3-D Imaging: How??


I'm finally satisfied with my current system, except for one thing: it is absolutely 2 dimensional except with a few discs in which you get a little depth. I have: Rega Planet, CJ PV11L, McCormack DNA.5, B&W Nautilus 805s. Interconnects are TARA Labs Master Gen 2, speaker cable is Audioquest SA-40 (hyper pure silver) on top, CV-4 on bottom(the CV-4 actually compares well to other cables I have tried) All equipment sits on marble slabs that are "tip-toed" to the concrete below my carpet. I'm using an Isobar Surge protector on the CD and Preamp, with a Sonic Horizons Daybreak power cord directly into the wall on the amp. The room is about 12" by 13", but I have a totally dedicated room with a good nearfield setup. Why is my sound 2-D?? Thanks guys!!
gthirteen
Are your 805s positioned too close to the front wall because you need to fill in the bottom octave and tame their too-hot tweeters? Sorry if I'm being presumptuous, but I tried the Nautilus (803/4s) series and found the tweeter way too hot (especially off- and above-axis), and had to sit very far away from them, which flattened the stage. I have a 24x14 room and sit in a 7.5' triangle, my monitors about 8' from the front wall. The stage is spectacularly layered, even with a 7' Steinway slightly behind the speaker plane. I found, however, that this setup works only with speakers that are utterly resolved and smooth in the upper octaves. The tizziness of the Nautilus tweeter (and the lower mid "honk" of the 805) did NOT work in my nearfield setup, although, interestingly the sound was satisfactory from an adjacent room! So: are your speakers pulled out from the walls enough to develop a 3D stage, and are they timbrally acceptable that way? If "yes" to both then I'm puzzled, too. I've no experience with the Planet or your pre, but I'd look at the preamp/amp stages next. Good luck!
I agree with Subaruguru that if your speakers are properly set up, the problem is with your equipment. Not that the equipment you're using isn't of high quality. However, some components have a deeper soundstage than others. If you're looking for improved depth in your soundstage, look no further than the Pass Labs Aleph line of amplifiers. I used to own the little Aleph 3 and it had the deepest soundstage I've ever heard in my system. Deeper than my old Aragon 4004 Mk II, deeper than my Classe CA-300, and deeper than my current BAT VK-500. I found the Aleph 3 (30 wpc, class A) lacking in the power and bass department--which was why I sold it--but the Aleph 5 (60 wpc) might work out well in your system. If you need more power and have the money, the Aleph 2 mono blocks offer 100 wpc. Recently there was a pair for sale here for $2,500--best price I've ever seen for them. Good luck.
Gthirteen: You have a very good quality system that I'm sure should be able to provide a good soundstage including front to back layering. The same question arises in my mind on how close to front wall do you have them. A friend of mine has 805's and has them 8 feet from front wall with good results (larger room though), and yours? What about toe-in? Second is accoustics do you have racks or anything between the speakers? Have you treated accoustically the front wall? Share more details
The front baffle is about 4.5' from the front wall (about 1/3 of the way in. I used Paul Hales formulas for placement. Subaruguru- Maybe there was a mismatch with your system or room or cables. I'm getting no tizziness and no honking. THey sound utterly smooth and balanced (except for bass below 40hz) Perhaps its the silver cables on the tweeters (I dont understand how silver got the reputation of being "metallic sounding") or the Tubed Preamp that I'm using. I have them in about a 7' eqilateral triangle, toed'in to just behind my listening position. THe speakers have nothing between them, and the front wall is actually a large window, BUT I have a large Bamboo roll-dowm blind that looks to be great for diffusion, but maybe not. I've been looking into making some Roomlens clones, perhaps this would help. I have a box of RPG profoam, but I'm not using it now. I've often lusted after the Aleph series of amps, and I normally listen at lower levels..... perhaps I should try to find a demo.....I DO need a space heater.
i'd definitely recommend getting heavy fabric drapes for your window between the speakers. also, how far are ewe from the back wall? w/the speakers out 4.5' in a 12x13 room, i imagine yure pretty close - get some highly-absorbent sound treatment for the wall behind your listening position - this should also help. good luck, doug
As I have upgraded my system I noticed a lot of the better components push the image back "deeper". This seems to be desired by most listeners that post here and I am told is a more accurate reproduction of the recording venue. However the deeper the image the smaller it gets. This is natural, the further you sit from a performance, the smaller the image. Unfortunately, all the other dimensions suffer. Your components are of good quality. I have a feeling what you miss is the recreation of the performers in your room... like me. But then again... I can be wrong! I haven't heard too many systems that can image great. I heard the Virgo's with CJ's and they did a good job. And FYI I have old Spica's and they can do the image thing.(but are inferior in other ways). I have heard the B&W's many times and they "soundstage", but I never heard them throw an image.
As I have upgraded my system I noticed a lot of the better components push the image back "deeper". This seems to be desired by most listeners that post here and I am told is a more accurate reproduction of the recording venue. However the deeper the image the smaller it gets. This is natural, the further you sit from a performance, the smaller the image. Unfortunately, all the other dimensions suffer. Your components are of good quality. I have a feeling what you miss is the recreation of the performers in your room... like me. But then again... I can be wrong! I haven't heard too many systems that can image great. I heard the Virgo's with CJ's and they did a good job. And FYI I have old Spica's and they can do the image thing.(but are inferior in other ways). I have heard the B&W's many times and they "soundstage", but I never heard them throw an image.
I follow Sedond recommendation and also check ceiling, side walls and floor. Don't get me wrong but consider the check list: floor (carpeted spiked stand?, blue tack fixing speakers to stands. In my case which is totally different the better (solid coupling) the stands and speakers are (one on top of the other and to the floor) the best response. How about components rack position in 100 HZ tone null point in my room has worked the best..... Gthirteen if you have the foam, test use it in side walls and reinforcement of your bamboo blind (might be not the best) to find out improvement sites. I have a large TV cabinet between my speakers (4' behind it and in spite of that I get a nice presentation but have tweaked my way up to where I am....
G-teen, you fail to mention what music you are using to judge your system's depth capabilities. Both XLO and Chesky sell test CDs that have specific tracks for depth reproduction. As the above post detail, attention must be paid to room acoustics. However, it is also very possible that the music you are listening to has no depth. Only a small minority of popular music (both rock and classical)releases have any real sense of acoustic space. Even on records that were recorded using analog tape rely upon digital reverb units to supply depth. If your system is accurately reproducing the audio signals feed into it, then on most pop recordings there will be little depth. Personally, I love a deep soundscape and I have set up my speakers such that they are 18 feet from the rear wall. The resulting soundstage is very deep when the music contains depth information, PLUS it give a sense of depth to most other music. This is a distortion, but a pleasant distortion that works quite well on what is typically aggresively recorded pop/rock music. With audiophile type minimalist records the sound losses some of its immediacy. Nothing's perfect.
Thanks for the help, guys!! I was hoping (NOT hoping, actually) to get equipment recommendations, i.e. "I've had the Rega Planet, and it sucked compared to the Widget 3000". I'm going to build some Argent Roomlens clones, in addition to trying my Profoam on the front and rear walls. (side walls are not coming into play) The music I listen to, I realize, might not have the depth info that I am looking for. However, WHat I did not reveal beforehand, is that in my last apartment, I had a much larger listening room, with a pair of Hales Rev 3s. WHile tonally, the Hales are quite similar to the Nautilus 805s, in that they both sound really natural and fairly neutral (805's lack of lowest octave noted). The soundstage is soooo much better, as is the top end, with the Nautilus. However, in the big room, I got TONS of depth, the speakers were about the same distance from the front wall, but the listening position was about 6 feet further from the plane of the speakers. THIS is what I believe to be the problem, but I didn't want to suggest this initially. Being in research (professionally), I didnt want to "corrupt" my "data". Any of you getting lots of depth in a small room???
Tricky G huh.... Kidding aside G, my former room was awfully small (more related to listening chamber perhaps) and was only through wall+floor+ceiling treatment that I got some decent reproduction. The room was so limited that I had to compensate heavyly If you treat your rear wall properly you might reach a good compromise by having a longer distance to speakers without too much rear wall effect.... Hope you get it better, keep us posted
the room *is* the single most important piece of audio equipment, imho! ;~) in your case, it's *especially* important to get it right cuz 12x13 is on the small size. there *are* some speakers designed for nearfield listening, but i've no experience w/them... doug
I think other guys wrote enough to achieve 3D which I beli eve the most difficult part of hi-end. They are right, most of the recordings do not have dept concern, you need test recordings to critisize your system. You have good equipments but what I experienced is the equipments theirselves are not enough for having 3D. You need to hardly tweak your system and tune your room acoustics otherwise no 3D regardless of equipment. Let me summarize what worked well with me 1-Better power cables (powersnake sidewinder is very highly recommended) 2-Painting CD edges with green pen 3-Jitter filter as Monarch DIP or digital lens (if you use Transport+DAC) 4-MIT Cables, they throw 3D much more than the others (But minimum MH750 and MI330 series, not below series) 5-Keeping speaker cables 20 cm away than floor. 6-Power conditioner (No isolation transformer models for power amps) 7-Polarity check of AC plugs. (If you look at the front face of computer kind plug , the right hole should be (+) allways. 8-RPG Flattfusors for side walls and back wall 9-Keeping speakers 50 cm above of floor with fully spikes 10-Keeping speaker as recommended as by the back wall 11-Test signals CD to indentify the listening position ans room resonances 12-Sorbothane/Vibrapod/Spikes underneath of equipments 13-Bricks over the equipments 14-Bass traps 15-Heavy speaker stands The list continues like that Good luck.. oatalay@hotmail.com
Get ASC traps, even the "nearfield" in a room that small will have reflections that are just too loud in level, and too early in time. They smooth out and extend the bass very well also. If I'm wrong, why do most hi-fi show exhibits use them? If you heard my system in either my smaller or larger rooms, you'd understand IMO.
And yes, in my little 12 x 14 x 7.5ft room, I get "lots of depth"...like about 200 virtual feet behind the little Maggies, with the Apogee mastered "Offenbach, Gaite Parisienne" gold CD (vinyl would be more like 300 "virtual feet"). Talk about the wall behind them disappearing! That wall, and the sidewalls, are treated with ASC and Ecobusters, also one package of Profoam cut to different sizes. You need very dynamic cables, and especially interconnects, to get good depth (dynamics and soundstage depth, and instrument imaging solidity/specificity, are all related directly to one another IMO...and can't occur with any accuracy in an untreated room IMO). Good luck...And Joe, if you're ever in my neck of the woods, come by. My system is a good'un, even though it didn't cost as much as the Porsche I want someday...
The best 3D image I have heard came from the little Zen SET that I played around with a few weeks ago. I have been reading about SET's in general and this seems to be their general style. It far surpassed any push pull tube amps that I have used in the past. I listened to it in a small 12' x 14' room that seemed to be crammed with musicians. Sorry that this doesn't help your situation, but maybe you are hoping for something that will not happen to the extent that you wish it to.
Thanks guys, I'll take all that into consideration.
Hi G13; Lots of good info. above to consider. One thing I can add about equipment is that all the McCormack DNA amps project a "laid back" image, ie they image (and soundstage) a couple of feet behind the speakers. I've used the DNA-1DX, .5, and 2DX and they all do it. However it's an effect I happen to like. In your room if the image is 2 feet behind the speakers, that only leaves room for a 2.5 foot deep soundstage. I have tried some equipment that is much more forward, ie ML 331 amp, SF Line 3 preamp, and these projected a huge forward and deep, but un-natural soundstage that was not to my liking. Good Luck. Craig.
Everything contributes to the depth of the soundstage, cables, equipment, treatment, etc. MIT shotguns are imaging animals, both laterally and front to back. When I switched pc's from a Synergistic master coupler to the BMI EEL reference on my Classe amp the soundstage got much deeper. It was more significant than any change I have made.