Okay, I confess. I'm a tweak-a-holic and I can't find a cure......You've gone about this in a very deliberate manner, carefully listening until magic happened. Good work J.D. Now the hard part for us so inflicted, to leave everything alone and just listen to the music,,,,ummmm, but, what if I just....oh no....there is no cure.....oh my....
WOW! My hat’s off to you! I love music and testing different gear including tweaks, but not on your level. Keep up the good work and keep us posted!
JD, it's nice to realize that I'm not the only person so afflicted by this complicated hobby and its attendant ongoing tweaking. I think it's safe to say that those who have taken it to the level you have are in the minority of a small niche group (myself included).
I have done a lot of experimenting with swapping cables and other components, some experimenting with power conditioning devices, and a lot of experimenting with audiophile feet and other tweaks that work to modify resonance. I have also dabbled in room treatments and have had some great success with products like Room Tunes and the Argent room lenses.
Recently, I made some changes to my system that resulted in me hearing the most detail I've ever experienced from a system and when I positioned a room lense at a 45 degree angle behind my equipment rack (which is between my speakers) everything fell into place as you so aptly described. The bass and imaging are just superb -- very lifelike and natural sounding. I found myself immersed in the music and breaking out all my favorite old recordings just to hear how great they now sound.
Still, I have not tried balanced connections and that is next on my personal tweak agenda. I have some Harmonic Technology Pro-Silway Mk-II and Magic interconnects coming in a week or so, and even though I am amazed at how good my system sounds in its present configuration, I am hoping to hear a decent improvement.
BTW, can someone please tell me what "PRAT" is? I'm sure I should know, but somehow that acronym got by me.
It never stops -- that's the nature of the beast! :)
Hi, Plato. I believe[correct me if I'm wrong] but Prat stands for pace, rhythm and timming. Was Martin Collins the first English writer to use the term? I first noticed it when I heard linn LP1's....then again when I bought my Roxan TT....the Brit tables just seem to have PRAT....a lot of earlier cd players had no depth and no Prat.....not musical.....but now most of them can boggie,,,,,
Did you know that my wife almost called the mental institution to see whether I am still sane after doing some of the tweaks you just mentioned? I'd say that one of the best tweaks I have ever experienced in my system is to plug those Audio Prism quietlines, the bubble wraps, and the Bright Star Audio isolation stand. The only problem is our new cat(named Toulouse) played, mutilated, and ruined all the foam covering the sand surrounding the box. Toulouse also got excited running on the bubble wraps as it creates sound as if there is an enemy is behind or in front of him. I salute you in your endeavor and hoped that you don't have a pet that will spoil all your efforts.
My thoughts as I read your post:
- "For God's sake why isn't he/she using paragraphs?"
- "This post could easily get prospective audiophiles to just go with Bose."
I admire your patience and tenacity Jadem6.
Bluenose, thanks for the "lingo" lesson. I hate being out of the loop. :)
Jadem6: Can you provide a very brief summary, i.e. your main conclusion, of your ultra long article?
Keep us posted on your pursuit of the Absolute Sound! The MIB Pros under speakers is something I've want to try, but just have brass cones now.
Have you considered placing entire audio rack on Aurios MIB Pros vs using them under individual components? I have heard a few others here comment on this, could save a lot of money (Pros are $600 set of 3) and simplify things.
I am also wondering since Aurios are selling bearings to place on top of MIB to minimize contact area, perhaps the Symposium Rollerball is simplier more direct appraoch. Not
sure how much weight they can support vs Aurios MIB
interesting article...i'm exactly at the other end...i haven't done ANY tweaks and my system sounds exactly as you described...the singers/performers/players sound very 3-D and if i close my eyes i can visualize them on the stage...maybe is my dedicated listening room....maybe is my dedicated power line...i don't know, but i find myself in absolutly no need for any tweaks...not like i didn't try (rollerblocks, sand bags, innertubes, cones, etc), but i couldn't hear an improvement...the system sounds very good as it is...
Bluenose- you know I can not stop.
Lak and Plato- we need to stick together, keep the nay sayers away.
Yeahright- I'm actually writing from a mental institution but please don't tell anyone.
Rupertdacat- I did write in one line separated paragraphs on a word processing software, I had not looked to see that it didn't transfer.
Lall- I tried to address vibration and isolation of equipment from the room vibration. I first used "Bubble Wrap" between a MDF shelf and a "Neuance shelf" under each peice of equipment. I then incorporated Aurios "Pro" bearings under the cd player and speakers. This caused an unwanted harshness to the signal. I found that using footer products (cones, pucks and balls) between the Aurios and the component solved the issues. The resulting sound was the entire sound stage was full, three dimensional, but more than anything completely believable. I can tell you exactly where the musician is on the sound stage, how far away and how tall. It's weird, they are truly three dimensional. I can walk right to the space they occupy on the stage, even when I walk up to them they remain in one place, I came put my hand out and touch where they stand. The speakers and the equipment are completely invisible. This is absolutely beyond my wildest expectations, the music is so real, so filled with life. Definition is great, but not etched or hard. The people on the stage simply exist as if they were real, there is nothing behind them but air. I simply can not explain how it feels, I sit down and it's all music. Every aspect of my system, EVERY ONE, is as good as it's been, and all at one time. Every aspect of the best systems I've ever heard are matched and in most cases surpassed.
Megasam- That is actually the next thing. I used to have my racks on a 3" sandstone slab that sat on the fireplace hearth. The system had great pace, excellent definition and was a smooth and liquid as I have ever had. I moved the system to the other wall two years ago and have been set up on a wood floor. I have been able to duplicate all the virtues of the stone except the liquidity so I'm going to see if I can get it back. Each bearing can support 500 lbs so a set of three will support a 5' slab of stone with no problem. I intend to put the two amp racks on the 5' stone. (side by side they also hold the pre-amp and power conditioning on) This would mean one set of three for the majority of the equipment. I thought I'd get a second set to try stone under the SCD-1 rack also. If this fails, I will put one set under the pre-amp (which I tried with success) and one under the high/ mid range amp. I will indeed keep you posted.
As far as Rollerball (besides being a bad movie) they use one large bearing and I believe a softer metal than Aurios. The Aurios Pro has three smaller bearings held apart equal distant, so the two products are really quite different. The Rollerball is more like the Daruma 3II.
I was talking to Audiogon Arnie last night and he had a great theory as to why these bearing products work. In that they are a ball or three balls in a cup shaped base, any sideways movement would also require the ball to move up hill. In the speakers case the vibration would have to produce enough energy to lift 185 lbs. Not too likely, so I would assume the bearings are restricted to micro vibration and movement, something far less than the speaker movement on cones. It's interesting, the movement of my speakers on cones was quite noticeable at the top if I put my hand on the side or back. That has got to be more distance of movement that the length of a 20,000 Hz wave. What these products must be doing is remove "micro smear" thus the improved definition and ability to see deeper into the sound stage. Any smear will cause distortion in the lower range and glare in the high frequency. By eliminating the smear/glare I can see what was behind that offending instrument.
J-D your excellent & informative thread reminds me of the "Winter lessons" of old...
Pls excuse my no-brainer -- but, do I understand the set-up correctly: component on (soft) footer, footer on Aurio? The speakers remain on Aurios alone? Thanks & Cheers!
Congrats on your efforts and success!
"It took a full three weeks of five hours per day to solve the puzzle..."
Let's say you value your time at $100/hr., then your 105 hours of "work" cost you $10,500. No one ever said it would be easy, or cheap.
That's a terrible thought Onhwy 61. I bill myself out a quite a bit more that the $100/hr. I would hate to think of what it would cost to have me set-up a system with that thought process. Luckly this remains a hobby, it's my time and I have yet to bill myself.
Gregm- This report is very similar in nature to "winter lessons". It's a format that works for me and I'm excited when I can share my experiences. I am always amazed at the personal e-mails of people wanting to share or ask questions. I think a lot of people a hungry for detailed explanations of how "we" work our systems.
Sony "SCD-1" - Brass "Orchard Bay" cones under three of the five factory footers (two rear and single center footer) The cones are placed in the hole at the center of the "Aurios." The "Aurios" is sitting on "Neuance" shelf that sits on "Bubble Wrap" that sits on a 3/8" MDF shelf. The MDF is supported on upturned spikes screwed to the Apollo rigid steel rack.
Dunlavy IVa - Speakers resting on #3 BDR "Pucks" There is a ½" steel ball set in the hole of the "Puck" and the hole in the "Aurios." This provides about a 1/4" separation between the "Puck" and "Aurios." The "Aurios" sit directly on the wood floor.
Fantastic piece of R&D. JD, thanks for sharing with us.
I came to a very similar conclusion. I found the stock Aurio Pro bearings a little "lacking" even when coupled with the TCB bearings (configuration recommended by MIB). My CDP/CDT responded most favourably to Brass Orchard Bay Khorus Cones sitting in the "hole" of the Aurio Pros. Very much in line with JD's observations. I also had good results with an inverted Symposium Rollerblocks (under component) and Aurio Pros (above shelf) sandwich with TCB bearings in between. Less refined prototypes that started this mad escapade include a Aurio 1.2 and Pro sandwich with TCB, various cones (metal,carbon,ceramic,composite) sitting on Aurios . The outcome surprised me - the Brass Orchard Bay Khorus Cones are really special. On my solid state pre amp, slight preferance in favour of the Symposium/Aurio sandwich over the Brass Cones sitting on Aurios. On my solid state power amp, Just the Brass Orchard Bay Khorus Cones sitting on its brass "footers" seemed to work best.
Am in the process of running in a new pair of speakers (yo-yo time), will be experimenting with Aurios when things begin to gell.
Tom, it's nice to hear your experiences are similiar to mine, kind of helps me believe I found a good solution. I like the efforts with Symposium/Aurio, I might have to get some Symposium to give it a try.
Yeah, the Symposium/Aurio sandwich has a "nicer" feel (a little euphonic IMHO). I thought the Orchard Bay Brass Cones with Aurios were more uncoloured and true.
It is a very fine line to toe - your personal preference and system synergy may just tilt the balance in favour of one over the other. Alternatively, it could boil down to simply whether you are a tube head or a SS man.
I will be very interested the hear the results of your experience with Symposium/Aurio. Have fun !
Instead of combining Symposium/Aurios, why not use Rollerblock sandwich?
My original observation that since Aurios is recommending placing the single bearing on top of MIB bearing to reduce contact area "seems" to vindicate that the less complicated more direct appraoch of Symposium Rollerblock may be the way to go. I have heard people recommend the best sound is obtained using two sets of Rollerblocks to make 3 sandwiches, one block above and one below a single bearing creating a sandwich. In effect this is a much higher end version of the Daruma bearing design.
This gives high tolerance bearing two super polished surfaces to contact, getting closer to the ideal of two single points of contact. Of course the cost is doubled, but sounds like you guys are in the upper income brackets, for me it would be too expensive.
I have owned both Symposium Rollerblocks and Aurios MIBs in the past, but have never tried the sandwich before and am just repeating what I have read elsewhere.
Tried the Symposium/Aurios sandwich because I discovered the Aurios first. Bought a set of Symposium to try and liked it. Found the Orchard Bay Cones, and the rest is history. I am sure the effects of a double Symposium sandwich will be as good (I dare say poss better).
Not, I am not exactly in the high income bracket. In my view, normally, high income = no time. I guess I am just in the highly obssessed category when it comes to a pet subject. It was PCs for a while, now it is isolation, resonance tuning. Once I get everything right ......
Seems Symposium has also heard about "double stack" of rollerblocks and has a special page at website describing how to do it:
I also noticed they have a new product called the Rollerblock JR which is a version of the Daruma.
Gilas, Where did you find the Orchard Bay cones? Been looking. Thanks
The only place to find Orchard Bay is A Sanctuary of Sound; web site is http://www.weekendenvironments.com/ and you can email Stewart at Wkendenvir@aol.com
This is a terrific dealer, while your there sign up for his newsletter, he often has some excellent ideas.
Thank you. When I spoke with Stewart a few days ago, he reported that Orchard Bay is retooling and it will be a few months before any production. Thanks again.