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Re: Gold & Pumphrey

Andrew Bell wrote:

> Pumphrey and Gold would not dispute that there is a (spectral)
> difference between the two wavetrains A and B. Indeed, if there were
> absolutely no difference, then no frequency analyser on earth would
> be able to tell the difference between them. What Pumphrey and Gold
> are simply saying is that any difference between A and B can only be
> perceived if the analyser has a sufficiently high Q.

The point missed here (and the point missed by G&P) is that
G&P's analysis--and hence their derived numerical values of Q---only
applies if the frequency analyzer in question is a single harmonic
oscillator (2nd-order resonator) tuned to the sine-tone frequency.
Of course, the ear (even the cochlear part) is more complicated than
that. For a nice discussion see Hartmann's "Signals, Sound, and
Sensation." pg. 310ff.

Christopher Shera                               617-573-4235 voice
Eaton-Peabody Laboratory                        617-720-4408 fax
243 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114-3096       http://epl.harvard.edu

"Sadism and farce are always inexplicably linked." -- Alexander Theroux