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michael green
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build quality vs sound

For years and years we've been reading about build quality. Somewhere in the audiophile collective mind the heavier something is the better it sounds and the better it is built. Where did this thinking come from and how true is it? I have found for example that light weight components for all practical purposes are many times built better than the heavy products. Lighter products treated with the same care as the heavier ones actually in most cases have a longer life and need fewer repairs. I would say back in the 70's the heavier arguement held more "weight" than it does today, so why are people still buying heavy components?

It's pretty obvious from a design point of view that lighter weight parts that go inside of our components give off less electromagnetic interference. If you measure the distance in relation to part size and the fields created it's easy to see that the bigger parts used in our high end audio components are out of balance as compared to the smaller parts and board sizes used for them.

In the last few years I've been putting light weight up against heavy and can hear a big difference between the two. I've also taken the time to spread out the parts to see how to match the size and field balance. If you take a mass produced light weight simply built product and compare it against a typical high end audio product using audiophile parts, what you can do with the simple built product using a 8" x 8" board, you would need a 40' x 40' board to have the same field and size separation.

Lets paint the picture another way to give you an idea of what is going on. If you take a typical mass produced light weight product and did the same measuring of part spread and compared chassis height. If the light weight product was 4" tall the high end audio product would have to be 8' tall to match the space ratio.

Something we have been doing in high end audio that has caused us tons of signal distortion is loading up electromagnetically charged parts in metal boxes that are causing field interference.

In my listening test, I took components in our factory and laid them out so I could compare the sound through the different stages.

First we listened in the chassis, then with the tops off, then the chassis gone, then as much as we could the bigger parts moved away from the smaller ones. In uncovering the parts the sound changed from small stage to slightly bigger with more dynamic range and the soundstage holes started to fill in. With chassis gone, you were able to hear how much they affect the overall sound. It was like going from dead to live, from canned to set free. There was only one commponent that we found fell apart with the chassis removed, and looking at it you could see that the parts themselves were way over dampened so we cut away at their dampening and it too joined the others in opening up.

After having many people listen to this we came to the conclusion that chassis have really not been explored as much as the industry would have us believe. They are used as more of a marketing fasade and as they get thicker and more constrained the worse the sound gets.

We wanted to take this a step further with our proof so I ordered in chassis made of light thin metal power coated and took two of the amps where the parts happened to fit and placed them into the lighter chassis, and even though the sound of the non-chassis was better, the same amps in the light chassis smoked the original chassis.

another test

We took several components listened to them, then took the transformer lockdowns out and clipped the tie wraps from everywhere. We compared the stock product against the product with ties and locks out and the top off, and even with that step the difference was huge in almost all cases.

So do the big heavy chassis play a part in quality build? Not in the slightest, their there for show not for sound.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

iosiP
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I think it's about reliability

A heavier chassis may just provide better protection during shipping. Also, for power amps with a "classical" PSU a big (and heavy, and well fixed to the chassis) transformer was needed to provide the juice for transients.
I do appreciate your findings but I would hate to get my gear as separated PCBs (not to mention that my wife would probably stab me while I sleep).
Not all of us have the opportunity to listen in a solitary lab, so K&C (kids and cats) must be taken into account.

michael green
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that would be a drag

Hi Costin

Now that I have come to enjoy the open stage, it would be impossible for me to go back to the box. That's why God made doors and keep out signs.

If I had kids and kats and they were coming in the room and getting into things I wouldn't own components they could get into. Instead I would custom design my system to match my lifestyle. For example closets make great customized racks, and speakers don't have to sit on the floor. I've done and seen some killer wall mount sat-sub systems.

As far as the transients go, not one of the amps we tested sounded better (or even close to) with the transformer bolted to the chassis as compared to it having it's own sub chassis (board). There was one issue in that the transformers sounded horrible with a plug in umbilical cord, but once hard wired the amps sound like the gain was increased by a third or even more. Once those fields are set free the gain goes way up. So with the gain going way up the need for a power house amp is a lot less.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

tmsorosk
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Built quality

I guess we all have a different concept of what things mean. When I think of built quality I don't think of weight, I think more along the lines of comprehensive circuit design, sturdy construction, correctly fused solder joints, detail in fit and finish, well designed panels and top plates that don't ring and sing, quality transformers that don't impart there own flavor and basically a component that will sound grand without messing with it.

michael green
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different concept

There's different worlds inside of this hobby, and it makes me think about what people put the value on Build vs Sound. I got a call last night from one of the listeners who attended a tunable system (room & system) session that was conducted last night. I told the guys they could give me a call if they would like during the session, he did. He gave me a description of what he did when walking into the room and began tuning. "I sat there and laughed" were his first words to me, "they have no idea" were his next. This BTW is a dealer who sells the top of the dollar chain components and speakers. "I made an adjustment to a front panel and snap, there's the center fill", I did the same to 3 other panels and that was all that was needed to tune in this recording/room", "remarkable, I can do anything". He went on to tell me how this is the next level of high end audio, and said "this is 3D listening, I didn't know how much 3D was in a recording until I hear this".

So I asked the question "now do you think the high end can compare to this?" his answer "michael, two different worlds, this is high end", "now I need to reconsider my path as well as the audiophile one". "this is what I have been waiting for".

I asked him one more thing. The reason is because he was one of those who thought I was adding my excitement levels into my descriptions (hype) of tuning. "did you feel this met your expectations?" his response "your if anything soft selling the tune". "this goes beyond anything I have ever see or heard in this industry"
_________________________________________

It's this type of reaction that makes me push for the next level. Day after day I see new people join the tune, who had ideas of what they thought high end audio was about, but once they experience something that goes this far beyond the high end industries best fit and finish, they reconsider and end up joining the sound side over what they thought was the build quality side.

A perfectly constructed (fit & finish) cabinet has everything to do with sound, unfortunately the industry is not providing this yet on the high dollar products and it is costing the listener tons of sound and money. BTW the system last night was a $30.00 player, $100 volume controls, $79.00 amp, $3450.00 speakers, $6500.00 platforms, $250 cable, $2500.00 acoustics, $125,000.00 room.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

michael green
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more on the over build

Things on Stereophile forum move kinda slow, and that's ok, gives the outside readers a chance to read reflect and digest. Coming back to being more visable in high end audio again is interesting for me. To be honest it's like rolling back the clock and starting on things we worked on in the 80's. I guess that's ok though cause it gives me a chance to redo and get that feeling of being there all over again.

Another cool thing is you people at home trying things, but are not posters much. That's cool I understand. Some of you have found my email and thanks for your mail but for those looking go to http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/ pop on any thread and you will find it at the bottom of any of my posts.

I wanted to answer this one on here so others could see this too.

Q

"Why does my Old Pioneer Receiver sound better than my ***** mono blocks?"

A

There are a couple of reasons. First your only dealing with one transformer, and second your chassis is mostly wood so you are not building up as much electromagnetic distortion.

a little history

There was a major change in sound when the industry went from wood to metal chassis. At first people said they liked the highs more (tighter) but in time they found the highs fatiguing. The industry wheels did not stop to take a look back cause the style change had already settled in. It's one of those things that has made it's way into the sound of the industry and people are and have been throwing around all kinds of excuses but it really comes down to not taking the time to study. It was easier to build metal and that's the way it is. Designers more than likely had still not gotten to the point where they understood the audio signal and how it intermingles.

What's odd to me is the industry instead of listening closely started to try "fix it's" on a problem they created. You see if you let the transformers breathe, especially if there is only one or two in a system the fields will settle. Design wise if you still have a problem with a field you don't dampen it, and you don't surround it with more metal, you move it away from the other parts. I show examples of this on TuneLand with the results.

A lot of people are out there listening to a hard sound on the top end and think it's solid state or CD's but in reality it's neither. It goes like this, and you can back track this yourself if you would like.

Products were wood and smooth sounding then the metal came in. The tone shifted, thicker chassis were made to offset the field (plus street appeal). This added to more sonic problems (components had their own signatures introduced into the music), the field was now being forced upon the other parts, that's when thicker circuit boards came in, yet more thickness to chassis and designers started to dampen.

You will find a lot of listeners going after these sonic jewels now, many of them kicking themselves for buying into the big overbuilt world. I love these old receivers, so simple and so warm sounding, and of course, easy to tune :)

Let me add this so people can see Loud & Clear, and think about this folks. What wiseguy came up with putting electrical parts in a metal chassis?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

tmsorosk
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Old Pioneer

I have a question. How come one poor lost soul feels his old Pioneer receiver sounds good and I think mine sounds like it's a box made to generate distortion ?

michael green
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cause

Hi tmsorosk

First, I don't think it's fair to call anyone in the hobby a poor lost soul when they have a question that is asked in sincerity, based on something they found to be true for them. There are people who have been in this hobby an awful long time who have views that today you or someone might pick on but if you went to their place and listened might be a little more than shocked. For myself I see the guys who have vintage looking at newer equipment people as a poor lost soul, and I see it the other way around too.

For example, about a year and a half ago I went to a guitar players home to listen to a few tracks. While there I was hearing a music from the next room and I asked if it could be turn down so I could focus on what was going on. He told me sorry, it was his son, so we walked over and he introduced me. Hello a vintage setup with reel to reel. Not only reel to reel, but Studer reel to reel, needless to say I was there for a while.

Now to answer you,

Cause it might be. Anyone at any age of equipment might have a setup that is horrible or one that is great. I don't judge by old or new. I judge by things I find that make sense or don't according to what I hear, and then see.

Next question I would ask is how did you have it setup?

One thing that I have notice about vintage gear is the setup is more touchy than the metal cabinets, but some of these babies have beautiful tonality.

This ones a little newer but the Pioneer sx3400 with fairly easy to drive speakers, stripped and tuned sounded like heaven. I also have clients that have some of the older integrated amps that are very nice sounding. There are a few wood designs throughout time that were made during the metal age that were interesting to compare as well. Roger Modjeski made one as well Stan Warren. One tube one solid state. I remember sitting in my store when they came in and saying "hello what have we here". The sound was instantly more open and dynamic.

Through the years this all lead me to listening without the chassis as you can see on Tuneland. Every time I put a metal boxed component in my system I can hear it scream of the sound of the box. If you look around the mid 90's you will see high end audio designers putting dampening stuck to their chassis, go look I'm not making this up.

Now I want to get back to the vintage for a second. I'm guessing, and this is only a guess, that when tmsorosk was using the Pioneer you either had it stacked or sitting on sometype of furniture that was not compatible with the unit. If you would have tuned up the chassis some to get rid of that distortion or took off the top altogether a lot of that would have gone away. If any of you guys have these you can look on TuneLand to see what I did and am doing.

Here's the thing, all of your components are going to sound like what they are made of, what they are sitting on and the environment they are in. There are two basic camps in listening. One that spends time opening up then tuning back in, or the one that keeps closing in without opening up. The second camp believes that there is a point where the vibrations and fields can be separated from the signal through dampening. The other camp believes the vibrations and fields should be set free to mingle and then tuned back in. I obviously belong to the camp of opening up and tuning in. I personaly have never heard the dampened camp give me the openness of soundstage that I like and is a lot closer to the real size of a recording. It might be out there, I haven't heard it.

Please understand I totally believe in forward moving technology, but I also believe it's not hard for an industry to get off track, and any hobby that deals with the senses can do this, and sometimes do this without noticing until they are already in a new type of production.

So let me propose this. What if todays designs were done in beautiful voiced wood cabinets. Not slimline, I'm talking nice sized wood cabinets that gave room for parts to breathe, outside transformers, and with a tuning bar that went to the circuit board to instead of dampen vibrations, "adjusting them".

I'm going to start a thread here called adjusting vibrations that you all might want to take a look at.

one last thing

I in no way am downing our engineers circuit designs. I hope no one is reading that into any of my posts here. What I suggest though is designing a high end audio that allows these designs to reach full potential. Any of you who have added a tweak to your component are proof that there is something physical that needs to be addressed. It's not dampening, it's not killing the sound. People have been trying that now for 20 some years and it's not working. I hope you guys bear with me while I paint a slightly different picture for you.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

shp
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Leben has already revived

Leben has already revived wood for the chassis...

http://lebenhifi.com/products/cs300xs.html

michael green
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Thanks shp!

Hi shp

Thanks, I hope that the designers take notice and start to head back to the place where some of the problems started coming in. We will find that many of them are the physical parts. Enclosed metal chassis created a world of problems, that we just walked by because it was the new look. The more designers explore this the faster we will see the next chapter of high end. Different chassis, different circuit boards and different ways to suspend the boards. Different ways to do the power cords, different feet to match with different furniture, and there's a whole bunch of things to be done.

Again I hope people understand that I'm not down on exotic audio, infact I'm a huge cheerleader for it when it makes sense, and making something for eye candy forsaking some basics or even the R&D of change is not cool. People say "well your about taking things apart and I'm not going to do that", no I'm not. I'm about getting to the signal path finding how it works and seeing what we did right and wrong, then going back to where the wrong started and rebuild from there. As shp is showing us it can still be beautiful, still be high end style wise. Nothing has to change as far as the appeal of high end goes, it just needs to make more sense. Enclosed metal boxes, not going to make it long term.

thanks again shp

michael green
MGA/Roomtune

wkhanna
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This stuff gives me a woodie.....

Border Patrol has some the nicest wooden chassis' I have yet seen in the audio industry.

Saw them again at this years CAF.

http://www.borderpatrol.net/newsind.htm

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

michael green
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I am not kidding you Bill

Bill, I'm not pulling your leg one little bit here. If you took your system and put it in wood, you think the cork was something? It will blow your mind. It's a whole new ball game, and if you get the right sounding wood for the components and learn just a little about fastening the parts, dude I swear to you, you think you are a madman now LOL, ....well no stoppin!

Metal chassis are like sonic prisons. When I took my stores units out of their chassis and had them redesigned we could not believe our ears. I'd name em but then I'd have a whole bunch of friends become exfriends.

Oh and you know what, I think it was Costin who said he had a bunch of instrument wood. Do you know what would happen if you did this and posted it on here? Man so many guys would get ideas. There are others that do this but it really hasn't become an accepted art yet, but will. Your going to find I believe most of the companies head back toward wood. Watch and see.

got ya thinkin doesn't it?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

wkhanna
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Who is kidding who?

Hey Michael,

I do not doubt chassis construction will/can effect the sonic attributes of a device.

Bottle Head has used wood for ever.

I may be putting my Schiit Gungnir DAC in a poly-carbonate chassis in V near future Just as an experiment.
But I will be using Mu Metal & mostly likely cork, too.

One of the V best sounding systems I heard at this years CAF had the Pre & Main amps in separate polycarb chassis'.

You can read about the DNM products here:

http://www.dnm.co.uk/preamp.html

 photo DSCF8781_zps6dbbb4d5.jpg

 photo DSCF8783_zps823ee031.jpg

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

tmsorosk
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Wood

Hello Michael

I think we all know about your passion for wood. The truth of it is I've also been at this hobby for many decades and have owned and still own many older components , some with wood chassis. I know we all have different tastes but there is no way on gods green earth that the older gear I've owned is close to my three modern systems.
I was not trying to insult anyone by calling them a lost sole but I'm sure if they heard the difference a modern amp can make in the right system they would be enlightened. Why would I make such a bold statement you ask, because I've done just that and converted many friends and audio club members by simply sitting them down and letting them hear the differences for themselves. At that point with there mouths agape they did appear lost.
I'm not about to claim that the wood aspect of a component won't improve the sound but to suggest that wood alone will transform an overly distorted component into something wonderful is not right.
Tim

michael green
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A new world

Yep, I'm going to enjoy watching high end go metal-less. It really does blow my mind that the metal move happened and no one raised a hand, not that I know of anyway.

you know what my guess is

The pro world went with rack mount metal chassis to be durable, and high end thought "cool look, lets do it". It kinda slid by cause the chassis were thin, but then thicker and thicker they got. I don't know but I heard it right away and probably figured it was modern parts or something....well....maybe.....nah I knew it was the chassis. But here's the thing guys, we were still listening to LP's and for the most part could compensate. Then comes along Mr. CD and bamm that metal sound was right in our face. We (do you remember) immediately blamed it on digital. There were a few things that changed during that time, metal chassis, CD's, banana plugs, separate power cords, different cone materials and different speaker cabinet materials, but because it was CD vs Vinyl, you might as well say rock vs classical.

I can remember needing to go to Circuit City to pick up a multispec (plastic) CD player for a client on a budget I think was the reason. Had to be maybe "83" or something. And I remember hooking it up to make sure it worked, and the easiest place was the high end room. It distroyed my high end players. this cheap piece of crap CD player sounded like my AR ES-1. Warm, dynamic, musical really nice. Well they got discontinued and I bought as many as I could, but for years missed that sound in a player. Only thing close was a Parasound CDX88 stripped. When that was gone, I was thinking of going vinyl forever. This brings us up to 2004. I played around with every transport and player I could get my hands on and read all the number changes and then said nah vinyl it is, but then by stupid luck I decided what the heck and went to the mass shops, best buy, circuit city, target whatever and bought a bunch of players. The toshiba people were modding sounded like crap and so did a few of the others, till I made my way to this little cheap Samsung, and between it and a magnavox I was able to strip them down and get back in the game. OK, I'm on with CD's but still...few more years....That's when I found the little Magnavox. Wearing a hoody and sun glasses not to be recognized, I brought a couple of them maybe 8 lol, to operate on. When I opened it up, did my power cable, tweaked the screws, remove the top, set it on magic wood squares and turned it on, I finally met digital, and she was a beauty. Metal chassis gone from my mono blocks, the Maggie Player, the Chameleons, PZC's and I was in audio heaven.

If you look at this Player you'll notice the transformer is this wee-itty-bitty little thing. With the cover off and a little tuning No electromagnetic field distortion. I can easily fool you into thinking this is vinyl. And the best part is I can listen to my rock music without ripping the arms off my listening chair.

When I sit here and listen I get a sense for what tomorrow will be like. You guys are tired of me talking about tuning, but picture a listening hobby without distortion. Picture our designers having another chapter. It's high end audio meets musical instrument. If your patient and watch even encourage, or DIY your goods, your going to find a step beyond this current one. Get mad at me throw a chair kick the dog, whatever you have to do, but take a look at the guys who are starting, and have been heading this direction. It would be one thing if I came up here alone with only the Tunees, but if you look you'll see the seeds all around. People, designers heading in a different direction.

how many audio companies do you see using wood chassis?

and very important

how many companies talking about building speakers like instruments?

Your starting to see speaker designers moving away from dead speakers. Your also seeing people coming back to wood racks.

What if tomorrow you woke up and the high end had a system integrated (computer ready), table, Cd, speakers, cable, furniture, acoustics that was all done in beautiful wood and ranged from $5000.00 to $12,000, would you take notice? I bet you would.

I believe we can make the best high end audio systems ever, and make them so people can actually afford to be in this hobby again. I believe there are 5 to 10 companies who could put together these systems right now if they knew there would be a market. I also believe that 5 years from now we could bring the musical family together. The audio system would not be a stranger from the cello or piano and one step closer to the studio.

Just think about it a second. Do you really think 10 years from now listeners will be looking at metal machines in front of them in their music rooms? The change that high end audio has been looking for is simplicity. Simplicity meets technology meets music.

You may have a table or player, but for sure an ipad of somekind. I mentioned this before and it will happen. Direct cuts from the studio and you can make the call on compression and other studio simple applications. Do yourself a favor and skip one of the high end audio shows and book yourself at a NAMM show, or jump from the CES right over to it. The recording studio and your playback is meant to be the same experience. I have no doubt some high end record label or distributor is going to make this happen. There's no reason not to. The music industry has gone direct and technology is going to pop those recording right in your lap for you to play with. Studio mix, or tracks your choice.

Time to think forward and not miss the boat. Don't let high end become a closet hobby. I would hate to see this come down to a few gray haired grumps fighting over who has the absolute sound. The future is happening now. High end audio can make itself into whatever it wants to be, and right now the CD makers and artist and studios are trying to find a way to make this all work (this thing of marketing and selling music). CD's will end and that next step.....what do you want it to be? it's not going to go backward

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

May Belt
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No kidding !!

Hi Bill,

>>> “You can read about DNM products here:” <<<

I know Denis and he has always been particular about the materials he uses, even using nylon nuts and bolts – to everyone’s surprise !!!

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

michael green
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wood and more

Hi Tim

Here's where I sit. I understand that all of you have friends that are hobbyist and that you guys have been on your pathes for years. That's part of the whole no doubt and I can see that and appreciate it, but let me paint a slightly different picture.

You make a comment on here and may have a couple of buddies respond to you privately and say, yeh I agree with this or that, basically giving you feedback, for you to compare against your own. I on the other hand wake up to 14 private messages, and several emails along with two phone calls and a meeting setup for reviewing speakers. This is separate from TuneLand where I will be greeted with more. Probably pictures for review and people asking me to post on something, or giving them advice off line, or one of my retainer clients, who has access to me about anytime they want. Two to 5 people working here on specialty goodies and listening to music on their breaks. I have people getting in touch with me in startups, and people like yourself who have been around forever, custom audio "homes" from people at Qualcumm to people in apartments in Manhattan to completely different types of listeners in Singapore and Hongkong. All of these people have a story to tell and a path they have followed. The interesting part is all of their stories are filled with passion, but they are all quite different journeys. I hear from people like yourself "the old is out and the new is in" and from others "the new is trash, I'm glad I have my vintage gear". I might walk into a room here in the states and am greeted with the WAF sharing a living room, go over to China and see a custom music shrine made out of wood, you leave your shoes at the door and walk into this listening palace. I look at this hobby not just through my eyes but the eyes of the listening world. People from stock plug and play to people, who have their transformers in a row outside the room neatly organized with the equipment room being separated from the listening area. In the listening room you will find the room the speakers the acoustics a remote and a chair. People who don't have any acoustic products to people who have adjustments every 16" on center in the room. Tim the world is not what your seeing or hearing in your home or your friends. That's your world, and a good one cause I can see how much you love your music and can feel that it is setup cool. But the audiophile world in more of the extreme setting is mostly made up of people you would never see come up here. TAS and Stereophile is where these people started, the beginning of their journey. To most of the listeners I see out there Stereophile would be the newbies. These people are not snobs, quite the opposite, but they have moved into a world that is almost completely custom, completely tailored to their needs.

I have clients who have 5,000 sq feet hideaway recording studios in the mountains in washington, just so they can reference a piece of music without any compression at all. Custom speakers so matched that there are no crossovers, and electronics custom designed so there is no chassis at all, sitting in a room that are fire proofed, where the whole equipment room is a component within itself.

Why do you guys think I'm here, to start a bunch of spins? I'm here because I know where the rest of the guys are. Where do you think the guys are who are not coming to the shows and not coming on Stereophile, or audio circle or AVS, AA or any of the other sites. Where are those hundreds of thousands who were about the stock audiophile world, but you don't see them anymore? Their there and they peek in but they are not about plug and play, and not people who have living rooms without treatments, and not dampening stuff but real custom serious acoustical stuff.

Do you guys ever look at system galleries? Go to a show and look at the gallery, now come back up to a site and look at their gallery. Not quite, but pretty much looks the same. Stock equipment setup to take a cool pic. Do you think that's it? I wish I had permission to show you guys some of these custom systems. You can see some of them on TuneLand but not the truly high rolling exotic ones. You probably wouldn't recognize one piece of gear. Most of the time it's not even gear but music machines, where you hear a pin drop before the music comes on.

I appreciate components and the stock world, but that's what that world is components and stock. There's a whole other chapter to this, and everytime someone takes a step toward that I and others sit here and say, "did they see that", "did they see the move, very small but important move they just did". That what we say behind the scenes. It's not a cut down, it's an invitation. Is this forum going to get it? Honestly I have no idea, but I wanted, needed to try. I love this industry and have served it my whole life. I could have rolled in the stock world and went along with the flow of things, got tons of reviews and could have kept it going, but I needed to go deeper, all the way deeper. If you guys see that as me being ego driven or self serving there's not a thing I can do about that, but suggest you read some reviews or talk to others who have seen TuneVilla or Tuneland and experienced it for themselves. If you do you'll see it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the next level. The level past you getting it home and playing with speaker movement programs.

So I don't view vintage or new anything more than what I hear when they are at their very best, cause certainly we have heard them at their very worst. Redesigning this industry should be a thrill for folks not a battle between those who want to stay stock and those who have looked into how far we can go. It shouldn't be about stock and then tweaks to make them work, it should be about why the tweaks are needed and building them into the systems to start with.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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May Belt wrote:
May Belt wrote:

Hi Bill,

I know Denis and he has always been particular about the materials he uses, even using nylon nuts and bolts – to everyone’s surprise !!!

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

Hi May.

I spoke with Robin Wyatt of Robyatt Audio (US distributor of DNM) after hours at the show for nearly an hour at the bar when we at the Capital Audiofest show in Washington DC in July.
Robin could afford to use any equipment he wanted.
And Robin is a long-time tube lover.
He had two rooms at this year's show.
Both with his soul-stirring rebuilt Quad 57's.
One room was outfitted with tube power (Miyajima OTL mono blocks $18.5k/pair), the other with DNM.
Mine, & Robin's choice was the DNM room.

 photo ct6a7741_zps80db4d9d.jpg

Bill - on the Hill
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- just an “ON” switch, Please –

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Bill said

>>> “Mine, & Robin’s choice was the DNM room” <<<

And THAT does not surprise me !!

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

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a point of view

This might help to see my point of view with regards to designing.

"As I have said many, many, times the doing is the path to truth and the figuring out what just happened can follow or for many doesn't need to even happen. One thing about tweaks you can bet on is for the exploring listener they have done about everything and there really isn't much of anything new. With a method however and especially one based on variables the ball game changes dramatically. Most of the time soon after starting we can go back to the audio trilogy and begin to see what part of the system holds things up and which part open things up, and this is when advanced listening starts to happen. The 3 parts electrical, mechanical and acoustical start to show themselves.

The most important thing I tell people is get to know these 3 parts, get to know what they are doing as a team in your system. When this starts to happen then the listener can start playing one part off of the other and the ladder becomes a scaffolding process where you raise a little on this side then here, then here, and on it goes taking the system higher in performance, getting rid of the blockage as you go.

A lot of times as we listen we find ourselves in a place where we have to go back and get rid of something that we thought was helping but later find that it was holding us up. For example, someone makes a move with the mechanical and it's a good move at that time, but later they find that this was something that does a better job in the acoustical or electrical domain, and they may want to change the blend. This is when the method moves beyond the tweak. You can't have the tweak end looking at the method saying you missed something, because the tweak is a small part of the whole and may or may not be in the end game. A tweak is like, here's what could happen to this part if you do this, but a method is the blending of all the parts and looks for something different, it looks for the whole. You who tweak, and I recommend they do so, are at the edge of their method, and the more they do, the closer they get to at least a part of the whole but it's usually not the whole.

for example

In this part of the industry, people tend to go after focus. They hear (when appying a tweak) something to them that cleans up, they can see something, some part of the recording big or small becomes much more visual. They'll keep going in that direction and then one listening session will happen and they will say "where am I", all of a sudden they'll be in a place in their tweaking of too far. So they step back or a friend hears it, which causes them to step back, and they see that they have been focusing on a part of the whole without building up the whole. Ladder vs scaffolding! At that point it's important to look at the audio trilogy and think about what in the system is doing what. This is when listeners make that decission. Do I move on to all three parts as being eqauls and working together or do I stay in tweak mode and limit myself with certain listening material or my system making all material it plays sound a certain way?

A tweak can't see the method, it only sees the importance of what it is doing. Sometimes we are looking at tweaks as replacing the whole, instead of looking at tweaks as being parts and pieces of a variable, in action, moving moment to moment event. Where it's easy to get off the boat is when things go from a snapshot to a motion picture, and many people do this. Many view a snapshot of sound as something they can hold stable and never move. But there's more to this and vibrations are a huge part of that more. Those against vibrations sees them as something different from signal. They link vibration to distortion somehow instead of the needed function that it is and gives. "lets get rid of vibration" in other words instead of realizing that this vibration is the signal. They can't quite make the connection that the audio signal (electrical, mechanical and acoustical) is what's on the recording and stimulating every part in those three areas to the maximum gain that it can get. That's how energy works, but they (the tweaker) is trying to somehow cut the audio signal away from the part they feel is distortion. But here's what they don't get. Too much of cutting away of anything is within itself distortion.

Mechanics works like this. All the pieces and parts within the area of dissipation of the audio system has a play (a voice) in the presentation. And the audio trilogy is all for one and one for all. Energy is motion motivated in the audio spectrum, and while this varying signal is coming through this pathway because of it being part current means it is taking as much as giving and the other way around. This is what sets off (puts in motion) all three parts of the trilogy, and all three parts play a roll together until all the dissipation is done. Fascinating really. All three parts are playing out within the laws of energy, which means it wants to play out till it transfers into another form. What's cool about this is we aren't seeing it play we're hearing, and feeling it play, but if we aligned this energy out to it's fullest we would actually see colors (another talk for another time). As everyone of us is sitting in our listening chair the musical energy (all three parts) are working together surrounding you and on to the ends of it's dissipation. It doesn't know it is suppose to stop till it runs into something that makes it stop. Here's the cool part. If that signal is in tune (all the energy working form the same oscilation template) the actual recording will appear in your room. As you start to dampen this info, you start cutting back on how much of the whole you see, because the musical structure (fundamentals and their support harmonics) start to go out of tune. The more things go out of tune the more we start to see (hear) the stage do it's trade off, more of this less of that. We might make a tweak (change to the materials) and hear a part of the music do things really really well and hold our attention, but in time we start to see what is missing, usually by putting on another recording that we are very use to hearing on a previous setting. In time we realize that we made a change within the whole but it ended up being a trade and not a "better" or "improvement". That's not all bad, but it is the truth. There is an enormous amount of info on a recording, and you could be listening to ten % of it and be blown away, and there's absolutely nothing in the world wrong with this and to be honest you might never even know and it has no reflection on your hearing abilities. But just keep this in mind, there's a lot more if you want to go after it. The way to do this is to look at all that energy and see where you are stopping it short of it's potential motion to the end of it's dissipation. The longer you can keep it in-tune before the oscillation starts to stray the more of the recording you will hear.

This is why on my journey I have spent so much time on the room, and so much time on tuning the signal through transfer instead of what I did at one time like many, stopping the signal too short on it's dissipation journey."

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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the $64k question remains....

What extra amount of information on the recording is being accessed by tweaks......

....& how much are tweaks simply manipulating the signal being produced by the equipment.....

Therein lay the Truth & ultimate answer to my quest.

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

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$64 K Question

Hello Bill

In the beginning I was as skeptical as it gets, but after much open minded listening I got to realize that a " tweak " as you call it does not access more information but can add certain subtle additions to an audio system by improving the sonic experience with delicate distinctions. You may see it as manipulating a signal but others may view the changes as a better sense of flow and momentum. A tweak may not add information but remove certain unnatural sounds to allow music to breathe.
At times I've been surprised, shocked and sent back to rethink many preconceived ideals but it was all part of learning about the hobby that I really new little about.

Happy listening
tim

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$64K Question

Hello Tim,

It looks as though both you and Bill are showing exactly what I have been ‘going on about’ elsewhere regarding Questions being asked.

It IS inevitable one ends up with Questions as to WHY and HOW – especially if one is knowledgeable enough to know that when one is faced with something changing the sound which would NOT be expected to change the sound, then one immediately asks the Questions WHY and HOW !

And, yes, many of those Questions will remain “sitting on a shelf” awaiting answers.

Both of your replies are both asking Questions.

>>> “At times I’ve been surprised, shocked and sent back to rethink many preconceived ideals but it was all part of learning about the hobby that I really new little about.” <<<

Your sentence also highlights something else I have referred to and that is how one can “be knocked back on one’s heels” at some unexpected change in their sound. You may say, Tim, that you were surprised because you knew little about your hobby, but exactly the same reaction happens to people who are extremely knowledgeable regarding audio matters.

In the Tweaks section I gave examples of two very intelligent people (Clark Johnsen and Greg Weaver) who, when presented with improvements in their sound which “surprised and shocked them” (to use your words, Tim) were left asking the same Questions WHY and HOW.

I would add to the quotes I gave from those two people two quotes from John Atkinson :-

>>> “I continue to be surprised by things I think should matter having little effect on what I perceive and by things my preconceptions would lead me to dismiss apparently having a significant effect (positive or negative) on perceived sound quality. So when presented with something that appears to defy logic or my understanding of how the world works, I try not to dismiss it, instead filing it away under "things to return to if there's time."” <<<

>>> “There are things that boggle my mind in High End audio. There are things that I would like to think I understand (from a technical and engineering point of view) and then something happens which literally blows my mind and it doesn’t fit the world view. ” <<<

Bill, my contribution to your Question,

>>> “What extra amount of the information on the recording is being accessed by tweaks......
....& how much are tweaks simply manipulating the signal being produced by the equipment.....” <<<

Is. Both (or either) can be happening.

Some ‘tweaks’ can affect the audio signal travelling through the audio equipment – as in shielding. But, there is also a considerable amount of information, already on the recording, which is not being ‘resolved’ correctly. And it is only after people have ‘done something’ which suddenly gives them an improvement in their sound that they realise what they have been ‘missing’ (not resolving correctly).

Such as different materials can give different ‘sounds’ and cannot necessarily be explained by a “shielding or non shielding” effect !!

Such as different colours of the same material can give different sounds which cannot be explained by a “shielding or non shielding” effect !!

Such as different chemicals can give different sounds (better or worse depending on the chemical) which cannot be explained by a “shielding or non shielding” effect !!

Such examples as these are what causes the Questions WHY and HOW !!

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

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The Hubble Telescope analogy
wkhanna wrote:

What extra amount of information on the recording is being accessed by tweaks......

....& how much are tweaks simply manipulating the signal being produced by the equipment.....

Therein lay the Truth & ultimate answer to my quest.

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

Think of the audio signal like the stars in the universe. The Hubble telescope was able to see pretty far and with reasonable resolution many stars, constellations and galaxies but was limited by the fault in the manufacturing of its large lens. Think of the faulty lens like the inherent problems in the playback system that were overlooked, dismissed or ignored by the designers. So, while everyone was oohing and ahimg over the photos that came back from space, which weren't bad, the photos that came from Hubble AFTER the lens was repaired blew everyone's minds. The repaired Hubble can see just about to the beginning of the universe. Photo below is a deep space photo of a large number of galaxies.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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crossing over

One thing I'll tell you for sure. I'm glad I'm on this side of the questions and not back on the asking side anymore.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Hubble photo 2

This Hubble photo shows a galaxy with the giveaway bright light in the center revealing a black hole. Most galaxies are powered by massive blacks holes as fate would have it.

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michael green wrote:
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

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 –

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64k question

Tweaking
I think a lot of us have banged our heads on this tweaking question over the years and it starts to hurt ;)

Theoretically speaking, anything in the signal path will affect the signal and so your question is a bit of a catch-22 scenario.

In broad applicability terms, both are at play and the combined effect depends on the tweaks and what a listener prefers. The term "extra information" is rather vague, though and needs to taken in context of the tweak.

If you factor in multiple tweaks, how and where and how much they are applied and their interplay, it gets even more complicated (headache starting.)

Universe
I'm going to get a little geeky here ..

The example of the universe is a pretty good analogy to a soundstage with instruments and tones represented in 3-d space.

The observation of the universe uses many tools (tweak analogy) such as optical telescopes, radio telescopes, spectrum analysis, gravitational lensing etc. to get to the information.

Each of these tools combined and weighted for importance provides a further understanding of the overall information.

You could extend the universe analogy further into music and consider each recording and genres of music (jazz, classical, rock, etc) to be their own distinct universe.

Each of these different universes may require different combinations of tools, what and where they are focused on and how they are weighted for importance to the bring out the information.

Complicated ... there's that headache .. couple of aspirins should do the trick.

I am reminded of why I moved to tuning ... keep it simple ;)

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I'll be damned
toledo wrote:

Tweaking
I think a lot of us have banged our heads on this tweaking question over the years and it starts to hurt ;)

Theoretically speaking, anything in the signal path will affect the signal and so your question is a bit of a catch-22 scenario.

In broad applicability terms, both are at play and the combined effect depends on the tweaks and what a listener prefers. The term "extra information" is rather vague, though and needs to taken in context of the tweak.

If you factor in multiple tweaks, how and where and how much they are applied and their interplay, it gets even more complicated (headache starting.)

Universe
I'm going to get a little geeky here ..

The example of the universe is a pretty good analogy to a soundstage with instruments and tones represented in 3-d space.

The observation of the universe uses many tools (tweak analogy) such as optical telescopes, radio telescopes, spectrum analysis, gravitational lensing etc. to get to the information.

Each of these tools combined and weighted for importance provides a further understanding of the overall information.

You could extend the universe analogy further into music and consider each recording and genres of music (jazz, classical, rock, etc) to be their own distinct universe.

Each of these different universes may require different combinations of tools, what and where they are focused on and how they are weighted for importance to the bring out the information.

Complicated ... there's that headache .. couple of aspirins should do the trick.

I am reminded of why I moved to tuning ... keep it simple ;)

Geez o flip, he just turned the whole information and resolution thing into another Sermon on the Mount for Tuning. Son of a bitch!

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Shoot me

Geoff,

I like tuning ... Shoot me. Your not exactly innocent of talking up your tweaking.

Isn't this a tuning thread?

Don't I get points for creativity ;)

The quest for resolution has gotten so many hobbyists in trouble over the years with an overly detailed and focused sound and left wondering why they can't enjoy their music collections.

Maybe someone starting out and reading this will not be faced with these types of issues after they design their systems. I certainly wish I knew about these things when I was starting out and how fixed tweaking can limit your music choices.

Tunees are not faced with these types of questions since all the information is already there ... It is not a matter of getting to extra information, it is designing a simple signal path and getting things out of the way and then tuning for listening preferences. Big difference.

Are there possible exceptions ... There are exceptions in all processes .. But these exceptions need to be weighed in terms of provding actual improvements and not just changes and not introducing other problems.

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Show me the $....

My “$64k question” was primarily a flippant & rhetorical one meant to possibly generate some idle contemplation.
I was not expecting such a passionate response.

So to clarify my viewpoint on the subject let me add the following:

Before I start altering the ‘sound’ of my system through ‘tweaking’ or ‘tuning’, my goal is to retrieve as much as possible the true & actual information from the recording.

Only then, would I be willing to change, tailor or otherwise alter the sound to any preference.

Think of it in these terms.

Trying to make an inferior, distorted or less than complete facsimile of the original recording sound more like the actual recording using methods that adulterate the original even more is a tact destined to fail.

For example, using the tone controls to try to make the the already incomplete reproduction sound more like the true recording is all wrong.

First, get the true sound from the recording.
Only then should you begin to taper that sound your preference.

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

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the 64 and how I see it

Bill said

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

Hi Bill, I on purpose haven't read the other comments yet, kinda my own personal blind test, but I will go back after this.

As you and the others have read, I am a huge fan of doing. I have never been in the position that the audiophiles who spend their time pondering have, so for me it's hard to picture this as even being a part of the biz or hobby. I don't say this to be critical or down playing in any way but to be as honest as I can possibly be. The back and forths on this audio forum and others, is completely out of my comfort zone, as again people can see by reading TuneLand. On TuneLand we have a place where there are the same questions, but very quickly people take those questions and they put them into a very real hands on search for their answers.

Something I have wittnessed in this hobby from the very beginning is "the now truth". It goes like this. The audiophile starts the hobby at whatever level, and at that level this is what they know (the now truth), Audiophiles defend that truth until they start to opened themselves up to something they have not heard before. Could be something they heard at a show, or friends, or club, or even read about that jars them, or many times doing something as simple as moving or changing something in their system and saying, wait a minute something sounds different. Some hobbyist don't even pay attention, they just turn the music on and it is what it is, but there's the other guys, that take that "hey what was that" and start to explore something that leads them to a world that is beyond plug & play. As they start to explore they develope levels of their own listening and own listening path of "the now truth". Everyone in this hobby from what I have seen has a different acceptance curve, and a different way they accept changes as they happen. A whole heck of a lot of audiophiles approach this hobby through eyes of analytical engineering. Meaning they have to process stuff in their mind before it becomes real in their listening. Many times something different means distortion until the acceptance of this "new truth" settles in. I have seen tons of audiophiles get stuck on things that average (maybe even normal) listeners never do. The audiophile seems to jump in at that point and makes the assumtion that they have superior abilities, when that may not be the case at all. For example the guy who lives inside of the music world as a performer has a completely different view than the guy sitting there listening to the frontal stage all his listening life. "The now truth" completely depends on that particular listeners training. In the audiophile training very little has been done to tie audio equipment and the music making instrument world together. Audiophiles have been told, or taught, or assume the things that make an instrument make sound is different from what makes equipment make sound. In their thinking these are two different sciences at work. However as the "doing" audiophile starts to tweak, making changes in their system a new and now truth part of the thinking process starts to really kick in "the questions". They do something then that becomes their "now truth" at that now new level. They think "this must be the path, I'll keep going in this direction". Quite often this path is to attempt to "isolate & dampen". The inert arguement, and anti-vibration becomes the quest. Not because this is the right or whole path, but it is a common starting point. This is usually acompanied with dampening at some level or breaking up of things somehow (diffusion or suspension or distoying waves or fields). We think this "the now truth" is certainly the right way. I heard an "improvement" or this is "better" so why not. But this is only the beginning of the journey there are going to be levels all along the way and each time the sense of arriving and the "I'm here" stake is driven in the ground. That is until the audiophile spots something else, then the stake is pulled out and camp is uprooted while the experiments take place for the new camp.

Here's the flip side and answer to your question. That's the audio engineering type brain at work. There's another type of listener out there, that the engineer types have a hard time with. This listener has no problem tying the musical instrument to the equipment. To them it makes perfect sense, "of course you want to tune the vibrations". For them (us) we see waves, fields, vibrations, everything associated with the musical instrument, the space it is in, the capture of it, storing of it, and reproducing it as all being the same chain. To us the science of what happens to the recording is the same as the science involved in the playback of it. We're not trying to separate the energies by stopping them prematurely in our thinking. Our science, is based on keeping them in harmony with each other as they do their natural life. We look at the "64" question as being something that those who don't see this as one (all energies working together) struggle with and we don't have or need that struggle. To us it's energy we tune it, to the analytical engineer type it's "got to be harder, more mysterious than that". But look at everyone who tunes. None of us have the battles of the same "Why" as the engineering type audiophile does. We are spending our time developing our tuning skills. To us what the audiophile would look at as distortion, we look at as a guide in our tuning. We don't ask the question "is this unnatural" because we feel comfortable that it is all part of the same picture and we will make all the parts work together. The engineer says kill, we say restore. Engineer, stop the oscillations, Tunee, need the oscillations. The audiophile is always trying to figure out the line between distortion and audio signal, we simply see and hear this as a plus or minus that needs to be dialed in. The audio engineer type goes after parts, and the tunee doesn't see this as parts but more a flow, of things that are either working together or are out of sinc with each other. The engineer thinks fixed and levels, the tunee one level and getting it in balance. We don't have the need for the same "64" question cause we have found that all energies will work together when you find their commonalities, and that we have found is motion. Tuning is the act of blending these energies in motion together and letting them settle into a state of harmony, which is what they are build (designed) to do.

The "64" to me is nothing more than getting in touch with energy on it's level and using it in the way it has always been used. It seeks to be in-tune so let it do what comes naturally to it and stop trying to mold it into something that it isn't.

This hobby has been fighting against nature instead of letting it be, and jumping on for the ride. I'm not saying ride the horse blindly back to the barn, I'm saying teach the horse the way back to the barn and you won't have to guide him anymore. This industry is trying to force music, instead of letting it be what it is. Energy likes to be in-tune, but you can't get there by force feeding with parts and pieces that aren't working together or you are going to end up with a partial picture.

Does michael think he is better than anyone else? H*** no, I've just grown up in maybe different conditions that never let me fall into situations that didn't show me the way out through doing. I learned about variable tuning before I came to the audiophile world, so when I look at people make a change and not think this was a tuned move it's very odd to me. Something that is extremely natural to me sense really a baby is something that I am seeing audiophiles struggle with, but I understand why. Most audiophiles probably don't associate the audio signal the same way I was taught that it was. I never dis-associated it from equipment playing. To me vibrations have never registered as a bad thing, they were always something that needed to be kept in-tune. They get out of tune, things don't sound as good, they get put in-tune and things fit together. I also never looked at music anywhere along the audio pathway as anything other than music in motion. Sound waves, and rooms, and audio signal, and harmonic structures, and fields, all that stuff is something I understood probably as soon as I could talk. It just is. Every environment to me always sounded different, so I took to materials over measurement formulas of sizes. To me that was silly that people didn't know that a room sounds how it does because of how it was made and made with, and where on the planet it is. To me I simply notice sound for what it is picked on the feeling of every room, everywhere sounded different and "why" it did.

I think another thing that makes me different is, I don't look at a room as something after everything else. I look at the room and all the energy in it and around it as being the system. Every time I walked in a room since a child I could feel that they were all different. My ears and body would have to adjust to that room. Walking from the inside to outdoors was always a big change for my eyes and ears. Same goes for room to room and so does being around energy as it changes. I have always been very sensitive to electricity or any energy form. You plug in an appliance and I pick up on it's space and size and also it's energy. Same is true when walking under a electric wire or into a house from the drive way, or feeling the energy from a city vs the country. I'm sure all of us feels these things but they for me became my job and my passion. The whole audio reproduction thing for me was, the school I felt comfortable with. Something that involves all this vibrant energy, and something where all this energy co-exist, and plays off of each other. So much so for me I don't have the need to separate the fields waves or any of the oscillating parts from each other. My thing was learning what "they do" and then "doing" them.

It really does blow my mind that anyone would want to talk about something without doing it. My nature is do it, be it. I have to experience sound and every part of it, and frankly can tell when someone isn't. I just can't talk about it, and weirdly to me I see audiophiles doing way more talking than doing. This is very unnatural behavior to me. Not trying to be rude when I come here, I just don't get why people try to turn things into mysteries and their own, outside of science, science with folks trying to process them and thowing their own theories out there to a bunch of other folks doing the same. In many ways the audiophile part of this hobby has removed itself from the hobby of listening altogether. To me listening and making a listening system isn't that hard neither is evaluating music.

michael green
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cool post toledo

Holy Smokies Dude, I about fell out of my chair.

"Tunees are not faced with these types of questions since all the information is already there ... It is not a matter of getting to extra information, it is designing a simple signal path and getting things out of the way and then tuning for listening preferences. Big difference."

like minds my friend

This is exactly what I'm saying! Wow, that was like listening to the alarms on Dark Side. The questions really do vanish don't they. Evertime I watch it happen it's like WOW!

BTW, for folks reading. I don't see myself as the tuning cult leader, but more someone who has only taken the time to look into the roots of music and how it works and apply it to all walks. I look at the audio product building in the high end as something that got started from the honest search, and you've seen my praise, but got side tracked by the marketing and started building for other reasons. I don't see this as anything more than expensive learning curves for the industry. Point and case, how many of you have seen, maybe bought, into a component that was the absolute best only to find that after the production run was over it fell to the next champ of sound? Really, someone spends $25,000-a cool mil on the best ever only to see it topped next month? Even cars go year to year, and certainly musical instruments better in age before their nature decline. Sorry I don't see the logic. I see a fever and the maintaining of that fever being completely different from a playback system. Someone spends all that money yet sets the speakers in a living against the wall with huge component stacks in the middle. hmmm

Don't get upset folks by the guys giving a systematic plan to great sound, get upset at the guys who never told you this plan existed. This hobby should have always been about methods of getting there, and now we see the proof in the fact of people needing to mod these systems. So your telling us that it's ok to spend all this only to find out it still needs to be modded? Do you see component companies getting in line to tell you all the tweaks you need to do to their reviewed products to get them to work right in your home?

This hobby needs to get past it's defenses and those defending so loudly. You have guys here in exactly your same boat, that have moved on from that boat to the next level, I'm not talking about me, I'm talking about people who would come up and share like Toledo (bless his heart), but aren't willing to have their lives interupted by flames. Mostly all of these listeners have done and been on the exact same roads traveled here and have found where these roads lead.

Doesn't hurt anyone Geoff to allow them to speak.

michael green
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getting most & referencing

The questions in Bill's last post is what makes all the difference in the world and I think all of us should take a good look at it again.

I'm going to paint my picture and hope others will do the same. Maybe we can get on a common page together to explore.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time here at first but will jump in later on the topic.

"Trying to make an inferior, distorted or less than complete facsimile of the original recording sound more like the actual recording using methods that adulterate the original even more is a tact destined to fail."

I agree with this, and is the reason I recommend audiophiles get involved on the recording end. Until you spend time recording and get involved in the whole process it's hard to see what is going on. I think most would be surprised at what goes into the making on any "stereo" recording. If we use original in the purist sense it would mean a 360 mic pickup pattern, and played back on one speaker that was also 360 in it's playing pattern. I don't know many audiophiles (there are probably some) who use 360 patern single speaker setups. None that I have seen on these pages, so I think we need to use the word original fairly loose. I can get into this more later.

"For example, using the tone controls to try to make the the already incomplete reproduction sound more like the true recording is all wrong."

Again this is true, but so is listening in an environment not made for playing music. The whole concept that people are hearing the speaker instead of the room, is wrong. Yet, many audiophiles don't know this or even understand it.

Fact is there are many things that audiophiles hang their hat on based on the sales and marketing information people and companies pushing retailable products have wanted to push and not in the order of importance. Hundreds of thousands of audiophiles maybe millions have been sold their systems without ever being told about the room. Most audiophiles today still don't understand the rooms place in the audio chain. They think it's something you try to remove from the equation.

I don't know about Toledo, but I've been waiting for 8 months for someone anyone to actually do a test on a tweak so we could start referencing. Think about it Toledo, Costin and the fellow with the odd room were the only guys in all this time who actually "did" a tweak on here and talked about it before Bill and Dan came along during these threads on the current events. Do you guys realized, that more members from this forum (the stereophile forum) came and registered on TuneLand and posted about tweaks they were doing, than on here? While you guys over here were debating tweaks and the tweak manufacturers were saying there's no need to reference, some of your own members went to another site to "do" something. That speaks volumes!

Since Toledo and I got here we've been saying "lets do some listening together", your tweak designers here said no need to. I have never seen people fight against the act of listening in the hobby of listening in my whole life. That's the truth readers. We tried everything in our book to get things to a place where someone would start the "doing" ball rolling. Everyone wanted to talk about listening and the whys? and hows?, you can't do this without the event. These answers are found through the listening itself. "I don't need to show my system" What? Look what has happened in the couple of days since Bill & Dan shared their doing. There is finally meat on the table.

tone controls coming up

michael green
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Systems

I need to tell you guys I'm pretty sneaking. I've had to be and have learned to be this way from dealing with engineer types. Engineer types will talk your ear off with circles. It's about the debate and rarely about the doing. They'll say I've done and have an answer for everything, and even have their distraction backup plan when all else fails. But, the listener always has a trick up their sleeve. All they have to do is get a member in the audiance to come to the stage. Thank you Bill & Dan. No your not gini pigs or setups, what you are is the first to do.

Bill, you talked about making the signal as pure as possible to start with. I agree, and the first thing I want to point out is that Dan didn't hear a difference with the CD treatment. If we look through the results of people doing this test including myself we're going to find that there was actually a wide range of results. Some claim it's the greatest, some it hurt the sound, and some that didn't hear anything. Let's mention the second thing. When Bill did the test with the Mu and cork, the change was big enough to make you want to listen to all your recordings with the new sound, but shortly after in doing the out of chassis test, the sound was not different (still being explored). When we on TuneLand do our out of chassis test it is pretty smashing. The more we reference together on here, and I hope we do, the more we are going to see and hear these different results playing themselves out. Does this mean everyone is lying or telling the truth? Well lets see.

Bill when you did the transformer MU test and heard a big difference I'm sure the light went off in how much the transformer in systems change the sound. Not only does the transformer change in it's contribution but so do any of the parts around it. As a matter of fact and you may find this out latter, when you changed the field around the transformer you changed the formula for all the parts. This might have been your first tweak/tune with fields, I don't know, people might believe the tunees or not but we have been tweaking on these transformers for over 30 years and have come to the same conclusion you have so far, tweaking them makes a big difference in the sound. What you may not have come to the conclusion of yet but let me give a prophecy, since Geoff says I'm the leader of the tuning cult, and say that you are going to hear different resuls with different things you do with the transformers. For now lets call it isolation if you want. You are going to hear different amounts of isolation depending on how much or how little you use and where and how you place it. What would be interesting is if you get a chance to do this same thing with another component where your able to actually move the transformer around and compare the moving to the shielding. another surprise awaits. Dan's going to hear different sounds the more or less he corks his equipment. After you guys are done with this part, you will go to his place and he yours and playing the same music your systems will sound different. Even as much as you guys say you have the same music taste the sound slight or big will be different. Who's right and who's wrong? Did Dan get closer or did you? Let me suggest another option. Your both right. Your both playing a part of what is there. At the same time you both are playing a certain amount of distortion. So you both have probably come to the conclusion that at least the transformer can add distortion to the signal. Let me know if you feel comfortable in making that statement. Transformers at least in your setting was causing distortion. You felt like you cleaned it up and you heard more music or at least it sounded better.

If the designer at his place didn't do the same thing as you and Dan, how could that designer make the right sonic choices on the other parts of that component? Not getting on anyones case but logically speaking he based his design on specs and sound, and that was done in the context of that transformer bleeding that electromagnetic field all over the other parts. You did not describe a small change correct? So would that designer have chosen some of his other parts the same if he had designed the component with the transformer isolated?

while your thinking about that here's another one

You've heard now at least some of the harm transformers do to the sound. You might look at my system and say "it's low fi". How can it compete against something that is high end? Well, let's look at what you've been learning about transformers and do a comparison. My fuse box sees one transformer the size of a nickle and one smaller than a baseball on that line. How many transformers is your fuse box seeing from your system? My audio signal is only runing through the electromagnetic field of really one transformer since the other is so tiny. How many transformers do you have bleeding onto your parts? I see two on the one comeponent.

My question is not about if yours sounds better than mine as a judgement or mine better than yours but more of a matter of logic. With as much interference as you just heard, is it possible that a simplier system would have less of that particular form of interference or distortion? It was a big change wasn't it? Does it make you wonder what other parts and pieces could be doing this much altering of the signal? This is the world I live in.

my little scam

Now I know you guys might (I said might) be looking at my system saying "low fi", compete against these high end products? Well I've been waiting for the question that hasn't come so I'm going to let it out of the bag now. One reason I feel fairly comfortable with comparing with high end is because my amp sources in my systems are, the receiver, a class D, a tube amp, a set of mono blocks, a stereo amp with volume controls, and a vintage amp, and yes a mod top load all in one. Plus my headphone rig. Tricky aren't I :)

michael green
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What is the audio signal, really?

Michael wrote,

"Here's the flip side and answer to your question. That's the audio engineering type brain at work. There's another type of listener out there, that the engineer types have a hard time with. This listener has no problem tying the musical instrument to the equipment. To them it makes perfect sense, "of course you want to tune the vibrations". For them (us) we see waves, fields, vibrations, everything associated with the musical instrument, the space it is in, the capture of it, storing of it, and reproducing it as all being the same chain. To us the science of what happens to the recording is the same as the science involved in the playback of it. We're not trying to separate the energies by stopping them prematurely in our thinking. Our science, is based on keeping them in harmony with each other as they do their natural life. We look at the "64" question as being something that those who don't see this as one (all energies working together) struggle with and we don't have or need that struggle. To us it's energy we tune it, to the analytical engineer type it's "got to be harder, more mysterious than that". But look at everyone who tunes. None of us have the battles of the same "Why" as the engineering type audiophile does. We are spending our time developing our tuning skills. To us what the audiophile would look at as distortion, we look at as a guide in our tuning. We don't ask the question "is this unnatural" because we feel comfortable that it is all part of the same picture and we will make all the parts work together. The engineer says kill, we say restore. Engineer, stop the oscillations, Tunee, need the oscillations. The audiophile is always trying to figure out the line between distortion and audio signal, we simply see and hear this as a plus or minus that needs to be dialed in. The audio engineer type goes after parts, and the tunee doesn't see this as parts but more a flow, of things that are either working together or are out of sinc with each other. The engineer thinks fixed and levels, the tunee one level and getting it in balance. We don't have the need for the same "64" question cause we have found that all energies will work together when you find their commonalities, and that we have found is motion. Tuning is the act of blending these energies in motion together and letting them settle into a state of harmony, which is what they are build (designed) to do."

The audio signal is comprised of photons, that's why the audio signal travels at near light speed in copper. So to use the analogy of the electron microscope, the audio signal is distorted by vibration, even micro vibration, the same way the image of the object under the microscope is distorted by structural vibration. They are both comprised of photons, both the image you see under the 'scope and the audio signal. Hel-loo!

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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threw the ball a little too high on that one Geoff

"An electron microscope is a microscope that uses accelerated electrons as a source of illumination. Because the wavelength of an electron can be up to 100,000 times shorter than that of visible light photons, the electron microscope has a higher resolving power than a light microscope and can reveal the structure of smaller objects. A transmission electron microscope can achieve better than 50 pm resolution and magnifications of up to about 10,000,000x whereas most light microscopes are limited by diffraction to about 200 nm resolution and useful magnifications below 2000x."

See anything in there that talks about 20-20,000hz Geoff? Try your theories out on frequencies we're using.

audio signal

An audio signal is a representation of sound, typically as an electrical voltage. Audio signals have frequencies in the audio frequency range of roughly 20 to 20,000 Hz (the limits of human hearing). Audio signals may be synthesized directly, or may originate at a transducer such as a microphone, musical instrument pickup, phonograph cartridge, or tape head. Loudspeakers or headphones convert an electrical audio signal into sound. Digital representations of audio signals exist in a variety of formats.

As I said Engineer Types

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My reply to your post entitled 'Systems'..

has been posted my 'Tuning (&Tweaking)' thread in order to keep the discussion of my project in one location.

http://forum.stereophile.com/content/tuning?page=2

Bill - on the Hill
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- just an “ON” switch, Please –

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The old apples to watermelons thing rears it's ugly head
michael green wrote:

"An electron microscope is a microscope that uses accelerated electrons as a source of illumination. Because the wavelength of an electron can be up to 100,000 times shorter than that of visible light photons, the electron microscope has a higher resolving power than a light microscope and can reveal the structure of smaller objects. A transmission electron microscope can achieve better than 50 pm resolution and magnifications of up to about 10,000,000x whereas most light microscopes are limited by diffraction to about 200 nm resolution and useful magnifications below 2000x."

See anything in there that talks about 20-20,000hz Geoff? Try your theories out on frequencies we're using.

audio signal

An audio signal is a representation of sound, typically as an electrical voltage. Audio signals have frequencies in the audio frequency range of roughly 20 to 20,000 Hz (the limits of human hearing). Audio signals may be synthesized directly, or may originate at a transducer such as a microphone, musical instrument pickup, phonograph cartridge, or tape head. Loudspeakers or headphones convert an electrical audio signal into sound. Digital representations of audio signals exist in a variety of formats.

As I said Engineer Types

michael green
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It was an ANALOGY fer cryin' out loud. One which went over yer head. Besides the data on a CD is NANO scale. Length should never be confused with cycles per second. The sine wave of the signal could be as small as you like. It's not so much that I'm an Engineer Type but that I'm a Logical Type. Tuners seem to have a problem separating vibrations from the audio signal. The audio signal, being comprised of photons, has no force (F), as do vibrations. Follow?

I'm getting the uncomfortable feeling that Tuners might be operating with a different physics than the one everyone else uses.

Kudos on the cut & paste, anyway.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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vibrations & variable

Well then Where's a propper analogy cause this wasn't it.

"The audio signal is comprised of photons, that's why the audio signal travels at near light speed in copper. So to use the analogy of the electron microscope, the audio signal is distorted by vibration, even micro vibration, the same way the image of the object under the microscope is distorted by structural vibration. They are both comprised of photons, both the image you see under the 'scope and the audio signal. Hel-loo!"

20-20k is vibration, and unless you have a magic wand that removes this at the microphone and makes it reappear at the speaker, the music "playing" in the system is very much a vibration.

Analog

"An analog or analogue signal is any continuous signal for which the time varying feature (variable) of the signal is a representation of some other time varying quantity, i.e., analogous to another time varying signal. For example, in an analog audio signal, the instantaneous voltage of the signal varies continuously with the pressure of the sound waves."

You know Geoff, this forum would be a lot more constructive and peaceful if you dealt with issues that were real instead of Geoff theory. Seems like people here have to spend most of their time fixing what you break, instead of moving forward. You may notice a key word above "variable" "varying" "varies". This comes right from your favorite site Geoff. I have no idea why you try to discredit things that all people have to do is look it up to prove you wrong. If your going to talk in the realm of audio, why don't you stay in the ballpark instead of all these spins that don't relate? It's like you turn every thread into the correct Geoff hour. It gets really old dude and I'm sure if you treated any of the stereophile reviewers like you treat other members here you would have been bye byes a long time ago.

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thanks Geoff

Well give me my award than.

"It was an ANALOGY fer cryin' out loud. One which went over yer head. Besides the data on a CD is NANO scale. Length should never be confused with cycles per second. The sine wave of the signal could be as small as you like. It's not so much that I'm an Engineer Type but that I'm a Logical Type. Tuners seem to have a problem separating vibrations from the audio signal. The audio signal, being comprised of photons, has no force (F), as do vibrations. Follow?"

Cause according to you, I know how to tune photons!

Wow, I can tune stuff that has no mass or motion, boy am I smart.

michael green
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It's because you choose to believe it

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Hey, what can I tell you? People believe what they want to believe. They collect beliefs just like the dung beetle collects dung.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Behold the irony

And there we have it folks, the standard frustrated summation and the accompanying photo with the irony of your beliefs on display.

Any day you wish to have a meaningful comparison of your tweaked approach to a tuned approach using listening evaluations, let us all know. Otherwise it's all just a lot of loose photons that JA has to pay for.

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What am I hearing?
michael green wrote:

Holy Smokies Dude, I about fell out of my chair.

"Tunees are not faced with these types of questions since all the information is already there ... It is not a matter of getting to extra information, it is designing a simple signal path and getting things out of the way and then tuning for listening preferences. Big difference."

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

So you guys are saying your systems are Retrieving & Producing ALL the Information with No Distortion BEFORE you begin tuning?

Bill - on the Hill
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- just an “ON” switch, Please –

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information

Wouldn't that be nice :)

No, I wouldn't say that. I would say 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". We don't see the hobby as being one of playing the music through the lens of the equipment, but more allowing the equipment to harmonize with the energy around it.

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?

As far as the audiophile goes, I would think that they would pursue the "real size" "real space" as the starting line, in the race. Personally I don't see looking at a small screen version of the place as being real. It may be a part of the recording but it is only a part. It can sound fantastic to the listener but still only be a part.

So first the Tunee goes after size usually, then when they find a system (whole system) that delivers this they start to explore what is inside of that space. For us it's the difference between a high rez photo or being there. With that photo you can see how cool the place is but being there is a totally different experience.

michael green
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Oh, now I see your confusion
michael green wrote:

Well then Where's a propper analogy cause this wasn't it.

"The audio signal is comprised of photons, that's why the audio signal travels at near light speed in copper. So to use the analogy of the electron microscope, the audio signal is distorted by vibration, even micro vibration, the same way the image of the object under the microscope is distorted by structural vibration. They are both comprised of photons, both the image you see under the 'scope and the audio signal. Hel-loo!"

20-20k is vibration, and unless you have a magic wand that removes this at the microphone and makes it reappear at the speaker, the music "playing" in the system is very much a vibration.

Analog

"An analog or analogue signal is any continuous signal for which the time varying feature (variable) of the signal is a representation of some other time varying quantity, i.e., analogous to another time varying signal. For example, in an analog audio signal, the instantaneous voltage of the signal varies continuously with the pressure of the sound waves."

You know Geoff, this forum would be a lot more constructive and peaceful if you dealt with issues that were real instead of Geoff theory. Seems like people here have to spend most of their time fixing what you break, instead of moving forward. You may notice a key word above "variable" "varying" "varies". This comes right from your favorite site Geoff. I have no idea why you try to discredit things that all people have to do is look it up to prove you wrong. If your going to talk in the realm of audio, why don't you stay in the ballpark instead of all these spins that don't relate? It's like you turn every thread into the correct Geoff hour. It gets really old dude and I'm sure if you treated any of the stereophile reviewers like you treat other members here you would have been bye byes a long time ago.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

I see your confusion, now. You are confusing the acoustic waves in the room for frequencies. They are vibrations with characteristic of frequencies. Vibrations and Frequencies are actually different animals. But in the wires the audio signal is not vibrations, it has no mass, remember it's all photons and photons have no mass. Without mass you cannot have vibration. In the room the air molecules are what has mass and produces vibration. F=MA. Frequency is defined very clearly, Frequency is an event per unit of time. The event for audio signal being when the sine wave crosses the X axis for example. I'm kind of surprised you didn't know that.

Please note these are not, unlike many of yours and Toledos, personal attacks. They are attacks on your knowledge. When you control the mail you control information. - Newman

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamics

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I don't think

...he's confusing anything.

Is post are too long to read sometimes, but when you read them they are at least coherent.

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yeah, they're like books

Hi jgossman

Yep, they get pretty long. They're more like mini articles than posts. My brain has always worked that way for some reason, plus I've always been in a position of Q&A's forever.

Even when doing live hall gigs (especilly musicals), after the shows people would be coming over to find out how I did something. I've always been a doer. With live or recording you picture something in your head then you don't pay attention to the rules, you just go do it and if they want to know you deal with that later.

Thanks for taking the time to read them and commenting, I've been getting a fair amount of mail over the posts, but it's nice when someone comes up with encouraging words.

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Ouch! Very ouch!
jgossman wrote:

...he's confusing anything.

Is post are too long to read sometimes, but when you read them they are at least coherent.

Ah, another English Major joins the thread. Welcome to remedial physics.

Geoff Kait
Machina

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confussion

Hi Geoff

Confussion comes from not doing. If I wasn't actually doing this everyday I could see where I or anyone would sit back and be in a world of "what just happened", but since I am tuning and people from all parts of the world are too, it builds the solidity of our methods. As we have been saying since the beginning the music is there, it's waiting to be used. As painful as it gets dealing with someone like you (kinda like owning an old ford), it's apperantly helping others understand their systems a little more. Some are going to get it, and others are going to question it, and still others are going to be haters. That's the internet. What I find interesting is how I respond. Sometimes, I look at your comments and I'm not in the mood, and other times it's like "thank you" it gives me the chance to explain something, not so much to answer you, but to write my thoughts on a topic that I think would be good to cover. So in a way there is a plus side to having you around, I just wish you were a little nicer.

Here's the greatest thing about being a tunee in a situation like this though. Anyone of the tunees can run circles around your best efforts in the system setup department. So when you do make comments and do your weird attacks, even if we wish you would go be a fungus on someone elses tree, it does show people the fixed side vs a variable one.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

geoffkait
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Welcome to you, too
michael green wrote:

Hi Geoff

Confussion comes from not doing. If I wasn't actually doing this everyday I could see where I or anyone would sit back and be in a world of "what just happened", but since I am tuning and people from all parts of the world are too, it builds the solidity of our methods. As we have been saying since the beginning the music is there, it's waiting to be used. As painful as it gets dealing with someone like you (kinda like owning an old ford), it's apperantly helping others understand their systems a little more. Some are going to get it, and others are going to question it, and still others are going to be haters. That the internet. What I find interesting is how I respond. Sometimes, I look at your comments and I'm not in the mood, and other times it's like "thank you" it give me the chance to explain something, not so much to answer you, but to write my thoughts on a topic that I think would be good to cover. So in a way there is a plus side to having you around, I just wish you were a little nicer.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

Welcome to remedial physics. Pull up a chair and sit in the front row where I can keep an eye on you. Try to pay attention this time around.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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