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wkhanna
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Tuning (&Tweaking)

I told Michael Green i would list some info on my system to hear what ideas he might have.

My current rig:

8TB PC NAS feeding the Schiit Gungnir via a WireWorld Starlight 7 USB into the Music Fidelty V-Link 192 USB/SPDIF converter with a BlueJeans coax then connected to the DAC. The Schiit Gungnir DAC feeds the analog input of my highly modified (with the help of Bob) Carver C-19 pre-amp. The low level output signal is then attenuated by a modified Rotel RB-1090 two-channel amp. My speakers are DIY. The design is an MTM D'Appolito configuration, 65 liter, 3/4” Baltic birch ply cabinet with a 1-1/2” solid poplar front baffle. All of which is well braced while incorporating bottom firing ports. The cross-over design & driver specifications are from my friend Jon Marsh, who is known as, among his many other accomplishments, the designer of the original Avalon speakers. Twin HSU subs positioned next to each speaker tower are fed by the second set of stereo outputs from the C-19 & crossed over at around 60-70 Hz. All interconnects are CatCable silver RAC’s & all power cables are from Frank at Signal Cable. Speaker cables are Mapleshade Double Helix with mains power protected by the APC S15 battery backup power conditioner - except for the RB-1090 which is plugged directly into the same standard generic wall outlet on the same circuit.

I also have a MMF 7.1 turntable, Pro-Ject Speed control & Audio Technica 150 MLX cartridge.

I will try to link some photos.......

This should be interesting......

wkhanna
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photos

let me give this a try:

 photo DSCF8618_zpsfcb117b5.jpg

michael green
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Wkhanna's system

First a few things. I love the art and the colors use in the room. It looks extremely inviting, and I bet it's a ton of fun to hear music in here. This is a rug on hardwood flooring right? Is there a basement under?

About how old is the house? Is this plaster or drywall?

It looks like the way it is setup that your not going to want to move things around much right?

How far is it to the wall behind you?

So you are using line conditioning? If so what was wrong with the direct electric?

How far is it from the back of the equipment stand to the wall?

Are those MDF shelves or hardwood?

Sorry for all the questions, it just helps me to start hearing the sound.

What types of music did you say you like, or do you listen to everything pretty much?

Did you build the speaker cabs ? (very sharp). Not sure I have heard any of Jon's original stuff. I did a few shows with Neil. So did Neil completely redesign Jon's work or what? I always thought Neil was the front man for another designer but I didn't know who. I can't really tell but are the stands arched? Pretty cool looking from here.

Yes, I think you will find this interesting.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

wkhanna
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skip it

deleted

wkhanna
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skip it again

deleted again

wkhanna
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deja vous?

been here, done this....

wkhanna
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Q&A Time.....

Hi Michael,

----This is a rug on hardwood flooring right? ----
Yes, it is a V heavy 100% wool rug with 1/4 padding underneath.
The flooring is 1/2 inch thick oak on top of another 1/2 inch hardwood running at a 45 degree bias.

----Is there a basement under?----
Yes, there is a basement. The rafters are actual 2 by 12 on 18 inch centers.

----About how old is the house?----
~120 years old

----Is this plaster or drywall?----
V thick plaster with wood lath backing

----It looks like the way it is setup that your not going to want to move things around much right?----
We all know this is the listening room, The Wife, however, despite my repeated attempts to correct her misconception, insists on referring to it as the living-room.

----How far is it to the wall behind you?----
Three Feet

----]So you are using line conditioning? If so what was wrong with the direct electric?----
Yes. All electronics are run through the APC unit except for the Rotel RB-1090 power amp (because the transient response is noticeably better when it is plugged directly into the wall outlet). There just happens to be a high-power radio station transmission tower one block away. The APC unit does a good job of filtering the bleed-through that is likely coming through the lines. Aside from building a Faraday cage around my house, I have found nothing else that helps (that I can afford). Fortunately, I have found that aside from the amp with its high current draw, none of the other components seem to suffer much. Any reduction in sound quality due to the APC is negligible to me & others who have compared my system with & without the unit.

----How far is it from the back of the equipment stand to the wall?----
~Ten Inches

----Are those MDF shelves or hardwood----
The stands are made from eight-ply Baltic birch plywood connected with 1" all-thread rod.
The section under the turntable is pieces of laminated Aspen Pine.

----What types of music did you say you like, or do you listen to everything pretty much?----
Mostly acoustic jazz & classical. But my tastes are rather eclectic overall.

----Did you build the speaker cabs ?-----
Yes.

----So did Neil completely redesign Jon's work or what?----
Jon has never had any official involvement with Avalon.
He & Neil new each other long ago.

----I can't really tell but are the stands arched?----
Yes.

The room is 16 feet deep & 12 feet wide with a 10 foot ceiling.
There is a fireplace with mantel to the left & a couch on the right.
The wall behind my listening position is has twin windows treated with floor-to-ceiling heavy vinyl horizontal window blinds & drapery.

You had inquired earlier about the mods to the Carver C-19. All caps & most resistors have been replaced, op amp sockets have been installed which allow rolling, the installation of an Alps volume pot & IEC power socket, along with other various minor ‘tweaks’. Photos are attached.

 photo DSCF5676.jpg

 photo DSCF5687.jpg

Oh! I almost forgot......Need to add my automated record cleaning machine to the list.

 photo IMG_0059.jpg

Catch22
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Could you go over all that again?

I think I missed it the first four times. ;)

wkhanna
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sorry....

I just like the sound the 'repeat' button makes ;)

michael green
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Thanks

Thanks for all the info, this is good stuff. I have some things I would like to try with your setup to see how reactive it is. This week is super busy, and will lighten up hopefully Weds. If I get time though I'll go through a couple of things with you and you can let me know if you want to try them.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

wkhanna
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ongoing...

I am looking forward to trying some of Michael's suggestions, though my ability to apply some of the more 'hard core' methods are limited by not having the luxury of a dedicated listening room.

Additionally, my cohort & enabler in all things audio & I have just ordered some musical-grade Portuguese cork & mu metal to try suggestions made by Geoff at Machina Dynamica.

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The other direction

Hi wkhanna

Let me know when you have completed going in the dampening direction, cause when I get involved I will be going the other way and I won't want to mix the two cause that would take forever to follow. I don't mind if it was done on TuneLand, but following it on here if it stretched out over months or years might be something impossible for me to do. i will do my best though.

A question for you. Your soundstage as it is now is 8-16 feet wide 4-6 feet deep and 6-7 feet tall with most music, I'm I close?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

wkhanna
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I have changed the title of this thread.

My only intent is to apply & document various methods, techniques & products in my own system & track the results here.

I am more than willing to try any suggestions you may have, Michael. However, as I have mentioned, I do not have the liberty of performing major reconstruction to my system or the multi-purpose room it occupies. Things like untwisting wires (I am experienced with the use of soldering irons) or propping components on wooden blocks or fabricating supports are well within my capacity to try. Your suggestions can be implemented prior to the installation of the shielding & dampening materials. Any damping or shielding materials can also be removed before implementing your suggestions. I fully understand & apply using a controlled baseline reference.

wkhanna
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On Hand...

The cork & mu metal arrived Friday.
I plan to work on my DAC & pre-amp first.

Hopefully I can carve out some time tomorrow to play around with this stuff.

Bill

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Set the Stage....
michael green wrote:

Hi wkhanna

A question for you. Your soundstage as it is now is 8-16 feet wide 4-6 feet deep and 6-7 feet tall with most music, I'm I close?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

With regard to my system’s sound stage……I suppose we could make generalizations…..
But just as Mark Twain said, “all generalizations are false, including this one”.

My system is nowhere near perfect. But I have heard some that are very close. From the Nautilus to Tidal & many other ‘statement’ level systems, I have heard things that are simply amazing in their ability totally disappear from the room & genuinely recreate a live performance.

In nearly all cases, my soundstage begins approximately two feet behind the front baffles of my speakers. At times the image is just a few feet (or inches as is the case on some binaural recordings) from my listening position. Sometimes I can hear quite deep and wide into the presentation, just as I do when attending many live classical concerts at Heinz Hall or the Benedum Center. And I hear the hall. I sense the walls both beside me and at my back. And sometimes the stage is just as it is when I am at the Manchester Craftsman’s Guild. Many Grammy nominated & winning recordings have been produced here. And I have attended many jazz shows in their intimate theater. When my live recordings from this venue are played at home, I am effortlessly transported back to that very theater. And I can pinpoint quite easily the virtual seating position within the recording. Width, depth & height are relative to the venue, the record engineering & the ability of my system.

Studio recordings also have a soundstage signature. And while it is an engineered virtual reality, depth and pinpoint focus of image all exist. Instruments & voices can have tightly focused position in a 3D soundscape. Nearly everyone who has heard my rig comments on its truthful imaging.

There is something else to consider. I listen to mono recordings. Many would be quite surprised at the amount of ‘stage’ present on mono recordings.

Since we are both now referencing the Abbey Road album, you can get a better idea of what I am experiencing as we explore that music.

michael green
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a true audiophile!

Hi Bill

Well, it's my pleasure listening with you! I can already tell you are a true listener, and I will do my best to listen with your ears as well as mine. I as you know live in the variable world so there might be times I will need to shape my sound to yours so I can see into what your experiencing. Your very good with your descriptions so I think I will be able to follow you. If you do hear anything that I'm doing and want to try let me know and we'll look at it. I will be doing the same here as you describe things (already have).

I'm super big on settle times, like you are and since my system is designed to vibrate I let it do it's thing till it settles in, so if I don't respond to things right away that's probably what is going on. I'm hip to the mono thing too. The greatest thing though is the rear hall behind you. This is a part that many audiophiles short change themselves on, and I'm very happy you are getting that and understand this in the concept of the "whole" recording, and live listening. If listeners were able to get this more than they do I think this hobby would take on different meaning. I hope you post a lot about the hall behind you with the recordings cause this is something that I think is so important.

This will be fun and I hope it helps others.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Photos

Hey, how in the heck can I post a photo? Help!

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

wkhanna
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Photos.....
geoffkait wrote:

Hey, how in the heck can I post a photo? Help!

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

I download to photobucket, then copy & paste using the HTML format

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Photobucket - Thanks!

Horray, my first photo!

 photo b23c3868-7578-4979-9997-9e209a068b14_zpsee304076.jpg

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

wkhanna
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your're welcome....

seeing as how I have established credibility.....

Now let give you some advise on how improve your system...

I have these beans i just got at the market today.....traded my cow for them.....

My sound stage is through the roof!

(this is a joke, laugh now or put me on your 'ignore list')

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a true audiophile! ?
michael green wrote:

Hi Bill

Well, it's my pleasure listening with you! I can already tell you are a true listener...............
michael green
MGA/RoomTune

Listener....yes

Audiophile...?
Not so sure of that.

My late mentor, Rob, taught me by example. I remember a moment not too long before he passed. We were in his music room. He was sitting in the far left corner as we were listing & talking. Situated in the 'sweet spot' I commented when a particularly moving piece was presented by his system. It stood out with exceptional clarity & a sense of realism that evoked pure human emotion. I said, "Rob, your not hearing how good this sounds sitting over there."
Rob's reply? "Oh yes, I am".

It is only about the music.

michael green
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and

"it is only about the music" And I would say uncovering it. A listener on a mission of uncovering more and more of each recording is why I think guys have spent their big bucks. It's a passion of getting closer, and always finding parts to these recordings that reveal themselves as they have their mysteries unfolded. I think guys talk about arriving but yet I see them still doing things to their systems and that tells me they are not done and maybe never will be.

I have not seen many listeners say "I'm there". Well, they may say it, but then they apply yet another tweak. Why tweak if they are there? The fact is reproducing music is still very much one step forward and one step back and one step forward again. There's so much in these recordings and we spend a life time exploring both the recording and the equipment and rooms that get us there. We're just scratching the surface, and I love it.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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wkhanna wrote:
wkhanna wrote:

Hi Michael,

----This is a rug on hardwood flooring right? ----
Yes, it is a V heavy 100% wool rug with 1/4 padding underneath.
The flooring is 1/2 inch thick oak on top of another 1/2 inch hardwood running at a 45 degree bias.

----Is there a basement under?----
Yes, there is a basement. The rafters are actual 2 by 12 on 18 inch centers.

----About how old is the house?----
~120 years old

----Is this plaster or drywall?----
V thick plaster with wood lath backing

----It looks like the way it is setup that your not going to want to move things around much right?----
We all know this is the listening room, The Wife, however, despite my repeated attempts to correct her misconception, insists on referring to it as the living-room.

----How far is it to the wall behind you?----
Three Feet

----]So you are using line conditioning? If so what was wrong with the direct electric?----
Yes. All electronics are run through the APC unit except for the Rotel RB-1090 power amp (because the transient response is noticeably better when it is plugged directly into the wall outlet). There just happens to be a high-power radio station transmission tower one block away. The APC unit does a good job of filtering the bleed-through that is likely coming through the lines. Aside from building a Faraday cage around my house, I have found nothing else that helps (that I can afford). Fortunately, I have found that aside from the amp with its high current draw, none of the other components seem to suffer much. Any reduction in sound quality due to the APC is negligible to me & others who have compared my system with & without the unit.

----How far is it from the back of the equipment stand to the wall?----
~Ten Inches

----Are those MDF shelves or hardwood----
The stands are made from eight-ply Baltic birch plywood connected with 1" all-thread rod.
The section under the turntable is pieces of laminated Aspen Pine.

----What types of music did you say you like, or do you listen to everything pretty much?----
Mostly acoustic jazz & classical. But my tastes are rather eclectic overall.

----Did you build the speaker cabs ?-----
Yes.

----So did Neil completely redesign Jon's work or what?----
Jon has never had any official involvement with Avalon.
He & Neil new each other long ago.

----I can't really tell but are the stands arched?----
Yes.

The room is 16 feet deep & 12 feet wide with a 10 foot ceiling.
There is a fireplace with mantel to the left & a couch on the right.
The wall behind my listening position is has twin windows treated with floor-to-ceiling heavy vinyl horizontal window blinds & drapery.

You had inquired earlier about the mods to the Carver C-19. All caps & most resistors have been replaced, op amp sockets have been installed which allow rolling, the installation of an Alps volume pot & IEC power socket, along with other various minor ‘tweaks’. Photos are attached.

 photo DSCF5676.jpg

 photo DSCF5687.jpg

Oh! I almost forgot......Need to add my automated record cleaning machine to the list.

 photo IMG_0059.jpg

Nice record cleaning machine, probably quieter than mine. Thanks for the chuckle Bill.

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and the winner is

There really should be an award given for this:)

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Factory tunable speakers

Yes, I'm talking about my current Raidho C3.0!

Each driver is affixed to its own front panel section, and each front panel sectionis held in place by four screws. Someone recommended I tighten those screws once in a while, so I took a dynamometric "lever" (or whatever it's called), slightly untightened the screws and then wanted to tighten them at the same torque.
But I was curious enough to listen during the process and just found out the bass modules would work best if tightly screwed, the medium module would belefit from moderate tightening and the ribbon tweeter would sound more "airy" if slightly (and I mean slightly) loose (just so it makes firm contact with the rubbery decoupling gasket but without compressing it).

Also, the back panel is held in place by some 20 (or is it 24) screws, but I'm way too lazy to try to tune them.

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Bill.... he has some ears

One thing I have to say (just had to join the forum after talking with Bill)... is he has some ears. Even though he has some weaknesses in the overall range of hearing. I've never met someone that is able to spot differences in a something as quickly and accurately as he is. I've spent MANY MANY a night with Bill listening to each of our systems and it's amazing how quickly he can tell if something has changed in the system (even without knowing anything was changed and not hearing the system for weeks at a time). Of course, I tend to do the same to him when I go over and hear his system.

Both of us have taken our knowledge and... well... dumb luck and pushed each other's systems further than we ever thought we'd be able to. And even undoing tweaks we initially thought were favorable until one or the other points something out that ends up being a negative in the system.

The interesting thing with so closely critiquing each other's systems is that we actually found we hear very similarly and like the same type of sound. Both of our systems have almost all the same characteristics to them. Though Bill will tell you my system is far beyond his (and it is, I've also spent a lot more B&W 802Diamonds, Modified Rotel Equipment -- I modded his amp and have the same for my system), what it really comes down to is our systems are the same. Mine is just a step above his, but if you like one system (no matter which you hear first) you are bound to like the other. We even have a third friend using different equipment that we've gotten the same sound signatures in his system because he likes the same thing as us (though admittedly he loves his crisp, clean highs) in the overall sound we strive for.

I can't wait to start working on the dampening and any tweaks to Bill's system as it will inevitably benefit my system as well as I perform similar tweaks based on the concepts learned here.

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Welcome to the forum

Welcome to Stereophile's forum. Hope you have a great time! I can tell you guys have lots of fun.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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the cork testing

Hi Bill

I was wondering how the cork testing is coming along for you guys?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Blockage of other Sorts...

Hi Michael

It seems life is the biggest blockage in my system.
Too little time to enjoy my passion & even less to play with tweaks.
We did, however, get to one of our V good friend's home on Saturday for some listening & tweaking on his system.
More of a relaxed social event with The Wives in attendance, but V enjoyable with some time devoted to system evaluation & tweaking.

He is still in the midst of converting to a full computer-based system.
His 3-way DIY speakers are quite nice; carbon fiber with leather accents on the bottom & machined aluminum accents.
But it is what's inside that determines the sound. Or as we like to say, "where the $ went". A capable cross-over design, V high-grade components, & with an open back (tunnel) on the mid driver.
We were summoned to his home to lend help with root cause & corrective action dealing with a slight lack of center imaging. The attached photo is from the last time we were there, & speakers have been moved a bit closer together.

He is running a Schitt Modi DAC, NAD pre & Odyssey Khartago Stereo Extreme amp.
Like us, he limited to available options with positioning & treatments due to the multi-purpose room where his system must cohabitate.

We were able to make some improvements via speaker positioning.
Our suspicions are directed towards the pre-amp.
We listened to it in Dan's (PewterTA's) system when (our) Michael first acquired it & it seems to be the weak link.
We have few ideas that we will try soon.

I realize our methods seem 'fixed' and go against your philosophies for 'Tuning', but we deal in a 'fixed' world, & must make use of the resources at our disposal. Thus far, we have done OK. We all know there are still improvements to be discovered. But our systems 'fit' in our lives & provide great joy.

Bill

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Photo

 photo DSCF8568_zps0b9eac15.jpg

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well

Well I'll be interested to hear your findings when/if you guys get around to it. This week I'm working on transformer testing and when I used the cork I lost volume and the stage became cloudy. The best sound by far was the LTR (low tone redwood) Block. I also tried the cork on some CD player and circuit board positions and the same thing happened, the volume lowered and things got merky. I can see someone using this if their system is stuck in a bright setup to dull the highs but in a well balanced setup this takes away more than it gives. But I will say it was better than rubber type products, so if someone was going from a clamped rubbered transformer to cork it might be better but not nearly as good and flexible as the tone of the blocks.

have fun listening

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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valuable experience.....

Thanks for your feedback re the cork testing, Michael.
It will be interesting to see what our results display.

Our plan is to try fully unmounted resting on cork & mounted with minimal compression on cork.

We will be tying the mu metal shielding in a separate test with no other mods.

it's always fun when the music is on ; )
Bill

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Bill.... aka Bunny
PewterTA wrote:

......One thing I have to say (just had to join the forum after talking with Bill)... is he has some ears.......

Hey Dan!

How nice for you to join in on the forum.

Your comments regarding my listening capabilities are quite kind, regardless of their accuracy. ; )

But no one can deny the lessons learned this past 8 years since we started working together. In that time, both of our systems have evolved far from their earlier, more fundamental states.

Back in the beginning we started with contact cleaning agents & enhancers on cable ends, fuse holders & fuses, along with other internal mechanical-type electrical connections. People mocked us when we reported audible differences. Then Dan performed an experiment where he replaced the OEM wire in one of two identical sets of B&W 603 bookshelf speakers with a high quality grade wire from Belden, & replaced all the spade-style connections with soldered terminations. The speakers never did have any identifying marks on them. There never was any means of visually discriminating the modified units from the OEM stock cabinets. Turns out, there was no need. Every one of the many people (which included a healthy percentage of ‘non-audiophiles’) was able to easily identify one from the other within seconds of hearing them. And when we reported our findings on the forums? We were pilloried. Yet, not even one out of the horde of sceptics, disbelievers & defenders of the status quo (aka Flat Earthers) who came out of the woodwork & put forth such effort to disparage, belittle & outright vilify us for such heinous, treasonous proclamation that if redirected it would certainly have been capable of ending world hunger……..not one of these self-righteous protectors of the poor, simple-minded, card-carrying audiophile community would even playfully entertain the thought of replicating our informal evaluation on their own. Believers? Oh yes, quite definitely. If there was one thing you could call them, it is believers. Us? We just listen.

Anyway, before I start sounding like Michael lamenting over the fact that no one here seems to want to compare notes on what they are hearing........(No Disparage Intended, Michael) I will just go back to taking some measurements for corking & mu-ing. Or just put a cork in it, as they say.

We hope to put up some reports on the tweaks soon.

Bill

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the crowd cheers

Hi Bill

I believe, and because of having a forum of my own and getting contacted by listeners on a regular basis, the crowd is listening and watching yours and everyones moves even through the "stuck in the mudd" guys who may try to disrupt. And as far as myself goes, either way the testing comes out on the cork or whatever you guys are doing it opens up the possibilities and that's what leads to better sound for the guy who may not speak but is reading, and listening to his system.

One thing you guys can be sure of is there is at least one interested reader, me. I love hearing about people listening! As you get to know me you will learn, it doesn't have to be my flavor to enjoy the trip.

Am really happy to see you guys posting!!

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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No mocking from this direction

Hello Bill (wkhanna).
>>> “Keep in mind I am not interested in 'flavoring' my system. Rather my goal is the realistic reproduction of the original recording which is predominately acoustic jazz & classical.” <<<

I think that from your experiences with all the (so called) tweaks you have tried, you will NOT have been believing that your results were the “flavouring” of your system. Far more you will have realised that what you were doing was ‘releasing/freeing’ more of the musical information which had been there, available, all the time but had not been resolved correctly UNTIL…….

>>> “Then Dan performed an experiment where he replaced the OEM wire in one of two identical sets of B&W 603 bookshelf speakers with a high quality grade wire from Belden, & replaced all the spade-style connections with soldered terminations. The speakers never did have any identifying marks on them. There never was any means of visually discriminating the modified units from the OEM stock cabinets. Turns out, there was no need. Every one of the many people (which included a healthy percentage of ‘non-audiophiles’) was able to easily identify one from the other within seconds of hearing them. And when we reported our findings on the forums? We were pilloried.” <<<

Been there, Bill. Done that and worn the T shirt !!

That idea that different wires and different cables could give different sounds caused eruptions within the audio industry in the late 1970s and early 1980s after Jean Hiraga (Editor of the French Hi FI magazine) claimed that he could hear differences between different wires/cables. Eruptions that Keith Howard would later describe as “eight-on-the-(audio)-Richter-scale”

From Keith Howard – 2001 :-

>>> “I still recall the impact of that Jean Hiraga piece from the French Hi Fi magazine La Nouvelle Revue du Son. So-called subjectivism was still a relatively young hi-fi movement at the time, albeit one which had already shaken the foundations of audio orthodoxy with it’s exposition of ‘turntable sound’ and ‘amplifier sound’. But these were mere pre-shocks ahead of the eight-on-the-Richter-scale upheaval triggered by the Hiraga article. If even connecting cables sounded different, I remember thinking, then nothing of the old view could be taken for granted any longer. Intellectually, the earth had moved.” <<<

Exactly 30 years ago (March 1984 Hi Fi News) in his Cable Controversy articles, Martin Colloms described Peter’s (Peter Belt’s) investigations into the sound of different metals when used as an audio conductor.

Further comment by Martin in 1993 :-

>>> “(Peter) Belt has experimented in many areas. He was one of the first to demonstrate the different effects of different conductors on sound quality” <<<

I think that the reaction of the Flat Earthers (as you describe them) and their refusal to investigate any further is/was mainly because of their reluctance to accept that THEY are not hearing all that is available. Irrespective of who designed it, who manufactured it, who is trying to sell it, who bought it, people are NOT hearing, from their equipment, all that is available. That is why I have given examples previously of what I regard as CLUES. I.e other people’s experiences providing CLUES that all is not as seems – Clues that everything is NOT being heard (resolved) – until…………..one is prepared to go/do further !!

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

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May, would you please explain

How putting two pictures of myself in the freezer improves the listening experience?
BTW, I did it - since it doesn't entail any costs - and heard no difference whatsoever. Now I might be deaf, but I doubt it, so please explain the underlying physical phenomena.

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expectation bias?

Maybe you did not want it to work?
I am just teasing, but with a point to make.
If someone tries it and does hear a difference......then what?
I don't know how much of a roll psycho-acoustics plays in all this.
And I am not talking about just some of the less subjectively definable, non-science proven stuff only.

People buy/upgrade equipment all the time and expect it to sound better.
When in fact it may not sound all that much different or better than what they previously had.
I am just saying that we hear with more than just our ears.
We hear with our mind, too.
Our mind will influence what we 'think' we hear.

So herein lays the conundrum...
If someone puts a photo of their system in the fridge, or green ink on a CD, or a little bronze bowl on their credenza, and for whatever reason, they perceive a change, for better, for worse or none at all, what is it that explains the different experiences?

And if someone actually finds value in that experience……the act of listening is enhanced…….then what?
Are we to just label them gullible fools for no other reason than we, ourselves, are not able to justify such experience within conventionally available doctrine?

I do not worship gods who will come in spaceships someday to take the chosen few to nirvana.
I am an engineer by trade. I work within the realm of nature as explained & defined by the repeatable results obtained through repeated experimentation.
But I also know there are still many things that have no explanation, yet. And there are many we think we have explained that will someday be proven false.

As I like to say, "proclaiming there are no pink elephants based on the evidence that none have been discovered is a misconstrued conception. It proves only that none have yet been detected".

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Photos in the freezer

I still remember the first time I tried the photos in the freezer tweak. The effect was not subtle at all, more dynamics and more information. I tried it with my brother, a classical pianist, there the next day with his photos, without telling him what I was going to do with his photos. He heard it very clearly without hesitation. Then I told him what I had just done with his photos. The photos in the freezer tweak is very repeatable and not psychological, I.e., placebo, expectation bias, hypnosis, things in that vein.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Geoff,

Geoff,
I am a cables and other things make a difference kind of guy. I say this not to arouse suspicion on my comments.

Could you provide more info on your test regarding whose system, how the before and after effect was determined etc..

You brother knew something was up since he was asked for photos and he also must have known something was up if a before and after listening was done.

Now if the test was something like you took his photos without his knowledge and then put them in his freezer without his knowledge and he comes to you a few days later and says Geoff I don't know what I did to my system but it sounds much better. That would make me go hmmm.

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I tried it. too.

A few times, actually.
No luck.
But, I never thought it work, anyway.

I took a photo of Dan's system, put it in freezer.
Never said a thing.
Two weeks later, I asked him how he liked the birthday present I got for him.
He said, “What present?”
Then I asked him how his system was sounding recently.
He said, "Fricken unbelievable! Why?”
I told him what I did.
Dan said, “Oh, so it’s not the 802d’s I just got?”

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Photos in the freezer test
toledo wrote:

Geoff,
I am a cables and other things make a difference kind of guy. I say this not to arouse suspicion on my comments.

Could you provide more info on your test regarding whose system, how the before and after effect was determined etc..

You brother knew something was up since he was asked for photos and he also must have known something was up if a before and after listening was done.

Now if the test was something like you took his photos without his knowledge and then put them in his freezer without his knowledge and he comes to you a few days later and says Geoff I don't know what I did to my system but it sounds much better. That would make me go hmmm.

I asked my brother to bring two photos of himself, one a recent photo and the other one taken when he was younger. I did not tell him why I wanted the photos or what I was planning to do with them. We LISTENED to a recording of something, don't remember what. Without his knowledge I had taken his two photos and put them into separate ziplock bags. I said I would be right back and went to the kitchen and put the ziplock bags in the freezer. Then, without further ado we LISTENED to the same recording again.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Advanced Audio Concepts

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Photos in the freezer test

Geoff,

And who prompted whom if there was a difference after LISTENING.

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Photos in the freezer

Obviously, you have to have two photos to enhance the stereo aspect. Otherwise, you'd be getting mono if you just used one. Also, try loosening the water hose on the ice maker. This helps the water vibrate in tune with the motor on the ice maker, thus enhancing the water's molecular structure. Insert said ice into a 4 oz glass of Eagle Rare bourbon. Drink bourbon. Now, hop on one foot and pat your head while rubbing your tummy.

Your system is now perfectly tuned to the cosmic radiation bombarding the earth.

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So it comes down to the subject in the photos

So if a friend comes by and I put his photos in the freezer then he would listen to a better soundstage, better dynamics, better you-name-it, but I wouldn't (since my photos are not in he freezer).
Now let me see: is there extra information "in the room" (to use May Belt's parlance) or not? If yes, how comes I cannot hear it (sorry - "resolve" it)? If no, how comes my friend can hear it? Does it mean the changes (whatever these are) are not affecting the information in the room, but only the person's capacity to "resolve" it? But then, we're not talking about a system/listening environment tweak but one that affects the ear-brain of the listener (the one with frozen photos, that is), and I can get the same results by using Catch22's method (modified for Lagavulin single-malt, of course).

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everything affects everything else

In the beginning I did not understand where audiophiles were coming from at all. We (in the music world) always knew that parts electrical mechanical and acoustical made a difference. These are 3 things that tie together and work off of each other. I think that because we made things, like custom mixers, mics, cables, effects, amps and everything that made a sound, we just accepted this as being the way it is. It wasn't until I started hanging out with audiophiles that I realized there were a group of people that psycho-baba-lize music and soundstages and A/B testing and all these weird debates, like are you really hearing something. In the pro world you have to be a lot more practical than that. Don't get me wrong some engineers in the studio we had to check their pulses too. But if you were the go to guy for sound you had no excuses. You made everything sound good (you built everything including the rooms) and you gave all the credit to the Egolites. Egolites: someone who needs the credit for something technical they have no idea about because they refuse to do. When sound is your home and that studio and hall is your playground you look at music from a completely different way than someone who is an end user. For example, when I hear someone talking about needing to stay true to the recording and having a system that doesn't add color. I don't mean to be rude or make fun, but do you realize what you are saying? Not one of you has every bought a piece of music playback gear that doesn't add color, ever. Guys, have you looked at the size of your components, connectors, cables speakers? Every mic adds color and mixer and tape machine and cable and room and playback system and....guys give yourselves a break. Who ever taught you that you are hearing the original signal has completely hypnotized you, and right now you are walking around your system clucking like a chicken. On the count of 3 you will wake and know that recorded music is "not" live. I'm sorry but it's not. And you purist. If you and I went to the concert together and came home and put on your system and you looked at me and said "that sounds just like the concert" I would slap you, wake up, slap, wake up your having a dream. You may hear things that remind you of the hall, and put you in a good frame of mind but if you do not have a soundstage that is as big as the hall you are not hearing the hall. Sorry, think about this. I did, every night I went downtown and ran the practices for the symphony and came back home or to my store and listened. The same with recording in the studio. There's a huge difference between real size and what you guys have gotten use to accepting as real. You guys need to enjoy the systems you have and are making and remove yourselves from the BS that floats around this hobby. I would say take a course in studio engineering but these things are for the birds. But if you did get a chance to go to a real studio and real space and did some soundstaging of your own and come home and play it you would be amazed at how different your studio sound was from your playback. You would feel like, how do I stretch this out. You are listening to a mini version of what is going on inside of those rooms.

that's one part (give yourself a break and have fun)

the other part

I remember my first High End Audio trade show. We thought Audiophiles were freak-a-zoids the way they were acting. What an ultra weird language and group of people. This industry has made up so many myths that big foot and loch ness deserve an apology. Why it gets so sidetracked is beyond me. I did a thread a long time ago on audio circle (not my cup of tea those guys, very negative) on audiophile myths. I should start one here. But the gist of it is all the stuff that audiophiles have made up and fit into the hobby. If you step back to real life you can see them for what they are, but if you are sucked inside of the audiophile bubble you believe these extremely impractical tales. From the outside you have to wonder who made them up and how did they get people to believe.

I'm glad to see when you guys are talking about listening, but some of this other stuff, you can have it.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Old magician's trick?
toledo wrote:

Geoff,

And who prompted whom if there was a difference after LISTENING.

Uh, pretty sure that's how you demonstrate a tweak, or a cable or a CD treatment, LISTEN before, then LISTEN after. Do you think my prompting him faked him out? Do you think if I repeated the experiment he would still be faked out? How many times would the experiment have to be repeated before he failed to respond to my prompt?

Pop quiz: would you be willing to accept an improvement to your system if it were simply psychological, a placebo? Part II - if you tell the subject beforehand that you are going to out photos of him in your freezer and that will affect the sound do you think he would be more likely to expect to hear the change or less likely to expect it?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dramatica

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who cares

Geoff who cares?

Does this have anything to do with me wanting to hear my cymbals splash wider and more 3D front to back, or my drum kick more, or spreading the stage between two guitars? I'm sorry maybe some of these guys are into this, I don't know but I'm a listener. I mean is this what audiophiles do with their time instead of tuning in a great piece of music?

That's a sad hobby if so. I got better things to do, like putting on a new piece of music now.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

geoffkait
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Color me confused
michael green wrote:

Geoff who cares?

Does this have anything to do with me wanting to hear my cymbals splash wider and more 3D front to back, or my drum kick more, or spreading the stage between two guitars? I'm sorry maybe some of these guys are into this, I don't know but I'm a listener. I mean is this what audiophiles do with their time instead of tuning in a great piece of music?

That's a sad hobby if so. I got better things to do, like putting on a new piece of music now.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

If this is another example of your reaching out to me I'm afraid you're going to have to try harder.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Advanced Audio Conceits

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no it's an honest question

Does the music lover sit at the breakfast table on a Saturday morning caring about things like this? I don't. I guess I just don't think like audiophiles do, if this is an audiophile thing.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Stereophile's photos in the freezer tweak
toledo wrote:

Geoff,
I am a cables and other things make a difference kind of guy. I say this not to arouse suspicion on my comments.

Could you provide more info on your test regarding whose system, how the before and after effect was determined etc..

You brother knew something was up since he was asked for photos and he also must have known something was up if a before and after listening was done.

Now if the test was something like you took his photos without his knowledge and then put them in his freezer without his knowledge and he comes to you a few days later and says Geoff I don't know what I did to my system but it sounds much better. That would make me go hmmm.

Art Dudley, in his article on the Belts' Cream Electret and Silver Rainbow Foil in the pages of Stereophile a couple years ago actually reported how he tried the photos in the freezer tweak with his fellow reviewer Michael Fremer. As I recall Art put Fremer's photos in his (Art's) freezer, then at some later point called and asked Mike if he noticed anything different about the sound in his system. To which Mike responded, "I'm not sure" or something to that effect. Now, I implore you, is that any way to run an experiment? Why, it almost sounds like Art was kind of making fun of the whole thing. I trust I'm wrong about that, however.b as Art astutely observes in his article on the Belts and the photos in the freezer tweak, "We all have our limits, and we all have our prejudices."

Also in the pages of Stereophile, ironically, George Tice of the Tice Clock fame, outlined the 4 reasons why audiophiles sometimes don't hear certain tweaks. For extra credit see if you can guess what those 4 reasons are.

To respond to one of your points, I think that unless someone is paying close attention to any Demonstration he might have trouble hearing it, especially if someone turns up after a few days and asks, have you heard anything different in the sound of your system?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

wkhanna
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May Belt wrote:
May Belt wrote:

Hello Bill

>>>I think that the reaction of the Flat Earthers (as you describe them) and their refusal to investigate any further is/was mainly because of their reluctance to accept that THEY are not hearing all that is available. Irrespective of who designed it, who manufactured it, who is trying to sell it, who bought it, people are NOT hearing, from their equipment, all that is available. That is why I have given examples previously of what I regard as CLUES. I.e other people’s experiences providing CLUES that all is not as seems – Clues that everything is NOT being heard (resolved) – until…………..one is prepared to go/do further !!<<<<

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

Hi May.

I V much appreciate your comments.

As I choose to look at, this whole reproduction of music thing has two parts. One is to prevent distortion & coloration. The other is to prevent omission.

Sometimes a few of us get lucky & find the second, often serendipitously, through pursuit of the first. The first part is V much related to the retail end of the spectrum. These are things like basic improvements to long-proven processes. I am speaking about the development & use of better quality materials, better manufacturing process that output more consistent product, refined circuit design, and in general just better engineering of product. A case where there are not huge advances, just incremental ones over time that are [if Michael will please excuse my use of the term] fine-tuned. This is the easy part. You just go out, listen, buy what you like & bring it home. In most cases as you upgrade over time, your system will generate less distortion & coloration (with the assumption that this is your goal).

But then you get to a point where just sounding ‘pure’ is still not delivering the goods. It may sound good, it may sound better, but does it sound ‘real’? Does the system play live music with authenticity?

To achieve the second part, one must actively get involved in their own system. You don’t just go out buy authenticity. You mine for it, you work for it. You must pay your dues. You must discover it all on your own. Sometimes it is as simple as swapping a cable. But it has to be the right cable. Or maybe just the right room treatments. Maybe, through trial and error, you come upon a series of changes which unleashes that very last bit of ‘realness’. Sometimes, it could take a major overhaul. But V rarely does good sound, authentic sound, just happen all on its own.

Bill

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