Walls without reflections

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Loudspeakers are designed in rooms without walls called anechoic chambers. At least they used to be, but most speaker companies haven't an actual room with walls that do not reflect, and so today they create virtual anechoic chambers with software. None the less, speakers are designed to work in perfect rooms, rooms that do not exist in homes, then voiced to work as well as they can within a large room. In yesterday's post I suggested what would happen if you placed a pair of speakers too close to the wall behind the loudspeakers. The tonal balance gets whacky, music sounds unnatural, the imaging is shoved forward, and our ability to hear a three dimensional illusion of sound diminishes. Our next step in learning how to make loudspeakers disappear so they may create a three dimensional image will be obvious to you: start pulling the speakers away from the wall behind them. As you do this the impact of the rear wall is reduced, the tonal balance is closer to normal, the image gets less forward and we reach a point where sound now comes from the plane of the speakers themselves. One thing to pay particular attention to is how tonal balance is affected with increased distance from walls. As I explained earlier, speakers are designed without walls yet our rooms have them. A speaker far away from walls will have a tonal balance closer to what the designer intended. As you move them away from the rear wall you continue to improve the tonal balance, from bumpy to flat. If you have followed my example and the sound now comes from the speaker plane itself, your setup is still too close to the rear wall and tonal balance has yet to become flat; the anomalies that push sound forward remain. Contemplate my last paragraph carefully. I'll continue tomorrow.
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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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