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 Metal vs other chassis

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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Metal vs other chassis   Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:48 am

I almost stepped in it again on stereophile, but I'm learning. Laughing

Guys of TuneLand why are we removing the tops off of our components? And for those of you who have switched from metal to plastic components what were the differences in sound?

Instead of me going through this on Stereophile I want to address this here.

thanks

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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:31 pm

materials

I use to look at materials as one being better than another, but when I got into listening to the sound of the materials themselves they took on a new meaning for me and I stopped judging them for what I thought they were and started judging them for what they were actually doing in a system.

For example when someone says titanium, silver or stainless steel a cartain image of quality gets planted in the mind based on value, but how does this work in audio?

You guys probably remember when I went through my last material testing. I had some of you explore this with me and your results were meaningful. The interesting part was all three of these materials the way I used them failed the test when put up against others. What I didn't share, or maybe did and forgot was that I took a lot of accepted audio grade materials and but them through the same tests. I mentioned silver but I also did a wide range of other audiophile materials including chassis materials. You might remember my Pioneer and Technics, Sherwood, Altmann, Marantz, Parasound, Rotel, Jolida, Redwine, Audiosource, but I may not have mention my same tests from before with my CAT, Krell, Pass, Symphonic line, Arcam, Cary, Classe', Audio Research, Stax....

Anyway, both older and newer tests that I did was based on what happens when you enclose the parts inside a chassis made out of different materials. It was something I actually worked on over a period of many years put in those particular test it was about removing the mass in a component and then slowly adding back that material and hearing what happens to the sound. What we found in every case except one that I can remember (the cambridge audio) was that ever amp opened up dramatically when set free of their cabinets. The Cambridge fell apart when the parts were removed and needed them to give their particular signature. The other amps, every one of them improved in dynamics openess transparancy and on. Of course they all needed to be tuned into their new sound as recordings changed but that were certainly new animals.

During the first go-round with this testing it was easy to hear that transformers especially, but to some degree the other parts too reacted to metal. The way to describe this in sonics would be to say that the sound of the transformer became the transformer+the chassis when the transformer was enclosed. The metal chassis did not let the transformers breathe. In looking this up and a little study I found out why. Electromagnetic fields travel through metal. The metal chassis aren't acting as a shield for electromagnetics at all, but more fixed tuners. This explained tons to me including why the same amplifier shipped to another location sounds different.

I'll get into this more but need to take a break.

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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:59 am

You know what they say "hearing is believing".




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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:33 am

Okay, okay, I'll give it a try, but it'll be a few days before I get time.

The preamp is made from a billet of aluminum and has no top plate so I won't be able to try it but the power amp and CD player have removable top/side plates so I'll give those a whirl.
Is there a settle in time once these plates have been removed ? The procedure will require a complete unplug and removing the components from there shelves before the top's can be removed .

I'll post back with the results.

Thanks Tim
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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:08 pm

Hi Tim

I think playing is the first step, but I hate to see you undo things that are a pain to put back together.

Might I make a suggestion Idea

Do you have a simple component there to experiment with? One that you could bring out into the room so we could go through it step by step? Like a receiver or integrated. I'll tell you why. If your components are built like tanks you might not hear much with the top off. Also while the top is off there are several things to do and if your not interested in doing this to that component it might be easier for us to do things to something that your more open to playing with.

What I'm trying to say is, if your component is locked down tight inside, like rubber on the transformers and tie wraps on cables and thick power cords, all of which are part of opening things up, your sound will not take jumps.


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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:36 am

Hello

I don't have a simple component really, there is an integrated in the garage system but it has a large DAC directly on top of it ( I know, not a good thing but there are space constraints with that setup ) and it's placement is in a difficult spot to work with. The tube based system doesn't have removable top's. This leaves only my main system, an Ayre C5mp CD player and a Levinson #532 amp will be the subject of my test. It's not really a lot of work to remove these two components from there mooring. Hope to have time tomorrow to do the deed.

 Have a grand day
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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:24 pm

Groovy

I'll see if I can find the inside pictures and give some notes on what I see.






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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:46 am


Wow, I think this is the earliest I've been awake after a new years party. The better half and I were partying, watching fire works and playing darts with my first wife, her parents and friends till the wee hours, anyway I had a good reason to be up.
Just removed the C5 CD player's top plate and am letting it run-in before I do any real listening.
The player shown above, I believe is the C5's little sister the C7. The architecture looks similar but my C5 has about triple the electronics. I took a picture of the C5 while it was on the counter but will likely not be smart enough to post it to this site , I've tried before.
I'll have to leave the amp till later today when there's another able body to help schlep it about. Probably best to do one component at a time and note the sonic differences anyway. Been listening to Melody Gardot's music a lot lately so I'll start with her wonderful <Worrisome Heart> and <My One And Only Thrill> disc's.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:26 am


Well, what can I say other than I was more than a little skeptical, likely why I hadn't tried something like this before. What I heard was the breath in Melody's voice in a way I hadn't heard before. There also seems to be more space around the instruments. I won't run off at the lips anymore at this early stage but should add the wife commented without my prompting, that the applause at the end of one of the songs seemed to be coming from around us rather than in front as it had a few days previous.
I'll take Michael's advice and try some Johnny Cash today.

Tim

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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:25 pm

Very Happy

Hi Tim

Good to see you guys having a good time Exclamation

This week is the show and some other stuff but I'll be peeking in on the adventures.

I do want say this though, if your getting more open sound with just the covers off this might be a really profitable adventure for you.

If you have a hard time posting pics, you can just send them to me if you want and I'll pop the up.

have fun

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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:59 pm

Here's Tim's C-5



with shared fav singer Melody Gardot .

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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:46 am


Hope things are going well at the show Michael, sounds like you have a very interesting life with lots of audio related things going on.

I got a chance to remove the top from my amp but with this experiment the results were not audible, to me anyway. I'll give it a few more days before I put the top back on, likely do it on the weekend. The CD player is a whole different ball game, the more we listen the more improvements we hear. Several audio type friends visited over the weekend and all concur. Imagine, audiophiles agreeing on something, might be a first. LOL

When I get todays work out of the way, and snow removal I'll spin up something by < Yello >.

Regards Tim

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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:49 pm

Hi Tim

Yello, there ya go, love Yello. We listen to them alot, especially Harold.

Yep, that amps a tank. Someday when your up to it we can try a couple of things, but with it's build I'm not sure how far you would want to go.

A question though. Am I looking at rubber on top of the transformers?

Another question, how well does the amp respond to feet?

And one more comment, if that is rubber, can you remove it easily and is it easy to loosen the screws holding the transformers?

good to see you having fun!

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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:05 pm


Howdy

Yup the amp is built like a tank but don't let that fool ya, it's sound is closer to that of a delicate musical instrument than anything I've experienced in the last 40 years, that includes several dozen tube components that I've had the pleasure to own. It's warm subtle nature has left many listeners with mouths agape. That being said it can convey brute force when the music requires it.
The transformers tops are metal. In the past I've not heard any differences with footers on these types of amps, as it stands now the in-wall shelf that houses the amp is only 10 1/2 inches tall, not enough to accommodate feet. The shelf platforms are my own design, cherry laminated to maple, about five quarter thick.
Not sure about the screws on the transformers, it would require closer inspection with the amp out from it's perch.

Back to the music.
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PostSubject: Re: Metal vs other chassis   Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:25 pm

Hi Tim

Yep, that baby doesn't sound like she wants to be messed with. I would think, based on what your saying, going down the stripped down path for her would be more trouble than it's worth. Plus why mess with something you love Exclamation

Thanks for the report, and keep that music list coming.

gotta run, much busier than I thought I would be this show

Cool

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