Dimensions: 29’ × 21’ X large
State of the Art moving coil cartridge, the best one I've heard in my system.
.5 mv output. ultra detail and energy, extremely nuanced.
you would be welcome to visit for a listen anytime.
listening a lot in 2019......but after some changes a year ago, the system has reached an equilibrium point where I'm just happy and enjoying and not really pondering any changes. no changes since last June.
I think I'm pretty happy and have pushed things as far as I needed to.
last winter I did try a couple sets of tube amps in my system for 3 months just to scratch that itch. glad I did it and it helps me to really enjoy where I'm at.
still enjoying the 800 Matrix's?
Mark, thanks and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family too.
Post #4 on the subject. this one is from later in 2015 in August and mostly deals with solving a 12db suckout around 30hz. but it is related to the whole room tuning subject. and at this point I was finished with room tuning and pictures of my system all show the room as it was after this and remains the same. I am now thrilled with how my room and system synergize. I did take about 2 months after this post to adjust my speakers to work properly.
>>>>>>>my room designer designed a whole ceiling bass trap into my room. it was 15" deep and covered the whole 21' x 29' ceiling. except for -6- inset 6' x 8' chambers. these chambers had fabric covered vertical openings with Corning 709 fiberglass in the openings. you can see the chambers in the ceiling of my room pictures. the idea was that this bass trap would control the bass; but clearly in retrospect it was a huge mistake. now 11 years later that mistake has been rectified.....finally.
4 years ago I did have a contractor remove the fabric panels from 4 of the 6 chambers and glue and screw 3/4" finished maple plywood over these openings; which did improve the bass response. I thought that fixed my issue. I was wrong.
last May, 14 months ago, my speaker designer was here for 2 days to do the final tweaking to my Evolution Acoustics MM7's. when he measured the room he found a fairly wide -12db suck out at 30hz, one that the room dimensions did not logically predict. he strongly suspected that the remaining openings in those center chambers were the likely cause. since the MM7's are so powerful and adjustable, he was able to minimize the effect of the suck out with adjustments, but at the cost of ultimate performance. he did strongly suggest I get those openings covered. he even gave me two sets of settings sheets for the 4 sets of adjustments (2 sets on each bass tower).......one for the 'compensated' adjustments he made, and another for 'flat' adjustments anticipating my getting those openings sealed up.
since last May I have given a good amount of effort into finding a contractor to do that work, but was not successful.
then this spring I went thru the experience with the fabric treatments that really took things up a few notches. I had quite a few people thru the room and the feedback was very positive. I knew that somehow I needed to do this final thing and hopefully that would allow the bass performance that was already amazing to go to the optimal level. I was fully motivated to get this done with my excitement from the big step forward from the fabric treatments.
I realized if I wanted to get this done i had to do this myself.
finally I was able to convince my son (I bribed him by giving him one of my bicycles) to help me do this nasty job. I spent last week buying -3- 4' x 8' sheets of finished 3/4" maple plywood, another 8 foot step ladder (we would be working at 10'-11'), a good quality circular saw, saw horses, and all the other bits and pieces we would need. my son had a 208 mile one-day STP (Seattle to Portland) bike ride on Saturday and did not get home till late, so Sunday morning a spent 2 hours clearing out the room.....everything to the sides....racks moved, tape decks moved. big job. tarp laid. ladders set up. neither of us are carpenters; could we rip the panels without chipping? could we even cut a straight line?
would it actually make a positive difference?
we did not know exactly how we would remove the fabric panels or how they were attached. would we be able to get them out without removing the trim pieces? we did not posses the skills to properly replace the trim.
he showed up around 10:30am and we first removed the 8 deflector panels with in the chambers and then got to work pulling off the fabric panels, 4 per chamber, 8 total. we were able to get them out with considerable caution and effort without disturbing the trim. then we measured and started ripping the sheets and cutting to size. I had a work commitment mid afternoon for 2 hours, and returned. finally about 9 that night we screwed and glued the final plywood sheet. then he left and I spent 2 hours reassembling the room. I'd had a listening visitor from California the previous day (HiFi Guy) and then the previous night I'd had a work dinner till midnight. I'm not a young guy. I was gassed. I tried to listen. was it boomy sounding? if that 30hz -12db suck out was solved to a significant degree that old set-up would cause the lower bass to be boomy. I thought it was boomy but fell asleep right away. the next morning before work I was not yet recovered enough to listen.
finally after work that night I had recovered enough to listen and went thru my digital listening references and the lower bass was clearly boomy, if not quite a bit more energetic sounding. I had spoken to my speaker designer earlier and he said I should shut off the amps in the bass towers and see if it sounded clean. if it did that indicated that the closing of the openings had not likely caused other issues. I did that, went thru my references again, no problem, sounded very clean. so then I turned the bass towers back on and adjusted both the 'bass level' and the 'bass quality' (Q) halfway to the 'flat' positions and listened to the references again. better, less boomy. much more energy. some magical things happening. then I went 3/4 to the flat positions and again listened. now it was a big WOW! everything was now at a whole new reference level. all up and down the frequency range. a whole new level of coherence and naturalness. vocals were superb sounding. much more holographic. bass impact a couple orders of magnitude better. so I just listened late until early morning Tuesday and again after not much sleep in the morning. I was stoked.
that night I first listened as it was; then found a good cut and moved the 'bass quality' the last little bit to the flat position. clearly better. then I moved the 'bass level' the last little bit to the flat position and it was super clean and right. it sounds perfect to me now; I've been listening for 2 days now to it and I'm just beside myself. as good as it had been; it's not only much better but much different than even Saturday night. what is so crazy to my mind is how much different vocals and the mid range is simply by eliminating a 30hz suck out. it was very interesting hearing how much detail had been covered by those adjustments which were pegged to cover the suck out when taken to flat all that detail jumped out.
the MM7's are now fully unleashed and are something to behold!
how close to absolutely flat is it? don't know. I hope it can get better from here.....but maybe not. is the suck out all the way gone? once I measure it I may or may not post it. we all know how much I love graphs.:eek:
I suppose I have a persecution complex posting about discovering my personal mistakes. I know from time to time that comes back to haunt me when ner-do-wells want to give me some crap. but so what. I feel that these sort of experiences contribute to the collective knowledge. and one has to be open to learning and going farther down the road.
my goal 11 years ago with my efforts was to get the room and system out of the way of the music; I think I've essentially done that finally.
oh and btw, this job cost me about $250 in materials and I did acquire approx. $450 worth of tools and a ladder. I was going to give the bike to my son anyway but he did not know that. so between the fabric and this job about $500-$600 and the effect is off the charts.<<<<<<<<<
Post # 3 on this subject. this is from early 2015 too, answering questions about how I selected the fabric and how i applied the fabric treatments.
>>>>>>>any fabric with a textured surface will work to treat 1st reflections. anything from grass cloth, to acoustic fabric you'd see over acoustic panels, to drapery fabric, or some sort of synthetic suede or velvet. you want to avoid anything too thick with a backing as that will absorb more frequencies. you are just wanting to knock down high frequency reflections without causing more change.
I went to a fabric store and paid $40 for 5 yards from their remnant section. not a big deal.
you are simply trying to experiment to find out cause and effect, so don't over think it. if you can find something that will blend visually into your décor then you can live with it longer or even permanently. I found that the easiest fabric to work with was synthetic velvet-suede, since it does not have long threads and so does not unravel on the edges once cut, cuts in a straight line, and sits flat on the wall and does not look wrinkled.
the hard part is getting the fabric to lay flat on the ceiling. I used a combination of double backed Velcro purchased from Home Depot (on the ceiling) and pushpins. along with some tacks. to use the tacks I had to hold the tack with a needlenose pliers with one hand and then tap it with a hammer with the other hand since all my surfaces are hardwood panels. if you have sheetrock then you can likely just push the pins or tacks right in without needing a hammer or pliers. on the walls I just hung the fabric and added a few tacks to keep it straight on the walls. if you glue the fabric that will change the reflective properties of the fabric. loose, hanging, fabric will reflect differently than attached fabric.....and the farther from the walls it hangs the more it will absorb. imagine a closet with lots of hanging clothes. you want the fabric to lay close to the surface.
sit in your listening chair and imagine all the spots where the geometry could result in 1st or second reflections. particularly note speakers reflecting off the opposite wall. notice where the ceiling or floor (particularly with hardwood or tile floors) intersects with the wall and it could then reflect right back to the listening position. you don't want to cover everything as that will simply deaden your room. and assume that your speakers will radiate sound in every direction. you will not know if it's an area causing a problem until you treat it and listen.
once you identify the problem areas then there are professional looking wall fabrics that can be installed and look right. but you don't want to spend that money until you know where you want it.
I've heard rooms with all the surface treated with fabric, or even drapery around all the walls. they have great imaging but to my ears are a bit lacking in energy and life. but in a small room sometimes that is the best approach. my goal was not to lose the attribute of high energy.
you can even hang fabric over your diffusion to see what happens.
there is no one way to do things.<<<<<
post #2 on this subject.
re-reading my post from early 2015 below, I see I never addressed removing the RPG Skylines specifically. and I can't find where I wrote about that. so here was how I came to remove those.
originally those Skylines were installed to help with the center image. and they did. but it was a help in the context of lots of all the reflective hash I now recognize was present. once I treated the walls and eliminated the reflective hash, the RPG Skylines became a problem. they then confused the center image. removing the Skylines and just having the round diffuser fabric covered was much, much, better.
think of the RPG Skylines as a band aid over a problem, but then once the problem was removed the Skylines got in the way and had to be removed. like removing a wall to find a door behind it you open.
here is post #1 of the answer about the removal of the 3 stacked RPG Skylines. the following posts are ones a wrote in 2015, when for 9 months I worked on various aspects of room tuning.
>>>>>>I built a full blown dedicated room now 11 years ago. I've made a number of changes to the original design over these many years, always getting closer to the ideal I've chased. I added a front set of RPG Skyline diffusers 7 years ago. I removed huge front corner bass traps and reinforced the room boundaries 5 years ago. I added side and ceiling diffusers then too. I closed up 2/3rdsof the ceiling bass traps 4 years ago. I figured I was done with the room.
I added the Equi=tech isolation transformer wall panel, and upgraded my duplex outlets 4 years ago. power grid all ok.
I've upgraded my speakers and amplifiers 2 years ago to my view of the ultimate......still waiting for that ultimate preamp.....maybe another 30 days. I'm completely satisfied that my sources are all top notch, or at least my view of what that might be.
I've got all the software I could want in all the formats I have an interest in.
but I was still not 100% satisfied with the performance. the system was 100% satisfying to listen to and I was not frustrated or anything like that. but I felt that there was more I should be hearing. I had visited a couple of rooms which had more apparent detail and imaging, and while I preferred my overall musical equation, those experiences convinced me that there was more to find from my system.
for a few years I had been looking at the first reflection areas in my room and wondered if those were a problem. my previous opinion had been that since my room was quite large and the reflection times were so long that logically those areas should not be a problem. and I was always afraid of adding diffusion or absorption and messing up the tonal balance or losing energy. a few friends recently had done full room treatments with some current rave treatments and torn them out when they realized they had lost the musical flow and tonal fire. and yet.....what if? 3 years ago I had thought of adding some RPG wood surface diffusion to these areas and priced it out; it came to $17k for what I wanted. and I was again concerned that I would throw off the tonal balance. my mind went back and forth.
I knew what happened when I tried some Navajo carpets on the walls; it sucked out the mid range. so I could not do much. the room was too sensitive to do that.
I considered I did not want to dampen the room at all or change the tonality. I just wanted to knock down the first reflections. what if I just put some cloth over the first refection points?
so one Saturday afternoon a little over month ago I decided to dive in. I went upstairs and found some left over material from my original fabric covers of my bass traps from the room construction. I measured and found I had enough to treat the drop ceiling between the speakers and listening position, and the side rounded diffuser on either side of the Skyline diffusers between my speakers. I had to go to the hardware store to buy some push pins, grabbed my wife's fabric scissors, and I dragged out the ladder. 3 hours later I had cloth covering the drop ceiling (22" x 60" on each side) and the sides of the diffusers (36" x 89" on each side).
have you ever tried to pin fabric to a 10' tall hardwood ceiling? i used a combination of double-backed Velcro and push pins. my neck still hurts.
but i got it done. and listened.
a whole different system resulted. I could not believe it......or rather I believed it but could not believe it took me so long to figure it out. lots more detail.....more relaxed presentation and more full bodied placement of images in the soundstage.....much improved vocals.....pianos and violins were magical. and oh the tone!
this performance had always been there; but it had been covered up by the reflected hash from the first reflections. and prior to this treatment; when I raised the volume there would be an increase in the hash and it caused the system to sound hard and edgy. and especially the sweet spot was effected by this as it was closest to that area of drop ceiling I treated. and as always; you don't recognize distortion until it's removed. and part of the trick is not losing good content along with ridding yourself of distortion.
so I went thru a few days of listening to all my reference cuts and was living large. then I started to think if those areas resulted in such a dramatic change, why not other first reflection areas? my bass towers prevent first reflection of the near wall from the main towers; however, the opposite main tower can interact with the opposite wall. so I went to a fabric store and found some velour fabric with some texture and cut out some 72" pieces to treat three flat surfaces on each side wall. boom; better vocals and more solid images.
ok, if this worked what else? I looked and saw the round 10 foot long surface above and below the front diffuser. right at the floor and right at the ceiling. could first reflections bounce off the ceiling or floor and do harm? only one way to find out. I had some black thin foam fabric I'd bought at the fabric store. I quickly cut out only a 6' long piece for the upper and lower rounded areas and pinned them up. and listened. better; vocals better. everything a little more focused.
I've always listened to music with the pleated window coverings up. many times i had closed them and listened but could never hear a difference. but that reflected hash had covered up other detail; what if now that i was hearing much more detail that those window coverings could make a difference? i lowered them and listened. better; more body and focus. not huge but a small step there to be enjoyed.
i imagine other small things will present themselves over time to be tweaked. but now it was so easy to hear the smallest change.
and all through this process I had paid very close attention to the tonality and energy levels. were there any trade-offs? in a word, hell no. in fact; every step came with greater dynamics and bass articulation. almost like the reflections had dampened things and I had released the music.
I had spent years and years doing all these things, pushing against this barrier of reflection, and in a week of messing around spending less than $100 on some fabric remnants and push pins I had broke the code. a new system. wow.
my opinion is that I was right to not do too much. don't overthink it. you are simply trying to knock down the reflections and not to mess with the overall balance.
but I was not completely done. for a few weeks I had been in musical bliss. then this past weekend I had visitors who were very familiar with my system. they were blown away by how it now performed. but they thought it could be even better......something still missing. but why? eventually they asked a question? was I sitting at the equilateral triangle point? I said sure. then we measured. I was 4 inches back too far. we moved the listening position 4 inches forward and there it was.
the last little bit. vocals crazy good. super holographic imaging. (insert over the top phrase here). i have only listened to redbook since i did this step, and i am in hog heaven. the music is just so profound. after the previous steps of the last month this last step is almost too much.
this was yesterday morning.
20 years of chasing my musical ideal and I'm now listening to it.
I have been thinking about whether to post this since it will result in all sorts of reactions. do i need to get into all this stuff, how do i know i did the right thing? why didn't i use this product or that product? how does it measure before and after? blah, blah, blah.
if someone mentions DSP I'm going to puke......well not really.....but you get the idea. they first need to come and hear what I've done, then show me a system with DSP that can match this.....and i will consider it.
maybe someone will be helped by my experience?<<<<<<
that is a good question, and i will answer it within the next day or so as it's a fairly involved explanation. i have documented my process related to the elimination of those Skylines on other forums and need some time to assemble it as it will be helpful to have it here on my system page with the other room details and pictures.
and thanks for asking.