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[regsaudioforum] Re: Listening in stereo and being annoyed

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  • Tom Mallin
    Reading your description of your soundstage, it sounds U-shaped with the center recessed and the sides forward at the speakers. Your goal is an enormous
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 30 10:59 PM
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      Reading your description of your "soundstage," it sounds U-shaped with the center recessed and the sides forward at the speakers.  Your goal is an enormous cube of sound with height, width, and depth extending from way behind the speakers to way in front of them, immersing your head in the ambient field on fine recordings.  Believe me, it can be done with M40s.
       
      You should be able to do better than what you're achieving.  Are you treating the floor and ceiling reflections?  You must.  Also, put enough foam on all the reflection points to cover the reflection of any part of the speaker, not just the tweeter.  On Blumlein or even simply miked spaced omni recordings like the Telarcs, you ought to be able to get the violins to be floating in front of your left speaker, cellos in front of the right, with tympani/drums and brass way back in the corners behind the speakers, and woodwinds back toward the wall near the center.
       
      Still, this effect can be fragile.  I've been tweaking things so long that it's hard to know just what accomplishes what.  Today I spent a couple of fruitless hours experimenting with powering everything in my system through a single circuit, with all components, including the amp, plugged into my PS Audio P600 Power Plant to see if I could eliminate or reduce the hum I get with the Orion ASP in the system.  All I changed was how each component drew its power from the home's electrical system.  All component power cords remained the same.  As I said:  fruitless.  Not only was the hum not reduced, but I also noticed that, among other undesirables, this method of powering the system reduced the apparent soundstage dimensions and made the stage a bit U-shaped.  


      >>> RZangpo2@... 09/29/06 10:27PM >>>
      Tom,

      That was a long time ago. I had the C7s and M30s angled up at one
      point. The M40s, as you may recall, are on plastic milk crates, at the
      recommended height, and my ears are slightly below tweeter level.

      I'm not sure why the room boundary thing should be so. Obviously the
      speakers need to be far enough away to avoid the boundary effect. But
      farther than that, shouldn't they sound right as long as early
      reflections are eliminated?

      Ron Stiskin
      New York

      --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mallin" <tmallin@...> wrote:
      >
      > Ron, perhaps I'm confusing you with someone else, but do
      you have your
      > speakers down near the floor angled up at you?  (I
      looked at your photo
      > album, but it's blank right now.)  If so, that
      would be my guess as to
      > the reason why you experience such a
      phenomenon. 

      > You can damp the room all you want,
      but the real physical location of
      > the speakers and their real vertical
      angle with respect to your head
      > will determine much about the shape of
      the "soundstage" you hear.  The
      > closer to a room surface the
      speakers are, the harder it will be to get
      > it right, regardless of how
      you angle them.  You probably know my drill
      > by now:  the
      speakers should be mounted vertically on 22" - 23" stands
      > and you need
      to get a high-ish chair to get your ears up to a level one
      > to two inches
      below the center of the tweeter.

      > Even then, you may still
      have some images which stick to the surface of
      > the speakers. 
      That's one of the reasons I tweak so much--trying to
      > detach that
      soundstage fully from the speaker locations and get it to be
      > cube
      shaped, extending from way behind the speakers to way in front of
      > them,
      with maximum envelopment of my head.  That's a huge challenge with
      >
      any pair of speakers.  The Orions are easier to get close to this goal
      > than anything I've ever used or heard elsewhere, but the M40s are
      not
      > too shabby in this respect, either.

      >
      > >>> RZangpo2@... 09/29/06 01:59PM >>>
      > See, here's why
      I find stereo annoying:
      >
      > I've set up my speakers to form a 90
      degree angle with the listening
      > position. I've EQ'd the bass flat. I've
      treated all the first
      > reflection points, so there are no early
      reflections (I know this
      > because I measured). I sit with the speakers
      aimed directly at my
      > ears.
      >
      > And stereo still doesn't
      work for me. Images that are within about 30
      > degrees either side of
      center appear in their proper distance and
      > location. Anything farther to
      the left or right gets sucked into the
      > speaker. (This is not a
      visual/psychological effect; the same thing
      > happens when I listen with
      eyes closed.)
      >
      > Not only are images not properly placed
      left/right, but they are also
      > displaced front/back. Images near the
      center appear at their proper
      > distance, but images to the sides seem to
      be in the speaker. (Again,
      > closing my eyes makes no difference.)
      >
      > The result is that the soundstage is torn into three pieces.
      One
      > piece, within 20-30 degrees either side of center, in which
      images
      > appear at their proper distance and location; and two side
      pieces,
      > located at the speaker positions.
      >
      > This is
      tremendously annoying, and makes it hard to enjoy listeing in
      > stereo. I
      am beginning to think the problem is with me. I heard this
      > very same
      effect when I had Compact 7s, and later when I had M30s.
      > They were set
      up in a different location than where I now have the
      > M40s, but I heard
      the same thing.
      >
      > Say what you will about one-speaker mono; it
      doesn't have these
      > problems.
      >
      > Ron Stiskin
      > New
      York
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      Yahoo! Groups Links
      >







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    • rzangpo2
      Tom, Yes, the reflection points are treated, and there are no early reflections -- I ve measured. (Well, still a bit of roughness from the ceiling bounce, but
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 3, 2006
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        Tom,

        Yes, the reflection points are treated, and there are no early
        reflections -- I've measured. (Well, still a bit of roughness from the
        ceiling bounce, but I wouldn't expect that to have the effect I
        described.)

        I've put as much foam on the floor, ceiling, and walls as my wife can
        tolerate and I can afford. (Did I mention that the price of foam
        rubber has tripled? I paid over $500 for 27 sq. ft.)

        Tom, I'm guessing that you don't have children living at home. I can't
        imagine spending as much time on tweaking my system as you do. Not
        that there's anything wrong with that. If I had the time and the
        space, I would work with the speakers/room indefinitely until all was
        just right. Judging by my experiences so far, that would take weeks or
        months.

        As it is, I'm discouraged. It measures right, but doesn't sound right.
        I may just move my listening position back to 60 degrees and listen
        that way, since I own only a few Blumlein recordings.

        Ron Stiskin
        New York

        --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mallin" <tmallin@...> wrote:
        >
        > Reading your description of your "soundstage," it sounds U-shaped with
        > the center recessed and the sides forward at the speakers. Your goal is
        > an enormous cube of sound with height, width, and depth extending from
        > way behind the speakers to way in front of them, immersing your head in
        > the ambient field on fine recordings. Believe me, it can be done with
        > M40s.
        >
        > You should be able to do better than what you're achieving. Are you
        > treating the floor and ceiling reflections? You must. Also, put enough
        > foam on all the reflection points to cover the reflection of any part of
        > the speaker, not just the tweeter. On Blumlein or even simply miked
        > spaced omni recordings like the Telarcs, you ought to be able to get the
        > violins to be floating in front of your left speaker, cellos in front of
        > the right, with tympani/drums and brass way back in the corners behind
        > the speakers, and woodwinds back toward the wall near the center.
        >
        > Still, this effect can be fragile. I've been tweaking things so long
        > that it's hard to know just what accomplishes what. Today I spent a
        > couple of fruitless hours experimenting with powering everything in my
        > system through a single circuit, with all components, including the amp,
        > plugged into my PS Audio P600 Power Plant to see if I could eliminate or
        > reduce the hum I get with the Orion ASP in the system. All I changed
        > was how each component drew its power from the home's electrical system.
        > All component power cords remained the same. As I said: fruitless.
        > Not only was the hum not reduced, but I also noticed that, among other
        > undesirables, this method of powering the system reduced the apparent
        > soundstage dimensions and made the stage a bit U-shaped.
        >
        >
        > >>> RZangpo2@... 09/29/06 10:27PM >>>
        > Tom,
        >
        > That was a long time ago. I had the C7s and M30s angled up at one
        > point. The M40s, as you may recall, are on plastic milk crates, at the
        > recommended height, and my ears are slightly below tweeter level.
        >
        > I'm not sure why the room boundary thing should be so. Obviously the
        > speakers need to be far enough away to avoid the boundary effect. But
        > farther than that, shouldn't they sound right as long as early
        > reflections are eliminated?
        >
        > Ron Stiskin
        > New York
        >
        > --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mallin" <tmallin@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > Ron, perhaps I'm confusing you with someone else, but do you have
        > your
        > > speakers down near the floor angled up at you? (I looked at your
        > photo
        > > album, but it's blank right now.) If so, that would be my guess as
        > to
        > > the reason why you experience such a phenomenon.
        > >
        > > You can damp the room all you want, but the real physical location
        > of
        > > the speakers and their real vertical angle with respect to your head
        > > will determine much about the shape of the "soundstage" you hear.
        > The
        > > closer to a room surface the speakers are, the harder it will be to
        > get
        > > it right, regardless of how you angle them. You probably know my
        > drill
        > > by now: the speakers should be mounted vertically on 22" - 23"
        > stands
        > > and you need to get a high-ish chair to get your ears up to a level
        > one
        > > to two inches below the center of the tweeter.
        > >
        > > Even then, you may still have some images which stick to the surface
        > of
        > > the speakers. That's one of the reasons I tweak so much--trying to
        > > detach that soundstage fully from the speaker locations and get it to
        > be
        > > cube shaped, extending from way behind the speakers to way in front
        > of
        > > them, with maximum envelopment of my head. That's a huge challenge
        > with
        > > any pair of speakers. The Orions are easier to get close to this
        > goal
        > > than anything I've ever used or heard elsewhere, but the M40s are
        > not
        > > too shabby in this respect, either.
        > >
        > >
        > > >>> RZangpo2@ 09/29/06 01:59PM >>>
        > > See, here's why I find stereo annoying:
        > >
        > > I've set up my speakers to form a 90 degree angle with the listening
        > > position. I've EQ'd the bass flat. I've treated all the first
        > > reflection points, so there are no early reflections (I know this
        > > because I measured). I sit with the speakers aimed directly at my
        > > ears.
        > >
        > > And stereo still doesn't work for me. Images that are within about
        > 30
        > > degrees either side of center appear in their proper distance and
        > > location. Anything farther to the left or right gets sucked into the
        > > speaker. (This is not a visual/psychological effect; the same thing
        > > happens when I listen with eyes closed.)
        > >
        > > Not only are images not properly placed left/right, but they are
        > also
        > > displaced front/back. Images near the center appear at their proper
        > > distance, but images to the sides seem to be in the speaker. (Again,
        > > closing my eyes makes no difference.)
        > >
        > > The result is that the soundstage is torn into three pieces. One
        > > piece, within 20-30 degrees either side of center, in which images
        > > appear at their proper distance and location; and two side pieces,
        > > located at the speaker positions.
        > >
        > > This is tremendously annoying, and makes it hard to enjoy listeing
        > in
        > > stereo. I am beginning to think the problem is with me. I heard this
        > > very same effect when I had Compact 7s, and later when I had M30s.
        > > They were set up in a different location than where I now have the
        > > M40s, but I heard the same thing.
        > >
        > > Say what you will about one-speaker mono; it doesn't have these
        > > problems.
        > >
        > > Ron Stiskin
        > > New York
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
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