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Article: A New Listening Room Part Two: Acoustics, Speakers, DSP

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@The Computer Audiophile,

Great work Chris! You've really set the bar in reviewer transparency among the audiophile sites.

 

It is amazing when so much of audiophilia focuses on the "next great thing" with electronics and products that we miss out on the fundamentals of room, speaker placement, and ways of optimization.

 

Stunning when we read about claims by various subjective reviewers or watch videos about what they claim to "hear" yet have no idea what kind of attention has been paid to one of the most important "components" of all (the room). Thanks for putting this out there...


Archimago's Musings... A "more objective" audiophile blog.

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Fantastic that you have your rig singing! Congrats

 

Quote

I've never been happier with a set of speakers in my life (sorry Andrew Jones).

As a consolation prize, Mr. Jones, I've never heard the Alexia 2 but I have heard the MAXX, W/P 7, W/P 8 and Sasha. I would take the CR1 over any of those without hesitation.


Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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1 hour ago, mitchco said:

HI @Jud Yes, for example Acourate and Audiolense can generate linear phase DSP filters that maintain linear phase throughout.

Cheers,

Mitch

But REW cannot? Even exporting EQ filters as wave files and importing convolution etc?


1. Sonore ultraRendu - Uptone ISO Regen - Mola Mola Makua - Apollon NC800 SL PRO - Thiel CS3.7
2. Focusrite 6i6 2nd gen - Calyx Femti - Monitor Audio PL100
3. Hidizs S8 - Audeze LCDi3

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4 hours ago, firedog said:

I think a lot of audiophiles could do a reasonable job of this on their own. There are also units like Lyngdorf and DEQX which will do it for you (and also replace DACs and/or preamps) if you don't want to fool around with software. 

 

One has to be careful with thinking that units like DEQX will "solve most problems" - I've heard what this unit does a number of times; and it most certainly doesn't eliminate audible distortions that are caused by system issues - in fact, it could make them worse; a highly modified unit still suffered from tonality changes as it warmed up; and it did nothing to help get the bass line to be presented correctly.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

It’s crazy how much of my music I can hear now that I’ve gone through this fairly painless process. It also exposes equipment differences much better because they aren’t masked by my room. 

 

I've sometimes wondered if DSP might mask equipment differences, especially with speakers (assuming one re-generates a response filter for each set of equipment to be compared).

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28 minutes ago, wgscott said:

 

I've sometimes wondered if DSP might mask equipment differences, especially with speakers (assuming one re-generates a response filter for each set of equipment to be compared).

Interesting. 
 

I don’t see this happening with anything but speakers. Even then, I think it would be fairly hard to make two reasonably different speakers sound the same with only a convolution filter. 
 

I could be wrong though. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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6 hours ago, mitchco said:

 

Mark, not a dumb question. DSP can't absorb or diffuse the sound in a room. So if your room sounds like a bare room echo chamber, DSP can't attenuate the echo or long sound decay at higher frequencies. You need absorption and sometimes a combo of absorption and diffusion. DSP can manipulate the frequency response including the room plus loudspeakers at lower frequencies and just the loudspeaker's direct sound at higher frequencies. DSP can be used for digital crossovers, time alignment of drivers, excess phase correction and the list goes on. DSP can also reduce low frequency room resonances.

 

For living rooms that are fully furnished, drapes, carpet, book cases, etc., it is likely that the rooms decay time falls within the spec as there is a range of operation. So in those cases, acoustic treatments are not likley required.

Hope that helps.


yes, thanks for explaining this. 


- Mark

 

Synology DS916+ > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > Netgear switch > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > dCS Vivaldi Upsampler (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 Dual 110 Ohm AES/EBU > dCS Vivaldi DAC (David Elrod Statement Gold power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > Absolare Passion preamp (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > VTL MB-450 III (Shunyata King Cobra CX power cords) > Nordost Valhalla 2 speaker > Kaiser Kaewero Classic /JL Audio F110 (Wireworld Platinum power cord).

 

Power Conditioning: Entreq Olympus Tellus grounding (AC, preamp and dac) / Shunyata Hydra Triton + Typhoon (Shunyata Anaconda ZiTron umbilical/Shunyata King Cobra CX power cord) > Furutec GTX D-Rhodium AC outlet.

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What a pleasant surprise reading this article. For the past year I have been toying with the idea of buying a little too large speaker for my office (already acoustically treated with GIK panels). I embarked on researching (and hearing) various hardware based DSP solutions, Anthem STR preamp, Linn Selekt DSM, Lyngdorf 2170, and Deqx (not heard). However, none of them really moved me like a non-DSP based preamp and amp combo that I heard and had to get.

 

Not sure how I got to this stage but I came across the Acourate DSP Software and the following book 

Barnett, Mitch. Accurate Sound Reproduction Using DSP. Kindle Edition.

 

I was excited to learn that I could use Roon, my computer, a rendu, and the non-dsp preamp and amp I preferred to tailor the speaker to fit into my smallish room. Now I come to this web site and read that the heavy hitters here are also touting the same path as me. This gives me a lot of confidence on what I am embarking on.

 

I have started to read this excellent book and a novice like me understands it so far. I need to buy some measuring tools next.

 

I will add the following info for the next guy/gal thinking of doing this:

 

My next step is to buy the following items to run the Acourate software. This will cost me $4K new.  There are other options to substantially lower the cost, I will spend a little more.

 

1) Earthworks M30 Omni Measurement Mic 
2) Millennia HV35P 1-ch Mic Preamp 
3) Lynx HiloUSB 12x16 A/D D/A Converter 
4) On-Stage Stands Mic Std Rnd
5) 3' Studio Mic Cable XLRF-XLRM 
6) 50' Studio Mic Cable XLRF-XLRM 

 

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Congratulations on achieving a wonderful setup for the Alexia 2s.  I have a question; what is the sample rate limit for the filter you are using?


The sound staging capabilities of the Alexia 2 are damn impressive!

 

 

 


Steve Plaskin

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Chris, thank you for the inspiring report. The listening room has become very nice.

 

I use digital room correction and can only recommend it to everyone. As you wrote correctly, the target curves are the key. I described my target curve in this report:

 

 

There is a lot to experiment with.

 

Greetings Gabriel

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1 hour ago, Mercman said:

Congratulations on achieving a wonderful setup for the Alexia 2s.  I have a question; what is the sample rate limit for the filter you are using?


The sound staging capabilities of the Alexia 2 are damn impressive!

 

 

 

I'm not answering for Chris if you are asking him, but Audiolense gave me the option of up to 5 filters - one for each of the common PCM rates digital music is found in: 44.1-192. I'm using Roon to do the DRC and one of the advantages of Roon is that it will automatically match the SR of the incoming file to the proper filter. If I happen to play something at 8X rates, Roon will also upsample a filter to match that rate. 

 

On a moderately powerful server the DRC/DSP is not challenging: at the moment I'm listening to a 24/44.1 source and with DRC + added digital EQ Roon is converting it at a 60X speed. If you are trying to do the same thing with DSD it is obviously more resource intensive (my server will do the same thing in DSD at about a 3X speed) - but still not an issue. That's one of the advantages of doing it in software over a unit like a Lyngdorf or a DEQX - those used to only work internally at 96k rates (I think they still do), as they don't have the computing power to go higher. Of course, you could make the argument that DRC at 4X rates etc, is superflous.


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 9(dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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35 minutes ago, firedog said:

I'm not answering for Chris if you are asking him, but Audiolense gave me the option of up to 5 filters - one for each of the common PCM rates digital music is found in: 44.1-192. I'm using Roon to do the DRC and one of the advantages of Roon is that it will automatically match the SR of the incoming file to the proper filter. If I happen to play something at 8X rates, Roon will also upsample a filter to match that rate. 

 

On a moderately powerful server the DRC/DSP is not challenging: at the moment I'm listening to a 24/44.1 source and with DRC + added digital EQ Roon is converting it at a 60X speed. If you are trying to do the same thing with DSD it is obviously more resource intensive (my server will do the same thing in DSD at about a 3X speed) - but still not an issue. That's one of the advantages of doing it in software over a unit like a Lyngdorf or a DEQX - those used to only work internally at 96k rates (I think they still do), as they don't have the computing power to go higher. Of course, you could make the argument that DRC at 4X rates etc, is superflous.

Thanks firedog.


Steve Plaskin

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Good read thank you

 

Very similar dip around the 50-70hz (green line) as mine in the early days in my current home. It jumped out to me immediately. I have got it a bit better since then but can't find pics. Your adjusted graph looks incredible and no doubt there is more done than just simple frequency response

Once Roon added convolution I bought a lifetime license. Such a good feature. Might be worth getting pro help like you did?

830346151_pic2.thumb.jpg.80097cfa05c6115c285073c8969e5a30.jpg


Peach Audio Iso Transformer, Linn Akurate DSM, McIntosh MA2275 

Paradigm 30th Anniversary Tributes, SVS SB13 Ultra x2, Dynaudio BM5A MKII

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20 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

 

 

Fortunately, @mitchco just started his own business where he will handle the daunting task of DSP for anyone - https://accuratesound.ca/

 

It is late here so maybe I am not looking correctly but I don't see any contact details on this site


Peach Audio Iso Transformer, Linn Akurate DSM, McIntosh MA2275 

Paradigm 30th Anniversary Tributes, SVS SB13 Ultra x2, Dynaudio BM5A MKII

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22 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Hi Merc - I’m unsure of the limits, but I’m sure @mitchco will know. He created filters for me at 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192. I just upload one zip file to Roon and it handles switching between them based on the rate of the track. 

Excellent! Thanks Chris.


Steve Plaskin

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5 hours ago, firedog said:

 

Sounds like a great plan. But I have a suggestion that you might be happy with and will save LOTS of money:

Try the UMIK-1 USB mic first and see what you think of the results.

 

It's simple, doesn't need a preamp, and is cheap. 

 

Most people - even with high end systems -  find it more than adequate. I had an Earthworks mic and didn't really feel the results using it were any better than with a simpler mic that had an individual calibration filter (the UMIK does). You can always add in the more expensive HW later, and the UMIK is very moderately priced, so the cost is trivial if you are playing in this arena. 

 

I did look at this mic ($75), the reason I did not select it was because I was reading to avoid USB mics for the Acurate software. However, for $75 I can try it given such a strong endorsement. I have not bought anything yet and I will contact the software designer before I buy anything. 

 

It is actually a little confusing as to what the designer is saying about USB mics,

https://www.audiovero.de/en/system-requirements.php#

 

Anyways, your suggestion will save me $2K.

 

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