Great thread/post Sean. Is it record length for you;>) And when I get up the nerve, I might look for the Ayre CD you describe. Cheers. Craig
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Very interesting. I just left a message @ a local dealer to check the price. I would like to use this as a tool to Beta test some PC's that I am currently breaking in. Might be fun to use it with both my personal cables and the test batch to see if it further documents the "musical" characteristics of either. If it's expensive though I will pass.
First off, Sean really had me worried! Just as I got into work today my desk phone was ringing & it was Sean asking if I had read this post yet? I hadn't yet seen it, but from the tone of his voice I just knew that he had blown something up with that glide-tone track. So I'm happy to learn that didn't actually happen because it would be easy to break something with this CD if you're not being careful.
Now the cost: only $19.95 from Music Direct; I believe they're having a special right now but I don't know the list price. Just contact Bes at amusicdirect.com And yes this makes for a great breakin disc too.
I had the same experience re: "resonance circus" it was very interesting to hear all the nodes nulls & other acoustical problems going on within my room. At one point the mirror over the fireplace really got going but the most surprising & noticable resonant peak came from the front door; it seemed just about to come unglued. This glide track will really help you to localize any problems in your listening room. I also noticed image moving around all over the place & discovered that I'm sorely in need of some further room treatments.
I also experienced an interesting improvement in the sound of the system after running that glide tone. Ayre explains that running this track somehow helps to "degauss the residuals" (or some such thing - I can't read the CD's label right now because it's at Seans' house). Whatever it does it definitely does well, because the system sounds somehow overall smoother & cleaner now. It's hard to describe this effect in words, better to just hear the results for yourself. Even my wife noticed the improvement immediately. The instructions advise to run the track about once a month as a maintenance tool & I definitely plan on doing just that.
This disc also serves as a great diagnostic tool with its various noise tracks. For the low cost I'd say that Ayre has a real winner, although I doubt we'll see this one on Billboards' Top 40?
I thought the snap in the frequency sweep was something else. I hear two of these pops (snaps) when I play frequency sweep. I guessed that those were the frequencies where speakers were crossed over. The sound is most evident at higher frequency. I thought it sweep was going from my midrange to my tweeter.
Crazyconnell, now you have me wondering. I only experienced this "cracking" on my one system and it was at low frequencies. As mentioned, i had the volume up WAY too loud when this took place, so i assumed that it was "system overload". It can't be anything related to crossovers in this system, as each cabinet houses one full range driver. The speaker cables connect directly to the driver with nothing to interfere with the signals. Coincidentally, this is the same system that was reproducing the 5 Hz signal at high amplitude ( compared to my other MUCH larger speakers ).
As a test, i just played the disc again on that same system at a reduced level and there is no "cracking" to be heard. Replaying it again at increased amplitude brought back the "popping" or "cracking" sound. Maybe your amp is "having a fit" trying to load into a reactive crossover point ??? Sean
Ray, the "cracking" took place in my "computer room" system. I'm currently running a Robertson 6010 ( 200 / 400 ) driving modified Ohm F's. Speaker cables are currently Nordost. I was running a pair of Kinergetics KBA-202A Platinum Mono-blocks with Goertz MI-3's to the Ohm's ( 250 / 500 / 800 ), but took the amps out of the system to do some upgrades / modifications to them. As soon as i can get the mono-blocks done, i'll be ripping into the Robertson.
Other than this one "weird" experience, i've never had any complaints about the current combo. I had run into problems with other amps going into clipping with these speakers, but never this severe. The worst offender previous to this was a Bryston rated at 250 / 400. It would clip just trying to listen at "normal" ( for me ) listening levels playing "regular" music ( not test tones ). Needless to say, out the door it went. I know that it was not faulty, as it had just come back from their U.S. repair facility and had met spec with flying colors.
To be fair though, i have had an amp in here that had very fast acting power meters on it and it was showing dynamic peaks of well over 900 watts into these speakers. If you aren't careful with the volume control and the type of music that you play on them, they can EASILY suck an amp dry. As such, they are not an "every day" speaker for use with "every day" type of amplification. That is probably why the people that had negative experiences with this speaker obtained the results that they did. They are extremely finicky and require a LOT of TLC to get the best out of them that they can do. Once set-up right with good gear, you will never hear a deeper or wider soundstage in your life. Sean
Heh, if you like listening to sine waves check out the group Pan sonic. (nee Panasonic; Matsushita wasn't happy)
Anyway, I got an idea one day. I hooked up an old toy Casio keyboard (SK1, good for circuit bending) and messed around for a while. The cable wouldn't reach back to my listening seat, but I could still really hear the room. The up side was I could control the pitch and hold it, and I don't think it really matters that the closest you can get to a sine wave is the flute. It's a good way to track down rattles and resonances.
There was a CD from a collaboration of XLO and Sheffield Labs, circa 1994, which also had a glide tone on it. Actually two tones, splitting the frequency spectrum. Shorter in duration than the long one on the Ayre. I found it to be sometimes quite effective in clearing out the cobwebs, as is the Ayre (which of course I also bought).
sean. another remarkable forum from you, and a rekindling of my interest in sweep-frequency tests of enclosure performances. Of course, it would be desirable to employ a dual-trace oscilloscope with a microphone, so that the test signal waveform can be compared to the output waveform from the microphone. An ideal enclosure/listening room would then produce a sound-output waveforem that has the same shape as the test-signal waveform. Of course, departures will always be noticed in the vicinity of the speaker's self-resonant frequency, crossover frequerncy, or because of residual resonances. Although this type of test is very helfpul, it does not provide transient response data. Does the Ayre disc have a tone-burst test as well? A sweep-frequency test can only provide steady-state response data, whereas a atone-burst test provides information about transient response--where the liveliness and vitality of music resides.
HAHAHA.... Kind of amazing, isn't it ? It was almost like i had a pinpoint "ball of sonic energy" floating around the room on one of my systems. It was almost as if i could literally reach out and touch where the sound was emanating from it was so concentrated. This varied from place to place as the frequency sweep rose. Obviously, i think that we've ALL got a lot of work to do on our rooms after hearing this disc.
One interesting thought: the next time you go to an audio dealer, take this disc with you and listen to the sweep before auditioning anything. It will tell you ( and the dealer ) just how "good" or "bad" their "reference" system really is : ) Sean