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 GoodVibrations System

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Michael Green

Posts : 3495
Join date : 2009-09-12
Location : Vegas/Ohio/The Beach

PostSubject: GoodVibrations System   Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:09 pm

The techno-zone welcomes GoodVibrations


My two channel stereo audio system has been a work in progress for nearly 5 years. Along the way it has undergone many revisions including two room changes. What remains achieves the goal that has evolved from the beginning to a satisfying degree: To assemble a system capable of reproducing recorded music to a level and in a manner that is musically satisfying and emotionally involving.

To accomplish this goal it was necessary to bring together in the same system complimentary components that have the right synergy. That is, each component allows the others’ strengths to be heard so that together they perform as a well balanced system.

As I listened to more audio components and compared them, I began to pay particular attention to their designs. Power supplies and circuit topologies matter. “Circuit architecture” is the foundation on which everything else depends. Without a well conceived design, high quality parts alone won’t suffice. Srajan Ebaen has put it succinctly when speaking of Nelson Pass:

Parts are important but to him, circuit architecture is senior. Where modifiers will throw money at designer parts, a true master of the craft goes to the source. He manipulates how the electrons flow, resets the levies and dikes and flow valves in the three-dimensional construct of an electronic circuit. This enforces very specific electron behavior to establish ideal relationships between voltage, current, distortion, bandwidth, amplification factor, ground plane, noise, impedances. It writes the 'molecular code' for how a circuit behaves. That would seem rather more creative than dressing up parts.

Srajan Ebaen, First Watt 5 (review), May, 2008

While in this context Srajan is referring to the design of power amplifiers, his explanation can be applied to the design of source components and loudspeakers as well. To his eloquent comments, I would only add, as I am certain he and Mr. Pass both know well, that even the best designs would be unable to demonstrate their full capabilities in a listening room with troublesome acoustical problems. For this reason, the listening room deserves to be regarded with “component” status along with the electronic devices that will perform within its walls. As such, its design can be constructed or manipulated to allow a more emotionally involving and musically satisfying listening experience.


Dimensions: 20’L X 15’W X 8’H (2’W soffit on front wall**)


My current listening room is the result of a recent remodeling project that required removing walls and part of the ceiling to nearly double the size of the previous room. After moving furnishings into the room, I set up my audio system. Although it was a given that standing waves would need controlling, I wanted to listen first without bass traps, since the new room’s size and configuration were different. I determined initial speaker placement based on previous experience. Then I began listening to several CDs that I rely on to evaluate the sound of the system. During
this session, I tweaked the placement of the speakers until satisfied with the results.

It was apparent that standing waves were masking some of the music, especially in the midrange. Compared to my old room, this was not happening to the same degree. Still bass traps were needed and I installed one in each corner. After more listening, improvements were noticeable. The center opened-up a bit more and I could hear more detail in the mid to upper range.

At this point, the room was sounding pretty good. Frankly, I expected other problems that didn’t materialize. With the furnishings in place (see list below) and the bass traps, the system was definitely sounding better than it had sounded in the previous room. However, something was still bothering me.

After a couple of weeks and more listening I came to the conclusion that there was still not enough focus in the mid and upper ranges and that the overall the sound needed more balance. Some smearing was still audible but not easy to hear without knowing the recording well enough. In addition, it seemed reasonable to expect a bigger soundstage and an increase in the scale of sound in a room almost twice as large as the old one. I was slightly disappointed.

Convinced I was on the right track, I began looking for acoustic treatments to address these problems. At one point, I placed an order, only to cancel it because I was concerned that the panels I had ordered were too absorptive. It seemed to me that the room needed only light treatment and I was determined to avoid overtreating it.

I contacted at least 3 or 4 companies to discuss their acoustic treatments before reading about Michael Green’s RoomTuneArt panels at The Cable Co. website. My attention was drawn to this sentence: “As with all of Michael Green's acoustic designs, a priority is to avoid over-attenuation of higher frequencies, a common negative side effect of acoustic treatment products. Like real life, the room should retain enough of it's lively characteristic to achieve natural-sounding control.”

This didn’t sound like someone who was just looking to sell a lot of acoustic panels and I wanted to learn more. So I went to Michael Green’s Tuneland website and read this: “Treating the side walls will
help you gain focus, space and width of your sound stage......Side wall control also aids in the tonal balance of your room”. I also learned that the RTA panels are designed to provide both absorption and diffusion.

The rest is history: After ordering and receiving a pair of panels I installed them on the side walls (after first trying the front wall) since there wasn’t a problem with first reflections due to a door opening and window at the first reflection points. Front wall placement resulted in changes that were neither good nor bad, but different. The results weren’t what I was looking for. Placing the panels on the side walls was a different story. It took the room to the next level.

The room now sounds better than ever. The sound is more open, more dimensional, with improved tonal density and balance. The scale is larger and closer to the actual performance venue. There is an open window to the music that seems unobstructed and reveals details and nuances in the music previously not heard. Lyrics are more distinctly audible than before. Voices and instruments are more palpable with an immediacy that is emotionally involving.

Features : Electronics/Acoustics/Furnishings

Dedicated 20 amp circuit for electronics only
PS Audio Soloist outlet
Shunyata Research Z1 outlets
Cathedral Sound Panels (4 bass traps)
Michael Green’s RoomTuneArt Acoustic Panels (2)
3/4” Maple Hardwood Strip Flooring
Area Rug (9 X12)
Gysum wallboard ceilings and walls (sound proofing
on one side adjacent to a bathroom)
Pocket door (1)
French doors (1 pair)
Corner closet w/bifold door (accessory storage)
Custom-built, floor-to-ceiling bookcases/media storage
Large sofa at listening position
Leather recliner with ottoman
Floor Lamp & table lamp
Large Framed print (wood & glass frame)
Artificial plant
Credenza (wood
End table (wood)
Wooden file chests ( 2, small)
Ceiling Fan
Recessed lighting
Two windows both on right sidewall (approx. 4ft H X 3ft. W)
Polyester Cellular shades

**The 2ft. wide soffit reduces ceiling height to 7ft.


Reference Speakers: Green Mt. Audio EOS HD Monitors

Each monitor is positioned as follows:

9 ft. apart
10.5 feet from the listening position

Horn Shoppe Horns:

The Horns are a back-loaded folded corner horn design and are positioned in each front corner for best results. This design uses the room, walls and floor boundaries as extensions of the horn and help to extend the speaker's frequency response down into a respectable 40 Hz range. (Stereophile ranked and recommended.)



Cary SACD 306 Professional Version
Stereophile Class A Recommended.


VPI Classic Turntable
VPI JMW 10.5 SE tonearm
VPI stainless steel record clamp
VPI Stainless Periphery Ring
VPI Syncronous Drive System
VPI anti-skate device
Dynavector 20-2 Mk-2 cartridge

Additional cartridges: Zu/Denon 103R; Dynavector 20XL


Active Preamplifier:

Custom Class A Preamplifier:

This preamp was custom-designed by Kevin Carter of KandK Audio. With his help I soldered and installed all devices and assembled the enclosure including remote and other control features. It includes the KandK Audio Class A Single Ended Triode phono stage (maxxed-out version employing high quality parts) along with the latest upgrades. The circuit topology is the same design as the Art Audio Vinyl Reference by the same designer and is sold only in kit form to DIY enthusiasts. The Class A Differential Line Stage was designed by Dave Davenport (Raleigh Audio) with modifications by Kevin Carter. It includes an active output stage and is fully balanced from input to output.

Passive Preamplifier:

Promitheus Reference Dual Mono Transformer Volume Control

The Promitheus Dual Mono is a two box passive device that uses EI Core transformers. In my system it provides best results when used together with the Cary CDP and the right amp.

Power Amplifiers:

Custom Class A Stereo Tube Amplifier:

This Push-Pull amp uses the original transformers (output and power) from a vintage Dynaco ST-70 and the original, but modified chassis. Circuit topology is Kevin Carter’s design, entirely original, uses tubes, solid state devices and interstage Lundahl transformers. Power tubes are Tung Sol 6550s. It bears some physical, but no sonic resemblance to the original ST-70. The amp is configured to run in either triode (12W output/channel) or ultralinear mode (35 W output/channel). This was my first amplifier project . Under Kevin’s guidance and with his help, I installed and soldered all devices, modified and assembled the cabinet.

Cary/AES Class A/AB Sixpac monoblocks (Upgraded with Jensen oil capacitors)

The Sixpacs are capable of up to 80W per channel output using 6 EL 34 power tubes per monoblock in parallel.

Assemblage/Sonic Frontiers Class A SET-300B:

Highly modified Class A with upgraded KR 300B power tubes. Extensive modifications were designed by Kevin Carter.

First Watt F3 Power JFET Class A Stereo amplifier

(DIY version that I constructed with custom designed cabinet.)
Designed by Nelson Pass, the F3 is the only Power JFET amplifier on the planet and uses only one gain stage.


Green Mountain Audio EOS HD monitors (90dB) on two-post Skylan stands, each filled with 40 lbs. of sand/lead shot.

HornShoppe Horns

The Horns are crossoverless, single driver, rear loaded, folded corner horns. Sensitivity is 96dB (capable of 98-100db peaks) and can extend down into the 40Hz range when placed in the corner as intended.

REL T1 subwoofers (stereo configuration)

REL subwoofers are easy to integrate with other speakers, and are designed primarily for listening to music not sound effects. They are capable of bass response that is more than adequate for most recordings.


Shunyata Research Hydra 8 Power Conditioner
Shunyata Research Python Alpha Helix Power Cable
PS Audio Solist


Morrow Audio MA2 and MA3 interconnects; Morrow Audio Reference SP4 speaker cables; Morrow Audio MAP 2 and MAP 3 Power cables with Wattgate audiophile grade AC and IEC terminations. Hovland Groove II Phono Cable.

Maple Hardwood Turntable platform (24”W X 18”D X 3”H)
Weight: 38 lbs.

Aurios Media Isolation Bearings

Stillpoints (Cones & Risers)

Herbies Audio Labs anti-resonance devices (Tenderfeet (standard & “big tall” versions), ISO Cups with Acrylic balls, Big Fat Square Dots, Cone/Spike Decoupling Gliders, Tube dampeners)

Myrtle wood blocks


Solidsteel 4.5 rack
Wood cabinet/credenza.

michael green
PH 702 762 3245
Email mgtune@yahoo.com
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Posts : 2166
Join date : 2009-09-18

PostSubject: Re: GoodVibrations System   Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:58 am

Welcome to Tuneland, GoodVibrations! cheers

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Posts : 5
Join date : 2010-07-15

PostSubject: Thanks Michael and Sonic !   Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:14 pm

Thanks, Michael and Sonic for welcoming me to the techno-zone. Looking forward to learning more about room tuning. Michael, your approach to "playing the room" is fascinating and different from conventional approaches. Hope to try some of your suggestions. Sonic, you seem to be well along this path and I've just started to take a close look at pictures and commentary about your room. Hope you don't mind a few questions. Although my room sounds pretty good right now, it can sound better. Much better.

GoodVibrations Very Happy
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