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· 2019 Touring: since March-2019
3,863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Never heard of it before today, would love to hear anyone's thoughts on it or if you are using it. I like the idea of it...

I copied the post explaining it below:

Differential rear fill is used to create a "room" that sounds bigger than the car. It takes the stereo signal, and removes the information that is common to both the left and right channels, essentially removing what would be the center information, leaving only far left, and far right. After the center information is removed, the signal is bandpassed, and delayed in relation to the front speakers. The effect (when done correctly) retains the staging and imaging of a good stereo, while giving more ambiance (room) to the music.

The idea is that since stereo is recorded in 2 channels, rear speakers ruin the staging and imaging if they are simply playing the same information as the front speakers. Music is not recorded in surround sound (most music anyway), and even when it is recorded in surround sound, simply sending the same signal to the rear speakers doesn't accomplish this very well. In a typical car, the rear speakers are just playing the same thing as the front speakers, and you have 2 stereos, one in front of you, and one behind you. This ruins the neat illusion that a good stereo provides.

In order to enjoy the benefits of a good stereo the rear speakers should be eliminated, or processed in a way (differential rear fill) as to not harm the stereo effects that the front speakers are creating. Differential rear fill keeps the front speakers the priority, while adding a bit more space to the music by letting rear speakers mimic the late reflections of a large room (a live show).

There is no right or wrong way, but I personally prefer simple stereo. I listen with headphones a lot, and most of my critical listening is done while sitting in front of my speakers, not moving around the room. Because of this, it's my preference to have my car image like a traditional stereo, so I ditch the rear speakers, and tune the front to give the best staging and imaging possible. Differential rear fill adds a few more steps to the tuning, since it's still very important to get the front speakers tuned well, and performing optimally. Once the front speakers are tuned well, then bringing in differential rear fill can provide the ambiance that some people like without hurting the staging and imaging. I personally still find differential rear fill to be artificial, but I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying it, it can sound very good, and still feels like a good stereo recording when done properly.
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