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michael green
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Taking the next step in High End Audio

Hi Listeners

For years you've been reading great reviews on turntables in both Stereophile and TAS. It's accepted that a table and the parts to a table are highly tunable and just the slightest adjustment can make or break the sound or change it to almost any desired flavor the more skilled you become at tuning them. In audio the turntable and the microphone are two examples of vibrations meet electricity. This meeting of mechanical, electrical or electromecanical happens throughout your entire audio chain and is what makes your components, speakers, parts and pieces sound like they do. For years you have been exposed to the flavors and sonic taste of some of the most brilliant audio designers out there. Some are engineers, some are artist, and I have no doubt that in the original environment these products are designed and built in the sound is fantastic. But what happens when the product is shipped and the conditions of the electromechanics are completely different in the new location? I have been studying this for years and have had equipment sent around the world so that I may test the difference between when it leaves the factory and when it arrives at a new set of sonic parameters. You don't have to be a scientist or physicist to understand that an audio product changes in sonic character as it is put into a different environment, but you can be if you want or do a little studying and find out that an audio product that is put in two different environmental conditions sound different. They will sound different even if moved to a different location in your home. The vibratory code of one place is completely different than the next. Why is this a big deal? Because your audio signal is in the range of vibrations that are highly sensitive to energy sources that in and outside of the component change the sound of the audio language passing through.

If your sitting there listening and know sometime isn't quite right with your sound you may want to keep reading.

When I was first aware of this I thought if we dampen the physical parts in a component and shield this will act as a barrier and block out the "bad". I saw many go down this path and I likewise explored it in great detail and at great exspense. But the more I looked into this I kept coming out with weird results. If I dampened the signal even a little I lost part of the sound. Part of the music whether it be air or dynamics, size, shape or pace and presence all changed and became out of balance. Another thing I noticed and is what drew the line for me is when I made these attempts and the soundstage and size of instruments shrunk. Once this sound and these characters were in my head they stuck out and as I went to shows, dealers, reviewers, and designers I heard and kept hearing this problem. I started making products that allowed people to tune the vibrations of their components, but I was not doing this long before I realized we had a major problem in this industry. High End Audio had put the wheels in motion to make bigger and better in their minds and there was no stopping this train. As I read the reason (not many took the time to say why BTW) behind making all these thick parts and pieces I made my own research facility that was all about vibration and energy. My studying and listening was based on how the audio signal is being affected by it's surroundings. To my surprise when studying the dissipation factor I found that I could change the audio signal with mechanics up to 40 feet away from the source. This was so amazing to me and the people around me that it was hard for the audiophile engineer types who worked with and for me to get their minds around. I hired musician audiophiles and we went to town. It got to the place where I could stand in my equipment control room and make variable changes of great degrees just by changing the tension of chassis and movement of parts in the tiniest amounts. This same tuning technique and others including field movements and mechanical transfer I tried on everything audio I could get my hands on with the same results. Mechanical conduits that host the audio signal and all the materials they are touching from the lead on the resistor, to the circuit board, stand offs, chassis, stands, floors and structure all play a part in the sound, as well does the acoustical sound pressure of a room for those who have their components in the room with them.

how much of a difference?

I had some audiophiles change parts to their amplifiers and preamps and players, going from stock to well reviewed audiophile parts that were recommended for those components and had them test the difference from the sound of these components to the sound changes that could be made by tuning the component and in every case the tweak came back to me with the same answers. They could do much more with a little tuning than changing the parts. They also were able to make variable tuning moves (variable sonic signatures) with transfer tension tuning, compared to the parts changing which only gave them fixed (one sound) changes. Another interesting part to this was the guys even were able to tune their components to the sound of the audiophile part change while using the stock parts. We had fun sitting in the rooms saying here's the brand X sound and the brand Z just by making the systems tunable. An interesting fact, the instruments after the varible tuning was done were more in pitch than with the fixed parts. I did a demonstration of this with a recording of the Indianapolis symphony where some of the string players were telling me that in the recoding the cello and violins sounded out of tune with each other. With me adjusting (tuning the equipment and speakers) and them listening we put the recording in tune in front of a few wide eyed audiophiles.

In my high end audio life I've watched fads come and go and with each one I keep wondering what the audiophile world is waiting on? An industry made of a bunch of fixed products makes little sense to me after seeing how tunable we can make audio reproduction. The greatest part to what I have learned is what I am saying can't be proven wrong and this isn't about me. Hundreds if not thousands of audiophiles are already tuning and as people begin to do this more they are going to find a totally new part to high end that is bigger than they have ever been a part of before. Think about it, the very thing that makes us so fasinated with turntables can be done with everything in the audio chain. Guys we've only just begun. We've gone all the way over to the dead side and it's time to come back. Time to learn vibration is not distortion but energy wanting and needing to be tuned, and most importantly tuned to your individual space and even for the extreme each recoding.

Won't you be surprised when you find that the recording you paned actually sounds quite nice? Or that sonic problem you can fix? As you shed the audiophile over build and dampening and learn how to tune you will find a clarity and dynamic range and stage you never thought would be possible. On Tuneland we are tuning systems everyday and I get emails always of people who can not believe they have left so much music behind all these years.

Let me leave you with one quicky. Open your amp or pre or player and look at the transformer. That electromagnetic field generator is sitting bolted down and maybe dampened causing it to not be able to adapt to another environment than the one it was tested and installed in. The more locked down and dampened the more closed in the sound. Free the transformer and listen to how much your sound changes. If it's a good transformer for audio you will hear the sound open up and get better dynamic range. Over dampened transformers shut down harmonics creating a very fixed sounding signature and not able to recreate the sense of air around the recorded instrument. I'm not hear to tell you not to like that sound only to show you that an audio system should be made variable so you can either get the original sound of the component or the original sound of the music.

This is one of many simple test anyone can do to get them to start thinking about the hobby as something different from plug and play and disatisfied.

Why is high end audio not tunable yet?

Catch22
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I think a lot of us DO tune our gear and systems

I can't help but be reminded of J10 and his passion for tweaks and tuning. Most of us saw a lot of ourselves in his adventures. But, I get the impression you are wondering why more manufacturers aren't making their gear easy to tune. If that's the case, the answer is rather simple. Most people aren't as weird as we are and even less competent to be messing around inside those boxes and voiding warranties and stuff.

There used to be a guy around here...I think his name was Collin, who was batshit crazy about wrapping foil around everything...wires, transformers, mechanical devices...everything. He would always post pictures of his latest work and would both make me laugh and admire his passion.

I also recall a certain reviewer around here that had everyone placing pennies on their speakers...just so...and getting a bunch of letters about how transformative the sound was. Heh! Or was it several coins of specified denominations? Ha!

Don't get me wrong, I'll try just about anything even remotely plausable, but I think our breed of audiophile is becoming far less common and a very small percentage of a company's target customer.

michael green
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An excellent post!

I total agree, and think that the time is finally right for the industry to make a turn. I designed RoomTune 25 years ago and remember when it first was talked about. People said a tiny product couldn't correct the bass. 100 reviews later 650 dealers were carrying it. It's sad that high end audio killed itself but I believe there are tons of listeners out there. They may not want to have boat anchors in their rooms but they have a love for music just as strong. Some theorist or engineer might get out of place but because there is a "method of tuning" that has now been in place for a while people can start to (both designer and listener) make step by step changes to bring them closer to the sound they always hoped was there but haven't had a plan laid in front of them to get there. I not only have a plan but a site where people can start at any level they want and we take them as far as they want to go. There are already tunable speakers, and components with built in tuning are on the way. There are also missing tunable links that all audiophiles can benefit from like speaker platforms allowing any speaker to interface with the room better. As products like these become the norm the momentum will do the rest.

Here's how I see it, if there's a Gibson and Fender than there will be tunable audio playback products. I'm not that concerned if they are call high end or not, this is just something that will happen and people will look back at the dinosaur days as a place in time and growth.  The audiophile world may not always look the same but there will always be a group of listeners looking for their absolute sound.

As far as companies target customer. Everyone in this is looking for how to find them and will this indusrty ever grow again? I sat back and watched high end on it's way to bye bye land for a lot of years, but what people have not yet grabbed a hold of is the new high end is sitting right in front of us. High End Audio does not have to be this expensive way over built product pushing machine to survive. I can put together a thousand dollar system, tuned, that will blow the socks off of all most everything out there, so you take a little of this mentality and have guys keep making some of these little sonic gems that have come about in the last few years and make them the pushing force, and this industry turns on a dime again.

Once people start seeing, more importantly hearing, that the lower mass less expensive stuff will out perform the heavy products and the EGO's are realigned, plus a few books rewritten it's not going to be that hard to have a listening hobby in balance again.

michael green

MGA/RoomTune

geoffkait
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How small can something be?

There have been any number of audio devices in the last 25 years that just seem too small to be of value for the audiophile who is attempting to tune his listening room.  I can certainly understand why certain products the size of which appears to fit their purpose - things like really big Tube Traps, big sheets of Sonex, big Skyline diffusers, even the Rives Audio total room system, are the "go to" audio products for room tuning.  It's no surprise that devices that seem too damn small to do any good are oft overlooked or dismissed.  You know what I'm talking about...tiny little bowls, crystals, Golden Sound Acoustic Discs (3/4") Harmonix and Marigo Tuning Dots (1") for walls and windows (not to mention the little tiny ones for capacitors and electron tubes), Shun Mook Mpingo discs (1 1/2").  Other room tuning devices come to mind, too, maybe best saved for later discussion, things like the SteinMusic Harmonizer, Acoustic Revive Schumann Frequency Generator and WA Quantum Chips, the smallest of which is 1/8" diam.  Hey, that gives me an idea for a new topic, How Small Can Something Be and Still Make a Big Difference?  Wait, I think we already had that one.  Lol

 

geoff kait

machina dynamica

michael green
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tunable audio systems

It will be great when we have a chance to talk more about the mechanical acoustical end, and maybe these talks will help turn the tides. I have loved doing listening tests on all of these issues, and it's great to see others doing the same in different parts of the world. I have several test rooms available to me for doing tests in the future as well as telling the resuls from the past. The great news to me is much of the work is already done, now it's a matter of putting the methods out there and having listeners do them. Since I've started posting here of late there have already been listeners put to test in their own homes and systems what I'm showing and giving the results.  This is key to turning that tide, and it will and is turning.

As far as how small, I have done my own test on that issue and it has drawn me closer to the study of energy and how much does it take to make change. On TuneLand I give the results of my findings and the findings of others. In time if not flamed I'll give those same results here if wanted. I don't say too small or too big without going there myself so I wouldn't want to make statements without doing the actual testing, but I can say this for the record, everything affects everything else and depending on how intune your space is you can hear tiny things make huge differences. You can also hear how little it takes to be over doing something. The audiophile product world is in the way "over doing it" too an extreme. The big chassis and parts are like sound coffins, and as Geoff has mentioned these huge over done absorbers destroy the acoustic signal.

But here's the thing, these aren't just discussion, but actual methods that need to be in place as the products are being built. The source, pre amp, amp, speaker worlds shouldn't be built without these types of designs built in. For example, tunable loudspeakers. Why would someone want to listen to a fixed loudspeaker that can never be tuned to their room? This type of thing to me and others is what makes High End Audio, High End Audio. I can put a $2000.00 tunable speaker in the room and have it walk all over a $100,000.00 speaker, why because it's better? No, because it can be tuned to the room. People are shocked when they come to my place or others who are using a receiver as their High End Audio power. Shocked that is until they put in their $25,000.00 amps in and watch them get beat up on. Why? I have made the receiver tunable. Same goes for my CD player choice. I and so do the others using it have a player that tuned walks all over the audiophile best. Hearing is believing. So why isn't the word being spread is really the issue. I think it just a matter of seeing High End Audio's continual decrease in numbers and the open door be given (and is) to the Sherwoods and Magnavoxs of the world. Whether they did it by design or mistake both of these companies have built products, when tuned, out perform the High End Audio big boys, these aren't the only ones. This would be hard to believe if I didn't throw in the words "when tuned". It probably also helps that I've been on the tuning cutting edge for a long time and people know that coming up against me ultimately comes down to an audio playoff. The tuned system wins in this case hands down, has for years. So this is just a matter of time and others coming out with their versions of "the tune". Again all this is laid out on TuneLand http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/ and I'm making a website that takes you through the whole proccess. I'm also willing to help designers with their products and do whatever else I can to help realign the big picture.

michael green

MGA/RoomTune

Doctor Fine
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Drinking the CoolAid

If you must move your gear I find it helps to have the equipment blessed by a VooDoo priest.   All the evil must be exorcised by a professional and the rites performed by burning incense and repeating this Mantra:      "Ummma Gummma Buloooh-BAH!!!"

Say this with GREAT conviction or the evil spirits will be OFFENDED and return with even greater force.  So be CAREFUL.

Just trying to be helpful.  I find this suggestion much more useful than tinfoil and "tuning the transformers for evil vibrations from the planet Zorn."  Or whatever.

Actually the only sensible advice in the OP comment is that speakers really SHOULD have more of their parameters adjustable.  Ala Wilson's biggies and the massive many part speakers offered by Focal.  Time alignment and the way the speaker locks into the acoustic signature of the romm actually DOES EXIST.

As for setting up a turntable by using arm height, cartridge alignment and proper installation of the plinth---well, duh.  Isn't that just proper assembly?

As for the rest of these "ideas" well---good luck with the exorcism...

michael green
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have you?

If you haven't started to tune your system than yes, some might make these comments, but for those who have made their systems tunable they would look at your comments and say you make them because "you do not yet tune". From ones who have taken a further step into their systems their comments are that the CoolAid was given long ago, when audiophiles were told they could match these recommended systems and they would magically get along and produce their absolute sound. Name me 5 audiophiles that have not bought their systems 5 times over. I have hundreds maybe more that have come to me with this problem thinking they would never find "the end", "what they were looking for". Ask them.

Doctor Fine, can I ask you a question? Have you ever heard a component that sounded the same when you moved it to a different space? I haven't and neither has anyone I have ever asked this question to before. I'm not talking about a general fixed character, I'm talking about the actual sound. In the over thousand rooms I have been to I have never heard this happen once. As I have stated I even went on tour with the same systems to hear if this could be done and it never did. Why would you think it not logical to tune a system in when it is placed in a different space?

next question

Would you like to put your system up against a tunable one? If you think a fixed system can out do a tunable one than maybe we should put it to the test as we have done many times. Maybe we should arrange in the next few months a showdown between a tunable system and high end audio's best and let the listening public make up their own minds. If enough press was interested, I would be interested to put this to the test, wouldn't you?

I stand by my earlier statements and would be interested in showing the industry what we have found to be true. What we do is not an attack on the industry, but instead the next step. And I should say it's an obvious next step, one that people if they care to look, do, or read can find out about. http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/ come take a look for yourself, or www.tuneland.info

A quote from tuneland just today,

"To tell the truth, I really got started with the tube amps because I went through a phase a year or two ago when I was looking for 'tube magic' because I hadn't been very happy with the sound I was getting. The conclusion I've come to after all this time is that tubes aren't any more magic than solid state - the magic comes from getting the system up to a certain level and then enjoying the listening. Whether you're running solid state or tubes, I think the real magic comes from knowing how to tune your system."

 

michael green

MGA/RoomTune

tmsorosk
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Tube magic

I must agree. I've been back and forth from tube to solid state more times than I can recall over the past 35 years and still currently own both a very nice tube and solid state system, but honestly feel one does not provide more magic than the other.

One thing I do notice is the tube chaps are more likely to adheer to the three T's (  tune, toil  and tinker ) than there solid state counterparts. I think thats of equal importance as the component choice itself.  

Catch22
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Tube guys are like vinyl guys

By their very nature, both require more attention to tuning and tweaking because they exhibit all sorts of distortion easily. You can't be a tube junkie like I am or a vinyl lover like MF without being reminded of J.Gordon Holt's observation early on that the better something sounds, the worse it will measure. Clearly, not all distortion is equal and not all perfectly measuring equipment will sound good. The one undeniable truth that J. Gordon Holt once said is that if the midrange isn't right, little else matters. The fact that humans are hard wired to notice those frequencies the most is proof enough of that axiom.

michael green
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"J"

J. Gordon knew the difference between a musical note and a frequency from what I gathered on our dinners and listening sessions. For someone who co-started the audiophile revolution he certainly poked a lot of fun at audiophiles. I saw him as a "use your ears stupid" type of guy. You got to have a lot of respect for someone who wasn't afraid to listen.

michael green

MGA/RoomTune

tmsorosk
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JGH %?@&?&?

You had to bring up JGH ?

Although we never met in person, he and I had more heated debates than I can recall . He certainly didn't beat around the bush when it came to expressing his opinion or telling you what he thought of yours . 

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he was a trip wasn't he

Now you got me laughing. He use to crack me up just seeing him. If you were going to be around JGH you had to go through his acid test. I didn't know him on the phone thank God. I knew him mainly from dinners and going up to my room at the tradeshows to listen after hours. Oh my lord he was a pistol fully loaded. Some of the time Guy Lamcoe (don't know if you know him) was with us. Guy and J. Gordon together was beyond fun for me cause they both have that mischievous grin and you know their going to start in about something. Guy's a cool listener too. They made a good team. I really enjoyed my times with some of the reviewers. What an interesting job they had, especially during the industry growing years.

michael green

MGA/RoomTune

michael green
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the Chassis

Hi Guys

So some of you have come over to the tune, and as you can hear "no distortion". For any who might be watching and wondering some of your readers have taken the step in tuning their systems. They have lighten the load so to speak and removed part of their components chassis. The results, the soundstage grew to a more believable size. Sound moved away from the speakers and went past the left and right sides with ease. The depth grew and some are now hearing the stage wrap around them instead of being in a frontal box.

There were some who decided to move away from their components completely and go with more simple setups. After hearing their systems freed a little they looked inside these tightly packed components and could see that they were never going to be totally freed from their constraints, so off to the used markets they went. Replaced with the simple setups the music is coming to life.

I have moved from heavy chassis long ago and every time I need to revisit I can hear that all too familar box. Some people are asking if they are hearing things. Are the newer mid price even lower price audio products sounding better than the heavy audiophile ones? My answer is, the hobby is being an audiophile but this has nothing to do with price of a component, not any more. There are a bunch of audiophile lower mass components that are presenting more of the soundstage, and I would think that this is going to continue and encourage designers to be looking at lightening the load. My favorite CD player weighs next to nothing and amps are showing up at my door to tune that can fit in my hand.

I can't wait for this chapter to catch hold, I mean really catch hold. Catch hold to the point where the price is within reach and the performance is better then ever. I know that the products I have been playing with have more dynamic range and cleanliness. The noise fat has been removed and it's all music now, and from my point of view very easy to tune. I think that Stereophile is right on in the direction of getting back into the middle, and I would say it's safe to head a little further down than that on the price scale. I know it takes time to go from the extreme to the masses but keep going guys. I can guarantee the sound at the $$$ bottom tuned won't disappoint.

An audiophile right now can buy a setup for almost nothing and with a little experience in tuning can have a system that far out does many well reviewed $$$ kings. I don't say that to make people mad, but to make people happy. If you've wanted to get into this hobby and not spend much now is your chance. You can take that spare bedroom or lightly furnish living room and go futher then ever before. People are doing it so this isn't the lone voice in the woods crying out lol. You still have to make this an action sport but what else is new.

Those who are brave and don't yet believe, try this. Make sure you are safe and make sure you have a wood shelf to set your parts on. Take off those rubber feet and remove that chassis cover and faceplate. Put your component up on wood blocks and compare. That's about as far as you have to go to hear that there is another world awaiting you. At that point there's a lot of tweaking you can do or you can decide to simplify your setup all together. If you like the sound of your chassis put it back on but I don't know many who have put them back together unless it's to sell.

I don't want you folks to think that this is a tweak. This is just a little DIY so you can hear that the chassis is causing a lot of shrinkage and mudd.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

iosiP
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Suppose your system sounds just fine (for you, of course)?

I do not have a tunable system but achieved the sound I was looking for through more "traditional" means, so I do have a question (in good faith): why would I want to change anything by further tuning? I do not envision any major changes in hardware, furniture or my sonic preferences.

michael green
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if you got it...

Hi iosiP

I think a "tunee" could best answer this, but if you got it, and your happy with it, why would you want to change it?

In my listening I like to explore the music from a lot of different angles therefore a tunable system is right down my alley. I love taking a recording and unlocking the door. However like your saying you found the sound you like and if all the music you like to play sounds great to you, you have found your slice of stereo heaven.

nothing tops your stereo heaven!

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

geoffkait
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iosiP wrote:
iosiP wrote:

I do not have a tunable system but achieved the sound I was looking for through more "traditional" means, so I do have a question (in good faith): why would I want to change anything by further tuning? I do not envision any major changes in hardware, furniture or my sonic preferences.

Hey, here's a few ideas you can try:

Reverse direction of interconnects. You should hear the sound get noticeably better or noticeably worse. The reason is that all wire is directional.

Reverse the direction of any fuses you have in the system. If you have more than one fuse switch direction and listen one at a time. If the fuse sounds better after saw itching direction leave it that way and go to next fuse. If the fuse sounds worse change it back to the initial direction.

Clean all contacts with alcohol at a minimum, Caig, or MG chemicals contact cleaner. Clean all rca connectors, etc. Including wall outlet female slots.

Move speakers closer together than you would normally place them, say four or four and a half feet. Most folks place their speakers too far apart.

Cheers

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

iosiP
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Geoff wrote
geoffkait wrote:

Reverse direction of interconnects. You should hear the sound get noticeably better or noticeably worse. The reason is that all wire is directional.

No can do: I use balanced connections.

geoffkait wrote:

Reverse the direction of any fuses you have in the system. If you have more than one fuse switch direction and listen one at a time. If the fuse sounds better after saw itching direction leave it that way and go to next fuse. If the fuse sounds worse change it back to the initial direction.

I did this for my power amp and could not hear any differences. I might try it for the low-level equipment too...

geoffkait wrote:

Clean all contacts with alcohol at a minimum, Caig, or MG chemicals contact cleaner. Clean all rca connectors, etc. Including wall outlet female slots.

I do this on a regular schedule.

geoffkait wrote:

Move speakers closer together than you would normally place them, say four or four and a half feet. Most folks place their speakers too far apart.

Raidho recommends their speakers be placed far apart and toed-i aggresively (point to the listener shoulders). Tried both ways (my previous speakers were Dynaudio Confidence 5 that worked better close together and almost parallel) and seems the "official" recommendation from Raidho is the way to go. BTW, I tried a few speakers in the same room (not mine) and found out that each manufacturer design their speakers with a different placement in mind, so now when asked to recommend speakers I always tell my firends to figure out how they can position them - wife and furniture dependent - and only listen to "compatible" brands.

Cheers,
Costin

michael green
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I'm a snob!

WoW Geoff!

"Move speakers closer together than you would normally place them, say four or four and a half feet. Most folks place their speakers too far apart."

When I first started reading you I thought "ok, I've seen this before but ok". Then when I saw you didn't have a system, I got a little more "well I don't know about this guy", now your off the cuff saying speakers apart 4' to 4.5'. Dude, how would you expect someone like me to take you serious about listening at all?

If I dampened my stuff and put the speakers that close together I might as well plan on watching the next new years fireworks on a 20" tube TV instead of going to the strip to see them in person. Holy smokies Daddy, I don't mean to be a snob, but Whoa, I really doubt if I'm going to be able to take you seriously at all.

If in the future I smile or kinda jump over you please don't be mad at me, but Geoff I have to take this hobby and industry more serious than this.

Wow, I guess it's just wow!

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

geoffkait
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What the ding dong?

Have you exceeded your coffee intake already today? It hate to judge before all the facts are in but that meetin' down by the river might not be happening. Lol. Yes, I do not have speakers now, I used to have speakers in previous incarnations. Does that seem strange to you?

Who could be mad at you?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dramatica

iosiP
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A few words about speaker placement

There is no perfect speaker and - for a given speaker - there is no perfect placement. There are just trade-offs, and the most important thing to keep in mind are your priorities and the music you're most likely to listen to.
I favour tonal integrity and imaging (but then, I'm mostly listening to small-scale jazz) and would not die because of lacking the extreme bottom end or a huge soundstage.
I do have friends - mostly listening to large-scale symphonic works - that need a large soundstage and huge macrodynamic but have no special use for a realistic and well-defined image (after all, how much can you delineate the players in a 100+ orchestra).
The funny thing (in a pleasant way) is that when we are visiting and playing each other's records we all agree that each of us got the best speaker placement for his own musical taste, and sometime we rearrange speakers, in which case we all agree that the "new" placement would be better for the other person's favorite music.

So yes, a tunable system would at least allow me to "tune in" differently for Cassandra Wilson or Mahler, which would be a gain in absolute musical enjoyment - at least for my audiophile friends, as Mahler makes both my wife and my cat cringe. And no, I'm not willing to move my speakers around, simply because each ot them is heavier than me.

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Speaker placement
iosiP wrote:

There is no perfect speaker and - for a given speaker - there is no perfect placement. There are just trade-offs, and the most important thing to keep in mind are your priorities and the music you're most likely to listen to.

I do have friends - mostly listening to large-scale symphonic works - that need a large soundstage and huge macrodynamic but have no special use for a realistic and well-defined image (after all, how much can you delineate the players in a 100+ orchestra).

Well, see, this is where I think the XLO test CD can be invaluable. This twenty year old test CD produced by Roger Skoff and recording engineer Keith O. Johnson, has a lot of terrific tracks, including but limited to the test for system polarity and the piece de resistance, how to set up speakers. Now, before you scoff, this track will find the ABSOLUTE best locations for ANY speaker in ANY room, regardless of speaker type or model, room dimensions and room treatments. I know what your thinking, "I can move the speakers myself and listen and find the absolute best locations." Actually, it is almost impossible to find the real ideal locations by trial and error. What you will almost always wind up with is a locations that is a local maximum, good but not the very best. So, as one adds room treatments, tweaks, what have you, upgrade components, etc., you will always be able to keep up with the improvements to your room and system with the XLO test CD. A soundstage fanatic must have!

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Sorry to disappoint you

Dear Geoff,

I have 30+ years of audiophilia nevrosa in my "portfolio", I own most test records ever issued (including the XLO) and exhausted the benefits of most of them. I also found out that there is no fast track in setting up a system, and while good test CDs may help they cannot replace experience and using proved principles of sound propagation.

FYI - and sorry to spell this out, but maybe you will just stop patronizing me - I hold a M.Sc in Signal Propagation & Coding and a PhD in Information Theory, to which I would add my off-duty interest in psycho-acoustics, material technology and other related fields.
So yes, I know a few things about how an audio system work (including a few facts about signal propagation in an electrical circuit), but I am always open to novel ideas, as long as these are reasonable and do not contradict scientific data. So no snake oil for me, please, I'm immune.

Regards,
Costin

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Immunity

Boy, looks like I stepped in it that time. A thousand pardons.

Geoff Kait
Machina Heroica

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Machina Originality

Hey Geoff,

It seems most of your ideas are basically retreads of old concepts others have created. Do you have any original ideas of your own that you can share with us?

I would like an order of original tweaks and hold the behind the scenes chuckling you enjoy so much at the expense of the gullible audiofools you convince to "come over to our side" or should I say come over to our website and buy my nifty clock.

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toledo wrote:
toledo wrote:

Hey Geoff,

It seems most of your ideas are basically retreads of old concepts others have created. Do you have any original ideas of your own that you can share with us?

I would like an order of original tweaks and hold the behind the scenes chuckling you enjoy so much at the expense of the gullible audiofools you convince to "come over to our side" or should I say come over to our website and buy my nifty clock.

I can never tell when you guys are being sarcastic.

Dark Matter invisible light absorber, that's original. Brilliant Pebbles. The original. The Super Intelligent Chip is my Re-invention. It's not how big it is it's how you use it. Nimbus sub Hertz platform (single airspring), resonant frequency 0.5 Hz. Flying Saucers for Windows. Yup, original. Ceramic wall outlet cover, mine. Teleportation Tweak, ditto, personal best 10,000 miles, by the way. The clock is a Re-invention. Blu Ray scattered light absorber, yup, you guessed it. Mine. Codename Turquoise CD tray masking. I got a few.

Tootles,

Geoff Kait,
Machina Dynamica
Better Living Though Quantum Mechanics

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yep

Geoff

Not to beat you up but, when you hang around listeners and hear them talk a while you kinda pick up on where their at as a tunee/tweaker whatever. It's hard to fool someone who really does serious listening. I don't care so much where you are as a listener but it does worry me a little when you come up and give a blanketed bold statement on what they should do. You might think your way is "the way" but if I may say most guys who have been around the block are going to say "been there done that", and I think that is what is happening here. Not that anyone doesn't want you to have the best sound for you, but I think maybe they are aiming a little higher. After spending sometime reading your posts I know I am.

It's really hard to take someone serious when they renounced their stereo system the way you did. For me that was the deal breaker, but I let things go. With you giving so much bold advice though, I don't see how based on your statement of your personal listening.

That's just my take and I hope I'm not being mean. I really would hope these threads are about listening and not random seeing what sticks to the wall.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Hi Geoff,

Hi Geoff,

Can you elaborate on re-invention? I was under the impression things were invented once.

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Re-invention
toledo wrote:

Hi Geoff,

Can you elaborate on re-invention? I was under the impression things were invented once.

In 1889, seven years after Emerson's death, came the invention of the current standard of mousetraps.[2] That same year Emerson was quoted as saying:

If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor..."[2]

The phrase has turned into a metaphor about the power of innovation,[2] and is frequently taken literally, with more than 4,400 patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for new mousetraps, with thousands more unsuccessful applicants, making them the "most frequently invented device in U.S. history".

The innovation in The Super Intelligent Chip is inside the chip, where you can't see it. Think of it as a better mousetrap. Like the original Intelligent Chip, it contains around one million atoms of special secret sauce.

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." A. Einstein

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Advanced Audio Concepts

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michael green wrote:
michael green wrote:

Geoff

Not to beat you up but, when you hang around listeners and hear them talk a while you kinda pick up on where their at as a tunee/tweaker whatever. It's hard to fool someone who really does serious listening. I don't care so much where you are as a listener but it does worry me a little when you come up and give a blanketed bold statement on what they should do. You might think your way is "the way" but if I may say most guys who have been around the block are going to say "been there done that", and I think that is what is happening here. Not that anyone doesn't want you to have the best sound for you, but I think maybe they are aiming a little higher. After spending sometime reading your posts I know I am.

It's really hard to take someone serious when they renounced their stereo system the way you did. For me that was the deal breaker, but I let things go. With you giving so much bold advice though, I don't see how based on your statement of your personal listening.

That's just my take and I hope I'm not being mean. I really would hope these threads are about listening and not random seeing what sticks to the wall.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

Renounced my stereo system? Huh? Are we having a religious argument? Lol

Do you not think a headphone system qualifies as a real stereo system? I did not realize there was such a thing as a speaker system snob. Lol. I can certainly appreciate that folks with headphone systems are probably not on your potential customer list, you know, what with the non issue with room tuning.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
We do Artificial Atoms Right

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"The innovation in The Super

"The innovation in The Super Intelligent Chip is inside the chip, where you can't see it. Think of it as a better mousetrap. Like the original Intelligent Chip, it contains around one million atoms of special secret sauce."

Innovation that cannot be seen, unlike a better mouse trap. How convenient... And all backed by specious quotes from Emerson and Einstein.

I am sure Emerson and Einstein are thrilled they are helping the advancement of the audio industry.

Special secret sauce? Is this an new offshoot of quantum mechanics? Is it a quack or a quark?

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Secret revealed
toledo wrote:

"The innovation in The Super Intelligent Chip is inside the chip, where you can't see it. Think of it as a better mousetrap. Like the original Intelligent Chip, it contains around one million atoms of special secret sauce."

Innovation that cannot be seen, unlike a better mouse trap. How convenient... And all backed by specious quotes from Emerson and Einstein.

I am sure Emerson and Einstein are thrilled they are helping the advancement of the audio industry.

Special secret sauce? Is this an new offshoot of quantum mechanics? Is it a quack or a quark?

You're close. Very close. They're quantum dots. You know, artificial atoms.

"People would be much better off if they believed in too much rather than too little." PT Barnum

Geoff Kait
Machugana Dramatica

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Artificial atoms, you say.

Artificial atoms, you say. Hmmm.

You truly are a practitioner of "better they talk about me than don't talk about me"

I'll leave it at that.

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soundstages

Hi Geoff

I am in love with the whole idea of a soundstage. Doesn't really matter phones or room/speaker as you can read in the headphones thread I started. I have clients in both worlds, far more in the room/speaker world of course because of my experience in the soundstage. However I don't make calls in the room/speaker world based on the headphone world, with the exception of one getting closer to the other which is why I started that thread.

I also try not to get off track which is what is happening on some of these threads and I don't want the listeners out there thinking that I spend my time in a spin, which to me is a waste of time. I've read your posts and I've seen your spin. I personally if it's ok would like to get back to the music. That's why I'm here and why I get up in the morning.

If I may though, when your looking up quotes to entertain the day with, you might want to leave out the [2] cause it looks like your a bit of a wikipedia junkie looking to find something witty, instead of recalling it from memory. I'm just saying it would be nice to see you keeping it real instead of us having to guess if you are a serious listener or not.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Snarkolepsy is alive and well in Sin City
michael green wrote:

Hi Geoff

I am in love with the whole idea of a soundstage. Doesn't really matter phones or room/speaker as you can read in the headphones thread I started. I have clients in both worlds, far more in the room/speaker world of course because of my experience in the soundstage. However I don't make calls in the room/speaker world based on the headphone world, with the exception of one getting closer to the other which is why I started that thread.

I also try not to get off track which is what is happening on some of these threads and I don't want the listeners out there thinking that I spend my time in a spin, which to me is a waste of time. I've read your posts and I've seen your spin. I personally if it's ok would like to get back to the music. That's why I'm here and why I get up in the morning.

If I may though, when your looking up quotes to entertain the day with, you might want to leave out the [2] cause it looks like your a bit of a wikipedia junkie looking to find something witty, instead of recalling it from memory. I'm just saying it would be nice to see you keeping it real instead of us having to guess if you are a serious listener or not.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

A thousand pardons, now, back to tuning.

:-)

I actually like to quote Wikipedia. I suspect you're just looking for something to grouse about.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Poor Mendeleev...
geoffkait wrote:

You're close. Very close. They're quantum dots. You know, artificial atoms.

Poor me, I thought the Mendeleev table of elements was kind of complete... Yes I know some artificial atoms were produced in super hush-hush labs but most are unstable, and certainly not something I would want in my living room.
But then, who am I to judge? I'd better let Geoff explain how these are obtained (and most of all how they work) and I promise to do my best to support him for the Nobel Prize.

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Artificial atoms

I can certainly understand someone with your (outstanding) background might not have had the opportunity or requirement, whatever, to encounter artificial atoms. I had the chance encounter with some artificial atoms about ten years ago and never looked back. Artificial atoms are so called because they're composed of a bunch of electrons but no nucleus, only a positively charged space (hole) where the nucleus wouHld normally be, you know, in a real atom. These artificial atoms are the same thing as "quantum dots" and are produced in labs and come in lots of different flavors colors, if you will), are photon emitters and are quite stable as long as they're shielded from light. I have been designing tiny little chips that employ artificial atoms for audio (CD) applications for a number of years. It's hard to believe it's been that long ago, but I wrote the definitive explanation how the original intelligent chip, the one from China, works. My current Super Intelligent Chip is much smarter than the orange jobber do from ten years ago as there have been some very interesting recent developments in the field. :-)

Note: the Original Intelligent Chip worked by placing the chip on the top of the CD player, inserting the disc to be treated and allowing it to play for 2 seconds. That's it. The disc would have been permanently upgraded. Each chip treated 10 discs.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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So the middle is just a positive charged hole?

So what holds the charges, if there is nothing in the middle?
But hey, maybe I'm not qualified enough to discuss the matter, so why don't you just enlighten me on the only subject that matters: how do these affect the electromagnetic field in an audio system? Believe me, I would not refuse "Tiny Dots" filled with guano as long as I understand how they work (and they don't smell of course).

Would you consider sending me some intelligent chips, so that less-intelligent me can use them and decide they work? I promise to send them back to you after I'm finished or - who knows - keep them and write you a fat check.

Regards,
Costin

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Artificial Atoms, better than the real thing
iosiP wrote:

So what holds the charges, if there is nothing in the middle?
But hey, maybe I'm not qualified enough to discuss the matter, so why don't you just enlighten me on the only subject that matters: how do these affect the electromagnetic field in an audio system? Believe me, I would not refuse "Tiny Dots" filled with guano as long as I understand how they work (and they don't smell of course).

Would you consider sending me some intelligent chips, so that less-intelligent me can use them and decide they work? I promise to send them back to you after I'm finished or - who knows - keep them and write you a fat check.

Regards,
Costin

Quick Study (thanks Wikipedia)

Quantum confinement in semiconductors[edit]

3D confined electron wave functions in a quantum dot. Here, rectangular and triangular-shaped quantum dots are shown. Energy states in rectangular dots are more s-type and p-type. However, in a triangular dot the wave functions are mixed due to confinement symmetry. (Click for animation)

Main article: Potential well In a semiconductor crystallite whose diameter is smaller than the size of its exciton Bohr radius, the excitons are squeezed, leading to quantum confinement. The energy levels can then be modeled using the particle in a box model in which the energy of different states is dependent on the length of the box. Quantum dots are said to be in the 'weak confinement regime' if their radii are on the order of the exciton Bohr radius; quantum dots are said to be in the 'strong confinement regime' if their radii are smaller than the exciton Bohr radius. If the size of the quantum dot is small enough that the quantum confinement effects dominate (typically less than 10 nm), the electronic and optical properties are highly tunable.

Splitting of energy levels for small quantum dots due to the quantum confinement effect. The horizontal axis is the radius, or the size, of the quantum dots and ab* is the Exciton Bohr radius.

Fluorescence occurs when an excited electron relaxes to the ground state and combines with the hole. In a simplified model, the energy of the emitted photon can be understood as the sum of the band gap energy between the occupied level and the unoccupied energy level, the confinement energies of the hole and the excited electron, and the bound energy of the exciton (the electron-hole pair).

I have a couple chips I can let you have, you can contact me through my web site or if this forum has a mail system which I suspect they do that would work.

Cheers,
Geoff Kait, Machina Dynamica

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Fine, and how do they work?

I must admit I did not study the field, and I'm not likely to get into a scientific exploration (just have to work for a living), but could you please explain how these work in the context of an audio system?

P.S. I will look for your site (since you gave no link) and try to contact you. See, - as I said before - I'm always open to novel ideas, I just have to know they have a reasonable basis to work.

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How do Artificial Atoms Work?
iosiP wrote:

I must admit I did not study the field, and I'm not likely to get into a scientific exploration (just have to work for a living), but could you please explain how these work in the context of an audio system?

P.S. I will look for your site (since you gave no link) and try to contact you. See, - as I said before - I'm always open to novel ideas, I just have to know they have a reasonable basis to work.

My web page is

Www.machinadynamica.com

My paper on how the Intelligent Chip Works is at

Www.machinadynamica.com/machina64.htm

I suspect that not too many folks would say off the tops of their heads that artificial atoms have any basis whatsoever to work.

Geoff Kait

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Oops

Comment withdrawn

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New thread

Geoff,

I think where this thread got off track that has led to a confusing array of subjects is when Costin asked:

"I do not have a tunable system but achieved the sound I was looking for through more "traditional" means, so I do have a question (in good faith): why would I want to change anything by further tuning? I do not envision any major changes in hardware, furniture or my sonic preferences."

You then suggested some simple cable switching, fuses and cleaning in response. This did not answer the question posed and Costin is probably still waiting for an answer.

If you would like to discuss your ideas then create your own thread and not hijack existing ones and put them off track. I may be wrong but I haven't seen an original thread by you.

I suggest you create a thread on artificial atoms and let this thread continue on with variable tuning as was the intention.

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Why tuning?

Hi Costin,

Just realized Michael did answer your question and felt a tunee could better answer it. I got lost in all the thread shuffle.

The reason I got into variable tuning was a simple one ... I was unable to enjoy my entire music collection using my high-end setup.

Its appears you are happy with your setup which is great.

I have had a series of solid state, tube (push-pull and single-ended) and hybrid tube/SS systems over the last 20 years in various rooms with varying success. But during those years my listening choices began to be dictated by the system as my systems became more, so-called, resolving.

I was basically down to small scale jazz ensembles, classical instrumental soloists and what I would refer to as audiophile dreck that was "well recorded."

All my favorite 70s and 80s classic rock and fusion collections collected dust as they sounded pretty bad, overly compressed and thin.

I blamed this on the classic argument of "bad recordings" used in high-end.

The funny thing, though, was these "bad recordings" sounded pretty good on my car stereo. I always attributed this to having tone controls and dismissed the notion that it was a system problem.

I have always tricked out my high-end systems with various products to improve things such as Aurios, wood blocks, etc...

These would help in certain areas and add some seasoning but it was limited. High end components are generally too massive to be significantly affected by these tweaks. The massiveness is what attracted me to these products .. even today I am still drawn visually to them.

So fast forward to today and I realize there has to be a better way so I can enjoy my entire collection and gain back some control over different recordings similar to my car and older midfi system with tone controls.

Variable tuning is much more than tone control, I only used this as a frame of reference.

I have moved onto low mass components that allow the signal path to flow without restrictions and vibrations that are not dampened but used as an advantage similar to a musical instrument.

In addition I have added limited room treatment to not over dampen the room.

I am sure Michael is wincing at my attempt to describe variable tuning. Whats the old saying .. I dont make them, I just drive them. All I want to do is listen to my entire music collection and gain more control over how the music sounds.

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Hi Toledo, and thank you for your answer

I would like to fall in love with my old music again: the Supertramp and ELO records are part of my youth but sound pretty shitty on my current system... As for Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Put a Candle in the Window" mostly sounds like putting a torch up my ass.
So I'll wait for Michael's recommendations - only hope he does not ask me to get my gear out of the cases, 'cause I listen to music in my living room (hint: a room I have to live in, together with my wife and cat). But as I said, I'm open to suggestions: I walked the "standard" path several times and got back with more wisdom on what hurts than on what works, so I'm willing to explore the way of room tuning.

Later on (much later, I hope) when I'll be old and Alzheimer will kick in i'll probably also try some shiny pebbles and remote tuning by phone: by then I think I'll have nothing left to lose!

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the tune

welcome to the tune

Hi guys, it's design week here so I'm a little limited on time, but will try to sneak in some writing during the nights.

Toledo "you did great"

Here's the thing, you guys are right on the money. Those fantastic recordings that you (and thousands of others) are talking about are some of the best pieces of modern day music, and the conversion to CDs were great successes. I and many others have been listening to these recordings in all of their glory. There is only one reason why these would sound bad on any system, and that is if the system can not play the signal.

If you read through TuneLand you will see where we referenced hundreds of rock recordings and this has been going on for a long time. The reports on these recordings being bad is nothing more than a scam. The more complicated the high end audio industry got the worse these recordings sounded on systems. Look for yourself, the reviews on these recording were excellent during the 80's, then all of a sudden the rock and extreme soundstaged recording started to get pan. Look at the review on "the final cut" and "selling england by the pound" by TAS or sounds like mag (can't remember which). Then look at the review in TAS where I tuned both of these recordings in and the bad review was reversed.

Classic rock recordings on a tuned system will produce 30-40 feet wide stages, with unbelievable depth and 3D along with the sound even going behind the listener. I've been listening to this forever. Right now on the system is Baby by Yello and the stage is huge! I love Supertramp and their recordings rock and a high end system should have no problem with these, so why do they? The industry started over building their products and because the sound was so focused on only part of the signal people were not paying attention to what was coming up missing. It kept getting worse and worse and after a while the industry started saying it was because the High End Audio systems were built to play so revealing that it showed the faults of these recordings. But this was far from the truth. The truth was these ultra "detailed" systems were actually playing less off the signal than the generation of components before them. As a store owner and engineer I saw this happen first hand. Then as a designer I was able to put all of this to the test. People who came and visited TuneVilla would actually walk out the door and put their system up for sale and started over with equipment that was able to play the music again.

I am telling you as someone who has been proud serving this industry that a side track in desighing has happened and many components and speakers and accessories are not able to play a wide range of music like they should.

Why would anyone have to say "I have a jazz", "I have a clasical" system? That is NUTS! It is not the recordings fault, it's the equipments fault.

Let me tell everyone reading this. The reason why high end audio is going down the tubes is because the average music lover can't drive to the store and get a piece of music and play it. This whole snob thing about certain music being "audiophile" is a scam to cover up not being able to play the signal, and people who are taking the next step in high end audio know better.

Great thing is it cost very little to find out.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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The audiophile belief system
Quote:

Later on (much later, I hope) when I'll be old and Alzheimer will kick in i'll probably also try some shiny pebbles and remote tuning by phone: by then I think I'll have nothing left to lose!

Folks would be much better off if they believed in too much rather than too,little. PT Barnum

An ordinary man has no means of deliverance. W. Burroughs

:-)

Cheers, Geoff at Machina Dramatica

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invited

I'd like to invited May Belt to join in the discussion here. "there is something going on"

My approach on any of the audio issues is to spend my time listening, and this means a lot of it, and constantly. My systems run 24/7 and many times I will need to listen to the same piece of music on repeat for days and weeks but it has served me well in the learning department. I have over time removed myself from the fixed tweak thinking, but this doesn't mean these ideas and designs people have are bad or wrong, it's just that because every recording is so different in it's information, and conditions of listening are so vast, and because of the energy involved, I have found that the only way to cover all the ground in the variables of listening is to have variable systems.

We as listeners and designers, engineer types and what have you, are trying to find answers and solutions for something that is in motion, but we are treating it as if there is no motion, and that's not going to work. There are many who feel they have the right terms to use and the right theories, but the only way any of this makes sense is if we "do", and this is where I invite others. I invite you to think about the variables and try to envision that a fixed tune, no matter what it is, is something that may be perfect for one piece of recorded information but as soon as the information changes that fixed tune may no longer be of benefit. I not only ask you to think about it but actually setup a variable system and see for yourselves.

If I came to your homes or test facilities right now I would be able to play some recordings that sounded great and others that sounded terrible. I have never been to a listening room where this was not the case and I have been to about everyone you can imagine, including my tunable one that has wall adjustments changing the tone of the room every 16" on center, probably the most advanced listening room ever made, and here's what I think. I think we should look at all of our tweaks and all of our recordings and rewrite the book on audio. I think there are some really smart people involved in this industry but I also think that we need to take it to the next level. This goes for recording all the way through to in the home. There is something and it goes further than fixed tweaks. Since I got involved in this we have been using the word tune, but we are a little shallow when it comes to "tuning". It's the variable part that we're not getting for some reason.

We do need to talk about this, but at the same time the people who are making fixed tweaks need to start making variable ones and learning and sharing about the active part of this hobby. It would be great if we could tune it in and all of everything could be perfect forever but we live on a moving planet and listening to movement, and all these things are tunable.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

michael green
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the future

I'd like to invite you guys over to tuneland for a visit as I and others have been exploring the future of high end and a bit of history http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t244-audio-industry-discussion-continued... . For some this will bring outrage, for other liberation.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

michael green
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what is the next step?

Interesting talks are happening about the simplicity of an audio system therefore I wanted to give this a bump so we might take a look at simple vs complicated again in the context of how this industry could and should look like moving forward for the audiophile.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

jgossman
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Questions?

Quantum Dots, artificial atoms? Are they like the margarine of physics?

"The original chip... could treat 10 disks" - for a tweak with no specific explanation of efficacy, that seems awful specific.

I smell bullshit.

You see, while not an adherent per say, I understand resonance effects performance. Material, screw tautness, and so forth affect resonance, "tuning" can effect sound. - I smell thinking things through and not really trying to sell anyone anything other than an idea. If you don't like it, screw your shit back together as tight as you can, load your stuff of with dampening materials and let her fly. No harm no fowl, not money scammed.

geoffkait
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Toasted Strudel of physics
jgossman wrote:

Quantum Dots, artificial atoms? Are they like the margarine of physics?

"The original chip... could treat 10 disks" - for a tweak with no specific explanation of efficacy, that seems awful specific.

I smell bullshit.

You see, while not an adherent per say, I understand resonance effects performance. Material, screw tautness, and so forth affect resonance, "tuning" can effect sound. - I smell thinking things through and not really trying to sell anyone anything other than an idea. If you don't like it, screw your shit back together as tight as you can, load your stuff of with dampening materials and let her fly. No harm no fowl, not money scammed.

Quantum Dots are not the margarine of physics, they're the Toasted Strudel of physics. Warm, flakey, gooey. Toasted Strudel! Mmmmmmm! Though, technically, the humble doughnut is closer to an actual artificial atom, what with the hole in the middle and everything.

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