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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Mon 5 Jun 2017 - 7:30

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


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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Tue 6 Jun 2017 - 0:02

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 15 Jun 2017 - 3:42

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 15 Jun 2017 - 17:34

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 16 Jun 2017 - 12:02

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 18 Jun 2017 - 17:58


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 21 Jun 2017 - 1:36

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 21 Jun 2017 - 8:24

I hope this didn't affect your tunable room?  Wasn't that in the garage?
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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Tue 27 Jun 2017 - 23:09

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 2 Jul 2017 - 5:41

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 7 Jul 2017 - 0:54



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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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Tue 19 Sep 2017 - 20:59

I don't think I've really been lazy, just super busy!


Bill333 at TuneLand Vegas, as we were listening to his new system

Audolici A25M
American Monitor 18xp
MG Special IC's
Bare Essence Type3 Speaker Wire

sitting on MGA Platform Rack
using Magnavox Player
MGA Tuning Blocks
in area #1

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Sun 24 Sep 2017 - 20:02



Hard to say much more about this picture. The Rev 6 is something special Exclamation


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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Mon 30 Oct 2017 - 23:18

The last couple of years have been pretty cool, from the point of view of having ultra high end componentry and speakers at my place (some I have mentioned and some not). Now, after this season of listening, I'm finding myself craving simplicity and honestly don't know if I can do the high end thing much longer. The Audolici A25M has made it's way into my heart as a permanent fixture, and I'm sure their preamps will as well. I know the argument can be made to continue with the other Sound Consultant brands, but for me, most of them fall flat on their face when compared to the Sherwood 4105 and Magnavox player. I'm not saying these other lines are bad, it's just that I only have so much space and I'm not crazy about half of that space sounding like heaven and the other half, sounding like tweaked high end audio. I guess what I'm saying is, I don't see the point. Why have the $35,000.00 Digital DAC & Amp set when I can easily out perform this with the Maggie and a number of bargain brands both new and used. Well Coop sold off that particular set back to the manufacturer, so they won't be embarrassed and I will quietly try to move some of this other stuff sideways. So, enough of me dogging on the ridiculous high end audio again, lets talk about true finds and the amps I use as my references.

As I mentioned earlier the Audolici A25M is here to stay. The rest of the amps, your going to find a little less impressive if your looking at the price tags. I should also mention that my version of the Yung crossover/amp has also past my approval ratings which adds a great system twist to the equation. Why does the Yung 100 and 200 pass my tests? Maybe it's how I use them or maybe they're mysteriously out of this world good. The MGA version is simply just plain musical and simple.

now lets review

Maggie player-YES
Yung 100 and 200 YES

These two items take care of a whole lot of problems right off the bat.



When I look at this, it's kinda like those packages saying "add water", only for me it's like add Amplifier. The amp going in this system is


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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Sun 5 Nov 2017 - 20:43

For those too lazy Laughing to visit my facebook let me bring this post here



"As the pages get closer to the next chapter of High End Audio I will be doing my part to make this happen. Plug & play audio has been the norm for so long listeners in and of, the high end especially, got lost. This is evident all over the hobby and even got to the point where high end audio systems started to fail in playing a wide range of music. Before the 90's there were basic tools made to help dial in recordings. But the next phase in high end caused a huge sidetrack in serious listening that cost the hobbyists billions of dollars. You might think me saying billions is extreme, but take a look at the audio closets around the world and used markets and you will see the $$$$ for yourself. The hobby saw me step aside in 1997, when I saw that the high end audio myths were going to rule for a generation more. For a reference pick up TAS, Stereophile and others between 1990-97. Even though I was tuning these reviewers reference systems the market still decided to push product over method, and the wide spread of Discrete "only" narrowed the playback for all in this part of the hobby. This caused a revolving door frenzy of compulsive component and speaker buying that was not based on the reproduction of music, but instead the reproduction of selling over-built, fancy looking gear. Not that these products did not sound great on a select few recordings dub to be "audiophile" correct, but the more "discrete" these products became the less recordings they were able to play. I in the 80's through now have done the demos of tuning as well as built the systems and rooms around the world, but my voice is still not big enough to make the change needed. Saying this I believe the time is now, and the source is the internet. One by one or many by many Tuning will become "the standard of stereo", which was the sign above my factory in 1989. It's time to share the method of tuning folks, and get this hobby back to listening!"
____________________________________________________________________________________

I believe it's going to take another year for me  bounce With Your Help  bounce  to get the hobby back on the right track. Once Tuning becomes the method everything else will fall in line for many designers including myself. I don't want this to be done without competition (I'm not wanting a monopoly) but a change in the way we playback our recordings that brings us closer to the source. For me, now is the time Exclamation As I use to say long ago "Are You Ready"

Cool

Oh and for those who haven't started following me on facebook

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

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Tue 14 Nov 2017 - 15:57

Hi Guys

Check out my reviewing of the Audolici AP-01 Preamplifier.

http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t414-mg-reviews-the-audolici-ap-01-preamplifier

So far it has bumped my Superphon off of it's mountain. Surprised? Me too to be honest. The Superphon tuning is going to have to come up with some tricks that I haven't found yet to compete with the AP-01. It's really hard to beat a component designed around the ERO caps. I have the 1822 in the Rev Speakers and combined with the ERO in the Audolici preamp, wow, musical and open. I'm only 4 days in though so lets see what happens.

look at this

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Tue 28 Nov 2017 - 19:49

Hello my fellow Tunees Cool

As you know, I bring in other designs to test against ours. I very rarely share the results as not to put the other guys in the hot seat. How I do this with the wire is, I go up and down our Type1,2,3 scale vs the other cables to see if I can find a weakness in our wire. This has helped me over the years to fine tune the Picasso and Bare Essence, and more importantly has given me the experience to help others as they tune in their Audio Codes. This last 2 years I've brought in more components and cable than I have in a while. So much so, that I'm now needing to liquidate much of what is here to get ready for the next season. Through this though I have wanted to hook up a few products to give one final comparison.

When I look up Transparent Audio I see a company that by many accounts is the "Best" wire and cable in the world, pound per pound. Without putting any particular models on the line, I found their voicing string that ties their models together have a certain flavor that was fairly easy to listen to with some recordings and disaster with others. While listening I kept thinking "I wish I could get from here to there", but I found the task was harder to achieve than I would have liked and many times the sound simply fell unlistenable. The fight I have with High End Audio components in general was something that kept coming back to me the more I pushed forward with Transparent. Finally I did an A&B listening with my writing room vs area #3. The conclusion is what prompted me to write this. With Type#1 in my writing room and the Transparent in area #3 the results were glaring and undeniable. The Transparent room was clearly missing recorded content. Yep, as much as I tried to bring that system to life it was at best, only for a moment that I found a comfortable listening session, and during listening I was aware that a part coming up on the recording there was going to be trouble, and there was. Only very few of my recordings didn't eventually get under my skin after I few minutes. In contrast, those same recordings in the writing room at least engaged me with interest. The areas not using the Transparent pulled me in like an invitation to listen, whereas the Transparent room repelled me once I heard that signature sound that there was no way to get away from.

Could I live with the Transparent sound if Tuning wasn't around? Could I live with the High End sound at all if Tuning wasn't around? For myself, I need to go back to that studio brat that was always seeking and creating purity in the middle of so many settling for mediocrity. It was that under my fingernails sound then and continued all the way up to the present. I have a hard time listening to "part" of the music knowing that I am stuck with that version only. Something inside of me starts to crawl around when I hear parts that can't be varied enough to get to that tone or completion. I don't even mind drifting off in an area of a recording and focus on it, because I know I am in control and can visit any part of that recorded code I wish. But being stuck with unmoving signatures is like being put on an island being told I can have one choice of food the rest of my entire life, without any hope of a different taste, smell, texture or mass. That would turn my island into a prison. I would spend the rest of my life dreaming of some type of other fish or fruit to somehow give me completion. That's the prison that I feel, sadly, many listeners settle for, and is the reason they (in private or public) live in a listening hell, instead of a listening hall. Those folks become collectors of the hobby of High End Audio and never truly become listening explorers. Many who have lived in the Audiophile-ish stereophile-ish camp for so many years, and then find Tuning, you can see the grip of High End Audio not wanting to let go, like a desperate lover knowing they can't satisfy intimacy. I've seen folks hang onto High End Audio "Fixed" listening way past their listening prime only to become a show and tell for their friends, lacking that ability of looking around all the variables each and every recording has to offer. It's like peeking inside of someone's house and never getting the chance to come in, and more, explore what is around every corner or through every door opening.

I guess that's how I sum up the Transparent Audio Cables. It's no different from when I judge anything else stuck in that one fixed sound world. I spent my time trying to find something I was never going to get to, freedom. When comparing Type1,2 and 3 to the Transparent, it was like standing in a closet with the Transparent vs walking around the neighborhood with the Picasso and Bare Essence, with all my neighbors welcoming me into their homes.

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Sun 3 Dec 2017 - 8:08

Hello Tunees

I'm going to be getting questions after the pictures go public so I want to start some of the specific answers here the best I can. First lets start with the picture itself.


Bare Essence White

Picasso & Bare Essence both are getting noticed for their purity, balance, timbre and space performance. Because I have had a chance to re-introduce the Revolution Series I have been able to take things a couple of steps further in the maturity of my sound signature. Part of this is due to all the work I've done on prototyping during the none-production years. I have always been able to offer products, but offering product and offering finished product are two separate issues Rolling Eyes Now I know that the industry on a whole cheats when it comes to designing, making many compromises without the end user ever knowing the assumptions the designer implements in their product. I'm the opposite in that regard and as some of you know, way back when, there would be times that folks like Audio Advisor bought bulk quantities of my goods because there was something I didn't find satisfactory, and they would sell them off. Looking back I was absolutely being too picky, and now it's nice to see my B-stock reaching record breaking used market highs. That wasn't always the case and has been fun for me to watch over the years. On the other hand, that pickiness is what makes a designer an artist. In my case finding every harmonic structure in every recorded code and bring it to something way past stock, is my life pursuit. Maybe my life's madness quest.

A few products of mine, years from now, are as well going to find that same underground used value because there will be a surge of talented listener testifying to sound quality to be heads above, or at least in the mix with the very best of what is out there. More important for me is if people really engage in variable tuning. The tools I have made over the years are partly based on my listening, but also listening to what you the Tunees are hearing. My goal is to provide the tools that go further in the art of tuning over the history of me being in the music biz (including all chapters of my musical life). There is and has always been a sound that is new to me that I want to capture. Then, what goes on in my mind is reproducing it. Kind of hard to explain to you until you've been wood shopping with me, or part of my voicing techniques. This last year has been super special for me because I have found Dave (my woodshop designer), Harold has provided so much, and there are other factors that have all come together to give me a great season for designing that goes back a few years.

Looking back I can even see where some of my hardships turned out to be amazing learning curves for me, because I got back into my extreme voicing chops. When my listening and voicing have a chance to comingle 24/7 as if they are one, incredible things happen. One of the main things is being able to be feet away from my voicing, and feet away from my listening, and most important, feet away from the 24/7 breaking in. This rambling and babbling may mean absolutely nothing to you reading this, but for those of you who have witnessed this.....well it's amazing even to me. Smile

So why all this rambling Laughing MG Question

I am in one of those seasons my friends, to where if you don't purchase certain things I'm making, or Dave and I are making now, you may never get another chance to own this level. Right now "today" our designing is making one of those perfect audio storms that is actually able to be delivered. I say this, because I'm truly in-love with some of the sound I am getting, and the flexibility that is no where else on the planet of listening. Living in Vegas has brought such a high level of tonality into my designing that to be honest there is no level of my designing before that even comes close. Tonight I setup my Tunable Room (as ragged as it is) and was transported to that place where no listener can go without a Tunable Room. I know that the new Rev Series are really, really good, but what they did in an environment to match was drop dead outstanding Exclamation Not only was it that good, but I could then go back to my other rooms and take them a few levels up. The other thing that the room did was assure me, that the voicing I am doing wasn't just in my mind or based on any assumptions.

While reading this, take a moment to look at Tj's tunable room thread. http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t404-my-tunable-room-tjbhuler

Tj at this very moment can tell you how different it is to go from plug & play componentry to using the Tools of the Tune.

and this brings me to "White"

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Fri 8 Dec 2017 - 8:53

With my systems settling all over the place, I have been enjoying going from room to room and just soaking it in. My sources have been my beloved Maggie Players and my FM Tuners.

With the Tuners I've been using 3 stations mainly. One is my classic rock station, one a classic oldies station, and lastly my Classical station. Some of these older tuners knock my socks off with how much smooth detail they give. They are definitely proof that FM radio compression EQs are a lot better than audiophiles understand. (high end audiophiles are very scary sometimes)

When the whole discrete misstep high end audio made back in the 90's, FM radio took a hit in popularity, so did CD of course, but for obvious reasons there is something there that kept me tuned to these two, tone. CDs became my favorite source, and my reference but FM you would have thought would have gone by the wayside for me. However I understand FM a little more and appreciate the skill engineers and stations have, there is a certain musicality that FM provides to it's short range listeners that is more romantic in nature than other sources.

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PostSubject: Tuners   Fri 8 Dec 2017 - 16:22

Michael,

Please share the names of tuners you currently are using and tuning. Having several excellent FM stations locally and many vintage tuners, I plan to start listening more to FM.

Also, I saw your white cable in a previous post. Can you offer some information about this cable?

Garp
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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Sat 9 Dec 2017 - 1:50

Hi Garp, Happy Holidays!

Here are the 3 Tuners I'm using at the moment.


I would imagine that tuners from this era were pretty competitive because FM was so BIG. Of course I was also a dealer for the Magnum Dynalab ft-101, but don't recall comparing it against the Vintage ones head to head.

One great thing about these beauties is, the older parts are so burnt in that the units sound ultra smooth, and with FM I find that to be a major plus, cause there's no mental ear adjustments going from song to song. The stations have done the work for us, and when in the mood for a continuous mix there's never that disappointment. When I listen to CD I let it do the couple times run through and then jump in the room for a serious listen. Personally I find recording DJ jumping with CD working ok sometimes but many times that settling is necessary for me to get into it (not always but many times cause I'm being picky). FM removes that need. After a 20 minute warm up with these old parts it's smooth sailing for as long as we want the show to happen.

Just listened to "can't always get what you want" and the voices were so smooth and detailed, and with my CD copy sometimes I have to make the "smooth it down" adjustment. Now that's not that big of a deal, cause we can, but it's also fun to be lazy listeners Smile

The Plus to the 5270 is I also like FM on headphones. However I am not always that crazy about high end headphones cause I loose my interest. I like the HiFi sound of the Meze 99 Classics with FM.

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Sat 9 Dec 2017 - 3:15

Picasso & Bare Essence White is my latest cable. Same materials just less mass with the jacket......well...and



You guys know how I am introducing stuff Laughing I take my time Rolling Eyes . Kinda like with the new Revs, they are unlike any other speaker I have ever heard. I would have to say they are the champs of acoustical instrument playback. Mated with their Subwoofers they're nuts. It's another subject I know, but all my stories tie together.

When I designed the Signature Woofers and Tweeters it opened up a new chapter for me. If you haven't been paying attention, the baskets on both are made of stamp steel & LTR (low tone redwood) then treated with my MGA coating mix. This changed everything. Between this and the cabinet design (my own pressed board and solid front baffle board), the Rev Signature is a tonal master. So much so that it put the LOW and Viola on the back burner. I have to make the LOW and Viola prototypes that much better to now out do the Signature, and that's saying tons Exclamation There's a richness that I'm pretty sure no other speaker matches. It's so tonally correct that I can not use aluminum tuning bars inside, but instead voiced hardwood. The Rev makes it nice when doing my wire voicing.

So as you know I'm always playing with my baking and twisting techniques with my wire. On occasion I need to undo the cable completely and straighten it out by hand (completely straighten) and then re-spin. If you have ever attempted this you will find that there will need to be a re-bake as well to get it perfectly straight and uniform. Looking into this I received some samples of different thicknesses on the jacket to see how the spinning and baking went. What I found immediately was a new flexibility and texture after baking. My loose to tight and back again has a (still comparing) wider range of tuning over the thicker Bare Essence and Picasso. I'm still looking for a down side in the comparison but have not found it yet. The White does require a different technique and touch but I have already adapted and like it so much that I went ahead and added the White to the line up as a higher end option. Of course folks, I want to take this slow and move through the different Types with care. I say this because I'm comparing this new run against my seasoned test lengths that are about six years old, if not older.

One thing I will go ahead and claim. The Type2 Bare Essence White appears to have even more expression than the basic. It's very close with some twist, but when I start to loosen the stage spreads even more evenly and gets to the settling sound faster.

It's really hard to imagine a better performance than the regular wire, so I'm cautious with my claims of the White. But we did go ahead and do a 10,000 foot run that I am listening to now with a nice big smile Very Happy if that tells you guys how much I like it so far.

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Sun 10 Dec 2017 - 17:57

It's been a very interesting time for me because of the Bare Essence "White". This year has had me on my listening toes because of the new Rev Series speakers. It would be hard to explain how much work it is to design a true reference loudspeaker. I bet I still have about 20 pairs of prototypes and comparison speakers hanging around here (anybody want them Very Happy ) . Then on top of this comes the Bare Essence and Picasso "White". Holy smokes, talk about 24/7 listening. It's not as though you listen to one set of the cable and call it done. Nope Rolling Eyes not by a long shot. We're talking about all the Types (including Type 4 and 5) speaker wires skus. Plus we're talking about the interconnects. When you put everything together, speakers, cable and all it's quite the on going task. All of my rooms are in full fired up mode and every time I hear a little more breakin from one of them I plop myself down to reference.

One of the biggest challenges is the fact that when you make a change in any material (size of material not actual material) you can't treat the system like it is somehow going to magically respond the same way as it did in the last setup. Far from it actually. When I make the change to the white for example we're talking about a mass difference that is noticeable when you look at it. Type2 is as big as Type3 "White". So, for the same mass that you have in the Type2 the Type3 White gives you 3 conduits in the same amount of space. My formula for baking and voicing is a different animal with each and I've had to get use to not only the feel but also the reaction to my process. There have been some surprises, fortunately pleasant ones, but there were times I was saying "what's wrong". Yep "what's wrong" till I got my mind around the difference between the different variables.

One major thing I have noticed about the White is I'm able to hear if a component is in tune easier. I don't know if this is a plus or minus for anyone else, but for me, I can now count on the cable to tell me when the components need a tuning change. Maybe this is because I use the regular Bare Essence and now have the same thing only with a different relationship to componentry with the White (hard to explain). But I'll try. You know how with the regular Bare Essence, you make a change and then wait for a week or how ever long it takes to arrive to stable? Well with the White (once it is somewhat broken in), when you make a change (slight change) it sounds like a tube amp warming up. You make a move and it sounds cold and then you can hear it filling in and warming up. At first it kind of through me off but then I started to like the predictability.

There are other things too, but I want to go listen so you will have to wait study

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Today at 6:46

Hello Tunees

It was brought to my attention that some of you may have some of my older stock wire, so while the newer products are getting noticed more I should bring everyone up to date.

There was a time that I offered both tinned and bare copper wire. I now use exclusively "Bare" copper only, here's what happened.

As you all know I bake my cable as part of the voicing procedure. I also put it through a mechanical process and do a few MG tricks to get the wire to become "tunable". Once tunable, there are things the end user can do to make the cable sound like they want within reason. The reason comes in with personal taste and the end users equipment and environment. I don't go into any more detail in the making than that, because it's as easy to screw up the process as it is to get it right.

In the past when I tested the tinned I overlooked something. With time the tinned copper goes back to it's original state or somewhere between voiced and it's original state. No matter what I did, or how often I baked and voiced the same wire, this seemed to happen. This is why I stopped using any tinned copper or silver or the other materials that were sent to me to try. I'm open to tuning whatever works, but when I find a problem or something that works better for the range I'm wanting to get I evolve like any good ape would scratch Laughing

If you've used my silver or tinned copper in the past and want to replace it, I'm sure Harold will work up a good price for you, but I just wanted to let you know that for a while (years) now I've used all bare copper.

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Today at 8:52



If you read me often you'll see where I break from the audiophile theory ways, always have. The reason I do is a very practical one. It's also the reason why I have found the desert to be the perfect place to build playback systems. Those of you who made the original TuneVilla tour know that I used a kiln in my designing. Curing has been a part of MGA from the very beginning, and back in those days I struggled to find that right balance of energy that allowed me to achieve that wider range I seemed to be always in search of. I had plenty huge gas heating systems in my quest to find that tone. When I moved to Nashville I was hit smack dab in both ears. My formula changed dramatically. For example: the saw dust in Nashville was heavier and wet as compared to my Ohio baking. The sound was also dramatically different. Now I knew this because I had to, I made tunable audio goodies. Even though I made some things in Nashville, I used my factories in Ohio and Canada to keep things as consistent as I could. If you go back you will see that I had not yet discovered the performance of Pine, Magic Wood and other materials. I didn't discover these things because I was working in conditions that, even at their driest state, got me to the place of a typical musical instrument and audio playback was able to go much further. Yep, I didn't know until I parked my car at my new home and discovered the desert. There's a reason why the desert looks and feels different from the rest of our planet. Those aware of their senses can immediately pickup on their body's changes. The first thing folks will tell you is "start drinking tons of water". And they're correct! Even when the humidity here is way up, there's a difference between the feel here and anywhere else. An area that evaporates all year round makes room for what I do very nicely, you might even say supernaturally.

"Las Vegas, Nevada, gets 4 inches of rain per year. The US average is 37. Snowfall is 0 inches. The average US city gets 25 inches of snow per year. The number of days with any measurable precipitation in Las Vegas is 22."

For me, a tuning designers paradise! My own personal hearing went off the charts, was one of the things I noticed after about 3 months. It also took me no time before I found that the lumber yards here even in places like home depot and lowes (moving wood through weekly) had wood that was at least 1/2 the weight as back east. I tested the exact same sku of wood from Ohio, Tenn, Ontario, Washington and other places vs Vegas, and after I did just the basics of curing here, the same wood here weighed on average 1/3 the weight. Yep, now picture this, a sheet of birch plywood in other parts of the world weigh 2 times as much as here. A Brazilian pine board weighs 3 times as much in other parts of the world, and even more in tropical areas. I realized in hardly no time at all that I am living in curing heaven. This didn't only apply to wood Exclamation

It wasn't just the humidity that is different from other parts of the world. I didn't even have time to look up why, before I experienced that other materials reacted far different here than in other places. Plastics for example feel wet in other places as compared to here. Again I had to explore. I had the exact same saw cut PVC pipe and send me the dust. When I got it I wasn't all that shocked to see that the dust from other areas was more like chips vs the dust here which was like powder. Something I noticed with materials cut in other places, when cut the dust drops to the ground. Here in the desert, when cut, the dust floats. Some of it makes it's way to the ground but much of it floats for hours and settles far away from the original spot. Shoot a finish in the damp areas and you can see the mist head toward the ground. Shoot that same finish here and seconds later you will see  the fumes evaporate in mid air.

The sun in the desert creates a different chemical reaction than anywhere I have ever been. On one hand things evaporate very quickly, on the other the energy here has a different balance to it. Where some things have a lack of nourishment it seems there are other things that have more vitality. In regards to my voicing, I'm able to start at a much lower resonant core. Again the wood examples are a good visual. Back in the damp areas my wood voicing hardly ever went past a 220 grit paper. If I went further I could easily run into a glared sound. Here in the desert I can voice all the way up to 3,000 grit paper. I can virtually make any sound out there if I find the right combos of material.

the wire into cables

Since I got here my dealing with cables has become more of a love affair like with my speaker drivers and cabinets and platforms and the rest. I can understand why those of you who have gotten my cables over the last while are going holy smokes these are good. Trust me I'm going through the same thing. It's happening for me at such an extreme level that I'm starting to see that cables for us are going to be a huge part of the current success. Saying that, I don't want to have folks get all confused on which cables to have like seems to happen with all these different sounds floating around with "Fixed" one sound designing. That's never been my gig. My gig is about learning and sharing what I'm making, and with cables I'm making some amazing goods that have, I believe, the highest level of flexibility over anything else out there. Are they the best sounding isn't my agenda as a Fixed notion or marketing scam. Are they able to bring the most out every recording, if someone wants to go there, is my agenda.

Turning my wire into cable is as much you as it is me. The more I hear from and with you, the more I can find that sound that is what you have been hunting for. And, for those who tune, we can explore your sound together the more we move you from components to variable tools. Now that I have a procedure for developing wire into cable formulas, and now that I have more of an understanding on what my area has to offer us, I can build on a foundation that is unique for my listening friends. On my end of things I'm testing a lot of combos and voicing methods that I promise you I will not throw out there to see if it sticks, like I did unknowingly before I learned to use the desert curing and energy. All of us grow, and together we have something that is not only unique to us but also allows us to be the cutting edge.

common sense

One thing that I should and will always emphasize to almost the edge of being boring or giving the impression that I have a bone to pick with High End Audio is, when you look at your hobby try to remember the difference between marketing and reality. Marketing is based on a bunch of words from someone that has something that sounds different. Reality is always going to stay in motion and the more flexible you make your system following the fundamental forces on this planet as your guide, the closer you will get to your ability to bring the most out of not some recordings, but the magic in every recording. Another thing is, keep in mind that it's very possible that you are more aware of how audio works, because of your own variable listening, than the guy throwing audiophile theories and credentials at you.

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   

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Michael's System
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