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How much credibility can we Vandersteen owners give Floyd when he believes time and phase are not audible!  I know the ear/brain puts a very strong bias on the sound that travels directly from the speaker to the ear above 150Hz or so.   Floyd and his colleagues put a high priority on the global energy injected into the room.  Many of these conclusions come from DBT's in Canada which are not very revealing of many attributes I hear when relaxed and listening to music.  I am not saying there isn't some useful information but for me much of it results in being forever stuck in Hi-Fi.  IMO YMMV

 

RV   

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I think you make a fair point Richard.  He is definitely pretty hard on time and phase correctness in section 4.8.  From my perspective, I honestly don't know if I could successfully A/B speaker phase or not.  But even if someone were to prove that I couldn't, as it relates to my Quatros I would respond "I don't care. I'm keeping them."  It's just not a deal breaker for me. The speakers sound outstanding IMO and if you say its because of time and phase correctness then I say "ok".  If some researcher proved I couldn't hear time and phase I would also say "ok" and then get back to my tunes. 🙂

That said, I think the book helps clarify a lot technical concepts, and discussing the research that has been done and how it was done provides a lot of thought provoking ideas for those of us who are always looking for improvements. 

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Obsession is a wonderful word. I can't sit here and tell you that I can pick out phase either, but I can tell you when a pair of Steen's aren't tilted properly.  It just sounds different in a negative way to my ears (at least in my system as I listened before working on the tilt.  I still felt my Quatro's sounded really darn good.  They just sound better when set up properly.  I also don't critically listen that often.  More of a noticing of something special I hear in a cut type of deal.  

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Over the 40+ years we have been making phase and time correct speakers I have met many avid music lovers.  Most of them tell me that after owning time and phase correct speakers it has caused most other speakers to sound wrong!  They did not say "bad" just wrong.  Imagine an amplifier company sending in an amp for review and when John tests it with a square wave part of the step  goes below the base line.  For some reason when it comes to speakers this is ignored or said to be inaudible by most of the industry.  Many instruments involve at least 2 or 3 drivers to produce the pressure wave that will impact the ear drum and allow us to hear the rim shot.  A rim shot will involve the woofer, midrange and tweeter which should create a positive pressure wave when all three drivers are summed in space on the way to the listeners ear.  No one is saying the rim shot will not sound like a rim shot but it will sound more realistic when reproduced by a speaker that has all of the drivers involved in time and phase.  I think some confusion happens when a strong advocate of time and phase communicates their preferences it will sound like they are saying speakers that are not time and phase correct  will some how not play or be distorted beyond recognition.  This is not true, it is a matter of just being slightly more realistic sounding and positioned in space but once one becomes accustomed to that realism it is addictive.

RV 

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I certainly agree with the directional correctness of time coherence as a good design principle.  Even Atkinson acknowledges as much in part 2 of his speaker analysis series (whether I can pick it out or not).  I imagine the pushback one might get from other speaker designers is that it is a design tradeoff that potentially introduces driver breakup distortion , response "lobing effects" and maybe driver beaming in the extended crossover region, all of which are manifest in the the frequency response, (which the consensus seems to indicate is far more audible than phase distortion).  As a result time coherence is the first soldier to fall on the  cost/benefit battlefield.

That said, the manufacturer that can make an affordable, time coherent speaker with a flat frequency response (like the Quatro) wins.  In fact we all win.

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RV is such an (apparent) honest and admirable man; he says above (and has said elsewhere in other ways) that the effect is "slightly more realistic" sounding.  I am proud to own his loudspeakers.  For more than one reason.

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  • 6 months later...
On 6/29/2021 at 12:58 PM, ctsooner said:

Obsession is a wonderful word. I can't sit here and tell you that I can pick out phase either, but I can tell you when a pair of Steen's aren't tilted properly.  It just sounds different in a negative way to my ears (at least in my system as I listened before working on the tilt.  I still felt my Quatro's sounded really darn good.  They just sound better when set up properly.  I also don't critically listen that often.  More of a noticing of something special I hear in a cut type of deal.  

If you have a recording that seems to have maintained phase through the chain, and a phase inversion switch (ideally on your remote), I bet you'll hear a difference when you invert the phase.  You might have a tough time deciding which you prefer.  Sometimes not.  Pentangle's "Cruel Sister" LP is a fun one to try this with.  It also reveals speakers that just aren't phase & time coherent.  

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