Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
08/22/14 at 02:58:10


Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
New Basement system questions (Read 3126 times)
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2379
New Basement system questions
01/23/11 at 20:01:56
 
Quote:
Hello,

I'm about to undertake renovating our basement into a dedicated home theater/music room.  I am potentially interested in a number of Decware products and would appreciate your thoughts on my situation.

The space when finished will be 26 feet long, 10 feet 8 inches wide, and 7 feet 5 inches tall.  Not ideal, but it's what I've got.  An acoustically transparent screen (Stewart Filmscreen microperf) will be 4 feet in front of the front wall with the LCR speakers behind the screen.  It is likely that there will be a mechanical chase behind the screen as well, lowering the ceiling height in that area even more.  The room will be lively, not damped.  The floor will be carpeted and there will be upholstered seating, but I am not planning on using acoustical room treatments.  Use of the room will probably be about 60% HT/40% music.  Music listening will be 2-channel only (classical, jazz, progressive rock, and classic rock).  The main viewing/listening position will be approximately 13 feet from the screen.

For the LCR speakers I have been considering the ERRs and the Linkwitz Pluto.  Some have suggested that the Pluto, while great for music, may reach its limits in HT use.  The specs for the ERRs do not suggest that will be a problem.  In fact, I recall reading on your website (although I can't find it now) that 5 ERRs would be perfect for HT.  Unfortunately, the way the room will be set up, I will not be able to use ERRs for rear channels.

1. Do you see any issues with using the upward firing ERRs in these circumstances?  They will probably be set about 3 1/2 feet from the front wall, behind the screen, L and R set about 7 feet apart (each less than 2 feet from the side wall), C obviously in between, firing into a low ceiling of 6 feet 6 inches, maybe a little more if I'm lucky.  Do you have any opinions about using 3 ERRs in these circumstances?

2. If you believe this will work, can one purchase 3 ERRs (instead of two complete pairs)?  Also, can one get the ERRs in non-banded cherry as standard, instead of custom?

3. I have also read about your ZOB with the new FRX driver.  You describe both the ERR and ZOB with superlatives, but how do they compare, especially for my intended uses?

4. You also describe the FRX driver as ideal for a center channel in an HT setup.  How would you compare 3 ERRs as LCR to the ZOB as L/R with the FRX as center?

5. If you were to recommend the ZOB with FRX center, can you construct an FRX-only center with the driver at the same height as the drivers in the ZOB? Approximately what would be the cost?

With respect to rear channels, I am interested in the DM945s.  Because the room is so narrow, as well as where the door and window are located, I cannot mount rear speakers on the side walls.  Instead, I can either (a) place the rear speakers in a bookcase at the far rear of the room (far outside the recommended location for rear channels in a 5.1 system) or (b) mount them in the ceiling between joists (at approximately the proper distance and angle for rear channels, but now in the ceiling pointing downwards instead of on the wall a little above ear height).

6. Do you have a recommendation for which would be the better setup?  Do you see any issues with using the DM945s in these circumstances?

While I am intrigued by your tube amps, the equipment rack will be in a closet (there will be a remote ventilation fan).  I presume that your tube amps run far too hot to operate in a closet like this.  If not, please let me know.  Instead, I plan to drive the speakers with Quad 909 amps.  I use a Quad 909 in my current main listening system, and I have never found it to be a limiting factor in the system.

7. Do you see any issues with the use of Quad 909 amps to drive the speakers in these circumstances?



Congratulations on your new project!   I've given it some thought and I think the Plutos will lock you in to the amps you have indefinitely due to their lack of efficiency not to mention cause you to likely run a subwoofer during two channel playback.

The ERR's will work fine.  In fact my room is almost the same as yours except the ceiling is cathedral.   I have used the ERR's placed 24 inches away from the front wall which is my screen and point them at the screen (wall) rather than directly at the listening position.  This direct reflection increases the size of the image.   The low ceiling just above the screen (like yours) serves to reflect sound back onto the screen in an even wash.  The result is voices actually track the performer on the screen when they talk.  I spent 2 years trying to achieve that effect because with a screen that big it sounds completely stupid to have the voices coming from a small point either above, below, or centered behind the screen.

To keep the efficiency matching with the the Left and Right, I use two ERR's for the center channel.  Being pointed at the wall, a single center channel is 3dB quieter, so we use two.

Anything other than the banded cherry finished is considered custom.  However, I will extend the 30 day trial to the non-banded finish because of it's popularity.

3 vs. 4 ERR's I touched on earlier.  If I built you 3 vs. 4, and you didn't like them, the 3rd speaker would not be refundable.  We build ERR's in matched pairs.  Also if in the future you elected to go a different route, it's easy to sell a pair of ERR's but impossible to sell one.

Ok, the FRX...  

If you're going to consider these, the center channel issue must be dealt with first.  You could either put one in an infinite baffle or 16 cubic foot box behind the screen - the farther back the better.  Then a pair of ZOB for the left and right mains.  Of course the giant center channel effect described earlier with the ERR's would not be possible.

Sound wise the ERR's are a warmer speaker with more bottom end and lower bottom end.  Their midrange is more laid back than forward and they perform well in untreated rooms.  The FRX are more articulate and dynamic to the point of possibly sounding like crap with your quads, require tedious speaker placement and room treatments.  You might have to go with top grade low power tube gear to get them to sound right.

Rear channels,  the DM945's are a nice option because of their size and the fact that they have real bass.  Something I've grown to appreciate in rear channels as you feel the explosion come from the direction it was in the movie, even when it's behind you, which it often is.  That said, against a wall or in a bookshelf, depending on the acoustics of your room, the speakers could become boomy due to the rear port.  In either of your scenarios you would probably have to stuff the rear port with fiber fill to flatten out the response.

Amps,

I see no issues with your quads other than possibly with the FRX.
As far as tube amps in a rack, Our 2 watt amps generate the same heat as a 70 watt light bulb.  The 25 watt amps are the same as a 120 watt light bulb.  With proper spacing and a small fan it's seldom a problem unless your room is in desert climates with no air conditioning.

Hope this helps!

Steve
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Pale Rider
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1272
Re: New Basement system questions
Reply #1 - 04/02/11 at 00:33:43
 
Steve, just to make sure I am understanding the setup you describe here, are you stating that you have four ERRs in the L-C-R configuration. I.e., one for each side, and two in the center firing in the direction of the screen?
Back to top
 
 

Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
  IP Logged
Pale Rider
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1272
Re: New Basement system questions
Reply #2 - 05/22/11 at 19:10:14
 
Steve, I have pretty much settled on a 6 ERR setup to go along with the Ultra and Toriis I have on order. I have a couple of questions on the suggested use of dual ERRs for the center channel:

1. I haven't settled on an amp for the center channel just yet, but am thinking of running the SE84ZS in bridged mono mode, driving the two ERRs in the center channel. I will have the two Toriis on the front and surround. Will the ZS be a good match in that setup?

2. Whether with the ZS or some other amp, how should I wire the two ERRs? In parallel?

Greg
Back to top
 
 

Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
  IP Logged
mac5u
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 100
Re: New Basement system questions
Reply #3 - 05/28/11 at 13:32:36
 
Pale Rider,

Congratulations on ordering your 2nd and 3rd pairs of ERRs.  Based on what I have read elsewhere, I think you are going to have truly incredible 2-channel and 2-channel / HT systems.  I am going to follow with interest on how this develops.

Sent you a PM.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Pale Rider
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1272
Re: New Basement system questions
Reply #4 - 05/28/11 at 17:10:23
 
Thanks mac5u. I think this will be fun. PM'ed you back.
Back to top
 
 

Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
  IP Logged
Pale Rider
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1272
Re: New Basement system questions
Reply #5 - 05/30/11 at 20:24:03
 
Steve, wondering if you have any thoughts on the theories advocated in thIsi paper or the technology deployed by Tact in its ambiophonics processor.

In particular, would love to hear your thoughts on their advocacy of "no center channel," as well as all that processing going on in the digital domain.

Cheers!
Back to top
 
 

Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2379
Re: New Basement system questions
Reply #6 - 05/31/11 at 03:45:01
 
Well, I can give you my thoughts as I read it, because 30 pages is a bit more than I'm up to in one sitting.


Quote:
Ambiophonics is based on almost a century of psychoacoustics research on how the ear/brain localizes sound.


My thought here is of course why would it take 100 years of psychoacoustic research when we're likely going to be discussing the physical properties of sound waves...

Quote:
Acoustic Crosstalk. You are listening to a live violinist playing directly in front of you. Both ears hear the violin. The sound at your left ear is similar to but not exactly the same as the sound at your right ear. There are many reasons for the slight sound differences but they are not important now. What is important is that the live violin has produced two versions, two presentations, of the violin sound – one at your left ear and one at your right ear. This is OK because your ear/brain has spent all its life learning to fuse two sound presentations such as this into one image—so what you perceive now is a single, live violin.


Yup.

Quote:
Now consider a typical stereo recording of the same violinist. The recording is engineered so that the violinist will appear to be located directly in front of you, halfway between the two speakers. To accomplish this, the two channels of the recording will have similar loudness and will arrive at your ears at about the same time.


Assuming you don't move your head.  IF you move your head left, the violinist will appear to also move left whereas in real life, the violinist would appear stationary (which is actually moved to the right relative to your head that moved to the left).

Quote:
The problem is that your left ear hears both speakers and your right ear hears both speakers—and the four sound presentations are not exactly alike in level, arrival time, or frequency response. Your ear/brain now has four versions to fuse into a single violin.


No, I think it's better explained by what I just said.  The problem with stereo vs. real life, is that stereo only works if the listener is not moving.  In real live we move.  Anytime there is more than one sound source there MUST and WILL be differences in level, arrival time and frequency response.  In the real world, even with a single sound source there will be reflections.  Of course I'm picking on the wording of the paper more than anything here.


Quote:
Your ear/brain now has four versions to fuse into a single violin. If your left ear heard only the left speaker and your right ear heard only the right speaker, then your ear/brain would be back in the familiar territory in which it must fuse just two presentations into a single image.


Again, assuming that your head doesn't move placing us no more closer to real life.

Quote:
The trouble is that your right ear hears the left speaker and your left ear hears the right speaker. This is called acoustic crosstalk, where each ear hears the speaker on the opposite side. Your ear/brain did not evolve to deal with four presentations of the same sound source.


This is not the trouble, it is in fact the solution to making a 3D image from the less than perfect two speaker stereo system.  While easy to think a divider from the loudspeakers to your nose to prevent crosstalk would be the answer, this is what we get from a good pair of headphones.  Headphone users will tell you that without crosstalk the sound appears to come from inside your head directly between the speakers.  To stop this annoying effect in headphones, carefully designed crosstalk is introduced so that at the correct frequencies and amplitude left channel information is introduced into the right ear cup, and visa versa.


Quote:
Crosstalk produces incorrect head shadows for center images, reducing the lifelikeness of the image. Head shadow refers to the reduction of mid and high frequencies as sound travels around and over the head to the far ear.


Not sure it actually does unless we stick to the ridged model defined above of a live violinist standing exactly in front of you.  A model btw, that is useless in reality because sound is almost never directly square on in front of you.


Quote:
When listening to a live instrument directly in front of you, sound travels to the ears with only a small impact from the intervening fleshy part of the face, that is, with only a small head shadow. In contrast, when stereo speakers play similar signals to produce an image directly in front of you—a center image—head shadow is large because sound from a speaker must travel around much of the head to reach the far ear
.

Yes, this is what happens in the imperfect stereo playback approach, that fails when the listener moves, but so far no argument that this paper we're reading will solve this problem.  Incidentally, Bell Laboratories gave a demonstration of three-channel stereophonic sound on April 27, 1933, with a live transmission of the Philadelphia Orchestra from Philadelphia to Constitution Hall in Washington which if you try the same thing at home AKA mono center channel, the image shifting effect when you move is LARGELY reduced.

Quote:
The result for center images is a tonal balance with less mid and high frequency energy reaching the ears than in real life. One can eliminate side-speaker head shadow by eliminating side- speaker crosstalk (difficult) or by moving the speakers close together (easy).


This is certainly true, and supports my average distance between speakers of around 6 feet regardless of room size.  And the observation that even closer together than that it is still fully possible to create a listening arc of close to 180 degrees.  

It's at this part in the argument that we have to start being specific about the equipment.  A simple triode amplifier with no feedback on a good source can make an equally good speaker disappear regardless of where you place it in the listening triangle.  However, a mid-fi amplifier on the same speakers will kill the effect - meaning you will hear sound come directly from each speaker cabinet.


Quote:
When speakers are close together, side-speaker head shadow cannot occur. Moreover, it is easy to cancel crosstalk when speakers are close together. When this is done, the sonic stage spreads out well beyond the confines of the close speakers—and this wide stage will have lifelike center images
.

Easier maybe, but certainly not easy.  The crosstalk is actually increased not decreased because the speakers are closer together -  placing them also closer to the listener than before.  What is changing is the time delay.  The delay is shortened, and the ambient reflections from the room are reduced in amplitude compared to the direct sound from the speakers and relative to how loud those reflections were before the speakers were moved closer together.


My gut feeling about reading the rest of the paper is this:  If it's based on mathematics then it's likely assumed my comment about a speakers ability to disappear with a Triode Amplifier vs. a typical Solid State amplifier are not considered - making the entire paper void unless applied only to the world of mid-fi.   On the other hand curiosity might get the best of me and I'll read it anyway.

For now, I've had my fill.

Thanks,

Steve
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2379
Re: New Basement system questions
Reply #7 - 05/31/11 at 04:34:12
 
Dammit -

I knew I would read the rest of it...   less than impressed.  As stated nothing to do with psychoacoustics.  We're dealing with how sound waves interact with the ears, not how the brain interprets signals from the ears.   Unless the psychoacoustics is the power of suggestion strengthened by lots of new and fancy big words, the 100 years of study was actually about how the power of suggestion sells product.

I have no doubt that this elaborated setup could sound good, but reading things like "Correction of speaker and room deficiencies has always been part of Ambiophonic theory." makes me cautious.  A perfectly corrected room (by digital processing and careful setup) would make enough difference in most rooms to make a man think he just saw God, so lets remove it and see how the concept of moving your front speakers closer together holds up on it's own.

Then I go to the web page that is selling software and little line level things to pollute your signal path and we go right back to my original concern.  Makes me wonder how good the amplifiers and related gear actually were - that caused 100 years of research in psychoacoustics and at least 30 hours to write the paper.

I've never had a problem with imaging, soundstage depth, clarity, or any of the other things mentioned while using two speakers, and have done it with 3 and even 5 and 7.  Incidentally, the 7 speaker setup I have is the closest to real life I've heard in many ways, primarily because you can move about the space and the sound image does not noticeably change and of course it has serious scale - meaning size and effortless impact at any dynamic.

Stereo IS an illusion.  You can't make it into something it's not.  The only way to get closer to the live performance would be to have a speaker at every point in space that there was an instrument in the recording and a channel for each one.  The listening room has to be a replica of the event, so you may as well take your happy ass to the studio where it's being recorded, for the playback.  As soon as the recording is changed, so too will all of the speaker locations have to be changed.

In the end, assuming you matched the dispersion and wavefronts of each speaker as closely as possible to the actual instrument in the recording in that location, AND used Decware or similar amps that can get the timber spot on, you could fool everyone into thinking they are hearing a live event during playback.

Problem is, it would be far less money and hassle to simply hire real musicians to come to your home and perform live in your listening room.   On that note, ever wondered how many live performances you could get with the same amount of money you've spent on audio gear over the past 30 years or so?

Since a large part of their sales focus is on their Rear Channel ambience processing software, my advise is take something like the Zen Ultra and using it's simple analog capabilities, create an ambient rear stage and listen to that before you think you need to be spending millions of dollars on overly complex high tech solutions.




-Steve


Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Pale Rider
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1272
Re: New Basement system questions
Reply #8 - 06/22/11 at 18:27:52
 
Sorry Steve. Hope it didn't feel like a complete waste. Wink But I sure do appreciate your insights. I loved this:

Quote:
A perfectly corrected room (by digital processing and careful setup) would make enough difference in most rooms to make a man think he just saw God, so lets remove it and see how the concept of moving your front speakers closer together holds up on it's own.
Made me laugh out loud.

But this really helped to put it in perspective:

Quote:
Since a large part of their sales focus is on their Rear Channel ambience processing software, my advise is take something like the Zen Ultra and using it's simple analog capabilities, create an ambient rear stage and listen to that before you think you need to be spending millions of dollars on overly complex high tech solutions.

I plan to do exactly that with my Ultra, two Toriis, 84ZS, and 6 ERRs.

Cheers!

Greg
Back to top
 
 

Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
  IP Logged
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print