BearcatSandor   Thanks for the info Arnold. I'm still new at a...   Nov 9 2010, 22:50
|- - Josh358   QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Nov 9 2010, 16:50)...   Nov 10 2010, 01:07
- - BearcatSandor   Thanks very much for all that Josh. I will look in...   Nov 10 2010, 07:20
|- - knutinh   QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Nov 10 2010, 07:20...   Nov 10 2010, 09:53
|- - Josh358   QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Nov 10 2010, 01:20...   Nov 11 2010, 00:39
- - BearcatSandor   This is the email that contains the information on...   Nov 10 2010, 10:14
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Nov 10 2010, 04:14...   Nov 10 2010, 14:09
- - knutinh   Subwoofers: Optimum Number and Locations by Todd W...   Nov 10 2010, 20:24
- - item   QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Nov 8 2010, 06:01)...   Oct 8 2012, 19:41
- - greynol   Not only is that overly-simplistic, it is simply n...   Oct 9 2012, 05:10
|- - item   QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 9 2012, 05:10) Not o...   Oct 9 2012, 12:33
|- - probedb   QUOTE (item @ Oct 9 2012, 12:33) Of cours...   Oct 9 2012, 12:54
|- - item   QUOTE (probedb @ Oct 9 2012, 12:54) QUOTE...   Oct 9 2012, 14:17
- - greynol   If not trolling it does demonstrate a gross lack o...   Oct 9 2012, 15:37

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