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 Ron's System

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rrstesiak



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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:49 pm

Michael Green wrote:
Hi Ron

Our wire is based on 22guage heat & vibratory treated if that helps.


22 gauge, check. I'm afraid I'm going to need a pointer on vibratory treatment though.

I apologize for my ignorance to the topic. This area of audio especially is very new to me. I never encountered that in VLSI design either..so perhaps its analogue term? I look forward to learning a bunch of cool and useful stuff!

Respectfully,

Ron
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rrstesiak



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PostSubject: RACK   Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:55 am

All:

Here is my system in its latest configuration:


Looking to mostly Michael for opinion regarding how best to house components. The way I see it, I have at least four options:

1. Salamander Systems Archetype 2,3 or 5 (combination of maybe two Archetype 2's).
2. Michael Green Equivalent designed of above.
3. Michael Green Platforms
4. 19" Rack (I've seen these in a lot of high end installs; kept in closets usually)

I have no idea of platforms vs. shelving and could use some schooling.

There are 1,2,3, and 5 shelf variants of Salamander products:

And AMP Platorms:

And here are a few cabinets/racks; which I prefer, but maybe bad for sound?:



Salamander also offers customization; but I am sure for a pretty penny. Here is an example of what they offer:

And, here are some examples by Michael Green so everything is in one post:
Harp:

Michael Green Rendering of Tunable Rack:

Michael Green Platform Approach:

Michael Green Rack Approach:



So, I am certain that Michael Green products are the BEST and tunable, but I am not sure of budget.. that conversation can be had via email.. I just wanted to share with all my goals and need for better audio cabinetry...and present my creative process..

Also clueless as to benefits/demerits of Platforms vs. Racks, Open vs Closed, and when to use each?

Respectfully,

Ron

This post was editted to not show competitors, thanks, the Mod


Last edited by rrstesiak on Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:23 am


Greetings Ron

What's your turntable and cartridge? Are you a cartridge alignment crazy like Sonic there are ideas to consider -- what geometry do you set to?

With you there are more analog-fans on the Tune! Great Very Happy

My T3 cables have arrived today and Sonic has set them up and reported an initial listen on my thread.

From my experience heavy racks are a no-no. Even the early generation ClampRacks from Michael Green which are miles ahead of the competition and tunable become an impediment to the expansion of the Tune if you are ambitious and work to progress from Tune-Basic to more advanced stages of the Tune. Lightweight supports with lots of wood is the way to go Sonic has learnt.

Sonic
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rrstesiak



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PostSubject: Reply to Sonic   Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:10 pm

Sonic:

I own a Rega P1; older version of current RP1. I absolutely enjoy it. I have the Otofon Red 2M (moving magnet) cartridge. Unfortunately, I do not own any cartridge alignment tools, but I remember following the user manual to success. I unfortunately am not to a proficiency to describe my cartridge alignment beyond what was in the manual, but I did find this interesting article on Stereophile you may find a good read:
http://www.stereophile.com/reference/arc_angles_optimizing_tonearm_geometry/index.html

I also have tried a Bellari entry level tube Phono stage, a Cambridge Audio 551p which I would recommend to anyone who needs a moving magnet stage on a low budget.

I very recently received my newest phono stage: the Vincent PHO-8; it was just recently reduced in price from $399 US to $299 US. I find the two chassis design to be much in the flavor and philosophy of this forum and can tell a significant improvement in the Bass of my records.. It is stronger and clearer. I look forward to hearing it only improve as it "burns in".

I read your cable review and I am happy for you! I remember vividly being amazed when I too upgraded my speaker cables...it made WAY more of a difference than I thought it would. I bought them before I knew of Michael, and chose Audioquest Rocket 33 in 8 foot length each with banana connectors. To my pleasant surprise, they are bi-wired; contributing to a noticeable increased separation and clarity of treble and bass; and of course significantly more thought and engineering put into them than my hand-soldered banana terminated Radio Shack cables!

As for equipment racks, I am still learning..and so far have seen evidence that lighter and wood is better than heavier and/or other materials, like glass or just metal.

As for ambition, I like to think of myself as nothing short of down right *intense*.  Smile

I think we share many similar philosophies and opinions as well. I personally look forward to getting to know you and other listeners here over time.

I really do enjoy this hobby... I almost think that term does it an injustice.. Perhaps I should refer to it as my passion!

Respectfully,

Ron
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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:53 pm

Hi Ron

We don't really post pics of competitors often cause I don't like beating up on them. It's also against forum rules, but if I may talk about the positives of our designs and not the negatives of others we'll give this a try and see how it goes.

Here's what Sonic was refering to Deluxe Justa-Rak



Surprisingly we get a fair amount of request for these still, and have been thinking about bringing them back for their particular crowd, different wood and finish.

Here's the Tuning Rack



Tuning Rack "Thick"



but, here's when everything changed



Now most listeners are having us design their custom transfer Platforms.

Your going to see a ramping up of the racks you posted, but I bet most are going to go for platforms for two reasons. One they go further in the area of tuning, and two it leaves the space open for center stage tuning, which most extreme listeners do.

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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:05 pm

My question for you Ron is, what are you planing on doing acoustically?

If your not going to tune the center stage pressure zone, why not keep the furniture you have and build custom platforms for the components within the context of the cabinet you have. Personally I think that would be sweet looking.

What's that stand made from? Is it wood covered MDF or Partical board?

Now if your sure your going to replace it you ought to have us build a low custom piece to sit there. Our shop does gorgeous wood working, and you could have a lowboy made that would knock your eyes out, and sound incredible.

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rrstesiak



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PostSubject: REPLY TO Michael   Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:52 pm

Michael:

Again, please forgive my ignorance.. I admit I am new to all things audiophile... but to your style of tuning, I am "*BEFORE* newbie" if such a category exists! Thankfully, I do learn severely fast though and will catch on.

Could you please carefully explain "the center stage pressure zone" and what precisely that entails; specifically in this case how it affects choosing and/or custom designing cabinetry/stands/platforms/etc.

And I seem to be breaking pretty much every forum rule! I really do apologize for posting pictures of competitors.. I was attempting to give you an idea of what appeals to me with the intent of matching it to your own product lines. I have taken the liberty of removing some to still get my design analogy across without so many pics.

I totally hear what you are communicating though at a high level... if I may, it seems like there are of course a few different ways to go.

My gut instinct tells me; as long as it isn't cost prohibitive, to merely go with the BEST sonically....as you refer, I would classify myself as an "extreme listener". We can certainly dialogue about price offline in email..but I think this conversation is useful for other members as well; just leaving out price charts,etc. for private discussion.

Now, there is that other side of me too... that has a design aesthetic.. perhaps if there is a killer design that does not compromise heavily on sonics, that may be in fact the path I take.

I must conclude; however, that as clever as my re-purposing of the IKEA bookshelf is, it has really gotten "old" for me... and I am ready for a purpose - built storage system / platform/ rack/anechoic chamber / ?? for my audio! I also am open to moving the television if a particular design concept requires it to obtain the best acoustics; but that would have to be pretty convincing. Also, since I am abandoning the IKEA piece, I am open to any and all design configurations as well; again taking into account with and without the TV. This should open up the room to all or most possibilities yielding the space to true creative freedom.

Smile

Aesthetically speaking, I rather am drawn to your "tuning rack"..the "thin" version... Is that also tunable or is it more for aesthetic? I also absolutely LOVE the almost "steam punk" look of the "micro-tuning" hardware within the rack: it is evident on the component on the rack directly underneath the turntable rack..very elegant and yet form following function.. love all the metal rods everywhere yet with purpose as well as design. How does it compare sonically to the "extreme listener" and other  approaches/designs?
To be absolutely clear we are communicating properly, I will re-post the image of the exact rack I am referring:


To continue, I have been playing with the idea of moving the TV into my bedroom; as currently there is no TV there and I often find myself wanting for one. Moving my existing one there would save money as well as potentially dedicate my main room to pure 2 channel audio!. (Just an idea..not 100%)..

However, and in design, there are a lot of "however's"..the idea of a custom built lowboy of sorts is also profoundly appealing...potentially keeping the room as a multi-purpose media room and being much more "girl-friend" friendly. Do you have examples of previous works?

Again, to restate, there seem to be many different ways at arriving at an elegant solution when custom and what I call semi-custom products are brought into the mix. For now, I am open to pretty much all suggestions with the exception of saving my current piece. So that would leave us with:

1. whatever "extreme listener" manifests itself as
2. "thin" racks with tuning hardware as shown in picture.
3. custom lowboy to entirely replace mine with a Micheal Green design; hopefully tunable and/or sonically resonant and I would imagine a significant increase in sound quality over the IKEA MDF/wood laminate book shelf.
4. you mentioned a custom designed "transfer platform"...is that a repeat of "extreme listener" or yet another design philosophy?

To truly bring my conversation back to reasonable levels of cost and construction, I actually do favor a more "minimalist" design philosophy and aesthetic over a more formal, heavy cabinetry with 18th century inlays and dentil moldings! I am not even implying any of your designs follow 18th century; rather just using it to contrast with; say mid-century modern; more in the likes of Herman Miller; hopefully without THOSE price sheets!?!!  Smile

I also think; with the exception of a "thin rack" if that is the way the design goes, that most elements can be bought by the piece and therefore the cost can be distributed as opposed to commissioning an entire room at once.

I am so far totally engrossed in your design aesthetic and theory and am certain we will arrive at something that will no doubt improve upon the tonal characteristics of my humbly re-purposed bookshelf-on-its-side; while also kicking up the design a notch or 2. or 20.  Smile

I look forward to your reply.

Respectfully,

Ron
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rrstesiak



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PostSubject: My NAD Project: LAB NOTES: 6.21.2015   Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:07 am

I am officially 110% committed to seeing this mini-project to completion.

All:

I have just purchased lumber, 22 Gauge wire, more solder, etc..I have also hijacked the Dining Room table as a make shift EE workshop. lol. I used to have a woodworking shop of sorts when I was a little younger.. got quite into it and made some decent furniture back in the day. I am very versed in mortise and tenon, dovetail, and the many other joining techniques. I built my own routing table and fence so I could build raised panelling... Owned a table saw, Mitre saw, many many jigs and bits..drill press.. the whole 9 yards... Sadly all of that was in a different life in Florida and has been sold off over the years. But, it is never too late, and only basic woodworking skills and tools are needed for now.

I am finding it hard to resist, but I must first measure the equipment to get a "before" data capture to apply the scientific method. I am going to capture a session of Miles Davis on CD with the unit unaltered in my listening room using some basic recording studio equipment..but am unsure as to what software to use to truly analyze the "sound" and am looking for suggestions... I am open minded and prefer Unix and Mac platforms, but can run Windows if absolutely necessary. lol. Worst case, I'll just process the digital session of Miles Davis as my reference piece and perform subsequent PCA, Fourier or other analysis against the raw data and arrive at my own method of quantitative analysis. But I would prefer an "industry Standard"...maybe Stereophile reviews may contain hints.. but again, any suggestions are welcome.

After capturing in the digital domain the listening session, I intend on removing the entire chassis and placing it on a wooden deck as a first pass in a method seemingly supported already by a large community of audiophiles; and with a great deal of success in improving the sound.

This is my very first truly scientific venture in the bizarre world of high end audio; with a lot of inspiration from Michael Green and his website and folks over there who are really doing this.

To give readers some idea of how radical this is... check out the workspace...

Stay Tuned!

Ronald R. Stesiak, PhD
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:54 am


Greetings Dr Stesiak!

Neat system you got there.

Some thoughts in relation to things you mentioned in your post:

a. I have set up my Rega with a Dr Feickert protractor using the Baerwald alignment (Sonic thinks it is also called Lofgren A) which gives the best distribution of tracing error across the radius of the LP. On my Audio Technica which is used to play 78s, SPs, 45 rpms and worn LPs the two cartridges are set to Stevenson. This align geometry gives the lowest tracing error at the inner grooves but higher tracing error at the outer edges. The Ortofon 2M Red and Blue share a common motor/body so it is easy for you to got up to a Blue. The Bronze and Black again share a common motor and casing so you can start with a Bronze and go to a Black stylus assembly. Sonic thinks that the Ortofon 2M series are the best buys in cartridges around.

b. Michael's acoustic thinking is around pressure zones. At the front of your room at the middle wall between and behind your speakers is a pressure zone that if tuned determines the projection of the soundstage and stereo images. A weak or misdirected centre PZ can give you a banana soundstage where the voices are far behind the plane the speaker, like you were listening from behind the band.

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:40 pm

Hi Ron

Busy day, but will get to everything in time. Did you know, or did you read somewhere that I was a "Herman Miller" designer/consultant? That was a great time in my life Exclamation I was always a big fan of theirs, and when the call came in I thought it was some friend of mine playing a joke on me. Herman Miller asking me to consult them Rolling Eyes

An extremely classy company, and a thrill ride for me as a designer.

Absolutely one of my pride feathers.

Cool

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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:57 pm

look's like Ron has caught the fever folks Very Happy

Once tuning sets in, and starts making sense there's no turning back.

Here's what I suggest. Before making a decisson on furniture let's see what you end up with component wise. Here's why I say this. In many, most, cases people who start tuning with more pieces end up with less. And if you do end up with less a Platform would be the way to go over a rack. I don't have a problem with doing a design up for a rack, but I also see the race to the finish line you have gotten on and think by the time a rack was even built you might already be at the Platform level of tuning.

So let's say you got into this full swing as it appears, how few components would it take to get your job done? I see an Amp, CDP, Table and file based setup. Not wanting to downplay anything else, but if you made that simple setup out perform the extras added to now, would you go the simple route or still use more than less?

Pressure Zones coming up.

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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:56 pm





A link to get you started

http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t200-understanding-acoustical-pressure-zones

Really though the best way to learn and understand them is to watch other tunees using exploring the pressure zones and how they tuned them.

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rrstesiak



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PostSubject: Reply to Michael   Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:19 am

Very cool. And seems scientifically sound..pun intended.

As for stand vs platforms; I must defer that decision to your expertise. Please explain the differences between the two.

Respectfully,

Ron
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:58 am


Greetings Dr Stesiak

While you could certainly start with the equipment supports, one route you might take is to do some tuning to your room. A path taken by many Tunees including Sonic.

The principles are straightforward -- use one Corner Pressure Zone Controller or one Corner Tune Triangular Pillow in each upper tricorner of your room (where two walls meet the ceiling). A cube/shoebox shaped room will have four of such tricorners.

Then a Mid Wall Pressure Zone Controller or an EchoTune Pillow is mounted midpoint of two adjacent walls at the ceiling/wall joint. For many rooms this would tame the worst acoustical problems.

Then you can choose to shape the soundstage with Floor Standing PZCs or if you still have echoes at mid-wall height use PZ Controllers or TuneStrips in the vertical corners. There are ceiling tuners if you still have problems at the top of the room. There are also Shutters.

Somewhere along the way, the furniture supporting your gear can be changed for racks of platforms. And of course the right size of cabling as Sonic is now discovering.

But all these things work together and go in parallel along with tuning your equipment like the NAD, the Vincent and so on. And even before you are done, your room/system will give music that make you the envy of your Saturday hifi salon walkabout club if you are a member of one.

Sonic
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PostSubject: My Priorities/Budget   Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:19 pm

All:

I appreciate the valuable input on further room tuning; however, I plan on moving soon actually!?!!

Even before the move, my personal priorities are to purchase either a new rack for my equipment or platforms or ?? as recommended.

I am looking for answers and input on racks vs platforms and will make an according decision. I am learning rapidly and receptive to advice. At this point, I am thinking racks are good; but platforms are best. If there is not much of a cost difference overall, and the fact I am more open minded about my sound space, I am looking to decide between the two. After deciding between rack vs. platforms, I will then decide with more input and advice hopefully a granular and specific decision of WHICH rack or platform.

Michael also asked what I see now as a very important question: what components will I ultimately and up with? When making decision of platforms vs. rack, I now see the direct validity.

Attempting to project to my end goal of my current system, I can see the following DEFINITELY:

1. Integrated amp with DAC inside made from Creek. I am expecting the Creek Dac tomorrow and will do extensive testing over the weekend arriving at a definite answer. But if my experiences with Creek/Epos products continues, I can see the Creek made internal DAC as the end solution.

2. Rega Turntable

3. Vincent 2-chassis Phono Stage

4. Epos Epic 2 Speakers with Epos Platforms (Not sure if Speakers are even considered for platforms; just mentioning them to be thorough.

Now, it is possible I may in fact eventually (within 6 months) abandon CD as a format as I see FLAC so so rapidly taking over and the resurgence of Vinyl is only getting stronger. So CD Player is not definite.

Over all, I think my system is fairly basic (which I believe to be a good thing) in comparison to some high end gear filling racks from top to bottom. I guess this means platforms are a viable possibility as I believe they are geared more towards simpler systems; but I am still largely naive yet and again need strong guidance.



Respectfully,

Ron
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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:46 am


Hi Ron

You are right that platforms are better than racks. Certainly Michael's racks will outdo many if not all the racks you see out there -- and some are non-starters before the first musical note plays. I mean glass shelves with steel frames, or heavyweight things, or plexiglass racks. For me, years ago Sonic had a popular and reasonable rack of square section steel frame and chipboard shelves but when I tried my first ClampRack, the difference was chalk and cheese in favour of Mr Green's product. So it was ClampRacks for me as Sonic advanced in the Tune till now.

These racks had mild steel rods and thick hemlock chipboard shelves which were heavy.

Over time Michael reduced the weight of his racks with shelves of Music Ply or Brazilian Pine. The rods at the corners may have had the option of Resitone which made for a very delicate structure. This would have sounded very nice but then came the platforms.

Along the way, Sonic found that my ClampRack with its hemlock chipboard shelves, a vanquisher of other racks, had its limitation and was suppressing the pressure zone at the front centre of my room. The removal of the ClampRacks was a major improvement. But Sonic chose not to go the platform route because of practical reasons while not doubting the sound superiority of platforms.

With platforms you trade the convenience of height for things more horizontally laid out which sound better. With platforms about 1 ft high off the ground an owner might have issues with cueing turntables, cleaning styli, the risk of equipment with exposed live electrics or personal physical issues/disabilities.

If none of these are problematic for you, Sonic thinks that platforms are the better option. Otherwise two racks from Mr Green with something like Music Ply shelves. Why two? The less equipment placed vertically, the better the sound and you will have an excellent support for your equipment.

With Michael's racks, the shelves are set up so the rods go through the holes without touching the wood. The hex nuts are never tightened down -- the nuts are barely in contact with the shelf. Then you can vary the tightness and can open or close the soundstage. Yes such a structure will be wobbly if pushed. So with Tunees never try the audiophile party trick of pushing on the rack to see how rigid it is. It will tilt and go out of alignment, the listening session will stop, a short but intense period of work to reset the rack (possibly accompanies with unprintable epithets), and the perpetrator removed from the premises forever Wink

Sonic
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PostSubject: We think very much alike   Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:44 am

Sonic:

We think very much alike.

I totally agree with every word you typed...

I especially agree that if I do decide to go the shelving route, that two smaller shelves are indeed better than one tall one. I think that may be a reason Michael is approving somewhat of my existing setup..it is already laid out sort of low and horizontal...

I look forward to hear what he suggests as well as some idea of what is involved with platforms vs. racks; as I am totally unfamiliar with the platform concept.

I can also add I have no pets nor physical disability...very good points ...so platforms are possible in that sense.

But I may decide two racks... again... totally on the fence..

Thank you for your well thought out reply,

Ron
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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:31 am

Hi Ron

I was hoping to spend some time on your system tonight but got caught up in too much to do, not enough time. Will try to get to it tomorrow.

You said you were moving, is that a soon thing? Reason I ask is because of carpet or no carpet, and if carpet, what kind and what's underneath?

study

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PostSubject: Reply to Michael   Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:58 am

Michael:

To answer the audio room question I probably will not be moving after all... so current room setup is the same; with carpet.

Kind Regards,

Ron
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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:32 am

Hi Ron

Sorry for the late responses.

Ok, let me ask you a few things about the flooring.

Is it a concrete slab?

How thick is the padding and carpet?

Are you on the first floor of your building?

Are you planing on tuning the rack/racks or using them tight?

If you had these 4 setups to choose from, how would you layout your equipment?


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PostSubject: reply to mg   Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:17 am

Michael:

The audio room is above the garage, with wood substrate; guessing plywood or particle board; and sad to say cheap, then padding and carpet. But it looks good. I don't have reliable measurements on thickness; suffice it to say it is "low pile" carpet and thin padding.

As for rack/plaftorm....

I could see either 3 or 4 working out the  most..

And as for tuning vs. tight... I have no idea...I would be open to tuning as it sounds favorable at slight expense of stability I am guessing?


Kind Regards,

Ron
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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:11 am


Hello Ron

Your room construction may be actually very good for harmonics to blossom.

Good choice of equipment supports. You are right there is a balance between stability and the extremes of the Tune. Michael once said he tuned a turntable (think it was a late model AR) to realise the power of the Tune and it was so sensitive it would feedback if you moved anywhere near it.

That table will have sounded wonderful but it would be Over The Top for most everyone including Sonic. There is also a factor of peace of mind in the equation too.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:11 am

I think we have found one of the pieces of treasure in Ron's system.

MOVE affraid Are you kidding Shocked

"The audio room is above the garage, with wood substrate; guessing plywood or particle board"

MG likes Exclamation

I would do Platforms on rails (sub platforms).

Do you have more pics of the room?

sorry I've been slow got super busy

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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:10 am

Michael:

Thanks for the vote of confidence in the room's acoustics!
Could you show me a few examples of platforms on rails?

Sorry... I too have been extremely busy with academics -


Kind Regards,

Ron

ps. I will gladly upload more pictures of the room in next few days.
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PostSubject: Re: Ron's System   Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:30 am

Hi Ron

Great to see you Smile I can imagine your in your glory with your research and studies. Hope all is going well with the projects Exclamation

I'm trying to think of pics with the rails that might fit what you are thinking of doing.

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