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 Tuning and Musical Adventures

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:29 am


Changing the Acoustic Treatment in Sonic’s Room – 8

In my post of January 19, 2018, Zonees will recall that Sonic was enjoined to introduce two medium-sized thin rugs into the room (or send them to the Salvation Army Thrift Store). I hung them as “tapestries” on the side walls. This was part of the project to rationalise my room to take down all the hanging DecoTunes, home-made shutters (from Michael Green’s treated wood) and plenty of EchoTunes stuck to the ceiling. The idea was to maintain the acoustic control that came from using Michael’s products while having a space that is easy to clean and maintain.

Step by step, the hanging DTs, homemade shutters and ETs on the ceiling have been removed and the sound is good. Core to this success up till now has been the “Long Room Tuning Method” that Sonic applied subsequent to the introduction of the “tapestries” has shown the potential of sufficient acoustic control of the room.

Now after a pause for settling and the opportunity for a few days of critical listening over a recent holiday, which included comparisons using headphones, Sonic can hear that I have gone too far with the absorption from the “tapestries”.

This is a reminder for Sonic how absorption can sound OK when first installed then have its “sound killing” effect creep up on you with settling over a number or weeks. It is easy to fall for the apparent change for the better at first only to find how bad the sound becomes with time.

I have now brought back liveness to the room by removing the “tapestries” from the room and working with my spare RoomTune devices to Tune the acoustics.

So both side walls are again completely free of acoustic absorption material. There is some honkiness and for control, Sonic brought in a spare pair of FS-DTs, placed them a little ahead (closer to the listener) of the speaker plane to control the pressure flow at the lower part of the wall. I also had to move the FS-DTs that are at the ends of the sofa back to their old positions at the rear of the room, parallel to the side walls about a foot out from the corner. This is a pity because this pair of FS-DTs worked well to build pressure round the listeners at the sofa.

The sound is no longer sounding lifeless and “academic”. There is still slight honkiness that can be heard with some music though within the sound envelop, Sonic can hear energy wanting to break out and pour into my room. More Tuning needed to get this right, though what I got is very promising.

One other thing that Sonic has discovered over these weeks of Tuning is that damping the BOO! away and removing the reverb tail does not necessarily produce a good sound when speakers play music. It appears this room wants a slight reverb tail that shifts down in the bass. Remove this reverb tail and the sound becomes “honky”, shifting up in pitch bringing back the sound of the hard concrete walls.

Sonic


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Bill333

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:40 am

Hi Sonic,

I feel like I should say a few things about your post on bit rot.  If I haven't mentioned it here before, I am a software engineer by trade and I've been building my own computers for the last twenty years.  So I have some experience with these issues.

The first thing to understand is that data corruption is a serious concern when the data you're keeping is unique and owned only by you.  But this is exactly not the case with digital music collections.  Every song in your collection has at least hundreds, and most likely tens of thousands of copies floating around in other peoples' music collections.  If one of your files became corrupted, it could easily be replaced by a good copy from someone else's collection.

"If bit rot has occurred, a backup won't save your files because you will just be replacing the old good backup with a new bad one."

This is only true if you are continuously creating backups the way that many people do with their computer OS hard drives.  But why would you do that with a music collection?  Just create a backup once, and then leave it.  

Also, the chances that any given WAV or FLAC file becomes corrupted at the same time in both your primary collection and your backup are miniscule.  But let's say that it did.  There is still no way on earth that the data in both files is corrupted in exactly the same way.  It would be a very easy thing to write a program that compares two music files, highlights the discrepancies, and allows the user to choose the correct version of each discrepancy.  The fact that no one has ever bothered to write such a program should tell you something...

If you're genuinely concerned about it, I suggest backing up your entire music collection onto a portable hard drive and giving it to one or more audio buddies.  You can get very large hard drives these days for less than a hundred US dollars.  If anything ever happens to your files, you have a convenient place to get a good copy.   Very Happy   Most likely your buddies will incorporate your music collection into theirs, which means there are even more good copies floating around...
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:41 am


Hello Bill333 cheers

Glad to read your post on your thread and here -- good to see you are up and about my friend Very Happy

Thanks for your views on bit rot, in large part they put the matter to rest for Sonic.

Would it be possible for me to ask you a couple of questions on bit rot and back up drives offline via PM, since these questions relate to my back up practices and gaps in my knowledge? Of course you might teach me something what we both might find wworth sharing with fellow Tunees.

I have tried to PM you but i cannot find a way to do it from my end, looks like you have to hit the button on your end.

But thanks again -- what you said has answered most of my concerns on this.

Elizabeth and cat well too, I trust.

Sonic



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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:46 am

Japan Vintage Audio Clutter Pix and a Cinder Block Craze

Sonic loves Japanese audio clutter. Here are some pictures:



 
And the next pictures say something about the Tone objectives of our Japanese audio friends, at least at one point in time.



Notice how, in the last two pictures, the loudspeakers have been placed on cinder blocks.

Sonic has been told that cinder blocks were once the rage among the Japenese audio-fans even to the extent that there were reviews written comparing different types of cinder blocks measured using accelerometers!

That was in the 1970s though and today, we do not (or hardly) see Japanese audio systems with cinder blocks as speaker supports.

Sonic




Last edited by Michael Green on Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:01 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Added more text)
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:08 am



Changing the Acoustic Treatment in Sonic’s Room – 9

After a week of settling, Sonic finds the removal of the “tapestries” have created a big “honk” problem and now I can again hear the hard walls of this listening room.  This is obviously a step backwards. Sonic needs something on those walls!

Sonic brought back the smaller and thinner of the two “tapestries” and hung it back on the RH wall where it was last.

Instead of the larger/thicker “tapestry”, I hung three thin rugs (22” wide x 33.5” long, Ikea Signes) on the LH wall.

Other than this, the pair of FS-DTs set parallel to the side walls about a foot ahead of the rear corners were moved back to the ends of the sofa.

In short, Sonic has returned to exactly the last room Tuning set up “pre-honk”, then I swapped the thick, vibration-killing “tapestry” on the LH wall for something much thinner, lighter in weight and about 1/3 smaller in area.
 
These moves cut the “honk” without the “dead soundstage” that came from the heavy damping on the walls.  

Sonic is letting settling progress as music is enjoyed – I am now listening to Schubert’s Quartet in C-major D703 and all is well – though I won’t declare the honk is fixed yet. Then a FLAC of Ron Carter’s "The Bass and I" sounded marvelous.

The thing Sonic has learnt in circumstances like this is to avoid a panic mode where a number of Tuning solutions are made in rapid succession without time to fully hear their effect. This creates confusion and is sure to lead to a long detour.

Sonic


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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:19 am



Alan Shaw on Bass

Greetings Zonees

Sonic found these writings by Alan Shaw at:
http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/forum/the-harbeth-line-up-m20-m30-m40-1-p3esr-c7es3-shl5/can-t-decide-which-harbeth-is-right-for-you/1659-bass-response-how-deep-should-my-speakers-go-for-a-lifelike-sound-at-home

You will have to visit Harbeth forum to access the Sound Clips but just reading the text, Zonees will get Mr Shaw’s point.

Would Michael or any Zonees want to give views in agreement or disagreement?

Sonic’s POV is that while what Alan observes may be empirically correct, we should where we can have our speakers designed with the capability to go strongly to an octave below the lowest average note expected to be played – in this case being around 30Hz – for dynamic range in the low end.  When we talk about bass drivers, it is like car engines: there ain’t no substitute for cubic inches. Besides Mr Shaw’s big speakers like the 40.2s can easily reach down to the 20Hz range.    

Quoted text starts:

Bass response - how deep should my speakers go for a lifelike sound at home?
15-03-2013, 12:12 AM

Ah! That old chestnut again. OK, you probably won't believe me if I say 'not as deep as you've been led to believe' so let's actually make some audio clips and you can hear and judge for yourself.

First: I'd like you to forget all about the numbers you see in speaker marketing literature. They are all as good as useless. Speaker designers are coerced by marketeers to provide these numbers, and cautioned by the same marketeers that if the competitor's speaker spec says 'bass down to 38Hz' then unless he gives way and writes the spec for his creation as 'bass down to 37Hz' he won't sell any. And believe it or not, the consumer will assume, based on just numbers, that 37Hz must be better than 38Hz. It's all smoke and mirrors.

The problem is that it is very, very difficult for a designer to say, with certainty, how the bass end of his speaker measures. That's because the bass wavelengths are so long (10mtrs. at 33Hz) when playing bass notes, in effect the speaker is reaching out and touching every object in the room. That means, the poor designer cannot say with certainty where the speaker's contribution stops and the room contribution starts: they are fused together. So he has to use an educated guess but even that guess cannot be how the speaker behaves in your room: at best it is how the speaker will behave in a reflection-free, anechoic chamber. A chamber of free field room is a good way of trying to minimise the room's contribution (but not eliminate it, hence there will still be some uncertainty in the measurements at low frequencies*) and you could ask, what's the relevance of an anechoic bass specification to my listening room. That's a damned good question. I don't have an answer for that.

My long held belief is that a speaker like the LS3/5a or P3ESR produces a satisfying listening experience for most listeners at a reasonable loudness on wide range material not, logically, because of amazing physics-busting bass extension but because the ear is very good at generating and filling-in missing fundamental notes by interpreting the second and third harmonics of the missing fundamentals. Were this not the case, music reproduced over very modest equipment such as a kitchen radio would be wholly unsatisfying through absence of any sort of bass at all.

So let's take some examples of a nice, warm orchestral sound that we associate with a fulfilling 'lifelike' listening experience and see how much deep, deep bass there really is. Then we can remove the really deep bass, and see if we miss anything.

Clip 1: full orchestra, Enigma main theme

Suppose we apply a brickwall filter set to 120Hz, cutting away everything below that. How does this sound? Noticeably lacking in warmth?

Clip 2: full orchestra,all bass below 120Hz erased

OK: lets allow a little more bass through. This time the brickwall filter removes all bass below 90Hz:

Clip 3: full orchestra, all bass below 90Hz erased

How about letting everything through above 60Hz?

Clip 4: full orchestra, all bass below 60Hz erased

I think that you'll agree that on this particular orchestral track, even though we have completely removed all bass below 60Hz with our 20th order Butterworth filter, it is not easy to tell Clip 1 from Clip 4. The point is that the weight and warmth of those stringed instruments (presumably cellos and double basses) has been substantially retained even with the filter applied which must, logically, mean that their primary contribution to the musical spectrum is above 60Hz - and even above 90Hz. This 60-90Hz region is reproducible on even the tiny P3ESR (at a sensible volume) for a fully lifelike experience.

Let's reverse the filter and prove the point. This time, rather than erasing all the bass below 60Hz, I'm going to erase all the audio above 60Hz. I won't change the levels, what remains is in the correct proportion to Clip 1. If you play Clip 1 again at a goodly loud volume and then fix that volume, Clip 5 will let you hear how much deep bass there is in Clip 1 here:

Clip 5: full orchestra, all sound above 60Hz erased

Can't hear anything? Listen very closely or cheat and turn up the volume! There is a very low level sound there. That tells you how extremely small the sonic contribution below 60Hz is. There is even less contribution below 50Hz, 40Hz or 30Hz. And remember: I have applied a brickwall filter to completely remove unwanted sounds. In the real world, filters - an a loudspeaker is like a filter - have a much more gentle action and would let more deep bass through.

*The BBC anechoic chamber (just demolished) was far from ideal. The published specification in 1965 after construction indicated that below about 70Hz (from memory) the foam wedges were not perfect absorbers and the frequency response evidenced significant ripples making reliable, accurate measurement impossible. In fact, I hit this problem in 2007 when using the chamber; I concluded that the foam wedges had dried out over their 40+ year life there, and that had made them harder and less porous. I had to find another way to get credible bass measurements.

15-03-2013, 10:29 AM

Rock music and deep bass

What about rock music - hasn't that got a strong deep bass line?

Clip 6: Wake up, Rage against the Machine - source file

Now if we take Clip 6 and apply the same brickwall filter to remove all sound above 60Hz, just as we did in Clip 5 what we're left with is the deep bass. Play Clip 6 and set the volume; then play Clip 6 without altering the volume and what you hear will be in correct proportion to Clip 6.

Clip 7: all audio above 60Hz erased

You can probably just about hear a repetitive bass pulse; if you turn up the volume it may be clearer.

Conclusion so far based on just these two randomly selected audio clips, one full orchestra, one rock music: the deep bass in the rock music track is more audible and it has an obvious beat to it. The deep bass in the orchestral track is quieter and has no obvious beat to it. An early conclusion would be that if you listen mainly to natural music you would not obviously benefit from having speakers with super-extended bottom octave, especially if that had been achieved by a sacrifice in overall neutrality. If you are a rock music fan, there is some information below 60Hz which you may appreciate but it is at a very low level and being of low frequencies with long wavelengths which penetrate walls with ease, would be irritating to neighbours in a way that orchestral music wouldn't.

It could be argued that as a socially responsible neighbour, your choice of speaker should be governed by the irritation that it causes to others versus the sonic benefit it may bring you. They may hear that boom-boom-boom from <60Hz throbbing through their walls: you probably won't notice its presence or absence.

Alan A. Shaw
Designer, owner
Harbeth Audio UK



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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:26 pm



Follow Up – Alan Shaw on Bass reproduction

An audiofan whom Sonic corresponds with was perplexed with what Alan Shaw is saying.  The observation from this audiofan: If Shaw is saying that he observes that a lot of music we hear has less low bass than we think – classical music and some rock – he is correct, yet only partly so.

In this audiofan’s observation a lot of modern music like songs from artists such as Dua Lipa and Charlie Puth (music that Sonic is not familiar with) have very deep synthesizer bass. These recordings' bass content goes way below 60hz and can be seen on the frequency spectrum read out of Foobar2K down reportedly to 25hz in spots  Shocked  

Apart from Shaw’s limited observation which is correct as far as the samples he cites, I am sure he is not advocating is that bass limited speakers are a design objective. His products are not designed this way – this is evident for all who are familiar with the Harbeth range of speakers. In my preamble, Sonic observed that Shaw’s large 40s speakers reach down into the 20hz range.

This is one example how a respected designer like Alan Shaw can get a bee in his bonnet and go off on a tangent and over-dramatise.

Sonic




Last edited by Sonic.beaver on Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:31 pm



Changing the Acoustic Treatment in Sonic’s Room – 10

In this last week, Sonic has done lots of listening and worked to optimize the placement of the Tuning devices in the room.

Sonic experimented first with the FS-DRTs along the side walls behind the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs and after moving them about and testing I found them to be in the right place and distance from adjacent walls.

In my experimentation, I found that the rear waves of the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs must not fire directly on to the reflective side of the FS-DRTs. If they do, the reflections off the front (reflective sides) of the FS-DRTs causes the speakers to become audible sources of sound.

Next, Sonic worked on the rear corners. I took my spare pair of FS-DTs out from my Tune Closet and placed them near the rear corners in various configurations such as across the corners or parallel to one wall and further/closer to the corner and then changing the angles.

After several days of this, it seems that the room sounds more balanced without any FS-DTs in the rear corners. With some placements of them, the “honk” came back.

I must resist the impatience in me and not rush. So I stopped and let settling progress and just listening to music.

Most enjoyable were records played: were Handel’s Water Music – Yehudi Menuhin and the Bath Festival Orchestra (EMI Mono), Neil Young’s Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Carnatic Violin Music and some drone music by Fluxus composer Henry Flynt.

Sonic


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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:36 am


Hi Michael

An audiofan friend sent this to me this snippet from Sound on Sound Magazine (no references provided). It is about how to evaluate the bass response of a system:

“Choose a recording with a wide-ranging and evenly recorded bass line. I would suggest that classical music is unsuitable for this, as I know of no piece which has a constant and consistent bass content. My business partner once observed that 'modern' music is more suitable for this because it emulates pink noise better! I use Robben Ford & The Blue Line's song 'You Cut Me To The Bone' as a starting point, for judging bass balance.

Note that you should beware of most recordings made during the '70s and '80s as, almost without exception, they are bass-light by today's standards.”


In Sonic’s view, this point from Sound on Sound shows how wrong Alan Shaw’s conclusion on bass has been. He is too good a designer to make a mistake like this out of ignorance. I think he might just have been giving an Over The Top response to some pet topic or to a question from a Forum member that annoyed him, went too far and wrote himself into a corner.

Michael – do you agree with the bass-lightness observation from Sound on Sound? Is it a matter of technology limitations of the time and digital recording removing the limitation from the 90s onwards?

Sonic


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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:55 pm

"ignorance & bass-lightness observation from Sound on Sound"

Hi Sonic

These are very important issues that you point to. They're some of the issues that keep me from joining the ranks of the High End Audio Audiophilia movement. When folks show me evidence that they don't understand the Recorded Code, Audio Code, Audio Chain and the variables associated it shows me their ignorance. I use ignorance with all due respect "lack of knowledge or information". In this hobby the percentage of folks who don't know how variable the audio signal is, is staggering.

With the Sound on Sound comment, again there is no practical basis to make that statement. These folks are no doubt basing their critiques on fiction instead of on fact.

For example

"Note that you should beware of most recordings made during the '70s and '80s as, almost without exception, they are bass-light by today's standards.”

This is simply telling me that the comment maker doesn't know they can (and are suppose to) tune in the recording so the bass is displayed. So much of the industry and hobby exposes themselves when they make statements way outside of nonfiction. No recordings are purposely made to be unbalanced, that would be silly if not recording malpractice. The fact is Sonic High End Audio just doesn't know about tuning, or even that the signal is a variable continuum. We can grab 10 CD's or vinyl or any source and play them on a fixed setting and hear that the recorded code is completely different from recording to recording. For me anyway it jumps off the page as soon as I hear it. However (because I tune) my reaction to this is not to make a judgement, but instead I know I need to make an EQ adjustment (by EQ I mean tune up). The bass is there, or maybe too much bass is there (or any other part of the signal), but this is just a matter of allowing that particular code to be tuned into balance.

Alan Shaw (to me) is doing the same thing most of the industry does. He's viewing the music from the view of his system, instead of using his system as a variable tuning tool to reveal the recorded code. Same with the statement Sound on Sound made. The hobby is really screwed on backward when it comes to playback. It's maybe the biggest talked about subject here "variable". In my mind I don't understand why the hobby hasn't moved past Fixed listening. Recordings are exactly the opposite from Fixed, but High End Audio with all their failed attempts at playback still doesn't get it when one recording sounds different from the next. They have a system that makes "One Sound" and haven't made the connection that every recording made, was made with an unique set of variables. What I don't get is how "ignorant" (unknowledgeable) these folks can be. I always feel somewhat bad saying that because these guys (or gals) can whip up a philosophical or theoretical debate at the drop of the hat, as well as spin on a dime. But, their actual empirical testing and experience has not discovered things so basic.

Lets say there are 10,000 studios in the US (there's more than this but lets say). Not one of these studios' produce the same sound (the "Recorded Code"). Where is the disconnect on the playback end for High End Audio? That's what I don't understand. I can only assume that they don't understand the very basics of recording and playback, but why are these folks writing? When I read this stuff it only shows me how little they know. It's sad because they could be promoting something of use, but instead they can only speak of this fake, or should I say, incomplete paradigm. But why? Why can't they make the connection? It's like someone who needs to get inside of a place with a combination lock on the door but they don't have the combination or know that all the locks are set to different combinations. We stand there looking and reading these folks make statements about bass, or any part of the recorded code, but we don't see them turning the key or adjusting the dials to unlock the signal. You would think it's so simple to see, but there's a hole part of the playback crowd that has no idea in order to hear what the recording has on it you have to make adjustments.

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:56 am


Greetings Michael and Zonees

Old Arms and Cosy Systems

Michael -- that is an insightful comment on what SoS wrote and about the bass in recordings  Exclamation    

As Sonic is playing music and letting the Tunes in my system settle, here are some things that Zonees may like:

This is the Paraflux tonearm – a very 1950s industrial-looking design:



And a contender for a very ugly arm – the Fairchild 542A



Some cosy listening rooms:



And this which Sonic found on Pinterest – which I cannot find more information on, all it says is “Koba with candle stabilizer”. The arm is a 12 incher or longer, there is no cartridge offset, I cannot identify the cartridge, the turntable appears to be DIY but look at that stabiliser:



Something I might try making….

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:58 pm

quoting Sonic

"After a week of settling, Sonic finds the removal of the “tapestries” have created a big “honk” problem and now I can again hear the hard walls of this listening room. This is obviously a step backwards. Sonic needs something on those walls!

Sonic brought back the smaller and thinner of the two “tapestries” and hung it back on the RH wall where it was last.

Instead of the larger/thicker “tapestry”, I hung three thin rugs (22” wide x 33.5” long, Ikea Signes) on the LH wall.

Other than this, the pair of FS-DTs set parallel to the side walls about a foot ahead of the rear corners were moved back to the ends of the sofa.

In short, Sonic has returned to exactly the last room Tuning set up “pre-honk”, then I swapped the thick, vibration-killing “tapestry” on the LH wall for something much thinner, lighter in weight and about 1/3 smaller in area.

These moves cut the “honk” without the “dead soundstage” that came from the heavy damping on the walls."

mg

Now with my crazy schedule I may have missed some of this, but I do have a question. When you hang the tapestries on the walls, do you put them directly against the wall surface or do you give some space? Also have you put the tapestries on a board then hung the board? One last thing, have you put the tapestries on Styrofoam, then mounted?

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:14 am


MG asketh: When you hang the tapestries on the walls, do you put them directly against the wall surface or do you give some space?

Sonic: The tapestries are fastened to and hung from wooden bars (7ft L x 3" W x 1" D") at their top edges. The tapestries are therefore away from the walls with a 1.5 inch gap between the fabric and the wall surface

MG: Also have you put the tapestries on a board then hung the board?

Sonic: The tapestries are attached at their top edges to the wooden bars and these bars are attached by picture hooks to the walls. Most of the surface area of the tapestries have a 1.5 inch air gap behind them.

MG: One last thing, have you put the tapestries on Styrofoam, then mounted?

Sonic: Nope, never thought of doing this.

Michael, what have you got in mind?




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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:17 pm



Would be interesting to hear what porous Styrofoam sounded like behind the tapestries.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:21 am


Greetings Michael

I went looking for porous styrofoam today and came up with nothing....no one heard of it.

My good DIY store has Hi-density and Lo-density styrofoam but has not heard of porous styrofoam. I also went to two art shops and they have the usual foam boards and blocks of various thicknesses and again no porous styrofoam.

What is this stuff normally used for? Where is it normally sold in the US?

If Sonic cannot find this stuff in my town is there an alternative material I can mount behind the tapestries? Your suggestion to have some material in the space between the tapestry and the wall is a good idea.

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:31 pm

Hi Sonic

It's hard for me to describe the foam I use cause there are so many kinds, and there are many uses for them, mostly shipping. I'll get more pictures.

I have moved your cable comments over to your thread, so that visiting listeners don't get confused while Garp is burning in his cable.

Sonic said

Some of your customers used tinned for one conductor and your pure copper wire for the other Question  What effect will this have Question Sonic does not see the logic of this. In my town I know of one audiophile who uses what he calls "Super Pure" 16 AWG Litz wire for one terminal and solid core silver wire of 22 AWG for the other terminal. A rather off the wall idea IMO Rolling Eyes

mg

It's my job to explore audio from an empirical science, which means practical practicing listening Smile . There are a lot of things I do for my own learning curve that takes me way outside of the norm.

sonic

Some of your customers used tinned for one conductor and your pure copper wire for the other Question

mg

Yes, by request. I keep a stock of different wires so I can do custom mixing.

sonic

What effect will this have Question

mg

It's totally system, including their space, dependent. And keep in mind that their wire closets are full of MGA wires and cable.

sonic

Sonic does not see the logic of this.

mg

That's why I hide much of what I do. It's too easy for folks to get confused because many hobbyist have a blended opinion that comes in part from the audiophile world and part the tune. The two don't always mix as smoothly as you would think. Here's an example of audiophile lack of logic and why I depart from it so many times (this is just one example).

Audio designing itself is not logical because designers build for shipping a unit and not using space as a paradigm. Nobody questions this because it's the way we're use to seeing components. We see component parts strapped down to a chassis which makes no sense at all yet we accept this as "they know what they are doing cause everyone does it". There's a total lack of understanding of how fields work, and how much fields play a part in our signals.

sonic

In my town I know of one audiophile who uses what he calls "Super Pure" 16 AWG Litz wire for one terminal and solid core silver wire of 22 AWG for the other terminal.

mg

Keep in mind that, that listener has a completely different setting than you do. The sound that he wants maybe something way off from what another listener may call correct, but to him it is correct. I look at my job as dealing with the variables. When I find a more open way of designing I will use that as my starting point but where a listener ends up inside of the Tune is their own creation. You like tinned, Garp doesn't, which one is correct? See what I mean? What I do is provide the beginning tool, but how that tool is used may be something (and usually is) unique to you and has nothing to do with audiophile theory.

sonic

A rather off the wall idea IMO Rolling Eyes

mg

Why would this be off the wall to you? A super good topic BTW. One that could help folks in this hobby a lot and get them thinking on what is really happening instead of trying to link all these different theories together. Some of the most basic logic in audio gets thrown out the window when the ego takes over.

For another example, what is your house wired with? I don't ask this from an ID perspective but from an OD. ID meaning inside of your component parts and OD out side of your component parts.

What I try to do is get a sense for your signal path mechanically, acoustical and electrically. That means I try to see the "whole", not just the obvious stereo equipment, but the whole picture.

I stole this off the internet so I could show you something.

here is a basic wall outlet pre-diagram

This isn't showing the whole electrical run found in most homes but enough to show a basic pattern or theme.

See how each room is surrounded by electrical wiring? This is your basic electrical field antenna. Now add your ceiling fans and all the other runs you have. Then add your appliances. Now put in your stereo and charged speakers. We're not done, add your electrical grid outside of your home. See how unique your field perspective is as compared to the next guy? You have several "transformers" sitting in the middle of all this. Not only that but your appliances (including components) have the wiring condensed (and close to transformers) and other parts of the field antennas are more spread out. Now look at your house and neighborhood wiring and notice how many field manipulators you have all affecting your sound on an continuing basis. And this is without anything being turned on. There is more energy affecting your sound in your stereo than your stereo itself.

In out hobby we try to created norms where there are none. This is why I talk so much about Earth's fundamental forces. It's those forces that play your music, and there's no way around them. In fact as we learn to interact with them ourselves, that's when we discover easier paths to our playback goals. I break this down to a usable guideline every day as if the hobby itself was my teacher. I can do things with my tools that go anywhere and each time I discover that new openness it takes me even deeper into the answers. From that point I can always go backward to find a particular place in my stage. And this is what I continue to press forward on. Can I do anything out there signal wise? Every year I feel I'm getting closer but this only means I haven't heard every recording out there yet. There will always be "A Hidden Harmonic" to discover but there are certain steps that develop as time marches on. The latest Rev Speakers for example are an animal that has never been done before and using them is more realistic than anything that as ever come out before. To me, they make Music Ply and my old Classic material sound incomplete. I have all 3 here, Classic, MP and the new models (along with the steps up to the new models). As I can go many places with the older designs, the new design is yet a new dimension. There's a tone that the Music Ply will never achieve nor will the Classic. They are great speakers, but moving to the desert showed me that they could go further because of a condition I didn't have access to before. My kilns back in Amish country, as dry as they got, different have the same energy source as I have here. Baking things here is a much different end effect both humidity wise and field.

But, back to the point I wanted to make early before I get lost in Rev-Land. Yes, I prefer the 22gauge solid core copper bare for it's ability to shape the interaction between the signal and the fields (to me they are one), but I'm not blind to the fact that there are other materials involve with the audio code. Like with my Rev Series. I may have Bare Essence wire inside but my ERO cap has Tinned leads. I'm using currently Nickle RCAs on my Rotel inputs and if you look through the Audio Chain start to finish you will see many different interactions between different materials, all combined to create an over all performance.

So no, hearing people use different combos is not weird to me at all. If you look through your system's parts and pieces there are all kinds of different ingredients contributing to your sound. Also keep in mind that because your signal is a continuum, that means any time you add a material's vibratory makeup to the audio chain the overall audio code changes. Your not talking a 2D strait line here, but more like pouring something into a glass of water. All of your signal and field makeup is not a bunch of short runs of cable where everyone is orderly. Instead, it's like pouring everything into a huge pool of energy and running a string from one end to the other while you pass the information. What people call distortion is nothing more than rocky waters before the calm. I hope I'm painting the picture clearly. Once you start to see the energy in your mind it makes more sense.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:30 am



Michael,

Great reply especially “In our hobby we try to created norms where there are none. “ Very Happy

Sonic will have to read what you wrote a couple of times more to get the full impact of what you are saying.

As for the Styrofoam – can I assume what you are talking about is NOT the boards available in art supply stores to be used for mounting artworks or cut with a heated wire saw and fashioned into various shapes?

To my eyes these do not look porous when viewed without magnification.

So I am assuming these are not what you are talking about. Or is what you refer to?

Let me know.

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:27 am

Hi Sonic

The black is hard to get good pictures of so use the white as more of a guide.



It's not a soft foam like rubber. It's not like Sonex for example. It's stiff but with very open pores. I don't know if this is in your art stores or not, maybe something close.

BTW the black sounds different than the white. I believe when they apply the color dye it does something to the resonance. I went through a lot of different samples to get to the one I use, but that doesn't mean other foams don't work as well. For me I just like this tone for the Revs.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:57 am



Thanks Michael – I know what that is now. Sonic will go get some and put it up  

Which Groove = Which Channel?

Something Sonic found on Steve Hoffman’s site:

"Since the conventions of disc recording dictate that the right stereo channel is recorded in the wall of the groove closest to the edge of the record, and the left channel in the wall closest to the centre, it is clear from the micrographs that it is the right audio channel which is being subjected to excess force. Whether the differential wear pattern seen is due to stylus misalignment or to excess bias will determine which of the two channels will provide the first audible evidence of mistracking.

This means that Right and Left channels correspond to the records on the TT – Right channel from the side of grooves towards the Right speaker, and Left channel from the sides of grooves towards the left speaker."


Knowing this, Zonees can set their tonearm anti-skating by ear. Anti-skate is a complex topic given that the force to compensate for the inward movement of the arm varies across the radius of the record and is related to the intensity of the groove modulations.

The notable way to get it wrong is to use a blank record.  This is because the stylus tip does not contact the record, it reads the grooves with two patches on the sides of the stylus actually.

This is how Sonic adjusts my RB700 anti-skate:

First ensure the platter/record surface is level across the arm’s tracing radius of the record.  Then set the antiskate to the manufacturer’s recommended setting for your tracking force. Play a mono record in stereo (don’t hit the Mono switch on your amp) and see if the image is properly centered between the loudspeakers. If the image leans Leftward, increase the anti-skate a little, if it leans rightward, reduce the setting.  Then do fine adjustment using stereo LPs that you are familiar with.  For me, I find for a tracking force of 1.9gms, the antiskate that sounds best is that indicated for a 2.0gms tracking force.

Give this a try.  There are other methods which include playing a groove with high modulation then lifting the stylus from the groove while watching it through a magnifying glass.  See if the stylus and cantilever “snaps” towards the Right (too much), or to the Left (too little) and adjust accordingly. More accurate and complicated is to use the appropriate tones on a test record and get equal L and R signals viewed on an oscilloscope.    

There are vinyl fans who prefer to play their records with no anti-skate, in fact some arms like the old Acoustic Research, the 12 inch Shicks and the early VPI’s had no anti-skate.

While Sonic hears the effect of anti-skate or lack of it and wonder about those who prefer their turntables with no skating compensation, I recall what Michael said yesterday “In our hobby we try to created norms where there are none. “

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:41 am



Greetings Michael cheers

Sonic bought the foam from a company that sells industrial foam products to the logistics, building and furniture industries. This porous material is made from polyethylene and is commonly used in packaging. This stuff is not available in art supply stores.

To start, I am using two pieces of 1 metre x 1 metre x 1 inch, one piece to be placed behind each tapestry on the Left and Right side walls.

We shall start testing…..

Sonic



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:37 am



A blessed Easter Michael and Zonees!




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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:45 am



Changing the Acoustic Treatment in Sonic’s Room - 11

In the last two weeks since my last installment on this topic, Sonic been busy at work-related things but for all the listening I did, here is what was done:

More Optimisation
After listening to much music, I have to conclude that this room definitely requires some soft material ahead of the speakers on the side walls. The IKEA Signes cut the ringing of the walls but themselves have a sound which I can identify (a thinning in the lower midrange) – Zonees will remember that any material used to make an acoustic control device or treat the room will contribute its sound to the outcome) so Sonic used another “tapestry” repurposed from elsewhere. Over the course of about 10 days of settling, this material sounds more tonally balanced.

The FS-DTs at the ends of my sofa have been returned to their old places parallel to the side walls at the rear of the room a little out from the corner.

A goodly improvement was made when Sonic hung an EchoTune from the ceiling ahead of the air conditioning unit on the rear wall. The room became quieter and the bass more impactful. The bass was at times coming close to, and at times achieving, what I imagine “membrane bass” to be. The curious thing is Sonic’s notes tell me that I have tried this Tune years earlier with a poor result.

The sound over this period has become tubey and warm to the point that Sonic could reduce the value of the resistors padding the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs’ quasi-ribbon tweeters from 2 ohms to 1 ohm. Magnepan recommend owners to use 1 ohm resistors if they want a 1 – 2 dB cut in quasi-ribbon output if the speakers sound bright. In Sonic’s case, I have till now needed 1.8 to 2.0 ohms get the warm, musical sound I am after. Now with these room acoustics adjustments, 1 ohm resistors are right.

The Porous Foam
Sonic got the porous polyethylene foam and have done some quick testing using it behind the tapestries. The quick take is there appears to be a more transparent/dimensional midrange and better BOO! damping in the room (that the reverb of the BOO! sounds “smaller”) but the bass might have lost extension. Anyway given the number of changes and the Tuning momentum that is going on, Sonic will complete this present cycle of Tunes and settliong then test the foam.

We Have Nice Music
The music is very good! For instance, with Norman and Nancy Blake’s Blind Dog (Rounder), the sound of their small bodied Martin guitars are just right. With Brahm’s sonatas for viola and piano, the piano has weight and the unique tone of the viola come over beautifully. Then Sonic played Zoltan Kodaly’s Sonata for Cello in b-minor played by Janos Starker, and then played Haydn’s Quartets on vinyl. Nice tone.

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:03 am

Thoughts While Changing the Acoustic Treatment in Sonic’s Room

While Sonic has been listening, some thoughts occurred that Zonees might be interested in:

a.          Settling is a process that does not end.  It keeps going on and we do not get to a point that we can say “settling is done!”  For Sonic I have had wonderful moments of music and then things moved on. I am sure Zonees will have experienced this. Even if we keep everything in the room/system fixed, settling goes on, parts in the audio chain age, the system responds to its environment and weather, we change physically in fact my friend The Audio Mystic says that if we are deficient in vitamins or minerals that have relation to the auditory system like Magnesium, our hearing changes.  

b.          Within a system that is settling, I suspect that things occur at different speeds.  So the Tunes we make, the right moves or the mistakes will catch up and make their presence heard but some take longer.  It is hard to untangle which causes a particular effect.  For example, Sonic has recently got my viola tone beautiful but a week on, playing the same recording has me remarking that the viola sounds “hollow”.

c.          High-End Audiophiles who appear to be chasing their tails endlessly upgrading gear and tweaking may be just responding to this “settling phenomena” without recognizing it for what it truly is.  Telling the world about Endless Settling will rank among Michael Green’s greatest insights to the audio industry and hobby. But will the HEA folks believe Mr Green?

d.          Robert E Greene (The Abso!ute Sound writer) once pointed out that “microphones do not behave like ears” and that recordings are never recorded with microphones placed where the listeners’ ears will normally be.  Sonic thought through this.  We do not hear string quartets from above the performers, we do not listen to orchestras from above the conductor’s podium, neither are we able to separate our ears 10 feet apart. We do not have stick our heads in pianos, place our noses a few inches from a double bass or hear electric guitars a few inches from the amplifiers’ grille cloth.
 
e.          The relative levels of sounded captured by the various mics in a recording are not reflected in the final product that you hear.  In multi-tracking you might have an instrument played and recorded in the studio at 100dB, but in the mix, the same instrument might be mixed soft and back in the mix.  Instruments sound different when played loud and softly….think of what this means….yet audiophiles want to hear recordings presented as a Live Recording.  

f.          Up to a point we can get wonderfully life-like performances but the concert hall experience at the 10th row of a concert hall is not in the recording. Neither is the rock show…though Sonic thinks multi-track rock/pop may be easier to recreate through recordings.

g.          What the conductor hears at the podium is vastly different from what an audience in the hall will hear.  Sonic had the privilege to assist an orchestra and during rehearsal could stand next to the first violins then walk to the 15th row in the hall to compare the sounds.  Night and day!  Robert E Greene once quoted this observation from Maestro Boris Goldovsky:

“It is not generally recognized that a conductor must have a very special kind of ear…from all points of the compass comes whispers of gusts of music, which engulf the conductor in successive waves of sound.  In the midst of all this tumult, which in large orchestral compositions can reach truly deafening volume, the good conductor must be able to cut through the cloudbursts of sound…If I went back into the auditorium and put forty feet or more between me and the nearest instruments, I could hear everything quite clearly….But when I was on the conductor’s podium, it was as though my hearing faculties had lost this acuteness.”  (quoted from “My Road to Opera”, Boris Goldovsky with Curtis Cate, pub: Houghton Mifflin, Boston 1979)


Sonic suspects that standing on stage with a rock band away from the foldbacks will sound just as confusing to someone accustomed to the presentation of the band on their LPs and CDs.

h.          Sonic wonders why the two people who influenced my understanding of audio most are both named Green…..? Chief of all is Michael Green and then Robert E Greene.  What is it in being named Green…? Should I be Green too  alien  Question

Here are two pictures of systems that by just looking at them tells you what sound to expect and what the systems were set up to do:



Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:44 am

I hope you had a wonderful Easter Sonic!


I was listening to some of my favorite gospel from the 70's  to early 80's mostly.

I was transported back in time, in my mind, to some of the very cool music camps. Seems like I got turned on to some of the coolest music and met the coolest people at these camps. You might have up to 10 bands or so working on their tours. The energy level at these get togethers always was amazing. Not only did we do our stage setup practices but there were many "Playing in the round" sessions. Back in those days I was part of the music as well as being an engineer so I got to sit in on both sides. While not in performing mode I was able to be in on the production teams, which was really a blast. Remarkable how for many thousands of years folks have sot out the best places around the world to practice their craft. Sonic's talk about being at the conductor's perch, sitting among the instruments or being in the hall is one of the privileges of being in full time production and touring. You literally never stop experiencing new sounds. When you find the "very best" it sometimes only last till your next stop and then you feel reborn all over again fresh.

I can still remember how disappointed I would be when entering into a modern church after coming from a wonderful cathedral or ancient ruins. A friend of mine would invite us to play at his place with live bamboo 20 and higher feet tall all shaped in a have circle with other natural materials around and how it was the best I had ever heard my African drums. The amplification there was breath taking (all natural no mics or amps).

That's what I think of when I tune a room for myself. A room that speaks the recording without effort. That moment of unlocking the harmonic door and the room takes over in a way that you hear no component.

sonic said

"For example, Sonic has recently got my viola tone beautiful but a week on, playing the same recording has me remarking that the viola sounds “hollow”."

mg

Sometimes I like to ride that fine line between body and hollow. It's a place where the notes almost turn into pure fluff. And the other word "membrane" . A place of almost perfect impact to the place where the notes are a part of almost being pure pressure on the edge of sound. I don't even know if this is possible with two different sets of ear drums in the same setting. I did though have a fella walk in during a smooth jazz session and as soon as he walked in he said he could feel the pressure running through his body. Kind of interesting comments. The system was not turned up loud at all but you could sense the way the room had taken over.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:25 pm

Changing the Acoustic Treatment in Sonic’s Room – 12

Hi Michael – useful comments. Thanks, this has been a wonderful Easter.

As the project to rationalise the Tune of my room moves on, the acoustic problems in my room are being dealt with nicely.  Sometimes this means that those that remain may become more noticeable because these faults are no longer masked.  Such is a “honk” that happens occasionally at a narrow frequency that appears with one much liked recording in the viola range.

Sonic tested and surmised that:

a.          it is the room – the “honk” is not audible using the Sennheiser headphones.

b.          the cause may be tangential activation of Pressure Zones, coming off the floor-wall corners seams and interacting with the diagonally opposite corner or seam at the ceiling. Trying to treat this as if the cause was interaction between parallel surfaces had no effect. Happily, the problem appears not to be caused by the parallel surfaces of the ceiling and floor.  If it were, it will be huge problem requiring a false ceiling or something like that. Such a fix will be complex and expensive.

The solution
Sonic remembered that Michael once had a placement solution to deal with angular problems:



To apply this, Sonic took the pair of DecoTunes at the front wall, removed them from their stands and leaned them against the wall at a 60 degree angle directly behind the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs, like so:



All other placements of Tunes and treatment in the room are the same as reported in my post of April 1.

The “honk” problem is now reduced.  

Sonic has also started testing the placement of DTs placed lengthwise.  



The sound can be described as now walking the line between “honk” (which Sonic doesn’t want) and “projective energy” (which Sonic equates with what Michael and Tunees call “membrane”), another way of expressing what Michael said a few days ago “(riding) that fine line between body and hollow”.

Sonic
 
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