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.
I added Lamm ML3 Signature mono blocks to my system a few days ago. The ML3's are a 32 watt SET with separate tube power supplies.
My Evolution Acoustics MM7 speakers are 97db, 7 ohm and are active below 40hz so the ML3's see an easy load and also don't need to do much deep bass. as a result they really get up and boogie on anything but the most demanding music, which is why I have the darTZeel 458 mono blocks too, which i'm keeping.
I love how the ML3's work in my system. amazing sound.
I will add some new pictures in the next few weeks.
more photos added including the dart pre replacing the old version last year, Tripoint Elite description, Tripoint Troy Signature and description, Entreq Silver Tellus, Entreq Poseidon, Entreq Atlantic Minimus, Sound Galleries Music (SGM) server 2015.
and updated pictures of the MM7's and dart 458's.
I still have to add more, but i'm gaining on it.
updated photos and gear list, not all the way done but now shows the MSB Select II with dual power supplies, the Tripoint Elite ground box, the Tripoint Troy Signature is now behind the dart mono blocks.
other additions coming when I get the chance. added the Entreq Poseidon, added Hardpoint Trinia passive footers, added Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement cartridge......all of which I need to add to my list and photos.
sorry this took so long.
yes; last week I was a 'very bad boy' (as the wife says) and did buy the MSB Select II dac. it is black in color, has a single power supply, and the 33 Femto clock upgrade. I promise to try and update my system pictures as soon as I can.....along with some details about my experiences with the new dac.
the Select II is a revelation in digital performance......and it has me under it's spell fully. all the accolades this dac have received are indeed well deserved.
hi Guys, sorry I'm way behind in responding here and have not updated my room info for a year or so, I will try to do better.
audiogon member 'Bonzo75' recently traveled from the UK to visit my room and wrote up his experience on a blog he created. I thought it might be a good way to let you know what is doing on my system currently. here is a link;
the new year is an especially busy time at work for me and exhausting. I've been listening intently but I've had little energy for anything else.
I did make a few adjustments and additions to my grounding connections. first off; I moved my dart pre power supply/charger so I could plug the darTZeel preamp power supply/charger to the same outlet as the Thor power cord from the Troy. Miguel recommended that as significant; although he did not know if it would be as significant since the dart is battery powered. I did ground the stainless steel arm board.....along with the power supply of the tt as I previously mentioned. I also grounded the outboard LPS of the server.
I've been listening in this way for the last 10 days and it's been sounding great and staying about the same......until.....yesterday afternoon. when I returned back to listening after watching some football (the Seahawks game about killed me) something kicked in and things improved almost as much as the original jump. maybe another 75% of what the original step was.
I was really impressed with this large step.....blown away might be a good descriptor. this big next step was 11 days after install as a data point.
the soundstage increased noticeably, noise lowered, dynamics increased; but that does not really relate what happened. it's more that the music became more real and organic in the soundstage, the reality quotient increased by a few orders of magnitude. how do you exactly describe that? I don't know. a magical experience. profound. the music is more nuanced, greater ease and greater musical tension at the same time, more holographic, much less processed and less sense of the reproduction chain. like multiple pieces of gear all improved and became more synergistic.
I'm impressed and just want to listen and not think about it.
again.....sorry for the long delay in my response.....
[quote]Have you ever heard Winston Ma's room. That is a fairly serious affair as well....[/quote]
Winston is a friend, and before i moved to my current home, i lived about 2 miles from his home. I've been to his room quite a few times; although not for quite a few years now. he did visit my old room occasionally, and my new room a few times too. Winston's room is very special. and, of course, it always sounded great when i was there. sadly; Winston is now in failing health. he is one of the great gentleman of our hobby.
finally yes. my Tripoint Troy SE Signature with Thor power cable and Thor SE Master Reference 1.5m ground cable has shipped to me. it should arrive next week or the following week depending on the shipping.
I apologize for being away from my system page for so long and not answering your questions. so in case you still have an interest....
the front chambers are larger; but that is not any sort of acoustic design imperative. it's just the result of how large the center chamber ended up....and then the longer speaker end relative to the listening end. and the listening position location.
since I took those pictures I have added more fabric treatments to the drop soffits in the middle and rear and that did help. i need to update my pictures.
as far as the hardwood floor; the idea is to mimic a concert hall. so the front hardwood is the stage and it's designed to retain as much energy as possible. the rear seating area mimics the concert hall seating and is somewhat absorptive. i do like the look of hardwood everywhere and add throw carpets. but acoustically the rear wall to wall carpet is better. it's all about acoustic energy balance.
I found your system from a search on the Durand Talea II. Impressed you went to two Talos'. I just bought the Talea and await the arm. Replacing a solid Triplanar.
I notice your fabric treatment is over only small portions of the walls. How thick is it? How far do you offset it from the wall? I have sheer curtains on my windows behind my speakers.
I had some help putting diffusion panels behind my listening area which completely messed up my tonal balance -shrill top end.
Since you have a beautiful acoustic room and a topflight 1/2 inch reel to reel, have you considered buying or borrowing a set of studio mics and having a small string quartet etc record 2 channel direct to your R2R?
Mike,as I recall your visit was in 2007.....much has changed....in fact nothing is as it was then. I was at a different place on the same path I'm on now. I'd love for you to visit again and tell me what you think now.
It's been some years ago, but I did have the pleasure to see/hear your system. I went with a bunch from Portland. I see that your system has changed and it would be a great experience to do it again sometime.
As to the sound diffusors you built recently (with excellent results), might you have photos, or detailed instructions to share?
I've often felt the need to explore this inexpensive tweak.
Have you ever played Winston's "Super Trio" UDC on this system? There are a few tracks I'd love to hear out of this system of yours....
what are you favorite piano and violin & cello if applicable recordings or at least your top3 or top5 for each? I've got a long list of piano, violin and string music but I'm curious which ones you return to for the ultimate playback experience.
How much $$ for the NHB-18NS upgrade?
Before NHB-458, were you using 2 NHB-108? How did they compare to the NHB-458? NHB-458 is superior but how much superior?
I ordered it Saturday. I hope my box is within the first 1000 gold foil numbered versions. Once I saw the master tapes were 1/2" 30 ips, I knew it was going to sound spectacular.
Mike, I was up in Redmond for 14 years but never heard your system. We moved down to Portland in December and I'm finally getting around to putting my room together. I know I am going to need(want) some acoustical help with a remodel of my room to make it more isolated from the rest of the house, and improve sonics. Who did you work with and would you go back to them today? (Or recommend a PNW outfit.) Considering you have added diffusion to your walls, are you disappointed the original design did not account for this?
Thanks for the review Mike. I have been on the fence with this box set. I guess I better get off. :-)
Mike, Are you saying that if an LP is really noisy, you first try the Audio Desk and then if that does not work, you rely on the Loricraft to get the job done? I thought users were reporting that the Audio Desk does a superior job on dirty LPs.
I recently took an LP that was cleaned with my PRC 4 to a friend's house. We listened and then cleaned it with his Audio Desk. It sounded just as clean, but we heard some faint crackling sounds during the quiet passages after the Audio Desk cleaning and not with the Loricraft. I now want to reclean with my Loricraft to see if I can hear a difference.
And the airborne energy and the self generated energy of the component itself is trapped inside caused by the high impedance of the so called "isolation" method. All this energy with no where to go but around and round all to be modulated along with the preferred signal. All makes perfect sense. Tom
Using 3 axis accelerometers to measure the results can put an end to this debate.
I'm intrigued as to where the combination of NVS/Telos/Herzan stands in comparison with your previous reference Rockport. It seems that with the addition of the Herzan you have substituted the final component of the Rockport combination that you had previously, ie full isolation.hi Marc,
I do realise this q is a little unfair since it's, what, a couple of years since you replaced the Rockport, but I'm sure you've got a pretty good memory of it's sonic 'fingerprint'.
It seems that the NVS/shelf ($45000), Telos w.sapphire plate ($20000) and Herzan ($12000), is taking the combination into at least the ball park of Rockport prices.
Mike, have you ever tried the Furutech DeMag device? The claims are pretty high and it costs a bit less than $3K, I think. I wonder if one can rank the importance of these various accessories for our analog enjoyment. I guess a great RCM should also be on the list. I presume the more resolving a system, the more the improvement is noticed.
Madness, well lock me up in Mike's room and throw away the key!
You must have gone MAD to have such a systems.
It even sounds good, too. When are you coming to visit?
I liked the sound of the iPhone ringing in the video ;-)that was my wife calling. :)
Mike' everyone' your new cartridge plate(gem stone) making your cartridge have a different sound or a lowering of distortion is interesting... I have been testing these crossroads myself.... including the cartridge screws materials... boy can cartridge screws make a HUGE difference...so I would say experiment with them also .... this is a cheaper road that can give you very nice/different results...
Do you feel your at the stage where you feel your analogue front end can go no further or are you testing different options?
my most recent humbling experience regarding distortion is with duplex outlets.
when i built my room 7 years ago i used Jena Labs cryo'd outlets. i'd used them in my previous room and liked them. then 5 years ago a friend told me about the Oyaide R-1 outlets. i tried 5 of them in my room; i still kept 5 of the Jena Labs outlets next to the new R-1's. the R-1's were much better in every way. lower noise, increased vividness, better leading edge precision, more body. i had a number of local friends visit to hear the A/B with the Jena's. easy improvement. i replaced the other 5 with the R-1's....and have enjoyed them for the last 5 years.
a few weeks back i was speaking to this same friend about a Lp disk flattner since my new NVS tt does not have vaccuum hold down. i asked him if he had any other items that had rocked his world lately, and he reluctantly mentioned the Furutech GPX-D Rhodeium duplex outlets. he said it reluctantly since he sold me the R-1's 5 years prior. he said the GPX-D outlets were 100% copper contacts, that the R-1's used an alloy and did grip well, but the pure copper sounded better. the GPZ-D outlets solved the pure copper grip problem with a stainless steel band behind the pure copper to allow a proper grip on the plug. also; on the GPX-D everything was grounded and it was a solid as a rock. he said he was replacing his R-1's with the GPX-D's as he could afford to.
this person has high cred to me so i figured why not?
so 2 Sunday's ago he came over and installed 10 of them. btw; after he removed the first R-1 he demonstrated the build difference by dropping both outlets on my countertop; the R-1 had a kind of a hollow prang when it hit, the GPX-D a solid 'thud'.
after installation, at first it seemed like they were better but the sound was closed in and the life was missing. then i went around the back of my speakers and turned the tweeters up from -1.8 to -1. the (previously un-noticed) distortion (brightness) of the R-1's had caused me to need to reduce my tweeter output 1.8 notches below 'flat'. now i only needed 1 notch below flat to get the life with the GPX-D's.
my bass was now more linear, with increased dynamic snap and slam. more ambient information. there was a more natural flow and energy. but the biggest benefit was the precision of everything. every recording was now more solid. little things which i thought had been part of the music were now gone and only music remained. this was a big step. the music was more involving and compelling.
my power grid and system noise floor is amazingly low between the Equi=tech, power cords, and all the reasonance control. i cannot say how much difference these duplex outlets would make in every system. but on the path to musical reproduction truth these $240 each outlets really earned their keep.
and until i heard the absense of distortion from the R-1's i would never have thought it was there.
You have a beautiful system. May I ask who you had design it and who your dealer is? Do you really think SACD is better than 44.1? What do you use as "reference"? In other words how do you judge your systems accuracy to the original recording?
Just wondering how wide a soundstage you get with those big woofers right next to the MR arrays.
I really admire your approach. When your choosing your cables,sources, amps speakers etc. how do you know which ones have as little of their own sound as possible? I means let's say your listening to 3 different amps. How do you know the one that has the least sound of its own? You really have an amazing system!
Wow, is your room getting smaller or is the equipment getting bigger? Thanks for sharing.
i've been avoiding audiophile 'sounds' demo discs. however, i just played one of the true torture tests of bass impact, extension, and tonality and overall energy. 'paramita', He Xun Tain, CD. track 7, Earth Drums. it's a 7 minute endurance test for a system and one's ears and comfort. i've heard it on many systems. i did not use an SPL meter, but likely in the 100-110 db range (maybe higher on peaks) i would guess with walloping deep impactful bass with a high energy pace.
like a warm knife thru butter. child's play. the MM7's simply smirked and did not even breathe hard. total coherence, not a trace of hardness or compression. sledge-hammer impact, but perfectly controlled, both the leading edge, impact, and release. the nuance and micro-dynamics of each note was natural and complete. nice decay and ambience. totally effortless.
even the dart stereo 108 was not even stressed at all only having a 96db, 6 ohm load to deal with. the only limitation was my tolerance for pain. unfortunately us humans cannot endure what might test this beast.
I have a few questions in relation to your room since you have been there and done that.
You have made some serious changes within design.
#1 When you installed the QuietRock was this placed on the front and/or side walls only?
#2 Side walls extending how far out, to the edge of your hardwood flooring at 10 ft or further.
#3 why did you install the 3/4 inch ply good one side offer top, sonic wise what was the benifits.
#4 the half round diffuser in the middle at the front you had built but now are using RPG Skyline diffuser system placed on top.
From what you have now learned would you have still built this round diffuser or just gone flat and then used these RPG diffusers?
#5 Curious about the rest of your room build and what if you were to do another room.
#6 you are now using Auralex T-Fusor diffusers on the sides and other areas just on top of the quietrock ans 3/4" ply correct?
#7 have you placed anything inside? is so what and sonic wise what did you find the differences to be. 6 each on the front side walls, and 4 each front ceiling and rear ceiling.
Room designers all appear to have their own thoughts including the actual construction method build and most I have heard for 2 channel just sounded to dead, more like for home theatre.
Those new speakers are looking Amazing! :)
I will try to simplify this as much as possible. The MM7 was designed to have the subwoofer towers side-by-side with the main towers in a complete time and phase aligned orientation, as shown in the picture on our website, and also as how you listened to the mono channel when you were at my place.
While it is true that the lower frequencies have much larger waves, getting them to integrate in phase with the main tower is really not much of an issue when it comes to room placement, meaning you will not experience much if any wave cancellation. However, the wave launch, when having the towers perfectly time aligned to the listening chair is needed to provide a tighter presentation with greater impact, and also to align the harmonic series from top to bottom to produce a seamless and tonally lifelike presentation. This is not to say that you can not move the towers around, because you can.
Remember, we are only talking about a subwoofer tower that is coming in at around 30 to 40Hz at most, so most all music information will be coming from the main towers. The benefit of being able to move the sub towers is if you have a room that is not friendly in the deep bass region (this would have to be a really bad room where even the amplifier controls on the subwoofer modules can not bring the bass up enough). In this case, you may want the main towers where you get the best sonic presentation, but you may have to push the sub towers to another region of the room to get bass all the way down below 40Hz flat. If this was a speaker system contained all in one tower and the best location for sub 40Hz range was all the way against the back wall, imagine how the mid-bass, midrange, depth, etc. would suffer.
The only other reason I could see for moving the sub towers is for aesthetic purposes within the listening space. Some people may not want to have a wall of speakers, and being able to push the sub towers to another location may be more acceptable.
In a nutshell, if you want to stay true to my design, then yes you must have the towers all perfectly time-aligned to the listening chair. However, if your room is not producing good frequency response in this situation and you value that over time domain launch, then you can always move the subs to get the best frequency bandwidth. Or, you may just want to visually downsize the appearance of the speakers in your room.
Very useful observations. On the subject of effective length, is 12" the way to go for superior audio performance versus using 9" ? Any thoughts on internal/external tonearm wiring? Will continuous wiring from cartridge to plugs give superior performance rather than 2 or more wiring sections?
On a scale from 1 to 10 ( 10=essential), how important is it from your experience the facility of being able to adjust vta on the fly ? Do you find yourself adjusting it for every record or for every group of records with particular thickness and how often? Do tonearms with vta on the fly hold the adjustment better over time than tonearms with vta adjustment but not on the fly?
hi, there, i guess i missed saying what i meant as far as the MM7's- don't you already have a HUGE pair of speakers relative to your room's dimensions?the MM3's do a great job in my room, but my room is very large and well damped. it's 21' x 29' x 11'. the whole ceiling is a bass trap. so it can handle plenty of sound pressure. however, it's not the size of the speakers that is important; it's the fact that more driver surface allows for less distortion, and adding 4 woofers per side improves mid bass dynamics and coherence, and a better crossover reduced distortion. really no different than the VR9SE compared to the VR11SE in many ways.
i mixed that point up with an observation about amps that put out a lot of watts (gracefully). again, i have no qualms about the dart monoblocks per se, but they cost a disproportional amount of money compared to other manufacturer's "fananical-best" amps and i just have to wonder if that issue hasn't crossed your mind as well. A Lot.
If you know where i can get some good tapes (other than the limited choices from the tape project) i would certainly be interested. i had a reel to reel when you were still in diapers and i started out dubbing concerts over my old man's blaupunkt hi-fi radio. those tapes didn't sound half bad all things considered. i have a better one now of course... p.s.- i hope you still have a good sense of humor- regards, D.
Michael, since you once owned a pair of Von Schweikert VR-9's (and since i have a pair as well) i thought you might like to know the Mk.II version is now available with a better midrange driver, a stiffer cabinet, upgraded crossovers, and a more powerful subwoofer amplifier. the cost of these modifications is a fairly humble $12K ($8K without the new amplifiers). since this speaker is adjustable to almost any room (of reasonable size) you place it in, my only nit to pick is the cabinet finish which is not on par with Wilson or Rockport, etc. and could be more mirror-like.
i have to wonder how much air you're going to need to push with the enormous MM7's as well as the Dartzeel mono blocks that i would want to compare to some top-of-the-line amplifiers costing a lot less. would the newest offerings from Boulder, Pass, Rowland (725's), etc. NOT sound as good, and perhaps even better than the Dart's? if not, then FINE i could not be more enthusiastic if they are truly game-changers.
my speakers already reach down to 13 Hz and have ribbon super tweeters
front and rear just in case i can hear anything above 15KHz (i can't). the carbon-fiber midrange unit, while not the best in its class anymore, has been favorably compared to electrostatic speakers. the crossovers are supposedly as good as money can buy.
the cabinet (350lbs) is not quite as inert as it (now) could be, but certainly has been doing a pretty convincing job (by your own evaluations).
could a Rockport, Magico, Wilson XLF, or ??? be EVEN more transparent than the Evolution speakers? was Einstein the smartest scientist who ever lived? Will the "best man" win the race for the seat in the Oval Office?
my head starts to spin uncontrollably sometimes when i read about all this equipment Equipment EQUIPMENT! IF we could only obtain master tapes of L.Bernstein conducting the NYPO or G.Szell with the Cleveland, it might be worth
all this trouble and trial. but we lack PURE signals with which to feed these Krazy Komponents of ours, and thereby often mimic the proverbial dog chasing his own tail.
SO in conclusion, i might go ahead and upgrade my speakers, but you know, honestly i can already say that the difference in quality between one recording and another is so markedly different (huge) that my gear is ALREADY light years ahead of the transparency of the software.
So who owns those master tapes i mentioned (Sony?) Isn't it about time we get our hands on them....? that could possibly kickstart a whole new industry.
You must be nearing the end of your prev. never ending quest for 'that' sound. Have you considered the philisophical ramifications of getting there?
Mike, what is the issue with PCM, excuse my ignorance?i've always preferred dsd/SACD to PCM. i've posted here and around extensively about my perceptions. and lately since i have many hundreds of SACD's ripped to my hard drive that is mostly what i listen to when i'm listening to digital. it does sound more like my analog than any digital i have heard. i do have 4000 CD's burned on my hard drive as well as 1500-2000 hirez PCM files too which do sound 'nice'. nothing wrong with PCM in and of itself until it is directly compared to dsd. and sure there are many great sounding PCM files that sound better than specific dsd files as there are so many varibles in sources and transfers. i'm not trying to be controversial here. just talking my personal preferences.
Don't do a "Mikey" on them now. ;-).
It was great meeting you for the first time while you were conducting this test.
I find it very difficult or even impossible to asses the performance of any one component in an unfamiliar system, especially something like a cartridge.completely agree; and i hope i did not infer anything different. we can guess about cause and effect, but without quite a bit of work with specific combination of gear in a familiar system it's impossible to know what is causing what.
Mike, Nice report. Yes, it is subjective and thanks for the qualifications. I'm not surprised that you did not hear anything as good as your system at home. I've only been to two shows and I did not hear anything that I liked as much as my own system. Different, certainly, but not more enjoyable for me. I find it very difficult or even impossible to asses the performance of any one component in an unfamiliar system, especially something like a cartridge.Peter, thanks. to be clear, i did not use my home system for my show reference, it was the system in room #418 on that Sunday playing Snooky. sure, it was the same gear as my own for the most part.....but it was still a show system with $2500 speakers and in a hotel room like all the others with the same challenges of set-up and such. and there is quite a bit of difference between the performance in my room and that system in room #418.
If and when you have an opportunity to audition the Atlas in your own system, I'd be very interested in reading about your impressions. Is the Ortofon Anna now Durand's cartridge of choice in his arms?
I seem to recall you were in hot pursuit of the VR 11. ANy comparison between that and the MM7?
Sorry for lack of clarity.....what cable do you use from your preamp to your TUBE amps?
I personally would not make the CHOICE to display that opulence publiclythen don't. but i simply don't agree at all. AudiogoN is an enthusiast website.
I questioned whether it was of more or less value to the community in general to openly display what in my belief is ultimately a privilege that most will never have. I think it's a valid question.yes, it is a question.....but on this website i don't see it as relevant since the purpose of this website is to allow for high end systems to be displayed.
Mike, just one thought on your reasonable premise that careful execution counts for more than a unique engineering approach. I'd generally agree with you, but I don't think you feel this holds for the tt where the unique dd approach of NVS supersedes any careful execution of belt drive eg the Continuum tt, surely the best executed traditional belt drive out there. So in this case you do believe unique engineering is all, as I believe crossoverless is the way to go in spkr design.
Evolution Acoustics speakers (with the exception of the subwoofers) employ a Constant Voltage crossover. Would you explain how such a crossover is constructed, how it differs from an ordinary passive crossover, and what its benefits are?
First of all we need to clarify that a Constant Voltage Crossover Network is not that mysterious. It is simply a passive network which exhibits constant voltage transfer, and is the only type of engineered design that will result in true time coincidence and phase coherence, otherwise known as first-order. Typically, most manufacturers will try to obtain this result through a common parallel network design, having one part in series with each driver. However, we employ what is known as a series design which is inherently advantageous.
Crossover components and transducers all have various tolerances in their values. These tolerance differences will always affect the total network voltage response in a typical parallel network, making it almost impossible to guarantee a true constant voltage design from speaker to speaker. In a series network, the drivers are connected in series across the amplifier output, and there are no crossover component tolerances in the direct signal path to contend with. In this type of design the sum of the voice coil voltages will always be equal to the driving voltage, thus a true constant voltage design.
The main benefit to this type of design is that there is no energy or driving voltage loss. This results in a much more dynamic presentation, because there is nothing between the amplifier and the drivers. Basically, transients are fully in tact and not suppressed by capacitors, inductors or resistors. So, when we rate a speaker at 93 dB sensitivity that is an extremely conservative estimate. You basically will experience greater dynamic contrast than with traditional parallel network speakers rated at higher sensitivities.
Another benefit to this type of design is extreme purity of signal. Because there are no capacitors or inductors directly in the signal path, there is nothing to color the integrity of the signal. Not even the most expensive capacitor in the world will sound better than a direct wire from the amplifier to the tweeter, and there is no arguing that. It is true that all of the shunt or parallel components can have some influence on the overall resulting sound of the speaker, so that is why we use all top shelf components in our crossover network, from hand made reference grade film and foil capacitors to heavy gauge pure copper flat ribbon air core inductors.
The final advantage of this type of crossover topology is the way it handles driver behavior above and below the crossover point. Without getting too technical, this type of design maintains a wide overlap of typical first order slopes around the crossover point and then sharply falls off after a few octaves in each direction. The result is true phase coherent performance with added protection on the bottom end of the tweeter and filtering of upper frequency break up in the midrange, which aids in providing better off axis response than typical first order parallel network engineering.
We must also point out that all of our crossover engineering is performed through the use of very sophisticated computer-aided design applications. However, we do not rely entirely on computer generated optimizations for final circuitry, as some manufacturers do. We perform real time measurements as well to verify all computer-based suggestions. We do use our ears to also verify results, but unlike some manufactures that design by ear, we always insist that the design must be as perfect as possible from a measurement standpoint, and will always double check through measurements that any changes made by ear are truly valid. We do this to ensure that we are not imparting our own coloration preferences on the design to ensure as natural a presentation as possible.
how Johnson got that huge climax at the end of the Dances cleanly onto tape transcends engineering and goes into the realm of magic." -- Harry Pearson, TASin 2001 i think RR was still doing both a 176/24 and tape master from the same mic feed. anyway; at this point i don't really know the answer to the source format.
Mike,i've been married to my wonderful wife for 37 years.
my wife told me the same thing 30 years ago & we've been married 32 years.
let me know how that works out?
Wanna wager a nice bottle of Scotch on that? ;-)
But its a bargain when you do the cost per watt ratio! ;-)
The "Nagra full length" photo makes me think of E.T.! ;-)i can see that; there is something impish about the Nagra T.....small, complex, elegant, and maybe possessing a certain exotic nature. it's also full of surprises as i look deeper.
Nice shots of the tape decks Mike.until i get some tubes go'in i'm not sure Thuchan will get that interested.....it's just some pretty faces to him. maybe when the Ampex 350 joins the herd. :^)
Sure to make even Thuchan jealous :^)
I missed a chance at a Nagra, recently -- oh brother! Was this the Nagra T from the UK?Sam, mine came from Florida off ebay. i had tried to buy a Nagra T from the U.K. which turned out to be a scam. there were 2 listed on London Craigslist at about 40% of market value trying to lure someone to wire money and then....'poof'. i pursued it until things did not add up. i did not see any legit Nagra T's in the UK in the recent times.
Thanks, Mike...I just acquired another A820 :-) It's 1/4" with butterfly rec/repro heads. I may go with 1/2" Flux Magnetics heads...we'll have to see.congrats Sam. let us know about how the 1/2" conversion goes. is it easy to source the 1/2" tape path bits, and 1/2" hubs?
Phono cable uninterrupted from cartridge clips to termination connectors (except at the junction internal wires-interconnect cable). The junction between internal wires and phono interconnects is contained in a box made of wood carefully selected for its acoustic properties. The wood is finished with the same technique as the armwandi'll say that i heard various versions of the wire and this one was better than the others.
In conversation I was told the Talea is being replaced with the Telos so I look forward to seeing and listening first hand.....i just wanted to clear up for any readers that the Telos is not a replacement for the Talea. it's a separate arm unto itself. the Talea continues. i realize that your intent was likely that that particular Talea owner simply intends to move up to a Telos.
I for one, am excited about what is sitting out there on the horizon.
Would you also be kind to describe how you clean your CDs and how you get the max out of them?
It's always educational and fascinating witnessing the evolution of your system.
Lets see some pictures!
good to visit with you today, even if it was a bit short. your system really sounds better than it ever has - the noise floor is the lowest i've heard on any system. despite my penchant for the musicality of vintage style systems, i've always had two big issues with them, one of which i could live with, which is the lack of full frequency range coverage, but the second is that it is nearly impossible to get low noise floor with them. i've heard a million modern gear systems too, the best of the best - never have i heard, or rather not heard, or whatever, so little noise. amazing. i wonder, of the things you've done in the last year plus, what you think is the biggest factor in achieving this - the equitech? the room treatment changes opened up the sound, but shouldn't change the noise floor like that, i would think. i didn't listen to CD today, and was not familiar with those tapes in the context of your older system configurations, but i guess the other factor then, with LP's, is that new record player of yours.
As far as how the system has achieved low noise, I can think of a few obvious reasons and maybe a few not so obvious ones.
---yes, the Equi=tech does get a share of the credit. Not only for low noise, but an increase in dynamic contrasts, and its contribution to bettering the power supply of every piece of electronics. My darTZeel amplifier has those annoying red lights on the front. When the amp gets to near clipping those lights flash. Before the Equi=tech there were many recordings which could push the amp to flash in time with the music. Since the Equi=tech the lights almost never flash. I think the power supply stays much more stable when pushed than before. Every piece of gear has received that benefit, but they dont have warning lights to call attention to the benefit.
---a lower noise turntable, and lower distortion arm. The combination makes considerable difference.
---all new power cords. I was using the Jena Labs Fundamental One with in-line conditioners. When I got the Equi=tech I re-visited my power cords and found a significant improvement in lower distortion and lower noise with the Absolute Fidelity power cords from Gary Ko of Genesis Loudspeakers. He is a local friend.
these power cords are designed for specific applications. It has improved the synergy of the system as well as lowering noise and increasing vividness.
---the Wave Kinetics A10-U8 footers; I have 7 sets of them ($700 each set of 4). These really improved things particularly under the network pods of my Transparent Opus speaker cables. Dont laugh. Next time you come over well pull them out, listen, and put them back in. huge issue. Distortion in your speaker cables cannot be ignored. There is no other solution for it. and until you hear it removed, youll never know the distortion was there.
---the out of phase subwoofer driver on the right side caused distortion, and made it impossible to adjust the speakers properly.
---closing up the bass trapping in the ceiling, and adding the diffusion reduced distortion.
Remember; lowering noise and reducing distortion are almost the same thing. When things clear up the detail pops out. If the bass is clean and energetic, you hear far into the recording, the foundation and ambience are clear, nuance is easily perceived.
although it will be hard to beat the rockport i reckon
congrats on the Wave Kinetics table.
Hi Mike, I'm just wondering if you are planning on using the Dartzeel preamp with the new tubes.