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 Tuning My Musical Journey

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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:03 pm

Hi Sonic

Sounds good.

Then, when your ready you can do the rack or platform. Your going to be shocked either way Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:43 am


Greetings Zonees

Yesterday it was Wednesday when FedEx delivered the box with six Brazilian Pine shelves to replace the hemlock chipboard shelves in Sonic's clampracks.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:48 pm


Greetings Zonees

The Brazilian Pine shelves had problems when I got them out of the box.

Michael and Harold responded in acceptably good speed when Sonic told them of the issues and we are looking at how to get this to turn out right.

Several of the Brazilian Pine boards were warped. About ¼” per corner -- I am concerned that this is possibly enough to make it difficult when used in my Clampracks to keep the rods vertical and keep the shelves level especially when the hex nuts are kept loose.

Furthermore I think leveling with the Brazilian Pine shelves will be critical to the overall stability of the Clampracks. You see, it takes the weight of four or five Brazilian Pine shelves to weigh as much as one heavy hemlock chipboard Clamprack shelf. So with them we now have little mass to keep the Clamprack stable unlike with the heavy shelves.

Then the holes for the rods were not perfectly lined up. After some experimentation Sonic found specific permutations (permutation being a specific combination) of shelves that I can thread ¾” Clamprack rod down the four corners with the least contact with the sides of the bore holes – but there is still contact.

The finish of one of the shelves was different from the others.

Harold gave some tips on how I can get the shelves to flatten out – stack them in threes and place a weight on them, turning the boards over and shuffling them letting them settle into the tropical humidity.

This after all the waiting and the exorbitant price to ship them over from the US which added 40% to the price of the shelves themselves! The shipping price is not MGA’s fault but something do with getting things in to Singapore – which causes many good audio products from the US to end up so expensive after shipping to be unsalable in this town.

What about the sound?

Sonic has placed the six Brazilian Pine shelves on the floor in a chequerboard pattern and played music and I think Sonic is starting to hear a difference to the sound.

I hope what Michael and Harold tell me will get the shelves to be usable in the Clampracks stably which is what they were intended for.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:44 pm

Hi Sonic and TuneLand

Here is a drawing of our current equipment stand.



I do appreciate your comments Sonic, and if these shelves would have been a stock item, designed and built from scratch, than our heels could and should have been held to the flame. But when the same boards go from being 24"x48" boards meant to voice the room and finished for that, to after the fact cut down rack shelves it presents a new set of circumstances.

I don't mind getting into the details if you think it helps the Tunees, but if you notice the rack above, this is how we would design a rack using the Brazilian Pine or any of the softer woods. If you look back 10 years ago you will see where the Michigan work-shop offered racks designed with a mix of wood, some harder and some softer. The softer ones obviously warpped when sent to rooms with high humidity. And you can't finish all wood the same, thinking they will voice the same which is also what that shop didn't get. What you didn't see was how I needed to use different formulas for different jobs and uses which was a part of me not using that shop anymore.

If anyone thinks that voicing wood is a generic process  Idea  Question

Brazilian Pine (as well as other great wood) is a wonderful sounding wood, but a piece of soft wood that big offers challenges. For this reason I design this particular wood within the context of framed designs.

the finish

The original order was for 4 boards, and these 4 boards were all finished at the same time and process.

below the finished four board order



When the 2 other boards were ordered the choice was to start 2 new boards all over again, or choose some boards that we had already finished and were curing close to the same time line. What Harold did was chose the best sounding of the all of the finish boards meant for his and mine own private listening and used them, cutting down and then choosing the best ones of the bunch.

Keep in mind at this point that all these boards were finished, stacked and then drilled. In a factory stock setting, you would have the boards cured, sized, cut, drilled and then the sand and finish process. By the boards being done the opposite way, and with a soft wood dried to 5%, No-one knows what the out come will be, Not me, a woodshop, Harold, Sonic or any wood worker.

Sonic said

"Furthermore I think leveling with the Brazilian Pine shelves will be critical to the overall stability of the Clampracks. You see, it takes the weight of four or five Brazilian Pine shelves to weigh as much as one heavy hemlock chipboard Clamprack shelf. So with them we now have little mass to keep the Clamprack stable unlike with the heavy shelves."

mg

Moving to low mass is a whole new ball game and has been for the last 18 years when we stopped making the Hemlock type racks and moved to improve the transfer and timbre. Again see above design. We recommend Platforms instead of racks if only using the boards themselves as the stable factor. If you read the stablizing problems people had on threads with getting the lighter weight rack types to behave you can see why we moved to a more stable design. It's a choice of performance vs function. Also if you look back in the archives you will see a thicker version of the Brazilian Pine used for my racks in 2005.

thicker boards used in 2005



the waiting is either worth it or not

I'm a little disappointed in the comment about the wait. All of the guys who have been hoping for me to get back to a production status, have gone through the wait including me. MGA/RoomTune for the first time in a long time has a true production manager who has poured the last year and a half into getting a wide product range on a regulated production schedule, and at the same time filling back orders that were mine not his. You Sonic have been part of the waiting and the conditions and circumstances I personally have dealt with. I would have hoped that these types of issues would have been handle with my privacy as a consideration, but as you said in an email to me, you wish to be honest, so lets do so and be done with it OK. Then we can all move forward.

Why did mg take somewhat of a break from High End Audio?

There are a lot of issues that happen in our personal lives that dictate the type of businesses we develope and groom. In my particular designing, no-one else was before me to carve a path to copy. My studies extended from the making of instruments to the making of everything in the audio chain like an instrument.  One man doing this in one lifetime is beyond anything I can ever describe to another. And doing this in a hobby and industry riddled with so much audio neurosis and so few members with so many opinions is like being a designer/psychiatrist. I don't mean this in a negative way, just being honest as you suggest.

Sonic, do you have any idea how hard it is to get into someone elses brain and ears in a hobby like stereo? Picture the differences just among your own personal group of friends, and then picture thousands of these groups all talking about different sounds and conditions of sound making throughout the world in live, recorded and playback? Just the concept alone of being all things to all listeners in such a "fixed" mentally driven influence is more than any company or person that I know of has ever tried to tackle with the exception of me (that I know of).

Sonic, I wish to share a truth with you and anyone who wishes to be "honest". In this particular industry when a design goes from the bench to final product, it is a bit of a lie. You nor any audiophile has ever purchased a component built to function like musical instruments, not one outside of the tune. Never has there been components where you get them home and are instructed to tune them to your enviroment. You purchase components completely ignoring, the facts of audio, physics and the process of tuning in the recorded code. People in this industry don't even want to talk about the fact that this hobby is based or variables. If I were a smart businessman I would have long ago stuck with one sound and pushed it as being correct like every other designer out there. But to me this is dishonest.

It is the passion of this "truth" that drives me on and at times has kept me alive to do so. Sorry for the dramatics, but I am a man of passion, and this is being me at my honest core.

I am truly sorry that you are disappointed with a set of boards that were built for one thing and you are trying to use them for another, but when people try to micro-design something outside of my designing and experience it is almost impossible for me to make any kind of guessing into a "fixed" answer. All I can do my friend is keep pushing for the greatest sound and method that this industry has ever had, and thank God we have Harold as of a year and a half ago to put this dream, vision and life's experience into action.

From the looks of it you are saying you have one corner on one board that is still touching. I hope this can be corrected and we can either see if making these into rack shelves (your design) or be better as Platforms (my design with you adding holes and making them all the same size) works out for you, but I do want to be honest. When this particular 4 Tuning Board order went from being that to what you made it into, the designing was out of my hands and Harold plus woodshop were trying to make your wishes happen.

To the readers of TuneLand and the industry. Harold and I are here to make "tuning" the norm and to make a series of products that are based on "stock" designing once again. We appreciate your business and will do our best to fill the custom orders that come our way, but we ask that you understand the price and timelines of custom.

I hope this doesn't come off as being mean in this post, but it is me being honest.

Thank you Sonic for letting me be a part of your audio learning curve and thank you Harold for well...more than I can possibly thank you for in this life time. Lastly thank you TuneLand for allowing me to share my world of music with you, I hope every day you find a deeper meaning in your profession and hobbies that bring you one step closer to being In-Tune Exclamation

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PostSubject: Racks   Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:02 pm

Sonic,

I am sorry to hear about your shelves and wait. Heck, I waited over a year for my new platform, and it is finally settling enough for me to say YES, it was well worth the wait. I moved away from racks with this addition which is very low profile, and I can hear the difference in everything from soundstage to harmonics. There are also advantages to the platform with the weight distributed over the frame compared to clamp racks which helps eliminate the warping problem. I know my platform created some problems for Michael because of the longer requested length and width but it arrived safely.

I have been late to the party for adopting a platform as many audiophiles here in the states are also endorsing. It removes another barrier in seeking the ultimate barrier in the sound you seek. I have learned that better sound and tuning can be attained with platforms.

And, despite everything, enjoy the music.
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:59 pm

Now that I got personal let me get back to the answer of waiting. Sorry to anyone if I got too personal, I try to stay more private than this.

When dealing with clients on the waiting issue I want to point out something very important I feel and is a choice only you the client can make from here on out.

We are now in production mode with products.

We have gone from the original factories of Ohio and over the last years of in and out of different conditions, tools, craftsmen and managment we find ourselves at a place where we are ready to take this part of the industry a few steps higher than before. However this step depends on the extreme listener and their desire to go with us.

We understand the stories of quality of both fit and finish and claims of sound from companies in this business, remember both I and Harold are dealers and distributors as well as designers. In order to take a hobby that is basically Hi Fi dressed up to another level, I feel we need to make the mindset change from electronic components to musical instruments. I nor can anyone do this by flipping a switch or believe me I would. What I can do is when I see a question that is unanswered and I recognize it, I will try to give an answer.

waiting on wood products

I need to make something clear here and I hope all of you can appreciate this. Every product you see in any market that deals with wood has an expiration date on it just like a carton of milk. There's a point when the picking is perfect for harvesting, cutting, storing, rough cure, picked, dry cured and then the beginning of voicing. If this is marginalized in any of the areas you will end up with a piece of wood that may be at it's 5% of performance. I have been deadly honest about this, and maybe too honest. Maybe I share things I should keep to myself, and let clients buy products from competitors flipping over products like pancakes and let it be. Those of you who have heard the harmonics open up in your rooms understand why I'm as picky as I am. Picky I would say to the point some times of being a pain in the neck maybe Laughing , but also picky enough to care about the difference from getting the first harmonic range on pitch and the rest out vs getting the entire harminic range to play in tune.

I've said this before and I'm going to say it now a little louder. I'm not about moving boxes, but about making this industry into one closer related to it's relative the musical instrument. I'm sure some audiophiles could care less cause they've bought into the stories, but for those who have a need to go there, pancake production is not on the menu. The "stock" audiophile Hi Fi world is something we want to help have it's best chance to perform, but make no mistake, we know there is a higher level, of design, designer and listener, and every day we are faced with the compromises of conditions the listener as well as the designer is in. Look at the systems I have done for folks where they said "do it michael" vs the systems where the client is trying to mix their audiophilish thoughts, or engineerish thoughts into the mix. There are a few who have found their path but for the most part the, what I consider compromized, system goes through years and years of ups and downs. I can stand on the roof tops and scream don't do this or let the wood tell us when it is done, but if this is ignored there's not a thing I can do.

When I pick out that piece of wood, in my mind it has a purpose. If I'm picking out a piece of wood that is 48" long, this means I listened to it as a unit. If I'm picking out a piece of wood that is to be used for a 24" piece but is 48" long to be cut down, I listen for something completely different. Other audio companies buy wood by the board foot and it is what it is. I don't care what story they tell you that's what their doing. Their product is going after looks and marketing and ours go after sound, and with the help of the right wood workers the looks will follow. Keep this in mind though, while that company buys by the board foot and marks it up 12 times, we buy 2 to 3 times the amount of wood the projects needs and end up choosing the best sounding pieces of the bunch.

curing time

I can get into curing times at length if you guys would like me to, but let me at least share the life of a piece of wood when it is in my care. Every piece of wood I work on gets flipped at least twice a day and usually in and out of different environments depending on the weather. I don't set up a day to cut, sand or finish that piece of wood. I go through and listen to the wood and when it sounds a certain way I do the next step according to what the wood says and not a schedule. Does this take forever? You bet, but that's how I do it. I don't serve the turkey under cooked or over cooked, it's all slow roasted Laughing and only comes out of the oven when it's falling off the bone.

Can you imagine how many wood workers I have gone through to try to find some that are willing to serve a hot meal instead of cold cuts Question When they see me coming No you can see the look on their faces half way through the talk scratch . With me becoming more and more picky and the work force becoming smaller and smaller you can only pretend to know what goes on.

in walks Harold Cooper cheers

It's like the Michael Jordan Basketball of good guys walks in and says, lets do this right. Lets work through the old and pave the way for the best. Harold like almost everyone heard me talk and said no way, then he visited here, sat in the chair, looked at me and said "where do we begin". This has never happened to me before with someone as interested in listening as I am. I maybe had one employee in 30 years who came close to what I do, and never a partner in crime.

But michael you've been around forever study

Yes I have Smile . I've been around forever pushing the tunable ball up the hill with hired workers enjoying my success and pay checks. I've been around with people who wanted to with their hearts but without the skill level. I've been with high end audio marketers who believed in box moving but not a method of listening. I've been with people who got caught up in the excitement of the vision but fell apart when that vision meant 24/7. I've been with those who helped themselves to my check book. But through all my successes and want a be successes, I've never been with someone who believed + the skill to see it through.

I guess I'm back to honesty again aren't I Laughing

The truth of it is I'm not able to do what the other guys do. I'm not able to look at you guys square in the face and tell lies and myths about an industry to get you to buy. Truth of it is, I live and die by this gift I was given and either people get it or they don't. I believe, I "trust" in music. I believe it as one of the highest levels of honesty there is. Music never cheats and I have believed in everyone who has told me they do too, and is probably why so many came along for the gravy train. But let me share a secret since I'm giving a personal heart to heart. It's that same belief that has brought me and the tune to this point, and all the experiences that gave Tunees their own beliefs and love for the music that has brought us here.

This hobby will not turn by what is on the shelf, or reviewed, marketed, or theorized. It's not going to turn by the clubs of doubt, and un-successful listening and listening practices. This hobby is going to turn when people find their love of music and the passion to take every last song to it's fullest.

waiting?

I guess I can't really answer that one nor can I answer or question my personal journey and love affair I have with this gift. I can only have faith that the times of me trying to be the meantime woodworker can finally come to rest, and I can focus on my love, and hand over the rest to someone I have given my trust to and they me.

How long does it take to make a Tuning Board?

You my friends will have to ask the board. I can only choose and care for it.

have a good night Smile


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:08 pm

Hello my friend

You posted

"Sonic,

I am sorry to hear about your shelves and wait. Heck, I waited over a year for my new platform, and it is finally settling enough for me to say YES, it was well worth the wait. I moved away from racks with this addition which is very low profile, and I can hear the difference in everything from soundstage to harmonics. There are also advantages to the platform with the weight distributed over the frame compared to clamp racks which helps eliminate the warping problem. I know my platform created some problems for Michael because of the longer requested length and width but it arrived safely.

I have been late to the party for adopting a platform as many audiophiles here in the states are also endorsing. It removes another barrier in seeking the ultimate barrier in the sound you seek. I have learned that better sound and tuning can be attained with platforms.

And, despite everything, enjoy the music."

As you can tell, I'm full of emotion in wanting to do right by you my listening friends, as well I can speak for Harold, as he has shown the same with every step. I know I'm not supposed to be tear-y in public, but thank you Garp, Sonic and Harold.

And thanks to all the Tunees for your desire that drives me forward Wink

Why are artist so emotional Question

thank you

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:48 pm

I'd like to weigh in.

I saw these boards start to finish. Sonic, Michael and myself were thinking of you and your boards all the way, as well all the products that were caught up in the in between.

Going through the process of converting products from Michael's mind to production is no easy task. If you ever go wood selecting with him it's like a class in pitch perfect 101. Your not sure if your picking up wood or learning how to play each instrument in the orchestra. Now that I have learned it's a highlight to go to any lumber yard.

I'm traveling but you should have some emails from me and the promise that I will do everything I can to make you happy.

Now Michael, get back to work Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:44 am


Hello Garp

Appreciate your message and your observation about what you found with platforms. Yes, enjoy the music indeed...right now Sonic is listening to a LP of Mel Torme singing about Fred Astaire. Nice -- and those Brazilian Pine shelves placed in front of me in the chequerboard arrangement have a growing influence that Sonic is trying to grasp.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:20 am


Hi Michael

Been having the Brazilian Pine shelves settling in for six days now -- stacked under weights when not listening and in chequerboard pattern when listening to musick. De-humidifier on a lot of the time.

Here are my observations which are preliminary given the time it take for wood settle.

a. it seems there are differences to a lot of things at the same time, and it is like the mosaic that seems to shift. With some recordings the soundstage may be more narrow than I am used to, another may be wider.

b. the relative balance of frequencies is also shifting about, moving towards warm and deep.

c. there is not much change in the bass above 100hz but it appears stronger than before in the 50 to 100Hz range. Below 50 hz there might be more output but I need more time to tell. Across several records the impression of deeper bass is consistent. In some cases it more clear what the players are doing in this range especially when moving from note to note.

d. midrange seems harder and too clear, not electronic sounding but harder. Electric guitars can be edgy and piercing. Projection is better than before but the hardness is something stays most recordings

e. there is no change in the treble extension.

f. the speakers' plane of imaging now is 1 ft ahead of the physical plane of the speakers.

g. ambience -- variable from record to record.

h. relative volume for a preamp setting appears lower but varies record to record.

i. BOO! test is good, well damped and the voice has a bass undertone


Soon I would like to try putting the shelves under things. Got two ideas:

1. one board goes under the main amplifier. Amp and transformer sit on the BP board with a mix of soft and machine wound Harmonic Springs. The board sits on the floor with Low Tone Redwood blocks.

2. one board sits between the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs and the floor (do you think this placement is a waste of two BP shelves?)

Michael which is better 1, 2 or both or anything else you suggest as a starter?

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:30 am

Hi Sonic

The forum server is being migrated to the new one so I can't post pics till it is done, but if you would, take some pics of the pattern you are using, I would like to have this to reference with.

Wow, what to do with 6 Brazilian Pine boards while curing? That's a toughy.

Well for me, I'd like to start hearing things like under the speakers, and under the amps. I'm really interested in hearing different combos of transfer, however don't go too fast.

Your room and components are going through some settling shock, as you indicated by the midrange. I like the low tones coming in already.

"d. midrange seems harder and too clear, not electronic sounding but harder. Electric guitars can be edgy and piercing. Projection is better than before but the hardness is something stays most recordings"

This is the one to keep our ears on. Somewhere in your system those harmonics need to relax. I'm thinking the BP boards are revealing a masked problem in the chain somewhere or even on the walls. We'll know more as they settle but we need to watch this develope.

"b. the relative balance of frequencies is also shifting about, moving towards warm and deep."

This is very good. You want things to get as deep as possible then tune them up. It's important to take a system to it's deepest and most full state, and then start tuning it in. You don't want to tune things in before all the info is wide open.

"With some recordings the soundstage may be more narrow than I am used to, another may be wider."

This is also a biggie.

e. there is no change in the treble extension.

Interesting, there should be. The top end should get fluffy-er. If not you either have room flutter somewhere, some mid-high frequencies are caught up in a standing wave that needs to be broken, or the foam or rugs are holding back the highs.

f. the speakers' plane of imaging now is 1 ft ahead of the physical plane of the speakers.

Where was it before?

g. ambience -- variable from record to record.

This is a good sign. Hard to get use to at first but more true to the recording. You'll start hearing the recordings as individual performances. Get use to making slight changes on some recordings.

h. relative volume for a preamp setting appears lower but varies record to record.

settling

i. BOO! test is good, well damped and the voice has a bass undertone

Kinda weird hearing the undertone harmonics isn't it?

Once the upper and lower harmonics start to work together there will be a lot more space happening, and being able to hear different spacing per recording.

The best way to think of things is the difference between when your guitars were new and what they sound like with age.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:40 am

Hi Michael

You asked:

Sonic: the speakers' plane of imaging now is 1 ft ahead of the physical plane of the speakers.

MG: Where was it before?

A: it was in a shallow arc behind the speakers, at best the image plane was at the physical plane.

The thud rugs have been removed.  When I set the Brazilian Pine boards on the floor, Sonic had to remove the carpets.  Their contribution to the sound was noticeable after removal.

Sonic has started the introduction of the Brazilian Pine shelves into the system.

Here is the first step done:





The sound became slightly deeper in tone but the image sizes at and around the speakers grew in size while what is in the middle stayed the same.

Sonic's soundstage now "looks" like an hourglass lying on its side.

I need some of the Brazilian Pine tone in the middle.

Suggestions and views Michael?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:24 pm

Hi Sonic

When you get a chance send me pics so I can look at the whole system.

Also, what happened to the sound when you put the cables up on the LTR Blocks?

I need to get a feel for the blending of materials and your setup now that you are introducing new ranges of timbre.

If I can get a handle on how those walls ceiling and floor really sound, then I think I can figure out the blends you need to make the Maggie/room work (I hope).

I'm guessing here but based on your comments, where the hour glass is the most full would you say the notes have become "thicker"?

Also the plane moving forward is a big deal.

This may sound weird to you, but in the end I have a feeling your going to be going back to the nearfield setup.

With you taking out the thud rugs, you got more energy back correct? Or is the room still over powering the energy?

I believe we need to change the sound of your transfers and find those hidden room nodes, and revoice them with the right sounding materials. I'm mean dampening might do some but if we can do this without killing many structures and instead transforming the dominant tone makers we're home free.

Now the other day you said the guitars were out of control, has this changed and if so what made the change?

Don't go too fast without getting to know what did what, we have a long way to go in introducing completed notes that were more than likely not there before.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:00 am


Hi Michael

Sonic’s tune instinct is whispering the same thing to me “the speakers will need to forward to the near-field”…..I must go slowly but this is what the instinct and the room is telling me.

A couple of observations and answers to your questions as Sonic settles into the next step:

a. the bass has increased further, it is like a step function starting from about 150 hz, there is now quite a lot of bass going on and good vibrations felt by Sonic even at the loud end of my listening range.

b. Sonic weights the wood boards down with dumbbells and they are flat to the floor but once I remove the weights the wood dishes and rocks from warp within a couple minutes. Not all the boards but most of them. Will they ever stay flat?

c. the core of the soundstage is noticeably anchored to the area around the racks and moving the speakers forward back just moves the sides of the soundstage back and forth, the centre core of the soundstage hardly moves. What does tell you? If Sonic ever removed the racks what would happen?

d. the midrange glare is not reducing. The guitars on those couple of recordings are just as piercing.

e. the treble has more detail maybe more extended – I hear more detail in triangles and orchestral bells even when played really softly. However, to describe the treble as fluffier is not a word that comes to Sonic’s mind.

f. when Sonic placed the speaker cables on the Low Tone Redwood blocks the sound became darker, heavier, bass was kind of slower -- that is replacing all the Cable Grounds (2 per channel) with 2 or 3 Low Tone Redwood blocks. One Low Tone Redwood block with two Cable Grounds per channel is OK.

g. placing equipment on the Low Tone Redwood block mostly made the sound go closed in and thick in the bass (but no improvement in extension).

h. when I describe my soundstage as an hourglass shaped lying on its side, there is no filling. Diagrammatically it might be an Infinity sign. Just that the images are taller nearer the speakers and smaller/shorter to the centre.

i. when Sonic removed the thud rugs, the sound freed up a little, no increase in loudness if you meant that. But with the Brazilian Pine shelves around, the slight echoey ring the thud rugs removed did not come back or was subdued under the increased warmth.

Guidance?

Sonic





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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:33 am

Greetings Michael and Zonees

Following Sonic placing one Brazilian Pine board under each Magneplanar 1.5QR (see Sonic’s post of March 4), I tried the next obvious and easy thing to do – this:



This is supported on three Low Tone Redwood blocks, two in the front corners and one centre rear.  Got a bit more of everything in warmth and projection. And as settling of earlier tunes progress, Sonic is getting deeper bass with more transient impact.

Enough for me to feel (at least temporarily) no enthusiasm for the work of moving the MG1.5QRs to nearfield.
And Michael asked for a view of the system and how Sonic presently lays out the wood.  This is it:



As I hear things, Brazilian Pine has a noble sound truly, just need to get it stable.

An idea occurred to Sonic with all this Brazilian Pine, Sonic could do this:

a.    leave the two Brazilian Pine boards under the MG1.5QRs.

b.    keep the amp support Brazilian Pine mini-platform as this post is showing.

c.    keep the two Clampracks where they are but make three “mini platforms” out of the remaining three Brazilian Pine boards and Low Tone Redwood blocks, placing one “mini platform” on each top shelf of the Clampracks. On one sits the Rega P5 and on the other is the Sony blu ray player.  A third “mini platform” goes on a lower Clamprack shelf to carry the preamp.

OR

Do a. and b.

And then:

Remove the Clampracks entirely from the room, bring back the long teak bench and the low wooden table Zonees may have seen I used years ago, place the Brazilian Pine boards on them (maybe directly with no Low Tone Redwood blocks). Turntable, CD player and Preamp goes on these Brazilian Pine topped tables.

So in this way Sonic gets lots of wood, a retirement of the Clampracks and the convenience of height of equipment off the floor.

This is what I mean:



In this Diagram the mini platform support for the phono stage and the main amp with its support is not drawn.

Also, as long as I have only six Brazilian Pine boards to work with, I would keep them placed towards the centre of the room.  There was an early experiment where Sonic placed three Brazilian Pine boards at each side wall ahead of the loudspeaker positions.  I got lots of warmth and weight but only around the speakers and to the sides of the room.  The middle thinned out harmonically.  

However when Sonic clustered the Brazilian Pine boards in the middle of the room ahead of the Clampracks only then the room started to fill more evenly with harmonic richness.

Your views on this last observation and which combination of placement do you think is better Michael (a+b+c OR what’s in the Diagram)?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:08 pm

Hi Sonic

At this point I'm taking in all the sounds and feelings you are having, all of which to me spell something very good.

i don't want to go too deep into things but would like to keep getting feedback on some of your moves.

Hows your toe-in going? Have you played with this?

sonic

"Will they ever stay flat?"

mg

I have no idea. With them not attached to anything their going to move to what ever feels best to them with what is on or around them.

sonic

"c. the core of the soundstage is noticeably anchored to the area around the racks and moving the speakers forward back just moves the sides of the soundstage back and forth, the centre core of the soundstage hardly moves. What does tell you? If Sonic ever removed the racks what would happen?"

mg

There's a lot of energy there to tune, and you need to use that area to voice the stage and the music. My guess is because the racks are there your not getting the most out of your floorstanders. I've been wanting to convert you to Platforms for a long time so I think this is a good time to explore.

sonic

"d. the midrange glare is not reducing. The guitars on those couple of recordings are just as piercing."

mg

I don't want to move too fast, but is it the same for both TT and CDP? If so, put light weight LTR Blocks under the transformers and tell me what change you get. Also let me see the power strip better. Also how tight are your interconnects twisted. What I have noticed when adding the more organic wood to systems is I need to re-adjust my electrical voicing. More info is wanting to get through as well as being presented, so the things I thought I need to tighten actually needed even more opened, then settle, then slightly tuned in again.

sonic

"f. when Sonic placed the speaker cables on the Low Tone Redwood blocks the sound became darker, heavier, bass was kind of slower -- that is replacing all the Cable Grounds (2 per channel) with 2 or 3 Low Tone Redwood blocks. One Low Tone Redwood block with two Cable Grounds per channel is OK."

mg

With more tools comes the need to learn how each of them sound, and what they do. My recommendation is, don't say Blocks, but say "which" Block in particulat does what. With my systems and music I use my Blocks as individual voicing tools. This will come to you as you begin relationships with each one.

sonic

"g. placing equipment on the Low Tone Redwood block mostly made the sound go closed in and thick in the bass (but no improvement in extension)."

mg

I want to keep an ear on this, cause it might mean using the Blocks in combos or positioning.

mg more

Also take a look at some of those foam arrangements, do you need less?

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:20 am


LATEST!

We have to take the learnings over the last few days with some caution now.

A tube in the Quicksilver preamp failed, glowing like a lightbulb and started oscillating (nothing serious just a soft "pup-pup-pup-pup-pup" sound through the affected speaker).

I quickly powered down and was that thing was hot compared to the working channel when Sonic extracted it!

The tube was the Chinese-made PSVane 12AX7-T. It has given good sound in the service of musick for about three years so this is not wonderful but I guess acceptable.

Sonic put in a pair of fresh PSVane 12AX7s and powered up. After an hour of playing music without my listening in the room, and it will take up to probably 50 plus hours to sound what it should, but the first impression when Sonic listened was the midrange was detailed and liquid, the hardness reported is hardly there.

Sonic




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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:00 pm

Yep, we always need to be aware of the "whole".

It's easy to get so focused on one part that we stop seeing the rest of the system. This is something that I have to practice constantly to keep my listening skills in check.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:10 am

Thoughts, responses and new observations:

Sonic: "Will they ever stay flat?"

mg: I have no idea. With them not attached to anything their going to move to what ever feels best to them with what is on or around them.

Sonic: This is troubling. The cedar board MG supplied me in an earlier order warped but eventually stabilized and took a “set” and stayed that way.  I hope Brazilian Pine is the same or this will become a problem when we arrive at a definite application for the boards in the system. Does “attached to anything” mean a frame or a being set up in a Clamprack?

Sonic: "c. the core of the soundstage is noticeably anchored to the area around the racks and moving the speakers forward back just moves the sides of the soundstage back and forth, the centre core of the soundstage hardly moves. What does tell you? If Sonic ever removed the racks what would happen?"

mg: There's a lot of energy there to tune, and you need to use that area to voice the stage and the music. My guess is because the racks are there your not getting the most out of your floorstanders. I've been wanting to convert you to Platforms for a long time so I think this is a good time to explore.

Sonic: Good to hear this.  What in the Clampracks is suppressing the sound?  Is it the height or the material of the Hemlock shelves and the metal rods? I am for platforms but Sonic may PM you (Michael) about my hesitation.

Sonic: "d. the midrange glare is not reducing. The guitars on those couple of recordings are just as piercing."

mg: I don't want to move too fast, but is it the same for both TT and CDP? If so, put light weight LTR Blocks under the transformers and tell me what change you get. Also let me see the power strip better. Also how tight are your interconnects twisted. What I have noticed when adding the more organic wood to systems is I need to re-adjust my electrical voicing. More info is wanting to get through as well as being presented, so the things I thought I need to tighten actually needed even more opened, then settle, then slightly tuned in again.


Sonic: let’s be cautious for now as the new PSVane 12AX7s are settling in.  The observed midrange hardness might have been due to a failing tube during the introduction of the Brazilian Pine boards and the experiments of Tune being done.

Sonic: "f. when Sonic placed the speaker cables on the Low Tone Redwood blocks the sound became darker, heavier, bass was kind of slower -- that is replacing all the Cable Grounds (2 per channel) with 2 or 3 Low Tone Redwood blocks. One Low Tone Redwood block with two Cable Grounds per channel is OK."

mg: With more tools comes the need to learn how each of them sound, and what they do. My recommendation is, don't say Blocks, but say "which" Block in particular does what. With my systems and music I use my Blocks as individual voicing tools. This will come to you as you begin relationships with each one.


Sonic: I agree with the idea.  To make clear – does “which block” mean that each block sounds different in different places?  Does Sonic have mark each block and treat each one as a different tuning tool?

Sonic: “g. placing equipment on the Low Tone Redwood block mostly made the sound go closed in and thick in the bass (but no improvement in extension)."

mg: I want to keep an ear on this, cause it might mean using the Blocks in combos or positioning.

Sonic: yes, we must keep an ear on this.

mg more: Also take a look at some of those foam arrangements, do you need less?

Sonic: my listening does not indicate a reduction of the amount acoustic foam now being used in Sonic’s room.  The removal of the thud rugs and no further removal of damping is about right for now.

Observation: see the pix of my system posted March 6 – notice the three Brazilian Pine boards on the floor in a row?

Sonic found if I move these Brazilian Pine boards forward towards the listening the seat by 6 inches the whole sound comes forward from the loudspeakers, with images hanging in the space two feet forward of the speakers and rack area with nice all round ambience. Less depth perhaps behind the panels but then the concept of depth or at least the fanciful description of such depth in the high-end magazines may be merely imagination or an artifact of the setting up to produce this effect, and the "depth" I have heard in some high-end systems in this town praised for their ability to reproduce depth was no more than Giant Banana Soundstages where the centre images like vocals and lead instruments are recessed way to the front wall and shrunken....that's not depth, that's spatial distortion.

Sonic


Last edited by Sonic.beaver on Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:16 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Made some sentences clearer)
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:59 pm

"Sonic: This is troubling. The cedar board MG supplied me in an earlier order warped but eventually stabilized and took a “set” and stayed that way. I hope Brazilian Pine is the same or this will become a problem when we arrive at a definite application for the boards in the system. Does “attached to anything” mean a frame or a being set up in a Clamprack?"

mg

Yes, when the wood is with a frame it will relax with the frame.

sonic

"Sonic: Good to hear this. What in the Clampracks is suppressing the sound? Is it the height or the material of the Hemlock shelves and the metal rods? I am for platforms but Sonic may PM you (Michael) about my hesitation."

mg

In your case the rack is acting like a soundwave magnet. Infact any wood you place in your room does. Which is what you need, but you need to use the wood as an energy blender, and by your descriptions in the past the Hemlock is too heavy and dense or at least needed some other wood around to balance out the sound. Going Platforms frees the stage. Brazilian Pine has a ton more vibratory range.

sonic

"Sonic: I agree with the idea. To make clear – does “which block” mean that each block sounds different in different places? Does Sonic have mark each block and treat each one as a different tuning tool?"

mg

Yes, I don't mark mine, I just get to know them by the way they look and feel.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:35 am

Hi Michael

Sonic agrees that the Hemlock shelves are too dense. They also have a signature -- a transparent sound that is in itself a sound. Which given the period they were designed, would have been a major step forward from the ringy metal racks with all sorts of materials for shelving used by audiophiles.

What is most responsible for the soundwave magnet effect -- the weight or the height or the materials?

I ask because at your advice Sonic tried using the Hemlock shelves are low platforms on Magic Wood and AAB1x1 cones some time ago. With the middle area free of racks, the centre kind of fell apart.

Should I repeat the experiment this time with Brazilian Pine boards?

The Brazilian Pine boards are settling, along with the new PSVane tubes. The sound is changing and it is not in one direction. Seems like several directions at the same time.

It has now been two weeks since the boards arrived. Sonic can be sure they are not acclimatised yet.

What do you advise should be done next to prove the concept with the tools I have at hand before deciding on frames and additionals?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:00 pm

Sonic

What is most responsible for the soundwave magnet effect -- the weight or the height or the materials?

mg

All materials have this effect. It's a matter of puting the right material in the right place. The reason why the stage fell apart before is because when you freed the energy you didn't re-tune it.

Sonic

Should I repeat the experiment this time with Brazilian Pine boards?

mg

Yes, but you also want to learn that front pressure zone. In your case and the size of room, and the type of build, your going to want to figure out how to use the tools in this space.

Sonic

What do you advise should be done next to prove the concept with the tools I have at hand before deciding on frames and additionals?

mg

That's an interesting question. Let me think about that.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:17 am


Hi Michael

More settling and it seems setting the Magneplanar 1.5QRs on Brazilian Pine shelves doesn't work. It stopped the sound from getting better with the Brazilian Pine. Instead the sound started to lose volume over several days. A long settling with music play session (with Sonic absent then returning) showed nothing changed or got worse.

The sound relaxed the moment I removed the Brazilian Pine boards and let the MG1.5QRs' steel stands sit directly on the parquet floor.

Sonic's tuning notes show this has happened every time I put anything under the MG1.5QRs -- Sonic has used Magic Wood, Low Tone Redwood blocks and other woodblocks Michael sent me in the A la Carte wood package. Same thing each time. After a few days, the sound closes down and loses volume and impact.

What does this tell you?

About the "proof of concept" experiment you are thinking about -- here's the available ingredients for you to work with to suggest something to Sonic. I got: 5 Brazilian Pine boards, 12 Low Tone Redwood blocks, 6 large MTDs, 4 AAB1x1 cones, 4 deep bell AAB1x1, 4 shallow bell AAB1x1 cones plus a couple of Ikea Lack small tables at hand.

Your ideas to prove the concept of application for the Brazilian Pine boards, platforms or racks and the front centre pressure zone spot?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:52 am

Sonic said

"What does this tell you?"

mg

The transfers are too small, and the speakers when put on these tools becomes top heavy.

The hardness of the floor and walls and Maggie frames, respond to the different transfers but as things settle they reject the transfer, because of the way the maggies vibrate as a big unit with nothing to keep the top of the panel in check, so as the transfers settle and become a part of the speakers sound the speaker doesn't know how to relate to the extra energy.

Also my guess is you haven't been running your dehumidifier the last few days?

What you are describing is also what happens when moisture is around low mass wood. I see your humidity is at 69% today. That could do many things to a system. So (and I don't know if this is the case) if you got your room down to 35% then it raised to 69% suddenly and while settling is happening that could do all kinds of things.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning My Musical Journey   Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:10 am

Sonic said

"Your ideas to prove the concept of application for the Brazilian Pine boards, platforms or racks and the front centre pressure zone spot? "

mg

I'm not sure I can prove anything cause I use wood in the context of products. Trying to make the shelves act like a platform is not going to happen because they are two different animals.

I feel uncomfortable with the word "prove" when I'm doing something outside of what I do as a design concept. Keep in mind, I dealt with these pieces of wood when they were voiced at 24" x 48", and with them being half that size now, I have no point of reference except for what you tell me.

I could take a piece here and see what is does in the context of my system and give the conditions, but trying to piece together a sound for you without knowing what you have in the way of sound and conditions is a bit of a shot in the dark. So I don't mind taking that shot, but I would need your help in the process.

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