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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Michael's System - Page 43 Icon_minitimeSun Jan 26, 2020 5:57 am


Hi Michael

Sonic wanted to ask you a question about perception of stereo imaging by different listeners.

Q: Have you ever encountered two different listeners hearing different image locations when listening to the same system, from the same listening seat and same CD?

An example: Listener A and B hear the same music thru the same gear and Listener A says "the guitar image is half left and about 2 feet behind the speaker plane" and Listener B says "no, I hear the guitar further to the right and right behind the speaker". Listener A: " the vocalist is quite forward of the speakers, projected into the room but a bit unfocussed". Listener B: "I hear the vocalist is quite focussed and centred between the speakers, not forward as you say."

So my question is whether different listeners perceive the soundfield differently locating images in different places?

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Michael's System - Page 43 Icon_minitimeWed Jan 29, 2020 5:36 am

Hi Sonic, great seeing you back more! I wish I had more time for TuneLand Forum but this last couple of years presented more tricky life's obstacles. The weeks have seemed like days to me they're going by so fast. The main problem is "Space". If my downtown TuneLand was just a listening writing space than maybe it would work, but doing some production too  Shocked  bom  Shocked there's simply no way in this tiny place, at least no way fast and healthy. Still, listening wise, I've had some fun moments and maybe even pushed or forced my skills to sharpen.

"Hi Michael

Sonic wanted to ask you a question about perception of stereo imaging by different listeners."

Q: Have you ever encountered two different listeners hearing different image locations when listening to the same system, from the same listening seat and same CD?

A: I'm not sure I have ever experienced two listeners hearing the same thing.

Sonic

An example: Listener A and B hear the same music thru the same gear and Listener A says "the guitar image is half left and about 2 feet behind the speaker plane" and Listener B says "no, I hear the guitar further to the right and right behind the speaker". Listener A: " the vocalist is quite forward of the speakers, projected into the room but a bit unfocussed". Listener B: "I hear the vocalist is quite focussed and centred between the speakers, not forward as you say."

So my question is whether different listeners perceive the soundfield differently locating images in different places?

mg

From early on I was always aware of vibrations (energy) more hypersensitive as compared to the people around me, so picking up on these types of things have always come naturally. In fact so much so that I had to learn that others didn't pickup on what I did naturally. HEA was, even from the beginning, a bit of a shock to me with it's pretense and paradigm creating. You see for me, I never expected each of us to hear the same. That goes both physically and emotionally. Our senses are designed uniquely suited to us as individuals not a cookie cutter mode. When we get to share in the same likeness it's fun but it's not identical.

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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Michael's System - Page 43 Icon_minitimeFri Jan 31, 2020 9:20 am


Greetings Michael

MG says:
A: I'm not sure I have ever experienced two listeners hearing the same thing.

Your reply undergirds (gives girth to) something Sonic has experienced. Here’s what happened:

I recently had two guests at my dwelling at different times and both heard my system.  Neither are audiophiles or care anything about the HEA. Sonic was requested to do a demo of my system for them by their host. Not knowing their musical tastes, Sonic played some acoustic jazz 16/44 FLACs for them.

Listener A – late 20s:
He was standing just ahead of the listening sofa when, after a few moments of music, he looked puzzled and asked Sonic “how come the cymbals and a drum is (playing) so far in front of your speaker?” He was pointing to a spot at least three feet ahead of the RH MG1.5QR panel.

He walked about a bit, sat down and then said something about the sound being very big.

Now I was puzzled. Sonic listened to the same track from the same spots he was hearing them, and all I heard was a conventional sound stage.  The sound was so-so big, and the cymbal and the drum were not projected forward of the speaker panel though there was girth and “bigness”.

Listener B – 70 yrs old
This person has vast experience with classical and live concert listening but is contented with a desktop computer system and mobile phone set up for music at home. He remarked “Your instruments are all round your room! How did you do this?” while pointing to some spots across the front half of the room.

Again this is not what I heard when Sonic listened.  There was a detailed soundstage across the front of the room though the expanding ambience of the music was forward and high up.

Sonic’s Puzzlement
The thing is in both these cases, I heard only a good but conventionally understood soundstage. Sonic did not hear any projected images or an immersive soundfield that these listeners hinted at.  

Over time, Sonic listened to those recordings again at several volume levels and I understand that I hear differently from them.  Given that Sonic has attended listening tests where High End Audiophiles argued fiercely on  stereo image location and the extent of depth “layering” with everyone involved having different opinions, this did not surprise me. I concluded that my ear-brain system does not resolve images forward of the speaker plane well. Rather I hear the sound imaging laterally more clearly. True, the tracks which the listeners heard had some sort of “immersive effect” which I hear as a kind of ambient field extending upwards to the ceiling and overhead.

With this Sonic got to the point where I could say to myself “OK, I can sort of hear this is filling out the music space above my head. I can understand why they thought it was big and immersive though I don’t quite interpret it like as such.”

Maybe I Got The Tune (or at least some of it)        
This may mean that my system (with Michael’s products) is already producing something of a dim reflection of the enveloping 3D soundfield that the great Tunees like TJ and Hiend001 achieve fully in their systems.  To be clear, Sonic is emphatically NOT saying my system is doing what Michael’s and the others’ low-mass tunable systems can do.  My equipment has blockage and limitations and my room is only partially treated the Michael green way. At best what I have is a shadow of Michael’s, TJ’s and Hiend001’s systems though Sonic has probably found that Michael’s methods, gear and The Tune has delivered more than I perceive.

A Caution
Michael once said he could tell from Tunees’ description of their sound and their system configuration if they have actually achieved the Tune or if they were just engaging in big talk.  Sonic will therefore leave the final assessment of the degree of my system’s Tune to Michael.

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Michael's System - Page 43 Icon_minitimeSat Feb 15, 2020 1:20 pm

Hello TuneLand, and hello Sonic

I have been super busy lately trying to make my little space work for all I need to get done while shopping for more space. With the temperature hitting in the low 60s I'm like a race horse every day at the gate ready to take off for that short time of good weather (60 and above) and then as soon as it comes up and I get things moved outside it's time to bring everything back in again. Am I complaining? The answer would be yes, but life doesn't always make room for a good thing until we learn our lessons. I think the lesson for the people around me is "let him tune" meaning me.

One by one as people give themselves over to Low Mass Tuning they are leaving high end audio (HEA) for a better way. It's not a decision I, or anyone, can make for them and as such may take some Tunees a day to convert or years to deal with the conflict within their own personal hobby. Several listeners right now are going through that conversion waiting on me to produce their goods. Now that the season of warmer days are getting here "making the goods" is all that my mind has been rattling around about. Try doing that in a 500sq ft place LOL.

So if it appears that I'm not on the case trust me I'm more on the case than ever, but it takes a great deal of patience on my part to let nature do it's magic and for me to be a good steward of every minute I have as well as every inch I have to get the job done. I'm thankful for all of you being patient with me as well, because you are as much a part of me designing and making as I am. Again THANK YOU Tunees.

Smile Cool Smile

follow me on facebook to get my daily updates

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Michael's System - Page 43 Icon_minitimeSun Feb 16, 2020 10:15 pm

You know it's weird. When people stick their heads inside of my apartment here on the strip in Las Vegas (a block away) they look at me strangely and say "you live here?". It looks like a wood warehouse when you walk in and I'm sure smells like one as well. There's this narrow pathway in-between two, floor to ceiling, curing racks hosting currently over 150 pieces of wood in different stages of my voicing and another 100 waiting to be started on when they are ready (brought down to their lowest tone).

For me it's wild cause I can hear the difference as each piece gets moved around and how it affects the sound and soundstage, and even my personal vibe. Thank God I have a SAM directly behind my ears that helps me get past the sonic changes with most of the time minimal tuning to get things to at least a reference point.

The system is on 24/7 and from my writing room I can hear the wood going from a fresh sand and coat through the particular coat drying stage sound, a beautiful experience once you get use to how wood settles into it's fundamental and harmonic balance.

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Michael's System - Page 43 Icon_minitimeTue Feb 18, 2020 7:46 pm

Sonic messaged me

"Could you address my question and observation of people hearing soundstages and surround sound differently?  I know you partly said something. My point is this from my observation -- some people may hear a full surround while others may hear projection of sound stages or ambience."

HEA has painted a false narrative that is like a sink hole waiting for listeners to fall in. Fact is we all hear, feel, sense differently. The question that Sonic raises is one I have lived with as the reality ever since I was a young engineer in my teens.

Every soundstage ever made is a 360 event, even mono. How well we remove the blockage of the signal in our systems is one thing to reveal what is there. Where we place ourselves in that soundstage, complete or not, is an individual assessment. This is why I listen differently to each recording played...

1) listening to the system setup with one sound for all

2) listening to each recording, tuning in each soundstage

How do I measure if something is correct or not "for me" is as simple or hard as making the stage open up to the point where it is all around me and has the ability to match the sound of the 360 event, including height. After I open the soundstage up "I" can then go explore any part of the stage I wish, anyone can do this. But, I think maybe because I am trained to listen like this in the recording world my whole life it's very natural to want to Tune in each recorded playback as unique but still hosting all the basics of the 360 sound.

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Bill333

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Michael's System - Page 43 Icon_minitimeWed Mar 04, 2020 5:37 pm

Quote :
It looks like a wood warehouse when you walk in and I'm sure smells like one as well.

Isn't that what everyone's house is like?   Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Michael's System - Page 43 Icon_minitimeThu Mar 05, 2020 1:08 am

Hi Bill

"Isn't that what everyone's house is like?"

If not it should be Laughing

Great to see you Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation

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Sonic Voyager



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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Michael's System - Page 43 Icon_minitimeFri Mar 06, 2020 8:26 am



Hi Michael and Zonees

Sonic got back to some Tuning.

On Lattis’ thread, Sonic posted on Feb 22, 2020 “A good place for me to (re)start may be to remove the top cover and the bottom cover (with the feet) of my Quicksilver preamp like Mats did with the NAD.”

I did that and got mixed results. For a while, removing the covers of the Quicksilver Line Stage (its proper name) gave excellent results. Exactly as Michael and Zonees have found – openness, a soundstage that is larger and clear images side-to-side and front-to-back. The clarity and tone was superb, I even started to heard images further forward of the speaker plane and creating a hint of holography in my room. One of the first and few times I could hear this myself. This made Sonic say “what madness made me put the covers back on???”

Then what I heard over the the next day or two reminded me why.

This holographic soundstage and nice tone happened only very late and night – from Midnight to 3am, 4am.

The sound in the times when Sonic normally listened – 8.30 pm to 11pm turned for the worse. The highs were ragged and instruments in the upper mids and treble range were unnaturally bright and the delineation between lines of music was poorer, the bass particularly between 70 to 120hz sounded slow and thick. Akin to the cellists where moving their bows through molasses.

I can only conclude “This must be powerline grunge somehow being picked up by the Quicksilver, I need the Faraday cage”. And yes the sound went clean late at night. I do not know how the system sounds during the day.

The covers went back on and while they had their downside, what I got consistently was far better than the grungy, hashy bright sound with the murky bass Sonic had to endure in the early evening.

Moving on to this week -- I did a tune that has worked nicely and gave good tone and a more consistent cello/viola da gamba line with some recordings where earlier this low range was uneven and needed the Foobar2K’s EQ to flatten.

On the wall behind the space defined by my front wall cluster of Michael’s room treatment:


| _ |

(two FS-DRTs and one FS-PZC)

Sonic mounted two ETs and two Mini Tune Strips with their reflective sides facing outwards as normally. They were attached to the wall in an
H pattern, the verticals being the ETs and the horizontal bar the two mini Tune Strips mounted side by side, not end to end.

Happy with this!

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Michael's System - Page 43 Icon_minitimeFri Mar 27, 2020 12:45 pm



Hello Michael and Zonees

Here is something that Sonic chanced upon, which says so much of what I been trying to describe but could not find the words.

it's from Jack Roberts -- the Audio Beatnik.


Source: https://www.dagogo.com/beatnik-pet-peeve-3-way-modern-speakers-play-bass/

Beatnik Pet Peeve #3: “The Way Modern Speakers Play Bass”


Jack Roberts | February 2015

Very few people like a speaker that has fat, flabby sounding bass. More people nowadays seem to like fast, tight bass with lots of slam. People also seem hung up on how low speakers play bass. There are speakers which can place bass down to the low 20 Hz regions that don’t have satisfying bass. There are speakers like any of the LS3/5As that don’t make it to 40 Hz but the bass sounds musical, and admittedly not powerful or very full.

The part of my audio journey that has brought me to be thinking about bass has been listening to Wayne Picquet’s rebuilt Quad ESL. I hadn’t expected them to have some of the most musical bass I have had in my house. When word got out that I had them in, I was surprised how many people wanted to come by to hear them; seems that a lot of people have never heard this legendary speaker. Everyone that came by first commented on how wonderful the bass was. I would tell them they don’t go that low and they would reply that they didn’t care because the bass sounded more like real instruments. The next thing they commented on was how natural the voices sounded; that I expected.

So all this talk about bass started me thinking about some of the speakers I have reviewed and listened to at audio shows in the last couple of years. A few came to mind: the Burwell & Sons Homage speakers, the big JBL Everest, the incredible sounding RCA LC-1A LS-11 and those wonderful sounding Tannoy Golds mounted in a Jensen Imperial Cabinets turned upside down so that the empty horn part of the cabinet acted as a stand to raise the Tannoy Gold drivers to the right height. Those were in the Pass Labs room at the 2014 California Audio Show.

All of these speakers have several things in common. First, they are all based on or actually are speakers from the mid to late 50s. Second, none of them attempt to play down into the 20s, in fact some don’t make it below 45Hz. Third, they all have very large drivers, most of them have 15-inch bass drivers and the Quad ESL bass panels have around 500 square inches for each speaker. Lastly, while they don’t all sound the same in the bass they all sound wonderfully musical.

There seems to me to be something fundamentally different in the way these speakers play bass compared to modern speakers with their super dead cabinets and incredible fast, tight and really deep bass. While these speakers sound very impressive their bass just doesn’t flow within the performance like these older-design speakers. The bass on these newer speakers is definitely deeper, faster and has more slam, but they just don’t have the life in the bass that the more vintage designs do. All of the speakers above have incredible air and harmonics in the bass. You feel the bass. Yes, you feel the bass with the modern speaker as well, but differently. The bass from modern speakers with extremely dead cabinets has a very pistonic sound. To me, real music seldom sounds this way, occasionally rock music does, but it also often sounds purposefully distorted.

Let’s use a selection that is a show favorite for showing off bass; the “Fever” cut on Elvis is Back is a favorite demo for the modern speakers designed with really dead cabinets and fast, deep bass. The first time I ever heard this LP was at the last Stereophile Show held in San Francisco. People were standing in line to hear something in the Wilson Audio and VTL room. When my turn came along I went in to see the big Wilson speakers with the biggest tube amps I had ever seen. Elvis’ “Fever” was the first cut they played. It was awesome. Everybody wanted to know which Elvis album that was on? I bet this one demo sold a lot of the LPs. The cut started with a standup bass playing left of center. On the Wilson’s that day and on other speakers of this type I have heard over the years the bass simply explodes out of silence; Elvis is just right there in the center of the soundstage, like he was suspended in space; the finger snaps seem to float in space, the snare comes at you fast, tight and appears from different points in the sound stage like watch fireworks at night; and to follow the same thought the bass drum explodes like cannons with shocking slam and speed. While really impressive, I doubt Elvis or his fans ever heard it sound like this live or in the studio.

By contrast on the Quad 57 or the Burwell & Sons, the standup bass is warmer, fuller and sounds much more like a wooden string instrument, on the 57 you can hear and feel the air move from it. On these two speakers Elvis is not so precisely located, he is in the center but the image is a little bigger and not as sharp. On the 57, the voice is much more natural than either of two. The finger snaps still seem odd, I think they were just recorded too close to the mic. On the 57, they sound alright, but they seem to be on the panels. On the Burwell & Sons they come out of the horn and are a little tinny sounding. The snares are very different from the modern, dead cabinet speakers, they are still spaced a little strangely but they sound like snares and not something else and they have air instead of empty space around them. Lastly, the sound of the bass drums is very different. The drum doesn’t sound shocking, just big and powerful. On both the 57 and the Burwell & Sons it just sounds more like a drum. Interestingly, the 57 actually move more air on this cut than the Burwell & Sons.

All of these comparisons are interesting, but the only thing that matters is that the Quad 57 and the Burwell & Sons play Elvis’ “Fever” more like you would hear it at a performance and the modern speakers with their dead cabinets and deep, deep bass just sound more impressive in areas that aren’t part of the musical experience.

I need to say that one of the things I cannot tolerate in an audio system is fat, boomy bass. Still, it seems I prefer a more vintage sound when it comes to bass. With all these speakers, placement and amp selection is absolutely a necessity or they can sound fat and boomy. For example, the only way I could get the Quad 57 to play this kind of bass was by using the incredible Pass Labs XA30.8. Even then the Quads had to be at least 5 feet off the wall behind them to not sound tubby. Still, in the end I find the harmonics, richness, air and weight of the vintage sound to allow music to flow in a more natural way than most top-of-the-line modern speakers, even those costing in the six figure range.

Are there any exceptions to this? Well, open baffled speakers do a pretty good job with bass, the big Maggies do as well, but with both of those we don’t have ported, dead boxes trying to play live sounding music. This is all just my own opinion, but that’s what a column is all about after all.


Your views, Michael?

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Michael's System - Page 43 Icon_minitimeFri Mar 27, 2020 5:24 pm

Hi Sonic, good to see you. Hope you are doing well and staying safe!

Reading the article it made me go back 30 some years before I introduced Tunable speakers. Not just tunable speakers but a tunable system and room. Having the adjustability I haven't run into too many recordings that I couldn't make sound anyway I want, in all the areas including bass. So much so that reading folks who only get one sound is odd to me, like a hobby out of step with reality.

I've been listening to the Rev8 without the sub on for a month now with the occasional sub thrown in for good measure and fun. The sub is 15" btw.

For storage sake I've added to my SAM wall behind me which has given me another dimension to the bottom end and staging. Walking around my place I can hear the bumps in the bottom compared to other setups I have had where I was able to balance the whole space but because my space is now limited, and in constant change, I've made my own zone for the sweet spot which is pretty cool.

I've made the sweet spot about 3'x3'x3'.

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PostSubject: Re: Michael's System   Michael's System - Page 43 Icon_minitimeTue May 12, 2020 4:19 am

Getting in my Top Tuning chops.

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