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 return to RoomTune, Doug Blackburn

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PostSubject: return to RoomTune, Doug Blackburn   Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:02 pm

an interesting look back
____________________________________

A Return To RoomTune

The July 4th weekend found me in Ohio again, just a short commute from Michael Green’s New Philadelphia headquarters. A perfect reason to spend another day seeing what new things have come from Michael’s continuing work on tunability and mechanical resonance. Since my last visit:

* The factory moved to a much larger space.

* In-wall tuners have gone through several revisions before landing on a design that seems to reliably do what Michael set out to do when he started investigating in-wall tuning.

* Michael has entered the commercial acoustics arena designing new and retro-fit tunable concert halls and church sanctuaries.

* There are projects either just completed or in progress to provide manufacturer (Klipsch) and recording (Mobile Fidelity) facilities with tunable rooms.

* PARA audio and home theater dealers are rapidly adopting tunable demo rooms with 15 complete now and 25 more expected in the not too distant future.

* There are projects to fit symphony instruments (tympani, piano and bass so far) with tunable bases that improve the performance of the instrument. The San Francisco Symphony and others are driving this work.

* The first attempt at applying tunability to a commercial loudspeaker product failed to meet Michael’s design goals. The correct/corrected tunable speakers began to be available in September.

* Michael now has in-house numerical control lathe and milling machines which are permitting him to refine the performance of AudioPoints. There will eventually be new ones with different profiles that improve performance and sound quality, naming for the new cones/points is not firm yet, though "MTD" (mechanical tuning device) will likely be part of the name.

* A new line of acoustic treatment devices, "PZC" or Pressure Zone Controllers, use a completely different approach to room tuning.

* New production methods coming out of the search for better tuning of shelves for the rack products (Justarack, Clamp Racks, etc) have led to a "Signature" series of racks and platforms with appearance/finish standards (and performance standards) that have never been as high.

As I delve into a little more detail about these topics, you will begin to see how what may, at first, seem like "working in too many different areas" really isn’t that at all. What is happening as M.G. explores mechanical tuning in one area is that new things learned about refining the performance of a speaker or instrument tuning device, has direct applications in other areas like room tuning devices or improvements in shelves/racks. It is a juggling act to try to keep the latest and greatest information applied to each product area. I have organized the following list to try to clarify the areas M.G. is focusing his efforts on:

* Mechanical Tuning Devices (MTD), brass cones for under, or above when clamping, components with threaded variations for bottoms of rack legs and under speakers.

* Room Tuning devices for home systems, stereo and home theater, with a strong focus on "Tunable Room" technology.

* On-wall, floor standing, & corner mounted for existing rooms

* In-wall, under floor, and above ceiling tuning devices and techniques for new construction or remodel jobs

* Acoustic ceiling moldings for existing or new construction

* Room design and acoustic treatment using tunable room technology applied to church sanctuaries, performance halls, recording studios, speaker manufacturer facilities, audio equipment dealer demo rooms.

* Using mechanical tuning technology, developing support platforms for acoustic symphony instruments which permit them to sound the same (or better) as they are repositioned within their usual performance venue or moved to less familiar performance locations.

* Applying mechanical tuning, musical instrument building techniques, and tunable speaker technology to a line of loudspeakers which meet M.G.’s performance goals and working with other speaker manufacturers to bring tunable speakers to their existing products or new products.

* Create high performance audio and video component support/rack systems using tunability and mechanical resonance control.

Let’s look at how the evolution of AudioPoints is tied to M.G’s work with the San Francisco symphony. Changes to the original AudioPoint design resulted from work on tuning bases for symphonic instruments. M.G. found that everything he placed under the various instruments gave a different decay profile. Take tympani as an example: ideal performance would be a nice long decay after the initial whack with no increase or decrease in pitch as the decay progresses. Under the instruments, each different material produced a different decay profile. Some materials, like sorbothane, produced a short but linear decay. The shortness of the decay deadened the sound of the instrument. Other materials produced longer decay times but the pitch of the decay would begin rising or falling at some point during the decay. AudioPoints provided a fairly long decay time, but Michael found the frequency would not remain linear throughout the decay. Using new numeric control machining equipment, new brass cones were made with profiles that were different from original AudioPoints. In fact, the machine tools used to produce the original AudioPoints cannot duplicate the profiles that the new equipment is capable of doing. The design and properties of this new line of brass-cone feet is still being finalized as this is being written. Perhaps the fall will see them begin to appear in quantity. MTD will be part of the name to indicate the changes that resulted in ‘perfect’ linear decay profiles with no pitch changes during the decay.

On the Importance of Being… Finished

During the development of the brass parts for the in-wall tuners and new MTD brass-cone feet, Michael learned that how the brass parts were cut affected the sound of the final part to a significant degree. There was a significant sonic difference between using hardened steel cutters and diamond cutters. There was a significant difference depending on rotation speed and feeding speed (cutter motion along the part and depth-of-cut). All of these parameters affected the finish of the surface of the part and that surface finish is apparently what causes the sonic differences. By finding the best rotation speed, feeding speed and cutter material for each part, the sonic performance of each device can be maximized. This is something that was not possible using previous production methods because the equipment being used was not capable of producing the profiles and surface finishes that the new equipment can produce.

Tuning symphonic instruments (tympani, piano, bass) lead to the discovery of ways to further improve the sound qualities of the shelves used in all Michael Green equipment racks and in tunable speakers. Part of the improvement is from years of research into finishes for the shelves. The finish is one of the most important elements that goes into creating a fine musical instrument. It turns out that finishes for audio related items is just as important. All of the experimentation with finishes has given M.G. a whole new appreciation for the role of finishes on everything from speaker enclosures, to equipment shelves, to studs and joists in tunable rooms.

Using amazingly up-to-date equipment and with fanatic attention to detail, Amish craftsmen are now making shelves for M.G.’s new upscale Signature rack series. The new shelves have exceptionally musical sounding tonal characteristics when given knuckle taps progressively from center to corner. I was very surprised at just how musical the tone of an mdf shelf could be and by how modernized Amish craftsmen are. My image of the Amish as a technology-shunning people was thoroughly shattered on this visit. It turns out that only a minority shun all modern technology. Most have adapted. They may have a generator but no connection to a power company, or a satellite dish but no connection to cable TV. They will use telephones, but often not allow them inside their homes or businesses.

Part of the improvement in the performance of the new shelves comes from the hand gluing of the two 3/4" pieces of mdf that make up each shelf and the new method used to create a perfectly round radius on the outside edges of the shelf. The prototype I saw was finished in amazing looking transparent dark purple over silver metallic called "Midnight Rose." The round recessed top nuts for the legs are highly polished brass as are the new-profile bottom cones and the 2 locking nuts.

All in all, the appearance of these shelves is stunning. If I could afford them, I would have them, absolutely no question. Gloss black and a couple of other colors will be available also, but Midnight Rose is incredibly elegant looking, especially with the polished gold appearance of the metal parts. The single shelf amplifier platform will sell for about $275.

Room Tuning, Part Deux

Michael’s home, which I dubbed "Tuner Villa" in the last installment, was in the process of having the original tunable room re-done using the latest tunable room devices that Michael has developed. New 2x4 studs are going in which are ‘treated’. Michael found out that applying a certain type of varnish with the right ‘weight’ (viscosity of the varnish in the can) changes the vibration transmission properties of the 2x4s to a startling degree. An impromptu demo using a treated 2x4 and one as-delivered from the lumber yard proved instantly that the varnished 2x4 did indeed have a musical quality to the resonance that was totally lacking in the duller and fuzzier sounding untreated 2x4. So the tunable room was right in the middle of the remodel. No listening freakouts for me this time, but I will be going back when the room is finished to see what third generation tunable room technology offers. Michael had second generation tunable room hardware in another room at Tuner Villa, but there was really no reason to spend any time listening to Gen 2 on this trip when Gen 3 would be along soon enough.

The in-wall tuners going into the remodeled tunable room have a 16" wide steel bracket, painted black. This attaches to studs with Phillips head screws. The heavy brass part in the center is fixed to the steel bracket with 2 brass screws. The brass screws turned out to be one of the key components in achieving maximum performance of the in-wall tuners. So much so that these screws are being made in-house because a commercial version could not be found with the right profiles and finish. Each wall in a tunable room requires a number of tuners. The number required depends on the size of the wall. When all the tuners are in place, a layer of a specific type of plywood goes over the studs. A hole is drilled so that the tuning bolt can pass through the plywood into the heavy brass anchor. 3/8" drywall goes over the plywood. A hole has to be drilled into the drywall to clear the tuning nut. The tuning nut bears down only on the plywood. This leaves a hole in the drywall everywhere there is a tuning nut. The ugly holes are dealt with by using a small cover, something like a switch plate cover.

Of course in-wall tuners are not the only things that make for a tunable room. Tuning the ceiling and floor will further improve the performance of the tunable room. This can be done several ways, using the Gen 1 method of staggered 3/4" threaded rods connecting 2 joists at a time and applying appropriate amounts of pushing or pulling tension. Or by using the Gen 3 method... in-wall tuners and varnish on the joists which will operate the same way as when they are used in walls.

The tunable room is not complete without the latest in-room tuning technology. In this case that is the PZC series of tuning devices. Pressure Zone Controllers improve room acoustics by working on the sound that travels along walls. M.G. focuses on the sound flowing on/along walls so much because in his experience, this is the major contributor to the acoustic problems that make home audio rooms sound bad and which cause the worst problems in larger rooms and halls. The roughly 4" thick PZCs mount on the wall or can be floor standing against a wall if wall mounting meets with spousal disapproval. The frame of the PZC is open on the sides, bottom and top allowing the ‘laminar sound’ to enter the PZC easily. The ‘back’ of the PZC rests against the wall so it is not an active element of the design. The outside surface of the PZC faces into the room. It is a hard mfd board with a single tuning nut in the center. The tightness of this tuning nut controls how the ‘laminar sound’ collected from the sides, top and bottom of the PZC is dealt with by the PZC. Properly setup, the PCZs eliminate slap echo, and unevenness in room response.

If They Work So Well In a House, How About Something Bigger?

PZC effectiveness was demonstrated stunningly by a field trip to one of Michael’s commercial installations. We visited a church sanctuary. The lobby area was shaped like 1/2 of the sanctuary and had the dreaded "gymnasium" acoustics. Huge amounts of echo and long resonance/decay period. This would be one of those difficult to converse-in spaces if there had been a lot of people in it. In the sanctuary, the results of the treatment of the room with PZC devices was clear... the sound was stunning in this room. Every seat heard the same thing at very close to the same sound pressure level. There were no peaks, valleys, or odd echo effects anywhere in the seating area. This was a stunning achievement in this space. You could tell just by looking at the room that it would be a sonic disaster. Yet walking around the room was a convincing demonstration that not only was there no disaster, there was an amazing uniformity to what was heard everywhere around the 600+ seats.

PZC treatment of the sanctuary was not the only M.G. addition. The stage was designed to be as "horn shaped’ as possible. This helps the sound travel out into the large seating area very efficiently. Sound pressure levels of unamplified speech did not suffer a rapid decrease as you moved away from the front toward the rear of the room. The sound reinforcement was supplied by an array of 8 tunable speakers built in M.G.’s shops. These were mounted high near the ceiling and angled downwards. Voicing of the tuning was done on-site after installation. Several men and women with voices in different registers would take their turn at the microphone then walk away from the microphone while still talking. When every voice sounded the same at the mic and away from the mic, they knew they had the speaker dialed-in for that space. Not having tunable speakers would mean that the only sound that could be achieved in that space would be the sound of the ‘fixed’ speaker and how it interfaced with the room. If voices did not sound right, there would be nothing that could be done other than trying to fix it with equalization which will not achieve the same degree of fidelity as tuning the speaker.

In addition to the sound reinforcement speakers, M.G. provided tunable stage monitors so that speakers, singers, and soloists could hear themselves. If their voice or instrument does not sound quite right to them, the tunable stage monitor speaker can be modified to bring the right tonal quality to the voice or instrument. Working on church and performance hall acoustics has provided acoustical insights that would not have been possible had M.G. never stepped outside the home arena. What should be getting clearer to you about now is how the seemingly non-related activities of room tuning devices, working to improve the sound of symphonic instruments, designing and installing large halls, and equipment racks are all actually inter-related.

Come Together… Right Now…

The way different applications of tuning interact and feed improvements in various Michael Green Designs and Room Tunes products should also be getting clearer. One good example is how the PZCs, equipment shelves and tunable speakers all benefited from learning things while designing each device. The highly musical tone of the PZC tuning board arose from improving the walls of the tunable speakers which also spawned resonance improvements in the shelf boards. Production practices, surface finishes, shape/profile and material content all were important elements that may never have been so highly optimized if M.G. had developed only one product/application rather that working in a range of different applications.

I’ve made several references to improving the musical qualities of several materials by controlling the surface finish. Wood and wood products like mdf are affected a lot by the finish. Certainly the material, mdf, itself is important. But the qualities of the material, mdf or wood, are changed by what is applied to the surface. This is one of the secrets of the old hand made musical instrument masters. Restoration of Stradivarius violins is a very dicey proposition because a bad guess about the properties of the finish used at the completion of the restoration can make or break the sound quality of the instrument. When M.G. was working on the tunable speaker design, it was discovered that premium grade 3/4" and 1" mdf do not all sound alike. They are very different sounding depending on the origin of the wood used to manufacture the mdf. By origin, I mean not only the type of wood used but the actual physical location the wood was grown in. In other words, a specific species of hardwood grown in, for example, central Canada and the eastern U.S. will sound very different when pulverized to fine fibers and turned into hardwood mdf. M.G. found that for his speakers, one variety of mdf used by a Canadian assembler produces a sound quality unmatched by any other mdf encountered so far. "Conventional wisdom" (M.G. would probably say "conventional myopia" or if he was in a more testy mood "conventional ignorance") says the speaker cabinet should be as dead as possible. Manufacturers damp the insides, brace the heck out of the cabinets, use lots of hot glue on components on the crossover network, and stuff the cabinets full of wool, poly-fill, foam or fiberglass. M.G. believes he can design and build a speaker using minimal damping, minimal stuffing, no hot glue, thinner mdf, and no glue or sealer around the drivers that will exceed the performance of anything out there at similar prices.

But M.G. finds the audiophile mindset on matters like tunable speakers and even room tuning, surprisingly intractable. He believes that far more non-audiophiles will embrace tunable speakers than audiophiles. He wishes this were not true, but after so many years dealing with audiophiles, M.G. has become disappointed in their inflexible fixation on electronic components. So few audiophiles consider the room and equipment supports/system tuning to be critical when, in reality, they account for 2/3 of the system’s overall performance. For the most part, audiophiles are ignoring the sound of their rooms and are not paying attention to tuning their system using appropriate hardware like racks, feet, support devices. If you have been reading Positive Feedback for a while, you have read about my experiences. I have heard what proper tuning of components does and I will never again be without the means to do it in my system. Whether you use M.G.’s products or not is not so much the point — and he will agree with that statement. What is important is that audiophiles stop being so tied up in tradition, habit and poorly thought out logic that has been reinforced in the high end press for decades. There is a whole other class of audio/music buyer out there, non-audiophile music lovers, who listen, try and buy room tuning and equipment tuning devices to the great betterment of their systems. They do not read high-end publications and are not subject to the same limited value system that is perpetuated by what have become "mainstream" high-end magazines, dealers and industry "personalities."

Musical Instrument? Musical Reproducer!

The whole speaker-as-musical-instrument philosophy came to M.G. as a result of his experiences with room tuning and tuning electronic components to make them sound better. If room tuning and component tuning work so well, why not speaker tuning? Critics have 2 ‘problems’ with tunable speakers... 1) If they are adjustable, how do you EVER know when they are ‘right’? and 2) If they are resonant on purpose, they are by definition, messing up the music. M.G. understands the questions and finds #1 trivially easy to answer. Take the case of the traditional speaker. It is designed by one person, who may have help, to sound a certain way. Typically, it will be optimized in a listening room with specific properties that, like most listening rooms, are unique. This non-adjustable speaker is guaranteed to sound somewhat different in every different listening room it is placed in. If the speaker were adjustable, it could be tuned to adjust the sound to work with the room it is installed in. This, of course, assumes the owner has the wherewithal to determine where/when it sounds best. Audiophiles seem to have trouble believing that they or non-audiophiles could achieve this ‘correct tuning’ for a given room. M.G.’s experience suggests otherwise... it isn’t all that hard to do. Get a tunable speaker in a room, get familiar with the sound for a while. Make a few adjustments. Get used to what each one does. Within 1 afternoon you can settle on settings that work well in your room. He’s confident this will work for you even if you aren’t an "audiophile" or maybe in spite of your being and audiophile.

Question #2 is the more difficult to answer. Most audiophiles and manufacturers believe that the driver should do all the talking and the rest of the speaker should be silent. M.G. finds this to be an overly simplistic view of sound reproduction. In M.G.’s view, the drivers, crossover, and speaker enclosure are parts of a musical instrument. Real musical instruments have to resonate a certain way or they sound less musical than the instruments that get resonance right. Instrument makers, whether the factory-type or individual craftsmen spend a LOT of time perfecting that resonance. That special resonance is rarely identical from instrument to instrument. Expert guitarists, violinists and harmonicats can tell the difference between virtually any 2 different instruments, even if they are only 1 serial number apart and tuned as closely as possible to being identical. A grand piano sounds bad if the resonant properties of the wood are not correct.

M.G. believes that these same musical instrument sensibilities should be applied to speakers also. The speaker driver needs resonances from the cabinet to make music convincingly. A musical instrument requires the resonance of the instrument body and other parts to sound correct. The proper tuning and sound of the cabinet will help the drivers produce natural musical sound, not add inappropriate resonances to the sound. Take a conventional speaker with conventional build techniques and try to make it work like a tunable speaker and you will get a bad result. Take a conventional speaker and apply tuning techniques to it and you can be successful.

M.G. has done this very thing with other manufacturers’ speakers at the request of the other manufacturers. I saw one of these modified speakers while I was at Tuner Villa, but I am unable to reveal the manufacturer involved. To apply tuning to an already built speaker required specific modifications: removal of much stuffing; removal of most of the bracing; removal of sealer around drivers; removal of hot glue and excess amounts of any other glue or damping material. In addition, the mdf of the cabinet is subjected to the router... it is thinned from stock dimensions in specific areas inside the speaker. The final step is to install the tuning devices. This approach to tuning an existing product is apparently very successful. However, M.G. feels that designing for tunability from the ground-up achieves even better results. Perhaps on the next trip I’ll get to hear how much of an improvement the tunability changes make when ‘stock’ speakers receive the ‘tunable speaker’ treatment.

"This is Real. What Are You Waiting For?" Michael Green

In spite of M.G.’s ability to repeatedly demonstrate how well tuning techniques work, there is a lack of appreciation among manufacturers and the buying public for how interactive the music making process is at the speaker level. This lack of willingness to understand or lack of interest in listening to a ‘new voice’ in speaker design frustrates M.G. He finds people and dealers outside of the high-end/audiophile realm to be more receptive to the new ideas and new approaches to getting better sound. Reality for Michael Green Designs / Room Tunes is: a small mention in a home theater magazine about Room Tunes being a source for products to improve the sound of audio or home theater systems generates thousands of sales; ads in audiophile magazines generate 10s of sales. What stings even more… .compared to the non-audiophile customers, audiophile customers are a pain in the hindmost parts because of all the second guessing and lack of faith in what they are being told on the phone by people who are trying to be as honest as they can be.

First Look…

M.G. had a final version of the smallest of the tunable speakers, the Rev 5 ($900 to $1050) on hand. It was a pretty little mini-monitor-size speaker. Very well finished with real wood veneer, solid cherry quarter-round corners, and a high quality satin finish. The unimpressive looking binding post plate is a plastic part with gold plated all-brass posts. There is a paper-y resonance to the plastic panel when thumped. M.G. says this is not problematic and that damping the part to remove that resonance makes the whole speaker sound worse. As with all tunable speakers, a minimum of glue is used. Drivers are precision fitted to the enclosure without sealers or glue. The drivers are mounted with screws that were selected for sound quality from 40 different types. Change those screws and you suffer a significant loss of sound quality. The cabinet is finished to maximize the musical instrument-like tonal quality. Tapping the sides from corner to center produces a sound that is musical, unlike rougher sounding conventional speaker enclosures.

M.G. says these speakers are not built to be the best audiophile speaker in the world. The design goal is different. They are produced to be the best music reproducing instrument possible. There is far more hand work in these tunable speakers than in typical high end speakers. They are built as musical instruments. Each one will very likely be slightly different in tonal quality, just like real musical instruments. M.G. says the sound of this first series of tunable speakers is modeled on Martin guitars... each unique, yet each identifiably "Martin-sounding." Larger tunable models will also be available. Other companies make physically larger "audiophile" speakers available for the same price, but M.G. is confident that people will find the properly built tunable speakers superior to those speakers. M.G.’s tunable speakers were available beginning in September 1997.

Tune Your Room — NOW!

The Room Tunes business continues with all existing products. The PZC (Pressure Zone Controller) devices are an addition to the Room Tunes product portfolio. Due to more complex assembly, the PZC devices are a bit more expensive than previous Room Tunes devices, but they are still less expensive that other devices from other companies. The PZC line includes small devices analogous to Corner Tunes and Echo Tunes called Corner Controllers and Echo Controllers. The larger PZCs are 36" or 48" high. PZCs all work on the same principle… the collect sound from the open sides, top and bottom while the PZC is flush against the wall. For those who cannot wall-mount PZCs, floor standing models are available also. The tuning board on the PZC front surface has a tuning bolt in the center so that the tuning of the PZC can be matched to your room.

Based on what I heard at M.G.’s commercial installations, these devices are truly amazing at eliminating room response problems. All PZCs are available in several matching finishes ‘to blend with any decor’. As with other Room Tunes devices, PZCs need to be customized in number and placement for each room. The Michael Green Hotline, 608 208 3536, can assist with determining numbers of PZCs needed and where to put them.

Tunable Demo Room = Equipment Sales Boost

PARA audio/home theater dealers are accepting tunable rooms as ‘required equipment’ at exponential rates. They and their customers are finding tunable rooms invaluable in achieving good stereo and multi-channel audio for video/surround systems. When customers hear how good the rooms sound, they actually BUY equipment. Unfortunately, the typical high-end dealer is probably still using some room treatment they bought years ago which has been surpassed by orders of magnitude by more recent developments, whether M.G.’s products or products made by others. Of course M.G. believes there is only one ‘technology’ for improving room sound. Products that rely on absorption of reflections and diffusion of reflections are NOT the ‘correct’ approach in M.G.’s opinion. What you want are products that work with what is happening in the room and not against what is happening in the room. If you’re a dealer and not keeping up with advances in room acoustic products, you are falling behind the curve and will continue to be outsold by competitors who are paying attention to advances in room tuning.

I’m finding that every time I enter a heavily treated listening or demo room, the first thing that enters my mind is "What kind of problems is all of this supposed to be trying to hide?"

Unmasking the Man Behind the Pictures & Products

I have a feeling that most audiophiles, manufacturers and dealers probably have some pretty strong mental images of the lifestyle of M.G. These mental images are probably a function of M.G.’s appearance in the ads. Possibly the enthusiasm for what he has learned about mechanical tuning and room acoustic treatment has made an impression. M.G.’s ability to maintain significant press presence over the years certainly keeps peoples’ awareness high. Think what you will about M.G., his goals, ideas and products, but know that you will probably be wrong. People very likely assume there is a big ego behind Room Tunes and Michael Green products because he places himself so prominently in advertising. My take on this is yes… and no. Yes, there is a lot of ego involved. But not the type you probably assume. M.G. is more interested in a recurring fantasy of sitting at a table with Mozart, Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Beethoven and Bach. Having them look at, listen to, and understand his products and tell him that what he did was a good thing for music. That does indeed sound egomaniacal. But the baggage that you might assume goes along with it just isn’t there. The BS-ometer remains on zero most of the time. Occasionally there will be some flickers off zero when he gets overly excited about something that seems unlikely to be right/important, but these are nothing compared to what happens with many other ‘high-end authorities’. He seems to just lay himself out there for you to accept or reject. Sure, he’d rather find acceptance, wouldn’t we all?

One impression of M.G. that I am sure is out there is that he’s a super-slick money-makin’ mosheen. Selling simple but effective products made from common materials for enough money to be leading a luxury life-style that feeds the big ego. The reality that I see is nothing like that pre-conceived idea. M.G.’s lifestyle in New Philadelphia, OH is not out of the ordinary, except for the frequent travel he has to do. His home and its furnishings are the same things you would expect from friends of yours who earn comfortable incomes. The factory is what I am finding typical for a lot of high end companies. A no nonsense, kind of unfinished look and feel in the manufacturing and assembly areas. Office areas are modest, functional and well equipped. One interesting twist here is that all the offices have "desks" made from equipment rack components… threaded rod legs, granite-look paint, the whole deal. Corner Tunes, Echo Tunes and Tuning Strips are fitted in many offices even though there were no audio systems in evidence in those rooms. Nothing like the luxury of a tuned office. M.G.’s home is being remodeled, but all the remodeling is for rooms related to tunable room technology. Their primary use will be as a showcase for visitors who want to hear the latest in room tuning. I’m not sure I’d want to use MY house that way, it certainly doesn’t help the market value of the property. There’s nothing particularly lavish anywhere. Everything is comfortable and functional. If M.G. is raking in all the money people might suppose he is and if the ego involved is as big as people assume it is, there is an excellent chance that things would be more Audio & Video Interiors-like than what is really there.

The point here is, the life of Michael Green, high-end magnate, ego-driven entrepreneur, idealist, self-promoter, takes on a whole new perspective when you see the reality. What is really there is not what you might expect. Instead you find someone working longer and harder than you would probably find acceptable for the rewards achieved so far in the close-to 10 year history in audio-land.

The future for M.G. and Room Tunes/Michael Green Designs looks better than ever. M.G. continues to push the envelope of improved sonics in home audio, "hall" acoustics, recording studios, audio & home theater dealer demo rooms, and symphony orchestras. Some of the payoff for the years of hard work and promotion is now starting to be rewarded. M.G. believes that making the products he knows can be made requires keeping a hands-on approach. M.G. has set a course that keeps him in control of his own products and gives him all the power and all the responsibility for the success or failure of those products. He’s giving it his best shot, which is what the high-end is all about… people giving the improved reproduction of music their best shot.

DB

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