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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:30 am

Area 2 now has it's 3 tier Platform in place.


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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:02 am

As soon as the Platforms settle a little more I will start adding more components.



I enter this stage with caution because I really like to keep the systems very simple, but having so many components to show, the front 2 areas are going to have to play a dual role. As you can see I'm not going back to Racks to get the job done. The Platforms in Area 2 are all 24"x36" (including speakers). The Height of System Area 1 & 2 is 36". That's pretty tall compared to my on the floor single Platforms at around 7" tall (including Tuning Rails). The advantage of the Tiered Platform approach vs a Tuning Rack is obvious, stability predictability and tonality. There's a whole lot more tunability on a Platform tier than the Tuning Racks. And somehow, I have a feeling Wink  people are not going to be screaming "it went back out of tune" as much.

I also want to point you to the SAM wall, which you can see above and with these 2 pics.



This room was pretty cool because of the build and shape, but putting in 2 systems has it's challenges. The system's spaces and everything in this room play off of each other as you can expect. Every time I move anything, whether it be in the room or kitchen or hall or even other rooms, I try to get back to my seat to explore the changes. Those changes are not subtle. The space can go from nightmare to bliss and back fairly quick, as with any room, but I'm studying each of these variables very close because sure enough I will need to know. The SAM wall I installed plays a major role, and probably saves the day many times a change is made. I can not stress enough the importance of a SAM wall.

Now, notice in some of the pics you will see a leather ottoman beside the listening chair in area 2. I used this as a pressure box of sorts, and would move it slightly to make especially bass adjustments. After installing the tier the ottoman needed to be removed from the room because the pressure had shifted. I also now will have to replay with the thud rug to see if it will be staying or going. I want this front area to look as homey as possible so making these compromises (or should I say adjustments) will need to be explored, and I will need to creatively find answers to the audio issues.

It's very important to me to make and show another side to the tune that I haven't always done, or at least haven't always shown that I've done. This particular TuneLand is about the blending of listening and lifestyle and high end audio as best I can make this happen. The only place things will be stripped to the bare bones will be the Tunable Room. The rest of the house will be a mix of compromise and creative solutions. For example, at least for now I'm not covering the carpet in rooms 3,4 and 5. Good news is I've had the carpet replaced to a common yet not over padding and pile type, much like I did at the Vegas Towers setups. There are other obstacles, as with all my different places, that I will hurdle and design specifics for so it that gives more insight to someone that might have similar conditions, like I have always done. This is why I have enjoyed moving around to different types of homes. If I had a family they would have divorced me for sure long ago, but exploring the variables is what I was built to do. Part of my eccentricities I suppose. A look at some of those I've toured with explains a lot of it better than I ever could scratch even though I make my attempts from time to time Rolling Eyes

I guess I just love tuning flower

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:42 am

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW Exclamation

Very Happy

There, I got that out of my system Laughing

Ever since our show in Chicago, we've been somewhat put on the spot about doing the RMAF and the next LA Audio Show. It seems folks want MGA Speakers back in the game, along with some of my other products. In fact it has burnt in to too much of my time and is starting to wear on me some. I understand that folks are ready for a reasonably priced true music lovers speaker line and it would be nice if I can deliver on that with monitored moderate production runs. I also know I have no desire to travel so these shows would have to be done with someone else showing the product who has no idea 'yet' what tuning is about.

The flip side to this is, this particular show sponsor wants to put together 2 ball rooms and one smaller listening room. So we have some thinking to do.

Possible show partners would include Audolici of course, Jeff Roland, Meitner, Vapor Audio, Vehement Audio, MGA Rev Series, RoomTune (obviously) and a few other lines that are fairly hot at the moment. Does this make sense for me? Heck I really don't know. I've spent over 10 hours on the phone with these guys and all I kept thinking about was going listening and getting to the workshop to see how the 2nd production run is going. It's been a while sense I've seen 22 Rev speakers in a lineup.

Some want to see the Viola and LOW hit the October show as well and I'm like "no way". Lastly I yet got others who want me to continue the Mini Mod, to which I have answered I'll do a version of the Mini Mod that will not require so much moding on my end.

To all of this I have to say, and have, "hold your horses". Jumping from one ups to production runs is not what I'm about. I did that before and wasn't happy. Sure I got good reviews but the models in the 3rd run were not what I wanted. 450 pair of my design with rubber grommets. Me throwing a fit was probably not the wises business move I ever made but at the time I had no reference to how much better sounding folks thought my speakers were over the same price range comparisons. Here I am trying to be a purist while waking up to the reality that every other product I had ever seen in the industry had compromises, with the exception of the Spectrum line and maybe a couple of others. Spectrums were very inexpensive speakers that had a fair performance to cost ratio.

So anyway round 2 of me entering the marketplace has it's own set of challenges. Now, folks are discovering that my speakers are competing with $15,000.00 and up high end audio models and I don't want to price these anywhere near those prices. scratch I guess I can't win pale This is what I'm being told. Me using the Maggie CDP was a threat to the high end companies and reviewers even though the system is continuing to get press. Second me showing the Rev system: speakers/stands/platforms/subwoofer & amp & platform/cables, all completely matched for $5,000.00 is nuts. They say to me "we might have to put that system together with some lower priced electronics, is there any way you can retail this for at least in the $10,000-$15,000.00 range?"

OK lets review, these folks are telling me that my speakers out perform speakers that are going as high as $30,000.00, plus their tunable, but the catch is showing the Rev system in the company of $15,000.00 up competition will only make the more expensive speakers suffer. It's like a flashback to the days I went through this back in the early 90's. Sorry High End Audio "I can't and won't scam people". I'm sure there are good price reasons behind some of this equipment and speakers, I get it. But, that's not the same mindset I can get my mind around. I am more than happy to be apart of high end audio again on two conditions. One, let me present the hobby my way, and two, let me sell my products to as close to a bargain as I want.

The Audolici A-25M, cover off, on my blocks, on my platform is a bargain at $5,500 (including the Platform, blocks and MGA power cord). I can totally dig this pricing, cause the Platform and Rails alone is worth $1500.00 and we're giving them away practically. Deals like that I can dig and are a great value to my ears. I can also dig some of these other brand name toys as long as they know what they are getting. I have no problem with personal taste buying, none. But asking me to triple my price because my speakers sound better than these other top of the line efforts? It doesn't compute. If that means the marketers of high end audio can't tell the truth and put things on an even playing field, I see that as more of their problem than mine.

In the long run, I hope that things will become realistic, and I'm not against folks choosing looks over performance, that's part of the great collector hobby of audio. At the same time I'm pretty thrilled to introduce the new lines and hope when people get them they can understand the vision that went into these instruments. BTW the comments on the looks have been great. Folks are telling me that they look like speakers built to play music and tasteful, so that's nice.

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:34 pm

Hi Michael,

I'm curious about the different versions of the Audolici A25M. Can you tell us what was changed between the three versions?
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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:02 pm

Hi Bill

I'll have to probe and see. I know that with the Audolici I50 there were 3 versions available, the Swing, Blues, Jazz. What all was different besides Tubes and perhaps Transformers and calibration would have to be dug into more.

With the A-25M I'll need to see if there was a change up, to calling the M version, as a step from something else or part of a progression that was done inside of that same model name. I don't want to speak out of ignorance. What I do know is that the 3 models I explored were done at 3 different production eras. I'll need to check and see if the model numbers were slightly different but off the cuff I don't believe so. Maybe between the Silver model and Black, but I believe the model name was the same from the Black model (which was the one that sold me) and the Red model which is the one that I needed as my reference.


Bill asked "I'm curious about the different versions of the Audolici A25M. Can you tell us what was changed between the three versions?"

mg

Now this (not referring to Valeriy's designing) is a huge topic that is swept under the rug in high end audio. I, as you guys know, was not expecting to reference the A-25M anything more than another choice available. If I would have only heard the first one I got I would have said nice amp but didn't ring my personal bell past others I had heard. I mean it did some magic but that magic was not something unusual for me with Tubes. I personally have never heard two amplifiers of any kind or brand that sounded the same even listening to direct serial-ed order. There are always similar family sounds but when it comes to opening up the harmonics for serious listening, and diving into those harmonics, there are unique inner structures that are specific to that specific amp and tuning tools and tool settings that formulate differently. As well, every recording has a different mark on the performance. I know we drift from this in our talking here as we fall back into the audiophilia mode, but I personally don't try to stay in that mode long.

So before we go any deeper into what the differences are lets start off with the reality that one specific amp from the next are unique. They're at least as unique as each Martin D28 that comes off the line. It can be as simple as the truth that there is a big difference between spec and sound.

let me give an example

Every amplifier you buy new will sound different depending on the way you break it in over it's life time. When I buy a used amplifier I may have to spend up to a year to retrain it's sound, no kidding, I'm not pulling your leg here. Think about it, if you buy an amplifier that had one owner and he played the amp with a component directly stacked on it's top and rubber feat sitting on a glass shelf, it's going to sound completely different than an amplifier that was on a wood stand using brass cones with nothing directly sitting on top. Take those two amps (after a few years of playing in those two separate conditions) and set them on the same piece of furniture (same feet and everything) and compare and you will be amazed.

I say this because as I find out what specific changes were made from one to the next, with the A-25M, my empirical listening tests didn't start with thinking about different parts or circuitry but were based on my listening evaluations and reporting back my findings based on this without ever considering circuit design changing.

I can take some guesses, and they would probably be transformer related or tube socket, but that's a guess until I get a chance to ask about more specifics. The changes to me sounded like Transformer build or Calibrations, so I'll be as interested as you guys in finding out. I probably missed it by a mile but that's what it sounded like to me.

For my own listening I like tube designers that are less tube rolling in nature and more transformer specific. I know designers have different biasing disciplines, but that's kind of another topic from what I'm referring to.

but for the sake of review

What is Biasing?

General

When people talk about "biasing" an amplifier, they are referring to setting the "idle", or quiescent, current in the power output tubes.  All tubes must be biased, both preamp and output tubes, but it is not always clear whether or not the bias needs to be adjusted when changing tubes.

Why do you need to bias a tube?

Tubes have to be properly biased in order to function as amplification stages.  A tube is biased by setting the amount of DC current that flows in the tube when there is no signal present at the tube's grid with respect to it's cathode.  This DC bias current can be set in a number of ways.  The bias point determines several things about a tube amplification stage. It determines the power output, amount of distortion,  headroom (the size of input signal that can be applied before the output signal clips),  efficiency of the stage (the amount of output signal power vs. DC input power),  gain of the stage (the magnitude of the output signal for a given input signal), noise of the stage, and class of operation (class A, AB, etc.).  The proper bias point is a tradeoff between all of these factors, and selecting the optimum bias point can sometimes be difficult, and it will vary depending on the amplification stage requirements.

Biasing methods

There are two main types of biasing: fixed biasing and cathode biasing.   Fixed biasing does not mean the bias is not adjustable, in fact, it usually means the opposite. Cathode biasing is usually fixed, and not adjustable, and fixed biasing is usually adjustable with a small trimmer potentiometer, or "trimpot".  It is no wonder the subject is confusing to people!
Fixed biasing means the tube is biased by means of a DC voltage, which is usually a negative voltage applied to the grid of the tube with respect to the cathode.  As the negative grid voltage is adjusted, the bias current will increase or decrease, depending upon the direction the bias voltage is going.  In general, as the bias voltage becomes more negative, the bias current becomes smaller, and the tube is biased "colder".  As the bias voltage is adjusted less negative, towards zero volts DC, the bias current becomes larger, and the tube is biased "hotter".  This is because a tube is a "normally on" device; that is, it allows current to flow from the cathode to the plate when the grid is at zero volts with respect to the cathode.  The tube can be turned off, and the current flow stopped, by making the grid voltage negative with respect to the cathode.   The tube can also be biased by referencing the grid to ground, or zero volts DC, and applying a positive DC voltage to the cathode.  This is the same as keeping the cathode at ground and applying a negative DC voltage to the grid, because it is the grid voltage with respect to the cathode that determines the amount of bias current in the tube.

Since vacuum tubes are "normally on" devices, a trick can be used to bias them without having to supply a negative DC voltage source to the grid.   If a resistor is placed between the cathode and ground, and the grid of the tube is referenced to ground (usually by connecting a large value resistor, such as a 1Meg, from grid to ground),  the tube will try to conduct a large current from cathode to plate, since the grid and cathode are initially at ground potential.  However, this cathode current flow will cause a voltage drop across the cathode resistor, making the cathode voltage positive with respect to the grid.  Since the cathode voltage is now positive with respect to the grid, the current flow will decrease, and the tube will head back towards cutoff.  A point of equilibrium will quickly be reached where the increase in current is offset exactly by the increase in cathode voltage, and the bias current will stabilize at some particular value.  It will remain at this value (in theory) unless the resistor value is changed, or a different tube with different characteristics is plugged in.  This allows the desired bias point to be set by varying the value of the cathode resistor.

Now the next topic usually is, When do you use fixed biasing instead of cathode biasing?, but that's not where my interest was and is with Valeriy's (Audolici) designing. I'm betting the changes in the progressions of Valeriy's designing is more in the transformer calibration, which is the next level of tube equipment designing. Most Amplifier companies build their amps around available part supplies and then try to mate them up using their design parameters. Basically they're mix and matchers in the variable world of all things tubes. One thing I have learned about Valeriy is he is the opposite in his designing than the typical bench designer. Valeriy works from the angle of mating all the pieces as supplied or customized based on the relationship between transformers, tubes, caps and other parts. In other words he isn't trying to make the parts work based on working with what he has or can get, but Valeriy works off of what can be created to match and mate as if the unit was a creation and not a parts exchange experiment.

One thing that is very clear to me, is Valeriy is above throwing in the audiophile of the month parts club. My jaw hit the floor when I opened up the A-25M, AP-01 and AVP-01. For example: opening up the AVP-01 is like looking into MG's treasure chest of favorite sounding parts.  

Have to run and pick up wood, shifting my brain to the next topic of need, but before I go, if you look at some of my favorite sounding Preamps and amps you will see a pattern of used parts that I tend to gravitate toward. I don't do this on purpose but more find a fundamental + harmonic texture that makes me want to explore and then afterward discover that the parts used have a string to other parts that I have found to be the most musical as well as stage potential. I didn't know Valeriy and Audolici before Harold showed me, and as I have told you, expected to give the company it's due while I went about my tuning way. I'm glad I was open minded enough to do my usual hard line evaluations on this line cause I have found a like minded designer all the way over in Portugal who in many ways is reading my ear's mind.

My desire of building my own tube amp has greatly diminished.

And That Is Saying A lot.

study

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:58 pm


Rev production

Is that not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen sunny

Revolution speakers back in production is music to my ears. I stamped a base price of $995.00 on them but that's not going to happen except for maybe a very few pre sold pairs. Looks more like $1195.00 for the base model, and even that's squeezing.

The picture you see above is the Rev 6 blanks. After playing with the Mini Mod for a couple of years, well shoot longer than that, I started to look for materials that I could use to give me those few tones I wanted to mature, more like those found in the original Rev, but not as much of. The front baffle board of the mini was teaching me something and I have prototypes laying all over the place here to prove it. Tapping on wood and going in and out of music shops I knew I would find it. However any of you who have gone wood shopping with me knows it can be a search that will drive the most sane ears crazy. The Mini Mod sounded way better than they ever should have. Those of you who missed out on my proto and Mini Mod sales missed an opportunity. It's a rare MG thing to get in on the in between. Razz At the same time how is anyone to know that unless they are here playing.

materials and voicing and baking and voicing and more materials and finishing and listening and voicing Laughing

In talking with other speaker companies, both past and present I've come to realize (as if we didn't already know) that our development is way more intense than any of these guys pushing these great development stories. They, for one, stop way short in the area of hand sanding and small tool sanding. Understanding the friction of sanding/sandpaper/rise/grain/timing/conditioning are things not even in the high end audio speaker building catalog. When you look at the timing that takes place alone, I personally don't know one other speaker company who takes the time to monitor the ingredients and temp-a-curing (temperature curing) process the way we do. To me that's simply Koo Koo. Only a guy who doesn't understand the 'living of wood' would do the things I'm seeing done out there in the audio biz.

let me show you something

look at the top row (rough cut/sand)

bottom row (voice/sanded)

Now look closer. See the voicing pins? If you look you will see a pattern of tiny pins that have been shot into strategic places on the front hardwood baffle boards. If you go back and look at your platform diagrams you will see this same pattern for the Tuning Screw placements. Even though these pins are super tiny they make a transfer tone that connects the pitch of the fronts to the pitch of the body of the cabinet. Pretty slick Smile . Up till now I haven't been able to use any type of transfer without needing to make it adjustable. Just that tiny bit of transfer, applied with the right push at the right timing and spacing, provides a go between for the front and body. The same voicing pins are used throughout the cabinet (again with the same type of specific patterns). You say why? By using the pins the way we do, we are able to use the thin Body material without over stressing it with clamp pressure.

NO MDF, NO FLAKE BOARD, NO MELAMINE, NO FIBER BOARD. Pure .35" L-MDP


What does L-MDP mean? It's a name I made that means low-medium density particle board. I use to call a similar wood "soft pulp" but this is a grade above flake board, but not dense like MDF. With a little research, this is made up of white board, common pine and common redwood. It's a different blend than the old stock I use to get, years ago, on the east side of Canada. This is from areas that host a wider variety of softer wood. So when the wood is milled as rough cuts the medium saw dust (particles) are used to make this board. After testing the tone of this, we bought it in bulk and made sure to get the source.

The .35" thickness is a special number and is a thickness that is sanded down to from a thicker board obviously. We get the wood and bake it, puffing it up a little, then sand it down taking just the surface off. Once prepped by ear we then get the box ready for the next stage. Veneering. If you recall, the Rev's use to be pre-veneered. This time around we wanted to create our own tone from the ground up. A ton of handcraftsmanship goes into these but having Dave makes this possible and I'm taking every advantage of his skills, believe me. You guys know how I am Shocked Very Happy


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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:36 am

Had to show you guys this.

I'm pretty picky about curing wood, but sometimes Mother Nature still steps in and kicks me in the butt. I gutted Rm#4 so I can install a two tier Platform so I can put some preamps and amps in. In doing so I needed to drill some holes and redo some older Platforms, so I had to re-voice everything and start from scratch. I wanted to use old stuff because it's been curing so long. I took everything apart and piece by piece did voicing. I'm about half way into my sanding and decided I wanted a different sand paper to use on the frames. Without thinking, the wood I had in the garage, with the garage door open and fans going, I turned off the fans and hit the button to close the door. How stupid am I. It was 116degrees here and I shut the door and turned off the fans. When I got home I realized the wood had been baking for maybe 2 hours without any ventilation.

I ran inside and hit the door opener, then ran back out and freaked out. Should have taken pictures of the wood in the garage when I got home Suspect not a pretty sight. But I had to get the panels inside, quick.



First pic is the remaining 4'x4' panels leaning against the wall outside the room. Second pic is a great sounding floor panel that was inside the whole time I was gone. Third pic are 2 of the panels trying to recover from my abuse. While I was gone they curled (no kidding) 8". The panel your looking at is down to maybe 4" left to the curve. I could kick myself. I have been babysitting 10 of these panels for 7 months. 4 of them are used as my SAM wall in area2 and the others I was going to use for other things including floor panels.

Now I'm going to have to move in and out (4) 4'x4'x.5" panels to hear if they can be used anywhere.

No

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:24 am

I hope this didn't affect your tunable room?  Wasn't that in the garage?
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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:09 am

Hi Bill

So sorry for the late response. This has been one of those couple of days that I would like to rewind and rewrite the script to. I had no idea my schedule was going to flip so drastically Rolling Eyes . I was on such a great roll with sanding and finishing and it went right out the window with a sidetrack from hell. The super hot weather also gave me some fantastic voicing time. Darn, sometimes I hate to be thrown off my productive modes bom

Oh well, I'll get back in the groove Laughing

Anyway, thanks for the question. The tunable room has 2 walls exposed to the open garage, and the ceiling plus the other 2 walls are against insulated walls. The door to the room opens from the hallway. So the TR is getting air from the rest of the house.

The only boards that were in jeopardy were the free standing ones. Actually come to think of it, the pine planks actually became straighter and the Ply were the ones that twisted, interesting.

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:41 am

Hi Guys

If you don't see me here, follow me on facebook

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1764861045













there's a whole lot of music going on Cool

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:54 am



Hi Guys better get your orders in, if you don't want to miss this run. I know Coop has sent out some emails, but just want to let you know the production runs are not large and they're expected to go quick. Some of these in the picture above are already spoken for.

Cool

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