Hearing phase distortion

Just wondering if anyone else is highly phase sensitive? 

I just moved. For the umpteenth time I had to position speakers.

Once again I am dumbfounded.

Wisdom is that you can’t locate bass frequencies and that phase distortion from things like minimum phase filters should be inaudible.

Well once again I find I must place speakers with the front less than 3 feet from the wall behind them. It is similar to how I place subwoofers - they always must be within 3 feet of the plane of the front l and r speakers or it sounds wrong to me.

Is anyone else challenged like this? 

Normal wisdom says you pull the speakers out into the room but for me this doesn’t work until I reach a massive 10 feet out into the room (meaning rear wall reflections are attenuated significantly).

It means that as little as 5 feet in position is enough phase distortion for the sound to disassociate and sound phasey to my ears - even at bass frequencies!!!

I have a similar issue with MQA and minimum phase filters - I hear the added phase delay distortion in the ultra HF introduced by these type filters. I have yet to find someone who can hear this but it seems obvious to me....it can be described as a lack of solidity to the image and soundstage and is easily recognizable.


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It's a great pity in a way that you can hear these anomalies so clearly as it must drive you nuts sometimes. I don't hear the shifts that you hear but absolute phase is the bug bare of my life , I hate it. The amount of CDs that we buy with reversed phase is bordering on criminal, why do record companies do it. It means every time we buy a new CD we must test it out for phase and then we mark the CD case and we then have to consult it each time we listen to it. I know some people neither know nor care about phase but to some folk it can become an obsession . Yeu have my heartfelt sympathy. Jim.
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It is really hard to engage with so many undefined terms like "phase distortion" being used, but based on your description, you aren't hearing change in relative time, so much as changes to frequency response. Comb filtering effects caused by different speaker positioning. It's an amplitude vs. frequency issue, even if it's a very tight set of them.
This reminds me of The Princess Bride. Every time something goes wrong for him Vizzini exclaims, "Inconceivable!" Finally Inigo Montoya says to him, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

 I have yet to find someone who can hear this but it seems obvious to me

When no one else can hear it, gonna go out on a limb here and say the odds on favorite is, maybe its not them.

It may be comb filtering indeed that makes it audible. A frequency response anomaly rather than actually hearing wavefronts or phase seems more believable as to being audible.


Some do hear it but most people don’t seem to be bothered judging by what I see on Audiogon systems

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Phase distortion is very well defined and a concrete term in sound reproduction:

Thanks, I stand corrected. Well, actually I'm sitting, but you get the idea.

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