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 Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics

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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:42 am

Hi Sonic

"Here's something that makes a good read -- its an interview with Bob Katz on a site I found. Fascinating views on analog vs digital and very sensible IMO. Comments, Michael and Zonees?"

I missed the question while distracted by the articles tone. Here's what I saw while reading this, not trying to be the mean guy toward Bob, but being honest about how it comes across to me. Maybe after my rant you can point me to the actual part that you think is interesting about analog vs digital.
___________________________

Someone can be in the business a long time and have a voice, but unfortunately when they make statements they should leave the doors open for learning instead of making absolute statements. When Bob makes this statement

"For example, one audiophile magazine raved at a D/A converter's ability to "reveal" differences in digital cables. Which is so wrong... if a D/A converter sounds different with different digital cables, then it is defective."

he looses credibility. This is also pretty shaky

"I think that surround is the future. Even my best stereo recordings suffer without the surround portion and come more alive when the space is expanded to around you. However, I have invented a very natural stereo to surround processor (available from Z Systems) that can take a well-recorded stereo recording that already has good space, and reproduce it in surround indistinguishable from if the recording had been made in surround already. This is, of course, for recordings that do not have discrete instruments in the surrounds. By the way, I am a big fan of localization and too many surround recordings are making the front picture too vague for my tastes, in order to impress the casual listener."

and tells me that he has been unsuccessful at creating the recordings natural space with his stereo and felt the need to add an effect (distortion) to get something that sounded more full. I'm not down on effects, their cool toys, but they are still toys. If a listener has not heard 2 speakers in a room disappear into a full room of music side to side and front to back I don't know if they should be speaking with authority that something needs to be added. I have no doubt if I or any skilled Tunee walked into his listening room we would see blockage both acoustically and electrically pretty quick.

With these simple observations right off the top it makes it hard for me to trust the statements made about numbers or sources. I think when people in the industry make statements they reveal how much time they have spent in serious all out listening. What would Bob think if he heard a system (lived with a system) without chassis, direct coupled to the electric panel tuned, in a tuned balanced room? I would venture to say his statements would be quite different from the outset.

Not to pick on Bob but sometimes I think the extreme listeners should take issue and encourage these guys to go a little further than they have. Some of the general statements are good guidelines but I think the industry experts should be held to higher standards especially after the time stereo has been around.

Third issue, sorry Bob, don't take me off your Christmas list.

"But the best mastering engineers know how to listen better than many audiophiles. I appreciate the sense of depth and space that a good reproduction system can give. But for me, and for every good mastering engineer, tonal BALANCE has to come first ALWAYS. If the sound is not tonally balanced, then it cannot be good. There are audiophiles who will go crazy over how "detailed" or "transparent" a recording sounds, but if its tone is too bright or too thin or too bassy, then it is fundamentally flawed. Who should care if a recording has a great "sound stage" if the trumpets are screeching in your face?"

Sound stage and tonal balance are one in the same. If you are talking about your tiny audiophile sound stage than have this debate, but if talking about a true life size sound stage you can not separate tonal balance and the soundstage itself. Never have I heard a correct tonal balance not create the entire space of the recording. Again this is evidence that "many maybe most" listeners (even in the industry) have not heard what a true full size stereo sound stage is.

Bob goes on.

"BK: I have many LPs recorded in the 60's and 70's that sound much better than many CDs made today. But, this is a matter of the quality of the technology and the recording techniques used. So many CDs made today have been ruined by over-processing; it's no wonder the old LPs sound better than most. But, I have in my mastering room and have made many, many CDs that sound better than any LP that was ever made. It's a matter of having the right equipment and orientation."

There are tons of engineers that are not giving the music a chance to breath, some are. I'm not sure if I would say there are more or less good engineers than in the past, but I would say that part of the fascination for me when listening is to listen to the engineers preferences. Better or worse when it comes to digital vs tape or vinyl? I don't know, I think that engineers and equipment still have a long way to go and during our history of recording there have been strokes of genus and disasters both. This is part of the fun. Also playback systems that are locked into sonic signatures have their own set of problems along with mastering studios. I do believe that in Bob's own studio and own system in his own environment he is making a statement that is absolutely true to him. When it comes to this being the case when the music is shipped to a completely different set of circumstances, it is up to the listener, audiophile or tweak to make up their own mind and hopefully they can recover the magic that Bob found true for him and can enjoy Bob's view of a particular piece of music recorded a particular way. For me it's not right or wrong but unlocking what Bob did in his world. Now how do I know when I'm getting close to Bob's world? When (as I said before) the sound stage opens up. At that point I can hear what Bob has done with my own system's twist on it.

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Last edited by Michael Green on Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:15 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:58 pm

Further thoughts on the article.

"BK: Yes, but for different reasons. The early solid-state devices were very poor and produced a type of distortion that was unpleasant to the ear. Since tubes saturate slowly, it is much easier to mix. It's actually a form of compression! But there are some excellent solid-state mixing consoles that sound very good, but because they are so "neutral" it is harder to mix than in the tube days, because the tubes' saturation helped to "fill in the holes". It's the same with analog tape; it helps to fill in the holes and it sounds better; but not because it is neutral, because IT IS EUPHONICALLY COLORED. There is nothing wrong with euphonic coloration as long as you know how to control it. Now when it comes to digital mixing, we have similar problems with the distortion of early DSP processes adding an unpleasant edge to the sound. But there are some excellent DSP processes, they are just expensive. The very best digital mixing consoles can sound very good if you avoid using the digital equalizers and compressors that are built in to them because they still sound cheap. But this is changing as digital technology gets cheaper. As a plain mixer, with just level and panning, the best-built digital mixers can now sound fine with 48 bit digital processing dithered to 24. But no "holes" are being filled as it was in the analog days, so if a mix needs help you have to feed external analog compressors. The other problem is ergonomics of control surfaces, but that has nothing to do with the sound, it's just tough to mix with a mouse!"

I could write a book on this paragraph and have (it's called tuneland), but this is Bob's point of view based on his experience with un-tuned components. From my experience the holes fill in if the component is in tune no matter solid state or tubes, holes are not a recording problem their an equipment problem. Either one of these types of components can be shut down with blockage. BTW I have tuned many mixing boards and this alone can fill in those holes in the studio. But the recordings themselves do not have holes, it's only equipment that doesn't know how to pass signal.

"BK: The biggest problem with the home recording is the artists are trying to do too much. Generally a good recording is produced by a small team of dedicated individuals collaborating. When the musician is trying to concentrate on his performance, and getting a good recording at the same time, something has to give. There are some exceptions, such as Todd Rungren, who is such a good musician and producer and engineer that he can get an non compromised product. But these exceptions are few and far-between. The other problem is acoustics. There's nothing like a great large room where musicians can work and interact with the natural acoustics. This does not happen in 95% of typical "home recordings"."

Different size rooms can make a recording explode with great dynamics. I too like Todd and agree that a lot of folks don't know how to use their space big or small.

"MI: What would be the simplest approach to record artists outside the studio like in a church?

BK: If the church has great acoustics, the answer is "as few Mic's as possible", with the musicians ideally located. But I am not afraid to use more mikes if the music calls for it. But it has to be done in good acoustics to work with few microphones, and the engineer has to know how to place the microphones."

Amen Exclamation

"MI: What is the compromise that has to be made by normal budget audiophiles to achieve the best possible playback with ordinary equipment? Is this possible, or do we all need high end gear?

BK: I think it can be done for $10,000 to $20,000 US. Anything below that is probably a compromise. But a class B system at less than $7500 U.S. can produce excellent results. It may surprise you that my D/A converter, line amplifier (preamp), power amplifier, and loudspeakers, subwoofers and sub amplifier cost no more than $25,000 U.S., probably less and I consider it Class A+.You don't need $100,000, and if I doubled or tripled the amount of money I've put into the reproduction equipment it would still be class A+, just a little better-sounding A+ :-)

MI: Some esoteric audiophiles say that using the best studio monitors with top quality pre amps is the best combination. Others say that monitors are just studio instruments and do not need to be used for serious listening. What is your opinion?

BK: There are very few Studio-branded loudspeakers that sound as good as the best audiophile models. Many Mastering engineers prefer the audiophile models, surprisingly, over the studio models. There is some overlap, Dunlavy (which is no longer made) was popular both for audiophiles and mastering engineers. KEF, ATC, Dynaudio also make both professional and audiophile models. But most of the rest of the studio speakers, including the brand you mentioned, are too colored for me.

MI: Tubes and analog vinyl are often associated with magic. How do you see them?

BK: This is partly a repeat of the above. Magic comes from the performance first, then from the use of components whose distortion is consonant and not dissonant. The cheap digital processors tend to be dissonant. But digital processors from Weiss, for example, properly used, can also produce Magic."

The above is so audiophile-ish it doesn't need my comments Sleep

"MI: Most popular music sounds really bad in comparison to some audiophile recordings and I can never quite understand why this is happening. What are your thoughts on this phenomenon?"

Most audiophile systems have a hard time playing a wide range of recordings. This is due to them being un-balanced and over-damped and over-built. A low mass tuned system doesn't have this problem. Once again the audiophile needs to look at the real problem and not judge recordings without having a system that will produce. Recording engineers are not sitting out there to make bad recordings. Sure some lack in skills but I don't have anything in music (off the shelf) that sounds bad when tuned. The audiophile world has dug a hole that they need to get out of.

Although I do agree with parts on this article and think that some good points are made, the apparent high end audiophile overtones jump off the page so strongly that I want to set these guys in a room and not let them out till they learn how audio works from a view point that has set tunees free. Both of these guys in this article are telling on themselves. They are saying "here is the limit of my exposure to recording and playback". Honestly if I had to go back to this level of listening I would take up a new hobby or profession.

After writing some of this I was curious to know who Bob Katz was. I see that he did work for my friend David Chesky. David is a very cool dude and very talented. His presence in high end audio has been very generous and I think Chesky Records has added to the flavor of recorded music with it's own sound and vibe. Like all record companies there is a particular sound and for myself I enjoy uncovering what that company does. However as I said this article (different from Chesky) sounds too audiophile-ish for me to take as mainstream recording and industry truths. Maybe Bob and myself have sat down with entirely different types of music folks and this maybe is why I don't see this as mainstream. I don't know Bob's back ground but when working with clients of mine like A&M, EMI/Abbey, Warner Bros, Sony, Universal and others I don't hear the same language.

I'm being a little snotty on purpose here cause I'm trying to show that high end audio is a world with it's own uniqueness that has been invented and now we can see stuck within a small community. A community I have to say, that can't see a $29 DVD player out performing it's best. A community that talks about class A and class B systems as if this was reality, and in the same breath saying "cable doesn't alter the sound of digital". "DAC's are defective if they do." Really affraid I'm going to listen to this guy?

I actually feel bad being so tough on Bob, but honestly if he worked for me there would have to be some schooling required. He would have the oppertunity to show me and other workers what he was talking about vs what we hear in our corperate rooms. When someone makes a statement it is usually not that hard to prove, but once the experience is truly "had" hearsay has less impact cause it is words vs experienced truth. However I do have to cut him slack if he has never heard stereo to the level that we have than what he is saying is truth to him till he takes the next step in experience. The hard part for him to do though would be in many's eyes going backward, and this is very hard for some. Since he has invested so much in his knowledge being correct asking him to look at something that seems rediculous may never happen.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:52 am

Hi Michael and Zonees

Very Happy The Boo! is fixed Exclamation

After all this time, it was dealt with this way:





Yes that's what it took and the main ringing and Boo! resonance and "honk" is gone. There are some long period and low level notes still overhanging which Sonic will have to deal with but that bass muddying and cancelling resonance of Boo! has been exorcised.

The first effect Sonic had when playing musick was "wha...? have I changed my speakers??"

The sound has the speed of planars but there is girth and weight that is uncharacteristic of Magneplanars. I was surprised....there is more of that "rich sound of wood" in the front.

The volume also increased and the soundstage width now extends out left and right. It appears my main room problem has been more up-down and less front to back. Side to side may have more impact than front to back.

Sonic listened for hours taking a sound that is deep yet full with sparkle (like a well run in Martin rosewood and adirondack spruce dreadnought). There are some residual things that are audible and Sonic will work to put them right.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:32 pm

Very Happy Exclamation Exclamation

Amazing isn't it Exclamation Once the door is un-locked there is nothing like it.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:14 am

Hi Michael and Zonees

Yes and the musick is now fascinatingly enjoyable, as I listened for hours and hours these two days.

Sonic hears how audiophiles say "I don't want to hear my room" and they don't realise how contradictory this statement is.

These audiophiles often start out with remarking that "this room is echoey like a bathroom"...then in another room they might say "this room is too dead". If a room that is too dead is audible as the inverse of a "too live" space then what is an audiophile's "perfect room" and how not to "hear my room"?

Will a "perfect room" by virtue of its existence have a sound? IMO once someone comments that "this room is too dead, it is taking too much amp power (or something like that ) to get the music out" it is Game Over.

Rooms have sounds. It could be too live or too dead but there is a sound. And this sound affects everything from the linearity of the speakers to the power consumption of the room/system.

Michael said that our rooms are ultimately our speakers and he is right.

Anyway, here is a shot of what the treatment on my ceiling has grown into.



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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:52 am

Hi Zonees

Sonic is very happy with the leaning PZCs and how my room has finally come under control.

One thing I learnt is that you control the room's signature like standing waves but OTOH, "Boo!s" and still sounds sterile.

My system now using the leaning PZC treatment and the control measures on the ceiling shows me that while the Boo! is gone, the room has other audible shortcomings. I can also hear the richness and warmth in the lower half of the room while the upper half (towards the ceiling) is hard and sterile.



Michael advised Sonic to use these pieces of finished Magic Wood (they are spare endpieces of Cable Grounds) in place of the Space Cones in the ceiling corners.



The wood pieces are fixed at one edge with a small piece of 3M Command Strip. The Wood pieces are not affixed tight against the wall but free to vibrate over most of its surface.

There is more warmth and sense that there is a space of music playing that is now superimposed on my room rather than just hearing instruments playing in my room among all the furniture and equipment I can see. It is like a different view if Sonic see with the ears.

I need more of this in the middle of the room and I would like more beyond-the-side walls imaging effect than I got now.

What next, Michael?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:48 pm

I thought it would be important to hear what the wood did instead of the Cones. The combinations of our room's codes can go a few ways depending on how the energy is taking shape. After hearing through Sonic's ears what the room was doing I started to picture the voicing of the pressure zones in my mind. I figure that his room is either going to fatten up the harmonics with the wood or it would become blurry. Looks like fattening up the harmonics is going to be the way to go and if it does get blurry the Cones can always be put on the wood to tighten up those harmonics.

Rooms usually respond corners out or centers in depending on the construction of the room. Fortunately even though Sonic's walls are hard they are acting as one and not being disembodied in nature which is a pain to work with. Now we know we have a hard stable foundation and need to start building a layer of tonality through wood.

I was a little concerned that even after all this time the Grey finish on the wood was still needing a little time curing because of Sonic's high humidity, but I'm glad to see that it has done well and is vibrating at a reasonable full range according to Sonic's listening reports. This also tells me that his Cable Grounds have cured nicely over time. I have a ton of respect for nature and have learned that curing (the exchange between the air and chemicals) is much of what we hear. When I say chemicals I mean both man made and natures.

The process Sonic is going through is developing mature harmonic structures that are balanced top to bottom in the frequency range. Sonic is right in his statement and I have always said that the room is the speaker and to get the best sound it is important to treat the room/speaker combo as one. If he isn't already his next visits to friends homes will start to tell him what notes, harmonics and frequencies they are missing. Also the sounds they do have that he doesn't can be identified and voiced into existence in Sonic's room. Materials are the great equalizer and tell the sound how to become whole. Most important and even more important over missing notes is the sound of air. Sonic's room is either producing or about to produce presence and there is nothing like this. It's so real that it is hard to discribe without hearing it.

What's next?

Look at the space in your room. You can voice the room like an instrument, shortening and lengthening the space between the wood pieces and the size of the pieces and their particular tones. Understanding and excepting the concept is half the battle. The second half is actually doing the voicing. One thing that you are going to find interesting is the serious listening friends of yours are going to start changing their views about sound. Listening in a voiced room is different than any other listening experience. The room and music becomes full of tone and richness. Before this happens there is sound, but when voicing comes in there is a warmth that is so pleasant and rich that a comfort level comes over the space.

You hear me talk about the music playing always in my rooms, well not only does it play always but I can sit in my writing room and hear when a piece of music is settling and becoming ripe in the next room. I know not everyone has time but hearing a piece of music after it settles into the system (room included) is magical. What I do is put the piece of music on and wait till the richness settles in and I can hear both lows and highs expand. The volume also raises. When all this takes place is when I go in and listen. It's truly unbelievable and to be honest makes it hard for me to listen until I let this take place. Everything sounds so UN-settled for the first 3 or even 4 passes of a recording to me, and then I can hear the bass in my writing room come to life. This is when I know I'm getting close. Shortly after the highs completely mellow. I know at this time the stage is performing at a fair size. Again I'm aware that not many audiophiles have the time or patience for this but for me it has become a way of life in the listening world and hearing the music at that level is worth every second.

I know I'm getting off topic here, but a few posts ago I was tough on the guys that did that article. I think that is because with what I have learned about the nature of recordings and the systems they play on there are truths that if not learned can lead to people never having a chance to hear how beautiful music really is. Like the one guy saying how bad some recordings are. This is just not true at all and he is only showing his lack of knowledge. This week I received some 60's to mid 80's music that I wanted to have in my collection. You know all the stuff that we have heard and maybe don't listen to much but it might pop into our mind and want to hear. There may be 2 or 3 hits and the rest not so much or a soundtrack or a play. Well most of these when first put on have a glare and unsettled sound to them. Most at this point would say it was a waste of money, but because my system is now in gel mode every single one of these recordings have settled into magic. Things like "Berlin" that I never thought I would actually sit down and listen to were like full room symphonies. And those classical pieces to soundtracks that I wrote off pull me into the room more than once. For me the hobby of being an audiophile is about finding the magic, and finding the message of the artists. I feel bad for folks that get themselves in a mess but there is a way, a very fulfilling way to have music bliss. My doors of music acceptance has grown so much and I'm finding daily goldmines. I can now listen to re-masters and see where the engineers were going, mistakes and pluses, but I'm not stuck saying they were right or wrong cause instead of bad I can actually see into the music, whereas a lot of these guys would say bright or boomy I can with my system see inside of where they were going or trying to go. And best of all my personal collection grows by a thousand new titles a year because I'm not stuck thinking "that was a bad recording". In fact many of these recordings I have found this last year have been master pieces and have given me so much enjoyment.

Ok, enough of me being an audiophile, but I think that the industry thinks that I maybe down on audiophiles and High End when actually I am an extreme audiophile, but maybe with a little wider open doors than the norm. What is the norm anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:12 am

Hi Michael

Sonic mounted a finished MW piece with a Space Cone at the midpoint of the upper front wall using a small piece of 3M Command tape for adhesion.

The sound was more controlled and I got stronger girth and a larger sense of scale for instruments and the sense of the ensemble's size. Definitely a move for the better:



But extending this idea was a failure. I made two more MW + Space Cone set ups (a gray finished MW end-piece from the Cable Grounds with a Space Cones glued on) and stuck them to the walls just under the two Shutters to the Left and Right of the central EchoTune and MW/Space cones piece (refer to the pix).

The results were very strange.

The sound went "cold"....a bright icy sound like the temperature in the hall where the orchestra played had dropped by 20 degrees. The sound was silvery and had a bright sheen that was artificial. Huge instrumental sizes though

What does this tell you, Michael? I know I need more wood in the front of my room but after the centred MW/Space Cones worked so well, I didn't expect this bright, icy sound when I added another two MW/Space Cone pieces.

What should I do next?

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:33 am

Do it again without the Space Cone. Sounds like you concentrated the mid-harmonics too much. The way to deal with this is to tune down instead of up. Tuning down means less Brass Cone and more deeper sounding wood. This is going to make a lot more sense the more you do it. Remember just like different guitar strings and body of the guitar.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:01 am


Hi Michael and Znees

Space Cones removed from the MW finished pieces and the whole system warms and opens up.

I used 3M Command Strips and fixed the finished MW pieces on the front wall. There is a good sense of warmth and a soundstage bigness that comes almost immediately.

The removal of the Space Cones progressively from the listening room was a sort of a shock --

I got a warmer and a more musical soundstage with very good dimensionality. The girth I am getting tells me that the Space Cones emphasise some parts of the midrange but reduces the bass and acoustic ringing in another room.

The removal of about 1/4 of the Space Cones in my room appears to indicate that the Space Cones are not wide-band devices. They improve the mids but by the time we get to the lower end, there are severe limitations. It may be that a lot of Sonic's tune experience may have been due to using Space Cones that compromised the music. Michael is right again. It appears that the Space Cones have their use but they have problems.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:13 pm

Hey, Sonic,

Oh, if I had the time and energy you do! You are a tuning machine!

My time is limited, as I have groused about so often, and I don't always feel like doing a daily document on what I hear, but now that I have more MGD stuff in my room, things are getting nice. I hear more notes sustaining, as if the system magically engaged a sustain pedal like on a piano. I'm dealing with the sea change my room has gone through, now that the fiberglas ceiling tiles are hidden behind the wood panels, which also make the room so cozy looking. As Mr. Green recently pointed out, not many people can let their system warm up for a good long while. I'm generally in and out in a couple of hours.

So, I'm glad I can check on your progress to see what you learned about your own system and apply it to mine (when I have the time). On another thread, you cautioned against using a mono sound image to make too small of an acoustic image. I will have to look out for that. There must be a fine line between centered and diffuse and I must find it for when I watch those movies and TV shows with mono soundtracks.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:05 pm

Hi Sonic

"The removal of about 1/4 of the Space Cones in my room appears to indicate that the Space Cones are not wide-band devices. They improve the mids but by the time we get to the lower end, there are severe limitations. It may be that a lot of Sonic's tune experience may have been due to using Space Cones that compromised the music. Michael is right again. It appears that the Space Cones have their use but they have problems. "

I wouldn't say Space Cones have problems. They do produce full range. If not I wouldn't have them as you know, but this reveals some things about the system as a whole. We now know that the system shifts up and there is probably a ton of mid and lower tones wanting to be released. I think folks go for focus before going for open too much. Your metal products for the most part are focusing tools. In most cases the lower tones are more pronounced over the mids and highs and need to be focused in, in an upper tuning, again much like a guitar string. When you combine the right amount of body with the right amount of focus you have a good balance. This is why I warn people against silver solder and wire and some audiophile type parts that tend to shift up. That thicker metal on audiophile parts sends things upward more than people think. Also like I have been saying so does heavier plastics like acrylic.

Now that you have experienced this, it is an excellent time to take another look at parts in your system that might be sending the frequency up. Any place where you have something a little heavier than it needs to be does this, or a material that shifts upward. If the Space Cones sent it up this much you definitely have an upward shift no doubt. Keep in mind that when you put the SC's on the table it shifted (up) and now when you took some of them off the walls it dropped as well. I would guess (not being there) your walls shift up and so do parts of the chain.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:34 am

Hi Michael

As Sonic introduces more finished MW into the system, I am getting a better girth and broader inner harmonics of individual instruments even when they are part of an orchestra.

Here is the front wall with the addition of the wood pieces:




Then Sonic placed more on the sides:



There was a pronounced shift and it is moving lower in tone. The volume increased together with the depth and warmth -- so much that some familiar recordings to me like Marc-Antoine Charpentier's orchestral musick for Andromede and Circe (London Baroque/Harmonia Mundi) was so full that it sounded like I was listening to a different work and recording. Big imaging too!

I am going to remove a few more Space Cones and see if the warmth increased. With the retuning of the system, I'll have a number of MW pieces and Brazilian pine pieces to try on the side walls and ceiling.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:38 am

this is looking nice Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:10 am


Hi Michael and Zonees

Apart from looking nice, this is also sounding nice Very Happy

The things about the Space Cones is, like all tunes, dependent on the starting point of a system. If the the room is a damped place with drywall, a wood floor and a false ceiling the Space Cones may be the very thing to give life and sparkle to the sound.

In the case of Sonic's room, both Michael and Sonic underestimated the amount of energy particularly in the ceiling-floor axis. With my room tending to be ringy and mid-rangy, we had to move towards the warm and rich end of the tuning options and the Space Cones were not right -- I checked my tuning notes and found I had been describing the effect of the Space Cones with words such as "clarity, speed, liveliness, projected mids" all indicating that I had started to emphasize the wrong harmonics in my room and "tuning up" instead of "tuning down". That I see this now is all hindsight...

Sonic is now putting as much wood as I can get my hands on to the front of the room. The doors and rear top corners still have the Space Cones on them. This way I am getting a more balanced front and back halves of the room given that I have more wood to begin with in the back of the room -- the doors, the bookcases and the CD cabinet plus a few things around there.

With the extra finished MW added, Sonic's room is now has a more balanced resonant signature with the Boo! nearly gone.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:14 pm


Hi Michael and Zonees

Sonic added another pair of gray finished MW pieces to the side walls. Have a look at the pix in my post of Nov 9 – the added pieces (each side) are behind the MG 1.5 QR panels so we have four pieces per side wall now.

The effect of this is good. This pair of MW pieces filled the middle and centre of the soundstage so I got better centre soundstage where Sonic moved towards a projected front stage that I been tuning for. The width of the soundstage is reduced but what I got a solid and focused stage with adequate width and front back depth given the room, my seating distance from the speakers and the volume-driven perspective. This soundstage I got is like what Sonic heard from a wonderful system with JBL Everest 66000 loudspeakers driven by tube amps. Good enough for now.

Sonic also met up with another audiophile, a friend of long standing. He is a Japan Super Mania Fan, a follower of the greats like Kei Ikeda, T Uchida and a collector of Stereo Sound, Tube Kingdom and MJ magazines as well as tubes, vinyl and Japanese gear.

I heard his homebrew single driver Fostex driven by a (home brew) 300B amp. I brought two CDs from my collection – Mozart String Quintets K515, K 516 etc Salomon String Quartet (Hyperion) and Oscar Peterson plays Count Basie (Verve).

An experience for sure! The sound was balanced and musical. The sake was pretty good too…..

Given that these recordings are something Sonic is familiar with I pointed out that the treble and bass was rolled off but the sound was very nice. Japan Super Mania Fan beamed like when a sensei sees a disciple “getting the point”. Another sake and Japan Super Mania Fan told me about something from a decades old Stereo Sound what some Japanese audio fans called the ‘Law of 400,000’ where the balance of sound is right when you the multiplication of the lower and higher frequencies of your system pass band gives you 400,000. Eg: the top frequency of the higher range is 20,000 Hz, the lowest frequency reproduced should be 20Hz.

By this standard, many “high-end speakers” particularly mini-monitors may be unbalanced. This explains so much to Sonic. Such as why I found nearly all mini-monitors to be artificial and inadequate except the Rogers LS3/5as driven by tube amps which sound sublime.

The monitors I heard and sounded defective all had great tweeters that go up to >20,000 Hz to 40 kHz but the bass was seriously rolled off at 60 Hz. They all sounded unbalanced and tiring ultimately.

On the other hand the ones who love the old Western Electric horns and the Altec theatre systems report in their writings that the treble of their systems extended up to only about 8kHz before rolling off steeply and the bass went down to about 60 Hz, yet the sound was State of the Art. These bandwidth limited systems were said to reproduce Jascha Heifetz playing the violin and Rosalyn Tureck playing Bach, Glenn Miller and Xavier Cugat with stunning musicality and realism.

The ‘Law of 400,000’ may tell is that the bandwidth of the Western Electric golden age speaker systems were right – a good bandpass from 50 Hz up to about 8 KHz. Sonic listened for a long time and thinking “there’s something else here. Can musical satisfaction be found in another dimension where flat frequency, low distortion and silicon transistors were never discovered?”

Sonic stared at my system and asked “what now?”

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:45 pm


Hi Michael and Zonees

Sonic's system is settling and as it does more things are being noticed. Some hopeful, some worrisome.

Michael has identified that my room seems to want to shift up and that there is "a ton of mid and lower tones wanting to be released." This is something hopeful...if I can find the mid and lower tones and do something to release them. Ideas I have, will post soon after I experiment.

I had some Cable Ground centre bars of gray-finished Brazilian Pine (that is what I was told they were) and I mounted them on my ceiling like I did the finished MW pieces. These finished Brazilian Pine are hard and ringy when you hit them together. Like castanets.

How did they sound on the ceiling...? Sad hard and ringy....they gave an upward shift in the room....very surprised since Michael uses Brazilian Pine for his lightweight racks.

Michael said "your metal products for most part are focusing tools." Maybe some uses for my Space Cones.

What troubles Sonic too is what Bill333 said "This is where Michael and I have butted heads time and again. When he tunes the system the way he like it the sonic images are big, and to my ears, very diffuse. To me, the images sound lightweight, ethereal and not at all like real people and instruments." Shocked

I have been able to tune my system to get this big and diffuse sound more than once. Except each time I got this sound, I marked it in my Tuning Record Book as a "Fail" and backtracked. To my ears what I got was something unreal.

I hope Bill333's idea of diffuse and ethereal are different from mine but the description sounds similar. Real musick may be Big...very big but it has a focus too. There are three components in a live voice/instrument all happening at once -- a projection that hits right between the eyes, a focus that is very definite and yet a bigness that goes beyond the size of the rooms we normally reside in.

What is your thinking Michael about battery driven equipment? What does "battery pushed digital" sound like? Why is battery power worse than mains power when mains has all the hash from the power transformers down the road plus all the stuff from our home ring mains and whatever comes from out neighbourhood.

Is the issue simply that batteries are concentrations of mass? In my understanding, batteries have some serious advantages when a system's power supply is optimised for them compared to 120V/240V systems (worst of all are wall wart power supplies). The drawbacks of batteries are practical in nature. Batteries run down and must be recharged, the chemicals in them in a home is a danger and some systems are reported to change sound as the batteries drain. In theory they should sound better than mains powered systems.

Michael, your thoughts?

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:37 pm

WOW Exclamation I can write a book about this post and my thoughts.

First lets talk the Bill taste thing out cause this is very important an I don't want you or anyone to get on the wrong track here. Bill has been pretty open about his search for his sound. This is a good trait and needed in his case because Bill's sound is different than the typical tunees sound. It almost scares me when Bill uses the same words to describe his sound that others use because there are clearly 2 different meanings here. I think Bill has tried to use a couple of words outside of the usual and I personally recommend that he does, but our hobby has left an open door there and this may be tough. Garp gave a very good description of a friend of his who goes for a stage that is on the smaller size side of things. This is definitely (so far) Bill's camp. I would be very surprised Shocked if I were to find your stage development as being the same type as Bill's. I feel responsible to say this IN BIG LETTERS cause people could get really off track in their systems unless they were to have Bill's exact taste and what he is in search of. Bill is going somewhere (and that's not a bad thing) where he knows where it is and it would be nice if someone stepped in and presented it but so far no one has done this to what he is hearing in his mind (at least long term). I think Bill has heard parts and pieces of other's tuning that he likes but it is not the whole he is searching (yet). As I have said I have had 4 trusted ears in Bill's chair and none of them could identify Bill's sound. This is why I strongly recommended that Bill gets in his own thread Laughing . Actually it's nice to have thread visitors, but it can get a little confusing when we are not there in person or trying to use the same audio language.

Peoples taste is a great thing and I'm all for it obviously cause I tune for this reason. One thing I'm very cautious about is giving my personal flavors outside of my thread because I'm about you getting yours. I do have people stop by but I like it better in a 3 to 5 system setup so they can gravitate toward their sound. Knowing you and Bill I can absolutely positively without any reservation at all say that your system and music taste is 180 from Bill's. I say this with all respect to both of you "a different cloth". It's personal and not a bad thing for either of you but it is completely different from my view at least.

I feel the need to be very very clear here. When I have tuned Bill's system for me and heard the others tune the same system for them, there was not a hint of brittle or upward shift in anyway. Bill's Maggie/pioneer/60 system does not shift up till Bill tunes it or puts one of his chosen parts in. Bill's tunable room is as mellow as mellow gets. When you walk into it there is a soft hush type of sound to every movement or breath you take.

Now from what I have seen Bill do to the sound or head in a direction is this (from where I was hearing and seeing). If you made your sound slow and a little opaque put things mostly in the center and took a knife and cut around the extra air (without dampening it) you would be somewhere in the ballpark. The problem has been when he does this the frequency wants to shift up. Every time I have seen Bill head toward his sound this happens. I know that the brittleness is not the sound he wants but because he is after this cutting away of the content to get to the meat of what he is wanting to hear it must be that in his cutting there ends up being to much mid high frequencies left. One thing that I was planing on doing after the room was rebuilt and squared and after the next listening and hearing if this was still happening for him is this. Turn Bill's listening position side ways in the room and add a light berber carpet. I have a funny hunch that Bill likes the sound of carpet. Think about it. His favorite sound was upstairs in his carpeted loft with a slow pace to the music and digital sounding equipment. I think maybe the carpet calms enough of the upward shift that he gets when getting out his knife. I noticed this in the tunable room a couple of times when placing a rug on the floor that Bill didn't react as terrible to it as I did. When I stay at his place I stay upstairs by the loft and a few times was wondering "does Bill like or need the sound of carpet?". For those who have wood floors this is heresy, but that is because when you have a wood floor and throw even a little rug or anything on it you hear it stick out, but if you are coming from the opposite end with a carpeted floor you are cleaning things up that the carpet is doing. You kinda have a built in dampening variable that you are working around, but it's a predictable variable and cuts out some of the music that I think just maybe is some of the sound that Bill wants to cut out any way. At least this was going to be my next steps for him. Here's the good news, I'm well versed at tuning with carpeted floors as one of my main show places (Vegas Towers) was a carpeted floor and I had to tune from the carpet out instead of the empty wood room in. It's a different sound altogether but in some ways is easier if you don't miss the missing. I have also tuned rooms for people who have a condition called tinnitus. This is common for a lot of guys even if they don't want any of their listening friends to know Laughing . I have helped a couple of designers (one reviewer) who didn't want it to get out that they had what is called ear ringing cause they thought their clients would think they didn't know how to hear any more. Koo koo I know but audiophiles have their golden ear thing. I'll tell you what when my hearing gets a little worse I'm getting in line for hearing aids. Some of the new ones are killer. I was at a convention here and these guys showed me some of these tiny things that I popped in my ears and was like WOW! No kidding it was like a face lift for your hearing. Anyway people who have this (not saying Bill does) actually like the sound of carpeted rooms over wood floors. The carpet doesn't have the same potential of stimulating some of the frequencies that wood floors do esspecially in hard rooms.

Bottom line to this is staying on your path (esspecially for you more experienced listeners) is a safer way to go. A lesson that reviewers could use. Once you reach I certain level you are in charge and the rest of us are additives. One thing I have learned, when we start developing our own taste, we are very unique in that taste when it comes to certain things and sometimes these things are major game changers. For myself, I try to learn what someone is hearing then try to play doctor till we together find and cure the disease. Personally I think too many designers try to fit people into a one size fits all. Not gonna happen when it comes to sound. When you read some of my adventures you can see with the same system I will go all over the place to hear the music from as many angles as I can. This really helps me when I listen to you guys talking about your sound. I usually throw a dart at your system and wait for you to tell me if we hit or missed the bullseye and when you do I listen for what direction then start to head more in that direction or less till we together find the path. After that I look for warning signs to see if you are staying on or getting off of that path. So I may (and others) be the guard rail but you are the driver.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:46 pm

"I had some Cable Ground centre bars of gray-finished Brazilian Pine (that is what I was told they were) and I mounted them on my ceiling like I did the finished MW pieces. These finished Brazilian Pine are hard and ringy when you hit them together. Like castanets."

I usually voice cross pieces like tuning bars and that would mean that they might have a higher or lower pitch depending on how I use them. Those pieces will probably drive you crazy if you try to use them for lower tones.

"How did they sound on the ceiling...? hard and ringy....they gave an upward shift in the room....very surprised since Michael uses Brazilian Pine for his lightweight racks."

Yep, tuning racks totally different animal and voicing. Even a different part of the tree.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:41 pm

"What troubles Sonic too is what Bill333 said "This is where Michael and I have butted heads time and again. When he tunes the system the way he like it the sonic images are big, and to my ears, very diffuse. To me, the images sound lightweight, ethereal and not at all like real people and instruments."

I have been able to tune my system to get this big and diffuse sound more than once. Except each time I got this sound, I marked it in my Tuning Record Book as a "Fail" and backtracked. To my ears what I got was something unreal.

I hope Bill333's idea of diffuse and ethereal are different from mine but the description sounds similar. Real musick may be Big...very big but it has a focus too. There are three components in a live voice/instrument all happening at once -- a projection that hits right between the eyes, a focus that is very definite and yet a bigness that goes beyond the size of the rooms we normally reside in."

I've never tuned one of my big stages for Bill so that comes from out of his own thinking. Also I only tuned his room one time (a very quick tune) one of the ways I liked it and he was pretty shocked saying "the guitars are out on the neighbors lawn" so again you'll have to take his words for what they are. Keep in mind that Bill is a butt headie type of guy Laughing sorry Bill. I think he would do himself better not to say things like that cause it ultimately means he gets told on Rolling Eyes . When I do big stages and they settle the images become very in focus much like you hear Jim Bookhard talk about or others who have landed on the magic. I've never had a stage in Bill's room that was tuned longer than maybe a few minutes with him listening that I can remember. You need to keep in mind that listening at Bill's was 99% testing different components he wanted me to play with and different digital formats. I think the picture painted would again have the wrong brushes and paint if you took them as they are stated. The only person I voiced the room with during my visits was Herns, a very fun day as Herns was doing his magic in the room and I would do some tuning outside the room.

Again I'm not crazy about this type of posting cause it doesn't really tell the story, but to kind of put it in perspective. Bill and I never had a Michael & Bill listening session it was always either a testing session or a finding Bill (quick tune) session. This is why these sessions were never posted by me. Laughing The butting of heads was usually over things like "Bill I've been here 15 and a half days and we haven't spent one of them listening". We had more of a personality and philosophy butting of heads and not a listening one, cause frankly in my book we never got around to listening. Time floated off in the world of Bill saying that a digital signal can not be changed by cable, then I would change it, then he would move on to the next theory and I would show him how the tune effected it. Our time was more of a discovery channel type of time than it was a real listening time. Bill is the type of guy who listens with his mind I would say. He first has to deal with theory truths or non-truths than he can move on. Unfortunately we never got to the listening time yet.

But, in all fairness to Bill he needs to paint his own picture and the way he perceives things. It could be that he thought we were listening together and that I did make a big stage for him and it was fuzzy. Let me give you an example. The piece of music I'm playing right now has a ton of synthesizer parts and pieces flying around my room. They start at one place and begin to crisscross each other and go up and down side to side and front to back. Setting this up without space or stage would cause the sounds to completely collapse. If I would have brought them into focus on Bill's system he pictured this as fuzzy noise, if I would have had them collapse and in the center he would see them as being more manageable. I did this on Led Zeppelin, AC DC and George Thorogood Rolling Stones at his place and got the same results. Another example would be an upright bass. If I filled the bass in so that it went the floor up and filled in the harmonics of the tone of the cabinet so you could see the cabinet and the air around it to Bill it was disembodied, if I then refocused it so that the bass was just the front board of the bass and strings, smaller in size by maybe triple and about 8" wide it got closer to something he could relate to but the tone by doing this would shift up and after a while he would notice the shift and it would bug him. So there was a lot of factors at work and I think in many respects Bill hasn't put what he likes together with what the music is actually doing in the recording. So what you were dealing with as far as size to my knowledge Bill has never went down that avenue yet. he is more working one a 8' wide 4' deep and 6' tall stage and fitting things together in that. I think once he finds his magic sound he can then be looking at expanding things to what you were talking about to see if he likes that. I'm not saying that we didn't go bigger at any time but we always came back to finding his sound within that size from what I saw.

So I really don't think you and he were talking about the same use of the words. I would picture when you say big sound stage in your room you are speaking of something much bigger.

About your bigger than big stage though and it getting weird. If you have a big stage and it gets defocused it's telling you that something is not tuned. You should be able to (once it is big) be able to snap it into focus at any size so I'm glad you brought this up.

See my power cable



If you have created a huge soundstage and it sounds fuzzy or not defined enough there are a few things it could be from just a connection point of view. Notice how tiny my power connections are. By finding the right tension and size of this connection and the connections on my speakers (mine are hardwired) or at the amp end you should be able to focus or defocus your image solidity like a camera lens.

Also take a look at your speakers crossover. One of the reasons I like almost no crossover is because when you blow things up you can hear a lot of clogging in the crossover components or electronic component parts. When I changed parts on my Chameleon crossover this was a huge thing. Bigger sounds went from being a ghost in space to a vivid imagine of what was in the space. Real enough to touch.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:38 pm

OK, on to batteries.

My experience on this topic is less than many others but I'll do my best. Before the Altmann and Redwine I was limited to a workers home brew setup and car audio. When doing car audio I always thought it was the wheels making the system sound rubbery, now I would say it was batteries.

When I first got my batteries hooked up on the Altmann I thought I was doing something wrong. I really thought this was going to smash my wall power. I was expecting more dynamics, clarity and a warm tube like mid-range. Instead I got this immediate opaque sound that crawled right under my skin. I got on-line faster than you can say keyboard to find out what I was doing wrong. Did you ever experiment with dielectrics? Well that's what it sounded like. The sound was like you had electricity trying to push it's way through dielectrics. Maybe my ears are over sensitive to this because I make cables and bake the dielectric materials into forming conductive patterns (oh no, one of my secrets). You see if you don't break the skin from the wire itself you get this plastic rubbery sound. Oh, thats what he does to his cable? Yep, I voice it and no matter what kind of cable you have if you don't do this you will always hear this thin coated sound to the music that keeps you one step away from real. I can hear it in every manufactured cable including my own if I don't bake it and apply my vibratory treatment to it. BTW I do this treatment on caps, resistors, inductors and even chips. Want to know how? No way buddy Laughing . I'm saving this one till I get a bigger distribution again then my own parts, then hollywood, then (sorry got starry eyed for a second). Anyway, the technical part behind what I was hearing is basically power being dielectric-sized. Even if the power source is cleaner (not sure it is) as long as it is inside of that casing it will sound like something is between you and the music.

Why do some think it sounds better than wall electric? May their fuse box is on the wall too tight, or their outlets are clamped down on their walls or cable inside the wall bent all over the place with sharp stressed angles. I don't know but in my place and at my place in Nashville, Ohio and Bill's the wall electric blows away the sound of the battery. The battery in theory should kill the wall electric but I think the housing (at least the ones I heard) stop the battery from being able to deliver it's electricity without carrying some baggage. BTW they do tune at that tells me that the electricity inside is vulnerable to mechanics, so the isolation bit is out. Honestly though Sonic, I think a lot of people listen with their head and not their ears. I really do. Most of this stuff has really easy explanations for when you actually put it to the test. But I don't think a lot of guys even put stuff to the test. I mean who else says pull your outlets outside of your wall, or take off that chassis, or loosen that wire. A lot of this stuff is really because we the tunees have found how energy flows and the rest of the people who do test don't have it set up like we do and if they are comparing a wall outlet that is not set free back to the fuse box and out to the component maybe the battery does sound better.

Which since I'm being long winded today brings me to another point.

You know how earlier today we talked about the big sound stage sounding fuzzy? Well think about it. It's also why I like simply produced stuff better than audiophile parts. When you have a heavier more dielectric-ally (my own word) part being made (which is what the high end parts are) you are closing in the sound or making it more fixed as far as vibration goes. A cap for example is a cap. You have plates and dielectric filler and your done. The cap now can do it's value. But what makes one cap at the same value sound different than another? Size and material. And if that material does not let the cap vibrate full range tolerant it limits the sound from being able to expand. Bingo! An audiophile designer is not thinking about the big stage, they are thinking about the typical size audiophile sound stage. Their making things so that within that stage it stays tight and focused (to them) and whatever else they are adding as flavor. By us opening up everything we are setting free a lot of energy. Energy that the designer never thought would get set free so they never anticipated a "BIG" soundsatge and their parts being made to close things in freak out when the stage gets bigger than the part is able to expand and vibrate along with. You take that same value of part and exchange it with a part that can vibrate with tonal accuracy and more range and that stage on the outer edge is going to be tight and expansive both because the energy is not being stifled. this is why the maggie DVD player and other simply (parts wise) built stuff blows away the high end over built stuff on the same playing field.

I went through this a bunch of times when I wanted to put certain parts inside of my amps and speakers. The guys in the shop wanted to use the high end caps and other parts cause of the buzz words that could be thrown around in ads. It drove me crazy cause they would send me these terrible sounding units with my name on them. From the marketing we will sell more they told me. "But you don't get it" I would say "listen to it". They would say but it's got to sound better with the wonder caps or what ever, but it didn't. These guys were so audiophile-ish that finally I said forget it I'm not coming out with the product. I mean think about it. I found these great caps from the US military. they used them in their guidance systems and sounded great and to boot cost $.57. I put them up against every cap on the market at the time even the pas caps which I think at that time were $16.00 each. The mil cap blew the doors off of it in every respect. You didn't have to turn the volume up to a certain level before it sounded good (another big problem with High End parts) and they sounded great no matter what size you made your stage or what volume you played or what type of music. These simpler built parts are just way better at the over all performance.

One of the first things people say to me when they go simple is, the music really sounds great whether I play it low or loud. Well that's because the threshold of optimum performance is much wider than an over built part. These over built things have a very small optimum level for volume. It's not because that is the point where they are vibrating the least either. It's at the point where the part is vibrating the most and the most stable. Can you make a part vibrate too much? Sure but more than likely it is not preforming because it is not vibrating enough or stuck at vibrating at a certain frequency causing peaks. And that's really what matching high end components is. Matching the peaks or valleys together instead of letting the music vibrate through the system at a reasonable pace that gels. These poor guys at the trade shows trying to match something they designed in their living room for their living only and they get to these shows and are trying to match it up with someone else's stuff fix tuned to their home and system. It's really madness and has gone on for so long. This is why I'm glad you guys are going like with simpler front ends with your amps. If you had to match a trans-DAC-Pre-amp and the rest you could be there forever. And honestly I think a big part of it is the number of power cables. Power cables and outlets and extra power supplies are a really big deal.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:11 pm

"the guitars are out on the neighbors lawn"

Damn, I think that would be cool!

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:44 pm

Me too Exclamation

I think a lot of the fun of this hobby is to spread that soundstage right out there. I get very bored with a tiny stage.

I look at it this way. If it wasn't in the recording we wouldn't hear it do it. Honestly I don't really care if some reviewer in nowheresville thinks it's right or not. If I can get my stereo to open up like that I'm into it. On my thread I kinda spilled the beans about this whole stereo thing any way. I am glad that people feel like they want to go after this absolute sound proper thing, but it's also very important that they know that this is something made up because someone "thought" it's how it works. I'm sure all the guys who are exploring the soundstage issue have found things that are pretty cool that go way beyond our structure of the proper audiophile stage.

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:02 am


Greetings Michael and Zonees

Continuing with Space Cones. This may be controversial but Sonic should tell it as I hear it.

I took down another 8 Space Cones from the two pairs of doors on both sides of my room (4 Space Cones a side).

The sound was more real and less pinched. The tune started to drop in pitch.

This meant I had 4 thin MW pieces stuck to each pair of doors. The sound was balanced. Sonic then pulled the thin MW pieces off the doors. No good. There was an upward shift in pitch.

So back went the thin MW squares onto the doors. And I stuck Michael's China Poplar discs to the thin MW pieces -- one disk per MW square.

A few hours of musick play and I am hearing more detail and depth in the bass. Michael is spot on. The China Poplar is good for bass!

Sonic placed the FS-PZC that is at the centre of the front wall on AAB1x1 with threaded cones. Pretty good! The two DTs are placed at the Left and Right of the PZC improved the focus of the sound images.

This means Sonic's system has only 10 Space Cones out of 26 Space Cones installed now -- two sets of 3 on each rear corner and 4 used under the feet of my CD cabinet.

This last tune sounded good. Without the Space Cones under the feet of the CD cabinet, there was a slight looseness in the midbass. But it all tightened up with a CD cabinet supported.

I'll take down the Space Cones from the rear corners and see what the effect is.

Now the doors have been improved. I was surprised when I heard the upward shift but I have now got a downward shift with the doors tuned using MW squares and China Poplar discs.

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Building a Room Full of Balanced Harmonics   Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:44 pm

Hi Sonic

Laughing Don't worry about the Space Cone comments, it's telling us how high your construction was shifted. The main thing is that you are finding balance.

What size are the China Poplar Disc? I use a few different sizes to fill in tones between tones if that makes sense. Good to hear they work good in a hard room. I mainly tested them in soft areas making them go up in pitch, but one or two on harder surfaces making them go down in pitch. You might try them under the furniture. I also have done them with a Space Cone combo. Space Cone facing down with the disc on top, but this may or may not work there.

This is good input for me to use though. I'm really happy to hear you getting to this stage of the voicing process and thrilled to see you found what direction to go in. Before long (and it sounds like you've started) you will be voicing all the inbetween tones. Keep an ear out though for overload, it will creep up on you. Have you gotten your width back in the stage? You had said it closed in some. You always want to keep your eye on the image that breaks right and left. This is a good measuring way to test your tone balance. I pay a lot of attention to the sound 2 to 5 feet left and right of the speakers to make sure they are in pitch with the mid center stage.

Are your orchestras going past the speakers or are you keeping them more deep than wide?

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