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  • Buying Good Equipment is Only Half the Battle

    What separates those systems that play notes from those that make music and allow one to temporarily suspend disbelief is attention to detail, set-up and the little things. (that's not all that different from learning to and playing a musical instrument!) Not to mention maximize your ROI!

    As George Tice once said to me, "Everything matters; It's just a matter of whether the change is for the better or worse."

    No wiser words have been spoken. What are some of the little things you've done in your system, from speaker positioning to table set-up to maximizing your digital sources that you'd like to share with everyone? And the less expensive the better!
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    I purchased a Bosch lazer measuring device and really pinpointed my speaker positions both from the front wall and angle to the listening position. Slight readjustments in speaker position yield significant focus improvements.

    http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-GLM-15-C...ds=bosch+laser
    TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

    Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

    VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
    Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

    Piega C711 Loudspeakers

    Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

    Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator

    Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cord, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates & Blue Outlets, Furutech NCF Booster Brace, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables

    Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD1200s Headphones.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by 1morerecord2clean View Post
      I purchased a Bosch lazer measuring device and really pinpointed my speaker positions both from the front wall and angle to the listening position. Slight readjustments in speaker position yield significant focus improvements.

      http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-GLM-15-C...ds=bosch+laser

      That's one really good idea! I think another thing we need to talk about is how to setup the speakers in the room before we dial in the perfect measurements. I'm beginning to think that most speakers should start off at least 5'-6' away from the back walls and spread apart pretty much as far as you can reasonably get them (or until your wife gives you a beating). If your center fill collapses, you have your speakers too far apart and you need to start inching them in from the side walls until your center image is locked back into place.

      I have made the mistake of having the speakers non-optimized by not spacing them far enough apart. Yes, it still sounds really good, but not nearly as good with as big of a soundstage when you have them moved further apart. I used to be hung up on not having my speakers too close to the side walls (Pearson's rule of thirds and all that), but now I have thrown that dogma out the *winda.*
      Last edited by mep; 02-20-2016, 02:31 PM.
      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

      Comment


      • #4
        I haven't been happy with my toe in as of late. As you can imagine, moving 650lb speakers around is not easy. I have to jack up the speakers, put the wheels on, move the speakers, Jack them up again to remove wheels and put on footers or spikes. Since my speakers are on Ultra 5's on medium pile carpet, I decided to see if I could adjust the toe without going through the hassle. Turns out I can. The stillpoints act like furniture sliders allowing me to make small adjustments to the toe left or right. Things are sounding better now. Dialing in a system appears to be an ongoing process....that may never end.
        Christian
        System Gear

        Comment


        • #5
          Buy a six-pack or an ounce of weed...problem solved.
          Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 1morerecord2clean View Post
            I purchased a Bosch lazer measuring device and really pinpointed my speaker positions both from the front wall and angle to the listening position. Slight readjustments in speaker position yield significant focus improvements.

            http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-GLM-15-C...ds=bosch+laser

            Great suggestion. Used that when I set up my Magicos. Not that expensive either; can find either on eBay or Amazon.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

            Comment


            • #7
              Set up is such a big part of the sound when you get a quarter inch move on a speaker can make a change. This is a two person job IMO no formula works but they may get you a good starting point. Subs need as much set up as your main speakers

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mep View Post


                That's one really good idea! I think another thing we need to talk about is how to setup the speakers in the room before we dial in the perfect measurements. I'm beginning to think that most speakers should start off at least 5'-6' away from the back walls and spread apart pretty much as far as you can reasonably get them (or until your wife gives you a beating). If your center fill collapses, you have your speakers too far apart and you need to start inching them in from the side walls until your center image is locked back into place.

                I have made the mistake of having the speakers non-optimized by not spacing them far enough apart. Yes, it still sounds really good, but not nearly as good with as big of a soundstage when you have them moved further apart. I used to be hung up on not having my speakers too close to the side walls (Pearson's rule of thirds and all that), but now I have thrown that dogma out the *winda.*

                Great suggestion Mark! I always listen to the balance between loss of transparency (too close) and loss of center image (too far apart). And believe too in getting the speakers away from the front wall. I've seen some speakers situated close to the front wall at shows and scratched my head. (of course here, the spacing may also depend on speaker dispersion pattern.)

                I think also the music one picks to setup is important. For instance, Dave Wilson like using vocals since we are all familiar with the human voice. Here again, too close together affects the tonality of the human voice.

                One can also balance out too with toe in though that also may affect tweeter balance too!
                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Garth View Post
                  Set up is such a big part of the sound when you get a quarter inch move on a speaker can make a change. This is a two person job IMO no formula works but they may get you a good starting point. Subs need as much set up as your main speakers

                  Hi Garth!

                  Glad you found our growing community of audiophiles!

                  Truer words have never been spoken. My friend Sid used to move the bass towers of his Infinities infinitesimal amounts and it made a huge difference in the sound.

                  Two is definitely preferable. I find that sometimes but the time you get up and sit down, you've forgotten what the system sounded like. I think it help if one concentrates on one or two areas at a time rather than trying to get the whole thing at one time. The more complex the situation, the more our perceptual abilities suffer.

                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                  -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                  -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                  -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                  -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                  -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                  -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                  -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                  -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rockitman View Post
                    I haven't been happy with my toe in as of late. As you can imagine, moving 650lb speakers around is not easy. I have to jack up the speakers, put the wheels on, move the speakers, Jack them up again to remove wheels and put on footers or spikes. Since my speakers are on Ultra 5's on medium pile carpet, I decided to see if I could adjust the toe without going through the hassle. Turns out I can. The stillpoints act like furniture sliders allowing me to make small adjustments to the toe left or right. Things are sounding better now. Dialing in a system appears to be an ongoing process....that may never end.

                    What was bothering you Christian?

                    I think that part of that ongoing process is that the speakers need occasional repositioning when new equipment arrives. At least one shouldn't be afraid to experiment though sometimes letting well enough alone works too!
                    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                    ________________________________________

                    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
                      Buy a six-pack or an ounce of weed...problem solved.

                      Aren't those expensive tweaks?
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think sometimes when you've had a setup in place you get tired or bored with it. The lustre is gone and you need a change. You might want a sharper image or a wider soundstage. Unless you're exclusively committed to one or two genres this is not surprising.
                        Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post


                          Great suggestion. Used that when I set up my Magicos. Not that expensive either; can find either on eBay or Amazon.
                          When I first read that, I thought you were referencing Johnny's comment.
                          Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mep View Post

                            When I first read that, I thought you were referencing Johnny's comment.

                            Well John's was another approach to the problem. Who cares then....
                            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                            ________________________________________

                            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A lot of great comments around setup. I'm an advocate of finding the optimal speaker/listening position first before investing in any other tweak, acoustic treatment, or 'better gear'. It took me over 6 months to dial in my S5s and they are just getting to pretty good. Another one or two months would be worthwhile.

                              After that, acoustic treatments, and they can be things already lying around the house: curtains, pillows, etc.

                              After that, it starts getting more expensive, like looking at your power and grounding...
                              Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

                              Comment

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