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 Sonic's System

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:04 am

Hi friends at Tuneland

Sonic replaced the cedar wood blocks under the spikes of the FS Deluxe RoomTunes with MW squares 3" x 3"x 1/8". This couples the spikes to the floor over a larger area. It can help vibrations from the DRT ground better.

A couple of days of settling and I can hear the imaging and details in the sound (in the front of the room) improve. Notes have more detail, tone and texture. The treble has increased across the stage and I'm getting more music for a given preamp volume setting. Sonic finds one click over the normal 9 o'clock volume setting more than enough for most CDs I play.

Sonic
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:40 am

Hi friends at Tuneland!

Sonic reduced the amount of "burn" in the system by folding back the bottom third of the Tunestrip on the front window blinds. And it got the volume audibly higher for a preamp setting and the soundstage is more evenly balanced across the fronts of the speakers and better yet, the centre images are forward. At last! The recession of vocals to the front wall is banished from Sonic's system.

A forward centre can mean that more girth and energy density is required so the images don't become forward but flat.

Sound of the system is good. I think that (apart from another couple more tunes) the sound is mostly there for this state of the Tune and taking in the limitations of the equipment and the room.

The system is doing really nicely thinks Sonic. Very Happy
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:51 am

Hi friends at Tuneland

Here is a pix of the front of my room.



And these are spikes under the amp stand for the subwoofer amp.



The rear of the room around my listening chair is the same as what I posted in October 2009, the only difference is larger MW squares under the the Floor Standing Room Tunes.

It seems that this is about as far as I can go now on an incremental basis. Sonic must either get to introduce more of Michael's tune gear or move things about a bit more radically. But as things are now, the music is good and I am contented just listening to hours of music.

Sonic
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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:41 pm

It's great to back to the world of the techno-zone to find people listening and evaluating their systems. As an insider looking in Cool I can see when things are flowing in and out of tune and the more tuning is understood the easier it is to feel the signal passing through the system.

nice reading

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:51 pm

Hi Michael

Good to hear from you. Here are some pictures of some of Sonic's recent tunes.

This is how I've now wedged an EchoTune behind the CD cabinet that is directly behind my listening chair.



The top edge of the EchoTune is actually in line with the top of the cabinet and the reflective side faces forward. After some testing, I found just this EchoTune is sufficient. There are no other EchoTunes behind the bookcases.

This is what I've done to reduce the acoustic "burn" of the FS RoomTunes -- oil painting canvas pinned to the rear of the DRTs as Michael suggested. You'll also notice the large MW pieces under the DRT's spikes.



Michael's last post on Tune Trainee's and Sonic's threads gave me an idea -- maybe the acoustic pressure flows on my ceiling and floor are now equal -- the flow will be moving faster on the floor and slower on the ceiling which has all the Sound Shutters.

So Sonic started to try Shutters on the floor near the speakers to break up/slow the floor-flow.

WOW! Shocked Now this is something..... I am now experimenting with an unusual set up of the Shutters. Trying a couple of different placements and number of Shutters. All the placements sound different but something is changed for the better. Yes...must let my room settle and do adjustments. Pix in a few days when Sonic is more certain of the placement and effects....

Sonic
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:13 pm

Greetings Michael and friends at Tuneland

Sonic's system may have got another step forward.

I am experimenting with 4 shutters on the floor -- this is to get the flow on the floor down to the same speed as the ceiling (from what Sonic understands, the flow on the ceiling will be slower with the Sound Shutters compared to the floor which has no Shutters) -- and now I am getting some great music.

Did I come to this idea by myself? Nope. I got inspiration from Cdimi's setup where he placed bamboo mats on the floor in front and at the sides of his speakers. Because the Magneplanars are dipoles, I placed a shutter behind and one in front of each speakers. Exclamation Yes this works. Shutters only on the front or rear of the Maggies didn't work. No big change, no real improvement. But together.. super!

The sound images are not coming from the speakers even when they are pan potted onto the speaker locations. Instruments like horns and trombones project forward of the panels when they go loud. Ambience is all around. And instruments that used to image too wide like sitars (main strings on one side and sympathetic strings on the other) now come to make sense...Sonic cannot describe it well...the instrument is not split or compressed spatially, it just sounds real.

I am now experimenting with positioning the Shutters -- further or closer to the Maggies and to the side walls. As for now, the music is filling the room and giving me a clear idea of how the recordings were made.

CDs listened to: Ron Carter -- Where? (his first album as a band leader), Telemann -- Tafelmusick, Dieupart -- recorder sonatas, Handel -- sonatas for violin and cembalo (Harmonia Mundi). Jean-Marie Leclair -- sonatas for violin and continuo.

The music has great frame of tone and Sonic is getting to hear the emotions and depth of the music...more than notes strung together if you know what I mean.

The sound Sonic is really enjoyable. I'll post some pictures when I zero in on the right placement for the Shutters.

Sonic
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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:49 pm

Very Nice!!

A great adventure for people to follow.

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:39 am

Hi Michael

Having those Shutters placed front and rear of each speaker panel is working great. The musick is so good now (or "for now") that Sonic is just listening and listening. If I thought my earlier tunes had given me dimensional images and rear ambience, it was nothing compared to this. But those were important steps to get here....each Tune should be a step or a lesson. The frame of tone is wonderful but it takes work. So Tunees, keep going. The rewards are very satisfying.

All Sonic is doing now is making adjustments to the distance of the Shutters to the speakers. I think I got the right distance for the set behind the panels -- too far and the stage gets big but de-focussed, too close and the effectiveness is reduced.

The front set may want to be further forward than I originally placed them but I am letting each move settle and my ears to get used to the soundfield as it changes. I was planning on rebalancing my rack and using a thin MW slice to tune the CD transport this weekend but with tone like this, I am feeling lazy....

Sonic
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:01 pm

Hi Michael and friends at Tuneland

This week, I am running thru some Tunes to scope out the possible directions I could take (and to exclude some options).

Before doing this, Sonic made sure that all platforms of my racks and stands were not touching the rods, were level and hex nuts loose. Then checked wire connections and sort of ran through a maintainence drill.

Got down to the tests: angling the ceiling shutters towards the listening spot causes the soundstage to increase in size but lose girth and focus.

Next step -- must try them angled the other way.

I am now using thin MW squares (large) to sit under the Harmonic Feet supporting my CD player. Seems promising so Sonic will let it settle for a few days and see how it goes.

Michael -- what is your view on using 3 Harmonic Feet under a component like a CD player and top tuning it with a Harmonic Spring? I've read on the old Tuneland site that this is not a good way of doing things. But in the absence of MTDs I don't have much choice and earlier use of the new (rough looking) Harmonic Springs under the CD player did not yield good results. A rather constricted sound that felt constrained in the room was the result.

Also placing an MW square (thin) over the transport bridge and under the top-tuning Harmonic Spring caused a funny effect -- huge mid-bass with a rolling-off treble. Quite musical actually....sort of like the old Ortofon SPU-GTE moving coil cartridge. Warm and comfortable sound....warm and comfortable sound.....but on every record played.

More updates tomorrow or in a day or two after the sound settles.

There is so much fun in tuning that Sonic must get a grip on what this hobby is about -- listening to musick or tuning?

Been listening mostly to 60s jazz these few days -- Herbie Hancock, Oscar Peterson Trio and Ron Carter.

Sonic
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garp



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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:13 pm

Sonic,

I am finding enjoying music rather than constantly tuning has kept me more interested in this hobby. Like you, I did not find harmonic springs to my liking placed under my CD player, and I am currently using three large MW blocks placed atop harmonic feet under my player with no top tuning. This placement seems to provide me the best balance for a solid state cd player and a tubed preamp and amp.

I am currently using a sub 5 pound preamp with a wooden case using 6cg7 tubes and a sub 12 pound 45 tubed amp also encased in a walnut wooden frame. I am feeding 96 db efficent cherry plywood speakers using Radian coax drivers and a MGD passive sub using the Paradigm crossover.

Since you mention listening to classic jazz, I have recently purchased some jazz classic LPs recreated as 45s. The sound of these old jazz classics is amazing in the level of detail and musicality not previously heard on the original lp or current cd. Since these LPs are expensive, I have only acquired a few favorites.

Next year, I am changing my room around, so your sharing your room's evolution has given me many ideas for improving my room for music enjoyment.
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:43 pm

Hi Gang,

Just getting my DSL set up so sorry for any delays.

I use a lot of different transfer devices depending on the effect I wish to get. When using springs there are now several different kinds that I use including the hand spun ones. One thing to keep in mind with the hand spun springs is the weight of component!!!! This is paramount to the sound of the springs transfer.

The hand spun springs should not have to support over a few ounces each.
(their best used for top tuning)

The #92 regular can hold more weight but keep an eye on the mass content of the product.

The #92 zinc has a nice general sound but again you have to watch the weight.

The #92 stainless is interesting (it acts much like a cone)

Springs do things that cones can't with low mass systems. When there is more mass people may want to consider spring poles.

BTW the new MTD should be in production in the next month or two.

Transfer points will make or break a system. These are the areas that take you from HiFi to real. Wood, stone, metal, fabric, composites, air pressure, liquids all make big differences at transfer points. Finding the right combo is the key.

Speaking of keys to sound. I'm putting together my shopping list for one of the tunee's tunable room. I am once again in love with my wood choices out here in my built in kiln (Vegas). It's crazy how different wood sounds out here!!! If you have wood products made for you have them sit in the desert for a couple months. I can not tell you how big of a difference this makes.

Now that I have been back and forth so many times (east to west) and have made my listening test on the same equipment I can tell you a little about how components cure (dry verses moist). On my visit back to Ohio a couple of years ago I had the chance to spend time listening to identical systems, one from the east and one that was in the desert for a year or so. At first I thought there must be something wrong with the one system, but as time went on I realized that the components themselves cured. Honestly they were like night and day.

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:08 am

Hi Michael and friends at Tuneland

Here’s what Sonic got so excited about -- Shutters on the floor acting as barriers. This sort of opened up the room and brought together all the potential of the Tune devices in my room.




I’ve been experimenting with this set up for more than a week now. The position of the Shutter behind the speaker is pretty much set. I am still testing where to put the one in front. It could be here or another 6 inches forward. Maybe in the Tune Universe there is no one-size-fits-all placement. But Sonic recognizes this but is more a fit ‘n’ forget kind of an audiophile.

The Shutters are propped up against MW blocks. I'll get round to using brass brackets at the end and maybe MW squares as feet to keep them upright. They will be placed in position for listening and moved out of the way when the system is no in use as they are very near the door.

But this Tune has brought a huge sound into my room. No more U-shaped sound stage, much less of a sense that I am eavesdropping on a musical event but putting me more into the event and the ambience around me. Voices and instruments have size, weight and their own ambient field. Better too (gush, gush), Sonic has heard side-to-side ambience and hidden recordings that can be emphasized or pushed back in the soundstage when the Shutters are adjusted. I am now using the Shutters as my variable tuning tool, working off the fixed setting of the PZCs, racks and RoomTunes.

Happy Thanksgiving! Very Happy

Sonic
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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:23 pm

Hi Sonic,

Thanks!!

It's so nice to watch you learn the tools of the tune! So many tricks and so much sound to uncover.

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:18 am

Hi Garp!

Good to hear from you -- and glad that you’ve found something useful in Sonic’s rambling tune story.

The sound in my room is opening up and even though I am listening some 30+ degrees off axis from the Magneplanars, I can hear the slight tizz of the quasi-ribbon tweeter that in normal systems is usually audible close to on-axis. The Tune turns conventional wisdom on its head doesn’t it?

With the use of large, thin MW pieces under my CD player’s harmonic feet and the preamp’s springs, the sound has got bigger and warmer. Must be careful though...must not overdo things.

How’s your system? What's it looking like after all this time?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Some little things   Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:01 pm

Hi Michael and friends at Tuneland

Here are some things that Sonic has been trying with the system Smile

This worked really well -- very good girth, all round ambience and speakers vanishing:



Oh yes, I tried a thin MW slice between the top tuning spring and the upper shelf but it didn't work well. The music sounded damped with the decay of notes and ambience curtailed.

This tune increased the width of the soundstage but I'm not sure if the sound is too warm and woody to the point that treble sparkle is compromised:



The sound of Sonic's system is almost at my mental "satisfaction point". This is the imagined state of tune that Sonic could relax and say "this is good enough, I don't need to go further (at least for now)".

But the Tune is always stirring isn't it?

For instance (Michael, please help on this),my soundstage has extended a lot right and left. The tuning has added 10 feet or more on either side/beyond the side walls of the room BUT Shocked the extended "room" on the Right is damped and acoustically dead while the extended "room" on the Left is bright and lively and a bit brash. So the tonal signature and the frame of tone of my system changes across the width of the soundstage.

What can I do to balance the two sides out? Does this tell you anything about the Tune in my room, Michael?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:43 pm

Yes!!!

These types of pictures help a lot!!

First of all though let me tell you that the answers to ultimate listening dwell in the world of top tuning. When I see people not top tuning it is OK but I can hear what is missing even if I am not there. Top tuning provides the dimensional staging and clarity that can not be achieved any other way.

Look at other things to top tune.

Move your feet around just a little and you will hear the left and right stages fill in and out. Note: keep in mind the the Harmonic feet are phasing tools more than the points so if they are off balance a little things can shift.

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:21 am

Hi Michael

Fascinating! What you suggested seems to work. I took a look at the positioning of the Harmonic Feet under my CD player and found one was too far out to the edge and given that the bottom of the player is not flat, I moved the MW piece and the Harmonic Foot so that they were in fuller contact with the casing.

Better -- the two "virtual rooms" on each side of my physical room are more even in size. Not sure yet of the acoustics of the "virtual (side) rooms" are the same but things are more in balance.

The Tune can be fun -- Sonic remembers Tunees who talked about singers 12 ft up the wall, giant pianos, vocalists right in front of the listener, backup singers to the right and left of the listening chair etc. Such are the things that the Tune can extract from recordings. For a classical music and jazz fan IMO, it is first about the Tone. The tone of the instruments must be correct. Scale -- that is absolute and relative scale. Individual instruments (girth) and in context with the performers in relation to one another. Finally the ambient field which should be 360 deg around without sounding like one of the old Hafler set ups. Apart from a "larger-than-my-room" soundstage and a believable placement of instruments, Sonic is less focussed on the imaging except for the fake depth of a recessed center image. Yes, frame of tone, scale and ambience does neatly.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Experiments   Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:11 am

Hi Michael and friends at Tuneland

Sonic tried a couple of experiments that Mr Green recommended:

1. Loosen all the top nuts of my rack shelves, lift the shelf up so it is off the lower nuts for an instant and set it down again. Ensure the shelf is not touching the rods. Bring the top nuts down on the shelf. Sonic did this one shelf at a time so the rack didn't wobble. Because I lazy, I did not do the shelves the gear was sitting on because I would have to remove the top tune springs.

Result: Shocked the volume increased like I had set the preamp two notches higher! I checked -- same setting.

The sound filled the room like a mist and had more warmth and bass slam. Classical music had orchestral instruments spread over the speaker panels but did not sound like they came from the panel. Balance right-left extended stage better balanced.

Rock music had singers now a little forward of the plane of the speakers, instruments hinting (they didn't quite image forward) like they were in the space between me and the speakers and on one CD, a drum roll came towards me, rather than across the soundstage. And this only after 3 hours of music play. Whoa....

Downside? The sparkle of the Maggie quasi-ribbon tweeter is slightly less.

2. Play music, hold the Maggies -- see if the top of the panel vibrates more strongly than the bottom of the panel.

Result: not really. The top does vibrate a little more. On classical music it is so close that it might be the same. On pop stuff, it is more obvious but the differential is not that big.

Michael -- your comments if you please.

Sonic
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:47 am

Hi friends at Tuneland

Two more days of settling and the sound has gotten larger and fuller. The impression of extra gain has reduced but the Frame of Tone is stronger -- I can hear the character of the instruments and voices more clearly and the sound is balanced Left to Right.

Just sitting listening to the soundstage, I get a feeling that some movement of the Tune gear in the front of the room can make an improvement. Will try and report back.

The Tune seems to become something intuitive after a while and Sonic the novice gets the impressions wrong as often as right. This is great but difficult for someone "outside" to relate to. And those "inside" (like us) have difficulty articulating the potential in words.

I wonder what ideas Michael has to ground the Maggies' vibrations better.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Question about RoomTune Squares   Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:22 am

Hi Michael

I got a question about RoomTune Squares Smile

From your product page on this site, the Squares are mounted flat against the wall adjacent to a ceiling/wall tri-corner and mid-way up a corner again adjacent to it.

Have a look at jbeard's thread to see how this mounting looks like in practice.

In the older product guides from RoomTune, Tunestrips are most effective when mounted across the corner -- that is, with a space behind. Also the Cornertunes are to be mounted across the ceiling/walls tri-corner with a volume behind. In several tests reports and on the old Tuneland site,it is reported that these devices do not work optimally when squashed into the corner.

Is there a reason why the new RoomTune Squares are now to be mounted flat against the wall adjacent to the corner and not across it enclosing a volume?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:30 am

Hi friends at Tuneland/fellow Zonees!

So what was the Tune that Sonic been thinking about?

I tried placing the 2 EchoTunes mounted across my front corners (mid-way up) against the wall, adjacent to the corner and facing forward into the room. That is, down the length of the room.

There is a distinct change in the sound. A very distinct change. But I had to shape the stage by folding the Sound Shutters behind the Maggies flat and moving the Shutters on the floor about. The change is noticeable and has musical potential. I am hedging of course -- I think it is more real with more girth and frame of tone. I may be hearing more music and images through the wall but Sonic needs to be cautious because after settling, there may be no improvement. Or there might be. More over this weekend.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:22 pm

Hi fellow Zonees

Something is going on but Sonic doesn't really know what it is.... Shocked

Using the EchoTunes like RoomTune Squares has made the soundin my room bigger, louder and stronger tonally. I had to fold the Shutters on the walls behind the Maggies flat and ended up removing the pair of floor-shutters behind the Maggies from the room.

The sound is now larger, fuller and fills the space round me. Sonic hopes Michael can comment soon on the different approaches he had -- TuneStrips and CornerTunes across a corner or tri-corner or adjacent (to one side). Is this a new discovery?

But the sound is now good and with realistic surround round my listening chair. Very musical it is.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:30 pm

Hi Michael

Need advice from you -- Sonic was just given a sorta-vintage tuner by an audiophile who collects tuners and tape decks.

I brought the tuner home and wired it up. I works BUTbut when placed on the floor next to my rack on the Left (facing the rack)...Sonic can hear the tuner. Something has changed for the worse in the soundstage. The stage shrinks on the side where the tuner is placed. The sound is a bit colored on that side -- flavour? Kind of sour and the images are distorted or small.

Am I imagining this? But a tuner in my system is be nice so I can read and work while tuned into our local classical station.

How do I make the tuner "disappear" sonically and spatially?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:37 pm

Hi Sonic

Sounds like things are interesting at your place. It's nice to hear that the smallest of changes are making big differences in your system. This is not your imagination but rather that your system has grown to the point where everything really does effect everything else. Now when you add a piece of equipment you hear it taking up precious space and changing the sound of the zone in that area of the room which changes the other zones.

Balance your system from the middle out. Look at the mechanical part of your system and put it in a uniform setup based on how your room works from the front mid pressure zone.

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:41 pm

Hi Michael

More progress!

I placed two more EchoTunes adjacent to the rear corners and there is an addition to the tune. Sonic tried them facing forward towards the front wall and then on the side walls facing each other.

It seems having the ETs facing each other is better but I am still testing.

What's good: I start to hear imaging not just as cutouts in a soundstage but as pressure shapes of each voice and instrument. On some CDs of synthesizer and rock music the envelop of sound makes me turn to the rear wall/corners to see if there are surround speakers. The whole reverb in the the room is moist and 360 degrees around me. Big soundfield and impact. The treble is now good again, not rolled off anymore.

What's not that great: the specificity of imaging is less. The sound is closer to what the great Naim and JBL speakers produce. A lot of punch and life, not much 3D imaging.

Not complaining because in a live music situation, >50% of imaging is from visual cues. We need to get real -- most audiophile speakers "over-image".

About my questions:

1. On making the tuner not intrude into the sound: I don't get what "Balance your system from the middle out" How do I do that? Retune my rack, change the spacing between devices and shelves?

And "Look at the mechanical part of your system and put it in a uniform setup based on how your room works from the front mid pressure zone." Don't get this....can you give me a couple of steps to get started?

2. Tune Squares -- is there a rethink/discovery on your part whether the squares should be mounted across a corner or adjacent to it?

Sonic
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