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 Tholt's system

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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Tholt's system   Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:22 pm

Welcome to Tholt

I had the pleasure of talking to Tholt on the phone and after we discussed some of the traits of his system I asked if we could do some posting and take a walk through his audio chain.

Here is where we start.

Current acoustic treatments, other than furnishings and jute rugs:

Cathedral panels in upper and some lower corners throughout the room to control bass

2' x 4' x 2" acoustic absorbent panel over TV
3 deco tune floor standers (not sure where to place them -- I originally bought them to replace the towel on the equipment rack and the 2 diffusion panels on L/R walls, but they don't seem to sound good in those places).


Equipment:

CEC TL51XR cd player
Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE preamp
Wyred 4 Sound SX-500 amps
ATC SCM 12 monitors on Skylan 24" stands filled with sand and kitty litter per manufacturer recommendation
Synergistic Research XLR cables and speaker cable
Mojo Audio power cords
PS Audio Quintet power filtration (the amps are plugged into this)
Audio Magic Stealth Mini Power Purifier (the cdp and the preamp are plugged into this)
DIY Ash wood and steel rods rack and Bright Star Audio platforms (containing sand) underneath cdp and preamp
3.25" thick Myrtle wood platforms under amps
Black Diamond Racing Cones #3 under amps and preamp
Marigo Audio Gem feet underneath cdp
Acoustic Revive RR-77 acoustical tweak



"My primary issues are: balance is shifted left, flat soundstage, perceived slight mid/upper glare and grain. The former is the worst offender, the latter I can live with if need be, it could be due to the speakers."

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PostSubject: Re: Tholt's system   Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:39 pm

Since our last conversation Tholt sent me this diagram showing his most recent moves with the DecoTunes.


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PostSubject: Re: Tholt's system   Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:45 pm

Tholt

Can you tell me a little about the construction of the room? The floor seems like a mixture of tile and wood. Is this on a slab or floor joist?

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Tholt



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PostSubject: Re: Tholt's system   Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:16 pm

Michael Green wrote:
Tholt

Can you tell me a little about the construction of the room? The floor seems like a mixture of tile and wood. Is this on a slab or floor joist?

Hi Michael,

Thank you for posting the pics for me and quoting what I wrote you. And a shout out to all the other Tunelanders out there!

Again, my primary issue is an imbalance in sound -- the imaging is weighted toward the left by about 1 - 3 db.

The pictures posted show a lot of clutter (sorry) and a couple DIY diffusion panels on against the left and right walls. I have since removed those (always felt they were more of a bandaid than permanent solution anyway).

To answer your question Michael, the flooring is all raised, ie not on a slab. There is a crawlspace underneath most of the house. The main areas are hardwood, the kitchen and entry way are Spanish style tile.

Perhaps you can also post the original diagram I sent you with room measurements.

Thank you in advance for your time.

T

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PostSubject: Re: Tholt's system   Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:16 pm

Michael Green wrote:
Since our last conversation Tholt sent me this diagram showing his most recent moves with the DecoTunes.


Here is what I wrote to Michael regarding this image:

I did a lot of playing around this weekend with panel placement, and think I'm making some progress??

As I mentioned earlier, the most annoying issue is the balance shifting left. I can't tell you how much that bugs me. Consistenly vocals, etc are shifted anywhere from 1 - 3 db to the left. Based on our conversation last week and logic, obviously there is more energy in the left part of the listening space.

I have attached an updated room layout image highlighting where I placed some panels. I should tell you -- over the months/years I have tried A LOT of placement options of various panels, so this is not the first time I've tried playing around with things. In fact, at this point, I'm having to think more and more outside the box just to come up with things I haven't tried yet!

One thing I have never really tried (at length) is treating the hallway. There is a huge amount of slap echo there, and I spent time this weekend placing four 2x4 (4" thick) absorbent panels I have on hand, which seemed to help (green).

Due to the kitchen being just separated by the half wall, I also tried placing them literally on the counters in the kitchen, covering the cupboards, just to hear what would happen. It helped, but of course completely unpractical. It was also surprising to hear that when I removed them, the sound didn't suffer all that much.

Also, since I received the deco tune panels I have been experimenting with their placement all over the room. I seem to perceive the most postive changes happen when I place them in the areas marked by the blue ovals. However, I found placing them in the right corner and next to the half wall (shown in red) seemed to move the balance more to the center. I really feel that the entry way behind the right speaker is a big cause of the imbalance, and when I placed a panel right next to the opening, facing toward the speaker, it seemed to help.
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Tholt



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PostSubject: Re: Tholt's system   Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:19 pm

Michael Green wrote:
Welcome to Tholt

I had the pleasure of talking to Tholt on the phone and after we discussed some of the traits of his system I asked if we could do some posting and take a walk through his audio chain.

Here is where we start.

Current acoustic treatments, other than furnishings and jute rugs:

Cathedral panels in upper and some lower corners throughout the room to control bass

2' x 4' x 2" acoustic absorbent panel over TV
3 deco tune floor standers (not sure where to place them -- I originally bought them to replace the towel on the equipment rack and the 2 diffusion panels on L/R walls, but they don't seem to sound good in those places).


Equipment:

CEC TL51XR cd player
Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE preamp
Wyred 4 Sound SX-500 amps
ATC SCM 12 monitors on Skylan 24" stands filled with sand and kitty litter per manufacturer recommendation
Synergistic Research XLR cables and speaker cable
Mojo Audio power cords
PS Audio Quintet power filtration (the amps are plugged into this)
Audio Magic Stealth Mini Power Purifier (the cdp and the preamp are plugged into this)
DIY Ash wood and steel rods rack and Bright Star Audio platforms (containing sand) underneath cdp and preamp
3.25" thick Myrtle wood platforms under amps
Black Diamond Racing Cones #3 under amps and preamp
Marigo Audio Gem feet underneath cdp
Acoustic Revive RR-77 acoustical tweak



"My primary issues are: balance is shifted left, flat soundstage, perceived slight mid/upper glare and grain. The former is the worst offender, the latter I can live with if need be, it could be due to the speakers."

I should note that I do have more acoustic treatments than I mentioned -- as seen in pics I have four 2' x 4' x 2" absorbent panels behind the couch and another acoustic panel (same measurements) over the TV in front.
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PostSubject: Re: Tholt's system   Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:38 pm

Hi Tholt

Sorry for the late reply. I got hit with a last notice promo I needed to work on and it took my mind off the sound for a moment.

I would like you to try something for me and let me know the results. At Home Depot you can pick up builders paper. (it's cheap) I would like for you to cover the absorbent panels behind you and tell me what you hear. Or take the panels down a report back.

What I'm seeing is a lot of absorbent things that may be robbing a little music. I would like to start stepping through the setup up and see if we can open things up a little as well as tuning them in. What I'm seeing is that you probably have a soundstage that is a little more flat than what you would like. I would like to give you tons more depth and more tonal balance. Basically we will use the materials you have to create a sound stage that is using the pressure zones in the room and at the same time setting your components free.

You mentioned that you mass load the stands. On top of this your speakers are probably filled with poly fill. Your cables are very heavy and your components are locked down with heavy absorbent materials sucking on them. What all this does is dampen the signal. If you like this sound it's fine but what if we find you a ton more music? I bet we can open up your soundstage triple from what it is and in the process the soundstage drift will disappear or be much easier to fix. How deep would you say your soundstage is now and how far out toward you does it come? Does the stage ever go behind you?

Lets try a few things. If we open up the signal the air pressure will also open up. If we make it huge than take it back to a place that is comfortable to you, you will know how big or small you can make it then make a judgement of where you want it at. It might mean that you like some of the tweaks you have but more than likely you will start hearing some of the music you are missing and wish to dial in. For myself if I keep heading in the direction of shutting things down thee music become a little on the lifeless side and starts sounding unreal and less 3D.

I like the way your rack looks and would like to see how well the wood performs for you. How about we strip it down to the basics and see how the equipment sounds on it then. After this we can take a listen to see if the equipment is causing the signal to breathe or shrink. I already told you about the maggie player we can use as a test. There are also other cheap tools to use to see if we like this direction without costing a ton. If you like heading that way we can get more focused and go for it. Sometimes high end teaches to kill the sound of vibration and call it evil. I'm of the opposite persuasion hearing this do more damage than good. Your system is built on the principle of vibration and should be allowed to do what is natural. When this is done you will hear a whole new, big, life like sound stage.

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