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General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

Excellent question!

"Which of Toole's conclusions do you disagree with, and why?"

One of the conclusions Toole apparently draws from his data is, wide dispersion speakers are the way to go if that wide dispersion is highly uniform, such that the reflections are spectrally correct or nearly so.

The only problem I see with this is, you end up with a lot of early reflections, which can impose coloration and degrade clarity. Of course you also get a lot of beneficial later-arriving reflections, which enhance timbral richness and impart a sense of being immersed in the soundfield of the recording. The good outweighs the bad, so wide and uniform dispersion is good, but is there an even better way?

I believe there is. I believe we'd be better off with less energy in the early reflections, as long as we still have a lot of spectrally-correct energy in the later ones. This can be accomplished in several different ways, and multi-channel is not required. Let me know if you'd like a couple of examples.

This is conceptually similar to what has been found to work well in concert halls. Acoustician David Griesinger investigated the difference between a "really good" seat in a concert hall, and a seat that's not so good. Here is what sets them apart:

In a really good seat, you have two distinct energy streams (we don't hear them as "distinct", but they can be described that way): First, you have a clear stream of direct sound. And then you also have a clear stream of reverberant sound. And the key is, there is a time delay in between the two. In fact he found that, in general, the earlier the reflections arrive, the more they degrade the clarity.

So I prefer approaches that are more in harmony with what has been found to work well in a concert hall.

Perhaps my disagreement with Toole is a quibble within a quibble, but it has led me in different directions than the ones normally pursued by Harman companies.


Me being a dealer makes you leery?? It gets worse... I'm a manufacturer too.

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  • Excellent question! - Duke 01:18:04 05/30/17 (0)


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