Learn How To Listen

Not sure where to post your Carver topic... Try here.
User avatar
BillD
R.I.P. Friend
R.I.P. Friend
Posts: 7126
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:29 pm
Location: The west's most mid-western town, Scottsdale, Arizona

Re: Learn How To Listen

Post by BillD » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:31 pm

I took apart a Grant Fidelity tube DAC (actually it's more like a preamp) when it was in my possession to assure that it was in preamp mode. It was a very nice little item. The only thing I didn't like about it was the lay-down tube configuration, which makes it a little more complicated for tube rolling. The DAC uses a 6N3, which is a larger (taller) tube than what I would prefer in there (GE 5670W), wso you'll have to play around with the spring clip.
Image
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer

User avatar
tinpan
TFM-45
Posts: 582
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:48 am
Location: Spotsylvania, VA
Contact:

Re: Learn How To Listen

Post by tinpan » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:15 pm

I think James is on the right track by comparing the DACs in a stand alone DAC or the DAC in your cd player.

In stand alone DACS I have a Grant Fidelity, Cambridge Audio, Eastern Electric and an Audio Note Dac 3.

The light bulb went off for me when I added a dac to the Airport express I was using for my 2a3 tube amp. The audio straight out of the airport express lacked depth soundstage you name it. When i added a Cambridge Audio Dac to the airport express, that dramatically added to my system. I had decent volume, soundstage and depth. The key feature there being a better dac. Then I upgraded the CA to an Eastern Electric and I liked that sound much better. I could definitely hear a difference. The Grant Fidelity dac was a step back in sound for me and the Audio Note was a slight step forward in sound over the Eastern Electric.

Pricing:
Used Grant Fidelity $ 150
Cambridge Audio $ 350
Eastern Electric $ 750
Audio Note $ 2,850

Conclusion: The CA was the most affordable decent DAC that gave me a significant improvement.

The Eastern Electric is a tubed DAC and gives you the chance to do some tube rolling. It is definitely worth the price difference over the CA DAC and is probably the best sounding DC I have tried. It definitely adds a tube sound. Not everyone may like that.

The Grant Fidelity is an inexpensive DAC is is better than no Dac at all, in my system i liked the CA DAC over this one.

The AN DAC is a work of art and for my 300b set up it is nice. I would not suggest everyone running out and buying one of these. For one particular application I have, it's the right dac.

I have these dacs running in 2 channel stereo set ups.

I also have an Oppo 93 and it has a wonderful dac that can do multichannel as well.

I guess I would say that you don't have to chase specs and buy the most expensive dac to enjoy it in your system or to improve your sound
Tinpan

HT - Sunfire TG IV, Sunfire Cinema Grand Sig. 400 x 5, Oppo 93, Klipsch LaScala (3), Cornwalls (2), SW-12, Sony 60" LCD

2 channel - AN L2 Pre-amp, AN Interstage Mono Blocks 300b PSE, AN 2.1 DAC, DUAL CS 5000 TT, Oppo DV-981HD, Lowther PM4a/Azurahorn/SentryIV

2 channel - AN L3 Signature Line stage, AN Interstage Mono Blocks 300b PSE, AN Sig. DAC 3.1 , AN Sig. Phono Stage, Sota Comet TT, Altec A5's

2 channel - Carver VTA20 Baby Black Beauty, Custom Line Stage, Klipschorns

2 channel - AN Interstage Mono Blocks 300b PSE, Carver C-5 Pre, Altec A4 speakers


2 channel - Audio Note Kit 1 300b SET, Audio Note DAC 2.1, Altec 288 Horns/JBL Bass bin

User avatar
treitz3
"Julian"
"Julian"
Posts: 7805
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:39 pm
Location: The tube lair in Charlotte, NC

Re: Never said they did. Please re-read and get some sleep.

Post by treitz3 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:08 pm

Rainman wrote:I was seriously trying to help him see it's nothing to be afraid of because it appeared he was making much more out of what it actually is and I didn't want him to think it is an impossible thing to improve on or reach for because it really is that simple of a definition.
Mike, do me a favor and re-read my post. I believe that you read into it the wrong way. The post I'm referring to is below...
treitz3 wrote:Unfortunately, many people do not know what to listen for. They start with the frequencies, then stereo, then whatever the hell they conger up as the sound stage. I know personal preference plays into this but of the 3 aforementioned, it's funny how many people......ah, never mind. I don't feel like getting into it.

Enjoy listening to the music, whatever it means to you.
You and I have talked about this before, extensively.
In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to a good analogue reproduction.

User avatar
treitz3
"Julian"
"Julian"
Posts: 7805
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:39 pm
Location: The tube lair in Charlotte, NC

Sumiko setup...step one in learning to listen...

Post by treitz3 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:48 pm

Making sure your speakers are set up properly is [as pointed out] a very important part of listening. You have the Cardas Golden Cuboid....

http://www.cardas.com/content.php?area= ... Room+Setup

Then you have the 15 step Sumiko Setup. Here is what I was able to acquire....and it was not written by me but from what I have been taught about it, pretty much sums it up. If anybody is interested, I have the CD and I will be more than willing to offer a class on it at Carverfest for those who are interested.

SUMIKO SPEAKER SETUP PROTOCOL

This protocol was presented to me by John Hunter the owner of Sumiko. They are USA distributors for SME, Sumiko, Sonus Faber, Vienna Acoustics, REL and others. This is the best room set up tool I have ever used.
The most critical part is getting the speaker rake angle adjusted after you have them finally situated. So I hope your speakers have spikes. You will need them to set the rake angle.
If you have no spikes, you can get door shims at Home Depot or Lowes. These are wedges are used to hang the door frames to the studs surrounding the doors. There will be people to help you find these shims. They are inexpensive and you can use them to figure the angle you need, and then find something more in tune with your decore to provide the final angle.
So here is the Iron Chef Speaker Set Up Protocol
Proper speaker set up requires music. John Hunter of Sumiko uses a Rob Wasserman song featuring Jennifer Warnes called "Ballad of the Runaway Horse". You will find this on his “Duets” cd and his “Trio” CD as well. This is the best set up song I have ever found. So get a copy of this. You will always be glad you did. Another tool I like to use for fine tuning the speakers is Bob Chesky's Jazz Sampler Number 1. Cuts 10 and above really help you nail it down solid.


Step 1 will be to remove whatever removable sound absorbers you have. Take them out of the room. Anything that is permanently fixed and all your furniture and stuff are ok to leave alone.

Step 2 recommends you either remove the speaker stand spikes to make moving the speakers easier, or at least level all the spikes so the speaker is completely level. If you own heavy speakers you are probably better off adjusting the speakers with the spikes in place and set level.

Step 3 is to establish your listening seat. Optimally you will set up the speakers and your listening seat in the shape of an triangle. I like my speakers at least 8-12 ft apart and the listening seat 12-15 ft back. When properly set up, the speaker will be out at least 18” from the rear boundary wall. Your listening seat likewise should be at least 24 inches from a back boundary.

Step 4 places both left and right speakers directly against their wall facing straight out into the room. No inward “toe in” angle should be attempted yet.
The left speaker is going to become the anchor for the set up.

Step 5 gets you grooving. Now you can begin playing the “Ballad”. What makes this song so effective for set up is that the plucked string bass is at realistic volume at realistic timber. So the goal is to get the bass properly coupled to the room and the drivers.
Play this track at volumes where you can easily detect bass quality. I am usually between 80-95 db when I do a set up. Sometimes you will need to crank it up a bit. Just make sure it is loud enough to fully engage the room.

Step 6 involves a buddy. Have your buddy slide your left speaker (the anchor) out into the room until the bass becomes solid and authoritative. Mark this spot with some masking tape.
Now slide the speaker right and left to find the best bass quality. Mark this spot.
Now slide the speaker further out in the room to find other points where the bass couples properly in your room. There are likely to be a dozen spots within a 3 ft diameter of your first spot. Be patient. 1/3 of an inch is all that differentiates a good bass quality from a lifeless bass sound.
Listen to all of these good bass points until you find your favorite bass spot.
All this is done with just the left speaker playing straight out. The right speaker is playing straight into the room from the back wall. Each speaker playing at the same volume.

Step 7 establishes the “toe in” angle of your left speaker toward your listening seat. You want the widest possible sound stage without the sound being too thin. I usually end up seeing about 2/3 of the inside wall of the speaker when I have this about right. Do not toe in excessively, you will just ruin your sound stage. A little dab will do you! If the toe in is right, the sound will be very natural, if it is too wide the sound will be thin, and with too much the sound will seem to come from two speakers not from the space in between.
Your anchor is now set. Mark this spot carefully with masking tape.

Step 8 requires reinsertion of the left speaker's spikes leaving the speaker level at this time.

Step 9 is to set up the right speaker position. Simply slide or move the right speaker out into the room. Move it slowly listening for the sound stage to line up equally before you. By this I mean a stage is flat in front of you. The sound stage should not sound tilted, like one speaker sounding closer to you than the other. Remember to keep the speaker oriented directly straight ahead. No angle yet.

Step 10 involves moving the speaker right and left until you hear the soundstage become cohesive, and Jennifer should sound like she is right dab in the middle.

Step 11 Then toe in the angle the speaker very slighly until you hear Jennifer Warnes voice become a “body” centered in the sound field. You will hear the sound congeal nicely at this time. Things are really beginning to sound better now.
You should now have accomplished sound coupling of the speakers to your room boundaries. To test if this is the case, you should be able to stand directly over either speaker and clearly hear the other speaker.
It may be necessary to make very minor angle adjustments of the right speaker to get her voice centered. Be patient and you will be rewarded.
Now if the sound stage is not linear, meaning one speaker sounds more forward than the other, then simply slide that right speaker front or back until the sound field is "level." (Moving it right or left adjusts the centering of Jennifer Warnes voice).
Make sure you mark the final location of both speakers with masking tape.
Insert the right speaker spikes.

Step 12 begins with adjustments to the rake angle of the left speaker. You accomplish this by adjusting the spikes to get the speaker level across the front, and raked back to get the beam of the tweeter firing above your ears. You need to listen to the quality of Jennifer Warnes voice. She should appear to be ear level or slightly above ear level in the sound field. This is a personal choice. Many of my friends prefer ear level because it is a slightly fuller sound. I prefer a little above ear level cause I like the voice to sound ultra natural, like a live musical event.
Carefully listen to the tweeter response of the left speaker and make sure that the "beam" is at least an inch or two above your ear when you are seated in your listening seat.

Step 13 begins by adjusting the spikes on your right speaker to match the "height" of the left speaker.
At this time, you should hear her voice almost as a whisper, when originally it may have sounded shrill and harsh. Her voice should be centered in the sound field now, with solid and good quality bass.

Step 14 suggests you take measurements of the speaker location to the walls. Take digital photos. Someone will mess with your set up some time. You need to have these so you don't have to repeat the process unnecessarily. When you have this locked in, don't let anybody touch your set up!
I like to follow up the set-up with some confirmation tests. I prefer the Bob Chesky Jazz Sampler 1 CD. On cut 10 the speaker starts out 2 ft from the microphone in center stage. Then he moves midway right, full right, and off-stage right. He then repeats this on the left. Simply slide your right speaker right or left to get the sound staging perfect. Then use cut 11 which is “Over”, “Lateral”, “Under” and “Up” to verify your rake angles.
Your friends will be amazed. Just two CD’s let you make the magic. Rob Wasserman’s Duo or Trio CD, and Bob Chesky’s Jazz Sampler 1.

Step 15 bring back any sound absorbers and reflectors to see if you can improve upon the sound. But don't touch the speaker’s location.
What you have done, in short, is to couple the speaker's response to your room based upon your listening seat.
This process will take me 20-30 minutes or longer. On your first dozen set ups it may take longer.
Let me know if you have any questions about this process. I can do this all alone. Having a buddy slide your speaker is much faster and easier. If you have hard floors instead of carpet, you can set the speaker on a soft towel to assist in the sliding.
Make sure your buddy stands behind the speaker when he/she moves it, because their body will affect the sound if they stand along side of the speaker.


For those with Bob Carver's ribbon speakers, there is a very detailed way that he explains how his speakers are to be set up. Hopefully someone will post exactly what is written in the manuals [hint, hint, Mike....] or at least, provide a link to those who maybe haven't seen it before.
In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to a good analogue reproduction.

User avatar
Rainman
SILVER-7t
Posts: 1019
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 2:19 am

Re: Sumiko setup...step one in learning to listen...

Post by Rainman » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:58 am

treitz3 wrote:Making sure your speakers are set up properly is [as pointed out] a very important part of listening. You have the Cardas Golden Cuboid....

For those with Bob Carver's ribbon speakers, there is a very detailed way that he explains how his speakers are to be set up. Hopefully someone will post exactly what is written in the manuals [hint, hint, Mike....] or at least, provide a link to those who maybe haven't seen it before.
Tom, as requested here is the manual you are suggesting to help with placement. From my different experiences this has been a great baseline position to start the process of finding ideal placement for speakers and it is very helpful in getting the most you can get from the room and any pluses or minuses it might have. It works great as a start point for many different types of speakers not just limited to Bob's speakers. I have passed this on to people who have used it on Klipsch, Paradigm, B&W, several models of Linn, and others.

The feedback I got ranged from the initial placement was so close that only a couple small tweaks were needed. A couple said having the initial base line was a big help and the final placement was the original parameters except the speakers were moved a couple feet further apart with a little less toe. Two things that seem to always stay constant are the distance from the speakers to the listening chair, and the chair from the wall. I don't know what the deal is with that, but our situation requires that distance pretty much no matter what else you change. I have messed with a farther etc. and it doesn't affect the overall sound stage much, but the imaging seems to be affected in levels directly proportional to the distances you move them back. There does not seem to be much of a way to get around this by changing another dimension such as toe angle or height from the floor, (kinda bizarre)

You can really have a lot of fun with this and often times you will really be surprised at how much you will learn about your speakers and your room. When you get close to where they need to be you'll know and when that happens you will probably realize all at once exactly how much of an improvement you have ended up with and the listening enjoyment level will be x10
BY THE WAY: Be sure to ask Dyeraudio about what he discovered with a level and the tiny increment of 1/4 inch today! It is always so cool when people hear the proof is in the placement! Way to go Scott! =D>
Attachments
Stereo Playback & Your Ears.JPG
Stereo Playback & Your Ears.JPG (51.27 KiB) Viewed 1115 times
Sonic Holography 2.jpg
Sonic Holography 2.jpg (521.08 KiB) Viewed 1115 times
Question: Do you know why turds are tapered on the ends? Answer: So your asshole doesn't slam shut..

Carver- SDA490t, SDA450, 2 TFM45's, TFM15, CT23, CT28v, CT27v, Linn Kaber speakers, Sunfire crm2's, PS Audio Statement speaker cables and I/C's, A.P.C. power

User avatar
Chauss
(pair of) SILVER-7t's
Posts: 2180
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: In my own little world.....

Re: Learn How To Listen

Post by Chauss » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:31 pm

Here is a link to the Cardas Golden Rectangle set up method T3 mentioned above. There is a drawing with easy to use formulas to get a great starting point to proper speaker placement. Your end placement may differ somewhat because of the room, furniture, treatments, flooring, etc- but it has always worked for me as a great place to start! Enjoy the music!

http://www.cardas.com/pdf/roomsetup.pdf

Here is another- very similar...it is called the WASP method:

http://www.tnt-audio.com/casse/waspe.html

The Vinyl Tourist- Easy Loudspeaker Placement:

http://www.laventure.net/tourist/speaker_placement.htm

Origin of the "Golden Rectangle"- interesting...for the mathematicians in the forum.

http://www.jimloy.com/geometry/golden.htm
Image
Good sound—like good music, good wine and good fellowship—is meant to be shared.
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits" Albert Einstein

User avatar
treitz3
"Julian"
"Julian"
Posts: 7805
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:39 pm
Location: The tube lair in Charlotte, NC

Re: Learn How To Listen

Post by treitz3 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:31 pm

Now, take whichever methods you like that have been mentioned in the past few posts and if you do not have this CD? Order it. It is a must have in my book. It is Chesky Records Jazz Sampler & audiophile test CD. Here is the image of the exact one you want....

Image

It's readily available from anywhere between $10 to $14. Don't purchase it for the Jazz samples, purchase it for the tests. Pay attention, this could be one of the best things you can do for your rig. Most folks know that the room is usually the single biggest deficiency in a great system. This CD will help you take what you have and it will let you know where to begin working at in order to improve the imaging once the speakers have been set up properly.

Mark [Radioeng2] first told me about this test over the phone when I started to tell him about one of my biggest gripes in my rig. I told him that I would order it but I needed to know which one. Well, he sent me a link to the one pictured above and I swore up and down that I already had that one [turns out I actually had two] but that I hadn't gotten around to listening to it. He told me why I needed to listen to it and I got as giddy as a fat kid in a candy store waiting to try this test.

Here's what this test does for you.

The announcer will place himself dead center [your speakers will disappear if you have set them up correctly], then move midway between the R center, then to the R speaker and then to extreme R, well outside of the R speaker. The same is done with the center image to L speaker. This will be followed by a sound test to verify where the images should be as they travel from center to R, to L and back a couple of times. This same sound will now go lateral, this time verifying height. The sound will go 6 feet above the speakers [think of a circle] and should go to the floor.

Your rig must pass all tests with flying colors if all parameters are set up correctly. If not, try playing around with acoustic panels or even experimenting first with hung towels, pillows, bean bags, plants or whatever you have on hand to kill the first reflection points or reflection points that may alter the image. This is a great test CD for imaging because it lets you know immediate results of what acoustics you have just changed AND whether it was for the good of the image or not.

After I performed the test, I found out that my biggest gripe that I was talking to Mark about wasn't the fault of my rig. It was the fault of my room acoustics. Where the image of the sound was supposed to go up in a circle, mine plateaued about two feet above the top of the speakers and stayed that way until I had passed each speaker. Turns out I have a reflection point that cancels some of the imaging out, creating the plateau. My gripe to Mark was that my height wasn't to my liking. Well, now I know why.

You may have a gripe about your system and you may not know why or you may not have a gripe at all. I will say this, if you try out any one of the setup procedures in the posts above and top it off with this CD, learning how to listen [topic of the thread] will become a much easier to talk about on this forum by all that spend the time to do it.
In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to a good analogue reproduction.

User avatar
Chauss
(pair of) SILVER-7t's
Posts: 2180
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: In my own little world.....

Re: Learn How To Listen

Post by Chauss » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:39 pm

=D> Great CD for imaging test! I have a similar issue with the overhead images, but I hear what seems to be an ellipse...need some sound panels on the ceiling! Maybe for Xmas....spent my audio allowance for the year on gear and the upcoming 'fest!
Image
Good sound—like good music, good wine and good fellowship—is meant to be shared.
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits" Albert Einstein

User avatar
Chauss
(pair of) SILVER-7t's
Posts: 2180
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: In my own little world.....

Re: Learn How To Listen

Post by Chauss » Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:13 pm

Oh yeah.....forgot to say thanks T3 for pointing out this great CD! THANKS!!! =D> =D> =D>
Image
Good sound—like good music, good wine and good fellowship—is meant to be shared.
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits" Albert Einstein

User avatar
treitz3
"Julian"
"Julian"
Posts: 7805
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:39 pm
Location: The tube lair in Charlotte, NC

Re: Learn How To Listen

Post by treitz3 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:49 am

No problem. The credit actually goes to both the Sumiko setup [which is why I bought the CD in the first place] and to Mark [Radioeng2] for pointing it out to me during a recent conversation, since I had not had the time yet to check it out. I find it to be a very valuable test Cd for imaging. The best I have run across, really.

An original of this Cd will be offered at Carverfest to one lucky winner and this CD will definitely be used on most, if not all rigs set up at Carverfest this year. Including Bob's new line array masterpiece.
In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to a good analogue reproduction.

Post Reply

Return to “Misc. Discussions”