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 Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue May 17, 2016 2:19 am


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue May 17, 2016 2:27 am

Sonic said

Michael -- your response on my room's Pressure Zones which you now see -- and what else Sonic might do?

mg

What I like is the way you are using the ceiling. With the height of the room I wonder how far down you could let the tunes hang or even if you had clouds what would take place. The tough part is how would you hang them.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue May 17, 2016 11:16 am

Thanks Mr Green  Exclamation

Yes  cheers  this makes clear much more about this wild room.

On your points -- things that are lightweight such as RT Squares/ETs should be easy to suspend – how tidy it looks will be another thing of course....and to ensure whatever is hung doesn't detach and land on a turntable  Shocked

From your recommendation, Sonic needs to ask if:

a.    anything hung low in those Zones you marked will be new items in addition to the ETs/RT Squares already mounted on the ceiling or are you suggesting that some of those things presently on the ceiling are to be hung lower?

b.     the larger circles indicates a Pressure Zone of greater strength and therefore a priority for tuning?

Sonic has access to two more DecoTunes which I could use in the next step – if you think DecoTunes are suitable, could you post a sample drawing of how they might be used to tune these Pressure Zones (assume for now that I can hang them at any level easily).

With your drawing, Sonic will put the DTs up right away.

Sonic is excited to move ahead to the next level given how promising this present cycle of Tuning is proving.

"There is always a next level....." (a saying of Michael Green)  Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Thu May 19, 2016 9:36 am


Greetings Zonees

Following Michael’s observation (and diagrams) of my room’s rather unique Pressure Zonees with his advice on Tuesday May 17, Sonic spent a couple of days working out what I could attempt next.

This is the idea that Sonic arrived at: bring in two DecoTune boards that I found available and mount them as “clouds” in a way like the Ceiling Labyrinth but positioned lower down the vertical axis of the room as Mr Green suggested.

So I got the DecoTunes and out came some string and the mounting started.

By tackling this part of the room we hit a target – the initial set up was sounding promising and yet a BOO! test had an excessive midrange ring but other BOO! test frequencies had a tightened quality that made Sonic understand that this is the right approach if the right adjustments are carried out.

Sonic is beavering away Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri May 20, 2016 8:58 am

Greetings Zonees  cheers

Here are pix of the set up of the DecoTunes set up as “clouds”.

This is where Sonic started.



While there was improvement, there were enough shortcomings that made Sonic do the “adjustments” I referred to yesterday.

We got to this and it is much better:



Noticeable benefits which Sonic must resist getting too excited about and consequently start talking about without being certain of the complete effect after settling!  

The quick first impression is Sonic is hearing more details and hidden music in the recordings I love. The midrange is now clearer thanks to a moderate dryness. Sonic is listening to records through from start to finish. Thanks to Michael, we might be on to something possibly mighty good here!

Sonic will describe the sound as I take the measure of it over the next few days.

I want to be cautious because this Tune might just be the tipping point of my room acoustics Sonic been laboring long for  Exclamation

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sat May 21, 2016 1:22 am

Now your getting me excited about your room Very Happy , again

You know how I always show pictures of my system from certain angles or with less than more many times? Well one of the reasons is to not confuse people, the other is I don't want to show everything I'm doing so as to not mislead folks.

Saying this take a look at my pro pics sometime and you will see clouds. Clouds have always been a part of my recording life and many times in playback as well. Now that I know you can hang things without them falling I might have a few surprises for you Idea


Cool

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun May 22, 2016 9:04 am


What’s the Improvement?

Michael – this “cloud” approach is working cheers cheers cheers

What surprises you got for me with Clouds? Of course, while Sonic has hung these DTs up, I don’t know what the dwelling controllers/inspectors will say. If asked, I will say that only existing mountings earlier approved and drilled into the ceiling are being used Cool

On the sound, this is what Sonic is hearing:

Midrange has become more “definite”, musicians sound more certain of what they are playing.

The spaces between notes and transients are more silent.

Better sense of space of the recording venue and less “audiophile” imaging distortion of orchestral images --in particular the placement of the 1st violin.

On musick where mistakes in the recording are made – like Bob Dylan’s Rainy day Women #12 & 35, where everyone was stoned, some performers lying on the floor and playing instruments, the slightly out of time tambourine is more clearly out of time.

On other Dylan acoustic tracks -- perfectly recorded this time -- I hear more reverb on some guitars than I ever heard which now takes the musick in an even more psychedelic direction as the size of the instrument now projects on two levels.

Quiet details like the brushed drums on Miles Davis’ Blue & Green can be focused on and enjoyed, not just a sound of brushes being mechanically manipulated in the mix.

The treble is of the sort of treble Sonic likes – not rolled off, lots of detail that reveals extension, rather than a fake extension which comes from brightness in the lower treble. Unfortunately I hear this rising top end brightness more often than Sonic likes from MC cartridges, which might be a sign of how hard they are to align properly. This is one reason why Sonic stays with quality MM cartridges.

The bass has good foundation with better articulation of notes.

A recording of Pete Seeger leading an audience singing – If I had a Hammer – the voices of the audience fills the room, doesn’t go that much further out through for this recording but there is a good sense of lots of people singing their hearts out.

Playing Abbey Road (The Beatles), showed the bass on Come Together and other tracks to be solid and tight. Even, boom being absent. Inner detail on tracks are good, the drum roll on Something had pitch and weight that told me about how the roll was played, the audible size of each drum getting larger as the pitch goes down when moving from smaller to larger toms.

The Great Cricket Test….not Mr Green’s 30 foot crickets yet. What I got is well separated from the frogs which are now clearly on a track of their own on the R channel. There is a hint of a larger halo of crickets that stays on the R channel with the frogs and a larger, moving image of crickets that is louder, starts near centre and is panned over gradually to the Left channel.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Mon May 23, 2016 4:34 am

Sonic sent me an email asking if I had pictures.

Oh how I wish I had my pictures Sad  I think out of everything that happens in life one thing (among many) I missed business wise was understanding the Amish and other life lessons like hanging on to and protecting pictures.

Starting your picture collection from scratch all over again is a huge task, not one I would wish on anyone.



Have you hung the DecoTunes this way yet? Not that this would be better than what you have found just a thought Idea

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Mon May 23, 2016 10:04 am


Greetings Michael

Yes, I have tried hanging DecoTunes parallel to the floor and ceiling as in your drawing. The DTs were hung in about the same place where they are working now mounted perpendicularly and also further forward below the forward Sound Shutter positions nearer the front wall.

The DTs were hung at different distances from the ceiling -- 8 inches to about 3 ft below the ceiling. In all cases the reflective side faced the floor given I was mimicking the PZCs mounted as ceiling tunes.

Used this way parallel to the floor, the hanging DTs worsened the BOO! particularly the ringing. This worsening occurred at all distances from the ceiling. My notes do not indicate any distance where this tune worked. So hanging anything from the ceiling was abandoned.

Till now of course. Since Sonic started the Labyrinth and finding that if I tackled the sideways flow across the width of the room a better controlled the room resulted. So when Michael suggested trying lower mounting points, hanging DecoTunes was an immediate option and used perpendicularly, it is success!

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue May 24, 2016 1:01 am

Hi Sonic

It's ok to ask me questions on TuneLand Smile . If they are not something I want to talk about here I can edit and contact you Wink

You asked me by email about the Amish. My answer was in reference to the lack of keeping track of pictures while it was controlled by this certain background of people, at that time, and in that particular area. It wasn't about any of the workmanship but to explain why many of my client's systems never made it to a huge gallery that had been well over 20,000 pics taken, showing thousands of different product uses.

No Biggie, except that these pictures could have been used to show my work and specifics in setups, that I now have to redo as if it's never been done before.

On the topic of clouds, I had a huge variety of hanging designs that covered this topic in detail. Those were among these photos. There were several different types of surfaces and adjustments that gave the listener tons of options. Basically back in the days of RoomTune and Michael Green Audio Designs there was the stock type products but most of the people I dealt with personally and on the road each "high end" client was treated with more of a custom approach. It's a chapter of my designing that wasn't properly documented. So from time to time you'll read me talking about these different seasons that I may talk about or wait till someone brings it up anew again, and then I jump in. Truth be told, my in-room designing is something I have done since early on way before this forum. TuneLand shows a tiny narrow view where there was at several times systems that were built solely to encounter any and every listening situation.

Many of these questions are actually served best to be posted here, as TuneLand is as much the tuning resume as it is working with each of you.

Why is all this important?

An example of this is what you are doing with your ceiling. When you say in an email "Saw my reply that hanging DTs parallel to floor didn't work?". This to me is something that should be shared here. Why? Because where this may not have worked for you in your space it may be the cats meow with other situations. When I read or see something "doesn't work" in my mind I see "it's working". It may not be giving the particular setting what is needed or wanted, but this exact same setup may be perfect in another situation.

One thing I try to teach folks is the art of everything affects everything else is more powerful than plug & play can explain or show. This has no influence on what you have learned from your ceiling necessarily, but to me the question is not about the bad results from hanging parallel, as the why behind the big effect that was created by the parallel hanging.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed May 25, 2016 9:01 am


What’s the Improvement? – Part 2

Sonic is noticing that the “subjective perception of improvement from the Clouds” is greater with digital than analog!

With LPs, the whole presentation is nicely understated, yet more dynamic and real. Over these few days with lots of LPs being played, Sonic enjoyed them but the feeling of the degree of improvement was greater when playing the FLAC files. Wonder why?

Now more improvements that are being typed as I listen.

An LP of orchestral works by Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern (S Rattle cond. Birmingham Symphony Orch) was startling in dynamics across the frequency range. The loud parts were LOUD, while the soft passages were really quiet. This means the SPL headroom of the room has gone up. I can play musick much louder with no more of the room choking up, overloading and ringing. Snare drum strikes and rim shots are sharp and clear, causing jumps.

A small but pervasive room hardness ring I heard yesterday is gone or suppressed to the point Sonic hears it not.

Blues harmonicas pierce forward from the plane the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs. Voices when singing suddenly loud/shout during drama get both louder and expands in size like a spherical balloon that suddenly inflates in the room with the “shout” and shrinks when the level drops.

Yet playing Viol works by Couperin (Savall, Koopman, Maurette) at very low background listening levels still gives clarity and definition of the instrumental lines.

The upper bass overhang I talked about appears to be reduced on music programme that develops it.

The sense of acoustic dryness is increasing but Sonic opines this is a positive against the comparatively harder sound from the walls. This sound is closer to what I might hear if the wall and ceiling used some drywall. The Next Level must involve wood for Tone flavour.

Performances of music and drama are more dynamic. Impactful in a way that helps me enjoy the intent of the composers and authors. Gives another level of emotional thrill to listening.

The room is quieter yet not acoustically dead. Music sings, voices project naturally rather than sound “swallowed up” as in an overdamped room.

The viola da gamba sounds real compared to the live instrument I have heard in concert recently. Similar weight though this room/system is slightly on the “too smooth side” which cuts the realistic projection of the live instrument.

A BOO! test around my room shows good damping and no unacceptable ringing at any of the BOO! test pitches.

The apparent level for a given preamp volume setting is lower. This could be from the greater acoustic headroom. Much better detachment of instruments and voices panned onto or near the speaker panels.

Listening to Rondo a la Turk (Dave Brubeck Quartet -- FLAC). Very controlled, almost headphone-like definition.

Next, now on the turntable are George Rochberg’s String Quartet 3 (Concord String Quartet – Nonesuch LP) has realistic image focus and tone. Then Elliot Carter’s String Quartets 1 & 2 (Composers Quartet – Nonesuch LP). Not heard string quartets this realistic in my system cheers Very Happy cheers

Now Sonic does thanks to Michael's advice Exclamation

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed May 25, 2016 1:42 pm

This is a very good report indeed Exclamation

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri May 27, 2016 9:26 am

Greetings Zonees

Here is a broad view of the room as it was yesterday.



Sharp-eyed Zonees will notice that the Janis W-1 subwoofer has been moved. This was done just before Michael gave Sonic the “Clouds” idea.  I moved the Janis W-1 to tame the bass boom Sonic reported, the new placement being determined by room placement ratios and fractions of room dimensions.  It was promising and when the suggestion from Michael came that led to my coming up with the DecoTune Clouds hung perpendicular to the floor Tune, Sonic left the Janis W-1 there in this new position and moved on with the hanging DecoTunes tune.

Now Michael has pointed out the shape of these Pressure Zones in Sonic’s room.



You will see that Sonic has marked the Zones that Mr Green identified with the numerals 1, 2 and 3.

Zone 1 has now been addressed by the perpendicular hanging DecoTunes.

Zone 2 is tricky because I have nothing to anchor anything I use to the ceiling securely and this Zone is almost directly over the Turntables (TT1 and TT2) and anything that falls is certain to land on one of the turntables, so Sonic will avoid hanging anything in Zone 2 unless it can be set up 110% secure.

Zone 3 is to the rear of the room and Sonic will have an attempt to addressing it. For now I have no means of hanging anything in this Zone in a tidy and safe manner, so we have to wait.

What’s the Improvement? – Part 3

As things are, when Sonic does a BOO! test, the signature I hear hints that Sonic is in a larger room.

More settling and Sonic was hearing that the equipment in the room had disappeared and Jean Marie Leclair’s Overtures and Sonatas and Trios for violins and basso continuo (London Baroque, FLAC) was playing in a surround field that is all round me (the listener) in a way congruent with classical music performances in small recital halls!

Then for a lark, I played the most different FLAC file Sonic could think of – The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers.

At moderately loud levels, the bass is good, Sonic can hear/understand every word Sir Michael Philip is slurring out, the guitars are projecting past the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs, the treble is extended yet the whole music is little rolled off. Sonic is enjoying some all-round surround sound though. Nice groove with “Can You Hear Me Knocking?”, “I got the Blues” and “Sister Morphine”. And there is good startle   Shocked factor with percussion.

Sonic feels if I pushed the volume up another 6 dB the sound will really open up around me. Yet the odd feeling is this: I am hearing The Rolling Stones (not that Sonic listens to them much or is familiar with their sound) through a system that has been tonally optimized for replay of early music. Everything is playing back with a tonality that is excellent for a 20-piece Baroque orchestra but Jagger, Richards and Co just don’t sound dirty and dangerous enough.

Next up, played Toru Takemitsu’s solo piano works. Now this is rendered beautifully  Very Happy

Then the Borodin String Quartet playing Tschaikovsky’s String Quartet in D Opus 11 (EMI) – wonderfully clear interplay of the 2 violins, the viola and cello.

What/Where Next?

Sonic will need Michael’s guidance for this because further tune actions like the one I am next describing with the two pix are showing that some sort of limit has been reached.

During the week, Sonic briefly tried:



Sonic moved the acoustic foam pieces from the top of the forward wall to these positions.  Very quickly, the soundstage closed down on and instrumental images were now related to the speaker positions.  The positive thing was fingerstyle guitar (Jhon Renbourn) was the most realistic I heard in any system. I let a day of settling progress. “Let’s give it a chance to work” thinks Sonic.

Then after Sonic returned to my dwelling after work at a long day’s end, a quick BOO! test told me that the foam was not working. Some tones were good, others now had signs of ringing/overhang.     Shocked  Question Foam can create ringing and overhang  Question  So while I had energy left at the week’s midpoint, Sonic took the foam down which is easy thanks to 3M Command tape. Then the system continued unaltered from the state that led to Sonic writing What's the Improvement? Parts 1, 2 and 3.

So Michael – suggestions on what next if you please.  Shall Sonic, like Bill333, top tune the AUNE?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun May 29, 2016 9:46 am

Greetings Zonees

Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s Shaka Zulu (FLAC) which Sonic remarked some time ago was too reverberant, now sounds acceptable though still slightly on the excessive side for Sonic!

What’s Sonic Listening To This Weekend?

Some wonderful LPs:



This is some far out modern music by Harry Partch played with instruments such as a chromelodeon, cloud chamber bowls, gourd tree and strange voices.  With unusual scale intervals and complex rhythms. Very percussive.

Interestingly Sonic started playing this LP with the AUNE DAC switched on.  The sound was good but not as great as the analog front end is in terms of realism. Into the first track, I switched off the DAC and the sound improved in incisiveness and size of presentation where it was very slightly rounded off earlier.



String quartets by Milton Babbitt, Ruth Crawford Seeger and George Perle played by The Composers Quartet. Excellent sound, good musick. I like the Babbitt quartet most which is the most angular and distinctive work in this record.

And this, mostly solo works, by Joan Tower:



Of course, plenty more is being listened to this weekend.  These are some that stand out.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue May 31, 2016 8:37 am


Greetings Zonees

While we immerse ourselves in the Tune we are actually working with and managing variables in our system and rooms.

In Sonic’s understanding there are Four Great Variables:

Variable 1: the Recording – what we play is in itself is a combination of whole chain of embedded variables. The difference between recordings in terms of frequency balance and spatial information cannot be underestimated.

Variable 2: our Equipment – this can be huge given the kinds of equipment that are used and combined. Tunees can, as JC Carter III said on Michael's thread, reduce the range of variability if they use an entire system from Mr Green (Magnavox, one of the recommended integrated amps and his loudspeakers).

Variable 3: the Room – even if we had the same equipment chain down to the last detail, a major variable lies ahead as no two rooms are the same in terms of size or construction materials. So even the same gear (like Mr Green’s for instance), the placement will necessarily be different and so on. Every room will require its own bespoke Tuning once we move beyond the Entry Level processes (treat the upper corners and wall seams, take away heavy drapes and carpets etc).

Headphone users will of course not have this Variable, leaving them with 3 Great Variables instead of 4.

Variable 4: Ourselves -- yes, another complexity is encountered when the sound reaches our ears through the room (Michael rightly says the “room is your loudspeaker”) or alternatively the diaphragm of your headphones – then the soundwaves reach the least understood zone of all – the listener’s physical structure and brain processing and memory in the form of the shape of our outer and inner ears, our hearing acuity which degrades with age but is partially compensated by the brain and finally how our brains compute things in conjunction with what Harbeth designer Alan Shaw calls our internal sonic database which is the sum of all our listening from birth.

No two people are the same and given two listeners in the same room and equipment, the perception of the sound will be similar but different, the variation is not so far apart that there is not scientifically testable common ground.

Sonic found this on [url=www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/showthread.php?362-Why-does-Soundstage-Depth-and-Width-Change-with-Toe-in[/url] and thought Zonees might be interested.

Sonic

QUOTED PORTION COMMENCES

Q: Why does Soundstage Depth and Width Change with Toe-in?

A Shaw: I think that it is not possible to give you a completely factual reason for this and your experience may be different to others - or the same.

The key point to remember is that stereophonic reproduction at home is an illusion. It is a trick played on the mind by the ears. It is entirely in your brain that the magic of width and depth is created from two loudspeakers. How this precisely works I don't know, but I do know that the notches, cavities and protrusions that define the shape of your outer ear all have an important part to play in directional location.

Occasionally my wife asks me to peg out the washing on the washing line in the garden. It is over a hard pathway. Quite often there are aircraft at about 5000 feet making a circuitous approach to a nearby airport. It always interests me that when they are passing overhead, if I bend down to the washing basket that there is a audible phasiness to the sound of their engines - a swooshing in the tone. If you bob up and down you can clearly hear how the ear uses the reflection from the ground to tell your brain that the noise (of the plane) is up high above in the same way that the shape of your outer ear tells you that birdsong is (generally) associated with birds in trees. Try it yourself but you must be on a hard reflective surface, not grass.

We are not conscious of these reflections but they form a critical part of our 3D location system. And if we did not have this inbuilt audio location capability we would not be here today discussing this point: our ancestors would have been eaten by predators.

Alan A. Shaw
Designer, owner
Harbeth Audio UK

[A few forum members’ comments follow and then this comment from Alan]

Really! You are both worrying far, far too much! Do what seems right to you. This question of 'what is best' cannot be answered scientifically because there are so many variables, including where the microphones were positioned, the shape of your outer ear etc. etc. etc.. I have already stated in my previous post here, stereo imaging is an illusion. It is entirely a construct inside your own brain. Your brain (somehow) builds a mental model by mapping the sound that you hear over your speakers via your two ears to those that you have previously experienced in real. All this exposure is knitted together into a sonic model that allows you to imagine in your head how performers were arranged in 3D space at the recording venue. But the person sitting next to you may have a radically different mental model. Wives, for example, frequently cannot understand or appreciate their husbands fascination with hi-fi - they are entirely happy with the kitchen radio. This is because they have a very different mental model of how music sounds.

Your brain creates a sonic database before birth and refines it throughout your life according to your sonic experiences, the concerts you have attended, the types of instruments you have heard, different acoustic environments etc.. If you have never been to a live concert, never heard a live instrument but only been exposed to sound via a cheap radio you would have a very different mental sound database to draw experience from. Conversely, if you are a professional musician living and working with your instrument, you may find it impossible to listen to hifi sound. Many professional musicians seem perfectly satisfied with very modest low-fi audio equipment at home.

Throw the grand theory out of the window - what is right for your brain, your room, your music, your taste is right. Go with what sound best to you.

P.S. I strongly recommend that you make an effort to go to live (classical) concerts where the instruments can be heard live, not via a PA speaker system.. Your concept of stereo imaging, depth, perspective etc. may well radically change after such exposure. For one thing, at a real live concert, you will find that 'pin-point imaging' and great depth does not exist. What you experience live is a wash of sound .....

P.P.S. The fact that different people have different exposure to live sound - and hence, a different internal sonic database in their brain to draw on - makes the business of hi-fi reviewing rather problematic. When we read a hi-fi review, there are so many unknowns for us, the reader, to contend with. Not only have we no exposure to the equipment under review we don't know about the reviewer's associated equipment, his room room, his musical taste or his previous exposure to live music (if any) and how sophisticated his mental sonic look-up table is. However, one thing we all do know about is speech since we are surrounded by live speech all our lives even if we have never seen or heard an instrument. That makes speech an excellent test material for evaluating loudspeakers.

Alan A. Shaw
Designer, owner
Harbeth Audio UK


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:13 am



Greetings Zonees

Presently Sonic wires up the Janis W-1 subwoofer with a single run of Van Damme loudspeaker cable, 2x0.75mm (diameter per multi-stranded conductor) twin-axial which works out to between 20 and 21 AWG per conductor. The Janis W-1 subwoofer is functioning extremely well with this cable – bass reasonably extended, tight and controlled, good weight, no overhang. Neat and in this present placement of the Janis W-1 cabinet, the best result Sonic got with subwoofering.

I met an Audiophile friend who said he always doubles up his cables because Van Damme 2x0.75mm cables are too thin to carry good bass. He added that some have even gone to bigger bundles for their speakers.

It happened as Sonic was going through my closet looking for Top Tune parts, I found from an earlier attempt at subwoofering a double run of the same Van Damme cables.

Now doubling up increases the AWG from 20/21 to 17AWG.

Sonic did a wire up which is easy to do and started the music.

The sound was immediately noticeable to have become thick and slow, the bass was more prominent and of a quality that told me there is a subwoofer in the system, and a subwoofer that “lagged” a bit behind the main speakers. The funny thing is this thickness was added to the overall sound higher up than the subwoofer operating range and could be heard even when there was little bass activating the subwoofer.

I went back to the 0.75mm diameter conductors quickly.

Now Michael offers Bare Essence speaker cables in Type 1 (single 22 AWG solid core), Type 2 and Type 3. For my main Magneplanar MG1.5QRs, Sonic is using Type 3 (17/18 AWG equivalent) for the bass panels and Type 2 (19 AWG) for the quasi-ribbon tweeter.

For subwoofers, Michael used to recommend Type 4 which is 16 AWG though it is not listed now as available.

The results I got tell Sonic that AWG is not the only factor – other things must have contributed to the mud I heard – it might be the multi-strands making up the conductors, the use of OFC metal for the wires or the multiple layers of PVC insulation?

Of course this is not to say the Van Damme is poorly designed – it is done well and is made to comply with various criteria for the uses it is put to. It is used for internal wiring of Harbeths – one run to the woofer!

Michael’s cables are also properly compliant for their intended use – they are Underwriter Laboratory rated as you can see from the writing on the insulation.

This again shows a principle of the Tune: simpler is better, less is more.

Now as for those who wire up their systems with multi-stranded cables in double, tripled or quad configurations….poor fellows, what mush are they listening to?

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:43 am

I was not surprised but had to shake my head with a little laughter reading the post Laughing from Alan.

It always amazes me the story line people try to use when not understanding something about the hobby or technology.

If the post was true I wouldn't bother doing what I do.

Smile

The truth is, audiophiles have been trying to rationalize what goes on in physics naturally with their over engineered thoughts. They try to "figure out" something that is so simple and have made it into an impossible quest. High end audiophiles put themselves into a spin that doesn't exist. The reason why some of their wives don't get into it is 2 fold. One it's really not music the high end audiophile is after, and two the wife is enjoying music for what it is in terms that make sense to them.

If I was a wife I wouldn't want to sit in the room with my uptight husband either. He spent his life savings on something that looks like a huge Tonka Toy and makes screeching sounds instead of a host of in-tune beautiful instruments.

I think people are slowly coming to the fact that there is a big difference between the audiophile music lover and the high end audiophile. The high end audiophile is a desperate engineer trying to force a component to deliver music based on a compulsive set of marketing rules made up by guys trying to create something that has never existed outside of the guilt buying created by interesting writers. Proof of this is looking through forum and magazine galleries.

The one technical concept that has been with music playing forever, in reality has yet to become the norm of the hobby (not the high end audio hobby). Tuning is not A way, but the "only" way to successful listening. The real question is, how long does it take a hobby built on nature to get back to natural Question

One other comment. A hall that can't produce a stage is a hall not in tune. If you read the comments from the rooms we did for UMI you will read "the first thing noticed was instrument location".

The music industry has only just broken ground. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:06 am

Good point Michael, nevertheless Sonic finds Mr Shaw an interesting fellow to read – and a talented speaker designer he is we have to admit, as I understand it one who believes cabinets must be light and flex not be rigid for speakers to sound good eschewing massive and “sink like a stone” speakers I am assailed with everywhere I turn in the audio stores in my town.

Of all the manufacturers (forget about Altec A5s and Western Electrics), if it were not for Michael and the Tune delivering this growing 360 degree musick in my dwelling, Sonic might well have a pair of Harbeths looking at me in my listening room.  And will that never happen – I think not, but never say never….

Shaw has written some acerbic stuff on the flaws of the LP (which one digital music-crazy friend of mine sends me links of these to just rritate me), yet the diameter of Sonic’s field of reading extends far beyond the people I agree with.

Here is an oddity Alan Shaw wrote on “digital hardness” – I am not sure what he is getting at.

But have a look and if Michael or other Tunees not wish to further weigh in, we go back to Tuning and let the rest of the audio world be….

QUOTED TEXT

It's child's play to demonstrate the sound of "digital hardness".

Equipment you will need:

1. Motor car (optional)
2. FM/AM radio, mono or stereo
3. 30 minutes listening/driving time

IMPORTANT!

Before switching on the radio MAKE SURE that it is set to AM before powering up. Do not power-up when set to FM mode. Set the volume to off before preparing yourself.

What to do:

1. Turn-on radio (in AM mode) and listen continuously for at least 30 minutes.
2. Enjoy the warm, relaxing sound.
3. Distract yourself by driving or reading, painting or similar with the radio on in the background.
4. After at least 30 mins. change over to FM.
5. Hate the hard, 'digital' sound.
6. Hurl the radio out of the window in disgust at the unnaturalness of FM (aka 'digital sound')
7. Put on your jacket, pick-up your wallet and head down to the shops to buy the best, most exotic AM radio money can buy. The more expensive the better. The heavier the better. The nicer the combination of wood and metal the better.
8. Relax and now enjoy the real sound (thinking: I should have made this investment years ago)

Cost to conduct experiment: zero. Guarantee of success: 100%

Alan A. Shaw
Designer, owner
Harbeth Audio UK
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:44 am

Hi Sonic

This is actually a good discussion. One that allows us to think about the differences. As I read forums, reviews and talk with others who tune and don't, my mind takes on these perceptions that stick with me while carrying on my daily events.

"digital hardness"

A phrase that does exist, but I challenge those who use it. Is it digital hardness or is it that when playing digital on a system that is not able to produce "extreme harmonic structures" without collapse, something that does not play the whole of the recording?

Keep in mind, I have no problem with someones choice, but it is a choice. Something that keeps me on the path of digital is that moment when the harmonic door is achieved and that hard harsh fragmented sound turns into space and order. If the space and order would have never happened for me, you guys would probably be reading me talking about reel 2 reel or table (second choice), but because I have heard it (space & order) and have pursued the untangling of digital, my hobby of listening has become something different from what I hear other designers, who have not gone far enough, talk about. There's a clear line between those who have not heard digital consistently and those who have.

designers and listeners

As an on looker of others designing and listening I see a lot of folks coming very close to the edge of great, before they settle on not quite there. Everyone of us have heard it. The right conditions and moment of listening makes us declare we have arrived. At these points we drive our flag in the ground and say "we have finally found it". How ever wonderful that moment is, we come back to that same system, song, situation later and it's like waking up to that partner in the daylight "not quite as pretty as last night" type of moment. Many times at that point we lie to ourselves ever so little enough to justify why it was so good and now so not good. Our ego looks at the system now, exposed by time and a new current reality, and we're not quite sure what to say to others as that last night moment is gone. This is where the high end audio confusion sets in and we enter the world of being mortal.

Yes there are many great designers of "the moment" and many great "moments", but the Earth is spinning, adapting and adopting to the now and last night has faded into the past as it should. The new day in physics, however big or small, looks and feels different from yesterday. In everyway we accept this and build into the mechanics of this new beginning. We "adjust" and experience a completely different day with all new variables. We do this with such ease, because we practice this experience every single day of our lives. High end audio however is a hobby that has not taken the step of on going variables. It's a hobby of ego that is trying to make every day the same and refuses to let physics (nature) be what it is. Nature is growth, change, a new revolution. Where high end audio fails is the same ole story. This part of the hobby is trying to make consistency out of something that doesn't exist. Fact is engineer types need to learn more about physics as a sliding scale and stop trying to change what happens naturally.

So for me, I can respect a designer that is building for that once in a while magic date or I can live in the reality of what every acoustical instrument teaches me. In my mind great designs are only as good as their ability to tune.

Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:14 am

Greetings Zonees

Sonic has through this past week has been considering if I should Top Tune the AUNE as Bill333 (and before him Hiend001) did and went through my closet if I have the gear to do the Top Tune if Sonic wanted to.

Among my gear, Sonic has 4 mild steel blackened ¼ inch rods from Michael, sufficient 10mm hex nuts from Mr Green too and 4 small MTDs. So we got the vertical supports of the canopy.  I found a ¼ inch resitone rod of the right length. Also found is a piece of treated Cedar from Michael with the corner holes drilled and a threaded hole in the middle for the down rod.

This is where the AUNE x1s sits in my system layout.



Zonees will rightly observe there is little space for the AUNE and a Top Tune canopy.  The AUNE x1s sits on three Low Tone Redwood blocks under the table carrying the Rega and the AT, sitting on the smaller table just next to the Quicksilver Preamp.  Definitely tight space in the vertical and horizontal directions.

Shall we start?  Not so fast! Consider these points first….

For one thing, it turns out Sonic will have to cut the rods down by 2 to 3 inches so they fit in the vertical space available.  If I did this, there will be the required 3 inches of Canopy Space over the top of the PCB being required.  I remembered Michael saying that a canopy too close or too far from the device being top tune will give sound that is not good. According to Michael and learning from experience there is an optimum distance where the Top Tune works best.

Now a Top Tune canopy has to be mounted loose – all down rods must be vertical, none touching the sides of the holes and the hex nuts loosely in contact with the wood. Ditto the down rod must just touches the PCB board, no great pressure must be exerted. All this makes for a fragile structure indeed.  All will be well if you don’t have to touch it but Sonic will have to switch the AUNE on and off – when I use the turntables, the DAC is switched off and then on again should I use the digital playback capability.  All in, lots of risk to knock the canopy of shift the PCB and upset the Top Tune which will results in degrade sound.  I could, like Bill333, remove the AUNE x1s’ back cover so the ON/OFF switch is free and I can activate it from the side of the canopy.  This lessens the risk of moving the PCB accidentally a little but not completely.

Also the wood type of the canopy is a significant contributor to the eventual sound (not surprising) and the only wood piece I have is the Cedar one. Sonic till now has not had a good experience with Cedar in my system. What has worked consistently is for canopies is Magic Wood (Basswood). Cedar, when used in my system, sounds rather gassy and lacking in the tubey warmth/girth that Sonic prefers.

Yet Top Tuning is an idea of principal that is good.  So what is Sonic to do…?

I was at one point going to say “On balance, I have decided not to Top Tune the AUNE.”

Then  Idea  Exclamation

I remembered something Sonic did a long time ago following the example of what I saw in Cdimi’s incredibly complex system (go to the Tuneland Archives -> Audiophiles -> Conspiracy Theory -> Pages 60 - 70) like this:



So this is done with a sharpened resitone rod applying light and stable pressure on the AUNE PCB:



The sound on first listen is promising, great clarity of detail and musicality – on Roy Goodman and the Hanover Band’s Hyperion recording of Joseph Haydn’s Symphonies 6, 7 and 8, the orchestra has the characteristic sound of early instruments (gut strung baroque violins and modern steel strung violins sound very differently and the technique used to play them too differs), much improved dimensional focus across the soundstage, giving also deeper and tuneful bass.

On Nic Jones’ Penguin Eggs – Farewell to the Gold, I could hear how the vocal tracks recorded at different times and combinations are brought together in the mix to create the complete track. Nic Jones’ percussive playing of the guitar is steady, his voice projected naturally.

As settling progressed over 2 days, listening to baroque orchestra, Nicholas McGegan, Handel Wassermusick/Harmonia Mundi, there is improved coherence across all instrumental groups and the single Bass viol gives superb foundation to the sound. Again this great increase in clarity, at modest playback volumes! A day onward of settling and Sonic is hearing more girth going down lower into the bass. With rock music the bass is more solid and impactful than before.

Looks like Sonic got the AUNE top tuned  Very Happy

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:41 pm

Wow!  Congratulations! cheers

Resourcefulness and persistence bring great rewards.
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:30 am

Hello Zonees

Sonic needs to say that with another couple of days settling, the system with the AUNE top tuned is very good. I have been listening for hours and hours. Sonic is fairly thrilled how after Michael made the suggestion that led to the lower hung DecoTunes that I am thinking less about my system and room, just letting the musick play!

The tone and presentation of the soundstage/soundfield is most satisfactory. Potentially, this puts Sonic at a new point in my Tune journey which I see has both finite and endless aspects.  

Finite in that we can work with Michael’s products and his advice and substantially if not completely remedy the acoustic problems in our rooms and free up the blockages in our equipment so they operate in ways that will astound the audiophile world with their turntables and loudspeakers machined from aerospace Supertronium Metal costing multiples of $100,000 which must be connected with cables the thickness of a fire hose.

Endless in that every recording sounds different for reasons that Mr Green has talked about and each recording is a mini-universe that can be tuned and explored in different ways – Michael says he tuned Deep Purple’s Machine Head so they sounded like a blues band. This process can go as far as we want and last as long as the number of recordings in whatever format we use and love. Yes, LP, tape, CD, SACD, computer file even MP3.

On the next steps, Sonic is planning to:

a.     improve how I place the JVC SEA-10 Equaliser and start to use it consistently as a Tuning Tool

b.     solve the mystery of why Space Cones refuse to work in my system.  Michael will say the Space Cones work in my system – it is just they don’t do what I want them to do!

This weekend Sonic has been listening to:



Dynamic sounding string quartets by Gottfried von Einem and Stravinsky (the Alban Berg Quartet).
Slightly noisy recording but the violin tone is excellent.
Modern trumpet works – classical form, not jazz:
The Musick of the Spanish Renaissance:

Sonic


Last edited by Sonic.beaver on Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:42 am

Hi Guys,

New update on Aune USB Driver Ver 3.20

http://en.auneaudio.com/index.php?s=/Home/Article/detail/id/81.html

Better images and tighten bass sound cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:22 am


Hello Heind001 Exclamation

Good to see you on these pages – long time haven’t heard from you.

Thanks for the news on the USB update.

What else have you done to your system aside from this?

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:26 am

Greetings Bill333

Thank you for your congratulations and comments when you visited/commented here on 3 June!

Sonic copied how you tuned the AUNE X1S – by removed the back plate and moving it and the switch assembly to the side. This allows me to power up/down the AUNE without accidentally moving the PCB and causing the Top Tune rod to fall down:



I left the plate attached (did not separate the On/Off switch from it, which can be done quite easily by disconnecting the plastic connector at the other end of the short bunch of cables) in order that Sonic can use the plate as a steadying brace as I operate the switch.

And after several days where the AUNE Top Tune settled, Sonic was encouraged by the improvement of the sound and went and did this:



The rod is the same resitone material and diameter as the one used for the AUNE.  Again the sharpened point directly contacts the PCB.  Sonic measured the length wrong and cut the rod a bit short so a 1/16 inch MW piece goes between the top of the rod and the lower surface of the table.  

In this case, the rod is mounted more firmly than in the case of the AUNE.

With this combination, the focus of the music improved is the initial impression.  A Harmonia Mundi recording of Mozart piano (fortepiano) sonatas that sounded distant and phasey has snapped into focus.  The fortepiano now has dynamics and as more of the power that a fortepiano is able to muster.

After a day of settling,   Sonic heard very nice Tone and and with rock music I am getting dynamics that surprise, deeper bass and a projective cello range that anchors the music. Promising indeed  Cool

Sonic
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