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 Bill333's System

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:14 am


Greetings Bill333

Oh that post by Sonic…..

Now that we are discussing a specific situation, Sonic might elaborate on the mismatch:

1. damped tonearms and cartridge systems have a signature which to my ears is “dry”, “precise/analytical” in nature and "super-controlled". Some may think this is accuracy and some may say it is a colouration. Do you hear any of this?

2. some cartridges like the Decca London NEED damped arms to work properly but I do not think MM cartridges like the Ortofon 2Ms need this damping. Sonic has tested the Shure M97XE with and without the damping brush and the sound was always more lifelike without damping. I also heard a Denon 103 with damping in a unipivot arm and it sounded hardly alive – mechanical and shifted up in tone would be a good description of the sound.

3. Sonic recalls Michael saying in response to a question from me that damping in arms did not make good sound – I remember Mr Green saying that he tuned a turntable to be an extremely live object. I was referencing this when Sonic made the comment about mismatch.

4. The WTT arm’s damping is not adjustable. I remember the SME arms that had a damper trough and were offered with different sizes of damping paddles so the amount of damping was adjustable. In this case, the amount of damping is fixed.

So go have a listen – turntables are very dynamic things and if the sound is good to your ears, nice and alive, then there is no mismatch. A damped arm will always control the resonances in your system so they never get out of hand and cause mistracking and vinyl damage (a well-matched undamped arm/cartridge won’t either).

The Ortofon 2M Blue stylus is a great upgrade. I use the Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge and am so happy that Sonic has declined opportunities to upgrade to the Ortofon 2M Black, the TLC, the Ortofon Quintet Blue or more expensive MC cartridges. Did someone whisper "EMT TSD 75" Question

Sonic

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Bill333

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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:20 pm

Hi Sonic,

I got the replacement TLC cartridge last week and replaced the Ortofon 2M Red with it after warming the system up and listening to the 2M Red to establish a baseline.  Even cold and unbroken in, the TLC has a much richer tone and  a more involving character.  Kind of 'meaty, beaty, big and bouncy'.  By comparison, the Ortofon cartridge sounds flat and uninvolving.  Do you think the elliptical stylus will change that?

Regarding what I hear with the dampened arm - I'll let you in on a little secret, which is that at least half the time I'm running the arm completely undamped.  Even when I do damp it, I have the arm just barely touching the silicone.  Often times, the silicone cup slips down a little bit so that when I come back the next day, the arm is no longer damped.  I definitely prefer the aliveness of that sound, but I think it comes with a small cost in terms of control, especially with bass notes.  The compromise I've adopted is to get the golf ball just barely in contact with the silicone.  Sometimes I wonder if tunees are outliers on the audiophile spectrum in terms of the 'aliveness' we demand from our systems.  I don't know how anyone listens to a range of damping on these arms and then settles on 30% immersion in the silicone.  What I hear when I do that is that it just kills the liveliness, smears inner detail and dampens out low level information to the point where much of it just disappears.  Not acceptable.
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:31 am


Greetings Bill333

Looks you got a resolution to this part of your journey. Very good cheers Now that you can adjust the damping to what is just right for your system then you are good shape Very Happy

Stick with the TLC. The Blue elliptical stylus on the Ortofon 2M body will only improve resolution and details particularly in the upper mids and highs compared to the spherical Red. It will not change the character which you describe as "flat and uninvolving". TLC definitely and worth a thought for Sonic's system too.

Sonic
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Bill333

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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:40 pm

Hi Sonic,

I think you might like the TLC. From talking to Don Better (the Shindo dealer), it seems to be gaining a reputation as the EMT TSD 15's little brother. Same kind of sound, just not quite as much. And a lot less expensive.
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:02 am


If the TLC is the EMT TSD 15 Junior this is a good suggestion indeed Bill333 Very Happy

Sonic checked and it is available here! A bit pricey in this town but compared to the EMT......

Will probably get TLC cartridge after I wrap up my experiments with the doors.
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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:30 pm

REFLECTIONS ON HOME THEATER



The other day I went in to Best Buy to pick up some parts for an amplifier I'm building, and I stopped in to the home theater area to check out the new TVs.  All the TVs on display were 4K ultra high definition monitors, mostly in the 40 to 60 inch range.  Some of the TVs were showing the film 'Star Trek Beyond', so I paused for a few minutes to enjoy the show.  I'm a big Trek fan and I saw this movie in the theater when it came out, and I greatly enjoyed it.  So I expected to enjoy watching a few scenes in the store.

But I didn't.  The make-up on the lead alien character seemed, well, like make-up.  Not the face of a being from another planet.  The costumes, the acting and the characters themselves all seemed to draw my attention in a way that distracted from the story and prevented the suspension of disbelief.  I had no such problems when I saw the film in the theater, and I'm practically certain I would have no such problems if I watched the DVD on my system at home.

So what's wrong with the TVs at the store, and what's so different about my system at home?  Over the last several years, TVs have evolved to become much more detailed, and much higher contrast, but at the cost of a certain kind of plasticky, unnatural character.  The image is hyperdetailed in a way that draws attention to detail and elicits a WOW! response when someone is comparing TVs for picture quality.  But the long term viewing experience is badly diminished.  My setup at home, on the other hand, is unfailingly involving, especially on any material that was shot on film.  (every movie and most prime time TV shows)  My picture is provided by a D-ILA projector which projects an image onto a screen about 7 1/2 feet wide.  It's standard HD, so only about half the pixel density of the 4K UHD projectors at the store.  Yet I never feel like I'm missing any detail.  Maybe because I'm too busy enjoying whatever I'm watching.  In fact, the picture is so beautiful that I sometimes pause the playback just to admire the cinematography.

On paper, the ultra high definition LED TVs should have it all over an older technology like D-ILA.  Yet the experience provided is very different.  I think that past a certain point, picture definition stops being important and other factors like the way light is created and reflected start to matter more.

I'm wondering if I don't have something similar going on with digital music.  Redbook CD easily surpasses the level of detail necessary for music to be enjoyable, but it seems to take a wrong turn in some subtle aspect of music reproduction which subtracts from the enjoyment of listening.  Too detailed?  I'm not sure.  What I perceive is a lack of body and tonal density, but it could just as easily be some other factor that I'm unaware of.

Vinyl has its own set of frustrations and is definitely not an easy win in the musicality department.  Mostly I'm struggling to get the system to an acceptable level of detail and clarity while not having the whole experience destroyed by the variable quality of my vinyl.  Much of the record collection I got from my parents is in poor shape and no amount of cleaning can get the tics and pops out of these records.  This is especially the case with the old popular records that I'm most interested in listening to.  Oh, and the cat has taken an unholy interest in the turntable belt and will attack it every chance he gets.  Sometimes I get nostalgic about the easy fidelity of digital.  pale
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:08 am


Hello Bill333 Very Happy

You said "Vinyl has its own set of frustrations and is definitely not an easy win in the musicality department."

Sonic doesn't understand -- should vinyl not be an easy win in musicality department over digital?

Sonic
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Bill333

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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:09 am

Hi Sonic,

Let me add a little more to my thoughts on home theater before I answer your question.

The home theater projector started having some minor problems a few weeks ago, and I have left it at a repair shop to be cleaned and have a fan replaced.  It's been there for two weeks already and I have taken to carrying my computer monitor down from the office and setting it up in the theater every night.  What I've learned from watching the same shows on my 40" LED monitor that I had been watching on the D-ILA projector, is that the look of the picture is different and so is the experience of watching it.  I don't think the monitor is more detailed than the projector, but it presents detail in a way that draws attention to detail in a manner that the projector doesn't.  I notice the pores on the actors' faces during closeups.  Everything seems less natural, and I am more frequently reminded that I'm watching a show rather than simply being involved in the story.  So... very much like my experience with the 4K TVs in the store.  It's not hard to predict that if I had only a monitor for TV, I would become gradually less interested in watching TV as the months and years went by until watching television and movies would be only an occasional pastime rather than a daily activity.

What does this have to do with audio?  What I've learned from all this is that subtle differences in presentation make a big difference in the experience.  The difference between audio and home theater for me is that I lucked into the correct formula for video playback early on, but I've never been able to find the right formula for audio playback.  That doesn't mean there isn't one, but I have yet to hear it.  

My hope after reading the 'God Is In The Nuances' article was that if I put together a system around tubes and vinyl that I'd be all set.  Sure, the playback might be noisier or not as detailed as what I'm used to, but I could just listen around that while enjoying music without the subtle but deadly flaws of digital and solid state.  It hasn't really worked out that way.  Where I'm at with vinyl playback is that it isn't as detailed as the best I've gotten from digital, but it also doesn't have the beauty and tone of the playback I have sometimes achieved with well tuned digital.  In any case, it's nothing that draws me back to the system to play one record after another.

The point I've gotten to is that I'm hesitant to spend more money on this system until I have a better understanding of the sound I'm going after.  To that end, I'm going out listening to any system that seems promising in an effort to find 'that sound'.  I've already had a couple of listening trips in the local area which I will review in future posts, and I'm planning to go to Tuneland as soon as Michael has things ready.  Essentially, I'm back in exploration mode.
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:35 am


Greetings Bill333

A detailed update indeed.

Bill333: .....it's nothing that draws me back to the system to play one record after another.

Sonic: this is a sad state of affairs.

Bill333: The point I've gotten to is that I'm hesitant to spend more money on this system.....

Sonic: I guess that is wise

Bill333: .....until I have a better understanding of the sound I'm going after. I've already had a couple of listening trips in the local area which I will review in future posts, and I'm planning to go to Tuneland as soon as Michael has things ready. Essentially, I'm back in exploration mode.

Sonic: This perplexes a little. Is it a particular "sound" you are after or a minimally reasonable facisimile to real musick? By all means listen to systems for inspiration but if you are not already doing so, add some live small ensemble performances (preferably unamplified) in natural acoustic spaces to your listening. When Sonic loses the way, some live musick and spoken word always helps me reset.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:49 pm

If I may step in Smile

Sonic, you would need to spend some time listening with Bill to understand some of his comments, or to draw conclusions from his listening path or paths as it seems at times. When I read Bill now, his words make far more sense to me than when I was first getting to know Bill as a listener and friend.

For the first couple of years I was thinking that Bill's explorations were about a specific sound. When Bill would walk out of the room saying he found it, I would go in and hear that the current "here I found it" was different from the last "here I found it". I've watched Bill go from "I'm not sure I've ever heard it" to a definitive "that's it" and back. I've witnessed others tuning for Bill, me walking in saying "that's pretty special" and Bill giving it a thumbs down. I've even had Bill walk out of the room saying "you would actually let someone hear that" after I created a soundstage masterpiece. Ouch pale But then I saw the Best of Bill, which perhaps is the best of all of us. It would happen like this.

Bill would go into the room and the song, songs or whole recording would take place. At the end of the recording there would be silence. I've heard this silence go on for several minutes, and then finally the shuffling of feet, steps, and then Bill would emerge from the room. It was like someone going into a sacred place, meeting with God, then coming out full of glory.

As I started off with "it seems", as if there was a certain right or wrong to listening, Bill has possession of the most absolute gift of listening, the moment. Back and forward, right to left, up and down and inside and out, reaching that moment of the absolute state of "reverie", is Bill's system. It may take on many forms and many experiments, but reverie is Bill's sound. "a state of being pleasantly lost in one's thoughts". Is there any higher moment in this hobby? I can't imagine what it would be:!:

If Bill has contributed one thing to me over any other, it's, never stop seeking the moment, and stay in it as long as you can.

Very Happy

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Bill333

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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:26 am

Michael is exactly right, I'm really looking for an experience, not a particular sound.  Thank you for reminding me, I tend to forget that sometimes.  Like a Star @ heaven

The tricky thing about it is that my ability to get to that experience is affected by the equipment and level of sound reproduction as much as it is by my own physiological and mental state.  Nor can I tell beforehand whether I'm in a state receptive to achieving reverie.  I sit down and listen, and sometimes I get there and sometimes I don't.  When I get there, the experience can be very powerful.  I go into a meditative state where I'm both listening to the music, but outside of the experience at the same time.  In the part of me that's outside the experience, my mind is completely quiet and my body vibrates not with the pulse of the music but with a higher energy which is both very powerful and very relaxed at the same time. That's the reason why I would often pause the music after a particularly good track;  I needed to come down from the vibrational state I was in before starting the next piece of music.  In some cases, it might take several minutes as Michael described.

Now that I'm thinking about it again, it's been months since I've gotten anywhere near this experience with listening, and I really miss it. I was getting there back when I had the SDTrans hooked up the Altmann DAC, and I had a nice experience at AXPONA listening to Elvis on LP over a solid state system. I've gotten there with different equipment configurations, but all of the systems had a relaxing quality that lacked harshness.
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:26 am



Yes, the achievement of that existential moment Very Happy


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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:33 am

Greetings Bill333  cheers

What's happening in your corner?

Sonic



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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:20 am

Hi Sonic,

Nothing very good.

I turned on the system for the first time in a couple weeks last Friday.  I had just about gotten the system warmed up and was sitting down to listen when the cat came in and took a fiendish interest in the turntable.  I squirted him so hard I actually broke the squirt bottle and he returned the favor by pulling the belt off the platter.  I tried to put it back on, but the light was too poor and without the squirt bottle I had no hope of keeping him from doing it again.  Sigh.

But it's the lackluster sound that kept me from listening for weeks.  As I said before, if there's any magic going on with vinyl and tubes, I'm not hearing it.  To be fair, I think the big problem is that the turntable isn't set up well enough and isn't in a vibrational environment that really works for it.  I do think that with enough time, effort and money I could bring the sound of vinyl up to a level that's more like what I'm accustomed to from digital, but that just gets me to someplace I've already been.  I'm essentially ready to throw in the towel on vinyl, although that decision hasn't been finalized.  It would be one thing if I had a large vinyl collection, but I'm really starting from scratch.  And this whole thing has been  very expensive and shows no sign of being done any time soon.  If vinyl was the only way to get to a relaxing and enjoyable experience with music, I'd do it, but the best digital can provide that experience as well.

I find myself pining for the days when I had a working Altmann DAC.  For a brief period I really thought that I could put together a system that would do it all.  The SDTrans384, Altmann DAC, Topping TP21 and Klipsch speakers were already a winning combination.  If I could have put all of those items on ultracap power supplies I think the sound would have been sublime.  A system that would have gotten me off the audiophile planning train and into the listening seat.  But that dream is on permanent hold waiting for Paul Hynes and/or Charles Altmann to make repairs that they clearly don't want to make.  I hope things are going better at your place.

But I fear I'm becoming one of your audiophile friends who tells sad stories about breaking $10,000 cartridges.  Well here's some good news: I'm going to Tuneland Las Vegas week after next.  I'm looking forward to seeing Michael and I'll get to hear Tuneland for the first time ever.  Hopefully, I will return with a deeper understanding of what's possible through the tune and a new (or renewed) sense of direction.

Best regards,

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:52 am



Greetings Bill333

Sonic agrees with you that this is a sad state of things for you plus having a mean-eyed cat into the bargain.

You have a potentially great system with the Shindo amp but if you haven’t gone too deep into vinyl, it may be time to exercise some “know when to hold them, know when to fold them” (from K Rogers).

Sonic by now knows that your listening and what you are seeking is something existential rather that a sound quantifiable into things like “better tracking”, “more bass”, “less treble distortion” and “3D imagining”. So “lackluster sound” will probably mean something different to you than what I can guess and I may not be surprised if what makes the sound “lackluster” to you might not translate in verbal language.

It is annoying indeed that the Messrs Altmann and Hynes show no interest in fixing your DAC and that your AUNE is kaput.

I agree with you that given your preliminary investment into vinyl that “….with enough time, effort and money I could bring the sound of vinyl up to a level that's more like what I'm accustomed to from digital, but that just gets me to someplace I've already been….” Therefore if all the stuff you want to listen to is available on digital, then exiting vinyl is a realistic option.

Zonees should keep in mind that the big factor why Sonic is into vinyl big time is because of the obscure classical and ethnic recordings available in this format which due to lack of mass consumer demand will never see issue on digital. The beauty of vinyl playback is of course a benefit along with the possibility of my finding such records for something like US$3 each in very good condition.

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:11 pm

Hi Sonic,

A few words about the cat.  What you need to understand about this animal is that he's absolutely adorable.  He loves being picked up and when you do, he rubs his head on your chin.  At night he crawls in the bed under the sheets and then pokes his head out so that he's lying in bed with his head on the pillow like a person would.  When we watch TV, he lies down next to us with his paws in the air and goes to sleep.  Just too cute for words.  But, like the proverbial little girl, when he's good he's very good and when he's bad, he's oh so bad.    

I suppose that what I'm after is an experience, not so much a particular sound. That being said, I enjoy music a lot of different ways at a lot of different times.  It doesn't need to be a meditative state.  I'm still trying to get a handle on what I need from a system in order to be truly satisfied with it.  That really may be more about me than it is about the system.  As far as my current system goes, if you heard it I think you'd agree that it's not too great.  Something about the record player just isn't happy with its environment.

Before I forget, there's good news!  Paul Hynes has finished the modifications to my Altmann DAC and it should be shipping out of Scotland today.  Having that back will be a game changer.

And tomorrow I leave for my trip to Tuneland.  My tuning cup runneth over!  Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:56 am


Greetings Bill333

Good to hear from you and you are already sounding more upbeat  Very Happy

With the modded Altmann finally coming back, that might make the sound for you.  And your trip to Michael’s tunable universe can only do you good by refreshing your hearing.  

How Sonic wishes a trip to Mr Green does not entail a journey that will take me halfway round the planet! But one day….who knows  Question

All the best for the visit Exclamation

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:28 pm


Bill333 relaxing at TuneLand Vegas

Laughing sorry I forgot to shut the closet door behind Bill, but by this time we were pretty well in listening fellowship bliss. Yep, when we started to close in on Bill's sound I was over in the other chair enjoying the heck out of DJ Captain Bill333 and the sound he created for me. Very Happy

I'm going to let Bill tell the story through his eyes and ears, but I'm also looking forward to telling the story (or stories) from my point of view. For me, there's nothing like seeing the music through the ears and eyes and soul of the Tunee. Many people say "they want to hear my sound", but honestly I'm not sure I have a sound but more moments of sound and audio explorations. I'm so deeply into the act and adventure of tuning the recorded code, that I'm sure I loose my own personal identity as I fall in-love with all the variables. Right and wrong is a blur to me except for maybe one main virtue, and that is when the listener falls deeply inside of the recordings envelope. Or as Bill asked "is this float".



Through my years of listening together with Tunees it's always been my belief that they, not I, am the master of their system. I'm more of a guide or maybe a key holder until they come of their own, and maybe not even that much. Maybe, I'm kind of that flash light beam that helps in the middle of the darkened whole, but with always the belief that the real listening master has always been inside of the listener. On this visit I certainly saw that master shine in Bill, and the fruit that developed from his own brilliance.

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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:40 am

Hi Bill,

Glad you got to experience the float! I experienced it for the first time at TuneLand Vegas also. Shocked cheers



jocolor jocolor

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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:26 pm

MY VISIT TO TUNELAND


How I Dropped Out, Tuned In, And Found The Sound



I didn't really know what to expect when I went out to Tuneland Las Vegas.  I knew that Michael had several systems set up and I thought that this was my chance to finally hear systems that were Michael's own.  If you've been reading my thread, you know that I've been going through an audio 'lost' period lately.  My experiments with tubes and vinyl have failed.  The return of my Altmann DAC held out the possibility of recreating a system that I had found very exciting before an unfortunate accident brought my plans low.  But I felt I owed it to myself to hear Michael's systems before I settled down with my own solution.  And besides, Michael is a good friend and it would be a pleasure to visit him even if there weren't any sonic revelations.

I arrived at Michael's house and got a tour of the various listening areas.  I was especially captivated by the tunable room.  There wasn't a system set up in it, but as soon as I walked in and heard the character of our voices change and saw the beauty of the all wood room, I was immediately reminded of my own late, great tunable room.  I wanted to put a system in and see where we could take it, but was distracted by other lessons in the tune for the first couple of days.  Michael demonstrated for me how he hand finishes and voices a top tuning platform from a piece of raw wood, and showed me how to bake interconnect cables in the sun and work the insulation with my fingers to achieve high end sound from cables that are normally given away free.  I spent many hours in room 3 experimenting with the acoustic effects of opening and closing doors, and moving PZCs and other tuning tools around.

But it was day three when things really started to get interesting.  I showed up early in the morning and said, "Let's put a system in the tunable room!".  Sorry to say, but the tunable room was not just unused, it had become a storage room for odds and ends from various projects.  I started moving pieces of wood out to the garage and finding spots for the other things scattered about the beautiful wooden floor.  One of the last items to go was a big pair of funky looking studio monitors.  They each had six tweeters and a big 15" woofer, plus big dials for controlling the mid and high frequencies.  It didn't seem like a recipe for high end sound.  

I asked Michael where we could put them, and he said to just slide them into the kitchen.  I ended up getting them as far as the living room where they were obstructed by the furniture, so I left them there and made another trip out to the garage.  By the time I got back, I was surprised to find that Michael had hooked them up to an Accuphase E-270 amp and sat down to give them a test listen.   The sound was good - very good.  It had a very appealing midrangey quality - none of the hyperdetailed, treble emphasis of modern audiophile speakers.  I played several of my favorite recordings on it and was pleased with what I was hearing.  We listened for hours and discussed ways in which the system could be made even better.  Michael suggested vintage stranded wires or Type 3 for the speaker cables, and I thought a pair of my bare wire interconnects might be just the thing for bringing out the detail without losing the natural quality that we were enjoying.  I whipped up a set of unterminated interconnects and installed them between the Magnavox and the Accuphase.  Total disaster - it just ruined the sound.  Not just unsettled, but screechy and tonally tilted up, it obliterated everything that had been good about the sound.  Putting the $2 pair of stranded interconnects back restored our listening pleasure.  Clearly wires mattered a lot in this setup.

The next morning, we sat down to have a discussion about what all this was going to cost.  I had no idea what the Accuphase was worth and was surprised to find out it cost nearly  $6000.  I told Michael I just couldn't do that and asked if there was anything else that would be suitable.  We tried the Audolici A35M and it sounded pleasant, but for some reason it was unstable going into the American Monitor speakers.  After being forced to shut it down for the second time, we gave up on it and considered our other options.  The Accuphase had a hundred watts per channel and the speakers have a reputation for being power hungry, so the far less powerful Audolici A25M didn't seem like a good bet, but we gave it a try anyway.  And we were glad we did.  The sound was beautifully smooth and musical, and lost very little ground to the Accuphase in terms of solidity and bass control.  It was a good match, and I listened for an hour or two before remembering what Michael suggested about speaker cables.  "Hey, what about that Type 3 cable?  Didn't you put some out in the sun this morning?"  Michael said he did, and they should be just about ready, so go ahead and put them on the system.

Now up to this point, I had been hearing some enjoyable sound and I liked some things about the A25M>American Monitors, like that midrangey tonality.  But I could have gone home without purchasing anything and been quite happy putting the SDTrans>Altmann>Topping TP21>Klipsch system back together.  And then I hooked up the Type 3, and everything changed.

We put on Donovan't Greatest Hits, and it wasn't so much that I was hearing details I'd never heard before, as it was that I was hearing an entirely different character of music reproduction.  Something I had never heard from any system before, no matter how detailed, how revealing or how deep the bass.  I've been complaining since forever about threadbare tone and lightweight sonic images.  All of a sudden I was hearing all the heft, and all the tone, that I could ever want.  In combination with a huge soundstage and 360 degree vibration through the room.  Detail was all there, but presented in a completely musical manner.  The interplay between the musicians and the nuances that make a performance truly great were apparent in a way that they had never before been.  The tonality was deep, and the sound rich at a level that I hadn't known was possible.  

I wish I had a recording to play for you our comments during the listening session.  I don't, but if I did, you would hear things like:

"If you could reproduce this sound at a high end audio show, it would be all over.  No one else would be able to sell anything.  There'd be people massing up in the hallways just for a chance to hear it."

"If my wife heard this for one minute, she'd never want to watch TV again."

"Play it again! Play it again!"  [Michael, after hearing the springy noise at the beginning of 'Michael' by the Tokens]

"Wow, that was really emotional!"  [Both of us, after hearing 'Catch The Wind' by Donovan]


Michael said, "If I was you, I wouldn't change a thing."  Needless to say, I took that to heart.  We packed up the Audolici and all the wires and I brought it home with me on the plane.  The speakers should follow next week.   Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:08 pm



There's a lot to talk about, referring to the visit, but one of the hi-lights for me was the opportunity to follow Bill's ears. I was taken back to the days of TuneVilla and my recording days, where it was my job to find the sound. It's not always as easy as one might think, because it means you have to listen outside of your body's wants and get into someone else's vibe. Speaking for myself, once I'm in that other person's world of sound (if in-tune) it's like going to Disney World of Listening. Bill's listening not only took me there, but as he listened he was throwing me all kinds of musical bones, that were like a breadcrumb trail to follow, leading me to his listening space. And let me say, listening to Bill's world of sound was amazing. I loved all the nuances and instrumentation values Bill brings to the table. The tonal connection was breath taking and the living presence of each song made me want to grab the remote so I could keep hitting repeat.

Maybe this kind of post doesn't make sense to some of you reading, but you need to add to the equation that much, if not most, of my life of listening is hearing through brains other than my own. Going anywhere I want is only one way of listening, although it's pretty darn big & tall, but when I get to hear outside of my own thinking (if it's with a great listener and system setting) the place they take me is like opening up a new frontier. It's like someone giving you the freedom to their ears, mind and soul, and for myself allows me to hear something in the recording, I had not heard quite the same before.

Let me give a quick example.

Years ago, I believe it was Sonic who described the sound of the frogs on Abbey Road, not the crickets but the frogs. He talked about their size and expansion in a way that I wanted to experience for myself. This sent me down that trail of crumbs till I found it, and even more. I may not have stumbled across this on my own, but this experience has added a whole other world to my listening of that recording. This is a part of listening that builds on my catalog, and I count as important as anything I have found on my own. It's something that I believe has made me a value to the recording industry, even if it was something very simple to add. Linking with Bill's listening may have been a different experience for him, but for me, I will never forget the new places I can now go with these recordings. For me, much deeper than just an audiophile moment! For me, it's treasure found.

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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:22 am


Greetings Bill333 Very Happy

Looks you had a marvelous time at Tuneland. It must have been an ear-opening time given that you heard “float” Exclamation

Congratulations also on your promotion to the rank of Captain cheers

A few of questions if I may from Sonic:

1. Could you try describing “float” as best you can please?

2. You bought the American Monitors? What did you hear in them that led to the purchase given you have (if Sonic remembers) Quad ESLs, Klipsch and a tunable model from Mr Green?

3. Michael said in testing the funky monitors “vintage stranded wires” were tried -- what were these, why are they “vintage”, how did they perform compared to the RoomTune T3s? Sonic asks because I been hearing a lot and somewhat incessantly about “vintage cables for vintage musicality” from those Sonic hangs out (Altec/JBL, triode tubes ‘n’ jazz fans) with.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:22 pm

Hi Sonic,

I should say first of all that I'm not sure what I was hearing was actually float.  I asked Michael at one point, "Is this float?", and he said "Well, I'd have to move the speakers and...".  He looked lost in thought the way he does when he's thinking about tuning moves, and a second later the next song started playing.  At that point the discussion was over as we both had to groove out on the awesome sound we were hearing.  Smile

I'm not sure what the correct word is - Fat harmonics?  Float?  Near-float?  Michael, could you make a judgment call on this?

1. Could you try describing “float” as best you can please?

Whatever we end up calling it, it was extraordinary.  What really separated it from any other good system was a unique combination of Big Tone, Big Soundstage and Weight.  With careful tuning, big soundstages aren't hard to get, but these usually have poor image density.  It seems like the more you spread the soundstage out, the thinner everything sounds.  But not here.  The soundstage was huge and every sonic image had a weight and a heft to it.  Good tone requires a highly detailed system, but most systems that sound very detailed have an emphasis on the treble.  But not with this system.  The tonal balance was very low, but the tone and the inner detail was excellent.  I should say that the detail revelation was less in the realm of 'Wow! I never heard that sound before." and more in the realm of "Wow! I never realized how those guys were interacting with each other like that."  

If I was trying to voice a system into producing this sound, I would look for the following cues: tonality goes downward, soundstage spreads out and fills in with density, detail retrieval that tells you more about what's going on in the music (natural detail).

2. You bought the American Monitors? What did you hear in them that led to the purchase given you have (if Sonic remembers) Quad ESLs, Klipsch and a tunable model from Mr Green?

I did, but it really isn't about the speakers, it's about what the system as a whole is capable of doing.  It wouldn't have mattered if they were a pair of tin cans with a string tied between them.  If they somehow work with the other equipment to give the sound I was hearing, then they are a must have.  I don't have the Quads any more, but you're right - I do have a lot of very nice speakers.  But none of them have ever been able to do what I heard in Las Vegas.  Not that I'm faulting any of those other speakers or amplifiers; there's just a synergy to this combination which is extremely rare to find.

3. Michael said in testing the funky monitors “vintage stranded wires” were tried -- what were these, why are they “vintage”, how did they perform compared to the RoomTune T3s?

Michael suggested trying vintage stranded wires, but we couldn't find any on such short notice.  What he was talking about was lamp cord from old lamps.  We checked a couple of Goodwill stores, but couldn't find anything suitable.
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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:33 am


Thanks Bill333 Very Happy

Your description has built some sort of mental picture in Sonic’s brain of what you heard. I am amazed that you got a sound like this from those monitors that are placed from what looks about seven feet apart, toed-in and sitting directly on the floor (not on stands) with midrange and tweeters far below ear level.

Do tell of your adventure when the American Monitors are set up in your place....and when the DAC returns from Scotland.

Sonic is now spinning a 1958 mono LP of Schubert's Quartet in G major Op 161 by the Hungarian String Quartet (Columbia). Good music and I need to throw the mono switch on my preamp to reduce the surface noise. Still good musick.

Wishing you enjoyable music this weekend cheers

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Bill333's System   Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:51 pm

Density

I think Bill nailed the sound with the word 'density'.


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