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Drewster
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:11 pm    Post subject: Sonic Beaver's System Reply with quote

Welcome Sonic Beaver Exclamation Mr. Green

It's good to have you on board Tuneland Cool Very Happy .


I am including Sonic's drawings and photos below, and he offers the following:



"Greetings Michael and Friends at Tuneland,

Here’s an introduction to my system which I’ve been putting together over the last couple of years since finding Tuneland. It’s based on ideas I’ve picked up from the many threads – thanks everyone!

The tuning devices are a mix of used stuff, some newer things ordered from MGA through Drewster and things cobbled together.


Equipment

DVD player: Philips DVP 3146K; taken apart, most damping gone, top tuned

Preamp: Quicksilver ; faceplate off, screws cracked, transformers outside

Crossover: Paradigm X-30; cover off, screws cracked, top tuned

Amp: Rega; taken apart, transformers outside

S/W Amp: Rotel; bridged, taken apart, transformer outside

Speaker: Magneplanar 1.5; front grille removed, crossover loosened

Subwoofer Janis W-1

All interconnects are Picasso and speaker wire Bare Essence Type 3 and Type 4. Mains cable Type 1. All gear up on Harmonic Springs, Harmonic Feet or MTDs. Magic Wood used. All the mains outlets have been loosened.



Room Diagram 1





Room Diagram 2 (labeled)



































Treatment

4 Corner Tunes
3 Echo Tunes
2 Echo Tunes in the lower front corners of the room
2 Tune Strips (actually made up of 3 ETs sewn together)
2 Echo Tunes used like Tune Strips
2 FS Room Tunes
3 FS PZCs
1 Deluxe JustaRack
1 Mini Clamp Rack
1 Amp Stand
4 Cable Grounds (older version)
22 cardboard “sound shutters”


Room and Music

Brick walls, reinforced concrete ceiling, wood floor over concrete, wooden doors (I don’t think they are hollow), bamboo curtain over window.

I listen mostly to classical and jazz (that’s about 90% of all my CDs) with a bit of blues and rock thrown in.

This room is used for both hifi and music practice. Speaking voices are “in the chest” and there is a slight overhang in the middle of the space but no slap echoes anywhere. IMO, the sound is pretty decent by hifi standards but it is a very long way behind when compared to how Tunees describe what their systems can do.

I’m hoping to get images projecting a bit further forward, better all round ambience and the soundstage expanding a bit beyond the front and side walls – all done at a reasonable cost.

Sonic


P.S. My system has changed a bit since the pix were shot but not much visually. There are MW squares behind each PZC tuning bolts instead of brass washers, all transformers have been removed from the preamp, the main and subwoofer amps and placed on MW slices, the CD player transport has a MW square over the magentic puck instead of a long MW bridge that ran across the width of the transport."



Nice job, Sonic!



Mr. Green Mr. Green
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Michael Green
Founder of MGA


Joined: 16 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sonic,

Welcome to TuneLand Exclamation

I'm glad you have a thread now. This will make it easier to put your system in our minds, so we can see and hear what you are.

The most important part of your system of course is you. Everyone who chooses to advance their system past the "plug and play" mode has the opportunity to go places that the rest of the music listening world can never go. Whether you choose to sit on the edge or be in the middle is now up to you. I look forward to a lot of fun, as we travel down this road together.

Cool
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Sonic_Beaver
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Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 143
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael

Thanks for the welcome! Yes, it took me quite a long time to get here.

May i start off with a couple of observations and questions and see what you and other Tunees say:

a. I've separated the transformers from the chassis of my preamp and amps as you suggested in a PM. Connection was made out of Type 1 cable and the transformers now sit on slices of MW. Very good! The sound got more dimensional and real. Biggest change was with the preamp where the transformer contributed most of the weight -- without the faceplate and the transformer, the Quickie is paper light.

b. I also tried moving the rack closer to the front wall and leaning a 48" DRT on it and against the wall at an angle. The soundstage imaged very high up -- a bit like Bill333's experience with Dusty Springfield's voice Very Happy

But moving the rack towards the front wall also pulled centre images away from the listener. The soundstage gets to be boomerang-shaped with the singer/soloist at the front wall and the orchestra wrapped forward....not exactly like the real thing...

c. I get too much of a sense of the size of my room. The soundstage doesn't go through the walls. Images sometimes follow the walls particularly ahead of the speakers. So no 40 ft wide stage here.

Also on occasion I get the feeling that the sound is pressurizing the room, it wants to get out but can't...don't know if this makes sense....

d. The cardboard shutters tamed lots of slap echoes and rings. You should hear the place without them. Absorbers, diffusors, foam, all the stuff from your competitors were tried. Nothing worked without killing off the musick....then went these pieces of cardboard... Shocked

But cardboard pieces are not soundshutters. One Very Senior Tunee said that cardboard is nice but the real thing is mind blowing. What can I do since the shutters aren't available?

e. Has any experienced Tunee experienced this: my top tuned CD transport vibrates a fair bit on some CDs, on a couple it even rattles loudly and has to be reloaded several times to get a point where it runs quiet.

But when the transport is mounted in its casing normally, the rattling doesn't happen or is much less. Hope to hear from y'all soon Very Happy

Sonic
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Michael Green
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sonic,

I keep some of mine that have good sounding plastic in the chassis, and if I feel like the chassis doesn't quite resonate full range, I take it apart.

Some of the new plastic actually doesn't sound half bad, and once you find the right top tuning combo, it gives pretty good performances.

Also I find that if you keep the transport really level the mechanical noise goes away, but this can be a pain. To be honest, when I get the music to flow all around me I don't even notice any noise, I'm to in to the sound.

Wink
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Michael Green
Founder of MGA


Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 4227

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sonic,

Been looking at your system. Let me ask you something. When you make little changes, do you notice the change? Or does it take a bigger change to hear a bigger difference?

It looks like your wanting to make your system a super sensitive one (which is what I like). Sometimes I'll listen to the same CD for a month just cause I'm having so much fun making little sonic changes so I can take in different parts of the piece of music.

The key to being able to do this is balancing the audio trilogy, always keeping the 3 parts in the back of your mind at all times.

see ya
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Sonic_Beaver
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Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 143
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael

I won't say that small changes are audible but I'm at the stage where some changes need to be paired up with the modification/reversal of an earlier successful change to work well. I keep a log of what I've done like Matt advised so I have a trail of what worked and what didn't.

For instance, I tried levelling the CD transport t cut the vibration but I had to also loosen the top shelf of the DJR till the Harmonic Spring slides quite easily. A couple of months earlier, I thought that a slightly tighter spring gave the best focus after settling for about 2 days.

I've noticed that the right hand side of my room gives more pronounced ambience and than the left hand side of then room (from listening chair) is drier. This is more apparently on solo piano and harpsichord CDs. Its almost like I am listening behind the player on stage and the RHS is the empty hall with a billowy ambient signature of the empty hall while the LHS is down stage with all its curtains.

But concert hall echoes of instruments like tympanis travel past me to the rear of the room way behind me and that's quiet nice. Where can I go next?

Gotta tell you my listening habits go like this: I sort of plan an evening's listening programme (not always complete CDs)....tonight I started with F Couperin's First Book of Harpsichord works, then a few tracks of Dylan's Highway 61 Shocked then 3 of Bach's of cello suites and Oscar Petersen Trio. Sorry if this flies in the face of Tuneland practice but I cover lots of muscial ground and it is a nice way to unwind and put the days' work behind me.

What's your sugestion on the RH bias of the room ambience and how I can get the full effect of real shutters from MGD instead of what I got, or am I focusing on the wrong thing, mixing he the emans with the end?

Sonic
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Michael Green
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi sonic,

Not hearing the smallest of changes (even the loosening of a screw) means blockage. Somewhere along the audio signal path something is blocking the signal itself from getting through. This is what separates the plug a play people from the Tunee, or even the super Tunee.

Something that is kinda funny to me is I get to see the different types of listeners in the industry, as well as the different types of designers and manufacturers. It's not hard to categorize them. It's like watching the stock exchange rise and fall. Everyone knows if we found the lowest common denominator and spread it across the board, things would work fine. Audio is much the same way. From the recording studio to your ears everything is variable. The key to success is finding the areas in your system that could and are blocking the music from filling the room, and everything being in place.

To go one step further we need to remember that the recordings themselves all have different codes. This is why we need to add tuning to the word variable. "Variable tuning" is the key to it all. This means that we have to throw away our past thinking of what we thought was going to get us there, and put our thinking on the signal itself. My job is to help people let go of the old ways of stopping harmonics from developing, and instead teaching the reality of how delicate the signal is, and how we can clear the path for the harmonics of the music to pass through. The harmonics of each piece of music and recording is what makes it whole and real.

For example: if you right now listened to a piece of music three or four times in a row then loosened all your nuts on your rack, lifted the shelf up ever so slightly then set it back down and just barely touched the nuts on top of your rack shelves again, within an hour the music should start moving outside of the edges of the walls of your room. Come back the next day playing that same piece of music all night (keeping everything on of course), you should be listening to a whole new world. If not then you have harmonic blockage and must begin your hunt.

Always remember that your system is a musical instrument that always goes in and out of tune. The good new is once you become good friends with your system you will know its moods and be able to react. Not to sound like a cult here, put your system is going to react to harmonic structures much like the universe does.

I did a study last night on the crust of the Earth and the under crust. Very enlightening and yet made perfect sense. I won't bore you with it, but it was very cool how everything is in motion at all times.

Wink
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Sonic_Beaver
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Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael

Tried the experiment you suggested and here's how it went:

After power up, I let the system run for about 30 mins to warm up. Then I put on Vivaldi's Lute Concertos and trios (D Benko, Hungaroton) and listened to the first work (tracks 1 -- 3) at my usual volume level.

The sound was within expectation, nothing off or MIA. Then I repeated the tracks 3 times but I left the room so that I didn't get "conditioned". Listening again on the 5th pass, the sound was louder and some instruments started to project more towards me, the small orchestra gained some weight and size. The sound started to feel even more independent of the speakers. Better for sure.

I then did the rack thing. Loosened and lifted. Ooops... Sad found that one shelf I adjusted a few days ago had settled and the nuts were tighter than the others. Now with all nuts hardly touching the shelves, the violins took on more rosin and sheen, the musical lines of the soft instruments were clearer.

I set the disc on repeat for more than 1 hour and the sound and ambience started to make the air in the room feel higher in pressure Question , the volume was even louder, the orchestra had expanded more in 3 dimensions but sounds at the sides of the stage seemed to hit the side walls and spread up and along the walls. This was more noticeable on the Left than Right.

If I kept my eyes closed, the sound was beginning to be sort of larger than my physical room but when a loud passage came along the sound expands to the side walls and spreads out along it. I also heard more details in playing techniques and background noises at this point. The ambience was nice but more of it on the Right than the Left.

Listening in the morning sounds very loud probably because of my ears being rested overnight. The lighting of the room has changed too with sunlight coming in so these are variables that must surely affect perception but the effect is being more submerged in sound all round. Subjectively, the effect is not all that pleasant.

What does this tell you? Everything I've tried to describe is noticeable but not in-my-face. On a scale of 1 (barely noticeable, maybe just imagination) to 10 (only the deaf will miss it), what I got is somewhere in the middle. If this doesn't make sense, I'll try say it again if you ask me. Very Happy

Sonic
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Michael Green
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Good,

I'm starting to connect to your system a little. How tough would it be for you to fire off another set of pictures to Drewster, so I can take a look at the weight distribution going on in the system? I want to see the transformers out side the chassis, and get a fresh sense of things.

Just for the heck of it, what does the system sound like with the cabinets behind you gone? Or do you have pieces of wood big enough to cover the fronts. You know something simple like folding screens.

Do your grilles come off. I know what your side wall problem is, I'm just to afraid to tell you yet Wink
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Sonic_Beaver
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Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 143
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael

Here's some answers to the questions you asked:

Maggie Grilles: the front grilles are already off. Been off for months now. The Maggies have a double grille -- an outer one joined to the wooden wings (they are cosmetic I think) which covers only the front. This has been removed and the sound was better as a result.

What you see in the pics is the inner sock which protect the membrane, the magnetic structure and the crossover bits. I've kept this on because of dust sticking to the panels and damage from house pets.

Covering the bookcases: i tried covering/blocking as much of the bookcases I could with a large bamboo mat, pieces of non-absorbent stuff and guitar cases.

Err...the result was what I hoped would not happen Shocked the images firmed up quite a bit, the placement of instruments got more secure and the soundstage projected forward. The problem is that I can't move the bookcases anywhere else for domestic reasons.

OTH, there wasn't much improvement to the "halo of ambience" but the sense of sound going beyond my side walls seemed to even decrease. Of course it could be the same and this impression could be due to the improved imaging or the ambient light coming in thru the windows (expeirment done at 11am in the morning) messing with my perception.

My camera has been loaned out so it will take up to end next week to get you the pictures. But this I'll do.

What do you see emerging from today's experiment and the state of my grilles -- you must have asked me that for a reason?

Sonic
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