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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Dec 14, 2018 8:51 am

Greetings Zonees

The increase of tonal warmth with settling is making the removal of the resistors that pad down the Magneplanar MG1.5Q/Rs’ quasi-tweeters a possibility. With the resistors in place, a number of recordings the sound is getting too plangent and lacking in impact for Sonic’s liking.  We’ll see in a few days.

This picture captures something of a “feeling” in audio. Sonic is not sure what, but it strikes a nice chord.

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S859

Sonic



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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Dec 21, 2018 7:05 am

Testing Tweeter Attenuation Resistors

Sonic tested and found the Magneplanar MG1.5Q/Rs still need some padding for the quasi-ribbon tweeters in this room/system. Going to bare wire jumpers (no resistance) made the sound a touch too etched and bright for my taste. The music started shifting up in tone.

A bit of experimentation and Sonic arrived at what resistor values appear to be about right: 1.0 ohm for the Left panel and 1.3 ohm for the slightly brighter Right panel (previously 1 ohm and 1.8 ohm respectively).  I am largely certain that the 1.3 ohm resistor is right, the 1.0 ohm one might eventually be replaced with 0.75 ohm.  As before, Sonic is using 10W Jantzen wire-wound resistors.    

This balance, which I am liking, tells Sonic that while I salute and extol JBLs and enjoy them in the systems of friends, these speakers would be probably not for me.

So now to listen to Christmas music like J S Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and the Sarum Chant Mass at Cockcrow (the first Mass of the Feast).

Here are some more of those “audio mood” pictures:

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S862

Sonic wonders what is that device between the speakers – it doesn’t look like an audio device or a guitar amp. Perhaps it is an air purifier/ionizer?

And….

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S861

Sonic  


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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Dec 25, 2018 12:43 am



A Joyous CHRISTMAS, Michael and Zonees!


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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Dec 25, 2018 5:42 pm

Merry Christmas Sonic!!!




santa

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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Dec 28, 2018 7:29 am

Improving Soundstage Dimensionality and the System Earth

Sonic made a couple of Tunes, one that improving presence and soundstage dimensionality noticeably. This Tune was to place the two FS-DTs at the side walls like this:

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S863

These pictures give the view of the DecoTunes from the listening seat.

The whole sound started to have better dimensionality (even mildly holographic on some recordings) that Sonic can relate to what listeners have said when encountering Michael’s RoomTunes for the first time.

The other Tune has to do with system earthing – Sonic is now earthing the whole system through the Quicksilver Line State Preamplifier and floating the Ground of the Parasound A21 (using the Ground Lift Switch).  This improved the quietness of the system.  While Sonic previously found the sound to be harder and more etched with the Parasound’s ground floated, with the intervening tunes done since l last tried this, the whole thing works well now.

Sonic is therefore using a conventional earthing arrangement where everything is electrically grounded through one point – usually the preamp.  If I grounded the system using the Parasound A21 as the sole earthing point, there is hum and buzzing when the volume control advanced beyond 2 o’clock.
   
Sonic




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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun Dec 30, 2018 11:34 pm



Wavelengths can be Very Long

Sonic found out something about the wavelength of radio waves and put together some comparisons for Zonees.

We are familiar with the wavelengths of sound. For example:

20 Hz:            56.26 ft or 17 m

1 kHz:            1.13 ft or 34.4 cm

10 kHz:          1.35 ins or 3.4 cm

20 kHz:          0.68 ins or 1.7 cm

By comparison, the wavelengths of radio waves are something else!

ELF – Extremely Low Frequency
Frequency:           <3 kHz
Wavelength:         >100 km  (used in military applications like submarine communications)

VLF – Very Low Frequency
Frequency:          3 to 30 kHz
Wavelength:         100 km to 10 km

MF – Medium Frequency
Frequency:           300 kHz to 3 MHz
Wavelength:        1 km to 100 m (incl. bands for marine, aviation and AM radio)

HF – High Frequency
Frequency:           3 to 3 MHz  
Wavelength:        100 m to 10 m (incl. bands for Shortwave radio)

VHF – Very High Frequency
Frequency:           30 to 300 MHz
Wavelength:         10 m to 1 m  (incl. bands for FM radio and TV)

UHF – Ultra High Frequency
Frequency:           300 MHz to 3 GHz
Wavelength:         1 m to 10 cm (incl. bands TV and mobile phones)

On the other hand, visible light has wavelengths of 400 – 700 nanometers (a nanometer being one billionth of a meter).

Sonic




Last edited by Sonic Voyager on Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Jan 04, 2019 7:55 am


Starting 2019

Part of the time this week was spent by Sonic up on a tall ladder experimenting with the SoundShutters on my ceiling.  One setting that I discovered might have given a sound with huge girth in the lower mids and bass along with eye-blinking inner detail. This is a musical sound (I have fears it might be exaggerated though) but it is not a sound you hear from recent brands of speakers and amps that give the “sound of ultra-reality and transparency”.

Sonic will let this settle for 10 days (in time for next Friday) and describe what I did along with pictures for fellow-Tunees/Zonees.
   
This week, here are five pictures of systems with nice “moods”:

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S864

Pictures from Doctorjohn Cheaptubeaudio (1), the Audiofeast.com (2 – 4) and Hasekawa-san’s blog (5)

Sonic





Last edited by Sonic Voyager on Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun Jan 06, 2019 12:50 pm



The Shutters

The adjustments to the Shutters made differences in sound but as settling occurred, I was finding more incisiveness but losing “dimensional wholeness” in the instruments and voices that Sonic was listening to. So back to the setting as you see here: https://tuneland.forumotion.com/t397p150-tuning-and-musical-adventures

See the pix in my posts of April 13 and 20, 2018 (not the post of May 4, 2018).

What is interesting here is that this conclusion was reached after five days of music play and settling. Day 1 sounded like we had an improvement, Day 2 made me think Sonic had something really excellent, Day 3 was good but some problems in the upper mids started to be audible though I put it down to the recordings, Day 4 and Sonic was beginning to think that there was likely no improvement or at best a mixed one and today (Day 5), the sound was clearly off the pace and I set the Shutters back to their original position.

For those Zonees wondering what I did, my ceiling Shutters are mounted in three rows of three:

_ _ _
_ _ _
_ _ _


For this experiment, I took the middle Shutter from Row 2 out of action. Sonic also tried middle Shutters of Rows 1 and 3 out of action (not both at the same time) but the sound was immediately went off in both cases.

Sonic



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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Jan 11, 2019 11:14 am

Conversations with the Audio Mystic

Sonic finds tea with the Audio Mystic occasions to hear POVs and have discussions that I find unique among audiophiles.

Mystic: Two things are affecting the future of the audio hobby – the First Thing is too few young people are coming into the audio hobby, happily I see more women interested in audio but still too few.  No young people coming in means the hobby is dwindling as the old audiophiles go deaf and ultimately die.  The Second Thing is this rise in “ultra-transparent and hyper-accurate” sound in the new high-tech loudspeakers.

Sonic: You mean those expensive speakers made out of military-grade aluminum with bullet-proof Kevlar cones?

Mystic: Yes, without exception they sound too bright and hard. All designed by computer.  Just like today all the cars look the same – they are all designed in the same wind tunnels, same calculations.  Look at the new Audis, BMWs, Mercedes and the Korean/Japanese saloons (sedans).  Apart from the nose grills and headlights, the detailing, spoilers and some vents here and there plus the rear light clusters, all the cars look the same.  The old super cars looked beautiful (shows pix on phone):

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S865

Today, supercars look like roaches:

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S866

Sonic: I read that the Western Electrics and Klangfilms had a large part of their design done to sound right to the designers? While I will disagree with people who design DIY loudspeakers solely by ear without measurements, I think a lot of the new speakers have gone the other way – they may measure well but the music is gone.  I cannot listen to them long – listen fatigue starts after a couple of tracks especially at the levels they are played.

Mystic: Yes, I know that (the old speakers were designed that way) and from my time so were the Bozaks and the EV Patricians. I think it is a proportion thing. You have to both design by ear and design by measurement.  You cannot do it 100% either way – 100% by measurement or 100% by ear.  Today, I think it may be too much measurement and too little by ear. I think Measurements are easier to defend than musicality, right?  So today, you have speakers that must measure flat, give a good square wave, a good waterfall plot. But what you hear is this awful, bright unmusical sound. And the designers says “look at how good a square wave we do…..look at the bass extension, look at the frequency response…don’t like it? Must be something wrong with your hearing.”  For contrast, I was at [Name]’s place to listen to his new Garrard playing through his Tannoy Kensingtons. It was a different sound, whatever you say, it was musical. We listened for hours to his Blue Notes and three Blind Mice LPs. After that session, I am thinking of selling my Thorens and getting a Garrard. It was that good.

Sonic: Of course measurements are not everything.  I heard this pair of Lowther PM6As in the Medallion folded horn cabinet in [Name of Store].  I brought my Copland CD (Music for the Theater, Orchestra of St Luke’s) and we drove the Lowthers using a Technics CD player, a 300B single-ended amp. I am sure there was no bass below 70hz, and the midrange was peaky but the sound was ALIVE, it was BELIEVABLE.  It was coloured but it captured elements of reality. We also played some piano jazz too and the piano was lacking in bass fundamentals, the double bass was tight but no deep tones but the sound was credible. Of course, if I had to live with this system for months will their virtues turn into listening fatigue? I cannot say.

(Here is an example of the Lowther and cabinets but not a picture of the system I heard: Sonic)

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S867

Mystic: What is the point you are making?    

Sonic: Measurements are there to check your work as a designer, not to do the hearing for you.  People say that digital is bringing us closer to real sound but digital played through the new high-tech speakers is pretty intolerable. Analog (played through them) is not as bad but then these people play their music too LOUD. The best systems do not have to play loud to sound complete. For the volume control setting in my system, I follow Peter Walker’s advice  – for classical music, I set the volume to a point that I can talk to a person sitting next to me without raising my voice. Today, even some British speaker brands known in the past for their warm, musical sound have gone hard and bright.  Looks like the only two British speaker makes that hold on to the musicality of the BBC sound are Harbeth and Spendor.

Mystic: Owners of those hard-sounding high-tech speakers always give the Eternal Excuse when challenged – they say their speakers are so accurate that they are simply telling you the sound of the rest of the equipment in the chain. So if you don’t like the sound it is because of the amp, the preamp, the DAC, the cartridge…..then if all else fails, blame the recording.  This is nonsense because every one of those manufacturers in the chain is saying the same things – “my amp is showing up the weakness of your cartridge (going backwards)…..or ……..my amp is putting out such an accurate signal your speaker cannot handle it…(going forwards)”

Sonic: Just like those High End Audiophiles who sniff and say “my system is so accurate that 90% recordings sound unlistenable!”

Mystic: I want to tell them “If it is bad with so many recordings, the problem is with your equipment.”

Sonic: You know when people complain about recordings, some simple adjustment of the Tone Controls will put the recording right. But No, they won’t have tone controls.

Mystic: My amp has a Loudness switch. When I listen quietly at night, I use Loudness and the sound is satisfying.

Sonic: I don’t have a late night dB-level restriction. But when I work and want to listen to music quietly, I use the SEA to boost the bass and the treble (a little) for Fletcher Munson compensation and the tonal balance is nice even at a whisper.

Mystic: You have your Michael Green stuff and I am sticking to my JBLs and my tube amps.  What I haven’t said is that in parallel to these modern speakers, there is also the rise of hard-sounding electronics.  Not because we are hostage to the old poor-sounding transistors – we have moved past that and have brought back Tubes as a respected amplifications device. But there is a sound that comes from designer that think Hard and Fast Sound = Accuracy.  

Sonic: Might this be due to designers whose hearing degrade as they age?  Notice all the discussions we are having are pointing out are about problems in the upper mids and the highs?

Mystic: I think that the designers’ hearing loss in the treble is a minimal contribution. I think that not all designers of speakers are that old.  There are new and younger people today.  The choice of tonal balance is not a reflection of a physical handicap but a perversity. Apart from people who are stone deaf, age-related hearing loss might be overstated. Think about how classical musicians like conductors and instrumental maestros who have been exposed to loud orchestral sounds through their careers to the extent it should have deafened them (think about playing a violin for decades where your left ear is just above the soundboard), yet they can perform, produce and can judge beautiful tone into their 80s.  

More tea and sandwiches follow…..with words of awed admiration of this from Japan….

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S868

Source: monoandstereo

Afterword from Sonic: Hearing is more than just frequency response and passing an audiogram. There is so much complexity in how hearing works that we do not completely understand – such as how a person with degraded hearing can still get the sense of treble extension from the rise time and transients of the music being heard.

Sonic  


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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Jan 18, 2019 9:20 am

Front-Wall DecoTunes Turned the Right Way Round

Sonic has been finally able to do this with four the DecoTunes mounted on my front wall (the wall the listener looks at from the listening chair):

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S869

These DTs are now mounted with their reflective sides facing into the room. For comparison see my post of December 7, 2018 on this thread.   The sound is now smoother, balanced with natural incisiveness, with none of the upper mid and treble emphasis that characterized earlier attempts of this. In fact the DTs now create a large “shell of sound” that tells me of the recording venue and acoustics.  Instruments and voices project more naturally than ever.

But why does this work now?

It started with Sonic’s liking of tinned copper cables.  I got new power cables to my Quicksilver preamp and Parasound A21 amplifier, changing the stock 16 and 14 AWG power cords (respectively for the preamp and main amp)…..the Duelund DCA 12GA 600V power cables (this is a 12 AWG tinned copper cable that is said to give you the tone of Western Electric. A popular cable among some DIY people here.
The Duelund power cords did warm up the sound and created a large soundstage.  The thing was the sound became after settling somewhat TOO warm….like an aging EL34 tube amp whose tubes are a bit past their prime.  It was also a “fixed sound”, a tone colour that accompanied everything being played.

Sonic would earlier have dried defeat and reversed the mod/Tune. However as I learned to Tune, Sonic knows that sometimes we have to Tune onwards.  So I brought out some spare RoomTune Cable Grounds and placed three under the Duelund cable feeding the Parasound A21 so the cable is fully suspended off the floor and carpet from the wall through its length. The power cable feeding the Quicksilver preamp was lifted by one Cable ground.  Zonees may recall the lifting of the main amp power cable did not work with the stock cord earlier (see my post of December 7, 2017 at  
https://tuneland.forumotion.com/t397p75-tuning-and-musical-adventures ) the sound becoming bright and brittle. This time it was different – the sound opened up and the excessive warmth was cut by a lot.  Yet more could be done and Sonic’s Tune Instinct said “turn the front wall DTs around”.

I did that with the lower ones first and the resolution and realism improved. When turning the ones just above Sonic was skeptical expecting the reverb time of the room to increase.  As I spoke on the phone, any increased reverb time was hardly detectable or non-existent and the resolution of inner voices in music appeared to be even better.  

Looks like the RoomTune gear and the Tune delivers (yet again)!

For this week’s Audio Mood pix, have a look at this:

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S870

From doctorjohn cheaptubeaudio

Sonic        


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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeMon Jan 21, 2019 6:20 am

Hi Sonic

I'm enjoying the mood pictures!


study

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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Jan 25, 2019 7:31 am

Sonic Encounters Line Magnetic

Sonic had the chance to listen to the Line Magnetic speakers, tune amplifiers and CD player. This is a brand of equipment made in China that is supposed to bring the sound of the Western Electrics to listeners at a much more affordable price point.

See their website at:
https://www.line-magnetic.eu/en/home-line-magnetic-en

Here is the Line Magnetic in-store system:

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S871

This is not exactly the system that Sonic heard but close enough.  The speakers had field coil drivers and the pre and power amps were respectively:

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S872

Very industrial looking for sure.

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S873

Sonic likes those 845 tubes.

Listening Impressions
What Sonic heard was definitely impressive. Great ease in the sound, good dynamics and “startle factor”.  Listening to a CD of Vivaldi’s cello concerti, the cello was present and forward in presentation.  So was the oboe in concerto work we played.  This is an extremely present sound. More presence than in most audio systems including Sonic’s. You encounter it and it is right in your ears.

Tonally the bass (in the listening environment, untuned) is a little on the lean side but correctly weighty when deep notes from the basses are played.  The cello upper bass range is about correct, little or no frequency suck out. These are no squeaky ProAc Tablettes.  There is sufficient weight at least most of the time. The bass reproduction does anchor the sound.  From the upper bass up, the sound might be somewhat coloured in the way that “present” speakers like Altec and JBLs sound, different from the laid-back BBC sound of Harbeth and classic Spendors.  Of course, this forwardness might not be a colouration at all, just a realism that audiophiles accustomed to the Gundry Dip might find awkward. Female voices from an unfamiliar recording was piercing on some notes (not the highest notes) though this was of a level that could still be accepted as “presence”.

For all the projection from the Line Magnetic speakers, there is none of the  “hammering” sound I hear from those Hi Tech hyper realistic speakers (aerospace aluminum cabinets, bullet-proof cones, all super-expensive of course) even when playing Chinese traditional music with lots of cymbals.  

The treble was clean and about right, slightly bright to Sonic. The ribbon tweeters’ levels can be adjusted via a trim pot so there is enough flexibility here to tune to various room acoustics and tastes.

The soundstage with the Line Magnetic field coil loudspeakers is well defined though in that room it was less specific that some audiophiles would like.  To Sonic this matters little.  Soundstage is very room acoustic dependent and the super detailed soundstages beloved of HEA (High End Audiophiles) is an exaggeration.  Live music is never this defined particularly if our eyes are closed. To Sonic, if instruments are that defined in a live performance and standing out, it is likely the players are not playing together properly. The Line Magnetic speakers’ depth tended to be binary – the images were either forward or somewhat back.  No “layering” beloved of HEAs – something which Sonic thinks is artificial, an artifact of the recording process and hifi reproduction.

In Sonic’s opinion, this Line Magnetic system has potential to sound really good. There are some aspects of this sound that I like but it is (for now) a sound I am unaccustomed to. A sound that is poles away from Magneplanars, Rogers LS3/5As, Harbeths…you know what I mean.

As for the Line Magnetic amplifiers, they are impressive and I hope their Quality Control is good and their service life measurable in multiples of decades.  I like that industrial look.  

Sonic is going to follow Line Magnetic a bit, especially their field coil drivers and their replicas of the Western Electric WE22 horns.  

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S875

The only piece of gear in the Line Magnetic product range which perplexes Sonic is this one:

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S874

This is a Tube Buffer.  It goes between the preamp and main amp and according to one ad, “if your setup is too digital, you need a tube buffer to improve the overall [sound/tone]….” This of course makes Sonic infer that this is a colouration-adding device, giving a foxed sound to the system that will be heard in every recording played.  Just like wearing blue tinted spectacles and seeing then whole world with a blue tinge.

This one aside, the Line Magnetic gear and loudspeaker systems are definitely impressive, even more so given their reasonable prices.

Sonic



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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Feb 01, 2019 7:38 am

MGA Harmonic Feet Now Work in My System!

As the system settles, Sonic sensed that I needed a little more bite in the mids and treble. Just a little bit more and no change to what Sonic got now in the upper and lower bass. How to do this? The solution is easy:

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S877

Take three large MGA Harmonic Feet from my tuning closet and place them under the Quicksilver Line State (preamp) – one under the transformer (near the preamp's rear LH corner) where the most weight is concentrated, one at the rear RH corner and the third at the middle front.  The result was more transparency that allow me to hear how the music is performed and how the recordings are made in the best senses of the description.

An example: here is a track from the album by British folk duo Silly Sisters.

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S878

In this recording across many tracks, the voices of Maddy Prior and June Tabor are little piercing when played loud and the instruments snap, twang and bite.  

High End Audiophiles may think “this is not a good recording”. Yet this sound is exactly how you expect British folksingers with voices that are able to cut through the noisy, cigarette smoke-filled folk clubs to sound. Sonic has been in those places. They are noisy and boisterous places, the opposite of a classical music recital hall and audience. The plucked instruments on this recording also sound right even as the bass is warm and the low notes vibrate the pressure in my room. To Sonic the sound from this record delivers the context of the music, and means I am hearing reality!

Sonic    


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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Feb 08, 2019 7:41 am

An Improved Application of DecoTunes and Low Tone Redwood Blocks

Good Zonees, have a look at these three pictures:

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S880

Sonic managed to get a strong improvement from the DecoTunes (those in these pictures who have their reflective sides facing into the room) by mounting them so there is an air gap of ½ to ¾ inches behind each one of them.  This allows a more acoustically powerful effect from the DecoTunes.  The result is a greater sense of “decay time damping” in the room without any over dulling of the highs.

I know that in some earlier posts, I said a spacing of DecoTunes created glare.  Zonees will also remember that I had poor results with the DecoTunes on the front wall reflective sides out. Now it all works well, possibly because of other and earlier Tunes done right.  

Sonic then removed the Low Tone Redwood Blocks from both sides of the forward side walls of my room (see the two pictures in my post of October 12, 2018 at
https://tuneland.forumotion.com/t438-audio-adventures ) and placed them here:

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S881

Audio Adventures - Page 2 S882

In this application, they act like barricades or Sound Shutters on the floor around the midpoint between the speaker panels and my listening spot. Sonic has suspected that some form of cancellation might be weakening the 110 – 150 Hz range in my system making the cellos in some string quartet recordings sound leaner than they are in real life (or when heard through headphones). Planar speakers are not thought to have the floor bounce cancellation like box speakers on stands do. Yet we never know, so for now the LTR Blocks from Michael are used this way and appear to help.

More listening will tell Sonic if this is a real improvement or just my imagination.

Sonic  

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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun Sep 22, 2019 12:57 pm


Hello Michael

It has been so quiet here.

Any developments with MGA and when will the pictures be back? Those pictures of systems were great and taught me much (and I am sure many others) about the Tune.

Sonic



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PostSubject: Re: Audio Adventures   Audio Adventures - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Oct 15, 2019 8:33 am

Hi Sonic

Join me on facebook.

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