Awesome Mijo, I was under the impression you were an owner of Soundlab for years, in any case congrats and enjoy
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@jperry , I had a room size problem also. 545s are only 24" wide and Sound Labs will make them any height for you. I highly recommend going for 8 footers. You would have a speaker 4" wider than my old Acoustat
2+2's. The interface and imaging would be exactly the same as what I have. The speaker would roll off the bass a little earlier and that is about it.
luisma31, I've been talking about getting them for years. I finally got that window in my financing to do it.
I should also add that Lewm was very helpful during the darkest days. There was a period I was thinking that maybe I should not have sold the Acoustats. Then again I have never been satisfied with any speaker right out of the box. There is always a period of adjustment when you are working to get the speakers as close to your ideal as you can. When you are using room control and have 1/2 octave EQ capability it takes even longer. One of the reasons these speakers are imaging at their best is I spent hours matching the response from 100 Hz to 10 kHz to within 1 dB of each other. This requires a calibrated mic and individual EQ for each channel. The short sine wave signal is still rattling around in my head.
The frequency response of the best speakers (tight tolerances) can match perfectly in an anechoic chamber but, put them in a real room and all bets are off. Their response can vary as much as 10 dB at various frequencies, maybe even more under some circumstances. Since location is highly volume dependent what you get is a vague image like a blurred picture. Small details are lost in the haze. I did not understand how significant this problem was until I started messing around with microphones and digital signal processing. Having only worked with ESLs this way I suspect dynamic speakers are capable of much better imaging given the same treatment. I have never heard a dynamic speaker so treated. I know the image will be smaller but that does not mean it can not be just as accurate, you will be sitting further back in the venue. I would love to be able to treat gammaman's Magico S7's this way but his Mac theater possessor which has Lyngdorf's Room Perfect only has a treble and bass control, no equalizer programming. Maybe after hearing the Sound Labs I can get him to go for a Trinnov. I can also show him the variance between his speakers when I get over with the microphone.
Thank you all for the Kudos. They should really go to Roger West and Sound Labs.
Thanks for sharing Mijo. I have been interested in Sound Labs for years but never had a listening room that could accommodate—I do now and am considering a second system that goes in a whole different direction. Would love to audition a pair if someone is willing—I’m in NW NJ and have had both shots! Also, curious about what amplification really makes these sing. Currently loving my high sensitivity dynamic speakers with low power tubes but will want something very different for an ESL-based setup.
I should also add that Lewm was very helpful during the darkest days
Lewm he is a great resource, IIRC he has 645's I think, he is always willing to help providing (neutral non colored) advice.
Their response can vary as much as 10 dB at various frequenciesI wasn't aware they were so much room dependent and hard to integrate. The Trinnov it is supposed to be good, I looked into it as well the others DEQX, miniDSP and the such, don't want to derail your SL thread, I settled for digital and looking into a multichannel DAC capable of DSD512 / PCM1024 minimum and there is none currently, the OktoDAC looked promising. The thing is most of this digital chain if you can you should keep it simple and using good digital tools, others disagree of course but I love HQPlayer, I can do EQ with parametric EQ any way I want, I can do convolution room correction with room response filters (which I can also apply to the EQ) and I can keep everything within good digital parameters (digital filter reconstruction and good SINAD), so at this point I just decided not to look into the Trinnov and keep using my HQPlayer and look for a multichannel DAC to separate subs and mains and eventually down the road do active crossover.All this is great but what you do with analog (vinyl of course)? certainly you can put analog into the digital domain and then do corrections there (the heresy, get your pitchfork and put my head on a spike) this is where there is a compromise I think. Maybe if you want and have the time go with your RoomEQ project (including current implementation) on separate thread?Very interesting what you are doing.
The amount of current at +12 dB 20 kHz was ridiculous and I fried the brilliance controlI'm sorry I forgot to comment about it, thank you for posting this, it is one of the things we forget about your systems, at the end everything is electrical and we (I) forget about how critical these parameters can be. Very instructive.
I have been interested in Sound Labs for years but never had a listening room that could accommodate
@dodgealum people I respect they all praise Soundlab, I would personally love to audition these on a proper setup as well. My speakers (not Soundlab) were designed by Duke LeJeune (audiokinesis) he is a very very clever fellow, and I immensely respect him as a person and as an engineer. He was/is also a Soundlab dealer and always mentioned how great these are.Mijostyn posted how critical the room could be though so yes proper auditioning would be required.
Good work! IMO the Sound Lab is one of the top five speakers made anywhere and certainly is state of the art for ESLs. Its wide bandwidth, extremely transparent, and obviously very fast. The impedance curve, particularly in the bass, can be challenging to solid state amps because the latter cannot make power into higher impedances.
It was my room control unit. It had inadvertently boosted 20 kHz 12 dB which the JC 1's handily plastered the Sound Labs with.@mijostyn I am curious why your room correction was doing this. Did it have troubles detecting the high frequency output of the speakers?
@atmasphere , The SoundLabs have a peak at about 13 kHz the level of which depends on the setting of the brilliance control. Above 13 kHz they start to roll off. Where I liked the brilliance brilliance control set 20 kHz was down 9dB. Room control corrected that to 3 dB down but, it corrects each channel individually then it adjusts the gain of each channel to match. In order to maintain the best definition the system was designed to push everything up as close to 0dB as possible or you start losing bits.
The right channel corrected to a lower gain so the unit pushed it up towards 0 dB increasing the correction another six dB. Then you have a hammer head like me playing Smashing Pumpkins at 100 dB with a 400 Watt amplifier the end result being a fried brilliance control. Manually correcting the filter fixed that problem. TacT had the very first room correction system. It did not place any limits on the amount of boost that could be applied. Modern systems like DEQX and Trinnov won't allow this to happen. \
Luisma, I do not think the Sound Labs are any harder to integrate into a room than any other speaker except maybe for their size. If anything they are less sensitive to rooms because they are dipole line sources. They only send sound front and back. Not to the sides, up or down. The only room treatment I use is two rows of acoustic tile directly behind the speakers. The phone stage is attached to a Benchmark ADC 1 which digitizes it in 24/192 and sends it to the TacT where it is processed just like everything else.
@dodgealum , I live in Southern New Hampshire. If you are every up here you are more than welcome to stop by! Although I think you could do just fine with a 100 watt class A amplifier these speakers are known to sing with Atma-Sphere's MA 2 and the Parasound JC 1+. So, you might as well go the full Monty!
@atmasphere , I don't recall that unit but you are right. There are room issues that digital EQ can not do much about without wasting a lot of power. Smart acoustic management remains crucial for the best performance. Because of my room design I have very minor nodes so there is nothing major that has to be done in the bass. It was entertaining that my problem occurred at the highest frequencies. But room control which is really speaker control serves to flatten the frequency response of the speaker in the room and more importantly allows you to match the frequency response between the speakers and give the speakers the sound you like. After years of this I have learned exactly what to do with certain problem and I know exactly the frequency response curve I like to hear. But the physical characteristics of the speaker also remain very important. Some speakers you are never going to get a good image out of even with careful matching.
Congrats! In my biased opinion as a Soundlab owner, you've made a great choice ;-)
I've had my A3s for about 5 years and consider myself lucky to have them every time I listen. Having heard many systems at luxury price points, very few bring me as close to the music as mine and those of others using Soundlabs. Regardless of musical genre, loud or quiet, they pull in you in ways that most speakers don't.
FWIW, I have learned that the live end / dead end room treatment theory explained by Dr. West on soundlab.com is an important consideration. The widely quoted recommendations on room treatment are based on probably 95% of users working with dynamic cone drivers. You're off to a great start treating the wall behind the speakers first. This is by far the most critical, with some diffusion behind the seating being #2. I would suggest playing around with additional absorption and some diffusion behind the speakers if you get the chance to squeeze out that "last 1%". I found a nice enhancement with some DIY wood Skyline-style diffusors that were a fun and easy project that gets me many compliments from non-audio geeks, as "nice modern art', lol.
FWIW, I agree that Soundlabs are not harder to work into a room if you've got a decent sized space. Side wall, ceiling and floor interactions are less than you'll find with most speakers. You will definitely get benefit from pulling them off the back wall like most speakers, but I find this to be true with most dynamic speakers too. Cheers,
@sbank , I think you are right. If you just use carpeting and absorption behind the speakers (Dr West' Recommenation) You are 100% of the way there with the Sound Labs but, the subwoofers are another matter. Having designed my house I made the media room wit no back wall. It is open to the kitchen which is open to the dinning room. The first full wall is some 75 feet away. My subwoofers also like the Sound Labs, form a line source and are right up against the front wall which like the Sound Labs limit room interaction. There is some comb filtering but walking around the room you can not hear it.
I can't use diffusers because there is a theater screen between the speakers.
The position of the speaker away from the front wall produces a comb filtering effect in the bass. Moving the speaker just changes the position of the nodes. You can easily see them if you measure the speaker in the room. These bumps and valleys stay the same regardless of where you are in the room. Bass bounces of the front wall and joins the main signal 6 feet (my speakers are three feet from the wall) or 0.6 ms later at various phase angles depending on the frequency. The bass is either boosted or cut. So, between 100 and 300 hz looks like a roller coaster +- up to 5 dB. I have the ability to EQ the bumps out. I also cross to subs at 110 Hz which eliminates the problem at the lowest frequencies. Where you think your speakers sound best is an individual thing. You also have the bass control on the back of the speakers.
sbank, I just finished listening to the deluxe version of The Who's Live at Leeds. They were something else. Gammaman was over for the weekend and I think he was pretty impressed. He just got a pair of Magico S7's and is debating switching from McIntosh gear to Parasound JC 1+ and perhaps the Trinnov Amethyst. That would be amazing.
Back to the Sound Labs. They are the apex of the design I have been fond of for over 40 years so, I am obviously biased. They throw a big beautifully focused 3D image. Voices and instruments hang in space. They are very detailed without anything being emphasized. Dispersion is even over 45 degrees which is plenty to cover a 16 foot wide room. Although like any good system the image is most focused dead center you never lose the opposite loudspeaker and there is always center fill while moving about the room. At the listening position close your eyes and the speakers disappear. You are not listening to a HiFi any more, just the music. John Lee Hooker is on now "Your doctor put you on milk, cream and alcohol." John Lee is in the room. I can honestly say I have never heard a system sound better. I only took me 54 years to get here.
One other interesting issue is that in spite of their size they disappear. They become part of the room.
So, what is next? My new table, a Sota Cosmos Vacuum is supposed to enter production in a few weeks. When it gets here I have to mount the arm and cartridge a Schroder CB and a Soundsmith Voice. Then I hope to have my new subwoofers completed by the end of the Summer.
Assuming they perform as expected that will be it for me. Maybe a new cartridge once in a while. My Oppo is getting old so I might go for a McIntosh MVP 901. But, that is about it.
Very cool! That will be a fantastic table. I'm very happy with my Sota Nova. Frank Schroeder is quite the artisan, I had the pleasure of spending some time with him a number of years ago at CES. If funds were no object, I'd be lining up right behind you for one of his tonearms.
You've got to post some system pics after you get it all running. Cheers,
I have never owned electrostats. I first heard Sound Labs in 1986. They were playing in the back room of a stereo store and I thought there was a live jazz combo back there. I walked in to find the Sound Labs playing. I still remember it vividly. Albert Porter calls it "the bathroom effect" as guests visiting the bathroom hear the stereo a few rooms away and think it's live music.
I ordered a pair of AtmaSphere MA-1s to drive the SLs. Part of me would like the bigger MA-2s, but I don't have the power, room, or want to deal with the heat, so I'm determined to make the MA-1s work or move to Pass Labs 600.8. I'm running 2 12" subs and a dual 10" sub in a Swarm configuration, so that will help fill out the bottom octave.