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In the Forum: Playback Listening
In the Thread: Be careful: Imaging vs. Compression
Post Subject: Be careful: Imaging vs. CompressionPosted by Romy the Cat on: 10/24/2005

It took for us, for the people with brains and ears, a few years to explain to the foolish audiophiles the artificiality of their soundstage objectives. Six years ago when I was tiring explaining to the audio-zombies that soundstage is juts a surrogate of audio reproduction and not a property of performing event they were laughing.  The audio doodleists screamed about “wide soundstage” in each their audio publication and the subscribers of audio-zombinism were buying into this like puppets. Since then ”we the people with brains and ears” educated a little bit the cretins who run this industry and nowadays the “kinkiest” of them are not afraid to bash soundstage, persuading the buyers that “there are other more important things”.  The funny part that we “people with brains” did not tell the to those “intelligent” reviewers and editors with “40 years of experience in audio” the whole truth. The whole truth is that Soundstage still might be very powerful expressive tool if some other things are taken care. Those “other things” are the keys and without possessing them the industry freaks speeding wisdom about soundstage sound more like chicken noise....

Still, continuing my educational “Audio for Dummies” section and to observing the subject of speaker organization there is one subject upon which I would like to shade light.

Most of audio people in one way or other use “imaging” or a certain subset of the “real soundstage”. Imaging is ease achievable, easy manageable and easy detectable. However, not a lot of people know that listening room compress dynamic. The compression is less visible and not as much “in your face” as the imaging. The irony is that the settings for best imaging most frequency (in context of conventional box loudspeakers) directly contradict the best settings for the least dynamic compression. Still, the problem is not with the compression itself but with total lock of understanding by the audiophiles that the position of minimum dynamic compression should be the target of installation… NOT the position of maximum imaging.

Practically all audio people position speakers by “imaging” and it is wrong. The “imaging positioning”. NEVER leads to the DPoLS positioning (Look further at the article about the “Dead Points of Live Sounnd":

and the DpoLS is the ONLY one setting where there is no conflict between the dynamic and imaging.

Interesting that the search for the least dynamic compression eventually do leads to the DPoLS, and whan the loudspeakers are in the DPoLS position then all aspect of “imaging” get resolved at orders of magnitude more interesting level then the people practicing the “imaging positioning” even could imagine.

So, do use your ear and brain to recognize and to manage the “least dynamic compression” position without initial paying attention to imaging…

One more tip. The “least dynamic compression positioning” mostly managed by upper bass and bass channels while in the “imaging positioning” the MF and HF channels play more dominating roles. Therefore, if you use a typical single box loudspeaker then you most likely have quite few tools to manage the situation as the different channels would most likely demand the different optimum positions in your room (unless you are incredibly lucky!!!). Still, even is you do have a separation of the enclosures between the channels then it might be quite complex to take care of the  LF’s “dynamic compression” the MF’s “imaging”, the phase consistency and many other this… at the same time and within the very same installation….

Romy the Cat

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