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 Tuning and Musical Adventures

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:48 am


Greetings Zonees

Let it be known that Sonic takes heed of what Michael says.

On July 23 MG posted: “I see some different cables in the system, lets add those to the equation. The more we can identify the sounds of each part and piece the easier it is to see the system as a whole. Sometimes it's hard to step forward without looking at other moves that have changed the formula.”

Sonic thinks Michael is right about looking at the sound contribution of each part.  So while these multi-strand cables have been satisfactorily in use for some months, I think it is time to get back closer to the Tune path.

Sonic brought back the Michael Green Bare Essence T3s for the run from the amplifier (Parasound A21) to the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs, kept the padding resistors in and used short pieces of T3 as jumpers, that is we are not biwiring.

On power up, the Bare Essence T3s certainly create a different sound from the multi-strand cables.  I’ll put the system through some intense settling till Friday when Sonic will give a report of what I hear.

Till then…..


An Interview with Roy Gandy (from Hi-Fi+)

By Chris Martens, October 4, 2016

To see the article with all the pictures go to:
http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/interview-with-roy-gandy-of-rega-research/

Roy Gandy started Rega Research more than 40 years ago. Since then, the company has grown to become one of the most important specialist turntable manufacturers in the world, and has expanded to encompass the full gamut of audio equipment. But the turntable is still at the core of Rega.

Recently, we spoke with Roy Gandy as a part of our Titans of Turntable & Tonearm Technology series within our Hi-Fi+ Guide to Analogue Audio, which can be downloaded here.

Hi-Fi+: What drew you to the field of analogue audio in the first place and what do you regard as your specialties within that field?

RG:  Music drew me to the field. As a student I could not afford equipment to listen to music and so I had to make it.  My specialities would be turntable, arm, and cartridge design along with an understanding of the turntables function and 40 + years of research and development into the subject.

Hi-Fi+: Many in our industry say that analogue audio presently is enjoying a renaissance. Would you agree with this viewpoint and, if so, what do you think is driving that renaissance?

Yes: The renaissance is a very large growth in a very small niche market.  I hope the growth is due to the possibilities of better sound quality but there are many other factors such as the difficulties with downloading, streaming, and the poor sound quality of any current digital format, particularly MP3, phones, and tablets.

Hi-Fi+: How have engineering practices changed since you built your first turntable? Have the changes influenced subsequent designs?

At Rega we have seen huge R & D investment and changes to almost everything we make.  However, elsewhere little has changed except that the increase in interest has seen a growth in massive, heavy acrylic sculptures.

The market success of our unique and controversial designs, which are based purely on demonstrable sound quality, has influenced all our turntable designs and we currently produce five models instead of the two which we produced for most of the company’s life.

Most of our changes have come from new lighter and stiffer materials along with the increased accuracy available from CNC machines at a lower cost.  We are also very proud of the hundreds of new design ideas that our research has allowed us to produce.  Most of these are insignificant in marketing terms but hundreds of small improvements in shapes and materials have increased the ability of our turntables to accurately measure the micron levels of the record groove.

Hi-Fi+: What are the distinctive ‘hallmarks’ or signature elements of your analogue designs? What distinguishes your products from those of your competitors?

The “hallmark” of a Rega turntable is that it is designed to attempt to measure the minute, microscopic vibrations contained in a record groove.  We look at the real world of precision engineering and question the anecdotal mythology that has forever surrounded the idea of a turntable.

Hi-Fi+: Some prefer to treat turntables and tonearms as integrated systems whose elements should be developed in concert with one another. Others prefer to take more of a ‘mix-and-match’ approach. What is your recommendation and why?

Of course there are many people who wish to try new things. Hi-Fi in general has a large subjective element, which is ideal for those interested in experimentation and satisfying the neurotic urges that exist in many of us.  Because the turntable has an almost impossible task of measuring vibration at the micron level, any change will alter the cartridge signal.  However, in the engineering world the turntable has only an objective function and that is a machine, tool, or instrument to measure the vibration contained in a rotating record, along with inputting the energy to rotate the record in a microscopically constant manner.  The turntable, arm, and cartridge are all part of this machine and all need to be considered as a necessary part of the whole, while accepting that they require some different scientific and engineering functions.

Hi-Fi+: Being as candid as possible, how would you compare the relative merits of digital and analogue source components? What things do you think good analogue sources do singularly well?

I don’t understand why the answer to this question requires “being candid”.  The answer will depend on areas of musical interest and ability to discriminate.

Personally, I know many people for whom musical replay via YouTube on their phone or tablet is adequate for their needs and they have no interest in an increase in quality.  Most people eat readymade supermarket meals and are happy with the taste of frozen food, synthetic cheese, and factory-produced drinks.  I am one of the few percent who are cursed or charmed with the ability to obtain intense pleasure from all my senses and actively seek to create that pleasure.  Tasteless food makes me feel bad so I don’t own a freezer.  I don’t like background music or performers whose aim is stardom, but any special performer, professional or amateur, who cares and communicates, can make me cry, but I have never cried listening to recorded music of any sort. So my aim in the world of recorded music is to try and re-create the emotional elements that can make people cry.  I own about three thousand LP’s and about two hundred CD’s.  I still sometimes actively listen to music on LP but rarely on CD except maybe to transcribe song words or analyze an arrangement.

The simple answer is that neither digital nor analogue musical replay is good or bad.  The artistic musical production possibilities using digital recording and mastering techniques far exceed anything possible on tape.  BUT if one wants to capture the specific performance characteristics of a special musician or an amazing voice, then this is only possible on tape and vinyl replay.

There are hundreds of thousands of badly recorded vinyl albums but maybe one or two thousand good ones.  For me, most CD recordings emasculate the music and I have only about five that,for me, are listenable.

Both digital and analogue recording and replay are massively flawed sciences and it is difficult to understand how either can work at all.  

However, at its best the analogue approach far exceeds the digital both audibly and technically.  Those that claim better measurements for the digital domain are simply measuring the wrong things.

Hi-Fi+: Which elements in the analogue audio signal path—turntables, tonearms, phono cartridges, or phono stages—have the most overall impact on sound quality?

The signal from the record cannot be improved on (“you can’t polish a turd”) and missing information cannot be replaced so one assumes that the turntable/arm/cartridge, are important.  However, the signal or music can be corrupted or destroyed at any stage so every part of the replay chain including amplifier and loudspeaker become equally important.

Hi-Fi+: Which three of your favourite analogue demo discs might you recommend to our readers? (It’s hard to choose just three, we know, but please do your best.)

I don’t agree with the concept of “demo discs” or using discs to demonstrate the replay.  I much prefer the concept that the function of the replay system is to demonstrate the disc.

Hi-Fi+: What set-up or installation tips would you give the newcomer… and what guidance would you give to the expert?

Listen to the music.  Don’t read reviews or magazines.  Be confident in your own beliefs and what you hear.  Find a good retailer who will let you listen and borrow equipment.  Don’t spend large sums on equipment furniture or cables; most of it is a “con”.  There is more available pleasure from listening to music than playing with Hi-Fi.

For the “expert”; I know many competent loudspeaker and electronics experts.  I have never met a turntable expert.  Almost all turntable accepted beliefs are anecdotal, mythological, or completely wrong.

Hi-Fi+: In five years’ time, how do you anticipate that the world of analogue audio will have changed?

No change.




Last edited by Sonic.beaver on Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:34 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Correct typo, correct and add details)
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:45 pm

Hi Sonic

I'm looking forward to your Friday's report.

study

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:35 am

Musick Powered with Bare Essence T3

Here are pictures of the system as it is now.  See the standard-to-Tuneland layout of three FS-PZCs at the mid-front wall and where the FS-DRTs are. That was what Sonic was referring to last week in my post.



And here is how the FS-DTs ahead of the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs are now placed Left and Right.  This does not correspond to any first reflection point. I don’t even know where the spots are.  This placement gives the best forward projection and ambience.



Pardon the low quality – my usual camera got a problem so Sonic shot these pix with a phone.

Notice also that Sonic is again using Michael Green T3 Bare Essence from the amp to the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs with short pieces of T3 as jumpers, a return which I referred to in my post of August 8.

After four days of somewhat intense running in, Sonic finds that Michael’s T3s lack the tonal signature of the earlier cables that transferred from recording to recording in some measure, sometimes more and sometimes less.

With the Bare Essence T3s, the sound of gut strung violins are more accurate. The upper bass weight and attack of the T3s are better and while the bass extension is slightly better than the earlier cables, the images of bass/low tone instruments are larger and therefore more realistic. As settling proceeded the deep bass appears to be getting to be more weighty and more taut as heard in low bowed bass notes.

The mids and treble of the T3 are sweeter. On a recording I have where the midrange was “shouty” with the earlier cables, the T3s give a sound that is flatter and more neutral. Compared to the earlier cables, the T3 do not call attention to any part of the recorded frequency range.

Another mark of the transparency/neutrality of the Michael Green Bare Essence T3 is they let the Magneplanar MG1.5QR’s characteristic slight midrange recessive nature become audible. The earlier cable had a more forward midrange which I used in an attempt to correct the MG1.5QR’s midrange weakness but on long term listening it sounds artificial and tiring.

What else Sonic notices is a kind of a “knee step” in the response where the sound is good and balanced up to a certain volume, then just one more click higher on the preamp, the sound blossoms out into the room and the music becomes real, present and alive.  

Fortunately this does not take place at excessively high volume levels but happens when average levels get past the high 70dBs, low 80dBs C-weighting.  This effect has been observed with Magneplanars by the late Harry Pearson and co in the pages of the Abso!ute Sound.  In their cases they however reported this transition to “aliveness” took place at levels they remarked that might, on a long-term basis, threaten one’s hearing. That sounds to Sonic to be high 80dB average levels or more.

This “knee step” also took place to some extent with the earlier cables but at much higher volume levels and even then less noticeable, with less “wow!” when it happened.

With the volume in this “aliveness” range, played Miles Davis’ Tutu and then tracks from the Bee Gees’ Odessa, an early album, their last in their 1960’s line up.  Excellent bass, deep and while it doesn’t shake the floor (the parquet-over-concrete floor is too hard for that), the air in the room is vibrating.  

Bare Essence T3 -- good stuff Michael  cheers

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:51 am

More on Bare Essence T3 and What Lies Beyond…

As we wait for Michael to come back online with his comments and the pictures, after six days of concerted run in, the Bare Essence T3s from Michael Green are in a few words – very good Exclamation Very Happy

The extension of the low-end with the T3s is slightly better than the earlier cables – which were doubled-up Van Dammes (the Blue Speaker Series 268-575-060) that are used as internal wiring in Harbeths.  

However the bigger and projected bass images Sonic is getting with the Michael Green Bare Essence T3s gives the impression that the extension difference is greater than it actually is.  

From Sonic’s records, I can see where my detour was made from the biwired Bare Essence T3 and T2 to this highly regarded but “fixed sound” Van Damme cable. Sonic need not go into the details but the root of it all was trying to fix more than one problem at a time with the added confusion in assigning remedies to causes.

In my post of August 4, Sonic remarked that:

“I use the Japan Victor Company SEA-10 to raise 40hz by 2dB as a baseline and can use the other EQ bands if necessary……This means I can next turn my attention to the capacitor change for the Magneplanars MG1.5QRs. This one will be slightly complex. The Jantzen caps turned out to be too large to fit behind the grille cloth, so Sonic will have to build a wooden shelf that bolts to the back of the Magneplanar MG1.5QR panels on which to mount the two caps and use Michael’s Bare Essence T3 to connect the capacitors to the rest of the crossover board."

Now:

With the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs closer to the side walls and the return to Michael Green T3s, the sound is sufficiently tonally balanced that I am listening to almost all recordings without any EQ boost in the bass. The low end is actually over-ripe with the 2dB boost to 40hz in most cases. So the baseline is now flat with no EQ from the JVC Nivico Sound Effect Amplifier 10.

With the sound as it is presented, Sonic is likely to forgo the change of the present Solen capacitors to the Jantzen caps or postpone it indefinitely. The caps will of course be kept in my closet as NOS till the day when they will be required.  Paul Simon he say "everything put together sooner or later falls apart."

Sonic found an LP of Elliot Carter’s String Quartet (The Walden Quartet) and an LP of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time and La Merle Noir for Flute and Piano (The NY Philomusica Chamber Ensemble). I am listening to these two LPs as I prepare this missive.  Before I play them tonight, Sonic is listening to Bach’s Cantata BWV 44 (Nicholas Harnoncourt and Concentus Musicus Wein – Das Alte Werk, Telefunken LP. I found an LP of the Quartour pour la fin du temps…the End of Time….

Ahead for Sonic there will be the matter of addressing the mishmash of interconnects that I am using, a combo that includes Michael Green’s Picassos.  Should I try to resolve this or just leave be?    

While I take more time for musick….Sonic says again that Michael and Tune has delivered well!

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:56 am

Hi Sonic, sorry for the delay Embarassed

Way too much on my plate these days Rolling Eyes

I'm glad to read your position with the mga cables. As I try to keep up on cables, in the end, I find myself going back to Picasso and Bare Essence. There's simply so many things that can be done with them that I find it hard to fail. It may take certain tricks to get there, but the answers to what I'm hunting for are found in empirical exercises of physics ultimately.

bom too many things at one time can get anyone lost, and lost profoundly


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:59 am



Greetings Michael and Zonees

Sonic has been quiet because my system and room, thanks to Mr Green’s products and methods, have created a very nice playback environment for reproduction of musick and speech. Such is the sound I am getting that there is nothing more to do (for now) but listen.

A happy state indeed!

Sonic found this article on a Field Coil Controlled Unipivot Tonearm…costing Euro25,700!


Have a look:

PRIMARY CONTROL FCL FIELD COIL LOADED TONEARM

Bernd Hemmen writes: "We always were fascinated by the simplicity and purity of the unipivot bearing design. The classic unipivot tonearm can sound quite good but has some serious drawbacks. First of all, we never could get used to the handling of the wobbling arm wand. This makes everyday use very unpleasant. A classic unipivot tonearm has also an unfavorable ratio of tonearm balance and bearing point. The center of gravity of the tonearm is much deeper than the bearing point and that leads to a high moment of inertia. Another, often overlooked point is the fact, that all the energy from the tonearm is derived at this tiny point into the tonearm base. The energy that a cartridge transfers into the arm wand when playing an LP is enormous and the energy transfer at the bearing point is very critical. Besides that, the unipivot tonearm has the tendency for torsional movement when playing warped records.

Our first design, which achieved the solution of these weaknesses, is the Reference Tonearm, a completely customized design. Strictly speaking, however, it is not a true unipivot tonearm, since there is a second bearing point, against which the arm is leaning.

Our newly developed FCL Tonearm is a true unipivot design and overcomes all the problems of the classic unipivot tonearm. The loading of the bearing by the use of a specially designed magnet and a field coil, powered by a constant current source, eliminates bearing chatter and gives the tonearm a high torsional stability. The center of gravity and the bearing point are in the same plane, thus the tonearm is in neutral balance. The bearing point is 18mm below the headshell and is therefore at the height of the record.

Last but not least, the tone arm handling is comparable to ball bearing tonearms. Bearing chatter, caused by energy transfer in the uni-pivot bearing, is eliminated.

In combination with the new developed ultra low resonance arm-wand, it leads to a low frequency reproduction and sonically performance unmatched by any other uni-pivot tonearm design.

FCL Tonearm (Field Coil Loaded Tonearm)

• New technology, field coil loaded uni-pivot bearing
• Constant current regulator
• No bearing chatter
• High torsional stability
• Non-friction magnetic anti-skating
• Ultra low resonance armwand

MSRP € 25.700 [Sonic: Shocked ]

Below is the white paper, that further explains Bernd Hemmen philosophy...

This is the first article for craftmen.audio and I would like to give you an short introduction of myself.

I am Bernd Hemmen, founder of PrimaryControl, a company specialized in analog audio products. From origin German, I live since more than 20 years in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. As many others in high end audio, my interest in audio already started in early childhood and was always a part of my life. At a certain point I started to develop and build my own analog frontend and after the first demands from audio friends it devoloped in a way that it became my profession and as I write on my website;
German engineering made in The Netherlands.

Today, I would like to tell you some details about the development of my first commercial tonearm design, the stabilized unipivot Reference Tonearm.

Origin for the development was a hate-love relationship to unipivot bearing tonearms. Under ideal circumstances, unipivot arms are capable of excellent sonic performance. Unfortunately, the problem is, that the playing of records rarely happens under these ideal conditions. More on that later.

Early employment with this bearing principle led to the realization that the position of the bearing plays a decisive role in the sonic characteristics of the tonearm.

The smaller the distance between the bearing point and the center of gravity of the arm- wand-counterweight assemble, the better the reproduction of the finest details and room information.

Ideally, the bearing point is at the center of gravity of the arm structure to minimize restoring force of vertical movment. This can not be achieved with a common unipivot tonearm. The proximity to the center of gravity leads to instability and thus to torsional instability. Therefore, it is customary to place the center of gravity of the arm rather low to allow the playing of warped records. The arm is now less likely to be accustomed to torsional movement but has a low center of gravity for vertical movement.

This was the starting point for the construction of the Primary Control Reference Tonearm. The sapphire bearing is supported by a second bearing point.

This second bearing point is below the unipivot bearing and the arm does not have a fixed connection to the lower bearing but is leaning against the bearing. Simultaneously, the azimuth of the tonearm is also adjusted.

This has the advantage that it is possible to choose the position of the bearing. Following the ideal, the center of gravity of the tonearm-counterweight assembly is now in the same plane as the unipivot bearing and approximately at record/platter height.

A further point, which is not particularly elegantly solved in most tonearm designs, is the anti-skating device.
A thread-mass construction, a modification thereof or a spring is common.

Apart from the fact that this is also a resonating mass storage, most of these devices also introduce some amount of friction.
Take a record without grooves and compare the operation of a magnetic anti-skating device and the mentioned thread-mass anti-skating device.

If with both devices the counterforce is adjusted well and you lower the arm to the record, the arm with magnetic anti skating moves a little around the point where you lowered the arm. This is due to the unevenness of the record and you can see that the arm can freely move lateral. The arm with thread-mass device stays firmly in one position after lowering.

The skating force is a dynamic force and speed dependent. Therefore, a well-designed anti-skating device is also designed dynamically and has a stronger effect on the outer than on the inner grooves of a record. Unfortunately, the skating force is also varying with the amplitude of the signal in the groove and thus depending on the music playing at this very moment. This is not easy to compensate with traditional methods.

Let us come to another point that was at the 'to do' list for the development of the Reference Tonearm.

An accurate way to adjust the vertical tracking angle (VTA) aka the stylus rake angle (SRA) should be applied. This had already impressed me with the introduction of the Wheaton Tri Planar Tonearm.

By the way, in my opinion, the correct setting of the VTA is not as important as the correct adjustment of the SRA angle. Since the adjustment of the height of the tonearm at his mounting base always changes both settings at the same time, I prefer the correct the adjustment of the SRA.

Anyone who knows my products will notice that I hide technical features in the design of my products.

This has also been done in the development of the Reference Tonearm. For this reason, I occasionally don’t use scales and accessible adjustment screws, which make a tonearm look very technically.

Even if these adjustment tools are sometimes quite convenient, I deliberately go a different way. The optical appearance of my products are noticeably different, without compromising the sonic results.

Initially, I had mentioned, that we would like to start from an ideal situation but in most cases the reality differs more or less strongly from it.

This is especially true for playing a record. With a conventional unipivot tonearm, the center of gravity of the tone arm could be brought close to the bearing point (our design goal) if the record was perfectly planar and centered.

But we are far from this ideal situation. Even records, which we judge as plan and centric lead to unimagined interactions in the micro cosmos of record groove scanning. To be able to measure this effects, I have developed a measuring element (similar to a cartridge) with which I can read out the tracking force fluctuations when playing a record and can graphically represent it via an interface and a software program.

I tested some commercial tonearms and my own designs. It shows interesting results and it sometimes can help to better understand the theory of tonearm design and terms as bearing friction and restoring force of vertical movement.

Maybe a good theme for my next article!


www.primarycontrol.nl

See Source for pictures:[url= http://www.monoandstereo.com/2017/08/primary-control-fcl-field-coil-loaded.html#more] http://www.monoandstereo.com/2017/08/primary-control-fcl-field-coil-loaded.html#more[/url]

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:44 am


Greetings Michael and Zonees cheers

Sonic has been listening to lots of recordings plus attending live musical performances these last two weeks.

What the system has allowed me to do at last is to separate the experience of listening to music from the experience of “hi-fi”.

They are different indeed.

Sonic knows of music lovers with large collections of recordings to whom the quality of their hi-fi systems are almost secondary. Their ability to enjoy music are unrelated to any concept of “hi-end audiophile equipment” – for instance, thousands of albums stored in some compressed format on a server under the stairs, even played back on digital media players that cannot even give seamless transitions between tracks (the sound cuts off and restarts like the segue between Tracks 9 and 10 of Abbey Road).

Perhaps these are the true music lovers….?

On the other hand there are those who appear to be on an eternal treadmill of equipment change and tweaking and who seem to listen to a small number of recordings over and over.

Sonic has been tuning for a decade and a bit more Shocked

And Michael’s gear and his tuning principles have got me to the place where Sonic can separate the love of enjoying music from the audiophile equipment hobby. From where I am now it is easy to downplay the struggles Sonic related in my threads over the years of battling my room and system peculiarities.

Now, to a large extent, the room has got out of the way (or can be finally be put out of the way mentally) and let the music come through.

Spinning on my Rega P5 is Handel's Ode for Saint Cecilia's Day (Choir of King's College Cambridge, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Sir David Wilcocks cond. -- Decca 1968).

The tonal balance is good where the solo soprano voice is clear without being thin and over-projected, tenor voice has warmth, the choir full and the the instrument ensemble playing back with weight in the bass. This recording may have been found by Sonic in a discount bin and doubtlessly played on many generations of stylii yet there is little surface noise or distortion when traced by an Ortofon 2M Blue 49 years later in 2017 Very Happy

The tone in Sonic’s room and system is allowing the albums in my LP and FLAC collection show their beauty and recorded balance.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:37 am


Coda

From my recent writings and my lack of postings, Zonees may sense that Sonic’s Tuning adventure is moving towards a coda. True. Especially so given that my first post on Tuneland was in 2008 on March 15 – that is nine and a half years ago to the day Exclamation

Sonic has followed Michael Green and my fellow Tunees Hiend001, Drewster, Garp, Sonnylistner, Bill333 plus others who were my guiding lights. They drew me to the idea that hifi could be more than two channels of sound played in room. From them Sonic learnt there existed a world where instruments and voices could image near holographically around me, bass could be more than low just notes but a “membrane”, soundstages could be “huge” and “float”, and there were “hidden recordings” within recordings.

I started with a disadvantage though. My room had hard surfaces that caused a lot of issues with ringing, and upward tonal shift. One Zonee was right when he described my room as a “concrete bunker”.

Thanks to Mr Green, his thought and products, and the experiences of my fellow Tunees, Sonic recently reached a point where the problems of my “concrete bunker” have been largely expunged. This took hard work and there were missteps, instances of overdoing things often with proclamations of success followed by U-turns as you all read from my threads.

But one thing Sonic wants to point out so that no one who is reading misunderstands is this: a Tuning project need not take 10 years.

Starting with the example of Mr Green himself, we have read that when he had a free hand and the required Tuning products, the time it took for him to transform a room was in a matter of hours (you can find the account of this in the In Terms Of Music and The Abso!ute Sound reviews both from march 2004 within the Archives).

Also for many who do not have audio rooms, the Tune can go about as far as putting up Comer Tunes, some EchoTunes, maybe a couple of FS-DRTs and that’s about it. Sonic has met one such audiophile who did this satisfactorily in an apartment and was satisfied with the results with no desire to do more.

For Sonic, the “concrete bunker” was a major problem but possibly a bigger challenge Michael faced was the insistence that I keep my equipment – the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs, the Quicksilver preamp and so on – plus a number of personal restrictions on what I could and could not do with the room.

Michael unfailingly nudged me in the direction of achieving the Tune in best ways he knew how – his ideas of changing my gear to the simplified system of his tunable speakers, the Sherwood integrated amplifier and the Magnavox DVD player, his advice to adopt low platforms, by giving me a frank view of what my Magneplanars would never be able to do, discussions round PZCs on the ceiling and recently the door wedges. His approach was subtle. All the right advice was given by Mr Green and when taken, things worked as promised. Sonic also wants to thank Obb of Thailand who PM’d me and volunteered to get me a Sherwood integrated amp that met my mains voltage requirement. I declined. Thank you very much Obb cheers

Added to this was Sonic’s many lapses into incorporating other audio ideas/products rather than “staying with the method”. In the end very few of these worked. Most failed and set me back through confusion, wasted effort and expense.

Sonic is therefore grateful to Michael for his patience given all he has to do to run the MGA business and design things. I believe if a free hand was had all round and the MGA products I needed were at hand or available, this whole project would have reached conclusion under a year.

Back to the present: at this point Sonic is enjoying the music so much I can consider the Tuning done.

What lies beyond?

Michael said once to Hiend1 that there is always the “next level” in the Tune to aspire to. For Sonic, I will let things develop naturally with time and see what sort of “next level” I may want to pursue.

Of course there will be more listening to music and attending live concerts.

I hope to stay part of Michael’s Forum in some way. What form this takes needs some thought and of course discussion with Michael who owns the site and is the inventor of the Tune.

Till then, good listening and successful Tuning my friends Very Happy cheers Very Happy

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:51 am

Hi Sonic,

You've been a terrific contributor to this forum for many years now. I'm happy you are satisfied with your sound  Cool . I'll also be interested to hear what you're going to do whenever you're ready to go to your next level.... What a Face Laughing Razz Idea


jocolor jocolor

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:09 pm

The Tune is certainly a chapter of the hobby of listening that has taken the High End Audio audiophile world by surprise. It seems to be a one by one experience as people discover that the high end is not really what reviewers and many equipment makers and collectors have tried to make it out to be. It's always fun to be a part of the collecting hobby, I'm a collector, but then when hit in the ears with the Tune we realize that this hobby is a place that truly has no boundaries. As I have said many times on Sonic threads, it's interesting for me to see how the path is for the ones keeping one foot in the tune and one foot in the high end audiophile world. A couple of years ago my own path widened again by bringing in high end audio componentry. Honestly I never thought I would make that turn again, but the "audiophile" grip on listeners is a hard and very expensive boat to navigate. Audiophiles just don't want to walk away from the mythical land of plug & play and the promise of a one sound system solution. For myself, looking from the inside and outside, it's like a battle that each listener goes through. One, is the defense of a hobby and the other is the truth that all things musical are variable. It's a simple notion but one that I have seen many devote their listening lives to, hoping that the impossible will happen.

I personally have never seen or heard the one sound system solution in practice, work. I think the closest someone could get to that is having many different rooms with many different systems. Having one or two rooms playing one sound systems would be cause for pulling ones hair out, and that's exactly what high end audio looks like from the outside looking in.

Sonic's gig!

Sonic's truth however is something that is unusual and important for readers to follow. Will readers start from the beginning to end? I have no idea. But for those who take the time to read, they will find the tuning solution to be the only way to listening reality. Let's be clear "it's not Michael Green's Law for all things audio". Nope that would put me in the same camp with all the other myth makers. Tuning music is a way of life. The truth is something that has always been there, and we all are students with + or - abilities to add to the mix. There have been several big moments for me reading Sonic, which I'm sure I will be pointing to often. They will be blended into the things I have learned from folks like Jim Bookhard, Mick Ronson, Ovie Sparks, Justin Smith, David Bowie, Keith Bubby Webb, Andre' Frappier and countless others who have allowed me to be their listening student. I will reflect on my many attempts to have Sonic go all the way with the full package of Tuning Toys and how I could see Sonic come so close, but yet reeled back in by the audiophile ghosts. I will also always point to the major stand Sonic made by bringing the Equalizer back to center stage. I will point to many, many, many times that Sonic landed on listening sessions and described them in such great detail that it made folks run to their On switch. But more than any of this, is my love for the way Sonic promoted Music. Nothing made me happier than seeing the music Sonic listens to and the way he put together his listening sessions for the evening or weekend.

TuneLand without Sonic? Nah, I don't buy it! Sonic is woven into Tuning history, and be read for many years to come God willing.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:42 am

Re-Tuning the Windows

Greetings Michael and Zonees Very Happy

Sonic found the Kraft paper on the window glass had hardened and getting flaky after four years (installed back in September 2013) of exposure to sunlight. Instead of mounting fresh paper, I went back to this:



The results were impressively good, the sound being nicely fluid and warm after settling.

This might spark off the revision of a few tunes possibly.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:56 am



A Question for Michael on Recordings

Greetings Michael cheers

On tjbhuler’s thread you said: “It's interesting playing a tunable system/room and compare it to a regular "stereo" setup. It teaches us about recordings "for real" instead of the limited playback the audiophile world has portrayed (that frontal in a box stage).

Audiophiles play with the smallish frontal soundstage and make great to do about it, but recordings themselves are not a frontal science, nor are microphone patterns like we wish they would be in audiophilia land.

Having the Tunable Room allows us as playback listeners to go far beyond limited stereo. We can certainly dial in a frontal listening experience but now we are not limited to this only.

Here's an example: when a singer sings close up and directly into the microphone the pressure fills the whole diaphragm element and fills up a much bigger space in the stage size wise, and front to back. We can 'tune' in that smaller voice to make it sound real size, to us, but that's not really the actual size of the pressure being picked up. The truth is the headphone soundstaging is actually more accurate as far as the all around effect that recordings have. Using the room as the speakers allows us to get that headphone feeling, but the tunable room can do the headphone stage much better than headphones themselves.”

Sonic’s questions:

Given that the majority of studio monitoring rooms as I understand are designed to conventional acoustic theory with the equipment what we expect to see in professional studios:

Q1:With these rooms and equipment, do the mixdown engineers hear the surround effects and factor these into their final mixes that you refer to?

Sonic has had the opportunity to listen in studios and professional spaces used to record and mix rock, jazz and light classical. The rooms had Studer and Neve equipment and the large JBLs (hence my fascination with them Very Happy ) or Oceanway monitors. From what I heard, the sound is highly detailed but do not present the sound with any surround effects when working in 2-channel.

Q2: Are we Tunees, with a Tuned room and Tunable system, therefore going to be able hear tone, dimensionality and details that the studio engineers might not even know are on their master tapes?

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:28 am

Answering a couple of Sonic's question that audiophiles need to know.

Q1:With these rooms and equipment, do the mixdown engineers hear the surround effects and factor these into their final mixes that you refer to?

Sonic has had the opportunity to listen in studios and professional spaces used to record and mix rock, jazz and light classical. The rooms had Studer and Neve equipment and the large JBLs (hence my fascination with them Very Happy ) or Oceanway monitors. From what I heard, the sound is highly detailed but do not present the sound with any surround effects when working in 2-channel.

mg

In Nashville, one of the main reasons I think folks from Warner Bros, Sony, Universal, among other studios liked listening in my studio is because it was a more accurate playback setting able to display a bigger more realistic stage.



You could walk right from the live room to the studio and then to the playback to make your references. For other studios, they could also come to listen without the front stage only reference. I used Studer, Neve, plus JBL, Yamaha and MGA monitors.

Every studio and master room had their own sound and a completely different recorded code from each other. For example: I was bouncing with the remaster of "Titanic" soundtrack and every listening session in different locations sounded different. It also sounded different on headphones. It was MGA Studio that made the final judgement independently of the others.

Q2: Are we Tunees, with a Tuned room and Tunable system, therefore going to be able hear tone, dimensionality and details that the studio engineers might not even know are on their master tapes?

mg

This is most certainly the truth. Even when studio bouncing you can hear this is the case. No two studios ever played the same info. This is why I call the actual recording the "recorded code". A standard in playback can only be referenced in Real Space/Real Size. Everything else is a partial interpretation at best, only showing part of the space.

let me give you another example

In Florida when tape running for the BEEGEEs there was the main studio (or studios), and then there were private studios where the brothers could hear the music and make their own final decisions. I stayed up many overnights trying to mate what they (the engineers) thought they wanted to hear vs what Robin and Maurice did. You could hear this playing out in certain studio playbacks where the engineers didn't know how to blend Barry in with Robin and Maurice. In a nice live room (pre recording) the blend was really something, then, especially when using one mic in playback, engineers would often not get the whole thing to sound right because the control room playback didn't replay enough. The sound decisions needed to be made somewhere else, where more of the code could be used.

To this day almost all studios are still taking guesses because of partial recorded codes being play instead of the whole thing.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:48 am

Greetings Michael and Zonees

Michael’s reply tells so much about the Tune  Very Happy  It answers questions Sonic did not know how to ask till I read what he said on tjbhuler’s thread.

Sonic understands now what Mr Green means when referring to the “recorded code”. It is the recording itself not just some spatial information embedded within it.

Michael said that “A standard in playback can only be referenced in Real Space/Real Size. Everything else is a partial interpretation at best, only showing part of the space…..To this day almost all studios are still taking guesses because of partial recorded codes being play instead of the whole thing.……….”

This will be controversial to some audiophiles  Shocked  who hold that what audiophiles should strive is to hear what was heard in the studio mixing room and nothing more.  But why is the idea that an audio system may be unable to play back the entire recording, the whole “recorded code”, so hard to take?

Sonic has a simple example – if you play Schubert’s Trout piano quintet on mini monitors without bass extension (say a steep rolloff below 70hz), the double bass line disappears and all you hear will be the cello.  The piece becomes incomplete, the objective of Schubert’s composition is defeated and for listeners’ hearing the piece this way, Sonic would say to them “you really have not heard Trout.”

This is one way a system might lose information and not reproduce the “whole” of a musical work. An example that no audiophile, no matter how hardboiled, would disagree with.

What can happen with bass or treble will also occur with spatial playback and how image girth is rendered. This failure might not be the equipment’s fault; it could be that the room has not been acoustically tuned to project either full frequency or Real Space/Real Size.

Look at these pictures Sonic found:

This is the Decca Storm Mixer.



This is a rock group (early Pink Floyd?) in the studio.



A studio with JBL 4350 monitors.



Look at the playback systems and the rooms in these pictures.

Michael once described a Led Zeppelin recording played back on his tunable system where the guitar imaged far forward of the Right Speaker and over at the listener’s right shoulder  Cool

I wonder if the guitar was positioned at this spot when  the track was mixed in the studio? Did the band “sign-off” on positioning the guitar at that spot?  

Heind1 has reported Earth, Wind and Fire’s backup vocalists singing to his right and left with Maurice White standing in front of him singing. Someone else on Tuneland told of Sarah McLachlan’s voice imaging at the front wall while her piano filled the whole room due to it being recorded with an omni-directional mic.

Someone reading this might have wondered if these surround effects were because these Tuned systems and rooms had too much reverberation and weird phase effects which created these “attractive effects” -- that were fun to listen to -- but totally inaccurate in terms of what was really in the CDs etc being played.

We now know that many of the famous studios where our favourite recordings were made as well as many (the majority of Question ) audiophile home systems are not able to play the whole “recorded code”.  We also know that the microphones and our recording systems may capture more musical and spatial information than we realize. Put all this together, it means that those who mix the recordings and those who listen to these recordings at home may not know of the universes folded within the sound in their ears…that is, until Michael Green came along.

What a discovery  cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:37 am

Sonic said "This will be controversial to some audiophiles"

I love that comment (btw great to see you posting again Sonic)

Having the opportunity to live my life the way I have has had many pluses and insights. I think the major insights come from learning the Recorded Code, Audio Chain, Audio Code, Personal Perceptions and Playback through the ears of others and myself combined with being one who was ingrained with music production reality rather than fantasy, myths and theories. There's such a big difference between the audio story making, and the actual making and playing of any given recording.

The Audiophile myths (high end audiophile that is) is one that I find a little humorous because it was something created from men (mostly) that were playback novice and not really recording insiders, more than a limited exposure to the entire process. As soon as I started hanging around the designers, reviewers and even studio geeks I knew that my part would need to go somewhat quietly as I went about my tasks. Avoiding egos played a huge role in my music experiences (I could write books on this). It doesn't take too many missteps for engineers or any music enthusiast to find themselves in a hobby completely outside of music reality. If someone, for example, gets locked into the theory of live sound or control room sound being the recorded reference you will miss the point of the Recorded Code all together. The fact that high end audio built a whole listening practice based on incomplete information is amazing to me. Again you can see why I have been bold yes, but still like a quiet thief sneaking through the night to fix things. It's true that the industry and hobby needs to be put back on track, but doing it gently (unless you have major bucks) is the way it will need to be until more voices speak out of their experiences.

My work, has put me in an unusual position and I have come to financial ruins several times just because the music industry, as a whole, was not ready to eat meat. I've done the best I could to show the real picture of physics concerning audio, but when an industry is built on ads and review exchanging, and just the general business of industry building, it is much easier to push fixed answers and products over teaching and marketing a method. If I told you guys the real story of this hobby you wouldn't believe me and think I was out to get the high end Laughing , but this is why there is TuneLand. Each time one of you find the truth of listening and document it, it gives others the encouragement and confidence to explore. Tuning is so fundamental and so practical the business part of this hobby is scared to death it will be exposed for not knowing as much as it has claimed. It's truly a game of egos holding back the next step to the listening hobby.

the truth about Jim

The reason the Late Great Jim Bookhard broke from TuneLand is because he was so angry at the audiophile lie and scam, and wanted me to chastise the industry. It was so painful for him that I would not charge the gates that it cost us our fellowship, even though he knows and I know the love and bond between us would never die. Once Jim learned Real Size/Real Space and the Recoded Code he knew this industry needed to change, moving to the deeper level of listening. I don't talk about this much because of the pain in loosing such a good friend and important part of my life. My last year of my calls with Jim were over his frustration that the high end audio industry refused to promote tuning even though they heard it for themselves and admitted to the needed change. My talks with Jim were about how to introduce something so basic knowing the industry was going to fight tooth & nail against variable vs fixed. I miss my friend more than words and I know someday his desire to see the industry of music get back to the basics will happen.

why do I share something so deep and personal

Trust me, my heart has broken many times after seeing this industry continually scamming the listener. I don't even think some of them have ever gone deep in listening, at least this is what some of my reviewer friends have told me and what I experienced spending time with the reviewers. You see Sonic it's not just an audiophile thing, but a whole hobby and profession that was created that pushes sales instead of music, popularity instead of the truth found from learning. The whole audiophile referencing thing is a tiny, Tiny scratching the surface perspective. I am so tickled Tj built his room. In this room he will be able to talk about going from the audiophile basics to exploring the Recorded Codes.

as you said my friend "This will be controversial to some audiophiles"

and to the rest, the liberation to finally explore recorded music without the limits put on

sorry for my emotions, I'm really so proud of you guys on your search Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:03 am

An Acoustic Foam Free System

If Zonees compare the placement of the FS-DTs at the base of the front wall of my post last week with the pix of Sonic’s room for August 11, 2017 you will see these FS-DTs now have their reflective/diffusive sides facing into the room. So we got somewhere with moving towards Michael’s designed use, I guess.

Working to look again at the placement of things Sonic could also finally remove the acoustic foam from off the front walls.  My room is now acoustic foam-free.


 
As settling progresses Sonic can hear how acoustic foam creates a rather odd sound that appears on one level to be controlled yet on another level to be tonally imbalanced. Michael once said foam puts holes in the soundstage. Sonic cannot quite hear that but I can hear how it puts holes in the Tone. I once thought acoustic foam to be a necessary evil, though now Sonic knows better ways.

What did not work is the use of the six DecoTunes on the front wall with their reflective/diffusive sides out. Any configuration of the six DTs on the wall with their reflective sides forward caused an increase in brightness/midrange hardness. No combination of DTs with their reflective sides forward gave the smooth tone Sonic wanted.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:30 am

Sonic asked me a question by email that I can answer here. Which BEEGEES (as I like to spell it) did I work on?

mg

Laughing I should have made a movie it would make more sense with questions like these. But let me give it a shot again.

I would think anything BEEGEES that flowed through south Florida up till about 1984 I probably played with. I had moved from Ft. Lauderdale to Atlanta in the early 80's so going back and forth became less because of my house sound gig at "In Touch" (TV show) and Atlanta Symphony and of course my Stereo Stores. I did a little traveling but not nearly as much as my mid to late 70's studio hopping which covered the US, Europe, South America mostly. Now that I think about it, I believe that my passport got up to over 40 country stamps. I remember laughing about that once.

Now, keep in mind that my job was not to do the final production, only to keep things on track when others drifted off into areas of sound that they couldn't return from or sometimes creating a new sound. All of the studios I've worked for had their own engineers and decision makers, but because recordings and tours are put together as time frames, there are house engineers and recording specialist and fix it studio/road guys. Again you kinda had to be there to understand. It was organized a lot different from today. My temporary fix or tune might be on many recordings, by many artist, but I wouldn't know because of choices that were made by others after I had come and gone. It was a crazy time. Very fun and fast moving but at times I didn't even know what country I was in or who I would meet the next day, or what kind of journey they would be on music wise. And, I didn't even do drugs Rolling Eyes .

If you look up almost any pop or rock recordings that were done from the 60's through the 80's you would get the official stories but usually there was a lot bigger involvement level from those of us who did specialty jobs, especially in the towns that were in the production music, TV and movie frenzy modes. Nashville (when I was there) was still that way. It would be cool somehow to go back and break down some of the productions into a nice, neat, story but the documentaries would be days long scratch and who did what would be distorted greatly. It would be a trip though.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:54 am



Greetings Zonees

Sonic gave thought to what Michael said about what caused the rift between him and the late Jim Bookhard (see post of November 3).

I think Mr Green is correct not to directly challenge the falsehoods and snobbery in high-end audio. Though the late James was rightly angry at the audio high-end scam, it was not the best idea to want Michael to be the point man.

Michael is in the audio business – he consults with studios, he designs equipment. Going out and shouting will make him just one more oddity in audio, one more eccentric manufacturer who says “everyone is wrong, except my approach and products”. Given the embedded interests in the industry it will be too easy to sideline such a person even if it is by simply pointing out the conflict of interest in being both a manufacturer and a critic.

In the audio hobby (not to mention the industry) there is a lot of condescension and emotional blackmail.

The emotional blackmail Sonic heard is usually one of these put downs:

1. “I am surprised/disappointed that you cannot hear the difference! OK…I guess not everyone can….”

2.”There are many audiophiles who care about their sound and want the best (and you don’t)”

3.“Your system must have poor resolution! (if you cannot hear the change)”

4.“You know, [Name of “Well-known Audiophile of Stature”] was here yesterday and he heard the difference within seconds….you know what? He immediately bought one [of these products] to upgraded his system. To each his own, not everyone cares about resolution [soundstage, PRAT etc etc] so if this is not important to you, Be Happy!”

Sonic remembers the looks on faces in a recent Saturday afternoon audio meeting when participants were taking about their cables after discussing turntables costing $40,000 (that was the top model, the “affordable model” was $18,000.

Everyone there had expensive stuff….the cheapest cabling discussed was a $900 USB cable, speaker cables at $3,000 per 8 ft pair and silver interconnects costing a few grand.  When it came to Sonic “I like 18AWG triple solid core wires from Michael Green. His interconnects of solid-core wires are nice too….you know I am always trying this cable or that cable (some of you have loaned me stuff  Smile )  but in the end I always come back to Michael Green’s wires.”

Surprisingly the audiophiles in the gathering were pretty ignorant of Michael Green or Tuneland! Blank stares Sonic received Shocked

I went on, “because they are affordable and honest sounding cables and you can tune the sound you get by loosening or tightening the weave and by turning the RCA connectors in the sockets.”  At that point Sonic could have been a Martian.

Then this other listener in the discussion went one better than me – “I use all Belden in my system – 12 AWG pro-speaker cables, also use their microphone cables for interconnects and their Teflon insulated fat power cables too.”  

So now there were two Martians in the room and we got hit by Routines 2, 3 and 4. Such is the state of our hobby.

The question is how to get people to embrace Tuning.

In talking to audiophiles, I find many expect plug and play, beyond the adjusting volume there is an unwillingness to do anything more.

Then there are those whose only idea of how to change the sound is to swap a piece of equipment. Don’t like the sound change a DAC, cartridge, tubes, amps, cables, speakers? Then change them.

And don’t mention EQ unless they are Cello, FM Acoustics or something that cost a car.

Yet these same people are very susceptible to oddities like those grounding boxes – those beautifully made wooden boxes filled with some unknown granular substance with only a wire running through but costing in one go what some people on our planet earn after a year of manual toil! Also they like equipment support feet of exotic design.  

When Sonic tells them I can change sound by using different wood supports, they think I am imagining the differences.  Then if I tell them I can use the Japan Victor Company SEA-10 and cut or boost treble, mids or bass to make recordings sound musical, their response is to say my use EQ will distort the sound….and they add it is sad my system doesn’t reveal the bad effects of the cheap EQ box……  

On the other hand there are now people thinking about tuning in unexpected corners.

Sonic has read about the tunable Audio Musikraft tunable Denon DL103. This involves aluminum tuning frames to re-body the cartridge, tiny tuning bolts to tension different parts of the cartridge and wood inserts.  

Have a look:
https://www.audiomusikraft.com/instructions/

Is there hope?

Sonic    



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:17 am

Hi Sonic, there's more than hope, there's tomorrow! Can you imagine how rich I would be if people took their listening seriously Rolling Eyes

The high end audiophile world has never made it past the novice stage, and that's all anyone really needs to know. Again I think about the guy on the street who you ask "what is high end audio" and they say "Bose".

Ego is something I have always walked around with soft shoes. Music being such a personal thing combined with the male ego is a dangerous cocktail. Also, please do continue to ask me about my pro life. If there's a part you don't understand I will do my best to offer up something that makes sense to you.

you said

"Thanks for replying -- I understand you could not and should not talk in detail but the reply made very little sense to me in terms of what you were doing and what you actually contributed to the Gibb Bros..."scratch

mg

What is not clear, maybe is what I should ask? I believe people reading credits and wiki about artist and particular recordings don't really have a picture of what takes place and who all get's involved, so don't be shy.
_______________________________________________________________________________

On another part of your email.

"Have a look at my post today.  It recounts a meeting with an audiophile bunch.  These are people who own FM Acoustics, 47Labs TTs, Audio Note amps and big Naims speakers etc,

They were totally ignorant of the Michael Green brand and Tuneland."

mg

This shows how uninformed those particular audiophiles are on the history of the biz, and that they haven't yet dug into the meat of the hobby. What this says to me is, these guys didn't read Stereophile or TAS from 1990-1997 along with the other journals, so they haven't much background on what took place during those years and what shaped the hobby of high end audio during that time. Kind of hard to miss RoomTune during the 90's Laughing seeing we were in about 1/3 of the high end audiophile homes (both hobbyist and reviewers) during this time.

Each generation of the hobby of listening has a certain attitude that someone can attach to them and when that part of the hobby is hot there's a buzz but as soon as time passes that particular part of the hobby is either forgotten or the audiophile moves on. Here's an example: five years ago if you asked the high end audiophile club member what they thought of reel to reel, you would have heard all kinds of negative comments, saying how inferior it is. Then, like the hobby had a revelation, all of a sudden the high end audiophile revisiting reel to reel as if it was something new all over again and that same high end audiophile (who was putting it down just 5 years ago) will be ranting about this wonderful find. RTR never went out of grace, nor tape decks and vinyl, or CD. Music parts and pieces are and will always have followings, it's just a matter of what club someone wants to belong to. The high end audiophile society is said to range from 110,000-250,000 (active) at any one period. There's undoubtedly millions of audiophiles but the high end club really doesn't grow beyond a certain few as compare to how big the audiophile community is when you add up all the music collectors. The high end audiophile makes the mistake of thinking their market is bigger than it really is and they are more important than the rest based on the money they have spent. There's a golf between the audiophile and the high end audiophile that the high end audiophile for the most part is never going to understand.

I believe the average HEA hasn't really grown out of the compulsive buying scene and can't grab what you are saying about the variables. They can understand plug & play but can't take it the next logical step, because the HEA powers at be haven't, or don't, want to go there. Their like turning on the drier and never stopping the spinning. Their particular hobby isn't the music as much as it is the keeping up with the latest buzz word, buzz personality, or buzz marketing. Seems insane that grown men can't get past plug & play, but this is something that will sweep the HEA community when it finally does happen. But this industry has backed itself into a spending corner and it will be tough for them to admit failure.

yep Sonic, I miss Jim very much, but I couldn't be in anger mode even though my dear friend's anger was justified

Jim thought it was stupid not to have tunable speakers, and was furious that the reviewers blackballed me. He even, rightly, told off a few of them, telling them they were con artists, crooks and an unethical breed. You see Jim was also around when reviewers said tuning was the greatest thing they ever experienced but they were not going to review it any more because they thought I had gotten too much attention the way it was. Jim was a peaceful man, until the HEA pulled their stunts. I would describe Jim as a righteous soul and someone who had to go through racism, and conquered, a serious heart attack and conquered. He stood for truth, dignity and ethics. I'm blessed that Jim spent so much time promoting the tune, he helped many listeners unselfishly. He and I talked almost every day for years. Back before I knew anything about posting Jim would sit there at his computer and I would dictate while he typed, he was a brilliant writer. he was a brilliant friend, a very very classy guy

Jim Bookhard knew the industry would never grow past that marginal size, until the industry was about tuning. He understood that until a listener was able to dial in the recording and make the system disappear, they really weren't in the hobby of extreme listening. He would say "how can you be in a hobby of listening when you've never heard it".

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:50 am



Magneplanars Turned Mylar Sides Forwards

Zonees may recall that Sonic followed the example of some Magneplanar-fans by listening to the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs with the magnet side facing the listening seat (that is, facing me) and tilted back. This was done by Sonic sometime in the first half of 2015 and a lot of things have changed in the room since then such as:

a. the Magneplanars are now half the distance from the front wall compared to the time I reversed them

b. the acoustic treatment of the room using products from Mr Green has changed a lot in terms of quantity and placement

c. there is now a sofa in the room

d. the wooden blinds are back on the front window compared to Kraft paper on the window when the reversal was made

As a result Sonic decided, after the recent success with the wooden blinds, to test the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs with the mylar facing the listener as Magnepan has designed this loudspeaker and for that matter all their speakers to be placed in this way since the 80s.

Although certain Magneplanar-pundits have written on various web forums how the original models had their magnet plates facing the listener and then Magnepan turned their speakers around 1980, this is not the whole story.

Sonic’s research has found that certainly models like the MG II and the MG 11B and such from the early 1970s were made to have their magnet plates facing the listeners, but the Tympani 1D and possibly several other models of the Tympani line, which are revered as the Truest and Greatest of the Magneplanars, had the mylar facing the listener.

Ultimately all Magneplanars came with their mylar sides facing the listener, so knowing this Sonic decided to check out how the manufacturer’s intended placement sounded given all that has changed in my room and system.

After the turnabout, the Magneplanar MG1.5QRs sounded fine. Not too different. Not night and day. They just sounded good. For this reason Sonic therefore has returned them to the way Jim Winey and Magnepan intended…that is mylar facing the listener.

There are plenty of experts – real ones, self-proclaimed ones and scammers on the internet -- espousing with all sorts of views. This happens in high-end audio but also in every other topic you care to look at.

I would like think that Magnepan and Co have their reasons for doing things, and Sonic should be humble and accept that Magnepan knows more than I do.

Right now there is no tilt back. Sonic will test that later and tell Michael and Zonees about it.

Sonic




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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:35 am

Greetings Zonees

Let’s think how missing information in playback can change our perception of a musical work/recording.

For this we assume a rock tune that bubbles with a simple bass line in the key of D major.  So the root of the song played by bass guitar is D. Then let us suppose that below the bass guitar, there is a synthesizer playing deeper notes harmonizing with the root as part of the major chord – playing F-sharps and As.

Then perhaps in the bridge of the song the synthesizer goes to a low F – this will change the D major fell of the song into a D minor.

We know that major keys and chords sound  Very Happy  and minor keys sound  Crying or Very sad .

With a full range speaker you will hear the shift in musical emotion as the synthesizer traces a minor chord in the bridge. However with a bass-limited speaker the whole synthesizer line might be lost (listeners might not know it exists) and in such systems the listener may be unaware of the mood change and miss the artistry of the musicians. What is missing is the clever change of emotion of the piece from cheerful to moody then back again.

If our loudspeakers, system and room do not play the lower bass lines and lower notes – which in this example will be a 43 Hz (F1) played under a 73 Hz (D2) -- we will never feel or relate completely to what the arrangers were attempting unless we heard the full information.

Here are three LPs among the records Sonic been playing on Saturday:



Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:51 am

Smart(er) Placement of FS-DTs  

Sonic theorises that the distance from the wall behind the respective FS-DT affect the ratio of their diffusive against their absorption capability. Hence their effectiveness in dealing with specific room problems.

That is, closer you place them to the wall surface, and less volume behind the device makes for more reflective.  If you place a DT flat against a wall (reflective side facing outward into the room), their action and effect on the room acoustics will be almost wholly reflective. In this case the ratio of reflectivity vs absorption will be high in favour of reflectivity.

Now pull this FS-DT out from the wall and the volume and pressure zone will be exposed to the absorptive capability of the panel and the ratio of will move with more absorptive effect vs reflectivity.

Of course this ratio will change with an increasing degree of absorptivity till the device is pulled so far from the wall surface that it loses relation to the surface or pressure zone behind it.

Sonic tested this idea by pulling the FS-DTs at the front and side walls out from about 3” from their original distance making the FS-DTs now some seven and some eight inches from the walls.  The effect was noticeable where better control of my acoustics gave my room system an increase in bass and a smoother mids and treble.

The tone improved along with room reverb! Very good to listen to large orchestral works like Copland and Barber.



Sonic now has bass that is very good for Magneplanar MG1.5QRs especially in this room with its hard surfaces. Better than I ever had with the Janis W-1 subwoofer without the drawbacks which made Sonic ditch the Janis W-1 subwoofer and X-30 crossover system time and again.

Very satisfying orchestral weight, total absence of midrange glare!

As for the FS-DRTs and FS-PZCs, Sonic thinks the principle will be the same though these products from Michael are different. They have side panels with cutouts that allow pressure and sound waves in and interact with the “burn” material, unlike FS-DTs that have just a continuous frame.

Do you concur with this finding Michael?

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:42 pm

Hi Sonic

Barricade tuning is as you described. The blend of Live & Burn allows us to choose how much of the room's laminar flow and pressure zones to control vs how much of the room's natural resonant responses to use.

https://www.michaelgreenaudio.net/pressure-zone-controller



The different designs were meant to allow different price ranges, but they also had different flavors of sound. The latest version of RT Floorstanders incorporate all of the archived product pluses.

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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:57 am

Music I am Listening to this Weekend

Sonic listened to something really unusual.

It is La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s Black Album (1969).

Here is a link if you want to hear it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv-Ddu3TQx0

Give it a listen….it may take you a couple of listens to get the point.

Who is La Monte Young?

(from Wikipedia)

La Monte Thornton Young (born October 14, 1935) is an American avant-garde composer, musician, and artist generally recognized as the first minimalist composer. His works are cited as notable examples of post-war experimental and contemporary music, and were tied to New York's downtown music and Fluxus art scenes.

Initially inspired by sources such as Indian classical music, serialism, and jazz, Young is perhaps best known for his pioneering work in Western drone music (originally referred to as "dream music"), prominently explored in the 1960s with the experimental music collective the Theatre of Eternal Music. He has engaged in musical and multimedia collaborations with a wide range of artists, including Tony Conrad, Pandit Pran Nath, John Cale, Terry Riley, and visual artist Marian Zazeela, with whom he developed the Dream Housesound and light installation.

Young's work has called into question the nature and definition of music. Despite having released very little recorded material throughout his career—much of it currently out of print —Vulture described him as the most influential living composer today. The Observer wrote that his work has had "an utterly profound effect on the last half-century of music." His evolving composition The Well-Tuned Piano, first conceived in 1964, has been characterized as "one of the great achievements of 20th-century music" by The Guardian.



Sonic adds -- Young describes the uniqueness of his work in that for centuries drone sounds have been overlayed with melodies or vocal lines. In his case, it is drone sounds upon drone sounds with things like bowed metal bowls. Fascinating to listen to -- but you got to get into the right frame of mind.

The cover art of The Black Album with calligraphy by Marian Zazeela looks like this:



This LP is a rarity and now selling at pretty high prices.

Sonic also played this record:



This is a mono CBS/Sony (1970 Japanese pressing) collection of classic blues songs from 1925 to 1937. I did not realize Blind Willie Johnson had such a gravelly and rough voice!

Sonic  



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PostSubject: Re: Tuning and Musical Adventures   Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:45 am

The Beauty of 78rpm Records

Sonic did a rearrangement of how I set up things to play records.  Given that my LPs (now pushing a thousand…or more….I haven’t counted) and EPs (no more than 50) are in reasonable, actually very good condition, Sonic can play both 33s and 45s with the Ortofon 2M Blue on the Rega P5.

This means my Audio Technica AT-LP120 will now be used to only play the 78s and SPs, which is slowly growing past 100 pieces.

Actually, Sonic got tired of swapping cartridge headshells on this TT and resetting the tracking force between an AT95e (for 45 rpm EPs and to play one rather battered LP) and a Stanton 500v2 with the D5127 stylus assembly to play my 78s and SPs at 33 rpm requiring a broad groove stylus profile.  The labour involved swapping headshells caused me to get lazy and Sonic ended up playing less and less 78s or 45s or SPs.

This is not good given that for Sonic, records have become my primary medium of music enjoyment eclipsing digital despite the large collection of music I have on it.

Shocked  I didn’t ever say this on Tuneland Question   That analog records have become my primary medium of music playback.... Question

Well, yes  Very Happy  this has become the case with Sonic’s room/system in this very nice state of Tune.  Of course, Sonic is not going to be silly and buy all those titles which I have in digital again in their LP forms…NO!

So with the rethink, the Rega P5 with Ortofon 2M Blue will handle the 45s as well as the 33s.

The Audio Technica with its Stanton 500v2 tracking at 5.1gms will handle the broad groove SPs and 78s.

When the Audio Technica AT-LP120/Stanton 500v2 is in play, the Quicksilver Preamp is set to Mono and the Japan Victor Company (Nivico) Sound Effect Amplifier SEA-10 set provisionally to 60hz -2db/250hz  Flat/1khz +2db/5khz –2db/10khz -4db.

This EQ is my “starter setting” for 78s and I vary it given different EQs, tonalities and such of the 78s being played, EQs which were non-standardised and extremely varying in Tone.
   
These few days Sonic played:

Lavender Blue/Forever and Ever by Dinah Shore

Bibbidi Bobbiddi Boo/I’ll always love you by Dinah Shore

Sentir Gitano/Un Barbarillo Alegre by Conchita Supervia

Just imagine/The best things in life are free by June Allyson

Elgar – Pomp and Circumstance

The mono setting on the Preamp sums out the vertical noise from the record and there is a nice warmth and realism in those old 78s. They are not scratchy, some are worn – obviously after being played by steel needles for decades, it is surprising I can retrieve this much music – and there is bass.

This may all be down to nostalgia on my part for an age where Sonic was not yet in existence and I also know this is completely wrong in a technical sense.  Let us face it -- digital at 16/44.1 is far better than analog tape and LPs in terms of S/N ratio and flat frequency response yet still in the grooves of these old, noisy 78s a whiff of life and realism has been somehow captured.

Here is a picture of a 12 inch 78rpm spinning on Sonic’s Audio Technica AT 120LP.  It is Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance spinning here.



Here is the EQ Sonic used for this record:



Sonic next played Schumann’s piano Fantasia in C Major -- also on 12” 78rpm. Again despite the high noise level, the piano was excellent – it was the equal of modern digital in terms of impact and fullness and possibly matched analog LP in tunefulness.

Why Sonic sayeth “analog LP”analog because today we are seeing new vinyl that is digital masters converted to analog and cut as LPs.  No argument about these but there is a distinction in the mind of analog reproduction fans.

By the way, the piece of wood stuck on the Audio Technica AT120LP plinth which is recognizably from Michael Green next to the cueing light stalk allows Sonic to hand-cue the cartridge given that the arm cueing lever of the TT is unpredictable in its damped drop.  I use the cueing lever as an end of record lift.

Sonic’s wondering is this: over these last few days, I have been playing LPs and 78s almost exclusively with some excursions into digital, often to warm up the system.  While there is no argument that digital is technologically superior to any form of analog. Yet why is it that Sonic is getting significantly more mental, emotional and musical satisfaction from analog records?  More so, this evening (as I write a portion of this post) with 78s running one after another, Sonic is absorbed in a musical connectedness with the music from those flawed mono 78s.  

Human voices are superbly realistic with the 78s Very Happy

This evening I had guests who heard the 78s go "wow!"

78 rpm records are of course not without certain drawbacks that we today in this digital age might not be able to fathom -- like cuing a record, playing music and having to jump up again in about 3 minutes to lift the stylus and start all over.  Sometimes, if I am slow, an oddly cut record might have a run-out grooves that throws the stylus out and have it skating across the record label if Sonic is not fast enough. Remember, when that record was made, tracking forces was about one ounce! Or about 42 gms, and today I am tracking at 5.1 gms with the Stanton 500v2. If Sonic went for the Ortofon 2M 78 or Shure M78, the tracking forces will be even lower at 1.8 gms and 3 gms respectively.

In the 78 rpm era, long musical works were broken up into many records. Try listening to Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony (yes, Sonic has this on 12 inch 78s) in 4 minute bites. Exercise Sonic is getting for certain.

Sonic


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