Someone else who miss understands what I’ve said.I actually think that imaging is a great differentiator in speakers. What systems have you listened to in the past with good and average imaging? What are you listening to now?
When you go to a concert or musical, you get the wall of sound effect. Same with a movie. Lady Gaga’s voice is larger than life as is her appearance in close up when watching a Star is Born.
Many great speakers give you that diffuse imaging where you have a nice soundstage with phantom center and left and right instruments.
With some systems, you get the ability to point with your finger, exactly where the sound is coming from. The vocals don’t sound larger than life and can actually seem a bit thin, but instruments can appear in areas between phantom center and the left or right. It’s not three positions but perhaps a dozen that you can place precisely.
This, like 3D movies, is a pleasant experience when done properly and a jarring experience when done poorly. A very precise imaging system ends up making poorly mastered recordings sound unpleasant and disjointed whereas it will really help with the “you are there” experience. The recording matters.
Along the same lines, people talking about detail like hearing the rosin on the bow of stringed instruments or the wetting of a singer’s lips before the next word. I describe these as hyper real experience. You don’t hear that in real concerts but some people really like that experience of hyper clarity.
This is where speaker preference comes into play, yet backed by science. Dispersion, diffraction, room reflections, intermodulation etc. I would suggest that if you haven’t heard speaker imaging where you can “finger point” exactly where the sound is coming from (rather than a general area) or “finger point” at about a dozen points between your left and right speaker as opposed to 3 or 5 points, you just haven’t listened to enough systems. (And again, it may not be your preference to have that type of imaging).
This is different than a binaural recording played back on headphones. That gives you great “imaging” and ambience and there are some silly recordings like someone getting a hair cut recorded binaurally. With binaural recordings, I cannot *point* as well.
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Even for your own speakers, try toe-ing them to converge in front, at, and behind your listening position to get the sense of imaging.
Ignoring the sales pitches at the beginning and end of this video, Paul actually nails it when it comes to controlling reflections by speaker position in the room as the easiest way to manipulate imaging.
To summarise at no point have I said my system isn’t capable of good imaging. I’ve said that in my opinion imaging is overhyped.
I have also said most audiophiles (and I’ll now go further and also include most subjective journalists) overstate imaging.
Since you are trying to educate me on my speaker placement because you have assumed I have no idea, I have two systems and in both setups my speakers are toed in thanks. I don’t need an education on speaker placement and I need even less of an education from Paul at PS Audio.
I don’t need to go over my entire listing history of the past 30 years to simply say that in my opinion imaging is overrated.