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Perceptual Effects of Room Reflections

eliash

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Ttimer quoted this and added:



This is my opinion:

First, the room might NOT be an acoustic nightmare. Does it have slap-echo? If so, then yes it's an acoustic nightmare, but one that can be solved.

When you walk from room to room talking out loud and listening to the timbre of your voice, is it particularly awful in that room? If so, then maybe it is an acoustic nightmare which needs professional help.

However if neither of the above situations apply, it is POSSIBLE that the speaker's off-axis response is causing the acoustic nightmare. Let me give an example: Suppose the speaker is a 6" two-way with a 1" dome tweeter, crossed over at 2 kHz ballpark. Below the crossover frequency, the midwoofer is starting to beam. But above the crossover frequency the tweeter's radiation pattern is extremely wide, like virtually full power at 90 degrees off-axis. An all of this excess off-axis energy is right smack in the region where the ear is most sensitive, 2-4 kHz or so. The net result can include harshness and listening fatigue. It may seem like the room is to blame, when it's really the speaker's off-axis response. Unfortunately it is very difficult to selectively absorb the bottom end of the tweeter's range with room treatments. Presumably there are professionals who know how, but I don't.

But now back to what to do if the room really IS an acoustic nightmare (aside from investing in headphones!):

Imo what you want to do is, have the direct sound from the speakers dominate over the reflected sound. This can be done with very directional speakers, with nearfield listening, or both. If you opt for nearfield or both, you might want to consider speakers with a coaxial mid/tweet driver, so that you can listen from very close without hearing a vertical discontinuity. For nearfield listening that KEF R3 speaker Amir reviewed looks very promising to me. It uses a dedicated woofer in addition to the coaxial unit, which imo is a major advantage over the coaxial-only LS50, in addition to the fine performance Amir's measurements indicate.

If you do not want to listen nearfield, then highly directional main speakers aimed at the sweet spot would imo be a good strategy. If you want a sweet spot wide enough for two or three people, and if using horn or waveguide speakers, you might try using extreme toe-in such that the speakers' axes criss-cross in front of the center of the sweet spot. Note that "highly directional" can include dipole speakers, though some placement restrictions apply. The Sanders Sound Model 10 is imo a very good single-listener speaker.

You mentioned the Gradients - imo they are excellent speakers for problematic rooms. While they are not what I'd call "narrow pattern", their off-axis response tracks their on-axis response very well. So whether the room reflects back a little or a lot, chances are it'll be spectrally correct. If the room is really bad and skews the spectral balance of the reflections (like if it was damped with a bunch of inexpensive foam squares) then the Gradients can't fix that, but ime they are considerably more room-friendly than most. I was a Gradient dealer for many years and only stopped because I wanted to concentrate on my own designs.

“A speaker that has controlled dispersion does basically the same thing you'd expect an acoustic panel to do, but it does a better job. And it allows you to get away with no panels on the wall." - Matt Poes, acoustical consultant (in other words, Matt makes money off of acoustic panel installations, NOT off of speaker sales)
Interesting statement regarding a "speaker's off-axis response is causing the acoustic nightmare".
It seems that such effect could be the reason for my perceived severe harsh sound in exactly that frequency range (around 3KHz and upwards), before installing absorbers in the short, opposite wall and (tilted) ceiling acoustical (i.e. optical) mirror points, apparently reducing this harshness to an acceptable level.

- The question open to me is still why these "short" wall reflections may be the reason to cause a harsh and "taxing" sound perception - what effect could it be, is it neurophysiology or after all simply physically related?

Harsh sound perception did agonize me for quite some time, explanations welcome...
 

Kal Rubinson

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I think we've discussed 2- vs multi-channel to exhaustion already in the appropriate thread.
We have but, since you inserted a relevant comment, I felt it appropriate to add mine.
How do you feel about 3D video, do you find it necessary, an improvement, a gimmick?
What about stereoscopic photography, are you pursuing it? Is it indispensable?
That is not relevant to me since I have no interest or serious experience in the matter. In the little experience I have had with it (Avatar), I found it technically flawed. OTOH, logically, I would say that there is a likely parallel between the senses in this regard. However, the mass market seems already to have dismissed 3D video.
The domestic reproduction of recorded music will always be about creating an illusion, a second nature, and ultimately one has to draw a line on how little abstraction can be required from the listener. I am perfectly able to enjoy music in the car or even through my monaural Tivoli Audio tabletop radio. The latter struggles with instrument separation in complex passages and more importantly for you it cannot do the space thing...
Agreed.
You give more importance to space than I do and might only be satisfied with something like this:
I'll let you know if and when I find out. :)
 

Duke

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What is your view in regard to resonance Q-factor (frequency vs. time)?
A low-Q resonance is easier to address via filtering in a passive crossover (assuming that's the only tool available), so from my point of view a high-Q resonance is worse.

Toole's followers here generally dismiss the usefulness of CSD measurements for identifying audible problems, claiming that frequency response alone is enough.
I'm in favor of using all the data you have access to. For instance CSD curves highlight diaphragm ringing in high frequency drivers, which ime can be audible and objectionable.

Toole's paper makes a case for low-Q (wide-band, shorter decay) resonances being more audible yet my anecdotal experience has been that high-Q resonances are more taxing on the ear (irritating, fatigue), f.e. when reproducing violins. I have, perhaps mistakenly, attributed this to hard cone mid and mid-woofer break up (finding most probable causes for audible shortcomings is an extremely difficult task).
I have read that the audibility of a resonance is predicted by the area under the curve, but don't know how reliable this "prediction" is, nor even exactly what it means. Assuming equal curve area for a low-Q resonance and a high-Q resonance, the low-Q resonance is more likely to be excited but I think the high-Q resonance will be more objectionable when it is excited. My instinct is that the ear may acclimate to a low-Q resonance but probably not to a high-Q one. Thus when the high-Q resonance is excited, it is much more likely to be irritating and ruin the illusion. But instinct is likely to lead one astray when it comes to psychoacoustics, so don't give much credibility to mine.
 

Duke

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The question open to me is still why these "short" wall reflections may be the reason to cause a harsh and "taxing" sound perception - what effect could it be, is it neurophysiology or after all simply physically related?
Imo the disproportionate effect of a spectrally-skewed early sidewall reflection is primarily psychoacoustic.

Your early sidewall reflections probably had excess energy at the bottom end of the tweeter's range, because this is where its radiation pattern is wide enough to send a lot of energy in that direction. This is the "spectrally skewed" aspect, which I'll come back to. The energy in the reflection adds to the energy in the direct sound, but because it's adding in semi-random phase (due to the path length being a different number of wavelengths at different frequencies), the increase in the measured sound pressure level is probably less than a decibel. So it's enough to be audible, but probably not enough to be a problem in and of itself.

However another effect of that early sidewall reflection, and indeed of all subsequent reflections, is that the energy in that region takes longer to decay. (It doesn't actually decay slower, but because it start out louder, it remains audible for a longer time). Research has shown that sounds which last longer are perceived as being louder, even if a microphone says they are not. So this is the first psychoacoustic effect which makes a reflection with a skewed spectral balance disproportionately audible and objectionable.

The second psychoacoustic reason is, the 2-4 kHz ballpark region (where the tweeter typically has this excess off-axis energy) is where the ear is most sensitive.

There is a third (and possibly fourth) psychoacoustic issue but I have to run right now so I'll come back to this later.

[later] The ear/brain system devotes more attention to “new” sounds, and to the extent that a reflection differs spectrally from the first-arrival sound, it trends more towards being considered a “new” sound. So the ear is more likely to pay attention to it (less likely to "mask" it), even when that attention does not rise to the level of conscious awareness. This might contribute to the "taxing" effect you mentioned, along with the following possible issue:

The speculative fourth possible issue has to do with the Precedence Effect, and might just be a re-hashing of the third issue, described in the preceding paragraph. The Precedence Effect suppresses directional cues from reflections so we can determine the direction of a sound source in a reverberant environment. (While the Precedence effect is in... ah... effect, we are still picking loudness and timbral and ambience cues from the reflections.)

What happens is, the ear/brain system stores a copy of each new sound in a short term memory, which lasts for maybe 30 milliseconds or so. During this time each incoming sound is compared with the sounds in short-term memory to determine whether it is a new sound or a reflection (repetition of a recent sound). And if it's a reflection, then its directional cues are suppressed. The ear-brain system looks primarily at the spectral content of each incoming sound to make this determination. I SPECULATE that if an incoming sound's spectral content is not an obvious match for a recent sound – as would be the case for a spectrally-skewed reflection – then the ear/brain system has to literally work harder (use more processing power) to correctly classify it. And I THINK this “additional CPU usage” can result in listening fatigue over time. To the best of my knowledge this has not been studied, hence my disclaimer that this is speculation on my part.[/later]

Eliash, I have a few questions, if you don't mind... and if the answers are “I don't know/I didn't notice anything” that is totally fine:

Was there a change in clarity when you added the acoustic treatment at the first sidewall reflection zones?

Was there a change in soundstage width?

Was there a change in soundstage depth?

Was there a change in image precision?

Were there any other changes to the spatial quality?

Are you aware of having traded off something desirable in exchange for whatever benefits the acoustic treatment offers?

Last but not least: What is your avatar photo? (My guess is, head-on view of a stylus & cantilever.)

It is also totally fine if you don't answer any or all, or if your answer is “leave me alone and get a life.”
 
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NTK

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...Transmission of low bass into such a floor construction means that the speaker is (counter-) moving, driven by coil force and membrane mass, since the floor is elastic - this causes poor bass attack, according to own experience. At least true for slim underweight tower speakers (here Dynaudio Focus 220´s), which don´t have enough mass in the moving axis of the membane to attenuate such movement...hard ground coupling solves part of that problem...
The speakers under test were all placed on their own individual "pallets" of the speaker mover. They weren't (and could not be) physically directly coupled to the floor. (Picture source)

ea9da8_1f96096a3aab484dba0ca5c29247c710~mv2_d_4032_3024_s_4_2.jpg
 
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Duke

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NTK, is that photo representative of the distance between speaker and side wall(s) in Harman's single-speaker listening tests? Looks like about eight or nine feet.

Does Harman have ONE or TWO speaker-shuffler rooms? In other words, is the room shown in NTK's post #245 above the SAME room as in Amir's post #226, or is it a DIFFERENT room?
 
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tuga

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Harman has a full multi-channel speaker shuffler:

I've noticed that the speakers are not toe'ed in.
This will favour speakers with smooth directivity (penalise speakers without it), in spite of the room being very wide and the early reflection zones treated. It also favours speakers which are "bright" on-axis and penalise narrow directivity speakers such as ESLs.

That in my view is very misleading, dare I say biased (unless the studies are ayming to portray the general public and not the sophisticated audiophile).
 
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Hipper

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Do these pallets only move forward and backwards, or side ways too?

If not sideways, each pair of speakers is at a different distance to the side wall (in post 245).
 

eliash

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Imo the disproportionate effect of a spectrally-skewed early sidewall reflection is primarily psychoacoustic.

Agreed, most of that harshness-effect probalbly comes from the sidewall reflections from my perspective. Another contributing issue might be a not so firm speaker stand on soft ground causing enclosure vibrations from the moving bass membranes (that is in my case the "underweight" considered tower speaker enclosure, until "hard coupling" to the floor´s screed, instead of using too small spike plates on the floating wooden floor - very large steel plates did improve that wooden floor situation though)

Your early sidewall reflections probably had excess energy at the bottom end of the tweeter's range, because this is where its radiation pattern is wide enough to send a lot of energy in that direction. This is the "spectrally skewed" aspect, which I'll come back to. The energy in the reflection adds to the energy in the direct sound, but because it's adding in semi-random phase (due to the path length being a different number of wavelengths at different frequencies), the increase in the measured sound pressure level is probably less than a decibel. So it's enough to be audible, but probably not enough to be a problem in and of itself.

This is a very convincing explanation, since the cross-over frequency (1.6KHz - 2-way speakers, 2x6 + 1 inch) is at the lower end of the perceived trouble range. The less than 1dB contribution from the sidewall and ceiling reflections correspond to my findings as well, too low to significantly change the room response curve...

However another effect of that early sidewall reflection, and indeed of all subsequent reflections, is that the energy in that region takes longer to decay. (It doesn't actually decay slower, but because it start out louder, it remains audible for a longer time). Research has shown that sounds which last longer are perceived as being louder, even if a microphone says they are not. So this is the first psychoacoustic effect which makes a reflection with a skewed spectral balance disproportionately audible and objectionable.

The perceived harshness rather builds up on longer running tones (e. g. voice formants or bowed string instruments), so I was assuming it had something to do with physical superposition or modulation of tones (outside the critical band they were generated), but your "decay" explanation makes more sense, i. e. on a psychoacoustical level.

The second psychoacoustic reason is, the 2-4 kHz ballpark region (where the tweeter typically has this excess off-axis energy) is where the ear is most sensitive.

True, is may have been the hidden reason, when being younger, why I subjectively disliked speakers, which had high midrange output, even though commonly rated well...

There is a third (and possibly fourth) psychoacoustic issue but I have to run right now so I'll come back to this later.

[later] The ear/brain system devotes more attention to “new” sounds, and to the extent that a reflection differs spectrally from the first-arrival sound, it trends more towards being considered a “new” sound. So the ear is more likely to pay attention to it (less likely to "mask" it), even when that attention does not rise to the level of conscious awareness. This might contribute to the "taxing" effect you mentioned, along with the following possible issue:

Could be true as well, maybe this has to do with an aging ear (as Toole once mentioned in his book: never trust an ear above 60 or so...), so it is more difficult to extract the direct sound from such an "aged" ear´s sound cognition by brain processing...

The speculative fourth possible issue has to do with the Precedence Effect, and might just be a re-hashing of the third issue, described in the preceding paragraph. The Precedence Effect suppresses directional cues from reflections so we can determine the direction of a sound source in a reverberant environment. (While the Precedence effect is in... ah... effect, we are still picking loudness and timbral and ambience cues from the reflections.)

What happens is, the ear/brain system stores a copy of each new sound in a short term memory, which lasts for maybe 30 milliseconds or so. During this time each incoming sound is compared with the sounds in short-term memory to determine whether it is a new sound or a reflection (repetition of a recent sound). And if it's a reflection, then its directional cues are suppressed. The ear-brain system looks primarily at the spectral content of each incoming sound to make this determination. I SPECULATE that if an incoming sound's spectral content is not an obvious match for a recent sound – as would be the case for a spectrally-skewed reflection – then the ear/brain system has to literally work harder (use more processing power) to correctly classify it. And I THINK this “additional CPU usage” can result in listening fatigue over time. To the best of my knowledge this has not been studied, hence my disclaimer that this is speculation on my part.[/later]

Yes, I share that speculation, there seems to be a psychoacoustical mismatch between the expected and perceived sound cognition. Reflecting my personal situation, such harshness impression first occurred in my mid 40´s (when having had a lot of business stress and first -fortunately limited- inner ear damages from that). After that the situation for the "brain processing" had probably become more challenging and maybe some "ear-glasses" (more direct sound extraction) had become necessary...

Eliash, I have a few questions, if you don't mind... and if the answers are “I don't know/I didn't notice anything” that is totally fine:

Was there a change in clarity when you added the acoustic treatment at the first sidewall reflection zones?

Yes, that is my personal impression, more precise spectral instrument and voice resolution

Was there a change in soundstage width?

Yes, as well, especially locating sounds beyond the speaker arrangement (left from left speaker and vice versa) practically vanished and mono center stage location is mainly in the middle between speakers.

Was there a change in soundstage depth?

This is hard to tell from memory, I would tend rather not, but below was very obvious

Was there a change in image precision?

Definitely, instruments in calssical recordings tend to stay at "their" place, sometimes I have the impression I can even acoustically "look" into the recording room, when there is enough ambient binaural level mixed in, almost similar to dummy head recordings using headphones, but limited to the head-on direction.

Were there any other changes to the spatial quality?

Of course the sound impression tends to be dryer, e. g. on "electronic music", but this has (almost) nothing to do with altered (bass) room resonances, they remain practically unchanged.

Are you aware of having traded off something desirable in exchange for whatever benefits the acoustic treatment offers?

Toole mentioned an "envelopment" effect from room reflections several times in his book, from my perspective this effect is attenuated by such early reflection management.
I guess, when someone likes "easy-listening" something might be missed. On the other hand, when listening to sometimes "naturally" recorded music (e.g. jazz, classical) the original sound stage becomes imaginable.


Last but not least: What is your avatar photo? (My guess is, head-on view of a stylus & cantilever.)

Exactly, I tried to capture the reflection of a micro ridge diamond tip sitting on a mirror, to get an idea how good vertical alignment (azimuth) of the stylus on the boron cantilever fits to best electrical channel separation. There seems to be a slight mismatch, not really visible on avatar resolution. My cheap microscopic camera was also at its limit...


It is also totally fine if you don't answer any or all, or if your answer is “leave me alone and get a life.”
Wow, thanks very much Duke, this is an elaborate and exhausting answer!

Basically, after having worked through scientific literature on technical, room/architecturural and psycho acoustics as well as some music theory, your "essence" on that "harshness or roughness" perception interpretation sounds convincing (I didn´t find any better explanations in scientific literature, nor simple calculations on assumed physical effects like comb filtering or phase modulation yielded enough significance).
The least I could do here is walk through your text and comment above...maybe s. o. else is interested in that topic as well.
 

Kal Rubinson

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I've noticed that the speakers are not toe'ed in.
They could be but these Gem1 speakers work well that way. I do not know if Harman adjusts others sets to match or to optimize.
Do these pallets only move forward and backwards, or side ways too?
Yes, back-and-forth as well as side-to-side so that each of the speakers in the monaural tests is positioned in the identical spot.
 

dasdoing

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room reflections will widen your image at the cost off phantom center clarity. the center will be wider, less directive (for example, two instruments panned left and right near the center will sound like one) and be thrown more to the background.
the following is a demonstration of this effect. it is a binaural convolution of 2 diferent rooms. starting with a reflective room, then switching into a reflection treated room, then back to the fist, and back to the second. notice how in the reflective convolution the center saxes have a hard time to blend into the hard panned saxes. this demo requires headphones https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PAeaui7LTF6Yj4fanGQ34sW1AjGHkxnc/view?usp=sharing


* wider soundstage can be achieved with treated walls by flatining the stereo triangle. no need for destrictive reflections
** also the reverb effect of non treated walls can be achieved with a plugin; with the advantage of beeing clean and adjustable
 

Duke

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room reflections will widen your image at the cost off phantom center clarity. the center will be wider, less directive (for example, two instruments panned left and right near the center will sound like one) and be thrown more to the background.
the following is a demonstration of this effect. it is a binaural convolution of 2 diferent rooms. starting with a reflective room, then switching into a reflection treated room, then back to the fist, and back to the second. notice how in the reflective convolution the center saxes have a hard time to blend into the hard panned saxes. this demo requires headphones https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PAeaui7LTF6Yj4fanGQ34sW1AjGHkxnc/view?usp=sharing
Thank you very much for posting that clip. I can hear the change in depth better than I can hear the change in left/right resolution of the two center saxaphones. Maybe my pinnae are out of spec. I prefer the timbre and overall spatial quality with the reflections, but I think that my cheap computer setup (ear geometry included) is failing to adequately resolve the two center images.

* wider soundstage can be achieved with treated walls by flatining the stereo triangle. no need for destrictive reflections
That totally makes sense.

** also the reverb effect of non treated walls can be achieved with a plugin; with the advantage of beeing clean and adjustable
If I understand correctly, one potential problem with using a reverb effect + absorptive room treatment is this: The WORST possible direction for reflections to arrive from is the exact same direction as the first-arrival sound, as this tends to result in perceived coloration.

A possible acoustic solution is to use relatively narrow-pattern speakers toed-in aggressively such that their axes criss-cross in front of the listening area. This adds a significant amount of time delay to the first lateral reflections (which is desirable), and introduces de-correlation (also desirable) because that first sidewall reflection arrives at the opposite ear, which is perceived as spaciousness. No need for absorptive acoustic treatment, which imo has the potential downside of altering (dulling) the spectral balance of the reflections.

I've noticed that the speakers are not toe'ed in.

This will favour speakers with smooth directivity (penalise speakers without it), in spite of the room being very wide and the early reflection zones treated. It also favours speakers which are "bright" on-axis and penalise narrow directivity speakers such as ESLs.
I think we can look to the "speaker + room" performance in Harman's room(s) to get an idea of "where the goal posts are". And we might conclude that a different speaker design from that which performs best in Harman's room might give the closest approximation in a considerably less-than-ideal room.

So it seems to me that one might optimize a speaker for a less-than-ideal room, but when evaluated in Harman's room and/or measured by Harman's metrics, such a speaker may be handicapped by characteristics which, under different circumstances, would have been advantageous. Just my opinion.
 
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eliash

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room reflections will widen your image at the cost off phantom center clarity. the center will be wider, less directive (for example, two instruments panned left and right near the center will sound like one) and be thrown more to the background.
the following is a demonstration of this effect. it is a binaural convolution of 2 diferent rooms. starting with a reflective room, then switching into a reflection treated room, then back to the fist, and back to the second. notice how in the reflective convolution the center saxes have a hard time to blend into the hard panned saxes. this demo requires headphones https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PAeaui7LTF6Yj4fanGQ34sW1AjGHkxnc/view?usp=sharing


* wider soundstage can be achieved with treated walls by flatining the stereo triangle. no need for destrictive reflections
** also the reverb effect of non treated walls can be achieved with a plugin; with the advantage of beeing clean and adjustable
The more often I listened to both versions, the less the differences seem to become (both with speakers and headphones). Looks like the brain identifies the instruments and automatically sets them into a similar position in both recordings.
Nevertheless the version with reflections sounded more pleasing in the first instance, without more precise.
Anyway, nobody argued about not having some room reflections embedded in a recording.

My remaining question would be, at what point too much room reflections (the ones recorded in the studio plus the ones added at home) become annoying, in a way as we discussed above?

...AES, Klippel and Toole seem to have worked out their credos (maybe even not too far apart, if one considers their boundary conditions?!), as we learned above.
Wonder how they derived that and how much of their personal preferences went into that...
 

tuga

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My remaining question would be, at what point too much room reflections (the ones recorded in the studio plus the ones added at home) become annoying, in a way as we discussed above?
It's probably a matter of preference.
Can you take your system outdoors for no reflections and then into the bathroom for extremely reflective?
 

eliash

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It's probably a matter of preference.
Can you take your system outdoors for no reflections and then into the bathroom for extremely reflective?
I did install more absorbers and diffusors over time (direct side wall, opposite side wall and tilted ceiling). My impression was that each step had an incremental effect. A breakthrough to finally tame the harshness impression were absorbers (melamine foam based) above the tower speakers, mounted to the tilted ceiling rising from behind, which is directly reflecting towards the listening positon.
The least noticable effect on harshness had the diffusors above the listening position, also installed in two steps.
Each step of this installation sequence improved instrument localisation and center stability. My impression was the opposite wall reflection attenuation was the most efficient one for this, also a heavy 300g/m² (Ikea) curtain in front of a glazed dooble door on the side.
Regarding taking the installation outdoors, which would be a real major effort, I had these speakers installed in a quite large room before, where they first showed this harshness, even though the room reflection characteristic was quite different, much longer decay, even more glass and acoustically hard surfaces, but in greater distance from the speakers.
This would speak for Duke´s argument, concerning the mid/tweeter driver´s wide-open directional characteristic above the cross-over frequency. With regard to this, another suspicion just coming to my mind is maybe also an influence of the rather uncommon all-pass crossover design for the mid/tweeter driver (@6db/oct.)...
 

dasdoing

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If there is one thing I learned in this forum it is that people can actualy enjoy room reflections. This was new to me as I used to read in forums like Gearslutz only, where noone would prefer reflections ever. I can totaly except this, though I personaly can't agree.
I think there exists a brain barrier in accepting the sound of reflection corrected because we are so used to the room sound. We want to hear what we see (the room). let's take an extreme example; a big church. If I play a sax there I expect a extreme reverberation, because my brains knows that this will happen. If I somehow cancel this reverberation it will sound strange; "out of the world". I think you need to get used to reflection treated sound. You will start to hear/feel the ambience in the recording. If I play a orchestra recording in my treated room for example, it will acousticly take me into that huge space.
I can totaly understand the "charm" of the reflections. When listening to my own sound example my brain needs a few seconds before it prefers the treated version, but my brain will always end up prefering it

It's probably a matter of preference.
Can you take your system outdoors for no reflections and then into the bathroom for extremely reflective?
when I take my bluetooth speaker playing music in bathroom to my treated room the following impression happens: sound gets lower volume. the sound is suddenly coming directly from the device. for a single source I actualy prefer the reflections. the treated room requires a stereo triangle
 

patate91

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If there is one thing I learned in this forum it is that people can actualy enjoy room reflections. This was new to me as I used to read in forums like Gearslutz only, where noone would prefer reflections ever. I can totaly except this, though I personaly can't agree.
I think there exists a brain barrier in accepting the sound of reflection corrected because we are so used to the room sound. We want to hear what we see (the room). let's take an extreme example; a big church. If I play a sax there I expect a extreme reverberation, because my brains knows that this will happen. If I somehow cancel this reverberation it will sound strange; "out of the world". I think you need to get used to reflection treated sound. You will start to hear/feel the ambience in the recording. If I play a orchestra recording in my treated room for example, it will acousticly take me into that huge space.
I can totaly understand the "charm" of the reflections. When listening to my own sound example my brain needs a few seconds before it prefers the treated version, but my brain will always end up prefering it



when I take my bluetooth speaker playing music in bathroom to my treated room the following impression happens: sound gets lower volume. the sound is suddenly coming directly from the device. for a single source I actualy prefer the reflections. the treated room requires a stereo triangle
Enjoying something doesn't mean it's HIFI.
 

eliash

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... I think you need to get used to reflection treated sound. You will start to hear/feel the ambience in the recording. If I play a orchestra recording in my treated room for example, it will acousticly take me into that huge space....
...Same impression here, even though it was not originally intended, when installing absorbers and diffusors...but just to get rid of this "harshness"...
 
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