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michael green
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Your not hearing more...

I'm invited to listen to systems often. It's usually a lot of fun but sometimes you can cut the tension with a razor (don't get any ideas). When we make the plans I ask if the listener has more than one system. Reason I do this is if he or she is not giving me carte blanche, I have their main system than another one where I can show them things. This doesn't always work out but when it does we usually go miles further with the system.

One major problem I run into with both the audiophile and the pro engineer is when they have a system that is over-damped. It starts off by walking in the room and already hearing the problem with my voice. It's dead sounding and huge parts of my voice are missing. Then the system comes on and the client will usually stand there and tell me how focused it is. I will put on a piece of my music and procceed to hear the system fall apart. They will then show me the charts and graphs made of how perfect the room is or tell me it's the golden ratio or something brilliant like that. This is when it is time to set up the second system.

I'll set up a simple system in the other room and start the music then ask the client to go back and forth and tell me what they think. I get a very strange look as if I did a trick on them or something. They always want to know what is going on. My answer is as simple as the problem "your not hearing more, your focusing on less". When listeners don't understand how to balance a room or use it to their advantage they usually jump head first into dampening a room. They'll over build their walls and or offset them slightly, then they fill the room with absorbing cylinders or foam, heavy carpet or furniture. Sometimes they'll put wood or fabric difusion panels up. All of these to kill or difuse the sound waves. I should repeat this shouldn't I "to kill or difuse the sound waves". Well that's what they get, a dead sounding extremely focused on part of the music sound.

The simple system is smoking their High End one because the High End one is only playing a small fraction of the recording. The client will sometimes go back and forth a few times and start pulling out their favor music and show me "see", "see how focused it is". Then I have them walk back into the simple setup and they are shocked that the simple setup is playing far more of the music content.

Why?

When we over dampen, whether it be a component or a room we start squeezing the recorded info and the harmonics of the music starts to only be able to create enough of those harmonics to deliver the music in part. We sit there and listen to how amazingly focused part of the recording becomes but until shown, we don't realize that the rest of the recording is either out of focus or not there at all.

How is this possible?

Signal, both the recorded material and sound waves are vibrations (energy). It's not that hard to deform (distort) or delete part of the vibrations needed in reproduction. The audio signal is not some super hero able to over come parts of it being hacked away. It's far more delicate than this, and is why components sound different from each other, and why rooms sound different from each other. The audio signal can change very easily, and it's not hard to head down a path of tweaking that can result in the loss of much of the music.

We talk about resolution of systems, but this is really not that hard to get. The problem is when you get that resolution at the expense of something else. Like when I set up that other system and the listener hears what cost that resolution made. Keep in mind, if the room sounds dead part of the music is as well. The resolved system is not going to replace the missing signal. Once that signal or wave stops oscillating at those frequencies it's game over for those notes or even whole instruments to reproduce.

It doesn't matter how long you have been in the hobby or even the business of sound reproduction if you kill the signal anywhere along the signal path, it's dead.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

Catch22
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No doubt about that

I've experienced the "missing" instruments or notes many times. The brain has a way of filling in the missing notes that you are familiar with...but, for a brief period of time. One absolute that I can attest to is that once you've heard the notes rendered well, you'll never be happy with a  piece of gear or system until it is retrieved again. This is right near the top of the audio nervosa affliction that will put you on the path of swapping gear.

Often times, inexpensive  gear can do a better job of retrieving the information, but with a host of other unpleasantries like the lack of pitch definition, harmonic bloom and decay and startling presence.

It's been rare in  my experience to come across those components that are able to both retrieve all of the music and render it in a lifelike manner without annoying compromises in other areas.  

For me, it was low powered valve gear and monitor speakers in the nearfield that got me off the audio farris wheel. I still like to play around with gear, but it's the hobby part of me that doesn't interfere with the music side. I can turn off the audiophile with glowing tubes in minutes.

michael green
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nearfield

Hi Catch

I love nearfield! When that stage wraps around you, nothing like it. And it's so much easier to look into the soundstage instead of looking at the soundstage in a box trying to find what's missing. I also like what you said about audio memory, how true. Once you hear it, then it comes up missing on a system, it's like radar.  

michael green

MGA/RoomTune

Sonic.Beaver
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A change is not always for the better

Hello

Sonic has been tweaking my hifi for a while and learnt that making a change is easy but expanding the system's ability to reproduce music accurately and in a balanced way is a lot harder.

Some dead ends I went down was damping of the room.  The more carpets I piled in front or between my speakers, the more distant and lifeless the sound.  Though when I had box speakers, some carpets behind the speaker cabinets and the front corners were beneficial.  

Among the nastiest to my ears were those ferrite clips like on our computer cables.  Very tricky things ferrite -- they gave me the illusion then sound was cleaner but the instruments and voices sounded deader, artificial, smaller soundstage and more "reproduced".  

The other thing that got me thinking how to tune a music system was the adding of weight.  I followed an audiofan who was into mass loading. Like putting exercise weights on his Technics direct drive turntable and CD player casing, not to mention on top of the speaker cabinets.  Cinder blocks under and on top everything possible. You slapped everything in this system and it felt dead. Like a clap in an anechoic chamber.

So I bought a ton of bricks (Sonic remembers the suspension of the car sinking from the number of bricks in my car trunk). With the cinder blocks in the system, the result was an immediate feel that the sound was cleaner, then after some days an uncomfortable feeling that some life in the music was gone.  

Sonic

audiophile2000
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Very Good Thread

This is a very interesting thread and a great discussion as I think there is a ton of great information here. I’ve also played around with a few of the tweaks and came to a very interesting conclusion – albeit not the most helpful but will try to elaborate – that all these tweaks are very much room depended and can be great options for the room.

Dampening / Acoustic Treatment – As most will know I have been a big fan of this and in my situations it has worked well after some trial in error. I have the benefit and disadvantage of moving around so I get to re-setup my room every move and it’s funny how different it can sound (luckily it has been a positive trajectory). But here is my take, in a small room the reflections seems to build up so I find the good broadband absorption can go a long way to mellow this out. I get the concern with killing sound can be bad and completely agree, but I think the key to doing it directly is to make sure you are not over killing any one frequency. Here is what I mean, I initially setup a room with a ton of foam and while I think it did help the room I definitely felt that the highs were over killed and there was a strange grittiness left to the sound which makes some sense since you modified and killed part of the harmonic signature of the music (frequency and decay times – the basic of harmonics) so things were sounding wrong. After which I switched to more traditional and larger panels as well as corner traps with a lot of the traps having membranes to avoid killing the highs – after which I felt I had a lot of the benefit I got with the foam but without the effect of killing part of the harmonics (or so I hope). While I haven’t measured, I hope to one day but at the end can say I was way better off from where I started. Also I found that room construction matters immensely, I found I needed a lot less treatment in a wood based room with carpet than I needed in a marble floor room with concrete wall. To cut length will hold off on going into detail.

Mass Loading – I have had some success with this and again its room depended and 100% agree with Sonics description of the effect. I found that when I mass loaded the speakers in the wood constructed room the sound improved. Lowering the resonates of the cabinet seemed to be beneficial in that room. Now switch to my current room with marble floors and concrete walls (definitely less warm) the same mass loading produced a highly analytical sound that was devoid of life and energy. My guess is the room (with more treatment) really needed the cabinet resonance to correctly produced the sound. (your mileage may very but this has been mine so far). I ended up moving the weights to the sub, which help cut down some of the bass build up in the room which seems to help. But in general I think the masses make the speakers less interactive which can have the impression of improved clarity in the highs – which can be a good or bad thing depending on your setup.

Plinths / Isolation platforms – long post and have these on my setup and feel they have really helped. Can go into it more if someone wants to know but given the smaller size room, they really seem to have tightened up the bass, also raised up the speakers to ear level which I think is important. Can go into it more if people want to know more.

michael green
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keep going

Hi A2000

I think you should keep going. The only way for people to reach a higher level of listening is to experience and I think it helps people a lot to see others on their journey. I have people who go all the way from dead, Dead to live, Live and everywhere inbetween. By talking about these things and doing them in a peaceful "try this" setting and "here's what I did and am doing" is exactly where the hobby is right now. It's through these types of things that I and others have been able to uncover and incredible amount of sound that people said before this was done they never heard what was there. There's a pattern if you watch that happens almost everytime someone going down the road of tuning. Some people walk down this road and others run, but very few once down this road a ways, turn around. They may go down a side road but then get back on path.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

geoffkait
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Archeological dig

Resurrecting the information on the CD is a lot like an archeological dig. All the tools of the trade, and perhaps a few more must be applied. Here are a few tools you might not have in your arsenal.

1. Wrap transformers with mu metal, the is a particular brand I like called Ultraperm 80. This wrapping of the transformers considerably reduces magnetic field effects on electronic components, wires, electron tubes, etc. This will reduce blurring and improve focus.

2. Use natural pure cork 1/8" inch to damp and isolate all printed circuit boards, being careful not to damage anything under the printed circuit boards. Cork can be placed under the connecting posts or directly between the printed circuit board and the chassis. Also use cork to damp capacitors by weaving a 1/16" thick strip in and out among rows or banks of capacitors.

3. Toroidal transformers also need to be damped and isolated mechanically. You will be shocked to find out how much information is lurking there in the recording. Use pure natural cork or a combo of cork and viscoelastic material underneath toroidal transformers.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait, Machina Dynamica

wkhanna
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Specifics….

Now these are the kind of specific ‘tuning’ & ‘tweaking’ techniques I have been waiting to hear about.
With all due respect to Michael Green, divulging some simple (relatively) DIY recommendations are exactly what I have been waiting to hear about.

Many thanks, Geoff.

Bill

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one end of the scale

Where Geoff takes you to a fixed place, after you try this I have a few recommendations heading the other way. I don't like the sound of dampening. It closes in the stage and you loose info, but if someone likes this it's a paticular flavor. If I knew what components you are tweaking I would be happy to give you ideas and things to try. What we do is open your systems harmonics then begin to tune them in to your flavor. I don't want to stop you from doing things Geoff's way but if you would like to be a little more product and system specific let me know or visit me on tuneland.

audiophile2000
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Differnet Approch

Really like the discussion here.

Michael - I know we generally take different approach to room treatment. I have gone down the path of absorption with the hope of trying to even out frequency response and decay times so you don't destroy harmonics. While I don't think I have room in my space for diffusion to be particular effective would like to add that in if I move to a larger space.

I'm curious how you approach a room like mine, and please don't take this as argumentative, just trying to see the other path so to speak.

For instance take my room which is about 12 x 15 setup on the long wall with one of the short sides being a glass window (with curtain) and the other being the entry. (there are limiting factors on setting up on the short wall) The room has marble floors and concrete walls.

When I tried setting up the room, moving the couch / speakers back and forth somewhat helped the bass but no matter what I did it was boomy and in the high, no mater what I did I felt like I was listening in a bell with all the reflection.

My approach, which like I said would like to measure one day, but was to put floor to ceiling triangle bass traps in the 4 corners (with membranes), 2 additional bass traps behind the couch, 4 7 inch think panels (with membranes) on the rear wall, 4 5.5 inch bass traps on the lower front wall, with 4 4inch acoustic panels on the top part of the front wall and 2 4 inch early reflection panels on either side of the room. Also added a large area rug over the marble.

I'm curious how you would have approached the room since I'm sure it would have been very different.

michael green
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your room

Hi Audiophile2000

You have been very polite, thanks. There are people who make for disruptions on forums and it is interesting to figure out how to move around them. You've been straight forward and I appreciate that.

My approach to tuning a room is anything goes, as long as the signal is perserved enough to make the stage someone wants. I don't use direct dampening because it causes some of the signal to come up missing or throws it out of pitch. I don't use diffusion cause it scatters waves and pressure and my goal is to build support and not remove or distort it. We are hearing our room and everything in it, so I want everything in it to sound good.
There are ways to tune your room without using direct absorbtion, and as you mentioned even some of the "kill sound" companies are putting membranes in now which is making them better and more flexible. I have always used membranes with my goodies. A couple of things to look at with the products you choose to use. One of them is how little product do you need. Very rarely does someone need 4.5" of burn. That's a lot of burn and can not only burn too much but also become part of the problem. Second, what is this burn? I have found that loose batted burn does much more than compacted burn. The more compacted the burn is the full range it burns and full range is a key to balance. The other thing to look at with any of these products including my own is the outer fabric that covers the burn and membrane. It too is an absorber and when too thick of dence dulls the sound. To show this take your trap and cover the membrane side with kraft paper. See how much the sound cleaned up? I show you this so you can take a look at not only the method but also the products being used.

I'm going to do this in parts if you don't mind because my internet is hit and miss at the moment because of our wind storm.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

wkhanna
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My Anchor.....
michael green wrote:

...If I knew what components you are tweaking I would be happy to give you ideas and things to try.

Hi Michael.
I appreciate the offer.

My pre-amp & phono-pre is a heavily modified Carver C-19 that fully refurbished & modified with the assistance of Bob Caver.

My turntable is a Music Hall MMF 7.

My Shciit Gungnir is fed by my PC based NAS via a Music Fidelity V-Link 192 USB/SPDIF converter.

Power is from a Rotel RB 1090 which has had all the internal spade connections replaced with soldered terminations.

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.

with gratitude,
Bill

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part 2

I guess the edit is not working :( forgive the type-Os. Above I meant to say "the more compact the burn the less full range it is".

If you were a client of mine with concrete walls and a marble floor I would push you toward my wood products right away. Not only do you have an acoustical challenge but also a mechanical one. Your room even without me being there to listen sounds more like a trumpet than a violin. The soundwaves and presure areas of this room react totally different than a room with flex. Is your ceiling also concrete? In your room when a note can't move it sits there and rings.

Your going to want to be careful of how much you cover your space with the heavier cloth covered materials cause you will hear the room go from live to a mix of hit and miss live to dead very fast. You also don't want to use diffusers cause even though your room is a challenge your wave forms are locked in more than other rooms and if you diffuse the waves in one area it will do the same throughout the room. There's a better way to deal with this.

I would put my speakers up on Wood Platforms and build some transfer between them and the floor, the same with the components. I would put a tunable wood structure behind my head to give my listening zone body. I would treat the room with wood products with burn on the back side, so that the room maintained a good pressure build without the hardness of the walls over powering them. After this was done I would come in and fine tune with laminar flow controllers, so that the distances from one point to another along the walls and ceiling didn't stretch too far.

Most importantly if you were my client I would get to know your system and your listening and would recommend things that allow you to be the master of your system. I may have all these products developed, but in the end it's your music and your ears.

michael green
MGA/Roomtune

PS may I add, this is exactly why we don't want to do one size fits all tweaks like in the post a few posts ago. Each system/room has it's own unique character and in my studies of them I found that I needed a full range of designs to cover the wide spectrum of variables. I've made it a point in my designing to cover all the bases so that when a client comes to me I can know their room and sound some what before throwing out fixed solutions that may miss the mark by quite a bit.

michael green
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Bill's system

Hi Bill

Can you tell me what things are sitting on so I can picture what is going on vibration wise? Thanks

Do you have all the covers on the components? Also do you have a picture of what Bob did to the inside for me to look at?

I'll have a few questions for you if that's ok.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

audiophile2000
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Thanks

Michael,

Thanks for the response. Couple of follow up questions / comment.

Speaker Plinths - Totally agree with you. I fell they helped reduce some of the lower frequency buildup from floor bounce with my speakers. I still always question weather this tweak makes sense as this is one of the few room interactions that a speaker manufacture can predict but given the speakers close proximity to the wall (about a foot) and small nature of my room, I'm thinking this is why its working. Basically a long way of saying I found the Plinths to be very helpful. I didn't go wood with them, instead went with a polymer material that didn't resonate within the audio spectrum we hear.

Panels behind the speakers - Also found this helped as it cut the initial bass build up and smoothed out the response.

Wood Products and laminar flow controllers - I think I somewhat get what you are referring to but interested to hear more about how this is implemented and how you prevent the pressure build up - also for better or worse, its a suspended ceiling, which I think compounded the issues as it had a resonant frequency around 70 hz.

Mainly trying to understand your approach a bit more since its is different the traditional approach you read about(not wrong just different). As you know, there are many ways to get to the same place and I think it would be interesting to hear more about yours as air flow and controlling the pressure wave seems to be what I think you are getting at (correct me if I'm wrong).

wkhanna
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new thread

QUOTE From Michael Green

>>>>>>>>>>>> Hi Bill

Can you tell me what things are sitting on so I can picture what is going on vibration wise? Thanks

Do you have all the covers on the components? Also do you have a picture of what Bob did to the inside for me to look at?

I'll have a few questions for you if that's ok.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune <<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Hi Micheal,
I am going to start a new thread in the "Tweaks 'n Tips" heading so this will easier to follow.

Bill

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tuning

Cool Bill, see you there.

Hi 2000

There are two basic camps when it comes to vibration control. One is to kill the vibrations (if that were possible) and the other is to tune them. I of course tune them. There are lots of technical reasons for this, and if you want to see the whole story you can visit http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/ and meet up with a whole group of people who are actively tuning. What we found when doing our testing on many of the audiophile theories is that as they may sound good in talk they didn't hold up in practice. For example, you mentioned the poly material that doesn't resonate in the audio spectrum we hear, well if it didn't resonate in the spectrum we hear you wouldn't be hearing a change. The audiophile world has so many stories that the physics world doesn't buy that you usually only hear about them within the audiophile circles or certain engineering clubs. The poly product you are talking about actually vibrates at a higher frequency but it is definitely in the hearing range. Here's the rule of thumb to make it easy. If you hear it, it is in the audio range. That's pretty basic and very real. All this stuff about decoupling and inert are really nothing more than pitch shifting. Why the audiophiles have the need to make these techn-i-fied stories up I'm not sure but I run into it all the time with certain groups of people. I guess it adds to the mystery of something, but nature and physics is a much easier camp to live in as a practicle practice. The audiophile world has created it's own little city and found a market to support it, but as I said years ago, if it doesn't get real the market will fade and that's what's happening. That's another story though. The reason why my side of things sounds new is only because when the stories got out of control I moved on the work with studios, halls, instrument companies, and design houses like Herman Miller. But as I say this, if you look back between 1990 and 96ish you will read tons of reviews on what I do. There comes a point though that one gets tired of hanging out with guys who don't listen to music and sit there making up theories. The truth is anything you put under your speakers will make a difference, and anything you put in the room will make a difference, but if you think about it and develope a method of listening that is based on the way musical instruments are built and play, and the way acoustics and materials work you will find a method that will serve you well and over come any audio problems. You will also start to "use" vibrations and put them in tune with each other. When you look at it from that point of view it's the audiophile way that is very new and the tuning way that has always been here.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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different camps part 2

Hi 2000

Had to run out and put a coat on some 4 x 6", always fun :)

Ok, lets go to your system. You know how you put the units under your speakers and it made a difference? Well what if you were able to walk up to those units and fine tune them to make your speakers perform even better? The next step. What if you were able to do the same with your speakers themselves? And, what if you could do this through your whole system including your room? That's what we're talking about.

What we do is a step further from what you guys are already doing. We're not either or, but variable. Where the industry went tuning to the extreme of heavy and thick and over built, I tune systems more like a musical instrument. For example, where the designer says I don't want the side of the cabinet to be flexing as much, the way I design speakers is so that they can be just as tight on the side, but they can also have give if someone likes it (and many do). I can make a low mass system sound exactly like I high mass, but it can also sound like a low mass or anywhere inbetween. Like in your room instead of hit and miss and then hearing something that bugs you and you have to try to fix it, what I would do is hook you up with a variable aproach that allows you to make changes in sliding degrees like an instrument would.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Different camps

I think I'm starting to get a grasp of what Michael's trying to convey. A product may sound right in a given room, ( a test room ) but it may not sound right in your room. Make the product tunable ( flexible ) and you can dial it in to suit your room and personal tastes.

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BINGO!

Hi tmsorosk

People are so use to hearing someone say this is the best or that is the best or this sounds this way or that, they have overlooked that products can be made variable. We as listeners don't have to listen to one way only, we can as you say dial in the sound we want. Listeners have been doing it for over 25 years now. You see I as a designer don't feel I should be telling someone that they should be hearing things my way or anyone elses, but their own way.

Even the systems that people say have a certain sound change when they are shipped and land at someones home. I have studied these changes along with the audio signal changes in general, and the signal is highly tunable. This doesn't mean distortion either, it actually means less distortion.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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And what about no room treatment at all?

My room has no room treatment. The walls are brick, the ceiling is concrete and the floor is laminated wood.

The only "tweaks" I use are well-built spikes under my rack and speakers, and a carved wood panel (Indian art) that works as a diffuser. I tried absorbers, diffusers and anything in-between (my friends urged me to do so) but heard no improvement but rather a dulling of sound that robbed it of any feeling.
Measurements show nothing special except some bumps at the room modes, perfectly correlated with the room dimensions.

Would I benefit from some room tuning or should I leave everything as it is (to the joy of my beloved wife, may I add)?

All the best,
Costin

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Costin's setup

Hi Costin

If your hearing dulling with the products that's a clear sign to be cautious of anything that has direct burn. This is why I like barricade type products. These are products that may still have burn but the burn is not directly facing you. You have to be careful though cause even some of these products have heavy cloth and that's burn. As far as diffusion products they too can rob you of sound. I bet your art is working more as a resonator than a diffusor and that's a good thing. In a room with brick walls and concrete ceilings wood is a very good thing. Not wood to break up waves but to help bring the waves (pressure) to life. If you want to send me pics I'll be happy to take a look, but you should look at maybe some more tasteful wood items and see if you like them. I've had friends with brick walls that hung bamboo art rugs and loved the results.

Having a happy wife is worth everything!

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

audiophile2000
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Were all Talking Tuning

Just want to start out by saying, I think this is a very good discussion and if you read through everything the suggestions will really help your sound.

Also even though I really feel room treatment helps I hear what Michael is saying about tuning the room and 100% agree. I think the debate here is the best way to tune the room, not weather tuning makes sense. For instance I find that if done correctly, I find acoustic panels to really being my system into tune. With that said I imagine Michael would have gone down the path of using more wood products. Interesting question would be what works best, and I think for most of us that’s not an A-B test we can run. I’m interested to see if Michael can share some insights or even a reference song he uses to describe the differences of what he has heard.
Interesting point regarding tuning the speaker and have used this point before. I agree with Michael on this that each loudspeaker is an instrument in itself and has been crafted to sound as the designer intended. For instance I would consider Sonus Faber, Wilson Audio, B&W all great high end speakers and I think most would agree. Interestingly, they all sound different and you can argue which one you prefer but the truth is, they are all great speakers and they all have their unique set of buyers.

As such it makes sense that there would be a number of approaches to room tuning to get the response you are looking for. Basically I think regardless of the approach you are looking to take a room that is far out of tune and bring it back into tune. I personally find the dampening material quiets down the room and lets me hear into the mix, but the truth is, it does sound much more like a recording and I believe that’s as it should sound (in my opinion). I found that when I didn’t dampen the settle sound of reverbs and various effects in the mix were lost as they were drowned by room resonance. Now as Michael may have mentioned before I will also admit that the sound may not be as interactive as an un-treated room (I think part of that is due to the room size since my room is a bit small – only about 8 ft from the speakers and I think 10 to 14 feet would be much better distance but don’t have the space). In terms of alternative tuning, I think the approach make sense and is something to look at as we are all going to the same goal; flat frequency response and uniform decay times.

I think the point of this, is there isn’t a one stop solution. For instance recording studios often change the treatment or have different rooms tuned based on the instruments and recordings so you really can be in a never ending circle. My approach was to try and get me room as close to a control room as possible. At this point I’m more of a purist and want to hear what the mix engineer hears, while others may prefer a livelier setup that is more tuned to live music while other prefer a more relaxed setup. None are wrong just based on taste.
The only thing I would say is make sure you pick your approach and equipment to get the sound you want. I wouldn’t buy a sonus faber and try to make it a B&W as it will never work and also wouldn’t go the other way. Put it this way a Ferrari will never ba a Rolls Royce and a Rolls Royce will never be a Ferrari, and which one you buy is completely preference. Big key here is to pick what you like a design everything around that. You can’t buy a Rolls Royce and ever expect to corner like the Ferrari no matter what you do and a Ferrari will never be as comfortable as a Rolls Royce. The funny thing is as silly as this analogy sounds, we often try to do this in audio of course to our defense it not as clear cut as the car example.

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more on tuning

thanks audiophile2000

The "method of listening" is the next serious chapter to the audiophile hobby. It's great to see discussions on this forum about the views of listening and even though (when you look at some of the threads) it may seem at times like people are jockeying for position, as things play out though and the listeners explore there are going to be some great treasures found. I think the first hurdle is always going from a hobby that you thought was plug & play to one where you become the designer, in a way, of your own sound. Something that helped me a lot through my years of listening and designing was when I started to look at my system for what it really was. A bunch of vibrating parts passing a delicate signal and that signal turning into air pressure.

The 3 parts to the audio trilogy are electrical, mechanical and acoustical. When I got started in this and I looked at my job as tuning all three and finding how all three work together things started making sense to me, and products and a method started to fit together like a hand in glove. But here's the most important part. You've got to be listening. If your in the theory making business your going to find yourself going down paths that lead to a fixed way of thinking and when that happens you start blaming everything and everybody for a sound you can't get. Another hard part to swallow, and this may be the toughest, you may have been in this hobby for many years and still not have the right sound or right system for you and that is frustrating. When I get to peoples homes they usually spend their first hour telling me how great their system is, and then as time goes on the reality starts to play out. Here's my advice, when tuning make all things equal. Stop putting a dollar sign infront of your system. You can have the best mismatched system in the world, and a boombox will blow you out.

So for the sake of tuning 101, lets start simple. No system needed for this part. What does your room sound like? Put your test equipment away and listen to your room with your voice or someone elses. This is the first step to great sound, and the first step toward your flavor. You might even want to take a field trip for this one and walk around the house till you find the spot where you like the sound of your voice the most. Stand in the middle of these rooms and talk and walk toward each wall and see which wall in your house is your favorite sounding one. Get close to the walls with your ears maybe 3-4" from the wall and talk. Then walk along that wall till you get to the corner, still talking look up and now down. Turn around from that corner and walk till you come to the best sounding part of that room. Look at where you are. Depending on the materials the room is built of you will more than likely be standing in or just outside of a pressure zone. Move a little and you'll hear your voice get slightly louder or softer. Once you find that sound that you like go into your room and start talking and see if that sound is anywhere in your room. If this field trip throws you off cause your thinking too much (trying to be an engineer) relax and come back to it until you come to the conclusion that is the sound that you like for your voice. Most people will choose a spot where you can feel your chest more than your nasal. Now the next step is very important and will mean the difference between you getting the sound you were built to hear and having a system that sounds something less than real. Walk over to your bookshelf and pick up your copy of whatever audio guide you have and take it over to the plastic can in your kitchen and throw it away. Your system is completely unique to you and if you follow the correct steps your sound will be perfect. If you took the field trip with me you already know the sound you like and the one that makes you feel the most comfortable. Now what we need to do is make your system sound like that and I can help.

This is the part where the flamers can come up and attack, then if you guys are interested I'll take you through making your perfect sound if you wish. :)

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Better have someone else do the talking

I would prefer to ask someone else do the talking (someone that has a familiar voice). As you know, we are hearing our own voice differently, i.e. including through the skull bones, and this is why a recording of our own voice often sounds unfamiliar.

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next step

Great, so if the field trip was takin with your voice or someone elses, and you have found that place in your house that has the most pleasing sound to you take a speaker set it in this area and play a piece of music that is very simple and has nice vocals. How does the speaker sound compared to the real voice? Again don't try to over think this, just listen.

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A few thoughts on getting better sound

I will be short, so I may also be unclear, but here it is:

1. The major culprit in our not enjoying music is noise. Theoretically, one cannot resolve information transmitted over a noisy channel if the S/N ratio falls below a certain treshold (the Shannon/Nyquist theorem). Of course, our auditory system works differently than a receiver so sometimes we can make out the missing information, but this requires extra brainpower, which reduces our enjoyment of music (and induces listener fatigue).

2. Our brain can "disregard" noise as long as it is broadly distributed within the frequency spectrum, and uncorrelated to the useful signal (BTW, this is what allows us to have a normal conversation in a computer room). It may sound funny but sometime microdynamics are better in a (slightly) noisy environment as the noise acts as a carrier (apparently) modulated by the low-level signal.

3. Most of the noise in a listening room is caused by artifacts caused by the interaction between music and room boundaries. Therefore, the above shows that the best way to improve our listening experience is to decorrelate those artifacts from the music itself, in the frequency, amplitude and time domain.

4. No, absorbtion won't work, since absorbers (dampers) have no way to distinguish between spuriae and the useful musical signal: they will attenuate all signals within their frequency range, killing the music in the process. Also, diffusion is to be use sparsely, making sure it only affects reflected soundwaves and not the main musical content.

Conclusions:
- in the acoustic realm less is better, so I would use as little acoustic treatment as possible;
- however, in the electrical realm things work quite differently, so damping is not only beneficial but also (usually) requested in order to get good sound.
N.B. I can explain why, but I'll leave this for another time.

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the voice and speaker

For those following, if you have put your speaker where you liked the voice the best, here's a trick. If your speaker sounds as open as the voice you are in good shape for this part. If the speaker sounds like the sound is in the speaker and not stimulating the room the same as your voice did, you have a speaker that is fighting the room and it's going to be more difficult to get a match, but not impossible.

next your listening room

Everything in your listening room is part of the sound. My favorite way to listen is to use the room as a natural amplifier, and to make it as easy as possible to produce 3 things, a speaker, room, ear party.

When your in your listening room you will want to choose your listening wall and opposite. The listening wall is the one closest to your ears. Some like being out into the room and others like using the voicing of a good wall. I like the second when possible. If you are going to use the wall try to put your ears on the wall that sounds the closest to your favorite sound in the house. You might want to take your chair in the room with you and see which wall feels the most comfortable to your mood and sound. If you have walls that are too hard you will probably be listening away from the wall, and if you have walls that give a nice tone you will want to be closer. If you are out in the room you can have a wall built (portable)to place behind your listening position that gives you the tone you want. Try to keep in mind that best sound in the part of the house that you liked and go back to it if it helps so that you can find that perfect spot for your ears in your listening room. Here's a hint. If you have a drywall room you might find that you like the sound of the longest wall the best. Here's a quick rule of thumb, people usually like sitting closer to walls with flex and further into the room if the walls are hard. You'll find the right spot.

I need to talk about your ears real quick. Some people are able to hear back pressure better than others because of the way their head is shaped as well as their ears. This is no big deal but it will determine whether you like to sit further or closer to the wall or portable wall behind you. Some people have such sensitive ears that it is hard for them to sit by the wall at all so you will want to again use that chair and see what you like. With my hearing I like a wall with a fair amount of tone to it and my head pretty close. The main thing is that you find that spot that feels right to you.

See you did all this without your speakers, your an acoustician and a mechanical engineer :)

One thing to be thinking about while your doing a room setup is, the best sound you are going to ever get is the one where you make your ears the most important component. A lot of times people will build their sound around where the speakers are, but when you do this, it means that you have to move to the speaker. I have found in setting up so many systems that it's more important and alot easier to take care of my ears first and let the speakers come to me. Here's the thing. Remember I said to throw away that guide book, the reason why is stereo testing is done from the speaker room point of view and not from your ears point of view. Thousands of hobbyist have setup rooms according to speaker guides and then site down to listen and it's horrible. They say put your speakers here and put your ears hear and you sit there and the soundstage is tiny compared to a real space soundstage. If you find the right spot for your ears this will not be the case and you will find that you will be able to listen to a wider range of music types.

I'll be back after while.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Theory is nice, it's practice that hurts!

Hi Michael,

For most normal folks putting the system in the best room, or even against the best wall is not an option.
Maybe I find out the best place for my listening chair is somewhere in the middle of the matrimonial bed, but I have no way to move the master bedroom elsewhere (unless, of course, you can also recommend a "tunable" divorce lawyer).

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your great!

Hi Costin

I enjoy reading your posts and you have a cool background. Your welcome on TuneLand if you ever want to visit. http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/ . A lot of my clients (probably most of them) do have dedicated rooms, and some rooms that we design and build from the ground up, which you would probably get a kick out of. Their like sitting in a big musical instrument. But I do also get a ton of guys that are working around about every kind of shape and every kind of furniture so it keeps me hopping and doing tons and tons of listening.

The tricks I've come up with for listening had to be done based on what is there and this meant pretty much throwing away the rule books. Doing a marble room in Israel one week and one on stilts in Mississippi the next and everything inbetween taught me more about materials, measurements, and climates than I will need in a few lifetimes. I think the most important thing though that I ever learned in the music biz was the difference between a note and a frequency and what motion is. This changed everything for me and opened up a door that I have to say I have not seen a lot of guys walk through. When a room/system is in perfect tune for that recording there is something that is transendent. I call it the float and it is hard to come by but when it does the hobby disappears. I have never seen this happen with a stock system or component, I've also never seen this happen by dampening (this I think you will find interesting). The only time I have ever heard this is when the vibrations are opened completely up and then tuning devices that allow the signal to dissipate more natural are put in place and tuned. It literally works just like a musical instrument. If you travel, some time we will need to meet up and listen together. You will love this.

But you know what I would really like to see. I would like to see you tune in one of these rooms and with these systems and have you use your words to describe what is going on from your background and knowledge of physics. I say this because I really liked when you took apart some of the words used when talking to Geoff. I told my biz partner today, I like the way this guy talks. It seems to me (correct me if I'm wrong) that you don't get stuck in the lines of engineering. You don't have to be on A or B but are able to slide inbetween. Am I right?

I've been in this business forever, I mean forever and because I had to be so many places both while touring and in doing the audiophile thing, and because I was never able to get the equipment both pro and home to reproduce the music exactly, I was forced to design products that are variably tunable. Like if your in a studio and the singer is in the next room and you put on the monitors, they don't sound like the singer (not really) so I designed studio monitors that would tune into the sound in the live room. This is what I ended up doing with every part of the audio pathway. Because no one else that I knew of had ever done this I also had to make up my own language. Had to read a lot of books, but still sometimes feel like there are words within what I am doing even after all these years that could be better. I try to use the words that fit the action but they may not be the word needed in science to describe the actual event. Anyway if we ever tune together I would like to get your take.

back to your room

You may have it already down to a science but if you want I'd be happy to take a stab at your system. Of course I would need to know the components and the basics of the room and where the room is, but I do think by a couple of things that you said I might (if you are interested) have you try a couple things, no money, no products just me you and a screw driver. If you would like to. But if so I want you to describe in your words what you think happened.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Your room is your system

Hi Guys

Might have to keep it short cause I have people from the industry here this week, but I would like to keep rolling on this as much as I can. Also thanks for the mail, nice to see people listening. You folks are what makes this fun for me. Well, maybe that's a little lie, I'm here for the jamms.

In doing this acoustical and maybe even tuning adventure I hope I'm able to convey to you the importance of two major factors in your hobby. One is that your ear is the number one component and two your room is what your stereo is. Without these two in sync you can throw what ever system you want at them and your only going to reach a moderate level. All the money in the world is not going to make that system do something your room and ears are suppose to do.

why do I say this?

I run into systems weekly, that are sitting in the wrong rooms or the room is not able to host what the system has to give. Here's one of those rules of thumb for me as I design a listening area for someone. Take into account every thing in the space. You can get in big trouble fast when you overlook what the furnishings in a space will do to the sound. Not to get technical but it is not hard to deflate needed sound pressure that a speaker needs to bring it to life. You can be sitting in a room listening and have your amp and speaker working overtime and still the full range of the music will not come through. You keep turning up the sound but that is not the problem. The problem is that you are not using the room as a natural amplifier and instead your trying to compensate for what the room does naturally when it is working with the speakers.

be back soon

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Hi Michael, I'm far of being an anal-retentive engineer

One funny thing: I have an opening to the right of my right speaker (it leads to the hallway). OTOH, the left speaker is close to the side wall, so all my audiophile friends recommended I put some absorber/diffuser on that wall.
Well, actually I realized that the hall works more like a resonant cavity so I looked for a similarly resonant object to "cover" the left wall... And I found it: it is a 1 foot diameter vintage terrestrial globe made out of (hollow) brass, that I positioned so as it resonates on roughly the same frequencies as the hall. Highly unrecommended, as all my friends - including a couple of high-end dealers - told me.
But all smirking stopped when they listened to the system: the piano on Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio "Midnight Sugar" just wept diamonds on a silver plate and Patricia Barber's sometimes throaty voice gave me goosebumps. Now did this improve the RT60? Dunno, and certainly don't give a rat's ass about it!

All the best,
Costin

P.S. I registered on your site last night, just got the activation message!

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the master of your system

Hi Costin

I love it! I'm not sure why some people in the industry can't get out of the box, but I ran into it all the time while doing listening tours. As you said they'll stand there and say this won't work but then the jaws drop when they listen. I guess that's part of the fun for me. It's a blast to find all those hidden tweak treasures in the room, and in the system.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

hope to see you on TuneLand

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Questions...
geoffkait wrote:

1. Wrap transformers with mu metal, the is a particular brand I like called Ultraperm 80.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait, Machina Dynamica

Hi Geoff.

Re the mu metal.....

Is this the stuff?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultraperm-80-Metal-Shield-MuMetal-Mu-Metal-Sheet...

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Mu metal

Yes indeedy.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Exotica

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Stick a ____ in it......

ASFA the cork...
I find both natural cork & the cork / neoprene composite.
Do you recommend the composite stuff for transformers.
The transformer in, say, my DAC is much less mass than the one in my pre-amp or amp.
So for the smaller mass would the plain natural cork work?
Thanks for help.

Bill

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Cork is for bats
wkhanna wrote:

ASFA the cork...
I find both natural cork & the cork / neoprene composite.
Do you recommend the composite stuff for transformers.
The transformer in, say, my DAC is much less mass than the one in my pre-amp or amp.
So for the smaller mass would the plain natural cork work?
Thanks for help.

Bill

I use only pure natural cork aka musicians cork. I eschew binders, hardeners, or whatever else the composite stuff might have in it. But for purposes of experimentation, as the cost of the pure natural cork is comparatively high, I see no harm in trying the composite stuff. I use 1/8" thickness under toroidal transformers.

Cheers, Corky
Machina Dynamica

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collapsed harmonics

I read earlier a comment about cork, so while having a few listeners here and several types of cork (cured to different stages) we decided to do a quick test. Lucinda Williams is the music they chose maybe 3 hours ago so it is fairly settled. The stage is maybe 20' wide and 14' deep according to the guys here. It is not as big of a stage as we have had this week but without tuning it in we will go with this.

In testing the cork we played in 3 areas, under the transformer, under the circuit board and with the power cable sitting on it. In all three cases the same thing happened. The music got drier sounding and shrunk to inside the speakers. The new soundstage is 8 feet wide and 4 feet deep. There is a different sounding set of harmonics around the instruments as if they have collapsed into a rigid placement. The feel to the music is much more 2D then when it was opened up. We want to be fair with our testing so...

suggestions Geoff?

michael green
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Cork

Michael, did you use musicians cork? I would try transformer only, then printed circuit boards, I dunno about the power cord. You have performed a test with three variables so if any one hurts the sound then which one was it? Two simultaneous equations in three unknowns, as it were. I use 1/8" pure natural musicians cork under the transformer, 1/8" small squares under the printed circuit boards where they can be fitted, isolating the PCBs from the chassis. If you can't insert some cork between the standoffs, insert a few layers between the chassi and the PCB.

Good luck,

Geoff @ Machina Dynamica

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Cork

Michael, did you use musicians cork? I would try transformer only, then printed circuit boards, I dunno about the power cord. You have performed a test with three variables so if any one hurts the sound then which one was it? I use 1/8" pure natural musicians cork under the transformer, 1/8" small squares under the printed circuit boards in vicinity of screws or between PCB and chassis. One trusts that musicians don't complain that the cork hurts the sound of their instruments and makes them all mushy and dull sounding. :-)

Good luck,

Geoff @ Machina Dynamica

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Which cork

Geoff,
Quick search on web showed JLSmith carrying cork.
Unfortunately there are a lot of musicians from Cork making searches interesting.

http://www.jlsmithco.com/SHEET-CORK

They have :
Press filled natural cork which has cork dust and a binder mixed in.
Rubberized cork
Cross grain cut cork.
Composition cork
Assorted cork sheets.

Which cork are you using?
They don't seem to carry 1/8".

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Pure natural cork

I use pure natural musicians cork, no fillers, no binders, no hardeners. Just pure yummy goodness.

Geoff Kait
Machina Erotica

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1/8" MC

Hi Geoff

Yes, it is music cork. We did the test with each area separately. With the transformer, at first it sounded like more thud but on the muddy side of thud, but when listening closely the drums lost their air, and the cymbals went flat. We took it out and put in the LTR Blocks and the music jumped off the page. It did the same thud but also let the space in the drum and around the drum be a part of the music. Another thing the cork seemed to focus on only one part of the sound and that was it. There was a sterile sound like going in a cork room. I'll put different recordings on and report back. Under the circuit was a disaster. The music floor died as if the supporting harmonics had been removed. Again there was a focus but at the expense of the overall sound coming through. Guitars dulled in the midrange and the highs got dulled/brittle mixed. We laid the cork in small pieces on equipment parts and the music dulled and became "lifeless" said one of the musicians here. His question is "why would you want to kill the music?, cork is used for a dampener in instruments, a stereo is suppose to do the opposite".

I have used cork before when trying to find an alterative to rubber type products, but why use it if it can be avoided. Our conversation here has now turned to components. The general thought is, if you have a component that needs cork there is something wrong with the component. Obviously people are using components that are way over built and they need a buffer. Again this is the group here talking and I am taking it in. The thought here is someone must have a pretty collapsed soundstage to start with if they are thinking the cork is going to fix something, but if you are dampening your choices are slim if you are trying to keep recorded content.

I would like to hear what others have experienced in soundstage size before and after corking. For me and the others listening we are going pass on cork as being a sound (a distorted sound) we want in our systems.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Cork

Michael, how bizarre that your results conflict so much with mine and those I know who employ cork. I find the sound with cork under the large toroidal transformer and und portions of the printed circuit boards of my modded Oppo103 to be very low in distortion, very transparent with a tight elastic and deep bass and upper bass. V
Voices are very natural and clear. I definitely seem to have the opposite results from your tests. Btw I also use cork in conjunction with capacitors,
another known source of (unwanted) vibration.

Cheers,
Geoff @ Machina Dynamica

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toledo wrote:
toledo wrote:

Geoff,
Quick search on web showed JLSmith carrying cork.
Unfortunately there are a lot of musicians from Cork making searches interesting.

http://www.jlsmithco.com/SHEET-CORK

They have :
Press filled natural cork which has cork dust and a binder mixed in.
Rubberized cork
Cross grain cut cork.
Composition cork
Assorted cork sheets.

Which cork are you using?
They don't seem to carry 1/8".

Hi Toledo

As your saying there are a ton of different corks, even different types of music corks. When I'm tuning I try to use things that, one open things up, and two make things sound more real. The corks I have tried took more from the music than they gave. Many materials make a change, and I'm not saying that in an extreme case cork isn't the right choice, but why? Why use cork and get part good but losing more than you gain, or is there a magic cork that is doing something different from what I am hearing.

As you and I tune, I don't understand why someone would choose a piece of the pie when they can eat the whole thing and a few cakes with it. As I read posts I read the changes things make for people but if I read more it's in the context of soundstages that are fairly small compared to real life, and I lot smaller than you and I would listen to. So I always ask, why does someone in this hobby choose to listen to something that is distorted in size and not call it what it is?

For me, if I don't get something that gives me a sense of space compared to real space I naturally think, what all is missing. If someone can add 2 + 2 in the real world then there is no reason why a system can't play a full size stage unless the system is stuck in some kind of distortion. Why do people think these small stages are not distortion? And, why are they not trying to make them bigger? If they did make them bigger most of their problems would be over.

what do you think Toledo?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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geoffkait wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

Michael, how bizarre that your results conflict so much with mine and those I know who employ cork. I find the sound with cork under the large toroidal transformer and und portions of the printed circuit boards of my modded Oppo103 to be very low in distortion, very transparent with a tight elastic and deep bass and upper bass. V
Voices are very natural and clear. I definitely seem to have the opposite results from your tests. Btw I also use cork in conjunction with capacitors,
another known source of (unwanted) vibration.

Cheers,
Geoff @ Machina Dynamica

Well they do conflict for sure, and I would have to compare my soundstage with yours and theirs directly to see why and where the differences are. I think we should choose a recording and reference them together as I have suggested. I'm not really into someone making a statement like "me and my guys" without having something more tangible to compare with.

Geoff as you have stated you like your speakers 4-4.5' apart. Are you saying with this setup you are getting a 20-30 foot size soundstage typically like I am (bigger with hall recordings)? I think we should definitely be comparing at this point. I don't want to make assumptions or even conclusions that are pro or con, unless they are real. can you tell me with your in room system what is a typical soundstage size for you? This would be a good starting point, and is the one I suggested we do a while back. I'm not interested in putting my words up against yours when we could be comparing the actual sound in pretty close to real time.

If someone says they are experiencing this change with a soundstage that is 8 feet wide that means something completely different to the guy who is casting a 20 or 30 foot one. You might have a group of guys who are tiny stage freaks talking to others who open things up as much as they can. Their both going to say the other is listening to distortion, the guys who have the bigger stage are going to say they like vibrations and the guys with the tiny stages are going to say we like to kill the vibrations. Again I don't care where someone wants to fit on this stage, I just like us to be more transparent.

Take a look again at the OP. I'm saying that we can open things up and this solves a ton of problems. Once again you come up on one of my threads and start pushing against the topic, as if I'm not getting a much bigger stage than normally associated with high end audio. Trust me I know about vibrations and what happens when they are dampened and when they are tuned, I don't need to be schooled by you. Your someone who didn't even have a system when this thread was started. Your also someone who is saying put your speakers 4 feet apart which has never in the history of soundstages on anyones system ever come close to casting a huge stage like the ones we do.

Shouldn't you start a thread like "lets dampen" and tell all the benifits of dampening and stay off of threads that are talking about using vibrations? I mean dude, come on get real. Dampening closes things in, and tuning vibrations opens things up. It's obvious you don't tune so why are you here on a thread that is talking about opening things up? When I see you come up on threads that are oviously of a different camp than you, I stop and think why is he here? He's not telling anyone about opening up any thing, he is about fixed tweaks, and he's a dampening guy. Why are you here? I'm I doing some disservice to the listeners by telling them about tuning? I have dampened and that is a different world than what I am talking about. I did your tweak today and gave the results. Should I lie and say this didn't happen?

Sometimes Geoff it looks like your more interested in dissproving things or proving "your" things over the sound. The people here in town right now who are listening are not understanding why you would even want to be on this thread.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

toledo
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I think people get used to a

Michael,
I think people get used to a certain sized soundstage and think that is all there is to offer.
Likewise, they get used to a certain sound and may not realize what's missing.

The quest then shifts to other areas that are addressed via tweaks, isolation and dampening and room treatment.
Thee is not much else left other than component and cable swapping.

A little here, a little there which amounts to some seasoning, focus and micro details.

I am not familiar with cork as it is a dampener. I was trying to figure out which one Geoff was using so I could research it to see what properties it had which would not give a dampening effect. He did not provide an answer other than natural cork. I suspect it is cross cut cork, but, I am left scratching my head.

I was always trying to get my highend components to open up not dampen them.

This is the reason I went with low mass as the components react dramatically to various means of tuning. If I do wish to dampen with cork, I know I will hear a Hugh change just like using various wood products. I obviously prefer wood products.

I think this was evident in your use of cork. Your system is so open, you were immediately able to hear its effect which was to dampen.
There is no denying cork is a dampener as it is used in sound proofing applications.
It may work for some folks that are addressing other areas. Not for me.

michael green
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a flavor

Hi Toledo, a great post

I can even see cork as a flavor maker once things are opened up, but to use it as a main dissipator of vibration gives me the shivers. But at least he's not talking rubber, right lol. Or is he? Is his next step to say we should shut down our transformers, then use cork to dampen more, and while your at it, here's some goop.

Like lets say you posted in the reference to a flavor, I would say Kool tell me where and I'll try it. Why? Because I trust your ears and can see why you would use one thing or another to shape something. But, when I see someone using something as a means to kill part of the signal it makes me question, one their system and two their soundstage.

you listening to anything good this weekend? do you have any Yello? rocks!

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

toledo
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I pulled out an old xrcd

I pulled out an old xrcd version of Jazz at the Pawn Shop. I had not heard it in ages as it was a bit "bright" on my old highend system as they pushed the dynamics a bit on the horns.

On the low mass system, the dynamics are there without the fatiguing upper midrange. I swear I am sitting at one of the tables having a drink ;)

michael green
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the pawn shop

Remember when that Cd hit the audiophile scene? This was a true show reference. I remember everyone playing it, and then half way through the Vegas CES people started comparing systems with it and you could tell who's system could play it and which ones couldn't. The ones that couldn't hid their copy, so funny.

Jazz at, is still way up there on my list. I wish there were more scenic recordings like this. Man, I love being put right in the middle of the crowd.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

toledo
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Yes that cd can be rough on

Yes that cd can be rough on some systems, but, when you get it right the the music and club is in the room with you. You can reach out and touch it.
I got pretty close except for those dang upper notes on the horns. I was never quite able to sort it out on my old system without impacting other areas.

It definitely is an acid test to see if you have blockage in your system and demands an open system to deliver its beauty.

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