Dear Anthony Cordesman
(Asking the question again)
You mentioned in your review of the Thiel 3.7, ".... you will hear the hardness and excessive upper-octave energy that is actually present on far too many classical recordings ..... and .... the bad moments of tenor and, particularly, soprano voice."
While a lot of early vinyl LPs had RIAA EQ that did not match the standard agreed industry curves that can emphasise upper-octave energy, there are other problems that can give a very similar impression.
Can you please confirm a couple of things for me about your reviewing practices (and other reviewers too, if you know):
1. As your reference equipment allows appropriate switching, do you experiment with absolute polarity settings for each of the recordings that show the adverse sound quality tendencies you describe above?
2. Additionally, if it is vinyl do you â€œalso at the same timeâ€ experiment with VTA through finite arm height adjustments for those individual records to ensure inaccurate settings are not the cause of the unsatisfactory sound quality?
Loudspeakers like the Thiel 3.7, designed with phase coherence and alignment, delivering an excellent all positive step response make identification of SQ distortions from incorrect settings of Absolute Polarity & VTA reasonably obvious.
I am trying to get an indication whether you (and other TAS reviewers) acknowledge and treat Absolute Polarity and VTA with care during the review process, and thus avoid any possibility that resulting sound quality distortions could influence your review conclusions.