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De-Evolve your system (Read 1079 times)
Paul H
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Posts: 4
De-Evolve your system
09/07/22 at 21:10:22
Wanted to share something that happened to me with my recent purchase of a pair of ZF-15M speakers. I owed Steve an email or call back but thought it might be better to show something others might learn from my mistake. I should say first I am a big fan of Decware gear. The only amplifiers I have not sold are Decware, I have bought 5 over the years. So I have a pretty good idea what to expect.

I currently own a pair of Michael Green Chameleons speakers, wonderful sounding (the best I ever owned) just very inefficient by todayís standards. They didnít play very loud with flea powered amps, but the sound is exquisite through my Zen Mystery Amp.

So I wanted to finally experience both sides of the flea power by buying a pair of ZF-15M and a 25th anniversary UFO amp. I got the speakers first and couldnít wait to hook them up. I have one of the early 34I (Rachael I think now) amps and I put that in my system with my new speakers and holly crap it sounded terrible. No bass at all and this hideous fluttering in the speakers.

I have a Wavelength Crimson USB that has a battery and when the battery is going out it gets a very similar sound. †I wasnít sure why the bass was non existent but I thought I could fix the fluttering. I replaced the battery still bad, tried different interconnects, tried my reel to reel, I even hooked up my red book player and everything sounded bad or much worse. Tried every amp I owned and all sounded terrible.

I was befuddled, I didnít know where to go with this so I remembered I had a pair of Devore bookshelf speakers and I set them on the floor and they sound great. Now I give up and put my system back in and put a call into Steve.

Steve suggested it might be the acoustics of room and suggested I try switching polarity of each speaker (to possibly address the fluttering) and to send pictures of my room. I decided I didnít want to drag these beasts all the way back †up stairs so I setup the system in my living room and my new UFO amp had arrived and I used it as well. I didnít feel like pulling my high end speaker wire from my system so I just took some good quality twisted copper wire and hooked it up. Boom, fluttering gone! Bass sounds really quite good even in a room 5 times the size and with an open second story ceiling.

So the only thing I didnít try to switch †was my speaker wires, the reason was these are the remnants of a high end Shindo system, Auditorium 23 wires (so high end I sold the amps in 2008 and paid off my house). These have always sounded fantastic in any system I have had them in. After putting my UFO and new speakers back in my room with the temporary wires it sounds fantastic. Those wires are pure silver bla bla and normally sound fantastic but with this sensitive of a speaker with either amp it had no bass and a weird fluttering sound. Iím sure Steve will jump in as to why. I can put them back in and the bass is sounds like a transistor radio!

I follow Jim Smiths (Getting Better Sound) methods to position everything in my room to maximize the system performance. But just setting up in his 83% of front to back ratio to tweeter separation it is astonishing. For those who donít know Jimís work his first setup position for your speakers should be such that the distance between the center of the tweeters should be 80 to 83% of the distance from the tweeter to your ear. You actually find the best position for your chair with respect to the back wall first (to get the best spot for bass). Then you set the speakers based on the ratio, you also put a taped grid on the floor and make minor adjustments back and forth and at slightly changing angles to send it to the next level. So Iím just getting started!

I just did the crude setup and itís incredible! So if you dare de-evolve your system just watch out for the gremlins. Suspect everything!

Btw: I just ordered new Decware speaker wires and just got them last night and imagine that, they sound substantially better than my cheap $10 of wire. Anybody know how to recycle the silver out of these wires old wires?
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Without music, life
would be a mistake.

Posts: 2097
Re: De-Evolve your system
Reply #1 - 11/19/22 at 16:35:59
Hi Paul.

I just noticed this post. Yes indeed, everything in the chain matters, and the room must be looked at as one of the most important links. It is amazing how many folks do not even consider that the room is such a big part of the equation - size, speaker placement and treatment.

Iím glad you had another room to experiment with. I hope the Decware speaker cable made another improvement. Keep us posted.



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(2)SE84UFO(Balanced Monoblocs) OR Sansui AU-222/Zbit
Cambridge Audio CXN(ModWright)
Crown XLS-1002 Sub Amp
SL-1210MK5(KAB Mods) Soundsmith Aida MKll cart ē Darlington Labs MP-8b
Otari MX5050-Bll2 R2R
ZLC Power Cond.
Lii Audio PT-10/W-15 in Open Baffles
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Same Old DD
Seasoned Member

Posts: 1070
Re: De-Evolve your system
Reply #2 - 11/19/22 at 18:59:17
I would project that what you have discovered is not actually a de-evolving of your system, if it sounds better.

I will look more closely at the ratios mentioned, though.

Right now my set up works great and I know nothing about any ratios, since I set things according to my listening experience.
But, starting cold again, it is good to have a plan.

Keep us posted about your evolving set up.

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SE84Cs Mono'ed, Lii Audio F15 OB, W15 "H" Frame Subwoofer, McIntosh MC2500, Lazarus Pre, Dual TT, Ortofon, Kleenline Iso Power, Revox, Crown R-R, Pioneer Elite Digital Source
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