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 Tuning Step by Step

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Michael Green

Posts : 3514
Join date : 2009-09-12
Location : Vegas/Ohio/The Beach

PostSubject: Tuning Step by Step   Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:12 am

As a brief introduction to the scope of some of my designing here's a link to one of my designs and buildouts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsR4GRhCSeo

"The Fine Arts Building at SUNY Oneonta houses programs in the visual and performing arts. One portion of the building contains the Music Department's practice studios, music labs, rehearsal halls, and state-of-the-art Music Recording Studio. The Laurence B. Goodrich Theater and the Hamblin Arena Theater share the central section of the building with the Fine Arts Gallery."

There's always more so feel free to start your own thread. Check out the product catalog. http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/f7-mga-roomtune-products . Also Another thread that might be of help http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t245-setup-basics-for-stereophile .

Everything is tunable Exclamation So lets get started.

No matter what kind of system you have if it uses electricity it is very tunable. Electricity after all is the host of your system's signal.

In 1998 Ohio power gave us our own transformer and cable runs to our specs. The cable was made as minimalistic as code would permit. We appreciated their involvement and hope that their testing was successful, it certainly was for us.

the circuit panel

Electricity is the movement and interaction of electrons. (it's very important to make a note of this) You can look up electrons, protons, and electrical current as a reference.

Here's another cool fact: any natural motion produces electrical energy. You see even the acoustical and mechanical parts of your system are partnered to electricity and are effected by on going electrical charges.

Hold a sensitive microphone up to a wire carrying an audio signal and you can pick up sound. Interesting isn't it? So than electricity is a part of the entire audio chain? Yes.

Your fuse box should be looked at as a serious audio component. As serious as any amplifier, source, or voice coil. Since it is the first "electrical" component in the audio chain we might even want to consider the fuse box as the most influential electrical component you have. If your an electrician with a contractors license your going to love Step#1 because you are qualified to make adjustments. For the rest of us hopefully our electrician reads the techno-zone.

A fuse box makes a great tunable component. It's basically a big in-line fuse that runs between the transformer outside of your house and your components inside of your house. The trips inside of it are designed to disconnect electrical flow if too much energy is being pulled from that particular terminal. So what is the thing that we should do? Make sure we are not over loading the circuit.

15 amps are more than enough to run any well designed audio system (especially a low mass tunable one) but if you want to use dedicated lines for each component that is up to you. Personally I go with the less is more program. It's not hard to have over kill with dedicated lines and heavy outlets. To be honest a simple 15 amp and low mass outlets sound much better than the over built ones, just like 16 gage romex sounds better than 12 gage. Remember your audio system uses tiny wire to host electricity on the inside so you want to come as close to that same gage on the outside (consider distance of course).

The typical US circuit panel usually has 4 to 6 screws on the outside holding the cover on and 4 more on the inside holding the box onto the wall. The screws are very tight after installation. By loosening them even 1 full turn you will be allowing the cycles to vibrate more giving you more harmonics to the power supplies of your system. How much you loosen them is up to you and your electrician. I can only tell you the effects on the sound. If you are use to tuning you know that the more loose something is the more harmonics you can hear. Of course if things are made too loose you will have gravity pulling on things making the sound brittle again, so you will want to listen closely for the sound to be just right. I tune my panel as much as any other part of my system. I consider my electrical panel to be part of my amplification stage for all power supplies.

in-wall wiring

Electrical wiring has more to do with your sound than most think. It's a long path from the power source to your house, like wise it's a long path from your fuse box to your wall outlets. The type of wire used and how it is run makes a huge difference. In the land of tune the main thing to keep reminding yourself is "don't over do it". Audiophiles are told from early on that to get good sound you have to do everything big. This is not true. In fact this statement is the opposite from what you want to do if you plan to make your system variably tunable. You will find that tuning is a balance, and that includes balances of the electrical wiring from one part of the signal path to the next. In our tests we have found that the closer a person gets to using the same size wire throughout their system the more coherent the system becomes sonically. Of course you'll not find any sources for 22ga electrical solid core but the closer you get to this size the better the sound. Another tip is if you do get a chance to use wire without the heavy jacket found in a romex type cable the signal will be far more clean and full sounding.

When running wire try to keep from squeezing the wire along the path between the fuse box and the outlet. This wire like all wire is carrying a vibrating signal and it is better to lay the wire in place than to tighten it down. Try not to bend the cable too much when going around corners or at the wall outlet connection. If you can avoid using conduits on your wire runs this is much better as well. Conduits build up a field and can effect the signal dramatically.

What type of outlet do I use?

The first few years of being an audiophile I was naive in thinking that hospital grade outlets were the best for audio signal. I was wrong! All these over built outlets did for my systems was shut down the music. The last 20 years I have changed my tune as I realized that there is a balancing act in play with audio systems. Low mass with power is a major lesson to learn when tuning in your setup. An outlet is only a receptacle to push your plug into. Using too much mass at this point can stop your system from getting the energy it needs. It can also block harmonics from developing.

Most of us don't use dedicated ac lines to our audio system. This can be good and bad depending on how old your house is. Better to have an older non-dedicated line used properly than a new dedicated line over damped.

At first listen when you get new components or wiring or outlets the system usually sounds cleaner after a few hours of burn in, but don't let this fool you. Your frequencies have shifted up in pitch giving you the illusion of faster transient times and pace. Electrical lines as well as any component that host an electronic audio signal "never" stop burning in. For this reason I recommend never turning off your components. The more your system has current flowing the better the harmonic structures that remove distortions develop.

A brand new system or system part is able to produce approximately 10% of the total source content. This is fairly standard among typical audio component. What are the signs of this. A very crisp almost sterile sounding 2 dimensional sound stage that is usually 8' wide 4-5' tall and 2-5' deep. If your sound stage is this size you are more than likely listening to a part that has not broken in or your system is distorting from overdamping.

A very important note needs to be  made here: your system distorts more from over dampening than from to many sound waves being produced. Acoustical sound waves as we will get into later are not that hard to control, but a distorted signal not fully developed can and will cause all kinds of problems and can easily cost you many times over the cost of what you should be paying for a system in over build fix its and components. As we walk through the audio chain you will see this played out.

If putting in new dedicated line consult with us first so we can guide you through the steps. If existing lines are in place and if you have your wires on the fuse panel set medium to loose tight then also set the screws on your wall outlets to medium to loose. I run my system front panel off as well as my wall out let covers. They are gone or set very loose.

Can you make a true dedicated line using the same buss bar on the fuse box? No, you can remove other components from putting a pull on your series run but they are tied in together at the box. To do true dedication you need to have the electric company setup a separate feed. However as we have said you can do a ton of tuning on your box as it is and even reassigning circuits and using the right amps.

 Anyone confused at this point?

Well it always pays to go back to the beginning.

An audio system.

How does it work?

An audio system uses energy (acoustical, mechanical, electrical) to amplify an audio signal.

What is audio signal?

A frequency based language stimulated by vibration.

What is the audio chain?

The step by step process of taking the audio signal from it's origin (source) to your brain with the use of conduits.

What is an audio conduit?

Anything that physically passes, or activates the audio signal in all three stages of the audio playback process.

Name some of the pieces of the audio chain conduit?

the circuit box
electrical wiring
wall outlet
power supply
source component
amplification component
interconnect and speaker wires
materials in the room
room (acoustical environment)

What is accurate audio reproduction?

Taking the recorded audio signal and playing it back reproducing the same same values on the recording.

What is personal taste in audio?

Shaping the sound to an individual liking rather than the original source material.

How does vibration work in an audio system?

Everything in a system vibrates. This vibration can be reduced or added to to change the sound of the system.

What is full range?

The entire audio spectrum 16hz to 22khz typically.

How do we pass a full range signal through the audio chain?

By making sure all of the parts of every audio conduit are able to vibrate all the frequencies in the audio spectrum.

What is the biggest problem when passing the signal through the conduits?

The imbalance of dampening vs energy flow. Signal blockage.

What is harmonic structure?

Natures balance in all energy forms as a spherical support system to maintain fundamental frequency response.

How does this work?

By removing blockage in the audio chain to the point of allowing the harmonic structures to form past the 3rd harmonic (in tune) and up.

What are the results sonically?

Full size sound stage with minimal frequency gathering. (clusters)

There are many more but here is the starting point to get the mind thinking about where we must go.

In you system we need to cover the "mess of mass" as it is causing certain things to happen to your sound.

Keep in mind that all parts need to be equal oppertunity signal passers. What in your system is not? And, how much is it holding the rest of your system back?

Once things are set free or removed the system will perform at a whole new level even much bigger and better than you have right now.

This process becomes less brain wave shocking after the first few steps.

michael green
PH 702 762 3245
Email mgtune@yahoo.com

Last edited by Michael Green on Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:07 am; edited 30 times in total
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Michael Green

Posts : 3514
Join date : 2009-09-12
Location : Vegas/Ohio/The Beach

PostSubject: Re: Tuning Step by Step   Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:31 pm

The Tunable Room

Up till now we've been looking at the electrical system on it's path to our components, but at the same time that the wire is being routed we should mention the room and house construction itself. Many of us in this hobby have our homes and rooms built for tuning. The studies of how mechanical transfer effects the sound of our systems are more important than any other vibration control studies that we can have about audio. These studies are reflected at the State University of New York where we designed the SUCO tunable recording studio and the new (being built now) SUCO fine arts wing. MGA has designed a ground up example of isolation to tunable audio in the facility that ranges from live performance, recording, to listening rooms. Although this is a commercial building using ICF (now used in many high end homes as well) instead of common materials SUNY's facility is the first building in the world that covers the study of sound travel from total dead (earth dead) to plus 6db live (variably tunable) and can serve as a reference of the transfer and pathway of the audio signal.

When looking at tuning step by step it is always good to keep in mind that we are dealing with 3 parts to the "audio Trilogy" (electrical, mechanical, and acoustical) that work together in audio reproduction. Learning about this trilogy helps us understand what happens when we do certain tuning tweaks as well as general audio setup and installation. We don't have to go far into this study to realize that not only is every system different from every other system but also that every system even though it may be the exact same system will sound different in any two locations. This makes tuning a must when we wish to raise and or maintain a higher level of performance.

MGA designs and builds our own rooms. I've been building my own reference rooms for over 25 years and contracting the designs with some of the worlds foremost studios, audio salons and private clients. I do both core designing that are finished out later and the Tunable Room that is adjustable every 16" on center. My favorite sounding rooms are the ones done with Nevada cured wood and hand voiced by us. Check with us on my curing and voicing schedule so that we can fit you in. We are always curing wood but don't keep a large supply.

The largest contributer to the sound of our music systems is our room, and the most advanced listening rooms in the world are MGA Tunable rooms.

The Tunable Room was the first room designed like a music instrument specifically to reproduce music. While doing work for Steinway, Conn, King, Martin and other prestigious musical instrument companies Michael refined a room that could reproduce all the fundamentals and harmonics of every note/frequency/sound from 12hz -33khz.

It's about the wood! The technology in mechanical transfer is what makes the tunable room work but it still comes down the the hand voiced wood that makes the magic happen.

I will be working with you directly on your room so feel free to email me at michael@michaelgreenaudio.com or mgtune@yahoo.com when you wish to discuss the possibility of you having the tunable room.

michael green
PH 702 762 3245
Email mgtune@yahoo.com
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Michael Green

Posts : 3514
Join date : 2009-09-12
Location : Vegas/Ohio/The Beach

PostSubject: Re: Tuning Step by Step   Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:49 pm

What is a power supply?

A power supply is a device that supplies electrical energy to one or more electric loads. In Audio you basically have 2 to choose from.

One, a battery.

Two, AC from your circuit box.

Most of your power supplies are built into your components as if they were of one function but we highly recommend if you have your component parts too close to the power supply move them a little distance from each other. Sometimes this is not a problem if your power supplies are very low mass and don't throw off much of a field, but if the supply is bigger than other parts on the circuit board take a look at how you can move them so they do not interfere with the audio signal.

Low mass components

We are at an important crossroad for many listeners at this point and want to give some advice. Take I look at your components. When you open them up do you find heavy over built parts? If you do ask yourself the question, Why?

The harder it is to drive air pressure in your room the more chances you have to introduce distortion. You don't get away from distortion from adding all the mass that many are pushing you to do in high end audio listening. In fact if you are over damped you are introducing more distortion by not allowing waves to form at their potential. The more you need to use shields to keep things in and out the more you take away from the audio signal as it is trying to pass through the system.

Space between parts and fewer parts will give you far more music than heavy over built products. MGA tunes everything, and we have no need to suggest to you to buy lighter weight verses heavy products. We are an equal opportunity listening company. I have found the best systems to be ones that don't have mass. Over built systems lock in a character that makes it hard for the music to develop into life like sound. We are happy to tune all sizes but are here to give you helpful hints as you build your extreme listening setup.

If you think your system sounds lifeless, lacking warmth and emotion, than you need to read these product pages very carefully and think about where you might want to get started. Going where? On a journey that you never thought your music reproduction system would ever take you.

If your system is not playing instruments that are real size (which is the biggest problem in audio) than you know your system has been taken over by distortion or is not able to be played in-tune. Your soundstage should be much bigger than the room you are playing it in and should go far beyond the sides of the speakers. Your system should also be able to play all around you from a stereo setup. You should be able to get out of what some call "the sweet spot" and be able to see an image without the music running into the speakers. If you do not have this than you are out of tune.

How do you get in-tune? By learning how your system needs to vibrate and be tuned to harmonize the parts.

Tweaking an audio system has become as big as the components and speakers themselves. The audio industry quickly jumps on fads when someone hears a difference. Different is not always a good thing but what it has done is shown us that systems are highly effected by the energy that is around and touching them. MGA has gone farther in this area than anyone, building entire systems out of tunable parts. The more we tune the more music we hear and the closer we get to real performances as opposed to the sterile sound that so many have excepted. Just how good can a system become? Good enough to keep you in your listening chair and in the listening room for a long time.

Your system is not only interconnected by wire and solder joints, it is also interconnected by energy that is carrying and supporting the audio signal. This energy wants to makes it's way to ground and it will do so in harmony or distorting. Either way it will make this trip and you will hear your system in tune or out of tune. MGA tools are here to keep your music in-tune every inch of the audio chain.

Without taking the step of mechanically grounding your components you are loosing at least 30% of the music content the system is trying to pass. It would be very rare to go from the component rack or speaker to the floor or ground without distortion because of the missing dissipating step that a platform provides.

a look at the racks and platforms

another view of transfer flow using bottom and top tuning

Any way you look at it a chassis is a shipping box housing the parts and pieces making the sound. They are also huge limiting factors in the way the parts need to resonate energy as well as pass it. Many who have already shifted from big boxes to plate type open designs will tell you how much more open their sound is once the chassis is taken out of the equation. Removing the box is a tremendously big step forward in the tuning revolution and for high end.

Regardless of how you tweak or how much you tweak the Platform is the biggest missing link in High End Audio's chain. Systems are not able to open up fully without the platform under both the speakers and the components.

Starting to get the picture Now? The audio chain runs from beginning to end and each stop along the way is not a stop at all but a flow from one part to the next. We increase the sound quality and efficiency by keeping the signal, acoustical, mechanical and electrical, in tune.

Where the parts connect we call interconnects, or in the case of the mechanics, Mechanical Transfer Devices (MTDs)


This is the geometry of the future. I've cleaned up the transfer by at least 50% I would say over the audiopoint and 33% over the MTD. What this means musically is an explosion of dynamic resolution.

The gathering of the energy "flange" is more full therefore there is more to work with. High frequencies are more balanced and open (much closer to the sound of Harmonic Springs). The range top to bottom is more rich (tube sounding) without the roll off on either end.

The middle "bell" is extremely dynamic giving tons of impact without frequency clotting or odd harmonic ringing. There's an increase in harmonic openness without fatiguing imbalance or stage shifting. The fundamentals are in line with their respective harmonics producing a very life like real sound to the hallos around the instruments. The image size is greatly improved making it easier to tweak in the sound of the system.

The "stable point" is much improved giving an absolute resolve to the form and function of the cone. You can hear all the sound of the component above or below the cone defining the mechanical characteristic of the unit.

here's how they work

All energy is vibration. As your components make music they are producing vibrations that need to exchange with the environment's natural energies and waves in the air and solid materials. MGA cones make this exchange of energy "in tune" allowing the component to give it's maximum performance without distortion.

A recent interview:

"MGA makes 3 cones with points. the AAB1X1 is a solid Audio Alloy unit. The AAB1X1SB is a sonic bell design giving more open dynamics. Those wishing to make their solid state and digital gear sound more tubie the SB is the way to go. For Speakers the AAB1X1SBS will take the focus of a speaker and bring it to life. SBS is the most open setting of the line and can be used on electronics as well as speakers but the main design is to make the boxie sound of any component or speaker go away. On components if you don't want a big sound stage don't buy the SBS cause this cone gives you the real size of an instrument in playback mode.

The 3 cones can be mixed and matched and we highly recommend taking advantage of this. Here's why. Different parts of your components chassis deal with the passing of energy differently. If you have an area that is hosting the transformer it reacts completely different from the part of the chassis that is hosting light weight and less EMI radiation. Very light weight components under 2lbs work well with the same cones usually, but once above this weight there are magnetic and mass problems that easily arise and if using the same of any cone placed under a component you risk mechanical build up and spiking. It works like this. Take a pan of water and put it on a surface evenly and everything is stable. Now tilt the pan up on one end and watch the mass run toward the deep or heavy end. Add vibration to this and you have a real mess. We have found that with heavier components especially you are losing tons of the music by not aligning the vibratory characters inside and outside the chassis. Dampening causes distortion and likewise so does an uneven distribution. We have not as of yet found a component that can not be tuned to it's potential using these models of MGA cones. if you wish to use them as a one size fits all be prepared to have a fair favorable response and better response than any other transfer product. Use them together as tuning devices and be prepared for a whole new level of tweaking power and sound reproduction.

AAB1X1 great even transfer
AAB1X1SB more open
AAB1X1SBS maximum open

Support discs do not work. Never have never will. People buying discs to protect their surfaces are completely defeating the purpose of the point or cone. For this reason we have designed the round point cone in both the solid and bell designs. Oddly enough while designing this cone we found an amazing discovery. Many tube components like a round cone as compared to a pointed cone. Tubes that seem to sound slightly weak and distorted clean up and lower wattage amps seem to increase in perceived power output. MGA Cones R (round) are made the same height as the points so they may be part of the interchangeable tweaking.

The transfer game up till now has been incomplete. Listeners have been trading and testing tubes in combos for as long as audio has been around. Now the transfer of energy can be just as fine tuned. No more almost having the components and speakers performing at it's best. Michael after years of listening is bringing you the absolute sound through transfer."

Along with the cones, the LTR Blocks are a big favorite among those tuning their systems.

Call 608 208 3536 for voicing choices and prices.

Or email michael@michaelgreenaudio.com or mgtune@yahoo.com

I also use Harmonic Springs and Magic Wood along with other materials to bring out the signal. Follow some of the threads here and at www.tuneland.info to learn how others have tuned their systems using these methods and products.

michael green
PH 702 762 3245
Email mgtune@yahoo.com

Last edited by Michael Green on Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:08 pm; edited 9 times in total
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Michael Green

Posts : 3514
Join date : 2009-09-12
Location : Vegas/Ohio/The Beach

PostSubject: Re: Tuning Step by Step   Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:06 pm

Take a deep breath there's more. I'm sure by now your thinking about all sorts of ways to make improvements to your system. The main thing is to not get stuck by using one fix it to try to cure another. Keep thinking simple. Look up chain to see where you might have blockage in the signal caused by too much of something. For example, look at this next section. See how there is no barrel on my interconnects? Now look at the ones you are using. Barrels cause blockage at a point in the system where you need the least amount of contact possible so that resistance does not build up.

Nothing will make any sound without the cable.

I make the simplest looking wire in the industry and what it does to your system will shock you. It's the only temp-a-cured cable in the world. What does this mean? Picasso and Bare Essence is made not to resists the signal, but instead to let the signal flow down the most natural path of conduit in high end audio. My cables are not oxygen free (which tilts the sound up) but oxygen friendly which makes the music align in balance. There are no barrels on the ends of MGA cables to cause shield distortion or heavy ends to distort the signal when it contacts the next conduit in the audio chain. My wire is as close as you will get to hard wiring as you can get without getting out the gun. The secret to the amazing open sound though is in the way the cable is baked and handled during production. This cable is hand voiced with heat and motion. The difference between a rolled cable and a voiced one is a small vs big soundstage.

Tight cable in neat packages looks impressive don't they, but put Picasso and Bare Essence in it's loose packing up against any cable at any price and watch what happens to your system. After 7 days of letting the wire relax your system will be more open than it has ever been. If you combined the cable with it's matching cable grounds you will have a signal conduit that you can tune to your personal taste as well as maximizing your electronics and speakers performance.

Not only can you tune with the tuning screw but you can also change the flow of energy by moving the Grounds closer or farther apart.

Tuning works like this. Open up the wave structure as big as you can get it then tune it down to where you want it. It works the same way no matter if you are tuning an instrument or tuning your cables and system. If you start from a fixed point and try to open it up instead of the other way around you will always come up missing some music and tonal balance. Dampening = fixed and is stopping you from hearing all you can. Try the open approach and watch how quickly you gain more content. It's far more easy to go from open to tight than dampened (missing part of the signal) to open.

What music lover does not enjoy loudspeakers?

Here's where we finally put the music into the room and for many it's the fascination of the design that catches the attention. Speakers can be a combination of electronics and drivers that are as over built as the heavy equipment, or they can be as light and delicate as an acoustical instrument. My choice is the later as the rule of simplicity holds true through the entire audio chain. I do enjoy listening to everything but when it comes down to forgetting the equipment and listening to the reproduction of the music I want to get as close as I can without anything in the way.

Loudspeakers come in 2 parts. The speaker cabinet with drivers and all the electronic components to make them vibrate, and the largest component in the audio system, The room.

We took a look at the room earlier for the sake of those building a listening room and where it falls into line as far as construction goes, but now we need to take a look at this most important relationship between the listener and the room. A relationship that goes back way before stereo and electronic components.

In the early music days it was all about the room. These rooms were called music chambers and the musicians created  both a musical and visual soundstage. The size of these rooms ranged from very small, seating 3 or 4 plus the musicians, up to small ball room sizes. The architects of these rooms became famous as they built their reputations on lighting and sound. When the early recording music machines came out people were able to find their favorite sounding corner in a room and listen to a horn filling the room with sound. The early audiophiles spent much time and detail making the music room sound as good as it could with hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings.

With todays technology you should have nothing shy of a huge soundstage that goes far past your walls and completely fills the room front to back (even behind you) with a stereo setup.

If you do not have this than your system is blocking the signal from passing through it (usually too much dampening somewhere) or your acoustics are not in tune.

When we listen to sound in our rooms we are listening to air pressure. Sound waves are not traveling in a straight line to our ears. There are 2 main parts to what the sound pressure (build up) is doing. One, pressure zones, the other, laminar flow.

This constant build up of energy is in every room and is what you hear. As the pressure forms it makes pressure zones that you can easily listen to as you walk around the room talking or making sound. Some areas are at a plus signal and some at a minus.

Pressure Zone Controlling is what we have named taking control of a zone in the room and telling it what to sound like with the use of our acoustical/mechanical tuning tools.

Here are some of my acoustical products. Please go to http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/f7-mga-roomtune-products to find more.

"One of the very first tweaks audiophiles do after getting their stereo system is make the acoustics in the room sound good enough to allow the music on the recordings to come through as real (life like) as possible. The room is the biggest audio component and dictates the overall sound of the system.

This is no different from what I do on the recording end of the audio chain. Playback is about restoring what was done not adding to or taking away from the original."

This RoomTune product thread shares not only what the RT Pillow Treatment is, but why it is.

RoomTune is chosen for many of the worlds reference rooms as their acoustical design and treatment, such as the rehearsal and recital rooms at the Eastman School of Music (seen above). It is important to us when designing any audio product that it is created for it's ability to restore sound. You can also see the three main treatments that make up the TunePak (a ten piece set of treatments). This is the starting point of converting any room into a concert hall.

Below the TunePak. The TunePak is made up of 3 fitted acoustical treatments that allow you to make tuning your room a simple process.

How room acoustics work.

When we listen to sound in our rooms we are listening to air pressure. Sound waves do not traveling in a straight line to our ears, but instead spherical patterns called sound pressure.

taking a look at how loading developes in a your room

There are 2 main parts to what the sound pressure (build up) is doing. One, pressure zones, the other, laminar flow.

Laminar flow (laminar effect) happens along every surface in the room. As sources like a speaker or instrument for example creates a sound the waves move out from that point in a spherical pattern till they hit a surface.

All surfaces do some diffusion and some absorption, as well as vibrate becoming a source themselves. The walls, floor and ceiling are the biggest sources and as the oncoming waves hit them, the wall will feed back into the room it's own set of waves that push against the oncoming. This activity creates a flow of sound that travels along the wall, floor and ceiling which intersect in the corners forming corner loads.

This constant build up of energy is in every room and is what you hear. As the pressure forms it makes pressure zones that you can easily listen to as you walk around the room talking or making sound. Some areas are at a plus signal and some at a minus.

Sound in your room looks like this.

Pressure Zone Controlling and RoomTuning is what we have named taking control of the zones and other effects in the room, helping it to perform naturally and in harmony with the music content.  

Another look at the room loading so you can see how and why we treat in the areas we do.

Here is the RT Pillow product line and placement guide.

Starting with the CornerTune.


When tuning a room it's best to get to the acoustical origins of the room first. Typically this build up happens in rooms upper corners. The lower corners are somewhat broken up by the furniture in the room, so the upper areas are the major points of loading. Walk to any of your corners look up and talk and you will hear what I mean.

With intent to restore the music, you don't want to kill the sound by having the burn side facing you. Let the energy get behind the RoomTune and burn while the live side of the pillow keeps the music linear.

As you treat your room your going to find the live side facing the listening position is almost always the best sounding. You can tell the burn side from the live by touch. The burn side feels soft while the live side you can feel the acoustical membrane.

Got the upper corners done, surprising isn't it?

Your on your way to being master of your listening room. The RT pillow products will do more for your sound than almost any tweak you can possibly do for your music. Instead of your speakers fighting the room they are starting to work with it.

Let's add the Echotune.


As you start tuning your upper mid-seams with the EchoTune some huge changes in the music begin to take place. The dynamics increase as well as the focus.

We put two EchoTunes in your TunePak, but you might want to treat all your upper mid-seams. Using one on the front wall and one on one of the side walls is great but many listeners choose to tune all their upper areas of build up. My recommendation is follow through with the rest of the TunePak placement instructions then begin to play around with some acoustical tricks which I'll show later.



Things are getting serious now and your room has become a completely different listening environment from where we started.

The RoomTune pillow treatment has a response of 16hz-22khz covering the entire music spectrum. We do make a 12" x 48" XXLT version for bigger rooms.

RoomTune standard colors

One of the very first tweaks audiophiles do after getting their stereo system is make the acoustics in the room sound good enough to allow the music on the recordings to come through as real (life like) as possible. The room is the biggest audio component and dictates the overall sound of the system.

You don't want to kill the sound of the room with heavy drapes or dampened acoustical deadeners as this will leave the music lifeless and dull, missing vital parts of the recording. You also don't want to trap the sound leaving acoustical holes in the soundstage and dead spots. The best way to treat the room is to use a simple plan called "Room Tuning". RoomTune has specific product for designated areas to control the rooms energy.

After doing a basic tune-up you will hear dramatic changes in your systems performance. You can leave your room as is at that point or explore your rooms hidden musical attributes by playing around with placement changes.

There are different size RT Pillow products for different size rooms. The "mini" are for small rooms and the RoomTune are for average to big size rooms.

RoomTune is used in the most serious of listening rooms as well as converting the average into a special listening environment.

The RoomTune pillow products convert average rooms into listening studios producing full range control using the fewest products to get the job done.

It is hard to beat the sound of wood for reproducing musical note structures. Not just any wood is special though. We spend much time listening to different types and recently have settled on the fast growing younger trees. These trees when cured in our process of nature curing in Nevada are producing fantastic tonality that is among the best we have heard. No need to ever have a system that sounds cold, hard or brittle when nature has provided the perfect tonal material.

The RoomTune Deluxe has been refined. The most popular floorstanding acoustical product has stepped up it's look and performance.

Available in floorstanders and wall mounts RTD2 was designed for both Pro and home tuning at an amazing 20hz-22Khz  linear response.

Learning how your room works is the first step to getting great sound. There are three main components to acoustical waves in your room.

1) the individual sound wave
2) the laminar effect that the surfaces of your room creates along with any furniture
3) the pressure zones that build up in your room

the following is to help you see the room in action and how to bring the best out if it

first lets take a look at the laminar flow and pressure zone

All audio companies have a story to tell, but sometimes these stories are based on theory instead of practice. RoomTune is based on "live sound" research instead of "sound theory". The difference between these two approaches is one is looking at sound from what it might be and the other from what it is.

Why is this important? Because every room in the world sounds unique unto itself. No two rooms in the world have ever tested exactly the same, and in our research this is very key, because we design products that give acoustical solutions around the globe, and to all acoustical environments.

It's a must for us as an industry to apply true physics instead of bad engineering.

How did the audio engineering world get mixed up and start thinking that soundwaves are straight lines? What's worse is building a false science around something that should be pretty common sense. With RoomTuning we're going to get started on the right foot.

sound waves are spherical

Here is what a stereo sound source looks like in a room.

If my room is done properly, using the attributes of the pressure zones I should be able to stand almost anywhere in the room and get close to the same volume level, plus or minus the natural rise and fall of each pressure zone and along the laminar parimeters.

There is nothing in science that tells us that the following happens.

If a sound wave was 2 dimensional it would respond at the wall more like this.

What we have found in our testing is that there is an acoustical plane that developes on any surface where the on coming wave meets with the reflective wave. We call this the laminar line or laminar flow.

The next part we need to know about what affects the pressure zone is room loading.

Room loading happens when the sound waves meet at intersections such as the corners and midseams and the mid wall ceiling or floor.

Here's a 2D look at the loading and laminar flow together. Keep in mind the floor and ceiling are doing the same thing as the walls.

All rooms because they are enclosed build sound pressure. Here's a look if the speakers and chair were gone.

Your probably starting to get the picture of how powerful the room is and how big of a role it must play in the stereo's sound. It is without a doubt the biggest component.

A misconception is that the speakers play independent of the room, but lets think about this. How can a speaker play without the room? Air pressure is a function of the room not the speaker. The speaker is a vibrating source that sends the music signal into the air in the room but it's the room that amplifies this signal. A loudspeaker can not play louder or over power what the room is doing. You may think your listening directly to a loudspeaker but if this were the case the music would sound like it was coming directly from the speaker and there would be no stereo image to speak of. The sound would be very sterile as if someone cut away the music.

Take a look at the misguided view of the speaker minus the room if it were possible. Notice how much of the sound waves are cut out.

The only way to remove the room would be to hook a tube from the speaker to your ear cutting out the room altogether. Nope, far better to use the room, and why not? The room can be a wonderful tool that allows you to recover much of the content rather than trying to cut the acoustic information out.

This is why I named the product RoomTune and started the phrase "Roomtuning". We don't want to get rid of the biggest component but use it as the most important and final part of the audio chain. Once you accept this as the "music producer" you can view the hobby with more accuracy.

Let me show you my favorite way to listen and why.

Whether I chose to listen long or wide I find that using the room gives me, one a far bigger image (more real life size), and two a lot better tonal balance.

See the curved loading parts of the room? These are my pressure zones. Some of them depending on the types of walls you have and dimentions of the room plus what is in the room will vary the size and location but this is a fairly true placement guide.

I made the drawing simple but if you saw these they would actually look like spheres. Acoustical spheres hosting the sound of what ever the source is putting into the room.

Why are the speakers and my ears sitting right in the pressure zone? Because that's where the sound is at it's most developed stage in the rooms voicing. Those who chose to be in a weaker part of a pressure zone can but I find this is where most of the musics meat is. I also like to be inside the musics envelope so I put the speakers on my side of middle, catching a fair amount of the zones pressure if I can. If I however want to be in the extreme soundstage envelope I'll move the speakers closer or further away from the walls to pick up a nice boost.

You might try this and say this doesn't sound right. That's because we haven't started voicing the pressure zones themselves yet. There are three parts to voicing to keep it simple.

ears, speakers, pressure zones

here are the most obvious places to start treating your pressure zones

the pressure origins

Here you can change the sound of your room dramatically and it's not only about turning the volume of these pressure zone origins up or down but voicing them.

here's a look at an RT and RTD2 setup controlling the main on wall areas and main soundstage pressure zone

a view from your listening chair

michael green
PH 702 762 3245
Email mgtune@yahoo.com

Last edited by Michael Green on Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:33 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Join date : 2012-08-10

PostSubject: Correct weight to mass ratios?   Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:55 am

"All the light weight preamps, if they have the right weight to mass ratios, do pretty well."

Michael(or anyone else who would like to help), If I may ask, How would a beginner like myself know the "right" weight to mass that we are looking for? Are we just thinking lighter is better or is there a perfect balance that works best? If there is, how (without trying to tune 100's of components) can we know what we are looking for?
Thanks for your insight... -- JD
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Join date : 2009-09-26

PostSubject: Preamps   Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:05 am


Your post requesting recommendations for tunable preamps has kept me on a long journey until recently. The easy answer for a one source system like CD only would be a passive preamp. Most passives can weight less than 10 pounds and often match well with your power amp. If you want an active preamp, be prepared for a long journey searching for the right one that works best in your system and can avoid blocking the best sound tuning can provide you.

As a general rule, I try to find the lightest weight components with as few parts as possible. It has become popular in audiophile land to modify everything in sight adding huge capacitors and other parts which seem to change the sound but at the expense of blockage. I am currently using a 5 pound tubed active preamp with the parts encased in wood which I use for CD and turntable playback. My single ended, tubed triode amp weighs just 7 pounds and also is encased in wood. These components have a synergy with my 95 db speakers which I have had a long journey finding. They do not require much tuning to dig out the most of anything originally recorded that I play providing a large deep soundstage that wraps around my listening position. Sound does not seem to come from the speakers as it extends outside the speakers all over my listening room.

Unlike Michael and Sonic, I do not try to tune for every variable that your room and system presents an avid tuner. I am noticing that Michael is trying to go as simple as possible in his amplification and source (CD) these days. I like to stick a component in my system and do very little tuning. If the component does not give me that immediate MGD soundstage and natural harmonics that I must have to enjoy the music, out it goes.
Lightness of weight does not always mean the component is tunable, but heavier components do seem to require extra effort to tune. Removing the mass as much as possible does help as you have seen on this forum. Excuse me while get up now and enjoy the music in my sweetspot.

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Michael Green

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Join date : 2009-09-12
Location : Vegas/Ohio/The Beach

PostSubject: Re: Tuning Step by Step   Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:02 pm

Another part of this equation for me is your environment. Most recently you hear me talk about my small room, but my bigger room reacts to equipment differently. It's my goal to try to keep up at least 3 rooms. This doesn't always happen with production but it's my goal.

One room is bigger, one is smaller and one is setup and basically for the most part untouched. My equipment (no matter what it is) has a different personality in each room. This has been the case no matter where I have ever set up stakes. It's also something that I hear when I travel to other's systems. First thing I notice when traveling is how rare it is for two listeners to want the same sound. However, I do find that most want a bigger not smaller stage and this is our first goal "get that system to open up". What keeps a system from doing this? Almost all the time I'll walk in to a system and hear blockage sticking out immediately. Once you understand the sound and character of blockage, and have experienced it in several different places it stays in your memory forever if you have good audio recall. For example some of the easiest types of blockage to pick up when walking into a room is room construction. Second the sound of carpet. Next in line for me is the sound of humidity. Forth, is a blocked electrical system. Fifth wall treatments, openings into other space and shapes. Sixth, furniture. This is a ton to lay on a system's plate. The thought that I would have to choose a fixed sounding by nature component even after tuning more systems than anyone a know is terrifying.

The all in one system (excluding the source) has been an easy fix for many problems I have found. I hope that receivers end up coming out with all the ports and inputs needed to play everything cause I have found adding chassis to the mix is another huge draw back. You would think that receivers are the bottom end of sound cause of how marketing has done their thing over many years, but I am finding that if you have a simple design that fits into a low mass setup the clarity of one chassis vs multiple chassis is big. I use to think that keeping the preamp section away from the amp section was a biggie till I realized that is was not the preamp section that needs to be separate from the rest, but the transformer. Transformers are a major source of noise and placed to close to other parts such as caps cause electromagnetic build up.

michael green
PH 702 762 3245
Email mgtune@yahoo.com
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Michael Green

Posts : 3514
Join date : 2009-09-12
Location : Vegas/Ohio/The Beach

PostSubject: Re: Tuning Step by Step   Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:02 pm

Sometimes I think that in the proccess of doing things I forget to make it simple for those who want to get started. Visiting other audio forums this last week has made me realize how simple. We get so involved here and so fast that I can see why things can fly by, so I would like to start a simple list of the basics. I quickly threw some together last night for a post I was doing so I'm sure I left out a ton, so please fill free to add more.

1) use 15 amp fuses not 20
2) loosen all the outlet plates in your audio room (plates that are on your audio system line)
3) loosen the screws on all components
4) take covers off the components
5) remove rubber feet from any component
6) use low mass IC and power cords
7) hard wire pass the AC connection on the back of components whenever posible
8 ) use as low of a gauge speaker cable as posible (I use 22 gauge)
9) loosen the screws where the RCA plugs are attached
10) take the barrels off of your RCA's
11) replace the cups on the back of your speakers when posible to a lighter weight one
12) place the speaker cables in without tightening them
13) loosen screws on drivers (just cracking them usually is enough)
14) remove heavy dampening products or drapes from the room
15) treat the upper corners of the room with barricade acoustical treatments
16) if you have a rack against the wall in front of you try pulling it out a little (usually in 8' tall rooms 16 to 18")
17) take grills off speakers
18) make sure speakers are not sitting on carpet
19) take out transformer locks when posible
20) remove any ties on any cables
21) try not to let cable touch each other inside the components
22) if your a tweak or have a technician remove your transformer away from circuit boards

michael green
PH 702 762 3245
Email mgtune@yahoo.com
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