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 Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:55 am


Greetings Michael

The pair of DecoTunes on the window have worked nicely along with the ETs and mini-Tunes on the side wall positions Very Happy

Sonic feels the system has reached the point where I should look at how to remove the acoustic foam from the front wall Exclamation

The foam in those six spots you see in the pictures of my front wall tame the BOO! successfully.

I know this is out of step with the Tune and Sonic has tried removing the foam panels two at a time to gauge the effect hoping my system has reached the point where the foam was no longer required. The removal of a pair of those foam panels (any pair) brings back a hard midrange glare to the sound and Boo! becomes BOOiing Shocked

Sonic has tried substituting the panels with DecoTunes and I have to say the effect of the DTs on the hardness in the midrange and the lengthened BOOiinng has not been significant enough for Sonic to consider it a solution. Perhaps DTs are not the right tool to use.

Michael – I have to treat the front wall, no doubt about that. The foam works but creates some dark dullness. Moreover Sonic knows that I am probably the only Tunee that has resorted to this fix. Is there anything in the Tuneland product range that you suggest I can use to bring my system fully back into the “tune-fold”?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:53 pm

Hi Sonic

In regards to the foam there are a few things to think about trying.



One is putting a trim around the foam. Second is doing a center board. Also, if you need burn then you need to play around with what gives the least amount of dull sound, as far as materials go.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:41 am


Hi Michael

Very Happy these are good ideas that are simple to apply. I like the wood piece in the middle of the foam panels. It looks nice too, and Sonic would never have thought of this as a solution Idea Exclamation

What size of wood pieces do you suggest I use for the Centre Boards?

Sonic has:

2 x foam pieces 14" x 36" at ceiling height

2 x foam pieces 14" x 36" at mid-wall height near the corners

2 x foam pieces 24" x 36" at the lower front wall on either side of the FS-PZC/FS-DRT cluster

How thick and what wood can you supply for this purpose?

Sonic

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:51 am

Greetings Zonees

As Sonic waits for Mr Green's views I am going to try something on the foam that reflects Michael's advice -- will report on it in a couple of days.

In my online reading of audio, Sonic found this which is a good read.  Remember the brief glam rock fad? There was a singer/guitarist Marc Bolan and the band T-Rex.  He had 20,000 record albums!

Here is an article I found about his hifi system:

Source: www.itishifi.com/search/label/hi-fi

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Marc Bolan My Hi-Fi and I

I've always curious about what some of my favorite artist use for hi-fi playback. This Marc Bolan interview posted at TillDawn just made me smile. Marc Bolan records always sound so good to me and it is great to learn how much he cared about the finished product. Here are some insights to Bolan Universe.



Marc Bolan's hi-fi rates a little below zero in the good looks department. Oddly the enfant terrible who once foisted glam rock on the world and rouge on the teenage male face, couldn't care about audio cosmetics.

And it shows.

The now-acclaimed Godfather Of Punk prefers sounds to looks when dealing with the hardware of his profession. In the playback stakes he has a rugged Thoresn TD 150 Mk II turntable which, apart from the scratched wood veneer and assorted grease splashes, has a die-cast platter missing!

"Oh I took that off," admits Bolan. "Records are so badly pressed these days that a 12in platter only helps to accentuate any warping. I find it better to use the deck without one, only trouble is that I ahve to change the belt drive with my finger."

He demonstrates.

The SME arm is fitted with a Shure Supertrack V15 Type II cartridge, which was about to fall out.
After negotiating these hurdles the disc signal goes through a Quad pre-amp fitted to a Quad 303 power amp finally emerging out of two JBL Model 4320 Studio Monitor speakers.

The result is fascinating - especially as Boaln demands more treble than bass and keeps the 7Khz button on the pre-amp depressed. The volume control is turned up high.

"This is practical hard-wearing stuff for me. It's been all over the place, Los Angeles, Monte Carlo, and it's still usable. The Thorens deck is really kicked about but it's still good. The set-up is a very true sound, a very real sound. I've got the whole thing tuned to my ear, or the pulse of the generation if you like," he acknowledges with a smile. "Most people listen to hi-fi wrongly," he says. "Practically everyone's house I've been to they have too much bass on because they think it's groovy to impress their girlfriends when it shakes a cheap bottle of vino. You know, it's stereo innit! I hate that. I love bass, but hat that boom. Bass has got to be bright funk."

By the way of another demonstration Bolan plays the latest 10cc single at shattering volume. It also has crystal clarity.

After more thatn a decade in the rock business, a string of No 1 hits and a current single (The Soul Of My Suit) and album (Dandy In The Underworld) in the charts, Marc Bolan has proved that he knows about musical sound.

And although his system, with its snake lair of wires all over the place, may seem a little unorthadox to anyone with the latest Bang & Olufsen design, it is highly effective. The secret lies inthe JBL speakers - expensive studio models - which Bolan says replaced a pair of Wharfedales he had many years ago.

"But as I progressed i wanted the system louder and louder. The point is if you go mixing a tape in the studio and you bring it home, I like to hear it on the same level. All rock musicians are deaf," he laughs. "Or let's say insensitive to mellow sounds, so I have to have plenty of power in my hi-fi. In fact we used the Quad amplifiers on stage at one time. I've got some more in the other room and a couple more of the same speakers, I think I nicked all the gear out of the studio one day," he smiles again.

"But seriously I don't try to chase after the latest audio stuff because although this is very much a utility system, it's good stuff. Idon't think you can get a better sound at home. There's low distortion; a wide tone spectrum and also plenty of volume. Mor than that you can't ask.

I actually master records myself - you know, cut the laquer - and that's the truest sound. When I bring it home and play it on this set up it does sound the same as when i cut it in the lab."

One thing missing from Bolan's "playback" system is a tuner. Instead he listens to a fairly ordinary transistor radio saying he prefers to hear pop music programmes that way. "That's how the majority of people buying records will first hear a disc, and it's good to identify with the type of listener you are making records for.

"I did this once through a mixer," he says casually waving at the set-up. "It had limiting and echo on it as well so I could really play with the records, but I found that very unfair to the artist to have me re-mix everything. At the time I was listening to a Marc Bolan universe."



The Bolan record collection, (roughly 20,000 albums) covers everything from the early Elvis Presley to the Damned and he continually sifts through them picking out favourites. Having recently moved into a house in Richmond, Bolan's hi-fi is tangled up in the bedroom, but when the house is finally decorated he will be installing it in a downstairs "music room".

"I suppose I'll have to stick a bit of chrome round it and tart it up a bit then," he acknowledges off-handedly. In fact I'll be having three music rooms. The whole part of the downstairs will be devoted to music and we'll live in the bedroom."

One of those rooms will house the demo making machinery. In this department Bolan owns a reel-to-reel four channel Teac A3340 tape machine; another Revox A77 for overdubbing; two Teac AN 180 Dolby noise reduction units; three more Quad power amps; two more JBL 4320 monitor speakers; a ring modulator and a Garrard 401 deck.
"If I knew we were going to talk hi-fi today I'd have got one of the roadies to stack all the equipment up. It would have made a good picture," he says, precariously holding the modulator balancing on top of everything else.

Bolan has his own views on the use of Dolby or the newer dbx noise reduction systems for making the finished product. "I've recorded records with and without Dolbys and sometimes it can be a pain - they can muffle the sound. So I don't think that any noise reduction system neccessarily makes for a better sound. They get rid of hiss but if you Dolby when you record and then Dolby when you master you can get a woolly sound. Some of the best classical records I've heard have been 78's.

"You'll notice I haven't got a cassette deck, because I don't like cassettes. They sound terrible. I like to record on them when I'm in the toilet writing songs or whetever but that's about it. I've go a Uher portable and one for the car buy no deck linked in to the system, and I've never seriously thought about building a home studio like so many rock musicians do.

"For the first two weeks it would be great but after that I know how bored I'd be and I'd never record anything. I did have an eight-track once but then I got so loose with drugs and drink that what I recorded was terrible. Now I like the feeling of preparing to go into the studio and record andI don't waste time when I'm there. It's good to keep that edge."

But if all this talk of eight-track home studios seems a little removed from the £ 350 musicentre you bought last week, remember it just shows how far the persuit of hi-fidelity can be taken, and is necessarily taken, by the recording artist.

But of course, it wasn't always like that: "First thing I can remember the family having was a radiogram," recalls Bolan. "Then later came a Dansette when I was about nine and after that I didn't have a record player for a long time until my mom bought what they called a "stereo". In fact it had two speakers but it came out in mono. It looked more like a piece of furniture than anything that had to do with sound, which I could never understand. I hate all that stuff. That was about all I listened to till I was 17 or 18 and then the first piece of equipment I got was a fairly good turntable with a Fisher amp and Wharfedale speakers. I think the whold thing cost about £ 200 in those days, but I got some money knocked off.

"Then later whenever I moved into a place I'd say to the roadie 'Hey get me a sound system.' When I was in the studio and saw the JBL speakers I decided to have some of those. I started off with a smaller model that those I've got now.

"No way could you call me a hi-fi fanatic," he protests. "And I've never been into the trappings of luxury. I seem to remember Mickey Finn (former T. Rex member) buying a record player where the record stuck up in the air with little bits on it and everything. It was totally impractical and £ 3,000 worth of crap, but it looked good.

"I mean it was a talking point, but I'd rather have it sound good and I don't care what it looks like or what the name is. Mind you, I'd stop at a Russian hi-fi, that's what my mom's got and it doesn't work at all.

"I'm very much a media person. I always have the television on and the sound down when I'm listening to records. Then turn the on up and the other down as it suits me.

"Now would you like to see my portable video camera......."

Hi-Fi gear Bolan was using at the time this article was written:

JBL studio monitors 4320
Quad Preamp
Quad 303 Power amp
Garrard 401
Thorens TD150 MKII SME ARM Shure Supertrack V15 Type II cart
Teac A3340 tape machine
Revox A77
Teac AN 180 Dolby noise reduction units
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:34 pm

Hi Sonic

This is a great example of systems used by artist Exclamation

Very rarely (until later) did I see high end audio systems in the homes of the creative. In fact the name "high end audio" was never mentioned outside of the JGH and HP groupies.

Than again, I didn't see a whole lot of artists setting up their systems for the ultimate at home soundstage. Many artist (back in the golden rock years) spent their time listening to their soundstage in their favorite studios or playback studios. There were a few of us that had "reference" listening systems that the musicians visited, but the late 60's early 70's artist was on tour, in the studio or at home with their JBL's. I saw this change around the late seventies some, but have always been a little amazed by the systems used.

Than again, again, there were those who built incredible custom rooms and systems that were tuned to the artists ears not remotely looking like Hi Fi or studio.

very interesting topic Sonic Exclamation

I can remember in the late 70's making systems in spare rooms with a home made sub in each corner, using the corner as the horn, and using big satellite as the mains (lots of times JBL or Yamaha). Tons of punch and huge bottom ends. These were popular among some of my friends who recorded and played.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:23 am

Greeting Zonees

Mirabile dictum (Latin: wondrous to tell)  Very Happy

Thanks to Michael’s suggestion of wood over the acoustic foam, Sonic did this:



The pieces wood you see here are cherry-finished Magic Wood from Michael Green which were used once for a mini-clamp rack.

Sonic would hesitate to proclaim this a transformation yet the change for the better is huge.  Huge too given that in terms of area covered the wood is about 1/10 of the total area of the foam panel.

Images in the soundstage particularly those in the centre stage have became more focused (especially voices) and “projective”, that is more 3D in such a way that the “outer perimeter” of the images now go past me to the rear of the room.

This is not 360 degree surround in the multi-channel sense but a seamless soundstage that fills the room, like I have heard in live concerts of string quartets and small baroque ensembles, small venue jazz and folk performances. The sound does not stop at a bit ahead of the plane of the speakers, it comes towards the listener and keeps on going on. I can play musick, sit in my chair, look to my right or left and “see” the sound continuing into the room from the loudspeaker-plane, expanding past the listener to the sides and the rear of the room.  

Sonic played the FLAC files of Johnny Cash’s Unearthed CD set. Hearing Cash singing “If I gave my soul”, “Banks of the Ohio” and “the Fourth Man in the Fire” I felt the chill that a ghoostly realism can create – just like when Sonic attended the concert when Johnny Cash performed in Singapore.

And all this at reasonable volume levels from FLAC files no less! When vinyl is played it is KAPOW  Exclamation

Sonic is letting this settle and then the next step is to place another two pieces of cherry-finished Magic Wood from Michael Green on the two foam panels higher up next to the Tune Strips.



At today, Sonic has got nearly all my CDs ripped – less than 10 more and we are done. Now listening to Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Dance Nr. 2 – the impact of the piano into the bass even at moderate volumes is a deep thump, the low notes having a deep growl that walks past Sonic to the Bookcase wall yet the higher notes sing and shimmer --  and we are not playing at any average level that is greater than the higher-70 dB range.

Great sound here thanks to RoomTune and Mr Green!

A Test
One room test Sonic got a suggestion for is to have someone speak in the listening room – in a room that is acoustically well-tuned, a listener with eyes closed will not be able to discern the size of the room, it might even appear larger than it is.

I don’t know how valid this test is because we KNOW the size of our rooms.  But I will try this. Maybe Zonees can try this and post their results.

Anyway…..
Right now, Sonic is thrilled at how much difference the wood-over-foam suggested by Michael made  cheers

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:31 am

Amazing what can be done using a barricade approach to treating acoustics.


Very Happy

Looking forward to seeing how this settles in.

study

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:09 am

Greetings Michael

Mr Green says: Amazing what can be done using a barricade approach to treating acoustics.

Three days on with settling of the Magic Wood (Cherry finished) pieces from M Green over the foam, the sound is bigger and the instrumental/vocal lines are more defined. Sonic is liking what I am hearing quite a bit.

The nice thing is the midrange is getting projected without being coloured. Sometimes Magneplanars may be found to be a bit soft in the midrange. Not here in this system no more – there is projection where solo instruments solo and lead instruments lead. The bass is becoming rich and resonant.

I have another two MW pieces from another mini-Clamp Rack Sonic used which can be used as barricades on the higher pieces of foam at the Left and Right corners.

That’s what I’ll do next.

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:21 am


Hi Michael, Hiend001 and Zonees!

The ripping project is done! It took all of nine weeks of labour to get some 850 CDs and SACDs ripped. So it is done at last. A milestone for Sonic given my unfamiliarity with this aspect of sound storage and reproduction.

Now that the CDs and SACDs are converted to FLAC and stored on my ASUS laptop hard disk the next step is to back the files up on an outboard hard disk but more than this Sonic has to protect them against Long Term errors arising from bit degradation that occurs in any magnetic storage media – do not, O zealous Tunees, believe in digital being perfect sound forever.

Now to the MW-over-foam.

Another day (the fourth) and the sound has changed. It appears the foam and the MW are “fighting each other” or “trying to come to terms with each other”. Here are the features of the sound:

1. The lows from 200hz have become big and resonant.

2. The soundstage is now completely disassociated from the loudspeakers, the musicians of a string quartet are focused in a perfectly straight line at about the back edge of the Turntable and Preamp table, the projection and ambience goes past the listening seat and nothing is coming from the speakers.

3. The voice and instrumental images are larger than before. The sound is one of “being here” more than “a window opening on the Concert Hall”.

4. The midrange and presence range is where the fight is. There is something of a small dip such that some sharpness is removed. So this sound is akin to a big tube sound. The treble is smooth not rolled off yet not bright (often the impression of brightness is from elevated frequencies that are lower than we expect, an elevated 10 – 20khz range gives a impression different from what audiophiles think of as bright).

5. One parallel Sonic might apply is this sound has similarities to a system with an Ortofon SPU moving coil cartridge from the 1960s in a SME 3012 with tube amplification. As Sonic writes this and listening to Haydn Trios, “dimensional” and “pleasant” are the word that come to mind but not “accurate” and “incisive”. The whole recording has played through and Sonic did not even feel the passage of time.

6. Sonic tried adding the other two pieces of MW from Michael Green to extend the area of the barricade (by hanging them from below the present two over the foam) and the sound went the other way – the dip filled out and so giving me a highly detailed sound of the monitor speaker variety – Sonic could hear all the details such vocal pops, finger noises of string, change of direction of bowing. If I were mixing something like the audio track for a documentary this would be Wonderful. For personal listening to musick and drama, the sound was telling me too much about how the recording was made instead of giving me a soporific experience of sound that makes Sonic want to listen for hours and hours through the night.

So Sonic is letting the MW-over-foam with two pieces (as in the pix in my post of March 11) settle and see where the sound settles to before trying anything else.

Michael – your comments: is Sonic imagining all this?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:21 am


Hey Michael.....need your guidance Cool

Greetings Zonees

Is this real?

Source: www.digitalmusicnews.com/2016/03/15/high-definition-vinyl-will-soon-become-a-reality/

Exclusive: Patents Filed for ‘High Definition Vinyl’ Technology

Imagine a vinyl record that has 30% more capacity, 30% greater volume, and double the audio fidelity of a typical LP sold today.

The technical specifications for High Definition Vinyl, or ‘HD Vinyl,’ have now been detailed in a European patent filing exclusively shared with Digital Music News on Tuesday. This is a concept that could potentially be on the market within three years, according to details shared by Rebeat Digital, the company that filed the patent.

Rebeat, based in Tulln, Austria, submitted the EU-wide patent with Joanneum Research, with plans to quickly secure additional patent protections in the United States and worldwide. The patent filing was viewed by Digital Music News in a private session, and we were not allowed to keep a copy of the filing.

The ‘HD Vinyl’ name is a working title, though the basic idea is this: instead of the manual and time-consuming process currently used for creating vinyl LPs, the ‘HD Vinyl’ process involves 3D-based topographical mapping combined with laser inscription technology to more quickly generate a far superior product. Not only will the end product be vastly improved, but the time required to produce the LPs will also be radically reduced.

The result is a record that looks like the LPs being sold today, and more importantly, plays like them. According to the companies involved, the HD Vinyl disc will play on all currently manufactured turntables, though enhanced features will be better realized on upcoming, HD-compatible turntables. “This is a completely backwards-compatible technology,” said Guenter Loibl, Rebeat CEO. “It will play on any existing turntable, you don’t need to buy a new system to enjoy the benefits.”

The HD Vinyl process, by contrast, involves a longer period perfecting the topographic, computer-generated, 3D modeling imprint before any physical manufacturing takes place. “We adjust the distance of the grooves, we correct the radial/tangential errors, and we optimize the frequencies,” Loibl continued. “You could say we ‘master’ the topographical data, which is a totally different approach.”

The timing of this new technology could be absolutely perfect. The music industry witnessed another surge in vinyl demand last year, with sales booming 29.8% in the United States alone, according to Nielsen Music.

So what’s next? After the broader, global patents are secured, Loibl will be seeking early-stage financing, with several backers potentially in play.

END of Quote

MEANWHILE.....BACK TO TUNING WITH SONIC

Ok, the attempt to add barricades to the higher side pieces of foam didn’t work as well as Sonic hoped. In fact, it didn't work at all. The sound got big (which is good) but diffused, dark sounding. It was getting harder by the hour to “hear into the soundstage” and the musick started feeling that things were running slow. Given the promising result of having one MW piece from MGA on each of the lower foam pieces, this is a contradictory and puzzling results. Do you have an explanation for this Michael?

Anyway through this week, Sonic found a clutch of small things that are having nice effects and appearing to take the musick forward in my system. More tomorrow with pictures.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:43 pm

Hi Sonic

Long wonderfully tuning perfect days have been keeping me outside most of the time the last little while. All the wood I've been storing over the winter has gone into the revolving cycle of curing Smile . As this might be the most boring topic for many audiophiles, for me it's like planting crop seeds in the spring Exclamation

sonic said

Michael – your comments: is Sonic imagining all this?

mg

I hope so Exclamation The part of our brain that determines what things sound like to us is the same part that host our imagination. We need our imaginations to be able to fulfill reality. I know this isn't what you were asking, but it's still good to talk about our perceptions in realistic ways.

Reality is, making changes involving the fundamental forces are much bigger and more definitive than we as audiophiles allow our minds to get wrapped around.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:16 am

Hello Zonees

An unexpected reply from Michael truly  Cool  Sonic would proffer that there is a difference in vision and imagination.  

As we tune some "vision" of what the sound can become is important to lift us from the mundane, otherwise we might be stuck forever in the sound of the “High-End Audiophile System”.  For Sonic, when I read the description of the sound from the adventures of Michael, Hiend001 and many others, I then develop a vision of what my system could become, what Sonic would like it to become with the Tune. It is this vision/hope/imagination that has sustained me all these years.  On the other hand, when evaluating the effect of a Tune, I would venture that in such cases I need to differentiate if the change I heard is actually there or if it is a product of auto suggestion (a.k.a my imagination).  

Through this week, these are the small things Sonic did which gave nice deep growls to the low range of celli.  



I came across finding this appearing to work by accident – perhaps the Low Tone Redwood add harmonics to the vibrations of the Janis W-1 cabinet and something to do with the pressure zone around this spot being activated by the rear wave (pressure) of the panel speaker.  

This also worked:



These are contoured spikes and specially shaped nuts designed by Michael Green. There are hints of Heind001 practice here as you may notice.

And Sonic arrived at what seems to sound best under the ASUS X455L laptop:



The sound is big, deep and focused.  With settling, the sound is nicely focused and 3D.

Very happy combination this is proving!

And now, just today…..

What Might be a Change of Signification to Sonic’s room

Sonic, at Michael’s suggestion from long ago, has moved the CD cabinets out of the listening room making my system move in the broad thinking of the Tune!



And now:



Sonic is now listening for the change and seeing what Tunes might be required subsequently.  

Started up the system and played the flac file of Bach’s Sonatas for Unaccompanied Cello (Alexander Rudin/Naxos). I still am not used to describing the source of my musick in this way – seems inelegant compared to saying “I put the [title] LP on the Rega” or “played the CD of [title]”. Saying I played a file sounds strange.

Immediately what Sonic heard is promising! Yet this is very early days – this was done mere hours ago yet the change from removing the presence of these items that is CDs and the very heavy teak cabinets (yes, I also removed all CDs from the Bookcase Wall shelves too) is noticeable and rapid.

The presence of the CDs and the cabinets did impact the sound. What I note and somewhat surprised is how much the effect is of their removal is heard in the FRONT half of the room!

Sonic will take some days to get the measure the change before describing it to Zonees and certainly before I try tuning of that space – though suggestions from Mr Green and Zonees would be helpful.

More proof that Michael’s long-distance diagnosis of room acoustics is profound, even if it s as simple as ‘everything affects everything else”. Moving in the flow of the Tune is always promising.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:11 am


Greetings Michael and Zonees

After two days of musick play after removing the heavy CD cabinets from my listening room, Sonic hears the acoustic atmosphere of the room is now more even. It was like the BOO! and the various slap echo issues I experienced were due to energy bunching and patchiness in the room. Now the room sounds noticeably more even.

Sonic’s tune instinct is telling me the rear Zone is asking for Tuning.

Oddly, last evening as I started up LPs and stood by the turntable and looking towards my listening seat, Sonic heard a very nicely focused soundstage that is ranged across the room at my Bookcase Wall. The whole area between the speakers to the Bookcase Wall is alive with sound. I have heard something like this before yet now it is more pronounced!

Behind the Bookcase Wall Sonic has two FS-DecoTunes in the corners and I have brought in two more FS-DecoTunes (extra to the existing acoustic treatment in the room, not a zero-sum movement of DTs from one place in the room to another) that can be used behind the Bookcase Wall.

Michael – any ideas you can suggest on how to start Tuning that Zone? I am also taking your advice to empty more contents from the Bookcase Wall’s shelves gradually.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:47 pm

Hi Sonic

I think it's time for one of those 360 views of your room again so we can understand where everything is now study



Cool

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:27 am

Greetings Michael

Let’s start the 360 degree tour!

Starting with the view from my listening chair facing Left:



Here is the rear RH corner:



And the rear LH corner:



The ceiling:



The space to be tuned:



THE TOOLS AT HAND
All Sonic has at hand (not utilized and seen in the pictures) are 2 x FS-DecoTunes and maybe 2 EchoTunes stored somewhere.  Any items beyond these means an email to Coop and an order.

Sonic


Last edited by Michael Green on Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:36 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Changed list of pictures to be attached to post)
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:40 pm

Hi Sonic

Could you stand in the front of the room and take pics of the back? Where I'm having a hard time is seeing the room as a whole.

thanks

maybe a drawing too

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:12 am

Hi Michael

As you asked.  

Pix of the system taken from the front wall towards the Bookcase Wall:



A diagram of the room layout:



To help you relate the diagram to the pictures in my March 21 posted, Sonic has marked out the camera positions and angles.  The numbers in the circles correspond to the order of the pix in my post – which explains why Number 6 is missing because that is the shot of the ceiling.

The subwoofer fires across the room FWIW.

Let’s hear your suggestions!

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:36 am

Greetings Zonees

Sonic has discovered that the sound generated with the ASUS laptop is different whether the laptop is:

a.    running off the battery

b.    if the battery is charged from the mains

c.    if the laptop is fully charged and also powered from the mains.

For a certainty, the range of differences in quality is somewhat narrow and to be concise:

1:    Best sense of naturalness and ease: running off battery from just below full charge down to just before the low battery warning comes on, the charger and mains cable disconnected.

2:    Overall good reproduction: battery is being charged from the mains from low charge up to just short of full.

3:    A sound that is different, slightly emphasized upper mids yet hard to describe and lacking the “big ease” of 1: the battery is fully charged, mains connected.

Sonic has goggled err.. I mean googled   Laughing   around for explanations on whether Computer Audio sounds better off battery or off the mains.  There are explanations out there and these relate to the amount of interference from using the mains and they generally favour non-mains power.  

Bill333 used to run a battery-powered DAC – Bill333 any views  Question

Have other Zonees heard anything similar with their Computer Audio?

Back to Tuning the Room
While Sonic waits for Michael’s suggestion on how to Tune the space behind the BookCase Wall, I looked at how to better mechanically ground the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs.

Sonic did this:



In this idea, the weight of the speakers rests directly and grounds straight downwards via the 2.5” x 2.5” x 0.25” MW squares at the midpoint of the steel feet while the ends have mild steel spikes made from Michael Green tuning rods engaging MW thins just sufficiently for stability while letting the primary weight of the speakers press down solidly on the large MW squares.

This way the speakers are stable and a problem with the MG 1.5QRs’ steel feet is addressed – that the steel bar of Magneplanar feet (of this design, the new Magneplanars come with a different design) are slightly bowed up in the middle where the speaker panel attaches. Even with the weight of the panel, there is still a slight space at the midpoint of the metal bars and the floor. I can understand why this slight bow is there, likely to be intentional.  If the bars were completely flat the ends of the feel might not touch the ground due to an uneven floor and the speaker will rock and be unstable. Having the speakers contact the ground at the four ends of the steel bars and be reasonably stable and preferable.

However, instinctively Sonic feels this lack of contact may cause issues with mechanical grounding with my floor.  If Zonees are using Magneplanars and your floor is carpeted or suspended wood and the speaker grounds properly, you might not need this Tune.

Very quickly after this tune was applied, the sound became warmer and the sweetness of the tube phono stage and preamp shone through on analog.  

With digital the sound improved too with warmth and dimensionality.  Good deep bass too, tight with less overhang.

Very Happy Yes, the word to describe the overall effect of this Tune is “sweet”.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:24 am

Hi Sonic

What happens when you put a cover over both of the side book shelves?

Like for example, what takes place if you had a long bamboo runner or paper blind that you could adjust the coverage. Have you done this yet?


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:39 am


Greetings Michael and Zonees

Sonic carried out a suggestion of Michael’s – the CDs and a lot of stuff have been removed from the BookCase Wall shelves and so the shelves are now about 20% filled. Largely empty now and what is there Sonic evenly distributed.

After a day of settling in, Sonic got to listen to some Copland large orchestral works and the first thing I notices was the impression of the recording venue size has grown in both width (that is, left to right) and depth (that is, front to back).

The image size of the orchestra, in particular the left-to-right span is the same as Sonic is familiar with only now the space the orchestra is playing in having expanded in size.

Sonic also noticed that the BOO! texture changed towards an even more controlled spread of the sound in the room if you imagine the Utterance of a Boo! akin to a pebble being dropped in a pond creating ripples.

Using this analogy, the effect of the pebble dropping into the water is the amplitude of the ripples are smaller, move outward more slowly and dissipate earlier.

A good discovery -- Sonic would not have guessed the contents at the back of the BookCase Wall would have this effect but then what do I know compared to what Michael does?

Now to Mr Green’s idea of covering the record shelves.

Here we see Michael thinking out of the Audiophile Universe (saying "box" is such a cliche) and coming up with more nice tuning ideas.

So Sonic looked around -- and in this town, it appears that coated paper roller blinds are not available, bamboo ones may be available, most common are things made from various fabrics some natural or from polyester. Sonic will have to look around especaily given that the side record storage selves are 44 cm wide – the smallest width available at Ikea is 60 cms.

But in the meantime, Sonic will try covering the shelves part way with Builders’ Paper (Kraft Paper) and see what effect there might be on the sound, and if possible to gauge the approximate degree of covering required.

More soon on covering the side record shelves.

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:39 pm

About Time Laughing

I've been after Sonic for a long time about your bookcases study

My view is this. In your space the biggest acoustical treatment in your room (besides your room) are the bookcases. I'm happy to see you getting even more outside of the audiophile box Wink . Please take us more pictures that show a few before and after with the cases. Thanks:!:

Now that we are getting to the bookcases, you can start redoing some of the other pressure zones. You will also have more freedom with your maggies once you learn your new bookcase tweaks.

Keep in mind Sonic, I am an audiophile. I'm not a high end audio Stereophile/TAS sheep, but a true audiophile Idea No put down to them intended, but sometimes we forget how much further the TUNE goes beyond the high end audiophile hobby. We have to always remind ourselves that Stereophile/TAS and the others hit a ceiling when it comes to knowledge and base their theories on hypotheticals. The word "phile" has many levels and rising to the level of theory is not the same as rising to the level of practical application.

You are the master king of your system, and that means you are going to take your hobby as far as you allow yourself to be open to the practical things that take place in your space. I'm proud of you for looking into the bookcases study . There's no reason you should make yourself work around things in your system if music control is the goal. At the same time when we start working with our system as a whole there are more treasures to be found.

Let me tell you a story

As you guys know I've been designing the next generation of speakers and other goodies. This means not only a ton of listening/exploring but also incoming proto tools like a lot of different drivers each having their own special qualities. About 5 days ago I received my burn products for the inside of the cabinets. These panels stand 4' tall before cutting them down into small barrier voicers. When I got the package I leaned them in my hallway between the soldering area and Rm#3. Not using my practical brain, I start working on all 3 systems noticing a somewhat major change in the sound of all 3. I walked around the systems wondering what in the heck was going on. Long story short, I now know, I will be making a special floorstander to be used where the package sat Smile

"everything affects everything else" , for us as Tunees it's a lesson that never ends

I also was thinking, on another topic, I wonder if my speaker burn material would be something you could use in your room. I'll make up a panel of it and see what happens here. I didn't think about this before cause I use this burn in small amounts and usually inside of cabinets, hmmm Idea . Oh well, a chapter to explore.

Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:06 pm

Greetings Michael and Zonees!

To Michael’s suggestion and forward with covering the Ikea Expedit record shelves.

This is what Sonic did using mahjjong paper folded over (two layers):



The paper is mounted loose and not stretched tight like a membrane across the record shelving. The degree of coverage chosen (about half) is guesswork for initial testing.  Further experiments will need to be done on the right extent of coverage before Sonic goes to bamboo roller curtains which can be custom made for the Expedits at around US$70 per Expedit assuming coverage of the whole 6 ft height is required. If less coverage is required, the cost may go down.  If this becomes a reality, Sonic will use a roller system  or a swing rod system to allow access to the LPs.  

Here is what Sonic perceived after 9 hours of settling and 3 hours of musick play.

a.     BOO! is still controlled yet there is a slightly more pronounce of “subharmonic downshift” under the BOO!

b.     the cello (Bach solo cello suites) is tight and deep, no boom. This recording is of a modern cello. The projection is JBL-like. Sonic likes this  Very Happy

c.     on a renaissance ensemble comprising instruments, vocal soloists (The Triumphs of Maximilian -- David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London), there is a feel that instruments located in the soundstage directly behind the speaker panels have become emphasized and pushed forward “out of the mix” sort of emphasizing the Right and Left aspects of the soundstage with the centre images left slightly weak. Tonally, the musick is very clear, the countertenor soloist sounds right, bass singers in the choir are beautifully resonant.

d.     on larger and large orchestral works (baroque and modern), the impression of hard Right and hard Left emphasis is definitely present.  We are however not anywhere near a banana soundstage but more like:    

---___---
In summary – covering the top half of the side record cases gives excellent tone but a somewhat stepped soundstage.

This is too early to be definitive but Michael, what do you think I should do next?

Sonic got to say that I am eager to take on this Tune -- it is my experience that it is the incremental tunes that move easily one to the next. The ones that make the biggest changes to my room and system have nearly always started like this -- doing somethings well but causing issues at the same time.  Sonic knows that it is these tunes that address the status quo of the room and if overcome can take the system up to the next level.

For sure this improvement in tone tells Sonic there is something here (there) with tuning this part of of this room.

Sonic


Last edited by Michael Green on Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:16 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Corrected error)
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:25 pm

Hi Sonic

"This is too early to be definitive but Michael, what do you think I should do next?"

mg

If it were me, I would take a look at the front stage area and see if I could balance that pressure area to work with the newly formed pressure in the cases. I bet a small tweak in the front will work together with the new acoustical tweak area. Once you do find the team effort between those two zones you will have gained another variable.

good luck, go slow

study

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:29 am

Hello Michael

Sonic did more listening to this room/system with the partially covered record shelves.

I agree with your suggestion to boost the front Pressure Zones – Sonic gets the impression that the “stepped effect” and the prominence of the Right and Left speakers is due to stronger side Pressure Zones on the Left and Right which are now out of balance with the Pressure Zones at the front wall.

Yes, let us strengthen the weak rather weaken the strong. The question is “how”.  

Michael what do you suggest I do to strengthen the front given this set up:



You can also refer to my 360 degree view in my posts of March 11, March 22 and March 23.

As a logical (at least to Sonic) next step, I also did this:



The effect was the Tone is now not so beautiful as before and the “stepped effect” and prominence of the Left and Right speakers has increased somewhat.

Michael – over to you.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:12 pm

Hi Sonic,

Sorry for my late reply, I don't get over to this end of the forum very often.  In answer to your question about battery power, I think it's very specific to the individual component.  So your experimentation is going to tell you more about what sounds good than I can.  That being said, there are some general statements that can be made:  a good electrical power supply sounds better than a battery, and a battery sounds better than a not so good electrical power supply.  It depends what you have on hand.  I was happy with the Optima Red Top car battery on the Altmann DAC, but a Paul Hynes SR3 power supply bested it.  Not by a huge margin, but significant enough to be clearly audible.  I think I also once tried running the DAC off of a cheap 12V wall wart and it sounded terrible.  In the case of a laptop like the one you're using, you'd have to tear the thing up to change anything about the power it's being supplied or how the computer is using it.  Since you and Hiend01 seem pretty happy with Asus laptop, I would probably leave it alone until you decide to change it out for a dedicated server built from parts.

After following the forum posts of many different audio PC build threads it has become clear that power supplies make or break computer audio.  But what no one expected before all this experimental work began, is that separating out computer components with their own individual power supplies is even more important than the quality of the power supply.  It turns out that the real value of separate power supplies is that they keep components from dumping their grungy electricity back into the ground plane of the motherboard where it ends up affecting everything else.  Those solid state drives and USB cards may look clean, but they are dirty, dirty, dirty. Laughing

All computer operations are, actually.  The trick is to do them in ways that minimize the amount of damage being done to the data being shuttled through the computer to the outgoing USB port.  But most of this involves specialized software, expensive hardware like audiophile USB cards, and different power supplies for the motherboard, the drives and the cards.  All of which gets very far away from the nice all in one solution you have with your laptop.  If you're interested in learning more about these kinds of hardware and software solutions, www.computeraudiophile.com is the epicenter of this kind of work.  But it sounds like you have a pretty good thing going with the Asus.

Best regards,

Bill
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