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 Tuning small low mass components

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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Tuning small low mass components   Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:13 pm

The world of audio has changed dramatically in size and weight over the last few years. This allows the smart listeners to jump ahead in the game of "who has the best sound". Sound is vibration and those who have worked at stopping this vibration instead of opening it up have failed to reproduce a true vision of the music (and it's space) being played. They will always have blockage and holes in the music and soundstage. Those of us who have excepted this to be true have been looking at making the lowest mass systems as tunable as possible.

The tools I'm using on the electronics are below. I call them my 5 tuning board stages.





If you think your system sounds lifeless, lacking warmth and emotion, than you need to read these product pages very carefully and think about where you might want to get started. Going where? On a journey that you never thought your music reproduction system would ever take you.

If your system is not playing instruments that are real size (which is the biggest problem in audio) than you know your system has been taken over by distortion or is not able to be played in-tune. Your soundstage should be much bigger than the room you are playing it in and should go far beyond the sides of the speakers. Your system should also be able to play all around you from a stereo setup. You should be able to get out of what some call "the sweet spot" and be able to see an image without the music running into the speakers. If you do not have this than you are out of tune.

How do you get in-tune? By learning how your system needs to vibrate and be tuned to harmonize the parts.



Tweaking an audio system has become as big as the components and speakers themselves. The audio industry quickly jumps on fads when someone hears a difference. Different is not always a good thing but what it has done is shown us that systems are highly effected by the energy that is around and touching them. MGA has gone farther in this area than anyone, building entire systems out of tunable parts. The more we tune the more music we hear and the closer we get to real performances as opposed to the sterile sound that so many have excepted. Just how good can a system become? Good enough to keep you in your listening chair and in the listening room for a long time.



Your system is not only interconnected by wire and solder joints, it is also interconnected by energy that is carrying and supporting the audio signal. This energy wants to makes it's way to ground and it will do so in harmony or distorting. Either way it will make this trip and you will hear your system in tune or out of tune. MGA tools are here to keep your music in-tune every inch of the audio chain.



Without taking the step of mechanically grounding your components you are loosing at least 30% of the music content the system is trying to pass. It would be very rare to go from the component rack or speaker to the floor or ground without distortion because of the missing dissipating step that a platform provides.






AAB1X1

This is the geometry of the future. I've cleaned up the transfer by at least 50% I would say over the audiopoint and 33% over the MTD. What this means musically is an explosion of dynamic resolution.



The gathering of the energy "flange" is more full therefore there is more to work with. High frequencies are more balanced and open (much closer to the sound of Harmonic Springs). The range top to bottom is more rich (tube sounding) without the roll off on either end.

The middle "bell" is extremely dynamic giving tons of impact without frequency clotting or odd harmonic ringing. There's an increase in harmonic openness without fatiguing imbalance or stage shifting. The fundamentals are in line with their respective harmonics producing a very life like real sound to the hallos around the instruments. The image size is greatly improved making it easier to tweak in the sound of the system.

The "stable point" is much improved giving an absolute resolve to the form and function of the cone. You can hear all the sound of the component above or below the cone defining the mechanical characteristic of the unit.


here's how they work

All energy is vibration. As your components make music they are producing vibrations that need to exchange with the environment's natural energies and waves in the air and solid materials. MGA cones make this exchange of energy "in tune" allowing the component to give it's maximum performance without distortion.











A recent interview:

"MGA makes 3 cones with points. the AAB1X1 is a solid Audio Alloy unit. The AAB1X1SB is a sonic bell design giving more open dynamics. Those wishing to make their solid state and digital gear sound more tubie the SB is the way to go. For Speakers the AAB1X1SBS will take the focus of a speaker and bring it to life. SBS is the most open setting of the line and can be used on electronics as well as speakers but the main design is to make the boxie sound of any component or speaker go away. On components if you don't want a big sound stage don't buy the SBS cause this cone gives you the real size of an instrument in playback mode.

The 3 cones can be mixed and matched and we highly recommend taking advantage of this. Here's why. Different parts of your components chassis deal with the passing of energy differently. If you have an area that is hosting the transformer it reacts completely different from the part of the chassis that is hosting light weight and less EMI radiation. Very light weight components under 2lbs work well with the same cones usually, but once above this weight there are magnetic and mass problems that easily arise and if using the same of any cone placed under a component you risk mechanical build up and spiking. It works like this. Take a pan of water and put it on a surface evenly and everything is stable. Now tilt the pan up on one end and watch the mass run toward the deep or heavy end. Add vibration to this and you have a real mess. We have found that with heavier components especially you are losing tons of the music by not aligning the vibratory characters inside and outside the chassis. Dampening causes distortion and likewise so does an uneven distribution. We have not as of yet found a component that can not be tuned to it's potential using these models of MGA cones. if you wish to use them as a one size fits all be prepared to have a fair favorable response and better response than any other transfer product. Use them together as tuning devices and be prepared for a whole new level of tweaking power and sound reproduction.

AAB1X1 great even transfer
AAB1X1SB more open
AAB1X1SBS maximum open

Support discs do not work. Never have never will. People buying discs to protect their surfaces are completely defeating the purpose of the point or cone. For this reason we have designed the round point cone in both the solid and bell designs. Oddly enough while designing this cone we found an amazing discovery. Many tube components like a round cone as compared to a pointed cone. Tubes that seem to sound slightly weak and distorted clean up and lower wattage amps seem to increase in perceived power output. MGA Cones R (round) are made the same height as the points so they may be part of the interchangeable tweaking.

The transfer game up till now has been incomplete. Listeners have been trading and testing tubes in combos for as long as audio has been around. Now the transfer of energy can be just as fine tuned. No more almost having the components and speakers performing at it's best. Michael after years of listening is bringing you the absolute sound through transfer."










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Last edited by Michael Green on Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:31 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning small low mass components   Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:02 am


Hi Michael

Great stuff Very Happy Two questions from Sonic:

1. How do you suggest I go about tuning my Musical Fidelty V-DAC? I bought one and tried it in my system and it didn't work but I've put it down to my attempting to tune it without the skill or the right MGA gear to do the job properly.

So for V-DAC and micro-DAC owners how would the Tuning Boards get them making Big Musick?

2. How to tune Wall Warts?

You've been experimenting -- what are your thoughts? Wall warts are small, have concentrated mass, they make mains strips top heavy when plugged in directly and given the mains pins, can be a finicky thing in a small space.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning small low mass components   Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:11 am

Hi Sonic

When you get a chance point me to where you wrote on the different comparisons between the V-DAC and, what other, source for me. I'm extremely interested in things that I am hearing with out board DACs and having a set of extra ears would do me tons of good. In what ways did the V-DAC hurt and help the sound?

1) DACs are big deals when it comes to tuning. Even though many of them are fairly light weight it almost seems like there is still too much mass there. One of the problems is that people are building these DACs on very small circuit boards and these boards are not giving the units enough room to vibrate and breathe. This would be an easy fix for manufacturers if they wanted to fix this. The key to tuning these small units is to spread out the vibrating energy.

The parts of a DAC are highly fussy when it comes to what they are touching and if you get one part too close to another you can hear the effect they produce on each other.

To test how the different parts are getting along I have made my own part sharing vibratory sampler for testing. What this is a a very small coupling devise that allows me to hear the interaction when two parts are mechanically coupled.

If you have a DAC that is spread out size vs weight to part you usually have an advantage (no matter the bit value) over crowed circuit boards where there is not a good balance between mass and the transfer of that mass.

The wood (or other materials) you choose to do the transferring with is monumental to the sound. I have been voicing wood like I mad man to hear what each part is doing and can tell you with DACs if you thing this is all technology and language you are in for a big shock when you start tuning. I believe this is because of the nature of the function of a DAC to begin with. Timing, clocks, and resistive values make these products overwhelmingly easy to screw up and I have made my share of wrong turns when tuning these bad boys. not only are they very touchy about their supplied power but the mechanics of them is very hit and miss.

My recommendation when tuning your particular DAC would be to look at a couple of different valued and voiced pieces of tuning wood to play with. Also learn what your rods, nuts, boards and transfer devises are doing on an energy level.

For many you are going to what to find the right sounding piece of voice wood and leave it at that. For others transferring the energy with below and above your DACs are going to be an intense practice makes perfect sort of thing. If top tuning you are almost sure to go through a few degrees of points (sharp to dull) before you find the right tonal balance for you so learn about voicing you tools. And for those who have not used wood or the right transfers you have heard your DACs go south fast.

Let me take I breath before Wall Warts because these might need their own space.

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