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 Robert Harrison's Tunable System

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Robert Harrison



Posts : 254
Join date : 2010-03-08
Location : Harwood Heights, Illinois

PostSubject: CONSIDERING THE POSSIBILITIES   Sat May 07, 2011 7:55 pm

Hey, everyone,

I am thinking about possible other configurations of my room, now that the heaviest objects are gone.


As is by ozonerman, on Flickr
Here is where I am at now.


Version 1 by ozonerman, on Flickr
Here is what I could do by just moving the chairs against the back wall, as well as moving the other objects closer to room center, except the subwoofer.


Version 2 by ozonerman, on Flickr
This is pretty much just turning everything around 180 degrees, with the exception of now having the listening chairs up against a wall and the other objects moved closer to room center, again, except the subwoofer, which I would try in the center position up against the rear wall.


Version 3 by ozonerman, on Flickr
And then there is this most radical (for me) possibility. The trick with this one is how far apart do I put the speakers?
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Sun May 08, 2011 6:39 am


Hi Robert

The long wall set up might work -- you can try starting with the speaker panels at the edges of your field of vision.

Also I would avoid placing the subwoofer in the centre of any wall. Keeping it in a corner makes the behaviour more predictable. From what I have seen nearly every failed subwoofer set up involved the box being set up along the centre line of the room. I also once saw a proof using acoustic theory why this setting is the least satisfactory in terms of producing a linear response.

Sonic
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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Mon May 09, 2011 1:34 pm

Hi Robert

I've been very busy with listening areas 2 and 3 and my audio closet and haven't been around but I'm glad to see you doing your thing.

I like version 2 and version 3. As Sonic said you might have to play with the sub a little.

With the flanking chairs don't be surprised if you like version 3 more.

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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Mon May 09, 2011 4:16 pm

Hey, Sonic and Mr. Green,

Thanks for your input. I, too, was leaning toward Version 3, so I think I'll try it and check back soon.

Robert
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Tue May 10, 2011 7:00 am


Hi Robert

All the best with your adventure with placing your speakers using the long side of the room. One senior Tunee to check out for a set up like this will be the great Cdimi who has a wonderful system in the archives.

You might have to bring your rack forward to the plane of the speakers to anchor your soundstage. Just a guess but your room and your preference in sound may differ.

Sonic
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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Thu May 12, 2011 7:05 pm

Hey, Sonic,

I have to make some exceptions for aesthetics, so, considering I'm already closer to the TV than I really want to be, I can't be moving the TV stand or the cart with the amps any further out from the wall.

So, I did the necessary re-arranging to put things as shown in Version 3. The speakers are just outside the flanking recliners, half the width of the room (from TV wall to chair wall) and the outside of the panels now 4 feet from the side walls.

The immediate effect was to turn that facing wall into a virtual sound source, literally "a wall of sound." No depth, though. On the plus side, the speakers themselves are aurally invisible, so far.

After a couple of days of this, I moved the speakers a few inches toward the TV wall. This seemed to bring the sound back into the room a little bit, so I may have to continue in that direction to find that nexus point I mentioned in Bill333's thread.
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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Thu May 26, 2011 6:53 pm

Hey, everybody,

Here is my current interation of Version 3. These first 2 photos look weird because my dinky camera is very limited. I took 2 pics to cover the area I wanted to show and then combined them on my computer, so you will notice the join line and perspective distortion.


left wall version 3 by ozonerman, on Flickr

So this is what used to be referred to as the rear of my room (with the cove creating four corners), but is now the left side. I had been messing about with moving the speakers closer and closer to the TV wall, eventually winding up with the speakers on the same plane as the flat panel TV. I realized that I had only been trying to get back to what I was used to hearing all these years. The soundfield became smaller and the bass response weakened from what I was getting with the speakers near room center in relation to the TV wall and the listening chair wall.

So, my last move was to put the speakers slightly forward of room center relative to my chair and nearly up against the side walls, as opposed to 3 feet away, which is what I started out with when I changed the room around.

Anybody see the sequel to "2001: A Space Odyssey," titled simply "2010?" It begins with a voice saying "My God...It's full of stars!" Now I find myself saying about this current configuration, "My God...It's full of SOUND!"

The TV wall is less of a virtual sound source as it was at the beginning of Version 3. I can ALMOST walk around in the soundfield now. I still don't have the subwoofer hooked up but regardless I am getting deep bass as well. Now, this is all in regard to stereo recordings and film soundtracks. On the other hand, listening to room filling mono is a bit strange to my ears, especially when the occasional frequency response analomy causes some localization to one side or the other.


right wall version 3 by ozonerman, on Flickr

And here is the right side, formerly the front. The thin black partitions you see are the 2 shelves I had been using together behind my listening chair before I had a wall behind it as I do now. I am using them to simulate the cove walls on the left side of the room, where the left channel speaker is bouncing sound off an extra set of surfaces.


former front right quandrant now right rear by ozonerman, on Flickr

Here is a closer look at the right rear corner.


rear right corner with pressure box and partition by ozonerman, on Flickr

Yes, those are boards on top of the pressure box. It's just a hunch that I needed to add some mass to the cardboard box, which I think I may need to simulate the mass of the water main closet on the other side of the room, short of building more wall extensions.


front right corner with subwoofer and partition by ozonerman, on Flickr

Same goes for leaving the subwoofer in this front corner, even though I am not using it currently. Sharp eyes will detect that I have the speaker cable on the floor and serpentine to boot. I know, I know. I'll get to it, but I need a temporary substitute for Cable Grounds whilst I continue looking for that permanent nexus spot. Also, I hate to cut the cable to length only to find that I may want to move the speakers elsewhere.


TV on stand next to amp cart by ozonerman, on Flickr

I put an RT Square centered under the ceiling protrusion, otherwise I might have put it directly behind the TV (unconventional room, you know).


listening chair with RT Square behind it by ozonerman, on Flickr

Since my room is not conventional, I decided to put an RT Square directly behind my chair, as above it is the window bay and the ceiling protrusion containing the HVAC duct.


speaker on bench stand by ozonerman, on Flickr

Another benefit of moving the speakers out from under the ceiling protrusion is that now I can use those tiny benches as stands without inverting them as I did previously.

So that's the way it is at this point in time.
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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:59 pm

Hey, Mr. Green,

Just wanted to let you know that the following quote from you really gave me a further insight into tuning:

Tuning works like this. Open up the wave structure as big as you can get it then tune it down to where you want it. It works the same way no matter if you are tuning an instrument or tuning your cables and system. If you start from a fixed point and try to open it up instead of the other way around you will always come up missing some music and tonal balance.

You should put those words on a plaque!
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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:35 pm

You my friend are something!

Just went back and looked at your latest again and am so impressed.

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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Cha..cha..cha..cha...changes   Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:15 am

Okay.

Having lived with the long wall set-up of the speakers for a few months, here is what I have found.

The sound field is wide, as why wouldn't it be when the speakers are 20 feet apart? However, the front wall continued to be a virtual sound source. The sound stage never went past any wall. Bass was plentiful; the subwoofer remained unused. That old complaint of mine of the phantom surround channel on movies piling up in the right rear corner disappeared, but only because apparently everything was now out-of-phase, in the sense that even on mono soundtracks, I could turn my head and hear the sound bouncing back at me from any direction. I'm not sure that this is what Mr. Green had in mind when he spoke of spaciousness.

As visitors to my media room have been sparse this past year, I decided to not only take out the 2 recliners that had been flanking my listening chair, but switched around everything 90 degrees, but in the opposite direction from what I had originally.


Harrison room diagram 10 2011 by ozonerman, on Flickr

The first thing I noticed of concern was a reverb effect, or at least, a really quick echo. Now, this is not the "voices in a barrel" I experienced when I took out the flanking recliners last year in my original configuration. I suspect it may caused by the glass on the flat panel TV, but I ain't taking the TV out!

Another compromise is the fact that I took out that old beat up green chair and now use my favorite "napping" recliner as my listening chair. I fall asleep so often, that when I can't fight it, it's convenient to just turn off the player (and TV, if it's on) by remote and succumb. The Outlaw amps shut themselves off after they stop receiving a signal after so many minutes.

This set-up allows me try the near-field thing again, as I determine how close I can get the Maggies to my listening position. The subwoofer is still not hooked up, so don't fret about it's current position.
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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:41 am

For those who do not know, Robert has joined the Pioneer SX 3400 club. I know some of you tuners were bidding on this same unit on ebay and Robert won the bid. I'm also told the Mag 2100 is in sight.

These are 2 components that I will be spending most of my time on and with during this year and I recomend that they are given a serious look at if one chooses to follow my steps throughout the next while of my tuning adventures.

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Last edited by Michael Green on Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Model number clarification   Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:48 pm

Hey, everybody,

I hope Mr. Green just hit the wrong key today, as there may a discrepancy about the model number of the Pioneer unit. What I have coming is a SX-3400. Probably in his haste to answer all of us today, he must have mis-typed the number as SA-3400. I hope this is all that happened or I got the wrong unit!

As for the Magnavox MDV-2100 player, I picked one up at Wal-Mart yesterday. The particular store I went to had at least 15 units in stock. Boy, is that thing small! Also, I'll have to give up the convenience of a front display read out. As for the Pioneer, I will lose remote capability and have to figure out new reference levels for CDs and DVDs using the old fashioned turn knob. I have gotten used to a numerical read-out on the front panel. As I always say, "It's six of one, half a dozen of another."
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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:11 am

Hi Robert

Thanks for the correction!

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:24 am


Hi Michael and Robert

SA...Pioneer SA 400...hey! That's my amp.

A 7 watt simple tube p-p amp I use to drive by Tapered Quarter Wave Pipe speakers. It is very nice. Pity...7 watts is beyond even the power of the Tune to give it oomph to drive the Magnaplanars....

Sonic
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Bill333

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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:49 am

Hi Robert,

It isn't necessarily the case that you have to give up having a display with the Magnavox. If it's hooked up to a tv or monitor of some kind it shows all the information you would expect to see on the tv screen. I haven't tried this yet, but I've been thinking of getting a very small tv, maybe 9" or less, and hooking it up to the video jack on the back of the Magnavox. I would use Michael's interconnects or something similar for the video connection- you don't want to attach anything heavy or rubbery to the Magnavox.
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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:27 pm

Hey, Bill333,

You are correct, but I would rather not leave static images on a plasma TV. Quick looks would be okay, though. I may suffer more not having a numerical display for the output level of the receiver, as I am used to dialing in -30dB for (most) CDs and -9dB to -12dB for movies on DVD on the Marantz AV600 pre-amp.

Do any of you people ever watch TV shows and movies? It seems the majority in The Zone are going for Ultimate Listening Rooms. I really need to have my TV in the same room. I figure why not have the best sound (although "mixed down" to 2 channel output) for movies and TV shows as for CDs? In fact, I expect I'll be using the Marantz DVD/CD player for both formats. I don't have that many Blu-ray discs, anyway, so my current Panasonic Blu-ray player will wind up sitting in a lonely closet with the pre-amp and the Outlaw mono amps.

My thought is that I will also lose the cart that the Outlaws are on now and use the 2 shelves on the TV stand, one each for the receiver and the player. I have the DVD/CD player; I took the top off and cracked the screws. Any tips on taking the lid off of the Pioneer receiver?
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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: More on the Marantz and Pioneer   Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:55 pm

Hey, everybody,

Right now, I have the Marantz DVD/CD player sitting on the top of my TV stand, where it fits underneath the panel of the 50" plasma. The Pioneer receiver (top off, screws cracked, except for the transformer; I need a longer screwdriver to get to it sideways) is on the top shelf of the cart behind the TV stand. I'm using the cables that came with the Marantz, as everything else I have is thicker (I have no MGD cables yet). I will leave it this way for awhile whilst I ponder where to ultimately put everything.

The Pioneer does drive the Magnepan speakers. With CDs, I only have to go up to "1" Shocked on the volume control and with movies, around "3" or so. However, the unit shows its age in that the balance changes as the volume control is turned, accompanied by scratchy static, so I have to play with it a little before I can sit down.

The Marantz doesn't put out the best picture (strictly 480, no upconversion, no HDMI out). I can be as picky about picture quality as sound quality. Right now, I am only using the composite out. I will try the component out eventually. It also tends to "chirp" when playing DVDs (but not CDs). But, who knows, I may leave the Panasonic Blu-ray sitting next to the Marantz, using the former for video and the latter for music only listening, with both hooked up to the Pioneer.

It's too early to speak of sound quality now versus the Panasonic player/Marantz AV600 pre-amp/Outlaw mono amps combo. I also have to get used to winging it on relative volume levels, now that I have to dial it in with that old time rotary knob. I will have to mark that thing with tape or marker or something so I can reset the various levels between music listening, TV shows and movies.
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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:41 am

Hey Robert,

It drives your mags, awesome. Mags do have a "reputation". The static you are getting out of the controls, me too. Try moving them back and forth, conditioning them. Worst case, clean them with something that evaporates, no big deal.

You have your own 3400, it works, and it works with your system. You are prepped for some good times sir...
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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:31 am

Congrats!

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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:42 am

Hey Robert,

How are things going?
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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:50 pm

Hey, yikes,

You found ANOTHER SX-3400? Is someone manufacturing these things? Laughing

Anyhoo, I have watched a couple of DVD movies recently, played on the Marantz, and on occasion, I have had to pause to see if some of the voices and other sound effects I have been hearing were coming from my room/system.

For instance, whilst watching "National Lampoon's Animal House," during a party scene, it seemed as though some of the voices might have been people passing outside my window.

The next evening, whilst watching the first "X-Men" movie, there were some other sound effects that appeared to come from other parts of my basement. Maybe I'm finally getting closer to my goal of having the phantom surround channel appear to come from another dimension, so to speak, instead of merely bouncing off the walls.

Actually, some surround effects were imaging off the back of my recliner, like they were hovering near my head. Pretty cool.

I haven't heard much improvement in my music listening, but maybe that's because the general new agey stuff I listen too wasn't really recorded acoustically, but electronically, if you know what I mean? Still, onward and upward.
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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:04 pm

Hey Robert, yep I found another one! Hopefully this one will be right. It shipped today so I will know soon.

Glad to hear that things are moving forward for you. Music Cd's or DVDs, sound is sound. It is very cool to hear things as they are meant to be heard. When the walls disappear and you have to do a visual "double take" very cool place to be.

I don't know much about the type of music you are listening to but, I'm sure it can be tuned in, and give you the same improvements that you are hearing with your DVDs.
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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:05 am

Hi Robert

Strip down that baby! Bottom plate, sides, top and snip wires. See those ones by the transformer (3 little black ones) those too.

Are you about ready to say your setup will be a mag 2100 and a 3400? If so I can send your Platform this week.



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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: platform   Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:43 pm

Hey, Mr. Green,

To quote Captain Jean-Luc Picard:

MAKE IT SO!

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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:22 am

Hi Robert,

Yes, the equipment platform (see pic from Michael's post, previous) does make a big difference. In my system it increased the clarity of fundamentals and the amount of audible harmonics, and provided deeper bass too. Once I got the platform in place, I ended up taking the Subwoofer and subwoofer platform out of the system too.

I'm curious to hear how your system with the SX 3400 progresses Smile


jocolor jocolor

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