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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:03 pm

For myself lighting and audio are one. I don't separate them into different categories as many do. The higher levels of tuning shows us how energy works as a whole and when treated as separate issues the music and the reception of the music suffers.

A very nice read.

As to the answers concerning the Space Cones and treating energy fields I have found 2 levels. One is a basic level that calms things down if the listener is looking for a basic fix it with a smaller sound stage than we as tunees seek. The other level (more involved) is one of finding the sizes of fields in relationship to the materials in the room and the actual output of the field. I almost always start corners in or middle out when learning or until I start to feel the system. I also don't want to limit my fields to solids but try to tune out in open space as much as possible. Setting SCS on things is a great way to tune the fields origin but there is more to it. As we listen we are sitting in the middle of our own universe so to speak. If we look at the objects in the room all producing orbital patterns we can almost see a map before us as to where fields maybe be extending to. A way to demonstrate this is to take empty coke cans and Christmas wrapping paper rolls or round shipping boxes and start placing them around the room creating different heights and distances for the (coke can) shield. It won't take long in a basic empty room with a good system to start hearing very clear phasing effects. Don't be surprised at first to be fairly lost and wanting to scrap the whole adventure. With a bit of patience you will hear almost see fields lay themselves out right in front of you as if you were looking at a solar system at work.

1) panel speakers use field generators to make them work so anything that causes any kind of point source near or on them will have effects. Why don't you tell us where you like them?

2) box speakers have different resonant point depending on their construction. Here again it depends on the speaker and if you wish to focus on the thinness part of the cabinet or the thickest part. Many times you will find the most "field" distortion around the thickest part of the cabinet.

3) for furniture I surprisingly usually use them facing up.

4) toroidals throw huge fields much bigger than listeners think. If a toroidal has a core it is dying to be set free with a variable field control to allow the listener to judge how big of a dielectric should go in the middle. For example there is a field that originates in the center that is much taller than the height of the windings. If your coil is 2" tall the center field dielectric poll needs to be at least 8" tall in my findings. SCs are only a part of tuning coils. The same problem exsist with speaker chokes.

5) for subs I have a specialty wood that I use with SCs between the sub and cone. this tightens up the response dramatically

6) on PZCs and AreoPlanes I like using them in 3rds

7) in my place I make a circle pattern around my head on the ceiling. I have no idea if this works on harder surfaces.

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:34 am

Hi Michael

Your post has solved the mystery!

Sonic was wondering where the blockage/bottlenecks in my system might be. Even after I got the Space Cones and everything working together to give a reasonable beyond-side-wall-imaging, there was still something holding this back. There had to be a blockage somewhere but it wasn’t obvious where.

Confused Sonic more when I did this:







There used to be a solid wood stool supporting the transformers but it wasn’t satisfactory and using the poplar board, contoured spikes from Michael and Tuning nuts only made a very small improvement.

Now Michael shows that toroidal transformers with a core have “huge fields much bigger than listeners think…a toroidal (with a core) is dying to be set free with a variable field control to allow the listener to judge how big of a dielectric should go in the middle. For example there is a field that originates in the center that is much taller than the height of the windings. If your coil is 2" tall the center field dielectric poll needs to be at least 8" tall in my findings. SCs are only a part of tuning coils.”

That’s where the blockage is! Shocked

To test this out, Sonic took two 3” x 3” x 0.25” finished balsa pieces (cherry wood finish from MGA) and covered one side with copper tape. I put the balsa pieces copper side down on the top of the toroidal transformers and listened.

There was a difference and while Sonic doesn’t want to trumpet the improvement yet because I could be imagining things and I only did this a couple of hours ago, the change in image size and detail hinted that dealing with the field round the transformers could be the solution.

Michael – what is this 8” center field dielectric pole, what does it look like, can you ship them to Sonic?

Also – I can try attaching Space Cones to my Magneplanar 1.5QRs to create a point source – but the inner fabric protective cover is on. How do I deal with this? Stick the Space Cone on the cloth?

The special wood to interface the Space Cones to the subwoofer is also a great idea. I’ll PM you on ordering these items.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:50 am

Hi Michael and Zonees

This is what Sonic did to control the field from the two cored toroidal transformers on my main amplifier.







These are the balsa pieces I talked about in my last post and you can see the copper tape. I have tried them tape up and down and for now seem to prefer the sound with the tape down.

The amp driving the Janis W-1 subwoofer has a larger transformer but it has no core. So I made a balsa piece too with copper tape for it. In this case copper tape up sounds a bit better with more defined bass.












Michael: what do you think of this? Does what I have done help tune the fields?

From your PM to me, the dielectric Tuning Poles will not be available till next year. Till then, can you give some suggestions how Tunees can deal with the fields round their transformers with tuneparts that are presently available -- for toroidal and conventional iron.

What does a Tuning pole look like?

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:38 pm


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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:18 am


Hi Michael and Zonees

Thanks Michael for the pix. I understand I'll have to wait till next year to order it. But it is good that MGA is busy -- Sonic understands you have several listening rooms to build and tune not to mention work to prepare for the next round of audio shows at the start of 2012.

In the mean time, with the year drawing to a close, Sonic is fine tuning my system (more soon) and thinking through what I want to work at next to build the musical repro in my dwelling to be even better. As things go, what I got is already very, very good but as Michael told Hiend1 "there is always the next level" and he was saying this to a Tunee miles more advanced than me.

Sonic had a chance to read an AES paper on the impossible-to-solve-conventionally topic of interaural crosstalk.

It is a major problem and most people just live with it. Michael has explored it and in a post on this site said that fixing the interaural crosstalk requires adjustments for every recording. Scared Sonic away instantly b ut it doesn't stop me reading.

So here is a paper by Tim Bock and Don Keele.

The source document is here:

[url=http://www.xlrtechs.com/dbkeele.com/PDF/Keele%20%281986-11%20AES%20Preprint%29%20-%20Interaural%20Crosstalk%20Part%201.pdf]

It is over 70 pages long with lots of diagrams, so for a sample of this fascinating paper, here are extracts (mostly from the start and a bit from the middle).

Why did Sonic finmd it interesting? Because Bock and Keele gave a convincing explanation, or one of the explanations, why a signal panpotted across a etereo pair of monitors will have the image go as far as the Right or Left speaker and stop there. The image doesn't keep going. Michael said it has in his experience gone far outside the speakers' outside edge and I have wondered what the conditions were that could lead to this or what was absent that prevented it from occuring in most stereo systems we hear.

BTW, Sonic has left in references to Figures and Appendices. If a reader is interested go view them in the original document.

This is very interesting to read Very Happy

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE EFFECTS OF INTERAURAL CROSSTALK ON STEREO REPRODUCTION -
MINIMIZING INTERAURAL CROSSTALK IN NEARFIELD MONITORING BY THE USE OF A PHYSICAL BARRIER: PART 1


Timothy M. Bock
Crown International, Inc.
Elkhart, Indiana

D.(Don)B. Keele, Jr.
Techron, Division of Crown International, Inc.
Elkhart, Indiana



ABSTRACT:
A study of the effects of interaural crosstalk on normal spaced-speaker stereo listening environments is presented. Interaural crosstalk detrimentally affects both imaging and
frequency response. Imaging is affected by restriction of the sound stage to between the speakers and by the loss of realism and preciseness of the sonic images. Interaural crosstalk also creates very severe comb filtering in the frequency response of the direct sound field in which the listener's ears are placed.

Furthermore, the amplitude and frequency characteristics of the response comb filtering are found to depend heavily on the positions of the panned images, and are at their worst for a centered image. The interaural crosstalk signal can be thought of as a high level early reflection coming from the direction of the opposite speaker, but whose timing and amplitude depend on the signal in the opposite channel. Current studio monitoring design techniques tend to accentuate the problems of interaural crosstalk.

Preliminary psychoacoustic test results of a simple method to minimize the effects of interaural crosstalk in a nearfield stereo/binaural loudspeaker monitoring setup are described. The results show accurate horizontal imaging and localization over a 120 ° frontal angle for both intensity and difference and delay-difference stereo program material. The method depends on the use of a flat vertical boundary erected between two front-positioned, side-by-side nearfield monitor loudspeakers. The listener is situated facing the monitors with his/her ears on opposite sides of the boundary. Advantages include: independent control of amplitude, phase, and delay at each ear; solid frontal out-of- head imaging for side-to-side head shifts and head rotations; extremely good center image; creation of realistic lateral beyond-the-speaker acoustic images; minimization of crosstalk frequency-response comb-filtering effects; and excellent results with both stereo and binaural program material.

INTRODUCTION
During the past two decades, much attention has been given to the subject of sound localization and, in particular, the interaural crosstalk generated by loudspeakers in stereophonic reproduction systems. Under ideal conditions, your left ear should hear only sounds from the left speaker, and your right ear should hear only sounds from the right speaker. Unfortunately, your left ear also hears sounds from the fight speaker and vice versa. This mixing of acoustic signals is called interaural crosstalk. Most of the attention given to the effects of interaural crosstalk has considered only its detrimental effects on stereo imaging.

This paper extends the analysis to the detrimental effects of crosstalk on frequency response and, in particular, its effects on comb filtering of the frequency response. This study will show that interaural crosstalk can be considered as a detrimental type of high amplitude early reflection with particularly obnoxious characteristics, because its amplitude, phase, and delay depend on signals in the opposite channel rather than on signals from the channel that originally generated the sound!

Atal and Schroeder minimized the problem with crosstalk compensation filters; however, as Schroeder later wrote [1], "head turning destroys the acoustic illusion" and "there is always the oddball nonstandard head for whose bearer the experiment will not work." Damaske [2] had success with 90 ©️ filters, Cohen [3] with a "stereo image expander," Mori, et.al. [4] with the "Q-Biphonic" system, and Polk [5] with a specially designed loudspeaker system.
Unfortunately, these methods also depend on the head remaining in a fixed position in order that the illusion be maintained.

Described here is a simple method of minimizing interaural crosstalk while retaining relative freedom of head movement. The method depends on the use of a physical barrier to
directly block the acoustic crosstalk signals.

1. EFFECTS OF INTERAURAL CROSSTALK

1.1 Concepts

To provide background of the phenomenon, a brief summary discussing interaural crosstalk follows. We localize the sources of sound through binaural hearing which, because our ears are on opposite sides of our heads, accomplishes this by comparing the amplitude, phase, and arrival time of the acoustic signal received by one ear with that of the signal received by the other (see Fig. 1).

If the sound source in Fig. 1 is moved to a position directly in front of, or behind, the listener, both ears receive essentially the same sound and this makes it difficult to discern whether the source is fore or aft. The listener must then move his/her head slightly to create a differential amplitude/delay condition to localize the sound source.

When one listens to a normal stereo system, each loudspeaker sends a direct signal to the ear closest to that loudspeaker and a delayed signal to the farther ear (see Fig. 2) which, instead of localizing each loudspeaker separately, the listener perceives together as emanating from a "phantom source" between the two loudspeakers.

Assuming that the signals are identical and that the loudspeakers are equivalently spaced from the listener, the addition of phasors L1/Lr and Rr/R 1 yields the phasors L and R, respectively, which have the same magnitude and phase angle. The effect, then, is as already stated: the perception of a center phantom sound source. Changes in amplitude and delay (Note: delay in this context refers to the time delay introduced in one channel with respect to theother) may shift the phantom image from left to right, but the image will always be within the boundaries of the loudspeakers.

1.2 Effects of Interaural Crosstalk on Stereo Reproduction
Interaural crosstalk detrimentally affects normally spaced speaker in stereo reproduction primarily in two ways: 1) its effect on sonic imagery and 2) its effect on frequency response. As noted above, the image will always be within the boundaries of the loudspeakers in normal stereo reproduction. This is an effect which most listeners of stereophonic recordings are familiar with, although they may not know the reasons why it is so. Less obvious, but more detrimental, are the effects of frequency response comb filtering.

Imagery is affected by interaural crosstalk primarily by the restriction of the sound stage width to the angular separation of the loudspeakers, and secondarily by the detrimental effect crosstalk has on the realism and preciseness of the created sonic images. Interaural crosstalk also creates severe comb filtering effects in the frequency response of the direct sound field in front of the loudspeakers. Furthermore, the amplitude and frequency characteristics of the response comb filtering are found to depend heavily on the positions of the panned images and are at their worst for a centered image.

1.2.1 Effect of Crosstalk on Imagery
The primary effect of interaural crosstalk on imaging is the restriction of the perceived sound stage width to the physical width (angular spacing) of the two stereo speakers.

For delay panned images way off to the side, this restriction on positioning is a direct result of the crosstalk signal from the opposite speaker reaching the ear before the correct signal from the speaker on the same side as the listening ear. For more information, see the timing
and frequency response simulation for delay panned signals in Appendix 4.

If interaural crosstalk is eliminated, the theoretical lateral sound stage width can expand to the full width of 360o (plus or minus 180 ° from straight ahead) [Fig. 5]. Listening studies done in anechoic chambers using spaced speakers with careful minimization of acoustic crosstalk signals and frequency response compensation (with the head clamped in one position) confirm this widening of the sound field [2].

The secondary effect of crosstalk on imaging is the detrimental effect on the realism of the created sonic illusion. Stereo is an essentially psychoacoustic phenomenon that depends on the listener's ears and mind to create a realistic, believable sound stage illusion. As Polk [5] has noted: Experimenters in directional hearing were the first to be troubled by interaural crosstalk since its existence prevents the independent control of phase and arrival time at each ear. Interaural crosstalk was also thought to be the primary cause for the limitations on
stereo imaging. The obvious solution was, of course, to use headphones, thereby eliminating the interaural crosstalk paths ..... Although the elimination of interaural crosstalk seemed to give significant advantages to headphones, the phones still failed to produce a convincing sonic illusion [presumably on nonbinaural recorded program material such as normal stereo recordings (author Keele comment)].

Most program material listened to with headphones sounds as though it is coming from inside your head. Very few convincing frontal out-of-head images are produced with typical stereo program material reproduced with headphones.

The only existing commercial use of a barrier, that we know of, is Monster Cable Products, Inc. "Acoustic Imager" (trade mark) [Fig. 17]. This device is a large absorbent barrier,
which is placed centrally between the speakers of a normal stereo listening setup. This device is not intended to block interaural crosstalk but to isolate somewhat one speaker from the other so that "one speaker does not hear the other" [16]. Because the barrier is only 20" (508 mm) deep, and actually placed between the speakers, it cannot block interaural crosstalk because it does not extend all the way from the speakers to the listener's head.

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:00 pm

Hi Zonees

Sonic has been using a nice Sony DVD player for years now. This device was made in 2003 and soldiered on steadily till now -- better yet, Sonic got in as part of a charge card points reward. This Sony DVP-K380 sounds good and despite my attempts to tune Philips and Samsungs, it has given sterling service. The Philips and Samsungs didn't sound as good or had faults that resulted in them been binned. But recently, I began to hear error correction from the DVP-K380 -- a flat and featureless sound -- and thought after nearly 8 years, it was time to attempt another step with the digital front end.

I found a Sony BDP S380 blu-ray player that supported CD, SACD and lots of formats that I didn't need but it was on sale and it weighed just over 3 lbs. To some buyers, it is flimsy and tinny. To us Tunees, it is a Very Happy bargain and musick!

Sonic got it set up in my clamprack, wired it so I used the analog outputs. BUT I read the manual. Good thing Sonic did. The default music playback mode for CDs (formats other than blu-ray and SACDs) was a Compressed setting. I removed the player and plugged it into a video sreen and ran thru the set up mode using the rather retarded remote unit.

Then I started playing music in earnest and the first sounds after Step Up was promising.

Lesson: with players coming supporting all sort of formats, Tunees need to check the manual and see if the music playback is compressed or rolled off in the low end. Sonic read that a high quality multi-player from one of the good British manufacturer comes with a default setting where the audio us set to "Small Speaker" and the bass from the audio output rolls of below 120hz (the rest of the bass comes out of the LFE channel), so this lead me to check the default settings.

The days of cheap DVD player, plug 'n' play are behind us....

After 2 hours of musick time, the Sony is definitely promising. There is more instrumental texture, dynamics and treble detail than the venerable Sony K380.

Interesting they are both numbered 380! So is that big aeroplane....

Here's what the player looks like:







All Sonic has done so far is to remove the top cover and support the player on three AAb1x1 cones -- SBS to the Right (under the power supply), SB to the left and solid cone to the front. The good thing is the bottom plate of the Blu-ray player is more even than the older machine so cones can be placed better in a good balance under it.

So far rather good, thinks Sonic.

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:10 pm

Hi fellow Zonees

It has been a week of running the Sony BDP S380 blu ray player in and it is promising. There were brow kneading moments along the way too for Sonic.

First, this is what the inside of the BDP S380 looks like:







It is a simple device, two PCBs and a transport that has a dust cover over it. Sonic has cracked every screw I could reach but I haven't got to cutting the small number of tie wraps round some cables.

I had the BDP S380 mounted on three AAB1x1 cones and started running the player in that way. I used the remote control to open ad close the tray, select tracks and play the CD. The sound was restricted but opening up with every hour of music playing time.

After a day and a bit, I had a CD playing when I went over to adjust the volume or something and found the BDP S380 was making noises. I put my hand on the player and it was vibrating rather energetically Crying or Very sad Same problem, always happens with cheap players.

Sonic took the AAB1x1 cones away and rested the BDP S380 on the shelf of the clamp rack and the vibrations stopped (the small rubber stick-on feet had already been removed when I cracked the screws). It was now even quieter than I remember it felt with the lid on.

Fortunately the sound didn't suffer much so I continued the burn in.

At this time I had the BDP S380 on the top shelf of the clamprack and I plugged it into the V-DAC. The sound was more dimensional and realistically airy compared to the onboard DAC in the BDP S380 but the low end was heavy and muddy.

Sonic swopped the placement back -- V-DAC on top shelf, BDP S380 on the second shelf where the older Sony DVP 380K sat. Much better -- here's a tune idea for us Zonees: even placing a piece of equipment on a different shelf in a rack can affect the sound in a major way. Now how then can we do instant A/B comparisons without taking all these variables into account. No wonder Michael advises we take tuning a step at a time and avoid the back2back comparisons beloved of audiophiles.

Soon after, I had three AAB1x1 cones spare after removing them from under the BDP S380. Sonic mounted them under the Quicksilver pre-amp with top tuning done.







The sound was wonderful after an hour of settling. Extended and clear trebles and midrange, a controlled and impactful bass range. No thickness or sluggishness at all. Sounding very good. Musick played -- Haydn's Baryton Trios (Hungaroton), Bach's Englische Suites for Harpsichord (M Sone/Erato).

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:15 am

Hi fellow Zonees!

There is one very pleasing effect that Sonic rarely finds in audio systems, particularly absent from much of the big $$$ stuff around. I am getting this effect from time to time in my system but I find it often comes unexpectedly and from systems I won’t expect them to produce this. What’s Sonic talking about?

It is something in the music being reproduced that evokes the feeling “hey, that sounds real”.

The mega buck systems may give music that is powerful, loud, punchy, floor shaking, transparent, hyper-detailed…..but rarely have I ever got a sense of calm that stirred a small voice (in Sonic) that says “real!”

I had the opportunity last weekend to hear an inexpensive home system that could do this…Tangent RS2s speakers.







These are old speakers which the owner didn’t care too much about. They use an 8 inch Audax midrange/woofer and the admired KEF T27 tweeter (like the BBC LS3/5as). I played some music through them using an inexpensive Japanese integrated amp and a Sony DVD player to wake them up.

The Tangents are hardly the last word in imaging or detailing. ln this cobbled up system, I could only hear the four most prominent instruments in the mix. All the rest was obscured, the bass was mushy and loose (like Spendor BC-1 and SP1/2s on too short stands) but over the hour I heard them I had many moments of “that voice sounds real….the violin sounds right….sounds like there are people playing music…the piano is….”

Sonic is now wondering if this is the essence of those vintage systems from Japan that so fascinate me? Look at the old Western Electrics and Klangfilms, think about Lowthers -- for all their uneven frequency response and noise from these pre-1950 devices, I keep reading that there are elements of musicality that shine through that touches the heart and evoke the word “real” in a way that modern gear fails to do.

I have in my experience only heard this effect a handful of times. Sonic particularly remembers this from the original Quad ESLs, a pair of Spicas driven by a Quicksilver pre and power amp driven by an analog front end. I am getting this effect more too from my system now that Sonic has figured out what to do with the Space Cones.

How to go about tuning my system for this sense of “real?” This appears not to be a function of frequency response or of acoustics. In the vintage gear, it almost exists despite the distortion and hill and dale frequency response.

Whatever it is, Sonic is now looking for it. And the Tangents, after a small transaction, have made their journey to Sonic’s dwelling….

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:52 am


Greetings Zonees

Sonic has been having a lot of fun with the Space Cones – 5 of those stuck to my room’s upper tricorners fell down due to my using insufficient double sided tape. Given I have a fresh supply of Space Cones on the way, Sonic thought “why not try these 5 where you plan the next set to go, see what works and so narrow the field?”

For the new Cones, I had planned not to place any on the walls or on the bookcases behind my listening chair. Up till now, except for the tricorners, their effectiveness has been moderate and most of the time not noticeable so Sonic was going to use the Space Cones this time on the equipment.

It is early days but my first impression is the Space Cones work strongly this way. Really good this time. Maybe it is the hard walls of my room that reduced their effectiveness but now they are doing their thing. In some applications, the Space Cones yielded hugely improved harmonics and clarity, in others a too-tubey sound. I’ve tried a couple of spots and got improved the harmonics and soundstage naturalness. The Space Cones in the right places can also unlock recording venue ambience too.

I am seeing why Michael is excited about the Space Cones and what they can really do.

More on my Tangent RS2s Smile

Sonic also had a look inside my Tangent RS2s. When I opened them up I found someone had removed the sound damping fibre material. The cabinets were empty! The previous owner who hardly used the speakers wasn’t responsible and these speakers must have changed hands many times since the 1970s.

I wonder what was in the mind of the person who removed the damping. I know Michael’s speakers use no damping. Interesting that someone thought of it. But IMO, you no can go rip out damping from inside your speakers, you have to design this factor in and have a means to control the flapping walls. Michael uses tuning bars inside his speakers and tuning bolts to control the cabinet.

This explains the rather puffy bass I am getting from the Tangents but these speakers’ sweetness and the fairly frequent moments of realism make them a pleasant source for FM classical musick and the occasional CD.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:53 am

Hi Zonees

Here is an application of Michael's Space Cones that worked very well in Sonic's system:







What I am getting close to is a sense of transients that is in a class approaching the Quads, Martin Logans and SoundLabs.







Approaching, thinks Sonic, but not in the same class yet but shows how tuning can create a sound that transcends conventional audiophile categories.

Musick played includes Praetorius Terspichore (David Munrow), French Viol Music (Jordi Savall et al), Jack Orion (Bert Jansch and John Renbourn) and Lester Young and the Oscar Petersen Trio.

Very good presence of musick and musicians.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:27 am

Hi Zonees

The Space Cones on my Cable Grounds have settled and their tone direction has emerged. In Sonic's system it is towards "clarity, width and transient speed" hence my remark about improved speed of transients unlike what people associate with Magneplanars.

The flipside is a fullness in the upper bass is reduced. No more slight haze so you can hear exactly what instrumentalists and vocalists are doing in that range but it could sound slightly lean on many recordings.

The balancingv out done by Sonic (wait...I don't want to sound like a Tuning expert, Sonic is not one) was to place Space Cones on the transformers.















Tunees who have been following Sonic's tuning will notice ion these pictures thagt the thicker wood with the copper tape backing has been replaced by thin MW pieces. The thicker wood/copper sounded slow when Space Cones were applied to them.

Michael is right -- the biggest improvement came with toriodals with a core. They do restrict musick. The cone on the preamp was very nice too (but MW below the cone removed the improvement...don't know why...Michael can explain). For the uncored toroid, the improvement was small.

Interestingly, I had to add Space Cones to all four Cable Grounds that supported my speaker cables. Tuning just two created a bright sound that was somehow unbalanced in a way I cannot put my finger on.

Musick listened to: The Sarum Rite -- Missa Gallicantu (Mass at Cockcrow) on Gimmell.

This is a wonderful recording of the 12th century Salisbury Christmas service, the first Mass to be celebrated after midnight when Dec 24 transits into Dec 25, hence the name Mass at Cockcrow.

Just the thing for Christmas listening. Huge soundstage with singers imaging beyond the sidewalls of Sonic's room.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:03 am

Hi Michael

Good to have you back. Hope to hear from you soon on what you think of Sonic’s tuning adventures.

The kit Michael sent me arrived earlier this week and this is what’s in the box:







I got 15 Space Cones, a mild steel tuning rod, 3 AAB1x1 cones and mystery wood – there are round ones and the square ones are pretty thick and some have grain on them and others don’t. Michael, tell me what’s the recommended use for the wood.

But I recently did this:







Those are thin (1/8”) MW pieces with a small piece of copper tape under the tuning nut of the Clamprack. The tape goes over the edge of the wood so it contacts the rod but does not go under the MW pieces (so it does not contact the shelf). I am using two such pieces under the front of top shelf.

A further increase in clarity, transients and treble. The sound is not bright in a hi-fi sense but sparkle is developing. There is some forwardness emerging which I am not accustomed to from Magneplanars but when I compare the sound to that of live instruments (guitars, violins, recorders, percussion) in my room, I get the same sense of forwardness and projection.

Let’s see where this goes as Sonic starts to bring in the new stuff from Michael.

Sonic
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:54 am

Hi Zonees

I started introducing the gear from the latest shipment from Michael by replacing all those Space Cones that had fallen off the walls and got applied else.

Now all cmy ceiling tricorners have three Space Cones mounted. When Sonic listened, I realised that the Space Cones were working subtlely by creating a room filling wholeness to the sound.

Then I did this:





This tune on the subwoofer with the round wood and Space Cones made the bass deeper and more tuneful. No adhesive was used.

Along the way I removed the 4 Space Cones from the Cable Grounds. They had settled into a groove that made the system too forward and brought in a glare. This effect gave punch and presence but it did not vary across recordings and sources...and in Sonic's book, if it don't vary, it is a coloration.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:03 pm

Hi Sonic

I enjoyed reading your thread as always. The question that pops into my mind every time is "what will happen when sonic goes from panel speaker to dynamic?". Somewhere in this question is an answer that will be sound changing for you. In my recent visit to Bill333's I exchanged the Quads with the 60's and instantly you could hear the plastic disappear from the sound. The 60's are far fuller in range and become invisible in the room. As much as I love the Quads their Hi Fi qualities really show themselves when replaced with free resonant designed speakers. Between the Quads and the 60's I could not hear one thing that the Quads could do that the 60's couldn't. This made my mind flashback to when I would compare my speakers with panel speakers. Free resonance gives that airy quality enjoyed with panels but also a depth and richness that panels can't produce. In many ways I can see why people would choose panels over dynamics but in my case the box is a help and not a hinder. So, I enjoy reading that you are taking some time and playing with box toys.

As far as the rest of your system I have to snap my head out of a 2 piece electrical system mode. Coming home and hooking up 2 pieces after playing with so many has put my mind in a very good place. If I could transport my current setup to you along with me I would. I'm going to be posting around TuneLand and maybe this will be helpful for all of us.

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:27 am


Happy New Year Michael, Drewster, Yikes and all Zonees!

Entering 2012, Sonic has some hopes and goals as the Tune progresses another year:

a. that the Techno-Zone site will have more dialog, discussion and interaction between Zonees and with Michael

b. Sonic achieves a sound with ease and effortless dynamics in my system like I hear in horn and hi-efficiency systems with single-ended tube amps

c. better reproduction in my system of the “Broad notes”

Ehh…what’s this? Shocked You’ll find broad notes often in orchestral and string quartet musick in the viola and cello lines being played which may not be loud but sound big/broad, and they fill the concert hall as the notes float above the listening space. Hard to describe in words… Question

Now audiophile systems usually reproduce these notes tightly focused but pushed back in the recording so they appear to be down in the “mix” and lower in volume than they appear in real life – often hi-fi systems reproduce these “broad notes” so reduced in scale they are almost inaudible above the contrabass line.

These “broad notes” also occur in rock music. In Bob Dylan’s” Like a Rolling Stone”, Mike Bloomfield appears to be playing guitar fills (between Dylan’s vocal lines) even on very good audiophile gear. But as I tune my system, I can hear that the late Maestro Bloomfield is playing continually thru the song, soloing actually during the whole duration of the piece. There is tremendous artistry in his playing and many of the notes he plays are soft but Sonic now hears them a “broad notes” 5 ft in diameter behind my speakers, not fully yet (there are gaps) but here is another example of music being recorded in the grooves of our records that conventional systems truncate or silence completely.

These “broad notes” are an important part of live music and I hear them all the time in live music, especially in classical concerts and often in jazz where the sound of the string bass fills the whole theatre without being loud.

Michael, what’s the word for these “broad notes” in the tune lexicon?

As for what Michael said about Sonic should look more to dynamic speakers instead of panels, I agree with him that is why I am getting exposure to JBLs and other dynamic speaker options. Right now, I feel that my Magneplanar 1.5QRs with the Janis W-1 subwoofer is giving me so much more musick than the hi fi audiophile high end stuff I hear around me but my goal is to having Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre systems with Western Electric drivers in my room. That will really be something! I don’t discount the Classic 60s and Mini Mods, they could be wonderful as Michael recommends but these speakers are not in series production, so not an option within Sonic’s.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:56 pm

Hi Sonic

Happy New Year!

I like the sound of "broad notes". That describes nicely these wonderful notes that float and sustain effortlessly in the hall and stage.

I would like to be able to keep my mouth shut until I have positive news of absolutes, but I'm once again trying to make the speaker line. The hardest part is finding the right wood worker to follow my designs to the tea. I have come to the realization that if I don't have the Tunable Speakers produced who will carry this needed technology to the next level. I would have to say that this is my new year wish. I have fantastic sources of wood and the perfect place to cure it. Driver choices are also available, so it comes down to the right worker for the task. Someone who understands the way of binding wood without force. The voicing I am more than happy to do until the numbers become too much. In the recent past I have found that this may not be a speaker builder as they are stuck in their thinking and it certainly can not be someone who rushes through their work.

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:35 am

Hi Zonees

Here's something I found on JC Morrison's blog. It is about the essence of realism in reproduced music -- even when the playback system is far from linear...like 78 rpm records and acoustic gramaphones:

“think about what happens at the edge of something… anything. it might only be moving wind around a corner, a jewel bearing in a watch, or a piece of rock skipping on a pond. a waterfall. a meeting between two different states. this is a naturally turbulent interaction. a very low parts count for sure! yet, one of the most complex interactions known… something that still challenges physics, math and modeling on super computers today. something that is still studied and the knowledge base is expanding. it isn’t “complete”, in other words, whatever that means…

there is also the simplicity of the fewest possible changes of “state”. many years ago, there was a man who would go to washington square park in nyc on summer weekends with an edison cylinder player. a big one! he dragged it around with an over sized vintage radio flyer, himself looking kinda like a tall wimpy poopdeck pappy. he would play caruso, and valentino accompaniments, flapper stuff, all sorts of fun stuff… i somehow remember “i’ll never see maggie alone” (“there was her mother, her father, her sister and her brother…”). it sounded fantastic! much better than i had imagined and actually within the limits, authentic. behind the scratchy bandwidth limited old mechanical recording shtick, there was a palpable and substantial experience that electronic recording doesn’t have. i am not alone in this judgment. it is an experience shared by sid smith and dick sequerra too. we had this conversation over pizza many years ago. eddy reichert and i have also talked about it. why is that so?





dick’s straight up answer was simple: fewer changes of state between the original energy and the reproduction. less loss, plain and simple. no, the bass and treble were gone… and surface noise was added. but the middle was “closer” to the original by virtue of the simpler chain of transformations. kinetic to storage media, and back again for playback. electronic media requires many more transformations than that! each one losing subtle info that cannot be retrieved. mechanical recording has a sense of audio verite that is built upon it’s simplicity. if you haven’t listened to a victrola or edison player recently, you owe yourself the experience. that is a kind of simplicity. but it isn’t so simple to describe… it also isn’t optimal.”

Michael, your views?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:14 pm

Hey, Sonic,

I asked this question on Drewster's thread, but have so far received no answer. Do you close the doors in your listening room or always leave them open? As Drewster mentioned that Mr. Green tuned the hallway outside his listening room, and I know I have read that Mr. Green has done this for himself in the past, lately I have been leaving my access door open, something I had never considered doing before. My thought is that constantly opening and closing the door would change the pressure in the room. If I have been working to build the pressure in a certain way, wouldn't this opening and closing be deleterious, considering that "everything effects everything?"

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:12 am

Hi Robert

Sonic always listens with the doors of my room closed. I too am curious about why Michael tuned spaces outside Drewster's room especially if listening is done with doors shut. But when Mr Tune does something there must be a reason.

There have been Tunees who had to tune spaces adjacent to their listening areas -- some had corridors leading off or a L-shaped room but this is not what we are talking about. I know of one tunee's system in the archives who did leave one door 45 degrees ajar and placed Shutters on the wall nearby to tune the sound. Why not close the door I wonder....

In my experience the best soundstage and ambience shell is developed with a closed volume of space and the pressure zones managed.

When a door is open I can hear the pressure zone on the open side leak away. I recently helped a friend tune his room -- he had a reasonably flat bass with test tones but on music the bass range was heavy with serious overhang. Sonic just closed a door leading off into a study room and the bass problem went away completely. The adjacent acoustic space of that small room acted as a delay box so bass notes and pressure built up "sounded/discharged" back into the main room giving a time delay that smeared the bass.

Of course Drewster could have reached a plane of Tuning that I hear fearful rumours of in some of Michael's discussions. He wrote about the sound signature of entire buildings and the sound of ghost trains (I am not joking). The idea is how everything adjacent and our around our rooms has some effect on the sound even if the doors are closed.

In Sonic's view, everything may affect everything else but not everything is important as everything else. So we focus on getting the best from our listening room, tune the mains current feed, the acoustics, the grounding of gear and management of RFI with Michael's products and sensible gear properly tuned. Beyond this lie dragons and madness.

Sonic
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PostSubject: closed doors   Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:59 pm

Sonic and Robert,

I also prefer closed doors in my listening room, but I know Michael takes the whole building into consideration when he tunes.

Several year's ago, I visited Michael in Vegas during CES to hear his Chameleon speakers. You can see a picture of this room set up under MGA speakers, second picture down. What does not show in the picture is a closet door behind the listening chair. When I auditioned this system, Michael had the closet door cracked around 4 inches and he cautioned not to touch the door. Yes, the room was very well tuned.
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:51 pm

"Michael, your views?"

I loved my Victrola/Edison collection and played them almost every night somewhere at TuneVilla.

Simplisity is absolutely the best answer for great sound!

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:17 am

I would love to be able to say put this here and put this there, but there is always something within me that say's "play".



In Sonic's last shippment I included some different wood choices to add the the mix of flavor. Where they will end up, who knows, but as for myself I have found interesting flavors in all 3 of them.

The first is a piece of wood has an interesting stopping power when used around parts that need to be slowed down in their transfer to ground. It's a cure treated piece of alder. this wood is use by guitar companies to bring out the high's attack. I of course dry it out much more than Fender does so my pieces go far lower in pitch.

The DF crosscut is something that I have been using a lot of recently for tuning bars, frames, brackets and under cones.

The China Poplar has a nice tonal quality for bass notes. Sometimes I uses these in my main CD player setups too or under power supplies. I've also been using these for some prototype speaker stands. When this wood is sent here and dried out the weigh drops greatly so this means the bottom end of the music can become more defined.

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:42 am


Hi Michael and Zonees

Sonic found another couple of good spots for the Space Cones that developed a nice sweetness and harmonic richness in my room. Two Space Cones were glued directly to the centres/middle of each Bookcase behind the listening chair. Centres/middle in this case means at the intersection of the halfway points of the height and the width of each bookcase.

This follows Michael's advice to Sonic after I placed the Space Cones at the edges of the bookcases and found they didn't work -- Michael suggested I start out from the centre instead. He's right. I got a harmonic richness which is appealing.

Seems the rule of Space Cones is: start from the centre, not the edges.

Sonic tried more Space Cones on the Bookcases but the sound started to go heavy in the bass. I am finding that at this stage of my tuning, moving in a Tune theorectical direction can tip my system to sound heavy in the bass. Anyway of the 15 Space Cones in my last order, Sonic is down to the last two -- 25 Space Cones used in my system so far.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:10 pm


Hi Zonees

Did I (or Michael) talk about ghost trains?

In the archives you'll read that Michael likes to hold his telephone calls on speaker phones. So here he was in a listening room that has seen much music and when he spoke to a tunee, the tunee reported that accompanying Michael's voice was the sound of a locomotive whistle. While there was a railroad near where Michael's tuned room was, no train was passing at the time. This showed that houses get an imprint of repeated sounds near them. Shocked

Here’s something from The Abso!ute Sound issue 104 (review of the Clearaudio Insider) that is less ghostly. It is about the Kingsway Hall (London) subway rumble whose reproduction is a benchmark of audio full range definition.

“So what about the bottom octave? Well, we have determined with the help of the Genesis [One] subwoofer towers, that there are two subway lines under Kingsway hall. With the Clearaudio in place, we can hear the direction in which the trains move – the one at the higher frequency moves perpendicular to the listener; the lower and noisier one runs on the listener’s right and parallel to where he is sitting, from upstage down. With the Clearaudio and seismic sinks under the VPI [turntable], we can also hear the sound of the wheels heavily rotating as they turn on the tracks.”

From TAS 104 page 16
“[Using the Genesis One loudspeaker system]…with its servo-driven subwoofer (flat, believe me, to below 20Hz),….with the (Clearaudio) Insider, and particularly on the Classic Records resuscitation of The Royal Ballet album (specifically, the Ansermet Nutcracker), I…can hear two sets of subways, each with a different low frequency signature: one runs parallel to the speakers, usually from right to left; the other, lower with a thicker sound from the wheels, runs perpendicularly from the back wall toward the right speaker…the train sound are especially revealing of splicings made on the master works parts.”

Michael, have you heard the Kingsway rumble reproduced on MGA equipment in tuned systems and rooms?

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Sonic's System   Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:09 am

Hi Zonees

Here's what the Space Cones on my bookcase wall look like:





It is not a good picture but you will notice the small tassels round the Space Cones. They are loops of twisted sewing thread that go between the Space Cones and the bookcase wood surface. The Space Cones are attached with clear double sided tape to the Bookcase wall surface.

I do this when testing new applications and if the tweak doesn't work I pull on the thread to remove the Space Cone instead of prying it off with a pen knife and risk scarring the wood surface.

Wood is valuable Smile

Sonic has got two more Space Cones unused.

What have I done with them Space Cones, which are powerful things?

12 Space Cones -- 3 per upper tricorner in my room (4 tricorners)

3 Space Cones on China Poplar discs on top surface of the Janis w-1 subwoofer

2 Space Cones on the preamp transformers

2 Space Cones on MW over the main amp transformers

2 Space Cones MW on the main processor chips of the system DAC

1 Space Cone on the transformer of the subwoofer amplifier

1 Space Cone on the Cable Ground supporting the mains cable feeding the system

2 Space Cones on the Bookcase wall

2 Space Cones left over.... good things they are in my system!

Sonic


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