kach22i's system

kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#1
I'm still making changes but have it sort of figured out (Back in the Saddle Again - Kind of).

Moved after 27 years into a little house on the river (built 1947) with a finished walk-out basement, concrete floor at last.

After watching several Dennis Foley (Acoustic Fields) and many other videos plus reading articles including an excellent What's Best 2011 thread that explained how the subwoofer crossover can phase shift the polarity I have finally achieved integration.

Lots of cleaning up to do, as you can see in the photos below boxes everywhere, including my CD collection, Home Theater yet to be installed, and final room build-out just a dream on paper.

Old system.

My current 2-channel system:

Turntable: Dual 503 CS
Modifications include added dampening mass with plumbers seal in plinth and underside of platter, aluminum and acrylic plates below, output wires have been cut and terminated with RCA jacks, connected to preamp with 2 meter run of Cardas neutral Reference.

Cartridge: Grado Sonada, MM

CD Player: McIntosh MCD7009

CD Changer: 5-Disc Yamaha CDC-605

Tuner: Kenwood KT-5300 silver face ($10 from the recycle store).

Compact Cassette Deck: Yamaha KX-200U

Pre-Amp: GRAAF WFB One, tube with tube phono section (Italy)

AMP: Rotel RB-870BX (100 watts) solid state.

Future Amp(s): 2 Golden Tube Audio SE-100 (100 watts) bridgeable to mono with Russian Tung-Sol EL-34 tubes, awaiting restoration. They will go on spiked butcher-block platforms along front wall.

Speakers: Martin Logan - Aerius (the original 1992 - a pair of the first couple hundred built).

Subwoofer: M&K MX-80 push-pull 12" woofers, 80 watts.

Power Strip: Furman rack mount type with LED lights

Interconnects and speaker wires: Nordost – Blue Heaven all around plus some AudioQuest here and there.

Audio Rack: Atlantis (Canadian made)

Listening Chair: Eames lounge chair with ottoman (Chinese knock-off)

Record Cleaner: Record Doctor from AA, plus all the usual gadgets/guns/brushes etc...

Music: Jazz, Alternative/Progressive and Classic Rock…….and just about anything else.

Room: Approx. 11'W x 22'L x 7'H with plans to isolate (new walls/doors) and shorten to 15'L, close to golden ratio.


kach22i-stereo-sub1.jpg

EDIT-1:

Future build-out will include moving stereo and H.T. equipment into built-in shelves under the stairs to the left after removal of closet wing wall.

A rectangular perimeter ceiling drop will conceal the last few stair stringer runs, and also serve as a bass trap + serve as duct run on right side.

Duct-work and many twists/turns with switchbacks to prevent sound migration into adjacent spaces and upper level will be incorporated.

Have considered a mini-split just for this room per Bobby Owsinski's video , but with such a small room I don't think I will need it.

https://ledgernote.com/reviews/best-studio-subwoofers/
Single-monitor-subwoofer-placement.jpg
 

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kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#2
Subwoofer-Center-tRTtr2.jpg

One of the images I originally wanted to post didn't show up, so here it is (unknown original source).

I suggest trying this kind of set-up before buying a second, third, and fourth subwoofer.

This is yet another situation where............ less is more.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
4,292
934
198
Switzerland
#3
View attachment 62860

One of the images I originally wanted to post didn't show up, so here it is (unknown original source).

I suggest trying this kind of set-up before buying a second, third, and fourth subwoofer.

This is yet another situation where............ less is more.
Interesting, two things: 1) I have owned the Golden Tube Audio SE-100 and the only speakers it really sounded good with were STAX ELS-F81 electrostats...so might be a great match on yours...they were too warm and mushy on other speakers I tried but psychadelically good on the STAXes. 2) When I was using a sub, I found that the sub in the middle and in front of the speakers (far right pic) was the best in terms of coherence...it makes sense because that is closer to just adding a woofer to your existing speakers...in the corner makes a lot of bass but it sounds quite disconnected, IMO...as does anywhere behind the speakers.
 

kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#4
Wow, Stax made more than headphones?

I looked them up, nice looking.

The GTA SE-100's are incredible with my Areius speakers. The bass is the best part which goes against every I have read about tubes and stats.

Female vocals and vinyl records are like heaven.

I need to replace all of the resistors 11 ohm at 2 watt as a few of them have failed.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
4,292
934
198
Switzerland
#5
Wow, Stax made more than headphones?

I looked them up, nice looking.

The GTA SE-100's are incredible with my Areius speakers. The bass is the best part which goes against every I have read about tubes and stats.

Female vocals and vinyl records are like heaven.

I need to replace all of the resistors 11 ohm at 2 watt as a few of them have failed.
Stats need voltage and tubes swing voltage...as long as the impedance curves are not too onerous it works great. The STAX mostly had rather high impedance. Tubes also worked great on my Audiostatics and my (three pairs!!) of Acoustats. I have since moved to horns but I still like the sound of a good stat or ribbon...
 

kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#6
I've had my Martin Logan's for a quarter century and only last night experienced The Dave Brubeck Quartet's Colombia LP Time Further Out (side 2) in a realistic tactile way I've not heard on any system at any price before.

The drums were drums, the hand clapping was hand clapping.....................and all because I finally set the speakers up (including subwoofer) properly with few compromises, and had just tweaked the system.

1. Temporary room acoustics that included pillows, blankets, and cardboard boxes filled with rolls of drawings (in a corner).

2. Moving exercise weights around, took some off the mains, put some on the subwoofer.

3. Adjusted the spikes on the main speakers using a level with bubble so that my flashlight hit the same height on both.

4. Moved the subwoofer towards me another five inches to match the diagram.

5. Moved my chair closer to the speakers another 3 inches.

6. Adjusted toe-in (flashlight method) from 50/50 to 3/8 and 5/8, yes this differs from the standard 1/3 and 2/3 rule.

7. Adjusted volume and cross over frequency on subwoofer slightly because of move.

Now I just have to find my Dave Brubeck Quartet LP "Time Out" in stereo, found the Mono version and the follow up LP Time Further Out. I have it on CD as well, might find it and do a comparison.

I will list what LP's and CD's I've been using these past couple of weeks to tune the system later, gotta go now.
 

kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#7
One thing perhaps not made clear enough in the opening post is that the fewer things located in between the speakers (excluding subwoofer) the better, as anything in the middle will interfere with sound-staging.

Something in between the speakers like mono-amps on platforms or a low slung sub are less of a problem.

Items do not have to be at ear level to be of nuisance, the reason being that driver radiation patterns are not 2D FLAT as seen in polar radiation charts, the lobes are 3D.

This means the AIR adjacent, below and above the driver are part of the sonic presentation, and if you nibble into it, it's like a half eaten pie.

You want the WHOLE pie, don't you?

This phenomena may be more present in dipole and panel speaker than conventional dynamic drivers, and even less present in typical horn speakers, however it should not be ignored in any of them, in my opinion.

Radiation pattern varies with frequency (usually).

https://realtraps.com/art_front-wall.htm


Move your audio rack off to a sidewall if you can (it's in my plans), and not at a first reflection point if you can help it.
 

kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#8
Just got permission from the wife to remove wing wall under stairs off to the left. A job just for a utility knife for now, will remove corner studs once I verify nothing is bearing on it.

She's digging the LP's jazz I've playing the last few nights, and said the system has never sounded so good.

I guess that's one good thing about an open room and stairwell, all the frequencies travel, and not just the bass.
 

kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#9
I have gone through over a dozen changes in the last few months, mostly just moving stuff around but what a difference. Not more than three days go by without a change, and then it is several changes at once.

It has all been for the better, never knew what my system was capable of, and I've owned the majority of it for about 25 years. 20200501_192108.jpg
 

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kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#10
A few more, 10 at a time it tells me. 20200501_192340.jpg 20200501_192155.jpg 20200501_192254.jpg
 

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kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#12
What you are looking at is a work in progress. For instance, the foamcore board and rubber flooring ceiling diffusers with the waves were a proof of concept mock-up.

Plan is to build some walls, rework the ductwork and have a perimeter ceiling drop, with raise part in middle with wavy wood at 45 degrees. From what little area I covered and with a different material I am confident it's going to work well.

The 1 inch thick stainless steel and 1 inch aluminum I placed on MDF on pie racks is just blowing my mind. Future audio rack just got more metal thrown into it.

I am glad I got the big linear tonearm Pioneer PL-L1000 into the system.

It's only got away from me once, left a light scratch going right across a record, but I cannot hear the scratch it's so light.

I moved the Ikea Kallax record shelf acting as a room divider back 18" just two days ago. Nice improvement, and with a future wall behind it will be within the "Bolt Area" for favorable room dimensions.

My big tube amps are going to have to wait for their needed repairs. I have to get the room build out first. I've been playing only music my wife can tolerate. No Iggy Pop.
 
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kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#13
My second system in the shed where I smoke my pipe or enjoy a cigar.

20200509_165100.jpg


And a view from the shed's back porch where I keep my ratted out Eames and ottoman Chinese knock off. The view of the river is relaxing, so many birds.

20200509_165719.jpg

And a view from the side entry stairs where I sun myself with tunes on.

20200509_170451.jpg
 
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kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#14
Back in the main room, moved audio racks back three feet to avoid first and second wall reflections. Moved CD rack as well. 20200509_183942.jpg 20200509_183955.jpg

Placed Ice and Water Shield (non-granulated) under 1" stainless steel and 1" aluminum plates under equipment.

Sound has opened up further, getting closer to what I've been drawing/sketching for my eventual build-out.

Kind of in disarray, but sounding good.

The front wall is going to have to be monolithic and maybe even smooth because even the blank canvas hanging in the middle was messing things up just by projecting out a few inches.

I'm thinking of using smooth solid core doors to conceal my plasma TV, simple hinges so middle panels open up. All the HT speakers in same opening. Time will tell, it's formulating on it's own.
 

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kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#15
The rough sketch of a room continues. I'm going to nickname this phase "Eye On The Ball" because that's the feeling it gave me, like I was able to get closer and zoned in and just about to whack the ball.

What it entails is further mock-up experiments dealing with sidewall reflection points. The 2 foot wide, 4 foot tall white partial cylinders are hard to miss. I never had a feeling they were just another element in the room, they just worked with no fanfare.

20200510_221159.jpg 20200510_141619.jpg 20200510_221045.jpg 20200510_221011.jpg 20200510_220916.jpg
 
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kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#16
Turntable: Dual 503 CS
Modifications include added dampening mass with plumbers seal in plinth and underside of platter, aluminum and acrylic plates below, output wires have been cut and terminated with RCA jacks, connected to preamp with 2 meter run of Cardas neutral Reference.

Audio Rack: Atlantis ........[/SIZE]
I don't know how to update my opening post, so I'll do it here.

Main turntable in service is now a linear tonearm direct drive Pioneer PL-L1000, and is outfitted with the Grado Sonata cartridge.

The old Dual that I bought new in the mid-1980's has it's original Ortofon OM-10 which tends to be bright and light on the bass. I just put a new belt on it and have yet to test drive it.

Third turntable is a direct drive S-shaped tone arm Technics SL-3200, a model just prior to quartz controlled ones that became legendary. It has a Grado F-1+ on it.

Audio rack change as well.

I took apart my maple butcher block and aluminum I-beam rack, it shall be recycled into other projects.

I disassembled my tall Atlantis rack, it will go up for sale after the pandemic or if my brother wants it, it's his. It is a shame that I never got around to shot filling the frame posts.

Temporary audio rack is sounding pretty good. No spikes or shot filling, but I've attended to some resonance control, mass loading and stiffness issues.

Start with a pie rack, lay down dense foam rubber weather stripping on metal rods that would come in contact with 3/4" MDF shelves. Then lay down a layer of Ice & Water shield for viscoelastomeric dampening, and on top of that sit 1" thick nonmagnetic stainless steel and or 1" thick aluminum plates.

I do NOT have need for spikes under equipment with this system.

I do employ some coupling via bronze/brass and copper weights on equipment. And put the Pioneer T.T. rubber mat on top of the tuner to control resonance. The Dual rubber mat is on the Pioneer's platter as it is 1mm thinner and VTA is better.

The now rubber mat-less Dual currently sports a 78 LP with tiny wads of duct-seal on the aluminum platter as it's platter mat.

The Dual was too laid back but spacious, the Technics was hard hitting but too forward and little sense of space. I took tweaking measures to draw the two closer personality wise, but the Pioneer bested them both across the board and with none of their flaws.

The near perfect pitch of the Pioneer with it's linear tonearm took some of the flavor out of what made spinning records different than CD's, but I do not miss the distortion and welcome the accuracy.

I now use an Ionic Breeze-Quadra of my wife's over the turntable and record cleaner. I swear it knocks down static build-up from cleaning and playing before it has a chance to form.

Records sounding more like CD's everyday, but in a good way.

Time spent playing vinyl records just flys by, whereas CD spinning seems to be on a clock. They both sound great, but part of my mind treats them differently even if I do not.
 
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kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#17
I got the old reciprocating saw and wrecking bars out the other day. Took nearly all day today to clean up, but well worth it.

It's been like Christmas every few days for months now as every change has been a new gift.

I gotta tackle that stupid post soon. The knuckleheads that framed out the stair opening did not do it conventionally. I need to double up several floor joists and put some proper hangers in there. This means tearing open the ceiling on that end of the house. I have an alternate idea that is far less intrusive but unconventional, still debating the merits of both schemes.
20200522_191928.jpg
20200522_191431.jpg
 

kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#18
Diffuser/absorber curved added to each side wall to treat first/early reflection.

20200524_163544.jpg 20200524_163637.jpg 20200524_161955.jpg 20200524_163500.jpg

Sound better with furry blankets behind not over panels.

Plans to improve design and make it even easier to move.

20200525_144624.jpg 20200525_144624.jpg

Some sketches from a few nights ago.

20200525_211132.jpg
 
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kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#19
Like I said, every day or two more changes.

This time I sought to explore the validity of either building my own subwoofer or modifying my existing one. The goal would be to minimize it's presence in the front soundstage by reducing external reflections.

To test the concept I placed the 23" high subwoofer on it's back so it is just 19" high. How does a 4" lower configuration sound? Great, vocals are no longer partially sunk behind the subwoofer.

Soundstage has expanded and is more coherent.

In addition a small pieces of foam are located at the sub's front edges and whole back face covered in foam, something I've had in place for some time to good affect.

I also seemed to have raised the vocals with a 8"x12" piece of foam centered and at wall to ceiling junction.

It is these little changes done on the cheap that delight me so. I am easily amused.

20200526_163458.jpg 20200526_163635.jpg 20200526_163526.jpg 20200526_164159.jpg
 

kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,517
174
225
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#20
https://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/room_acoustics2_e.html
QUOTE:
I used to conduct an experiment in the most difficult room I have set up, where a group of music lovers would be brought into the room and subjected to their usual eyes closed "Can you hear a difference?" exercise........End Quote.

Click the link, the section to take note of follows the quoted part above (about 1/3 of the way in).

Great example of what I have grown to appreciate about front stage reflections.

Those of us old enough to remember CRT TV screens will have a good laugh.
 

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