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iosiP
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Geoff, comparing is understanding

Yes, Michael's comments are sometimes "long and winding roads" but at least there is information to be gathered from them. OTOH, most of your comments are short but devoid of any useable information.
While I admit I'm not always in the mood to read the entire post that Michael wrote, I do select what is of most interest and leave the rest for further reading. Yes, maybe the information density could be improved and the redundancy cut by a margin, but I prefer them to your rants & raves.

You know what? Three good ideas in a 200 word post are still better than no idea in a 20 word post... and even in a one word post, since 0/any positive number still equals zero. Now of course you could try writing zero length posts, which would at least leave a reasonable doubt about the value of your ideas... as in 0/0.

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Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn

Considering they are coming from someone who doesn't know the difference between an electromagnetic field and a magnetic field I take your objections as a compliment.

Have a nice day. You can go back and lie down now. I know you're probably feeling stressed out.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Still beating the dead horse, Geoff?

Still confusing electrical signals in conductive environments with waves in a vacuum?
Still confusing phase velocity with group velocity in carrier-based media?
Still thinking your gizmos placed on top of the CD player somewhat emit/absorb light generated within the chassis?
Still didn't take your daily Prozac?

Still unable to just keep still and let interested people discuss their hobby?

toledo
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Photons

Geoff,

Actually it is not all about photons and you are trying to simplify things down to the building blocks and picking one of them.
Yes, photons are involved, but so are the electrons in the conductive material. Electrons have mass.

I will consider your arguments technical obfuscation.

So where does this lead us .. Everyone can technically debate all day long on this, and fuel our egos, but it gets us no closer to actually discussing what people hear and their experiences.

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My ghost editor

Yeah Costin I miss my ghost editor. He did such a good job of condencing, plus I had years of fun enjoying his listening adventures from a distance, as well as the visits at TuneLand. My time with him was like treasure to me, not only for the wonderful things he did but also allowing me to be apart of his life. A time I miss sorely. He's one of the true gentleman of this industry.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Poor little Costin.
iosiP wrote:

Still confusing electrical signals in conductive environments with waves in a vacuum?
Still confusing phase velocity with group velocity in carrier-based media?
Still thinking your gizmos placed on top of the CD player somewhat emit/absorb light generated within the chassis?
Still didn't take your daily Prozac?

Still unable to just keep still and let interested people discuss their hobby?

Wow, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed. And loaded for bear with lots of Strawman arguments. Glad to see you following Michael's lead on Strawman arguments. Good fellow. I do not confuse any of the things you accuse me of. Those are, dare I say it, Strawman arguments. Check with Michael if you are unsure of the definition.

I can't help noticing you're still confused about the audio signal and it's velocity in copper. Not that I'm surprised by your continued confusion. Have you given any consideration to going back for a subject matter refresh?

An ordinary man has no means of deliverance.

Cheers, Geoff Kait
Machina Dynmics

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weird science

I think audiophile designers get themselves in all kinds of trouble when they try to indroduce their personal pet physics that no one else has but them. I'm tickled that the photon talk got picked up by others cause it's pretty easy to see that a michael vs Geoff thing is a waste of time.

Hard to keep score when you have talking vs doing. Geoff made a comment a while back about my diagram of electrons so I figured out at that momment where he was coming from. Mind blowing stuff when a "science" guy doesn't have a lab as I have said before. All they keep doing or know how to do is the talking cycle approach cause they have nothing to back it up.

Audio signal not able to tune, is a very weird science, more lack of, indeed.

Geoff talks about schooling us, but schooling is also a weird science. I have consulted and spoke at the school that he attended. I've given lectures at a few schools, not something I enjoy cause of crowds, but was fun at the time. Think I mentioned this before, at Yale it was fun to speak to the professors and then walk them to the room I designed to demonstrate on campus. This type of thing I'm told has been done by only a few there, where a lab was built 1200 square feet to explore and show what the speaker was refering to so I felt pretty honored. What's interesting is not one person there questioned "can this be done", why would they I would think, but still not one raised eyebrow. That's Yale, you come here and a scienist comes flying out of closet holding voo doo dolls. I would call this a little more than odd.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Yet another Strawman Argument. Anyone see a pattern here?
toledo wrote:

Geoff,

Actually it is not all about photons and you are trying to simplify things down to the building blocks and picking one of them.
Yes, photons are involved, but so are the electrons in the conductive material. Electrons have mass.

I will consider your arguments technical obfuscation.

So where does this lead us .. Everyone can technically debate all day long on this, and fuel our egos, but it gets us no closer to actually discussing what people hear and their experiences.

The electrons as fate would have it are not the audio signal. You fell right into my trap! Good fellow! You have not made a technical argument, you only think you have.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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poor Geoff

"I can't help noticing you're still confused about the audio signal and it's velocity in copper. Not that I'm surprised by your continued confusion. Have you given any consideration to going back for a subject matter refresh?"

Speaking as a man where the audio signal doesn't have motion, how do you propose Geoff the audio signal starts at one end and appears at the other? Maybe we need to look at this technically advance science of yours.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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your wiki on audio signal

"Analog" indicates something that is mathematically represented by a set of continuous values; for example, the analog clock uses constantly moving hands on a physical clock face, where moving the hands directly alters the information that clock is providing. Thus, an analog signal is one represented by a continuous stream of data, in this case along an electrical circuit in the form of voltage, current or charge changes. Analog signal processing (ASP) then involves physically altering the continuous signal by changing the voltage or current or charge via various electrical means.

A few more for Geoff to explain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microphone

Oh and Geoff since you want to teach us there are so many more when these are done.

Don't forget to explain how the pressure at the microphone converts to energy, what is this energy and how does it get from the mic to the speaker through each stage.

It's really great of you to do this for us, I'm sure the listeners out there would like to know how this all travels without ever being involved with pressure, current or motion of any type.

Could you also give us the breakdown of copper and explain how the signal enters and exits? Well according to you it doesn't right?

oh boy Mr. Kait can't wait to start

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Concise

Geoff,

You can't have it both ways. First it's about photons and they have no mass and now it's all about the signal. Would you just lay out a concise argument of what you are trying to say, in the entire signal path of a system, since you seem to have it all figured out in a "the science is settled" approach.

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hey toledo

Hey Toledo

Costin's starting to tune, posted on Bill's thread.

yeah Baby!

So great to see people diving into their sound. Your a good man Toledo for putting up with Geoff, but who knows maybe he'll jump on the listening train. Or demo for us massless waveless fieldless audio.

Starting to make tuning sound easier every day isn't he?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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God gave you two ears for a reason
toledo wrote:

Geoff,

You can't have it both ways. First it's about photons and they have no mass and now it's all about the signal. Would you just lay out a concise argument of what you are trying to say, in the entire signal path of a system, since you seem to have it all figured out in a "the science is settled" approach.

Sorry, I have already laid out the concise argument. Several times. None so blind that will not see. They didn't teach much hard science in Software college apparently.

Cheers, Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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One giant Strawman
michael green wrote:

"Analog" indicates something that is mathematically represented by a set of continuous values; for example, the analog clock uses constantly moving hands on a physical clock face, where moving the hands directly alters the information that clock is providing. Thus, an analog signal is one represented by a continuous stream of data, in this case along an electrical circuit in the form of voltage, current or charge changes. Analog signal processing (ASP) then involves physically altering the continuous signal by changing the voltage or current or charge via various electrical means.

A few more for Geoff to explain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microphone

Oh and Geoff since you want to teach us there are so many more when these are done.

Don't forget to explain how the pressure at the microphone converts to energy, what is this energy and how does it get from the mic to the speaker through each stage.

It's really great of you to do this for us, I'm sure the listeners out there would like to know how this all travels without ever being involved with pressure, current or motion of any type.

Could you also give us the breakdown of copper and explain how the signal enters and exits? Well according to you it doesn't right?

oh boy Mr. Kait can't wait to start

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

See, this is the trouble with you English Major types, you can't see the forest for the trees. It's fun to watch you guys scramble to get some inkling of an idea. Thanks for a nice Sunday's entertainment. I said it would be fun, right, I just didn't say for who.

:-)

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Yes Geoff, God gave YOU two ears for a reason

To let information sink into one ear and freely exit your skull through the other. Only as photons, of course, since it's just vacuum in between.

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:)

Nice to see people listening, this will put a dent in the walls of those who only talk and sow seeds of discouragement. This is one of the greatest hobbies and brings happiness to those who have ears to listen, and are able to use their mouths to spread the good. My mom always use to preach to folks saying "yes you have ears to hear, but are you using them to listen"?

:)
michael green
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Huh? Are you drunk?
michael green wrote:

"I can't help noticing you're still confused about the audio signal and it's velocity in copper. Not that I'm surprised by your continued confusion. Have you given any consideration to going back for a subject matter refresh?"

Speaking as a man where the audio signal doesn't have motion, how do you propose Geoff the audio signal starts at one end and appears at the other? Maybe we need to look at this technically advance science of yours.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

Hey, can you believe it? Another freaking Strawman Argument! Who said the audio signal has no motion? Who's the knucklehead who comes up with your material?

Geoff Kait,

Machina Dynamica

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Michael, remember when the world of audio was younger?

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share and no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

Thanks and reverences to Simon and Garfunkel

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magical moments

like it was yesterday my friend

:)

michael green
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Oopsy, daisy, double post

No text

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A Moment of Silence
iosiP wrote:

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share and no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

Thanks and reverences to Simon and Garfunkel

Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee
They're throwin' knives into the tree
Two big bags of dead man's bones
Got their noses to the grind stone

Livin' in the Land of Nod
Trustin' their fate to the hands of God
They pass by so silently
Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee

Well, they're goin' to the country, they're goin' to retire
They're takin' a streetcar named Desire
Lookin' at a window with a pecan pie
Lot of things they'd like they would never buy

Neither of them .want. to turn and run
They're makin' a noise to the Sun
"His Master's Voice is calling me"
Said Tweedle Dum to Tweedle Dee

Thanks to Bob Dylan

;-)

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Geoff, to each his own music

Hope you enjoyed your tune using the "mindless matter" tweak!

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Touché

What's the matter, forget to take the bridge over troubled waters? There is no joy in Mudville today. A tear.....

Cheer up, the view is much better at 40,000 feet

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Getting the Information ..
michael green wrote:

...I'm glad I'm on this side of the questions and not back on the asking side anymore.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

wkhanna wrote:

Michael,

Are we to infer from this statement your belief is you have the answers to all the audio questions you have so far pursued?

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please –

michael green wrote:

Wouldn't that be nice :)

.... we have learned what the record code is about, and have been able to apply a method that works based on using the fundamental forces in balance and harmony. When we say "tuning" we really do mean it. It is "THE" answer and what allows all energy to work together in a "fair exchange".

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

....so Michael....
....does this mean that those of use who are not able to read & utilize this embedded 'code' will not be successful at getting best from our systems?

michael green wrote:

Let me give a simple example & question. Let's say the room the recording was done in is 30' x 30' big with 15' ceilings. Listener "A" might be listening to that recording at the typical 12 X 6 X 8 stage with parts that go bigger or smaller depending. Listener "B" tunes his syatem in to a 30 X 30 X 15 stage, being able to hear and see all the info. Which one would you call the distorted system?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

You often focus on 'soundstage' as it relates to the presentation of the recording.
From my perspective, soundstage size is only one aspect of many, many characteristics required to produce accurate reproduction of music.
All of them are required to recreate the sense of instruments &/or voices in the room.

Timbre (or tone), pitch (frequency range), dynamic range, space and time are just some of the basic elements.
Simply getting one right, space (soundstage) will not necessarily provide a realistic & satisfying result for many audiophiles.

If I were to chose between a system with a soundstage as big or bigger than the actual recording had, but lacked excellent tonality, pace, clarity, range & dynamics…..
I would take a system with the latter characteristics every time.

Some music is BIG, some music is small……
But first, it must sound like music.

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please –

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The Method of Tuning

Hi Bill

The thread on "the method of tuning" might have the answer better than this short one, but to respond to this. Why have to choose? A tunable system will do both or either and everything in between.

Our entire reason for designing these systems is not to choose what someone likes or dilikes, but make a practical way to get there.

another story

At my Manhattan hang out I had one of my tunable systems there. 5 reviewers came to the place to listen to it. They each took their turn and made comments of likes and dislikes (all different of course). After the first run through I took my notes, and tune the system closer to one of the reviewers "that's more like it" was his comment. I did a couple more and they got the point, smiles all around. This BTW was at a time when I had not even gone low mass, so the tuning was crude compared to now.

Bill, I really do get where your coming from and appreciate how you are a gentleman (both you and Dan) with your comments. I think in time as and if you explore this further you will come to a place of seeing the audio signal maybe a little different than in the past. It is vast my friend and there are many ways to look at it without it distorting, which I think is the key for those who are going after "their" sound get to a place of comfort with. The signal is the signal and we can either focus it in on a small scale or go after the real space of the recording. I will say this however, hearing a real space recording with alls of it's dynamic and clarity makes it kind of tough to go back to the smaller stage.

When you look at my thread on the method, and see all the places we cut out things that make possible problems, it gives a better picture to what we are about and also our view of a purist. An audio purist to us is someone who cuts out all the fat in a system , and tunes it into what was there during the recording based on the scale in which a recording was made. At that point we feel we can judge the recording for what it is and not assume that a recording is this or that based on a part of it. Again within that context a Tunee can go wherever they choose as they tighen up their tuning skills.

I'll tell you another thing that it does as a community, and this is pretty darn cool. There's no more his system is better than mine or mine his thing. that particular freedom is one of the most exciting parts to me personally. It's about exploring the piece of music and sharing with each other what they are hearing and giving us a chance to see the music through each others ears and as you say taste. I know guys now that may play through several pieces of music one night then turn around and study another piece for a week or two. tuning is the freedow to do anything the hobby has to offer.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

michael green
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Some Day....
michael green wrote:

Bill, I really do get where your coming from and appreciate how you are a gentleman (both you and Dan) with your comments.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

Hi Michael,

I am glad you take my 'badgering' in the manner it is intended.

Respectfully & speaking only for myself, it is just that your often hyperbolic & lengthy posts are difficult for me to comprehend.

It is as you often say .........us (as in ‘me’) 'engineering' types require a certain amount of rational supportive evidence before we are able to grasp what I will describe as your ‘wholistic’ approach to audio.

At some point in the hopefully not too distant future, Dan & I will purchase one of these ‘low-mass’ CD players & using some of your methods, attempt to duplicate your results.

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please –

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working together

Hi Bill

Yep, I would say hyperbolic before someone tunes, and a soft sell after someone dives in. It's a tough balancing act when writing about it because so many are obviously going to say "yeah right", but then watching that person go from that state to HS is pretty exciting.

Since you guys have come this far it wouldn't be that much more of a stretch to pick up the player, receiver and speakers. An adventure less than $200. This way you could short cut, instead of going a longer way around. Just a suggestion.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Bill, it's been my experience that it's a tradeoff

Between soundstage and imaging. You either have one or the other, or you settle for a percentage of both (not to mention the tonal changes). I use to have two marked spots on the floor for my speakers: one for small jazz recordings and another for large scale symphonic works. No fun moving speakers around, but enjoying music takes what it takes. Now you can see why I'm more than willing to use other methods to balance the sound (without changing the tonal character of the system), and if "tuning" offers me this I'm all in!
No I don't want Patricia Barber to sound as if she has a head the size of a pumpkin but I don't like the Boston Philharmonic to play like being forced in an overcrowded Tokyo subway. How do I get "distance" between instruments without blowing each of them out of proportion? Maybe tuning is the answer... or maybe not! Anyway, there is no way to tell before I try, so I prefer to shut up and try than talk and not do. Well yes, there is an investment (as in no free lunch) but then this is FUN, and even if I don't get the results I'm looking for I'll still be able so say "been there, done that", which is more than any tweaker applying strips&creams will be able to claim. It's about participation, my friend, and about taking control over your life and hobby, and this is thrill - this is all about cooking your own hamburger instead of heading to McDo - at least if you don't like it you can always add (or refrain from adding) spices!
Good luck with tuning, I'm a convert and pledging to the unbelievers, so give it a try: I promise it won't hurt and after all it's reversible!

Costin

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Costin,

Costin,

Well said .. It's all about having fun and not locking yourself in.

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boy gone for a week

I've been in design week for the past few days and come back to the phile and it looks like everyone has packed up their system and called it a night.

Time to get those Tables & Players turning kids, there's music to be explored!

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Separate Power Supplies

Hi, I find that my Naim(UK) gear with separate power supply units for each component, which match the component box, have a much more open sound. It costs though, the components cost roughly $8000 each and the power supply in chassis cost about the same. Naim are fanatical about separating and reducing all forms of interference from the sound, and it pays off.

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Strange Place This!

I find this place to be a battle of egos. Michael you talk up your product as being more than the basic system it is, and Geoff you do the same. Absorption, Diffraction and Diffusion delivered via different products still do the same thing - to a certain extent with varying success. However it's sold and delivered, the physics behind it NEVER change. Oh crickey the way you snake oil salesmen talk up your own product! It's fun to watch though...... PS. I am an Acoustical Physicist by profession.

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Hi Steven,

Hi Steven,

What a grand entrance to stereophile. Don't forget to leave your acoustical physicist ego at the door on your way in.

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share don't scare

Steven, wouldn't it be better if you shared your adventures in the industry and hobby rather than coming up swinging?

This isn't the boxing industry, it's one about enjoying music and the ways people get to that enjoyment.

Wouldn't you be better off asking about the rooms we built for Naim, and what the listeners thought of them?

Also Steven, everyone has a title, but it's what you do with it that makes you wise or not.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Michael Green Qualifications and Experience

Michael, I ask you here, to show us all your qualifications and experience in this field. I looked up RoomTune and cannot find information on YOU, just promotion of your product and the theories behind it. SECOND - Do you have published verifiable scientific results for your gear? Do you offer your customers any technical data, considering the depth to which you espouse your knowledge do you have your gear tested in accordance with the US accredited testing facility and if so which one? My point to all this, I have seen too many decent audio hobbyists get sucked into your so called expert opinion and waste their money. They can go online and learn how to acoustically treat their rooms themselves and save a fortune doing it. Having a business in the game is one thing, using the Forum as a way of avoiding advertising costs or formal peer review in another!

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Steven,

Steven,

Are you the same aussiesteve that posts on Collings guitar forum? If so, and based on your comments on tone wood and other comments, I would fathom you would be in a position to agree to the concepts of tuning. I would suggest you look into tuning and discuss things instead of interogating and turning this into a personal crusade.

You might also realize that tuning concepts can be done in a DIY fashion as many do. Since you DIY Owens Corning semi rigid fiberglass panels, I see you appreciate taking a personal modding approach to audio.

You appear to be into the music scene as well and you will find no better ally than michael. You seem to be pleasant on other forums so let's keep it that way here on Stereophile.

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build your own

Hi Steven

here's the website http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/ also the archive www.tuneland.info

Personally I don't have a problem with someone building their own system parts. It's not that hard to make Amps, Players, Wires, Acoustical products, Speakers and so on.

It's interesting however that you talk about spending $16000.00 for something you can build yourself for less than $100.00. If you wish to DIY, I don't see anyone stoping you.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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do you have inductors?

Do you have inductors in your speakers? Why?

Here's another thing in this industry that doesn't make sense. Why are people designing speakers that don't work together? I can not count how many people have told me this crossover game make absolutely no sense at all. And you know what, they're right.

I went inductor-less in 1997 finally after going back and forth for 15 or so years before that. I had techies on staff who would attempt to make "magical" crossovers, trading this sound for that. The more they and others designed the more I heard some big problems happening to the sound. They would be saying "listen to how tight that got" and to me it sounded more like parts instead of real music. The major shocker though was when I made my first speaker designed to go inductor-less. I closed my mind to what the others were saying and opened my mind to how speakers work and what their job is. What I found was for the first time recordings started sounding not like electronic parts (unless it was recorded that way) and more like real instruments with body replacing an artificial pasteurized type of sound. Again this all comes back to vibrations being a good thing and not something we want to kill.

When I went without the inductors the "inert" cabinets and over built drivers sounded horrible, but instead of giving in and throwing more parts at things, I started designing cabinets in a way that worked with the drivers and it was like going from a polaroid to the great outdoors. This whole thing of building inert is a myth Myth MYTH, and the idea of adding more parts to get more sound makes absolutely no sense what so ever.

I don't have a problem with someone shaping the sound with the use of parts, but don't call this getting closer to the absolute sound cause it's not. The absolute sound is vibration and the closer you get to tuning those vibrations and not processing them the closer you will get to the music. I can see the engineering minds spinning right now and building their defense, but once again this doesn't change the facts. The fact is, our systems have closer relations to musical instruments than the high end audio engineer has opened their mind up to accepting. You wouldn't walk up to an instrument and give it the knuckle test so why in the world would you do this to a loudspeaker? Fact is we have just barely scratched the surface when it comes to speaker and room designs, and we're not going to get closer till we sit in a room full of instruments and ask ourselves "why are they not distorting"? How can these thin, sometimes thick, cabinets ring like they do and sound so darn beautiful? Cause that's what an instrument is, a cabinet! When you put the parts of that cabinet in tune with the room you get music, plain and simple, game over. Problem is like with many hobbies that are over run by techies, the first answers to questions come from a different part of the brain that sometimes can cause more problems than need to be. Just like this industry has over thinkers in the technical department resulting in the lack of balance between electronic numbers and physics.

If getting closer to music is the goal of this hobby, it's going to have to open the door to a more practical approach. Speakers and rooms are much closer to instruments than circuit designs. Circuit designs will continue to advance and ultimately become super simple and low mass, not requiring such huge pulls on electricity caused by over design problems, and speakers will get into their correct family, starting to use the room and vibration as do the musical instruments.

The battle in the audiophile brain that says "more" has ran it's course in the engineering side of things, now it's a matter of those who start playing with the sound through tweaking to get to the point where they start to reverse their thinking back to simple and that is inevitable as with all technologies.

Time for this industry to be putting simple into practice and making the speaker/room one instead of two separate issues. Also time to eliminate parts that aren't useful in making sound happen, especially those parts that we have found to make distortions like transformers and inductors, power strips and wall outlets. Also the over built distortion makers like banana plugs and over built binding posts. Most importantly though is the hobby stepping back from this sound they have created that is giving less of the music. Like I said compare the sound of instruments playing in a room to our systems. For example, why can we walk around an instrument playing without it going out of tune or phase but the typical high end audio speaker we can't?

High end is not over, but high end audio components and speakers need to take the next step forward.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

wkhanna
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Costin wrote "Bill, it's been my experience that it's a tradeoff
iosiP wrote:

Bill, it's been my experience that it's a tradeoff.. Between soundstage and imaging. You either have one or the other, or you settle for a percentage of both (not to mention the tonal changes).

Something I continually find quite interesting about this hobby is how so many of us can have such contrasting experiences.

Over the years I have found that accurate reproduction of soundstage & imaging most often go hand-in-hand, with both being quite dependent on the method & quality of the recording & the specific mastering of each release.

Equipment-wise, I have found the pre-amp & speakers to be highly influential in creating imaging & soundstage which is faithful to the original recording.

Should this discussion go any further, for the sake of clarity & to insure when we speak of such abstract perceptions such as ‘Soundstage’ & ‘Imaging’ we are in agreement ahead of time as to the precise meaning of these & other terms, I have taken the liberty to ‘cut & paste’ some definitions from “An Audio Glossary” found on Stereophile’s website here:
http://www.stereophile.com/reference/50/

Soundstaging, Soundstage Presentation:
The accuracy with which a reproducing system conveys audible information about the size, shape, and acoustical characteristics of the original recording space and the placement of the performers within it.

Imaging:
The measure of a system's ability to float stable and specific phantom images, reproducing the original sizes and locations of the instruments across the soundstage.

Stereo Imaging:
The production of stable, specific phantom images of correct localization and width.

Stereo Stage:
The area between and behind the loudspeakers, from which most phantom images are heard.

Stereo Spread:
The apparent width of the soundstage and the placement of phantom images within it. Generally, a group of instruments or voices should uniformly occupy the space between the loudspeakers. Compare "beyond-the-speakers imaging," "bunching," "hole-in-the-middle."

Beyond-the-Speakers Imaging:
The placement of phantom images or spatial (stage boundary) information beyond the positional limits of the loudspeakers.

Bunching:
In stereo reproduction, excessive center fill with inadequate spread. Compare with stereo spread.

iosiP wrote:

I use to have two marked spots on the floor for my speakers: one for small jazz recordings and another for large scale symphonic works. No fun moving speakers around….

In this case, I would agree that the typical effect of making incremental adjustments to the toe (angling of a speakers such that the front face (or baffle) of the two L & R stereo speakers are not parallel to each other) will make changes to the soundstage & imaging simultaneously & with opposite consequence for each (within practical limits).

While only moving the speakers closer or further apart from each other will generally have more effect on the stereo spread (within the limits of room boundaries & other obvious factors).

Once a distance between the speakers is established, there typically is an optimal toe setting that will bring into focus both soundstage & imaging.
As the speakers are rotated away from the optimal position (the toe angel is reduced), the soundsatage will be expanded at the expense of imaging.
Keep in mind these descriptions are generalizations.
All systems & components are different.
As I so often do, I will again reference a quote commonly attributed to Mark Twain;
"All generalizations are false, including this one."

iosiP wrote:

but enjoying music takes what it takes. Now you can see why I'm more than willing to use other methods to balance the sound (without changing the tonal character of the system), and if "tuning" offers me this I'm all in!

Regarding Michael’s “tuning” methods, I have only limited experience thus far with applying just a few of his suggestions.
Dan & I have yet to derive any audible benefits from testing ‘open’ chassis or floating &/or varying clamping force on circuit boards.
We have also tried removing the outer shells on my WBT RCA interconnects with no detectable effect.

This is not to say Michael’s or anybody else’s methods are ineffective, only that the few Dan & I have tried on a limited number of devices/components have not yielded sonic changes we were able to audibly detect.

iosiP wrote:

No I don't want Patricia Barber to sound as if she has a head the size of a pumpkin but I don't like the Boston Philharmonic to play like being forced in an overcrowded Tokyo subway. How do I get "distance" between instruments without blowing each of them out of proportion? Maybe tuning is the answer... or maybe not! Anyway, there is no way to tell before I try, so I prefer to shut up and try than talk and not do. Well yes, there is an investment (as in no free lunch) but then this is FUN, and even if I don't get the results I'm looking for I'll still be able so say "been there, done that", which is more than any tweaker applying strips&creams will be able to claim. It's about participation, my friend, and about taking control over your life and hobby, and this is thrill - this is all about cooking your own hamburger instead of heading to McDo - at least if you don't like it you can always add (or refrain from adding) spices!

An interesting analogy.

I guess if I were to look at what Dan & I are doing within a similar relationship, I would say that we are first & foremost concerned with the quality of the beef.
Once we have established that the ‘meat’ is of the best quality possible, only then would we entertain the option of ‘seasoning’.

It has been my experience that when you start with the highest quality ingredients in the first place, you find there is no need to adulterate the final product with ‘spices’ which are often used to hide, cover or make tolerable less pleasing flavors resulting from utilizing less than the highest-grade (& not necessarily the highest $) of main ingredient.

Taking this analogy one step further; even the best & freshest of free-range chicken produced eggs can often stand a little hint of salt, but please, hold the catsup.

iosiP wrote:

Good luck with tuning, I'm a convert and pledging to the unbelievers, so give it a try: I promise it won't hurt and after all it's reversible!

Costin

I plan to keep trying some of the ‘Tuning’ methods to see if I can get any correlation with Michael’s results.
Until then, I plan on leaving the proselytizing, conversions, anointing & disciple-making to others who have far more direct experience with such approaches.

Who knows, maybe after a little more time playing around with this stuff, Dan & I too may share in this cathartic experience?

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please –

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The whys & hows

Hi Bill

I think many if not most have been exactly where you are in the results department at one time. No surprise on this end, however I encourage you to take a look at what these listeners did to start hearing the changes, and the direction they went in when the changes started being noticed.

Basically the more a system is locked down the less you will hear, the more it is set free those same changes become huge. On TuneLand we call this freeing the blockage, and as you find the places in the electrical, mechanical and acoustical that are causing the blockage and adjust them the doors of sound open wide and the adjustments become quite revealing. For example I can look at a system (including yours) and see where some of the blockage is happening. Again it would be better to see others doing this on TuneLand cause if I come up and say it, it might come across as the "salespitch" and the 3rd party experience sometimes is more meaningful than the designers until the games begin, that's where I usually come in.

In all honesty if someone says they didn't hear something that tells as big of a story as the guy who is making these same changes and hearing huge events take place.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Separate Power Supplies...
AussieSteve wrote:

Hi, I find that my Naim(UK) gear with separate power supply units for each component, which match the component box, have a much more open sound. It costs though, the components cost roughly $8000 each and the power supply in chassis cost about the same. Naim are fanatical about separating and reducing all forms of interference from the sound, and it pays off.

Recent tests Dan & I have been working on use annealed Mu-Metal to shield transformers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu-metal

We have tried it in everything from pre-amps, CD Players & AV receivers to PC-based music servers, Digital-to-Analog-Converters (DAC’s) & multiple power amps.

In each & every case the results have been transformative.
No minor – “yeah, maybe I think I may hear an improvement” – but major changes.
All of them positive & affectively releasing more realism & music from any recording whether it be V high quality from the likes of Mapleshade, Linn, Sheffield & 96/24 Hi-Rez HD Tracks to MP3 & poorly made CD’s.

As I have mentioned previously, it is not uncommon for higher-end components to utilize the practice of putting the power supply in a separate chassis, thus isolating it from the rest of the electronics.
All the ones I have heard were all V nice sounding.
Some were under $2k, others over the price of my car.

I know Michael has also mentioned that he likes what happens when he moves the transformer away from electronics.

Based on Dan's & my experiences, anything that helps isolate the fields generated by power supplies is likely to be beneficial.

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please –

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low mass

Hi Bill

Had to run last night, so just put up a quick post hoping to get back to it later but got side tracked.

I started to answer about hearing or not hearing a difference with tuning changes. Making a system tunable depends on a few things. The fields are a big one along with mass. If you have a system with more mass your not going to experience the same flexibility as a system with less mass. This is one of the reasons you will see a lot of Tunees head toward simplier lower mass components, or take the mass away from heavy components.

let me give an example

Three days ago I was listening to Queen "A night at the opera" afterward Beethoven "overtures". Making the switch there was a difference in stage that I wanted to address. It took all of one simple turn on one Tuning Block to get me from where I was to the 8th row. I made this change on a component that weighed maybe a pound.

I'd rather listen than get technical, but a lot of what we do is based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_interaction . Mass, weight, fields all are a part of the same set of forces that affect the system in a positive, negative or I prefer different ways. As you continue to go through these changes with your system you gain (probably already have) a new appreciation for the audio signal's immenseness and flexibility. Before you started you would not have called your system one of distortion, however once you started making changes you crossed over a bridge. That bridge being which change or sound was correct and which was distortion (incorrect). Which was less and which was more. You said (and this is very important) "Mapleshade, Linn, Sheffield & 96/24 Hi-Rez HD Tracks to MP3 & poorly made CD’s". You noticed that there was an improvement in all the formats. That being said the question must be asked "how much and how far" can these improvements continue? Not only that but "are these changes able to be regulated"?

The answers become easier the more tuning you do, and then start to learn what to do to open up each recording. It can be one setting or as variable as you wish, but the one thing that you have discovered is this is a new side to the hobby for how far you wish to go, and is completely up to you.

"In each & every case the results have been transformative."

Now you see why we get so excited (and this is just a taste) about tuning.

I want to thank you again for your's and Dan's spirit through your testing and findings. It's good to see gentlemen in this hobby. At times this hobby and industry can be brutal because of the lack of doing. You guys have stepped beyond and for myself this is what it means to be an audiophile. I'm sure your "doing" is giving inspiration to those reading.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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same page?

Hi Michael.

I agree it nice to be able to discuss our different experiences.

You speak of an audio signal’s ‘Flexibility’ & of a system’s ‘Distortion’.

You stated, “As you continue to go through these changes with your system you gain (probably already have) a new appreciation for the audio signal's immenseness and flexibility. Before you started you would not have called your system one of distortion, however once you started making changes you crossed over a bridge. That bridge being which change or sound was correct and which was distortion (incorrect). Which was less and which was more.”

These are not my experiences.

First off, let us define distortion.
From the link at Stereophile for the glossary of audio terms……

http://www.stereophile.com/content/sounds-audio-glossary-glossary-d-e

…comes this definition for Distortion:

Distortion
1) Any unintentional or undesirable change in an audio signal.

2) An overlay of spurious roughness, fuzziness, harshness, or stridency in reproduced sound.

As I understand these definitions, distortion has nothing to do with the essence of the signal.
It has everything to do with how the signal can be changed.
In fact, by this definition, an intentional or desired ‘Change’ to the signal is NOT distortion.

The signal can be -- & in most every case is -- changed to some varying degree by the equipment & the environment in which it is reproduced.

If one chooses to change or intentionally manipulate the signal to one’s preference, then by definition this is not distortion.
Yet the end product -- the sound produced by these changes -- does not represent the original signal.

Is such a case, without having experienced the original, one never knows exactly how the signal was intended to sound.
& one will never know what may be missing from that signal.

Therefore, how can one say one has made an improvement?
There is no benchmark to reference from.
One can only say, “I have ‘shaped’ a portion of the original signal to one that pleases me.”

Regarding “Signal Flexibity”……
This is exactly what Dan & I are attempting to eliminate.
We do not want the signal to be changed in any way, shape or form.
We want only to first hear the actual signal as it exists.
Without change, without distortion & not flexed or varied from its original form or intent.
Only then can one reference it to a real sound & decide if any change is desired or required.

We wish to first play the music……not play with it first.

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please –

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tuning

Hi Bill

Based on what you just said, you would need to tune to each recording.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Except that the CD/recording is what it is

A legitimate tweak should tweak the system and its ability to represent any and all recordings in a way that most accurately reflects what is on the disc.

I think what Bill is saying is that he's not trying to correct for the shortcomings of the recording engineer or to introduce his own interpretation of how it should have been recorded and engineered...witin the limits that are inherent to his playback system's capabilities.

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a legitimate tweak

In that case a legitimate tweak should get out of the way of the recording altogether.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Sticking to definitions is not always a good thing

Hi Bill

Listening to a SET amp does not give any impression of "spurious roughness, fuzziness, harshness, or stridency in reproduced sound". However, most SET amps have large values of THD - which stands, as you know, for "total harmonic distortion". Now if the definitions in Stereophile are right this should not be considered distortion at all (since it's intended by the designer). However, if the measurements in (the same) Stereophile are right this is called... well, THD.

For me, any difference between the output signal and the input signal (except, of course, for the difference in level) is distortion. And there are many kinds of distortion, some of them even pleasant, but I do not go for them: I'd rather hear what's on the record first, then I can play if I want to.

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Not all distortion is equally objectionable

In fact, some distortion can be very pleasing. That's how breast implants started!

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a safe guideline

I'm not all that big on what the audiophiles have come up with on definitions. There's too many audio myths floating around, and there are many truths yet to be discovered in this hobby and industry.

I tend to lean toward the facts.

1) every system sounds different
2) every recording sounds different
3) everyone hears differently

Common sense to me says, anyone saying they are playing back the recording more than in part and isn't able to match the real size and space, is at least that shy of the whole recording. And being that shy has no real reference for what is or isn't, past taste.

4) if we are looking to play back instruments we should be studying how they work, and judge distortion by the same criteria, same goes for electronic sounds

My definition of distortion concerning playback would have to be, Distortion: something not in-tune, breaking from the recordings original oscillations, 2) a plus or minus of the original signal not kept in order during amplification

I'm pretty certain the audiophile will be creating their defines on distortion till the audio cows come home. It is afterall one of the biggest "buzz" words used in most audio debates when someone is trying to describe a partial picture.

for you techies

Have you ever measured an acoustical instrument being played at one meter? More so several?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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THD and beyond
Catch22 wrote:

In fact, some distortion can be very pleasing. That's how breast implants started!

You are correct, sir. We learned back was it is the 80s maybe the 70s, my how time flies, that THD is relatively meaningless and irrelevant when it was determined that the flood of Japanese and perhaps other solid state amplifiers and receivers with vanishingly low measured THD sounded subjectively much Worse than receivers and amplifiers with measured THD much higher, for example 0.0007% THD for the Japanese solid state amps compared to 0.05% THD for the tube amps. The tube amp sounds more open, more neutral, more musical and less fatiguing than the Japanese amp. There are very precise meanings of distortion, noise and slew rate and other audio signal terms, so there should be no doubt about what we are talking about, objectively. Amplifiers are designed to balance these parameters as much as possible and to minimize noise and distortion. But obviously the designers are no perfect, not by a long shot. The best laid plans of mice and men, etc. The distortion in what we hear is often only discernible by it's ABSENCE when you finally do something that reduces it. If you're lucky you might eliminate one form of distortion. As much as I do so dislike being mysterious and messianic there is quite a bit of distortion of all various types in what you are hearing right now, even though you might think it sounds undistorted. For those that even think about such things, we tend to suppress or "hear through" the various distortions that are PRESENT in the sound. Audiophiles are optimists, we think, Um, that sounds good, not, um, that sounds bad.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dramatica

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