K.I.S.S., the basics and the Sound Revalation, for me anyhow!

Hi-FiGuy

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Feb 24, 2015
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#1
So tonight I undressed one of my Maggies to fix a loose buzzing wire. There she is sitting there naked as a Jay bird and I am listening for the buzzing and I kill the other speaker and holy cow, where did all this bass come from. Bring the other speaker back in and reduced bass.
You know where this is going, I check all my wiring and everything is in phase by colors, everything seems in order. So I figure what the hell and I switch the polarity on one speaker and Holy Crap, the heavens opened up and music rained down.
I have always had issues with bass and was attributing it to the Maggies (older set). Well tonight I happily shut off the subwoofer!
I also have been having issues with soundstage, which shouldn't happen with the Maggies, the speakers friggin disappeared and the musicians came in the room.
I also turned off the Equalizer and have the tone controls almost flat!
I have been listening to music for hours tonight like its the first time ever with an ear to ear grin!
Now I will figure out where the phase reversal is happening.
I know my system is not worthy compared to yous guys, but tonight I feel like I bought a brand new kit!
 
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JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
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#2
Do you use XLR's? I wonder if one of them has got their pins 2,3 reversed. There are phase reverse plugs/adapters that can be bought cheap. They are usually used by roadies in case they come across bum mic cables and are in need of a band-aid. It could be useful if you don't want to open up your Kubalas. Somehow I don't think Joe and company would ever make that mistake though. It could be a mistake inside any of the electronics. If lazy and not OC, just leave it that way :D
 

Hi-FiGuy

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Feb 24, 2015
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#3
No XLR.
I am going to use my Fluke meter and check the cables.
I am going to check the cross over on the other Maggie and if those turn out correct that pretty much leaves the internals of the amp.
If its the Amp ,the wires stay switched.
I do not suspect the cables, but you never know.
I do not know to much of the history of the amp.
I have not checked between sources either, only phono so far.
Will have to start swimming upstream slowly.
Either way I am thrilled about listening to my rig! :) :D ;)
 
May 30, 2010
13,939
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Portugal
#4
No XLR.
I am going to use my Fluke meter and check the cables.
I am going to check the cross over on the other Maggie and if those turn out correct that pretty much leaves the internals of the amp.
If its the Amp ,the wires stay switched.
I do not suspect the cables, but you never know.
I do not know to much of the history of the amp.
I have not checked between sources either, only phono so far.
Will have to start swimming upstream slowly.
Either way I am thrilled about listening to my rig! :) :D ;)
If you have a Fluke meter feed a low amplitude mono sinusoidal from a test disk to the system and measure the AC amplitude between the two positive pins along the chain - if they are in phase you get 0 as the signals are equal, if out of phase you get 2xVsignal.

Panels can be disturbing considering phase in low frequencies, as their back radiation self cancels bass. If your room or placement is very asymmetric you can have more bass at some low frequencies when out of phase. In case of doubt I always get the old Hifi News test CD that has a voice recorded in phase and out of phase saying "in phase" and "out of phase" !
 

Hi-FiGuy

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Feb 24, 2015
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#5
Thank you for that will see where I can find the signal.
Look forward to it as I love investigating things.
This has been a issue in the last 4 rooms of large varying dimensions.
 

Hi-FiGuy

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Feb 24, 2015
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#6
Do you use XLR's? I wonder if one of them has got their pins 2,3 reversed. There are phase reverse plugs/adapters that can be bought cheap. They are usually used by roadies in case they come across bum mic cables and are in need of a band-aid. It could be useful if you don't want to open up your Kubalas. Somehow I don't think Joe and company would ever make that mistake though. It could be a mistake inside any of the electronics. If lazy and not OC, just leave it that way :D
Then there is that part, if it is determined that something must be overhauled it will stay switched, otherwise I will not stop until that is determined. :eek:
 

Hi-FiGuy

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Feb 24, 2015
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#7
Update

So the update is this;
The phase issue is in the amp or preamp, the analog and digital chains both are out of phase.
Wires test fine and the speakers are wired proper internally.
What this has done however is brought out the tweaker again.
So these things happened;
1. Simplified the rig by eliminating the Equalizer/Tuner/Cassette Deck. System is now Amp/Pre/Turntable/Server/Speakers.
2. Verified and corrected A/C phase polarity (Jim Smith Get Better Sound) Thanks Jim!
3. Rotated the system 90 degrees in the room
4. Fabricated phase 1 of speaker stands that stand the panels straight up and put the center of the ribbon at ear level.
5. Repaired one speaker.
6. Measured and lasered relentlessly.
There is only so much revelation that can be had with this level of equipment but I am here to say it was worth all the effort many times over.
I have not shut the system off since and am having a blast. Didn't know this much good sound could come out of this equipment! All of the hyperbole, better this more of that, bigger, wider, less of some, quieter,expansive sounstage, noisefloor,blah blah blah!
Loving it as much as I can!
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Hi-FiGuy

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Feb 24, 2015
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#9
The Zone.
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Double isolation :cool: Two stands, one amp, keeps them in the same place.
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Phase two speaker stands, excellent results!
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Hi-FiGuy

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Feb 24, 2015
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#11
So last night I just sat and listened to Kansas Leftoverture, one of my all time favorite albums, not a bad track on it.
This is a severely multi tracked album and for the first time ever in my system it was all sorted out, I could actually hear every thing and everyone. All the individual backing vocals, each instrument and the individual strings/drum heads/keys. All of it!
To say I am extactic with the changes I made would be an understatement.
I had no idea my kit could do this, it's amazing, the inner tweaker won this round.
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
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#12
Congrats, I think the phase thing happens to everyone eventually, at least now you'll recognize it in the future!

Nice system! I'd try putting the speakers on spiked platforms with isolation between the platform and speakers... transferring vibration to the floor is never a good thing imo.
 

Hi-FiGuy

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Feb 24, 2015
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#13
A lesson in never assume!
I have probably reached my end in those speakers other than a triangulation project. Looking to upgrade them soon.
 
#14
The biggest SQ issues in most systems are from the preamp. I recommend a passive transformer linestage if you can do it. Obviously you may need an active stage for phono, but other sources don't need that. High quality transformers can not only produce quieter background, they provide true balanced to the amps, which typically like this better than SS outputs. These transformer linestages can be spendy though....

I don't use a pre BTW, not even a transformer linestage. My DAC changes volume by changing the reference voltage that the D/A uses. Only possible with digital.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
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#15
The biggest SQ issues in most systems are from the preamp. I recommend a passive transformer linestage if you can do it. Obviously you may need an active stage for phono, but other sources don't need that. High quality transformers can not only produce quieter background, they provide true balanced to the amps, which typically like this better than SS outputs. These transformer linestages can be spendy though....

I don't use a pre BTW, not even a transformer linestage. My DAC changes volume by changing the reference voltage that the D/A uses. Only possible with digital.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
That's cool with the DAC volume control! I've found a very high quality active stage has always been better in my systems, even if I had a TVC it would be followed by a good buffer. I've tried Bent and have an LDR, next step is Slagle's silver TVCs I think... :)
 

Hi-FiGuy

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Feb 24, 2015
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#16
Thanks guys for the new rabbit hole, I appreciate that very much! :eek:
Before I fall in I have one question, in your opinion do you think I would benefit from such a device on my current system?
I had no idea my system could resolve as much as it is currently, with the phase issue handled and all the other changes (room rotation/speaker placement/speaker stands/AC polarity) I got to believe there is more to be gained, but maybe not.

I read this http://www.high-endaudio.com/RC-Linestages.html#BOLERO with caution, what say you on this article?

I thought I had given up after hearing some of the mega kits from some of the members here, but these recent changes have me all hot and bothered again, passion renewed.
 
#17
Thanks guys for the new rabbit hole, I appreciate that very much! :eek:
Before I fall in I have one question, in your opinion do you think I would benefit from such a device on my current system?
Removing an active preamp and replacing with passive linestage is beneficial in most systems, unless the DAC or CD player has poor output drive/high-impedance. Also, it is critical that you use low capacitance analog cables, 5pF/foot or lower or you will get roll-off. It is important to use low capacitance cables from the DAC anyway, even to an active preamp.

I had no idea my system could resolve as much as it is currently, with the phase issue handled and all the other changes (room rotation/speaker placement/speaker stands/AC polarity) I got to believe there is more to be gained, but maybe not.
There is always more to be improved. Every time I think maybe it cannot get any better, it does.

I read this http://www.high-endaudio.com/RC-Linestages.html#BOLERO with caution, what say you on this article?

I thought I had given up after hearing some of the mega kits from some of the members here, but these recent changes have me all hot and bothered again, passion renewed.
I use this technique for digital audio at shows. I set my DAC volume so that the quietest track in my collection is just right and then use S/W volume control on an iPad to lower the volume up to 9 dB when a louder track is played. Works well and does not affect SQ to do S/W up to -9dB.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 

rblnr

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 3, 2010
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#18
Enjoy the Angel's Envy -- great stuff! I'm a fan of the rye too.
 

Hi-FiGuy

Member Sponsor
Feb 24, 2015
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#20
Removing an active preamp and replacing with passive linestage is beneficial in most systems, unless the DAC or CD player has poor output drive/high-impedance. Also, it is critical that you use low capacitance analog cables, 5pF/foot or lower or you will get roll-off. It is important to use low capacitance cables from the DAC anyway, even to an active preamp.



There is always more to be improved. Every time I think maybe it cannot get any better, it does.



I use this technique for digital audio at shows. I set my DAC volume so that the quietest track in my collection is just right and then use S/W volume control on an iPad to lower the volume up to 9 dB when a louder track is played. Works well and does not affect SQ to do S/W up to -9dB.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
What you are supposed to say is it can't get any better with what you have, but after what I have heard in my current changes I have to believe there is more to be found.
I will do the Bolero test and proceed with caution.
I appreciate the input.