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I was commenting on teh requirement for laboratory type asymmetrical test signals to show polarity matters on

music, and that simple stereo recordings of acoustic music are far more likely to reveal polarity, and pointing out that time and phase coherent speakers ought to be, and IME are essential as well.

I have been using speaker-level absolute polarity switching since the early 1980s. Initially by hand, but since I went with bi-amping in the late 1990s - using a 24V AC powered set of a 4PDT relay per channel, wired at my listening seat. Through speakers with minimal odd-order crossovers.

It seems to have passed you by that I might have some experience of its validity and audibility. Viz.

"Were also not referring to the phase shift that speaker crossovers mightier might not produce. Absolute polarity is either correct or it's not."

I partly disagree - IME IF the speaker isn't capable of letting you hear correct polarity then the issue is moot.

That is, IME it is not consistently audible through speakers that have steep even order crossovers. Yes, where the polarity of the relevant driver has been swapped, as usual.

IME, using time and phase-coherent speakers since the late 1970s, polarity is plainly and consistently audible (per recording) on the sort of recordings I referenced. Simple real stereo (aka 3d image) ones including multi-channel sound-field recordings, whether re-encoded to 2Ch stereo or not.

Further? That polarity switching is of little value - to me - on multiply close-mono-miked mix-downs, variously phased, Eq'd, flanged, delayed, compressed, Aphexed, .... etc, and often made over several weeks of sessions with individual singers and musicians. Bang goes ensemble playing.

Noting that I have a large collection of pop-recordings of this type. And still enjoy all but a handful which I've been too lazy to sell. I did begin to lose interest - in the genre as a whole - somewhere in between disco, punk and hip-hop. :-)! Not solely because of the damage done to the music in such recordings, but because of the shift in values that the recording technology is just one symptom?

Do you understand my points about the cruciality of attacks and decays, and the relative un-importance of 'the overtones on the continuous tone', to our getting timbre, nuance and expression?


Tim Bailey

Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger

Edits: 10/01/16

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  • I was commenting on teh requirement for laboratory type asymmetrical test signals to show polarity matters on - Timbo in Oz 22:23:06 10/01/16 (0)


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