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 Tuning My Musical Journey

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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:02 am

how close to the side wall?

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:39 am


Mihcael, just saw your post after I sent you a PM, so please ignore that email.

How far from the wall?

I tried to find out by playing a CD with some deep bass (Quincy Jones -- Smackwater Jack, Mofi reissue) and I couldn't find the effect anymore. The bass was similar in intensity across the width of the room, and Sonic tested at three positions down the length of the room and couldn't find the bass lift I heard earlier.

Ghost effect....

Your thoughts on the rest of what I posted>?
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:37 pm

Hi Sonic

I call this "Phantom Pressure", or "Phantom Frequencies".

In physics, your room has the entire scale of audible responses there all the time. It's part of frequency spectrum, as we go from the bottom cycles to the top. This happens all the way through the entire wave and beam range.

kinda works like this

Hook up a light dimmer in a room, and have several colors of bulbs there. Choose a color and start slowly from the bottom of the scale of brightness and look at how the colors in the room change from barely on to full. Big difference Exclamation Notice too, that every color cast a different change sceme. The room reacts to each color in different ways.

Your sound frequencies are colors only in a cycle range that is a lot lower. They're all there, just waiting to be stimulated, or to make it easier, they're all there waiting to get turned on and have their volume (intensity) adjusted. This is all part of how you develop the audio flavors in your room, and per recordings.

Because air is a gas it has a great deal of flexibility. Therefore the waves that catch a ride in air are subject to the air's conditioning. Air is a host, soundwaves are host riders. Noting the difference is important. Air pressure and sound pressure, even though working with each other, are two different forms. Air is a flowing stable and sound is a domino effect energy.  They do almost all the same things except audio is a vibratory language, which means, sound needs materials to stimulate. You can't play a guitar without the guitar. Likewise you can't hear a sound without materials vibrating (your ear hairs are materials).

Your room is one giant equalizer. The parts of and in your room that are able to be stimulated are what makes the sound you are hearing. The speakers may start the wave movement, but the frequency values are all there waiting to be asigned, depending on what your materials in that space do with the waves. Like a bunch of dimmers in action with 20,000 different bulbs.

You might be sitting in your room and have listened to a recording for 40 years yet the room conditions change just enough to make that particular set of values respond, and there it is the Phantom Frequency or even whole note. Keep in mind eariler I mentioned ears. Your ears are not only thousands of mini microphones, but are also pressure chambers, that will pickup on pressure differently as the bodies conditions change.

more in a minute

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:48 am


Hi Michael and Zonees

Suspicious minds….after my recent findings and learnings of the complexities of my room, Sonic suspects the reason why I get to do so much tuning is because the room sounds best at a certain point of the settling curve but must not be allowed to settle too much. So regular destabilizations need to be done to keep the system in that semi-settled range…..is there ever such a thing?

This may help explain a phenomenon commonly observed among audiophiles. Sonic has personally heard this from the audiophile crowd I sometimes meet on Saturdays – “I just bought these SuperConnect X-Power Cables with their Networking Boxes and I never heard anything better” then a couple of months same audiophile says “my system sounds like [expletive]”.

Then the SuperConnects are up for sales and he trades for “Even More SuperConnect X+Power Cables with the Double Networking Boxes” and the cycle repeats again. Same for some I know who got expensive multi-cabinet multi-driver speakers only to trade them in under a year.

I am sure we see this in the US and elsewhere and I wonder if the settling effect contributes to this. Of course most audiophiles know nothing about “settling” in the sense that Mr Green uses it. They call it “burn in”, “run in” or even “seasoning” but those concepts are partly correct but settling of an entire system as part of the Tune Trilogy is a far bigger idea.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:34 pm

Before I commented I wanted to experience settling and monitor it's progress.

My response is a simple one. The music just kept getting better in all areas the more the settling happened.

I've done this of course thousands of times, but hearing the expanding of harmonics and vibrations taking over the space is like watching a miracle first hand.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:18 am

Hi Zonees

Sonic was spinning LPs and generally enjoying the musick when l looked at the system and the room…(oops, here we go again)…when I had a thought Idea

“Sonic has put damping on the front wall and found what works with this state of things, which is less foam pieces than at the started.  In the course of expelling the BOO! the damping has changed the characteristic of the room. Meaning the reflectivity of the front wall which leads Sonic to reasonably conclude that I may move the dipole Magneplanar MG1.5QRs closer to the front wall.”

Another  Idea  followed:

“Sonic has tried placing the MG1.5QRs closer to the front walls before.  This was before application of the foam and the sound was awful. It could start out pretty good leading me to talk about it on Tuneland as a new discovery but as things settled, the sound became fatiguing, making listening a chore.  This sort of fatigue comes often from an unnatural acoustic situation where the brain has to process excessively to make sense of the sound.  

And Sonic knows whenever this happens because of the “line test””.



Line Test:  Sonic places the feet of the Ikea Poang Chair in line with the Line in the parquet which is the right placement of the chair in relation to the speakers and the Bookcase Wall.  I listen to music for some time.  If the system is in tune I find the chair doesn’t move.  If the chair moves in relation to the Line, it means Sonic has been fidgeting about which is most often a sign there is some problem with the sound leading to fatigue.    

The Line Test is a good indicator if the sound is relaxing or not. It is a leading indicator – the Test shows signs of fatigue before I consciously say “there is something wrong with the sound.”

It could be that the fatigue when the speaker panels were closer to the front wall in earlier experiments came from comb filtering due to the reflected rear wave mixing with the front wave causing cancellations across the midrange.  When all this comb filtering comes from two speakers this is an odd effect never encountered in nature.  The brain has to work hard to make sense of this aural nonsense hence the fatigue.

The speakers being placed at the half-way point room avoids proximity effects from the front wall (panel/dipoles have no proximity effects from the side walls due to the front-rear wave cancellation null) but this leads to a big peak and large dips in the bass.

So more mental  Idea

“Go move the speakers back to the front wall but keep the distance of the panels’ outer edges from the side walls and toe-in and see if the sound is good.”

Sonic did that.  The speakers were moved from 110 inches from the front wall to 52 inches from the front wall while maintaining 19.5 inches from the outer edges of the panels to the side walls. 52 inches is 1/5 the length of the room – one of the places for good frequency response.

The first CD I played was promising – I had strong and focused images 3 feet beyond the speaker outer edges! Now Sonic was not expecting this  Shocked  

I then noticed that pan potted images that walked across the soundstage started and ended beyond the outer edges of the speakers in a clearer way than Sonic has ever heard before.

The treble was more coherent with the rest of the sound and treble that sings with a tone/note is very nice to listen to. The centre images like voices and solo instruments were adequately projected out. Voices on some recordings that were thin were now tonally shifted lower.  

Bass was notably stronger, went deeper and was more smooth note to note all the way down in frequency.  The impression now is there is more bass than before and happily the quality did not suffer with the increase in quantity.

On the hand, I experienced a soundstage with a lot less depth construction than I had when the speakers were halfway down the length of the room.  The sound images are now lined up across the room yet there is a different presentation of what depth and layering of images. I cannot “see“ depth in the “visible soundstage” (which is now flat) but this time I am “hearing the depth” with my ears.

Another two days of settling – the Line Test shows the chair is not moving. The musick is fuller and connected left to right.  Images may be positioned on the panels but less is tethered to the speakers.  Dynamics are pretty good.  The soundstage is giving me mixed signals, it is both bigger in some ways and smaller (mostly in the depth dimension).

Depth again: should Sonic play musick and look ahead at the FS-PZC, the FS-DRT pair, the racks, the wall ahead of me I would feel the sound stage is flat as a pancake in terms of depth.  But if I closed my eyes or switched off the lights or simply looked down to read something I can hear depth that is similar in nature to what Sonic hears live.

Is this a more correct reproduction of what is in the pits and grooves and what I been hearing has been an
exaggerated artifact? I miss that sense of depth that I can “see” but the width and the outside-of-speaker imaging is attractive.  

Is there a conclusion on which is better?  

None possible this week.  Two and a half days of settling is too short and today I am displaying flu-like symptoms which makes discriminating listening out of the question.

So far I can say that with this placement Sonic thinks some things have been improved – particularly in the bass.  But there are what appear to be noticeable losses yet some equally noticeable gains too. For sure, a big change has occurred here in how the entire musick is presented in Sonic’s room.  It is just too early to say if Sonic thinks this equals naturalness in musick reproduction or something to make a U-turn from.  

But Sonic played musick and looked again this evening (despite running nose) and saw that the chair has stayed in the same spot  Cool

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:32 am

Hi Sonic

It's fun to play with staging and my view is this.

it's all the recording

How we decide to shape things is up to us and doesn't really reflect a right or wrong. For one listener it may be one thing and for the next something completely different. In my listening I don't really get excited till the depth matches the width in my stage. If my stage does not go as deep as it does wide I'm always aware that it is flatening out.

Making something live is obviously not my personal goal. I like to listen to microphone patterns and mixing that fills a space according to what I am used to in recording. There's a certain sound that happens when a pattern is at it's full potential within a stage and that is what I look for. Almost always this results in a stage that is all around me and never seems like a frontal box. I can listen to the frontal flatter sound but there (for me) is always a disconnect between me and the music this way.

like for example

When I listen to a live guitar in my rooms or any instrument (African Drums being my instrument) I hear the entire room fill, so if I'm listening to that instrument on a recording in my room and it is inside of a frontal box, I don't feel a part of the music. Same goes for any size recording for me. If I walk in the room and don't get the sense that the whole room is playing, I'm bugged until every inch of that space no matter where I am in the room talks as a complete unit.

I hear a lot of guys talk about the live stage, especially classical. They put that stage off in a distance, but this is not how I personally view classical recordings. I just put on Ravel so I can reference what I'm saying.



As soon as the first note is played (as small as it is) I am inside the recorded space. I can hear and see the notes plated but also can see and hear the same note wrap around me, with a sense of space and timing. Not a boo at all, but a living presence.

I just went back in.

Here's what it feels and sounds like. It feels like going into the hall during rehearsal. No people soaking up the sound, and the room is alive. I can hear the instruments skipping across the floor of the recorded space as much as each instrument itself. I can also hear very clearly the halo miking and the walls of the recorded space. I know these are not reflections of my room walls because the hall grows way outside of my room and doesn't stop at the listening rooms walls at any time. I also would know it was my walls making this sound exaggerated, cause the tone would change at the walls and I hear the stage go through the walls without any pitch variations. There is no sense of a stereo or a stereo effect going on (another sign of good miking) and thinking about it from the other room, it almost feels like one heck of a stereo mic setup, but I haven't looked to see how this recording was done.

my stick my head in the room test

I walk from my writing room to the hall and feel the presence in the hall pulling me toward the listening room but doesn't sound echo-y. Standing out side the room in the middle of my waiting area I can hear some music coming from the speaker directly but a mass of music form behind and all over the room. Not bad for a new set of Viola Mini's not even voiced yet. I get closer to the room and the hairs raised on my arms from the fullness and shear pressure. Again no Boo at all just the feeling of pressure and I can feel my ears relax and my body tingle, just like when standing in a room with instruments playing. You can feel the sense of I want to say musical wind, but I don't have the music turned very loud.

I'm at the doorway and hear the slightest pull into the speaker if I get 20 or so inches from the drivers, but the rest of the room is full and just an inch past the center of the drivers and it's all stage , like someone took the speakers out of the room when I wasn't looking. I'm not looking at a hall, I'm in the hall. Even though my space is very small, if I stand here barely in the room and shut my eyes I get dizzy cause it feels like I am in a huge space. With my eyes open and standing in my room half way between my speaker and my listening chair it feels like I am maybe in a 40 x 40 x 25 foot tall room. Let me go check that, yep this is not tiny, and it's not diffused at all but very exact. Not exact in an artifical audiophile way but exact in the sense of seeing and feeling the weight and composition of the music. It feels real.

If this is a space "effects" recording and not done at a hall or big studio my hat is off to this engineer cause I believe.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:33 am


Greetings Michael

Enlightening comments!

When Sonic wrote up my report on moving the speakers closer to the front wall, I had some descriptions on my first impression of depth and all round immersion in the ambience of the sound which Sonic withheld because of the cold I caught.

With clogged sinuses, it is no state to opine on the finer points of sound.

Now my hearing seems to be returning to normal (and the system had another three days to settle), Sonic can say:

a. ambience of the hall projects forward into the room and past me. It doesn’t fall behind the instruments at the front wall. For instance the activation of hall ambience from tympani and orchestral bass drum strikes, the sound rolls past me to the rear of the hall and I can hear the back of the recording venue physically behind my listening seat, far behind the Bookcase Wall. I am referring to a couple of CDs of orchestral works by A Copland.

b. audience noises like individuals shouting acclamation (depending on recording – in this case a Crosby and Nash live recording) appear forward of the loudspeakers and beyond the Left and Right walls. The slab of audience applause is much wider than the room and reaching around the listening position (but not quite 360 degrees).

c. the “all-round” ambience during musical performances is now more subtle and subdued.

Sonic is happy with this. I felt that the ambience with the speakers at the half-length of the room was excessively prominent. Too much in the direction of the sound of friend’s system who set up a Hafler rear-speaker surround system (using four British BBC-type monitors, larger ones in front and small ones in the rear) and then this audiophile “upgraded” used a bucket-brigade delay box system. The time and effort this listener took to adjust the front-rear volume recording after recording or even track by track was something to watch and later with the bucket-brigade delay, setting and resetting different delay times each time a new CD was played.

With this system you got sense of ambience all round laterally and above to the ceiling but it sounded nothing like real live musick.

By contrast, in Sonic’s favourite recital hall, the musicians play in the concert space but there is no ambience all round whispering to me “ambience is here, ambience is here!” It just is present without attracting attention to itself. What Sonic has got appears closer in this direction.

d. as settling advances, Sonic needs to gain a new way of describing recorded depth. But for now the Questions & Answers are:

Q: Is the sound of the instruments/voices squashed against the front wall?

A: Not at all.

Q: How much depth can I “see”?

A: Less than before.

Q: In a darkened/dimply lit room, is depth heard?

A: Yes, and it sounds natural.

Q: What about with eyes closed?

A: Sonic does not listen with eyes closed. I shut the lights in the room off, the intermediate spot is to have the just turntable cueing light on.

Depth should be distinguished from reproduced perspective. Sonic has a recording of Telemann’s Twelve Fantasias for Violin Solo (A Manze/Harmonia Mundi CD). By changing replay level I can move the violin closer to me or further away. At a level consistent with a solo violin played in my room – and I know what that level is Live for such an instrument – the violin is big and above the racks.

Now this is a tricky recording because it has been recorded with a distant perspective with a lot of hall ambience. So too loud and the sound is an abnormal reproduction of what a gut-strung baroque violin played with an arch bow sounds like in tone and loudness. And the amount of ambience in this recording makes the sound go swimmy around my when too loud.

Heh… heh…Steeleye Span sang a song Sonic remembers “All around my hat”.

So for this recording, playback volume needs some finesse in setting to sound realistic.

By reducing playback level, the violin image reduces in size and moves further away like Sonic chose another seat further back in the hall. At really low levels, the instrument is beyond the FS-PZC and the front wall. At normal playback which I estimate is in the high 60 dB range, there is room engagement by the violin, rather than a window into a hall somewhere far away.

e. with the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs at the 1/5 length of the room, Sonic can hear more bass output in quantity and extension than you will associate with the mid-size Magneplanars. Fuller, flatter bass over a larger range and going strong lower in the low frequencies than before. Yet this is not at the expense of instrumental texture. The bass is fairly tight with transient starts and stops reasonable.

There appears to be progress with my system.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:05 pm

Hi Sonic

I'm not there of course, but it sounds like the maggies are finding a happy place to relax in, and this type of speaker needs this big time. A panel/room fight is not a pretty sight, leaving the sound feeling like parts and pieces instead of a whole movement.

My view is, if out of the frontal box type of staging, at least half the battle is won.

It sounds to me like you are in one of those good places in your journey, enjoy it.  Pick out some music, take that vitamin C and float away to that place that so few get to visit.

There's nothing like a day of great music sunny

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:47 am

Hi Michael

Sonic can now understand the panels and the room fighting.  Been listening and listening this weekend.

I don't quite understand what this sentence means: "My view is, if out of the frontal box type of staging, at least half the battle is won."

Are there some words missing?

Another observation: when I brought the panels closer by 2.5 inches per side, the whole sound went thin, bass rolled off, dynamics reduced and the width and depth shrank.  After this Sonic now knows how good the system's depth still is.  The narrower placement was so bad Sonic went back to the earlier one very quickly.

I am, as you say, now in one of those good places on my journey.

Sonic is also very happy to hear from Mr Cooper that my shelves will be ready for shipping in the week of February 16. That’s really good news.

I got two questions relating to my racks which will soon be using Brazilian Pine shelves:

Q1: My racks are placed between my Magneplanar MG1.5QR loudspeakers ahead of the tri-cluster of a FS-PZC and two FS-DRTs at the middle of the front wall. Is this location best for sound and imaging? What if I moved the racks to the Left or Right side walls ahead of the loudspeakers so ahead of me between the speakers are just the PZC and DRT tri-cluster?

Q2: If I did this, I either could use a long interconnect to link the preamp to the main amp – such an interconnect will be about 12 feet long OR keep all the gear close together with interconnects Sonic is using now and connect the main amp to the loudspeakers with long speaker cables which could be as long as 20 feet. Given Sonic is using and will use only Michael Green Picasso interconnects and T1 speaker cables, what are you recommendations (depending on what you say in response to Q1).

Sonic




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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:03 pm

Hi Sonic

What I was refering to was listeners with a boxed stage. Your not in that camp Smile  according to your last post.

Sounds to me like things are smooth sailing.

As far as placement of the new toys I usually keep things as close to the way things are until I get a good read on the differences between the two, but that's my way of referencing.

Well, maybe that was a lie scratch I usually thinking about it, am more of a "make a big change" start from scratch.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:31 am

Actually Michael, Sonic was thinking of something scarily radical:

When the shelves arrive, before Sonic sets them up as Clampracks, I was thinking of propping each shelf up on Low Tone Redwood blocks standing edgewise and placing the equipment on them.  

So I will be testing a rackless system.  Using say three Low Tone Redwood blocks under shelves that carry the lightweight gear and five Low Tone Redwood blocks under the shelves supporting the turntable and the main amp which are heavier (four at the corners, one in the centre) to prevent warping.  

Of course this means my equipment will end up too close to the floor and which in particular with the turntable presents certain risks.  But who knows what if the musick becomes as Michael says is possible.

Given the sound that is bass-fulsome and coherent that Sonic is now getting, any step up in reproduction from here will be something that will be  Shocked Shocked Shocked

What do you think of this idea Michael?

And could you give Sonic your views on using long Picasso interconnects to link a preamp to amps far away or do you recommend keeping the interconnects short and using long speaker cables (T1, T2 or T3). Is the Tx speaker cable to be used dependent on length of the cable run?

Now Sonic is listening to Lightnin' Hopkins -- The Aladdin Recordings reissues. Wow...there is a human being there singing and playing a beat up small bodied guitar.

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:21 pm

Hi Sonic

That's a couple of interesting questions. On the speaker cable end of things, I tend to go longer speaker cables over longer IC's. However Bare Essence & Picasso have fooled me on a few occasions.

the Tuning Boards

I think the Boards & Blocks could show you many things, but if it were me (seeing the cost of shipping) I would personally add a LTR Tuning Frame to play with under a TB. There's something pretty magical that happens when a frame is put together. The tone becomes harmonically enriched. A Low Tone Frame does what the Tuning Blocks do only magnified.

I also want to show you this,

http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t71-mga-platforms-racks-and-amp-stands

Harold and I have been quite the busy beavers Wink

This might give you some ideas.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:06 am


Sonic thinks this is getting me to the threshold of something good with the sound!

Michael -- something I wanted to for a long time ask you. To your ears, what is the effect on sound from the celebrated Japanese equipment placement method? That is the equipment is placed on a row of low coffee tables or low stands just in front of the listener (at their knees) when they are seated the Listening Seat.

Some audiophiles of a Western persuasion say this is the worst possible place for your equipment. There are all sorts of comb filtering effects from sound waves bouncing off the equipment in front of you -- like a studio mixing desk. And also the high voltage lines near the listener. All making for a bad environment. But this is using conventional audiophile thinking where sound moves and bounces like rays of light. What is the word from the Tune?

The benefit is the convenience of every bit of gear is within reach without having to get up from the listening chair.

Someone snorted...."it is just a fantasy, audiophiles who place their gear like this think they are in a studio and "in control". This placement is one of most wrong you can ever use."

Sonic wonders if this is not too harsh. We should not discount the listening acuity of our fellow audiophiles from Japan. Sonic is Asian.

Also for me, the option of having my Turntable and CD player and preamp (maybe later my tape source) right in front of Sonic on Michael Green supports is an enticing idea. Michael?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:38 am

Hi Michael

Sonic thinks you are advising me that the Brazilian Pine shelves as low stands with either Low Tone Redwood blocks or frames will be better than using the shelves as part of your ClampRacks.  This is something Sonic would try because the ClampRacks will have to be disassembled so it is not a great difficulty getting the equipment set up in this alternative way.

Why will using the shelves as low platforms beat their effect in ClampRacks?

Anyway this week a lot more listening was done and THUD! went the rugs.  The result was bliss (sort of…Sonic tries to avoid hyperbole).  But this is very good.





These pix show the placement of the loudspeakers at about 1/5 down the length of the room and about 1/7 points across.

In case Zonees are wondering, the DTs leaning on the side walls are not placed at the “first reflection points”.  They are placed at the half-way length of the room where the wave velocity is greatest and where control is easily lost.

Has Sonic tried them absorptive side out?  Of course, you can trust Sonic to experiment. Both are nice, absorptive side out makes the soundstage and performers more “There”, while reflective side out as now gives the impression that the soundstage and performers are more “Here”.  To my ears and preference, Here is better than There.

Your thoughts on my questions yesterday and this development Michael?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:34 am

Sonic said

"Michael -- something I wanted to for a long time ask you. To your ears, what is the effect on sound from the celebrated Japanese equipment placement method? That is the equipment is placed on a row of low coffee tables or low stands just in front of the listener (at their knees) when they are seated the Listening Seat.

Some audiophiles of a Western persuasion say this is the worst possible place for your equipment. There are all sorts of comb filtering effects from sound waves bouncing off the equipment in front of you -- like a studio mixing desk. And also the high voltage lines near the listener. All making for a bad environment. But this is using conventional audiophile thinking where sound moves and bounces like rays of light. What is the word from the Tune?"

mg

Laughing I don't think western audiophiles should say much Laughing . I also think western audiophiles should take more trips to other lands to get a sense for the how and why cultures do different things. The problem with the west, especially the US is, we tend to think everyone should think like us. For a country made up of more people from everywhere the US audiophile world is the most stuck. The USers are trendy to a fault. So my take on the US telling another part of the world what to do doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

on the other hand

The US by far has made, without knowing it, the best sounding room in modern times. A second floor wood stud drywall room is a perfect start to great sound. If you combined the searching nature of the east with the construction of the west we'd all have it made.

why do I say this?

I don't believe a lot of people in this hobby let alone industry have a good understanding of physics. Many can measure from here to there but few understand the vibratory scale that takes place with every system. For example, when someone says a coffee table in front of them the first thing that pops in my mind is not comb filtering, but do they have a carpet, rug, tile or hardwood floor under it. All of these create a science of their own, one that goes way past the audiophile home-brew rules.

I've seen people set end tables in all corners and a coffee table in front of them and everything sound ok, as well seen other rooms where they do the same thing and the stage completely collapsed. I try to stay variable in my science of listening and try not to get into stuck thinking that many times comes with formulas. If I was stuck, we would see mg doing only one type of product Shocked . Wouldn't that be something Laughing  I'd get out of the music biz if that were the case. For myself the idea of every room being custom suits me far better. I also enjoy not having to rely on audiophile terms and technologies. I feel a lot more comfortable depending on musical instruments and structures as my guide. For me one is something talked about and the other is something that we can feel. Our senses are what created the musical instrument. It's a science of organic beginnings. A lot of times I look at audiophile terms as being from an engineer sub-title of math only within boundaries. The math of physics is in constant change, no limits. It's a math that breathes, and that's how I view music. Music is a science that makes it's own rules depending on the conditions at the time, and I like that. It's more complete and forgiving. And I believe more accurate. With music, I don't want to arrive cause with music, I don't believe there is a beginning or end. Music and recording of, is like pages in a book that never runs out of chapters.

Audiophile formulas and ideas are only as accurate as a moment, that particular black and white polaroid snap shot. As soon as it is figured out everything has changed.

Here's another example. If you were an audiophile your whole life. It's a fact that the speakers you liked in your early twenties would be something you wouldn't be able to bear in your 60's. Your ears will have changed that much.

I don't know about anyone else but many times my hearing changes from morning to night and dependent upon what I do during the day. based on that I need something I know and understand and am able to tune.

not sure I answered any question there Smile but it's sure fun to get into the thought proccess of just thinking sometimes.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:10 am


That’s a masterful explanation from Michael! Sonic finds a pattern that in the world of audiophiles – it goes something like this: some tune/tweak is found to be successful more often than not. Then theories are developed to explain the reason for the effectiveness, then the theory instead of being a hypothesis becomes dogma and imposed on every room.

These dogma are rather one-dimensional ignoring how complex room/system interactions are – like the coffee table and equipment ahead of the listening chair set up popular in Japan, where audiophiles jump up and say “comb filtering”. Also forgetting solutions may be specific to a particular location, set up and circumstance.

One example is acoustic treatment on the sidewalls ahead of the speaker positions in set ups where the speakers are not placed nearfield but some distance from the listener (like Sonic's set up).

Conventional thinking will look at this in terms of First Reflection Point treatment. While Zonees will see a more convincing explanation in terms of pressure zone control/shaping and pressure flow velocity. And certainly not see it as something this simplistic.

Here's a thought from Sonic for those still hung up on the First Reflection idea: the most common approach taken by those hung up on First Reflection dogma is to take a mirror and find the first reflection points on the side walls and place treatment at those spots.

Now there are actually two reflection points on each side wall. One is from the speaker nearest that wall and another reflection from the other speaker on the far side of the room. Sonic can say in my experience treating the first reflections does nothing useful -- I learnt this before Sonic started following Michael Green Thought.

But as a thought experiment – of the two reflections on each side wall, will the one from the nearer speaker be irrelevant, and might the reflection from the speaker on the far side have some significance because once a signal from the Left Channel goes to the Right (and vice versa) it is acoustic crosstalk that compromises stereo separation?

This is why some place baffles to separate their R and L speakers – something taken to an extreme by R Glasgal and the Ambiophonics people who before DSP built a baffle that reached from the front wall to the listener’s nose!

Then we remember Matthew Polk who designed speakers with two sets of drivers per box, one set playing a cancellation signal from the opposite channel, the two speakers being linked by a cable between them to convey the two-way cancellation signal.

Zonees might want to see where the various sources of acoustic and other crosstalk is in your system like perhaps the reflection area of the opposite speaker. Is it crosstalk you are hearing or this yet another dogmatic explanation of a complex interaction?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:35 pm

Hi Sonic

The room is such a vast playground that it stumps a lot of listeners, along with that a lot of designers.

Don't remember if I shared this story or not.

Two years ago a group of guys were doing some listening at a friends house and one of the guys needed to see what the music was playing on. To our surprise it was MP3 at not CD at all. Well the guys threw one of those "that can't be" fits. The host then explained how we have no idea how much of the info makes it's way to the room and is just sitting there waiting for us to open it up.

The room was PZC'ed and the host knew his room. I still remember the looks on faces.

The point is, there's a lot more music content going on in our rooms than we have any idea of.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:34 am


A very deep concept indeed.

"The host then explained how we have no idea how much of the info makes it's way to the room and is just sitting there waiting for us to open it up.....there's a lot more music content going on in our rooms than we have any idea of."

Sonic is excited by this -- so often the systems I hear are so "top line".

Yes, you can hear it is Bach, Johnny Cash and Dusty and so on but the details that make the music a reality are missing. Just generic voices and instruments which the lousiest car stereo will let you recognise.

In Sonic's thinking the special details like how a string quartet is seated should be immediately obvious -- Vln 1/Vln 2/Viola/Cello or Vln 1/Viola/Cello/Vln 2. If it was important enough for the performers to line up to play the piece this way, we should hear it from the word Go...similarly is Neil playing his Martin D18 or D45 on that recording? The Mahogany and Rosewood bodies of those guitars make a very different sound -- he did that for an artistic reason and more of these details are captured in the grooves and pits than we often think.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:43 am


Sonic is seeing how the system is settling in with the set up with the thud rugs. Its getting nice, I don't think the soundstage is squashed against the front wall even though the loudspeakers are fairly close to it. There is depth which if Sonic darkens the room and not see the FS-PZC/FS-DRT cluster there is sound beyond the physical limits of the front wall.

I wonder if people who are primarily visual-driven have difficulty hearing and locating sound images that are placed beyond the physical wall surface they see. Like one recording of French baroque works by Louis Marchand (who is reputed to have fled town rather than to jam with one Sebastian Bach) where the recording of the huge church organ is done such that the listening position seem suspended in the nave of the church.

Not quite vertigo inducing but I can hear the mic position is high up and I am up there and there is a hint my floor is not quite where I see it.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:41 pm

Sonic said

"In Sonic's thinking the special details like how a string quartet is seated should be immediately obvious -- Vln 1/Vln 2/Viola/Cello or Vln 1/Viola/Cello/Vln 2. If it was important enough for the performers to line up to play the piece this way, we should hear it from the word Go..."

This is exactly where I am at, and the reason we make so many products. In this hobby, we should be able to go up and take a close look or pull back to take an over-all view.

The info is all there on the recording so it's just a matter of puting it to use.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:03 am

Hi Michael and Zonees

These few days are the days of the New Year as measured by the Chinese Lunar Calendar. So it means a few days of time to listen to musick, tune, talk audio with others who Sonic doesn’t usually meet in the course of a year….

But at this time Sonic found I had made a mistake, a disconnect between brain and action….See what Sonic posted on Feb 6:  “The speakers were moved from 110 inches from the front wall to 52 inches from the front wall while maintaining 19.5 inches from the outer edges of the panels to the side walls. 52 inches is 1/5 the length of the room – one of the places for good frequency response.”

The thing is the calculation is correct but for some reason Sonic set the speakers at 62 inches from the front wall instead of 52 inches as was correct.  A case of brain and hands going off in separate directions.  

So I put the speakers at the 1/5 points correctly this time. And the change gave more improvement in two ways noticed by Sonic:

1.      the bass kicked up around the 50 hz to 70hz band to give more weight.

2.      better yet, even though the Magneplanar 1.5QRs are now closer to the front wall than I have been visually accustomed to, Sonic said, ”the soundstage playing Handel’s Wassermusik (Archiv, English Concert, T Pinnock) is filling the front 1/3 of this room wall to wall, like the Magneplanar panels are not there. It is quite 3-dimensional and the instruments are forward of the speaker plane and the Clampracks. This is the opposite of the banana soundstage” Very Happy

With more listening Sonic ruminated, “this is pretty good. No loss of depth if I ignore the visual appearance but focus on the sound alone. Hear with my ears and not with my eyes  Exclamation   With a CD of solo violin and a piano – Copland’s Sonata for Violin and Piano -- there is good projection and weight from the low piano notes but is with a touch of hollowness? Maybe, maybe not.  

It is remarkable how the Clampracks act as anchors of the soundstage, now they are a little ahead of the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs, there is musick filling the front of this room and the two panels further back play no part in the generation of the sound for listeners. The musick is “just in the space”, coming from nowhere definable. Playing Telemann’s Trumpet Suites (Musical Heritage Society LP, by Deutsche Solisten directed by Helmut Winschermann) this is very like live recitals I heard.”

For what it is worth here is what the system looks like:



Going on with the musick, Sonic played Corelli’s 12 Concerti Grossi Op 6 MHS and got a presence and projection that gave a more than a hint of concert hall reality.

After several days of listening over this season, Sonic needs to say we got to a stage where the sound is in the room but not emanating from any object. When few instruments play, the sound is in the middle of the room, but when the volume get louder the width expands oftentimes to beyond the walls of the room.

Yet Sonic had the pleasure over this Lunar New Year time to help a new entrant into the joys of vinyl. We are not talking about someone with a Rega P10 and Benz Ebony MC cartridge but a humble system from a Salvation Army Thrift Store – a early Japanese budget semi-auto turntable, a 4-channel integrated amp (can switch to SQ and QS…whatever they were  Question …Sonic must investigate) and Dynaco A25 speakers or clones thereof.

The turntable was working, the belt's tension is mostly gone and the cartridge had seen better days.  The system came with 10 jazz LPs included in the low price!

Sonic found the arm very short of 200 mm effective length. Which meant by the teachings of Meister Baerwald the overhang should be 21.1mm but as delivered the cartridge was set with almost no overhang or even underhang! And then with my protractor set I went about the alignment procedure….and as always with analog, there will always be something hiding in ambush….

While Sonic did a quick set given a new cartridge is a must, this humble TT is probably more correctly aligned now for the first time in its existence…and given we had moved from near underhang to overhang, the owner’s response was surprising…”err…it sounds a lot worse now…a lot of scratching and it doesn’t track nicely…doesn’t sound right with records I thought were fine when first bought this”  Embarassed
 
The joys and confusion of analog.  Sonic cannot even align a cheap changer right?  Of course I know there will be theories for why this happened but for certain we need a new cartridge.  

Best Buy at a low budget would be the Audio Technica AT-95.  There is nothing in Sonic’s understanding of low price with a performance (sound) that exceeds the price point by an extent that boggles the mental state.

But this cheap turntable has a counterweight that is immoveable…there is an allen screw or something the weight in place but the clearance makes this hard to reach so the alternative will be the blu-tack + coins and washers solution.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:23 am

Hi Michael and Zonees!

Sonic got word from Harold that my six Brazilian Pine shelves have shipped and I got my Shipping Number!  This means Sonic will have a whole group of 3/4 inch thick Brazilian Pine shelves to work with and expand the harmonic envelop of my system within maybe a week.

Funny how this potentially big step forward comes so fast on the heels of Sonic getting the tonal balance and soundstage of my system so satisfactory after with the movement of the Magneplanar 1.5QRs with the 1/5 room length placement and the addition of "thud rugs".

Michael -- what do you suggest I do when I get the shelves out of the box?

Shall I take two shelves and put them under the feet of the Magneplanars so as to couple better to my parquet-over-concrete floor, then set the remaining four Brazilian Pine shelves up as platforms using Low Tone Redwood Blocks for feet -- one shelf for the Rega Turntable, one shelf for the Sony Blu-ray player, one shelf for the Quicksilver preamp and the last shelf for the main amp?

OR

Just take down the Clampracks and replace the Hemlock compressed woodfibre shelves with the Brazilian Pine ones and be done with it?

Which will take my system further?

Sonic now has on the Rega spinning Mel Torme' -- Live at Marty's (Exactly as it happened) March 27, 1982 Smile

Sonic


Last edited by Sonic.beaver on Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:03 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Corrected info, added remarks)
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:02 pm

Hi Sonic

As with the Blocks or any of the wood products from us there is going to be a settling (curing) time take place while they get use to your environment. If you have a dehumidifier run it and let the boards settle slowly.

Put them somewhere flat where they can adjust with a slight bit of weight so they don't twist.

If you want to learn more about this http://www.bing.com/search?q=how+long+to+let+wood+flooring+acclimate&pc=Z161&form=ZGAIDF&install_date=20111120&iesrc=IE-SearchBox

Curing these is very important, and even though I have had them curing here for sometime, they're going to want to adopt your conditions.

where to use them

Because you have made such big changes to the system lately it's a little hard to say where to start. My suggestion would be get use to the new sound you have and go slow on the introduction.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:21 am


Hi Michael

Good advice, I've read the link too.

So tell Sonic if this is right: I lay each shelf flat on the floor (no stacking). Then place a small weight on each one -- since you said " a slight bit of weight" Sonic can use my spare Clamprack cones which are quite dense, one per shelf.

I can set my air conditioner to Dry but cannot leave it on all day when no one is in the dwelling. But we should get drying from the early evening to late at night.

I guess the shelves should be turned over every couple of days?

Let me know.

Sonic

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