Depth vs. PRAT

Regarding PM’s recent video on this topic …

… I guess I’m a bit confused as to what conclusions PM is alluding to? Does designing audio components involve takeoffs between depth and PRAT? You can’t get 'em both at once. Can’t eat that cake :wink:

What I understand Paul more or less says is, that he focuses on soundstage (nothing wrong with a focus), that he doesn’t focus on prat but when every other characteristic is good and fun, people also toe tap and then prat seems to be good (enough).

I think this is a wrong assumption and I guess this is quite the opposite of what typical Brit companies like Naim focused on. They seemed to focus (among others like dynamics etc.) strongly on prat and didn’t care much about soundstage or fullrange (I’d prefer the focus on all those characteristics).

Why do I think the above mentioned assumption in the video is wrong?
Because I often experienced, there can be impressive soundstage performance and even holographic, enveloping imaging, but bad prat. But bad prat doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the music for its soundstaging and it doesn’t mean you don’t toe tap if you like the music.
Better or worse prat quality identifies by comparison (not by observing if one toe taps at all on a certain piece of music) and there can be big differences.

I can’t tell how good prat performance is realized on engineering basis, but it seems to have to do with the simultaneous transfer of all frequencies in components and especially cabling and with phase coherence.

My experience with a e.g. variety of cabling showed me, that there can be (phase?) effects leading to (maybe not real but…) surprising and fascinating imaging characteristics, but also to sluggish bass, lacking coherence and bad prat. My other experience is, the better prat gets, the more precise soundstage also gets (assumed there already was an add. focus also on soundstaging).

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What PM notes in that video is a bit weird – I can’t make heads or tails of what he’s concludin’!

In my experience … as DIYer, experimenter and purchaser of gear, I can design in (or purchase) equip that has PRAT or depth (space), but not BOTH. Naim enthusiasts are sometime referred to as flat-Earthers because Naim gear lacks depth. I much prefer PRAT – and immediately notice any nuances in its absence when selecting gear or experimenting . Depth (stereophonic) is an illusion, is only useful for certain recordings, and a hassle to “zero in” – e.g. orchestral stereo-mic recordings, live recordings; one has to sit in a fixed spot with good room acoustics.
Well, most of my listening is via headphones or IEMs. And I use crossfeed for a more comfortable experience.
But frankly, I never pay attn to depth and space because Blumlein stereo is kind of an illusion to begin with. And studio or electronic / EDM , multi-track studio “recordings” are not live-mike orchestra. And then there are the Phase-4 recordings, and excellent mono “ac bias” hifi recordings from the 40s/50s.
Hey Paul … PRAT’s the way to go. Numero uno, toots :wink: