Talk but not walk?


Hi Guys

This isn't meant to start a fight, but it is important to on lookers. As a qualifier, I have my own audio forum where we report on audio issues as we empirically test them. It helps us short cut on theories and developing methods of listening. We have a wide range of systems and they are all over the world adding their experiences to the mix. Some are engineers, some are artist and others are audiophiles both new and old. One question I am almost always asked while I am visiting other forums, from some of my members and also members of the forum I am visiting is, why do so many HEA hobbyist talk theory without any, or very limited, empirical testing or experience?

I have been around empirical testing labs since I was a kid, and one thing that is certain is, you can always tell if someone is talking without walking. Right now on this forum there are easily 20 threads going on where folks are talking theory and there is absolutely no doubt to any of us who have actually done the testing needed, that the guy talking has never done the actual empirical testing themselves. I've seen this happen with HEA reviewers and designers and a ton of hobbyist. My question is this, why?

You would think that this hobby would be about listening and experience, so why are there so many myths created and why, in this hobby in particular, do people claim they know something without ever experimenting or being part of a team of empirical science folks. It's not that hard to setup a real empirical testing ground, so why don't we see this happen?

I'm not asking for peoples credentials, and I'm not asking to be trolled, I'm simply asking why talk and not walk? In many ways HEA is on pause while the rest of audio innovation is moving forward. I'm also not asking you guys to defend HEA, we've all heard it been there done it. What I'm asking is a very simple question in a hobby that is suppose to be based on "doing", why fake it?

thanks, be polite

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net


128x128michaelgreenaudio

One thing I can contribute to this discussion happens to be where the subjects of planar loudspeakers and technical facts (at least those posited above by kosst) overlap. Though they are my over-all preferred design, there are very valid objections to be made against planars (as kosst has done), and reasons to not like them. That’s fine.

But there were some statements made about planars that are simply not true:

1- ESL’s and magnetic-planars should not be grouped together in terms of the load they present to the power amp. ESL’s have an impedance profile that varies wildly as a function of frequency (fancy term ;-), magnetic-planars (Magneplanars, Eminent Technology LFT’s) do not. ESL’s are an extremely capacitive load, magnetic-planars an almost purely resistive one. Consequently, ESL’s and magnetic-planars present very different challenges to power amps. That’s why Roger Sanders makes two versions of his Magtech amp---one for ESL’s, one for magnetic-planars.

2- Planars interact with the room in very different ways than do non-planars (or, more accurately, non-dipoles), but some of those ways are actually advantageous. For instance, as a result of their line source behavior, dipoles interact less with the room in terms of ceiling and floor reflections, a potentially good thing. Additionally, because of the cancellation to either side of a dipole (where the front and rear wave meet out-of-phase), planars create less side wall reflections, and the eigenmodes created by the room width dimension are less excited by a planar than by a non-planar, both again a potentially good thing.

However, the rear wave of planars presents a number of challenges to users. To prevent comb-filtering (too complicated to go into in depth here), planars need to be well away from the wall behind them. Three feet has long been considered the minimum, but that has been found to be insufficient, five feet being much better. Five feet creates a 10 millisecond delay between the front and rear wave (sound travels at roughly 1’/ms)---5’ from the rear of the speaker to the wall, 5’ from the wall back to the planar. 10ms is considered the minimum time required between two acoustic events for them to be perceived as separate events, rather than a smeared single one. The rear wave reflection itself can be dealt with either by absorption or diffusion, or a combination of both. A "too lively" room may benefit from absorption, a "too dead" one from diffusion.

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Rather than just guessing, I don’t know why people don’t adopt a sure thing. The out of phase track on Test CDs like the XLO Test CD is just the ticket for finding the absolute best locations for any speaker in any room. And with any level of room treatment, from zero to $20,000. As you improve room acoustics over time the track will allow you keep track and find the best locations as you progress. It’s fool proof. Hel-loo! Trying to calculate or guesstimate or move a little/ listen a little will not work. They will provide only local maximums. You need a guaranteed method. Trial and error methods are like trying to solve x simultaneous equations in x + n unknowns.

Don’t be a cube, rube. Go ape! 🦍
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The best sound and best stereo imaging will occur for the case when the most diffuse sound is obtained using the out of phase track. Assuming your system is in Correct Polarity to begin with. See last sentence. You should hear the sound coming from all around you, from no particular direction. When you get as close as possible to that situation with the system out of phase, after carefully moving the speakers a little at a time from an initial position about 4 feet apart, that’s where the absolute best speaker locations will be. Of course the out of phase track will also highlight whether your system is in correct or reverse Polarity, also nice to know.

However, it might very well not be possible to obtain this magical case where the sound is coming at you equally from all directions, no matter where the speakers are. That’s because the room is not treated enough or not treated correctly. Fortunately, the out of phase track allows one to redo room treatments, as required, to have better success with the out of phase track.

My 5’/10ms figure was suggested as the minimum distance a planar should be expected to need for anyone contemplating such a speaker. Of course reflections are more than a single line from the back of the speaker to the wall behind the speaker, and then theoretically back to the speaker, and then theoretically to the listener. The fact remains, however, that if you position a planar closer than 5’ from the wall behind it, there will be the very real possibility of negative consequences. If you have ten feet to spare, all the better! If you have less than five feet, you have been warned. I have had Maggies and QUADs 3’ from the wall, and have found 5’ to provide a definite improvement. I have never had 10’, but would sure like to!

But remember, it is the 10ms delay between the front and rear waves that is important, not the 5’ distance. You can create that 10ms delay by any means you choose; if heavy tow-in causes the rear wave to reflect off more surfaces, thereby delaying its arrival at your ears to 10ms or more in relation to the front wave, great! By the way, that 5’/10ms figure was not pulled out of thin air, it is the inevitable consequence of the behavior of sound---physics, and the brains processing of sound arriving at the ears from the same direction but at different times. "Toeing-in" a planar speaker provides benefits in a couple of ways, one of which is to decrease the direct reflection off the wall coming straight back at the speaker; toe-in scatters the rear wave, but not as effectively and predictably as do properly designed and built true diffusers (RPG, ASC, GIK, DIY, etc.).

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Your almost there dbp24. 5 or 6 more years and you might be to the point of adding me to your list, lol. It’s tough isn’t it when you have this idea of someone in your head and your finding out they aren’t what you thought :) You’ll get there we all do.

I want to ask you guys something and I don’t want you to answer with audiophile-isms.

Instead of thinking about acoustics in such general terms why don’t you get more specific? The cool thing about acoustical, mechanical and electrical is how they are all part of each other. HEA has tried to make cookie cutters to make things easier to sell but in doing so they fail to cover the variables. Let me give you a few examples.

In 1989 when I designed and built my testing facility we did several different structures with the same measurements so we could study the surface effect among many other topics. The first rooms were built on the same slab inches apart from each other. Same construction materials and even the drywall screw patterns were the same, and using the same tension per screw. We measured the rooms to try to get them as close as possible from a starting point.

As a point of reference I used long time pals at Audio-Technica to do my anechoic measuring at their place in Akron Ohio in exchange for them visiting my tunes, plus 2 of them owned speakers I made for them. (nice to have friends) We tested many different variables in the audio chain and quickly came to the conclusion that at best testing is a snap shot approach to a continuum. This was nothing new as I came to the same conclusions in Atlanta in the early 80’s and further back in Miami and Europe in the 70’s. Audio is not a tape measurer and the more you experience audio the more you want to throw out the rule book and cut to the listening chase.

back to the 2 rooms

When we did surfaces testing in the two rooms we chose, there are a few things we did that might help you guys understand some variables.

1) when changing paint types the rooms performed differently

2) when changing temps and or humidity different sound

3) adding objects to the room, different again

4) different flooring, different sound

5) how long the signal played, different

6) changing the wall surface type (dry wall to wood to plaster) all different

7) diffusion, different

8) trapping, different

9) dampening, different

10) tuning, different

The list goes on, but lets get to speaker placement.

With any of the changes above (except for tuning) we found there was no two speaker locations that were the same. With any change, such as hard wood to carpet, the speakers’ locations changed. Even different brands of carpet and padding required speaker placement changes. We found that any and all speaker placement suggestions by the manufacturers to be completely off. We even went to the manufacturers facilities and found the recommended placements were not accurate.

In the case of panel speakers, the difference in setup in a plaster walled house and drywalled house are completely different. We also found there is no such thing as "first wall reflection", the way the audio folks describe it. Rooms are mostly made up of Pressure Zones not Reflecting Points. Reflecting points usually stay within a paralleled echo pattern. Remember when I introduced the clap test.

there’s more

mg


Here's a little bit of the more (you can do all these tests yourselves).

Do your echo tests.

Did you know that a first reflection test only works if you are outside in a flat open area with one single wall set up? The size of the wall and frequency played at the wall will show you which frequencies actual reflect and reflect intact. As soon as a second wall is put up (attached to the first wall) the reflection is altered. Add a third wall and you will have the development of pressure zones as opposed to reflections. By the time you have 6 walls the frequencies that will reflect in the room are. Mid to high frequencies in an echoslap and selective high frequencies in a wall reflection pattern.

Think about how far you can go, when you get out from underneath these audiophile prescribed myths. Keep in mind that the folks making these myths are folks who themselves are only theorizing. If they haven't gone and done they are doing the same thing that the "talkers" here are. I remember when Harry took his flashlight and came up with the first reflection thing. Cute, but it wasn't real. There's a big difference between drawing drawings and talking theory vs actually doing.

mg

MG, I (bdp24, not dbp24; bdp for black diamond pearl---my favorite vintage drum shell finish, and 24 for the diameter of my bass drums in inches) intentionally didn’t include your acoustical products, fine as they are (I have your Room Tunes, Corner Tunes, and Echo Tunes), in my list of those to use with planars because I was speaking specifically in terms of diffusion of their rear wave. You don’t offer QRD or Skyline type diffusers, do you?

Hi bdp24, sorry! You’ve probably noticed by my writing I have a mild form of dyslexia. I use to enjoy having a ghost writer, then when I started my own forum and he passed away I was like, sorry folks! My writing skills make me laugh when I read back through but it makes for good humor for my friends to have something to tease me about.

Also, I do enjoy reading your posts using your set as a reference point. Terrible player that I am I’ve had a few fairly nice setups and am like a kid being around drummers, their kits and talent.

Your also correct that I’m not so much into diffusers. I’m more of a direction and zoning guy. Even though some folks call my SoundShutters a diffusion type product, it’s more of a wall zoning device. The Areoplanes are another zoning tool that some put in the diffusion camp, but they’re really about organizing the zones and not diffusing them.

Have you ever seen one of my SS walls?

I do work a lot with back waves and even build special SAM walls made to go behind panels.

mg

It’s a fluid situation in the room. The whole dynamics of speaker locations, listener position, the size and shape of the room and type and number of room treatments, among other variables, combine to determine the sound quality, all other things being equal. But as I pointed out in my last post, all this *uncertainty* changes when you employ the speaker set-up track on the XLO Test CD or similar Test CD. Using your own ears - move a little/listen a little - to try and find optimum speaker locations is bound to fail. You might find locations that you deem better than when you started but they won’t be the very best locations. There are a million possibilities. People get it into their heads that speakers should be far apart for a wider soundstage and toed in toward the listener. You will discover when using the Test CD that is actually not the case at all. Generally, most speakers should be closer together rather than far apart.

In any case, for those who experiment with room treatment and other tweaks like vibration isolation, etc., you need to re-visit the speaker set up track *every time* to add or change room treatments or tweaks. Otherwise, things can easily get out of control. Complexity is not your friend. In fact, the best course of action - remove all room treatments from the room, and using the out-of-phase track as a guide, slowly introduce the room treatments back into the system, moving the speakers as required to get the best results from the out-of-phase track. Then, placement of diffusers, absorbers, Helmholtz resonators, tiny bowl resonators, crystals, what have you, is a snap.

It also helps to have a SPL lever meter and test frequency track on hand to be able to map out the 3 dimensional space of the room to get a handle on where room treatments should be placed initially. For example, Tube Traps are sometimes best when placed a foot or two *away* from the room corner. It depends on where the standing wave sets up in a given room. There’s also the empty box trick for locating standing waves and similar sound pressure peaks in the room that can be employed.
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I'm enjoying this thread.When others post about actual experience even when it's the opposite of what I believe to be true,I'm open to learning more about it.Instead of "Oh that will never work!" I'm in the camp of "Hmm,gotta investigate further".

There was a mastering room I was doing some work on in Nashville. The engineer was remastering some SNL shows and had ordered in some new amps and speakers at the same time I was doing my thing in there. The guys from the speaker company and the mastering engineer were sold on the idea that for true staging there was a certain placement formula that needed to be used. Fine, wasn’t my gig so they did their thing and at the end of the day it sounded horrible. No one liked it, but they were determined to stay on course. A day or two later I asked if I could set things up for the heck of it, and after I got some dirty looks they said go ahead. 2 hours later it was like the SNL cast was walking through the room. Everyone was pretty freaked out and one guy super mad suggesting what I just did couldn’t happen :)

I’ve been through this same thing hundreds, probably thousands, of times in person. Same thing happened when I was a mic tech. The only formula that works is the one you create.

another Nashville example

I was tuning up a drum room and the drummer kept getting mad at me the way I was doing the miking on the kick drum. He got stuck in his head that kick drums don’t have a note but instead are raw pressure. (guess he never met "sugarfoot"). It was a long day and every time we went into the control room you could hear the kick was out of tune throwing off the bass line. Stubborn as he was we ended up retuning the room and kick and mics together. You know how I fixed it. A little thing called a pressure box.

A lot of folks in this hobby try to make full range speakers do what a room is telling them not to do. Right around 80hz and down panel speakers (all speakers) start to challenge the rooms walls density. One little move and the speakers will shift upward. You might get your staging just about right and then play another recording and there’s that range shift. People blame it on the recording or start looking for other components or start filling their rooms with traps, instead of realizing the walls in the room are having a conflict with the mechanics of the speakers. Somewhere in that room there is a pressure build up or the opposite keeping the bottom notes from fully forming. Major problem right? Nope, it’s actually an easy fix. You can get a professional Pressure Box made from me, but to take care of the basic problem you can make your own ported pressure box and move it around the room till it activates and restores the pressure in the room to balance.

At the end of the day, don’t get stuck on numbers. Learn how the control pressure. And always remember, your not hearing the speakers, but pressure. Once you start treating your room like a speaker things get a lot easier.


mg

"as it brings to the fore problems of dogma, and the stuff folks just carry around.. preventing them from looking at problems in a fresh way."

I've had clients first starting to tune completely in audiophile stuck world. They were being controlled by home brewed theories this hobby's "experts" wrote up somewhere and became fake facts. Once these same folks started to allow themselves to be their own experts their systems took huge leaps forward.

I have some listeners when they come to one of my places, I just hand them the keys and I enjoy what they come up with and the way that they tune my systems to their sound.

MG

"At the end of the day, don’t get stuck on numbers."

Numbers or understanding/developing calculations can help a person be more efficient. It is all really just patterns of interactions. They are numerous so they become inconvenient to predict, unless someone at some point puts them all together and comes up with a formula/algorithm/something that will take all of them into consideration. Until then, if it has not happened yet, we will be sticking planks on the walls and guess where they should be. And then repeat and repeat and repeat until we get the right combination. It may be fun as a hobby but it is very inefficient if someone’s goal is getting the result and not attempting to get the result. Of course, experience may shorten the experimentation, if that is one’s life calling. For those who do not have that much time, nice calculations would be way more useful.

Other fields have gone quite far with such a mathematical approach. I am not sure that room tuning is that high on this civilization’s list of priorities so maybe that is why the current approach seems to be still 15th century.


Having said that, I wrote it yesterday on another thread but it seems to be more suitable here, I just met a person who studied at the college for which Michael Green did some work on a music hall (or something in that sense). It was mentioned ad nauseam earlier in this thread.


Be it what it is, this person, completely unbiased and not particularly interested in anything regarding audiophile topics, is very impressed with acoustics of that place and the sound that is experienced there.

Hi Glupson

With anything it takes a few generations to go from hand adjustments to auto tune. But it's on it's way when listeners are ready. Might not happen in my lifetime but I've already designed the automated tunable room and system. I'm sure I'm not alone in this development. I can't imagine younger minds who have tuned are not already thinking how to incorporate what I have done into the next level. There aren't that many dots to connect when you look at auto-tuning for musical instruments.

With the HEA generation the stalling point was when they took a detour away from adjustability, but as you can see that is quickly being reversed. Sometimes old school doesn't meet new school till an innovation is well into the mainstream. I personally enjoy doing the adjustments by hand much like a musician enjoys playing their instrument, and tuning that instrument to a room and other musical instruments. For HEA though the whole plug & play thing was so heavily pounded into the brains of listeners for so long and with such a cult like loyalty the mere mention of anything variable took away from their climb to the top of the marketing food chain.

Tuning was always going to be the end game when it comes to music and electronics, but when you have a hobby that was so strong with personality types such as the EE generation produced, where numbers are God, you can see where the hold up happened and why. Think about it, we had a whole generation in this hobby who put measurement creating above listening.  Numbers are a tool but they are not a note being interpreted by the human brain and senses.

mg

I did a session at a studio in (coincidently) Studio City (in the San Fernando Valley, just over the Hollywood Hills from L.A.) and the engineer instructed me on where he wanted the drumset. That location happened to put the drum throne about 3’ from a cinder block wall, with my back to the wall. After the first "keeper" take the players went into the control room to have a listen, and I was shocked at how bad the drums sounded. All phasey and "discombobulated", the drums lacking body and tone, the cymbals way too "splashy" (they were very nice sounding Paiste 602’s).

While the engineer reconsidering his mic choices, it occurred to me, based on my awareness of comb-filtering, that the cinder block wall might be the problem. I suggested I move the drumset further away from the wall, and the engineer, though dubious, obliged me. We did another take, and went in to listen. Problem solved! Audiophiles know wall reflections can greatly affect the sound heard in a listening room, but this recording engineer wasn’t aware that the cinder block wall would affect the sound of a drumset? How many recordings had he made with drums in that location?!

At a different session (in Hollywood) a young engineer had set up the main mics, and was now considering where to place his "room" mics. When he stuck one right in the corner where two walls and the ceiling met, I knew the guy had no education in acoustical engineering. The corners, the worst sounding location in any room! I said nothing (you don’t want to get on the bad side of your engineer), and we did a take. Listening to the playback, with the corner-located room mic isolated (the engineer wanted to show-off his talents ;-), the sound was just horrid, like a speaker playing in a 50 gallon metal barrel! Instead of being proud, the engineer was embarrassed; he had revealed his ignorance of basic acoustic theory and the physics of sound. Learning on the job.

Corners are interesting. If you ever map out the room for sound pressure peaks, I.e., reflection points, echo locations, standing waves, etc. what you’ll find is that corners are where very high pressure standing waves set up. Using a SPL meter and test frequency generator what you’ll discover is sound pressure levels in room corners are often 6dB or more than the average sound pressure level in the room.

As an addendum to my above comments about the spacing of planars from the wall behind them, 5’ or more is no guarantee that the resulting sound will be good. In 2018 I attended the U.S.A. premiere of the new Magneplanar MG30.7 at a retail location (Echo Audio in Portland Oregon), with Wendell Diller himself having set up the speakers. The 30.7’s were quite a distance from the wall behind them---about 8’, though the bass panels were only a foot or so from the side walls. The sound was surprisingly disappointing to me (I own Tympani T-IVa’s, of which the 30.7 is a reinvention).

I don’t want to say any more about the sound, as the digital-only source material (streamed?) was accessed from a handheld remote controlled by the shop owner, almost all of it previously unheard by myself. The electronics were also unknown to me, and the room itself was completely untreated---absolutely no acoustic treatment. The room was constructed of what appeared to be cement, all the walls bare and very reflective, including of course those behind the speakers. Ridiculous!

Q - Mr. Dylan, why did you go from playing protest songs to playing folk rock?

Dylan - I don’t play folk rock.

Q - How would you describe your music?

Dylan - I’d call it mathematical music.

Hi bdp24

That's wild, we were just talking about Record Plant like 2 days ago, no kidding! That's some memories there!

mg

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In one interview in England, when asked at a press conference what he considered himself, Dylan replied "A song and dance man". He couldn't hold back the wicked grin that then appeared on his face.
MG, the one studio I would love to record in is Ocean Way in Santa Monica; a lot of great sounding recordings come out of that place. I believe it is a favorite of Ry Cooder.
Bob Dylan actually DID sell out to ladies garments when he astonishingly appeared in a Victoria's Secret TV ad a few years ago.
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I don't agree with a lot of Michael's posts, but I enjoy reading them, he knows how to communicate his ideas. 

Hi bdp24

Shows how out of touch I am. I thought they closed up a few years back. They got a bunch of my goodies over in Nashville (same studios right?). I know he had several buildings. My main contact in LA was A&M so after they closed I mostly got calls from private in-home studios but not too many commercial. That area use to be wall to wall recording hot spots. Probably still is, and I know there's a lot of in-home stuff going on.

mg

I prefer the cat analogy. I love cats. If I visit you, and you have a cat, I will love your cat, but my cat is the BEST cat.......no matter what you say.

I’ve been doing some listening evaluating over the past few weeks so didn’t visited here. When I came back it was an interesting thing that I noticed. The ego posturing hadn’t changed a bit. The topics were slightly different but I noticed the personalities of the "talkers" were in the exact same place as when I took my break. Time stood still for these fellas, their agendas hadn’t progressed. The script flip to this is I also noticed the "walkers" had progressed. Some more than others but there were signs of life, a pulse.

The longer you’re here the more you can see the agendas of posters on display. I’m guessing people who read and don’t post are the ones most perceptive. They have no ego at stake in these topics and spins. As for the rest of us there’s more exposed laying on the table.

point and case

I was trolled a day ago fairly obviously and typically I would have just sent in my report and come back to find the post deleted (nice job mods). However sometimes I have that desire to place that internet troll in their place using my wit, facts and a bit of their own medicine. Keep in mind that description is me stroking my own ego in the matter and may not be seen by anyone else the way I viewed my return fire. In fact every time I do fire back there’s that thing in me hoping the Mod will delete not only the troll’s post but as well my follow up firing back. What’s the use of my countersuit if the original has been thrown out of court, in other words. It’s all very interesting looking from the Mods point of view, as well I would suppose the non-posting reader.

My biggest challenge through in the hours, days, weeks and months is time. Because of this I’m usually a yes and no man and move on quickly. When in Agon posting mode though I’m a different type altogether because I am in agenda mode. As I write this for example I’m looking at the top of my screen seeing the flashing of notices of people contacting me by PM. I also know that every few minutes there are emails and other communication building up on my to do lists. Do I get to all of them....lol...would be nice.

trolls

"Talkers" are the definition of internet trolls many times. Their egos are feed by the thought of being noticed or even relevant. They probably do have something to add to the conversation, but what they have gets spun into their need to be negative about something or someone. Insecurity and boredom must play big factors in the mind of those. I question why even show up? And I can see their need to not let things progress.

I was reading a thread that was on Class D amps and how the industry was changing the last few days and wasn’t paying attention to the amount of trolling that was taking place. To me the thread read fairly sensible, but here were all these posts referring to the same thread as being inflammatory. I obviously was picking and choosing what I wanted the thread to be about and wasn’t getting into the mudslinging therefore didn’t even notice it. What I figured at the end of the day was that someone was walking and someone was talking, maybe a little of both.

anyway time to go respond to my flashing lights

mg

My only complaint about the speakers I've had is the tweeters.I've had Polks, B&W, ESS Heil ,(which had a high frequency driver called an "air motion transformer"), Infinity, JBL, (which sounded unlistenable because of their brightness) and I've heard lots of others. IMO the most difficult thing for a speaker to get right are the high frequencies.Every speaker I remember had the same kind of "gritty" sound at the very high frequencies.The only way I can think of to describe this sound is steel ball bearings rolling around in a steel frying pan.It's discernable in the sound of cymbals.Also in some electric guitars. I can't tell if this is caused by the tweeters or if it's an audible artifact of the digital recording and playback process.I don't remember hearing this distortion on the best analog systems I heard forty years ago. My friend had Quad electrostatics and a high-end TT, Audio Research amp and preamp, and the sound of his system was the only I remember that didn't feature this annoying distortion in the high frequencies. Maybe this is an inherent quality of digital? Or have I just not yet heard the right speakers? Has this distortion I'm describing been experienced by anyone else here?

Hi hombre

I have heard the sound you are talking about since the late 70's with audio equipment and have found it not to be digital but field related. Meaning the materials being used in the components interacting with the audio signal and the fields.


I'm an electronics technician with a First Class electronics license, and I've learned a lot from audiophiles who don't even know Ohms law.

The science of electronics is quite applicable in "Mid-Fi", but it gets hazy in HEA where audiophile ears and judgment become more important.

Hombre, before CD, I auditioned the ESS Heil, and heard things that I liked, as well as things others describe that I didn't like. That's when I decided to separate the good from the bad; now let us get to the present.

First, I consulted with a cross over design engineer, and told him that I wanted to utilize the Heil-AMT in a pair of custom speakers, and the closest speaker I could find for an example were Theils. We went from there and presently I have custom 3 way speakers with the Heil tweeters, 6 inch midrange, and 12 inch woofer; they are as mellow as a cello.

Let me correct that post; they are as neutral as the sound of an electronics signal with no speaker at all; if a mellow cello is fed to them, that's how they will sound.
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hi orpheus, yes I agree the Heil AMT speakers I had sounded excellent. Of all the speakers I heard back in the day they were my favorites. And that included the KEF 105 and the Dahlquist, the one with five drivers mounted without a box around them. I now have Polk Rtia5 speakers which I like for their smooth laid back quality although I know they are not the best speakers out there, they sound good enough for me. Very easy listening. I also have a pair of ELAC B6 speakers in a closet upstairs.In terms of sound quality for the dollar, these might be the best speaker on the market. Only 250.00 for the pair. TAS said they were the best buy in audio about five years ago and made them their economy speaker of the year. They did an interview in their mag with the designer, Andrew Jones. After reading the reviews in the audio press I bought the speakers.
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So Elizabeth, do you consider your pair of 20.7’s (though I own a pair of Tympani T-IVa, I'm envious) a musical instrument? Conversely, is a piano, guitar, bass, or drumset a loudspeaker? ;-)
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Hi Elizabeth

Thanks for visiting! I would love it if you ended up making TuneLand an extended home, I hope you know you are always welcome!

I wish I had more time than I do, there’s so much to cover and for this hobby (the playback end) tuning has barely been touched, even though it has been around for many years.

"IT is like a dimensional shift. Gee, All I wanted was to dampen out EVERYTHING. And here is this guy writing how that is just wrong. WHAT???"

It’s pretty wild isn’t it? And the fact that I showed the reviewing community Tuning some 25 plus years ago, and even though they agreed after experiencing it, they couldn’t pull the trigger on this big of a change.

Geoff said the other day, he doesn’t believe I have looked at any physics books, little does our friend know. I have had my head buried in physics forever to learn more about what I was experiencing. I’ve had to build my own buildings and everything from the actual musical instrument through to just shy of the human ear to find out what was happening. What I discovered was this massive interaction experiment called Earth. We are living inside of a continuum of interaction. We may think we can hold part of it still but then the clock ticks and we realize even a fixed point in time or sound has moved. Dampening in concept is tricky, just like isolation, but the first step to over come are the absolutes. Once we get our heads around the continuum of motion in time we can then start focusing on the Variables, and that brings us to a different place in our hobby and the control over our hobby and hearing.

We want so bad for these systems to be final but they can’t be, we are on a spinning planet, one that is creating charge and being part of a big system of moving parts all themselves creating and exchanging force. Sounds so cosmic, but it’s just the way it is big or small and audio and hearing just happens to be a part of the interaction.

One by one this hobby will turn to variable tuning as the answer to our listening obsessions. The thought that we live in this particular time in this hobby is pretty special. All the rest is as we have been talking about "talking or walking". And how far we wish to go is on no one but ourselves.

:) so happy you have been taking the steps you have. I’m looking forward to learning with you!

MG

"So Elizabeth, do you consider your pair of 20.7’s (though I own a pair of Tympani T-IVa, I’m envious) a musical instrument? Conversely, is a piano, guitar, bass, or drumset a loudspeaker? ;-)"

Here’s is what I believe. I believe we all have an opportunity to grow closer together or further apart from each other. None of us are going to change what is. We are either going to continue to open our minds up or we will go through life thinking it is the next person that is the one with the closed mind even though we know our ego is resisting being as open as it can.

That’s the truth about talking and walking. The truth sits there and is always available if we choose to take up our walking stick and discovering it. We get stuck looking and listening to each other and it doesn’t take much for that to be our excuse not to take the next steps in learning. Once we get past that we start learning together and off of each other instead of thinking we have the answer exclusively.

In regards to the variables and tuning, it’s nothing we should be even debating and once we get past the debating (talk) we will find ourselves in a new hobby of discovery. Discovery is the act of moving past assumptions. Discovery doesn’t have an ego to let go of that’s something we own ourselves. Something the variables have taught me is, I will always be the student. I might master a few things but I will never stop discovering more.

Michael Green


of course Maggies are musical instruments


Well said. Methinks too often people get stuck in the weeds and forget the true purpose of a forum such as this. Tuneland may be the exception but in general, HEA forums are no different from other online places where the exchange of ideas and learning e.g. astrophotography, photography, etc. the participants generally loose focus and go off the deep end.  No one started out in this hobby an expert. They had to learn from those that came before.   https://www.grademiners.com/