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Why should the floor be treated differently from any other reflective surface? If you heavily pad the floor then heavily pad the rest. If your walls and ceilings are reflective why should the floor be inert? Because emphasizing slap-echo is inherently preferable? Or maybe fine tuning comb-filtering for maximum interference is your thing? Less is often-times more, IMHO.
The floor should be treated differently because it is really close to the drivers and your ears and reflections off the floor will be the FIRST to hit your ears and smear your sound. The walls are generally further away from the drivers.
The other posters are correct in saying that thicker is better. Furthermore, you should use cotton or wool padding because the fibers will be of irregular length and diameter and will absorb relatively uniformly across the spectrum. Man-made materials are very consistent and will give a peaky absorption/reflection pattern. Enjoy.
So shifty (heh heh). There is no need for all the poker playin tactics. When YOU figure out what YOU want, put your foot down an' tell her how it's gonna be (heh) like we do down here in the great state of Texas(heh heh). They are much happier when you don't give them a choice. That way they don't feel resentful when it doesn't go their way (heh). Try it, it works good (heh wink)
Metaphysics, I understand your point but think you missed mine. What you say about the floor's proximity to the drivers is of course correct. But overly damping the floor will simply change the SOURCE of the first reflection that hits the ears and thus smears the sound, usually to the ceiling or one of the side walls. There is ALWAYS a first reflection that smears the sound. Grossly imbalanced damping of parallel reflective surfaces can result in worse sound than no damping at all. Would you leave a left side-wall totally clear while treating the right side-wall with multiple inches of polyurethane and wool, simply because the right side-wall was closer to your ear? Why do the same to the ceiling and the floor? Is there something inherently different about vertical and horizontal reflections that I don't get? My experience is that BALANCED damping of parallel reflective surfaces sounds better than imbalanced regardless of the surfaces' spatial orientation. FWIW.
Khrys, I believe there is something VERY VERY VERY different between vertical and horizontal reflections. Stereo imaging is based solely on differences between left and right (Horizontal). Look where ears are located on most people.
Every thing about our current playback systems is based on left to right/horizontal differences. If you damped only the left, that would throw off the stereo balance. Even if you can hear vertical soundstage cues, they are solely based on horizontal differences in the soundfield reproduction.
If you damp only the floor(at least at the points of first reflection), you will eliminate at least one source of smearing with very little to no downside. Here, I am assuming that one has not overdamped the entire room.
Metaphysics, you astound me. You reduce stereo imaging to one dimension: "Everything about our current playback systems is based on left to right/horizontal differences"; "Stereo imaging is based SOLELY on differences between left and right(horizontal). Those of us who listen in 3-D might ask: what about up/down, what about front/back? If stereo imaging is solely horizontally derived, why damp the floor at all?
Uh, I don't have a "top" or "bottom" output on my preamp. Also, my system is two channels? Where is your vertical and front-to-back info coming from? Left and right speakers ONLY that create the ILLUSION of depth and height. Just in case you didn't realize it, there isn't really any sound eminating from the center of your sound stage. It is being recreated in such a way that fools you into thinking there is someone there. My system is well capable of creating a 3D soundstage, but I can't walk up the Diana Krall and smooch her because she always dissappears by the time I get there.
It's all psychoacoustics. As I said, the floor should be damped to prevent first reflections.
Metaphysics, you now astonish me. You state that vertical and front-to-back info (ie,soundstage) comes ONLY from the left and right speakers. I must disagree. By your logic headphones should have the best 3-D imaging (pure left-right signal to the ears, correct?). Suffice it to say they do not. It is the complex interaction of the primary signal of a speaker in 3-dimensional space with its multiple reflections that creates the illusion of a soundstage. And it is easy to grossly imbalance these reflections by overdamping only one of the six parallel reflective surfaces found in the usual listening room(ie the floor). I never said the floor shouldn't be damped. My point is that it can be OVERDAMPED which will skew but not necessarily improve the soundstage. That's what this thread was all about: thick vs thin padding. Thin might sound better.
A "psychoacoustic" example: Unless your room is anechoic there will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be a first reflection from SOMEWHERE! Moving it off the floor by overdamping it simply changes the source of the first reflection, which may NOT improve the soundstage.
Meta, with all due respect, if you can't smooch Diana perhaps your carpet padding is too thick.
Glad I can astound and astonish. To my knowledge, you can still get very nice imaging in a anechoic chamber (the ultimate overdamped condition). It may sound "dry", but the imaging will still be there. By your reasoning, one would not be able to get depth and height with headphones or in anechoic chamber. But this is not the case.
As to my left and right argument, I was countering your assertion that damping the floor is no different than damping one side (e.g. left). I still maintain that this is faulty logic.