- Jun 5, 2020
- Santa Fe, NM
I do not doubt that if you sit close enough to the speaker and position them the appropriate distance apart from each other and angle them toward you, you will get the same effect that the design is meant to produce. But there just isn't any way that there can be any control of the effect experienced by a listener in a randomly chosen location more than a few feet from the speakers, because it is apparent that the effect will be different for different listeners in different locations. This is what it comes down to. The effect will be different for different listeners in different locations.
You are absolutely correct here. Given the vast range of room acoustics in most people's listening rooms (and the fact that said acoustics are usually bad), the probability of an average purchaser of these speakers getting the optimum intent is pretty small. And as shown by the picture of RMAF above, getting precise listener location for maximum effect is pretty laughably difficult.
Anyone with a set of relatively small speakers of any type can experiment with the "SDA effect" by setting these speakers up about 2' from your ears while keeping the speakers very far from reflecting (or diffusing) boundaries, including a computer monitor. The intent is to essentially have 'loudspeaker headphones' where each ear gets only its intended channel, with minimal crosstalk. You'll hear some pretty wild imaging effects on some recordings. The point is that these imaging effects are what was intended in the original recording, not added by the room.
One such recording is by Patricia Barber "Ode To Billy Joe" from "Cafe Blue", where her voice's reverb comes only from around and behind the listener (like surround), while her voice itself is towards the front wall behind the speakers. Another recording with the same vocal effect is Frank Sinatra's "When You're Smiling" from "Sinatra's Swingin' Session".