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 Toledo's system

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Toledo



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PostSubject: Toledo's system   Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:21 pm

Hi tuneland,

First post and wanted to say hi and ask an initial question.

Question is related to pressure zones and speaker setup close to front wall (wall system is on.) I am space constrained in my little 10'6 x 13' room. I have system/speakers on short wall. The room serves a few purposes and I only have about 40" depth wise to play with so I have decided to use Sonics idea of placing speakers real close to wall to pressurize the zone.

I am currently also using even boundaries to reinforce bass. I am currently 1/8 of room length out from wall.

Long preamble ... Sorry.

My initial question is more related to mathematical representation of the front wall pressure zones (corner zones and mid zone.)

Is there a mathematical relation to how large the center zone is width wise related to the two corner zones. This question assumes an empty room without any furnishings to keep things simple.

Where my mind is going with this is to make a better decision on where to place the speakers to pressurize the zones. I assume if the speakers are at the intersection of the corner zone and the mid zone, I won't get consistent results.

I have a hard time determining where each zone ends and the next begins so I hope there is an equation that specifies perhaps the mid zone is 66% of the overall width.
Using this relationship, I can then compute the width of the center zone and put the speakers at the boundaries of this zone.

Maybe I am overthinking this and can shift the speakers around, but, knowing the sizes of zones based on formulas would help in other areas (even if the formulas are different for back wall/sidewalls.)

Make sense? Sorry for the math .... Nobody told me there would be math!
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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:19 am


Hi Toledo

Welcome to the Tune! Your question actually makes a lot of sense.

Here is how Sonic understands the pressure zones -- in a typical unfurnished room, there can be nine PZs. Three down the length, three across and three up the height of the room.

Equipment, furniture will change the size of the PZs which then wrap around or get into some distorted shape round the object. Michael has a diagram of this somewhere.

Sometimes the centre PZ is the largest and squeezes those around it into tiny bubbles -- as I understand it, that's when a centre room honk occurs.

The existence of the 9 or so PZs also means there are junction zones where the pressure is a lot weaker. I have put loudspeakers in these zones in my room and the efficiency and subjective volume went down noticeably. Often this weal zones correspond to the 1/3 points of the room. Then move the same speakers forward or back a few feet to engage a PZ and suddenly it feels like another 50W have been added to the amp.

There is some correlation between the PZs and classical acoustics as defined by the longest wave a room dimension can support.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:29 pm

Hi Toledo

Welcome to TuneLand

Could you give me a little more info so I can see the pressure zones in your room better? thanks

What kind of floor do you have? wood, carpet, slab, subfloor

What are the materials of your walls? drywall studs, plaster lath, paneling, blocks, windows

Is the room empty?

What furniture is going in?

What is the system going in?

I ask these because they all have a part in how the zones will sound and the size of them.

I mostly listen extreme nearfield but have done tuning in every setup. Surprising to listeners I have done on wall listening that actually gives depth. I do this by making the zones become as full as they can then sit in the right place in the rear zone. If you get this right you can get the stage to walk in front of the speakers creating the depth.

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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:16 pm

Here you go Michael -

Room and system vitals.

I have a 10'6" by 13' by 8' high room that has concrete floors covered with wall to wall carpeting.
I setup system on short wall.

System I use - Merlin tsm monitors with steel stands, old lovan rack with DIY maple shelves, manley stingray integrated amp, audio note dac and cec transport.

A little audiophilish, but, I also have an old Yamaha ax700u amp that someone had tossed to the curb and I had it repaired. Circa mid 90's if i recall.

If all else fails, a little yamaha/maggie combo could be interesting.

I want to see how far I can get with current system, though.


Walls are drywall/studs.
Outside walls are concrete block.

Wall behind system has a large window covered with wood plantation shutters. Shutters are 42"wide by 74" high. This window is off centered a tad and system covers most of it using single tall rack.
The speakers straddle the system.
This outside wall uses thin studs against concrete and thump test reveals how dead this wall is compared to other walls in room.

Left side wall (as seen from listening position) has a centered closet about 6' wide that has no doors and is converted to desk with Formica countertops. A high backed, cloth covered executive style chair is used at desk area.

Right side wall has a 27" high by 73" wide by 15" wide bookcase that has cubbies and a large photo printer and a small fax/printer. It is made of mdf and covered with veneer.

On listening wall there is a 60x36 sleeper sofa. It is fabric and thickly cushioned.
Next to sofa is door and is flush with left side wall. I have to attach the xlt to wood side trim.

If I had to characterize the room, I would say it is dead from midwall down and somewhat live above mid point.
This is confirmed with corner voice test by speaking down (dead), straight ahead (normal) and above (louder)

Ceiling has a fan in center of room.


Treatments currently applied using roomtunes:
---------------------------------------------
4 corner tunes in corners.
4 echo tunes at top mid seams.
4 XLT at mid wall seams.
3 square RT in left side alcove area. (2 in lower corners where built in shelving is above desk and one at very top of previous closet area.)
1 square RT on right side wall midpoint up wall and centered on length of room.
2 XLT behind sofa
1 square RT centered on ceiling in front of listening area.


Other treatments:
-----------------
I have a 6'x6' wood block rug in front of sofa to counteract carpet. Blocks are about 3/8" tall and are arranged in a staggered pattern that leaves small gaps in between them. A little diffusion, perhaps?

I mess around with some old shelving that i put in front corners on top of carpet to reclaim lost information.

Wood blocks under amp, dac and transport.

Plantation shutters can be adjusted for tuning.

I have messed around with cardboard shutters, but I think I overwhelmed myself too soon and will re-address this later.

I was thinking about getting bamboo beaded curtains to close up the alcove desk area which will warp around back of chair if it is tucked in.

I have a 60 year old mahogany room divider I have used behind the sofa to good affect which draws the soundstage into room.

I am currently refinishing maple shelves and system is torn apart. I am waiting for some Damar resin crystals to arrive and will mix with turpentine oil for a home brew lacquer.


Last edited by Toledo on Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:20 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:56 pm

Hi Toledo

Thanks Exclamation And to start off, please tell Bobby hi if you get a chance. He has been a long time user of RoomTune. http://www.merlinmusic.com/cust.htm



I think there's a lot to be said for trying to take the products you have as far as you can. You will learn tons along the way. At the same time you might want to grab that FUNAI player to play it safe. I try to get everyone I can to get this thing and some blocks to have their front end at a place of reference. It's a very good constant to work from.

have to run and do some sanding while the heat is on here, but will be back later

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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:36 pm

Next time I speak with Bobby I will relay the message. He emails every so often to see how things are going, but, it just so happens that I am waiting for some cables from him at present.

I think you and Bobby are very similar in the way you love what you are doing and it shows.

Based on his show photos, he does a great job at taming hotel rooms using roomtunes. I have read countless best sound in show attendee comments that are no doubt helped in large part by the room treatment.

This is the reason I first looked into MGD and am very glad I did. The emphasis on less is more and treatment of the whole versus the part resonates with me (see what I did there Wink)

I have had fleeting glimpses of my system coupling to the room over the years but have never been able to sustain it. For one reason or another something changed and I lost it. I have never had a room I could go whole hog with treatment, and since I moved into the smaller man cave/office/spare bedroom I have made it my goal to finally treat a room properly.

Dave
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Toledo



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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:23 am

Michael, I have updated room/system bio to include some items I forgot to mention. May want to read again and hope it doesn't put you to sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:53 am

Hi Dave

Yep, Bobby is a great guy and I have always felt at home in his presence. Love his passion. He knows the sound he likes and he builds it, and he doesn't say this is it (at least not around me) more like, this is what I see how do you like it, type of thing.

on to your system

Based on what you are telling me, and if this were my room and system, I would be very tempted to have some wall mounts made to set the speakers on and take advantage of the open space in the upper half of the room. Sometimes we get this vision in our heads that things must set on the floor, but the floor may not have the best tone. So my first thoughts would be wall mounting or speaker platforms to add the tone that is missing. I can't see your room but since you say you are finishing some shelves you might be able to make some wall mounts.

what do you think?


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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:00 am

Hi Dave

Not sure I see where the added info is  study 

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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:16 am

Wall mounts ... Something I have never contemplated ... Will have to stew on it.

I have thought of platforms, as I mounted my previous merlin VSM floor standers on small DIY platforms ( basic board with spikes attached .)

Once system is back together I will experiment with speakers/stands very close to side walls and lifted up somewhat to mimic how they would sound in the livelier area of room and also much higher than ear level.

How high do you figure base of speakers would be?

Also, I cannot find your post on the FUNAI. I read it recently, but, cannot find it now.
It was at Walmart, but, what was the model number?
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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:38 am

here's the player link http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t168-magnavox-dvd-player

Your going to want to get right in that sweet spot that I think I see as beginning about 10-18" above that bookcase. That is if my drawing is somewhat correct.

One of the best sounding systems at TuneVilla was a wall mounted satilite setup with a sub. It was about 3' from the front wall and above the furniture, half way between the furniture and the treatment. I spent a lot of time in that room with friends listening and had a great soundstage from where ever you sat.

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Toledo



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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:00 pm

Here are some pictures to give you a better perspective.
Please excuse the under construction look.
We are also in the process of painting doors/adding crown moulding hence the weird paint jobs.

I have basically stripped the room of every non essential item .. my family thinks I am nuts.

Blue tape used to test location of treatments before committing to placement.

front



back



right side



left side



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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:01 am


Hi Toledo

Do you listen with the ceiling fan on? A rotating fan can do things to the middle PZ.

Sonic
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Toledo



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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:33 pm

Hey Sonic ... I have thought about the fan and wondered what it did to the sound.

I just keep the fan on all the time to keep air moving over the tube amp. It gets pretty hot here in Phoenix during the summer.

I reasoned that if the fan was off, the blades might act like shutters.

I can just see myself turning the blades to get best sound (trust me I will)... my family will really think i'm nuts when I tell them that when the blades are oriented at 65 degrees off center it sounds best Wink


I never really tested on/off .. will do so. Also with fan off, the motor may not pollute the electrical lines.
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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:33 pm

Hi Toledo

I like the look of the room. Has a very good vibe to it. Be interested to hear the speakers raised some. I resized the pics for you if that's ok.

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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:25 am


Hi Toledo

Sonic once used the fan as a mount for EchoTunes to weaken an unruly mid room PZ. That was a weird adventure where I had ETs strung round the circumference of the blades and another time round the stem. I made a difference though in Tune terms Sonic's system has moved ahead somewhat so I no longer require that.

Give the sound a try fan On and fan Off. Between listening tests let the CD play through at least once before making up your mind (you can leave the room and do other things while the system plays through). This is to let the PZ settle. Then listen. That will sure sound crazy to those outside the Tune.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:49 pm

Could not stand it anymore and put system back together. Will wait and varnish later.

I was reading old post in the archives by Micheal and came across this gem.




I pulled out my old Genesis collection and am listening to it as we speak. Will move onto early Gabriel Genesis years afterwards.

After this will pull out some of my old Fusion collection (Al Dimeola, Return To Forever and some Jean Luc Ponty)

I cut my teeth on this music as a teenager and really miss it. This was on vinyl and the cd masters on my current setup are a bit lean and tizzy. The soundstage ain't bad with wall to wall and room filling sound (with some front wrap around effects) but, it does not convey the impact I know is in these recordings.

Listening to this music reminds me off how limiting a high end system tuned to be microscopic and 'you are there' type of setup can be. I have decided that I will tune for as full bodied sound as possible.

Michael, I have not forgotten you. I am letting system settle down and getting a reference sound back in my head before I raise and move the speakers. Hoping for the best.
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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:08 pm

Having fun with Gabriel years Genesis.

This is a more acquired taste Genesis.




This recording has a little more presence to it than Trick of the Tail, but, not as many pyrotechnics.

I can hear all the way to back of soundstage with distinct instruments with fairly decent harmonic haloing. Good layering as the engineers move things front to back. Still doesn't have the impact I am seeking, but I hope when I move the speakers, I can beef this up without losing the sound staging I am getting.

Having fun.
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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:21 pm

Lots to report today.

Last night I loosened all screws on transformers and circuit boards on the dac. Loved that sound on the circuit board when I loosened one of them and heard a little snap as the pressure was relieved and it bent back into the shape it wanted to be.

This morning, I loosened the screws on the int amp transformers.

These tweaks have loosened up the sound and it does not sound as constipated. Notes develop further and a bigger soundstage.


I have question on the amp. After I loosened the screws, on start up with the on rush of current, the power transformer exhibits  a brief energizing hum. The closest sound I can think of is how toroidal transformers in amps make a noise on start up.

Not really concerned, but, would like opinions if I should worry about it.

This is the amp. I loosened the 12 screws on top of output and power trans.
Without opening it up, I don't know if these screws are for the bell housing or go all the way down into chassis. I don't want to find out by removing a screw all the way and hear a clink as the nut falls into the amp from underneath.



Update:

There are nuts in the chassis. I'm thinking the screws I loosened are for the housing.

Will have to open up and investigate. Can also loosen up circuit board while in there. Will leave cabling strapped together until I feel more comfortable doing that.

This is picture of the first version of stingray ..should be somewhat the same on version ii.

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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:21 pm

Oh My My

I saw the pic of "trick" and my heart started pumping. Settle down michael, then you put up "selling" and that was it. Flash back to Tom Miiller's (TAS) place. When he experienced tuning and heard "selling england" for the first real time according to him it was the opening of a door. One of my most enjoyable visits. First one of my very favorite recordings and two, one of my very favorite guys.

Layering is one of the best descriptions of these 2 recordings.

You know for me this is it. I love looking at the products and seeing the tune in progress and hearing the changes as it's being done. The first thing I think of is "please tunees start sharing this stuff on the stereophile forum". I think if we as we experience the tune in real time let the others know that the answers are to be found, this hobby will change on a dime after the first few follow suit. Can you imagine sitting in a listening room and being helpless to make the changes to get the sound where you want it to go? I listen to these guys and their "fixed" stories of what the sound is doing and my heart breaks for them. It's like buying a guitar and letting it sit. Pick it up once in a while and pick a few untuned notes then sitting it back down.

Am I excited about your adventures  Question  You bet I am  Exclamation

I can't really say about the hum, expect I've heard this before and for me it has gone away. My thought is that it may even be an electromagnetic one time discharge. Of course if it is moved more this may happen again. We have no idea how much energy is being made by our components till we start setting them free. Even the loosening of screws shows us how the vibrations play a part in the sound and this is only the tip. When we start looking at our system as a vibrating chain of signal the parts and pieces take on a whole new meaning to us.

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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:56 pm

I have hit a wall with my transport (CEC TL1x) and this neophyte tuner is calling in the troops.


I am trying to isolate the transport using wood blocks and the results are less than successful.

Some background, first.

I have always had issues isolating this transport. I have tried Aurios (2 stainless steel disks separated by bearings) and the soundstage increased with more instrument definition and clarity but a leaness develops.

I next tried wood blocks (myrtle) directly under the chassis close to stock feet, but, the sound is very lean, and edgy. Soundstage is larger.

This kind of threw me for a loop. My past experience with other transports/components has been that the sound generally conveyed the material of the isolator. Metal on metal sounds edgy and steely, wood on metal more body and warmth.

I never bothered removing stock feet since I figured the results would be the same.

Next, I tried the same wood block under the stock footers and get some of the benefits in soundstage and not as much leanness and edgyness. I settled on this as a compromise.

The stock footers are large (2" to 3" diameter) milled aluminium disks with black, rubber looking disks on bottom. I don't think it is rubber, feels more like a stiff silicone type of material.

In the past, with other transports, I have used stock footers but used two boards sandwiching the transport and placing this on cones and weighted the sandwich from above. This gave added body and weight to the tone, but, generally did not expand the soundstage.




This weekend I finally decided to remove the stock footers and use the blocks as direct replacements. Same results ... very lean and edgy.


I would like to pursue this and learn some and figure out why the wood is not delivering a more full bodied tone.

So, based on limited tuning skills and tools, I am left with few options:

1) Back out the change, re-install stock footers and call it a day

2) Find alternate wood for blocks. I have thought about the LT Redwood blocks. The only concern I have is that wood doesn't seem to convey its properties to this transport

3) Move speakers

4) Adjust room tunes. I think this is too broad of a leanness to be fixed by this.

5) Try to weight the transport somehow or a top tune chopstick or something. It is top loading unit, so options are limited.

Any ideas?
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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:26 pm

"the audiophile wall has been hit once more"

It seems almost insane to say that these brilliant pieces of technology only go so far, but the truth is in the listening, and "they only go so far".

Look at thread after thread on TuneLand and you will find the same wall being hit time and time again. Now comes the choice. Is it time for you to try to get the most out of what you have, or move on to something that will tune easier? I'll give you a hint, the FUNAI will go miles further. If your transport is already fighting with materials and going lean that's a good indicator that this is going to be limited at best.

we know the heartache, and can feel your pain throughout the tune

How can this be right Question Well trust us, everyone here went through the same thing, heck I had to go through owning 5 High End shops before I let myself finally accept that a fixed audio component is limited. The LTR Blocks are fantastic and you can see them being used under transports on TuneLand, but how good will they work on your transport? Only as well as your transport will let them.

$24.00 and your questions could be answered. I will be happy to walk you through the FUNAI.

Hey, you already know I'm on your team we listen to the same stuff.

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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:09 pm

Deep inside I already knew the answer Wink

The leanness is also related to the amp. When I first turn it on after some warm up, it has nice body and impact. Once on for more than 2-3 hrs, I lose some body weight. Picture a balloon partially filled. The rubber is thicker until you blow it up fully. This is how I would characterize it. It seems there is only so much energy available, and once soundstage develops, the energy is spread out.

Damndest thing. My previous mono SET amps never exhibited this. I have read that some tube amps lose impact after a few hours of use.

I have only the amp for 6 months or so. I decided to simplify system. I am not attached to it any way which makes a swap out easy.

So you can see, I'm fighting the devil.

Will get the FUNAI and hook up as secondary source to play with.

Meanwhile, I am a stubborn SOB and will back out changes, order some LTR and see where that journey takes me. It's all about the journey.

I am still at the broad strokes level with tuning parts of my system (speaker placement and treatments) and this journey will yield invaluable and hard fought lessons that can be applied to a low mass system.
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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:38 pm

but here's the cool thing

It's obvious even by getting to know you a little your a listener. And that says it all. Once you put those tuning wheels on your gonna fly. You may hit a few road bumps but there's some great guys on Tuneland that will be right there with you.

gonna be a blast  Exclamation 

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PostSubject: Re: Toledo's system   Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:49 am

Well, I think I just learned my first lesson in PLUS / MINUS.

Ever hear Michael say "wait, I just need to turn a couple screws in the receiver"?

I just did that to my amp power transformer to mitigate the leanness from blocks under the transport and I was able to tune with much better results. As to the edginess, without the body the edginess increases. It's not perfect, and I may be playing a zero-sum game, but, I learned the important lesson of give here, take away from there.

Most important, though, is that I can now try different woods under transport.

I also think this might be the issue with amp leanness after it has been on for several hours. Thermal expansion of the housing might be acting like me loosening the screws to open up the soundstage. The housing and screws are different metals and might be expanding at different rates. Hence, the housing would vary in tightness,depending on how hot the transformers gets  ... and after a few hours it is real hot.

I opened up the bottom of amp, and the tops are housings and the transformer is not self contained. You can see the core sticking out of the bottom.

I waited until amp was on for good while and transformer nice and hot and I could tune out the leanness by tightening the screws slightly.

I will have to verify this over several sessions to make sure placebo effect is not kicking in, but, this is way cool.

Four little screws ....
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