What are the blue things on top of the transformers in your amp?
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Good question! Dive weights. I’m a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver.
Discovered years ago mass not only dampens vibration it also improves dynamics and slam and bass extension. Not to mention some stuff like the Oppo is so darn light and power cords so stiff it helps things stay put.
There’s lead on top of the Herron and the Verus motor controller too. Look back at the old photo’s, those dive weights were on the Aronov integrated amp transformers, now they are on the Oppo.
There’s a synergy to the way the system is laid out that people should know. Its not apparent from the photo’s but the stepdown transformer is on the other side of the floor directly beneath the amps. Power comes up and out through the hardwood cover in the wall and is hardwired directly into the Medusa. Projector power then goes right back and up through the wall, across the ceiling in the attic to the projector. This eliminates hum by having everything on one circuit. This also keeps the 110v wire down to a very short 5 feet.
Now here’s where things get really interesting. Perfect Path Solutions Omega E-Mats and E-cards have an effective range of a few feet. There’s one Omega Mat on top of the stepdown transformer, and another one behind the Medusa. There’s one E-card inside the stepdown transformer. (As pictured its outside but its actually slid in between the windings and the iron plates!) There’s another 4 E-cards on the Medusa, between the Dayton sub amps, behind the power transformer on the Melody amp (look real close, the one on the amp is new and has a black label), and on the Synergistic Research Atmosphere interconnect.
These transformers and PPS are all within a few feet of each other. Its like a perfect storm of Perfect Path Solutions and electromagnetic fields.
Perfect Path Solutions Omega E-Mats and E-cards have an effective range of a few feet. These transformers and PPS are all within a few feet of each other. Its like a perfect storm of Perfect Path Solutions and electromagnetic fields.
>>>>The E-Cards and E-Mats have an effective range of a few feet? Interesting, must be that action-at-a-distance thing going on. Are they firing off photons? Are they absorbing photons or electrons, maybe neutrons? Which electromagnetic fields are we talking about here? Did you mean electromagnetic waves? Maybe magnetic fields, or electric fields?
The Teres platter is visually stunning!. I’ve experimented lots with lead shot throughout the years in contiplating my tt project. What I found is one needs to be very judicious in it’s use. It’s very easy to overdamp.
In my prototype motor enclosure, I used lead shot, but I mixed it with an epoxy to ensure no movement.(micro-rattling)
I wonder if Teres did testing with different lead shot sizes? A smaller size would give a tighter fill.
slaw,Yeah with vibration control its a combination of mass, stiffness and damping. Mass alone improves the low bass foundation but it will be a bit bloated and not tight the way you want. Lead shot in a bag is like this. Stiffness alone is great for transients and leading edge detail but will also be out of balance if its too light. Light species woods, pointy aluminum cones. Damping lowers the noise floor but without enough stiffness it sucks the dynamics and life out of the music. Sorbothane.
None of these is perfect but each has its uses. Its like Synergistic Research Element Copper Tungsten Silver cables. Copper is great for bass but silver has better treble and tungsten has magical midrange. Any one alone can be good but all three together are amazing.
Chris Brady (Teres) also made resin stabilized and lead shot weighted platters out of various hardwoods like Cocobolo. Not only beautiful they sounded great too but were costly to make and in spite of everything they did to stabilize its still wood. Chris also made a black platter out of some composite material.
A useful feature of the Teres modular design, the platter lifts straight off making comparisons a breeze. Chris did a demo one time and the differences between the platters was clear and easy to hear. The black one was the best sounding but the worst looking. The platter is one of those rare things in my system where I chose looks over sound. Every time someone sees it I know I made the right choice.
You're right, I'm aware, and had plenty of time to think it over. Decided long ago if I do anything with the platter it will be to build a new one from some of the BDR Shelfs I have just sitting around. I built several plinths out of other materials, the BDR Shelf cannot be beat. Nothing else even comes close. A BDR platter will raise the Miller Carbon to, well nobody ever compares turntables so let's just say it will be a lot better. But it will also require precision machining, and $$. But then it will also require I know not what to make it look as good as that shiny lead shot in acrylic.
Mass per sec is not the right answer. It’s mass-on-spring, that’s the right answer. And UN-stiffness. The less stiff the better the isolation. The best isolation and best sound occurs when the component can move most easily - I.e., UNSTIFF. Stiffness is good for the top plate, though, for isolating against bending forces. People out there, stove piping their systems and reaching conclusions about reality that are troubling, to say the least. Am I being pedantic enough?
Wow, nice system & room! I like the careful routeing of cables. Have you thought about upgrading the power cord of the lava lamp? ;-)
The lava lamp power cord isn't detachable. No IEC. See? And you don't mess with vintage gear like that. Kills resale. Rookie. ;-)
Besides, it is sitting on a BDR Shelf. How many lava lamps you seen on a $350 BDR Shelf??? Lol!
Seriously though, its a crowd-pleaser. The pics aren't close-up enough to tell but the LEDs are all dimmed with tiny little blobs of Blue-Tack. When the music goes on and the lights go out they glow softly which combined with the tubes and the lava lamp is downright dreamy.
We are similar thinkers, brother.
Yes and you have a lot of BDR too, right? So you can imagine better than most with every single thing on BDR just how deep into the recording my system goes.
There's actually at least three levels of tweaks operating at once in my system. Vibration control, to a certain extent with my own concrete and sand and lead, but primarily with BDR. Acoustic control, to a certain extent with my acoustic panels but much more with Synergistic HFT. And control of electric currents and fields with PPS Total Contact, E-cards and Omega E-Mats. There's also Synergistic ECT, which are called Electronic Circuit Transducers which are probably vibration control but look just like HFT so could be sonic I just don't know. Anyway that's three clear areas of tweakery.
Any one of these alone, well you can read the comments its pretty clear. Even back when BDR was the only thing in my system it was clear to one and all it was something special. Take all the BDR out and it was just another stereo. A good one, to be sure, but hardly special. BDR elevated it to a higher level.
Synergistic HFT, ECT and PHT were the same. Different approach, same result.
Finally (for now) Perfect Path Solutions has raised performance yet again. This time maybe even in a more across the board manner than any that came before.
You know BDR. So you know better than most just how high a compliment that is.
I wish someone would come over and demo all these Synergistic transducer thingys. I attended a number of Peter Belt demos in the 80s with foil triangles and, while skeptical, did hear changes. My hypothesis is that playing the same tune twice will always yield a positive outcome for the second play as the brain has already laid down the initial pattern. Reading a page twice in a book is much the same.
My hypothesis is that playing the same tune twice will always yield a positive outcome for the second play as the brain has already laid down the initial pattern.Playing the same thing twice (or more!) is one of those things a lot of guys do, and I used to as well, but haven't done in many years. Michael Fremer doesn't either.
The second play advantage, could actually just as well go the other way. Had some friends over one time, asked the woman if there was one song she wouldn't mind me playing twice. In between I went out and flipped breakers off. She was excited how much better it sounded. But it left me with the idea, unless you really love the music you're just not gonna want to hear it over and over again.
Not long after that we had some people over and Caelin brought some power cords and not wanting to bore the non-audiophiles I would play a whole song and swap power cords and play a different song. Sometimes even a different album. This was before being triggered became a thing but let me tell you all the audiophiles in the room were triggered. Bigly.
Everyone else though was just amazed that a power cord could make that much difference. Plus there's things like VTA. What's the point of VTA on the fly if you have to lift the arm and move it back? Change the flippin VTA and sit back down. Learn to listen. Which is yet another problem with repeating, its a crutch, you learn to listen for little snippets instead of the whole organic presentation.
I could go on and on just on this one thing. It didn't help at all when I was starting out. It doesn't help at all now.
With HFT specifically, if you even need to play another track I will be surprised. Just one is noticeable. If you put a whole set up in one fell swoop you will not be needing to A/B to be sure. You will not want to take them down. Ever. You might tweak where each one goes. That is fun. You might take one down just for a minute. But if you are like me and really enjoy every little improvement you will never ever want to be without them again.
Really? What site?
Transformers. Okay so this was all done more than 15 years ago. I no longer recall all the details. But it went something like this-
The room was originally wired normal code, 110V, outlet to outlet. Didn't know enough then to argue it very well. That was quickly changed to 110V direct. That was better. Then somehow I'm talking to a guy about wire and mods and he upgraded and has this Audio Consulting step down transformer for sale. The reasoning is high voltage transmission is more efficient. Which clearly it is when we're talking kv. From 110 to 220? Not sure how significant that is but its got to be something, I bought it, and sure enough it was another improvement. But at the same time replaced the 12 ga with 4 ga, so will never know what did what.
Anyway that transformer is all about voltage. The next one in the Medusa is more about isolation.
Here we have to get a bit technical, at least enough to understand what a transformer does and how it works. First off they only work at all with AC. The current must be alternating. Every wire carrying current produces a magnetic field proportional to the voltage. At the same time, when a wire crosses a magnetic field, or a field crosses a wire, either way it induces a current and voltage in that wire. In a cartridge the magnet (or coil) moves back and forth. Motors and generators are just the flip sides of each other.
Well if the current is alternating then the fields are rising and falling and so they will generate or induce a signal in an adjacent wire. That's all a transformer is. A lot of wires wrapped around and around. Power goes in one that creates the fields, which cause current to be inducted into and come out the other side. The ratio of windings on each side determines whether the incoming voltage is the same, or goes up or down.
Now here it gets a little tricky, I don't know the math and nobody wants to see that anyway, but this doesn't just work all the same for all frequencies. If the frequency is very low it won't generate much if any current. Nor if the frequency is very high. When you hear people talk about the importance of transformers in tube amps, how much affect they have on the sound, this is the reason. If the transformer isn't wound in the right pattern it will still transform voltage and current, but not in the kind of nice flat way we want.
So that's the idea behind isolation transformers. They transmit the 60 Hz AC current just fine. They do not transmit the much higher radio frequency noise riding on the line. That long winded explanation is how they do this.
There's an additional smaller isolation transformer in the Medusa. That one is good only for about 35 watts and powers only the 2 Tesla MPCs on the CTS speaker cable. Makes a nice big difference too.
As for ratings, mine is 500VA, aka 500 watts. I would think that would be enough for just about anyone. It might not seem like it, if what you do is add up all the peak watts of all the amps and everything. But peak isn't from music. Peak is filling power supply caps at turn-on. No music will ever draw that much power. It can't. So I would say 500 is plenty, would maybe go 1kVA if a big HT with mega amps and high wattage projector. Anything north of that is serious overkill.
As for how much difference this makes, I ran (by accident and without knowing) BOTH of my TWO Dayton Subwoofer amps off the one tiny little 35 watt transformer. Well I forgot which outlet it was wired into. When I opened the Medusa and saw what I'd done I was staggered the amps worked at all. Also all that power was going through one thin little wire. Well it was SUPPOSED to be just for the Oppo CD player! Anyway, the amps did run, I did get very good bass, only it would clip at really high output. Now with bigger wire and no transformer the bass is better, but nowhere near as much as you'd think. If 2 big sub amps can run off on 35VA transformer then I would think 500VA will be plenty for just about anyone.
That must have been a prodigious amount of work! The turntable materials you've machined are really nicely done.
The bearing, platter, and motor are a collaborative effort of advanced audiophiles led by Chris Brady who started Teres Audio to sell the parts and whole turntables they developed. The bearing and platter were machined by Chris's brother Bryce. You could buy the bearing, platter, motor, or whole complete turntable.
I started with the motor, which at that time was belt or string drive, by using it on my Basis 2005 table. This was my "proof of concept" and when it proved to be a lot better than the Basis gave me confidence to build the table.
I was at first going to upgrade the Basis with a BDR Source Shelf. But the Basis is a suspended table. The BDR plinth would weigh a lot more. And besides what is the market value of a piece of black acrylic? Because that's all it is. (VPI owners, are you getting this?) The Basis sold for $2500, almost exactly what I paid for it new nearly 10 years prior. (CDP owners, are you getting this?) This offset a lot of the cost of the Miller Carbon.
I worry that people see the pictures, imagine the prices, and miss out on what an extreme high value system this is.
Anyway, I did design the table myself. Cut the BDR Source Shelf on a band saw. Machined and cut the threads in the BDR "nut" that holds the bearing. Sanded and polished the finish. Modified the bearing and motor. Practically every step involved a trip to one or more machinists and/or composites professionals to pick brains and evaluate options.
So I didn't do it all but still, yeah, it was a fair amount of work. Thanks for the reminder. After 16 years I almost forgot.
@millercarbon Good info on the transformer. I may try one someday. Have you tried it since without it?
Well that's the thing. Its one thing to say you used 4 ga wire. Its quite another to convey to people just what that means. A 4 ga wire is about as thick as a pencil. Even that doesn't get across how inflexible and unwieldy it is. Not to mention nothing is made to accept that wire. Its too thick to fit into practically any circuit breaker, to say nothing of a normal outlet box. Also its a 220V circuit.
So what you're asking then is after going to all this trouble did I disconnect and bypass the transformer, and wrestle the wires around inside my panel to change it to 110V, all to, what? Double-check what I already know I heard?
Please see my comment above. I don't play the same track twice. Work like that, I need a whole lot better reason. That transformer stayed put more than 16 years and would have forever except Tim and Krissy and Total Contact came along and gave me a good enough reason.
@millercarbon Would you please talk about the acoustic treatments in the room, particularly the wainscoting that appears to be soft fabric.
Room acoustics. Well first of all the room is 5/8" sheetrock over 1/2" sound board. Its a remodel so the back wall also has at least another 1/2" of siding under the sound board.
Learning is a process and what you see was mostly done 30 years ago. Yes the wainscoting is fabric, over a very thin polyester for appearance. Wouldn’t do it that way today but over the years I have learned there’s a lot more to acoustics than treatments. Everything you put in a room including yourself affects the acoustics to some extent. You can for example make a very lively room sound dead with enough furnishings. You can also diffuse sound as I have done with component placement. But yes I do have a diffusor or two in mind. To break up flutter echo between the front side walls.
But this is all just primitive old school acoustics. The REAL acoustic treatments are the tiny little Synergistic Research HFT things you see stuck on the speakers and walls. Forced to choose between full on professional cost no object GIK Acoustics remodel and full complement of HFT I will take the HFT in a heartbeat. My DIY acoustics is a lot better than nothing. But nothing is better than HFT. Read my review. Read David Pilchers comments.
Millercarbon, I find any lights near or around my screen very annoying but they do not seem to bother you. Did you have something done to your eyes?
Yeah in the rush to post I neglected to shoot some pics of a movie. Will be doing that this weekend. Hard enough getting the tube glow to show. But I have some ideas. The lights of course are off for movies.
Right. Almost pure nostalgia- all working order but none connected.
That's a Pioneer TX-9100 tuner, bought new by me in about 1974. The Kenwood integrated has gone away but that tuner, between the looks and the memories its just too sweet to part with.The Technics SL-1700 is the reason I have the Miller Carbon. It sat in storage all through the 80's while I moved around after college. Then after building a really good CD based system Robert Harley said try records. So I pulled the Technics out of the box. Discovered the cantilever got bent. Straightened it out. And sure enough, it killed CD. When a busted table beats your CD you know your CD is beat.Should probably sell both. They're worth more now than when new! But for now at least I will put up with the clutter... for the sake of the memories.
I sort of did mc. Your amp is right under your screen. Hard to hide when a movie is on. I don't even want a dim pilot light near the screen as any extraneous light affects the picture. Of course my old JVC DLP projector only throws 1000 lumens. I might not be as sensitive with one of the new laser projectors (3000 lumens) But still I would not put any equipment other than speakers near the screen. A lot of equipment now has a "lights off" feature. A bit hard to do with tubes.
I suppose I am lucky having had a chance to build my own house. I only use balanced amps now and they are on a shelf up against the ceiling in the work shop right under the speakers and subs. There is conduit running from the equipment rack which is to the left of the listening sofa down to the amps. The amps are class A so I constructed a cooling system (fans) that blows over the tops of the amps. The common 12 volt power supply also triggers the amps. It is operated by a switch next to the equipment cabinet. Initially I could hear the fans (no good) so I put a potentiometer on each fan to slow them down which worked. I did make one mistake. There are two Lenox heat pumps just outside that wall. They are pretty quiet but you can still hear them on quiet passages. Every once in a while I'll get annoyed and turn them off for a spell.
Anyway if you have a basement you could do the same thing but then none of your stuff would be on display.
I don't even want a dim pilot light near the screen as any extraneous light affects the picture.
Yeah that's covered in my System description. When watching a movie the vast majority of the light in the room is coming from the screen itself. The movie lights up the whole room. I have never in a dozen years been aware of any light other than the movie itself. Of course if you stare right at it you will see it!
This light scatter problem is one reason I chose the Stewart Grayhawk screen. I found an installer who let me do a beautiful side by side comparison. We hung different screen materials so we could see the same video on the different screens literally side by side. A white screen is only a teeny tiny bit brighter. Barely noticeable. Whites are a shade whiter, but you would never notice any other way than side by side. Contrast however is a LOT better with the Grayhawk. Light control with a white screen is paramount, as any stray light- any at all- washes out the image.
The walls are painted a neutral gray. Deliberately, because yes background colors around the screen affect your perception of colors on the screen. I did my research. Distance, geometry, the works. Its a first-class professional level installation in every respect- including lighting.
What you can't tell from the pictures, and this is almost impossible to photograph, is the one time light can be a problem is watching when its really sunny outside. The shutters aren't air or light tight, and even stray sunlight coming in is distracting. But this almost never happens, as its just not used much when its sunny outside.
Home Theater done right means that your serious music listening system is in another room.
So then I would have two rooms, each one exactly like the same, with the stereo exactly the same, only one would not have the screen on the wall.
Brilliant. Its this kind of thinking that has kept people from discovering just how awesome music AND movies can be.
Well there's this.
Let's not even consider the electronics, which is also a factor.
But if you position your speakers so that they are optimized for two channel listening, they will NOT be optimized for HT. Now as long as you know that one or the other will suffer to some degree, you can combine the two.
Okay. Good one. Or if not good, then at least valid.
So, speakers optimized for two channel listening. What does that mean? Well for one it means awesome rock solid imaging in a 3D wide and immersive sound field. Which is what I have. Check.
So now help me out here- how is that any different with a picture?
HT experts will tell you that you need to have the left/right speakers set up so that the image is continuous when panned across the stage - to the center speaker - and to the other speaker. Which means they will be flanking the screen somewhat tighter than is optimum for good two channel stereo imaging.
Spread the speakers farther apart and guess what, music sounds better. Video soundstage suffers. It's all a trade off.
I prefer to have a big screen, soundbar and sub in the living room and NO video crap in the listening room. Car crashes and dinosaur stomps need not have the highest in fidelity for me.
HT experts will tell you that you need to have the left/right speakers set up so that the image is continuous when panned across the stage - to the center speaker - and to the other speaker.
Right. Experts will tell you. That's the difference. Experts will tell you to do something, you will just go and do it. Me, I will see. What if the experts are wrong? Which they are. You should come and see and hear. Sounds pan and move across the sound stage beautifully.
Anyway, look at what you just wrote:
to the center speaker - and to the other speaker.Is that what you want? The sound to come from the speaker? Really? Isn't it better if it sounds as if there are no speakers at all? As if the sound is part and parcel of the video? It seems to me that is a whole lot better. Everyone who hears it thinks so too.
Spread the speakers farther apart and guess what, music sounds better. Video soundstage suffers. It's all a trade off.Tell you what. You come and hear my system, and THEN tell me the sound stage suffers. Steve Clarke, the guy who first photographed my system 16 years ago, when contacted recently and asked if he remembered my system the first word that came to mind was "holographic". That was with these same Talon speakers in the exact same place as today. Only now with all the other improvements it is vastly, unbelievably more holographic. Vastly. Unbelievably.
I really wish you could come and hear it. If you really believe what you're saying, boy would I love to see the shock on your face when you experience just how far off what the experts have told you is from reality.
I prefer to have a big screen, soundbar and sub in the living room and NO video crap in the listening room. Car crashes and dinosaur stomps need not have the highest in fidelity for me.Okay, so now at last we get down to it: you don't care about audio quality when watching movies. My standards are equally high for both. I simply am not willing to sacrifice quality in one for the other. You are. As are a lot of HT people. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify that.
Miller, you have much to say about many subjects. The way movie soundtracks are produced, you would need a minimum of 5 discreet channels, not including the subs. You do not have a decoder, a center channel, nor rear channels. You have an elaborate 2 channel system, that YOU seem to be happy with, reproducing home theater soundtracks. The best 2 channel systems, ARE, separate from home theater systems. Just admit it. But, you won't. Because......well....we know.....And, I do not need to hear your system to know the difference between good 2 channel and true, multi channel systems. I am done with this thread.
This is HT done on a two channel HiFi platform, which does suffer some of the disadvantages of not being set up for a dedicated HT. That is not debatable.
What is debatable is whether Chuck should have spent prodigiously on Tweaks. The thread is dedicated, imo, to his assertion that the pursuit of heavy tweaks is what is "done right". I disagree, and assert that he would have been further ahead to go lighter on the tweaks and pursue more earnestly superior components, particularly the digital source and the amplification. I have found tweaks to be insipid in comparison to the gains from superior components, cables and speakers.
That is not to suggest it is not an extreme effort, or that it is not well-loved. :)