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More Audiophile Musings

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More Audiophile Musings

Post  Iago on Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:54 pm

We found a set of used home theatre seating for $200 and I just put it in last night. One problem is that it is way, way too big -- it is literall wall-to-wall. But the price is right and it will work for now. (I will post a picture later.)

Anyway, the interesting thing is that I positioned the main listening seat carefully so that it my head is the same distance from the back and side walls as before to help make sure that things sound the same. I put in a few discs and almost immediately noticed that music sounded brighter than it did before -- too bright. It could not have come from new or different reflections from the couch (if anything, it should absorb even more sound.) It turned out that it was because of the height. Vandersteens have a very narrow vertical listening window for optimal sound -- about six inches total. If you are seated too hight or too low there will be either too much or too little treble. You have to measure the distance from yours ears to the ground and from the drivers to your ears, cross reference those distances to a chart in the manual, and add or subract washers from the spikes to change the rake angle of the speakers. So I need to dig out the boxes and fix that.

The point of the preceding is that some effects claimed by manufacturers or reviewers may well be illusory, but when you hear something that you were not expecting because you forgot to expect it, that is strong evidence that the effect is indeed real.
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  agent1a on Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:21 pm

speaking of picking up used things - my neighbor who demolishes houses had a really old nice and in good condition but dusty oak french door with 15 panels of heavy beveled glass held in place by soldered brass !!! not the wooden glass frames ones you see today.

He gave it to me for free so i scooped it up and cleaned and installed it last week with some cutting and planing on my closet door with a dark curtain behind and boy does it look good. I have other french doors with the beveled glass but this glass shows many different colors on the bevel side.

The wood on this old door was so dense i could barely get screws in it for the hinges, took alot of effort, whereas the doors nowadays are just that cheap glued together stuff.
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  Seamaster on Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:45 pm

Iago: Your Vandersteens sound like the average male! And I trust you did not store your boxes in an old garage?

Agent: I have even heard of people finding quality HDMI cables in demo sites.

----------

Acoustics are very real. It is awesome that you are set up in such a way that subtle changes can have an obvious and immediate effect. I did not realize that the Vandersteens were that sensitive to placement. In theory then, the proper height for you, could sound off to a child or a midget. Mind you, I suppose that is true of most speakers. Do the Vandersteens follow the general rule that the tweeter should be at roughly ear height?
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  agent1a on Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:19 pm

i think they like to be referred to as "little people"

i wonder if Iago's circle of friends includes those little people
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  Iago on Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:37 pm

You can replay the South Park clip for yourself in response to your response to Agent.


Well, most speakers are sensitive to placement in my view, but the issue with Vandersteens is that the drivers are not just phase coherent but time-aligned. The front baffle is at an angle so that the voice coils for each driver are in a vertical line (which means that the front of the tweeter is recessed compared to the front edge of the woofer.) In order for the signals from each driver to reach the listener's ears at the precise same moment, the rake of the speaker has to be adjusted based on where the listener's ears are. If the tweeter is farther forward relative to the other drivers, the treble will be brighter and more forward. If it is farther back, the treble will be recessed. I honestly did not think that I would hear the difference, but the proof is in the pudding. Unfortunately, changing that is going to be be a major pain. I may have to con Ms. Iago into helping me -- the speakers weigh 120 lbs each, and will need to be tilted back while I unscrew the spikes and thread more (or less) washers into them.
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  Seamaster on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:34 pm

I agree that most speakers are sensitive to placement; I just never considered that they could be that sensitive. Of course, it makes perfect sense and I do notice it even when I change my sitting position.

Tell Ms. Iago that you will prepare her a lovely meal afterward for her efforts.
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  Iago on Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:35 am

Here is the new seating:



As you can see, it is almost overwhelmingly large for the room, but it does work and the price was right. I will still probably upgrade to somewhat narrower leather seating eventually.


I adjusted the speakers last night and it confirmed what I heard perfectly. The spacers go on the back spike (there are two in the fron corners and a single one in the middle of the rear.) This seating has my ears elevated more than the old ones did. With the old ones, I needed five spacers on each spike. With the new seating, I need only two. Each of the spacers is a little less than an eighth of an inch, so that means that I changed the height of the back of the speaker by about 3/8 of an inch. (That does not seem like much, but keep in mind that the top edge of the speakers are nine feet from my listening position, so when you work the angle out over that distance it becomes much greater at the listening position.)

So here is the thing. After I changed to the new seating and elevating my listening position, the speakers were tilted too far forward, which meant that the tweeter was slightly forward of the other drivers. And sure enough, what I heard was that the speakers were too bright with "forward"-sounding treble. Removing the spacers tilted the speaker farther back and brought the tweeter farther away from my ears and into alignment with the other drivers. So now once again the signal from each driver arrives at my ears at exactly the same time and in perfect phase with each other. I spent some time listening and everything sounds balanced again. Mind you, unlike the first time when I did not expect the difference, this time I was listening for it, but I am pretty confident that I hear more natural-sounding treble. (I tend to be pretty sensitive to "bright" sounding speakers.)
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  agent1a on Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:44 am

that seat is almost as comfortable as my new toilet - american standard cadet 3 on sale at home depot + $60 back from city for low water use . i bought a floor raiser and raised the whole toilet 3.5 inches and a nice molded wooden seat with chrome hinges to go with the rest of the chrome and now no more butt fatigue, i can sit on it like a king on a throne for hours -))

for cup holder i use the end of the vanity that i installed.


Last edited by agent1a on Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  MaX Karnage on Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:27 pm

Iago wrote:Here is the new seating:



As you can see, it is almost overwhelmingly large for the room, but it does work and the price was right. I will still probably upgrade to somewhat narrower leather seating eventually.


I adjusted the speakers last night and it confirmed what I heard perfectly. The spacers go on the back spike (there are two in the fron corners and a single one in the middle of the rear.) This seating has my ears elevated more than the old ones did. With the old ones, I needed five spacers on each spike. With the new seating, I need only two. Each of the spacers is a little less than an eighth of an inch, so that means that I changed the height of the back of the speaker by about 3/8 of an inch. (That does not seem like much, but keep in mind that the top edge of the speakers are nine feet from my listening position, so when you work the angle out over that distance it becomes much greater at the listening position.)

So here is the thing. After I changed to the new seating and elevating my listening position, the speakers were tilted too far forward, which meant that the tweeter was slightly forward of the other drivers. And sure enough, what I heard was that the speakers were too bright with "forward"-sounding treble. Removing the spacers tilted the speaker farther back and brought the tweeter farther away from my ears and into alignment with the other drivers. So now once again the signal from each driver arrives at my ears at exactly the same time and in perfect phase with each other. I spent some time listening and everything sounds balanced again. Mind you, unlike the first time when I did not expect the difference, this time I was listening for it, but I am pretty confident that I hear more natural-sounding treble. (I tend to be pretty sensitive to "bright" sounding speakers.)


So, when am I invited over for movie night?
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  East on Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:49 pm

Iago wrote:Here is the new seating:



Looks comfortable and its got cup holders, what more could you ask for?

Btw nice dvd collection.
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  Seamaster on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:14 am

If those seats were detachable from one another, that'd be perfect! Glad to hear you got the speaker set-up fixed. Are the surrounds as sensitive to placement? Did you also have to adjust their height? And what about sub placement. Did that have to change since you introduced the couch?
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  Iago on Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:18 pm

MK: I would, but you would just blow me off like the poker game!


ET: A clearer picture:



The DVD shelving is built into the wall.


Seamaster:

The seats are detachable, but they have open sides when they are unhooked. I could reduce it to two wide, but that would put me off-center, which is unacceptable. The only real requirements for the surrounds since they have coaxially mounted drivers is that they are not pointed directly at the listener -- you actually WANT to be off-axis. As far as the sub goes, it picked up the dread amplifier hum and then AV123 went belly up, so it is currently not useful for much more than a doorstop.
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  Seamaster on Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:55 pm

My question regarding the DVD collection is where are the Blu-rays? That photograph appears to be of SD-DVDs, though my eyes may be tricking me.

I am sorry to hear about the sub. I did not know that you were having problems. What are you doing to satisy your LFE needs?
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  Iago on Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:53 am

The Blu-Rays are on racks that used to be at the sides of the room, but there is no place for them with the new seating. I have to figure out what I want to do.


Right now, I am sans LFE. We shall see.
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  Seamaster on Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:05 pm

Talking of Blu-rays, how are you enjoying Deadwood?
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  Iago on Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:57 pm

I have four episodes left to season 2. It was definitely worth the purchase.
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Post  Seamaster on Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:11 pm

The good news is that Season 2 and 3 are even better than Season 1.
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  Iago on Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:57 am

Well, I thought that season two has been a mixed bag so far, but episode 9 was quite good (though it telegraphed the accident with Bullock's "son" a bit too obviously.)
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Post  Seamaster on Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:05 am

I liked how the characters and their relationships developed in Season 2. I thought that was an improvement over Season 1.
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Post  Iago on Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:19 am

I would say that the latter half of one and the first half of two have been the best so far. It got a touch soap opera-ish for a bit, but the last couple of episodes are back on track. I will finish the whole thing deliberately, but I have been taking my time -- no need to pull a marathon.
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Post  Seamaster on Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:35 am

Well, to be honest, sometimes I am a sucker for shows that get soapy from time to time.
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Post  Iago on Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:18 pm

Depends on the show. The whole Bullock triangle seems a bit out of place given the overall tone and style of the series. On the other hand, they were willing to try different things, so there you go.
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  Seamaster on Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:05 pm

Nothing wrong with a good triangle.
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  agent1a on Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:17 pm

in terms of a triangle of 3 people sexual relationship ?
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

Post  Iago on Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:19 pm

Did you watch Triangle?
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Re: More Audiophile Musings

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