A new SMT level 3 reference room

#21
As much as I like your room, I think in my own space I'd want some acoustically transparent fabric stretched across at least the sidewalls, possibly all walls and ceiling too. I think after a couple glasses of wine I might get a little dizzy!
 

flyer

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#22
Hi Bobvin,

Actually I agree with you but as it is today, does not mean it cannot be as you describe. It just becomes a matter of literally 'covering it up'. But I like to think that showing the treatment behind a nice textile fabric (printed or not) would be more interesting for the forum.

Personally, except for the bubbles maybe, I don't think I will cover things up if only because I listen mostly with all lights out :)
 

flyer

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#23
I have continued to test a few things and this weekend I optimized the speaker position in my room.

The outcome is really amazing: whereas my speaker centre was positioned at about 60 cms from the S-wings (which to 'traditional standard' is already pretty or too close), they are now positioned at about 35 cms from the S-wings only. The back of my speaker is at about 25 cms from the S-wing.
The 25 cms difference may not seem much but multiplied by two (for the two speakers), you get a substantial increase in speaker separation and following that a huge soundstage width (and depth) that is very much reinforced by the lateral wings because the speakers are less pinched to the centre allowing a kind of uniform sound field from side to side that envelops the complete listening position.

Actually, due to the fact my speakers have a plinth at the bottom, I cannot put them closer to the wings as they are now, although I would like to try that!

The effect, due to the uniform treatment and the way the diffusion works, is amazing: a very holographic image with an improved density and veracity of timbre (normally the effect is the other way round!!), excellent bass, no hole in the middle, improved micro-dynamics and a real sense as if I am sitting in the hall where the performance was recorded. You have to hear it to believe it. I feel my system performance has gone up, not one notch but a whole bunch of them!
 

sbo6

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May 19, 2014
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#24
Stunning room, congrats. I'm surprised you are able to get the speakers so close to the corners without any significant bass loading. Admittedly, I don't fully understand how the SMTs work (more of a diffusor/sound delayer I believe?) but sound like you've got it sounding great.
 
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#25
Hello again! Nice to see that you like the new position closer to the Walls. I would recommend 35-40 cm from sidewall with frontfiring loudspeakers. With speakers like MBL(spreading 360 degrees) you can go as close as 30 cm to the wings. I use My passive basspeakers all the way into the corners, because if I have them out in the room I loose alot of power in the 50 Hz region, due to room dimension. It took some time to find the right place for bass- speaker. After adjustments of bass-speakers I had to tune the V4 and V6 helmholtz to get the bass right. The speakers top (mid/tweeter) I have out in the room with stands( speaker Verity Audio), 35 cm from sidewall. I really like the deep and wide soundstage these products give when you put the speakers like this, the speakers really disapears. The wing-family delivers.
Regards Krelle
 
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Mctwins

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#26
Very nice looking room:)

The only complain I have is the rug on the floor. Put some Flower wings on the first reflection points instead.
 

bonzo75

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#27
Hi all, Flyer was kind enough to host me today. Had a great day at his place. Brussels is easy to get to from London, you land even before you finish the coffee served in the plane. And he lives just 15 mins away.

Some observations.
1. It was a small room. 17*14 feet, with almost 2 feet on either side packed with SMT wings and Helmholtz resonators. However, I later learned the sound travels through the wings, unlike bouncing off an absorber. It travels through, and comes out with a delay, delaying the reflections.

2. The sound was extremely clean and transparent. Flyer mentioned he has a flat frequency response except for a peak of 5 db at 30 - 40 and suckout of 5 at 50 - 70.

3. It is incredible how close he can have cone speakers to the corner of the room without any boom issues. We played classical at extremely loud levels and there was no boom.

4. He has a glass door on the back wall, but moving the wings across takes care of the problem.

5. We ABed the wings at the back. We took some out, and then added them back in. Each time on taking them out, the sound lost some 3D as it lost some stage, and receded towards the speakers

6. The SMT looks beautiful.

7. Flyer was clear that one doesn't necessarily need to spend so much, should be sufficient at first and second reflection points and on the front wall (center and behind each speaker), then behind the listener.

8. His lower wall is full of Helmholtz resonators running around the room.

9. The audition music was 99% classical as we both share a similar music taste. Rips were played through Totaldac. Dynamics on Mahler 2 and the bass on Bach's Organ were excellent.

Overall, a great learning experience.

ps: I had previously ABed 2 wings in Elberoth's sytem at first reflection points, and there they had added focus and cohesion.
 
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Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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#28
That is very interesting. Thank you for the report!
 
#30
Hi flyer

Are there any news in your room?
You mentioned that you would like to have planar speakers instead...
 

flyer

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#31
Hi flyer

Are there any news in your room?
You mentioned that you would like to have planar speakers instead...
Hello Christoph,
Well, yes I did end up doing something I normally never do: buy equipment without proper testing. In my search for ever better sound, I bought a pair of Analysis Audio speakers, the Omega model.
To cut a long story short: its behaviour in my room is not very different from normal dynamic speakers. I think my room kind of creates a depth and a width with any type of speaker in there it seems.
Of course, the Omega has a ribbon that is towering 1m70 high so it does give a realistic height to the sound image, more so than with a cone speaker and that adds to the 3D image for certain but it is not night and day and doesn't compensate for what I am missing from a dynamic speaker. I think a combination of both, like the Soulsonic Impulse speakers that I could hear one day at Totaldac (and floored me, reason why I started looking for a ribbon speaker), is close to perfection. That speaker is too big for my room though.

I put the Analysis Audio speakers back for sale as I ultimately prefer to listen to a dynamic speaker until the arrival of a new pair of speakers ... just yesterday I went to listen for what turned out to be an excellent speaker, in all respects; Aries Cerat's Symphonia horn speaker.
The Symphonia is due to be in my room in three months time, can't wait :)
 
#32
Hello flyer

Thanks for your reply.

I have heard Analysis Audio several times, but always preferred overhauled Apogees.
Have you never considered Apogees as an alternative?
Henk, a very gifted Apogee installer/restorer, lives pretty close to you, near Rotterdam.

But the speaker you will be getting is certainly no slouch at all.
I heard them some years ago at the High End in Munich and ranked them in my top three systems that year.
I'm very confident that the Aries Cerat Symphonia will be absolutely awesome in your room.
Last week I got to listen to the Aries Cerat Diana and it was REALLY good. Will you drive the Symphonia with Aries Cerat amplification?

Cheers,
Christoph
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#33
Hello flyer

Thanks for your reply.

I have heard Analysis Audio several times, but always preferred overhauled Apogees.
Have you never considered Apogees as an alternative?
Henk, a very gifted Apogee installer/restorer, lives pretty close to you, near Rotterdam.

But the speaker you will be getting is certainly no slouch at all.
I heard them some years ago at the High End in Munich and ranked them in my top three systems that year.
I'm very confident that the Aries Cerat Symphonia will be absolutely awesome in your room.
Last week I got to listen to the Aries Cerat Diana and it was REALLY good. Will you drive the Symphonia with Aries Cerat amplification?

Cheers,
Christoph
Henk's apogees are better than analysis, but the analysis that flyer has are stock, and the overhauled ones that get sold in the US are much different. Also, flyer and I discussed this, he has diffusers behind his panels in a 17ft room (or the room is 17 ft after the treatment, don't remember). Henk advised that in his room, with the diffusers, one needs to sit 5m away to avoid comb filtering. Also, all other panels I have heard, have preferred flat front walls
 

flyer

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#34
Yes I did consider Apogees but there are a few reasons why I haven't followed that avenue. One of them being that, as I have become a semi-pro as a distributor for a number of brands, I want a loudspeaker brand that I can represent commercially. As I am already distributor for Aries Cerat, this doesn't mean I automatically adopt all of their products in my line-up since each component is evaluated on its own merits. I started with their preamp, the Impera, and compared it to peers. I then did the same consecutively with the amplifiers (Concero 65) and the DAC. And all of them bettered or at least equalled (but at a far lower price) what I already had or knew.

I just now applied the same logic to the speakers and during a really long listening session, I immediately recognized in them the widely discussed advantages of horn speakers but not the drawbacks so typically associated to them. And these advantages propel them way beyond what a pure panel speaker (with a ribbon) will ever be able to do, except if you end up with a hybrid panel probably as discussed in so many threads and even then I doubt if the low end will be as resolved, the dynamics as realistic, the timbres as real, the holographic image as frightening, the absence of coloration as transparent, etc. AND somehow room friendly...

My conclusion is that I don’t see a way, even when tweaking crossovers or using this type of magnet instead of that type of magnets or having such surface or such surface of bass panel, that the fundamentals of the Omega or any other similar panel will be able to get near this. It is a matter of design.
Now hold your horses, I don't say the Symphonia are ideal but they are the closest that I ever heard! Did I hear them all, no. Did I hear Apogees before, no. Did I hear Avantgarde before, yes and was the main reason why I didn't want to go and give the Symphonia a good listen earlier...
I have the Aries Cerat Concero 65 amplifier to drive the Symphonia although even their 25watt counterpart or the Diana integrated are enough to drive them as they have 101dB efficiency. But I need the 65Watt version to be able to do demos on other speakers because the Concero 65 drives dynamic speakers with an efficiency of 87-90dB very good as well.

The facts from Bonzo's post need nuanced somehow. Henk has never been in my room and I suspect very much he hasn't heard SMT wings nor has he knowledge of how they operate. The effect Bonzo learnt from Henk is correct IF you have panels in place that are based on the Schroeder theory (like QRD panels), where you effectively need to sit at a distance of minimally 3 or 4 times the longest wave length that such panel diffuses.
As described in an earlier post, before I had the SMT wings I had plenty of Schroeder panels installed and I threw them all out as effectively my room is too small to have these. With the SMT wings, you can sit up to 30 cms from them and not having the combing effect. This is evidenced by the fact they now show up in so many audio shows where they substantially improve the sound image and envelopment experience of the listener in about any room.
Now, the fact that panels prefer flat front walls… maybe, but I don’t say their sound image is not good (enough), there is no problem there. But, because of the wing treatment, I get a quite similar soundstage effect with cone speakers as I do with the Omega, so the latter’s typical advantage over the other types of speakers is greatly reduced in my room, not the other way round!
 

853guy

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Aug 14, 2013
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#35
Hello Christoph,
Well, yes I did end up doing something I normally never do: buy equipment without proper testing. In my search for ever better sound, I bought a pair of Analysis Audio speakers, the Omega model.
To cut a long story short: its behaviour in my room is not very different from normal dynamic speakers. I think my room kind of creates a depth and a width with any type of speaker in there it seems.
Of course, the Omega has a ribbon that is towering 1m70 high so it does give a realistic height to the sound image, more so than with a cone speaker and that adds to the 3D image for certain but it is not night and day and doesn't compensate for what I am missing from a dynamic speaker. I think a combination of both, like the Soulsonic Impulse speakers that I could hear one day at Totaldac (and floored me, reason why I started looking for a ribbon speaker), is close to perfection. That speaker is too big for my room though.

I put the Analysis Audio speakers back for sale as I ultimately prefer to listen to a dynamic speaker until the arrival of a new pair of speakers ... just yesterday I went to listen for what turned out to be an excellent speaker, in all respects; Aries Cerat's Symphonia horn speaker.
The Symphonia is due to be in my room in three months time, can't wait :)
Hi Flyer!

Wow, congrats! I'm truly excited for you. When Stavros makes certain claims it's initially difficult to work out if he's been outlandishly arrogant or simply woefully deluded. Having heard the Kassandra, Impera II and Concero 65 in less-than ideal conditions, I've accepted that there's possibly a third explanation: He just knows how to design SOTA gear and his modesty doesn't let him lie about it.

Looking forward to catching up at some stage.

853guy
 

awsmone

Active Member
Apr 7, 2014
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Canberra Australia
#36
Flyer , the room looks just oh so perfect . Is that an actual picture , or a coputerized 3D rendering ?

I too recently treated my room with products from SMT . The Bubble diffusers for the ceiling, Wing 95 for the side walls and a trio of Acrylic V Wing for the front wall . Extremely happy with the results , sonically and aesthetically . Bravo Matts !

i know a great company that will 3D render your room with the panels if u want to play with ideas

just supply photos of room and dimensions