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michael green
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referencing

I think one of the magical things about referencing is that there are so many different ways to view a piece of music. I have been around the audiophile bend, but I'm more the studio/acoustical guy, who applies what he knows to the home. So, for me some of the stuff doesn't really bug me cause I can hear what they are doing in the studio and to me it's just a thang. What bugs me (drives me crazy) is when someone starts panning something without really taking the time to explore it, and that's what I see happening here some and in the studio with guys who are less trained. Instead of exploring why something is the way it is they condemn it, and that to me is not acceptable. There are many reasons why our system may or may not play a piece of music, but that indeed is the fact. People in this hobby have built their systems up higher than the music itself and so when something can't be played they go into attack mode. That's not reality.

I think all of us here can hear the compression. If we knew our way around the studio we could also hear a lot of things with every recording and say "oh that's what that is". Some of the comments on this thread and the referencing one are based on something other than compression. What I don't get, and maybe this will happen with time, is why don't people in this hobby just be open like your post was 2000. I think it's cool when someone sees something different than me or someone else, but I don't get why people down play the efforts made by the people on the other end of the music. So let me say, thanks for your constructive input.

If we as listeners start doing these referencings together instead of viewing the others as the other team it would be amazing what could be learned and then practiced. The one thing that makes TuneLand so different from here is, we work together as a listening team, and the systems have become something I've never seen before in this industry. That could easily happen here as well if we start to look at others views as well as our own and share in the possibilities. I guarantee every one of our systems played "Modern Times" different than any others. Some might be similar, but still if we had a transporting machine we would be surprised. Some might look at this and say that means we should say one is better than the other, and I say that is wrong. What we should be doing is thinking about the future. If every one is hearing this different and everyone has a little bit right, than shouldn't we be thinking about the way they are different and make our systems so they have the ability to change. That's my soul purpose here, my agenda to show that you and I and all of us can have systems that can tune in any sound we want. The person who has this recording sounding good can show the other how to get it and vice versa. This needs to become a hobby of listening ladders like it once was. people get to the place of trying things and based on that trusting each other. Someone says I have this and maybe it sounds good but then they find out there's another level based on what the other guys are getting. It doesn't mean the one was wrong necessarily, but it may mean that one is a little more to the liking or desired result.

Like if I find out you have a sound that is something that is better than me and I want it, you can bet I'm going after it. I'm not going to sit there and say it's not so. That's what I like about recordings. Someone is always finding something more, and they go a lot further than we think, we just have to uncover them.

once again thanks for your calm

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

Catch22
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A lot has to do with how the music is going to be consumed

Compression is not always a bad thing. It's not like the audio engineer said to himself, "I'm going to see how bad I can make this sound." In most cases, I suspect, the audio engineer is working within the parameters and guidance of what the people who are paying him want to achieve.

If you are footing the bill for the production and your goal is to sell records, and your demographic research suggests that the music is going to be consumed by a particular age group listening to it via a particular set of environmental circumstances, like a car or ipod, for example, you might see where the use of excessive compression is desirable from the producers point of view. Heavy compression is probably desirable for music consumed by the average listener in a car to compensate for the lower fidelity and background noise.

The logic can be extended to compressing any aspect that you want to emphasize whether it be someone's vocals or electric guitar or whatever the producer thinks is what the consumer is going to focus on.

And, of course, compression is only one part of the reproduction considerations. Performances can be rated quite highly while sonics can be rated rather low. Any combination can touch the listener in a way that engages them or leaves them cold.

I would add, also, that liking the music and being engaged doesn't mean the recording is of good quality. The recording is what it is, whether it is enjoyed or not. That's totally up to the preferences of the listener.

audiophile2000
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Follow up

Michael, Would be interesting to get your thoughts on the album and see what you are hearing. Maybe we can talk about the first track? After listening a few times, I think the reason this album is so hit and miss is it seems rather difficult to play back.

Here is what I mean.

Bass: the song actually has a surprising amount of detail in the lower registry which my main speakers weren’t able to portray on their own. You could tell it was there but really needed to switch on a sub to add the weight needed

Treble: I found the splash symbols a bit fatiguing without the benefit of the bass throughout the song. If I turned off the sub, the highs just became to direct and present for my liking. The track seemed to lose its bottom dimension which was very nice

Room: I think this hits on the above, but this track seems very susceptible to the playback room. This is also why I really want to hear Michaels take as it would be a great comparison. As many know I have gone down the traditional acoustic room setup (I would venture to guess if you called every panel maker they would recommend this setup (front boundary traps for the speaker, front acoustic panels for room/flutter echo, corner traps for the bass, and rear bass traps for bass buildup and again acoustic absorption from room echo). What I found with this setup was that Dylan’s voice was very raspy and natural. Never got to heavy but had a good weight to it. With that said, the cymbals seemed a bit relax and didn’t have a shine to them (potentially from the paneling). Taking it up to more of a reference volume (75db) the issue was less noticeable. So interesting point for comparison on the room and why I want to hear Michael’s description, the room also doubles as a home theater room so I dropped the screen down for the projector and listened again. The cymbals regained their shine at lower volumes, but Dylan’s voice lost some of its raspy sound and seemed to sound a bit brighter, hard to describe but it almost sounded more nasally. I’ve seen the effect of dropping the screen on other tracks but this was much more apparent than I’m used to seeing which is why I say this may be a difficult track to play back. I’m considering adding a membrane to the upper acoustic panels since the headphones seemed to have a bit more highs than when the screen was up, but also didn’t get as apparent and coloration shift as when the screen was down. Will also mentioned that with the screen down, the vocals were reinforced any Dylan didn’t settle into or blend with the soundstage as much. (he stood out a bit more).

michael green
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would love to

Hi Audiophile2000

I would love to!! This made my week. To reference is a blast, thank you. I have to finish up "houses of the holy" quick and do some touches do a 600 seater hall I'm doing (which is going to sound great), then I'll come up and we'll get started.

see you soon

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

geoffkait
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What's the worst thing that can happen?

Catch22 wrote,

"And, of course, compression is only one part of the reproduction considerations. Performances can be rated quite highly while sonics can be rated rather low. Any combination can touch the listener in a way that engages them or leaves them cold."

I should think a better way to state that sentiment might be: compression is only one audio characteristic of many, including but not limited to frequency response, tonality, resolution, bass performance, soundstage,separation of instruments, distortion, and musicality. What I found (with Modern Times) was that while there may be compression involved it is not a fatal flaw at all, in that the overall effect is one of dynamics and clarity along with many of the aforementioned sonic virtues.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

Catch22
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I kinda get what you mean

It's when compression is taken too far that the real damage to all those things your mention starts happening. Depending on the complexity of the music, that level is somewhat of a moving target. But, the moment the dynamic range starts being limited with compression, other aspects start being affected...to the point of clipping the waveform.

I'll give you an interesting and easy idea to consider trying, as I did this many years ago when the whole loudness war became an issue and people started actually publishing some of the measured results of recordings. Make a list of some of your favorite and often played recordings, and then make a list of some of the ones you rarely find yourself reaching for and that you realize you get listening fatigue rather quickly when you do listen to them.

Then compare your lists with the Loudness Wars data base and see if you notice anything in common.

The ultimate irony in all this, at least for the nutty audiophile crowd is that audiophiles howled at the poor quality of CDs when they first came out...only to realize many years later that the CD was fine, it was the gear that couldn't handle them well. Now...and this is delicious irony indeed, the old CDs are the ones that sound good and the new ones really do sound like crap and the gear is extremely capable! Hah!

michael green
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Modern Times

Ok here we go. As you guys know I like to use the room as part of the system, cause well.... it is the system. I have my room set for very natural with a bit of a gain. No echo sound to the room anywhere as I do the snap boo & clap test lol. There's a healthy increase to my vocal as if "big mike" was talking in the room instead of michael. I can play my African drums in here without the room sounding boomy. With the stereo the music played in this room is clean and dynamic. This is how I have it set now, keep in mind I believe in voicing per live instrument or recording if need be. With the stereo I tune mechanically and acoustically, and I should add electrically. But I do play live instruments in my rooms too so I'm pretty up on dynamic ranges.

My small room uses very little treatment cause of the tuned floor, platforms and walls that I use to voice things in. It's already 1/3 instrument grade voiced wood, so I count the construction as part of the acoustics.

I'm listening to 2 way 6.5" mini monitors (light poly woofs and silk tweets) with voiced wood stands made specifically for them and speaker platforms on top of the tunable floor of course, so there is a lot of bottom end support. If you came in blind fold you would think "where's the sub" or at least these are floor standing 8".

There's one wicker chair with bottom cushion, no other furniture. No fan, no light fixtures, a set of closet doors and a door both that open on the same side. I would describe the sound in here as naturally mellow. Not dull but relaxed. With my drums I get a nice tone and if I play and hold, the pitch will go 12 seconds or so without bending and that's pretty darn good seeing most studios start to bend after about 3 to 5 seconds.

First track.

There's the intro that lets you hear half or more of the stage at first sound off (4 times).`The snare and tom and cymbal does this cool roll behind the front line, while the cymbal splash covers the whole back of the stage, maybe 12 to 15 feet back and 6 feet thick front to back for the cymbal splash. There's no bass bloat or hard highs. This sounds extremely tonally even. I think letting it settle will give me more front to back but this is pretty 3D already with the instruments sounding off in all directions. There's a lot here to look at, and the harmonic bends to the strums support during the sustain is pretty neat. It's like hit and cool stuff and sustain, and repeated with cool yet different tones to listen to the next 3 times.

got to go back in, ok done

Then off we go into this fun kick and the pace with all "H" breaking loose and parts and pieces coming in and out all over the stage. It's like how many styles can we throw into one song yet Bob staying in this smooth from the throat and chest rhythmic words. I can hear his nose but in this song more throat and chest. Good low tones to his vocals.

Not to beat up, but I got to say "catch is saying no piano", this baby is full of piano in my system. A rich thick and very important to the flavor of the song piano. I can hear Bob hitting the keys clearly and see a 9 to 12 foot wide 5 feet deep right behind the vocals plain as day piano in my stage with an ocasional bass run to set it's own tone against the bass. What instrument do you think is making the thunder sound? The piano of course. But I do want to say that there are so many things to look at (a testament to Jack/Bob) that you can get distracted easily and jump to something else going on. I think this may be some of the confussion (I hope) because this is a song you have to listen to over and over just to try to stick with an instrument or style change (it's thick but very there). Like follow the guitar when it pops up on the right but at the same time look at what he's doing with the violin, drums cymbal and piano, to halo behind and off to the side of it. Good stuff in my book.

Here's what to look at though with the compression. Notice how clear Bob's voice is? I think he was letting his voice carry the tune and the instruments are making their support behind him fun but not taking away from the message. On my set up everything sounds pretty well blended. track two takes on a different type of compressive setup so I am incline to think that the thickness is on purpose. I don't want to marginalize over compression but to say this is a bad recording is something that these ears would not agree with. Nor for the two others who have stopped by while playing this.

I think the one question Audiophile2000 is asking is about the room too. I truly believe the room is the system and not to put down the other room companies but I don't really like the sound of absorption and diffusion mix. I specifically made my products to involve the space and if need be revoice it. For some people the pillows and floorstanders are find but there are others that need a room revoicing and that's when the PZC's come out. But as you mentioned doing the membrane thing on the front side is something that is a very good idea so you can keep the room natural while your using the burn behind the membrane. So basically let the energy build, that way the sound pressure and waves aren't cut short or directly absorbed, then get that membrane between you and the burn. I think you'll have some success with this and I'm happy to help if I can. You know before I became a designer I was dealer for acoustical treatments, and it got to the point where the music was dulling out too much, and all the imbalancing along with the foam stuff and I used diffusers and all that other stuff and finally started making my own design so I could get things to burn, but leaving the signal alone. So RoomTune and all the other products I've design later were made because I couldn't get where I was going with what was available. I use to modify all those acoustical products, but I found they were creating acoustical distortion that I couldn't get rid of. Things would measure ok but sounded horrible, like brittle, dull or one note sounding. So by the time I was done I would look at them and say "that was a big waste of time and money". I went through that with acoustics and speakers and racks, cable and working on electronics. Kinda like if you can't make the audio products you bought sound good start your own audio company lol.

I got your screen experience too. It helps you understand how important that membrane approach is. Your room no matter what you do is going to sound like the surfaces of the room sound, that goes double for room treatments with burn attached to them. Get close to your acoustical products and talk directly into them and you'll hear what I'm telling you. Then go sit down and if you listen closely you will hear that same sound show up in your music. This is why I do very transparent fabric and full range burn, then if the room needs a sonic overhaul I use tunable PZC's so the burn will go behind but what you hear is the front panal, and you tune it to change the sound of the room. Kinda complexed in the voicing when making but the results are pretty hot.

That's why you walk in my rooms and it's super natural sounding even when you talk or play an instrument or stereo. And I'm sure it's why I can hear things in this recording that really don't sound all that bad. I'm getting the very best, or make my best attempt to out of what is there.

michael green
RoomTune

audiophile2000
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Follow up

Thanks Michael, after reading you post and re-reading mine I’m realizing how difficult it really is to describe the sound we are hearing. We have a lot of descriptive words but it’s hard to really get a sense of the sound.
The CD just came in the mail so I’ll try to put that on so I have a better reference since my initial listen was with an mp3. One question to you is in regards to the cymbals. You describe them as a cool sound. Would you be able to elaborate on this a bit since your description of the vocals seems to match mine being a chesty/throaty sound that is rather raspy. For the cymbals would you say they are a bit more relaxed on your system. For instance you know how some recordings, the cymbals can be a mixed a bit “hot” and almost be overbearing, and I didn’t get that sense from this recording. To be it sounded very mellow almost as if it was routed through a piece of analog gear (potentially tubes) on the recording end. The reason I ask, is I put on some music last night that has some bells / other HF instruments and the sounded very nice and didn’t seem mellowed out at all. I just got a real time room analyzer in that I’m playing around and notice that I do have a roll off in the +16 to 20K region in the room, hard to know if it’s the room or the equipment since the sound from the speakers is very similar to the beyerdyanmic T1’s. (with that said I am having some problems getting the software to work so not sure how much i trust the results until i can get the software to actually give me a frequency sweep and a decay curve, so far just getting error messages – the RTA was based on results from what I assume is white noise but not knowing all the calibrations it’s hard to know if it’s really working)

Should also mention that I’m quite happy with the sound, and in fact it’s the best my system has ever sounded, but just trying to see if it can’t get better. To give you a sense after listening, bringing the screen down did increase the HF intensity, but I also think it sounded less natural as I mentioned the vocal lost its throaty sound and shifted a to the thinner more nasally sound. Now I agree dropping a 100 inch screen between your speakers probably isn’t the best acoustic move for listening, but I am wondering about adding membranes to the top 4 panels, which would preserve more of the highs. I’m still questioning the move since things are sounding more right than wrong and I definitely don’t want the tonality to shift up like it did when I brought down the screen. Of course I’m also very hesitant to mess around with something that for lack of a better word “works” since I truly believe it’s one of the better sounding rooms I have heard not saying it couldn’t get better). Should add that the room is very problematic and I truly believe the last statement shouldn’t be true, so not sure if it’s a reflection of what you can do with some trial and error and room treatment (as it literally started as one of the worst sounding rooms I have ever heard – ear pricing highs and the worst room nodes I have ever heard) or a statement of the industry not paying attention to the rooms in general).

To through into the situation, I have been moving around for work every few years so what works in this room may not work in another, which makes me question if I would invest more money into tweaking the panels further. Michael I know you fundamentally disagree with removing sound, but digging a bit deeper into your post, you do seem to agree it needs to be employed in certain situations. Put another way the room is an amp and you need to tune that amp to play flat and decay sound in a uniform and equal manner. I’ve looked at your setups on your site (room tunes) and from what I know it don’t seem to radically different than a lot of acoustic treatments (not saying it’s not a unique setup) but don’t think we are saying the world is round vs the world is flat. I could be wrong on that statement and if I am please correct me.

michael green
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The cymbals and room

Hi 2000

It's nice that you have been able to control the room. I think there are a lot of guys out there that are very troubled by their room/speaker interface. If they haven't done a lot of rooms it's pretty hard to hear what is going on because of the room vs the system, so it gets tough. You moving around gives you an advantage. For myself I tune everything so it's a lot easier to pick up on this is doing this, and that is doing that.

By cool I meant I liked what the drummer was doing. I heard three different cymbals being use in the first song. The biggest was a splash that covered the entire back of the stage, by the time my system settled a little. After being on repeat for a little while that particular cymbal (a crash cymbal I believe) ended up filling the room and a little outside left and right speakers. It went out of the room in front of me and was coming out in front of my speakers about 2 feet, which is about a foot infront of my ears. So it ended up getting pretty big. But the main hit of it was yes, pretty relaxed and about 8 feet behind the vocal on impact then the front to back side to side spread. The next cymbal doesn't get hit much but it is at the end of some of the drum movements and he does a little left and right cymbal combo. Drums, then left crash and right ride (cymbals). You probably already know the sound difference between the two but the crash is giving that big smooth splash sound and the ride gives more of a heavy sound. Not always but in this case this is the way they sound. Then the last one is every once in a while he'll do a tophat snap. The tophat and the cymbal to his right are a little higher pitched than the big one but not by much than the bigger crash. At the very end of the song you can see the size of the crash as the song fades. Now if you want to study the sound of the cymbals and go back and listen you can listen to some of the other songs where he's doing a little more.

Nothing on this system the way it is set now on this recording gets bright and most of the tones build from the middle of the tonal scale and out to the edges. So if you were listening here none of the cymbals sounded bright, solid but not bright, and certainly not overbearing. We should visit another song to look at the cymbals too. Pick out one and we'll compare if you want.

The way the piano sounds in this setting is like it was miked toward the lower keys than the higher ones.

One thing though that is harder for me to describe is that I can change all these sounds pretty easy, so I don't want to paint a picture of right or wrong.

The difference in our acoustical setup is probably in the materials and amounts. I use really loose fibers to do my burn. It makes it more extreme in the frequency spectrum. And the front membrane is something I pay a lot of attention to as far as it stopping the waves from coming through and leaving the room very natural from the front of them. If you speak directly into one of them (the RT Pillow) it removes the room distortion from your voice. With the PZC's, you can shape the room sound to anything you want. Which particular products are you using (some GIK stuff right?) and I'll tell you what they sound like as compared to mine. I might be able to suggest different sounding membranes to play with. Also are your floorstanders up on cones or spikes?

Here's another cymbal test, or any sound test. Put on the recording and listen, then walk outside of your room and listen carefully if the space out side of your room is playing anything better than inside the room. If you walk out of your room into a hallway or other room walk around and see if you hear the cymbals or bass, or any part of the recording sounding better tonally or in any way. This will usually tell you if you have materials in your room that are burning a little too much of the music, or having pitchy problems. If you go to another part of the house and you can hear the bass lower or part of the song more in pace, your burning too much in your room. A lot of trapped and absorbing rooms do this. You go stand outside of the room somewhere and can hear what's missing in the room. The notes are usually going to form, and if they can't do it in the room they will do it in another part of the house or studio or hall. Ever walk in a bathroom and the bass sounds better in there? That's cause it's missing in the room. A lot of times I'll use the outside of a room to help me tune inside. Like rooms with carpet. Go listen in the room and then go to a place in the house that doesn't have the carpet and listen to how much is missing in the system.

all kinds of fun tricks aren't there

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

geoffkait
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Loudness Wars
Catch22 wrote:

It's when compression is taken too far that the real damage to all those things your mention starts happening. Depending on the complexity of the music, that level is somewhat of a moving target. But, the moment the dynamic range starts being limited with compression, other aspects start being affected...to the point of clipping the waveform.

I'll give you an interesting and easy idea to consider trying, as I did this many years ago when the whole loudness war became an issue and people started actually publishing some of the measured results of recordings. Make a list of some of your favorite and often played recordings, and then make a list of some of the ones you rarely find yourself reaching for and that you realize you get listening fatigue rather quickly when you do listen to them.

Then compare your lists with the Loudness Wars data base and see if you notice anything in common.

The ultimate irony in all this, at least for the nutty audiophile crowd is that audiophiles howled at the poor quality of CDs when they first came out...only to realize many years later that the CD was fine, it was the gear that couldn't handle them well. Now...and this is delicious irony indeed, the old CDs are the ones that sound good and the new ones really do sound like crap and the gear is extremely capable! Hah!

I suspect you might possibly have missed it when I opined that Modern Times might possibly be a great record, based on its power and clarity, especially of Dylan's voice but also all the guitar work, not to mention the performance and extra cool lyrics, and that (compression victim) Led Zeppelin's Mothership is one of my favorite recordings, pretty much for the same reasons. I think the whole idea of just how far you can go with all this tweaking and tuning stuff might possibly have escaped you. Keep your dial tuned to this station. You should maybe put your listening ears on as Judge Judy is fond of saying. Recall I already stated for the record (cough, cough) that I cannot listen to an untreated CD. They ALL suck. They ALL sound compressed. Hel-loo!

Geoff Kait
Machina Diabolical

michael green
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modern times settling

Hi Guys

I know a lot of folks don't take the time to let things really settle in but it happens to be something I do and enjoy. I put Modern Times back on yesterday sometime and it's been playing ever since. Well just waking up (I don't sleep much lol) Nettie Moore was playing and I could hear from my writing room that there was something going on. So off I went to the listening room and I was rewarded with something pretty special. Here where I live the best electricity flow starts at about 12am till about 5am. Well between settling and this (I'm thinking) Modern Times sounds the best I have heard it during our time of referencing. I'll go back in and listen more but Nettie Moore and Ain't Talken are outstanding. Any possible cloud that could have been on these two before now is gone. Even writing this the recording sounds fantastic, and I can hear the interaction between the guitar drums and bass from here.

back in the room

Ain't Talken, is another great opening to a song on this recording. Some picking, nice Cymbals and a beautiful viola, later joined by a cello. Into the song I believe I'm hearing viola, violin and cello painting the background. The tambourine is like someone is standing in my room hitting it at perfect height. In fact thinking about it everyhting is at perfect height. But hold on. Song ended and the CD repeats into thunder. Whoa, the violin is clear as a bell now.

Ok, this is a new ball game. I thought it was jammin before but the songs have really come to life. The violin is doing a ho-down in the room and is now full size and has a halo around it about 4 feet around. Everything has spread out and almost feels like there are all the musicians in the room space wise, maybe 18 feet wide and the same deep. I am now in the room with the musicians where as last night I was looking at them. The piano is more in focus and dynamic. Yesterday I think I said it sounded like the piano was miked mainly at the low end, I take it back, this is actually nicely done to pick up the whole thing evenly.

and

Listen to Spirit on the water "fantastic".

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

michael green
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moving on

Hi Guys

I need to move on from Modern Times to reference some other music for folks, but I wanted to give some final comments. This is a recording I have enjoyed before and now have even a deeper feeling for. One of the things that I appreciate the most about this recording is how Bob has made the songs "extended" version. This is something I have always found an extra bonus in our short song society. Many times about the time I get interested in a song it's over, but not here. The stories are full length and give you a chance to hang on to their groove longer than usual, thank you Bob. Second thing I enjoyed is every song had something in it for me. There are no duds, no songs that made me want to skip over. Next, it's wonderful to hear Bob singing so well. Steve G, said he sounded old or something like that, but I found him projecting life into the lyrics. It kind of reminded me of Johnny Cash's last recordings where you could hear the maturity but also the heart as with Roy Orbison. Timeless stories and vocals.

Modern Times put me in the living room with Bob, and I felt like he was being himself telling me stories of an era in history. He painted his pictures with "Braque, the Studio VI" and not "Mondrian" which I found showed a mood. Something that was obvious yet not straight lined to death. I don't want the same diet day after day, and if I was force fed the straight lined audiophilism every meal it would feel like prison to me. I saw every instrument, but some of them, with that were very to the point vividness, mixed in with others who played support roles. Maybe that would be a bother if they hadn't traded places but every thing seems to take it's turn, yet keeping the same theme. I liked it. Plus the use of snare throughout the songs kept everything on point to me.

Would I call this an audiophile standard? It depends on how you define the audiophile. Sometimes I think audiophiles miss the joy of a recording because they have built systems that only do so much as opossed to systems that are built to let the music come through. In my years of listening I have found myself heading more toward music over the sterile sound. It is what's inbetween the lines that has become what's important to me and I don't find that I agree with the typical audiophile definition of resolve. I don't find limited systems to be the most revealing, and that is what I see with systems not able to let recordings like this come to life, limited.

I would never be satisfied listening to a system that can only give one sound. The industry has accepted this approach at great loss to the whole. Years ago the goal was to be able to hear it all, sadly that has changed to a segregated format that to me makes no sense, unless you have several systems all over your house. But to be limited or only one or two systems seems to me to not be a musicphile or even an orginal audiophile. I see the oldmen get up and make their quite bold and sometimes mean statements as they pound their chests, but that really holds little weight to the listener who can put on any recording he wants and pull out the best of it. I look at some of these forums and see very disatisfied people pretenting to be happy with their hobby, and will never admit there are things about their systems that bug them. I realize that most of these oldmen have spent fortunes and are now getting to the place of who cares. They try to push their weight around to some of the others but don't realize the listening world really has moved on and their particular school has become less and less in numbers. This will not magically reverse itself, and the musicphile is going to want a system that can play it all and bring a higher resolution both. Both exist within one now, but oldmen habbits die hard.

A high end system with more resolve making it harder to play more music? This goes down as something wrong with the system to me, low fi, mid fi or expensive.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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I get your point, Geoff

Really, I do. Honest. The things that I find objectionable with Modern Times are the things that "aren't" in the recording to begin with. You can't tweak or tune them back into it. Those things no doubt existed at the time it was being created, and then they were obliterated out of the music to achieve some other goal. Perhaps the goal was to achieve the Dylan vocals that were rendered on the final CD and that meant all the other stuff had to be traded away into the black hole of compression?

Nobody is saying that you can't like a bad recording or that you can't tune a bad recording to like it even more. It just doesn't make a bad recording a good one.

None of this stuff we are talking about is new. This is how the whole loudness war issue started in the first place.

Michael,

I think you misinterpreted SG's use of "tired" in reference to this record. He was talking about the tiredness of having to keep hearing this type of sound over and over with every new record that is coming out hotter and hotter. At least that was my impression. I've not heard anyone take issue with Dylan's vocals on this record. It's quite possible the record was destroyed trying to enhance Dylan's vocals.

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Assuming this topic is about

Assuming this topic is about headphones, given the title and the forum it's in, I don't see any real relevance to "the room is the system" or vice-versa. It's impossible to tune a headphone to be neutral and yet "right" or "enjoyable" for all recordings. I've been EQ'ing some premium headphones for decades, most recently the Beyer T1 (and previously the Senn HD800), and short of creating a DSP with EQ at a thousand frequency points as Dirac more-or-less does, what you get is always a compromise. You *can* affect resonances and other anomalies with EQ and other treatments, and you *can* improve soundstage to a point, but you either stop short because other parameters start to go the wrong way, or you don't stop and you end up with something that sounds artificial.

Recording experts and other experts have known for decades that the recording has to take headphones into account, either with binaural techniques or other recording magic, or you end up with "headphone sound" and there's nothing that will fix it and still retain the full musical experience.

Or is this just a "room and speaker" discussion that's in the wrong place?

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Hi Dale

This thread is about comparing the two stages. I've been mostly talking about my room setup but I've also been tuning my headphone setup at the same time. My Headphone amp is a circuit board (no metal chassis). It has a Brazilian Pine bottom board and has a variable top tuning board with a tuning rod that touches the top side of the circuit board to tune it. I adjust the tonality and focus with the bottom stand offs and the top tune. If you haven't experienced transfer tuning it's really pretty cool, and a natural way to make sonic adjustments to the sound. All of my systems are done this way to remove chassis distortions.

Right around "86" I discovered that chassis cause electromagnetic field distortion collapsing the audio signal. I kept running into this problem and finally in "95" I decided to get rid of the problem. Since then I don't use chassis, or at least the whole chassis if It's a design that needs the chassis for the grounding or stability. A great audio designer in the "80's" Stan Warren made a product called the CD Maxx, that helped to mold my thinking on this. It was a small odd looking creature that should have been looked at more closely by the high end audio industry cause in it held the secrets to open sound. I had a few of them and played a little with the materials keeping the circuit board the same. What I ended up with was an all wood version, with the top left off. I built a special stand for it and it ended up smoking everything in my high end shop. It also inspired me to do the same thing with a Roger Modjeski preamp.

Soon I was taking everything apart and that's what brought me to the point of eliminating this distortion altogether.

I'd love to hear what you thought of the chassis be gone with your EQing.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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I've ventured into tweaking

I've ventured into tweaking only enough to realize my system (which is different from year to year) is sitting in a huge magnetic/electrical field, and the more isolation I can achieve the better (usually). But that's looking at the problem from a defensive standpoint. There is also the view from taking the offensive - generating more power as early on as you can. There's a recent Stereophile article that describes why playing records produces a more visceral sound - because the pickup generates its own current from the grooves whereas all other playback methods require the electronics to generate that first stage of power. I assumed the article referred to moving magnet pickups? Don't know. In the low-power headphone field, using batteries everywhere is advantageous in isolating from AC lines. Perhaps that could work for very efficient speakers with low-power amps. Certainly you can spend a fortune on isolating cables etc., but..... And using wood supports, cabinetry, circuit boards -- there's something interesting there. One mfr./designer who makes the $260k speakers featured recently fills part of his cabinets with "crushed" marble or some such material - presumably to deaden resonances. The long-term solution to damping resonances, whether physical or electrical, is to turn them into random noise more or less - that's what a resonance is, yes? The ultimate in non-randomness? Computer designs using most materials don't do that very well. I can't recommend anything specific, except that I think users should focus on that one thing - creating randomness everywhere outside of the signal path. Wood is natural if not too highly treated, and is more random than plastics and metals. I'm not even sure that crushed stone is a perfect solution, because even though that creates billions of randomly-facing small surfaces of hard material - it's still hard material, and it still reflects.

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Damping and isolation
dalethorn wrote:

I've ventured into tweaking only enough to realize my system (which is different from year to year) is sitting in a huge magnetic/electrical field, and the more isolation I can achieve the better (usually). But that's looking at the problem from a defensive standpoint. There is also the view from taking the offensive - generating more power as early on as you can. There's a recent Stereophile article that describes why playing records produces a more visceral sound - because the pickup generates its own current from the grooves whereas all other playback methods require the electronics to generate that first stage of power. I assumed the article referred to moving magnet pickups? Don't know. In the low-power headphone field, using batteries everywhere is advantageous in isolating from AC lines. Perhaps that could work for very efficient speakers with low-power amps. Certainly you can spend a fortune on isolating cables etc., but..... And using wood supports, cabinetry, circuit boards -- there's something interesting there. One mfr./designer who makes the $260k speakers featured recently fills part of his cabinets with "crushed" marble or some such material - presumably to deaden resonances. The long-term solution to damping resonances, whether physical or electrical, is to turn them into random noise more or less - that's what a resonance is, yes? The ultimate in non-randomness? Computer designs using most materials don't do that very well. I can't recommend anything specific, except that I think users should focus on that one thing - creating randomness everywhere outside of the signal path. Wood is natural if not too highly treated, and is more random than plastics and metals. I'm not even sure that crushed stone is a perfect solution, because even though that creates billions of randomly-facing small surfaces of hard material - it's still hard material, and it still reflects.

I'm a big fan of damping and isolation and my first product was a sub Hertz iso stand. I also am rather fond of very hard materials like ceramics, but not because they're reflective but because they transfer or offload energy very efficiently. I am especially high on Gilden Sound's NASA grade ceramic cones, the ceramic material of which is the next hardest to diamond. I eschew rubbery materials with one exception, viscoelastic material, which I actually employ in one of my products a contrained layer damper. Isolating the sensitive electronics and mechanical bits like tonearms, and CD transports from structureborne vibration and from the vibration produced by the CD transport motor and transformer can be quite challenging. Isolating the circuit boards with all of the sensitive ICs and other little doodads on board is also worth pursuing. Nor am I enamored of magnetic fields, not the ones around the circuit breaker box, the ones in the vicinity of input or output transformers, or even the ones self induced by cables, power cords and interconnects.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Advanced Audio Conceits

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I'm the opposite

And on this I would be the opposite from dampening. We set free the energy then tune it in. This way you can choose at what point you want your control. This is why you see people who tune having far bigger soundstages. Take a look here and you'll see how much bigger http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

With a dampened system as far as in room goes you have to have a huge room to come close to a small room tuned (stage wise). With the headphone system if you want the stage to break way outside of the head you will need to set the energy free as well. When we did our studio tests in Nashville we built our own studio to do the tests with and also took our headphone setups to some of the other studios, and all the tests came out the same way. With dampening the stage closed in and with tuning they opened up.

michael green
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Butterflies are free
michael green wrote:

And on this I would be the opposite from dampening. We set free the energy then tune it in. This way you can choose at what point you want your control. This is why you see people who tune having far bigger soundstages. Take a look here and you'll see how much bigger http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

With a dampened system as far as in room goes you have to have a huge room to come close to a small room tuned (stage wise). With the headphone system if you want the stage to break way outside of the head you will need to set the energy free as well. When we did our studio tests in Nashville we built our own studio to do the tests with and also took our headphone setups to some of the other studios, and all the tests came out the same way. With dampening the stage closed in and with tuning they opened up.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

Oh, I dunno, Michael, I'm kind of fond of setting the vibrations free, myself. The objective of the game, I should think, is not to store energy; anyone can over-dump, in the classic words of Acoustic Revive.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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sorry

Hi Geoff

Sorry, I wasn't picking this up from your posts. Acoustic Revive is a little too dampened for what we do. When we demoed them the music got pretty sucked up. We might be talking about different products though.

michael green
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Acoustic Revive
michael green wrote:

Hi Geoff

Sorry, I wasn't picking this up from your posts. Acoustic Revive is a little too dampened for what we do. When we demoed them the music got pretty sucked up. We might be talking about different products though.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

My mistake, that's what conditioning can do. I was thinking of their smokey quartz crystals, the little tiny ones that go on the wall. I happen to be quite high on crystals in the sense they offload energy without over-dumping. Maybe you're thinking of a different product, I suspect they have quite a few, including the Schumann Frequency Generator, are you familiar?

There are so many new products out there it's getting difficult to keep up. Was it really ten years ago the tiny little bowl resonators came out? Now there's a regular renaissance in tweaks going on, from Synergistic Research, Audio Magic and others, Why just the other day I had a major breakthrough, myself.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Well this has turned out more

Well this has turned out more interesting than I imagined. I was under the impression that 'tuning' was all ad-hoc, but I'm sensing a program of some kind here - unless I misread. So without going back over the entire thread, is there a white paper that makes a formal presentation of your tuning methodologies, or a work-in-progress document? Gosh there are so many things going on now, with developments in small DACs and hires files, not to mention these acoustic issues that should have been settled decades ago. Didn't the AES or acoustic society solve all of the reflection-absorption-resonance issues long ago?

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products

Hi Geoff, yes we tested the generator and weren't that crazy about them. Kinda funky. Their crystals didn't work well in the room we were in but that was in the tunable room with all those adjustments, and I know crystals can do cool things if someone takes enough time to play. But they can't just be thrown at a system or room. At my "92" Vegas show I used crystals the first day around the floor to offset the sound of the carpet. Problem though was the crystals were song sensitive and I had to set them in the bathroom and went with clay pots instead.

I do like natural materials though. Everything has it's place.

michael green
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Crystals and beyond
michael green wrote:

Hi Geoff, yes we tested the generator and weren't that crazy about them. Kinda funky. Their crystals didn't work well in the room we were in but that was in the tunable room with all those adjustments, and I know crystals can do cool things if someone takes enough time to play. But they can't just be thrown at a system or room. At my "92" Vegas show I used crystals the first day around the floor to offset the sound of the carpet. Problem though was the crystals were song sensitive and I had to set them in the bathroom and went with clay pots instead.

I do like natural materials though. Everything has it's place.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

Yes, you're right about that, crystals need to be played with to find the right locations, they can be a boon or bust, but one thing that helps a lot is a test tone like say 315 Hz and a sound pressure level meter. This way the locations can be rather easily found. Just plopping some down in room corners is pretty much of a no brainer. I have a whole program for crystals, I am pretty sure I was the first to get into crystals in a big way audio wise. Brilliant Pebbles is a whole suite of crystals of different size packages, each size with different types of crystals and its own set of applications around the room. There is now even 10th anniversary models. Lol. Why there was time when I used to support these crystals on little NASA grade ceramic tripods, you would NOT believe the effect of isolating the crystals on dedicated little stands! You know, in terms of real dynamics and real soundstage. Plus there's a whole regimen we have for conditioning the crystals that is beyond scope of discussion. You'll pardon me for saying so, but judging from what you've mentioned about all of these various things you've tried, the Acoustic Revive quartz, the Schumann Frequency generator, the cork, I'm beginning to get the impression you don't have very good luck with tweaks. I know someone like that who keeps almost all of the tweaks he ever tried, over a great many years, in the closet. Have you ever tried playing around with mu metal? I dunno if you follow such things but one can't help notice all the buzz over High Fidelity's new cables and interconnects, you know, the ones that use mu metal for the CONDUCTORS.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Advanced Audio Concepts

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I can relate to using wood for tuning

I grew up in a family of carpenters and cabinet makers. As a young man, I built houses with my uncle and grandpa and later worked in my dad's cabinet shop making raised panel doors and cabinets.

Although I have no experience using wood as tuning devices, I can certainly appreciate the various fiber structures of specific species of woood and also the extreme variance within a given species of wood. My daughter plays the viola in her school orchestra and so naturally, I was somewhat curious in the wood selection used by instrument makers. I found no surprise in learning that Carpathian maple was used for the body, but was a little surprised to find that wide grain spruce was used for the top. A combination of very densely structured grain and very soft and wide structure grain. Essentially, a combination of very hard and very soft wood.

That sorta makes me think that a combination of absorption and reflection or dispersion played a big part in making the sound and might play an equally big part in tuning it.

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AES and Acoustic Society

"Didn't the AES or acoustic society solve all of the reflection-absorption-resonance issues long ago?"

Gee, I wouldn't think so. They haven't come to grips with the whole idea that high end cables sound better than Monster Cable yet. Something to do with disobeying the laws of physics or something. Say, isn't the President of AES the guy that's cuckoo for cocoa puffs about controlled blind testing?

Geoff Kait
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? lol

Hi Geoff

you said

"You'll pardon me for saying so, but judging from what you've mentioned about all of these various things you've tried, the Acoustic Revive quartz, the Schumann Frequency generator, the cork, I'm beginning to get the impression you don't have very good luck with tweaks. I know someone like that who keeps almost all of the tweaks he ever tried, over a great many years, in the closet."

That's almost a bizarre statement Geoff lol. Someday I hope we get to meet in person cause you can be a strange ranger my friend. It's a little hard for me to imagine that you would say one of the most thorough and largest tweak testing facilities in the world has bad luck with tweaks.

This is the third time on this forum I have been asked about these products and the third time I have given our findings. I'm not sure why you would be pushing this. I certainly don't want to hurt their sales or reputation, but you need to realize that by trying to push them and having someone like me giving honest testing results it can't help them or you in the public eye.

Geoff, I'm trying to be helpful now in saying this. You do realize you are on the Stereophile forum right? This is a few steps higher than the shoot from the hip forums that are built for people to run their mouths. Even though people may do this here, it would be wise for them to think twice when doing so. People here are reading and seeing that you are saying things without even having a listening room of your own. You've got to realize that this can't sit well in the advice category. Also when you make statements about me or any other tweak testing facility, that also doesn't come off as the best way to promote yourself or the companies you back.

If the products work good for some, I would leave it at that and move on, cause if you keep bringing them up in front of me you are forcing me to be honest about them. I'm here to help people not to hurt them and this means that I need to be straight up in my testing and findings. But I understand that you and others need to make a living and so I try not to jump in and turn away potential sales for you. However if I test something and you ask knowing that I am as thorough as I am and the rest of the industry knowing this as well, it doesn't serve you well to make statements that continue to throw light on the subject.

Geoff, in your own mind you might not think that there is a following on my advice, but it would be wise of you to make sure this is the case before shooting from the hip too much because your not just playing with your reputation but the reputations of others.

just don't want you to hurt your own cause

michael green
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materials

Hi Catch

My life has been a fun one! Hard cause it's breaking ground for a lot of folks, and that's always a challenge, especially with engineer types. But fun because I've have a chance to take something I've always loved apart look at it and put it back together. Being the acoustician for UMI gave me a chance to take apart instruments and find out how they work and what makes each note unique to that instrument. That was a blast and it helped me to do the same with components, speakers, the room and all the other parts of the audio chain. It gave me a whole new outlook and appreciation for what I thought was going on but then, there was the proof. When I made my first tunable room from scratch, and speakers, acoustical toys and equipment and put them all together like an instrument, I'm not kidding, I sat there and couldn't believe what I was hearing. I brought out the head of the music department from SUNY and he looked at me and went back to the school to try to get funds for a tunable research wing to add to the university. This is one of the sidetracks that took me away from high end audio. Now I could kick myself, but all in good time. Sometimes, like making the industry tunable, takes a ton of work (rolling the ball up the hill), but the biggest part is reversing a mindset that says "fixed" into something that says "variable". Wood is a big part of the future to high end audio, and not making the industry inert, but making the industry fullrange, just like what you are talking about with the different parts to that viola. When this industry finally does make the change, it will be listeners choosing their instruments to play. We're almost there. It's like pulling teeth at times and dealing with a ton of sidetracks but we're almost there.

When the industry gets to a place where they have no where else to turn, tuning will be a choice that will not be as feared as it is now. The industry will realize that vibrations are not distortions and that there is a whole designing chapter that was waiting to be explored. The tonality of wood is a major part of that chapter, along with the combos of wood not used as dampening but to increase harmonics and eliminate distortions.

I have 3 new models of tunable speakers coming out in just a few weeks. They are using instrument grade woods, fullrange instrument grade woods. It's exciting. Exciting to make products from the same materials that gave us the sound to begin with.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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geoffkait wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

"Didn't the AES or acoustic society solve all of the reflection-absorption-resonance issues long ago?"

Gee, I wouldn't think so. They haven't come to grips with the whole idea that high end cables sound better than Monster Cable yet. Something to do with disobeying the laws of physics or something. Say, isn't the President of AES the guy that's cuckoo for cocoa puffs about controlled blind testing?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dramatic

That Harman guy is interesting all right. He says that new products using his findings are on the way, but his K812 headphone ($1500) has not been well-received. Still, I hope he does produce a breakthrough somewhere.

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Let's talk wood for a second
Catch22 wrote:

I grew up in a family of carpenters and cabinet makers. As a young man, I built houses with my uncle and grandpa and later worked in my dad's cabinet shop making raised panel doors and cabinets.

Although I have no experience using wood as tuning devices, I can certainly appreciate the various fiber structures of specific species of woood and also the extreme variance within a given species of wood. My daughter plays the viola in her school orchestra and so naturally, I was somewhat curious in the wood selection used by instrument makers. I found no surprise in learning that Carpathian maple was used for the body, but was a little surprised to find that wide grain spruce was used for the top. A combination of very densely structured grain and very soft and wide structure grain. Essentially, a combination of very hard and very soft wood.

That sorta makes me think that a combination of absorption and reflection or dispersion played a big part in making the sound and might play an equally big part in tuning it.

Wood is certainly an interesting topic, no doubt about it. But wood is not new to audiophiles, and there are plenty of examples of various types of wood, not only for the DIY types but also for audiophiles. So, what audiophile products use wood and how are these products used in the system. A short list of audiophile products includes but is not limited to the notorious Mpingo disc, and the related products Spatial Control Kit (a bracket of some other type wood with three (count 'em) Mpingo discs on board as well as the Mpingo record weight. These products are claimed to work by sympathetic vibration which for those not familiar with the term in loves converting "harmful" mechanical vibrations to "beneficial" vibrations. Of some tangential interest is the observation that the little (1 1/2" diameter) Mpingo disc appears to have a small crystal of some sort embedded in it, at least that appears to be the case, I haven't actually opened one up myself due to the high cost of these little guys and the apparent shortage of Mpingo wood. It should be pointed out that as far as the Mpingo disc and the Spatial Control Kit are concerned, the best locations for them are where there are high sound pressure levels in the room AND/OR reflected acoustic waves OR standing waves. One thing I should mention is that there are quite a few applications for the Mpingo disc that I suspect sheds some light on how they work in some cases. These applications include on top of the (vibrating) CD transport compartment, on top of the (vibrating) speaker cabinet, and on top of the top plate of any isolation stand like the ones I make (mass on spring type). Next up, Shakti Hallographs, tall wooden structures that, not coincidentally, are placed where there are strong acoustic waves radiating from the speakers off to the sides of the speakers between the speakers and the side walls. These may or may not have ebony in them but appear to act somewhat like the ebony discs in terms of resonators/sympathetic vibrators, however you wish to say it.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Another interesting product is the Sugar Cube from the dude that brought you the first tiny little bowl resonators and which are rather tiny 3/4" cubes with 2 small holes drilled into the side facing the room when the adhesive backs cube is placed on a strategic location on the wall. Do these tiny wood cubes act like tiny Helmholtz resonators?

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Cork has been mentioned recently OK, so mostly by me), a very powerful tool for controlling resonances on circuit boards and stops the capacitors from vibrating (weave the thin 1/16" strip of cork serpentine fashion through rows of caps, also have had very good luck using thin cork squares to control the resonance of the fins of heat sinks, and other applications almost too numerous to go into here. OK, what's next? Anybody?

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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we're getting warm again

We're getting a lot closer now, but I think we need to move still a little further from the audiophile theory and closer to musical instruments, specifically creating music tools that we listen to that are able to reproduce the fullrange of the musical note scale, and away from the frequency only thing.

The woods that are specific range woods are cool but when you get into the fullrange woods now you are talking. BTW Geoff I think you mention in a post that I didn't use springs. I meant to say something but forgot I think. I've always used springs. http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t74-mga-specialty-products .

Man when the industry moves closer to this camp, am a happy camper, cause this is my side of the park.

here's what I have (and more) waiting for them

http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t243-roomtune-rtd2-roomtune-deluxe-ll
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t213-michael-green-s-tuning-blocks
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t70-rt-pzc-acoustical-treatment
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t76-mga-sound-shutters-acoustical-defuse...
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t71-mga-platforms-racks-and-amp-stands
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t75-the-tunable-room
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t73-mga-cable-accessories
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t72-mga-speakers

I build entire systems that are musical instruments if you explore the links above. And these pages don't tell the whole story. Looking at the threads of listeners tuning is what sets us apart from the rest of the industry. We make a ton of custom wood transfer parts and products but we don't post a lot of them cause trying to make 250 different SKUs is next to impossible in high end audio today. We are now getting back into SKUs but slowly cause it's not hard to get over run. But if you point to almost any part of the audio chain we make a part.

The audiophile world has no choice but to head toward the tuning world. They may fight it till the cows come home but those cows will come home.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Springs and things

Michael wrote,

"BTW Geoff I think you mention in a post that I didn't use springs. I meant to say something but forgot I think. I've always used springs. http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t74-mga-specialty-products ."

Well, good on ya, mate! I knew we would find things in common. Was it Toledo who opined my mass on spring systems were not light? :-). I don't recall ever accusing anyone of not having springs since I'm the only one I know who does. I am definitely the only audio manufacturer who sells them.

Springs systems are always moving. Hence the second word in my company name...we tune everything from atoms to The Earth.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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variable

I don't know you would have to ask Toledo what he was referencing. What Toledo and all of the tunees do is treat our systems as if they are instruments instead of fixtures. We're vary careful what, and how much of what, we get close to the signal path and most of the time will transfer the vibrations to a material where we can then apply tuning, much like a string instrument.

If you look at our forum, you'll see instead of doing a lot of direct dampening (that dissipates energy quickly), we will let (encourage) the unit to vibrate and have devices like a tuning bar, block, or rod that will touch the part or area. The vibration will then be transfered to a bigger tuning board. Picture the vibration of a string attached to the neck then into the bigger body. That's what we do. The vibration is controlled (tuned) on it's path to ground. We found that there is a lot more signal in the audio pathway than what people knew, or knew but didn't know how to bring it out. We found that you can't bring more out if you shut down the vibration of the conduit too quickly, so we moved away from dampening and squeezing. We took apart the products and heard that there was a lot more signal available if things vibrated in tune rather than shutting down the conduits (parts). If you look at us early on you'll see more squeezing and dampening, but we noticed that in doing this the signal never got a chance to fully develope, so we moved to more of a transfer then tune until we learned how the signal liked to dissipate and got the most out of it. Anyone can try this and they will hear the same thing. You notice that people who oppose the tune are those who have not tried taking their components apart and letting them openly vibrate. The tunees open things up and are greeted with a much bigger stage right off the batt. The only time this doesn't happen we have found is when the product is just way too over built, or the speakers or room is way too over damped. Anyway when the product is opened up (and parts are freed from tension) we start the transfering of the energy and then tune it a generation or two or even more away from the parts, as the vibrations are making their way to ground or "settle".

When doing this the signal becomes extremely clear and far more dynamic than anything done directly on the part with dampening or any material if it is used to make things dissipate before the signal forms. Signal has a length of dissipation attached to it. You shorten it and things move up and constrict. If you go the other direction they open up till they become disembodied. What we do is find that range and then make tuning tools so someone can variably get the signal to the right amount of flow for them.

I know some may not like the terms but to the person doing these tuning methods they understand the connection cause they are listening to it happen.

Based on this you can see why we not only like wood but believe the voicing of wood and tuning the vibrations go hand in hand. It's an art meets technology type of thing.

The future of high end audio is building instruments. Years from now you won't see people up here debating with me over the things they do now, then you will see them claiming to have the best sounding wood. Watch, that's where the egos will turn. You can always count on the male ego in this hobby no matter who pushed the bolder up the hill first. But to me just so it gets up the hill and we move on from where we are now, that's what counts.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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More stuff on springs

I have been making spring based isolation stands for 18 years, it's all I did audio wise for several years. That was before I got into crystals and things that go BUMP in the night like clocks and Intelligent Chips and Morphic message foils. The springs I use now are cryogenically treated so they don't ring as much and the wire I use for the springs is the same high carbon heat tempered wire they use in pianos. I now use very small springs, mini isolators, about one inch high compressed, which have a huge advantage over the larger springs I used for years in that they have much better lateral support so they can be placed directly under components and they can accommodate objects with high centers of mass. Shucks, they could probably use them in submarines. The other advantage of course is that even very heavy masses can be isolated from the effects of the Earth by employing more springs. Give me enough springs and I can isolate a Verdier Turntable or really big amps like the monster Classe flagship amp. These independent springs, the Mini Isolators, are also amenable to making complicated structures like Dual Layer platforms using two layers of springs and heavy masses. I built a bunch of these dual layer stands in the Golden Sound room at CES back in 2005, the same year the Intelligent Chip from China was released on unsuspecting attendees at the show. So what are the springs doing? They are tuning out the Earth's crust vibration the peak amplitude of which is waay down close to 0 Hz. Of course there are other thing too, traffic, subways, the ocean waves, etc.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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sorry Dale

Sorry Dale

Missed your post, busy week! http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

michael green
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??Geoff??

Geoff

I have a question for you. Why are you using and doing stuff that is pitch specific?

michael green
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Well, let's see...
michael green wrote:

Geoff

I have a question for you. Why are you using and doing stuff that is pitch specific?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

No problem, Did you have something in mind? I can think of a lot of things I do that involve some specific frequency. Like how I find sound pressure peaks in the room or the resonant frequency of my iso systems. Which reminds me, how do you use springs in your system? My springs are designed to yield a specific resonant frequency under load, that frequency being 3 Hz. When searching for sound pressure peaks in the room, you know, back when I had a speaker system, I used to use a test tone of 315 Hz as it was a convenient frequency to use. Is this what you mean by pitch specific? There are some other things I do that are wavelength or frequency specific but probably not what you are thinking of, but maybe. I also design resonantors with specific frequencies, from tiny bowl resonators with diameter of the bowl about 1" to 15 foot long folded Helmholtz resonantors that are tuned to about 75 Hz. You can, of course, tune Helmholtz resonantors to just about any frequency you wish.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Advanced Audio Concepts

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here's why I'm asking

Hi Geoff

I don't want to go off into a bunch of stuff here, just want to be more clear.

When I get involved in cryo, I send it off to a lab in Bolder. I also will get instrument parts from time to time if someone is needing a pitch problem fixed, but these are usually for musical instruments. Every time I got into cryo is when someone wanted something fixed. When I am working with opening things up I do it with heat. The instrument companies I have worked with do the same thing. They don't treat the horn with cryo to open it, but to make it sound "one note" based. That's why when the air and vibrations pass through it the sound has more of a chance to be in tune with the other horns. I bring this up cause you mentioned piano strings and some do the same thing with them. But this locks them into a specific pitch and character for that range of cycles. First are we on the same page here?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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The subject of cryo
michael green wrote:

Hi Geoff

I don't want to go off into a bunch of stuff here, just want to be more clear.

When I get involved in cryo, I send it off to a lab in Bolder. I also will get instrument parts from time to time if someone is needing a pitch problem fixed, but these are usually for musical instruments. Every time I got into cryo is when someone wanted something fixed. When I am working with opening things up I do it with heat. The instrument companies I have worked with do the same thing. They don't treat the horn with cryo to open it, but to make it sound "one note" based. That's why when the air and vibrations pass through it the sound has more of a chance to be in tune with the other horns. I bring this up cause you mentioned piano strings and some do the same thing with them. But this locks them into a specific pitch and character for that range of cycles. First are we on the same page here?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

Of course swords are tempered using heat, making them stronger, more durable, and able to take a sharper edge. Cryoing them afterwards would probably have some value in terms of durability and strength, but after all of the heat cycles used in sword making not sure cryo would be of much value. I have been using cryo for certain things for 15 years maybe closer to twenty. For example, I used to cryo metals to make them stiffer and less prone to ringing, things like threaded rods, springs, nuts and washers, things I used in my super sensitive iso platform, but also CDs, Electron Tubes, cables, power cords, all of these things really for no other reason than to improve the sound. I also am rather adept at using the trusty home freezer for freezing things, which is a whole other topic. I have not cryo'd any musical instruments so cannot vouch for how it might affect the sound. I would predict that the sound of a brass instrument would be more open, with better voice and the fingering of the valves easier. Am I wrong about that? ;-)

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Hey Geoff,

I've been meaning to ask you about one of the items you carry. It's those quantum dot cards or whatever that credit card looking thing is that you use to treat discs. Once treated, is the treatment permanent to the CD or does it wear out and require retreating at some point? If so, about how often or within what kind of time frame?

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fixed

here's some of my experience and others

There's a mix about it in the instrument world. Here's an article.
_______________________________________________________

"Without, er, fanfare, two Tufts University engineering
researchers announced results of a study last week
rebutting a popular myth among some trumpet players that
deep-freezing the instruments will change the sound for the
better.

Rather, they told the Acoustical Society of America meeting
in Austin, Tex., that scientific testing of cryogenically
freezing 10 trumpets showed minimal differences when the
instruments were thawed and played by six musicians. After
two years of research, Dr. Chris Rogers, an engineering
professor, said that he and colleagues determined that
freezing trumpets did not make them sound better.

"One of the great things about studying musical
instruments, though, is if the player believes it will make
a difference, he or she will play better, so it acts as a
sort of placebo," Dr. Rogers said.

There has been growing interest among musicians in these
treatments for brass instruments of all kind. In
experiments, the instruments were cooled with liquid
nitrogen to minus 321 degrees Fahrenheit, and then slowly
warmed, all in the belief that they would become easier to
play. A major flute manufacturer uses the process, and
small storefront businesses have popped up for the sole
purpose of freezing the instruments.

Chip Jones, a Tufts graduate student involved in the
research, said he had recruited six trumpeters ranging in
skill from a former high school musician to a New England
Conservatory player to member of the Boston Symphony
Orchestra.

They played the same sequence on trumpets that had been
frozen and those that had not, and then rated the
instruments. They were also asked to identify which trumpet
matched the sound that "people say is brighter,
freer-blowing or that had more `presence,' " Mr. Jones
said.

Differences in the answers, he said, were statistically
insignificant. "There was more difference from trumpet to
trumpet and from player to player than in the results from
treatment of the instruments," Mr. Jones said.

The research was requested by Selmer Musical Instruments, a
wind instrument manufacturer, which was considering whether
to offer the cryogenic treatments for new instruments sold
from the Vincent Bach Stradivarius trumpet line. As a
result of the tests, the company has decided to forgo the
deep-freeze.

But others who have tried the deep-freeze say there is a
difference in ease of playing and in the range of "color"
in the tone.

In Arlington Heights, Ill., Wayne Tanabe, owner of the
Brass Bow music repair shop, said his advertising was by
word of mouth. "Otherwise, people think you're talking
about voodoo," he said.

He has a tub-size cryogenics tank where he can fit a tuba
and several trumpets. His freeze technique costs about $200
and takes 35 to 50 hours. As Mr. Tanabe explained it,
cryogenics accelerates what seems to happen to brass
instruments as they age. Sound quality improves because
resonance is clearer, he said.

Mr. Jones said studies had shown that while steel, for
example, did undergo change through freezing, brass did
not. Heating, by contrast, does soften metal, potentially
changing its acoustics.

The trumpet research is part a musical instrument
engineering program at Tufts. "
___________________________________________

There are of course many articles on this and many different opinions. My own testing resulted in several points of view. One of the biggies is the consistency of the temp during the proccess. I did not find freezer treating to be a good thing. We sent off CD's the Bolder and compared them to CD's we did following several on-line formulas. Our results were all over the place however the products we got back from the cryo plant were more consistent. That was until we did a boo boo by mistake. We left some of the CD's outside in 90 degree weather and the CD's were preminately screwy sound wise. This prompted a call to my friend doing the treatment. It turns out if you have products cryo treated you for ever more will have to keep them in a certain environment or they will in time become out of sonic balance.

here's what I heard from my own listening test

I took the Cd's purchased off the self brand new, and sent some to two cryo labs, I had two friends do the freeze, and I did mine. In total there were 6 Cd's. All of the CD's got an hour play after a quick A/B. The quick A/B was a bust. We determined that anyone doing a quick A/B was not something we were going to take seriously. Reason being there was as much bad as there was good that came from the treatment and the listeners picked up on that right away but everyone noticed something different from the others. BTW no one was allowed to talk to each other but the results instead were writen and shared after the test. So we all agreed the A/B was out to lunch. Next were the long listening test. The conclusions here were that there was more of a change during the systems settling than the differences with the Cd's, with one exception. All the treated CD's sounded brighter than the non-treated one. The treated CD's all were shifted up in pitch. At first it sounded tighter but the more you listened you could hear the bottom notes were shifted up along with the whole presentation.

In comparing the notes at the end of the day, everyone heard something different plus and minus. Some thought the treated CD from Bolder was the best as far as being clean sounding but also it was bass shy. Others didn't like any of the treated CD's because they felt they were sterile. No one liked our home brew in the freezer attempts. Sterile, and pitchy.

A couple of weeks went by and we had a rep from King come and give us a demo. He brought a regular horn and a treated one. The treated one bit the ears off of us while the untreated sounded more mellow and fuller. We then heat treated the un-treated horn and it sounded yet even more full. The rep explained to us the uses with both. he also told us that the reason some get their horns treated for their students is so they sound more broken in, but he also said that in the long run players preferred the non-treated.

I want to tell you guys that I do temp treatments, but because of my experience they lean toward the heat treatments and not the freezing, as you have read why. I'm open to do it again, but I causion people doing anything that could perminately shift frequency responses. I have seen people in the past ruin big portions of their collections cause they did something based on a quick fix and I encourage people to do their listening homework before jumping into anything.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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My question to Geoff

Hi Geoff

I hope you don't feel I am downing the things you believe in, but when I have a different experence and when others do too I have to go with what my experience leads me to. You mentioned earlier that I have bad luck with tweaks. In reality I'm just extremely thorough, and I always back up my testing by having others doing their version of the same tests. Not saying you don't, just saying I do.

The question that I have about cryo treating the springs and stuff is this. I have found that the cryo treatment to shift the pitch upward as you can read so did the other testers and the King Rep, when I put cryo treated springs in my tuning systems everything goes brittle and bright, how do you keep this from happening?

When I use heat treated springs I get far more warmth and inner harmonic detail and bigger stage. So why do you see the cryo springs to be better than the heat treated ones?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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More cryo stuff
michael green wrote:

Hi Geoff

I hope you don't feel I am downing the things you believe in, but when I have a different experence and when others do too I have to go with what my experience leads me to. You mentioned earlier that I have bad luck with tweaks. In reality I'm just extremely thorough, and I always back up my testing by having others doing their version of the same tests. Not saying you don't, just saying I do.

The question that I have about cryo treating the springs and stuff is this. I have found that the cryo treatment to shift the pitch upward as you can read so did the other testers and the King Rep, when I put cryo treated springs in my tuning systems everything goes brittle and bright, how do you keep this from happening?

When I use heat treated springs I get far more warmth and inner harmonic detail and bigger stage. So why do you see the cryo springs to be better than the heat treated ones?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

"When I use heat treated springs I get far more warmth and inner harmonic detail and bigger stage. So why do you see the cryo springs to be better than the heat treated ones?"

That's a great question and the answer is: I don't know. The reason I say that is I have always used heat tempered springs as the baseline, and I have them fabricated and heat treated by the manufacturer according to my spec for the spring, in terms of size and spring rate. Then I send them to the cryo lab for vapor cryo. One thing you may or may not be aware of is that one must exercise due care when A/Bing cryo'd CDs, springs, musical instruments, etc. Because the cryo process - even though the labs perform very slow ramp down to temperature and long dwell time and slow ramp up to room temperature - thermal shock does come into play so that judgements as to the effects on the materials, even CDs and especially the effects on SOUND should be reserved for at least a WEEK after the items are returned from the cryo lab. This thermal shock makes the cryo'd thing sound a little funky, pinched, strange until it wears off. Then everything should open up and the tone should sound correct. I know some folks high up in the food chain who concluded cryo is a bad thing because they jumped to the conclusion too hastily.

I am also not sure I go along with the one guy's statement that cryo does not affect brass. Cryo affects almost all materials in a positive way, metals, plastics, signal conductors, dielectic materials, taking into account the temporary thermal shock, in terms of making the atoms and molecules more homogeneous, thus the material becomes stronger, more durable, with less stress and strain, like a super material, especially for things like trumpets and similar musical instruments that undergo a lot of bending and hammering, etc., things that are drawn, formed, pressed, stretched, etc. I am also just a little uncomfortable when people use the term PLACEBO in the context of the experiment as if that explains ANY positive results someone else has. It's quite possible the experiment that concluded cryo has no effect on the sound was simply not carried out properly for any number of reasons. Who knows? One thing is for sure, when it comes to sound and tweaks like cryogenic treatment you can always find positive and negative results of experiments and listening tests.

Did you know that almost all high end cable manufacturers employ cryo?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Quantum dot thingie
Catch22 wrote:

I've been meaning to ask you about one of the items you carry. It's those quantum dot cards or whatever that credit card looking thing is that you use to treat discs. Once treated, is the treatment permanent to the CD or does it wear out and require retreating at some point? If so, about how often or within what kind of time frame?

There used to be a product I carried, not designed, from the same dude that came up with the original Intelligent chip, called the Intelligent Box that employed an Intelligent Card that was about the size of a credit card. The card was actually the delivery device and contained a ultra thin layer of quantum dots between layers of the card. Thus when a corner of the card was cut off the layer of dots was exposed to the laser inside the Intelligent Box. The Intelligent Box was reviewed about 6 years ago by the two PhDs from Netherlands and their review can be found on 6 Moons at:

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/machinadynamica2/ib.html

What I sell these days is the evolution of the Intelligent Box/ Intelligent Card - the Super Intelligent Chip, which I designed and which is fabricated with the help of a well known nanotechnology company, and which incorporates the latest quantum technology, light years ahead of the Original Intelligent Chip and Intelligent Card, is inserted into the player along with the disc to be treated. Then the disc is allowed to play for 2 seconds, which is just to confirm the laser came on, the chain reaction occurs in the blink of an eye, then the disc is PERMANENTLY upgraded, like a remastered disc. Each Super Intelligent Chip treats 14 discs. The Intelligent Card treated 100 discs for comparison, but the card was expensive and you had to buy the box which was also expensive. The reason these quantum dot thingies run out of steam and can't be used indefinitely is because the laser exposure changes the chemical make-up of the stuff inside the device so at some point it can't do its thing, as it were. The Super Intelligent Chip is a small silver disc about 1/2" diameter that is adhesive backed so it can be attached to the CD tray somewhere for example on the Mini Disc portion of the tray. The chip is light sensitive so when not in use it should always be stored in its foil wrapper.

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Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
We do artificial atoms right

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Thanks, Geoff

The link was interesting reading. I think you should "borrow" their term, "Photon Cannon."

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Photon cannons
Catch22 wrote:

The link was interesting reading. I think you should "borrow" their term, "Photon Cannon."

The original Photon Cannons article in 6 Moons concerns itself with the enigmatic Intelligent Chip and the Nespa. Here's the link:

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/photoncannons/photoncannons.html

With respect to the two PhDs and their effort in producing the review I was amused by their assumption that the Quantum Dots that were contained in the Intelligent Card were located in the black dots on the front of the card, visible in the photos in the 6 Moons review of the Intelligent Box. Actually the black dots are just ordinary ink and are part of the company logo. :-). The quantum dots are actually located between the two layers that comprise the card, like a thin film of quantum dots. So, the Card acts like what we call an edge emitter.

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Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
We do artificial atoms right

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didn't know

Hi Geoff

I didn't know that most of the cables were cryo treated. I've been using my own. Sometimes I will test others but they usually sound bright or strangly dull. A lot of cables to us sound artifical. I was asked to ask you what temp to set my cryo treatment at? I'm going to have a couple of CD's done.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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the AES

"Didn't the AES or acoustic society solve all of the reflection-absorption-resonance issues long ago?"

The audio engineering world has a ways to go. A large part of the problem is that they are still doing spot testing instead of omni testing. Another problem is calibration. Not just calibrating mikes for testing but also the computers. I was more than surprised when the warner bros and sony guys came to my reference studio and played their FLAC copies vs the originals. On that front let's just say I'm hanging on to my Cd's for a while.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Cryogenic temperature
michael green wrote:

Hi Geoff

I didn't know that most of the cables were cryo treated. I've been using my own. Sometimes I will test others but they usually sound bright or strangly dull. A lot of cables to us sound artifical. I was asked to ask you what temp to set my cryo treatment at? I'm going to have a couple of CD's done.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

I think the labs have a pretty good idea how to set up the computer in terms of ramp down time, dwell time and ramp up time. There is also the consideration that you probably do not wish to expose anything to the pure nitrogen liquid since that is much colder than the vapor. Almost all cryo labs use these large cryo coolers that look like big ice chests that are constructed so that the items being cryo'd are only exposed to the nitrogen vapor. Jena Labs the ex NASA dude like yours truly does dip the item being cryo'd into the pure liquid nitrogen, which is somewhat colder than the vapor, for a short unspecified period of time at the end of the dwell cycle. Whether this step is good, bad or indifferent, is a little debatable, due to the potential for hurting the material, but I think the point is that you certainly don't want to dip whatever you are cryoing into the pure liquid nitrogen for very long, IF AT ALL. If I recall correctly the pure liquid nitrogen temperature is about -325 F and the nitrogen vapor temperature is -300 F. If you are going to do the cryo yourself I would use vapor only, at -300F but I think the critical part of the whole process is controlling the temperature, lowering the temperature VERY SLOWLY from room temperature to -300 F then keeping the temperature constant for say 12 hours or so then returning the thing to room temperature VERY SLOWLY. For those reasons cryo labs are highly recommended.

The reason why I say dipping the item being cryo'd into liquid nitrogen during the final stage of the dwell cycle (or at any time) is debatable, by the way, is because if anyone is going to nitpick about a temperature difference of 25 degrees, then you have to ask yourself IF the lowest possible temperature really is SUPERIOR and would be SUPERIOR FOR THE SOUND why hasn't some enterprising soul developed a cryo lab based on liquid hydrogen which in its liquid state is - 429 F ? Avoiding thermal shock, albeit temporary, which is the thing that makes the sound pinched, weird, unmusical, etc. Is one reason I use the freezer section of the fridge for home cryo. And yes I know the temperature in the freezer is not really cryo temperature so any audiophiles out there listening to this please don't send me any long explanations about how a home freezer isn't cold enough and is not permanent. Lol

I have my own cables cryo'd at Cryopro in Missouri. I also have all of my cables burned in on the AudioDharma Cable Cooker at Audio Excellence, I figure better safe than sorry.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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CD

Hi Geoff

Is that who did the CD your sending to Bill?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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