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  1. #321
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Hi kiwi,

    We listened to some simple vocal and vocal/guitar stuff chosen by Frits and then, firstly with the 01 and then quickly moving to the 02:

    Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 3 movements 1 and 3; and

    a CD recorded in Riga Cathedral of the famous Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor and the famous Widor Tocatta.

    Like you I have had electrostatics - various generations of Quads from 57s to 2905s - and now Magico Q1s with Wilson Benesch Torus infrasonic generator. My electronics are Devialet 1000 Expert Pro with Antipodes CX/EX front end and with all cables and power units from Shunyata.

    So "signing up" to the overall Borresen proposition is economically a non-starter - and it will be interesting to hear if the 02 will work in a quite different system and a much different room layout.



  2. #322
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Oh wow ok, I now get from whence your comment of compression is derived. The rolling masses of chords combined with the low, rumbling sound produced by a low pedal pipe organ notes are far out of reach for the Borresen 01 – not that it won’t try!


    The wonderful transparency, space recreation and spatiality you heard in Aarhus was doubtlessly aided no end by the Aavik electronics and high level Ansuz cabling. The unfortunate reality is there is no way your current electronics and cabling can compete with that. But there is good news, I believe the Borresen 02’s will unlock more of the potential of your upstream components – that is, you will get to hear more from what you already have. Remember to, the 02's are not giants and one person can easily move them around the room, positioning them differently for listening than static display.
    Borresen Acoustics Loudspeakers, Borresen Model 01 Compact monitor loudspeakers with Ansuz Darkz T2s Supreme resonance control, Audio Video Manufaktur GmbH (AVM) Inspiration amplifier & streamer, Innuos Zen MKII music server, Ansuz Acoustics cables & accessories. Please visit my system thread hosted on Audioshark for more details. Disclosure: The author is materially connected to Ansuz, Aavik & Borresen Acoustics via friendship with an owner.

  3. #323
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Yes it will be interesting to see if the Borresen only works really well primarily through deploying its unusual room positioning (as well as with its Aavik and Anzus electronics and ancillaries) and materially sub-optimally through a more conventional room position (and with different if equally expensive gear). By the way, I'm surprised you have heard the full Shunyata power and cable system with the Devialet 1000 to be in a position to judge so conclusively that "there is no way my current electronics can compete" - but I suspect this is probably a degree of commitment from you to Aavik and Ansuz which drives strong emotional support!


    The electronics and ancillaries issue is a difficult call for Borresen. It is quite valid for Borresen to go down this system synergy path if they are really committed to these philosophies - but it has implications, for me and other potential purchasers.


    Some regard this as welcome system synergy whereas I, to a degree, regard it as system disfunctionality.


    It depends on its materiality and its cost.


    It effectively might be saying “once you sign up to the Borresen/Ansuz/Aavik proposition you are funnelled down that path for all subsequent system changes”. And “if you want the optimum Borresen experience it necessitates investing in the Borresen/Aavik/Ansuz proposition”. For many, mostly on financial grounds, this rules out participation all together.


    (To illlustrate, the cheapest full Ansuz loom for my system would cost about €13,000 and the most expensive €175,000.)


    Going back many years, this was the “Linn/Naim” proposition and even now it is the “Audio Note” proposition. For potential customers, it can be highly appealing or highly unappealing or, for some, it is regarded as clever marketing especially if delivered without objective or double-blind subjective evidence.


    I don’t put Borresen into that latter camp at all - as I believe they deliver astonishingly good sound through outstanding capabilities and sincerely held beliefs in their technical approaches. But, in a credible system, a loudspeaker only sees a voltage down its wires, driven by intensity, frequency and time … regardless of its source.


    My suspicion is that the substantial contributor to the Borresen effectiveness, when driven by credible but not unique electronics and ancillaries, is the wide spacing and the close listening position. By far the biggest contribution to the aural experience is the room and the loudspeaker. We can all hear their effects, whether slighted or in double blind tests of loudspeakers - but I think that, with solid engineering, the differentiated element of other components’ contributions are probably minor and often bordering on minuscule - which is partly why one never sees double blind listening tests in these areas even when these are easily accomplished.


    But overall, this loudspeaker experience is a hugely appealing effect but one I might only be able to deliver at home, by way of placement, to a degree. Nevertheless I hope I will try it.

  4. #324
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Double Post
    Borresen Acoustics Loudspeakers, Borresen Model 01 Compact monitor loudspeakers with Ansuz Darkz T2s Supreme resonance control, Audio Video Manufaktur GmbH (AVM) Inspiration amplifier & streamer, Innuos Zen MKII music server, Ansuz Acoustics cables & accessories. Please visit my system thread hosted on Audioshark for more details. Disclosure: The author is materially connected to Ansuz, Aavik & Borresen Acoustics via friendship with an owner.

  5. #325
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Hello again IanG and great post!

    In reply, I don’t consider it a compulsory pre-requisite for Børresen loudspeakers to be paired with Aavik electronics or even Ansuz cabling. I’m currently using a small amp from AVM (Germany) and considering amplifiers from brands such as Constellation, Soulution and others as future potential upgrades. As evidenced by this thread, prior to Borresen I owned various Raidho speakers which again were not paired with sister company Aavik but nonetheless achieved great results. I therefore do not agree with the thesis that selection of Borresen Acoustics funnels or locks one into a specific path of electronics or accessories or compels a race horse blinkered vision on subsequent system changes.


    That said, I do think that system synergies have value and should not be sniffed at either. It is rare in the world of hi-end audio to find a group of companies that share a common designer which cover virtually everything from accessories, racks and cables to electronics and speakers. While there are many implications for this the one that stands out for me is de-risking investment. How many times do you read here and elsewhere of multi-branded individual system components that are stellar in their own right but don’t play nicely as a team because of electrical or sonic character mismatching? Mistakes in the hi-end are expensive. I know this to be true because I’ve made plenty. Plainly stated – poor outcomes behove us to find ways of mitigating risk and consistent design philosophy is one of them. In this regard, and in reference to one of your comments, I find it difficult to join the dots between system synergy and “dysfunctionality”.


    I must accept your mild rebuke. You are quite right – my earlier statement read like a conclusion which could not be valid if for no other reason than my ears are not yours. My local dealer stocks Devialet, Shunyata, Raidho, Borresen, Aavik and Ansuz so my opinion is framed by more than brand passion (of which I make no secret) but nonetheless it’s important to clearly differentiate between opinion and conclusion.


    I do agree that the biggest contributor to the aural experience is the room and the loudspeaker and how they interact together. My system thread is a testament to various studies and investigations I’ve made in the area of room acoustics. Borresen like Raidho before them are somewhat unique in that they excel in a nearfield configuration. Though rear ported the Borresen’s are easy to place in a listening room and do like to be placed far apart, but relatively close to the listener assuming a room can accommodate such a placement. This does not however exclude other configurations. I achieved great results (with Raidho) in an earlier listening room with a more conventional ratio where the distance from the listening chair to the speakers was about 20% greater than the distance between the speakers [see post #6]. While you are concerned about where in the room you will place the speakers may I hint to you that in my experience a far weightier concern should be where in the room your listening chair is located?


    You have clearly enjoyed your listening experience at Borresen acoustics and I hope you will have the opportunity to try the speakers in your home environment.
    Borresen Acoustics Loudspeakers, Borresen Model 01 Compact monitor loudspeakers with Ansuz Darkz T2s Supreme resonance control, Audio Video Manufaktur GmbH (AVM) Inspiration amplifier & streamer, Innuos Zen MKII music server, Ansuz Acoustics cables & accessories. Please visit my system thread hosted on Audioshark for more details. Disclosure: The author is materially connected to Ansuz, Aavik & Borresen Acoustics via friendship with an owner.

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  7. #326
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Yes - unbelievably there isn't a Borresen dealer in the UK yet - which says more about the state of the UK high end market than the appropriateness of Borresen having representation. But I gather that things are in hand to make an appointment soon.

    Thanks for your help.

  8. #327
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Impressions of the Børresen 01 speakers – Part I







    I was recently contacted by a reader who pointed out that it had been some time since I’d last posted in this system thread and he’d be keen to read more about my progress with the Borresen Acoustics 01 loudspeakers.


    To that end, this particular update will focus on the run in process, the importance of getting the systems AC polarity correct and observations around resonance controls.


    Subsequent updates will include more detailed listening impressions, a continuation of my thoughts and experiments in optimizing the room set up for Borresen speakers, what I perceive to be strengths and weaknesses of the B01 loudspeaker and finally thoughts about partnering amplification.



    Run in


    The Borresen 01 speakers now have several hundred hours of use. I am not able to report specifically or with any authority on incremental changes heard over the period because other components in the system such as the amplifier and cables were also new and thus create more than one variable.


    What I can say is given the nature of both the tweeter and the cone drivers, Borresen speakers need a considerable amount of break in before they achieve their full performance potential. Fresh out of the box I subjectively found the Borresen ribbon tweeter hot (as in strident and a mite aggressive) and the bass clean but perceptively overdamped – thus yielding a very tight but somewhat lean bass. The combination of these two factors led observationally to a sense of imbalance which I ameliorated by engaging – shock horror – the AVM amplifier tone control, boosting the bass by a couple of dB. To my ears this improved the overall coherence of the speaker / system with improved seamlessness and balance top to bottom of the frequency range without morphing into any unwanted bass hangover, bloat or muddiness. Further, the slight boost to the bass definitely made music more involving.


    Børresen Acoustics notes in their user manual that the long stroke bass driver with natural rubber surrounds needs at least 50-100 hours of actual music playing at moderate sound level. In my opinion this is quite conservative. In the context of my audio system and room – the bass drivers took several hundred hours of bass heavy content driven at a stentorian roar before I was satisfied that the tone controls on my amplifier could be once again be bypassed. My overall feeling therefore is that the break in process is more about mechanically freeing up the bass driver than the tweeter.




    Check your AC Polarity


    As you will read in subsequent updates the Borresen loudspeakers are high resolution transducers and careful attention to set up is needed to get the best from them tonally and spatially and to ensure noise (any unwanted sound) is minimized.
    One frequently overlooked aspect of setting up any audio system is checking AC polarity.

    It is not my intent here to discuss how to check AC polarity or why you might want to do so. For further reading on this I refer you instead to Jim Smith’s book “Get Better Sound” (2008, Quarter Note Press). Galen Carol Audio also has a useful article which I provide a link to here: https://www.gcaudio.com/tips-tricks/...r-ac-polarity/


    In his book Jim notes that incorrect AC polarity from just one component can make your system sound harsher than it should. Jim does not go into much detail on the detriment of incorrect phase polarity but based on my past experience, get it right and you will be rewarded with smoother treble texture, less glare and heightened low level resolution due in large part to quieter overall backgrounds.

    To add to the complexity wiring standards are not universal. There is no globally standardized rule on which AC pin carries the phase and which is the return. For example, I spend part of the year in Singapore which uses British standard BS 1363 13A plugs and socket-outlets. If I connect a U.S. distributor to the wall socket its polarity will be reversed. Jim Smith points out that even within the US he’s found situations where AC polarity is inverted when an AC line is pulled from the opposite side of the AC panel.


    Testing of each component in your audio system is needed. I my case I’m presently using an all in one box so the exercise is simplified. Testing revealed AC polarity inversion so I was interested to observe whether the resolving level of the overall audio system, not to mention my own listening acuity was up to the task of discriminating the sometimes subtle qualitative attributes AC polarity inversion invokes.



    Photo: Eden CD - Frank Peterson, a German music producer has his Enigma rooted fingerprints all over this recording. Very highly compressed but the soundstage is floor to ceiling in height and extends wide of the speakers. This track is especially glorious on big panel speakers and big MBL’s. Sarah’s voice can and indeed will sound sibilant on speakers/systems which highlight this coloration.



    I predominantly used the title track of Sarah Brightman’s Eden album [CD, 1999, Angel Records ‎– 5567692] for testing purposes. It is not a particularly well recorded album. It is highly compressed with a limited dynamic range and whoever mixed the album should be shot because the orchestration often drowns the vocals. The album is sadly over produced with string heavy arrangements dominating and overpowering the sometimes fragile tones in Sarah’s upper range.

    So why use it for testing? There are three reasons.

    First, Eden is loaded floor to ceiling with ambient detail and the reverberant characteristics, most notably their tails, can be used as a point of reference for comparative purposes.

    Second, on some systems Sarah’s vocals can some across as glassy with an unpleasant quality of hardness about them and in previous audio systems I’ve owned (notably those using Raidho ribbon tweeters) changes to AC polarity have ameliorated glare and haze.

    Third, while some audiophiles prefer to use pristine recordings for evaluations – I prefer to use generally poor recordings, because they represent a large part of my music collection and thus optimizing my system to play them in the best possible fashion is of the utmost importance.





    Photo: A UK to USA polarity correction adaptor for the wall socket



    RESULT


    Hearing differences in the audio system by changing AC polarity proved both easy and consistent. Polarity corrected, with the Eden test track there was noticeably increased low level resolution. In the ambient and haunting Gregorian chant that opens the track the roll off of the reverberant decay at around 10 and 22 seconds was extended. Furthermore, Sarah’s vocals were simply more soothing, dropping some of edginess apparent before the AC polarity was inverted. In place of slight vocal harshness was now a breathy delicacy, even a hint of fragility. But, the benefits did not end there because along with lower levels of perceived noise came a better defined central image which subjectively was more distinct and floated better in an otherwise heavy arrangement. In sum, get the polarity right and you are treated to an even grander musical landscape which beyond increased fine detail presents sound in a musically more satisfying and involving way.

    This settled I purchased a UK to USA polarity corrected adaptor from Coherence Audio in Singapore for fifty dollars. Sometimes performance upgrades can be inexpensive.



    Resonance Controls


    Per the User manual, Borresen loudspeakers are designed for an easy upgrade by adding Ansuz Darkz to the loudspeaker feet. Darkz is a series of efficient devices to ground all components in a high end audio system. Darkz are mechanically tuned to allow vibrations a pathway out of the component and to keep various components individually isolated.

    To undertake this upgrade you’d need eight Darkz devices plus 24 ceramic [titanium now an option] balls.


    To date, I’ve not experimented with adding Darkz to the loudspeaker feet but with the Borresen 01 speakers I have had the opportunity to change the resonance controls between the top of the stand the actual speakers.


    At the 2019 Munich show Ansuz launched four new quality levels of Darkz identified as C2t, D2t, T2 and T2s or T2 SUPREME. I recently purchased some T2 SUPREME Darkz with the intent to hear whether in the context of my audio system they really are an upgrade.



    Photo: Side by side, the Ansuz Darkz d.tc and T2s.



    Out of the box, comparing the two Darkz models I was surprised to find the T2 SUPREME is significantly lighter in weight than the d.tc. Surprised I guess because as an audiophile I’ve generally come to expect that expensive items are heavier than their cheaper counterparts. Out of curiosity I weighed both. The d.tc was 251 grams and the T2s 130 grams. Moreover, the T2s looked to have a marginally greater diameter though difference here may merely down to manufacturing tolerances of the layering composites.

    Before replacing the d.tc Darkz on the speaker stand with the T2 Supreme I was interested to try them under my modest AVM amp/streamer unit. To be honest versus the d.tc currently used in this location audible changes brought about by the T2 Supreme were subtle and challenging to discern and not helped by the unavoidable time delay in swopping out the footers. In sum, I had expected to hear significant differences between d.tc and T2s when placed under the amp and the fact I did not left me disappointed.

    I then pressed on to swop the d.tc Darkz for the T2 Supreme Darkz on the speakers and the results here were frankly a big surprise – so much so I reversed the change several times to check the result was consistent.



    Photo: Out with the old and in with the new – Ansuz T2s Darkz replace Ansuz D-TC Darkz on Borresen Audio B01 loudspeaker stand


    For evaluation I predominately used “Someone Else's Tomorrow” from Patty Griffins Album Children Running Through [CD, 2007, ATO Records 8088215742]. Beyond the ethereal and somber toned musical structure, Griffins rugged yet soft vocals let loose a truly soulful ache. Someone else’ tomorrow reflects on death and tells us how our own memories are replaced by someone else’s tomorrow. Rich in symbolism and imagery the song writer evokes a picture of a gray skied winter Sunday morning and “a churchyard so cold it was silver”.

    Personally – and I acknowledge we are all different – this track must deliver on two determinants for me to consider any audio system to be successful.

    First, it must evoke a gestalt response. The sparseness, solitude and mourn of opening piano overtones should combine with the lyrics to pack an emotional wallop. An essential aspect of sound reproduction has to be more than the blinkered pursuit of ultimate fidelity – it needs to be about capturing and reproducing the gestalt of music. The litmus test of a fine loudspeaker for me is not just how one responds to the reproduced music when playing but what happens when the music stops. Why? Because that is time to reflect upon what the music has witnessed to you and what sticks with you at the end of the performance. If the answer is nothing then that’s what I think of the stereo system, irrespective of its price tag.

    Second is fidelity that is the degree to which a component reveals and is true to recorded content. I have always believed that resolution is important and that there really is no such thing as too much information at least not in terms of detail itself, but perhaps more in terms of what the loudspeaker can and can’t do with it – and just how obvious that becomes. In Griffins “Someone Else’s Tomorrow” high resolution audio systems will reveal two recordings being played back, the title track plus another folk genre piece at low level. Most noticeable in the beginning 10 to 25 seconds of playback but actually buried deep throughout – this seems to be unintentional and perhaps the result of stray pickup or crosstalk during the recording process. On playback systems of very high resolution [electrostatics usually excel] its evident the pickup is actually another Griffin recording; “Only Up or Down” which appears as a bonus track on a Barnes & Noble exclusive edition of the same Children running through album. While of no particular musical value the ability of a system to coherently reveal this anomaly from the listening chair bodes well for its resolving capability.



    Photo: Do you have a highly resolving audio system? A recording error on this CD from Patty Griffin might tell you.


    So, back to resonance controls. Swopping out the Darkz DTC with T2 Supreme added (surprisingly and inexplicably) more detail and ambience, but thankfully this detail is in the service of the music as opposed to being an end in itself. For example the tracks opening haunting sepia toned piano notes just seemed to better float, almost as if the notes were momentarily suspended in the air and the ring of the harmonics seemed to take an extended age before decaying naturally. Further, when Patty’s vocals emerge the central image is denser, more dimensional and exhibits a more articulate tongue / mouth movement adding to a sense of realism. The extra detail enhanced (for me at least) the full emotional weight of artists work with my senses immediately and more deeply responding to the seeming desolation and loneliness of the soundscape.

    As for the revelation of the recording error mentioned above the T2 Supremes only slightly advanced the auditory discrimination of the 2nd recording but at the same time did lay bare more recording noise. I will return to this test track in subsequent updates when I’ve upgraded my source and amplification because these are current resolution limiting factors in my system.

    The benefits the Ansuz T2 Supreme Darkz did not end there because on a different album, this one by Jennifer Warnes [CD, 2009, The Hunter, Impex Records] the opening bass on "Way Down Deep" when played at high amplitude could cause an audible rattle sound to emit from the D.TC darkz whereas the T2s remained quiet. On the same track the Borresen speakers with the T2s fitted seemed to have improved dynamics and snap, that is, more energy and a perceptively faster speed of release adding to impression that the bass was diving deeper than the loudspeaker specification suggests.



    Photo: This reissue of The Hunter in the form of an audiophile 24K gold CD is said to have been re-mastered by Bernie Grundman from Jennifer's own analog master tapes. I vastly prefer this reissue over the standard original CD by Private Music (with black and white cover) and the Private/Sony Music hybrid SACD – all of which I own.


    Finally, one other benefit of swopping Darkz on Borresen speakers is that the existing Darkz can be reused elsewhere in your audio system. In my case I redeployed five DTC Darkz to under my Innuos music server which not only rewarded the soundstage but aided the naturalness of a broad spectrum of reproduced music. Hurrah!

    In sum, based on these observations if you presently own Borresen speakers with earlier generation Ansuz resonance controls [C, D2 or DTC] I recommend you obtain dealer advice on an upgrade. Do note my observations are restricted to the Borresen 01 speakers – though I strongly suspect the T2s resonance controls would benefit all Borresen loudspeaker models.


    What’s Next?

    With AC polarity corrected and resonance controls upgraded, my next update (Part II) will provide further listening impressions of the Borresen 01 speakers together with some hard lessons learnt from room placement.




    Important: With respect to my comments on AC polarity, please consult a registered electrician before attempting any work on AC.
    Borresen Acoustics Loudspeakers, Borresen Model 01 Compact monitor loudspeakers with Ansuz Darkz T2s Supreme resonance control, Audio Video Manufaktur GmbH (AVM) Inspiration amplifier & streamer, Innuos Zen MKII music server, Ansuz Acoustics cables & accessories. Please visit my system thread hosted on Audioshark for more details. Disclosure: The author is materially connected to Ansuz, Aavik & Borresen Acoustics via friendship with an owner.

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