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iosiP
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My system (for Michael)

Hi Michael, here is my system:
1. Transport: Esoteric UX-3Pi
2. DAC: Chord Electronics Indigo
3. Pre: Chord Electronics CPA3000
4. Power: Chord Electronics SPM4000
5. Speakers: Raidho C3.0
6. Cables: full loom of various Siltech models
7. Stands: Aavik
8. Acoustic treatment: NONE

Tricks:
- replaced the original feet of the Esoteric with Stillpoints;
- replaced the original feet of the rack with SS spikes;
- modified the rack by filling the tubes with isolation foam;
- replaced the original speaker feet with SS/brass spikes of my own design;
- brass "resonator" (aka terrestrial globe) on left wall;
- wood diffuser/resonator (aka Indian carved wood panel) behind the listening position;
- bad energy absorber/good vibes generator (aka Russian Blue cat) in my lap.

Photos will follow.

Cheers,
Costin

michael green
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photos

Hi Costin

Looking forward to seeing the pics. The more info I get the easier it is to see the sound your getting. It helped me a ton though when you were talking about your rock recordings. That gave me a big snap shot into what is going on there. You mentioned about the chassis. I can't do much about that cause if the components are blocking the signal than they must be opened up. Untill there are components designed specifically to tune (with chassis) we're stuck taking components down to their lowest state of mass.

Here's where we are going to want to start though. When you look inside your components. Find anywhere the cables inside might be twisted or touching each other. Undo the twist, these cables are interfearing with each other. Also anywhere you see a tie down, snip it and free the tention. A screw, loosen it. Transformers, look at TuneLand and see what we are doing.

wall outlets

If you take off the wall outlet covers you will see that the cables are shove and stuffed in that box. That is causing all kinds of blockage.

blockage

Anywhere in your system where there is tention put on a cable or mass around a cable or wire there is blockage. For example, the power wires coming from the unit. A lot of them have mass around where the the power wire leaves the chassis (a strain relief) this is causing a ton blockage. The ends on the power cords are doing to same. I use extremely minimal wire to wire contacts everywhere (look at my cable). This kind of stuff sneaks up on a person and as you start to open back up your signal path both electrically and mechanically, the electrical path and signal path, your going to at each step say "that's where that music went".

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.

Note every where that wires whether they be from the fuse box to system, or through the system to the speaker where there is a bend, and you will find blockage, wires too tight blockage, too think blockage, too bulky same thing. When you are sitting there your going to spot tons or areas where you will see why the rock recordings you have and many more went from very cool to ear benders.

Also as you open this up the classical will grow close to the size of a live hall.

Ok, so that's just the opening up part :) the tuning in part comes after this. And it is good good!

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

iosiP
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A few clarifications please

Hi Michael,

1. Can you please explain why mechanical constraints lead to electrical limitations? AFAIK, as long as the crystalline structure of wires is not affected (and this involves a "rest time" after each rough manipulation) there is no reason to think that binding wires together might affect the way they sound - of course, I'm not taking into consideration electromagnetic field interference, but rather the effect of ties and stranding.

2. I have a dedicated AC line for my audio system, taken directly from the tri-phasic distributor for the whole building. The lines are pure 3.5 sq mm copper (each) in special tubes, ended in a star connection of US outlets (yes I live in Europe but I find the US outlets to be better). The wires are all well laid out with no cramping inside the outlets, so there is not much I can do about them.

3. Finally, the front panels also hold most of the control buttons, so I am quite unsure I can remove them. Obviously I would like a better sound but I cannot just leave buttons hanging around as in a college lab: this is a home, and I doubt the other souls using it would be happy with exposed wires!

So let's just skip to the next stage: room tuning, and just forget about gutting my stereo!

Costin

michael green
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A few clarifications, answers

Hi Costin

"1) AFAIK, as long as the crystalline structure of wires is not affected (and this involves a "rest time" after each rough manipulation) there is no reason to think that binding wires together might affect the way they sound."

and yet it does

My main priority is to explore the sound of the whole chain, and get it closer to the signal and also make it variably tunable. The "why something happens" I leave to those who live in that world. I find that getting too caught up in the head spin of "the explanations" keeps me from doing my job. I've been in the presence of too many people scratching their heads after the tuning is done to know that there are things better left to those who make it their job to come up with the "why's and how's". I pretty much stick with the doing and make my case of why on my forum. I honestly wouldn't even begin to get into these things on this forum, cause if someone is not going to do for themselves then it is just talk. On my forum people are tuning and it makes it much easier to say "here do this" and then talk about it.

"2) I have a dedicated AC line for my audio system, taken directly from the tri-phasic distributor for the whole building. The lines are pure 3.5 sq mm copper (each) in special tubes, ended in a star connection of US outlets (yes I live in Europe but I find the US outlets to be better). The wires are all well laid out with no cramping inside the outlets, so there is not much I can do about them."

The comment I can make on this is that when we run AC we leave out any kind of conduits for it to travel through. We have spent a ton of time listening to wires inside of conduits and have always heard the conduits themselves becoming part of the sound.

"3. Finally, the front panels also hold most of the control buttons, so I am quite unsure I can remove them. Obviously I would like a better sound but I cannot just leave buttons hanging around as in a college lab: this is a home, and I doubt the other souls using it would be happy with exposed wires!"

Well, if you ever head toward a more open signal it will be waiting for you.

If I can let me share something with you. This week is design week here at TuneLand Vegas. During this time of course people are listening. While I was voicing wood this morning a very good listener (high end audio store owner)came down stairs and said I have dilemma. I thought he maybe put on a recording and needed to have it tuned in. This was not the problem. He sat down a minute or two and said "I'm not quite sure what to do. There is no way any of the products I have are going to sound close to this good. If I take them apart I'm going to have a bunch of parts laying all over the place and I can already tell they will still be too over built to play this well". He after playing and listening for 4 days has decided to blow out his current line up and find products that tune better or just sell the tools of tuning.

If you saw the lineup of products he carries you would probably question his sanity, but that would be only until you heard a tunable system. As you read people who come up on the stereophile forum or on tuneland make their bold statements on how their listening and hobby has changed I hope it will tempt you to explore. If you do there is much music you didn't think you could play awaiting you.

have a great day

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

wkhanna
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The K.I.S.S Principle

The Mapleshade power components seem to adhere to a similar idea of minimalism for the transmission of electrical energy.

http://shop.mapleshadestore.com/departments.asp?dept=253

michael green
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The Industry

As time moves on your going to see the industry turn from over-doing-it, to more of a simple approach. In our book Mapleshade is still over done, but this is in the right direction.

The first step for a lot of guys is dealing with the idea that vibrations are a part of the audio signal. So many engineers swung all the way over to the dampen over build side, but this only points to the "fact" that vibrations are a part of the audio signal. Once that is accepted (whatever words are decided on) then it's a matter of degrees of tuning these signal carriers. This is nothing new but the dampening folks are dragging their feet and have been for 20 or so years. "vibrations are bad" this is what we have reversed. Vibrations are what we are dealing with and what we should be embracing as a possitive. People who claim to be wiping them out are losing massive amounts of music content and as the serious designers and experts explore this more deeply than before there will be all kinds of change.

The weird part is watching people try to talk about the signal as if it is not vibration, yet almost everyone is tweaking this non-vibration. Why would they be trying to 'effect or change" something that doesn't exist? In my posts I try to not get too technical (not here on the Phile) why? Because I think it goes back to what Toledo was talking about. Audiophiles who have not yet stepped beyond are still trying to tweak and improve on a shrunken stage or info and if you keep tweaking on something that is limited you are really just shifting the balance and not uncovering more. Meaning if someone is listening to a stage that is the typical size of the audiophile setting they are about 1/3 into the real size of the recording. Inside of this smaller setting your not hearing all the info so you end up playing the trading game and instead of finding more of the signal you are just shifting it around, focusing on this part for a while then making a change and focusing on another part. When you make your system closer to full size you can see much more of the whole and the system seems to do a lot of the correcting for you. Think about this a minute while you listen and hear something that is not quite right. Think about that "I like my system but there is still this...", Try not to think someone is judging you, just think about it a second, then picture if the soundstage was all of a sudden closer to full size. This is what we are talking about in the "tune". When you sit and listen to these systems you will notice the stage is much bigger than what you are use to hearing.

I have famed listener Harold Cooper (Sound Consultant) here as a part of design week. He has been listening to this expanded system setup, and I want to ask him, how he sees this setup different than the typical audiophile setup?

"Well folks, all I can say is that if you were here, you would not believe what you can hear. It's very 3-D with all those front-to-back, side-to-side, and top-to-botton layers that all "audiophiles" talk about, but have NEVER heard like this!"

Harold

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

iosiP
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A few comments

1. I do not refuse to take your path, I would just be more comfortable if you could explain how things work! I think that after all these years you got an idea about the science behind the results: one can advance only that much based on experience only - after a while you need some hard facts to support your empirical findings.

2. Tubes are required by the local regulations, so my only workaround would be to put an outlet just below the fuse panel and plug in an extension cable to the living room. Needless to say these would duplicate my in-wall wires end would cross several rooms, being a nice tripping occasion.

3. I must admit I just don't get your point: there are buttons, displays and IR sensors directly placed on the front panels. How would you suggest I deal with these? Use rubber gloves or a long stick to press the relevant contacts? Also, the power amp has +/- 105 V rails, am I suppose to leave those naked? Maybe I got you wrong but I'm looking for suggestions usable in a home, not in a NASA lab!

michael green
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the tech side

Hi Costin

I don't mind talking tech talk but not here. I've been seeing too many loose cannons, and no offense to them but I don't have the time. Too many sidetracks for me to want to get into the science here. It's vibrations and vibrations can be tuned, and we tune them, is about as far as I'm going with the science part here. The other day when I saw the talks begin, I just wanted to get to the tuning and people just wanted to talk about things they haven't experienced and to me that's a no game. If I don't experience it I have no right to talk about it is may take.

If I had your system I would be cautious as well about taking it down to the signal level. I would get something a lot more simple to play with if I were going to explore the signal at it's most basic state.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

Bill B
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Ejection seat

And he bails!

toledo
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Bill,

Bill,

Have you been following the back and forth lately with a basic outcome of my science is better than yours. Offers were made and refused to compare ideas on a listening level which is the most relevant when comparing ideas. Actual listening comparisons would differentiate the differences in ways a casual listener can understand.
The current discourse had led to nothing but technical obfuscation by some.

The idea of moving the discussion to another more productive environment on Michaels forum is not bailing. The intent is to provide accurate information that does not get mired in a confusing flurry of posts as some jockey for position.

I am sure any relevant outcomes of these discussions would find there way back onto these forums for further review.

michael green
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two worlds

If someone reads the Stereophile forum, and then reads TuneLand you can clearly see a difference. On the stereophile forum you read theory without listening. On TuneLand you read

"Hi All,

Earlier today I replaced the older LTR blocks under the Sherwood with the ones I received recently. Also, I changed the placement from one each at the front corners and one at the center rear (see pics in above post) with one at the front center and one each at the rear corners. Also the unit now is resting only on the very corners of each of the blocks.

This change still needs time to settle, but two things were immediately apparent: the soundstage filled in, so there was no empty space in the soundstage, and the soundstage extended from the front wall to the rear wall behind me. I was hearing a lot of music originating from parallel to the listening position on either side of me. This was especially cool on Because on Abbey Road.

I'll follow up after some more settling...."

For me I need to keep a balance and that means if I see someone saying something that I absolutely know is based on theory and not on practice, I have to weigh how deep I want to pursue the conversation. Talk without doing isn't valid in my book.

You have to realize that I deal in the world of scientist, enginners, theorist, artist and hobbyist all day long, and have for 35 years. And one thing I have learned is if someone isn't "doing" many times they never make the connection in reality. I'm quite sure if Costin visited the gentleman I just quoted he would be floored by the sound. Honestly there is no way Costin's system could compete. If the two did get together Costin would learn a big lesson in vibration. It would force him to rethink his theory. On the other hand Drewster (the poster) has heard hundreds (and owned) systems that were designed like Costin's. After listening to these he took the step to try tuning and out went the high end products and in came a super simple system that he could and does tune.

I enjoy coming here but I also must live in the world of listening. I can tell Costin is a listener, but I also know on the topic of vibration he is dead wrong. I know this not based on talk, but on what I and hundreds of others are doing. If Costin did the same thing I have no doubt he would do an about face. So what should I do as someone who "knows" because I'm doing it? Invite Costin to come to a land where people are tuning on a daily bases. He can talk to any one of these guys and find out why they went from fixed, to a far more musical world.

And I'm not saying this unfairly, but I make this statement based on what Costin has said about some of the music he likes. The tunees have systems that can play this music and all the audiophile stuff as well. The whole idea that high end audio systems are so revealing I have challenged for years now, again not with talk but actually having the audiophile owners of these systems right in the room exploring for themselves, and coming to these conclusions. Costin would do the same.

it's about listening and on TuneLand that's what we do

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

iosiP
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Costin lives in Eastern Europe

So he thinks the money needed for a trip to the US would be better spent on some extra 200 CDs.

michael green
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maybe

200 CD's is always a good thing in my book :)

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

audiophile2000
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Combination

Michael,

I hear your point on the science side, as you know, I am a firm believer in room acoustics. In terms of messing with electronics, that something I have no idea about and with my skill set I'm more likely to end up with no sound rather than better sound and have to buy a new piece of equipment.

With my joke set aside, I think people look for testing to see if something exist that they didn't know about. Which is great as there is a lot we don't know. But to me that's the first question. After you find something that changes the key is to know why since by knowing why you might be able to refine it or fine patterns. Testing and listening are one thing, but understanding is also key. I think that there are a lot of products out there that claim a lot and don't deliver. While proper setup and room interaction is by no means one of them, and in fact I would argue it is the single biggest issue for any system.

To my point, we have talked about my system before and you recommend adding wood products. And to be honest it makes sense given the concrete construction of the home. Now with that said, I'm trying to figure out why adding wood to the room would help.

I'm being genuine here in the question on how it works. I have a feeling it has to do with adding a resonance to the room that was lost, but this isn't an easy thing and could easily hurt the room if overdone. I'm sure a lot it trial and error, but would be interesting to hear a bit more on how you are getting there. Again, I'm not saying it won't work but I think hearing the knowledge on why it works would make it easier for people to implement in their system as every system is different.

To give you a sense, I stated adding room treatment in my room and my next step to the setup is buying testing equipment to make sure I know what's going on since small changes in the paneling can have a big effect.

michael green
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the science of doing

I could not agree more! There are tons of things on the market that have found their way to the front listening lines that should have a lot more testing (listening testing) on.

A long time ago we set up a test at "Video" magazine. I took a DVD player playing Dracula (92 version) and while the guys were watching the film I was focusing the back of the hall on the screen. It was the scene of dracula lying almost dead and I had the reviewers look at the background behind dracula while I put it in and out of focus. "did that just happen" and "how can that be" were the comments. Following those comments were, "how do we review or test this"? I do the same with audio recordings all the time, so how does someone want to test this?

When you can do something this variable, the thought of a snap shot test becomes a little uneventful (for me anyway). Never have I had a reviewer step forward and offer to do a before and after on test equipment (isn't that what they do). I make no excuses for it (I'm not a snap shot test saver type of guy). I don't say this to be rude at all and there have been many who have run test, but this isn't my interest. I'm the guy who does the designing and playing. I can take a recording of a drum and give you any picture you want, but I'm not the guy who sits at the computer looking at the scene while the mic is setup 3 feet away from the speaker and takes the picture to show people. I know the industry is full of those types and they are more than welcome to do it, but I'm not that guy. I'll do the test for someone and be a part of it, and have, but this is not my thing. Hearing it and seeing it, now that's my thing. You want to come experience it it, now we're talking, or me helping you do it at home, I'm in. As far as proof goes I would say what I tell everyone, join TuneLand and talk to the people who are doing it on a daily basis.

One thing you can bank on, this is the next step and most of you will be a part of it.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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