Visit to Marc C.'s (SpiritOfMusic's) House in England

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Well I've got to a point in the last couple of days where I really feel I've achieved a better sound by far than ever before, and I'm going to kick back, relax, and just enjoy my music, and stop the damn analysis that I'm especially prone to (although I'm sure I'm not alone here LOL).

Since me and Ra moved to the chapel, we've been going to a lot more classical concerts than ever in London, and I've developed a whole slew of reference points that I try and compare my home sound to. And I do feel what I've achieved here holds up a lot more than pretty much the same core system in London.

So, finally I'm getting a sense that every record is different. Totally different tonality, soundstage etc. In the past I had a greater homogeneity from one lp to another. I struggled to pick up fine differences in acoustic cues, texture etc. So many lps sounded great, some excellent.

I'm now getting a greater range, those excellent records are greater in number, and excel at so many more subtle things that
1- weren't present in my previous sound
2- I'm more aware of from my live exposure.

And now I'm aware of how many lps are held back from being excellent, now not because of my system, but simply poor sounding, poorly recorded/mastered.

Despite this initially feeling restrictive, I'm now liking my system and room has greater fidelity, transparency and neutrality, now telling me what's on the lp, not "doctoring" the sound as before.

I never used to get any mileage from VTF changes from one lp to another, and now it's an area I address on every lp to great effect.

Additionally, I've finally unlocked the correct Zus subs settings. In my old room, every setting seemed ok, w no one single setting ever being quite right.

Now almost every subs setting is wrong, w the one I've chosen seeming to be absolutely right.

Critically my last series of tweaks has unlocked the combination here, Zus on RevOPods footers on Panzerholz plinths on Symposium Svelte Shelves on to the floor.

The Zus for the first time in my long and occasionally frustrating ownership of them, have finally blossomed into spkrs which are now fantastic on classical as well as rock. Indeed I'm now pulling out classical lps to listen to first before the usual suspects of my prog and fusion.

I can't thank Barry/Blue58 enough for offering constructively critical advice which has helped me over this final hurdle.

Other than a few mods to my power cords, that's it for me and this current system. I'm going to just kick back, relax and listen to a ton more music in the coming year. I do have my eye on a fantastic potential alternative to my Zus, but this is purely tentative and at the v earliest stage of planning.

I have massive chapel related non audio priorities that come ahead of any more major audio spending, and the cold wind of Brexit is about to strike the UK (Global Cooling, my euphemism) will likely kill my spending capacity. But I remain intrigued by these horns I have interest in.

But I'm cool, Zen etc. 22 years, a stupid amount of money spent, 3 complete systems, mods to major gear, as much cash spent on ancilliaries as my current components outlay, the same again spent on the room, moving forwards/sideways/backwards/and forwards again, the absolute joy of the new room, a big jump to ultimate neutrality and transparency, and resultant ability to really enjoy and dive into classical, indeed all genres.

It'll be a blessed relief to get past the system and back into the music 100% from now on.

Thanks to everyone for their input, sorry if I've come across spiky, or defensive, to any offering their heartfelt advice. It's all been appreciated, even if my replies gave the impression it wasn't.
 

Tango

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Mar 12, 2017
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Well I've got to a point in the last couple of days where I really feel I've achieved a better sound by far than ever before, and I'm going to kick back, relax, and just enjoy my music, and stop the damn analysis that I'm especially prone to (although I'm sure I'm not alone here LOL).

Since me and Ra moved to the chapel, we've been going to a lot more classical concerts than ever in London, and I've developed a whole slew of reference points that I try and compare my home sound to. And I do feel what I've achieved here holds up a lot more than pretty much the same core system in London.

So, finally I'm getting a sense that every record is different. Totally different tonality, soundstage etc. In the past I had a greater homogeneity from one lp to another. I struggled to pick up fine differences in acoustic cues, texture etc. So many lps sounded great, some excellent.

I'm now getting a greater range, those excellent records are greater in number, and excel at so many more subtle things that
1- weren't present in my previous sound
2- I'm more aware of from my live exposure.

And now I'm aware of how many lps are held back from being excellent, now not because of my system, but simply poor sounding, poorly recorded/mastered.

Despite this initially feeling restrictive, I'm now liking my system and room has greater fidelity, transparency and neutrality, now telling me what's on the lp, not "doctoring" the sound as before.

I never used to get any mileage from VTF changes from one lp to another, and now it's an area I address on every lp to great effect.

Additionally, I've finally unlocked the correct Zus subs settings. In my old room, every setting seemed ok, w no one single setting ever being quite right.

Now almost every subs setting is wrong, w the one I've chosen seeming to be absolutely right.

Critically my last series of tweaks has unlocked the combination here, Zus on RevOPods footers on Panzerholz plinths on Symposium Svelte Shelves on to the floor.

The Zus for the first time in my long and occasionally frustrating ownership of them, have finally blossomed into spkrs which are now fantastic on classical as well as rock. Indeed I'm now pulling out classical lps to listen to first before the usual suspects of my prog and fusion.

I can't thank Barry/Blue58 enough for offering constructively critical advice which has helped me over this final hurdle.

Other than a few mods to my power cords, that's it for me and this current system. I'm going to just kick back, relax and listen to a ton more music in the coming year. I do have my eye on a fantastic potential alternative to my Zus, but this is purely tentative and at the v earliest stage of planning.

I have massive chapel related non audio priorities that come ahead of any more major audio spending, and the cold wind of Brexit is about to strike the UK (Global Cooling, my euphemism) will likely kill my spending capacity. But I remain intrigued by these horns I have interest in.

But I'm cool, Zen etc. 22 years, a stupid amount of money spent, 3 complete systems, mods to major gear, as much cash spent on ancilliaries as my current components outlay, the same again spent on the room, moving forwards/sideways/backwards/and forwards again, the absolute joy of the new room, a big jump to ultimate neutrality and transparency, and resultant ability to really enjoy and dive into classical, indeed all genres.

It'll be a blessed relief to get past the system and back into the music 100% from now on.

Thanks to everyone for their input, sorry if I've come across spiky, or defensive, to any offering their heartfelt advice. It's all been appreciated, even if my replies gave the impression it wasn't.
Funny when your system gets more resolving, has less strong characteristics, more true to source in a sense, the more freqent lame listening experiences and substandard sounds you hear from recording mediums. This doesnt matter if it is vinyl or tape. Then you have to spend more on better softwares. Spending just dont seem to stop. But what to do with money after you are dead?

Happy to hear you are at peace now Marc.

Kindest regards,
Tang
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Tang, I always hated reading about audiophiles w resolving systems where many lps were shown to be flat, or moving spkrs a few inches at a time provided massive changes.

But I'm kinda at that level. No way am I claiming my system is anywhere at a level to even start to rival yours or the other big guns. But sweating the details, tweaking wisely, and critically getting the lottery win bonus of the new room, has resulted in my system, of which the core components are the same as in my old room, performing at a totally superior level, both resolving and musical, and providing so many new cues that I especially value in live music.

Tang, your constant jesting w me here has always been light relief to prick my expanding ego.
 
May 30, 2010
15,416
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Portugal
(...) Since me and Ra moved to the chapel, we've been going to a lot more classical concerts than ever in London, and I've developed a whole slew of reference points that I try and compare my home sound to. And I do feel what I've achieved here holds up a lot more than pretty much the same core system in London. (...)
I share your view - listening to live music makes us appreciate more our systems. I am always fascinated by how much of live music my system can show, particularly in a short time after a concert. It is unbelievable how successful this trio - my system, my room and me are on recreating some aspects of the life performance, enough to make an enjoyable experience.

As the memories of the live event faint, I usually become less happy. Fortunately next concert will re-fuel my memory and the fascination starts again.

IMHO audiophiles who do not have live experiences are much harder to please - most of the time their anchors are other particular systems and they just want to reproduce some of their exact sound features, something almost impossible most of the time, due to the diversity of our rooms and systems.

Now the big question is who are the best judges of the quality of an audio system - people who are biased by a few particulars of live or those who simply want to enjoy whatever is being played?
 

morricab

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Apr 25, 2014
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Switzerland
I share your view - listening to live music makes us appreciate more our systems. I am always fascinated by how much of live music my system can show, particularly in a short time after a concert. It is unbelievable how successful this trio - my system, my room and me are on recreating some aspects of the life performance, enough to make an enjoyable experience.

As the memories of the live event faint, I usually become less happy. Fortunately next concert will re-fuel my memory and the fascination starts again.

IMHO audiophiles who do not have live experiences are much harder to please - most of the time their anchors are other particular systems and they just want to reproduce some of their exact sound features, something almost impossible most of the time, due to the diversity of our rooms and systems.

Now the big question is who are the best judges of the quality of an audio system - people who are biased by a few particulars of live or those who simply want to enjoy whatever is being played?
I reject the false premise you have built in to your comments that there is "bias" in using the particulars of live to judge the sound from hifi system. This is a misuse of the term bias.
 
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May 30, 2010
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Portugal
I reject the false premise you have built in to your comments that there is "bias" in using the particulars of live to judge the sound from hifi system. This is a misuse of the term bias.
For me it is clear use - many audio writers use it in this sense. If you want examples you can do a search in the F. Toole book.

But yes, I expect some people to disagree with this view. :)
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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I'm certainly biased. Against anyone who doesn't agree w me LOL.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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E. England
As 2018 winds down, and the the UK meanders in the next 3 months twds Brexit, I'm contemplating a major logistic change to my system.

I'm extremely happy w my general sound, esp since I've got my Zus up on RevOPods/Panzerholz, and final dialling in of my modded tt on Stacore.

But I'm fully aware of the potential upside for reconfiguring my gear, esp to get my tt into a much more acoustically superior position.

Atm, my tt is sitting 6" off my springy floor on a Stacore Adv, effectively my stylus is a mere 3' from my Zu down firing subs.

In principle I know this can't be ideal, moving the tt makes sense, the potential uptick in lp replay is great, pushing me to considering resiting the tt, and hence the rest of the system.

Options include:

Keeping things as they are, but adding a heavyweight inert one-tier support like a Rogoz to place the tt on; or:

Moving the gear to the side wall next to me, running longer spkr cbls to the Zus (current 1.5m, to 7m on reposition), and a quality two-socket mains block for my Zus subs power cords. This would get all my components "out of harms way", esp the tt which would end up 3m from those pesky subs; or:

Moving my gear as close to front wall as possible, getting my tt on a wall shelf secured directly into the massive load bearing 9" thick front wall of the chapel, in one fell swoop taking the tt off my springy suspended wooden floor. I could then switch the Stacore Adv to preamp or cdp isolating duties, substituting this w the Revopods/Panzerholz system I've found so productive under my Zus; or:

A long shot - suspending my tt on cables from my massive 9mm thick steel beams (installed as part of the room conversion). I did say this was a long shot LOL.

My good buddy Audiophile Bill is pushing me v strongly in the direction of wall-shelf mounted tt solution, in one fell swoop eliminating both the "proximity to subs" and "proximity to springy" floors issues, his judgement is these factors trump any potential gains to be had from siting gear incl tt to side wall, or the partial solution of a new rack lifting up the tt, but it still going on the floor.
 
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DaveyF

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Aug 1, 2010
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Other suggestion, Marc. Since you have the option to relocate the gear to the side wall and away from the impact of the speakers, that is what I would suggest. BUT, I would also add a wall shelf for the table on the side wall ( Linn folks with suspended floors have been doing this for decades). I think it would give you the best of both worlds, no issue with feedback at the table..and all of the gear away from the speaker/sub interaction ( which is always a good thing, and something i wish I could accomplish, but my room is too small). If that is not an option, then i would think your third suggestion would be preferable to keeping things as they are.

One question, why not leave your amps between the speakers and run long interconnects instead?? Nothing wrong with longer speaker cables, but if RF isn't an issue..and with 7meters it really shouldn't be, longer ic's would be the more standard install.
 

Al M.

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Unfortunately I don't know where to dig up that post, but a British fellow recently posted on WBF that he had made SPL measurements and found that the sound pressure on the front wall (especially in the bass I believe) was 10 to 20 (?) dB higher there than in the rest of the room. He suggested therefore that putting the equipment at the front wall would be the last place he would consider.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Davey, the option of wall mounting makes more sense on the front wall since this is a major load bearing exterior wall, FWIW our builder considers the chapel to have one of the best, most solid examples of brickwork he's ever seen in a building from this era.

OTOH the side walls in my room are new build simple stud walling, much less optimal for tt mounting.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Davey, the conflicting advice one gets in this hobby. I've been told in no uncertain terms that extended length RCA ICs is more likely to create issues. Less so w longer SCs or PCs.

So if I do side site, all the gear will be moved.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Al, well if bass is worse in corners it strikes me there will be some issues all the way along the front wall, increasing as you get twds the perimeter ie corners.
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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Walls move in varying degrees, based on construction type, so it might work, but it is hard to say. Is it a load bearing wall with thick plaster or brick? Or is it a thin, non structural wall with sheet rock? A wall shelf will also need to support the massive Stacore. I would opt for a sturdy rack on the side wall away from the first reflection point, preferably closer to the listening seat away from the speakers and corners. I really like the install of Audioquattr's room with the rack behind the listening sofa. I think he has an AF3 on a Stacore.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Peter, this building is built to last. Built in 1861, still here, and will see out many more generations of owners beyond us. The exterior walls would inspire even the most anxious analogphile to put their exalted tt on an attached shelf.

However, this precludes use of the Stacore, the highest loads I can find on tt shelves for sale are 60kg and 90kg, and my Stacore/tt combo is 130kg.

I'm not sure wall mounting on a new build internal stud wall that form my side walls would be advisable.

So it's front wall shelf mounted, possibly augmented w my new find of Revopods/Panzerholz, or side wall sited right next to me, via Rogoz rack/Stacore.

Behind me? Maybe, it's a thought.
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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I like the space behind the listener, because in theory at least, the listening seat is located such that it is in a smooth frequency spot with no LF humps. It is also in a spot that may avoid much air borne vibration. Then, if on the Stacore, you'd be all set, short of putting it in a separate closet or room.
 

Audiophile Bill

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Mar 23, 2015
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Don’t mean to go on about this but imho people are missing the point considerably. It is the vibration induced into your suspended hung floor from down firing bass woofers that your TT will not like at all! Putting it elsewhere in the room very far from the woofers is obviously preferential but still doesn’t get passed the issue of hung / suspended floors. The vibration induced into the floorboards will be worse than airborne. You can easily measure this. Anyway this will be my last mention of this because I have said my bit lol.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Peter, oh to have a system like Audioquattr's.

Behind me could work.

I've certainly got the best positioning for my Zus in relation to front wall (started at 8' on day one which just fortuitously worked, closer to 5' is bad for bass, twds 10' and bass drops off).

This then led to me choosing the sweet spot to listen from. Initially I preferred 13'+ back, but presentation slightly diffuse, maybe too many first and second reflections dominating. Now I'm closer to 11' and focus is better without the headphones effect I get at 9'.

I could certainly get all my gear back here, put my Stacored tt up on a Rogoz rack that laughs in the face of 130kg, extend my spkr cbls to 6-7m, run the Hot Box mains block to keep my Zus subs pwr cords as is.

The q remains, does wall shelf mounting into my indestructible front wall trump this situation where even putting greatest distance of tt to subs still relies on coupling to the floor (even w heavy rack and Stacore doing all they can)?
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Bill, you know me, I like to garner opinions. And your take is v hard to argue against.

I do have the crazy notion of hanging my tt from the 9mm heavy duty steels here. Now, these REALLY don't move LOL.
 

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