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 Billiam System

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Billiam



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Join date : 2014-02-27

PostSubject: Billiam System   Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:28 pm

Present Setup

Qinpu A3 Integrated tube/solid state amp 8.5 wpc
Cambridge Audio A300 CD player
Carver TX11a Tuner
Onkyo TA-RW 505 casette deck
Jamo C601 bookshelf speakers
Audio Art IC3 cable for the CD player to amp
Pangea 14SE Power cable for CD player

I have photos of the living room where I will install this system and now I am going to see if I can figure out how to import them into the next posts.
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Billiam



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PostSubject: Living Room One   Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:31 pm

Hopefully there is a photo to view.
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Billiam



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PostSubject: Living Room Two   Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:34 pm

Another view.
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Billiam



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PostSubject: Living Room Three   Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:36 pm

The opposite side of the room. Dimensions are 14 feet by 14 feet.
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Billiam



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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:53 pm

Walls are definitely plaster. Won't be attempting to wall mount anything other than what can mount into the wall with a thumb tack. Will have to use stands for the speakers. Will want recommendations.

Note the ceiling is 9 feet high. Will have to add drapes over the windows to reduce road noise. Will be leaving the hard wood floors intact. Will buy a rack system of some kind to put the components on. Recommendations are welcome as long as the cost is reasonable. Nothing over $200.00 US.

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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:12 pm

Wow, look at you, pictures and all. good job!

This is already telling us a story that will help a lot with shaping the sound. Also here is a link to Billiam's thread in Chat http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t218-modifying-dayton-audio-b652-speakers

Does this open up into another room or is there a door?

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Billiam



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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:16 pm

Mike:

There is a door. In the third photo I am standing in the doorway and taking a picture of the front door. The rest of the way to the right of the photo is the wall. No openings at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:06 pm

Hi Billiam

Ok, a wood door no opening, good. Also start thinking low mass and wood. Wood is your friend and is going to help you get tone.

If I had $200.00 to spend I wouldn't get an audio rack but a real wood piece of furniture from a local bargin thrift store.



Not composite wood but real wood and the lighter in weight the better. Around here I can pick up furniture like this every day of the week for $50.00 or less. Once you get the table you should think about getting some LT Redwood Blocks from me.

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Billiam



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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:14 pm

Thanks Mike. Yes, wood works for me. I may look at the local Ikea store for this kind of table. They should have something similar to what you are showing in the picture. If it is within my budget I will get one otherwise I may be looking at Kmart or Wal Wart. LOL
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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:57 pm

Ikea I know has them. Walmart has the composites and so does Kmart. If for some reason you do have to go composite try to get something as light weight as possible. But I would really shoot for real wood. Pine is excellent sounding. Pine, cherry birch all good. You might find something on craigslist too.

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Billiam



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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:02 pm

Thanks. Spent the last few minutes looking at the Ikea website. Found a couple of tables that will work. I may end up doing over the entire living room in light of the prices I found!
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Billiam



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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:44 pm

Mike:

What are LT Redwood Blocks?
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:41 am


Hi Billiam

Go visit my thread (the active one where I have been posting recently) and there is a picture of the blocks and their dimensions plus how Sonic is applying them.

Sonic
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Billiam



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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:41 pm

Thanks Sonic. I saw them in your photos.

I've actually used wood in a similar manner before. I have used cut 2 by 4's made out of pressure treated lumber underneath my components in the past.
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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:27 pm

Hi Billiam

The longer your here you will see how people use the wood I cure. I use several types and put them through my voicing proccess. I need to get my archives back up so people can read this stuff again, but in the meantime I might have to rewrite some of what I do to wood and how to use it. Unfortunately for listeners they won't be able to grab their saws and sand paper and make these. I've thought about how to make this a DIY thing but the results come out terrible when people have tried to do what I do here. It would take forever to explain the proccess and what has to be done in voicing and have it make sense.

What I do with the wood is very much like making an instrument with a twist. I use the desert as my kiln and offset the conditions here with dry heat and circulation. First picking out the wood I want to use is a trip. Don't really know how to explain this part without having someone in the lumberyard with me. After I get the wood I like the sound of I let it sit till ready to start. The wood goes outside and is brought back inside in a rotation. As the wood reaches a ceratin tonality it then starts to go through stages of voicing. Voicing is baking, air dry, sanding stages, finishing and repeating. It's kinda like baking a sonic cake with 12 diferent layers. Fun to do, but not sure I could tell someone how to do it and have it come out close to the sound.

Voiced wood is a great tool in tuning and I like to watch people go through the system tuning proccess using it. When I hear listeners talk about a particular sound my mind starts to play the game of voicing their system without telling them. There's some secrets to tuning and once you start doing it and hearing the results it's pretty addictive. The great thing is when people jump in and help you and as you learn you help others.

Certain parts to the tuning game are almost always true. Some components are poorly (fixed) designed and once their signal path is exposed there's little to do to help them open up, but many products do have a decent design and are worth while getting the most out of. It's shocking how much better you can make a component sound. At first a little hard to believe but if you stick with it there is magic to be found. What I try to do is act as a guide through the journey while making and refining the tools to be used. I also find component products along the way that I have a great deal of success with that I recommend for those who want to bypass some of the tweaking effort or even heartache. A lot of guys go through attachment drama, but then there are others who could care less and want to jump into the sound without building around their components. One of the hardest things in the world is trying to get the sound when building a system around a component instead of the sound. I've been a part of a lot of audio equipment divorces and a lot of folks hanging onto stuff for the sake of their attachment. The flip side to this though is also true. There are tunees who have found their flavor and their formula in finding the types of componets to use and tune. They follow the tuning basics but know how to recognize components that can be tuned in and have that musical magic they like without getting stuck or compromizing their sound. Hopefully you'll run into some of them too.

As for me, I feel like everyones system on tuneland is my own in some way. I love it when they have it setup and are describing the sound and where they are going with it. It usually takes a little while for them to settle into their own but once they do it's a fun adventure for me. When they have a bad day I don't really think too much of it cause I am after all the father of tuning and have almost always been where they are or at least have had the tunable room to use to find out where they are. Being in almost every situation for me has been the badge I wear proudly and it serves to help me never stay stuck for too long in my own listening or when helping others. I've been through all the listening fads and have found a method that always allows me to see if something is true or not with a recording or system. This is the biggest help to me cause I can tell when the wool is being pulled or not and in this industry there is a ton of wool pulling. When you think about it, this is one of those industries that can operate without a lot of truth and because there is so much ego involved people have made themselves Gods  Laughing  and have very little to back it with. The tune however exposes everything and gets right to the signal path and that's what I love about it. There is no hiding from vibrating musical notes and a recorded soundstage. We can make it do a lot of different things for our taste but there are certain things that tell us that we have uncovered the "real" sound, and if a system can be tuned to that even once it tells me that it can anywhere the rest of the time. This to me is the high end audio I look for, the rest is just a fun game.

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:30 am

Hi Billiam

All wood have some effect but IMO it is mostly "woody" and midrangy -- except the wood that is treated, finished and cured by Mr Green. I am using three types -- MW, cedar and LT redwood and learning the combinations that work. Sonic
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Billiam



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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:28 pm

Sonic. Thanks for the info. I will look into the wood as long as it is not too expensive. I won't need many since I have a limited number of components.
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Billiam



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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:36 pm

Just for kicks I took out a Topping T21 Class T amp that I bought last year and decided to hook it up to the Cambridge Audio CD player and my Jamo C601 bookshelf speakers.  Using the cables I mentioned in the first post.

The sound is unbelievable!  I tried this amp with some 8 ohm Castle Conway 3 towers right after I bought it but it could not drive them well at all.  But the 6 ohm Jamo's are something to behold.  I put on the Moody Blues Long Distance Voyager CD which I have listened to a hundred times over 30 years and on several different systems over the years.  I am now hearing detail in the songs that was never there before.  There is more depth to the music and each instrument is very distinct and crisp and easily heard compared to before on every other system.  It is like the album has been remastered!  I am guessing that I would have to buy a Class A amp to get superior sound to this.  This is every bit as good or possibly better than a $1000 Creek Amp that I auditioned last year.  No kidding. Literally this recording has come alive.

I may have just found the right combination at least for newer recordings.  I noted that some of the poor sounding recordings I have such as the Lovin' Spoonful from the 60's don't sound good on this Amp but play well on the Qinpu.  So having two systems is definitely a must to insure that I can listen to every recording that I own.
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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:46 pm

Hi Billiam

The T21 is actually fairly easy to tune.



If you get rid of the chassis and front faceplate and use a nicely voiced wood it will open up even more and be able to play some of the other music. At that point the Cambridge will be the weak link, but that's something to play with or not in the future. Also the tie downs need to go.

Also, I'm a big fan of having two systems so you can ping pong as you keep making improvements. One system will tell the other one what it is or isn't doing.

Nothing like hearing the music come to life  Wink

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Billiam



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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:06 pm

In light of these shocking results with the Topping Amp I am going to hold off on purchasing another set of speakers for a while and instead will purchase the Topping T60 amp. It has two inputs, 80 wpc into 4 ohms and the reviews on it are great.

I just can't get over how well these Jamo speakers sound with the T21. I will see what they sound like with the T60 and then decide what speakers to get after that. I will try to do the basic modifications to the Dayton B652's that have been suggested too. But I am a bit skeptical that I can get those to sound as good as the current speakers.
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Billiam



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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:24 am

What CD player for less than $500 can you recommend if I can't get that Funai box to sound good? Bear in mind, I don't have the time to tinker with the internal components of these things. Simple tuning techniques such as room placement, removing the cover, using blocks of wood etc. will be about the extent of the modifications to my systems. I don't have the time right now nor for the foreseeable future to learn how to use a soldering gun and read a schematic. Unless I can find someone willing to do the mod's I will have to make due...
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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:05 am

Hi Billiam

It would be really hard for me to make a recommendation since I have not heard a player for any money that I liked as well as the maggie tuned, even a basic tune. What I hunt for in a player is it's ability to adapt to the sound I want and able to make changes to that sound easily. It's clay shaping gifts are what makes it special to me. It sounds more like you are at least for now thinking more fixed and I would say why change if you like where you are right now.

Others who have more of a fixed approach might be able to give some advice. My maggie on top of the LT Redwood Blocks on a Platform does about everything but give me back rubs, and it doesn't take much to go in different directions when I put on other types of music.

Also, as far as speakers, if the Jamo's are giving you what you want why bother with a speaker mod? It looks to me that you moding the B652 based on you being reluctant about the CD player is maybe a sign that now is a time for you to enjoy the setup you have till it comes time when you see things in it that you can not make it do. This I believe would be a better time for you to dive into shaping the sound instead of doing the matching you are now.

If you jump into tuning without being ready to jump in you could end up with a terrible experience  No . I can very easily make my system sound horrible, but learning how to tune it and wanting it to tune up is what has given me all the success with my sound. Based on what I'm reading I wouldn't be so ready to jump away from your comfort zone until you are ready to. I like hearing you say how happy you are with the Jamo, Cambrdge and T21 and also that you are not able to quite get the Lovin Spoonful. Believe it or not this kind of thing will help me in the future when you are wanting to make things happen if you are having a tough time getting there. At the same time if your sound is at a good place keep it there and enjoy. You are king of your own sound and it is your sound. If going more tuned is for you it will happen and you will be ready for it, but I wouldn't push it until you run into system limits.

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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:11 am

Once I get into the house it will be easier to do more with the system. Right now I am pressed for time since I work 60 to 70 hours a week at my regular job and also do some non paying work on the side. Between that and trying to get the house ready to occupy later this year, I just don't have time to do much.

How much do those blocks cost per piece? I have used wood in the past and would definitely want to try that again. Went to IKEA on Saturday and saw a couple of solid wood tables that will be fine to use for each stereo system that I set up in the house. Will buy those pretty soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:54 pm

Hi Billiam

That's a long work week! Nice that you have a system to come home to that is making good sound for you  Cool . Nothing like the hooby of listening  Exclamation 

The LT Redwood Blocks are $20.00 each, and I give quanity discounts on them.

Keep in mind they take a long time to cure inbetween coats and sanding. That goes for any of my wood goodies. Nature and sound tells me when they are going to be done.

What are some of the pieces of music you like to listen to? I'd like to get a feel for your flavor and taste. Your pretty good with descriptions.

One last thing, can you tell what type of wood it is at Ikea? If you tap on it, the lower tone it goes the better.

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Last edited by Michael Green on Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Billiam



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PostSubject: Re: Billiam System   Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:58 pm

Hi Mike:

I was working seven days a week for years but now I am going to start taking every other weekend off from work so that I can devote some time to my new house and obviously getting it ready to occupy.

I am just going to have to make some concessions on a number of things including the stereo system. No choice due to the house I have (you already know the issues) and amount of money I have to spend. I may be able to find a friend to do the modifications in the Funai DVD that require soldering and part replacement. Can you tell me where I can find specifically what needs to be done? At worst, I may be able to find a local electronics shop that can do it too. Since the unit costs almost nothing I don't mind spending a few bucks to upgrade it.
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