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rrstesiak
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Critique My System!

All:

After having been here a few months, I feel confident I have assembled a system that won't be laughed at, and it is I would label as "tuned" to the room for a sort of "First Pass". This is my optimal result within my budget and knowledge, and I trust everyone enough to give me solid advice. I also feel most people in this community have significantly more experience and knowledge in audiophilia than I do and can add true value and I can learn some new things.

I overall find this pursuit extremely enjoying, and have always had music in my life since a child from one degree or another. I play piano and classical acoustic guitar. My favorite genre is Jazz; though I listen to pretty much everything from Gregorian Chants to Acid/House/Trip-Hop/Trance. Only music I can't seem to appreciate is Heavy Metal and it's derivatives.

Back to the topic:
Here is a link to a picture of my current setup:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/improved-critical-listening-final-gallery-post

Also, here is a detailed list of my equipment:

Amplification: Creek Evolution 50A
Speakers: Epos Epic 2, Epos ST15 stand, AudioQuest Rocket 33 8' speaker cables.
Analog Source: Rega P1 turntable w/ Ortofon Red 2M, Cambridge Audio 551p Phono Stage.
Digital Source: DAC: PS Audio NuWave connected via XLR Audioquest King Cobra, Macbook Air 2014 via OEM usb cable to DAC.
Misc: Apple Airport Express connected via optical to DAC
Power: all OEM.

Underneath to the left bottom is an unused Niles SI 2125 Amp from an earlier system. Above the audio is a 55" Samsung HDTV.

Listening Room:
Measures 10' wide by 14' deep by 7.5' high.
It is carpeted, and open on the left side with three walls on remaining sides.
The right wall also has a sliding glass door which is covered completely with vertical blinds when listening.
There is a large couch behind my listening chair, three glass and metal end tables and a floor lamp next to the couch. There is one more framed work of art hanging above the couch on opposing wall. No other furniture other than what is pictured.

My Listening Position:
I currently have the speakers 7 feet apart, and 1 foot from rear wall. I sit in the typical triangle again 7 feet apart from the speakers.
With this configuration, I get deep Bass extension well below 40 Hz.
****However, I have recently moved the speakers out to 2' from rear wall, a little closer together; almost 6', and my chair equally so. I have also further toed-in the speakers as can be seen in the photograph from the link above.

As I learn more about this hobby, I have come to the conclusion again that my SOUNDSTAGE could stand to be deeper. The soundstage I am able to achieve with good recordings can extend side-to-side beyond my speakers about 2 feet, can go "behind" the speakers as deep as 4 feet, and can image in front of speakers a smidgen...sometimes a few feet with vocals, but my soundstage is usually "flat" front to back. I think my side-to-side imaging is excellent....

With the recent changes of moving my speakers out considerably, I do sometimes find a recoding that I am truly immersed in, and "3D", but that is rare.

So..... I encourage anyone and everyone to please "fire at will". My only rules are not to take anything to a personal level, and keep the criticism constructive.

Some hints I have received with critique to my system as well as experimenting:
i. Creek and other British HiFi tend to have excellent side-to-side soundstage but ultimately not much depth.
ii. I could use more raw power in the form of an added amplifier. Would this overtake the Creek if I choose wisely and produce a 3D soundstage?
iii. I originally had a Musical Fidelity V90 DAC, but per advice upgraded considerably in cost to a PS Audio NuWave DAC with a beefy analogue power supply and processing inside. It made a significant difference in the punch and loudness and "live" feeling of some recordings, but not much so in soundstage depth.
iv. I may explore placing wooden blocks under components next; but that is a very incremental and subtle change.

Respectfully,

Ron

ps. When I am traveling or do not wish to upset my neighbor late at night, this is my headphone system:
2014 Macbook Air
Audioquest Dragonfly
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 Headphones.

bierfeldt
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These types of posts are tough

I tried one of these posts and was shockingly annoyed by the responses. it is highly likely that everyone dislikes one of your components and will feel strongly that is the one thing preventing you from realizing audio Nirvana. The reality is, the dynamics of your room and the way all the equipment works together is unique. Additionally, your taste and how you receive sound is unique to you and very personal.

I know what you want to hear - XXXXXX is your problem, replace it with YYYYYY and it will be a huge improvement. You may get those responses but I am not sure how truly helpful they will be. It reflects their experience and bias. You need to evaluate the system from top to bottom to try. Here is an example. Take me....I hate the B&W 600 line. If someone gave it to me, I would only accept if I was allowed to sell it and get something I don't hate. I really like other B&W products, but the 600s annoy me. Lots of people love those speakers but they could be powering them radio shack toy set with a hamster in a wheel as the power supply and I would say the 600s stink.

To help you along, here are a few questions To consider -
Have you heard a system you really love that has the soundstage you want and is attainable? And by attainable, I mean not a $100K system you want to replicate on a narrow budget.
This provides a goal for you to work against.
Have you tried any other room treatments? When it comes to some "tweaks & tips," I am not the biggest believer in some of the more obscure methods for sound improvement. Room treatments are different. All you need to do is walk into an empty room vs a room filled with furniture to know that stuff in a room can change the sound.
Have you considered the impact other furniture in the room is having?
Do you hear a noteworthy difference in soundstage between analog and digital? My hunch is you hear a difference in detail, with digital sounding much clearer but you need to look past that.
I know you are getting output below 40hz but have you considered listening with a subwoofer? I know that those Epos speakers have good bass reponse but I am wondering if you are getting some drop off below 45 hz. It's amazing what flat reponse in low frequencies can do to enhance your soundstage.
Not every recording is created equal. Do you have some that outperform others? Are there any consistencies between those recordings? For instance, do the best sounding recrding all lack deep bass lines or are they live, etc?
What does your gut tell you is wrong? Alternatively, can you trial and error swapping out equipment via return policy? I know it is not ideal, but it is an option.

I will say that when I posted something like this, I did get some good advice which caused me to sit down and really question the role each component played in my system both today and in the future and it drove me to make two decisions. 1 not to replace my CD player since I am migrating to digital 2 that Inwas a touch unhappy with the bass on my turntable and otherwise love my system. I have since replaced the turntable and cartridge. Now I not only get to see others have those wow moments when they hear it for the first time, I feel like I have a wow moment ever time I site down for a listening session.

geoffkait
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One word

Tweaks! You can only get so far in this hobby without tweaks. The more the merrier. Most people haven't even had a glimpse of audio nirvana I'm afraid to say.

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

Geoff Kait
Machina Dramatica

Break on through to the other side.

geoffkait
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Oops, operator error

Nt

Geoff Kait
Michigan Ceramics

bierfeldt
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Geoff

I love the quote...

rrstesiak
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Tweaks & Reply to bierfeldt

Geoff:

With regards to my specific system, any fairly easy or affordable tweaks you could recommend that would make a significant listening difference? Or, perhaps a bunch of tweaks together may produce surprising results. Either way, I'm all ears -

bierfeldt:

Unfortunately, I have yet to hear an actual system that has a 3D soundstage. I just know they exist by sheer logic of economy and other professional reviews of more capable equipment. I wish I could have a sub $10,000 system I could specifically reference; pun intended.

I have not tried emptying room..that is an excellent idea. Should I reveal a drastic improvement with less furniture, there is a possibility of converting my upstairs office into a dedicated listening room. It is also a "better size" with 4 solid walls and only two small windows...hmmmmm....

I do hear a noteworthy difference in musicality and slight difference in soundstage between digital and vinyl...I am very happy with my vinyl setup...it just booms...with clarity... it's the digital side I still sit there and say...what am I missing?

I have tried adding a subwoofer...with the speakers 1' away from the wall, I could not distinguish an appreciable difference; which I view as very successful room placement of my epic 2's.

And of course, some recordings FAR outperform others. It is only the few "reference recordings" where I judge my soundstage. I use the old adage: GIGO (Garbage in, Garbage out).

My gut tells me I should be experiencing a more 3D and deeper soundstage.

Thank you for your post.. I have a few minor comments in a follow up below.

Kind Regards,

Ron

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bierfeldt & All

bierfeldt & All:

I'm glad you're here too.. From your past posts, you and I have extremely similar tastes I would say. Including the general distaste of the B&W 600 series. I myself still miss my CM5's and am still kicking myself for selling them.. but the epos epic 2's come in a very close second for half the price.

Have you heard the NEW 600 series B&W's though? They supposedly made a lot of improvements; so much so people now claim they sound better than the CM5 series 1's!!?? I doubt this...was wondering if you had a chance to audition the new 600's yet.

Enough of B&W.... I'm not afraid to be critiqued and hear strong opinions.. folks like yourself, Geoff, and Michael Green, Catch22 and others I trust...and will listen to anything you have to say.

I'm a grown man and can take even sharp criticism; provided it remains *constructive*.

Respectfully,

Ron

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What tweaks would I suggest?
rrstesiak wrote:

Geoff:

With regards to my specific system, any fairly easy or affordable tweaks you could recommend that would make a significant listening difference? Or, perhaps a bunch of tweaks together may produce surprising results. Either way, I'm all ears -

Kind Regards,

Ron

I must not have been doug my job very well if someone asks me, what tweaks would I recommend. For example can I refer you to my post a little while ago in the Tweaks forum regarding the red ink labels for Bar Codes. A very efficacious and inexpensive tweak, you know, just like the ones you are inquiring about. While I do so dislike promoting myself on these audio fora I usually sprinkle my posts liberally with indirect comments and direct comments to my products as well as a host of other free or cost effective tweaks, you know, like Cryoing CDs, or cables, freezing CDs, cables, use of colored pens on CDs and vinyl, cleaning all wall outlets, things of that nature. It's what I do. Lol

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynomite

rrstesiak
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Reply to Geoff

Geoff:

I'm afraid I do not own a CD player... that's the main issue. I only listen to records and digital files. Though a lot of my digital files have been ripped from CD....

So you have in fact been "doing your job" VERY well.....I'm looking for tweaks outside of CD Media.

Respectfully,

Ron

bierfeldt
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It isn't your willingness to take criticism

My point is, my opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it because my tastes, experience and room are redically different. the reality is, every component you have could be improved upon. The question is, which one is going to deliver the most value to you.

Bluntly, I don't think you are going to see marked improvement by adding a power amp in the sub $1000 range unless you really need more power to get the most out of those speakers. I am not familiar enough with those Epos speakers to answer that. Where you might get something that will deliver a big improvement is in used / vintage but that is risky since you won't know until you attach it to your system.

One interesting thing that has come up IIn your last post here is the similarity between the Epos Epics and CM5s. If the Epics are as forward as the B&Ws, it's possible that is driving your issue. Most of these British amps are particularly neutral and paired with a forward speaker would give you a slightly forward sound which I personally find to be a touch flat.

I can think of three paths forward, a warmer or more neutral speaker, a warm amp or an equalizer to help offset the forward nature of the speakers. For speakers, something like the PSB Imagine X1T or X2T would be a good choice as they are really neutral yet are surprisingly detailed.

If you are committed to the Epics, a better partner might be Rogue Audio or NAD as they tend to be warmer. Warm plus forward will be closer to neutral.

Finally, you could look at an equalizer unit. Very few high end manufacturers make them but you can find Parasound Halo units used on eBay or look at something like a Yamaha Q2031B. This would allow you to flatten out your frequency response. It looks like Epics are a little soft between 1.5 and 3khz and are a touch forward beyond 7khz. I know this is a bit of an atypical reccomendation, but it might be the cheapest yet most flexible solution.

Of the main components, your weakest link is the turntable. THe RP1 is a nice table but your Creek amp and the Epos speakers are refined enough to highlight its shortcomings. An RP3 is a big step forward. You could consider a Clear Audio 2M Blue or Bronze or a Clear Audio MM cartridge with it. The Elys2 is an awesome cartridge but pairs best with a Rega phono stage.

May Belt
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More Tweaks

>>> “With regards to my specific system, any fairly easy or affordable tweaks you could recommend that would make a significant listening difference? Or, perhaps a bunch of tweaks together may produce surprising results. Either way, I'm all ears –“ <<<

Ron, to start with.

Tie ONE Reef knot in the mains cable of your floor lamp and ONE Reef knot in the pull cord of your venetian blind.

Then slide a plain piece of paper under ONE of the four legs of your tables.

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

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reply

bierfeldt & All:

I'm digging your point of view. This kind of feedback is precisely what I'm looking for...things I wouldn't think of just myself.

I find what you're saying about the speakers interesting.. and you offer several proposed fixes.

As for power amp, if I increase budget to $2,000...any recommendations?

While I feel my speakers could use adjustment, what I'm mostly after is a deeper soundstage..and I can echo that when I upgraded my DAC from the Musical Fidelity V90 with its wall adapter power supply (but excellent reviews and sound to be fair)...to the PS Audio NuWave with its beefy internal analogue power supply, I noticed a significant difference in my overall sound.

This would lead me to believe that maybe just adding a higher end amp could bring in depth? Or do I need to just swap out the Creek for a higher end Integrated? (These questions go out to all members)....

As for turntable...I actually for now am happy with my Vinyl rig...but I actually do have my sights set on exactly the RP3 when that time comes. Good call.

Finally, I am thinking of this weekend moving my entire 2 channel setup to my den; emptying den of all furniture except listening chair... and seeing if using the room walls will provide reverberations from the walls to yield a 3D soundstage? I think this to be a very good idea also inspired from a previous post to empty current room of furniture.

Keep the advice coming -

Respectfully,

Ron

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Non CD tweaks? Oh, now you tell me! Lol
rrstesiak wrote:

Geoff:

I'm afraid I do not own a CD player... that's the main issue. I only listen to records and digital files. Though a lot of my digital files have been ripped from CD....

So you have in fact been "doing your job" VERY well.....I'm looking for tweaks outside of CD Media.

Respectfully,

Ron

I am a virtual encyclopedia of non CD related tweaks. You've come to the right place. The bar code tweak I'm publishing here today is non media specific as is the cleaning of contacts in wall outlets. The colored pen (purple) works for LPs too. Yes, I know what you're thinking. Recall I used to have a MONSTER vinyl rig. I would be remiss if I didn't mention cryoing records and cryoing cables, oh, I already mentioned that. Finally, check out the past threads on Tweaks forum here for lots of ideas.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Michigan Ceramics

bierfeldt
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I find forward speakers to have a flatter sound stage

In my opinion, the fact that above 7khz, output is more than 3dB louder than frequencies below that means that those are slightly more pronounced. To me this, flattens the sound. There was an interesting article in Sterophile where a direct comparison was done between the Kef LS50 and the Revel Performa3 M106. Part of the reason why everyone loves the Kef so much is that they are neutral with an ungodly flat frequency reponse. Because of that flat response curve, the is even and just surrounds and envelops you where the Revels fell just a hair short of that in that sound rolls off above 15khz making them just a touch warm. I find that the absence of a particular frequency is less detrimental to soundstage than the emphasis on a particular frequency. Thus, I find the Revels still have a great soundstage despite the warmth.

My old Infinity Kappa's had L-pads for bothe tweeter and super tweeter and I have a DIY set of speakers that I installed an L-pad in due to the high sensitivity of the tweeter I used compared to the mid-bass driver I have. If I turn up the volume on my tweeters, it just flattens out the sound. Where if I turn the tweeter down to much it just sounds warmer but still full.

Ultimately, if you were to implement room treatments or some tweaks, the goal to me would be to blunt or slow down some of those higher pitches and I think that wil deliver a more three dimensional soundstage.

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bierfeldt:

bierfeldt:

Could you provide a link to your technical spec source on my speakers? (you're quoting +3dB output above 7kHz.... )

In a parellel thought, I am considering perhaps this amp: NAD C 275BEE as a worthy upgrade. My only concern would be if my Creek doesn't somehow "degrade" the soundstage before the signal hits the NAD. I could always temporarily remove the creek and plug in my home made "attenuator" (just some pots from radio shack and RCA jacks that acts as a poor man's or EE's preamp but does NOT alter signal) before the NAD to test it...

Thanks In Advance,

Ron

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It's from the review here

http://www.stereophile.com/content/epos-epic-2-loudspeaker-measurements

They go all the way to +5dB from 10-13khz and hover at +3 from 7-10khz and trail off from +5db above 13 kHz. Your in room measurements will come back different but it shows clearly that the speakers are a bit forward.

bierfeldt
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Also

based on your feedback here, you are suggesting that havering turned on you tone controls and a touch of bass helped deliver a more 3d soundstage.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/room-treatments-0

Using tone controls is effectively a simpler equalizer. All you are doing is lowering or increasing the volume for a frequency band. If you adjusted your bass and treble levels and your sound got more 3 dimensional then your problem is most likely driven by the frequency response of your speakers, not your amp. Secondarily, softness in your bass response will deffinitely reduce the dimensional nature of your sound. A big part of that 3d imaging is the non-directional nature of low frequencies. This is why I asked if you have listened with a subwoofer at all.

Finally, it sounded like you were disappointed that you had to use the tone controls on your amp. What's wrong with using the tone controls? You are altering the signal, but you are altering the signal to offset distortions elsewhere. I seriously considered getting an equalizer but decided against it because my speakers have a flat frequency response below 17 kHz and I like the warmth I get from them above that frequency.

rrstesiak
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Thank you for the humor.
May Belt wrote:

>>> “With regards to my specific system, any fairly easy or affordable tweaks you could recommend that would make a significant listening difference? Or, perhaps a bunch of tweaks together may produce surprising results. Either way, I'm all ears –“ <<<

Ron, to start with.

Tie ONE Reef knot in the mains cable of your floor lamp and ONE Reef knot in the pull cord of your venetian blind.

Then slide a plain piece of paper under ONE of the four legs of your tables.

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

Now that made me laugh. Something I haven't done in a long time. Too long.

Thank you for the much needed humor -

Kind Regards,

Ron

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Tone Controls

beirfeldt:

There are a lot of conflicting views in things audiophile, and Quality of Signal for lack of a better description seems to be a hot topic. I've read many different places that a goal should be to alter the original signal as least as possible; while of course also maintaining a pleasurable listening experience.

I have found that if I place my speakers a certain way and my listening chair, I can defeat the tone controls; which I consider a "victory". I even hear my little Creek emit a satisfying "click" as I hear it move its little relay designed solely to remove the extra circuitry involved in the tone controls out of the signal path. Further along this camp, NAD have "recently" introduced "tone control defeat" in some of their products.

Same goes for equalizers. they are a "no-no" unless one's room is *really* out of whack.

So at least for this one area of audiophile I feel like I have it down. But I also won't dismiss tone controls of any manifestation if in the "end" I really do need to employ them to get pleasing sonic results.

Respectfully,

Ron

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the key

Ron said

"Same goes for equalizers. they are a "no-no" unless one's room is *really* out of whack"

This is THE mouthful! I know I'm always being general, that's because of my audience. People who deal with me directly or on TuneLand it's a different story. But as an echo to Ron and some of my own.

There's two worlds here that a lot of folks mess up on and should be talked about. One is tone controls and the other is Equalizers. A three nob tone control is not an EQ. Outside the studio, I don't use EQ's, I as Ron said, use the room as mine. If I want to be super sized natural EQed I jump inside a http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t52-the-tunable-room . At the same time I can not tell you how many systems I have seen that could have used a serious EQing. This is mainly with systems which the listener sets up and doesn't do what Ron is (using the room).

One thing you can bank on: you can't bring the room to the system, you have to bring the system to the room.

I can't really get down on EQ's any more than I can Pre-amps. I have seen people understand them and are masters, and others who couldn't eq themselves out of the bathroom, and blame the eq component instead of their lack of use and ability in choosing a low noise EQ. We have to keep in mind that almost every recording we listen to has run through an EQ. We also have to look at the difference between gimmick EQ's and serious ones. When the EQ was produced to imitate what we were doing in the studio and in the halls, about all of us who were taking this business seriously rolled our eyes and said "oh no here we go". The worse thing you can do is put something that was meant to be used by skilled listeners in the hands of those who couldn't do more than make a smile, but just as bad was getting rid of them without supplying any tuning knowledge of the acoustical environment.

When audiophiles went to "discrete" components without an understanding that every recording was "Equalized Differently" a lot of problems started that have still not been corrected by the general audiophile public. Many and I mean many audiophiles have judged their systems as references for all recordings and still don't get that most of the time a recording might sound bad is because the system is not EQed to the recording. They believe that the recorded code is some how going to conform to the playback system, and little has been done to correct this thinking. No one is standing up saying "Hey guys there was a purpose for the EQ you know". No one saying "hello, guys over here". The word "discrete" started a mentality that no longer did we have to match a recorded code to a playback setup. Major mistake in the high end part of this industry, and now we have thousands of different sounding discrete systems. I think of that commercial saying "news flash, no one's perfect". I think about every time a listener is sitting there and hears something wrong in the music and their choice is to never tell anyone, claim bad recording or start looking for another component. Anything but being an active part of the listening practice. News flash, why did people use EQ's in the past? Let me make it easy. Answer: early audiophiles used equalizers so they could match the frequency response of their stereos to the frequency response of the recording. Where and how did this get so overlooked? Where did we get off the tracks?

I'm not suggesting discrete is bad. What I am suggesting is, if your going to go discrete you need to learn how to "tune-in" the recordings passively. You might hit that miracle compromise setting that last you as long as your next better, or should I say different, sounding system but in the long run it's a choice between system jumping or understanding how recordings work, and making our systems into ones that are able to playback more, and with more accuracy both.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

bierfeldt
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As always I learn something

Michael I continuously learn from you. I get your point regarding three nob tone controls and risks of introducing noise into the system via an equalizer but this mindset focused on purity of the signal just doesn't seem right. I get the fact that people want to "hear the music as the artist intends." And if I am listening to a perfectionist like Peter Gabriel, then I aree. Otherwise, I have less faith that a recording is in fact what the artist intended. There was an article in Stereophile interviewing the guys from Rush and they freely admitted one of their records was very poorly engineered.

So basically, we have three variable. The recording, the room and the equipment. To get an optimal soundstage you need to alter your equipment and optimize it for your room, alter your room to optimize it for your equipment or adjust the signal to compensate for unwillingness to alter room or equipment. In scenario one or two, no matter how ell you have tuned your room or selected perfect equipment, some recordings just aren't going to cooperate.

So in this case, our initial reccomendation get some room treatments to help optimize your sound. I still think that is your best bet. The Creek integrated is a fine integrated amp. The Epos Epic 2s are nice speakers. They may not be perfectly compatible in your room. You can make your room compatible, buy new equipment or alter the signal. Altering the signal worked with your tone controls. You can buy a warm amp - the Jolida JD502P at $1150 might work. The price is okay but I have never heard it. The Rogue Audio Atlas at $1995 is likely a safer choice. I am not sure if that will solve your problem, but you can try it.

Alternativel you can buy a different pair of speakers. There are several outstanding choices between $1150 and $1995. PSBs would be a good choice to pair with your Creek. So would the Monitor Audio Silver line.

You can buy implement room treatments. You will probably need to do that anyway even if you buy new equipment so I would try this before I bought new equipment because it will be the cheapest solution.

Finally, you can alter the signal. The mindset of rejecting tone controls and Equalizers is why many audiophiles reject Audyssey in multichannel, which of course is a dynamic equalizer.

I am not saying that you need to or even should by an equalizer but I do feel that the rules and guard rails that make something "audiophile" can lead to some odd results. Basically, what the audiophile rules say is you can buy an expensive piece of equipment that colors the sound a certain way, you can put up room treatments that alter the sound after it comes out of the speaker, but don't touch the tone controls. You can't turn a nob on your integrated amp that makes the sound a touch warmer, but you can buy a $2000 power amp that will do that. These rules must have been crafted by manufacturers.

I agree that using your room is the right thing to do but it sounds like you are hitting the limit of what you can do by altering your room and you are budget constrained. So you need to spend money or come up with alternate solutions.

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some recordings just aren't going to cooperate

And this is the reason for the hobby to let go of some of it's held onto thinking. The mistep was right in front of us and everyone saw it, but the rush to usher in a new excitement level in the hobby knocked reason right out of the park.

we got so close

The 70's and 80's came so close to making listening just about perfect, and in that was the discovery of simplicity. Maybe the best audio product ever was catching on, the audio receiver. FM was for the everyday audiophile and the first receivers were the hub of the system. Look what they did. Stereo, mono, tone control, bass boost, neutral by pass, FM, pre-amp, amp. An all in one, just add source component. One power cord, one transformer. In it's day probably the best audio product made was the Pioneer SX-3400 receiver. Floating curcuit board, side mounted transformer, simple, a work of art. It was the kind of product that hardly ever got stuck on a piece of music. It was the template for what should have happened. You know what else it was? An entry level product. An entry level product that smoked almost everything out there, but did the audiophile notice? It didn't cost enough, it wasn't as heavy, it wasn't full of bells & whistles. The at that time audiophile, if buying a receiver, would buy a moose or some other way Way WAY over built does everything but make the bed receiver. So to follow the story, when Mr. Audio designer built "discrete", he didn't compare it against a lean and mean stereo receiver or integrated. He compared it against these way over built boat anchors, and of course the discrete units tore them up, why wouldn't they. But again as I said they didn't stop to think about the purpose of a component "matching the system to the recording". Nope they started picking out a few recordings and showed how these discrete units were able to kick the crap out of the chrome & glass old school electronics. It was a look change, and one heck of a good story, but let me point one thing out. In the 70's and 80's did you ever heard of people complaining about recording quality? Nope, why? Because back then we had an answer, and it was called an EQ. We had turntables (adjustable) reel to reel (adjustable), electronics (adjustable), and if really needed more advanced EQ's (adjustable). Now we have discrete (a volume control) that's it. Now the thinking is, can't get good sound, move up to an integrated. Still not there, go pre-amp and amp. Still? Go pre-pre-amp amp, pre-amp mono amps, still? line conditioner, pre pre-amp monos. Still? pre pre-amp conditioner monos and complicated cross-overs. The problem is, that at the top of the chain you have less music you can listen to and are asking Still? By this time your showing your system not listening to it anymore. You have your 5 or 6 choices to play, picked out before your friends get there and your scared to death they will want to listen to something else cause you have absolutely no way of doing any corrective listening. Sadly it's like that trophy car in the garrage.

It's true there are recordings that have not been done so well but we will never know that, cause we have systems that can only play a set few recordings and if it were up to, who is it the one fella who has 300 CD's and can only play 10 of them. I mean when things start to go that south we have got to start looking at what we did wrong as a whole and stop making excuses.

Yep, there's a much simplier way and one by one listeners are finding it. First you purify the system then you let the room do the work. So simple that it usually takes spending a bunch of money on other paths, methods and theories before you finally attempt tuning, then it's all over. We can buy guitars all day long but if we never learn to play them.....

nice thread

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

May Belt
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Humour ???

>>> “Now that made me laugh. Something I haven't done in a long time. Too long.
Thank you for the much needed humor - Ron “ <<<

It wasn’t a joke, Ron. I was serious. You asked for “fairly easy or affordable tweaks” and I gave you a couple of Free tweaks for you to try – which can be removed (to do before, after and back to before experiments) if so desired.

Otherwise you can search for (and pay for) something like the Nordost ECO 3 liquid and apply that to the outer insulation of all your cables – including AC power cords !!!!

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

michael green
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getting started

Hi Ron

I'll take you through this as if this was my system to start with then we can get a feel for your flavors and Vibe.

The first thing I would want to do is see how far I can go with the amp, and I would turn my system into a two component system while I'm exploring till I get to my first reference point. Pre-amps, integrateds, receievers all sound better when there is only one input plugged in. So I would unplug everything from the back but the one source I choose. I don't like working backwards as much as I can and alot of this is doing that. If you don't want to that's cool but I'll tell you how I do it.

I would go on-line and buy a Magnavox dvd 2300 and disconnect the digital chain if that was my choice (digital vs Analog). The 2300 is extremely low mass and has the most neutral sound of any players out there. You may choose another player later but at least you would have started with a reference. Once I got the Maggie I would take off the top and replace the power cord with 22 gauge cable, Radio Shack is fine, make it solid core, I would pick up a simple male end from lowes that had a removable cover.

Next I would take off the cover of the Creek and loosen the bolt that holds the transformer. That unit use to be removable, if so I would remove the shipping bolt to the transformer. I would snip the cable ties any where there are any, and bend the wire as high as I could away from the bottom plate or sides or each other. If I could, any twisted wire would be untwisted. See where the power wire comes in? I would hard wire my power like I did my CDP. This particular move separates the boys from the men. No real audiophile uaes stock power cords, or audiophile replacements, hard wiring is the only way. That's sissy stuff. I throw that in to give the first opportunity to be flamed by some guy who will come up and say it was designed that way on purpose lol. Isn't that sad that a company would say they added all that mass when the original design was hardwired? I'm just making a little fun with the industry here, but it really does make a big difference. So now you have 2 power cords that go to 1 double outlet on your wall. Great math. Make sure that outlet is not close to a TV outlet, and if possible only have your stereo on that one outlet. Now if you don't have any cats or if they at least are well behaved I'm going to tell you a super tweak. Remove your outlet plate altogether with only the outlet and wires. See how your wires are all pushed back in? If those babies are able to be pulled straight your amp will gain output. The 50 will sound more like the 100. See the screws on the circuit board loosen them so the screws are barely touching. Be sure not to loosen grounding pins too much. Go to the back of the amp. See those screws on the back that holds the jacks on or any other screw? loosen them just a tad. Don't forget to take the 50's feet off and run to your local lumber yard or store and tell me what type of wood you can get. Which ever type you choose be it redwood or pine/DF or whatever for that unit with it's weight a 2x2 or 2x4 will be fine. If you have a saw cut it into equal parts. like a 2x4 is 3.5" so cut it 3.5". Look at my website and you'll see the size. From this point I'm not going to tell you how to voice it, cause if I do I'll have to start buying them from you instead of you someday buying mine from me :) See how that works, there's always a hook LOL. Rotten designers always have to make their money LOL. http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t213-michael-green-s-tuning-blocks see mine? Perdy aren't they. And see you could be saving yourself the trouble if you had only registered on TuneLand tut tut. Oh, how many have secretly joined TuneLand and don't say a word lol. Make eight blocks, 4 for each component. now before you go saying you don't want to do all that, just remember you asked.

Now run to the store (darn I'm still not making any money) and look for "static guard". It will probably take you a couple 3 maybe 4 cans. Go through your house and turn off and unplug everything, and I mean everything. Any plugs you leave in will not discharge it's static. Turn off your fuse box mains. Now carefully go through the house and let it rip (don't get too close to the circuit boards) you want to have everything you can possibly get to fade as fast as it can, so that as things are turned back on the charge of your house will come up as close to the same time as possible. This is the proper way to discharge your home, all over and all at once. Personally I get several people to help me so every thing goes down treated, and then back up. Now while your doing this if you want to match the charges on any CD's. About 4 minutes after the spray is settle you can lay CD's lap tops any thing you want out on some tables (do it fast) and raise them off the table with 1/4" square dowels laying long ways of course, and let them sit for about ten minutes and you will have matched the charges in your house. If you do this about 5 times the first year you will create an electromagnetic flow pattern, and the key to good energy is not one stop shops but flowing patterns. You get your environment to start balancing itself by getting use to slower rises and dips and you will convert that space. Some homes are going to need more and some less but you'll start to hear the patterns after a while. If you can, leave those covers off those components, cause this will allow the equipment and space to work together instead of you causing build ups. I know alot of people are going to tell you to isolate and dampen but believe me if you learn how to work with the energy in a short time your going to be amazed what your setup will give you in return.

I got more tweaking for you but shoot it's 4 am and I got to start my China Singapore shift.

Let me leave you with this for now. People in this hobby try to force things, dampening, isolation and shielding, constraining and such. Sit down and put on some music and think about it. music doesn't want to be shoved around and neither do waves of any kind. They want to flow and be in harmony. If you treat your system the same way, I'll show you some toys and tricks that will change this whole hobby for you. There's more power in giving something a gentle push down the hill than forcing something to climb that hill with weight on it's sholders. Once you get your system (including room to start working together you'll barely have to hit the volume control, physics my friend will do the work for you.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

rrstesiak
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Not sure of your style of humor...
May Belt wrote:

>>> “With regards to my specific system, any fairly easy or affordable tweaks you could recommend that would make a significant listening difference? Or, perhaps a bunch of tweaks together may produce surprising results. Either way, I'm all ears –“ <<<

Ron, to start with.

Tie ONE Reef knot in the mains cable of your floor lamp and ONE Reef knot in the pull cord of your venetian blind.

Then slide a plain piece of paper under ONE of the four legs of your tables.

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

May:

You followed up by stating the above recommendations were in fact serious and NOT humorous. I am hopefully assuming you are continuing to be humorous; but I fear it's becoming a little off-color for me and I certainly don't want to offend. And now I am feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed. Emotions that should not occur here.

To clarify that I am not alone, I invite others in this chain to agree or disagree the following as humor in the often bizarre and crazy world of extreme audiophilia:

1. Tie ONE reef knot each in your blind pull-cord and floor lamp power lead.
2. place a plain sheet of paper under ONE leg of ONE table.

This is obviously to ME very well written satire and humor...if it is anything else, good grief..forgive me..but it seems so obviously satire and humor.

May -

Please tell me you're continuing to be humorous -

All alse agree the above was meant in good humor?

I'm having a sanity check here as I do not ever want to offend anyone -

Regards,

Ron

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even the most naive audiophile

Even the most stubborn and naïve audiophiles are aware that footfalls on suspended floors can sometimes make the stylus skip. skip audibly. And sometimes the stylus will actually jump entirely out of the record groove. That's not too groovy. are you actually denying that mechanical vibration makes the stylus skip? Or do you agree that sometimes mechanical vibration has consequences for the sound. and if you agree with that, of course you do, then at what point to you feel that vibration becomes a non issue, at what point do you think it becomes inaudible? I think most likely since vibration isolation and damping go against the teachi8ngs of the Tuning Foundation that you have taken the unwise strategy of dismissing them and actually developing long diatribes that appear to justify your very odd position on the very well understood physics of damping and vibration isolation. and if you agree with me that there are at a minimum some cases when vibration is bad for the sound then are you a little bit like the prostitute who protested that she would not charge a thousand dollars for her service. to which the reply was well, weve established what your profession is, now were just haggling over the price.

I fear Ron isn't the only one who didn't study mechanics in school. yes, I know. you took some classes. lol

Geoff Kait
Machina Dramatica

Cheers,

bierfeldt
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You are right about recordings

I never complained about the quality of a recrding until I moved to my current system without tone controls unless it was a really bad recording. Mötley Crüe's Shout At the Devil was the only record from them I liked but it was such a terrible recording, or at least my copy was, that I could not adjust my tone controls to make it sound less awful. Even my Carver pre amp had enough adjustment with the built in bass EQ that you could offset offset issues with all but the worst recordings.

In my case, I was actually considering getting an EQ, but I have done enough to improve the bad conditions in my room that almost everything sounds pretty good. it also help that I made a wise choice in speaker based on the issues in my room via good advice I received here and I got very lucky that the discreet integrated amp I have is well suited to those speakers. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is the only record I can think of that I listen to regularly that doesn't sound fabulous and that always required significant adjustment with my older systems.

rrstesiak
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This is getting way off topic and ridiculous.

All:

Let's reign in our egos and please just get back to topic. I think I got pulled into a long-running intellectual fight between Geoff & Michael and I frankly wish to pull out and keep it non-personal and intellectual.

With that statement, perhaps I owe Geoff another apology. But to be fair, all that is being asked of me is my opinion and I am rendering it. To further explain to Geoff, I've clearly ruffled your feathers with my other post regarding your gadget. If you re-read it, you'll see I placed a priori apologies in it and my analysis was at the pretty strong handed request of another member. So I replied with those caveats. My goal again was not to offend you, but to render MY opinion which was asked for by another member.

As for you directly attacking me personally by saying "Ron isn't the only one who didn't study mechanics in school. yes, I know. you took some classes. lol"..that's just plain personal and an attack. I'm sorry you are feeling the need to do that.

In contrast, you will note that while you also challenged me for my personal opinion regarding your gadget, and I delivered...rather than attacking your character or education, I merely made the following intentionally neutral observation:

"I'll just cut to the chase and conclude, from a scientific perspective, I would politely state my findings are inconclusive to reveal any effectiveness of said gadget."

I'll also reference that I even backed you up on a main thread regarding the April issue where I felt YOU were being personally attacked..Here is that quote:

rrstesiak wrote:

mosfet50:

I fear your style of debate has merely fallen to being rude to a friend I have made here on these forums. Would you please just explain your point in detail so that your freedom of speech may be respected and addressed and we all can move on?

Regards,

Ron

For others reading this post, the friend I reference in the above quote is in fact Geoff.

May:

I again now am also uncomfortable with your follow up post saying you did NOT intend to be humorous. Sheesh..this is a tough crowd.

Michael:

Yes.. I also have a bone to pick with you... but its minor...I must also conclude suggesting I buy the cheapest possible DVD player; looking it up it was sold en masse at Walmart and received very poor reviews online...that is being counter-productive and wasting what little budget I have. If you read my posts and system, you need to respect I do not wish to ADD another source component. That would just complicate a rather complicated matter further. And to suggest this inexpensive player is a *Reference* is either some sort of bizarre comic relief or again counterproductive. If you would have said purchase an Oppo CD , then maybe I would take your suggestion seriously.

Adding another source component is just going to complicate the already complicated in my opinion.

On a more serious note to Michael, while I do consider everyone here colleagues and new friends, I fear your suggestion of asking for my deeper analysis of Geoff's gadget only made him angry, something I do not want to do here.

Now, I will follow up this post, which had to be said to clear the air that I am not a rude person and in fact have rapidly become merely misunderstood, I will continue back to the main topic on hand in the hopes we will all resume a productive discussion. I do welcome humor, but please don't make that into something uncomfortable too in attempts to throw me off.

Again, tough crowd.

Regards,

Ron

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Positive Feedback

bierfeldt:

I do not wish to part with my Creek or my Epos unless absolutely necessary...both of which having received good reviews here on Stereophile; and both of which are in fact "voiced" and "matched" as directed to me by Roy Hall himself prior to purchase. If you look, Epos and Creek have the same roots and even share engineers. However, your suggestions overall are good and I greatly value them. I will look into room treatments and speaker placement and the tweaks offered by Geoff and Michael first before I swap components, but I do agree with your analysis the speakers may be a bit forward and again thank you for that as well as the technical article regarding the speakers.

Geoff:

I always welcome constructive feedback and criticism and truly respect your unique view on the world. I am not joking and not being sarcastic. Without your view, things would be a little less interesting around here. I mean that in the best of terms. You seem to be offering some sort of advice regarding mechanical isolation in your previous post. I welcome *constructive* explanations and recommendations specifically to my system; as that is the topic of this thread. I am thinking you also agree with the wooden blocks as at least a start.

May:

I hope we come to a quick forgiving understanding.

Micheal:

While I somewhat chastised you for introducing further variables of an additional (and questionable) source, I am enthralled by your several and well-articulated additional tweaks. I will seriously crack open the Creek and (very carefully) try out many if not ALL of your suggestions. I find your line of thinking an excellent complement to Geoff's; and your seemingly opposing viewpoints very enlightening. I also am planning on attempting to isolate vibrations utilizing the wooden block approach as mentioned in another thread to which you also seem to agree.

What I am confused at though, is your stance on tone control/altering the signal. You begin your dialogue supporting and reinforcing my statement that one should TRY to stay away from altering the signal with tone controls/eq's and the like unless ABSOLUTELY necessary...but you then sort of flip-flop later in your same response and seemingly hearken back to an earlier period (the '80's) in music where equalizers were much more prevalent and seem to recommend them? I find your position confusing and am asking you please clarify your CURRENT stance on sound altering/tone controls.

All:

I am confused by two main principles at play: vibration isolation, and "allowing the music to flow" for lack of better descriptions. These two concepts seem to be at direct contention when I am suggested to "loosen the bolts" and open up the Creek both literally and figuratively..wouldn't that cause vibrational issues with these now loosened components; to which I am attempting to place wooden blocks underneath to isolate vibrations? Please explain the thinking further as maybe I have missed something.

Even though I have conflicting suggestions, I can see the logic and merits to a subset and intend on doing the following soon:

1. I believe in "room tuning"
i. so much so I am going to remove the equipment from my home office and make that a temporary dedicated listening room as it has four solid walls and in fact only one smallish window; which should yield some more reflective sound waves (in a positive way; with the ability to "trap" any bad reflections easier than in the other room) perhaps inducing that holy grail of a more 3D soundstage with hopefully again more sound reflections. This may also help with the "forward" speakers. Finally, as the room is nearly a perfect acoustic "box", any room treatments should be simpler and easier to place and with greater effect.

2. I intend on carrying out the mods to the Creek per Michael's detailed suggestions
i. it sounds like he has successfully performed these tweaks on Creek equipment in the past. If I do it all carefully, it can't hurt.

3. place wooden blocks underneath each component
i. this will aid in vibration isolation

Anything I missed?

Overall, with the personal clashes aside, this is proving to be extremely enlightening and I really do thank everyone's input.

Kind Regards,

Ron

ps. I actually did register for Tuneland several days ago; but did not receive a reply email. Perhaps it accidentally was filtered on my end?

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the maggie

Hi Ron

Are you here for the sound or here for the audiophilia or both? Would you have perfered I recommended my $6500.00 dollar CDP, $1300.00 one or tell you the truth? I don't twist arms, but on the other hand I also don't chump change my work. My friend I build multi-million dollar studios and outside of this particular forum charge 1500 per day, saying the same thing. If this doesn't meet your standards, Okie dokie.

As far as the geoff and may thing, maybe it would be better to invite you to TuneLand again where we can talk in peace and with others who are having success with their systems without heckles. But when I get lumped in with geoff & may as they so famously manage to do, I'm frankly insulted. Maybe you should just read TuneLand and decide if I'm worthy of your time. I'll go in holding pattern on your system until you feel more comfortable with my qualifications. I was hoping to be able to avoid audiophile BS but I guess this is not able to happen, when people can't "do" things without being bias. Their loss.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

May Belt
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Humour

>>> “May

I hope we come to a quick forgiving understanding.” <<<

Nothing to forgive, Ron. I am used to such reactions!!!!

Used to disbelief, that is !!

The two ‘free tweaks’ I referred to have been around for some 30 years. Peter and I once took part in a TV programme in the UK where Peter did those same ‘tweaks’ at the TV presenter’s house. What was not witnessed, when the TV programme was broadcast, (because they were behind the camera), were the sound man and the camera man nodding in amazement at the improvement in the sound they both heard.

The ‘tweaks’ are SO easy to try, Ron. I suggest you do them, listen to some music for a short time to get used to that sound, then remove them and listen again – and see if you can listen with the same pleasure !!

You asked for “any fairly easy or affordable tweaks” and I suggested some.

I see one of the recommendations which Michael recommends is what he calls ‘static guard’.

I would add – be careful with antistatic chemicals. Yes, all will ‘deal with static’ but some can ruin your sound !!!

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

rrstesiak
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Another misunderstood member
michael green wrote:

Hi Ron

Are you here for the sound or here for the audiophilia or both? Would you have perfered I recommended my $6500.00 dollar CDP, $1300.00 one or tell you the truth? I don't twist arms, but on the other hand I also don't chump change my work. My friend I build multi-million dollar studios and outside of this particular forum charge 1500 per day, saying the same thing. If this doesn't meet your standards, Okie dokie.

As far as the geoff and may thing, maybe it would be better to invite you to TuneLand again where we can talk in peace and with others who are having success with their systems without heckles. But when I get lumped in with geoff & may as they so famously manage to do, I'm frankly insulted. Maybe you should just read TuneLand and decide if I'm worthy of your time. I'll go in holding pattern on your system until you feel more comfortable with my qualifications. I was hoping to be able to avoid audiophile BS but I guess this is not able to happen, when people can't "do" things without being bias. Their loss.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net

Michael:

And you only re-inforce my point; and actually insult ME by suggesting I introduce a $30.00 cd player into my $5,000 rig. You contradict yourself. Not only that, you try to insinuate it is a REFERENCE player. Anyone would cry foul to that statement. Maybe you mis-spoke. We are all not perfect. You and I included.

Anyway...if you go on to READ my posts, you will see I in fact DO respect and compliment your point of view. Not only that, I state I intend on trying out many of your own suggestions.

With regards to being "lumped in", anyone can see you and Geoff have a long history of pretty heated debate extending well before I came around. Your recent suggestion of me adding further critique to Geoff's gadget resulted in merely upsetting him more so. It is that act to which I am specifically referring; as well as again the history of heated and sometimes personal debate between the two of you which I do not wish to enter. My goal is to try to keep things NON personal and constructive.

I think everyone here with the exception of a few are way too sensitive and egotistical or something.. maybe I am in the wrong place.

You were one of the few I had faith in...but to now see even you doubt my kind intentions has knocked the wind out of my sails and I fear there is just too much emotional maintenance to be done on these forums vs. getting real work done.

Sincerely,

Ron

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Made me angry?

I'm pretty sure I thanked you for your thorough comments. Where did I get bent out of shape? I'm used to criticism and angst from audiophiles and even from more famous and well known physicists than yourself. It has been ten years since the introduction of the Intelligent Chip into audio land and I'm pretty sure I've heard it all before. But I always appreciate comments whether they are attempting to prove the silly little can't possibly work and disobeys this or that law of physics as you have pointed out in excellent detail or some other comments such as why it might actually work, for example.

Onwards and upwards,

Geoff Kait
Michigan Ceramics

rrstesiak
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Reply to Geoff

Geoff:

Pretty much anytime someone dishes out personal insults, that indicates they are angry. I said all of this specifically in my previous post. But let's all try to move on.

If you are not angry, then I am glad to hear that. But I would kindly ask then that you please refrain from remarking negatively about education levels or any other personal, non-constructuve remarks in future posts.

Respectfully,

Ron

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Ron

Ron, I have no problem with you and honestly think you need to work through a few things and then if you want to explore the tune for what it is, we're all in.

I'm the same guy I've always been and before you go off with your thoughts go here http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t169p165-hiend001-s-system page 12 and scroll down till you see the CDP tuned. Once you see this maybe it will help you understand that we don't judge things on pretty looking shipping boxes.

If I can, before this goes too far. This CES we had a sit down with one of the most highly respected designers in all of audio. In time you'll know his name well. He's one of the founders. When talking with him we were discussing sources. He builds them in the $20,000 range, and was furious that CDP's haven't gone further. Now don't shoot me OK? He said "these things have never moved above the basic players, but I have to offer this source". My friend if you honestly think I would make a suggestion to insult you, take some time and learn who I am and we can come back to the table some time and start again. But my friend I have to be honest when someone ask me to give them advice. Ron I could have picked any player in the world, and so could have some pretty up there high enders who were unwilling to even listen to digital before they got this player. Hey, I'll give you links to their systems.

If I may in closing. I believe you came into this and got in the middle of some honesty mixed in with some audio trolling and you lumped them all together because you are such a nice guy. But if you let that sense of fairness over ride common sense, well than you my friend allow yourself to be part of the problem. I personally will only go so far, cause honestly I got a ton of clients waiting in line for my time.

But before I do I want you to know that I was thinking of talking to harold about fronting you some products to play with, on the house, while you learned. Now lets put that on hold till you have a chance to go through a few hoops and see where you end up.

Regardless, hey man enjoy the music! If you want to call me sometime, I'd be pleased to talk to you.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

michael green
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slippery slope

Hi Bierfeldt

Yep, wish the audiophile world would have went a different way and I kick myself sometimes for doing too much of the studio stuff during the 2000's when I had a chance to do some real work here, but I needed to have a rounded career. I also understand Ron's point. It sounded like my answer was split, and I think it was even as I was writing it but wanted my thought to get out uncensored a little. Discrete is such a good move but recordings just aren't made that way, and I don't understand why the high end didn't jump on this and make products that have variable principles built in.

I think everyone agrees, or they should that there are many levels of recordings and copies. That's part of being a learned audiophile, but with the dicrete thing another element of judgement got added in that never should have happened to the industry. Even with a crapping recording for example, the stage doesn't disappear, it might shrink or be harder to tune in, but it's there most the time. I bet you I have 50 CD's sent to me every year for me to un-lock then tell the listener how I did it.

I'll tell you what though, you want to hear some guys who can work their way around EQ's. Go to Japan and hang out with some of those listeners. Some of these guys are like miracle workers on the slides, and they got some serious buck in their eq systems.

anyway enjoy the rest of the weekend

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

bierfeldt
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Glad to hear

I am glad to hear you want to keep the Creek and Epos equipment. To me, it felt like you were sour on the Creek amp which seemed off to me. I think it is a great product. I also think the Epos speakers are fine speakers. In my home theatre, you would find the frequency response on my Sunfires far more volatile and I love those things.

No one can tell you what to do. We can offer suggestions and via trial and error, you will eventually get to an optimal solutiaon. You and I have systems that are in a very similar range though we have allocated our dollars differently. For instance, you spent way more on a DAC than I did. I spent far more on speakers.

In regard to soundstage, 3 things radically changed the overall depth and feel of the soundstage in my room. I pulled my subwoofer out of the corner and it is sitting along the wall. I know this is an irrelevant variable for you, but getting cleaner low frequencies opened up the soundstage dramatically. I shifted around my furniture. My speakers are up high on top of bookshelves and are tilted down towar my listening location. Shifting the position of my sofa, eliminated a reflection I was getting off the floor and radically improved the sound. Finally, I put a picture on the wall about 6' in front of each speaker. Again, this changed the way sound was reflecting off the walls and it was the final thing that took my system from sounding good to amazing.

My placement is far from optimal but my room is a nice, clean rectangle. Based on the photo i saw, your speaker placement is ideal, but your room isn't. Keep trying to control for different variables and eventually you will succeed.

rrstesiak
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serious response to MG

mg:

I'll use one of your own metaphors to illustrate my main point I fear you are still missing: the acoustic guitar. I actually also play classical guitar outside of audio. And if I were introduced to the acoustic guitar by purchasing the cheapest one in the store, I am certain I would probably be quickly turned off to the entire hobby as a whole.

Fortunately in my case, I sought out a well respected teacher, and he recommended I purchase a $500.00 instrument. Not $5,000. But also not $50.

Thanks to his *appropriate* recommendation, 10 years later I still enjoy classical guitar; and am still playing on that same "mid-level" guitar I purchased; having merely added a tuner and a hard case to it! :)

I hope you can understand from that metaphor why I reacted the way I did to the suggestion of a $30 source component with also no qualification or mention of tuning it in some way?

I originally had a long-winded reply, but I've sharply edited it and will just get to my points. I will use my own quotes to also keep to facts and say I am just confused at your apparent disappointment in something I said, so here are quotes again showing I actually support your methods rather than oppose them for the most part:

rrstesiak wrote:

Micheal:

While I somewhat chastised you for introducing further variables of an additional (and questionable) source, I am enthralled by your several and well-articulated additional tweaks. I will seriously crack open the Creek and (very carefully) try out many if not ALL of your suggestions. I find your line of thinking an excellent complement to Geoff's; and your seemingly opposing viewpoints very enlightening. I also am planning on attempting to isolate vibrations utilizing the wooden block approach as mentioned in another thread to which you also seem to agree.

I further gave credit to you personally with my next steps in tuning here:

rrstesiak wrote:

1. I believe in "room tuning"
i. so much so I am going to remove the equipment from my home office and make that a temporary dedicated listening room as it has four solid walls and in fact only one smallish window; which should yield some more reflective sound waves (in a positive way; with the ability to "trap" any bad reflections easier than in the other room) perhaps inducing that holy grail of a more 3D soundstage with hopefully again more sound reflections. This may also help with the "forward" speakers. Finally, as the room is nearly a perfect acoustic "box", any room treatments should be simpler and easier to place and with greater effect.
2. I intend on carrying out the mods to the Creek per Michael's detailed suggestions
i. it sounds like he has successfully performed these tweaks on Creek equipment in the past. If I do it all carefully, it can't hurt.
3. place wooden blocks underneath each component
i. this will aid in vibration isolation

So you see, not only have I never once called into question your credentials; nor your professional ethics or success, I have shown support of your general mindset; including Room Tuning!?

I'm just left very confused and even a little hurt.

Regards,

Ron

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back on topic... whew..

bierfeldt:

Thanks for hanging in there on this thread...and for bringing myself back to topic.

Back to point, your post echoes and reinforces my idea to actually temporarily re-locate my entire music system (which really won't take all that long as it's pretty basic) to my home office. After, of course, having removed every scrap of equipment and office furniture leaving only my basic audio setup and listening chair.

Kind Regards,

Ron

michael green
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To Ron

Hi Ron

Did you look at the thread I asked you to?

This is a listener in Singapore, who started with some fairly expensive gear and worked with me on his system for about 10 years now. During that time there were several players that came across the tuning path some expensive some inexpensive. When your breaking things down to the gutts they all look somewhat the same. Speaking of geoff and I we both found that the simple players with very small or no transformers made a huge difference over the CDP's which have transformer close to the digital convertors and other parts. This is what we discovered years ago and every time we have put this to the test the results are surprising. You can go read both geoff and myself on this issue and find that we are on the same page on this one. Now he has not used this player, but if you can't take me as serious on the topic, your more than welcome to look at threads where others both tunees and stock audiophiles have picked up this player and were nothing shy of shocked. Now I'll be honest I don't really have much use for reviews many times and the reviewers know why. One of the reasons is because they don't always take the time to get the most out of the product. Secondly come on who cares about a throw away player? However once in a while a product is made that defies the odds at a rediculous price. now I could care less what a reviewer did with a product, I'm not a consumer, I'm a designer. Reviewers write about me and my product I don't write about them. Believe it or not designers are the next level up in the food chain. We're the ones who make the stuff the reviewers talk about. There's nothing wrong about this it's how it works. Read the reviews on the dayton audio B652 speaker. Does it piss you off that this speaker got raved reviews stock at $30.00 Ron? A lot of guys reading this own that speaker Ron. Likewise a lot of guys on this forum own the Magnavox 2300. Ron did you know that back when the CDP hit the audiophile scene, almost all the high end audiophile CDP's that came out were cheap Magnavox CDP's modded? Go look up your history on high end and read for yourself. Do you know Ron that there is a company that builds very expensive products that uses the transport from a BoomBox? You see Ron there are a lot of product designers that do mods from very inexpencive stuff and turn them into some really hot products. This happens all the time, in fact this is how high end audio in the 80's ushered in probably half of the audiophile lines. I've got a guy right now sitting in a $200,000.00 room, who uses this player. If I named the ones that it beat out you would crap and I would never do it. Would you like his phone number? If he read what you said to me you would get seriously chewed up and spit up. I don't say this to be mean, you wanted the truth and as soon as I said it you were ready to jump down my throat. Ron that wasn't me being anything but shooting straight and if you choose to respond this way, so be it. there's nothing anyone can do until you learn both the history of high end and some of the tricks of the trade. I'm truly sorry that you see this as me putting you down in someway, but my friend it wasn't me who looked at you incorrectly, it was your own personal spirit that reacted. I can't control your spirit anymore than you can control mine. but for some reason that $30.00 dollar thing set you off, and there's not a thing I can do about it if you won't let your pride guard down.

Now again take a look at that thread, a good look, that player is sitting on a $1400.00 Tuning Stand, on $80.00 MTD spikes. That player is sitting on the blocks I told you about MGA Tuning Blocks. It is also in in a top tuning canopy. See the canopy? Took me a year to cure that piece of wood. These units are every bit as good as your guitar. Many months curing and hand voiced with the same care as a fine instrument gets. How do I know how to do this? Because for several years I was the acoustician for Steinway, Conn, King, Armstrong, Bach, Holton, Yanagisawa, Leblanc and the whole UMI family. Now let me give you the proof right up front go look at my powerpoint, it has UMI on it, cause they did it for me.

I appreciate that you play. Ever play for the Atlanta Symphony. I was their house sound engineer. My question to you is, who did you study under when building your guitar Ron? Do you know Phil Keaggy, Mick Ronson, Doc Watson? Well I was there when their guitars were being build. Not only played but built. I might know just a little bit about my craft Ron, and I have applied this craft to tuning electronic equipment. Now maybe your not impressed, but that would be on you not me, I was straight up and honest and you spit at that. So please you back a little off your ego first on this one and give the old man at least as much courtesy as your giving that dude with his portable sony walkman.

Personal, you bet I take it personal. I hopped on the greyhound bus as a performer at the age of 15, you can bet I've deserved the right to take my craft personally. Tempermental? You bet right now I am. I got a brand new baby audiophile givin my suggestions the finger. Actually insulted I made a recommendation. That's a big set of balls.

Can you readers believe this. I guy ask for any kind of advice and when he gets it he insults the fella. Now put that in your pipe and smoke it a while readers. personal? yeah I don't know how serious you take your lifes work but I take mine persoanl

One final question, if your guitar maker were to tell you to go pick up this cheap CDP and tweak it, and you'll love it, would you have picked it up? All a matter of respect and trust my friend, I can see you don't. You may be a nice guy Ron, but on this day, not too smart!

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

rrstesiak
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What we have here is a lack of communication

Michael:

You actually did make a fundamental error; and all of my previous communications will reflect it.

YOU NEVER STATED in your ORIGINAL reply that the "cheap" CD Player was to be MODIFIED.

And I'm sorry to have the "balls" to critique a professional, but I was taught to always question something if I find fault or am confused; no matter who is saying it, and to NEVER be intimidated. Many would call this character; not "balls". In this case, that's all I did. The way you presented it to me, it logically made absolutely no sense to purchase a poorly reviewed $30 cd player. Nothing more. And so I questioned you. Again, nothing more. No direct character assaults or attacks at all. Go back and review if necessary the debate.

Again, what we had was a mere break down in communication.

If you get this bent out of shape over a miscommunication and a slight critique, you may have too much stress in your life or something.. whatever the reason, it's just not fair to me to be the target of such negative and now arguably hostile energy.

Only thing I can say is I am sorry to have clearly upset you, and that you please regain balance and re-center yourself.

Regards,

Ron

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here's what I said

Here's what I said Ron

"I would go on-line and buy a Magnavox dvd 2300 and disconnect the digital chain if that was my choice (digital vs Analog). The 2300 is extremely low mass and has the most neutral sound of any players out there. You may choose another player later but at least you would have started with a reference. Once I got the Maggie I would take off the top and replace the power cord with 22 gauge cable, Radio Shack is fine, make it solid core, I would pick up a simple male end from lowes that had a removable cover."

and then I said

"I got more tweaking for you but shoot it's 4 am and I got to start my China Singapore shift."

meaning exactly what was said

I was telling you, if you want to, here's a starting place. After my post I talked with at least 3 extremely high end listeners all who have this player. And I asked if you wanted to talk to them. I'm not going to bend this into anything other than what it is. I doubt if these reviews had the top off, the power replace and tuning blocks underneath it. I doubt if they had their outlets tweaked and perhaps only two transformers pulling on their circuit.

Ron you asked I told, you were insulted that I would suggest such a horrible front end to you, and I just got done listening to SuperTramp "brother where are you bound" with an extremely detailed at least 30x30 stage with the height around 9 feet. The stage started about 3 feet behind me with the air and the speakers were completely missing in the mix. All with that cheap piece of crap Player. My friend it's not me being stressed, it's me being truthful. I have these guys experiencing the same sound who are posting on TuneLand completely independant of me. And we're having a great time, and I come here and am told I'm insulting someone for suggesting a 30x30x9 stage. Hey, next time you play "brother" let me know what your soundstage is with your $5000.00 front end. I'll tell you what it is or close. With "brother" the way it is setup right now you might get 10' wide, I'm guessing about 4-5' deep and maybe touching 7' tall. The girl laughing on the first cut is about a foot or two outside your right speaker, might be inside I don't know for sure and she might be a little forward of the speaker. I may be way off, but that's what it looks like.

on my system 1

The girl laughing, hang on...the girl laughing is even with my listening position and about 8' away to the right. The reverb from her rolls back behind my listening chair and forward to about 4 feet to the rear of the right speaker off in a distance as she fades. The stage air stays the same through the whole recording and it is big, great job.

So anyway my objective was going to be what I always do, and that is find a reference between your sound and mine and then, start freeing up the system to the point where the stage, on what ever recording was starting to get closer to what is in the studios or using the studio gear in this case. Once we starter finding some stuff and opened up your amp, I was going to re-introduce your front end and see how it is doing. I'm sorry but this is no different than any other guy who is paying me. I figured great bang for the buck. I can tune up someone on Stereophile and sit back and take names. This is not as good but good enough cause I've received two calls so far. You see Ron there are tons of people who would love to start out having their system tuned up this way. You might see this as me being stressed, I see this as me being smart.

So I guess because it went down this way and not the way I was heading toward maybe we can sometime play the same piece of music and then I will "Critique My System!" do what the OP said. I'm sorry that you saw me something different than who I am. I only hope that you realize that while I'm talking here I'm also working with listeners throughout the day, and shooting straight is a must. Misunderstandings cool (I'm an artist lol). I'm not here to hurt feelings but to help people get that 30x30 stage which so few audiophiles ever get a chance to experience. And on my end of the chain I could care less the price of anything. I've owned 5 high end stereo stores on top of my other adventures and am quite aware of audiophiles reactions to the facts.

Again sorry but I really am this straight forward. Sorry for the misunderstandings.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

ChrisS
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Tuned-in

If people actually read your information on tuning, there would be no misunderstanding.

Using a source, like the Magnavox, makes sense.

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mg

Michael:

Thank you for clarifying. I did see your later replies clarifying that you in fact did intend for me to MODIFY that unit and that of course changes the entire debate.

I was just initially upset when I feel it was not communicated properly in your first reply, and it embarrassed and hurt my feelings. I thought you were almost mocking me with this recommendation.

Again, it was all a miscommunication and misunderstanding and I am frankly relieved.

While I stand by my original opinion I do not wish to complicate my system by adding an additional and different source; and by nature I have sold off all of my CD's years ago and have gone Vinyl and digital... maybe after reading your information and careful reference listeinings with this particular unit I may find the investment worthwhile so you and I and others may in fact all be on precisely the same page with at least one identical piece of equipment. I now truly understand you were in fact truthful and even kind in your suggestion and just ask you forgive my own anger and insult and at least understand where I was coming from with mis-informaiton.

I again look forward to further LEARNING and discovering with this fascinating hobby and intend on reading your materials wrt this odd player that has received some serious reviews and tweaking.

Respectfully,

Ron

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going to be a busy day

Hi Guys

It's going to be a busy day so I probably won't be here until later, but I wanted to give this reply.

Thank you Chris for bringing your extremely useful and timely post to this thread which made IMO some of the reality of the situation sink in. I agree, listeners from outside of TuneLand and unfamilar with the "tune" at first (some of them) wonder how this can be. "How can this guy, with this reputation and background be saying this?" My seemingly brutal approach to the audiophile world is nothing more than my absolute love and commitment to moving this business closer to the higher calling of recording and plackback, is the simple answer. If this comes off as snobby, arrogant or insensitive I sometimes don't have the time, to back up and win the hobbyist all over again. That's my view and I understand the listeners view (side of the tape) is more than likely "who is this guy". This is why there is TuneLand. TuneLand is the place to dig into all these topics from the perspective of not only an equal playing field, but also a place of honesty. Real time "doing" and real time "thinking". There is no "flame" element on TuneLand. No one coming up with a sales pitch, and no egos to tame. Just an honest look into the biggest most important factor of listening "every thing affects everything else" and the "method of tuning". It's a place that doesn't look at price-tags but stays focus of the tasks at hand, a method that actually works with practicle application (the essence of proof). The end result, a purity in the hobby of listening that has never happened before. First the music comes first, and second the listener becomes master of both his music and his system. Without this method the hobby and industry is doomed to marginalizing this most incredible and enriching part of extreme living called listening to music. Listening to music isn't a pricetag, a theory, an argument on some forum. Listening to music is one of the greatest privileges we have been blessed with as living beings. And, I'm personally tied to it with every heartbeat and have never lost the feeling of being honored to be a part of.

I'll be back later.

Ron, I totally understand and am here to be apart of your journey at whatever level the tune can offer. Sorry I couldn't bend earlier or have the time to paint the entire picture so to welcome you in with ease, but the tune is far bigger than myself and many times requires a complete different set of ears and thinking than what the world has offered before. But at some level every signal one of us on this path have faced the same emotions, and that is because this hobby is so passion driven. Trust me I go through the emotion for you and with you, and every moment am walking that tight-rope of how did I come off, knowing my own human faults, frailties and traits are in the mix.

see you later my friend

One last thing, if I may. I truly do not have bad feelings toward Geoff or May, I simply get caught up in the trolling aspect of their approach. I have extented my hand in listening with them, and feel this is about as friendly as one can get. The rest of this is me struggling to stay relevant on the topics and pages, as the temperment here is so different than being home on TuneLand.

As I said to catch22 once, I have no meter for a music forum to sound and look like a polictal forum. It simply doesn't compute for me. Music is about peace and harmony to myself and not a gimmick, trick or sides. Being placed on a side to me is the ulimate insult, as I see music as exploring the whole and being stuck on nothing. I never have seen tuning as taking side, but more the learning and discovering the joy of total freedom within one of the greatest artforms ever.

I thank all of you for being able to continually seeing past a man and on to the love of music.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

rrstesiak
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Latest Tweaks

All:

Per Michael's suggestion, I have modded the Creek by snipping away the cable ties from the sides and each other the factory bundled wires, with the goal of separating main runs from each other as well as the bottom and metal sides of the case. I tried to loosen the bolt holding the toroidal transformer but it just turned in place .. no such luck.. but all other suggested mods were done with the exception of loosening the back connections slightly. Just don't have the correct tool at the moment.

I also unscrewed the wall outlet where I plug the Creek into and again unravelled those wires, separated them, and made them straight as possible. And no, thankfully no cats or other pets or children living with me so its "safe".

Finally, I placed two wooden slats under the Creek for now I have on hand and a thick book under the DAC...figuring its better than nothing.

In summary, I notice no difference in SPL after recording a few passes of a song both before and after the mods.

However, I DO notice a significant change in my sound stage!

To get right to point, it is significantly *deeper* and noticeably more detailed and revealing of room acoustics from recordings!!

Thanks for the fruitful suggestions, Michael. A deeper sound stage is what I have been trying to get to and these tweaks are definitely heading in that direction.

Kind Regards,

Ron

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Successful listening!

The credit is all yours Ron, I just flicked the light switch. The whole ball game for successful listening comes with several good learning skills, "doing" goes to the very top of the list, and I would say on the hobby side of this, being open. In saying being open, I mean start building those relationships with other listeners who have that exploring spirit about them. On this journey there will be many side roads to the trip and as you learn "your method" you will hopefully also learn some other key skills (off to a good start) like letting things settle, and building that listening memory file. At first your going to hear some plus and maybe even some minus. Building that memory bank is going to come in very useful and in time will get you from the plus/minus/almost/maybe part of listening to a predictable set of practices as you move from recording to recording rating them fair/good/better/best with fewer bads.

I'm very pleased you found some of the depth, but was also extremely please to hear your description of Brother Where You Bound. Finding that front to back in this recording is indeed a big step into discovering what the artist and engineers were doing. Your off to a very good start, and most importantly helping the on lookers to flick on their light switch.

I am now your listening peer and system student :)

Oh and if I can add this. No matter what "talk" goes on and into these forums the most important and scientific proof is the one you allow to happen with your own ears and comfort of your own brain and body.

have fun!

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
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huh? Double huh.

Michael wrote,

"One last thing, if I may. I truly do not have bad feelings toward Geoff or May, I simply get caught up in the trolling aspect of their approach. I have extented my hand in listening with them, and feel this is about as friendly as one can get. The rest of this is me struggling to stay relevant on the topics and pages, as the temperment here is so different than being home on TuneLand."

I actually don't recall anyone accusing you of having bad feels toward May or me. Now, on the other hand, both May and I have repeatedly called you out for monopolizing threads, misrepresenting our positions, lying and putting words in our mouths. And having a bad memory. But not bad feelings.

Why can't audiophiles just get along? ;-)

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Don't be a cube, rube, go ape!

rrstesiak
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I love this quote.....

I mean this in the best spirit possible and to unite us all further; in addition to the wonderful task of referencing a piece of music. Without further adieu, here is the fresh quote:

Quote:

"Why can't audiophiles just get along?"
--geoffkait

Geoff:
I found that priceless and true! Though it seems to me things are starting to gel between us all as we get to know each other. (it's mostly my process as I seem to be the "new" one here)

All:

Either way, it is a pleasure to be apart of this unique community and a continuous learning experience; always a good thing.

Kind Regards,

Ron

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all out there in the open

I think I will quote a member (ChrisS) on the stereophile forum, who has "called" geoff kait out many times.

he says about myself and the tune

"If people actually read your information on tuning, there would be no misunderstanding."

This goes a long way in this industry, especially when there are a few loose cannon's that are somehow allowed to flame on public forums, when there is no need. The entrance of ChrisS, Ron, catch22 and yourself if you wish on the referencing threads I feel tell the real story. My biggest regret on the stereophile forum was not to just keep pushing you and May to the referencing threads, where truly all cards are layed on the table. With the new (most welcomed) change in dynamics around here (Ron being most instrumental) I feel any differences between you myself and may can be brought to this table, and the books can be properly opened as the music is referenced together. Everything else is just words piled on-top of more words. Some of those words sincere and others nothing more than public forum posturing.

With the truth being in the continuing flow of pudding, the reader gets a chance to see in part or the whole according to how much they invest themselves in the pages. I can live with that come good or bad as long as we all turn on our stereos and listen.

I like this new face to the forums very much, and invite you to come join us as much as possible on these referencing type forums. Maybe in time the bad vibes can be replaced by Good.

I believe if you I or anyone spend our time listening and reporting on that listening the tension of egos can float away on the wings of snow white doves, as there is really nothing more to prove once the music is play.

If not it remains "the day the music died"

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

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That's quite humorous, actually

You sure can talk some shit, Mask Man.

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Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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