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 Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback

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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:16 am

Hi Sonic

I think I should go wood shopping



Since I do so much wood, I need to start putting them in labeled bins.

Sonic

Is this what you hear with bass traps, Michael?

mg

This is what I hear.



The first rule of acoustics is "keep it clean". A lot of audiophiles have confused acoustical effect in the studio with playback listening and it has screwed up an entire generation of highenders.

I don't mind as much the function of traps. What I do mind is the sound.

When you walk into a typical trapped room it sounds dull before the music is ever turned on. Reason for this is the heavy commercial acoustical absorbent cloth used. RoomTune cloth is 100 X's more acoustically transparent than Guilford cloth. When we do our close up transparency test almost no frequencies above 200hz makes it through the tube trap cloth to the other side. What does make it through is muddy sounding. Now this is ok if the studio engineer wants to create this sound. He can dampen, reflect or do a ton of countless tricks. However when your talking about playback the goal is to re-create not re-do doubling the studio effect. Makes no sense, but high end audio doesn't most of the time know any better.

Do this same test with RoomTune cloth and you get a full range transfer from one side to the other.

now lets do the next test



Take the live side of both products and point the speaker at the center of the unit. Have your test mic close enough to the unit so that it picks up the reflective response. Use a directional testing mic. The trap sounds muffled and dampened/lifeless while the RoomTune sounds clean and dynamic.

We can talk about the results as much as you want but I'm just giving the quick version.

now lets do the burn side



This particular test comes out really weird, but once thinking about it makes sense.

With the RoomTune burn the sound was very linear like a volume control for the full range. With the tube trap you can hear the trap resonating a dull buzz. The RoomTune acts like a barricade for the sound and the tube trap resonated it's signature sound. Interesting is once the room is done with traps all over the whole room had this dull buzz (resonance). You can hear it playing the music or talking. With the RoomTune up it's more like a series of acoustical volume controls all over the room. Yes the different RoomTune have their own flavor, but these tones work with the over all pressure not opposed to it.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:56 am

Now that we are on the topic let me share something with you guys that may help you while listening or drive you crazy thinking about it, but we're all big boys and can handle what comes our way right Question

I need to make a mid-night 2am here Laughing snack, but ponder this while I'm gone.



Yes, I BBQ at 3am if I'm hungry, and it was delicious Exclamation

So I want you guys to put on your history thinking caps with me.

When digital recording started to pop up all over the place there was something else that took place on a major scale. Before this recording engineers were in experimental mode that ranged from room acoustics to recording code equalizing. What happened almost over night in our world was the use of computers. This is a good thing right Question  I'm saying this as a positive and with all do respect. But there's a dark side to this. What was once a focus on learning curves by actually doing recordings hands on, the recording world and home listening started to become lazy. Why do the work inside of the live room when you can manipulate afterwards? That's a question but also a comment. Modern recording schools also started popping up like spring time flowers. I know cause I've taught at them. Literally thousands of newly un-seasoned computer geeks hit the music scene, many who were never involved in mic/room/control interfacing. The new mentality with a lot of these guys & gals was kill, record, and screw with later, or hand the master over to yet another engineer to fix, chop or create something altogether different than the original sometimes creative and other times not so creative recordings. Studio time became an hourly gig vs do it till it's right even if that means redoing live or effect takes. Fact is the industry moved way too fast and both recording and high end audio began to make theory myths as a means to rationalize the speedy cause. Art was in many cases replaced by convenient.

told you, you would be scared Laughing

lets go back to our conversation above on acoustical materials and function, and very important doing vs theory

If you look at the tests above or had your brain wired right when visiting trapped and or overly dead rooms, you'll notice that there is both something missing as well as something added to the sound. By acoustical definitions this is called....waiting for the word.....distortion. Distortion should not be confused with amplification. Raising the volume in a room is not distortion. Distortion happens when the fundamentals and harmonics are not "in-tune" with each other as gains and decreases are made. Pure amplification is only correct when being in balance. The fundamental force of amplification is more of a gentle responsive push to getting the ball (signal) rolling. This is known as Dynamic Range. Natural acoustical amplification is the largest form of the audio chain, both on the beginning side and end playback of the process.

To answer Sonic's question about traps, we need to put reality and common sense into action. Can Guilford cloth be a burn without adding it's absorptive nature into the mix? Our testing above as well as listening says no. If these traps are out of balance both resonating and absorbing wise, what happens to the frequencies as they go from low to high, and then on to approaching supersonic? If the energy in the room is distorted in the harmonic ranges sound goes from 3D to 2D on it's way to becoming a pancake stage. The stage will also shrink and stage black holes will start happening.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:32 am



Michael – what did you BBQ, what was the meal at 3 am like – for the foodies/culinary enthusiasts among us what did you eat and drink for your 3 am repast? How long did preparation of this meal take?

This is an excellent reply about acoustic traps from Michael!

There is the illusion among audiophiles that the word “professional” to describe is a symbol of quality – so if something is used “professionally” in a studio then it will bring the sound and quality of the studio to the home. These audiophiles don’t realize that “Professional” is another way of saying “designed for a purpose”.

Now Michael, could you address the two questions from Sonic:

1.
How will use pressure boxes or other Tuneland products in my room to remove the looseness/boom I am getting in the 100 – 120 hz range and around 60 hz one octave lower?

2.
What is that nice orange wood with the stripes?

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:38 am

Mr Green

That was a work of art cheers . Why do audiophiles spend their time defending the impractical. Since we have become tunees every room we walk in gets talked about. Maybe we're a weird couple but once you learn tuning hearing audio is a matter of common sense. Your testing makes perfect sense.

Hi Sonic

Sometimes when I hear boom in the bass I will change the tension on the speakers or top tune. I was wondering when you get that booming sound on some recordings what would happen if you set a little weight on your speakers stands. Michael makes simple adjustments when he changes recordings and we have notice when he hears boom an adjustment will be made mechanically first before doing acoustical moves. We're learning how to make our components tell the room what to do more than we use to. It's interesting to watch MG at work. The biggest take away for us is how unique each recording is and how you can treat the recording in different ways instead of always thinking it's an acoustical problem. Recordings vary in the bass more than we think they do and while the signal travels through the system the chain can blow up the bass. I'm learning more about recordings bass lines than I ever have.
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:42 am


Hello Rotelguy cheers

Good to have you visit these pages Exclamation

Thank you for this tip on what to do when faced with a frequency response anomaly -- that is to top tune or add some mass first, then look at the acoustics. It is always good to learn from the Masters! Sonic will try this mass loading method in the next few days by adding small weights of about 2 lbs to the metal runners that form the support feet of the Magneplanars.

Why did I not try this immediately?

You see, Sonic has been tuning today and found something that might be the cracking of the code of the pressure flow along and around my ceiling. Tunees know from my earlier posts that my upper wall and ceiling is where Sonic's room problems totally reside.

Using Michael's pillow products in an application that Sonic has not tried (so you thought that Sonic has tried everything by now Laughing ), I appear Idea to have modified the "ceiling sound" sufficiently to make Sonic think I might be on to something like a real solution.

Must go slow and let settling prove or disprove this tuning action.

Sonic will post more about this tune-action later this week if things move in the right direction.

Thanks again Rotelguy Exclamation

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:57 am


Hi Michael

Question: what wood is that?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:11 pm

Hi Sonic, I'm only beginning to learn but now that I look at the system as the tool making adjustments and the recording being the source it makes tuning easier for me. MG somewhere talked about taking the time to figure out what the tools do. This approach changed my listening habits. Now if we hear something different in a recording from the last it's getting easier to make the changes needed. It helps that my wife is into the tuning as much as me. No WAF problem here. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:14 am

Michael – what did you BBQ, what was the meal at 3 am like – for the foodies/culinary enthusiasts among us what did you eat and drink for your 3 am repast? How long did preparation of this meal take?

mg

I've been doing most of my cooking on the grill lately. Nothin special, but it's become a nice routine.


1.
How will use pressure boxes or other Tuneland products in my room to remove the looseness/boom I am getting in the 100 – 120 hz range and around 60 hz one octave lower?

mg

Is the boom happening with every recording? With my subs and platforms when this happens it's usually an adjustment that needs to be made. Following the differences in the bottom can be a full time job, recordings are so different from each other. Sometimes you can choose music that is somewhat alike and then all of a sudden hit bass that loads the zones completely different from the last piece of music. It's one of the things that drove me to making tunable speaker systems.

2.
What is that nice orange wood with the stripes?

mg

After my last visit to the yard I believe the wood in your picture is yellow pine.



But a biggie with these pieces is where the cut was made and because where they grow, you have to really dry them out with a slow dry. I picked up some today to play with. On this particular wood there's several ranges to the sound you can make, well I guess all wood is like that but when playing with this raw it is kinda tricky, fun, but tricky. You know a lot of the wood I use I'll separate by specific board as well as type. I have them in my closest grouped somewhat together or in units of certain sounds I want to mix. I'm pretty sure though that's what this is based on the stuff I got today, I should have wrote it down before.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:22 am


Hi Michael

Thanks for replying. Understood – the pretty wood is Yellow Pine.

At least you can cook – Sonic’s culinary specialization is restricted to three varieties of boiled egg (runny, medium, hard) and various types of cup noodles.

You asked:

Q: Is the boom happening with every recording?

A: Not at all happily or Sonic will be long gone crazy. It is noticeable only on 2 CDs (now files), no more than 3 LPs. Yet when it happens, it is forceful. One of the records is Abbey Road though – on Come Together, the sustained note in the bass riff.

MG: Following the differences in the bottom can be a full time job…..you can choose music that is somewhat alike and then all of a sudden hit bass that loads the zones completely different from the last piece of music. It's one of the things that drove me to making tunable speaker systems.

Sonic: yes, lots of differences in the bass particularly with pop recordings – less on acoustic jazz and hardly on classical musick.

Progress is being made on the new Tune idea based on assumed pressure flows in my room. Now, Sonic listened to some overtures by G F Handel (Academy of Ancient Music/Hogwood dir.) and Django Reinhardt with Stephane Grappelli.

After 24 hours of settling, this Tuning is showing signs of being promising in going somewhere towards ameliorating the boom in the upper bass that Sonic asked you about.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:24 pm

This is good news! Following your listening I was thinking that this was the case. It is exciting to hear the differences so pronounced. "Come Together" has a funky bass period. You might remember me playing with new cones some years ago made out of different materials and shapes. Come together was the recording I used to show off the good and not so good of some of the metals used. Come together has different textures than the other recordings on this lp. When tuning for Abbey Road I sometimes will jump ahead to track 2 and tune in the beginning drums, then go back to come together. If you get the bottom drums to drop and sustain it's easier to go back and ever so slightly tighten up the bass.

Two very important songs on Abbey Road are "Something" and "Because". Abbey Road is a great early recording to learn similar cues because it has so many that are close to the edge of over done but not going over that edge. And as magical as this recording is, it's really not so complex once you take each song and bring it to life. In some ways recordings at that time had a simplicity to them caused by the studio gear used, that are uniquely fat. A sound I love personally.

A page you might find interesting https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/509602-vintage-studio-monitors-2.html

This kinda sets the stage for what these guys were going through in the middle of monitor explorations. Sometimes when I hear something interesting I will go back to see what the guys around the time were going through playback wise. It's a miracle when you think about it. Thank god the equipment made up for the playback colorations. And then sometimes when you hear that bottom bump a little later on rock look and find that the engineer mixed down on JBL's. Many times a boost was given but it was really to compensate for the monitors.

Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:13 am

Greetings Rotelguy  cheers

Even as Sonic is experimenting with a novel application of Michael’s products to address my room’s ceiling-level pressure problems, you can guess I could not resist giving your suggestion a quick try.  And so Sonic did  Exclamation

And I must congratulate you! Your idea of weighting the Magneplanar MG1.5QR speaker stands is actually working, even if this is a brief test!

Sonic would never have thought of this:



I took some small weights that were in my tune closet – 4 in number – and placed one each on the metal bars that constitute the stands for the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs.  If these look like something familiar from Tuneland, they are.  These are the mild steel cones that came with Sonic’s Geniune Michael Green Clampracks (the first series with the heavy gray hemlock shelves and the ¾ inch mild steel rods).

Upon playing one of my recordings with difficult bass, Sonic discovered the bass excess was audibly lessened. I could hear the stops more clearly and while there was some residual boom, it no longer dominated the room anymore.

Sonic is kind of amazed! Increasing mass to cut a room dimension-related bass looseness?

I tried listening with and without the weights and each time, the bass with the weights on was tighter, bloomed less, the treble was more detailed though there might be a slight increase of emphasis of images and sounds at and around the loudspeaker positions. Of course it will take more tuning to get this right – I might need more weight or less, may need to couple them better to the stands, have weights of different materials etc.

Yet the effect was sufficient to show that you, Sir, are right and with enough promise for Sonic to explore this next as likely the path to solving the bass boom!

On another topic -- do tell me and Tunees more about how your wife thinks about the Tune and how she approaches the whole Tuning thing. Perhaps you could persuade her to write something  Very Happy

On the other Tune that Sonic has been working on to address the pressure flows around the upper zones of my room, Sonic is still at it using a different way of applying the idea. I originally thought of describing it tonight but a new idea came to me so I had to redo much of it yesterday and today.

So I will postpone reporting on it for a few days till settling tells me to what extent Sonic has solved this long standing problem.  After so many tries, I want to be sure.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:01 pm

Hello Sonic, I must give the credit to MG Exclamation Michael's speaker designing is extraordinary. Few speakers take transfer into consideration unlike MG's which are all about the mechanics.

Laughing The better half is not into internet chat and is surprised I have taken it up. Our excitement for tuning is a natural extension of where our lives are as a couple. We like the way Mr Green talks and immerses himself into his craft. It's not often you get a chance to meet someone who has invented something as big and practical as tuning. When listening to his work we look at each other and say of course. We're glad to see you go deeper and deeper in your tuning Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:25 pm

Greetings Michael and Zonees  Exclamation

This Tune that Sonic has been experimenting with since the early part of this last week is working in a way most promising. An audible dent has been made in the room’s Ceiling ringiness.  

To arrive at this Tune, Sonic surmised that my room ceiling zone has, in addition to the lengthwise flow, a strong flow across the short (width) dimension of the room which makes for a character in midrange response of the room  Idea  Sonic has mentioned this observation before.  This would explain why ETs mounted against the walls towards the top of the room can emphasize room ring instead of reducing it.  Also acoustic on the side walls were at best marginally effective (discounting the negative effects of foam).  This meant to Sonic that the problem pressure zones were not at the wall surface but in the middle of the room  Idea

Therefore Sonic did this to create an absorptive (burn) axial channel zoned down the length of the room where a cross room pressure flow is “spoiled” so there will be an energy reduction:



The ETs and RTS in this approach is merely a novel variation of Mr Green’s methods.  Michael has recommended placing pairs of FS-DRTs and FS-PZCs with their reflective/wood panel sides facing each other and the absorptive sides facing the side walls. So I thought “Why not do this at ceiling level using EchoTunes and RT Squares?”  

It works  Exclamation

This really works  Exclamation  cheers  Exclamation

The room has gone quieter, the bass is deeper and more controlled especially the sustained notes. A big bass.  A solid centre image that is slightly pushed forward towards the listener.  The details in the midrange like snare drum rolls and paradiddles are crisp and the sound pressure headroom of the Sonic’s listening space has increased. Control and presence like I have not got from this room before!

With the BOO! test, the damping tail of the higher frequency components can be heard to fall off faster than before and stop distinctly. Sonic will of course test if more or fewer ETs and RT Squares are needed for the best effect.

As this Tune is settling Sonic has been listening all through last night and today.  And enjoying every moment, rediscovering every digital file and LP, EP, SP being played.  I can see why Mr Green sometimes listens all night and not sleep for days.

It is sounding like Sonic’s has tuned the room/system past a watershed.

In the next few days I’ll post more pictures and observations as this new Tune tells Sonic more about my room.

Michael – have you encountered anyone else using something like this before?  Any suggestions of how Sonic can make this Tune even more powerful and effective?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun May 01, 2016 9:43 pm

Hi Sonic, this is exciting Exclamation

:D8)

The ceiling is a listeners playground isn't it Idea I'm happy you have unlocked this door. Some ceilings after tuning the corners and upper seams won't let you do anything else. Than there are other ceilings that act like stage shapers.

I'm glad that you are finding the front to back movements. This opens an all new door to listening in my book.

study

Your also right about my listening. I must confess exploring these systems and rooms here has been a love affair for me. Especially since I'm making so many free resonant speakers as of late.

A big discovery for you my friend Smile

"Michael – have you encountered anyone else using something like this before?  Any suggestions of how Sonic can make this Tune even more powerful and effective?"

mg

Sure but I think you will find some uniqueness to your space as far as distances between the walls and tunes. I like that you are into the hanging tunes Exclamation

left rear



wider view



right rear
(you are noticing these are hanging right?)



left front
(RT's are facing the chair not 45ing the corner)



right front



wider view
(I'm using DecoTunes and MGA Wood Panels on the floor)



Center
(makes it easy to adjust depth and get rid of banana stage)



I should have taken more pics of my playing around in this room, but I did several hanging patterns.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Mon May 02, 2016 8:56 am

Greetings Michael and Zonees

Sonic may have found the fulcrum of the acoustics of my room -- we often think of flow running down the length of our rooms and if one looks at the way Sound Shutters are mounted by Tunees in the various systems you can refer to at the Techno-Zone or the Tuneland archives, it assumes this.  

I have not yet seen Shutters mounted to shape the flow across the short axis of the room.

In reality things in a room are a complex interaction of flows down the long axis, across the short axis and up/down the height.

Michael -- have you tuned a room where the up/down height flow was significant?  What did you do in that case?

Sonic's room may have an unsually strong or significant cross (short width axis) flow which I am now addressing.

And these two pix show that we are possibly working in the right direction given that the ETs that used to be in these spots are not required any longer and can be hung on the ceiling in other places.



Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed May 04, 2016 8:01 am

Most testing of the hanging ETs and RT Squares.

Sonic added these two ETs at the rear of the room over and behind the Bookcase Wall:



This time, the sound has controversy -- the midrange is beautifully and naturally detailed, tube-like dimensionality too. The mid-bass is getting tighter to the point which the bass looseness is going away, though on the other hand, some notes in mid-bass which Sonic knows are in familiar recordings are sharply down in level.

And because these MIA notes lie in a narrow band with adjacent notes being fine, applying EQ with Sonic's trusty Japan Victor Company Sound Effects Amplifier the JVC SEA-10 is not going to work, more so as the band that is affected by this oddity sits between the 60hz and 250hz sliders. Lifting both sliders simply shelves the bass up which is not the solution for this one.....

Ooops  Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Thu May 05, 2016 4:04 pm

Speaker/Room/Furnishings/Climate = your sound.

Pretty amazing isn't it Smile

I'm very happy for you Sonic Very Happy . I believe you have come to the point where the Big Picture is sinking in. You are moving beyond the high end audio realm and on to everything affects everything else mode.

There comes a place where the audio code process starts to become real to us in a way where we see our tools as a means instead of brand names and objects of the limited hobby we've been sold. Feeling the surroundings is a major part to this.

Just think what a major achievement it will be for you when the room becomes your unique friend Exclamation When this happens it's like the hobby is just beginning.

study


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri May 06, 2016 10:01 am

Greetings Zonees  cheers

The experiment of the use of EchoTunes and RT Squares to deal with the cross-room width appears to be increasingly successful  Very Happy   After some experimentation, this set up appears to be the right one:



You’ll see that Sonic has created more of a labyrinth for the ceiling pressure flows to “spoil” them.

The good thing is when carrying out the BOO! in 5 pitches that Sonic has capability to create in some form – Low voice, mid-Low Voice, mid-Pitch Voice, High Voice and Falsetto Voice -- the rate of decay is the same for all.  

At last! No more of one pitch/frequency range decaying slower than the rest or one damped off faster in relation to the others!

The various combinations Sonic attempted before arriving at this set up can be described this way:

Approach 1: a single row of 4 ET pairs (reflective sides facing each other) down the centre-line of the ceiling. A good start that showed the validity of this Tune.

Approach 2: 3 ET pairs (reflective sides facing each other) in two rows down the length of the ceiling, the two rows being about ¼ and ¾ width points. This was rapidly reversed due to a strong midrange ringing and uneven decay of BOO! over different pitch levels.  It was nasty.  Give Zonees an example -- John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme is one of Sonic’s favourite recordings.  This option made this landmark recording in the musical excellence history of mankind (it will, if we survive a few hundred years more, be regarded as great a work as Handel’s Water Music, Beethoven’s 9th and Mendelssohn’s Scottische!) become a ringy mess that Sonic had to shut down out of respect to the musick and composer.

Approach 3 (the present as in the picture): this is a blend between Approaches 1 and 2. Two pairs of ETs down the centre-line of the ceiling and 4 pairs of ETs/RT Squares in two rows of 2 pairs of ETs/RT Squares at the1/4 and ¾ width points.

The Future Approaches that are possible would be if Sonic had an additional pair of ETs or RT Squares. I might go try the single pair in the back of room over and behind the Bookcase Wall as in the picture of Sonic May 4 post. Alternatively, I could hang single ETs at points half length of the room a foot or two out of the ceiling/wall corner with the reflective side facing into the room.

However, I don’t have no more ETs and RT Squares and every ET/RT Square in this room is have a functional presence taming the BOO! so till I get another pair of ETs/RT Squares what is here is theoretical.  For instance, I have a pair of ETs mounted at the mid-point of the length of the room in a way that Michael advises Tunees though the way Sonic has mounted them are across the Ceiling/Wall corner rather than flat against the wall surface.

These two ETs do some serious work mounted thus so.  If I remove just one of them and I can again hear a “BOOwoong” and with them mounted the room is quiet and the BOO! is again like Sonic described in Para 3 of this post.

Sonic is hearing what the room is doing, how flows are changing with each Tune.  I think it is possible that we are close to Sonic being able to render the room “Neutral”.  “Neutral” in Sonic’s parlance is not the equivalent of an acoustically dead room, one that goes BUH!|, but one that is evenhanded across the frequency range, no strange decay patterns where some frequencies ring badly while others decay uniformly.  It is, therefore a “Neutral” acoustic to allow me to Tune for the musick instead of what Sonic been doing for years till now – that is to Tune against the room.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun May 08, 2016 8:40 am

Greetings Zonees

As the room settles, the acoustic is getting drier and Sonic is appreciating the precision in the sound and made small adjustments such moving my chair closer towards the Bookcase Wall by a few inches. The sound is musical for certain and now with reduced interference from the Ceiling/upper room zone, there is a precision and clarity where Sonic can hear more into the performance of the recordings.  Good Zonees should understand that Sonic’s use of words such as “drier” and “precision in the sound” are done within the context of the Tune vocabulary and not a move towards the “high-end audio” concept of these ideas that stemming from audiophile systems that are overdamped in room acoustics or system.

I have just listened to two LPs – the world premier recording of W A Mozart’s newly discovered work in the 1980s the Symphony in A minor K16a “Odense” followed on the same LP by Wolfgang Amadeus Johannes Chrysostomos’ first three symphonies (Odense Symphony Orch, Tamas Veto cond., Unicorn Kanchana) and Mendelssohn’s Les Deux Trios for violin, cello and piano (Pierre Amoyal Vln, Frederic Lodeon Vlc, Anne Queffelec pno, Erato LP). This is very pleasing musick, just the right thing for Saturday night musical listening. The instruments are well-focused, the performers’ playing nuances are clear and there is a large acoustic space that has taken over my room – so if you know the sound of acoustic instruments playing in a real space that gives an “all round me” effect, it is here in some measure with every recording!

Sonic is considering if I should mark the system setting as it is now and record the positions of everything and then over this week attempt dialing a little more acoustic dryness at ceiling level just to see how it sounds and pull back from the point where things get either:

a.     too acoustically dead

or

b.     the acoustic treatment of the room creates its own sound signature which colours every recording played.  Right now the system is free of this. This effect Sonic is sensitive to!

Now everything I played so far pointed to me leaving things as they are, then Sonic listened to Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s Shaka Zulu. In this digital file, the a capella singing was set in a reverberant space that is a bit too much. Meaning if I were at a recording desk, Sonic would certainly cut the reverb.  Yet this appears to be a facet of this Columbia recording because for comparison (if I played this recording on repeat for a day, the settling might change the reverb, who knows? But Sonic is keen not to do this).  It might be the recording because Sonic next keyed up some Gregorian chant recorded in a reverberant chapel (the Schola des Peres du Saint-Esprit du Grand Scolasticat de Chevill) and playing at a comparable volume level, the reverberation of the choir space was natural. Is it the amount of reverb in the Shaka Zulu recording or frequency spectrum distribution of the reverb? Sonic thinks experimentation is called for!

Michael -- if you are faced with a recording with too much reverb, and you had  a tuneable system at hand, what will you do? Sonic is thinking here of what Rotelguy told me and how that was successful in tightening up the bass in my system.  

Sonic could start the experiment by attempting a tune at the front wall where the centre ETs mounted at an angle to the wall/ceiling 90 degree junction is simply hung as Michael has shown and the two acoustic foam pieces moved inward to form one long piece situated behind the hanging ET to further control the upper zone.

See this picture and you will get an idea what Sonic is planning. Ignore the ETs and RT Squares mounted on the Ceiling in a row down the centre-line of the room – this has been superseded by my Tune of May 6. Look instead at the Left lower Left of the picture and you will get an idea of what Sonic is planning to do.



Let’s see how this works – Sonic is going all out to deal with maximal effort to fix the ceiling/upper Zone issues.  Once I get past “Tuning Against the Room” to the “I have Made the Room My Friend”, something of a new chapter might start!  

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Mon May 09, 2016 11:36 pm

Sonic said

"Michael -- if you are faced with a recording with too much reverb, and you had  a tuneable system at hand, what will you do? Sonic is thinking here of what Rotelguy told me and how that was successful in tightening up the bass in my system. "

mg

Whenever I am close to a sound that I like acoustically then put on a recording that takes the system another direction, whether slight or major, I will think about which tool and 1/3 "acoustical/mechanical/electrical" I want to use to tune. This is why I sometimes will change my discipline to pay attention to one (mechanical for example) over the others. Ultimately in the back of my mind I know things like top tuning electronics have a certain power over the sound as a whole that can be used to make tiny shifts that have big results with the acoustics. So for myself I try to be as 3D in my thinking as I can even if I'm spending most of my time on one particular 1/3.

example

Downstairs, I'm thinking I would like to try a thin piece of cork behind the ribbon tweeter. However I haven't made this move yet because I keep thinking there are probably 3 or 4 other things I could do to give me the same result (close to). Once I find these different tunes that do somewhat the same thing from a different 1/3 I will make my mental list for this specific system that I can use. Maybe it's acoustical or maybe mechanical or maybe electrical, but for me it's important to know which is which more than a specific tune once a recording changes everything.

I'm more the guy who will spend weeks on like you say the "drier", not for the sake of a specific recording as much but more the signature of the effect itself. Some recordings will love this tune and others not as much. Then I will spend other weeks (seasons) only tuning one recording to unlock the float. This is a completely different mindset for me.

Here's the thing you mentioned though that stays with me always. I have found that every recording has a sense of presence that surrounds the space when the code is unlocked. Maybe it's just a feeling, or actual placement, but when a recording does this, I know the recording is close to revealing itself. On the other side to this coin, when a recording falls into a specific shape (usually in front) and I don't have this sense on presence that seems to run through me and all around I know that I am viewing only a piece of the pie. At that moment I decide if I'm going to look at the recording in part or spend the time un-locking the magic.

This may not answer your question, but hopefully it gives you an idea for my understanding of the question.

why is this important for me?

I tend to make the recording itself part of the tweak.

The end game of space for me is the key to my listening and find that when I enter the space of a recording I care far less about some of the other traits but more enter a state of mind where all is right for that moment. I'll look or even develop special tweaks for use that I'll have on hand to pull out of my closet when the time is right. Similar to your foam. But with this in mind I'm also thinking how much is too much or too little of any tweak. In other words when does that tweak become a "tune" more than a tweak. A tune is something you almost don't hear, as it is replaced by the recording. A tweak is something your always aware of, more showing it's signature over the recorded code.

Sonic remember that everything has several dimensions to it. You have mass, weight, burn, signature, force, and dependence (interaction & placement). With something like foam there are many things you can do to shape the performance. For example we talked about using that board, but there's more. You can do another tweak. Instead of mounting the foam directly to the wall you can use a thin piece of wood placed between the foam and wall. This will allow the foam to act more as a resonator. Depending on how stiff the foam is it can actually start acting as a membrane. I have many tweaks for foam you can try if you want to diy this stuff. Foam on it's own can do weird things but there are ways to convert this material into usable burners.

For myself, I try to make the things I use into tuners of some sort. Idea

nice to see you thinking tune study

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Wed May 11, 2016 8:57 am

Hello Michael and Zonees!

This chart shows the options for the ET/RT Square labyrinth that Sonic is building on the ceiling of my room.



Sonic has also discovered that the BOO! response of the room is different when no music is playing and during the play of musick.  The playing of music appears to modulate the BOO! somewhat – in my case the impulse has some small overhang again in the mids while there is a shift down in the bass that makes a low BOO! sound like it was uttered by a Russian basso profundo.  Yet in a silent room a similarly pitched bass BOO! is OK with a moderate downshift in pitch.

Yet the room as it settles is telling me we are getting close to the right point from which “positive tuning” can take place to adjust for recordings and where we are not fighting the room no more.

Sonic has found from experience the correctness of Michael’s saying that foam doesn’t just damp, it may also do things to the tonal balance.  Giving Zonees an example – a foam piece on a side wall in a certain place in this room can clean up an upper bass overhang yet can add (or reveal) a “honk” higher up in the frequency range which is more annoying.

For this reason Sonic is probably not going to activate the action of Tune I proposed earlier in my post of May 8 in this thread, see pix with the arrows) but I might try some experimentation with the front corners.

More by way of elaboration on this idea – if it goes anywhere -- in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, Sonic has been listening to quite a few 45 rpm singles and EPs using the AT 95e/AT LP120 direct drive turntable front end. I can hear compromises like rolled off bass and odd EQ in the 45 rpm singles but fun musick nevertheless – like stuff from CCR’s last LP where Jhon Fogerty sings about a “Sweet Hitch Hiker” (A-side) and bassist Stu Cooke sings about being a traveling salesman in “Door to Door” (B-side)…and anyone on Tuneland heard an odd group called Middle of the Road with a female vocalist who has a really nasal voice – got these almost free from someone who said “take these home and listen to them” – the discs which were soiled yet after washing turned out to be in playable condition and a fun listen.  

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Fri May 13, 2016 8:30 am

Greetings Zonees  Smile

The labyrinth of ETs and RT Squares from Michael are settling with musick play and the sound is leaving Sonic with little else that I want to do, except to listen to more recordings!

Central to this happy state is what I observed that the room BOO! can sound one way when the room is silent and another way when music and speech is playing. Sonic has found that early this week I tried to go one step beyond the ceiling labyrinth with the ET/RT Squares by using foam that got me a room that was drier/deader but when playing recordings, I started to hear midrange overhang notes.

These are the pictures. The panels are asymmetrically mounted.



This attempt damped some part of the lower BOO! but it caused a pronounced upward shift in pitch in the midrange part of the BOO!

Sonic backtracked from this and then let the room/system really settle.

In this state, music and speech is excellent from treble to bass with bass overhang in control largely. And as Sonic maintained, speech (recordings of poetry and drama) is sometimes more unforgiving of room resonant anomalies than music.  This is because we all know what female, male and children voices are like – we hear them all around us unless we are hermits.

Sonic is now where I have treated this room using Michael’s products and taken the acoustics now to a watershed – that is, a junction where on one side is a bit of BOO! and on the other a dry/damped sound.  

It appears to Sonic that the most realistic and room filling sound so far is achieved when Sonic tunes the BOO! to be controlled but slightly live, spherically big that expands into the room and goes down deep ie: downshifted in pitch.

So for days Sonic has been listening to more recordings, and actually finding in the sound a strengthened sense of satisfaction and a diminishing desire to Tune anything further.  Instead of walking into my room thinking “what can I do to change the room acoustics?”, Sonic is thinking more of “what sort of music shall I put on the turntable?”  I am getting exicted about exploring new types of musick, with a particular eagerness to listen to a variety of ethnic music and the very modern stuff that I haven’t heard before.

There is rising too with the feeling of “satisfaction”, a sense of “musical bliss”.

Zonees may know that Sonic has been going with 10 years of tuning and learning from Tuneland, so any idea of “musical bliss” is a strange thought for me to contemplate.

“There is always the next level” says Mr Green.

Are “satisfaction” and “musical bliss” possible?

In principle this has to be since it is the enjoyment of music that has fired my efforts all along.

So yes, “musical bliss” must be possible and sought!



cheers Very Happy  cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sat May 14, 2016 2:16 am

Beautiful pictures Exclamation

I can see the zones study

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sat May 14, 2016 10:56 am


You can see them?

Wow Exclamation

Draw diagrams of how the Zones look and let me have your suggestions of what I have to change to tune/control the Zones of Sonic's room.

Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning a New World of Computer Audio Playback   Sun May 15, 2016 9:30 am


Here's something Sonic found on audiokarma posted by one Plam:

http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/the-true-reason-why-vintage-jbls-are-so-popular-in-japan.641074/

Start:

I was reading the posts on this forum and have found too many misunderstanding regarding JBL status in Japan, so I would like to correct them here.

1. In Japan, JBL has been THE speaker to listen to Jazz, or Jazz oriented music. Actually, most audiophiles in Japan only listen to Jazz and classical music. Classical music lovers don't choose JBL, they choose European speakers or high end such as Tannoy and Sonus Faber. Of course, people listen to pop and rock music in Japan, but they are not considered as real audiophile music, except a few recordings. It's very common a serious audiophile who listens to both classical and Jazz buys 2 speaker sets, JBL (or Altec) and the other.

2. Japanese only value certain type of JBL speakers, Paragon, Hartsfield, 43XX monitors, S9500, and vintage alnico units. 44xx are unpopular. "L" consumer JBLs are extremely unpopular. I'll tell you why later.

3. Historically, Paragon and Hartsfield became popular in Japan at first, as an icon of American Dream. Only very few successful people could afford them. Some bought Tannoy instead. Average audiophiles at that time was using Altec or building own speakers with JBL / Altec /Goodman units. Western Electric was already the legend.

4. Now 4343. The true JBL craziness in Japan started here. You guys must understand that 434x have been VERY controversial speakers in Japan although they have been extremely popular. When they appeared, Japanese audio critics said that they could sound really good ONLY if the user TRULY understand how to properly set up all the audio equipments. It is true that 434x are very hard to use speakers due to phase issue, multiple amping difficulty etc., and they tend to sound bad, but Japanese serious audiophiles started challenging them, and a (very) few audiophiles successfully could have made them sound extremely good, then those few has become audiophile legends. So 434x is considered to be THE speaker which all serious audiophiles should challenge at least once in a life time to test his ability and know his limit as an audiophile. 4343’s rather Spartan look does really matches to their intention. In a word, JBL has become a martial art, it's all about the challenge to overcome the limit of user himself.

4. "L" and the other consumar JBL has never been popular in Japan. This is because they look like nothing but luxury home speakers, and they tend to sound good whoever use them. No need for struggling, therefore they are not true JBL. JBL is a martial art in Japan. Samurai shouldn’t choose easy way, in this case, home speakers. On the contrary, 431x was very popular among the young wannabe audiophile who couldn't afford 434x. 431x sound bad, of course, because JBL has to sound bad, only the user will make them sound good. 44xx was not popular, because they sound good regardless of the users. They think 44xx are not a real audiophile speakers. K2 S9500 became really popular albeit $40000 price tag, because they tend to sound horrible. Then people called it ultimate JBL. This is not a joke. This would sound extremely strange, but that is the typical Japanese audiophile mentality. Tannoy, Altec, and the other speaker users in Japan have different mentality than above JBL martial artists, but eventually all audiophiles in Japan have been definitely influenced by 4343 culture.

5. There is another thing. In Japan, there has been the places called “JAZZ COFFEE SHOP”, where 50s-60s Jazz are played very loud all day long, customers can’t talk each other in this coffee shop, because people go there for listening to music. 99% of those Jazz coffee shop uses JBL (some use Altec), and JBL / Altec has become defact standard of listening to Jazz, then Tannoy and the other for classical music. High End speakers are also considered as “sound stage speaker” for classical music, variations of ESL 63, so Jazz listeners still choose vintage JBL. 21 century JBLs are not really considered as true JBLs. They are considered more like somewhat inferior high end speakers. DD66000 is highly regarded as a true high end speaker, though.

END

Sonic feels an emotional connect deeply with "In a word, JBL has become a martial art, it's all about the challenge to overcome the limit of user himself."

Just like my years of fighting and challenging this room without taking the easy way out. A martial art, a struggle despite the mocking of well-intended audio friends one who recently visited and remarked after listening "your soundstage is unbelievable..." (he was genuine up to this point) then went on to find issue with a range of the bass which only shows up on the music he listens to all the time but which only pops up in Sonic's musical record collection something like 3 to 5 tracks out of more than 2,000 LPs, FLAC files, EPs, SPs and 78s. Which with the recent ceiling labyrinth is ameliorated.

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

Sonic
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