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absolute polarity (really what the article is about) does seem to be audible with test signals in headphones - I haven't tried music but managed 10/10 ABX with a 2 tone test (posts back to 3/2/14 http://www.head-fi.org/newsearch?Search=SEARCH&action=disp&advanced=1&byuser=jcx&newer=1&numupdates=&order=descending&output=posts&replycompare=gt&sdate=0&search=polarity&sort=relevance&titleonly=0&resultSortingPreference=recency )
it doesn't seem that polarity control in in production is a priority - probably because even if audible with speakers it is hard to tell without switching back and forth
for me, that there was a difference - I wouldn't expect to pick it up without the ref to compare - ethan claimed the test tone with higher negative peaks sounded slightly flat to his ears - so maybe a good musician would have a good enough internal reference
I saw some good info at Hydrogen audio on this. One way to hear it is to construct an asymmetrical waveform. One example was 440 hz mixed with 880 hz with the 880 hz signal shifted 90 degrees later (in this case 90 degrees of the 440 wave). At first you don't notice, but with a little practice you get the impression one is just they tiniest touch louder than the other. At that point ABX in Foobar is a piece of cake with 9/10 or 10/10 easily possible over and over. So absolute phase can be clearly audible with some signals.
Another way I found to make it a bit more audible signal is some minor compression of such an asymmetrical waveform.
There is a plug in in Audacity called a diode processor. It can be set for various levels of diode-like function far below actual rectification. At a low setting it isn't too much different than the distortion a single ended circuit does. It is also pretty easy to hear with any combination of more than one tone. So pretty obvious this effect can be audible sometimes.
Now is it something you could pick out with a musical recording? If some of the chain was a bit asymmetrical in function (which I bet some mics are at higher levels) followed with a bit of compression along the way, well maybe. But I haven't been able to ABX any recordings reliably. Likely one of those cases where it might in some rare instances be barely audible, but such a small difference in practice as a music consumer is a trivial non-issue. My guess would be if you hear it the most likely place is heavy drum shots.
Just a side comment from anyone wondering if their system is correct phase from beginning to end. You can do the diode processing of a sine wave or white noise in Audacity and save the digital file. Play it back over speakers at moderate volume. Put a DC voltmeter across your speaker leads, and see what you read. A small slowly varying plus DC voltage and you have correct over all system phase. A small varying negative DC voltage and you have backwards absolute polarity for your system so swap polarity somewhere (like speaker leads). As to determining the proper polarity for a piece of music I don't have any idea.
foo_abx 1.3.4 report
File A: C:\Users\WebmasterK\Desktop\inverted.wav
File B: C:\Users\WebmasterK\Desktop\original.wav
18:59:44 : Test started.
19:02:43 : 01/01 50.0%
19:03:11 : 02/02 25.0%
19:03:37 : 03/03 12.5%
19:03:50 : 04/04 6.3%
19:04:03 : 05/05 3.1%
19:04:21 : 06/06 1.6%
19:04:33 : 07/07 0.8%
19:04:46 : 08/08 0.4%
19:04:55 : 09/09 0.2%
19:05:27 : 10/10 0.1%
19:08:11 : Test finished.
Total: 10/10 (0.1%)
links to the files I used:
Now, what is correct phase is anyone's guess. Without a reference/knowledge of the recording setup for the master there is no way to tell that I can think of.
I find the resistance to the concept of human aural sensing absolute phase really odd - well documented from physiology of the nerve impulses to DBT listening tests by respected names in JAES - somewhere, some textbook must have oversimplified or just plain been wrong - and read by many
of course recording practice for drum kit may give some odd combos of sounds that could never be captured by any listeners ears: https://www.google.com/search?q=miking+drums&biw=1920&bih=1105&tbm=isch&imgil=IksIHYfBtLwYKM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcQ2OjmkL2lPLLpvYUMWEnaVRM-OvEoKHrSsUaitxAfVmTAXDN3asg%253B550%253B382%253ByKx6TuVk7N66WM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.ccisolutions.com%25252FStoreFront%25252Fcategory%25252Fmiking-drums-for-recording&source=iu&usg=__c5cYhyrEqlvxinuNHfQxeEjGh4w%3D&sa=X&ei=-xFTU_CkIonr2QWfwYHQBQ&ved=0CC0Q9QEwAQ#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=IksIHYfBtLwYKM%253A%3ByKx6TuVk7N66WM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.ccisolutions.com%252FStoreFront%252Fjsp%252Fimages%252Fcategories%252Fakg_drum_miking_1.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.ccisolutions.com%252FStoreFront%252Fcategory%252Fmiking-drums-for-recording%3B550%3B382