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  1. #41
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Fantastic insights Jim. I spoke with Mark last week and he is completely overjoyed about the results.

    I'll be reaching out to you for a session late next year in our new home near Mike Bovaird.
    _______________

    Mike

  2. #42
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Great stuff, Jim! Good to read about you walking through the steps I followed from your book.

  3. #43
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Le Roy

    Austin, Tx : Soulution 520 preamp, 501 mono blocks, 541 SACD/560 DAC w/ Network Streaming, Raidho D3.1, Lumin U1, Lampi Big 7 SE, Uptone Audio Modded Mac Mini w/ MMK fanless kit & JS-2 LPS, Regen, Ansuz Diamond Loom, Oppo 105D, QNAP TS-451+

    Chicagoland : Soulution 725 preamp, 711 stereo amp, 541 SACD/560 DAC w/ Network Streaming, Raidho D5.1, Naim UnitiServe 2TB, Ansuz d-tc Loom (complete), Teac X1000 R2R, QNAP TS-451+

    Foundation:
    Raidho Rack system, Ansuz (3) Mainz D8 Distribution, 20 amp dedicated outlets via subpanel

  4. #44
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Mark Powers RoomPlay description, continued, pt. 2 –

    A couple of notes that I forgot to mention:

    1 – I evaluated the system without the subs. I wanted to hear the main speakers only. So we turned the input level of the subs all the way down, but left them on (so that the unpowered REL drivers wouldn’t interact with the bass from the Salon 2s).

    2 – I checked the system’s absolute polarity (I have owned an acoustic polarity checker for years). My entire playlist has been corrected for absolute polarity, and I did not want to mistake incorrect absolute polarity for some other issue. Some folks are not so sensitive to absolute polarity and some are.

    I first noticed that I was sensitive to it in 1984, when I was trying to get a pair of Magnepan Tympani 1Ds to sound right while playing an LP that featured a famous performer. I could get his voice to sound present or his guitar to do so (by flipping the polarity of both speaker cables), but not both at the same time. Turns out that the performer’s mic was in inverted polarity to his guitar pick-up! FYI – this performing/recording artist owned T-1Ds back then...

    FWIW - I was intimately familiar with the T-1Ds, having written the set-up manual for them back when I was at ARC.

    In the late ‘80s, Clark Johnson’s book, The Wood Effect, was written to introduce, verify, and explain the acoustic polarity phenomenon.

    FWIW – about 1 in 5 of the systems that I initially encounter are in inverted polarity!

    Moving ahead

    Once we had selected the Anchor Point, it was time to begin voicing the speakers to the room. As I mentioned, there had been audible room reflections, especially noticeable with solo performers. Now that we had moved our listening seat further away from the system, that effect was worse!

    Without lots of room treatments (which wouldn’t have been acceptable in Mark & Susan’s beautiful living room), the way to address that issue was to reduce the time delay from the speakers. In other words, bring them closer to the listener.

    Since Presence is the next critical issue after Dynamics have been addressed (IMO), I knew that we had to move the speakers forward anyway. Mark had a wide equipment cabinet between the Salon 2s. He already had the speakers forward of the cabinet a bit. But Presence wasn’t happening like I wanted.

    So we brought (slid) them forward several feet. I explained to him that I was going to voice the system for its best performance, and we would find a way to record/mark where the properly voiced speakers were located. For background/casual listening (and for marital harmony), he should leave them in the original position. But when he wanted to hear what he’d paid for, I was gonna give him the keys to another order of magnitude of musical involvement.

    And that is what happened. It took a while to position the speakers for the best combination of Presence & Tone.

    And now, the disturbing echo was gone!

    I will say that many audiophiles set up their systems for pinpoint imaging. I don’t follow that path. When it is followed, it negatively affects Presence & Tone. So if an audiophile especially values the “audiophile sound effects” capability of his/her system, pinpoint imaging is the way to go.

    When I am voicing for Presence & Tone, and it is finally as good as I can get it, the result is always dramatically more musical satisfaction. In fact, I only stop when I finally realize that I am falling into the music while listening to songs that I have heard thousands of times!

    In our case, we still weren’t there yet. But hopefully, we only had two more areas to address… (1) the peak at 100 Hz and (2) integrating the RELs seamlessly into the system.

    Re the peak at 100 Hz, I was pleased to discover that the Classe’ offered various digital techniques to address the issue. For me, there was only one choice – parametric eq at 100 Hz to reduce the mid-bass peak. I selected 100 Hz, a narrow Q, and reduced the amplitude of the peak. I spent some time listening to various level adjustments of the peak until the bass was smooth and nimble.

    Re integrating Mark’s REL subs to the system, we checked which way they should be aimed (an often overlooked critical step) for smoothest response at a higher frequency than we would use. I didn’t want any out-of-band resonances coming back to haunt us even though we were rolling off the RELs lower than that.

    At any rate, we found the optimum set-up and and now it was time to see if the polarity of the correctly positioned RELs matched that of the Salon 2s. Some folks check between the sub and main speaker to see which sub polarity has the loudest bass (correct polarity at xover point). Personally, I could care less how it works over there. I want to know how it works at the listening seat. Please note that this is ultimately done with both subs.

    We got that right and then it remained to find the optimum roll-off frequency and subwoofer volume. They are directly inter-related. I’m not gonna explain it here as I have to do that in the upcoming and final Copper Subwoofery article.

    If you have the interest & the time -
    http://www.psaudio.com/article/subwo...rick-or-treat/

    At any rate, the total integration of the subs took a while but – hey – it’s not rocket science. Maybe an hour or more.

    Then my latent OCD raised it’s persistent head, and I messed with slight placement tweaks of the Salon 2s a bit more. Next thing I knew, I had fallen headlong into the music, so I was done.

    Thanks to everyone for your patience!
    Last edited by MDP; November 16, 2016 at 08:39 AM.
    MBP (2), stripped down for music only; Curious USB; PS Audio LanRover; Audioquest Diamond ethernet; REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Audioquest Diamond AES; Schiit Yggdrasil; Ayre QB-9 DSD; Ayre Codex; ASR Emitter II Exclusive; all electronics on Grand Prix Audio stands; mass-loaded Tannoy Canterburys on custom stands; Outboard Duelund xover bypassing internal Tannoy xover & Tannoy EQ; bi-wired with Duelund DCA16GA speaker cables; mass-loaded REL 212 SEs; Duelund DCA20GA ICs; Stealth Dream PCs; dedicated custom room; various room treatments; etc.

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  5. #45
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
    Since Presence is the next critical issue after Dynamics have been addressed (IMO) ...
    ...

    I will say that many audiophiles set up their systems for pinpoint imaging. I don’t follow that path. When it is followed, it negatively affects Presence & Tone. So if an audiophile especially values the “audiophile sound effects” capability of his/her system, pinpoint imaging is the way to go.

    When I am voicing for Presence & Tone, and it is finally as good as I can get it, the result is always dramatically more musical satisfaction. In fact, I only stop when I finally realize that I am falling into the music while listening to songs that I have heard thousands of times!
    Jim,

    How do you define Presence in the way you have mentioned it?
    Just asking to get a better understanding of the term.

    Regards.

    W10 Transport + JRiver MC 22 or HQPlayer | Audiocadabra Optimus USB | Goldmund Job INT | Green Mountain Audio Eos HX

  6. #46
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    HI Jim,

    Thanks so much for taking the time and for sharing your RoomPlay discription of Marks system. Greatly appreciated!
    Paul

    l


    Speakers: Von Schweikert VR-5 HSE Front L/R, LCR-35 Center, VR-1 Rear L/R Sub: JL Audio F113
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  7. #47
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikhil View Post
    Jim,

    How do you define Presence in the way you have mentioned it?
    Just asking to get a better understanding of the term.

    Regards.
    Nikhil,

    Great question!

    Although I am covering this topic in an upcoming Copper article, it probably needs more explanation in this thread.

    It was about 7 years ago. I was voicing a system for a Get Better Sound owner. Not sure if I had started calling these sessions RoomPlay yet.

    Anyway, he had seen & heard me voice his system and liked the results very much. Later that evening, he asked me to identify the steps that he had just witnessed. Amazingly, though I knew exactly the desired outcomes for which I was voicing, I had never thought of discussing a description of them with anyone. Nor had I even assigned a name for them for myself!

    As I thought about it, I realized that it was actually fairly simple to come up with a descriptor/name (though not so simple to achieve the results in practice). I finally explained to him that I have always voiced for Dynamics, Presence, & Tone (these days, I often say DPT).

    Dynamics

    Generally the smoothest bass possible (reduce the amplitude of peaks and dips by locating the position in the room that isn’t destroying intended musical dynamics by booming away at some frequencies, or having some notes missing in action from troughs/dips. This is the aforementioned Anchor Point from which further voicing to the room will occur.

    Presence

    Although I teach/demonstrate this critical factor in RoomPlay Reference sessions here in Atlanta (as Mark can attest), as well as voice for Presence on voicing sessions, I admit to incorrectly assuming that everyone knows about it. I should know better, since no system that I have ever voiced reproduced this aspect correctly on initial evaluation.

    Really, properly reproduced Presence is continuous and there are no definite types. But in an attempt to simplify it, I break them down into three types – Concert Hall, Recital, and Intimate. When I believe that these three are working, the final listening test I perform to check my results requires that I have nailed the set-up, as a famous performer will move through several Presence types during the recording, and at all times it should seem uncanningly real, as if the performer is literally slowly stepping back some distance and finally turning his head as he sings, looking at the famous female singer as she is about to sing. In other words, the room has transformed into the concert hall – and in an utterly believable manner.

    Concert Hall Presence can briefly be described as the eery feeling that vocals or instruments are arrayed at the front end of the room, well behind the speakers. No sound of any kind should appear to emanate from the speakers. It should sound very much alive. Very Present in the room, though distant.

    Recital Presence presents the performers on a stage or in an area behind the speakers, but always much closer. It also delineates between the relative positions of the performers, again sounding very much alive and Present. I use the term Recital because it feels as if I'm sitting in a Recital Hall, enjoying a wonderful musical performance.

    Intimate Presence is when a vocalist/ performer appears between - and sometimes even slightly ahead - of the speaker plane. It’s as if they have packed up their gear to come over and perform in your room. They are IN your room. The effect is almost unnerving as it definitely sounds as if they are alive and performing between your speakers.

    As I mentioned above, when I evaluate a system, the ultimate test of properly reproduced Presence in a room is the recording I mentioned above, where the vocalist moves around as he sings, and walks through several layers of Presence as he does so.

    When Presence is reproduced correctly, the effect is musically engaging in a powerful manner.

    Tone –

    Not the attitude of the performers.

    I am referring to the timbre/tonal aspects of the reproduced sound. This is ALWAYS primarily affected via speaker separation and toe-in & sometimes speaker height or tilt.

    Hope this helps – sorry I haven’t mentioned the recordings & performers in this thread, but I am unable to do so.
    MBP (2), stripped down for music only; Curious USB; PS Audio LanRover; Audioquest Diamond ethernet; REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Audioquest Diamond AES; Schiit Yggdrasil; Ayre QB-9 DSD; Ayre Codex; ASR Emitter II Exclusive; all electronics on Grand Prix Audio stands; mass-loaded Tannoy Canterburys on custom stands; Outboard Duelund xover bypassing internal Tannoy xover & Tannoy EQ; bi-wired with Duelund DCA16GA speaker cables; mass-loaded REL 212 SEs; Duelund DCA20GA ICs; Stealth Dream PCs; dedicated custom room; various room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.co;

  8. Thanks CPP, Nikhil, Rob181 thanked for this post
  9. #48
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Jim,

    Thank you very much for the explanation. Very much appreciated.
    It's been a pleasure following this discussion on RoomPlay.

    Regards.

    W10 Transport + JRiver MC 22 or HQPlayer | Audiocadabra Optimus USB | Goldmund Job INT | Green Mountain Audio Eos HX

  10. #49
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    What is the song/album that you use to voice for presence, where the performer is walking around "through several layers of presence" ?? I would like to try that recording in my system. Thanks Jim for your thoughtful explainations of system setup.

  11. #50
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Quote Originally Posted by JDLaudio View Post
    What is the song/album that you use to voice for presence, where the performer is walking around "through several layers of presence" ?? I would like to try that recording in my system. Thanks Jim for your thoughtful explainations of system setup.
    JDL - thanks for your note and your question.

    As I mentioned in the last line of my reply to Nikhil, "sorry I haven’t mentioned the performers in this thread, but I am unable to do so."

    I should have been more clear and said "recordings & performers". I will change it now.
    MBP (2), stripped down for music only; Curious USB; PS Audio LanRover; Audioquest Diamond ethernet; REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Audioquest Diamond AES; Schiit Yggdrasil; Ayre QB-9 DSD; Ayre Codex; ASR Emitter II Exclusive; all electronics on Grand Prix Audio stands; mass-loaded Tannoy Canterburys on custom stands; Outboard Duelund xover bypassing internal Tannoy xover & Tannoy EQ; bi-wired with Duelund DCA16GA speaker cables; mass-loaded REL 212 SEs; Duelund DCA20GA ICs; Stealth Dream PCs; dedicated custom room; various room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.co;

 

 
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