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In the Forum: Playback Listening
In the Thread: Tonality versus Frequency Response
Post Subject: Tonality versus Frequency ResponsePosted by Paul S on: 3/6/2011

I miss the ancient "apologia", but who has time for ity these days?  For those familiar with this gambet, consider this blast preceded by an "excuse" that somehow justifies both itself and what follows.  I am too tired to bring these thoughts to fruition.  At the same time, I am myself enough to realize that it's now or never for me.

As I have chronicled in the "Speakers for a Powerful SET" thread, I have for some time been futzing with the response curve(s) of my 3/4-way speakers via x/o points, affected bandwidth and strength of attenuation.  Today I was thinking about tonality and realizing in a new way why fiddling with frequency response will likely never correct any problems anyone has with pitch or tone, despite "obvious" data to the contrary.

I realize that most people really do not take tonality too seriously, or they think they do but you wouldn't know it from listening to their playbacks.  But this is, after all, an honest hole to dig for one's self, since there are, after all, so many parts and pieces to attend to and fuss over during the course of improving one's hi-fi.

The thing is, like we keep agreeing, most hi-fi skews tones upward, right out of the gate, and most speakers generate essentially unavoidable harmonic distortion that is also skewed upward.  Unfortunately, there is really no way to "get back" the proper harmonic structure if it never happened in the first place, so, ultimately, the "filters" and pass bands, and similar tone-deaf "remedies", will never make right what is fundamentally wrong.

If looking for remedies, I suggest aligning mood to music, and/or alcohol in moderation.

Paul S

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