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#421449 - 12/13/16 08:20 AM Re: Room Treatments [Re: bridgman]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 6225
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By bridgman
OK, I have pretty much ground to a halt re: comparing M3s with Sierra-1s. The M3s are quite a bit more forward than the Sierra-1s (most reviewers describe the Sierra-1s as "warm" which AFAICS is the opposite of "forward") and it's really hard to tell if the other differences I hear are a function of frequency response or something else.


So I had one of those "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk !!" moments yesterday when I remembered that the receiver I was using had tone controls, although I had not touched them since... forever.

I turned the treble down just the tiniest smidge, maybe 1 dB (as small as I could do without the detent pushing it back to zero) and that shifted the balance maybe half way towards what I heard from the Sierras and seems to give just the sound I want.

Ian reminded me that I had already encountered a case where the optimum room treatment changed a bit depending on the speaker I was using (believe that was with the M60s and replacing the couch) so I'm going to revisit the blind from a few posts ago (the one that made Sierras sound dead & lifeless) and see if I can get similar results without tone controls when time permits.


Edited by bridgman (12/13/16 08:21 AM)
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#421451 - 12/13/16 08:40 AM Re: Room Treatments [Re: 2x6spds]
MatManhasgone Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 1053
Loc: Lost in the great wide yonder
I am convinced that our ears and our brains are the worst enemies to our wallet when we get that itch for upgradeitus.

I think it is psyco-acoustic need for change that drives us. You go out and buy a setup and tweak and change until you get something that you convince youself is much better sounding than whatever you had before. And you live with it for 3-5 years and then suddenly your brain starts to tell you that it isn't good enough and there is something better out there. Be it from reading a review that said Speaker X is the best sounding or that Amp Y just improved the sound night and day. So suddenly you convince yourself that what you have isn't cutting it.

So you get into the position that Bridgman is in where he is testing two speakers that are different from each other. What one is better? Neither. they are different from each other. If you had been listening to the same sound feel for the past 3-5 years it is bordum in your brain that convinced you to change. So you get something new to change the sound that was perfect before but suddenly now is not.

Likely if you forced a change in the placement and treatments inside your room every 9-12 months, your brain will never get use to or tired of what you have and you could likely save yourself a whole load of money.

This of it like toys for a cat. If you leave your pet cat 10 toys out to play with, then it will play for a few days and then get boarded of all of them. If however you put out 1 toy for a few days then put it away and swap it for a different toy, then the cat would be entertained forever. by the time you get around to the 10th toy it would have completely forgotten about the 1st one and as far as it knows, this is a totally new toy.
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#421455 - 12/13/16 11:18 AM Re: Room Treatments [Re: 2x6spds]
Gr8_White_North Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 2281
Loc: Whitehorse YT
Matt , you left out guys like me. Same speakers for 38 yrs , I have developed such a love of them that no other speaker makes me feel the way they do. I can relive my youth any time just by cranking up some Van Halen or Ozzy etc. But yeah , for the theater there is the constant search for that feeling I got when I got my HPM 900's , never had an urge to replace them and I listened too lots of speakers when I was younger and there were shops aplenty to audition speakers in.
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#421456 - 12/13/16 11:20 AM Re: Room Treatments [Re: 2x6spds]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 6225
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
In my case I had "perfect" sound 30 years ago (or at least as close to perfect as I could afford) back when I had a lot more free time to spend on speakers & room treatments. Then life got in the way.

Since then I have spent all my scraps of free time trying to get back to what I was hearing 30 years ago smile


Edited by bridgman (12/13/16 11:21 AM)
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#422231 - 01/10/17 05:25 AM Re: Room Treatments [Re: bridgman]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 6225
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By bridgman
Ian reminded me that I had already encountered a case where the optimum room treatment changed a bit depending on the speaker I was using (believe that was with the M60s and replacing the couch) so I'm going to revisit the blind from a few posts ago (the one that made Sierras sound dead & lifeless) and see if I can get similar results without tone controls when time permits.


Finally got a chance to try the M3's with the blind pulled down (the change that mucked up Sierra-1 imaging). As Ian hinted, it had exactly the opposite effect with M3s.. cleaned up the imaging and significantly improved the overall effect. First guess is that the wider dispersion of the M3s meant that more midrange energy was bouncing off the glass... and since the other side of the listening area was open space (and a sofa) the result was unbalanced sound until I pulled the blind down.

This leads to the slightly scary observation that A/B speaker testing in an asymmetrical listening area is going to potentially be unfair to one of the speaker sets if the A and B speakers have significantly different response/dispersion patterns... and even a perfectly symmetrical room may end up requiring slightly different room treatments for best results with each speaker.

This may help to explain why reviewers often seem to end up preferring their reference speakers to most of what they test - if the room treatments are optimized for their reference speakers then anything significantly different is going to be tested with sub-optimal room treatments.

To further complicate things, I was up near Axiom before the holidays and Ian invited me to stop in and do some double-blind testing with the Sierra-1's. That was eye-opening to the extent that I'm still trying to get my head around it.

We did a few rounds of tests and in the second round I was ABSOLUTELY sure that Debbie had switched in completely different speakers. I was thinking maybe LFR's and Mini-T's from the sound (bass response and imaging both seemed significantly different from the first round) but in fact it was the same speakers as before (M3s and Sierras) with the positions physically reversed, the volume turned up a bit higher (I did that because I felt the "new speakers" handled the volume better) and the ventilator noise cut down by stuffing a rag in the vent.

I was totally surprised when the curtain was pulled back.

The third round was equally interesting - this time Ian was working the controls; he also picked a different set of tracks from me. As the volume increased the M3's seemed to open up while the Sierra-1's started to sound "hard"... and the relative frequency response differences between the speakers seemed less. Ian noted that drivers can start exhibiting compression at surprisingly low sound levels and so managing the compression characteristics of (for example) woofer vs tweeter was one more important part of maintaining good sound at different levels.

It's hard to summarize everything in a couple of lines but it's clear that choice of music and volume level make much more difference when comparing speakers than I had previously thought. I was less surprised by the impact of moving the speakers around simply because I had done a lot of that kind of testing already. I was also surprised by how much "less different" (and how good) the two sets of speakers sounded in Axiom's listening room compared to mine - possibly because their room is relatively symmetrical while mine is off-center with room treatments on one side balancing open space on the other.

Anyways, it was very interesting and educational - thanks to both Ian and Debbie.


Edited by bridgman (01/10/17 06:02 AM)
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M60ti, VP180, QS8, M2ti, EP500, PC+ 20-39
M5HP, M40
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#422232 - 01/10/17 08:42 AM Re: Room Treatments [Re: 2x6spds]
Mojo Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 6302
Interesting observation about the room and treatments. This may explain my impressions of the Dramcatchers vs the M3ti and M22ti in my 2.1 space. It will be interesting to compare the M5HP when you get them.
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#422237 - 01/10/17 08:18 PM Re: Room Treatments [Re: 2x6spds]
AAAA Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 1593
Thanks for the report. It would be fun to do that test and have the curtain reveal your mind was convincing you of who knows what. smile. I really like reading your impressions from your testing.

I have also found speakers take on a different character when they are pushed hard as well. Sometimes bad and compressed, sometimes boxy, sometimes spacious and weightless. In my setup with LCRs driven with 150wpc outboard amps my little center channel loves to be pushed hard, while my towers start to complain earlier. I think this is also due to cabinet resonances ringing like a bell at certain frequencies when pushed as well.

What I have also found, strangely enough, is that changing the amplfier gain to preout signal balance has a big impact on the perceived focus and clarity on my towers. My center likes more amp with lower pre setting while my towers like more pre with lower amp setting. I can effectively enhance the width of my soundstage and transparency by juicing up the amp, but at the expense of focus and pinpoint imaging. It has to be distortion related.

Since renting high powered amps I got curious and discovered I am able to vary the gain of my amp by opening it up and changing a jumper setting -leaving it completely variable. After a bunch of testing I concluded I was able to somewhat replicate the pro amp sledgehammer power required to approach "dread" but my speakers lose composure once asked to deal with all that power. The solution was to apply a higher preout voltage and turn the amplifier gain down. The end balanced spl at all channels is 75db, and pink noise measures the same on each relative amp setting once level matched. But with content they sure thud harder with more amp gain when applied. They dont seem to like it when asked to.... Lol.

Wait a sec, is this the synergy thing audio blokes get hung up on?

Again, I like reading your adventures, as I am a sidequest audio nutbar too. smile. Keep em coming.

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#423213 - 02/06/17 09:58 PM Re: Room Treatments [Re: 2x6spds]
Thasp Offline
devotee

Registered: 03/27/04
Posts: 339
Have you considered trying owens corning 703 instead of wool? Much better absorptive properties. I have about 16 panels in my room with 2" 703, and two in the corners as bass traps with 4" corning 703. It makes all the difference in the world, take them out and I almost feel like I'm listening to bose. smile

I was cheap so I wrapped mine in burlap in wooden frames we cut ourselves - but I'm sure there's some nice breathable fabric that would look great as well!

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#423214 - 02/06/17 10:12 PM Re: Room Treatments [Re: 2x6spds]
Gr8_White_North Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 2281
Loc: Whitehorse YT
Roxul Safe & Sound works great also.
_________________________
DOG is GOD spelled backwards.
What others think of me is none of my business.
M80 V3 MY GLOSS Cherry

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#423215 - 02/07/17 01:52 AM Re: Room Treatments [Re: 2x6spds]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 3201
Loc: CA, USA
Wow, Serenity! That was an eye opener. I have my Yamaha M80 and Antique Sound Labs tube amp maxed, and control volume with the Sonic Frontiers SFL-1 preamp. For some reason, long forgotten, I figured that was the right way to go. I have to do some sperimenting!

Yo Thasp, I did some wandering around Al Gore's Interweb and read a couple of articles about DIY room treatments from folks who sure sounded like they knew what they were talking about. I went with Roksul (Roxul?) because I didn't want any fiberglass in my living room even if it were 'bagged.'

The treatments really help. I put some antiqued brass remote controllable picture lights on top of the panels and they sure look good.
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