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  1. #1
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    Cool Jim Smith @ My House

    Last Saturday Jim came over to voice my system.

    I know that I've been a little quiet on the forum lately, it's just that I've been so content. I've just been enjoying my system so much. I have no desire for any new gear. Everything is just so good. I've spent the last year or so tweaking my setup and I really thought it was sounding sublime.

    Mike told me that when Jim gets done working, that I will soil my pants. But to be honest, I had my doubts about how much the sound could improve.

    When Jim arrived and after getting everything set up, he listened to my system and said " It sounds pretty good ", but we've still have a lot of work ahead of us. Gulp!

    I'm not going to go through all that he did, I wanted Jim to tell everyone about the process he goes through.

    I will tell you that the final result exceeded all my expectations by a mile!!!

    When Mike and my other forum friends asked about the results. I said that the best way I could answer would be, You have never truly heard how good the Salon 2's can be!

    In the age of $15,000 cables and other expensive components having the most important factor that affects our sound quality not addressed is a failing on our part.

    It's the room stupid.

    This was the best value per dollar that I've ever spent in audio, hands down. The results are not subtle, but truly amazing!!

    Thanks Jim.
    Mark

    _________________
    Pass Labs X350.8 Stereo amplifier
    Classe' CP 800 preamp
    Revel Ultima Salon 2's.....again !
    REL S2 Subwoofers
    Lumin A1 Network Streamer
    VPI Avenger with Magnetic Drive
    Manley Chinook Phono Pre
    Ortofon Cadenza Black cartridge
    Klaudio Ultrasonic record cleaner
    Kimber Select 6063 speaker cables
    Kimber Select 1116 XLR IC's
    Shunyata Cobra Zi-tron,and Ansuz Ceramic power cords,
    Ansuz Mainz D8 power distributer

  2. #2
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Mark that's fantastic. Congrats on getting to that comfy place in audio.
    Chris

    (2 Chl): Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE Lumin D1, VPI Classic 1, Manley Chinook, Dynavector DV20x2L.exaSound e32 mk11, Marantz SA11S2. ( computer) Win7, Synology DS413 NAS ,Vincent SP-331MKII , Quicksilver LS,Vapor Audio Breeze, Rythmik F12se. Cables: Acoustic Zen, DL Labs, Blue Jean.. ,Bryston BCD-1,Timbernation Rack,

  3. #3
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Awesome! Jim has helped a few of my customers, and to say his results are impressive is an understatement!
    Goldprint Audio -- Dealer For: PS Audio -- Leben -- KEF -- Line Magnetic -- DeVore Fidelity -- Joseph Audio -- Sugden -- Rogue Audio -- Manley Labs -- VPI Industries -- Bel Canto -- Alta Audio -- Tannoy -- Rega -- Kimber Kable -- Ortofon -- Chord -- Sonos -- Quadraspire -- Salamander -- SVS Sound -- Torus Power -- Audio Desk -- Gingko -- Auditorium 23 -- Box Furniture -- Krell -- Cary Audio -- Soundsmith -- EMT

    www.goldprintaudio.com

  4. #4
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Mark - I'm so happy you had Jim do his setup for you. It's the best money you can spend in audio - period. Jim is a wonderful guy and people can't believe the difference he can make.

    To the guy who thinks he can do just as good of a job with a microphone, laptop and software, I say "HAHAHAHAHAHAHA"!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, TechDAS/AirForce Turntables, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

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  5. #5
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    That's awesome Mark. Jim does have the touch.
    Wharfedale Linton w/ stands, Avantgarde Duo XD, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M.

    Luxman 590AX Mark II, Job INTegrated.

    Conrad Johnson GAT2, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2, Misho Myronov Wooden pre.

    Misho Myronov Wooden amp, First Watt SIT-3 (x 2 - one as backup), First Watt F7, Job 250 Monos, Valvet E2se, NuForce STA200, AkitikA GT-102 amp, ASL Wave monos, Dennis Had 45 monos. Absolute Audio Labs PCF 25 amp (improved First Watt F7 super clone)

    RME Audio ADI-2 DAC FS, Lumin U1 mini, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES, Audio Mirror Tubadour III NOS R2R Tube Dac w/ SE upgrades.

    Burmester 948, McIntosh MCLK12, Kimber Kable, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables.

  6. #6

    Jim Smith @ My House

    Many years of audio enjoyment to you Mark!! This is going to be My next investment in audio...except maybe a new TT


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Speakers - Magico S5mk2 Integrated - Vitus SIA-025 Analog - Vpi Prime Signature/Ortofon Cadenza Bronze Digital - Lumin A1
    Power - Shunyata Denali 6000S/Alpha HC/Alpha Digital Cables - Kimber KS-6063/Nordost Frey IC

  7. #7
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Quote Originally Posted by MDP View Post
    In the age of $15,000 cables and other expensive components having the most important factor that affects our sound quality not addressed is a failing on our part.
    +100

    Pics of the room please

  8. #8

    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Well, what did he do?

  9. #9
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Fantastic news Mark! I'm so happy for you.

    i will be calling Jim to do my system once we move to our new home in FL next year.

    I'm sure Susan and you are loving music more than ever!
    _______________

    Mike

  10. #10
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Thats Great.

    Congrats!
    Jock

    If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.

    ---------

    House: Naim ND555/2PS, Naim 552, Naim 500, Studer A80/Doshi V3, Magico M2s, 2 Magico Q-Sub 15s, Lumina IC/SC, Shunyata Everest and Omega PCs.

    Workshop: Naim ND555/2 PS, VAC Master Pre, VAC Sig 200iQ, Avant Garde Duo Mezzo XD, 2 Magico Q-Sub 15s, Shunyata IC/SC, Shunyata Typhon QR/Triton V3/Sigma PCs.

  11. #11
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Congratulations Mark!

    Can you share some of the things Jim did to take your setup to the next level.
    Paul



    Speakers: Von Schweikert VR-5 Anniversary MK II Front L/R, LCR-35 Center, VR-1 Rear L/R Sub: JL Audio F113
    Amps: PS Audio BHK Signature 300 Mono, McIntosh MC207 Preamp: PS Audio BHK Signature and Gold Note PH-10 Phono Stage/PSU-10 Power Supply Turntable: VPI HR-X 12.7 TONEARM (2) and SDS
    Cartridges: Ortofon Cadenza Black, Lyra Helikon Mono Digital Source: Oppo UDP-205 DAC: Bryston BDA-3 Music Server: ​Aurender N100H
    SSP: Marantz AV8801 Cables: Wireworld Electra 7 (P) Wireworld Eclipse 7 (I) Wireworld Eclipse 6 and 7 Biwired (S) Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 (USB) AC Power Regeneration: PS Audio DirectStream P15 Power Plant and Shunyata Denali 6000s V2.

  12. #12

    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Do tell. We want details.

  13. #13

    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Not surprised about Mark's very positive experience. Based on what happened in my own setup, w/o acoustic treatment, you'll miss 20-30% of your system's potential.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ WyWires Platinum ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  14. #14
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Is Jim coming over to Australia for a holiday? I cook a great barbie and the Aussie beer is great!!
    Source: Technics SP10mk3 - Thales Simplicity II, TW Raven AC-3 - Graham Phantom, SME 3012-R, Exclusive P3,,Linn LP12 - Naim ARO
    Cartridges: Lyra Atlas Lambda SL, Lyra Etna SL, Lyra Delos, Dynavector XV-1s,Technics EPC100mk4, Ortofon A90, GM Royal, GM Classic, Denon ESC'd 103R, DL-S1, Audio Technica AT25, OC9II, Linn ESC'd Troika
    Phono Stage: Accuphase C-37,TW Acustik phono
    EQ: ​DEQX HDP-4
    Preamp: conrad johnson GAT,
    Amps: conrad johnson teflon premier 8a's, D'Agostino Momentum S250
    Speakers: Wilson Maxx3

  15. #15
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Thanks everybody!!

    Jim will post soon about how he got my system to where it is. And I will add further comments.
    Mark

    _________________
    Pass Labs X350.8 Stereo amplifier
    Classe' CP 800 preamp
    Revel Ultima Salon 2's.....again !
    REL S2 Subwoofers
    Lumin A1 Network Streamer
    VPI Avenger with Magnetic Drive
    Manley Chinook Phono Pre
    Ortofon Cadenza Black cartridge
    Klaudio Ultrasonic record cleaner
    Kimber Select 6063 speaker cables
    Kimber Select 1116 XLR IC's
    Shunyata Cobra Zi-tron,and Ansuz Ceramic power cords,
    Ansuz Mainz D8 power distributer

  16. #16

    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Wow, that must be like a dream coming true, having someone like Jim Smith to voice your system. After reading his book (and receiving his notes on a regular basis) I can imaging you are really stunned by the result. I am eager to learn what has been changed in your room. Can't wait for Jim to post here!
    2 Dedicated PPA audio streamers, PPA DDC, Lampizator ​GG SE dac, Classé Audio Omega Pre MKII, Linkwitz LX521's + Thor's, Lineair psu's, Arcam AV9, Oppo 95, Pioneer LX5090H, Emotiva XPA5, 2xUPA500's, 2x Nord One Up NC500DMST

  17. #17

    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Mark-That's great news. I'm happy Jim was able to make such a positive difference in your system and I look forward to reading about what he accomplished.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

  18. #18
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Hello Fellow Sharks!

    Sorry I haven't been able to reply yet.

    Tomorrow I fly to a RoomPlay voicing session for a client, and I hope to be able to write a description of the session at Mark's while on the flight.

    Plus, I have some general observations that I hope to have time to include.

    I will be gone three days, and expect to find a time to post the description when back in my room, either the first night or the second.

    Thanks for your interest and your patience!
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet filter w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; AQ Diamond USB; Duelund USB; Curious USB; PS Audio LanRover; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Audioquest Diamond ethernet; Audioquest Diamond AES - 3M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex - updated; Topping D-90; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amplifier; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamplifier, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amplifier w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amplifiers w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Symposium Speaker Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  19. #19
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Mark Awesome to hear that Jim exceeded your Expectations. Can't wait to have my room set up
    Kevin

  20. #20
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Quote Originally Posted by MacFly View Post
    Mark Awesome to hear that Jim exceeded your Expectations. Can't wait to have my room set up
    Kevin, are you scheduling Jim to come in? Jim, does it help to have two engagements in the same city back to back?
    Tannoy Westminster GR and ST-200 Supertweeter, Finale Audio 300B Mono's, Thoress Full Function Preamp, Thoress 845 Mono's, Found Music 2A3 Mono's, , Line Magnetic 219IA, Lumin A1, Lumin U1, EMM Labs DAC-2X, Lampizator Golden Atlantic DAC, Sansui TU-717, Kenwood KT-7500, Belden 8402 IC's, Duelund 16GA speaker wire

  21. #21
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurs View Post
    Kevin, are you scheduling Jim to come in?
    I am in Fort Worth now.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurs View Post
    Jim, does it help to have two engagements in the same city back to back?
    No, these sessions are depleting for me - physically & mentally - as I am concentrating for hours on end on the job at hand. A second client would get a lesser performance, try as I might otherwise.
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet filter w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; AQ Diamond USB; Duelund USB; Curious USB; PS Audio LanRover; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Audioquest Diamond ethernet; Audioquest Diamond AES - 3M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex - updated; Topping D-90; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amplifier; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamplifier, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amplifier w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amplifiers w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Symposium Speaker Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  22. #22
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    RoomPlay sessions...

    Before covering the session at Mark’s house, it might be useful to look at some rarely discussed info re voicing audio systems to rooms.

    Caution, some of this might come across as unnecessarily harsh, but it comes up at nearly every session (brought up by the surprised client, not me). So you should probably read this intro/rant and then if you are still interested, you will understand a bit more when we go through the process at Mark’s.

    My goal is to work with the client’s existing room and system, rather than against it. I do not rely on room treatments during the session. After all, until we know where things will go, how will putting up a treatment anywhere - before we have even started - help us at all? Near or at the end of the session I will recommend appropriate treatments if needed. The one exception would be corner-based tube traps, at least 16” in diameter. These could be placed before I arrive.

    Step #1 – Evaluate the system as is. The client has been instructed to have it powered up for at least an hour prior to my arrival.

    I use my known playlist, which relates back to my master tapes - some of which were for NPR, and some were paid gigs for various musicians.

    I listen for Dynamics, Presence, and Tone. These are my three primary requirements for a musically engaging outcome. My goal is for the system to become orders of magnitude better at delivering musical involvement.

    After evaluating the system, I share my observations with the client. Once we know what needs to be addressed, I can set about doing the necessary things to achieve our desired outcome.

    And now, the rant -

    Having carefully & thoroughly voiced over 800 systems in my career, I have never encountered a system - be it a famous reviewer’s, audio industry person’s, or an advanced audiophile’s system - that did not benefit dramatically from proper voicing to the room. I should mention that, apart from the typical RoomPlay client, there are three types of systems that are especially in need of voicing.

    1 – The client has spent lots of money on components, but really has no reference for what is possible. Hint – they will not hear it at shows nor at most dealers. The money they have spent on cables is often much more that the price of an entire RoomPlay session, although the effect of the cables is perhaps 1-2% of voicing the system to the room (so that the system is working with the room, rather than against it). The effect of the latest & greatest amp or preamp – no matter what the cost - may be as much as 5-10% of the musical impact of a RoomPlay session, at best.

    In my career, I have always greatly valued the performance benefits of certain cables, components and various tweaks. I am not advocating against them. I merely suggest that at this point in time, you may have no idea of their true capabilities.

    I’ve said this in numerous seminars and in ads – The effect of a proper acoustic wave-launch into the room - and receiving it properly at the listening seat - swamps the effect of electrons scurrying about in equipment, cables, & accessories.

    2 – If the client has a custom-designed room and he/she was told by the designer – who typically never voices the system in the completed room – where everything should be placed according to a spread-sheet or drawing provided to the client, we will definitely have a problem. I cannot begin to recount all the experiences I have had where we had to fundamentally abandon the designer’s instructions, as well as ignore the suggested room treatments. To date, 100% initially fell far short of what was possible. Note that I said initially, as the final results were decidedly different.

    3 – The other set-ups that also dramatically underperform the time and expense invested are those that employ too much DSP, EQ, and/or room treatments. Without going into too much detail, the client arrives at a suitable technical decision but not a suitable musical decision. They base their decision on what they measure.

    I should say that I am not against DSP and room treatments either. But before they are introduced, let’s try to get the system/room interface playing nicely together, rather than fighting against one another. I call this the organic setup. If needed or desired, we can still introduce the electronic DSP, EQ, etc. In other words - DSP, EQ, etc. should not be seen as a sonic band-aid. It is certainly NOT a shortcut to more musically engaging listening.

    The good news –

    Most – but not all – of my RoomPlay clients get off the equipment merry-go-round and look for more music, and often they discover musical genres that they hadn’t appreciated previously.

    My next “longish” post will be about the session at Mark’s...

    A couple more things –

    1 – I never planned to travel around North America, voicing client’s systems. I got started when several Get Better Sound readers asked me to perform this service. I had no idea back then what would eventually happen.

    2 – Until recently - AFAIK - I was the only person doing it. I was overjoyed when I saw that Stirling Trayle has started to perform this service as well. Our pricing appears to be similar, and although I might not agree with every priority he has, nor he with mine, it means that more audiophiles can get assistance in this vital area.

    Mike or Mark – if this is too harsh, feel free to delete it.
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet filter w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; AQ Diamond USB; Duelund USB; Curious USB; PS Audio LanRover; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Audioquest Diamond ethernet; Audioquest Diamond AES - 3M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex - updated; Topping D-90; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amplifier; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamplifier, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amplifier w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amplifiers w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Symposium Speaker Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  23. #23

    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Jim, some home truths are indeed the better part of realism for most in this hobby. The industry has become a rollercoaster ride of the next best thing & a lot of people just need to slow down & live with their gear to get some real return & enjoyment from it. I too am guilty of looking for the next best sound in the latest greatest component so to read your post fettered with integrity is indeed a hard find these days, maybe not for this site, but in this industry yes. Thanks for the refreshing honesty.

  24. #24

    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Quote Originally Posted by bzr View Post
    Jim, some home truths are indeed the better part of realism for most in this hobby. The industry has become a rollercoaster ride of the next best thing & a lot of people just need to slow down & live with their gear to get some real return & enjoyment from it. I too am guilty of looking for the next best sound in the latest greatest component so to read your post fettered with integrity is indeed a hard find these days, maybe not for this site, but in this industry yes. Thanks for the refreshing honesty.


    I agree 110%.

  25. #25
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
    RoomPlay sessions...
    Mike or Mark – if this is too harsh, feel free to delete it.
    Delete 1 word at your own peril...its about time for a reality check...

    This is a man I want to learn from...he has already helped me enormously...just by an honest assessment on this forum....I thankee sai (pilfered from Stephen King)...

    The other comment that Jim has not yet made...& 1 I have only just realised...is invest within your skill set...a perfect example - if you are not confident & knowledgeable enough to turn an esoteric valve component on its side at adjust bias trim pots by guessing where to place the +&- probes while it has 240 volts (in my case) surging through its 'veins"...don't buy it...near enough is not good enough...

    Looking forward to the next enlightening instalment Jim...bring it on...

    Have to get you to AUS...hmmm a thought has come to mind...

  26. #26
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    As I said in my response to the "Best Money You Ever Spent In Audio" thread, my answer? My Jim Smith voicing.

    Rob181 - no mention or discussion of politics please.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, TechDAS/AirForce Turntables, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
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    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  27. #27
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Great post, Jim. Please continue!
    Brinkmann Bardo w/ 47 Labs MC Bee cart, MSB Premier DAC --> Music First Baby Reference v2 --> Ampzilla 2000, 2nd Edition --> YG Acoustics Hailey 2.2

  28. #28
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    As I said in my response to the "Best Money You Ever Spent In Audio" thread, my answer? My Jim Smith voicing.

    Rob181 - no mention or discussion of politics please.
    Apologies...& is now edited...

  29. #29
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Just finished an intense RoomPlay session here in Fort Worth (actually they are all intense ) ...

    Honestly speaking, I am way too far gone to be able to write about Mark's system tonight.

    I fly back to Atlanta tomorrow - hope to post it by Sunday evening latest.

    Thanks for your patience!

    Best,

    Jim
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet filter w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; AQ Diamond USB; Duelund USB; Curious USB; PS Audio LanRover; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Audioquest Diamond ethernet; Audioquest Diamond AES - 3M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex - updated; Topping D-90; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amplifier; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamplifier, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amplifier w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amplifiers w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Symposium Speaker Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

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  30. #30
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Thanks Jim
    Jock

    If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.

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  31. #31

    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Thanks Jim. I'm looking forward to your next post.

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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith_W View Post
    Thanks Jim. I'm looking forward to your next post.
    I think we have enough Aussies to share Jim's airfare downunder
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  33. #33

    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Looking forward to reading more about this.

  34. #34
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Mark Powers RoomPlay description -

    After arriving at Mark’s on Saturday morning, Nov. 5, I brought in my equipment while leaving my car running, finally unloading my DAC, which had been powered up in the car (12-120V adaptor) during the drive to his place from mine. Took it into the house quickly & powered it up in less than a minute. Prior to the 2-hour drive, it had been on for 24 hours or so at my demo room. As requested, his system was warmed up.

    FWIW – IMO, a DAC, CD player, or other digital signal-processing device should be left on 24/7. Not sure why, but I’ve assumed that the digital circuitry needs to reach some kind of thermal equilibrium. I have also found that they will sound better if they have also been processing a signal for at least an hour or so.

    However, for initial evaluation, I am listening to obvious room/system anomalies. Musical refinement is not yet an issue.

    About the system I was working on - Mark has a Classe’ CP800 preamp, Hegel H30 amp, Revel Ultima Salon 2 speakers, REL S2 subs, Kimber ICs & Speaker Cables. He has a bunch of other cool stuff (that I didn’t address) in his system as well.

    Mark and his lovely wife Susan have a fairly large/open living/listening area, one end of which backs up into their kitchen. That area is behind his listening seat/sofa.

    After pleasantries (hey, it’s gotta happen, as Mark is one of those especially nice people), first thing up was to evaluate his system using my tried-and-true playlist.

    When I had completed listening to a number of the cuts (all of which I know intimately), I was able to give him an evaluation of his system. I have found that when the client has Salon 2’s, if they are set up well (sadly, not at all common), it’s hard to fault their sheer musicality. In that respect they beat out some more costly speakers that deliver greater detail and other sought after ‘audiophile sound effects’.

    Mark’s system was above the average sound quality that I encounter when initially hearing my RoomPlay clients’ systems. But we still had significant issues.

    His system sounded a bit smeared for my taste, lacking focus and definitely lacking the proper sense of presence. We had some boomy mid-bass and the bottom octave was weak. The sound was slightly soft on the top end as well.

    Please understand that my description above is actually pretty mild compared to many systems I encounter initially.

    Additionally, there were audible room reflections, rendering ultimate clarity less than desirable. The effect on solo voices was especially disturbing. I have taken the stance for a long time that “the silence between the notes” is critical to our musical enjoyment. It is not my original thought however, as many famous composers and performers said the same thing well before I ever thought of it…

    After I discussed what I was hearing, and my proposed solutions, Mark was all in.

    Since I am still a bit depleted physically & mentally from my recent voicing session, I think it is best to describe our next steps tomorrow, by which time I expect to recovered and refreshed.

    Thanks again for your patience!
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet filter w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; AQ Diamond USB; Duelund USB; Curious USB; PS Audio LanRover; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Audioquest Diamond ethernet; Audioquest Diamond AES - 3M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex - updated; Topping D-90; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amplifier; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamplifier, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amplifier w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amplifiers w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Symposium Speaker Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

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  35. #35
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Thank Jim, looking forward to your next installment.
    Paul



    Speakers: Von Schweikert VR-5 Anniversary MK II Front L/R, LCR-35 Center, VR-1 Rear L/R Sub: JL Audio F113
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  36. #36
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
    Mark Powers RoomPlay description -

    I have taken the stance for a long time that “the silence between the notes” is critical to our musical enjoyment. It is not my original thought however, as many famous composers and performers said the same thing well before I ever thought of it…
    Jim, love you descriptions. Very much looking forward to your next installment.
    Le Roy

    Austin, Tx : Soulution 520 preamp, 501 mono blocks, 541 SACD/560 DAC w/ Network Streaming, Raidho D3.1, Lumin U1, 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, Aurender W-20 Ansuz d-tc Loom (complete), Teac X1000 R2R, QNAP TS-451+

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  37. #37
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
    FWIW – IMO, a DAC, CD player, or other digital signal-processing device should be left on 24/7. Not sure why, but I’ve assumed that the digital circuitry needs to reach some kind of thermal equilibrium. I have also found that they will sound better if they have also been processing a signal for at least an hour or so.
    This has been attributed to the internal clocks needing a little time to warm up to sound their best. John Swenson mentioned on CA that it could be about 20 hours in some DACs although I will need to look up that number. And as you said, just leaving it on doesn't count - some signal running is needed.

    Regards.
    2 Channel Stereo :
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  38. #38
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    My experience has been that solid state electronics take more time to warm up than tube based electronics. Don't know where this 20 hrs time is derived from but I also read somewhere that it could take as long as 48 hrs for crystal to settle in. I leave my DAC/Streamer/PC running 24x7.

  39. #39
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Mark Powers RoomPlay description, continued –

    Contrary to what I often see and hear, the critical issue to ALWAYS ADDRESS FIRST when voicing a system to the room is the one that most obviously affects the musical dynamics. Until it is as good as it can be, the music will never have as much impact as is possible. That area is the bass - in the boundary dependent region – from 25-250 Hz or so. We are not looking for the deepest bass – although it is nice when it all comes together – we are looking for the smoothest bass.

    Note – this issue is hardly ever about the speakers. It’s about the room and how it plays with the speakers. When you encounter a loss of smoothness from various frequency response peaks and/or dips in the boundary dependent region (25-250 Hz), it’s nearly always related to room resonances, unless the loudspeaker is somehow defective.

    In case you haven’t seen or heard me say this before – it is relatively unimportant to move your speakers about until you find out what listening position in the room has the smoothest bass. This is about the room and working with it rather than against it.

    Unless you are very lucky (or you knew to do it), chances are that you are not sitting in the best position in the room. I wrote about this aspect at length in some recent Copper magazine articles. Here is the most relevant excerpt:

    "The Anchor – establishing your listening position first

    Last issue, I said the negative effects resulting from not addressing this critical issue simply cannot be overstated.” Basically, our mission is to find the best location/listening position for the smoothest bass in our acceptable listening area (‘acceptable’ due to restraints in décor).

    Of course, if you are fortunate enough to have a dedicated room, and thus you have even more placement (listening & system position) flexibility, it’s even better. Either way, we want to work with our room, not against it (you will hear this statement again & again as I believe that this is critical if we are to enjoy any significant success in getting our music systems to reach a higher, more musically involving level).

    Two proven techniques to achieve the smoothest bass response from our main full-range speakers:

    1- Play a recording that has bass notes that are rising or falling in frequency – or various bass notes in a complex tune – that have approximately the same volume. Last issue, Paul (McGowan) suggested music from Brian Bromberg’s Wood. That’s a good one – I also like his Wood II.

    While the cut is playing, your mission is to listen through a chosen musical section, then move forward and backwards in the room – each time listening to the same selection of music – in what could be an acceptable listening area. Whenever possible, using a lightweight seat that you can easily move so that you can listen at a seated position – which will give a bit more accurate results.

    Walking around can work, but it won’t be as accurate due to vertical standing wave issues. I would suggest not moving more than a foot forwards or backwards before listening to the selection again. The bass will change in its character. You are listening for the smoothest rendition – no notes booming away or almost missing. This is NOT about the deepest bass. We want the main speakers to have no obvious peaks and/or dips in the 25-250 Hz region. When you locate the position that has the smoothest overall reproduction, that is the place where you will locate your seat for serious listening and definitely for your speaker/room tuning.

    As I said in Issue #17, moving your speakers about is important but it is of relatively small importance until you know where in the room you should listen because the bass is smoothest in that listening area. Then, once you have located that position, you can make other adjustments to speaker location without detrimental effects to the overall bass response smoothness… This is why I call the results of this step the Anchor Position. Once you have found it, then you can work on all else – presence, tone, etc…

    2- These days, one can obtain a RTA (real time analyzer) or RTA app for very little expense and sometimes none at all. Why would you want to use one? Most certainly not for measuring your system’s overall response, and most certainly not for ultimate tuning of your system.

    The RTA is great to have because it can save you a lot of time, compared to listening at a number of locations in the room. Although I have an expensive pro analyzer, the latest crop of apps (some free!) for phones and laptops make it easy to acquire and use one. You don’t need to have a technical background to use it at all.

    The inexpensive-yet-more-than-accurate-enough app I use these days is AudioTools from Studio Six Digital. It is exclusively for iPhones & iPads. It cost me $19.95. All I ever use from this suite of tools is the RTA and the SPL (sound pressure level) loudness meter. Although it’s not necessary for our mission, you can purchase a calibrated microphone for your iPhone 5 or 6 or recent iPad from Studio Six/Audio Control for around $200. Their iTest mic has software that automatically calibrates that mic to the iOS device intended for it. I checked it against my much more expensive RTA rig, and it was almost exactly the same!

    There are loads of RTA/SPL apps for operating systems other than Apple. Taking the time to find one on the Internet that you can use will be time well spent.

    Note – at this point, it’s useful to determine what the ambient noise level is in your room. You can measure that with the SPL app. Set it on flat weighting if available. (NEVER on 'A') Measure from the existing listening position.

    Once you determine how loud the room’s ambient noise level is, you want to be sure to run the pink nose about 20 dB over that level, so as to be certain that the measurements you will take will not be polluted by ambient room (or outside) noise levels.

    Now, what you’ll do is simply play pink noise (equal loudness per octave – same as music). There are numerous resources for obtaining pink noise. The Audio Tools app supposedly has a pink noise source, but I have never tried it. (Set it on flat weighting if possible - NEVER on 'A")

    We only want to look at third octaves in the 25-250 Hz band. They are 25, 32, 40, 50, 63, 80, 125, 160, 200, & 250 Hz. Be sure to maintain the mic height at or near seated ear height when measuring. If it is higher, then you may encounter other anomalies in the bass related to the vertical room dimension. Starting at the current listening seat position, slowly move the RTA forwards & backwards and you will see various third octave frequencies rise & fall. You are looking at the room’s effects on your system. Obviously, we want to work with the room, rather than against it.

    Hint – systems in rooms – from 25-250 Hz – almost never look good. The fact is – all of the rooms of the size that we might use in our homes will have problems. We simply want to locate the area where the problems are less objectionable.

    Regardless of which technique you employ, you will have located the spot in the room where you will listen. If you then have to move the speakers a fair amount due to the resulting listening position, the bass smoothness is not likely to change very much. That’s because of the room dimensions, which do not change. Congrats! You are working with, rather than against, the room! However, at this point it is worth a listen to music to see if you want to adjust the seat slightly – a few inches forward or backward – to make the bass even better."

    Here is a link to the article quoted above -

    http://www.psaudio.com/article/locat...tion-location/

    Back at Mark’s

    Using the above technique to locate the Anchor Position at Mark’s, it was apparent that we needed to move the sofa back. I found a location where the issues with the bass had smoothed out.

    Except that now we were beginning to impinge on the open area behind the sofa and the kitchen island/counter area. So we called the Boss. After explaining what we found, Susan reluctantly-but-nicely agreed to move the sofa to that position.

    At this point, my concern wasn’t so much for musical harmony at it was for marital harmony. So we suggested a compromise location – about 18” further forward from our preferred listening location, but still well back from the original location.

    In this location, the bass had a more pronounced peak at 100 Hz, but not as strong as it had at the original seating position. And the 25 Hz region was still diminished, only not as much. All of the other bass frequencies were nicely smoothed out, with no obvious peaks or dips.

    If you have a peak at a room-dependent bass frequency, the excess bass (and sometimes even boominess) will override/obscure the music that the performer and recording engineer meant for you to experience. Put simply, it causes a reduction in dynamic range.

    IMO – dynamics is a – if not the major - contributor to your engagement with the music and its message. Also suck-outs in that region (still related to room resonances) will reduce the dynamic range. As far as the listener is concerned, the diminishing effect on musical involvement is about the same.

    Once we have located the best listening position (usually through experimenting with front-to-back locations, but sometimes off-center as well – if the room is wide enough), we can begin to voice the speakers to the room.

    Sheesh, this turning out to be a LOT longer than I thought...

    In the interest of time and space, and respect for Mike’s awesome AudioShark Forum, we’ll pick up tomorrow on the next part.
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet filter w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; AQ Diamond USB; Duelund USB; Curious USB; PS Audio LanRover; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Audioquest Diamond ethernet; Audioquest Diamond AES - 3M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex - updated; Topping D-90; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amplifier; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamplifier, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amplifier w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amplifiers w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Symposium Speaker Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

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  40. #40
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    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

    Thanks Jim! Lots of good stuff for me to start working with. Looking forward to your next post.
    Paul



    Speakers: Von Schweikert VR-5 Anniversary MK II Front L/R, LCR-35 Center, VR-1 Rear L/R Sub: JL Audio F113
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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

  42. #42

    Re: Jim Smith @ My House

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

  43. #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, 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, Aurender W-20 Ansuz d-tc Loom (complete), Teac X1000 R2R, QNAP TS-451+

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  44. #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.
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet filter w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; AQ Diamond USB; Duelund USB; Curious USB; PS Audio LanRover; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Audioquest Diamond ethernet; Audioquest Diamond AES - 3M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex - updated; Topping D-90; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amplifier; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamplifier, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amplifier w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amplifiers w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Symposium Speaker Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  45. #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.
    2 Channel Stereo :
    Win10 Transport + Fidelizer 8 + JRMC 26 & HQPlayer | Job INT | Western Electric 12GA | Green Mountain Audio Eos HX

  46. #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



    Speakers: Von Schweikert VR-5 Anniversary MK II Front L/R, LCR-35 Center, VR-1 Rear L/R Sub: JL Audio F113
    Amps: PS Audio BHK Signature 300 Mono, McIntosh MC207 Preamp: PS Audio BHK Signature and Gold Note PH-10 Phono Stage/PSU-10 Power Supply Turntable: VPI HR-X 12.7 TONEARM (2) and SDS
    Cartridges: Ortofon Cadenza Black, Lyra Helikon Mono Digital Source: Oppo UDP-205 DAC: Bryston BDA-3 Music Server: ​Aurender N100H
    SSP: Marantz AV8801 Cables: Wireworld Electra 7 (P) Wireworld Eclipse 7 (I) Wireworld Eclipse 6 and 7 Biwired (S) Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 (USB) AC Power Regeneration: PS Audio DirectStream P15 Power Plant and Shunyata Denali 6000s V2.

  47. #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.
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet filter w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; AQ Diamond USB; Duelund USB; Curious USB; PS Audio LanRover; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Audioquest Diamond ethernet; Audioquest Diamond AES - 3M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex - updated; Topping D-90; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amplifier; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamplifier, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amplifier w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amplifiers w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Symposium Speaker Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  48. #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.
    2 Channel Stereo :
    Win10 Transport + Fidelizer 8 + JRMC 26 & HQPlayer | Job INT | Western Electric 12GA | Green Mountain Audio Eos HX

  49. #49

    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.

  50. #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.
    Small Green Computer; gigaFoil 4 Ethernet filter w/ Keces PS-3; Sonore ultraRendu; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; AQ Diamond USB; Duelund USB; Curious USB; PS Audio LanRover; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Audioquest Diamond ethernet; Audioquest Diamond AES - 3M; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex - updated; Topping D-90; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amplifier; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamplifier, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Wyred 4 Sound STP-750E Mk II amplifier w/Kimber TCX wiring & WBT binding posts; Quicksilver Mid Mono amplifiers w/Gold Lion KT77s, Joseph Audio Perspective 2 Graphenes; Symposium Speaker Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

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