Townshend Audio F1 Fractal Interconnects - Less is More!


This is turning out to be my hardest review to date. I held off a long time waiting to be sure. Good move. Paid off. After last night this will be a lot better than anything I could have done earlier.

The Townshend F1 Fractal interconnect is based on the same Fractal copper ribbon technology used in their speaker cables. Main differences are the conductors in the interconnect are suspended in air inside a light weight flexible translucent tube.

The Fractal Wire is terminated in Neutrik Profi RCA phono plugs. These plugs feature a spring loaded ground collar. The outer collar on RCA is ground, the pin is positive or signal. With a regular RCA plug the pin sticks out making positive contact first, which can cause some pretty awful noises if the power is on and the source input is selected. Experienced audiophiles know to never do this, but apparently there are enough of the other kind to merit Neutrik designing a whole spring loaded RCA plug. Oh well. This RCA is also really beefy, exceptionally beefy, and has two segments angled in for extra contact pressure and an extra angled sharp line contact area, just to get the point across these things are designed for killer contact.

Plugging them in for the first time the extra pressure was obvious. The spring loaded part feels a little funny for an old-school guy like me but they work just fine. The F1 interconnects themselves are very light and flexible. Routing them was a breeze.

My reference interconnect was the Synergistic Research Atmosphere Level III Euphoria with ground plane technology. It was, like my speaker cables, wrapped in tubes of Perfect Path Solutions Omega E-Mats and treated with Total Contact. Having learned my lesson with the speaker cables I put a microscopically thin coating of TC on the F1 before connecting them.

The sound I heard even right out of the box was clean and clear and open but not as big and full as the Synergistic. This filled out within a few hours to where the F1 seemed well above the Synergistic in every way but one.

We all have certain parts of certain music where there is an instrument that we look forward to hearing. It could be the lead guitar solo in Money for Nothing, or the drums on Famous Blue Raincoat. Time and again I would be ready for one of these only to hear something a bit… different. I’ll be honest, it was kind of a let down at first. But the more I listened the more it started to dawn on me: this is right. All the extra sounds I was expecting to hear, it was all added.

The more and the longer I listened the more certain I was. This is to take nothing away from the Synergistic. I have used Synergistic since the 1990’s, compared it to a lot of others, always loved it. Especially the Atmosphere, which was so good I was really doubtful F1 would be able to match it, nevermind sound better. I would have been surprised even to hear it come close.

That is what took me so long to put this review out there. The F1 is not just close, it is not just a little better. The F1 is a whole hell of a lot better! By the time it had 20 hours it was so liquid smooth and detailed it is hard to believe.

I mean really, literally, hard to believe. So just to be sure, last night I put the Synergistic back in.

Tracy Chapman Talkin’ Bout a Revolution starts with strumming guitar. The sound was flat, grainy, out of focus, and there was a harsh metallic edge to the guitar. Chapman’s voice had an edge to it as well. The bass line when it came in was really big and full, but loose and bloated.

Regular readers will recall I was about ready to break down and buy tube traps to eliminate some boomy resonance in my room, but changed my mind when putting the Moabs on Townshend Podiums eliminated a lot of the problem. Well, turns out a good share of the resonance was in the wire. Who’d a thunk? It makes sense though. Townshend seems to have found a way of eliminating a lot of artificial resonances most other wires add to the signal. How he does it I don’t know. But the effect is substantial.

Chapman uses a lot of really deep, interesting and well defined bass. It was wonderful with the Atmosphere but way warm and bloated. I just never realized how bloated until compared with the Fractal Wire.

The edge and distortion, and flat stage, were an even bigger shock. Palpable 3D imaging and presence are supposed to be the forte or hallmark of the Synergistic sound. Hate to say it, waited and waited trying not to say it, but I am one of the rare guys left these days who lives by "let the chips fall where they may." Townshend F1 Fractal Interconnect makes Atmosphere sound flat and grainy like a freebie patch cord. I just had to wait and give myself time to really get used to the F1, then put it back in again, to be sure. I am sure. Un freaking believable.

On Side 2, and now with the F1 back in, Mountains of Things starts off with a lot of great percussion instruments, way too many to count, plus triangle and a cymbal, and each of these is so much its own thing in its own space with its own texture its a real treat. This isn’t some special pressing either, not a White Hot Stamper or anything, just one I picked deliberately because it is so very average and yet also something a lot of guys have heard and can relate to. I have never, ever heard this music sound anywhere near so true and right. Can’t even pick out any one thing to say wow great bongo’s or whatever, because I would be saying that about everything!

I have always loved the big full bass and the big full sound of Synergistic overall, a lot. This is not a case of my taste changing to something lean or a whole lot different. I still love me some good bass! It is just that with F1 (and Townshend in general) the bass is so much more pleasingly clean and full. It is at times even more deep and impactful than anything I ever heard from Synergistic. With the speaker cables in particular it was the bass that struck me first. With the interconnect the bass is still there just even more articulate and well defined. There is more character and control to the bass now than ever. It is simply that a lot of “extra” bass has been removed.

The top end is so free of ringing, edge and glare it can at times seem almost soft. Until something happens and it is clear the top end is definitely there, just no longer exaggerated. Sibilance is still there, just now those "s" sounds are much more natural. The records that have problems with this still have problems, they just aren’t anywhere near as hard on the ears now. Yet cymbals still shimmer, Sinatra still swings, the sax has real bite. Everything that should be there is there. Just nothing extra added.

Now with more time to listen and think, it is apparent this is a common theme running through all the Townshend components- a lack of additive resonance. All kinds of things vibrate, apparently, even electrical signals do it in the form of ringing. Max has shown this on some videos where the oscilloscope shows clearly the signal reflecting and traveling back and forth, in effect ringing. It happens with speakers. It happens with components. It happens with speaker cable. Now also it seems to happen with interconnects. Why am I not surprised?

Sometimes the ringing or resonance is high frequency, and this brings a hard edge and exaggerated top end. Sometimes the resonance is lower, and the midrange is full and warm, or the bass is big and round. Sometimes when the designer does a really good job of shaping the contour of this it can sound pretty good. That is what I heard with Synergistic. Probably a lot of what is going on with other wire is different guys find they like different things exaggerated to a different extent and so they pick the ones they like. But they are still exaggerations. They are still additive. They are still distortion.

With the F1 back in this becomes really clear. Exactly the right word: clear. The F1 is as clear and as open as I could ever want. Nothing missing, nothing added.

John Hannant at Townshend was telling me from the beginning that to get the full benefit it is best to run a full loom. I thought this was nothing more than good salesmanship. Now though I can see the reasoning behind it. F1 speaker cables removed the colorations and resonances, all the ringing going on with the speaker cables. But the Atmosphere interconnect was still there coloring the sound. I just didn’t know it. Quite honestly had no idea. Frankly surprised to hear how much.

This review has been hard to write in another way. I’ve been a huge fan of Ted’s for a good three decades now. Still regard him as one of the greatest creative geniuses around. Even now I have not one negative thing to say about any of his many terrific designs. For sure Synergistic has the biggest widest range of consistently high performing products, and from entry level to fairly high tier is still a top recommendation. At the very top end of the range though I have to now give the nod to Townshend F1 Fractal.


5c19db42 db1e 4039 96f2 9d2ae7c37947millercarbon
Recording engineers often take a listening break. Why? Because the sound changes when listening for too long. It’s called ear fatigue...and the ear/brain interface adjusts to changes from long term listening.

Entertaining review, though. Neutrik makes great connectors.

Looking over the brief technical specs on the Townsend...looks to be close the Belden RG-6 Quadshield.

https://catalog.belden.com/techdata/EN/7916A_techdata.pdf

The prices, however, are lightyears apart.


The diff is for the secret sauce.
That may hold the record for the longest single post about an interconnect!  Attention! Clean up in aisle three!
That's some good stuff you've been smoking, mc!
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Boy oh boy...

Is Ted gonna be pissed!
Max Townsend and Ted Denney, each wearing a Colt .45 on their hips stand facing each other 40 feet apart. Each advances ten paces, draws and fires ...
millercarbon OP8,841 posts04-22-2021 12:09amon you.



Most comedy writes itself. The Onion couldn’t write anything as funny as this faux review. Oh...but...Townsend actually provides specs that are almost as good as Belden RG-6 quadshield...and more specs than Synergistic Research.

COMEDY GOLD!!
Are you saying they do not perform as described? Because that is all we care about: does it sound as described? Nobody cares to see how ignorant or obnoxious certain people can be. What we care about is that it sound as described. Because if it does then people looking for the sound described now know where they can get it. And they do. They message me all the time:
"Hey just to let you know I tried the [Pods, Schumann Generator, Blackhawk, Podiums, Hot Stamper, PHT, _____________________________-fill in the blank with any of a BAZILLION DIFFERENT THINGS I've recommended over the years] and it worked great, thanks and don't let the haters get you keep the posts coming!"


Not an exact quote more a compilation of dozens people send me.

I say they do sound as described. And that's no joke.
I keep reading about their fractal wire and would like to hear a set sometime. Since they put so much emphasis on the quality of the fractal wire, and considering the price, I am surprised they would use a connector made of brass rather than copper.
I see Max has sucked in another person to his distorted view of how the universe works. You would think after he got a serious schooling on ASR last year, he would have perhaps picked up an electrical engineering book and learned a thing or two instead of continually spouting the same nonsense. You can lead a horse to water, but I guess it is still a horse. Goertz tried to promote that same incorrect argument almost 40 years ago. It is best to learn from others past mistakes. Max's Fractal cable is a modern version of the old Goertz cables. Flat conductors with a thin insulator. It is a great way to make a cable with the lowest inductance, but high capacitance. 


For speaker cables, low inductance is a good thing, so nothing to knock in that aspect. Just ignore that whole impedance thing, in this case it is a crock. That is a good thing too.  The ends of the Fractal cable are wide spaced single inductors. If characteristic impedance was an issue, those ends would create wicked bad reflections and wreck any impedance matching. 


John Hannant at Townshend was telling me from the beginning that to get the full benefit it is best to run a full loom.

Obviously it was good salesmanship. 
"Not an exact quote more a compilation of dozens people send me."

What happens to all the mail sent to Sherlock Holmes? (avclub.com)
It’s nice when people help others. Hopefully it is done in a totally forthcoming manner and there are no hidden financial incentives from vendors involved be it cash payments, discounts, freebies whatever. That would be dishonest. Full transparency from users in forums is not among the list of features sites like this necessarily deliver. So you just have to take everything with a few grains of salt.

I see some Townsend audio isolation products for sale here on audiogon. Looked nice enough but I had to laugh at the asking price.


Seems like a pattern here with items priced at points most all would laugh at. Except the few at a site like this that might be convinced to pay the price. Wires, fuses, isolation devices, other tweaks. Hopefully the seeming shills are paying the same price as others they convince to try product X.

Tweaks have ALWAYS been the most profitable products to sell gung ho hifi fans. That is a fact I would assert based on experience! Since the actual cost to manufacture is low they can often easily be given away to some to evaluate and hype, and maybe even keep when done, for little or no real cost to anyone including  the vendor.

Just saying....

mitch2-
I keep reading about their fractal wire and would like to hear a set sometime. Since they put so much emphasis on the quality of the fractal wire, and considering the price, I am surprised they would use a connector made of brass rather than copper.

Probably should just buy a pair and find out. Then when you've had them a while you can take it apart and improve it. Why not? That is what I do. All the time. I am in fact right now involved in simultaneous projects to improve my Moab crossovers, F1 speaker cables and interconnects, and M101 power cord. None of this will involve any changes to any connectors. You want to play this game you got to be thinking a lot bigger than that. But you first have to be in the game. 

I keep saying, Redmond, WA. Worth the fare. Frank said it, your jaw will drop. Bring your wire. Come and listen. You will see.
https://www.thecableco.com/mi-2-veracity-speaker-cable-pair.html


This is what the Fractal is essentially a variant/copy of. I think the spacing may even be the same. Certainly the same wrong claim of impedance is for audio. That would make the Fractal almost like an off-shore clone. They often copy the mistakes too!
Man on man anything to be condescending, MC does draw a crowd..

Mistakes too, as if.. You’ve never hear one, and the paper tell you everything..

WOW you are good.. Not very smart but you can read... That’s a start..

The crap you’re spewin’ is as old as the barn out back... MEASURE THIS! BUT listen to that...

You can't manage to add too, only take AWAY from....

Old hat... take your pill be gone with you....
I tried to put this into Google Translator, but it told me it couldn't identify the language.
Okay guys/gals...
Though I don't always agree with @millercarbon, he is allowed to have his say on what he thinks.
Dismissing out-of-hand that his opinions are false/guided by financial benefit is not fair. 
bob
"I am in fact right now involved in simultaneous projects to improve my Moab crossovers..."

Since when can Moabs be improved?
"Nobody cares to see how ignorant or obnoxious certain people can be."

OK, but/then...

Why do so many read your posts (incuding those deleated from the "Cat Fever" thread)?

DeKay
I used Goertz speaker cables for many years between an ARC D115mkII and Martin-Logan CLSs.  I modified the ends of the copper to BE the spades and amp connectors, so they were essentially busbars between my amp and speakers.  I though they were great.  I told HP about them and he wrote some favorable comments in TAS.

Tempts me to try the F1s ...
Well 50% of the people admit to being ADDICTS or OCD. The question is, are YOU Self-aware? Because the other 50% are in pure denial...

That’s why we come back.. I just have a problem with all the ones in denial, full blown I’m right, your wrong crowd..

Besides when was the last time you got to go to the Circus MC can pull a pretty good 3 ringer some times.. :-)

Yup that’s right.. time to feed the chickens..

Regards
I have some of the Bridgeport ones that I linked and have DIYed some over the years. I was doing some scrounging and found a partially unwound Alpha Core yesterday. I would not expect much difference between the F1 and the Bridgeport (price aside).  They don't offer any of the theoretical cancellation of EMI that comes with a woven construction like Kimber and others. 
You probably would not expect much difference between a Corvair and a 911 either then. After all, both are rear engine air cooled cars. So how can one possibly be better than another? Yet the Corvair went down in flames while the 911 has been and remains to this day the greatest performance car ever.

Your unbelievably simplistic world view is childlike in the extreme. You have no system page, and yet your one discussion started was to tell everyone including manufacturers how to audition components "in the age of covid."

Loosen the mask, you are suffocating on your own CO2. The higher brain functions are the first to go. How about you take a step back, take a break from telling everyone else how it's done, and try and put one together yourself?
A more apt analog would be to have two 911's, one blue and one green, and to be claiming the green one is better.  The 911 of today is nothing like one from the 60's other than roughly looking the same, and is it the greatest performance car ever? No, not really, it is just one that no one ever changed the name on, where other companies give their cars new names. 
@mitch2 Actually brass connectors can sound quite good, my dealer, who built my amp and also builds custom speakers likes to use brass binding posts. He says they just sound better and I can't disagree.
The finest performance car ever produced is the Ford GT. Before that is was the GT 40. Before that it is was the 289 Cobra.

Or...you could say the finest performance car is the Tesla Model S with the big battery pack.

Or the Bugatti Veyron

Or You could say the finest performance car is the Porsche 918...but it’s not the 911.
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@mitch2 Actually brass connectors can sound quite good, my dealer, who built my amp and also builds custom speakers likes to use brass binding posts. He says they just sound better and I can't disagree.


Anybody else see the problem with this statement with regards to excessively expensive, esoteric cables? 

The terminations cancel out any fancy design of the cable and conductors. All that voodoo applied to the cable only to have it go through two sets of solid connections at EACH END. 

Spend your money on audio jewelry, if you will...I won't. Many marriages based on the size and expense of the ring end in divorce...because it was fake to begin with.


Newer to the forum and not possessing the obvious common knowledge that MC is a shill and just makes stuff up, I listened to him about isolation springs and subsequently bought Townsend Podiums for my Wilsons, and Platforms for my dCS, and my ARC preamp. (I mention the equipment only to lend to the reader some indication that I have equipment with good resolution) These seismic isolation products made the biggest improvement of anything I've ever added to my system outside of a new component.
As a result of the success of the Townsend products I installed, I ordered (unaware that MC was doing the same) F1 speaker wires and 2 pairs of F1 interconnects. I received them today. They are burning in now. I pretty much agree with MCs comments about the sound of the loom. They are in place of two pairs of Cardas Clear Beyond ICs and a set of Shunyata Alpha SCs. The F1 loom in the first 2 hours don't bury my current cables, but they are slightly more detailed, have better imaging and produce a very pure sound. They are already calming down, which they will need to continue to do for me to keep them, but I'm impressed so far.
There is a great deal of pontification on this thread about the technology used with these wires. I would like to read less of that, but more about members trying these products in their systems and giving actual listening impressions. After all, Townsend provides a money back program if you don't want to keep any of their products. I paid whatever Townsend asked for their products(in other words no one is giving me free anything!) and will send these back if I don't prefer them, that said,  they will never get the isolation products back from me! As always, I learn a lot from all of your contributions! Thanks
"...the 911 has been and remains to this day the greatest performance car ever."

Your unbelievably simplistic world view is childlike in the extreme.
I too have F1 interconnects in my pro-listening studio (I have to sign off on studio masters as part of my job), I tried many interconnects and was hardly hearing any difference between high price £1500+ cables from HFC, Shunyata and Transparent compared to £15 Maplin audio cables (Maplin was a UK high street electric store).

I was all set to stay with the cheap cable. But then I borrowed some F1 and just when I thought all the interconnects sound broadly the same in my system this was different and it really stood out. It had a sense of natural ease the others didn’t, it made music sound just ’right’. Interestingly I found the rca F1 cable better than the xlr (into a fully balanced amp).

A year or so later the F1 speaker cable came out and this was another fabulous cable where the delta was even greater than the others I heard.

I really would advise at least trying these cables instead of hurling abuse at MC. F1 is not cheap but it is different from other cables and worth a listen.
There are a lot of very high end cables I have not heard. It is always possible there are some good ones out there. From what I am hearing however, comparing to some really, really good cables that I like a lot, makes me wonder if maybe F1 are the best available, regardless of cost. 

I just had a couple over who are looking at getting Moabs. They would ask to hear something and we played everything from Sinatra to Sabbath. Pretty much every track whoever was sitting there, man or woman, within a few seconds would go, "Wow!" and shake their head in disbelief. They were gaga over the imaging and sense of envelopment. 

It is nice to hear people confirm what I have been saying. Which is also by the way what others have been saying. How Townshend has been able to fly under the radar making so much outstanding gear is something I will never understand. 
Thanks for bringing Tracy's first up. It's a great album, but each track sounds very different (makes it a fine test record) and as a whole its a bit edgy with sometimes loose bass, sometimes tight. If you want her to sound sweeter or "better", maybe more natural (what do I know), then try other recordings like Give me one reason or Change and many more.


Time for MC to audition the Townshend Allegri Reference ??

@oldhvymec
Your chickens must be pretty plump by now.
Time to look out the axe?
@edgewound My comment about brass connectors sounding good does not mean good wire is meaningless. My dealer also uses Audio Note wiring inside the amps, he's not skimping with brass he just thinks it sounds better in that application.
The time on all my new wire is into around 100 hours now, and wow does it sound great! The combination of the exceedingly fast and liquid M101 Mr White power cord with the revealingly neutral fast and liquid F1 is now with more hours just a really wonderful experience. 

It used to be I would play a side, and then want to go looking for something else to play next. Now with the F1 I find myself getting so into each record it is kind of a surprise to hear the ffffft, fffffft, ffffffft of the lead-out groove and realize it is the end of the side. Then instead of looking for something else I flip it over to hear the other side. Last night it was Fleetwood Mac, after which I was so into it I put on  Rumours. Never did that before. 

Even before changing any of these wires it was already perfectly clear no two recordings are alike, that each one has its own individual sound. Now though it is not just that each record sounds different, it is more like each one is its own unique and individual little world. 


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I have a list called the stupid 27. Really it is just one name repeated 21 times and a few others. No need to guess which name repeats.
I'll stick to my Chord, Atlas, QED, and Ecosse interconnects, but thanks....
Good and interesting review. Good enough that it didn't need to begin with a prediction as to how good it was going to be. 
Regular readers will recall I was about ready to break down and buy tube traps to eliminate some boomy resonance in my room, but changed my mind when putting the Moabs on Townshend Podiums eliminated a lot of the problem. Well, turns out a good share of the resonance was in the wire. Who’d a thunk?

As you've said before, "everything matters." One thing that you have that others of us don't have is a distributed bass array. The question is how much of your results related to bass in this review do you think would be happening without a bass array?

Your answer to that question will help me (and perhaps others) know the degree to which the effect you describe might occur in our systems, which is the main takeaway from a review. Because in a limited budget, why drop $$ on podiums if one would be better off devoting that money toward a DBA?
I suspect a properly phased bass array should tame/eliminate the boomy resonance effect, although I would also suspect room dimensions and damping/treatment would influence that situation too.  I would not have expected cables to influence that condition if they were in the ballpark for the required parameters so I will be curious to hear MC's response to your question.
In my case, all else being the same, trading larger floor-standing bass reflex speakers for slightly smaller, stand-mounted acoustic suspension speakers and adding two high quality subs for the very low frequencies made a huge improvement in the quality of bass from my system - much better and no boominess whatsoever.
As you've said before, "everything matters." One thing that you have that others of us don't have is a distributed bass array. The question is how much of your results related to bass in this review do you think would be happening without a bass array? 

Why, all of it, of course. The bass resonance Townshend cleaned up was always there. The DBA didn't make it worse, rather it actually alleviated it somewhat. I would say this was one of those deals where, you know there are always all kinds of problems only you have to pick your battles. Sometimes one that was pretty far down your list, after fixing enough stuff it works its way to the top. 

Your answer to that question will help me (and perhaps others) know the degree to which the effect you describe might occur in our systems, which is the main takeaway from a review. Because in a limited budget, why drop $$ on podiums if one would be better off devoting that money toward a DBA?

Okay, I get it now.

They both go together. That is not to say you have to do both together. I will try and explain so you can figure out for yourself what will be best in your situation. 

The great thing about a DBA is it allows you to get more and better bass, but by putting less bass energy into the room. Duke explains this much better than I ever can. Basically, lots of small subs in multiple locations produces lots of small peaks and dips. One big powerful sub can do this, but only with lots of EQ, and that means turning up the sub output in order to overcome cancellation in some areas. But that energy is still going into the room as a whole.

This is one of the main reasons a DBA has faster more articulate bass. The more bass energy you put into a room the more it causes walls and floor and ceiling to vibrate with energy, and the longer it takes for this energy to dissipate. This is why so many guys run to tube traps. They suck up the excess energy. Also one reason why you have less need of tube traps with a DBA. Since less energy is wasted exciting the room less needs to be done to suck it up.

Hopefully you are already seeing why the Townshend stuff works so well. Not all of the bass energy comes from the air. It also  propagates directly through the speaker into the floor and the room. Less room excitation equals less resonance equals clearer sound. 

That's with Podiums or Pods. With the cables themselves, they made me aware the same sort of sound as this is coming from resonance modes in our cables. It has to be treated differently. In this case you treat cable resonance with less resonant cables. But the final result or character of the sound is the same: tighter, cleaner, more articulate.

They both cost about the same. Depending on what exactly we are talking about, in broad terms it is around $3k for either a good DBA or Podiums. The DBA can be built for less, or you can spend a lot more. Likewise the Podiums could be less or more depending on the speakers. All in the 3k ballpark, give or take.

Which is better is hard to say. If you want to play louder with nice clean deep powerful bass, Podiums will not do this for you. They will clean up the bass you do have, a lot. You will probably sense a little more extension, like the same speakers play deeper now. But they will not create more. Not like a DBA. What they will do is make the speakers disappear, greatly improve detail and hugely improve the natural timbre or sonic signature of instruments and voices. 

With the DBA this is all sort of flipped around. They will give you much more deep, powerful and articulate bass, and once set up right there is a sense of greater envelopment and ease, but these areas are not improved nearly as much as with the Podiums. 

I don't like to simplify, but if what you want most is more and deeper then DBA. If what you want most is clearer more real then start with Podiums. Make sense?
@millercarbon Yes, that makes excellent sense. Really appreciate how you detailed what each element does for the bass, so that individuals can prioritize based on their needs and preferences.

You and @brownsfan have more or less convinced me of a DBA and I’m keen to talk to Duke one day. I just wasn’t sure if the podiums would be good in the meantime.

Apologies if this question is already implied in your posts, is it ever helpful to put podiums under just their one sub? (Let's say to save $$ in the short run.) 

Thank you.
Wouldn’t talk a guy out of either one. My thing was, I knew all my life, literally one of the first things I learned, you can get pretty darn good midrange and treble on a budget, but really good bass costs big money. For a good many years I even thought really excellent bass might actually be impossible, due to the inevitable bass modes caused by small rooms. DBA is a total game changer. Makes true SOTA bass attainable for as little as $3k, which is extraordinary!

DBA is also so flexible, you can start with one sub and just add more as funds allow. There’s no need to match anything. In fact differences actually help as the whole goal is to have lots of different modes, and different subs do this automatically. The biggest challenge actually turns out to be mental, or psychological, the difficulty many have with understanding the concepts and that it does in fact work. Once you get that, you are practically home free!

At the same time though if you have less room, or pretty good bass, or are more into sound stage and imaging, well then the Podiums are a slam dunk. Eventually of course we "want it all" and it takes a while. I went 30 freaking years with crap bass before I got my DBA! Then a couple more years before discovering springs. Between Duke and Max, (and Timmy, RIP, and Krissy ;), they have really brought me at last into the top levels.

One more thing, just as DBA can be added one sub at a time, Townshend can be added with Pods one component at a time. That is what I did. Podiums are such a big step, I like to DYODD which includes testing stuff a little at a time wherever possible. Plus of course did not hurt having Rick help me with springs! So there was actually several steps leading up to Podiums- springs, Nobsound, Pods, finally Podiums. Just thought worth mentioning because Podiums get all the glory and deservedly so but the Pods give a lot of the same benefits. If you look at total cost since you can get several sets of Pods for the same as one Podium, the combined improvement of the Pods is by the time you do that about equal. Kind of like you add one sub at a time, eventually you get there that way too.

I used to think there was always one right way to go about it, one best thing to add next, one that will make the most improvement. Now after a long time and a lot of trial and error I think there are many ways, you can’t really say it has to be one or the other, it is more like no one can ever have it all, everything is a trade off anyway, so which one do you prefer?
I knew all my life, literally one of the first things I learned, you can get pretty darn good midrange and treble on a budget, but really good bass costs big money. For a good many years I even thought really excellent bass might actually be impossible, due to the inevitable bass modes caused by small rooms.
Helmholtz resonators can take care of them at no cost...

It is all the gist of my mechanical equalizer...

And more than that a grid of resonators oriented differently from each speaker and located at the right spot can take care of ALL resonances...

But someone can experiment with only a few especially fine tuned tube for the bass nodes.... Anyway it cost me nothing at all....Just fun to experiment...

Oldhyvimec astutely observed that some silent tube with the organ are there to tune the church acoustic ...It is using Helmholtz acoustic tuning of the room...

My 7 inches drivers give me the tuba notes....And i listen the bass with my chest...like with this cello....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlfM5AArYqE

For sure we do not replace an array of 4 subs with resonators but some who dont need the subs but a clear and present bass it may be a no cost solution...

I am in the no cost solution side for sure....

By the way i discovered that a small room can be an advantage acoustically, an enormous one, if someone know how to use timing between direct, early and late reflected waves and reverberation time to recreate acoustic listener envelopment factor...

For me there is no more bad room only difficult one to cure...

But all small room are bad if not controlled....
😊😊
@mahgister 

I want to understand: when you say

"Helmholtz resonators can take care of them at no cost"

is "them" midrange, treble, and bass? If a DBA is $3k and podiums or pods come to, say, $3k -- well that's $6k of savings for the same result MC is describing.
 
Please clarify -- what do you replace with the resonators?

Maybe you were explaining when you said:

For sure we do not replace an array of 4 subs with resonators but some who dont need the subs but a clear and present bass it may be a no cost solution...


But I am not understanding. I apologize.