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 Robert Harrison's Tunable System

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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Sep 28, 2012 10:56 pm

Hey, Sonic,

The panels are wood. According to Mr. Green, I am to simply push his panels up into the grid and leave the original fiberglass panels sitting above them for burn (and mass; see the early posts in the TUNING section titled DROP CEILINGS: GOOD OR BAD?).
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Sep 29, 2012 11:27 am


Hi Robert

Might be work well. I got inspiration from what you did with the panel behind your listening chair and the new placement for my front PZCs (described in my thread) is working great...thanks to you! Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Sep 29, 2012 2:48 pm

Robert Harrison wrote:
Hey, Mr. Green,

In the words of Bob and Doug MacKenzie: "Beauty, eh?"
Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 8031028260_749751c7e0
Bob and Doug McKenzie by ozonerman, on Flickr


That's great. You know if I had 72hrs in a day (already need 48) I would spend it watching some of the classics. I don't even have cable cause I'm afraid I'm going to start watching TV Laughing . On our local antenna TV here we get about 15 stations, just enough to get me into trouble and not enough to hold my interest. But, if I were president I would set aside 1.5 days a week for classics.

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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Sep 29, 2012 3:00 pm

Hey, Sonic,

Let's give credit where credit is due:

When you sit there is a space between the back of your chair and the back wall. In this area set a FS on the floor side ways on a 45 degree angle and tell me what it does to the bass.

So, 'twas Mr. Green's idea, that being a quote from him to me. Still, this proves it pays to read the other posts, as you never know what ideas might carry over to one's own system.

Mr. Green,

I abandoned cable a couple of years ago. Most of what I watch is on DVD. I don't even have an antenna hooked up to my media room TV.
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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Sep 30, 2012 12:29 am

Smart man! Cable can really cut into time.

Some of the equipment material is starting to cure so last night and today I have been listening to your boards. I can still hear where time needs to settle in but I'm tempted to send you these anyway cause I'm wanting to hear a few more things in your system. I think I'm going to send some amp toys first instead of both cause then I can adjust on this end when I get feedback from you on the boards sound. Saying this though there's no reason you can't use the amp stuff on the player. I'm liking both Pioneer amp stands but they are different enough that I'd like to hear what you think. The Pioneer can sound both punchy and tubie depending on setup but I have no idea what your player is sounding like. I built a duplicate amp stand here so we can be on the same page.

I like your comment about reading others threads. When 3 or 4 people get rolling on different systems all kinds of good stuff happens. I'm looking forward to JD getting some toys so we can listen to how he does as well. Sonic does a great descriptive job also. It's great when someone can put you in the room with them. I love it when folks do pictures and words on their threads. For me a picture really does say a thousand words.

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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Is it a vibraphone?   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeThu Oct 04, 2012 4:06 am

Hey, all,

I am getting there. Tonight I listened to one of my mix CDs featuring a tune I have talked about before. It is "Wishing Well" by Windham Hill recording artists Schonherz and Scott. There was a time when I could just barely make out what seemed like a cooing sound at the beginning of this selection. Later, I was able to hear it was sort of an echo of the foreground melody. Well, tonight it came through as what I believe is a vibraphone. It's very laid back in the mix, so much so that I have had to work to get that sucker to reveal itself.

I'm getting used to the new room, in that I don't find the liveliness intimidating anymore. I took down the RT Squares from the left and right rear corners in an attempt to fill in the back of the room. The kitchen chair has been working nicely. It's harder to fall asleep in it. For shits and giggles, I put the other floorstander directly behind the TV, parallel to the wall, where it actually partially obscures the RT Square positioned there. I'm not sure what I'm looking for with this, but decided to try it anyway.

I also put some wooden pegs under the metal slats that are used for feet on my speakers. They are round with a sort of mushroom shape at one end, the end that I have touching the slats. These were actually part of a couch. Back in the days when my bassett hound still walked the earth (I had to put the poor fellow to sleep when he was 15 years old when he stopped eating), he got to chewing on those pegs, so I removed them. I noticed them the other day in a drawer and figured I would give them a try as transfer devices.

I have been thinking how, since Magnepan speakers are so large, how they must affect laminar flow when placed so close to the wall as I have them. Perhaps this is why it is usually recommended that these type of speakers should be placed away from walls?


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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Oct 05, 2012 8:14 am


Hi Robert

Them Magneplanars do affect the laminar flow of the room. In my time of trying to tame the Boo! I found that moving the MG.15QRs around the room had big effects on the Boo! Whether they should be far or near from a wall may be room dependent but you are right that they act like large Shutters perhaps of a not too neutral variety.

As for what goes under the metal slats supporting your speakers why not tap screw threads into the slats and use Michael's AAB1x1 threaded cones spiked into MW squares? You can also use Michael's tuning nuts for the threaded studs of the cones. This worked great in my system.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Oct 05, 2012 12:03 pm


Hey Robert

Another thought -- why not try out the Magneplanars like shutters, move them around as you do a Boo! test? You might find a place where they bring the room into balance. It could be near the walls or a bit further away.

Also worth doing a Boo! test (which is a sort of impulse test) at a low and high frequency. Perhaps your voice going Boo! or Bop! for low frequency and banging a kitchen pan for mid and higher ranges. Of course, the spot where the panels control the room may not be the best place where they reproduce music but they might, we won't know till we give it a try.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSat Oct 06, 2012 7:21 pm

Laminar flow and pressure build up is fascinating. Soon you will be combining this with more transfer tweaks of the signal which will let you hear how the combo of waves and signal work together.

Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 As1

A quick note about the ceiling panels. When they arrive you will want to install them right away or put weight on them so they do not loose their shape. If they do, they should settle in time or you can put a little weight above them till they settle into the grid.

Also so you know the grain runs front to back and not side to side.

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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Oct 07, 2012 1:47 am


Hi Michael

What's that H-device?

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Oct 07, 2012 5:48 am

Hi Sonic

This will put it in context for you.

Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 As2

With the Pioneer's bottom plate off Robert's amp sits on the face plate and the rear panel, as well as the side panels. Now he can rest the front and back on this little toy. this is the basic setup but by using washers, different spikes, wood slats and adjusting you can come up with a ton of different sounds.

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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Oct 07, 2012 9:25 am

Hey, Mr. Green,

And I thought it was in the shape of an "H" because my name is Harrison. Laughing

Looks good. And thank you for the instructions on the ceiling panels. Just curious, though. You say they may lose their shape. Would they then become circular, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk?


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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Oct 07, 2012 12:03 pm


Hi Michael

I rather like what you did with your Pioneer (in your system thread) where you used a wooden board with cones underneath and upward facing spikes that support the circuit board. Isn't that a better approach to get the circuit board tuned and grounded rather than through the face plate and rear panel?

Sonic
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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeMon Oct 08, 2012 3:34 pm

Hey, Sonic,

Mr. Green is working around my restrictions. I have stripped the receiver down as much as I am comfortable with, so this is his solution for my particular needs. It was a major step for me just to take off covers and crack screws. But, I messed up my original stereo amplifier two years ago even doing that, so I don't want any more casualties due to my "fumble thumbs."

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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeTue Oct 09, 2012 6:20 am

Hi Guys

Yep, I take different approaches for different setups. Once we get the bottom tuning sounding like we want on Robert's setup we can decide if we are going for top tuning, but the less tweaky path is the way we are heading here so Robert will be playing a big part in tonality directions.

And yes, the panels are shape changing aliens.

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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeThu Oct 11, 2012 2:41 am

Goodies are on the way! I was concerned today that I wouldn't get the very dried/cured toys out the door before the last (hopefully) monsoon rains hit. So this morning I double checked all and wrapped up some toys I will miss playing in my system for a few days.

Ok, here's the breakdown.

2 transfer stands
(one you saw the picture of and the other a slimline version using the same type of cross bar but with poplar slats)

Bag of wood
(poplar slats, china poplar (round), western douglas fir and DF heartwood chunks)

Type 1 Picasso interconnect
(sounds best barely touching the female outer post, maybe 1/32 onto the post)
(this is on my Pioneer at least, you can see what you like)

Type 2 Bare Essence speaker cable 14' paired
(this batch was really baked and should sound very full bodied after about a week)

Ceiling panels
(I left them rough coat but after time can be smoothed if more high frequency extension is wanted)

The rough coat should give you a really nice upper mid-range. Last night I listened to a few of them and liked the tone, we'll see what you think.

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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeThu Oct 11, 2012 12:19 pm

Hey, Mr. Green,

First of all, may I say NEATO!

So you say the interconnect should be barely touching the connectors, eh? Wild! Who woulda thunk it?

And, I assume the thicker transfer stand is for the receiver and the slimmer one for the player?

These wood pieces, can some of them be used as cable grounds? Or will the cables be stiff enough to sort of float into an arc from the receiver to the speakers?

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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeThu Oct 11, 2012 4:22 pm

Hi Robert

Yes, try the thicker one on the Pioneer, but I would also like you to switch them and play around with the wood, unless you put them on and magic happens right away.

We are having monsoon so when it clears up in a couple of days I'll put together some Cable Grounds for you. I have the wood dried so I'll need to just do the finish. It might help though to get a quick impression from you so I know which direction to tune in.

Your ears are going to get a work out as things settle so if you get a chance to do some of our reference music before you start it will be good. Also we will want to work on timing (meaning settling). Once you get the toys and start using them you will notice that they take on a settling schedule of their own. At first it can drive you crazy but after you learn what is doing once it starts to flow. Your descriptions of the sound to me while your going through it will help me know what is happening to the signal.

One thing I think people do sometimes is jump to too much. They will put too much of one material into a system without letting it settle and the system will take on that sound and drowned out the signal. Material is a vibrating object that needs nature to take it's course. The main thing to the trick of the treat is to learn the process and the sound of settling.

just remember, any tuning on the fuse box or outlets can be shocking affraid

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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeTue Oct 16, 2012 11:27 am


Hi Robert

Tuning the fuse box can be shocking in a good and not good sense. I've tuned mine and it works. There are tunees who even untwist the wires from their fuse boxes to their equipment outlets with good results. As my wires run through my walls this isn't an option for me.

Have you tried pulling your interconnects' RCA jacks out of their sockets then pushing them back in till they just hold? That will be 1/16 to 1/10 inch in Sonic's case.

The improvements are large and if you get used to the sound and then seat the plugs as I did to see their effect, you'll find that a tight RCA connection makes the sound go 2D and somewhat grainy.

Compare what Michael is doing to the goals of some major cables of the Monstrous and Massachusetts varieties who use heavy plugs made for a tight high-mass connection and think about the contrast in thinking.

Yet Sonic was initially skeptical because conventional thinking would say a loose and small contact will increase contact resistance and capacitance so affect the hum, noise and increase the distortion of the signal. Yet the opposite appears to be true.

Sonic
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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeWed Oct 17, 2012 3:35 am

Hey, Mr. Green and Sonic,

The package arrived today just as I was about to leave to spend some time with a friend, doing what we call our annual Halloween Heckle. (We watch horror movies during the month of October and heckle them, something we have been into since before "Mystery Science Theater 3000" came along.)

When I got home, I opened the box. I immediately brought the following items to my media room: 6 of the big ceiling panels (which I put above my seating area), the thicker transfer stand (which I put under the receiver) and the interconnects. I had to push the interconnect ends further in than recommended to get any sound at all. This may have just been on the player, so that is something to look into later. I did find the connectors to be a tighter fit than I expected, almost Monster Cable-like.

The panels were slightly bowed, so I have the remaining ones on the floor under some weight. Is there is a difference which side I face toward the room as each panel has one side darker than the other? I put the darker side out with the 6 I put in already, grain running front to back.

I, of course, had to have an immediate listen, so I put on one of my mix CDs. I would say what I heard was "cleaner." Pretty nice for a first listen.

Tomorrow, I will at least put the slimmer transfer stand under the player (and lose the 3 inverted furniture glides I currently have taped underneath) and I suppose I should hook up the speaker cable and let it start burning in.

Other changes of late: my chair is several inches closer to the speaker plane, determined whilst I was listening to an audio commentary on a DVD; I moved to where the voice had the least reverberation/echo. Also, I put an RT Square straddling both of the front floor corners.

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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeWed Oct 17, 2012 12:08 pm

Hi Robert

If the connects are too tight see if you can find a component sitting around where the RCA's are a hair bigger and put the jacks on them to see if they will loosen a little. I like it when the jacks slide on without much tension. When I make them here they are actually solder while in RCA females, but RCAs are ever so slightly different from each other so sometimes I even very gently take needle nose and loosen them till I get the fit I want. Monster tight is too tight for sure.

I'm really interested in the pre-settled sound so when you get a chance fill us in. This 7 day plus process is to me very telling about the system as a whole.

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Robert Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeThu Oct 18, 2012 1:26 pm

Hey, Mr. Green,

I got a late start last night, but managed to put the slimmer transfer stand under the player. I see it is tunable with those cap nuts on the top. I also hooked up the speaker cable, but with 14 feet, it's spread out over the floor. You reckon I ought to cut the length down some? Also, still waiting for your reply regarding darker or lighter side facing down on the ceiling panels. Or is that one of those "try both ways and see what happens" deals?
Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 8100280713_e0da21bfde
left front by ozonerman, on Flickr
Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 8100291054_5af8aa0f7d
right front by ozonerman, on Flickr
Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 8100281081_8a170427c8
Blu-ray player on transfer platform by ozonerman, on Flickr
Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 8100281455_750a1c3b1e
receiver on transfer platform by ozonerman, on Flickr
Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 8100282123_dcdb7c265e
new ceiling panels at back of room by ozonerman, on Flickr
Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 8100290294_bc478db80e
close-up of ceiling panels above listening chair by ozonerman, on Flickr

After the obligatory TV episode warm up period, I put on the "Pure Moods" CD. One downside to this room is that it is right next to the furnace room. Every time that sucker gets going, it generates a noise wave through the room. I used to hear it in the bigger room, but not this much. After the first cycle, I shut it off for a listen.

But, then, as has happened so many times, I dozed right around the Morricone track, half slept through the Sacred Spirits track, tried to wake up for the Oryema and Isham tracks. I'm afraid my observations won't be of much use because of sleepiness.

Still, overall, the volume was down. I did used to run this CD 3dB louder than most CDs when using the Marantz pre-amp, and I do miss having that handy visual numerical reference. A little boost might have brought on better results. As it was, most of the sound tended to hover around the TV area. After the first run-through, I loosened the cap nuts on the player's transfer stand, but I can't say for sure if the sound expanded a little. One thing did stand out: when I replayed David Byrne's theme from the movie "The Last Emperor," which I slept through the first time, that big bass boom was subdued from what I usually experience. Instead of BOOM it was more like OOM.

I have read numerous accounts in the archives of tunees who, upon receiving some of your goodies and installing same, would then post their concern that their sound wasn't immediately transformed into instant wonderfulness. You would calm them down by suggesting some little trick to try, but overall reminding them to let things settle. I say this to let you know that I am prepared to "wait for it." However, in this case, you have asked for observations during the settling period so I will continue to do so. Perhaps tonight after work, I will have a little more stamina.

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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Oct 19, 2012 12:58 am

This is what I like to see Exclamation It helps me get my mind around what is going on.

The panels have 2 different sounding sides. The darker is Mahogany and the lighter Birch. Which is best for your room will come out as we move forward.

I would say with all the changes things look like they might start to settle around 7 days from now, but one thing you can do for me right away if you will is do an A/B test of the amp resting on the platform with the stand and without the stand. This will tell me about the transfer taking place in your components.

We will walk through a few things here shortly.

Yep, shorten speaker cable.

Sound grouping around the TV tells me a lot.

Sleep I need to tell you about a reviewer buddy of mine who would fall asleep during interviews.

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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeFri Oct 19, 2012 4:10 am

Hey, Mr. Green,

Here are some observations on tonight's listen. I chose a mix CD of songs.

First track was "The Blood That Moves the Body" by A-ha (with an assist from composer John Barry; this song was released the same year they collaborated on the theme song for the James Bond movie "The Living Daylights"). The tambourine really caught my attention as it sounded a little more tamourine-ish than before, something I had noticed the night before.

The second track was "The Dreaming" by Kate Bush. This ends with a sound effect that for many years I believed to be rubble being dropped onto a pile. Lately, it seemed like it was birds flitting off. Tonight it was clearly the latter, as there was more "softness" to the sound of flapping wings.

The third track was "Domino" by Cocteau Twins. I never know what the hell singer Elizabeth Fraser is singing. I suspect they are just made up words. At any rate, the echo/reverb on her voice had a sort of hall effect tonight that didn't necessarily come through before.

Track eleven was done by a friend of mine many years ago as she was trying to break into country music. The song, titled "Another Year," exhibited a more real sounding harmonica than on previous listens.

Track twelve was "Never Turn Away" by Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark. Here, as with last evening's "The Last Emperor," is a tune where there is this bass bump which usually has more force. Tonight it was subdued. I don't know what to make of that because the bass "whump" on Kate Bush's tune was there in spades. Maybe the latter was a lower frequency or I am experiencing cleaner bass response. Time will tell.

The final track was "Onward" by Yes. There is a trumpet or bugle near the end that sounded more palpable than previously. I could almost feel it vibrate.

Overall, I'm thinking I might have to go back to the volume setting I had been using before, which is half a notch higher. The stage stayed mostly in the front half of the room (except for the echo on Elizabeth Fraser's voice) and bloomed a little more than the previous evening. Nothing went past any walls. When I moved my head side to side, vocals didn't seem to move as much, but the bass lines did. I still wonder if the second order crossover on the Magnepans is the culprit here. I know you have been trying to eliminate crossovers entirely in your latest speaker designs.

Before turning in, I put on "Sun King." The crickets begin at the right speaker and move in a slight arc away from me until they stop just left of center. The kick drum begins on the left side nicely enough, but by the end of its 19 second journey to the right speaker, it has gotten sloppy and still emanates from the bottom panel of that speaker.

The next 2 days are long shifts for me, so I will probably leave off putting up the rest of the ceiling panels until Sunday. Since I began with the mahogany facing down, that is what I will continue with. Perhaps tomorrow I can do the A/B with the transfer stand and receiver.

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PostSubject: Re: Robert Harrison's Tunable System   Robert Harrison's Tunable System - Page 7 Icon_minitimeSun Oct 21, 2012 4:14 am

Hey, Mr. Green,

Tonight I performed the A/B of the receiver with and without the transfer stand. You usually speak against such a thing, but you must be looking for something. I used "Pure Moods" and began with "The Last Emperor." I did increase the volume a half a notch as I mentioned wanting to do. This did help. It didn't sound too loud, either.

As happens all the time with me, the results were six of one, half a dozen of the other. Beginning with the stand in place, that bass bump was still subdued. What is that, anyway, a stand up bass? Anyway, there is deep bass energy in the room, it just may be cleaner than I am used to. I listened on through to the Isham track, then took the stand out and placed the receiver directly on the platform. At first, I wasn't sure if there was a difference as I played the same tracks again. After awhile, I got the impression of more density to the sound. The stand goes back in and there is more focus.

I went a few rounds with Enya, Deep Forest, The X-Files Theme, Jean-Michael Jarre and Enigma. I came to the same conclusion: more focus with the stand, but I didn't mind the results without it. I'm probably used to a fuzzier sound. I'm not saying that is my preference, mind you, just my handicap.

In the meantime, I have been contemplating that floor stander which I placed between the back of the TV and the wall. My first impression of that was the volume decreased. I got to thinking about Sonic's experiments with Deco Tunes on his ceiling and how the bass response decreased the closer they were to the ceiling's surface. So, I took the FS out of the room completely, sat down and guess what? The width and depth expanded, just a little, but noticeable. Like I said, I have to hear a negative to recognize a positive. So, I will keep the stand under the receiver and let things settle. Next, I need to put up the remaining ceiling panels and trim the speaker cable.

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