Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bass? Remember the listening position

Well, it now appears I may have been too hasty in juding the KT-6040/PAD-1 combination as having lousy bass because of lack of gain (it reaches about -12dB maximum).

I was noticing the same lack of bass listening to Supernatural on my BDP-95/AD10.  That can't be, I thought.  Ohya, prior to weekend party (which moves everything temporarily) I had been using the new "compromise" listening position, not the previous more forward position that gives the best imaging.  The compromise position is about 6 inches further back from the speakers.  More importantly, it is about 6 inches back from the center of the room, where there are bass nulls for all major room modes.  Imaging suffers slightly, but bass goes from zero to acceptable.

I've been reading "Get Better Sound" and one of the most important tips is that if bass seems wrong, start with the listening position.

This happens all too easily because I don't yet have tape markings for either new position; I judge from the original tape markings (from last year) which is another foot further back, and by turning my head to see which book I line up with in the bookcase.

The more forward position lines up with the book "The Perennial Philosophy."  That gives best imaging based on ear angle and stuff like that.  It varies from person to person.  The basic strategy is that you move as close to the speakers as you can until the image collapses and all you hear is left and right.  Slightly back from that is the maximum stereo separation that still forms a coherent image, and thus, the best imaging.

The compromise position, now about 6 inches back, lines up with "Justice as Fairness".

But one extra variable is the speaker angle.  The change ALSO has a huge effect on the highs.  Now, with the speakers directed slightly away from listening position, moving back increases highs.  Perhaps, though counterintuitively, the increased highs make the bass seem more defined.

This listing position thing clearly needs a lot more work wrt speaker angle.  That's why I haven't put down new tape, I'm still experimenting.

One way or another, I do get tingles listening to various parts of Supernatural.  I also sometimes miss the room corrected bass I was trying last year, though correction at the listening position increased bass elsewhere so much room was really shaking...enough to be uncomfortable often.  And if you were a guest on the sofa, well you wouldn't want to be there.  That's why now I'm trying to see what I can do without EQ.

Though I'm thinking about getting one of those active-mode-cancelling gizmos from Bag End.  I'm thinking that be easier to fit into my room that the equivalent in passive bass traps.

No comments:

Post a Comment