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 Amused to Death, Roger Waters

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ChrisS



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PostSubject: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:58 pm

Hi Michael,
If a system "images" really well "The Ballad of Bill Hubbard" from Roger Waters' Amused to Death, does that mean the system is well set up or is the sound on this cd so well engineered that only the poorest system can't handle it?
The soundstage, especially for this first cut, is huge! I was startled when I first heard it, so perhaps I lucked out when I initially set up my system.
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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:57 pm

Hi Chris

Great to see you!

Amused to dealth is one of the greatest stereo references a listener can put on.



Recorded in "Q" sound there are more doors to open up in this recording than a New York City high rise.  I'm so pleased you put this on that I might just have to join you.

Although a recording has it's own signature to tune to, using Amused to dealth shows us how involved soundstages can be.

Describe what your hearing for me, and I'll give you a quick reference.

Others might want to join cause this recording is tons of fun.

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PostSubject: At the moment, so little time...   Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:21 am

Hi Michael,
Sorry I haven't gotten back to you yet re: Amused to Death... Life's been busy and my stereo system is in the living room conjoined to the tv set, so I haven't had a good opportunity to sit down to have a good listen!

From what I can recall, at the beginning of "The Ballad of Bill Hubbard", I hear the dog bark way behind me to the right close to the floor, the radio voices come in beside me and slightly behind me on my left, when the background (keyboard?) music begins, it fills the room in front of me from wall to wall and floor to ceiling, the guitar comes in right in front between the speakers, which shifts from a plane just behind the speakers to a little further back when a higher note is played, the dog bark is now in front behind the guitar, and then a big cat(?) snarls/growls off to the right somewhere in a plane between the front of the speakers and where I'm sitting....

By the time the family is finished watching tv, it's fairly late in the evening, so I can't listen to anything "loud" for very long. For good listening, I plunk my chair about 6 feet from the center of the line that joins the speakers which are about 6 feet apart (from the center of the drivers).

Hope that helps!
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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:03 am

Hi Chris

This doesn't mean the next recording will be right, because this is Q sound not regular stereo, but I want to tell you what you described is right on the money  Very Happy 

If the tonal balance is good this whole recording set like this should absolutely blow your mind. This is a freakishly great recording when things are right for it. If I don't need to do another song on Stereophile I'm popping this on.

can't let you have all the fun Laughing 

enjoy!

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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:45 am

Hi Guys

Well, I did not have the success I wanted with Amused to Death. I've previewed this a million and one times, and the sound I'm getting is not going to cut it. I sat there and thought about this for a second and then I said this is one recording that is going to need a little TLC.

I've tried to go as sparingly on treatment as I dare go and most of the music up till now loved it. I was getting by with as little as 6 pieces in the 9 x 9 room but today it spoke loud and clear "get with it Green". I grabbed two DecoTunes out of the closet and even with my first setting the stage exploded.

Playing the first cut now the crickets filled the room, and the dog was out somewhere playing with the neighbors. The thunder now rolled completely around my head. later the sled and horses went way out there past me and into the hall and into the bedroom and out of the house somewhere. Now we're talking, but the games have just begun and I need to decide DecoTunes, RTD2's or PZCFS.

Plus I have to remember that right now I'm not top tuning so take it easy there buck-0. But a little playing can't hurt right Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:07 pm

Amused

So far I found two little spots in the room that wanted to be tuned to play this. One was my left rear corner and the other was an odd positioning of the left front floorstander. Not sure if this is going to work with other music but it opened this recording right up. Now with the horses they start as far off to the left as they go to the right. Almost sounds like their coming up this hill way out to the left of my room, then you hear them getting bigger the closer they get and by the time the horses get almost to the left speaker their full size horses. They are almost as tall as my room and now when they go by I can see their front to back and width. Kinda scary for this small room then they run right by and way out to the left getting smaller as they go.

starting to get more fun  Smile 

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PostSubject: Amused to Death   Sat Jul 05, 2014 4:30 am

I almost forgot the crickets were there or perhaps I thought I was losing that end of my hearing range...Now turning up the volume so I can hear the crickets again changes the placements of some of the sounds, like the dog and radio voices. Is that the the different sound pressure interacting on the room or the Q effect?
I don't get many opportunities when the whole family is out of the house so that I can play this recording (or any other source for that matter) at a decent volume, but I feel that I can hear all the Q effects that this disc offers, despite my aging ears. Does that indicate that my speakers are well placed in my room or that my Linn system can do a good soundstage after all?
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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:27 pm

Hi Chris

Here's my thread too http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t4p435-michael-s-system where I'm sharing a few things about Amused.

I think what we should also do on your system later on is put on Abbey Road and talk about how Sun King sounds. That together with Amused will give me a better idea, but keep in mind that every recording has it's own thing so it's not a matter of our systems being right all the time but more making the recording sound right. At the same time it sounds like in your case it's more of you wanting to have the system play close to good with a wide range and also because you don't have as much time to do serious listening at the right volume you need a basic "fixed" sound that does most things even if it doesn't do everything all the time.

So to answer, yes the pressure in the room changes the images somewhat as the volume goes up and the pressure zones begin to fill. The biggest change is that things should get thicker and develope harmonic halos around the different parts and instruments. Also you will hear things fill in the room and effects that move should make smooth complete movements as the pan is made.

The best way to know what your system is doing is to keep following along with others that are making comments on their systems and making your own so that I or others can see what your is doing.

the safey of Linn

Linn is one of those product lines that I like not because it is the most accurate, but because it sticks with one philosophy. They make their products to work against the wall and even though this may limit the sound from doing some stuff with the wrong type of wall, if the wall mates well with the speakers the results are not bad. What I don't like is when products are made to do one thing and audiophiles try to get them to do something else, that's when you get a mess, especially if the products have more mass.

So lets keep stepping through the sound and what your hearing and if something comes up that I see is going in an odd direction I'll let you know and give some advice, but so far it sounds like the linns are at home.

If you are able to post or have me post pictures some time that helps. Also giving me a description of the materials in the room, like the floor and walls. Also with Linn how big is the wall they are sitting against?

The key here though is while you have Linn I'm going to be wearing my Linn ears and not be giving you the same advice as some of the others cause Linn is a different animal, and it does depend on the room, but it uses the rooms mechanical strong points at that's the part to be looked at.

your off to a good start

One more thing, can you give a list of components and all the pieces of the system? This will help to see inside of things better.

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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:16 pm

Which issue of Abbey Road are you using, or does it matter?
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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:52 pm

Hi Chris

I'm using the 87 or 2009. You can use which ever you like. We'll start with track 10 ok.

I had some more fun with Amused which I will post about on my thread.


 Smile 

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PostSubject: Now Abbey Road, Track 10- Sun King   Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:42 am

I have the '87 cd. The music starts from the left speaker, then guitar and percussion moves to left-of-center, then to right-of-center while the bass guitar remains to the left, and then to the right speaker. The percussion remains to the right side with the cymbals heard above and behind the right speaker, while one of the guitars (or all three?) go from right side then over the left and back to the right. When the vocals start, the voices fill out the center almost floor to ceiling and a bit beyond the edges of the speakers. Nice.
When the vocals begins, the percussion is all on the right side, but what sounds like a bass drum is all dull thuds from the right speaker. I don't know if that "drum" is supposed to be more articulate or if my speakers are just limited in portraying low bass.

I have what I consider an entry-level "active" Linn system-

LP 12 Valhalla, Ittok IV-II arm, AudioNote IQ2 moving magnet cartridge
Bellari VP129 Tube Phono Preamp



The Linn Genki cd player gave up a couple weeks ago and now using my son's Rotel RCD-965BX cd player (it's not bad at all!)



MacIntosh MR74 tuner



Wakonda Preamp



3 LK100's amps with active crossover boards



Keilidh speakers on Ku-stone bases with spikes



all interconnects and speaker cable are Linn
The amps and preamp each have a Wireworld Aurora power cord plugged into the wall
The other electronics are plugged into a power conditioner

This stereo system is conjoined to a Samsung tv, a Motorola PVR, and a NAD dvd player. The tv and pvr are hooked together by an HDMI cable, while the "audio out" of the pvr and dvd player are hooked to the Wakonda preamp through analogue rca connections. In case this makes a difference, I also have the pvr and dvd player digitally hooked to a Denon AVR-1602 receiver which provides sound to a center channel speaker sitting under the tv.

The turntable is on a Target wall stand on the "back" wall, the components are distributed on two Sound Organization stands 18" away from the back wall, while the back of the speakers are 40" away from the back wall (about 5" in front of the front plane of the equipment stands) in front of and either side of the equipment stands. There's not enough shelves in these stands to have an individual component per shelf, so some are stacked two per shelf with hockey pucks between each component.

I mentioned awhile ago that I'm extremely limited in any structural or electrical changes that I can make (I live in a rental, plus I lack the know-how and tools to make such changes), and so I'm limited to mainly minor alterations to each component, or substitution of components or re-positioning of components. I'd like to hear your suggestions.

Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:38 pm

Hi Chris

Thanks

Ok here's what I got. Well my stage is a little bigger than this now but it gives an idea.



I'm glad you picked out the bongo on the right, good job Exclamation

If you could go back and tell me about the crickets on Sun King. How thick are they? how they move?

Also listen again to the cymbals. do they fill the stage?

If you took a tape measure out, how big would you say the stage is?

When your instruments go side to side do yo see any place where they jump, or do they move across the stage without any interuption?

Also start to tell me about the tone of everything? Bright? Mellow?

A question, why the power conditioner? Also if you add up how many things are plugged into the wall what is that number (including what is plugged into the line conditioner).

Your doing a great job.

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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:17 am

Those darn crickets again!! The sound of crickets is just on the edge of my upper range of my hearing of my aging ears. I also have intermittent tinnitus!
I hear them at the beginning of first cut of Amused to Death because there's no other music or sounds, but in Sun King I can just barely make them out thru the music. I had to ask my wife if the crickets were there to make sure my system was playing them (she also said that they were basically between the speakers).
In Sun King, some of the instruments stay within the speakers (bass and drums) or the space between the speakers, while the guitars and cymbals go back and forth across the soundstage beyond the speakers. The instruments that move across the soundstage sound like someone is walking back and forth carrying them while playing, I can hear the "steps".
Perhaps because of my truncated hearing, this music on my system doesn't sound bright, but it doesn't seem too mellow either.
As I've mentioned before, my tv system is also a part of the stereo system. The end of the living room where all my components reside has only two power outlets. The tv, pvr, dvd player, an a/v receiver, an old vhs video player, cd player, tuner, phono pre-amp, and turntable are all plugged into the power conditioner, while the 3 Linn amps and pre-amp are plugged directly into the wall (via an outlet extender). There's two lamps plugged into a power bar that's also plugged into one of the outlets.
I think despite having a jumble of equipment jammed into one end of a room, having all the interconnects, power cords, speaker cables, etc. all over the place, and having aging hearing, my system doesn't sound too bad. Now having read a number of your posts and reading the material here, I know there's plenty of room for improvement.
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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:02 pm

Hi Chris

Yes, I would say that we could clean up a lot of the signal, but it sounds like the different parts and pieces like each other and that's a good start.

One of the first things to look at if you wanted to move ahead would be what to do with all those power supplies crowding those outlets. The line conditioner is doing you no favors. You have 4 plug outlets and too many plugs, so the very first thing I would look at is reorganizing the power, maybe even light weight plastic wall mounted power strips.



Keep in mind the biggest electronic distortion maker in any system is the power supply. By using a conditioner your actually getting further from the goal, the goal being getting good power from the circuit box to the components.

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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:38 am

So regular old power strips, nothing fancy?
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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:56 pm

Hi Chris

Yes, the light weight plastic ones. You can either get the long ones or the double wide ones.

I'll hunt through the forum to see if I can find picks of what people do to them.

Chris, here's a bad picture but it gives the idea of what people do.



This is a double wide box (plastic) that has had the thick cable removed, 22gauge solid core hard wired and the mini end put on.

Here's another one in the background.


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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:07 pm

Thanks, Michael! I'm not sure about doing the mod on the power bar, but it's easy enough to pick up a couple and replace the power conditioner. Now what about the issue of "digital pollution" from all the digital components? I thought the idea was to isolate or filter out that noise so there's no effect to the other components.
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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:28 pm

Hi Chris

Everywhere you see wires touching or bending or sitting on a surface your dampening the energy. What you want to do it let things breathe as much as you can. Anything that looks like a shield is collapsing the signal, same with anything that is bulky.

Look at your system and see where their are tie wraps, if you loosen them you will clean up the signal and expand the soundstage. Do these things one step at a time and you'll hear it happen. If you don't have pets to worry about take the lids off of some of the stuff and be surprised at how much more music you get. Don't worry about digital polution.

Be sure to look at what others here have done.

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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:28 pm

Hi Michael,
Plugging the components into a plain power bar seems to have opened up the sound a bit... Unfortunately, I can't do any critical listening anymore because I found out that we have to move and now there's piles of stuff all over the living room and I can't put my chair in the usual listening spot. I also have a cat that loves warm components (I often have to chase her off the Mac tuner), so I'm unable to take the covers off anything.
Thanks for the tips so far. The next residence will of course have another set of room and sound issues, so I'll get back in touch with you again.
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PostSubject: I've since moved...   Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:16 pm

Hi Michael,
I've have moved since I last posted, and my stereo set-up is pretty much the same, [u]except[u] I have now plugged everything into two plain plastic power bars and I have put under each of my tuner, phono stage, and cd player 2.5x2.5x.75" squares of very light (birch?) plywood. Over a short time I noticed the soundstage open up and each instrument and voice gain more dimension and body. The seating is still not ideal for critical listening and I still can't hear the crickets very well, so my hearing hasn't improved at all, but I can certainly hear and appreciate the affects of just those few changes on the sound of my stereo system.
More to come in the near future...

Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Amused to Death, Roger Waters   Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:56 pm

Wonderful to hear from you Chris Exclamation

When I saw the topic notice "amused to death" it was pretty weird cause I just came upstairs from listening to it. I've been letting it burn-in for a while now, afraid to change anything. I know I need to move on, but everything is so darn nice with this recording and setting.

hope to hear more about the new place

don't be a stranger my friend Smile

Now that we don't have Geoff & May around, we get to talk about the good stuff.

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