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michael green
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Tune your speaker drivers

Many of you are listening to speakers with direct dampening. How do you know? Look inside and you will find either poly fill, wool or foam.

would you like to voice your drivers to your rooms pressure?

You can tune your speaker to your room and get more dynamic range, detail and bigger stage. You will also help with that "in your speaker" sound.

Speaker designers build their products to fit in a large range of rooms, and tend to over do it when it comes to stuffing. They also use stuffing that is not acoustically linear. Right around 1.5khz to 3.5khz then again from 5khz up there is a suck out with foam and fill that dulls the dynamics. Don't need test equipment if you don't have it, put your face up to the foam or fill and you will hear it.

If you would like to experiment and see how much better your speakers can sound in your particular room, go to your store and get some housing insulation with the plastic or paper backing. Some companies have the fiberglass completely covered in plastic now and you may like this the best, I like putting the fiberglass in a bag or getting a little more tweaky. Just incase you get into this go ahead and buy a ceiling tile with the plastic on one side and the compressed fiber glass on the other (the tweaky part).

When you get your new stuffing, set it off to the side and put on a recording that you like to reference and spend a little time listening. Once you got it in your head good, take out the woofer, reach inside and pull out some of the fill right behind the woofer. Do this with both and keep it even. Listen, and see if you hear the difference. If your feeling comfortable, keep going and go ahead and take out the filler. Do a listen. Let's start with the loosly batted fiber glass. Place it in the cabinet with the paper or plastic facing the back of the driver. You might start by putting in half or even less of the amount that was in there to begin with. Do a listen. Try to keep the fiberglass away from cables and the cabinet walls. This will give you a cleaner sound, or if you do have the plastic bag type of insulation try it with the bag completely covering the fiberglass. If you want you can even put the fiberglass in paper bags and set them inside. The fiberglass is going to burn the energy so it doesn't need to be exposed. You will probably like it best in the bags, but play around till your speakers sound the best for your room.

What your doing is allowing the woofer to work better with the rooms pressure. It might take a bit to get it right but once you do your going to love it.

I mentioned getting the ceiling tiles. You might be surprised at how much you like the speakers closer to empty. If thats the case put the ceiling panels in instead of the batted. If your going to get really into this just ask and I'll recommend a couple of other steps you can try. If you look at any of my room diagrams on TuneLand you'll get some placement ideas.

Also one last thing you might be into. Most speakers today are CNC machined so the driver baskets don't have the problem of leakage like they use to. There's a rubber gasket between the driver and the cabinet. You might want to try listening to the driver direct coupled to the cabinet without the gasket.

If you have questions ask away, but keep in mind I'm here for the sound not audio debates on theory. If your going to do it I'll help but if your going to talk about why you need the fill, gasket and all that with no intentions of listening don't be mad if I pass you by.

happy listening campers

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

iosiP
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Different makes require different tweaks

My speakers have each driver mounted on a separate plate, this being fixed to the box by torx screws. Between the plates and the box is a - you guessed it - rubber gasket. While I did not remove it (it looks like being non-removable without permanent damage), I found out that adjusting the compression of the rubber changes the sound.
This worked mostly on the ribbon tweeter and the midrange: the bass units benefit from being held tight against the box.

michael green
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thanks Costin

I was hoping you were going to come up and share your driver tuning.

Have you done the binding posts plates ever?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

iosiP
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Hello Michael, no I did not

Next thing to try is the aluminium "spine" of the speakers, but there are no less than 24 screws on each speaker so I guess this will have to wait.

However I am imagining some kind of "tension device" (kind of a wrench) with only one big screw that I could activate by hand. Hard to explain without a drawing but I guess you can figure out the idea.

michael green
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yep

Hi Costin

Once experiencing, does make the mind start thinking about how much hidden music is there waiting. When I began to tune and realized that every step along the way was giving me control of the system and unlocking doors I couldn't by swaping components or doing, as you heard me say many times, "fixed" moves it was like game over. I had no choice but to keep exploring what all was variable.

I promise you, there is so much music hidden in your setup that is waiting to jump out at you. Just like you found with the drivers, the whole system is something that you can variably tune.

With my journey, I didn't just wake up one day and say "simple is better" and "high end is over built". Business wise this is the worse move I could make, but once I started to explore I couldn't stop myself. I literally ended up taking apart everything in my store and rebuilt it tunable. I was blown away by what I was hearing and so was everyone I showed. The manufactures I took this to as well as reviewers said "no way". Not because it didn't work, but because "we would have to change everything" (Audio Magazine). Even though this was their first response I knew that high end audio needed to go tunable. Sooner or later and maybe one screw at a time this industry will get to the place where they realize they have hit the performance wall. The trading off good for another good will always be a trade, but with tuning this trade does not need to happen. Ultimately we will go from jumps to a slide scale, from hit and miss to right on the tuned money. Exactly like musical instruments do, and you by making your drivers tunable are proof, along with all those who are practicing variable tuning as apart of their listening norm.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

Catch22
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Totem doesn't use speaker insulation

I'm sure there are others as well. Wilson, on the other hand, is quite secretive about the material they use.

michael green
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most of the guys

I'll tell you the truth, most of the people I have seen tweak the inside of their cabinets use hardly any filler at all. Maybe a little for voicing certain things in. Those folks use the ceiling panels not the loose batted.

Another major tweak is if you have a cabinet using MDF, and the MDF is raw on the inside, finishing with water based poly and sanding after a good dry will transform the speaker.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

iosiP
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The Totem Model One

Was one of the most amazing speakers I ever had, and they were veneered both on the outside AND the inside.
Furthermore, the only inside filler they had was a thin layer of bitumen-like goo (supposed to be used to reduce vibrations in the space shuttle).
A great speaker, I wish I had kept those for a secondary system... rarely heard such a soundstage and imaging before (and even after) coming from bookshelfs.

Catch22
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I had the Totem Arro for rather long audition

In many ways, they were amazing for their size. But, they couldn't reproduce a piano very well at all. I decided after a couple of months that his voicing was more toward horns at the expense of the percussion instruments. They did play horns with amazing bite and had the widest stage I ever heard...easily surpassing the walls of the room.

heyandrey
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Earbud dynamic driver tuning

How about earbud drivers? They're like miniature speaker drivers. Any tips on tuning those?

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