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 Tuning and Musical Adventures

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Join date : 2009-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:48 am

Greetings Zonees

Let it be known that Sonic takes heed of what Michael says.

On July 23 MG posted: “I see some different cables in the system, lets add those to the equation. The more we can identify the sounds of each part and piece the easier it is to see the system as a whole. Sometimes it's hard to step forward without looking at other moves that have changed the formula.”

Sonic thinks Michael is right about looking at the sound contribution of each part.  So while these multi-strand cables have been satisfactorily in use for some months, I think it is time to get back closer to the Tune path.

Sonic brought back the Michael Green Bare Essence T3s for the run from the amplifier (Parasound A21) to the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs, kept the padding resistors in and used short pieces of T3 as jumpers, that is we are not biwiring.

On power up, the Bare Essence T3s certainly create a different sound from the multi-strand cables.  I’ll put the system through some intense settling till Friday when Sonic will give a report of what I hear.

Till then…..

An Interview with Roy Gandy (from Hi-Fi+)

By Chris Martens, October 4, 2016

To see the article with all the pictures go to:

Roy Gandy started Rega Research more than 40 years ago. Since then, the company has grown to become one of the most important specialist turntable manufacturers in the world, and has expanded to encompass the full gamut of audio equipment. But the turntable is still at the core of Rega.

Recently, we spoke with Roy Gandy as a part of our Titans of Turntable & Tonearm Technology series within our Hi-Fi+ Guide to Analogue Audio, which can be downloaded here.

Hi-Fi+: What drew you to the field of analogue audio in the first place and what do you regard as your specialties within that field?

RG:  Music drew me to the field. As a student I could not afford equipment to listen to music and so I had to make it.  My specialities would be turntable, arm, and cartridge design along with an understanding of the turntables function and 40 + years of research and development into the subject.

Hi-Fi+: Many in our industry say that analogue audio presently is enjoying a renaissance. Would you agree with this viewpoint and, if so, what do you think is driving that renaissance?

Yes: The renaissance is a very large growth in a very small niche market.  I hope the growth is due to the possibilities of better sound quality but there are many other factors such as the difficulties with downloading, streaming, and the poor sound quality of any current digital format, particularly MP3, phones, and tablets.

Hi-Fi+: How have engineering practices changed since you built your first turntable? Have the changes influenced subsequent designs?

At Rega we have seen huge R & D investment and changes to almost everything we make.  However, elsewhere little has changed except that the increase in interest has seen a growth in massive, heavy acrylic sculptures.

The market success of our unique and controversial designs, which are based purely on demonstrable sound quality, has influenced all our turntable designs and we currently produce five models instead of the two which we produced for most of the company’s life.

Most of our changes have come from new lighter and stiffer materials along with the increased accuracy available from CNC machines at a lower cost.  We are also very proud of the hundreds of new design ideas that our research has allowed us to produce.  Most of these are insignificant in marketing terms but hundreds of small improvements in shapes and materials have increased the ability of our turntables to accurately measure the micron levels of the record groove.

Hi-Fi+: What are the distinctive ‘hallmarks’ or signature elements of your analogue designs? What distinguishes your products from those of your competitors?

The “hallmark” of a Rega turntable is that it is designed to attempt to measure the minute, microscopic vibrations contained in a record groove.  We look at the real world of precision engineering and question the anecdotal mythology that has forever surrounded the idea of a turntable.

Hi-Fi+: Some prefer to treat turntables and tonearms as integrated systems whose elements should be developed in concert with one another. Others prefer to take more of a ‘mix-and-match’ approach. What is your recommendation and why?

Of course there are many people who wish to try new things. Hi-Fi in general has a large subjective element, which is ideal for those interested in experimentation and satisfying the neurotic urges that exist in many of us.  Because the turntable has an almost impossible task of measuring vibration at the micron level, any change will alter the cartridge signal.  However, in the engineering world the turntable has only an objective function and that is a machine, tool, or instrument to measure the vibration contained in a rotating record, along with inputting the energy to rotate the record in a microscopically constant manner.  The turntable, arm, and cartridge are all part of this machine and all need to be considered as a necessary part of the whole, while accepting that they require some different scientific and engineering functions.

Hi-Fi+: Being as candid as possible, how would you compare the relative merits of digital and analogue source components? What things do you think good analogue sources do singularly well?

I don’t understand why the answer to this question requires “being candid”.  The answer will depend on areas of musical interest and ability to discriminate.

Personally, I know many people for whom musical replay via YouTube on their phone or tablet is adequate for their needs and they have no interest in an increase in quality.  Most people eat readymade supermarket meals and are happy with the taste of frozen food, synthetic cheese, and factory-produced drinks.  I am one of the few percent who are cursed or charmed with the ability to obtain intense pleasure from all my senses and actively seek to create that pleasure.  Tasteless food makes me feel bad so I don’t own a freezer.  I don’t like background music or performers whose aim is stardom, but any special performer, professional or amateur, who cares and communicates, can make me cry, but I have never cried listening to recorded music of any sort. So my aim in the world of recorded music is to try and re-create the emotional elements that can make people cry.  I own about three thousand LP’s and about two hundred CD’s.  I still sometimes actively listen to music on LP but rarely on CD except maybe to transcribe song words or analyze an arrangement.

The simple answer is that neither digital nor analogue musical replay is good or bad.  The artistic musical production possibilities using digital recording and mastering techniques far exceed anything possible on tape.  BUT if one wants to capture the specific performance characteristics of a special musician or an amazing voice, then this is only possible on tape and vinyl replay.

There are hundreds of thousands of badly recorded vinyl albums but maybe one or two thousand good ones.  For me, most CD recordings emasculate the music and I have only about five that,for me, are listenable.

Both digital and analogue recording and replay are massively flawed sciences and it is difficult to understand how either can work at all.  

However, at its best the analogue approach far exceeds the digital both audibly and technically.  Those that claim better measurements for the digital domain are simply measuring the wrong things.

Hi-Fi+: Which elements in the analogue audio signal path—turntables, tonearms, phono cartridges, or phono stages—have the most overall impact on sound quality?

The signal from the record cannot be improved on (“you can’t polish a turd”) and missing information cannot be replaced so one assumes that the turntable/arm/cartridge, are important.  However, the signal or music can be corrupted or destroyed at any stage so every part of the replay chain including amplifier and loudspeaker become equally important.

Hi-Fi+: Which three of your favourite analogue demo discs might you recommend to our readers? (It’s hard to choose just three, we know, but please do your best.)

I don’t agree with the concept of “demo discs” or using discs to demonstrate the replay.  I much prefer the concept that the function of the replay system is to demonstrate the disc.

Hi-Fi+: What set-up or installation tips would you give the newcomer… and what guidance would you give to the expert?

Listen to the music.  Don’t read reviews or magazines.  Be confident in your own beliefs and what you hear.  Find a good retailer who will let you listen and borrow equipment.  Don’t spend large sums on equipment furniture or cables; most of it is a “con”.  There is more available pleasure from listening to music than playing with Hi-Fi.

For the “expert”; I know many competent loudspeaker and electronics experts.  I have never met a turntable expert.  Almost all turntable accepted beliefs are anecdotal, mythological, or completely wrong.

Hi-Fi+: In five years’ time, how do you anticipate that the world of analogue audio will have changed?

No change.

Last edited by Sonic.beaver on Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:34 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Correct typo, correct and add details)
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Michael Green

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:45 pm

Hi Sonic

I'm looking forward to your Friday's report.


michael green
PH 702 762 3245
Email mgtune@yahoo.com
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:35 am

Musick Powered with Bare Essence T3

Here are pictures of the system as it is now. See the standard-to-Tuneland layout of three FS-PZCs at the mid-front wall and where the FS-DRTs are. That was what Sonic was referring to last week in my post.

[Pix layout 1 goeth here]

[Pix layout 2 goeth here]

And here is how the FS-DTs ahead of the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs are now placed Left and Right. This does not correspond to any first reflection point. I don’t even know where the spots are. This placement gives the best forward projection and ambience.

[Pix layout 3 goeth here]

[Pix layout 4 goeth here]

Pardon the low quality – my usual camera got a problem so Sonic shot these pix with a phone.

Notice also that Sonic is again using Michael Green T3 Bare Essence from the amp to the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs with short pieces of T3 as jumpers, a return which I referred to in my post of August 8.

After four days of somewhat intense running in, Sonic finds that Michael’s T3s lack the tonal signature of the earlier cables that transferred from recording to recording in some measure, sometimes more and sometimes less.

With the Bare Essence T3s, the sound of gut strung violins are more accurate. The upper bass weight and attack of the T3s are better and while the bass extension is slightly better than the earlier cables, the images of bass/low tone instruments are larger and therefore more realistic. As settling proceeded the deep bass appears to be getting to be more weighty and more taut as heard in low bowed bass notes.

The mids and treble of the T3 are sweeter. On a recording I have where the midrange was “shouty” with the earlier cables, the T3s give a sound that is flatter and more neutral. Compared to the earlier cables, the T3 do not call attention to any part of the recorded frequency range.

Another mark of the transparency/neutrality of the Michael Green Bare Essence T3 is they let the Magneplanar MG1.5QR’s characteristic slight midrange recessive nature become audible. The earlier cable had a more forward midrange which I used in an attempt to correct the MG1.5QR’s midrange weakness but on long term listening it sounds artificial and tiring.

What else Sonic notices is a kind of a “knee step” in the response where the sound is good and balanced up to a certain volume, then just one more click higher on the preamp, the sound blossoms out into the room and the music becomes real, present and alive.

Fortunately this does not take place at excessively high volume levels but happens when average levels get past the high 70dBs, low 80dBs C-weighting. This effect has been observed with Magneplanars by the late Harry Pearson and co in the pages of the Abso!ute Sound. In their cases they however reported this transition to “aliveness” took place at levels they remarked that might, on a long-term basis, threaten one’s hearing. That sounds to Sonic to be high 80dB average levels or more.

This “knee step” also took place to some extent with the earlier cables but at much higher volume levels and even then less noticeable, with less “wow!” when it happened.

With the volume in this “aliveness” range, played Miles Davis’ Tutu and then tracks from the Bee Gees’ Odessa, an early album, their last in their 1960’s line up. Excellent bass, deep and while it doesn’t shake the floor (the parquet-over-concrete floor is too hard for that), the air in the room is vibrating.

Bare Essence T3 -- good stuff Michael cheers


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Yesterday at 8:51 am

More on Bare Essence T3 and What Lies Beyond…

As we wait for Michael to come back online with his comments and the pictures, after six days of concerted run in, the Bare Essence T3s from Michael Green are in a few words – very good Exclamation Very Happy

The extension of the low-end with the T3s is slightly better than the earlier cables – which were doubled-up Van Dammes (the Blue Speaker Series 268-575-060) that are used as internal wiring in Harbeths.  

However the bigger and projected bass images Sonic is getting with the Michael Green Bare Essence T3s gives the impression that the extension difference is greater than it actually is.  

From Sonic’s records, I can see where my detour was made from the biwired Bare Essence T3 and T2 to this highly regarded but “fixed sound” Van Damme cable. Sonic need not go into the details but the root of it all was trying to fix more than one problem at a time with the added confusion in assigning remedies to causes.

In my post of August 4, Sonic remarked that:

“I use the Japan Victor Company SEA-10 to raise 40hz by 2dB as a baseline and can use the other EQ bands if necessary……This means I can next turn my attention to the capacitor change for the Magneplanars MG1.5QRs. This one will be slightly complex. The Jantzen caps turned out to be too large to fit behind the grille cloth, so Sonic will have to build a wooden shelf that bolts to the back of the Magneplanar MG1.5QR panels on which to mount the two caps and use Michael’s Bare Essence T3 to connect the capacitors to the rest of the crossover board."


With the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs closer to the side walls and the return to Michael Green T3s, the sound is sufficiently tonally balanced that I am listening to almost all recordings without any EQ boost in the bass. The low end is actually over-ripe with the 2dB boost to 40hz in most cases. So the baseline is now flat with no EQ from the JVC Nivico Sound Effect Amplifier 10.

With the sound as it is presented, Sonic is likely to forgo the change of the present Solen capacitors to the Jantzen caps or postpone it indefinitely. The caps will of course be kept in my closet as NOS till the day when they will be required.  Paul Simon he say "everything put together sooner or later falls apart."

Sonic found an LP of Elliot Carter’s String Quartet (The Walden Quartet) and an LP of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time and La Merle Noir for Flute and Piano (The NY Philomusica Chamber Ensemble). I am listening to these two LPs as I prepare this missive.  Before I play them tonight, Sonic is listening to Bach’s Cantata BWV 44 (Nicholas Harnoncourt and Concentus Musicus Wein – Das Alte Werk, Telefunken LP. I found an LP of the Quartour pour la fin du temps…the End of Time….

Ahead for Sonic there will be the matter of addressing the mishmash of interconnects that I am using, a combo that includes Michael Green’s Picassos.  Should I try to resolve this or just leave be?    

While I take more time for musick….Sonic says again that Michael and Tune has delivered well!

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