Description

     I recently made some major upgrades to my combination 2 channel music and 5.1  channel surround HT system.  Here's a summary of those upgrades as of 3/2/20 with updated pics:

For the HT system upgrades, I replaced my Panasonic 65" 1080p plasma hdtv (which is still functioning flawlessly) with an LG 77" 4K OLED hdtv.  Due to 4K, I also replaced my Oppo 105 1080p universal disc player with an Oppo 205 4K universal disc player.
     I also bought a fully articulating hdtv wall mount and had a local audio shop, The Audio Solution, attach my Magnepan CC3 center ch speaker to it.  This allows me to  position the CC3 up to 3' away from the front wall and directly above and even with the front plane of my hdtv.   This is a much better sounding position for the CC3 than its former position on a shelf 3' behind the front plane of my hdtv and with the dipole CC3's rear wave stifled by its back being too close to the wall.
 
For the room in general, I had my room evaluated by a GIK consultant and bought about $3,500 worth of room treatments that have now been custom installed: stacked pairs of Tri-Trap bass traps in all 4 corners, multiple 244 bass trap panels (2 with Panel Art covers)and multiple 242 absorption panels with Scatter Plates to add diffusion (2 also with Panel Art covers) and 3 Wavy Leaf pattern 4" thick decorative panels.  These are a combination of bass traps underneath for absorption of excess bass frequency energy and diffusion on the surface for scattering higher frequency sound waves.  Overall, the strategy for my room was a  balance of sound absorption and diffusion throughout the room with an emphasis on diffusion on the front and rear walls.  They've only been installed for a couple days so far but the most significant changes I've perceived are an increase in the depth and width and openness of the sound stage illusion along with an increase in details, realism and naturalness for both music and HT.
     I also have noticed my system has a more hi-end, smooth but still very articulate, well balanced and detailed at whatever volume I care to listen at, from very low to very high volumes.  It's extremely enjoyable and I've been listening to more music lately. 
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Components Toggle details

    • LG Electronics C9 series 77" OLED 4K hdtv
    Replaced a Panasonic V65 VT60 Series 65" 1080p plasma hdtv that still functions flawlessly but the OLED consumes a fraction of the electricity, will eventually pay for itself through significantly reduced electric bills.
    • D-Sonic M3-600-M monoblock amps
    Class D 1,200 watt @ 4 ohm ultra quiet, very low distortion, powerful, dynamic, highly detailed amps with a silky smooth midrange and treble presentation that is never harsh or bright and creates a solid,stable, plalpable and enjoyable 3D sound stage illusion that is wide, deep, detailed, open and very convincing.
    • Mark Levinson 326S preamp
    Fully balanced ss dual-mono preamp that is very neutral, accurate and detailed that has a high-end quality from top to bottom with just a touch of midrange and treble  sweetness, warmth and euphony and an exceptionally strong ability to create a solid, stable and believable sound stage illusion . Great match, just like high quality tube preamps and depending on an individual's overall system sound preference, with very neutral class D amps.
    • Magnepan 3.7i main speakers.
     Replaced a pair of 2.7QR speakers that were approaching 25 years old in my system.  Both models are high quality 3-way planar-dynamic dipole designs with large dipole bass sections and very good midrange performance.   However, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that the true star of the show and the biggest difference maker between these 2 speakers is the truly spectacular true ribbon treble transducer in the 3.7is compared to the quasi-ribbon  treble section of the 2.7QRs (QR specifying quasi-ribbon.  The significant treble improvement in treble quality and detail provided by the true-ribbon transducer in my system  is truly transformative in its effects on my system's fidelity, realism and enjoyment.
    • GIK Acoustics Tri-Traps, 244 bass trap panels, 242 absorption panels with scatter plates
    I had my room evaluated by a GIK consultant and bought about $3,500 worth of room treatments that have now been custom installed: stacked pairs of Tri-Trap bass traps in all 4 corners, multiple 244 bass trap panels (2 with Panel Art covers)and multiple 242 absorption panels with Scatter Plates to add diffusion (2 also with Panel Art covers) and 3 Wavy Leaf pattern 4" thick decorative panels.  These are a combination of bass traps underneath for absorption of excess bass frequency energy and diffusion on the surface for scattering higher frequency sound waves.  Overall, the strategy for my room was a  balance of sound absorption and diffusion throughout the room with an emphasis on diffusion on the front and rear walls.  They've only been installed for a couple days so far but the most significant changes I've perceived are an increase in the depth and width and openness of the sound stage illusion along with an increase in details, realism and naturalness.
    • LUMIN D2 DAC/Streamer
        I added the Lumin D2, along with a Synology 20 TB hard drive unit for storage and an iPad for a controller mainly for convenience but also for improved sound quality.  I have about 3K CDs and a few hundred hi-res music albums currently stored, ranging from FLAC to WAV file types and from 16bit/44.1KHz sampling rates and resolution up to DSD-wide sampling rates and resolution.  I may be fooling myself  that I can accurately discern between the various resolutions, but I don't care since they all sound excellent to me no matter the resolution.  All these source components are on connected to my wi-fi and communicate flawlessly with each other via the included Lumin software app that is very good.  Not as robust as my prior JRiver software but very similar in mega-data inclusion and GUI general look and operation.
    • Oppo UDP- 205
         i upgraded my Panasonic 1080p hdtv to an LG OLED 4K hdtv, so I needed to upgrade my 1080p Oppo UDP-105 to the 4K UDP-205.
    • Audio Kinesis Debra 4-sub distributed bass array (DBA)
         I consider this bass system the best single upgrade I've made to my system in the entire 45 years that I've been involved in this hobby and building systems.  It's a complete bass system, for $2,800, that consists of four relatively small passive subs, 12"x14.5"x28" and 44 pounds/each, that contain 10" long-throw aluminum drivers.  All 4 subs are powered by an included 1,000 watt class AB amp/control unit.  Each sub is 4 ohms and all are connected to the amp in series/parallel configuration.
         This system provides what I consider state of the art bass quality in my room with both music and HT.  The bass is very fast, smooth and detailed.  The system has a rated bass extension of 20 Hz +/- 3 db and has integrated seamlessly with my former Magnepan2.7QR and my current 3.7i main speakers, which are both considered notoriously difficult to integrate with subs.  
         It's very difficult to overstate just how well the 4-sub DBA concept works.    

Comments 7

Center
Noble 100 is a total idiot. No integrity, junk system.

viridian

Center
Maggies driven by the D-Sonic M3a series has the best performance of any amplifier/Magnepan combination.

conanb

Center
Tim,
Was checking out your equipment (very nice) and was curious about the "fully articulating hdtv wall mount" you used to mount the CC3. Two questions. Do you know the make and model and how much does the center channel speaker weigh. I checked the Magnepan site and they don't have much in the way of specifications. I am looking to possibly rework my space and moving the center channel (Vienna Acoustics Maestro Grand 30lb.) above the TV would help the logistics.
Cheers,
Tony

tony1954

222222&text=gr
Tim,
Reading various threads I was under the impression you had incorporated the swarm system?
I don’t see a mention of them in your system.
I currently have the 3.7i speakers and was looking for your comments.
Thanks, Tim 

Ag insider logo xs@2xgr8gl4

222222&text=ke
Great job of blending the GIK treatments into the room's colour scheme.  Similar colour and even pictures over the absorbers helps them disappear visually, unless you wish to see them like I do. Ha ha.
I just saw your thread about dipole treatment written in Sept 2019 and wanted to chime in if you hadn't already pulled the trigger but it seems your $1K budget grew and that you're a happy GIK customers - kudos.

I own SoundLab dipole electrostatics and concur that diffusion on both front and back walls with bass traps in the corners is a good general rule of thumb.  I found that sound quality was affected by distance from speaker to the front wall behind it.  Hopefully you've been able to experiment with distance and also listening position distance and toe-in as equal partners to sonic optimization.    Enjoy.   ...kevin

kevinzoe

128x128
Very nice!

mjcmt

222222&text=ha
At first glance I could not see the extent of the GIK panels installed. Then..wow..what a good looking install. I can see myself with a cold brew watching a live concert on that OLED....hang on.. gotta get another brew!

hallock01

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