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Help Identify My Weak Link?


Novice2012
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Hello All - would appreciate candid expert opinions as to the weak link in my system. I am not a computer expert, but I am trying (over time) to really improve my system by upgrading components over time to sound the best it can be within my budget. So here is my system:

 

4TB WD drive with 42k tracks to...

Sonic Transporter i5 to...(roon w/ Tidal)

Microrendu to.....

Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 to....

Musical Fidelity M1 DAC to.....

Vincent Audio SA 31 Pre Amp to....

Vincent Audio SP 331 Power Amp to....

Focal Electra 1007 BE speakers with a Focal subwoofer (not Electra level, but the one below it.....(not at home now)

 

Appreciate your thoughts as to which item I should replace next as I gradually upgrade the system. Cheers!!!

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Oooh, yah, see......that may underwhelm...picture my living room - guessing the room is 18 feet wide, 15 feet deep (so im looking at speaks roughly 12 feet away each as they are parked in the corners - 3 feet from side, 18 inches from back.) But a real, basic rectangular, living room, not a "listening room." Sub is in the left corner behind the left speaker. No sound enhancements on walls.

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interesting - i've been researching new DACs thinking that might be the case......been hovering around Simaudio's Moon 280D DAC but also trying to figure out where MQA will go (Tidal now offering some MQA stuff - should my next DAC be compatible...) But you think both the M1 and V Link 192 are the bad boys?

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Oooh, yah, see......that may underwhelm...picture my living room - guessing the room is 18 feet wide, 15 feet deep (so im looking at speaks roughly 12 feet away each as they are parked in the corners - 3 feet from side, 18 inches from back.) But a real, basic rectangular, living room, not a "listening room." Sub is in the left corner behind the left speaker. No sound enhancements on walls.

 

How are the speakers positioned in the room? Do you have the speakers setup along the "Long Wall" or the "Short Wall"? How far is your listening chair from the Front plane of the speakers? How much space do you have behind the listening chair and the wall at that location?

 

Your description of "so im looking at speaks roughly 12 feet away each" could mean two different things depending on which way the room is arranged.

 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words :)

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As another said, speakers across the short wall ... this is preferred arrangement in one of my rooms. Pull speakers further away from the walls, suggest at least 3 feet from back and side walls. Get the sub out of the corner, while corners can help re-enforce low frequencies they will also tend to create upper bass over-emphasis. I suggest start with it in the middle between both speakers, then work with the subs gain and frequency control listening for best results. And it is not a bad idea to try other locations in the room, just not in the corners.

 

One suggestion for the sub-woofer is to put it were you would sit, then crawl around on the floor while listening to bass heavy output. Where it sounds the best is where the woofer should go. And you can use electronics also.

 

Often in typical living-room spaces we will have floors that are less than optimal. Floor resonance can color the sound to such a degree that you may never get the system really dialed in. Hardwood flooring may look very nice, but it doesn't sound particularly good, similarly carpets are warm and friendly but also absorb sound. Spikes on the speakers can help tame some of these problems although perhaps at the expense of certain frequencies.

 

So, trial-n-error is best, move things around ... don't just go for the "balanced look". In my case I ultimately gave up trying to tame the sound in my hardwood floored rectangular living room, instead choosing to accept an adequate compromise that is a good mixture of results.

 

In my downstairs "better fidelity" system, I have cheap photo-etched click-lock hardwood flooring on concrete with no carpets and speakers across the short wall. But they are 3 feet out from the wall behind and about the same from each side wall. I also have 2 sub-woofers that are spaced equal-distance apart between the front speakers and also about 3 feet from the rear wall. Depending on the product being played, I will often adjust frequency and gain on both subs in order to get the bass reproduction to where I like it.

 

In the basement space I find better stereo imaging and cleaner hi frequencies. The bass is hugely better being tighter and fuller without so much muddying and mid-bass emphasis. Some think the concrete floor detracts from the sound, others like me prefer the basement sound so this is a personal choice a user must determine.

 

Once all this has been tried and retried and finally sorted out, you will know when things are starting to gel. And while you could just buy more/better gear, if you don't resolve some of the fundamental issues you may not ultimately find satisfaction. Trial-n-error is free, gear costs money ... that's my approach to this issue.

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agree 1 sub is rarely right for music, it's ok for movies, that's about all.

 

2 subs & sound tmts on walls

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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Hello All - would appreciate candid expert opinions as to the weak link in my system. I am not a computer expert, but I am trying (over time) to really improve my system by upgrading components over time to sound the best it can be within my budget. So here is my system:

 

4TB WD drive with 42k tracks to...

Sonic Transporter i5 to...(roon w/ Tidal)

Microrendu to.....

Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 to....

Musical Fidelity M1 DAC to.....

Vincent Audio SA 31 Pre Amp to....

Vincent Audio SP 331 Power Amp to....

Focal Electra 1007 BE speakers with a Focal subwoofer (not Electra level, but the one below it.....(not at home now)

 

Appreciate your thoughts as to which item I should replace next as I gradually upgrade the system. Cheers!!!

Your room. And I didn't even read a word of your post.

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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Ok - seat is midway along 18 foot wall- so I am guessing each speak is 30 inches from side walls or around 12 feet apart - I sit in center spot between speaks. - not odeal but just the way furniture is set up. Will try some tweaks to speaker and Sub place ment.

 

Sent from my LG-H820 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

 

So based on this info it sounds like the speakers are setup along the "Long Wall". Also it sounds like there is a span between each speaker of roughly 12-13ft based on the comment you made on their distance to the sidewalls.

 

Given the fact that the room is only 15ft deep I feel your speakers are too far apart. I would pull them in so they are about 9ft between each other and then try and have the seated position about the same distance away from the front plane of the speaker cabinets. This would leave you with about 6ft remaining to play with in terms of seated position distance from Rear Wall and speaker cabinet distance from the Front Wall. I would try to split the distance with 3ft each.

 

Power off the sub until you have the main speakers dialed in then reintroduce the sub afterwards

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First off, thx all for the thoughtful commentary. Will try to provide some quick replies, thoughts, etc. based on comments above, in no particular order:

 

* real measured dimensions are: room is 14.5 feet wide, 14 feet deep - my seat is on one side of the long side of the room and speakers are 21 inches from rear wall, 30 inches from side walls. sub is in far left corner, around 8 inches from corner

* speakers are aimed inward toward listening position, which is around 11.5 feet from my listening head

*listening chair is directly against the wall

*as far as what is "wrong" with the system (other than Roon issues :)), I have no good answer - I suppose nothing was wrong with my system years ago when I played mp3s through a mac mini to some $600 Focals - it sounded pretty good. But with some upgrades in processing, file quality, speakers, I noticed notable sound improvement - so I suppose I've assumed that were there to be a weak link in my hardware, replacing it with something better, newer could also take the sound to a new level

*So now that I've provided actual room specs, a 14.5 foot room, less 30 inches on each side gets me speaks at approximately 9 feet apart....coincidence I assure you

*General thought - interesting that virtually all feedback focuses on listening space and not any of the equipment - I can try to be creative with the space based on the feedback you all are providing, the placement of stuff etc., but this is a true living room with chairs, sofa etc. - so I am constrained by that and the general need that my wife "bless" material movement of furniture with respect to reorganizing the room

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Yes, that can be a problem. If you can't reorient your room, you should do something to damp reflections from the wall directly behind your listening position. Put a bookshelf full of books there if you can.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

 

Also consider investing in Dirac Live or another DSP solution to actively correct for room issues. I am with you on the need and desire to keep your listening room also a living room for you and your family. Dirac did wonders for me.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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