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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Earring View Post
    Hi Antoniop!

    Most of my gear is s/hand: realistically, as soon as you take a new bit of kit out of the box, you've flushed half of the purchase price down the toilet (with a few significant exceptions - the B&W 805S speakers I was forced to buy new, simply because there weren't any s/hand items available at the time, are still selling at 80% of the price I paid - after INSISTING on a 15% discount. The salesman, who hadn't got any to demo to me asked me slightly desperately if I wouldn't like to hear them first - so I told him that my hearing was shot but that my significant other liked the shape of them. He was then so far off his script that he caved in & gave me the 15% off, lol... ).

    And the mean time between failures for solid-state devices is around 100,000 hours!

    You can get an "as-new" Touch, complete with all original packaging, for around ú200 on eBay if you decide to go for that...

    Dave

    P.S. The infamous Ken Kessler himself began by deriding the "Endorphin" name, then listened to the beast & declared it his new reference player - it really does sound even better than its "sexiest CD player in the universe" looks
    Hi Dave,
    you're excellent !
    Maybe you'll find me a bit snobbish, but I don't like much used thinks. My father used to almost never buy something new, always used things: (very) used cars, used clothes, used furniture... Not only a question of money. I like to buy everything new, but I keep it until it dies !
    I know, I'm loosing opportunities to get very good things for a very good price !
    LMS 7.9.0
    on Linux Mageia 5 and RPI 3
    1 SB3, 2 radio, 1 touch
    Plugins : Trackstat, Smartmix, MusicIP, ...

  2. #22
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    Getting your money's worth...

    Quote Originally Posted by Antoniop View Post
    Hi Dave,
    you're excellent !
    Maybe you'll find me a bit snobbish, but I don't like much used thinks. My father used to almost never buy something new, always used things: (very) used cars, used clothes, used furniture... Not only a question of money. I like to buy everything new, but I keep it until it dies !
    I know, I'm loosing opportunities to get very good things for a very good price !
    Hi Antoniop!

    No, I don't think that you're snobbish.

    As long as you look after your kit & keep it for ages, you will still get good value when you consider the cost per diem...

    There are pro's & con's of buying s/hand.

    The initial outlay is certainly less, but there may be subtle faults with the gear that you don't pick up at the brief audition before you buy - I would certainly strongly advise against buying from someone who has "already sold his other stuff" & is unable to offer an audition at all!

    Also you will get no warranty against new faults (unless you buy from a dealer, but their prices are usually higher & they'll only normally offer a 3 or 6 month limited warranty on used gear).

    On the up-side, if you find that the new item doesn't gel well with your existing kit, or gives you "listening fatigue" (which may not become apparent for quite some time after you've bought it), you can sell it on (with a clear conscience, since your buyer will have different stuff & different ears, lol) for more or less what you paid for it. I appreciate that good dealers offer extended sale or return trials, but these may still not be long enough to become really confident that the item fits your needs, & you certainly won't get any discount from them if they offer this service...

    Dave

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Earring View Post
    Hi Antoniop!

    No, I don't think that you're snobbish.

    As long as you look after your kit & keep it for ages, you will still get good value when you consider the cost per diem...

    There are pro's & con's of buying s/hand.

    The initial outlay is certainly less, but there may be subtle faults with the gear that you don't pick up at the brief audition before you buy - I would certainly strongly advise against buying from someone who has "already sold his other stuff" & is unable to offer an audition at all!

    Also you will get no warranty against new faults (unless you buy from a dealer, but their prices are usually higher & they'll only normally offer a 3 or 6 month limited warranty on used gear).

    On the up-side, if you find that the new item doesn't gel well with your existing kit, or gives you "listening fatigue" (which may not become apparent for quite some time after you've bought it), you can sell it on (with a clear conscience, since your buyer will have different stuff & different ears, lol) for more or less what you paid for it. I appreciate that good dealers offer extended sale or return trials, but these may still not be long enough to become really confident that the item fits your needs, & you certainly won't get any discount from them if they offer this service...

    Dave
    Hi Dave!
    That's very interesting, thank you for sharing your experience !
    I'll consider differently buying second hand or not!
    Last edited by Antoniop; 2017-09-09 at 01:41.
    LMS 7.9.0
    on Linux Mageia 5 and RPI 3
    1 SB3, 2 radio, 1 touch
    Plugins : Trackstat, Smartmix, MusicIP, ...

  4. #24
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    You pays your money &...

    Quote Originally Posted by Antoniop View Post
    Hi Dave!
    That's very interesting, thank you for sharing your experience !
    I'll consider differently buying second hand or not!
    Hi Antoniop!

    I just thought it was helpful to set out the arguments on both sides.

    Some of my gear was new (or ex-demo, which amounts to the same thing really, such gear has usually had very little use & its provenance is known... ). This is usually either because I want something that hasn't been around long enough to be easily obtained s/hand or simply because it's so good that people don't want to sell it after they've bought it, lol. My B&W 805S speakers fell into that category. However I did approach a B&W dealer who I knew didn't have any in stock & negotiated a 15% discount on the basis that I would pay cash, he would order them in & I would collect the unopened boxes as soon as they arrived. As a consequence a pair sold on eBay a couple of weeks ago for a full 80% of the price I paid 8 years ago - & they were of a similar age to mine because only about 6 months after I bought mine B&W fitted the diamond tweeter used in their more expensive floor-standers, & curiously the list price went up from ú1500 (pretty good value) to around ú4000 (not so good, especially since the initial 805D's were not very good - they're on to the 805D S3 by now... ).

    My Mytek Brooklyn DAC (ex-demo, acquired fro dealer in Scotland via an actual eBay auction in which I was fortunate because the other 2 bidders dropped out way below the price which I would have paid) is a recent model with unique features - it incorporates a fully balanced Class A headphone amplifier delivering up to 6W/channel (which I have used 7 can confirm is good) & also an MC/MM analogue phono pre-amplifier (which I haven't tried yet, but which should enable me to resurrect the Linn LP12/Ittok/Koetsu Rosewood Signature set-up that has followed me around since the 1980's, lol... ), as well as a very flexible DAC itself which has a word clock out: this latter feature means that I can slave my Transporter to the Mytek's clock (this is done by changing settings in the Logitech Media Server software) & effectively eliminate the digital jitter that tends to arise when a 2-box configuration is used, whether it be a CD Transport/DAC combo or a Music Streamer/DAC combo. Exactly the same engineering considerations are at play in either case. I have posted extensively about this on other threads in this forum, but would be happy to provide the links to the discussion of the issue by Sean Adams himself & also to the technical engineering paper upon which he justified his position...

    But as regards new vs s/hand, it's entirely up to you which route you choose - it's your money, after all!

    Dave

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Earring View Post
    Hi Antoniop!

    I just thought it was helpful to set out the arguments on both sides.

    Some of my gear was new (or ex-demo, which amounts to the same thing really, such gear has usually had very little use & its provenance is known... ). This is usually either because I want something that hasn't been around long enough to be easily obtained s/hand or simply because it's so good that people don't want to sell it after they've bought it, lol. My B&W 805S speakers fell into that category. However I did approach a B&W dealer who I knew didn't have any in stock & negotiated a 15% discount on the basis that I would pay cash, he would order them in & I would collect the unopened boxes as soon as they arrived. As a consequence a pair sold on eBay a couple of weeks ago for a full 80% of the price I paid 8 years ago - & they were of a similar age to mine because only about 6 months after I bought mine B&W fitted the diamond tweeter used in their more expensive floor-standers, & curiously the list price went up from ú1500 (pretty good value) to around ú4000 (not so good, especially since the initial 805D's were not very good - they're on to the 805D S3 by now... ).

    My Mytek Brooklyn DAC (ex-demo, acquired fro dealer in Scotland via an actual eBay auction in which I was fortunate because the other 2 bidders dropped out way below the price which I would have paid) is a recent model with unique features - it incorporates a fully balanced Class A headphone amplifier delivering up to 6W/channel (which I have used 7 can confirm is good) & also an MC/MM analogue phono pre-amplifier (which I haven't tried yet, but which should enable me to resurrect the Linn LP12/Ittok/Koetsu Rosewood Signature set-up that has followed me around since the 1980's, lol... ), as well as a very flexible DAC itself which has a word clock out: this latter feature means that I can slave my Transporter to the Mytek's clock (this is done by changing settings in the Logitech Media Server software) & effectively eliminate the digital jitter that tends to arise when a 2-box configuration is used, whether it be a CD Transport/DAC combo or a Music Streamer/DAC combo. Exactly the same engineering considerations are at play in either case. I have posted extensively about this on other threads in this forum, but would be happy to provide the links to the discussion of the issue by Sean Adams himself & also to the technical engineering paper upon which he justified his position...

    But as regards new vs s/hand, it's entirely up to you which route you choose - it's your money, after all!

    Dave
    Hi Dave,
    I see that you're an expert regarding hifi and you're quite hard to please, but what do you do about "gear fitting", I mean, I'm not an expert myself but it seems to me that for example some speakers give a better sound with some amplifiers than some others, regardless if the amplifier is better or not, just because they fit better, or do you think that the better gear together always give a better sound ? Usually, I try to listen the new equipment I want to buy with the one that I already have, or at least with equipments from the same brand, to know what I'll have when back home.
    That's not possible when you buy second hand.
    I hope you understand what I mean (my english is a bit weak).

    Antonio
    LMS 7.9.0
    on Linux Mageia 5 and RPI 3
    1 SB3, 2 radio, 1 touch
    Plugins : Trackstat, Smartmix, MusicIP, ...

  6. #26
    Senior Member iPhone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antoniop View Post
    Hi Dave,
    I see that you're an expert regarding hifi and you're quite hard to please, but what do you do about "gear fitting", I mean, I'm not an expert myself but it seems to me that for example some speakers give a better sound with some amplifiers than some others, regardless if the amplifier is better or not, just because they fit better, or do you think that the better gear together always give a better sound ? Usually, I try to listen the new equipment I want to buy with the one that I already have, or at least with equipments from the same brand, to know what I'll have when back home.
    That's not possible when you buy second hand.
    I hope you understand what I mean (my english is a bit weak).

    Antonio
    .
    .
    Hello Antonio,

    "Gear Fitting" as you call it, IE matching separates for one of four reason (price, sound, better half demands, or a combination of the first three) takes many paths. For most of us, price plays a huge part in this process plus what sounds good to one's own ears (all ears are shaped differently and some are more sensitive then others). I am of the option that the majority of one's HiFi Dollars need to go toward quality Speakers. I say this for two main reasons, firstly having the best source device, pre-amp, and amplifier are all wasted if the output devices, one's speakers, are crap! No matter how great one's front is, it can't make up for speakers that are poor quality, will not accurately reproduce what is sent to them, and last are of a poor design that actually adds artifacts or colors what they are being presented. Secondly, if the majority (half to two thirds) of one's HiFi budget is spent on quality Speakers knowing that they are fairly expensive and hence a major expense to upgrade or replace (don't know anybody that upgraded to a "Better" pair of speakers that cost less then the pair they replaced), one can buy good source and amplification knowing that those will be the pieces upgraded in the future trying to caught up to the upper most ability of the speakers originally purchased. I have been making this journey for decades repeating the process as I moved up the HiFi quality ladder and this HiFi building/upgrading model has severed me well. I am almost there as soon as I have saved enough money to purchase my ultimate Pre-Amplifier.

    Interconnects, power cords, and speaker cables are important, but good quality that works properly in where to spend the money on these, not in fancy covers or looks, nor on over priced hype. Properly setup, 4 coat hangers can sound just as good as $5000 speaker cables! So again, don't waste large sums of money on outrageous speaker cables and interconnects when good quality engineered ones do the exact same job as $25,000 cryogenic silver speaker cables!
    .
    .
    iPhone
    Media Room:
    ModWright Platinum Signature Transporter, VTL TL-6.5 Signature Pre-Amp, Ayre MX-R Mono's, VeraStarr 6.4SE 6-channel Amp, Vandersteen Speakers: Quatro Wood Mains, VCC-5 Reference Center, four VSM-1 Signatures, Video: Runco RS 900 CineWide AutoScope 2.35:1, Vandersteen V2W Subwoofer

    Living Room:
    Transporter, ADCOM GTP-870HD, Cinepro 3K6SE III Gold, Vandersteen Model 3A Signature, Two 2Wq subs, VCC-2, Two VSM-1

    Office: Touch with Vandersteen VSM-1s
    Kitchen: Touch in-wall mount w/ Thiel Powerpoint 1.2s
    Bedroom: Squeezebox BOOM
    Bathroom: Squeezebox Radio
    Around the House: SliMP3, SB1, SB2, SB3
    Ford Thunderbird: SB Touch, USB drive
    Ford Expedition: SB Touch, USB drive

  7. #27
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    "Gear fitting"

    Quote Originally Posted by Antoniop View Post
    Hi Dave,
    I see that you're an expert regarding hifi and you're quite hard to please, but what do you do about "gear fitting", I mean, I'm not an expert myself but it seems to me that for example some speakers give a better sound with some amplifiers than some others, regardless if the amplifier is better or not, just because they fit better, or do you think that the better gear together always give a better sound ? Usually, I try to listen the new equipment I want to buy with the one that I already have, or at least with equipments from the same brand, to know what I'll have when back home.
    That's not possible when you buy second hand.
    I hope you understand what I mean (my english is a bit weak).

    Antonio
    Hi Antonio!

    I absolutely agree with the previous answer to your question, i.e. it is the transducers which have the final job of imparting the sound waves into your listening room that are now the weakest (arguably the only weak) link in the audio chain as far as modern music reproduction equipment goes. Indeed, at least in theory, any earlier components should work together without any significant problems, since the voltage levels & impedances of both unbalanced (RCA phono) & balanced (XLR) interconnections at the line level are now standardised & most equipment adheres to these specifications.

    The problems with loudspeakers (or headphones for that matter) derive from the physical construction of the drivers (cone stiffness, mass, linearity when displaced from their static position & off-axis response) & in the case of loudspeakers the choice of loading (infinite baffle, reflex, transmission-line or even occasionally free-air or even isobaric) combined with the quality of construction & precise internal volume of the cabinet. There are other schools of thought (e.g. Harbeth's deliberately flexible cabinets), but most designers now aim to make their enclosures as rigid as possible. There is also the critical choice between a stand-mount cabinet (often referred to as "bookshelf" loudspeakers, although actually placing them on a crowded wall-shelf will usually result in a poor sound compared to using rigid & adequately damped speaker stands & having some free space around the enclosures... ) or having larger floor-standing enclosures (which usually have more drivers than stand-mounts). Finally, the crossover design & positioning of the various drivers relative to each other are critical to achieving a coherent musical performance. Active speakers may be preferable to passive ones if you have deep pockets! Whilst the fidelity of modern transducers has improved markedly compared to designs from say 40 years ago with the current availability of lightweight rigid materials such as carbon fibre, graphite or Kevlar for LF drivers & exotic ones like beryllium or even diamond for HF drivers, it remains the case that almost all of the non-linearity (aka distortion) of your system will derive from the transducers - even the very best & astronomically expensive ones are still not perfect! The specific impact of these issues for you will depend in part upon the size, shape & even construction materials of your listening room.

    So loudspeaker design still involves considerable compromise, & different speakers will usually sound much more distinct from each other than different amplifiers or earlier components in the audio chain. So whilst there are some general guidelines that will point you in the right direction in terms of selecting the right type of loudspeaker for your room, ultimately the acid test is whether you are happy with the musical reproduction that you achieve which is inevitably a subjective matter. I do not believe that any published numerical specifications pertaining to loudspeakers have any useful bearing on their sound quality (this is not the case with amplifiers, for example, where generally accepted measurements can give a reasonable basis for the unit's suitability(. Arnyk recently send me a link for a 2017 research paper by 3 eminent Danish academics who were seeking to quantify loudspeaker performance. It was a tough read, but ultimately I did not feel that they had actually made much headway! A particular problem is that some loudspeakers may sound very initially impressive & it is over the course of several months of regular listening that their sound begins to grate upon you - the trial period typically offered by even "top-dollar" dealers is usually NOT long enough for this effect to manifest itself, which is another reason that I would serious recommend buying "as new" s/hand loudspeakers, since it leaves you the option of selling them on later without losing a significant amount of money if you change your mind 6 months down the line...

    What is your listening room like (i.e. approximate shape, size, ceiling height, solid or plasterboard walls, solid or suspended floor & ceiling)?

    Dave

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by iPhone View Post
    .
    .
    Hello Antonio,

    "Gear Fitting" as you call it, IE matching separates for one of four reason (price, sound, better half demands, or a combination of the first three) takes many paths. For most of us, price plays a huge part in this process plus what sounds good to one's own ears (all ears are shaped differently and some are more sensitive then others). I am of the option that the majority of one's HiFi Dollars need to go toward quality Speakers. I say this for two main reasons, firstly having the best source device, pre-amp, and amplifier are all wasted if the output devices, one's speakers, are crap! No matter how great one's front is, it can't make up for speakers that are poor quality, will not accurately reproduce what is sent to them, and last are of a poor design that actually adds artifacts or colors what they are being presented. Secondly, if the majority (half to two thirds) of one's HiFi budget is spent on quality Speakers knowing that they are fairly expensive and hence a major expense to upgrade or replace (don't know anybody that upgraded to a "Better" pair of speakers that cost less then the pair they replaced), one can buy good source and amplification knowing that those will be the pieces upgraded in the future trying to caught up to the upper most ability of the speakers originally purchased. I have been making this journey for decades repeating the process as I moved up the HiFi quality ladder and this HiFi building/upgrading model has severed me well. I am almost there as soon as I have saved enough money to purchase my ultimate Pre-Amplifier.

    Interconnects, power cords, and speaker cables are important, but good quality that works properly in where to spend the money on these, not in fancy covers or looks, nor on over priced hype. Properly setup, 4 coat hangers can sound just as good as $5000 speaker cables! So again, don't waste large sums of money on outrageous speaker cables and interconnects when good quality engineered ones do the exact same job as $25,000 cryogenic silver speaker cables!
    .
    .
    Hi iPhone, thank you for your post. I agree with all you're saying but I'm not sure you see what I mean, I was not clear.
    I don't mean choosing (very) good speakers for a good amp, I agree it's not right to buy an expensive amplifier or dac when speakers are poor. I still agree with you, they are the most important components.
    I will speak about my (limited) experience: last time (a long time ago) I bought my amp and speakers, I bought it at the same shop. It costed me 3 months of my salary (I was young). In the auditorium I first choose the best speakers that I listened with my own music in my budget, then I tried the different amps and selected two of them, one luxman and a Denon, they were about the same price, but the Denon was a noticeably better. Then I tried the luxman and the denon with another pair of speakers, Cabasse speakers, a little pricier (Cabasse was very famous in France in the past). The Luxman was better than the Denon with the Cabasse, but Cabasse was very good with Classical music but poor with other styles of music, and I'm not very found of classical. According to the salesman, it was because Cabasse were more defined than the speakers I preferred, then they fitted better with the Luxman, that was less defined than the Denon (ie A high defined amp fits well with less defined speakers and vice-versa).
    So my question is: don't you think it's better to try to listen at least the amp and the speakers together, just to hear if they fit well ? or is it just an illusion I had.
    Of course, sound appreciation is very subjective, one can be influenced by the look of the gear (must be killing), flattering reviews, the price (the higher is the better), a friend who said that gear was fantastic, an advice on amazon from someone who was an expert, or the reputation of the brand, and realize some days later, with time, at home, that we just don't like the sound of it. That happened to me recently.
    A good thing that we have in France, by the way, is that when we buy on the internet we have 2 weeks to change our mind, we can send back the gear and get the money back, we'll pay only the transport. If you buy in a shop, you usually only have your tears to cry.

    I agree about the cords, I don't see the point paying 1000 euros for an electric cable, even if it's the best electric cable in the world, since all the other cables in the area are just average honest electric cables.
    Last edited by Antoniop; 2017-09-12 at 06:01.
    LMS 7.9.0
    on Linux Mageia 5 and RPI 3
    1 SB3, 2 radio, 1 touch
    Plugins : Trackstat, Smartmix, MusicIP, ...

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Earring View Post
    Hi Antonio!

    I absolutely agree with the previous answer to your question, i.e. it is the transducers which have the final job of imparting the sound waves into your listening room that are now the weakest (arguably the only weak) link in the audio chain as far as modern music reproduction equipment goes. Indeed, at least in theory, any earlier components should work together without any significant problems, since the voltage levels & impedances of both unbalanced (RCA phono) & balanced (XLR) interconnections at the line level are now standardised & most equipment adheres to these specifications.

    The problems with loudspeakers (or headphones for that matter) derive from the physical construction of the drivers (cone stiffness, mass, linearity when displaced from their static position & off-axis response) & in the case of loudspeakers the choice of loading (infinite baffle, reflex, transmission-line or even occasionally free-air or even isobaric) combined with the quality of construction & precise internal volume of the cabinet. There are other schools of thought (e.g. Harbeth's deliberately flexible cabinets), but most designers now aim to make their enclosures as rigid as possible. There is also the critical choice between a stand-mount cabinet (often referred to as "bookshelf" loudspeakers, although actually placing them on a crowded wall-shelf will usually result in a poor sound compared to using rigid & adequately damped speaker stands & having some free space around the enclosures... ) or having larger floor-standing enclosures (which usually have more drivers than stand-mounts). Finally, the crossover design & positioning of the various drivers relative to each other are critical to achieving a coherent musical performance. Active speakers may be preferable to passive ones if you have deep pockets! Whilst the fidelity of modern transducers has improved markedly compared to designs from say 40 years ago with the current availability of lightweight rigid materials such as carbon fibre, graphite or Kevlar for LF drivers & exotic ones like beryllium or even diamond for HF drivers, it remains the case that almost all of the non-linearity (aka distortion) of your system will derive from the transducers - even the very best & astronomically expensive ones are still not perfect! The specific impact of these issues for you will depend in part upon the size, shape & even construction materials of your listening room.

    So loudspeaker design still involves considerable compromise, & different speakers will usually sound much more distinct from each other than different amplifiers or earlier components in the audio chain. So whilst there are some general guidelines that will point you in the right direction in terms of selecting the right type of loudspeaker for your room, ultimately the acid test is whether you are happy with the musical reproduction that you achieve which is inevitably a subjective matter. I do not believe that any published numerical specifications pertaining to loudspeakers have any useful bearing on their sound quality (this is not the case with amplifiers, for example, where generally accepted measurements can give a reasonable basis for the unit's suitability(. Arnyk recently send me a link for a 2017 research paper by 3 eminent Danish academics who were seeking to quantify loudspeaker performance. It was a tough read, but ultimately I did not feel that they had actually made much headway! A particular problem is that some loudspeakers may sound very initially impressive & it is over the course of several months of regular listening that their sound begins to grate upon you - the trial period typically offered by even "top-dollar" dealers is usually NOT long enough for this effect to manifest itself, which is another reason that I would serious recommend buying "as new" s/hand loudspeakers, since it leaves you the option of selling them on later without losing a significant amount of money if you change your mind 6 months down the line...

    What is your listening room like (i.e. approximate shape, size, ceiling height, solid or plasterboard walls, solid or suspended floor & ceiling)?

    Dave
    Hi Dave !
    You seems to be an endless source of knowledge regarding hifi ! Very interesting post indeed.
    Sorry, I was posting an answer to iPhone, and I'm very slow, my english flows too slowly.
    My room is a little sitting room, about 20 m▓ (67 ft), rectangular, I'll be approximatively at 10ft from each speaker, ceiling is at 9 ft heigh, walls are solid but it's open on each side of the room without doors (at right I have a kitchen and at left the living room and dining room). Floor is parquet and ceiling is solid. The room has a few furniture: a sofa (where I sit in front of the speakers), an upright piano (very nice old Pleyel, I'm proud of it), a little table at the corner of the sofa (for the drink of course) and a low dresser.
    Thanks a lot for your help !
    LMS 7.9.0
    on Linux Mageia 5 and RPI 3
    1 SB3, 2 radio, 1 touch
    Plugins : Trackstat, Smartmix, MusicIP, ...

  10. #30
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    Your listening room

    Quote Originally Posted by Antoniop View Post
    Hi Dave !
    You seems to be an endless source of knowledge regarding hifi ! Very interesting post indeed.
    Sorry, I was posting an answer to iPhone, and I'm very slow, my english flows too slowly.
    My room is a little sitting room, about 20 m▓ (67 ft), rectangular, I'll be approximatively at 10ft from each speaker, ceiling is at 9 ft heigh, walls are solid but it's open on each side of the room without doors (at right I have a kitchen and at left the living room and dining room). Floor is parquet and ceiling is solid. The room has a few furniture: a sofa (where I sit in front of the speakers), an upright piano (very nice old Pleyel, I'm proud of it), a little table at the corner of the sofa (for the drink of course) and a low dresser.
    Thanks a lot for your help !
    Hi Antonio!

    Thanks for the info, it's much easier to give specific advice based on your actual room rather than to try to generalise!

    Like everyone else on the forum (I guess, unless they listen out in their garden, lol) the highest main modal resonance in your room will be based on the floor to ceiling height, which is better than many people's at 9', but will still be a shorter distance than that between any parallel walls. The fact that your floor & ceiling are both solid makes matters worse. But don't despair yet! If you are in love with your (doubtless very pretty but also highly reflective parquet flooring, then I would suggest a nice thick rug or two - you don't have to cover the entire floor, any damping will improve the acoustic to some extent. OTOH, if you don't mind covering it up, a THICK wall-to-wall wool carpet on top of the thickest underlay you can get would be even better.

    The open sides to your room will improve its acoustic, since the sound will spill out into your kitchen on the one side, & your living & dining room on the other: the effect will be as if you were in a larger listening room. The conventional wisdom with a rectangular room is to position the speakers on one of the long walls, 6 - 8 feet apart (& certainly no more than 10', else you'll get a "hole" in the middle of your stereo image unless you really turn the wick up!): however from your description, I imagine that your walls with the door-less gaps are the long ones, & that it will therefore be more ergonomic to put the speakers across one of the shorter walls & sit to listen with your back to the other one. This is OK, since the gaps in the side walls will prevent the sound being unduly funnelled towards you. I would however suggest that decent stand-mount speakers will give a more musical effect than floor-standing speakers, because the former are less fussy about being located relatively close to the wall behind, or even to being fairly near the corner of the room (this will inevitably cause a LF boost to a degree though, the bass radiates pretty much 360 degrees around the speaker, it's the HF that is far more directional... ). If you miss the lowest octave, a sub-woofer (or better yet 2, wired up in stereo - not because you can hear an extreme LF stereo image: you can't, but because having more than 1 source of low bass in the room, especially doing different things, reduces room resonances) carefully adjusted to match the LF roll-off of the stand-mounts, will sort that out for you. The sub-woofer positioning is not critical, although it (or they) should be in front of you, not behind. If you don't have it/them close to your main speakers, you may find that they sound better with the phase inverted - just try both settings, it'll be obvious which is correct for the location. Then adjust the cross-over frequency to get a good sound without overlapping or missing low frequencies & last of all set the gain. Everyone sets it too high to start with, then you detect some "boominess" after a while & keep edging the gain down for a week or two until you finally get a smooth & natural effect. We're just after a subtle reinforcement of the lowest notes...

    The strings of your beloved piano will try to "sing along" as well if you turn up the volume, which will be bad for a sharp image - I'd suggest a half-brick or heavy door-stop strategically placed on the soft pedal when you're not playing, lol.

    That's my two pennyworth, I hope it helps...

    Dave

    P.S. Enjoy your drink - I'm currently on the Jack Daniels with Zero Coke (in a separate glass, of course... ). Salut!

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