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An Edifying Journey ...


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Continuing the story of checking out, and tweaking a newly acquired pair of EDIFIER S2000 Pro Active Monitor Speakers, as noted here,

 

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An all-in-one solution, with XLR through to coax and optical inputs, and remote with just enough to do what's needed ... okay, what has to be done? It was already noted that having a whole lot of entertainment boxes plugged into the same extension box was not the best for SQ, so, tweak 1, 😉.

 

First CD to make it obvious where work was needed was that which was tried first thing, from cold start, the next morning,

 

 

Very live, driving sound; modern recording -  this was a "bit much" ... no problems with the energy and punch, but subjectively too much of the "in the face" quality; a good test, from now on, to see how I progress in 'refining' the setup.

 

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Day 2 of running the new beasts ...first, some technical minuses: regularly get a noise blatt! at the start and end of playback, something not muting at this point, possibly the Blu-ray player - no worse than a vinyl cartridge coming down a bit fast, it doesn't bother me; playing at very, very low level, with ear right against the speakers - this is using digital gain control, somewhere - there are some digital artifacts coming and going, depending on what is happening in the signal - will need to investigate more; and, the system got into a strange state yesterday, where it just pumped out white noise: I wasn't there at the time, but I suspect the Blu-ray player, Bev was playing with one of the huge rack of remotes that everyone has, and the disc had paused while playing - possibly it "saw" a strange command, and misbehaved as a result of that.

 

Very pleased so far with its native ability - doing very well in the "there is no such thing as a bad recording!" sense - classical comes across very well, what's missing is absolute sweetness of massed strings, and rich, massed choir and orchestra sections in the track are not clear enough ... yet, 😁.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Keep being impressed! ... Playing this currently, https://www.amazon.com/100-Best-Baroque/dp/B000GH3996 - no trouble conveying the heft and majesty of the full orchestra thundering in, then dropping back to the filigree delicacy of one or two instruments soloing ... with this type of music, heard live, there is a type of pleasurable, rich 'zinginess' that fills the air, from all the harmonics of the sort of instruments used to create this type of music - this is certainly on its way, the signs are good.

 

At the moment, the peak SQ is mostly dictated by the presence of nearby electronics; whether plugged in, and whether running - will proceed with experimenting with this, to learn where the 'boundaries' are.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Okay, some of the characteristics of the Edifiers, when set up with zero consideration for extracting best sound, are becoming clearer. From a cold start they do very little unpleasant - quite excellent for starting the day with some classical music tracks. Quite quickly will jump to a higher level, where the impact of not optimising the mains power situation is quite obvious - classical can be got into a very good place now ... however, there is now the appearance of an old gremlin - slow decline of SQ, over some hours. This was made obvious when playing a compilation of local pop hits; the treble had gone murky, and it was just irritating to keep listening.

 

The usual remedy worked ... switch everything off, and restart after some time had passed - treble was restored. Now ... was this because the other bits of electronics on the same circuit were injecting more electrical dirt in the environment as time passed, or was this something to do with the speakers alone? Well, time to start testing ... 😉.

 

What this means is that the honeymoon is over ... I wanted to see if the absolutely current electronics design of the active speakers was good enough to reject all the usual gremlins that impact SQ, if one ignores the idea of optimising - and, it's not. Which means that I will need to get serious, and start working with my usual bag of tricks to determine what matters, and what doesn't.

 

The big positive is that the intrinsic quality of the speakers is very, very good - a good base to work with, because so much is already sorted, essentially because all the circuitry is fully integrated.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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I have a pair of the S1000DB and really like them quite a bit.  They play loud, reasonable bass and extremely nice looking.  I have never had them set up in a "good" place.  I had them connected to a TV in a work rental house and the HVAC noise, which ran a lot in West Texas, overwhelmed the house.  When I lost that job I brought them home and put them on top of my cabinets in the garage...so I listen when puttering about or when riding my bicycle trainer with a large fan blowing.  My biggest issue is that the volume is not quite high enough via BT so I need to connect with a cable.  Confident that will work to increase the volume.

 

That all said, I have not had the urge to make them better...They are not set up in an audiophile position and do not foresee being so anytime soon.  I do recommend them and am really interested in the S3000s but no need or budget at the moment.

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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10 minutes ago, jcbenten said:

I have a pair of the S1000DB and really like them quite a bit.  They play loud, reasonable bass and extremely nice looking.  I have never had them set up in a "good" place.  I had them connected to a TV in a work rental house and the HVAC noise, which ran a lot in West Texas, overwhelmed the house.

 

Neither are mine in a "good place", 🙂. They get plunked down on a spot that's convenient, but I will ensure that they are tied firmly to a solid base.

 

The HVAC sound was louder than what the speakers produced? That must have been a staggering level of racket - kudos for the engineering of the air conditioners to be able to produce SPLs of that order, 😜.

 

I would not consider Bluetooth to be in the range of a high enough quality link, to get the most out of the speakers. Note, the last thing I want is for this setup to be "audiophile" in nature - that is, to impose a strong character upon whatever is played, which then means that only the more bland recordings come to life, and ensures that complex sound textures, as recorded, are a bit of a disaster ... 🤣.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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7 hours ago, fas42 said:

Quite quickly will jump to a higher level, where the impact of not optimising the mains power situation is quite obvious - classical can be got into a very good place now ... however, there is now the appearance of an old gremlin - slow decline of SQ, over some hours. This was made obvious when playing a compilation of local pop hits; the treble had gone murky, and it was just irritating to keep listening.

 

The usual remedy worked ... switch everything off, and restart after some time had passed - treble was restored. Now ... was this because the other bits of electronics on the same circuit were injecting more electrical dirt in the environment as time passed, or was this something to do with the speakers alone? Well, time to start testing ... 😉.

 

Right! That was quickly sorted - the ol' build-up of static from not dressing the power cords properly problem ... file in, the cable lifter tweak category, 🙃. Pretty amazing how much the SQ was crippled, severe loss of soundstage, depth, treble clarity; just unpleasant to listen to - completely reversed when the cords were slightly rearranged ... I think a gold medal should be awarded to the first person who can develop a full theory to explain the mechanisms in play here, 😁.

 

This problem has been around forever, and still no clear engineering guidelines to make sure it's always addressed within the component - so that the consumer doesn't either luck on getting this right - or, maybe not, ☹️.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Redid how mains leads were plugged in, and made sure no obvious mistakes in how the cables were lying on surfaces - low level detail now  being better resolved and depth improving ... lovely deep acoustic thrown up with this recording, voices are in very good shape,

 

91V7b%2Bmz03L._AC_SL1200_.jpg

 

Tried an locally recorded organ and orchestra album - good sense of the richness and imposing presence of the pipe organ.

 

Then moved back back to The Tailgators album, as mentioned in the first post - in much better shape now, the tonality was now much closer to what it should be, meaning all the drive and exuberance were still in place, but far less of any 'edge' to the sound ... this gave me the right situation to further refine the laying out, and stabilising of cables; gains keep being made.

 

Okay, a cheap, no name compilation of juke box hits now - not bad, but still not as good as say, the NAD and Sharp combo could get to; the 'sweetness' of how these should come across is still lacking - but, plenty more areas still to be addressed, 😉.

 

Doing well in the listening from another room sense, but still shows issues right in front of the speakers ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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A touch more tweaking of cables, and improving the locking of the speakers to a solid base, and I will have to repeat, I'm very, very impressed with these digital in speakers - all the grunt in the world to present an intense orchestral workout, at comparable to live listening levels, with zero indications of any audible issues ... so far, I have felt no need to dive inside and see what could be done there.

 

Biggest annoyance is that the Blue-ray player, as a cheapy and with a bit of age on it, is fussy with recognising CDs - OK with DVDs, but too many music discs are spat out, for no obvious reason - will have a go at cleaning the lens, etc.

 

So, these speaker are fussy about power drawn in the same circuit - they are only inches away from the sides of a large flat screen TV, and its operating very much disturbs the SQ; in fact, switching on and off the screen causes the speakers to mute for a number of seconds, even though there is no connection! Plus, dressing of cables is vital; not paying attention to this means 'digital harshness' is very obvious - and completely undermines the potential that's there.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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The Blu-ray beast is giving me real problems now ... not new, but hasn't been used that much - the day before it was doing particularly well, then yesterday it didn't like nearly every CD presented to it! Since video discs are still fine, this implies that the diode in the laser used for CD pickup is playing up - I took the lid off yesterday, the insides were spotless; gave the lens a clean just in case, but this made zero difference ... hmmm. Looking around at what people do, one can up the intensity of the diode, but unless done very, very carefully, you can completely kill it ...

 

I hate to change horses in the middle of a trip, but I might have to bring some player around here back to life - while trying a few ideas on making the BDP more reliable.

 

 

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Right, quick fix, brought in the basic Samsung DVD unit, which the Blu-ray pushed out of the way some years ago - same setup, using optical out. First impressions, sounding good! Which was echoed this morning; this disc,

 

R-9668695-1484486182-2074.jpeg.jpg

 

only took a couple of minutes from a dead cold start to show up the sweet, plaintive tones of the solo violin, nice depth to the sound straightaway.

 

An immediate takeaway is that the DVD player is doing a better job than the Blu-ray ... why? Well, a number of reasons are possible: the CD laser in the latter is not doing too well, perhaps on its last legs, so a lot of error correction is going on, impacting the waveform quality of the optical out; or, the Blu-ray also had a HDMI cable linking it to the telly, there was possibly some degradation because that was plugged in, perhaps would be better if it was unplugged; or, the fact that Blu-ray circuitry was in the picture altered things; or, the power supply in the DVD component has less impact, via the mains circuit, on the power supplies, etc, of the speakers; or, perhaps the implementation of the optical is simply just better on the Samsung ... 🙂.

 

Whatever, this is the best rig capable of delivering highly acceptable SQ within minutes of switching on from overnight shutdown I've come across - for that alone it gets a big tick.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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So, where are these Edifiers at, now ...? Well, playing a Robert Johnson compilation CD, the detail is not yet well enough extracted to "see the man" - but the sound is lifted well clear of the speakers, there is no obvious lurching of the sound into the nearer speaker when standing in front of one ... all the acoustic action is behind the speakers, and the sound listening inches from a tweeter is pretty clean.

 

I haven't yet done a thing to get inside these speakers, nor have I done anything to condition the power going to them, or the DVD player. The recordings sound like themselves, and are not some caricature, as often presented by an "audiophile rig", 😉. This is mighty impressive, considering the cost of what's being used; a very good standard from equipment costing spare change ... a positive sign for the future ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Some fine tuning, and this CD has proven very useful, CDAX 701398,

l, http://presentingdionne.tripod.com/albums/WALK_ON_BY.JPG

 

Bog standard versions of her hits, and a killer track for testing is,

 

 

The crescendos at the end of the track, combined with the big voice going for it, tell a lot - in my case, that I needed to improve mains waveform to achieve a clean rendition.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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More work on the power cables ... needed to stabilise how the plugs went into sockets - this is because vibration, interaction of materials, effectively, via various means, injects unwanted noise into the mains conductors feeding the components; the SQ is easily good enough to hear the impact of taking these measures.

 

Using the compilation, http://www.45worlds.com/cdalbum/cd/rrce12au, to check this - is the difference between the songs at boisterous levels flowing nicely, or, having a disturbing edge to the sound ... a variation of "digititus", if that makes more sense to some ...

 

 

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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And still fine tuning how the cables are organised, that feed the mains in. Again this morning I was impressed by how capable the SQ was on switch on, at such a high standard; in particular, that the treble was in such good order.

 

What I working on can also be described as trying to make sure that the "sparkle" remains at full strength - there are some interactions occurring, which start to build the sense that there is some 'deadness' to what I'm hearing ... the actual mechanism that causes this I would very hard pressed to say; but I need to organise the overall setup by some means to prevent this happening.

 

The NAD and Sharp rig was more consistent, at its peak, at doing this; I need to match that aspect. One huge gain with the Edifiers is that SQ when cold is so much better, and that it remains consistent - what I really want to have is that this good raw quality is achieved when no particular care is taken with organising what's happening electrically around them.

 

Also noted that there is a maximum volume - as in, the gain can be set only so far that, most likely, a full level digital signal will drive the amplifiers to clipping - and no further. Which makes sense. That's the "downside" of digital volume - should one be able to drive it harder? I have recordings which are very low in recording levels - should I be able to "pump them up"? There are arguments for both sides - something to think about ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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OK, a key issue is sensitivity to EM pickup by the mains circuit - part of the power wiring in the walls acts as an antenna, and introduces noise which is not sufficiently rejected by the components. This is where the, expensive, tweak of having a dedicated wiring run is effective - I use a simple snubbing solution at the end of the run, as a workaround.

 

The best method is to add mains filtering, say external to the gear - which means that no 'silly' tweaking is necessary by other means to attenuate the noise. However, since this is a modern, all in one, very low cost audio rig, creating a filter which costs more than the actual system itself is absurd, 😁 - a high value for money way needs to be worked out ,,, on the ToDo list, 😉.

 

What does not 'fixing' this cause? Well, the sound "goes dull" - the verve and energy that should be there, is not - and playing around with FR and room "fixes" are just kludges; not addressing the real problem.

 

 

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Veeeery niice ... getting lovely depth on some mono, 1940's uptempo big band, good imaging of the individual instruments in the acoustic. Next, Workin' (??) with Miles Davis, very sweet sounds ...

 

The good zone is getting mighty close; achieved with some further, simple, reorganising of how mains sockets are being used ... particularly pleasing is that a high standard is still holding while some 'nasty' consumer devices are also running, right next to the speakers and player - and plugged into the same mains circuit! 👍

 

Edit: Trying to find a video of the Kii Three and BXT combo sounding reasonable, on YouTube - came up short ... all sound effects tracks, just about; and none with 'normal' music were particularly good ... anyone know of a good example, out there?

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Brought out a solid "measuring" CD that I regularly used years ago - Big Band Boogie Woogie, various artists, tracks from the 30's through to the 50's - a rare beast, couldn't find a single image of the cover, https://www.musik-sammler.de/release/boogie-woogie-the-big-band-cd-839887/. Plenty of aggressive hammering of the high treble keys of the piano; a giveaway for how well the HF's are handled, when tweaking of a system is adjusted; over the wide variety of recording styles and ages of the tracks.

 

This very easily shows the impact of mains feed to the components not being ideal - will allow me to fine tune how the filtering is organised, to give me the best results.

 

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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To test that the issue with the mains interference was a conduction rather than a radiation issue, organised an extremely long run of conductors to feed the rig - using distance to attenuate any noise being conducted from other plugged in electrical gear. So far, appears to confirm this to be the case; the SQ while in the midst of the devices running, but which are now greatly distanced as regards the length of conductors that effectively connects them, via the mains, has improved; depth of soundstage is better defined, for example.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Tons of bass heft with these speakers; the gutsy punch in the bottom end, of this track, comes over beautifully,

 

 

Listening to it, Bev said, "This is bullshit!" - meaning, how accomplished this absolutely minimal rig is in delivering big, fat sound ... ✔️

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Couldn't last ... 🤨. Now have the old gremlin of the SQ slowly deteriorating - initially shows good form, but steadily degrades over time frames of 10's of minutes, or hours ... rather than going inside the box, I'll experiment with the sort of loads the mains circuit now dedicated to the rig sees; a simple way of conditioning, filtering the waveform.

 

The goal is to ensure that the SQ maintains a peak over a full day; it's not too much to ask the user to switch off once a day, to reset any static, residual charge that builds up, 😉.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Right, think I have a better handle on it now ... I had the DVD player running off the same mains feed as the speakers, which didn't seem to be creating an issue - but now have it on a completely separate line ... much better! Optical link, and both devices are double insulated, so no earth loop type issues can play a part.

 

"Bigness" of the sound keeps improving, and doing a good job with a budget compilation of early 40's swing orchestra tracks ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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This is the first time I've used a SPDIF interface in a rig, so I might have to deal with that dreaded jitter stuff, finally, 😉. No galvanic connection between the DVD player and speakers, apart from the mains cables, via a huge length of extension cord - yet the SQ improves when I alter the load on the mains circuit being used for the DVD - now, is that because that fearsome jitter is being reduced from the internals of the player, meaning the clock, basically, being better behaved - or is it still some tie up of radiated or conducted noise altering in nature, and somehow getting across to the DAC, etc, in the speaker? More experimenting to be done ... note, this is now in the region of squeezing the last ounces of sweetness in string tone, on 'difficult' recordings ... these active speakers are still below the standard of the NAD and Sharp combo at its best, say in things like the level of detail in the soundstage - but signs are good that the Edifiers will be able to surpass them, 🙂.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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