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 Looking for the best possible tune!

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Jbeard



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PostSubject: Looking for the best possible tune!   Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:00 am

Michael,

Will you please post a link to my previous thread and the pictures? Thanks!
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Jbeard



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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:53 am

I am afraid I am over-dampening my room. I have used 4 of the new room tune rectangles and 12 of the new squares. Unfortunately, I am losing volume and my horns seems slow and muffled.

I am wondering from reading about Sonic's room if I should make some cardboard sound shutters? My main issue in the room is how active it is. Even with all the room tunes, there is still an echo, but I think I have applied so many room tunes that I am over-dampening the room.

Last night Michael advised I try a nearfiled setup. I liked the setup, but quite honestly my single driver full range horns sound better 12" off the back wall and 18" from the side walls. I am sure this will change the further I get pulled into the tune, but right now this is where they are sounding the best!

Please help!
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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:47 am






















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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:55 am

The interesting

part for me is to watch systems develop and to watch the listener develop with the system.

The first step always is to realize that everything from the fuse box to the ear is part of not only a chain, but an interactive relationship. What makes sound grow or shrink, tighten or loosen, float or stick is never one part but the whole. The sacred archives of TuneLand teaches us the how every single piece (including time) effects the sound greatly, but still there is nothing like going and growing through the process.

Since sound is a great variable I always look at my system and make note of what is as variable as sound in my setup and what is not. When we take a close look we see that there is literally nothing in the system that is not vibrating. The walls, cables, speakers, electricity, caps, and on, are all in motion. This makes everything a part of everything else. It's all one big component. That in mind when something is moved (big or small) then everything has just moved and the system is completely different from the system a few moments ago.

In the case of the acoustical energy in the room, when the sound becomes dulled what are the things in the room that could be adding too much absorbing. Not only do we have to look at paint, rugs, and acoustical treatments, we also have to look at the signal itself. It is the signal that makes the sound take shape. Always think in 3's acoustical, mechanical, and electrical (the audio trilogy) at the same time and the answers will start to come.

Now, take a look at the system and see what are the parts in the setup that are not as flexible as the other parts and there is your starting point. It's important to not build a system around a part, but instead your parts should be flexible enough to communicate with each other. The more the tuning parts talk to each other the more you will hear the music not only wanting to break through, but also you will start to hear your next weakest link in the system start to stand out.

What is the weakest link?

We know that it is not the amount of treatment right now, cause you have already reached the saturation point. This is the acoustical point where you are starting to loose sound rather than gain it. So adding more to the treatment is not the next step. Yes, it may be a temp fix but there are some bigger issues.

Make mental notes of the times when the music opens up. These are the important things to remember as we start to free up your signal path. Tuning things in for a temporary good listening session is cool for a quickie but I would get right back on the path of opening up the sound. Here's why I say this. Your system right now is giving you about 1/10 of what is has. When your system is totally tunable you will always be able to go back. Here's the good part, when your system is totally tunable you will be able to go anywhere you want.

Are you ready for some more tricks while you are waiting on your platforms?

Good, let's start at the beginning with that fuse box. Got a picture of yours for me? Inside of your house, this is the first part to your system.

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Jbeard



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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:31 am

The best part of my panel is that it shares a wall with my stereo studio. As Michael knows, I have great access to electrical supplies. It would be very easy to mount a sub panel on the other side of the wall if this is the direction we need to move in.

I received cable grounds and installed them in the system last night. My rack should be here next Tuesday!!!

I also made some new power cords using 18ga solid copper conductors with PVC jacket. I used a Schurter IEC and a large solid plastic male end.

I found a serious void in the inside corner of the L corner in the back of my room. Sticking a small RT in that area has helped to balance the left and right channels.

I also moved my speakers further apart from each other and further off the wall. Vocals finally snapped more into focus although I am still not getting the tone I would like out of the midrange. The soundstage and imaging are sounding really great!

Not sure if I mentioned this before but the drape on the window on the front wall has been replaced by a bamboo blind.

I receive my Ikea Poang chair today and cannot wait to set it up and prop my feet up and dig in for a long listening session!

I will take more pictures this weekend of the room.

Michael - What is my next assignment? Anxiously awaiting my instructions!!!
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Carol
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PostSubject: Jordan's Photos   Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:26 am



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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:05 am

OK,

there are probably 8 screws holding the fuse box.

4 on the cover

4 on the inside

You will feel that all of these are very tight. Loosen them so that the box is still on the wall (safety first) but loose enough that there is play. It will take about 3 days for this tweak to settle in and 7 days before the sound stage reaches it's new size.

Again let's just let things open up for a while. You want your harmonics to develop. Make sure your outlets (in the whole room) are loose as well.

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Jbeard



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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:34 pm

I removed the cover from the panel and loosened the 4 screws that hold the panel against the studs. I then reattached the panel cover and left the 6 screws loose that hold the cover on the panel. I also loosened the nuts that hold the conduit where all the wires come into the panel.

Then I looked at the receptacles in the room. The wires feeding the receptacles were pushed onto the lock terminals as opposed to being screwed down. Would you recommend I remove them from this position and screw them to the terminals? I made sure there was play where the receptacle attached to the outlet box. I tightened the receptacle cover back on and then just cracked the screws. My receptacles are very tight when inserting plugs - as tight as any hospital grade I have seen. Any suggestions here? Should I get receptacles that do not grip quite as tight?

One interesting observation - I cut the power to the room via the panel so I could work on loosening up the receptacles. I know theses loosening tweaks take a while to settle in but upon turning the power and stereo back on, the clarity was improved dramatically. I do not think it was the loosening of the system. I have heard that on occasion systems need to be "rebooted" like a computer and that it can make a difference. Is this what I experienced?

Things are sounding great overall. My only complaint at this point is that the right channel seems to need some reinforcement. The left channel seems to overshadow it in that I hear more of the left channel than the right. Is this a speaker positioning issue?

I have decided to wait until my rack arrives on Tuesday and is placed in my system before taking my next set of pictures.

Awaiting my instructions...
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:29 pm

Hi J,

Yes, the system can definitely take that big of a jump when loosening things up. You just threw a ton of harmonics into your stereo. As far as the connections, if you make things so that they barely touch you will hear the music become more life like. For this reason I personally like more loose fitting outlets. Harmonics have a way of working themselves out when they settle.

Left or right room drift is a common part to a system. The more you tune the more you will be able to hear the differences in both sides of an amp, player, room, speakers, recording, and ears. I usually cheat with my balance control until I get things harmonically balanced. There's no harm in adjusting for the drift. Also floorstanders go a long way in the balancing act. Many times something as simple as opening or closing a door can shift the stage, as well as book cases or indents like you have in your room. As you continue to tune your room and electronics you will stumble across the balancing answer. It will more than likely be something very simple like a screw some where.

The pressure box that we talked about on TuneLand is also a good tool to use. There are a few more tricks that I will be sharing this year coming up to deal with "zoning". If I find the right materials to make my own room resonators I will either build them or share them with you guys to build. It all comes down to pressure! How it gets created, and how it gets distributed.

looking forward to seeing the progression

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Jbeard



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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:50 pm

WOW!!!

Is it really possible that loosening the electrical circuit has already made this much of a difference? It must have as it is the only change I have made in the last 2 days.

As described above, the clarity increased immediately. A few hours later I was turning the volume down from 100 to less than 90.

I am definitely going to get some different receptacles that do not grip the plug quite as tightly.

Michael - how do you feel about dedicated circuits? This would be easy for me given my resources. What do you recommend materials wise?
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:38 am

Hi J,

Yes, it does make that big of a difference! And, it makes sense as well. Your stereo gear can now start drinking high octane so to speak. More energy, less gear, better performance.

Sound wise you can go down to 22gage solid core for the wire, but even 18gage is a huge jump over typical romex.

You don't want to add another circuit box (more parts), what you want to do is designate a 15 amp to the source and power based on your equipment list. This will be more than plenty. When you run your hot and your cold from your box try not to put undo stress on the wire. Now with the new light weight low mass outlet you will be using keep it just for the system and nothing else. As you look at outlets, you will find some that resonate nicely with no rubber parts and very simple leads, paths, and receptacles.

When this is installed, the sound will be very crisp and clean. After about a week you will already start to hear the harmonics growing and notes becoming solidified. The sound stage at that point should be able to be heard from where ever you are in the room. The full body of harmonic structures will be very apparent.

To me what you are now doing is the meaning of true high end.

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Jbeard



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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:41 am

Should I have used 22ga instead of 18ga for my power cords?

on dedicated circuits - what about the main panel outside the house? What about loosening the lugs and where the romex leaves the circuit breaker? Should I run smaller romex or single conductors for dedicated circuits? In conduit? twist or braid the wire? I have a miniwatt SEP amp, an Aikido line stage, and a squeezebox source. I assume put the amp and preamp on one circuit and the source on another?

The electric system tweaks have been extraordinary. I am content to just camp out here for a bit, especially considering how far upstream these components are and how incredible the small changes I have made already sound.

Also, what is the pressure box you mentioned earlier?
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:15 pm

Hi J,

18ga for the power is easy to work with. Long term it might prove to be better for longer runs than the 22ga simply because it holds shape. If your route is very short though going with 22ga is better. I've done both and prefer the 22ga for shorter runs. 22ga can be barely twisted whereas the 18ga I like straight forward.

As far as how many dedicated circuits, I like 1 dedicated 15amp for the whole thing. Of course my electronics did not remotely resemble components when I was done with them. My systems become one component at the end.

good to see you having fun

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:10 pm

Here is the latest in jbeard's system setup.






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Jbeard



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PostSubject: Back in the saddle   Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:38 am

After an extended break, I am back in the saddle again. I just measured the dimensions of my room and will send my sketch to Michale to post. I will also take some new pics after I freshen up the tune in my room after many months of my absence. Looking forward to the next steps!
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Jbeard



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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:54 am

Here are the latest pics of my stereo room























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Jbeard



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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:56 am












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Jbeard



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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:01 am

components:
amp: battery powered Virtue One.2 with Sonicap Gen I (Gen II bypass) caps
source: Squeezebox 3 with Swenson mod using Mundorf Silver Oil Caps and bolder modded jerome PSU
speakers: Horn Shoppe horns Model 1
sub: Horn Shoppe Cube
All cables, platforms, racks, room tune pillows etc. are MGA products.
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Jbeard



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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:40 pm

I thought I would post a summary of my tuning thus far:

I have ensured that my rack is set up properly by making sure that the rods themselves do not make contact with the shelf. All wood washers are loose although even though they are over a year old still have a tendency to stick (I live in a very hot humid climate). The shelves themselves have also developed a pretty nasty sag that prevents them from being able to be leveled properly although I have done the best at leveling them with what I have. I have also ensured that the top nuts just make contact with the wood washers on top of the shelf. The shelf rests on acorn nuts on top of the platform Michael built for me.

The platforms are all level although I have not touched them otherwise. I have never cracked or adjusted the screws in the platforms.

I also have all of the speaker wire Michael made for me supported by magic grounds. Again, I have not adjusted or cracked any of their screws.

I just top tuned my squeezebox touch and Virtue One.2 amp. I have never attempted to tune the power supplies for either unit though as you can see from the pics.

Tonight I am going to adjust my speaker wire binding posts as I feel they may be too tight.
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Jbeard



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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:50 pm




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Jbeard



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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:04 pm

I used magic springs to between my components and the rack shelf. I used magic wood where the springs touch the component and left the contact between the shelf and the spring bare. I used the zinc magic springs exclusively although I am going to change out the top springs tonight in favor of the hand wound springs.

I am wondering if I should move my components up to my speaker driver level. I noticed after moving the component shelves down to accommodate the top tune that I was getting too much energy behind the speakers, hence the room tunes that were placed in the void of the rack. Coincidentally, placing the pillows in that configuration really cleared things up nicely.

One thought I have been having is whether to put a bamboo blind over the cutout in the left rear wall area that forms a void?
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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:12 pm

Fantastic!!!

Great to see you getting into it. I'm trying to fit in some time to get caught up on my posting and drawing but these pictures tell a thousand words.

How cool is this!

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Looking for the best possible tune!   Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:00 am


Hi Jbeard!

Your system looks wonderful. Your observation of equipment and speaker height and driver level shows a high level of observation. You know, Sonic never thought of gear height in relation to energy build-up. I just positioned my stuff for accessibility and stability.

For voids, maybe consider the "boo" test, walk around shouting "BOO!" at constant pitch (and/or use a hand drum like I do). Test how the sound changes as you approach and enter the void. If there is little or no change, it is probably OK. If muffled the bamboo blinds, PZCs may be required. Also worth trying Boo! at a couple of levels -- normal standing, ear level and nearer to the floor. That is how I came up with putting the reflective plastic on the lower half of my PZCs to good effect.

Sonic
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