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 Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback

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Hiend001

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:42 am

Hi Sonic,

I have made some changes on the Tuning Boards positions. I have put some Tuning Boards at the side walls (near to the back end). Great music at side walls and behind of my sitting position.

Complete enveloped affraid
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:29 am


Hello Hiend001

Wow, you are completely enveloped Very Happy

The tuning boards you are referring are the shelves from your Clampracks that you had leaned on the walls round the front of you room, yes?

They are Brazilian Pine if I remember correctly.

It is amazing how as a system gets more tuned, the higher the sensitivity to even small adjustments.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:25 am

Unraveling the Mystery

Sonic said that I had wanted to get down to solving the mystery of why Space Cones just won't work in my system – of course aiming to get them to work here, given that Sonic has a pile of more than 20 Space Cones sitting in a container waiting to be used.

Till now no attempt at using Space Cones on Sonic’s part has worked (maybe, just maybe one did) – the outcome is always the same. Sooner or later, I get upper midrange or treble emphasis and upward shift in tone which in this room, the way it used to be, was horrible.

From my notes, Sonic has used the Space Cones in these ways:

1.          On the window glass

2.          Pasted to wood and attached to the walls around the ceiling tri-corners

3.          Stuck to doors

4.          On equipment at various spots like transformer laminations, on turntable plinths

5.          Attached to places on the Magneplanar MG1.5Q/R panels or stand

6.          Attached to the wood surface of FS-PZCs (2 per PZC at the 1/3 height points)

7.          Placed on the Janis W-1 subwoofer top, on the cabinet or on MW

8.          Placed on MW pieces or Low Tone Redwood blocks and located on the floor in corners, at ¼, ½, ¾ length or width points to catch pressure build up.

9.         Adhered to mains outlets

10.          Set point up under various furniture items in the listening room

11.          Set point up under lamps in the listening room

12.          Stuck to the surface of the BookCase Wall facing into the listening area (two Space cones per cabinet)

From Sonic’s notes all these applications of the Space Cones from Nos 1. to 11. did not work. Most went negative in effect while 9. and 11. had no effect at all.  When the effect was negative it was an upper midrange and treble emphasis and upward shift in pitch.  The only one Application that MIGHT have done something useful is 12. Their removal resulted in a noticed reduction of rear surround. Of course following Tunes have more than made up for surround in this room and system.  

Now Zonees cannot say Sonic did not try to make the Space Cones work!

Sonic is doing this because Space Cones, as advertised are supposed to “increase focus and clarity “space” to your system”, wonderful for shaping sound waves along the wall or mechanical vibrations anywhere in the room, is the tool you can now use to put your mechanical and electrical materials in tune with each other.” (from Michael’s description of the Space Cones on this site within the Products page).

With Tuning, I have learnt that Michael designs his gear with a lot of insight and they do what he says they do. Unless the Space Cones are his exception, they should do well. So I certainly want to test it to the max before giving up on them. Their successful use might also bring down more acoustical/mechanical barriers in my room and elevate the Tune Sonic applied more.  

Sonic thinks….

What if this is what Sonic has experienced as a “Tandem-Tune”, that is a Tune that requires a complementary one to bring out its musical power?

What if the “thinness” and “shift up in pitch” can be simply addressed by…..turning the subwoofer up and adjusting the JVC SEA 10 equaliser?

Yet Another Attempt

So this I did – Sonic took 5 Low Tone Redwood blocks and placed them evenly spaced along the top of the BookCase Wall and placed a Space Cone on each of them.  



Played music and let it settle. After a suitably long settling time, Sonic got to listen and yes, the soundstage width had increased quite a bit – the impression that the sound of the orchestra expanded well beyond the side walls of my room, and as expected the bass went thin.

Next step was to raise the output of the Janis W-1 subwoofer by +4dB without changing crossover point or anything else.  Better. Set up a longer playlist on the computer and let the music play.

A while later, Sonic had a visitor to my dwelling – someone, while not an audiophile, has very accurate hearing and is involved with live music and the dance arts. She walked into my listening space while music familiar to her was playing, said a few words to Sonic of things unrelated to audio, then after a couple minutes remarked before walking out “your system is sounding thin today”.

Oops  Embarassed  No  Embarassed

Mr Green – what do you observe and advise Sonic to do  Question  

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:25 am



Hi Michael and Zonees

Sonic concludes this is yet another Space Cone try that has gone nowhere.

I might accept the obvious and therefore direct Sonic’s persistence elsewhere…..

Sonic can think of three things to explore that might take my Tune forward further:

1.
Develop suitable devices to address the two rear-most Pressure Zones in my room -- see Michael’s identification of these zones in his post on this thread on Page 5

2.
Revisit Pressure Boxes and Tubes

3.
Improve the use of the JVC SEA-10 as a Tuning Tool.

Given the strong response and improvement Sonic got with tuning the mid-room length Pressure Zone -- actually damping and barricading the side-to-side flow there -- Tune 1 might be the most exciting and potentially rewarding thing to set effort towards.

Listening to musick goes on nicely. This weekend, the musick Sonic heard included:

Concerts a Deux Violes Esgales du Sieur de Sainte Colombe – Weiland Kuijken and Jordi Savall, 7-string Viols

Neil Young – Times Fades Away. A quirky, flawed live album that is a work of genius in its flaws, as opposed to the (over) polished Harvest and Silver & Gold. Just Sonic’s opinion

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony – Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The beauty and majesty of this work while Ludwig van Beethoven rages against his deafness always leaves Sonic emotionally stirred. Actually Sonic prefers Reiner’s version of this towering work to the early instrument performances of this masterpiece I have in my collection.

Muddy Waters – The Johnny Winter Sessions. His best version of Mannish Boy recorded with a super-tight band on the LP Hard Again. Johnny Winter’s good work where he rescued the jobless and homeless Muddy from oblivion.

Bob Dylan – Good as I Been to You. Dylan singing traditional folk and blues songs accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica. A contractual filler that somehow became a folk/blues classic.

Sonic




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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:36 am


Greetings Michael and Zonees Very Happy

In relation to Space Cones, Michael posted this on this January 27 in Sonic’s thread “Tuning My Musical Journey” (Page 22):

Sonic:

"Now Michael, about what Sonic can do with the Space Cones…..?"

mg:

"I have no idea. When you use them it seems your system goes in cycles instead of long term settling. This is not something I've experience with the Space Cones, so it's hard for me to see what they are doing. It could be something like, they don't like the charging of your speakers is a guess. Or that your system is charging up then being shutdown. After reading your comments several times, I would try to get the Space Cones to do what you were saying they do (rise and fall), but in all my systems the settling always moved toward expanding the Vibes and never retreating, getting bright sounding. I've thought about your setup in regards to the Space Cones but because I am not able to get them to do what yours are it's hard for me to say. I've used the Cones in several rooms, even ones with hard plaster walls and never got the results you have. I've been able to get bright or mellow and a wide range inbetween but never have heard them go from open to closed in, unless they had too much weight of the wrong material ontop of them, which you haven't done.

So my jury is out, when it comes to your experience. However keep in mind my systems rarely get turned off."

Consequently Sonic says: let’s leave Space Cones behind and we move on and address the rear-most Pressure Zones in my room.

As a “proof of concept”, Sonic thought of making a pair of baffles to be mounted in the rear-most Pressure Zone.

Each device (2 in total) is comprised of:

a. an 18 inch x 24 inch piece of 1/8 inch plywood

b. there are 9 holes of 2.75 inch each drilled in the plywood in a 3 x 3 lattice

c. two pieces of acoustic foam of 18 inch x 24 inch are glued on each side of the plywood board.

d. hang this lightweight structure from the ceiling so it sits in the Pressure Zones in order to control them.

If this works – that is, if the concept is proven to be sound -- I plan to make these properly from Michael’s products or some variation thereof.

In a couple of days, we’ll have the assembly made and ready for installation.

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:14 am


Greetings Zonees Exclamation

For those of us who listen to vinyl and collect records, here is a nugget Sonic learnt – background: in my town some record collectors prefer and often pay more for Japanese pressings of LPs in the belief they sound better than UK, US and German pressings of the same record.

There is some truth in that Japanese vinyl (the raw material) is of high quality and the records pressed are very silent and warp-free.

On the other hand, the music on those records I am told has been equalised to suit Japanese tastes.

Japanese pressings broadly have the high treble and low bass rolled off, and maybe some lower treble boost. The most affected are rock and pop records. Classical and jazz are less affected yet have a bit of this characteristic – Sonic has one or two jazz records that were pressed in Japan and finds them OK, the treble seems about there while the bass could do with a quantity of boosting with the JVC SEA-10.

Sonic cannot say why this characteristic is preferred. Might it be due to their very small listening rooms or a peculiarity of their acoustics?

On the acoustics of Japanese listening rooms, the website that I got the JBL 4343 as a “martial art” information also remarked why Japanese engineers and mastering make things bright. The causes are (I quote):

“1. Japanese house is usually very dead (acoustically).

2. Humidity in Japan.”

It was quite funny to see how members of that site questioned how humidity had anything to do with the tone of the sound heard.

Thanks to Mr Green, we Tunees know better Cool

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:46 am

Greetings Zonees  Very Happy

The Baffles are made and mounted from the ceiling. Happily I had picture hooks attached to the wall in just the right spots symmetrically to allow this arrangement.  Of course, if this Tune becomes permanent something more viaually acceptable and secure will have to be devised:



The first impressions are thusly:

A.
BOO!s are very much more controlled, particularly the Low tone ones.  Higher pitched BOO!s are improved too though one “honks” a little, yet less than before.

B.
The room sounds much quieter and still. Very quiet, the already low aircon running noise has gone even quieter. It is quiet in here……

A promising start certainly…..we proceed to listening to musick next.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:36 am

How the Room Sounds -- Part 1

After one day of somewhat intense settling with music play:

A.
True, the room is much quieter than before

B.
Music sounds detached from the room – it is like nothing in the room I see round me appears to be producing the sound Sonic is hearing.  The musick just “is”, having its own ambience and size. A detached sound that gives me a an unaccustomed feeling hearing this.  

C.
Recordings now appear to vary more noticeably in terms of size, soundstage, tonal balance and ambience than I noticed before

D.
Bass is deeper and firmer in quality, yet there might some reduction in quantity.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:41 am


How the Room Sounds – Part 2

A.
Some orchestral and instrumental lines in complex music are now easier to follow.

B.
Some recordings sound they are “here with Sonic”, others are “over there, not here”. Hard to describe, probably these aspects of differing recording are being revealed on playback. Yet the “over there, not here” feel is one that is strange. There is the consideration this might be an artifact given that the more Sonic listens there appear to be more “over there, not here” recordings – that is as the settling time lengthens.

C.
Sonic likes the bass control across the bass range – when a note stops, everything/every frequency stops almost together, almost no residual overhang anywhere. Also the cello range is warm and projective (which is important for the correct voicing of orchestral and string ensemble musick) without the upper bass thickness which cone/box speakers sometimes emphasize.

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:12 am


How the Room Sounds – Part 3

A.
Sonic upped the Janis W-1 subwoofer level by 2dB, while phase, slope and crossover settings are unchanged. Sonic recalls earlier acoustic treatment in this area in the rear of the listening room reduced the low bass noticeably (see the results of tuning in this area in my post of May 04 on this thread).

B.
In very general terms – we have good room and bass control while the sound is presented with clarity but what I am hearing lacks the weight that signals presence and “here”. The musick now sounds almost all “over there, not here”. This detached and distant sound may in fact be serving a small loss in dynamic range.

Sonic heard Taurus by Spirit and compared it to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven. Zonees may have been following the plagiarism suit now on. While there are similarities in the descending chord pattern, Taurus appears as a darker work in some ways.

They (Spirit) sound an interesting band. Sonic is looking for their LPs.

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:21 am

Jean Hiraga meets ALE and Be Yamamura: one of the VERY best systems in the world?





[i]The ultimate system, that as it seems I'll might have a privilege to hear soon. Until then, here is in mighty overview by our own Stefano Bertoncello...[/i]



Italian design meets Japan at its VERY best: ALE 6-ways ALL The VERY top Beryllium diaphragms, weighting between 100 and 160 kilos each, a grand-total weight for speakers - horns and drivers of about 1.300 kilos (!!!) and NO paper woofers around, ONLY compression drivers, a system of a VERY seldom heard finesse and capable of 128 db SPL; all bespoke hand-made by Be Yamamura Class A 45 W amps... all cables hand-made by Be himself, six-ways multiamping with 20th order (120 db/octave) crossover and digital room-correction/crossover via a proprietary software and last generation DAC using Wolfson's newest DAC - always by Be Yamamura, of course - and only liquid music, you'd bet it, via a proprietary top class computer/server by Be Yamamura!

A Statement... the Audio Zenith: highest grade handicrafts and the lightness of best italian design> the horns, for example, aren't wood or leather, but metal with an exotic and elegant oxide and was treatment!

A masterpiece.








The DAC, music storage and room-correction (Sonic's emphasis) and crossovering was all in the digital domain of a newly conceived Be Yamamura's software and hardware: a 52" wall mounted monitor was showing everything, from music played (a lengthy process of downloading the several, precious vinyls in the superb "boxes", so cleverly wall-mounted is a work-in-progress...) to time-delays, cut-off frequencies and every parameter, incl. impulsive and medium real-time SPL and more.

The different LPs curves will be a specialty... every disc playing will be read, equalization used recognized and extracted and then stored... every vintage eq. curves by Decca, EMI, RCA, Mercury, etc. etc. will be then available in digital domain and automatically re-applied, always using Yamamura's software and powerful server.

A truly super feature!




Read the full article and see the rest of the pictures here:

www.monoandstereo.com/2016/06/jean-hiraga-meets-ale-and-be-yamamura.html#more


Last edited by Michael Green on Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:12 am; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : Formatting for better readability)
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:05 am

Sonic found this record in good condition and a nice price – the RCA Victrola recording of Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D (Henryk Szeryng, violin with the London Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Monteux cond.):



This 1963 pressing won the grand Prix du Disque and this stereo LP displays Szeryng’s violin artistry well and give it a light boost at 60Hz with the JVC SEA-10 and it sounds wonderful!

Sonic is starting to listen to Brahms and while his quartets and pieces for cello and piano are nice, his large scale works to my ears distill the essence of a particular 19th century German sound which is not exactly what Sonic would listen to for hours on end unlike Baroque and Renaissance or Haydn.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:46 am

Greetings Zonees!

Check this blog out:  http://thetannhausergate.com/index.php/about-john-marks-new-blogsite/

It’s The Tannhauser Gate started by John Marks in December 2015.  Marks is a music lover from childhood, a record producer of art and taste, owner of John Marks Records and a Stereophile reviewer.






Source: positive-feedback.com


About his blog, Marks says:

I started The Tannhäuser Gate blogsite so I could continue the work I have been doing for many years: introducing people to worthwhile new music; perhaps explaining things they did not know about music they were already familiar with; and advising people how to bring music more deeply into their lives through cost-effective audio equipment.

Except, unlike my former situations, on my own terms and on my own schedule.

I am grateful that my former Editor John Atkinson still considers me part of the Stereophile family, and that he understood that after more than 15 years there, it was time for me to make some changes.

The topics covered here will reflection my passions and my intellectual interests. I believe that music-loving audiophiles are in an unprecedented Golden Age in terms of the availability of music, the quality of recordings, and the cost-effectiveness of today’s equipment.

Stay tuned!


From Sonic: Here’s a sample of what you'll read:


“Time for Love: The Best of Julie London”

Posted on February 23, 2016 by John Marks





Julie London: Time for Love: The Best of Julie London
CD Rhino R2 70737

Julie London, vocals; Barney Kessel, guitar; Ray Leatherwood, bass; others. Recorded 1955–67; remastered 1991.


The first installment in the “Vault-Treasure Tuesdays” feature was Clifford Brown With Strings, from 1956. The second was Frank Sinatra’s Where Are You?, from 1957. That’s one instrumental recording and one jazz-inflected male pop vocalist. So now, here’s a jazz-inflected female pop vocalist.

If you asked most people today to name the most popular female vocalist of 1955, 1956, or 1957, many would guess Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, Peggy Lee, Jo Stafford, or Rosemary Clooney. However, according to Billboard magazine, for all three years it was Julie London. Julie London’s singing career was so unlikely that it could have been a Hollywood movie script of the same era.

The Hollywood movie business actually provided both the start and the breakthrough in London’s career. Sources differ as to whether her birth name was Gayle Peck or Julie Peck, but there is no question that both her parents had been Vaudeville performers who had their own radio program: reportedly, Julie first sang on the radio at age three.
Julie Peck dropped out of high school at age 15 and took a job in a department store as an elevator operator. A woman got on the elevator, noticed Julie’s natural beauty, and offered to represent her as an agent. Julie, rechristened Julie London, made her film début in the jungle movie Nabonga (1944).





I don’t believe that London actually uttered the line, 'Me simple jungle princess… what means this word “kiss”?', but she might as well have. Soon she was a pinup model, and extremely popular among the armed forces.

In 1947, London married radio and later television actor and producer Jack Webb. They had two children. The reportedly tumultuous marriage lasted seven years. London and Webb had shared an interest in jazz, both live, and over Webb’s hi-fi.

Post divorce, London would go out to hear jazz with her girlfriends. She crossed paths with Bobby Troup, the composer of “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.” Troup was immediately smitten; but once he heard the shy Julie sing by the piano at a private get-together, he began making serious plans. Such as, demo recording, followed by marriage.

The song London brought to worldwide attention, “Cry Me a River,” has a fascinating backstory. It was originally written for an Ella Fitzgerald movie part, but the film’s producer told the songwriter to change the word "plebeian", because audiences would not credit a black woman with using such a word.

Arthur Hamilton refused, withdrawing the song. When Hamilton later learned that his former high-school classmate Julie London was looking for material for her demo recording, he took “Cry Me a River” out of his desk drawer. Well done.





London’s record sold a million copies within a year. She appeared to be unfazed, commenting:

I do everything all wrong, but I think for me that’s the best,
because I don’t think I have a voice.

She also remarked once, only partially in jest, that they devoted more effort to the album covers than to the music. But untrained as she was, she was a natural musician.

Fans of the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon series will want to know that Arthur Hamilton himself was concerned that the kiss-off phrase “Cry me a river” (which was new to him), might be mis-heard as “Crimea River.” But once he set the words to music, he decided that was a non-issue.

Julie London went on to make 32 LPs. She later starred in the TV series Emergency. In retirement, she did crossword puzzles and would often finish a non-fiction book in one day. So perhaps it was sheer boredom that caused her to leave high school.

The featured CD is an excellent compilation that plays well as a program, and the sound quality on some of the earlier, less “produced” tracks can be arresting. In addition to “Cry Me a River,” “I Surrender, Dear” is very memorable. Although the CD Time for Love is technically out of print, it is easily and cheaply available from sellers on Amazon or eBay. There’s also a bit of a cottage industry in Julie London audiophile LP and digital album reissues.

From Sonic – to read more about J Marks and his views, have a look here:

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue74/john_marks.htm
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:13 am

How the Room Sounds - Part 4

The “over there, not here” sound is getting to me.
 
With settling, I have to assess that the while the room is extremely quiet and the BOO! is very good, yet something is gone from the life and especially the scale of the system’s sound.

So the baffles, as they are, are not creating the musical presentation that is right to Sonic’s ears and have been  taken down.



In the process of assessing this Tune, Sonic made discoveries:

1.
Sonic has now learnt that an improved BOO! in itself might not translate into the best sound when playing musick and speech. A well-behaved “static room” might well sound odd when the speakers play in them. Yet having the baffles present in the rear Pressure Zone was telling in its effects in controlling the acoustic liveness and reverberation decay of the room. Michael is right in identifying the Pressure Zones in these places. Nevertheless this room is becoming less of a mystery to me.

2.
The distance of the rearmost FS-DecoTunes from the wall determine the sense of size of the soundstage to a surprising degree. Placing them further away from their respective walls gave improvements in transparency of the musick but within an hour or so, the edges/expanse of the soundstage was reduced.  



Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:41 am

Sonic said

"So the baffles, as they are, are not creating the musical presentation that is right to Sonic’s ears and have been taken down."

mg

Good for you Sonic Exclamation

I was waiting to see how long it would take you to hear the foam. Saying that, the lessons learned through actually doing is worth a listening fortune.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:49 am


Greetings Michael Exclamation

Yes, apart from again hearing how foam in another application can affect the sound (for not the better), the biggest thing Sonic learnt from this is how getting the room to have a well-controlled “static” BOO! does not automatically mean the music will sound excellent when the speakers start playing. Of course a room with a tightly controlled “static” BOO! will be miles better sounding than something that goes BOooOONggg!. Yet the good "static" doesn't mean everything will be right when the speakers start up.

Greetings Zonees Exclamation

Sonic was leafing through a 20-year old Absolute Sound (Winter 1996) and read a discussion between DCC’s Steve Hoffman and reviewer David M Green (another Green!) and found this nugget on hi-res formats you might like to think about:

SH: Most [recording/mastering] engineers use machines that lower the resolution on everything. Maybe this isn’t what people want to hear, but it’s the truth. I mean, limiting, compression, filtering, all these things degrade the sound. That’s what makes the old RCA Living Stereo records sound the way they do. The music has been degraded to sound a certain way. You know, people respond to that sound as being lifelike.

[on Belafonte at Carnegie Hall] Belafonte’s mike is overloading.

DG: So, is 20– or 24-bit going to get to a level where the emotion is completely gone through more imperfections being brought out?

SH: … with higher res on that recording [Belafonte at Carnegie Hall], you’re going to hear more high end that shouldn’t be there. People would be surprised if they had a meter hooked up to their system and could see that on 90 percent of the records and CDs, above 9,500 hz there’s nothing there. What you’re hearing up there is tape hiss, or some other thing that isn’t part of the music. When you extend everything up to that range there is nothing there but noise.

Sonic: hmmmmm….sounds like Hoffman’s making a good point. Indeed Sonic has seen frequency plots of high-res classical and rock recordings and seen that whatever signal is higher in frequency than say 12 KHz, it is a lot down in level compared to 1 kHz and by the time we get to things at 20 kHz to 50 kHz we are talking levels down at -70 to -90 dB. I wonder how this squares with the studies that claim plucked violin notes and cymbal strikes have harmonic components extending up beyond 50 kHz. How far down are these harmonics?

Views from Michael and Zonees?

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:24 am

Hi Sonic

On one side of this fence I can see why people talk a certain way about the high end and low of the scale (frequencies). On the other side experiencing the upper harmonics "in-tune" takes the hobby, or maybe just that moment, to a level of understanding that transcends high end audio efforts.

When we get in-tune, by mistake or skill, there's a presence that goes beyond tape hiss and other top end noises. There's content there that puts things in physical balance. Not a hiss but a sonic cushion of comfort.

Part of the problem for audio designers is there is still a lack of development in the tweeter department. Ultimately the single driver is the answer, but in the meantime we wrestle with the signal having to be divided before entering the space. Not only are speakers themselves the problem but also the room as they all have a cross-over that takes place from lows to highs.

As far as frequency plots themselves, that's a different hobby inside the real technology. It's kinda like saying "how far out of structure does a violin have to go before the harmonics collapse or shift in power".

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:27 am

Greetings Zonees!

Sonic also found this picture of jazz trumpeter Toshinori Kondo.

Look at the gear in his Kawasaki studio!



Somehow this sort of “audio system messiness” is very Japanese. Sonic in my love for things Japanese like their hi-fi, sushi, sake, calligraphy, pottery and poetry finds in a strange draw in my heart.

Read all about this: www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2015/01/06/music/jazz-trumpeter-kondo-challenges-todays-artists/

His language and imagery is “colourful”.

Sonic
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:07 am

Hi Zonees  Very Happy

Now that Sonic has tried many of the available options I can think of in relation to tuning the acoustics of my room (and I can say too the effort has been largely successful with guidance from Michael), further stages of Tuning Sonic's system need to be contemplated.

One thing Sonic has hesitated doing, which Tuning Luminaries Hiend001 and Cdimi have, is to address the “blockage” posed by the metal casing of the X-30 crossover housing.

This is what Hiend1 did back in February 2006 (see lowest shelf of the rack):



And recently in February this year (see the X-30 centre front of the Michael Green Platform):



This is what Cdimi did in 10+ years ago in May 2005 – wall wart tuned in its canopy on top of the rack, X-30 circuit boards removed from casing and top tuned in a clamprack beneath:



And this is what Sonic has just done:



That is a cedar board from Michael along with mild-steel tuning rods and small MTDs below. Setting the cedar board with the rods and cones to be level, stable and having the rods not touch the sides of their through-holes in the cedar board is not easy but Sonic managed it. And resetting the pots without any knobs or markings to guide me also took some work.

Also it is correct if Zonees notice that the power-on LED broke off during the operation to removed the PCBs from the metal casing leaving this two wires.

And this is really one noticeable blockage removed  Shocked
 
The degree of openness and transparency that the system and musick gained surprised Sonic greatly  Exclamation

After all these years…..Sonic does wish I had been bolder years ago when I first saw Hiend1 and Cdimi carry out this tune.  Too many “what ifs” and hesitation till now.

Sonic
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:22 am

Greetings Zonees

Sonic picked up this gem – an 1956 Archiv box set of a setting of J S Bach’s Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue) set for organ played by Helmut Walcha.

This is possibly one of Bach’s final works.  It was written as a series of counterpoint works with no intended instrument indicated to be used (not uncommon in the Baroque era). So you will find Die Kunst der Fuge performed on harpsichord, arranged for string ensemble and performed on organ. Sonic now has the joy of this work by Sebastian Bach on harpsichord, string ensemble and now organ.



I was offered this box set which is in very good, noise free condition, under circumstances which Sonic is familiar with in my record collecting journey, and albeit a sad one. An elderly music lover has died or is too old and infirm to enjoy the records and the younger people who are disposing of his possessions practically dump them to anyone at any price. Fortunately from this collection I picked up this and another Archiv recording – J S Bach’s Mass in B-flat.

Sonic thinks of the wonderful collections of records and music reproduction equipment that will not be handed on from one generation to the next as the treasures they are.

From Japan, which has one of the fastest aging populations in the world, we read this:    

Antique Audio Equipment Buff Seeks Worthy Home For His Collection
November 6, 2015

www.japanbullet.com/technology/antique-audio-equipment-buff-seeks-worthy-home-for-his-collection



Since childhood, Daisuke Shimozono has been a dedicated admirer of phonograph inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), a fascination that led him into collecting vintage audio equipment.

As he thinks about the last track of his life, Shimozono, 70, is concerned about finding a home for his treasured collection, which includes an Edison Gem phonograph produced around 1900.

“If I sell items by auctioning them off, individual items may sell,” he said. “But that will only make a story that started with Edison fall apart."

Shimozono, who resides in Machida in western Tokyo, is an active volunteer at an inventor's club for Machida’s boys and girls.

A former engineer for U.S. electric maker RCA and other workplaces, Shimozono has long worked in the engineering field.

He lived in the United States for five years from 1991 on assignment to prepare for establishing a subsidiary of a Japanese electric company. Coincidentally, his residence in New Jersey placed him near the Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum in Menlo Park.

Shimozono was happy about living in such close proximity to Edison's stomping grounds, which inspired him to start collecting audio equipment.

He frequented garage sales and flea markets in his spare time and bought up old phonographs and radios.

“I checked newspaper ads and visited flea markets to look for items at least twice a month,” he said.

When he returned to Japan, he brought with him about 50 items including phonographs, each of which cost up to $500-$600 (60,300 yen-72,400 yen), he had collected in the United States.

His hunt for audio equipment continued after he returned home.

He now has a collection of well over 100 audio sets, including phonographs, record players and vacuum tube radios.

Among these are the first transistor radio in Japan made by Sony Corp. and a wire recorder and Apple Inc.’s first-generation iPod, released in 2001.

Many items in Shimozono’s beloved collection, which he said he had invested millions of yen in, are on display on the second floor of his house in Tokyo. Some other equipment has found spots in his dining room and living room on the first floor. Still more are placed inside a cupboard, underneath the family alter and sofa.

Believing that “by playing them and creating sounds, we can feel a process of technical development from their invention,” he has continued to repair them and change their parts as needed to keep them working.

He has been encouraging children to touch the instruments and playing old records for the older generation.

Shimozono is searching for a museum or a recipient that will accept his entire collection and give it a permanent home.

For inquiries, contact Shimozono via e-mail (edisonphonograph904@gmail.com).


Last edited by Michael Green on Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:16 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Formatting)
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:03 am


Greetings Zonees

One of the causes of hesitation for Sonic to not remove the Paradigm X-30 circuit boards from the metal casing was the potentiometers would lose their markings – I took trouble with the calibration and then used markers and paper tape pieces to indicate settings.

Obviously after removal the knobs, there would be no markings, no reference points any longer. To get the settings Sonic would have to approximate things by working off the flats or slots in the potentiometer shafts and work by ear from there.

What's wrong with trusting my ears? Sonic said to myself "is this not this is a very high-end audiophile thing -- there are these people we meet on Saturday at the audio salons who claim to hear all sorts of differences between equipment yet ask them to adjust an EQ (maybe a tuneable speaker/device) they freeze and ask the dealer to do it for them. Sonic should simply listen to the Tune and the musick in my head and Go For It!"

So I trusted my ears and mentally ignored the need for any markings. Very quickly (surprisingly quickly) Sonic has achieved a good setting up with no self-doubt or angst. Easy Very Happy

Listening now to some blues from Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:31 am


Greetings Zonees

Sonic has mixed experiences with Lowther speakers. While always finding them fast and efficient, I have found the specimens Sonic heard thin sounding with bass information I know are in the recordings rolled off severely. And Sonic found there were always excuses from owners for the speakers’ behavoiur – need better amp, need different tubes, need different cables and that the speakers had their foam surrounds just replaced. From what I know (and borne up somewhat by the article further down), refoam your Lowther and you have to wait years for it to break in, then a short period of bliss and the foam degrades, calling for another refoam and months/years of waiting.

Recently Sonic heard a Lowther set up that sounded very good. The pair of PM7s were driven by a 10W Lafayette tube amp with a vinyl front end using an Ortofon 2M Blue. These Lowthers were full sounding with no lack of bass from the jazz LPs being played, while exhibiting Lowthers’ characteristic speed and impact. This set up got the sound of acoustic bass right with tightness and bass extension, the bass drum has the right balance between the drum skin (the "bang") and the drum body (the "boom"). This owner did a sterling job tuning them and setting them up.

Here is something from HiFi World on the venerable Lowthers that Zonees might be interested in.

For the full article and pictures go to: http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/olde-worlde/226-lowther-horn-speakers.html

Round the Horn
Haden Boardman explores the history of Lowther Horn loudspeakers.


Lowther started producing hi-fi amplifiers and tuners in the early 1930s in the large wooden radiogram-style cabinet that was ubiquitous at the time.

By the late 1950s stereo was becoming popular, and most of Lowther's models were huge. As a result, the constant-width rear-horn Acousta, built to work with the PM6 and PM7 units, was born. These two drivers had physically smaller magnets than the earlier PM1 but, through the use of new materials such as Ticonal, these were actually much more powerful, especially in the PM7 model.

The Acousta cabinet is simple enough in terms of construction. It isn't exactly small or attractively-proportioned by modern standards but it isn't so big a pair won't fit in a modern room. One advantage it does have over more modern loudspeakers is that it often works better situated in a corner - it is not the kind of íspeaker that appreciates sitting in open space. This is basically because its horn mouth is designed to work in conjunction with the wall and floor to effectively increase its size and lower its bass cut-off frequency.

I find the sound of the Lowthers beguiling. They are very efficient - in a cabinet, the PM7 hits over 103dB/watt. A good, clean valve amplifier is the best way of driving Acoustas. Lowther make some rather optimistic claims about power handling which, in reality, is about 15watts. Mind you, that translates into more than 111dB in-room, and that's LOUD! A speaker of 83dB/watt would require in excess of 1kW per channel to go that loud, if it could handle so much power.

The Lowthers' frequency response is hardly ruler flat, but the older the unit is, the smoother it gets. A new drive unit or one freshly repaired will take around three years to run in. This is because the cone is so very light its sound is heavily influenced by the age of the roll surround and spider.

The treble is very directional so you have to sit fully on axis to get the best out of it. When you do, you'll find its quality is excellent, similar to an electrostatic, only more dynamic.

On first audition, a pair of Acoustas may sound flat, lacking in definition and bass-light. The longer you listen though, the more you become aware of just how much there is going on in the music that lesser moving coil loudspeakers miss out on. I recently made a recording of a drummer for sampling purposes and playing it back over the Lowthers was a scary experience it was so life-like.

Lowther drivers do have their problems - they are very easily damaged and cost a small fortune to put right. When buying second-hand, unless you have documentary evidence they have been replaced, budget on the foam surrounds being rotten. Even if they look okay, they may still be past their best. Newer units (recogniseable for a black chassis) have updated surrounds that do not suffer this but the cones are not as well made in my opinion. Also look out for magnets that have been swapped over - the late ceramic magnets fitted from the early 1980s are not as good as their Alnico counterparts.


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:52 am

Greetings Zonees

A friend of Sonic’s friend came over for a listen and remarked that he was surprised how my Magneplanar MG1.5QRs had extended treble given how close they are to the listening chair and being nearly parallel to the front wall putting the tweeters about 30 degrees off axis from the listener. Tests of Maggies (and most speakers) show serious roll-offs or unevenness in the treble at such angles off the axis of the tweeters.

Now this listener places his speakers such that the tweeter axes cross a few inches ahead of the listener when seated in the listening seat. So he suggested an experiment to see what gains we get if Sonic rotated the MG1.5QRs on their vertical axis so the tweeter quasi-ribbons axes were in line with the ears or a bit forward of the listener.

So this we did in a few minutes and played music.

The treble was a little more prominent yet what surprised us (more him) that the placement of the Magneplanars in a form of Michael Green’s approach indeed had good treble response without needing severe toe-in like this however the biggest change we noticed quickly was the soundstage was wrecked – the sound bunched up on the two panels with washed out centre images.  The Magneplanars were now shouting their presence in the room where before it was only music floating about with no sense of physical speakers in the room.

We were both puzzled then the answer came after restoring the normal angling (whew) and acknowledging the relief we heard with a couple of beers.  

It was this – the sound from the rear of the panels hit the hard walls facing the toed-in Magneplanars’ axes and did something to a pressure zone behind the loudspeakers and caused all sorts of interference and reflections for the ears and brain to localize the position of the loudspeakers. This audiophile friend of Sonic's felt it was instead the speaker backwave hitting the wall, bouncing back to the panel and back and forth causing an emphasis of the sound being coming from the speaker panel area and therefore causing the audible location of the physical panels.

On the other hand, when the Magneplanars are near-parallel to the front wall which has all the Michael Green devices plus some damping, the pressure build up does not occur and the sound images across the front of the room.

So thought Sonic “if the side walls have this effect, what if we tune/damp/treat the side walls, what will it do to the soundstage and Tone?”

Sonic had two pieces of foam left over from the rear Pressure Zone hanging baffle experiment (see my post of June 17 this year) so we stuck them on the wall near the Left and Right side wall Sound Shutters.



It improved the stage width and some articulation but there was the “foam” sound.  Never mind – Sonic next did this:



A sense of the angle covered behind the Magneplanars from the listening chair is illustrated by this pix:



And the first impressions are promising indeed – a nice big sound!

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:55 am


Hello Zonees

Three days of settling and Sonic has this observation: the FS-DTs on the side walls behind the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs do indeed give a bigger sound which is pleasing.

As settling progressed Sonic noticed a warmth in the sound which grew in intensity and now the sound is somewhat muddy. While the treble extension is there, the upper bass emphasis is obscuring or colouring detail in recordings I know.

Yet in this Muddiness or downshift in tone, Sonic finds a certain “groundedness” in the music which sounds right. This sound has things that Sonic wants to keep as much as I want to restore from going back to the old setting.

Question

Sonic



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:53 am


Greetings Zonees Very Happy

Sonic likes the “groundedness” of the sound that followed the placement of FS-DTs on the side walls behind the Magneplanar 1.5QRs though the downshift in tone gives a somewhat heavy and thick sound.

The issue is then what approach of Tuning should be applied here? One option is just put the FS-DTs back where they came from. That might be Sonic’s first reaction to a situation like this.

Yet thinking a different way, I could leave the FS-DTs where they are now and use a Tandem-Tuning approach to tune out the mud. The tandem approach means adding another Tune that would counter-balance the thickness/mud. To do this Sonic can apply to the system the things that have always given a thin, hard sound in this room and system – Space Cones Idea Exclamation

Having about 40 of these devices from Michael Green in storage, Sonic could “seed” a lot of them all about the system – anywhere where things might be vibrating – perhaps overdo things at first and then when the “thinness/hardness” kicks in, remove the Space Cones a few at a time till the sound gets the frequency balance where I get the deep harmonics and “groundedness” without the mud.

Sonic

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