"It’s amazing how just how common the "all bass is monophonic" canard is and how reluctant some audiophiles are to reject it. After all, it can be resolved by listening, especially if you make your own recordings.
I’m not the one who posted Vandersteen’s observations, but Google shows this quote came from Vandersteen’s own website. (Scroll down towards the bottom of the page.)
There is a lot of research into sound and directional cues, including LF. It’s puzzling how hard some will work to deny or ignore it."
Very interesting that you responded before tyray and that the supposed direct quote from Mr. Vandersteen is actually from his website’s promotional information for the 2W subwoofers.
I read the linked website info and it reads more like the work of a professional advertising copy writer promoting a client’s product that he doesn’t completely understand, which is actually the case, than a knowledgeable and experienced speaker designer sharing his expertise on how his subs are able to take advantage of his knowledge of speaker design and how bass soundwaves behave in a typical home room environment to provide high quality bass reproduction.
The quote from the Vandersteen website referred to by tyray and yourself, listed below, contains too many errors for me to believe that Mr. Vandersteen would vouch for its accuracy. It seems much more likely the numerous errors are the result of an advertising copy writer plying his trade on a subject and product he has a general lack of knowledge about. I seriously doubt Mr. Vandersteen even scrutinized the content of this promotional quote since I doubt he would approve this much misinformation. I’ll explain the errors and my reasoning below after the advertising quote.
"Mono or Stereo Bass
There are significant advantages to using two subwoofers. Modern sources such as streaming, CDs, DVDs, digital high-resolution music files, and Blu-ray Discs maintain full stereo separation to below 20Hz. Summing the channels into a single subwoofer reduces or cancels all the low-frequency information containing phase differences between the channels. Stereo subwoofers reproduce all of the bass information complete with the phase differences that help provide the imaging and location cues we use to place people and things at distinct points in the sound field. Stereo subwoofers also improve linearity on mono as well as stereo sources by coupling the bass to the room at two points and lend themselves to natural placement near the corners where low frequency room gain is often desirable."
1. "Modern sources such as streaming, CDs, DVDs, digital high-resolution music files, and Blu-ray Discs maintain full stereo separation to below 20Hz."
This is the exact opposite of the truth and Mr. Vandersteen would surely know this but an advertising copy writer likely would not. The truth is that acoustical engineers and experts have known for decades that humans are unable to localize sounds (determine where the sounds are originating from) below about 80 Hz and humans absolutely cannot localize sounds below the human deepest audible bass tone limit of 20 Hz. Acoustical scientists have also known for decades that humans are progressively bettert at localizing sounds as their soundwave frequencies increase from about 80 Hz all the way to the human audible treble tone limit of 20,000 Hz.
The reality is that not only can we not localize bass tones below about 80 Hz, the fact is that there are absolutely no modern sources such as streaming, CDs, DVDs, digital high resolution music files and Blu-rays that maintain full stereo separation to below 20 Hz, all of these recording methods sum the entire bass content to mono below about 80 Hz.
What a shame, cleeds. Even if you were the only known human in the history of humans to be able to localize bass below about 80 Hz as you claim, and even if acoustics, physics and neurologic scientific facts didn’t prevent there from being such a thing as stereo deep bass, it still wouldn’t really matter since there are no recordings that contain stereo bass below 80 Hz, anyway. Don’t believe me? Then name a single commercially available music recording, of any music genre, on any recording format and recorded since the beginning of life on earth that has any stereo bass content below 80 Hz.
But wait a minute, oh yeah, you already stated: "After all, it can be resolved by listening, especially if you make your own recordings."
Make your own recordings? Recordings of what? You and your buddies garage band, The Didgeridoo and a Tuba Quartet, practicing on your tuba and 2 didgeridoos? Awesome, what else have you got?
So, where does all this leave us on the whole subject of does deep stereo bass exist?
1. All existing scientific evidence has declared very decisively, convincingly, emphatically, undeniably, honestly a bit sarcastically and loudly through a bullhorn on full volume with fresh batteries: No Flipping Way!
2. You’ve already acknowledged that there are zero commercially available music recordings on any format with stereo bass content below 80 Hz, since you've previously stated you had to revert to recording your own content with stereo bass below 80 Hz.
3. True stereo deep bass below 80 Hz therefore does not exist but, here's the good news, individuals using multiple subs run in mono mode will still perceive the bass in stereo due to psychoacoustics. Here’s how it works:
The fundamental bass deep bass tone on a 20 Hz recording will be reproduced by the multiple mono subs and will not be able to be localized. However, these deep bass tones also have bass harmonics or overtones that will extend in frequency above 80 Hz (the bass localization threshold) that are reproduced in stereo through the main speakers.and are able to be localized. Our brains are fortunately able to associate these higher frequency harmonics/overtones with the related fundamental 20 Hz deep bass tone and, as a result, determine where the deep bass tone originated from in the soundstage illusion. For example, the bass drum is perceived as being at the rear center of the soundstage and the upright bass is perceived as being at the front left side of the soundstage. This is an example of a psychoacoustic effect. Psychoacoustics is the study of how the brain processes inputted soundwave information from the ears and forms our perceptions of sounds.
Cleeds, I believe you are experiencing this psychoacoustic effect on deep bass fundamental frequencies below 80 Hz on your system and assuming that humans are able to localize deep bass tones this deep. We’re not consciously aware that the higher bass harmonics/overtones frequencies above 80 Hz are the clues our brains actually need and utilize to localize deep bass tones. It’s our amazing brains, with the assistance of higher frequency bass harmonics/overtones, that are actually responsible.
I think you made a logical assumption and hope you agree this distinction is the likely cause and explanation of our disagreement on the existence of true stereo bass below 80 Hz.