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michael green
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lets do some referencing

Hi Listeners

It's good to see the Stereophile forum hopping a little. I notice that there are more people reading lately. This is what I like to see. Cool to have a group of folks coming and sharing how to get good sound. Personally I'm all about everyone getting their perfect stage.

Someone somewhere asked if I would pick a recording to reference, so I thought I would choose one that I use often when tuning and seeing it is a recording that most listeners have it makes it easy.

If you have a copy of Abbey Road and wish to walk through your soundstage join me and we'll have some fun.

I've done this walk through before on TuneLand http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t66-abbey-road-experience and so if you would like to read this it might kinda show you what we're up to.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

michael green
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Speaks volumes

On the stereophile forum I've seen a lot of talk. Kinda like the engineering/science club, so I put up a thread on listening (a comparing of soundstages) and nothing. No bites! This shows me what is wrong with the industry. They can talk about how they see things working but they can't come to the table and say "I'm hearing this". I choose one of the most popular recordings ever, and nothing. I'm on the phone or forum or email all week long every week guiding peoples soundstages and them giving me hints as well to tune to, but I come up on one of the 2 most influential mag forums in the industry and nadda nothing. This speaks volumes to me.

Why in the world are these pages not full of fun comparisons and tuning in of systems? People seem to be full of debate, but where is the listening guys and gals? In the 70's and 80's we all sat around listening to each others systems. What happened?

This was design week at TuneLand Vegas and even though we had tons of work to do it was hard to get each other out of the listening room. I got turned on to a bunch of music and we compared notes about systems and what we would do. It doesn't get much more fun than this, but why isn't this happening in the industry? Why are people more defensive about their systems instead of exploring both the system and the music? I love it when someone hears something on my system that isn't quite right to them. It gives me a chance to tune things in to what they are hearing and I can then listen to that piece of music through their ears. But in this industry people seem to get stuck on a right or wrong complex. Here's my system, here's how it sounds, and here's the music it can play. That's It? That's as far as it goes? I'm sorry folks but you are missing out on a whole chapter if you think you don't have more control over the music than this.

There are millions of different sounding systems and this should be a hint that there is more to the audio signal than what people are using. Stop and think a minute about why does his system sound different than yours. Is it that someone is wrong or right, or is there more to the audio signal than you think? If all these systems can sound different this should be enough to tell you that there is not only a lot of music being left on the cutting room floor but also that systems should be able to be variably tunable, realigning this audio signal to play more or less of the signal.

Have you noticed that the reviewers and now listeners on forums can describe a sound of a system, but they never explain why the differences in sound? It's like they for 50 years are missing the point. It shouldn't be about all these different sounding systems playing different parts of the music. What should be going on is creating systems that can play all these different parts of the music. Where's is our collective audio brain disconnecting on this issue? Don't get technical about this, just stop and think, your buddy's system sounds different than yours. Parts of it sounds better and other parts not as good. This should be speaking loud and clear to you, but for 50 some years now it's falling on "deaf" ears. In creating all these different sounding components we also created a world of plug and play, but along with this comes someone being right and someone being wrong. This isn't what music is about. Recorded music is much bigger than what we are playing on our system.

size

You know not once has anyone ever told me why they are playing a recording of a bigger space yet when in playback it is much smaller. I have news, the stage isn't smaller, the systems are just playing them smaller. This is what is stoping your system from sounding like your neighbors and his sounding like yours. Your playing part of the stage and not the whole thing. This happens in the studio as well as the home playback. This is called "signal blockage" and it happens when the signal is not being passed through these vibrating conduits in tune with each other. While the debates go on about what the signal is and how we should be "killing" vibrations, if you are really listening you will hear that the killing of these vibrations are what is making the stage smaller. I do this experiment every day and have others do it all over the world so there is no debate, there's only the coming to grips of what is going on and what to do about it.

the solution

The answer is an obvious one, open up the signal to let it play full size. Once full size you can tune it back in to your taste and desired focus. Done it thousands of times and so have others and you could to, so there is really no audiophile spin debate to be had here. It comes down to two simple camps, those who have opened things up and others who are listening to the blockage and trading off one blockage for another.

Let me put this to you more simply. You have been reading reviews for many years now, and have probably listened to quite a few systems. Are you saying that every month Stereophile and TAS and the others are introducing components that are distorting and have been for 300 years now? Sorry I guess we're not quite that old. If one system sounds different from another, and they all do, then one of the systems is right and the rest are distorting. So either yours or your buddy's system is distorting right? They can't both be right unless yours is playing part of the signal and his is playing another part correctly. So we are either all listening to distortion (not having the whole) or our systems (all of them) are playing a piece of the recording and not the whole thing. This can not be more plain or explained by any techno-wizard to be made right. The fact is you and I are playing part of the signal until we can open up the system to a real size real space reality. I have another fact for you, try all the dampening you want, but your system will still sound different from your brother listeners. Your going the opposite direction. You think by killing you are restoring, but signal does work that way. You try giving all kinds of smarts to this and can explain things up a blue streak and yet your dampen system is not revealing the whole stage. You can resort to lying and if no one comes to your house you might get away with it. You might also find a recording that you demo for your friends that show how cool your system is, but sooner or later your going to put on a recording that shows your systems lack of being able to play the whole picture (stage). You can defend your position your whole life, but still the system is not doing it's job and you know it.

The flip side to this is having a system that doesn't have the blockage, and if you ever hear one of these systems it is something that transcends the hobby. The first thing you will notice with one of these systems is that the music is all around you. The stage is not just a frontal one. Second thing you will notice, is you can walk right up on the speaker and you will hear the music from the room and not coming directly out of the speaker. Meaning you will not hear the speaker stick out until you get maybe a foot from the drivers. As soon as you back away from the speaker the soundstage fills the room and you can't hear the speaker anymore.

But for me, here's the most important part. I can put on any recording in my collection and if I do hear it sounding not so good I can tune the system till the code of the recording is in tune with the code of the system and the recording will open up just like the recordings that I play that automatically fill the stage. And to me this is the biggest reason I like a low mass tunable system. I don't have to go recording hopping, and music that I love doesn't have to sit on the shelf.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

wkhanna
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with all due respect.....

Hi Michael.

Please understand my questions are sincere.

There are at least nine different versions of the White Album that I know of, including the mono version.
Which one are you using?

With regards, to 'size', I get the impression what you are doing is creating an artificial holographic effect? Many of us can take a recording, manipulate the equipment & room acoustics to produce any number of results. I am interested in what you consider a benchmark.

I agree that the intent should be to have the equipment 'get out of the way' of the signal that is on the source.
My friends & I get together all the time to swap & compare equipment & tweaks. We use our experience from live performances as a baseline.

The interesting thing is, as diverse as all our six systems are, they all gravitate towards the ability to reproduce live acoustic instruments & voice.

regards,
Bill

michael green
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Abbey

Hi Bill

I'm talking about Abbey Road. Are you in?

It's not a trick question. We reference recordings and soundstages to hear what each other are doing. When we do these it's not about who is right or wrong, but about where is your system right now with that recording. It helps exchange ideas and ways we can get different results. For example I'm about opening things up to the biggest soundstage possible as most of my clients like to hear huge stages with tons of info. They also like to find out how to listen to recordings they thought were so so, but are really quite big and entertaining.

michael green
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wkhanna
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on the road

Michael,
The only version I have is a 24/96 rip of the 1969 UK vinyl.
BTW, I no longer have a CD player.
All my CD's have been ripped to lossless FLAC format on the hard drives of my NAS.
Bill

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That's cool

Hi Bill

That's fine, we can listen to that. Do you want to put on track 10?

michael green
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wkhanna
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up next on tonight's play list....

It is playing now.

michael green
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fantastic!

Great, this is such a great song. Can you tell me a little about the Crickets and Frogs in the stage as far as placement and how big they are and their general sound?

should be fun :)

michael green
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wkhanna
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timing

My apologies, Michael.
It is late at night at casa crumudgeon.
I am not able to play above 60 dB without disrupting domestic harmony (iow, The Wife is sleeping, which is a condition I pine for and provides unspeakable relief on my part).
May we please continue this evaluation at time more convenient to my situation?
I look forward to our discoveries.
I will post my evaluations after I have the opportunity to listen at level that will better reveal the low level details we are examining.
Regards,

Bill

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sounds great

Sounds great Bill

Have a good evening and I'm looking forward to the fun! Maybe others will join in too.

michael green
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Abbey Road

Sure, i'd like to join in if I may. I've got several versions of Abbey Road on CD, and the better half is never a problem. lol
Where do we start ?

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....and they're off

Hi tmsorosk.

I suppose we can listen at our leisure and just report back at any time on what we are hearing.
Which versions do you have?
You may find this link helpful

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=the+beatles&album=abbey+road

I took a few minutes yesterday while The Wife was out to do some evaluations and write down some notes.
I will be posting some details shortly after I have more time to do some uninterrupted listening.

Bill

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track #10

You guys can list which ever version you would like. I'm going to use the generic off the shelf variety from my travel pack. Probably the 87 version I would think or maybe the 2009. I'm too lazy to get out my glasses and look.

When you put on track 10 for starters you will hear the crickets start out with a nice little group of frogs to join in.

Describe the sound and movement of these?

The reason I said generic earlier was on purpose BTW, and I will explain later once we get going.

michael green
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Hello Michael, one short question

How would you define "natural" soundstage for a recording of solo violin that I know (it's in the booklet) has been recorded in a small hall? Don't you think a 30 ft soundstage (with a 6 ft violin in it) would sound unnatural?

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what the mic and instrument is doing

Hi Costin

Not to me cause I know what mics and rooms do together. A lot of times in this hobby we make our want list, and I think we should. At the same time there is a room, mic, and studio involved and these all have a signiture and these signitures are all part of the mix.

Ever sit with a listener friend and they say "that can't be right, the vocal sounds much bigger than the persons real head size". This is very true but we are not listening to the persons voice in a room with the person standing 5' away from us, we are listening to a voice that is taking up most of a microphones diaphragm.

I should also add a 30 foot wide soundstage does not mean all the instruments are over sized as compared to the recording. What it does mean is a lot more info.

michael green
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more to the point

Hi Costin I went to edit and couldn't sorry.

To be more to the point about the violin. I do a lot of classical setups both for recording and live and if you walk up to a violin in many halls and stand a few feet from it while playing the size will vary greatly depending on the acoustics, and many times yes the violin in person will sound much bigger than the size of the actual instrument. Take one to a St. Martins or St. Johns (NY) or many halls and this will happen. It also depends on the mic pattern. An inch with a mic can mean a mile with a stage, especially in a hall.

michael green
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iosiP
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Thanks for ypour answer

But then, the reproduction of music should strive to offer the live experience. Yes I can understand that some people would like a cornet to sound sweet, but it just doesn't in real life, so after all it's about "faithful" versus "pleasant", and where exactly each of us stands on that scale.
Yes there are more incompetent mastering engineers than you can kill with an AK47, and more commercial reasons to make a recording sound loud and cave-like (e.g. giving in to headphone-only "listeners") than to work for a fine balance - and BTW, I can always tell ECM from MoFi from FIM from Chesky from Stockfish from (you name it), but if someone went to live music events he knows how a drum kit should sound, and maybe understand why recording engineers use as many as nine mikes to "get it all".

So mainly there are two "audio religions": those who consider the whole composition-interpretation-recording-mastering as an artistic product, and want to hear exactly what's in those pits'n'lands, and those who would prefer to enjoy the listening experience as much as possible, and damn fidelity if it would show the warts and stutters.

That's my $0.02 (again)! Just hope not to overdraw my audiophile account!

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I'll start

Sometimes I like to start this song by the end of the last cause of how they blend together (what a recording!). The crickets for me in my small room should be described more as a moving pond. I can hear the Crickets and Frogs and other little goodies filling the space that starts about 4 feet behind me to maybe 8 to 10 feet behind the speaker placement. How wide to the right I would have to say 8 to 10 feet outside of my room with a stray frog or two that sounds off 15 or so feet off to the right and rear, but the whole right side of my stage feels like a pond, and that pond moves up to and through me, as if someone had me in a chair and was moving the chair through the outdoors. When people describe this as a frontal effect their not sitting in this room cause you can see a space. I have heard this bigger but this is what I have now. I can also tune it in smaller and it will travel in this neat straight line but I like the bigger feel.

The Crickets move right to left in a big motion stop near midpoint, then the loop starts again. On this setup the crickets exit outside my room to the left maybe 5 feet. You can hear the fader go on the left side back about 8 feet as the crickets thin out.

Again I recommend starting this a little early so the chimes can lead you into the outdoors.

The magic to the Sun King has only just begun.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

adding

I needed to play this and hear it outside the room, so I started it up again and walked up my stairs toward the room and it felt like I was about to walk outside with the pond sounding off. A cool effect indeed.

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made a little tune

After listening to the cross fade a few times I decided I wanted a little change to the cymbals splash as they filled the room. I liked the body but wanted a little more on the back end of the harmonics, so I took my LTR Tuning Blocks and moved them a little closer to the edge of my CD player, and splash. This is more like it for me and the space of the pond spreads out even further as well.

michael green
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Location, Location, Location

Hey Costin,

Glad you have joined in the conversation here.

As for the violin.....
I have classical recordings have many different 'sounds'.
Some are 'mic'd' as though you are standing in the conductors position. These have what you might call a 'smaller' staging with less ambiance of the hall & tight focus of the instruments. Others are more like being in the orchestra section center at about the 15th row. And others seem to have you placed much further back where there is much interaction with the hall, but somewhat less definition of individual instruments or orchestra sections.

I also have some direct-to-disc recordings, like the Sheffield Labs produced "Harry James & his Big Band - The King James Version". These recordings can offer some of the most realistic presentations you are likely to hear.

http://www.sheffieldlab.com/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_to_disc_recording

Bill

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a must have

Sheff did some great recordings! I wore out a couple of king james versions, and james newton howard and friends.

michael green
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why do I reference the stuff I do

I have people ask me "why do I reference the music I do"?

Well the fact is I reference tons of different music, but I like to reference stuff people get stuck on often. Audiophile recordings so often do a great job, but they can also get very boring. I have clients that have all kinds of jazz and classical and simple folk. They put them on and start talking about all the great things they are doing but as their talking I walk over to their collection and start asking about some of the other pieces they have on their shelves, I also have my travel kit, and as I reach for the forbidden recordings on their shelf or my music case I can see their knees already starting to knock. They start telling me about how audiophile recordings are so much better and how they are closer to real, but I go ahead and pull out something like Abbey Road (one great recording) and they about buckle intwo. You see I'm not after making a system sound good or look good on an easy recording. I'm after being able to play anything I want. The music starts to play and the recording is dead inbetween the speakers and flat as a pancake or bright or bass gone or.... Then the talk begins about recording accuracy as if I had never been in the studio and recording. I grew up in the studio, and in live concerts as the performer and engineer so that's not going to wash. Had my first stereo store at 21 so kinda know my way around equipment too. I usually let them go through their xanax driven panic, then start to slowly make changes to their setup or as you guys have read me do, setup system two. Slowly but surely we start to move toward the common mans music and that's what I'm doing on this thread.

My grandma can reference and audiophile recording, so I hope we stay on track and even though we have questions we can move in the direction of taking a more involved recording and make our listening experience into one of magic.

Back to my audiophiled clients for a second. After I take them through the recordings the rest of the world buys I bring them back to their classical and jazz and folk. I show them the difference between a tiny stage and a real size one. This usually gets another shocked response. The first time, for example, seeing an audiophile go from the hall in front of him to sitting in the hall around him is something to behold, and something until it happens they would never believe true. I see people reading this raising their hands, and I say hang on, even Harry wrote about how folks should find a way to add rear hall with surround. I don't use surround and get rear hall, even 20 feet back if it's in the recording, and it is.

We might have the best listeners, and that would be great, coming up on this thread, but I know for a fact most people in this hobby are listening to a fraction of the stage, and I would like to show how much more there is. If someone wants to stay small I'm perfectly fine with that, but most I have a feeling would love to go big, just don't know how to do it.

I write this because I know a thread like this could get really off track and I would like for it to, but also come back to the reference at hand cause it will teach all of us something if we are honest and trust each other. I hope others join in and I hope the ones here stay on board.

michael green
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The tune settles

Hi Guys

Earlier today I made a little tweak on my soundstage and wanted to give an update. I've been playing Abbey Road on repeat and stopping in to hear the changes. The move with the Blocks was a good one and made the whole recording lots of fun, giving a fair amount of girth to Paul's bass guitar and Star's drums. Snares sound very full as well the toms. A nice warm sound going on and the stage is growing. Vocals are full and smooth. Not a hint of brittle anywhere in the stage. Drum sticks have a nice snap to them and the instruments are well defined. I'll get into some more of track 10 later but had to listen through the recording start to finish. "I want you" is killer. The bass is way tight and great bump and touch to it.

have fun

michael green
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speakers are gone

Hi Guys

Hope some are following this and getting ideas. Today I did my in or out of the speaker test. This test will tell you alot about your systems ability to get out of the musics way.

In my room you have to walk right infront of the speaker to get to the seat, literally inches as I am setup extreme nearfield. A way I can tell if the recording is somewhat intune is if I walk by this speaker and either hear soundstage from the room or hear the music coming directly from the speaker. This is very important because your room should be playing the music, and if it isn't you are missing all kinds of music. So here's the test again, How close can you get to your speaker before hearing it instead of the room? Your room should always be louder than your speakers. Your speakers are what is stimulating the room but your room being a natural amplifier should take over in the producing of the sound pressure. If you are able to walk around your room and right up to your speaker and hear the soundstage instead of the music coming directly out of the speaker you are on the right path.

Today with Abbey Road I could get my ear 16" from the speaker before the music fell into it on the left side and 13" on the right side. This is telling me the system is fairly even and able to produce mostly soundstage without a room speaker fight. If you are not able to get fairly close to the speaker without the music jumping in it this is telling you, there is still a speaker/room fight going on. The key to hearing more of the recording is hearing less of the system. You don't want a system to be a dictator, you want it to be a conduit.

michael green
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track 10 the "cymbals"

On the Sun King there are a few things that set the stage. Movements that set the mood before taking you into the rest of the recording. As the crickets and frogs take you into the outside feeling there is also some cymbals that paint a picture of their own. If you follow the cymbals you will hear them hit at a very low tone then they will fill the stage. It's like hit (sounds like a mallet), then the whole cymbal, then spread across the whole 3D stage. This tells me that the cymbals were probably set up in a fairly good size room or/and with a mic that had a wide pickup. The more you hear the cymbals fill the room gives you an idea of how your space is going to handle the other instrument movements as far as layering. If the cymbals only fill side to side your going to have a flater (not as deep) stage. If the cymbals come out into the room and back as well as filling the side to side you can guess you will hear a lot of layering. In my setup I can see the cymbals spread in both front to back evenly with the side to side. The end of the splashes go maybe a foot behind me before stopping and maybe 9 or so feet behind the speakers. On Sun King it is not so much a side to side event but more of a lake soundstage with things happening in the middle of the lake and spreading out evenly in all directions.

michael green
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Abbey Road

Anyone, what is the best sounding CD of Abbey Road? In particular is either of the last two remasters 2014 and 2009 the one to get?

Thanks in advance - Geoff @ Machina Dynamica

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Your 3D Stage!

You read a lot about 3D SoundStages as compared to "video screen" this is so important in our listening and should be defined so that we can come closer to a listening standard. Many times I've gone to listening events where I was told I would be listening to a 3D stage but when I got there I noticed that the stage was lopsided (out of proportion). There was more side to side than front to back staging. They talked about layering but that layering was happening starting right behind the speakers and going back from there, and not coming toward or even flowing behind the listening position.

When you walk in most live recording rooms and listen to the instruments playing you can hear the whole room, and many times the room (depending on treatment) is louder than the instrument. You can hear a front to back pressure as well as a side to side. Actually I should not speak of this in such a limited way. When you listen to most percussive type instruments you hear more of a spherical sound if up close and backing away a room sound. It's like the note is hit and things spread in all directions evenly at the same time, like a mini explosion. With this sound pressure explosion comes a flavoring of the room. As much as the note is pushing against the room, the room is pushing right back (in a dampened room). If the room is in tune with the instrument the note will ring on forever before the oscillation goes out of pitch. A great thing to hear especially on bigger instruments like a piano. But back to the point. Your soundstage is being recorded in all directions, and when you play it back it should play back in all directions.

As I recorded it was amazing how much the mics really picked up. Many times it seemed like the mics picked up much more than the pattern suggested. There's something magical about room pressure that shows up on the recording. It's like the mic many times is like a vaccuum able to pick up the whole space as well is the finest of detail. The mic doesn't care what the pressure is, it just transfers what is there, and if the room or anything in the room is being part of that pressure that moves the diaphragm, it is going on the recording. The wider the pattern the fatter the sound (mic dependent of course), the fatter the sound the more the note is being picked up as a "lake effect" (all directions being equal).

Why is this important?

Many times audiophiles talk about detail, but many times this detail is nothing more than squeezing the soundstage. Instead of having a stage that goes as much front to back as it does side to side or any other direction many "detailed" stages have almost no flowing stages but very focused in on a tiny part of the recording. It sounds cool and the inner detail maybe be sharp as a tac, but if you were able to pull back you will see a lot of music fill in begin to happen. Fact is, you can have a huge stage and still have it extremely tight, but if you have a system that is only able to focus in on an instrument and make a small halo around it (maybe 4 or 5 feet) you are probably missing a lot of the stage and recording. For this reason you will hear a lot of guys say something is a "bad" recording when it is nothing more than the system not playing enough of the info.

The audiophile is taught that their systems are ultra revealing, when in many cases they are less revealing only showing a part of the recorded stage. This is why a recording sounds bad to them. They are cutting out most of the recording and that causes them to hear some part that might be nice or might be horrible depending on what part they are focusing in on. One thing we can almost be certain of is that the live room was a lot more dynamic and a lot bigger than our playback soundstages. This is why I go after size. Size is the key to more info. You might say "when I make my soundstage size bigger by spreading my speakers I get soundstage holes". This is not the soundstage but your system doing this. You should be able to spread your speakers as far apart as you want. If holes come into your soundstage you need to look at tuning the room and freeing up the blocked parts of your system. It is not the recording.

michael green
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wkhanna
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Mallets

this is the first thing I notice.
it is the very first sound at the very beginning of the track and sets the entire ambiance of the song.
some might perceive it as a kind of tape hiss, but there is much more texture, tone & timbre.
it sets the entire stage.
it is a large cymbal, played with what appear to be large, soft headed mallets.
It washes the the entire sound stage like an artist's deft stroke applying watercolor paint, but with a huge mop.
it begins to the right then fills across, from eye level up beyond the ceiling & across a deep horizon.

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geoffkait wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

Anyone, what is the best sounding CD of Abbey Road? In particular is either of the last two remasters 2014 and 2009 the one to get?

Thanks in advance - Geoff @ Machina Dynamica

I wish i could help.
the only advice i have is to try dr database, but it too, must be taken with the proverbial grain of salt.

in my experience, most 'remasters' are disappointments, so labeled as to provide a milking of revenue from previously well-selling releases.

JMHO YMMV

Bill

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now the bass

So you guys hear the tape loop (this huge movement of crickets and other swap creatures lol), and the cymbals (also filling a big part of the stage). Now look at the bass. 1,2,3 bass and drum joins the guitar already in play. Do you hear the bass separate from where the guitar starts? Which is in front of the other? The drum, bass and guitar all start on the left, but listen to see if you can hear them all starting from a different place on the left side. After that beat you will hear the guitar and drums start their pan, but at the point where there is that 1,2,3 strum look to see them in three distinct spaces. Do they group in the speaker, in front, behind and how separate are they? Does the stage do a little banana there or go straight across or can you see more front to back as the tracks move? Look to see if there is sound infront of the speakers and how far in front. Do you feel like you are in the recorded space or watching it?

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Mallets part deux

wanted to add, at very beginning, say the first three seconds or so....The cymbal has very large, full & rich presence that elicits a nature similar to that of a suspended gong.

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excellent description

Every time it hits through the song I get that gong feeling too. It's like I'm sitting outside listening to this pond and following it, then (((smooth gong))), ring and then (((gong))). And think of it, Alan was a tape runner before this. From runing tape copies to mixing one of our standards, amazing talent!

michael green
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which version
wkhanna wrote:

Hi tmsorosk.

I suppose we can listen at our leisure and just report back at any time on what we are hearing.
Which versions do you have?
You may find this link helpful

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=the+beatles&album=abbey+road

I took a few minutes yesterday while The Wife was out to do some evaluations and write down some notes.
I will be posting some details shortly after I have more time to do some uninterrupted listening.

Bill

Hello Bill and others

WOW , I see I'm a little behind, good thing Michael sent me an email informing me of my incompetence. lol

I didn't dig out all my copies of Abbey Road but i did find and spin up my favourite. 094638246824 that was in the remastered 17 disc set in the fancy black box from about 5 years ago. I was surprised to see it only got an average rating on the scale you referred to, haven't done a disc by disc comparison of everyone in this set but most I've heard were superior to any other copies I own.

Was just trying to pick out some of the subtleties Michael mention, crickets and such.
One thing that was quickly apparent was the size of the sound stage, more specifically the width. After listening for a while I remeasured my speaker position. The speakers are now 12 feet apart and the same from the listening position. I don't usually conform to the equal triangle formula for most setups but the audio club boys were over a few nights ago and reorganized the position by ear, six pair. I usually leave things alone for a while after they leave just to hear the differences.
Back to listening to the very relaxing presentation of this fine disc.

Tim

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let the meat rest...

From a culinary perspective, it is always best to let the meat ‘rest’ after removing it from the heat. It allows the ‘juice’ to re-absorb. Giving time to absorb changes in your system is always a good thing, IMHO. Having friends who share our passion offer learned experience is also V beneficial. You are lucky to be in such an environment.

Be comfortable in your conclusions and above all, enjoy music.

Bill

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extreme nearfield

Hi Guys

Welcome onboard Tim! Well I guess I'm the extreme nearfield guy of the bunch. I'm in a room much smaller than you guys. Only 9 x 9 x 8, but don't feel bad for me it's a huge stage. I have a couple other rooms but this is the one I've been previewing lately, cause the others are filled with curing wood for folks.

A little about my setup. Of course you know the size, it's an upstairs room so I have floor joist underneath, but I also built a tunable floor ontop of the regular floor. It's made out of cured studs and my .75" Music Ply. To the left of me is the window covered in more Music Ply. The closet to my right and the door into the open upstairs areas I use as room ports which fools the room into thinking it is much bigger. The walls are wood studs and dry wall, but only the ceiling back wall and front wall are completely this because of the covered window on the left and the ports on the right. On top of the tuned floor are 3 Tunable Platforms. One for each speaker and one for my simple setup. The cable runs are very short with 1 interconnect and 2 hard wired power cords and the left and right speaker cables. All these cables are my 22guage wire. Yes, 22 on the power, the 1 interconnect, and each speaker, so there is very little wire in the whole system. There's one chair in the room and it is made from wicker (very comfy and acoustically transparent). You'll make fun of me on this one but I got the chair from Wayne Newton (the jokes are coming in already LOL). The room is lightly treated with my toys. I'm listening to my Mini Mods, which like the room a lot. These are full range monitors and go fairly low, and because of their size and the platforms being low the space is all soundstage playland. Only the speakers and stands and the chair and me to interupt the sound pressure, so when you move a treatment even slightly you have a lot of control over things. I can put a carpet sample square in this room and the sound will collapse.

My ears are 3' from the center plane and the speakers are 5" from the side walls. If you close your eyes in here you wouldn't be able to point to the speakers to save your life. Very rarely am I looking at a frontal only soundstage, I'm in it. This type of listening is by far my favorite. My head is against the back wall and the speakers as I said are as wide as they can get and as close as they can get to the side walls (my laminar flow in the room is about 5" and the speakers start right at that), they also face square to the room with zero toe in. I'm a firm believer in pressurizing the room as you can probably tell, but the ported side gives me tons of flexibility when tuning.

The size and the eveness of the 360 stage is the systems strong point. Instruments and effects with this setup are very dramatic, cause the halos for example come out to you at the same time they are flowing to other parts of the stage. So for like the crickets they do not go side to side as much as a wall of them starting at the right, or should I say pond, and the pond moves right through the room like a 30' x 30' space. When I just went in and listened paying attention, there were frogs even behind me. What's great about a stage like this the even spacing, and when an instrument like the bass starts up, it has it's own space and isn't crowded by the guitar and drum. And no banana shape. I don't like a half forward half backward stage, things have to line up in a 3D sense.

michael green
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Interesting technique......

I get the sense that you have created a set of headphones the size of the room.

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my 3D listening

Hi Bill

Yes, you nailed it! If you remove the in your head thing that headphones give, that's the type of stage I like the best. Because of designing I do all the fields, but my personal favorite is extreme nearfield. With free resonance it's the easiest one to give the huge 3D stages. I can do it with the other fields too but it's more of a challenge to build the front pressure zone to match the rear (listening) one. All the fields will give the 3D, but I find the extreme nearfield the easiest one to explore with. You can use this setting like the focus on a camera, bringing things up close and personal or send them out into your neighbors lawn.

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michael green
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panning

Moving along with the Sun King, as the guitar and drum move away from the bass you will see that the bass stays in it's place. Follow the drum and when it stops you will see the top hat takes it's place. Now do this a few times and follow the drum. It should move smoothly and should not change pitch from left to right, and have the same impact from start to finish as well as size and tone. This is not only a test of the system but a test of the ears. With most of us aging folks our ears start to change, and the left beings to sound different from the right. I know, no one is going to confess to this lol, but it's a part of life. Those wonderful bat ears now can use a little help from the system and the room. This recording is a great test for your rooms ears as well. Play this drum closely and most of you are going to hear a slight change in sound. You might have already heard it with the crickets going the other direction, and probably will hear it with the tone of the guitar as it travels. If you have a miracle room and system and ears everything will be exactly the same, but before raising your hand remember we can see your setups and I can most certainly tell if it is or isn't absorbing the signal. So lets look at the panning closely.

First of all there is no jump panning going on. This means that the panning goes in a nice even movement and has no volume or tonal dips on it's path. This is not always the case, and sometimes I feel like there actually is a slight change in the fader, but for my own sanity I usualy tune my system to make this as close as possible. (a reason I like a variable system). Because I'm listening nearfield my panning starts outside of my left speaker about 6 feet and back about 7 feet from the speaker plane. Does yours start in the speaker? Take a close look for clustering which is pretty common. The guitar in my stage is about 3 feet front to back in space and about 3 feet wide, and is mid stage as far as height. My height BTW with the crickets was about 11 feet tall and my gong-ish cymbals maybe 9. So my crickets were the biggest then the cymbals and now the instruments. my Bass is 3 feet left of the left speaker and 7 feet back. My soundstage is very clear and this makes it easy for me to measure distances. My open area to the right helps me with this cause I can look at the stage and go measure it. Based on that it helps me measure off the other dimensions. When you've done as many soundstages as I have it becomes easy doing listening measurements. I also do this at peoples homes. I will have them listen as I go mark the spot. It's kinda fun.

people ask me why I like having a tunable system, why don't I just set it and listen

I'm one of those guys that believes there is far more on the recording than we will ever get. I believe that the left side is different from the right. I also know for fact that every recording has a different sound (vibratory code) to it. Instead of me having something fixed and listening to the system play the music and have some recording sound great and others not so great, or dealing with my one or the other ear having a bad day, or fighting with room balance issues, or climate, electrical or the many other changes that happens with every system, or condition, I need to have my system do what I tell it. Since I started doing this the hobby has become a completely different place for me. A different hobby for me really. I can pick any piece of music I want and take it as far as it can possibly go if I have the will to take it there. This has allowed me to go places in my listening that I never thought I would. Places that none of my many fixed systems would allow.

It's so much fun to shape the signal and at times you really get what the musicians were thinking. You might say how do you know when you are there? Space! When you hear a recording open up it tells you all and the space is beyond big. Your as Bill said, transported. This is in every recording made. I know that a lot of guys have a hard time with rock or some of the more effects driven recordings but I can promise you, the stage is just as huge with any of these as it is a big hall recording. All you have to do is look at the studios these guys are recording in and you can see the size. Also if you study the mics used or panning and mixing you will see that the recording goes much bigger than a frontal stage. In fact very few recordings are only as big as a frontal stage. Abbey Road is a good example, and it's an easy recording to follow.

michael green
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Double conversion test

Hello Michael,

Just think we can use well-calibrated microphones to capture the output of our speakers (yes, I know mikes do not "hear" the same way we do, but this has nothing to do with hearing). Then, we can digitize the input from the mikes, code it as WAV and compare it to whatever bits our transport is providing (yes, there would be level and sync issues, but I think professional software can override this).
Now comes the question: don't you think the closer the bitstreams will be, the more fidelity to the recording we get? Obviously, you can tailor the sound to your liking, but would this mean you are listening to the recording or to your expectations on how the recording should sound?

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a lot of ifs

Hi Costin

There's a ton of ifs in that quest. But when the day comes for visual and sonic holograms to happen I'll be in line. In the meantime there's still so much to learn about the audio signal and we are barely scratching the surface.

I don't think bitstreams are the problem, I think mechanical conduits are, parts that host and pass signal.

Another thing I think is that ever since there has been equipment and speakers we have been listening to someones expectations and not the whole signal. I tune to find more of the whole signal not to come up with something that doesn't exist. We've gotten way off track, as you've heard me say, a while back. Expectations were made into products before the clear science of what is going on was ever made. We (the industry) made a bunch of products then started to try to fix them because we didn't understand or bother to listen to the vibrations. We thought we could control something by killing it, but I'm showing, and so are people all over, that there is something more to the signal. It needs to be in tune. Not dampened and not over active, in-tune. And we are going to have to back way up to get this back on track. This isn't just with audio but everything that is a signal conduit. How can I change the sound, and the picture and the computers performance? Even if I played ball with the skeptics and called vibration a distortion it's a change and it is happening at all times, so something is going on or there would be no change. If there is change than something is tunable. This is the hurdle (a brain hurdle) that people have got to get past to move forward. This isn't a case of distortion, sitting still is. Whether it started with me or someone else "vibrations" are the starting place, and no matter how far someone thinks their going to go it will and has always come back to tuning. In this industry I don't think we have a handle on the signal, equipment designing, or conduits vs info language. There's a disconnect between the numbers and the actual mechanical flow, and the more the number folks try to fix it through only numbers the more they are putting a separation between a frequency and a note. A frequency has no motion (it's a number), a note is all motion (made up of all types of complicated shapes patterns and velocities). One is a dead stuck single unit of a measurement and the other is very much alive.

We've only just begun to capture the signal, and we haven't even started playing it back yet.

michael green
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so much to look at

Not bad for John's throw away song right? I've been letting the recording settle on repeat, yes the music plays 24/7 lol. It's amazing how things continue to grow and clear up as a system plays. It's at the place where I can hear the edits fairly clear, and I have moved on the where the vocals come in, but I have to say that the guitars in the beginning never stop pulling me into dreamland. And as they do, things like the top hat become crystal clear and along with the bass staying in one spot makes the movement of everything else this big mass of flow. If this is a small event for you, you really should open up your system. It's a blast! Have you been looking at the drum? See where he slips in the bongo? BTW, guess who's playing the organ?

When I started playing a couple of days ago my stage was big, now it's overwhelming and I've been cheating listening to the other songs, cause with the stage this lush it's hard not to listen to come together.

What are the vocals like?

On my setup they are fat, really fat. The playing behind them flows all over the place and the singing is smooth and right on top of the mics. Very clean but you can get the feel of the equipment at the time. Through the song things move well outside of my room then flow back in. You can get dizzy if you start to follow some of the movements.

michael green
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more listening

Hi Guys

I'm listening on and in doing so I wanted to make another tune. I felt like the space was right on the edge of perfect last night, but I wanted to hear the lead guitar within it's "track space" more clearly, so I made a slight adjustment to the circuit board on my amp, maybe a 10th of a turn and could hear the tuning taking place while making this adjustment. It's very much like tuning a string on a guitar type of thing. The lead did exactly what I was hoping, and now I can see the entire space (track) and the traveling of this pan. Also as I listened to the vocals coming in I could follow all the instruments movements in the back as if they were solo-ed out as well. It felt very much like I was in an expanded version of the studio itself. Maybe even hearing things that might have been minimalized by them having a mixer in the room with studio monitors. I sat there thinking, what was this like when they were playing it back and manipulating the movements. Did they know they were making history? Fasinating!

This is why I like variable tuning. You can pick out a part and go after it. Your not stuck in "A" sound, but you can go after "the" sound, and the many angles it has. It's like sitting at the mixer yourself. I think that unless you do this it may be hard to understand. Picture all these high end systems being able to play a part, and all of them sounding good but they are still different, they have "their" own sound. Now picture having a system that could go visit all those different views. It's not so much that any of them are wrong but more giving yourself the ablity to explore the whole recording. I'm like a little kid when doing this, and I can tell you that the size of a recording is bigger than you think, and the layers are never ending. This type of listening is so different than looking at one picture of the sound, and it makes me respect the recording much more.

A couple of threads ago I talked about "bad recordings" maybe not being so bad, they may just not be able to be played by a system. I truly believe this. Of course recordings have a plus and minus, but I think we short change the recordings many times instead of unlocking their magic.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Still so much to learn

Michael, you said :-
>>> “In the meantime there's still so much to learn about the audio signal and we are barely scratching the surface.” <<<

I agree with the part that we are barely scratching the surface. Let me try to pick at it and look at the different areas which make up the whole – the whole being better and better resolution (and therefore better appreciation) of the complexities of the music.

Michael, you said :-
>>> “I don't think bitstreams are the problem, I think mechanical conduits are, parts that host and pass signal.” <<<

You have selected out and highlighted ‘bitstreams’ that you don’t think are a problem but ALL sources, CDs and including LPs are a problem.

So, looking at what I will call Part One.

You refer to the ‘parts which host and pass signal’ which you emphasise is the area of the problem and not the bitstreams. Yes, you can attempt to ‘tune’ (as you call it) such as the ‘parts which host and pass signal’ as in your description of :-

>>> “So take a look at your system and note every where you have twist (they need to be separated or loosened till things open up, transformers bolted and screwed down, heavy faceplates. Speaking of faceplace, take off the nobs and look at how the nob shafts are clamped onto the place with nuts. Look at how much mass is there. High end faceplates sound horrible. That's too much metal close to the signal path. Same goes for the rest of the chassis if it is heavy. Look for anywhere a heavier part might be next to a low mass part, and there is more blockage. Heavy circuit boards are another thing. If you had a lower mass setup next to a high mass setup, and both were tuned, the lower mass will cast a soundstage that is easily twice the size. “ <<<
And you can gain an improvement in the sound i.e. better resolution of the music. And, if you can give a general description of this ‘more’ information obtained as one, more or all of the following :-
Heard a more dimensional soundstage.
Improved low end that sounded tighter and richer.
Improved smoothness, detail and bass definition, not to mention greater soundstage and three-dimentionality.
Greater sense of air and bloom seemed to surround the instruments.
More life and vibrancy.
More Natural texture.
The decay structure of individual notes was cleaner and clearer.
Stereo focus and image uniformity were improved.
The music’s dynamics, rhythm and timing were significantly improved.
Improvements in the sound as an audible decrease in glare and an increase in apparent soundstage size, both width and depth.
Improvements noted are better air, sparkle, transparency, openness, imaging, soundstaging, naturalness and musicality.
Wow, that was amazing. The soundstage has just opened up.
***********

WITHOUT touching (treating) the source (CD or LP), and WITHOUT ‘treating’ the room then this means that this ‘more’ information must have been on the source all the time and must have been available all the time, but not resolved UNTIL………

So, I agree with your conclusion that IF one can better resolve that additional information AFTER ‘treatment’, then that means that there must have been a problem BEFORE the ‘treatment’.

But, Michael, that conclusion ALSO applies equally to ‘treating’ the source (CDs and LPs). If you can better resolve the musical information by applying such as a demagnetiser to LPs and CDs and gain similar improvements in the sound as given earlier – i.e:-

“Heard a more dimensional soundstage. Improved low end that sounded tighter and richer. Improved smoothness, detail and bass definition, not to mention greater soundstage and three-dimentionality. Greater sense of air and bloom seemed to surround the instruments. More life and vibrancy. More Natural texture. The decay structure of individual notes was cleaner and clearer. Stereo focus and image uniformity were improved. The music’s dynamics, rhythm and timing were significantly improved. Improvements in the sound as an audible decrease in glare and an increase in apparent soundstage size, both width and depth. Improvements noted are better air, sparkle, transparency, openness, imaging, soundstaging, naturalness and musicality.
Wow, that was amazing. The soundstage has just opened up.”

WITHOUT ‘tuning’ the ‘parts which host and pass signal’ and WITHOUT ‘treating’ the room then this means that this ‘more’ information must have been on the source all the time and must have been available all the time, but not resolved UNTIL………treatment was done to the CDs and LPs.

So, I agree with your conclusion that IF one can better resolve that additional information AFTER ‘treatment’, then that means that there must have been a problem before the ‘treatment’.

And, that same conclusion also applies to ‘treating’ the room. If you can better resolve the musical information by introducing into the room such as the Stein Music device, the Lessloss Blackbody devices, the Schuman Resonance device or the tiny ART devices and gain similar improvements in the sound as given earlier :-

“Heard a more dimensional soundstage. Improved low end that sounded tighter and richer. Improved smoothness, detail and bass definition, not to mention greater soundstage and three-dimentionality. Greater sense of air and bloom seemed to surround the instruments. More life and vibrancy. More Natural texture. The decay structure of individual notes was cleaner and clearer. Stereo focus and image uniformity were improved. The music’s dynamics, rhythm and timing were significantly improved. Improvements in the sound as an audible decrease in glare and an increase in apparent soundstage size, both width and depth. Improvements noted are better air, sparkle, transparency, openness, imaging, soundstaging, naturalness and musicality.
Wow, that was amazing. The soundstage has just opened up.”

WITHOUT doing anything to the source (CD or LP) and WITHOUT doing anything to the ‘parts that host and pass signal’.!!!!! Which means that all that information MUST HAVE been handled perfectly OK by the untreated ‘parts that host and pass signal’ !! And it also means that all that information MUST HAVE already been presented into the room by the loudspeakers and must have been there, in the room, all the time !!!
So, in this respect I agree with your conclusion that IF one can better resolve that additional information AFTER ‘treatment’, then that means that there must have been a problem before the ‘treatment’.

If you, Michael, describe the improvements in the sound after ‘tuning’ the ‘parts that host and pass signal’ as I have listed AND such as Michael Fremer gives a similar description in the sound after applying a demagnetiser to LPs, then you must both be right !!! Which means that there is much more information, on the source (CDs and LPs), which people are not resolving correctly and which CAN get through ‘parts that host and pass signal’ which have NOT been TUNED and into a room which has NOT been ‘treated’ !! So, my Part One concept is that there is much more information, already on the source (CDs and LPs) which can get through and be presented into the room without ‘tuning’. And, if one does not do something with the source (CDs and LPs) which have far more information on them which people are not resolving, then doing anything later in the audio system is like carrying out ‘treatments’ with one hand behind ones back.

Now, I come to Part Two.

If you can, as you suggest, Michael, ‘tune’ the parts that host and pass signal’ in the way you have described earlier:-
And gain improvements in the sound WITHOUT ‘treating’ the source, and WITHOUT ‘treating’ the room, as one, more or all of the following :-

“Heard a more dimensional soundstage. Improved low end that sounded tighter and richer. Improved smoothness, detail and bass definition, not to mention greater soundstage and three-dimentionality. Greater sense of air and bloom seemed to surround the instruments. More life and vibrancy. More Natural texture. The decay structure of individual notes was cleaner and clearer. Stereo focus and image uniformity were improved. The music’s dynamics, rhythm and timing were significantly improved. Improvements in the sound as an audible decrease in glare and an increase in apparent soundstage size, both width and depth. Improvements noted are better air, sparkle, transparency, openness, imaging, soundstaging, naturalness and musicality.
Wow, that was amazing. The soundstage has just opened up.”

Then this means that all that ’more’ information must have been on the source (CD and LP) all the time – just not being resolved correctly UNTIL ………

That does not alter the fact that one can, yes, now ‘treat’ the ‘parts that host and pass signal’ in the way you have described earlier. But, if you suggest carrying out :-

>>> “So take a look at your system and note every where you have twist (they need to be separated or loosened till things open up, transformers bolted and screwed down, heavy faceplates. Speaking of faceplace, take off the nobs and look at how the nob shafts are clamped onto the place with nuts. Look at how much mass is there. High end faceplates sound horrible. That's too much metal close to the signal path. Same goes for the rest of the chassis if it is heavy. Look for anywhere a heavier part might be next to a low mass part, and there is more blockage. Heavy circuit boards are another thing. If you had a lower mass setup next to a high mass setup, and both were tuned, the lower mass will cast a soundstage that is easily twice the size. “ <<<
On such as the amplifier and you ‘hear’ many of the improvements described, this means, surely, logically, that that further information MUST HAVE already been handled perfectly OK by the previous (but untreated) equipment in the audio system – i.e (the CD player or vinyl record player) and the pre-amplifier, to be able to be there, at the input of the amplifier, for you to ‘tune’ !!!!!

Now we come to what I will call Part Three.

One can introduce certain devices (such as) the Schumann Resonance device, the Stein Music device, the tiny ART devices into the listening room and gain improvements in the sound, described as one, more or all of the following :-

Heard a more dimensional soundstage.
Improved low end that sounded tighter and richer.
Improved smoothness, detail and bass definition, not to mention greater soundstage and three-dimentionality.
Greater sense of air and bloom seemed to surround the instruments.
More life and vibrancy.
More Natural texture.
The decay structure of individual notes was cleaner and clearer.
Stereo focus and image uniformity were improved.
The music’s dynamics, rhythm and timing were significantly improved.
Improvements in the sound as an audible decrease in glare and an increase in apparent soundstage size, both width and depth.
Improvements noted are better air, sparkle, transparency, openness, imaging, soundstaging, naturalness and musicality.
Wow, that was amazing. The soundstage has just opened up.

WITHOUT ‘treating’ the source (CDs and LPs), and WITHOUT ‘tuning’ the ‘parts that host and pass signal’ !! Which means that all that ‘more’ information MUST HAVE BEEN there, available in the room, all the time just not being resolved correctly UNTIL…….such devices had been introduced !!!

I absolutely agree with your observation that there is “something going on or there would be no change” and “if there IS a change, then something is ‘treatable”.

Nor do I challenge what you hear when you do your particular ‘tuning’ techniques, nor how you describe what you hear.

The major question therefore is “WHAT is going on?” Because there is obviously far more ‘going on’ than people have ever realised.

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

michael green
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let's do some referencing

Hi May, good to see you.

I think your post is a good one. While reading it I was wondering where the best place would be for it. Ultimately on TuneLand http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/ but where here on the phile forum? If you wanted to put on Abbey Road and do those tweaks here showing what you did and where the music went that would be great, but I envisioned this thread as one of referencing a particular recording and talking about the stages we are listening to.

you said

"I absolutely agree with your observation that there is “something going on or there would be no change” and “if there IS a change, then something is ‘treatable”.

Nor do I challenge what you hear when you do your particular ‘tuning’ techniques, nor how you describe what you hear.

The major question therefore is “WHAT is going on?” Because there is obviously far more ‘going on’ than people have ever realised."

This is a very big deal, and one that is the next step in this industry and hobby that we are a part of, and it should be talked about in the right place and context to where the picture is painted not only from different points of view but also in as much depth as it deserves. If Stereophile didn't look at it as me pushing my product I would be very specific, but this is against the rules and I think Stereophile does an excellent job of letting us bend, but if we really get into this here that line would be crossed.

If they say "go ahead cross it michael" I'm all in, but I'm not interested in loosing the privilege of being here. However I think we can talk in general if you want to start a thread or post on a thread that I started called the next step.

What do you think?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

May Belt
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What do you think, May?”

>>> “Nor do I challenge what you hear when you do your particular ‘tuning’ techniques, nor how you describe what you hear.
The major question therefore is “WHAT is going on?” Because there is obviously far more ‘going on’ than people have ever realised."
This is a very big deal, and one that is the next step in this industry and hobby that we are a part of, and it should be talked about in the right place and context to where the picture is painted not only from different points of view but also in as much depth as it deserves. If Stereophile didn't look at it as me pushing my product I would be very specific, but this is against the rules and I think Stereophile does an excellent job of letting us bend, but if we really get into this here that line would be crossed.
If they say "go ahead cross it michael" I'm all in, but I'm not interested in loosing the privilege of being here. However I think we can talk in general if you want to start a thread or post on a thread that I started called the next step.
What do you think?” <<<

What I think Michael, is that I don’t think we have got to the stage yet where we would be infringing the “no pushing our own product” rule. Basic lines of discussion need to be approached first.
For example. You are quite correct when you describe many audio and electronic engineers at best disinterested in what others are finding (regarding what affects ‘sound’) and at the worst downright aggressively dismissive of others’ findings and experiences.

You have the engineers who have actually made the CDs (encoding the 0s and 1s) and the engineers who have designed and made the equipment to play those CDs.

On hearing of other people’s listening experiences – significant (significant in audio) people describing how they have heard cryogenically freezing CDs give an improvement in the sound, or how they have heard applying a demagnetiser to CDs and LPs give an improvement in the sound, or how they have applied a chemical to the label side of CDs and to the label areas of LPs give an improvement in the sound, or how they have coloured the outer edge of CDs give an improvement in the sound – those engineers have insisted that one CANNOT alter the 0s and 1s encoded on the disc by doing such things so, THEREFORE, the sound cannot be improved !!

Those engineers are most likely correct, one cannot alter the 0s and 1s, but the sound CAN be improved exactly as those ‘significant in audio’ people have reported – so the engineers are wrong- the SOUND CAN be improved. Therefore meaning that there is SOMETHING going on which needs to be investigated and investigated seriously because we are talking about the ‘sound’ being altered !!!!!!!!!!!

Similarly, we have the acoustic engineers who, on hearing that many ‘significant in audio’ people have heard improvements in the sound after introducing a Stein Music device, or a Lessloss Blackbody device, or a Schumann Resonance device, or the tiny ART devices into the room insist that one CANNOT add more information i.e add further musical score of Dvorak’s New World over and above what is stored on the disc. They are correct in that respect. One cannot ADD additional musical score of Dvorak’s New World over and above what is recorded on the disc – but one CAN gain an improvement in the sound – meaning therefore that the more information one can ‘hear’ MUST HAVE BEEN there, in the room, all the time but not previously been resolved correctly.

When Michael Fremer reported the improvements he heard after applying a demagnetiser to some LPs this resulted in furious and aggressive responses extending over many, many pages on the Stereophile chat forum. One audio industry professional actually publishing a letter he had written to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) implying fraud or bribery:

>>> “ I'm working on an article for a major audio magazine about fraud in marketing for audio products. I noticed you gave an award to the Furutech CD "demagnetizer" and I'm wondering on what basis you determined this is an award-winning product. As best I can tell this device is pure snake oil with no basis in science. So please forgive such a direct and possibly rude sounding question, but did they pay you for this award?” <<<

Similarly when Jason Victor Serinus reported on the beneficial effect on the sound produced by the Stein Music device his report was met with the response of :-

>>> “Interesting?
Nah. It's just another dalliance brought forth by the mentally ill for the mentally ill and which does nothing more than saddle this industry with yet further embarrassment.

That Stereophile of all publications should brand it as "intriguing" in their show report is truly sad. “ <<<

And, when reports were published of the beneficial effect heard on the sound by the tiny ART devices, again there was an avalanche of aggressive responses, extending over many, many pages. The whole thread of “Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements or more snake oil?” extended over 39 pages. !!!

Let me illustrate what I mean by approaching it from a fundamental level. I will refer to a reply by iosiP – not as a criticism but as an example of a quite general outlook.

iosiP said in reply to a suggestion to put CDs in the home deep freezer:-

>>> “stickimg old CDs in the freezer is the best way to have condensation between the layers (just in case some air got there over the years) and eventually even frozen spots able to dislodge the reflective layer.” <<<

My using his quote has nothing to do with his reluctance to try the technique not is it a criticism of him but to point out that his FIRST response should not be that he is reluctant to try but should really be “That is unbelievable. I am “knocked back on my heels” that people should be suggesting that you can improve the sound of CDs by either cryogenically freezing CDs or by using the simpler technique of the freezing/slow defrost technique using a domestic deep freezer “

It is this “being knocked back on one’s heels” reaction at what people are reporting which is so missing generally in the world of audio !! And, therefore, any serious discussion has to start at that fundamental level and then work on from that.

I totally agree with you that the presence of the plastic CD cases, in the room, have an adverse effect on the sound. But, so do Perspex photo frames (and other metal and wooden photo frames as well).

Now, Michael. Take the plastic CD cases you have found have an adverse effect on the sound and place them in your domestic deep freezer overnight (or for some 24 hours). When you take them out, allow them to return to room temperature very, very slowly – by wrapping them in such as a towel. I think you will now find that if you introduce them into the listening room now, they will not have such an adverse effect. So, if one HAS TO have the plastic CD cases in the listening room, then put them through the freezing/slow defrost process first.

Again, I absolutely agree with you that corners (of anything in the room) are a problem for good sound. You will find that you have to ‘treat’ all right angles.

You get a long length (or some lengths) of the quarter round wooden doweling. Cut it into small pieces (about 2 – 3 inches each). You can attach the pieces with Blu Tack in order to experiment and place a piece in as many right angles as you can. Right angles such as corners of the room, the right angle corners of window frames, the right angle corners of shelving and so on. Listen to some music and get used to that sound, then see if you can remove any of the doweling pieces and listen with the same pleasure !!

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

iosiP
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@ May Belt

I have no reason not to try the cryo treatment on a few of my CDs, and even to compare the treated vs. untreated (I have qiute a few duplicates). So trying is not my problem!
My problems are the following:

1. All tweaks are presented as being benefic (in my experience, only one dealer ever told me "Yes, this thing works, but you may not like what it does in yous system". And yes indeed, I didn't like the results (while I loved the results of the device in a friend's system).

2. You cannot even figure out beforehand if the tweak will work, and how it will affect the sound of your system since (usually) no explanation is given on how they work, or else, the working principle is so far-off that it makes me (BTW, I never heard of any manufacturer to just admit he/she doen't know how the device works: he/she just discovered it by accident).

3. Some tweaks cost an arm and a leg. Now don't get me wrong, I do agree to pay what it takes for some high-tech device, but too many of them are no more than nicer reproductions of things you can buy at the local home improvement store, so could someone explain to me the actual difference between the $4.99 stuff and the identical $69.99 "audiophile" version?

I'll stop by now, just waiting for your answer.

michael green
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Abbey Road

Folks, would it be possible to move some of this to an on topic thread. I've had several people now mail me saying they are getting tired of interuptions. Keep in mind that while we are talking there are audiophiles reading that are not so much talkers but indeed walkers and would like to be able to stay on track on some of these forum threads. I don't think it is my place to be a thread policeman but sometimes a little courtesy goes a long way. If your comments could lead back to referencing this or other recordings that would be great, if not than threads like this one that are meant to go somewhere will only end up going in circles.

Please respect your fellow music lovers, thanks

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

geoffkait
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Cryogenics
iosiP wrote:

I have no reason not to try the cryo treatment on a few of my CDs, and even to compare the treated vs. untreated (I have qiute a few duplicates). So trying is not my problem!
My problems are the following:

1. All tweaks are presented as being benefic (in my experience, only one dealer ever told me "Yes, this thing works, but you may not like what it does in yous system". And yes indeed, I didn't like the results (while I loved the results of the device in a friend's system).

2. You cannot even figure out beforehand if the tweak will work, and how it will affect the sound of your system since (usually) no explanation is given on how they work, or else, the working principle is so far-off that it makes me (BTW, I never heard of any manufacturer to just admit he/she doen't know how the device works: he/she just discovered it by accident).

3. Some tweaks cost an arm and a leg. Now don't get me wrong, I do agree to pay what it takes for some high-tech device, but too many of them are no more than nicer reproductions of things you can buy at the local home improvement store, so could someone explain to me the actual difference between the $4.99 stuff and the identical $69.99 "audiophile" version?

I'll stop by now, just waiting for your answer.

I think it's probably safe to say cryogenics went mainstream in high end audio a long time ago. It been quite a while since Meitner and Walker and all those high end cables guys started using cryogenics. One reason they started using cryo was simply to stay in the game, to be competitive. Today I doubt there are very many high end cable manufacturers who don't routinely employ cryo. I don't know if Audioquest does, but if they don't they should. Purist Audio has for years, and most of the boutique guys do, too. Now, some folks in the industry (and who I know have good ears) have reported that they tried cryo and it sounded worse. The reason why someone who is just trying cryo the first time might reach that conclusion is actually very simple. The cryo process, even with the slow descent to cryo temps and the long dwell, and the slow ascent to room temperature produce a thermal shock in the material. It takes about a week for whatever you send to the cryo lab to recover from thermal shock, which imparts a rather odd, unnatural sound to the thing. So, don't listen objectively to anything you get back from the lab for at least a week. In tweakdom, for any given product, you can always find someone who claims he couldn't hear it or that it hurt the sound. There are many reasons for that (which can be a topic for later, always a hot topic. Lol).

These days audiophiles cryo everything from cables, to tonearm wires, cartridges, CDs, LPs, electron tubes, springs, tonearms, CD Players, structural elements, anything you would wish to make stronger, harder, stiffer, conduct better, last longer and sound better. The Home Freezer, while obviously not going as low as cryo, does an admirable job and avoids the cost of shipping both ways as well as the turnaround times.

Geoff Kait,
Machina Dynamica

iosiP
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Oops, sorry Michael

But as we used to say when we were kids "It's the other guy who started it".

Now back on topic: it's still unclear for me what exactly you mean by "referencing"? Is it just describing the sonic attributes of a particular recording, as heard on our systems? If yes, I think we would all agree on specific recording (or a few recordings) that we all have, and in the same mastering/pressing, and only then we can describe and compare our findings. Furthermore, we should all state what our priorities are in music reproduction: I found out years ago that all systems cut corners, and which corners each of us refuses (or doesen't mind) being cut is wildly different.

Yes, this is all about listening, and I'm first and above all a listener, but written communication lack one important thing - a common listenng experience. And please believe me that I have quite a few friends who are good listeners but they would still describe some of the attribute of the same system differently.

iosiP
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Geoff, cryo and putting stuff in your freezer are different

I understand quite well how cryo works (and so are you, of course). Now the known and documented effects of cryo treatment have nothing to do with the temperatures used by a home deep freezer (unless, of course, American ladies use liquid nitrogen to keep their tenderloins... well, tender).

michael green
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thanks Costin

I've been describing my stage for a week or two now on Abbey Road, and you guys can jump in anytime you want.

As I said earlier you guys can choose what ever mastering/pressing of it you want. When I listen to them I can usually tune one in to sound pretty much like the others so I leave this choice up to you guys.

I started with the crickets and frogs and you guys can go back and look if you don't mind.

I'm more interested in us starting to listen together more than anything. These threads turn into messes when all the opinions come in and no one is relating to this with what they are hearing. So in this case the on looker has no idea of what these guys are talking about.

I appreciate a point as much as the next guy but if I'm listening to a 30 plus wide/deep soundstage and May, Costin, Bill, Toledo, Geoff, Tim or who else is listening to a 15, 18, 45 foot one, how can a guy relate unless he hears the reference-er say that? He can't, he just hears quotes from a reviewer going Wow! (sorry just an example) (what designer hasn't had this said), that's what a review is. I don't mean to be mean and I'm glad a reviewer said wow, but what did it sound like with Abbey Road on a system playing on this thread? People are coming up saying use this, but without any listening to tell the listener reading here's what I like and why.

This industry has got to get back to listening or it will be kissed goodbye, cause no one wants to read about CD's in their freezer or cork under a board, sorry but why do I want it if the person presenting it won't reference it. Listeners want to listen and find out how they can get that. But few people here are willing to paint the picture, the soundstage. On my forum I make a statement like 30 feet wide and people are all over me to know how and why, here it's like, well this product and that product and he said, and it ends up going no where. Shoot Geoff (just keeping it real) still hasn't picked up his CD and hooked up his in room system and is on this thread. Why? No offense, but why? Or tell us what you are hearing on your headphone, or at least a little referencing.

I do referencing like this all over the world, it's not that hard. It doesn't need to be over technical or difficult. It's turning on the system playing the music and saying what one is hearing. Someone once told me that's what this hobby was about.

So thank you, I hope all of us can get to listening and show how fun and great this hobby is and why.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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