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  1. #31

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    Room acoustics play a big role in imaging and soundstaging. I had a similar problem where the left speaker sounded a tad bit louder and shifted the image ever so slightly to the left. This effect can be caused by cancellation of waves from on one side and/or reinforcement of certain frequencies on another side. Sound in normal rooms takes time to decay. This leaves room for constructive or destructive interference to occur. For instance, if your speaker plays a note and your room plays back the same note 180 deg out of phase, there will be cancellation. Bad bass can have a detrimental effect beyond sounding boomy. It can smear the imaging of your system, ring in your room for an extended amount of time, and excite room nodes and multiples thereof. Integrating a sub is definitely a challenge in any system.

    Considering your large room and smaller sub, corner loading it would be a good idea to decrease distortion and increase output. What freq did you decide to set your XO at? How did you determine the phase to set the sub?
    2Ch Tube Audio Convert

  2. #32

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    Hello everyone. I hope everyone had a good holiday and Im sure some will agree, Im glad its over! Now back to spending money on my own toys.
    I finally got everything about as close to right as Im going to get with my current components. I never could get a perfect soundstage though. Whenever I would get one aspect right, another would degrade.
    I did experiment with covering the television and coffee table. I did notice changes though I am not sure if it improved or not, it was just different. The only other change that I made was the installation of a Monster HTS 3500 MkII power conditioner/surge protector. We had a transformer catch on fire a few months back and the power surges were visible in our lights; it made me worry for my electronics. I found the Monster component on Ebay. It was in wonderful condition and I won it for $38.50. Not to bad. I did not notice any difference in the sound of my system or in the video. Some people swear it made a difference but I guess our power is pretty clean and consistent out of the fuse box. However, I do sleep better knowing its there. I may, just for the sake of covering all bases, add a SurgeX surge protector in between the wall and the Monster 3500. From my understanding, the Monster uses MOVs to protect and if a strong surge hits it will sacrifice itself. The SurgeX uses a more active style of protection and does not sacrifice itself. Once this is done, I believe that there will be no question that the power feeding my components is as clean and protected as it can be.

    TonyB: I tried moving the speakers further away from the wall, but contrary to what usually works, I found that in my particular room the speakers sounded better closer to the rear wall and further away from the side walls. I expected the bass to be muddy but it was not.

    M1947: Though I have not yet crossed the 40 mark (only a few away), I have been in the Field Artillery for 17 years and I know for a fact my hearing is not what it used to be. Thankfully, the loss is about equal in both ears so the imaging in my head isnt too far off. 

    Ab00: Agreed, due to the size of the room, I did find that the sub sounded best in the corner. I had not intended on keeping the PSW505 in my 2 channel system. However, after spending many hours playing around with the settings and placement, I am actually quite pleased with its performance. The sub is now pretty much invisible and the frequency handoff is virtually transparent to my ears. The phase was set in a very unscientific way. I sat in my listening position and had my wife set it and then get behind me. I would listen for a bit and then she would come in and switch it the other way. We did this for some time and I left it in the position that sounded right. The subs crossover is set to 80 Hz. This frequency seemed to be the best for a transparent handoff of frequencies. I set this using a bass test CD that had a signal that went from 20kHz slowly down to 5Hz. I kept replaying it and adjusting the crossover until the transition from the RT600s to the sub was seamless to my ears. I believe the RT600s (quoted from polkaudio.com) have an overall range of 30Hz 26 kHz and a -3db response limit of 45Hz 25 kHz. I believe (quoted from polkaudio.com) that the PSW505 has a total range of 23 Hz 160 Hz and a -3db limit of 28 Hz 125 Hz. Therefor 80Hz seems to agree with what I am hearing.

    So, having listened to my setup over the holidays untouched, I am now at the point of upgrading my cables. Having noticed differences while messing with my cheap speaker wire lengths and routing, I am deciding which end to start at. It would make sense to start at the power cable side and work the system out to the speakers. I am going to start a new thread specifically on each area (power cable, Interconnect cable and speaker cable along with plugs) and then comment on the effects regarding my image and soundstage. So, my quest continues. Hopefully at the end of this road I will have a really good understanding of how all this works and ties into each other and.a really fun system to listen to and enjoy. Thanks to all who have commented and shared their opinions; it has been very helpful and inspiring. More to follow, Alan.

  3. #33

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    For cable upgrades, I'd recommend getting you two Pangea AC-14's (source and amp/receiver) for cheap (seen 'em for like $15 used) and use the additional funds to upgrade the IC's and SC's. The Pangea's provide a solid baseline that will make a bigger improvement than you could get spending the same money on IC's or SC's.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by michael1947 View Post
    I have tried to train my Golden to cuddle up around the sub-woofer. Just sayin'.
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  5. #35

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    I bet a nice pair of LSi7s would sound great in there with that sub. I'd be surprised if fussing about with wires is going to net you the result you're after. In my experience speakers are the primary factor to be considered when going after a satisfying musical experience.

  6. #36

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    Dskip: I am currently looking at the AC-14's. I started a new thread for that challenge.

    L&C: Agreed. However, I am quite happy with the sound of my RT600's. For the small investment that I have in my system, I don't think I could have done much better. At this point, I am playing with the cables more from a hobby standpoint than anything else. Regarding speaker upgrades, the next will be the sub. As good as I have gotten it to sound with many hours of tweaking and tuning, I do find it's limits.

  7. #37

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    To net bigger results in cable changes, one first needs a system able to portray those changes....not so sure the rt600's are up to that, but you should still hear some improvements. The more revealing your system becomes the more cable changes become audible to larger degrees.

  8. #38

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    Tony, I have had those speakers in my rig. They are capable to these ears. Maybe not on the finest [most subtle] of changes but these responded well enough.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  9. #39

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    Hello! As anyone who has been reading this thread knows, I have been working hard to get my system set up properly. I have set everything up as suggested and then made tweaks that I felt were necessary to fine tune the setup. Over the last few months I have gotten it really close. I got wrapped up in doing what was necessary to place the singers in the center of the image. I was actually pretty happy with what I achieved. So, this morning while sitting on the floor organizing CD’s, I just happened to sit in a particular spot that changed what I was hearing. This resulted in me sitting in the listening spot and reflecting on whether or not I have achieved what I was looking for. The following is what I came up with. Hopefully someone can have a look at what I noticed.

    When I started, I was under the impression that a properly set up system would paint a clear picture of the stage in front of me. Simply put, everyone was where they were supposed to be. Picture a three man band. During the recording, the singer stood dead center, the sax player stood to the left and the drummer sat on the right. When I sit in the center of my system and close my eyes, I should hear the voice centered, the sax on the left speaker and the drums on the right speaker-understanding that some sound would bleed into the others due to ambiance. This is what I thought was right, and this is what I for the most part achieved.

    Now for the confusing part, I’ll try to articulate what I heard the best I can so bear with me. When I sat on the floor I just happened to sit dead center about 4’ back from my speakers. What I heard was almost an echo. The sound stopped coming from my speakers and instead created an “atmosphere”. The image still had the locations right, but seemed to transform from the sound of a CD being played on a stereo system to a weird recreation of the atmosphere and space that the music was recorded in. It wasn’t perfect by any means. But oddly enough, I was able to pick out sounds that I did not notice before. It sounded realistic enough that my mind couldn’t stop paying attention to it. It was if the speakers disappeared and with my eyes closed, I could not pinpoint where my speakers were. (Of course I could due to memory but you get the point) This had happened a few times while setting it up but I didn’t pursue it.

    What I did then was measure the angle of the speakers and then applied that to my listening spot. It became a little more “echoic” but remained nonetheless. I noticed that this image was extremely fragile and when the dog walked past 5’ from the speaker the image was temporally shattered. Now don’t get me wrong, the work I did before resulted in very “clean” sounding music that provided an image and was very pleasurable to listen to. But this new image was on a whole new level. It sounded different than anything I have heard before. I don’t know how to explain it other than saying that the speakers were removed from the sound. And I mean moved out of the room. Words to describe this would be airy, open, atmospheric and natural. The soundstage width changed in that before you could hear the edges of the stage whereas now, the stage disappeared and was replaced by the entire room it was recorded in. I could almost discern the echo’s in the back of the room. I can’t empathize enough how fragile this was.

    Normally, when sitting in my spot, I could do other things, such as read and listen at the same time. However, with the new image I was constantly drawn into staring at the centered fireplace half expecting to see someone singing in the flames. So, this insane revelation has me fumbling around trying to chase this. Of course being a rough setup, the new image is not perfect. So before I spend any more time on it I wanted to post this and get some opinions.

    Is this what I should be chasing? Is it just some reverberated sound wave issues or is this the “holy grail” that everyone seems to chase? I am absolutely floored by this. It is a whole new dimension, and I mean freaky weird. Nothing is pinpoint; everything has a fuzzy “realness” to it. It is not without some perceived downsides though. Solo piano works sound as if I am sitting in an empty concert hall. I can hear sounds reverberating around the “hall”. None of this was apparent at all before. Has anyone experienced this? I do not believe it is simply “bad acoustics and negative reflections” because I have not heard them before. I have tried to describe it the best I can and hopefully someone understands what I am hearing because I am completely confused……

  10. #40

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    The best speaker is one that doesn't draw attention to itself - transparency if you will. If you can get the speakers out of the equation, you're going to get an experience that many have never heard before. What drew me to the Usher 6311 was that, tonally, they aren't a far cry from that RT generation. What they were able to do was add a level of transparency that I was unable to achieve even with the RT3000p. It took a lot for me to decide to sell the 3000's, but I had to get past the fact that I always wanted them and realize that I'd never use them again while Usher was in house.

    With that said, proper setup is key in any system. When people talk about the generic triangle you start with, its just a starting point. You have to play around with everything. How far a speaker is from the wall gets mentioned, but you often don't see anyone on this forum mention things like how far the listener is from the back wall. This plays a role in how the sound is heard as reflections do change for every position in the room.



    I think the reason it worked 4 ft away is that you were having a near-field listening experience. I've often found it to be that speakers disappear better from a near-field position and most speakers I've heard can do it in that setting fairly well. The challenge comes when you move back 6 ft and get closer to that equilateral triangle.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    With that said, proper setup is key in any system. When people talk about the generic triangle you start with, its just a starting point. You have to play around with everything. How far a speaker is from the wall gets mentioned, but you often don't see anyone on this forum mention things like how far the listener is from the back wall. This plays a role in how the sound is heard as reflections do change for every position in the room.



    I think the reason it worked 4 ft away is that you were having a near-field listening experience. I've often found it to be that speakers disappear better from a near-field position and most speakers I've heard can do it in that setting fairly well. The challenge comes when you move back 6 ft and get closer to that equilateral triangle.
    The closer you sit to the speakers and the further the speakers are from the walls, you remove room contributions to the sound. Of course where you sit relative to the room has a big contribution as well. As Dskip mentioned, your relative position to the rear wall contributes to the amount and which nulls and peaks you'll hear. Bass radiates off the rear wall and reflects returning to the LP.

    A nearfield listening experience best removes the contributions from the room however you may not be necessarily on axis for all drivers of your speaker for them to integrate best. Room acoustics are a huge pain to deal with but is an extremely rewarding endeavor.
    2Ch Tube Audio Convert

  12. #42

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    Hello Alan and good morning to you. What you experienced is the classic near-field listening position. Like everything, it has its advantages and its disadvantages. As you have discovered, the experience can be quite pleasurable.

    Let me ask you this. From memory, the speakers you have sit low [tweeter height]. Have you ever thought to raise the speakers to where the tweeter height is close to the same height as your ears? Perhaps tilting the speaker no more than 3 degrees back so that the angle of the tweeter is directed more at your ear and not your knees. Maybe a combination thereof. Most of the forum members here who have commented and utilize your style of speaker have the tweeter pointed at or near around the ear to around 4 inches out without "crossing the beams". FWIW, mine are pointed around two inches out and the tweeter height is the same exact height as my listening position.

    You have already learned quite a bit about the sweet spot since you joined the forum, so you will know when you find it and the progress will be somewhat quicker now that you have some experience under your belt.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  13. #43

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    Alan, after reading over your threads, I admire your attention to detail and dedication into this hobby....I know it sucks me in as well.
    Not sure if you have tried this yet, but if that were my setup and I was going back and forth like you have been, I would try to pull those speakers out about a foot and see how they sound. I would get them out of the corners by the fireplace and let them breathe a little more.

    Worst case is you can put them back, no harm no foul.....worth a try.

  14. #44

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    Agreed ^^

    Pull them forward past the face of the fireplace but just short of the front of the hearth. Way too far back as is in the pics.
    That room with the open area right behind the couch is going to bleed reflections. Sound works off reflections, for the better or worse, but generally you want those reflections to meet at some point at your listening position. Hard to do with nothing for it to bounce off behind that couch. So that's a limiting factor. Had my system set up just like that at one point, speakers flagging the fireplace, tv in the corner. Worked ok for music but movies you lost that front stage.

    May have said it before, but try putting the tv on an angle in that corner with the speakers on each side as far as possible. Maybe 7-8 feet apart. Might give you the best of both worlds for HT/music. Worth a shot anyway, and cost nothing.

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcman View Post
    Alan, after reading over your threads, I admire your attention to detail and dedication into this hobby....
    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  16. #46

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    Good morning everyone, I guess I'm back at it again. We just had new floors put in so it gave me a chance to move things around again while the wife was distracted with setting the room back up. This morning I am putting the system back together again. I am going to try to move the speakers 1' out from the wall. That's as far as I can go before it is in the traffic area. I am also moving the subwoofer back so that it is in between the main speakers. I started to have problems with the base being easy to pinpoint. Certain frequencies did not blend in and it was easy too notice that base was coming from the corner. Some of this may be for nothing because I think it will change again when the Marantz finds it's way back into the system. Right now I am running my CD' s through a Samsung BD-D6700 BluRay player. Crazy as it may seem, when he Marantz went down, we noticed a definite change in the sound stage. If it's even possible, it seemed that the sound became more sterile and lost some warmth. Regardless, fingers crossed, the Marantz should be back together in a day or two. More to follow, AR.

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