Paaf system

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lejonklou
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Re: Paaf system

Post by lejonklou »

Paaf wrote: 2018-12-07 14:43 Well isn't this hilarious.... I fine tuned the placement of little feet under a little board on which I place the PSU for the NAS. After many AB tests, I was content. Some hours later I was in "regular mode" not "extreme tune method nerd mode" - and compared this perfectly tuned thing with simply placing the PSU on the desk. It was the same! LOL!
That finding is a good sign you've not gone crazy, but still capable of judging the actual result of your experiments! :)
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Paaf »

Thank you. :)

Room acoustics vs tune method.

Sound in my system is tilted to the left. The right speaker stands in a corner. For years I thought the tilt was because of me - my right ear is not as good as my left ear.

A friend, when asked to point to the center sound, pointed to a position about a third from the left speaker. This indicates that it's due to room acoustics.

Using some test tracks now, left sounds are fine, but center and right sounds have problems. The further to the right, the bigger the problem with the stereo imaging.

In fact, digging deeper, it seems that some right sounds are positioned in the center, others between the center and the right, and others just to the right as they should be.

I assume it is frequency dependent. This causes some instruments to have OK imaging, others end up in the wrong position, and wide range frequency instruments like a guitar or piano gets quite a diffused stereo image.

Today I placed objects around the right speaker, a rolled up camping mattress with "massage pattern", a foam roller also with "massage patterns" (absorbing and deflecting), some pieces of packing foam (absorbing) etc. After some rearranging, and realizing that part of the negative effect was due also to left speaker reflections, I had a noticeable improvement in the imaging. Still far from correct but at least better, no obvious tilt to the left etc.

ANYWAY.. after I was satisfied, I went into tune method mode instead, and tested the sound from the other room WITH and WITHOUT all the weird acoustic stuff and... annoyingly without had better tune. GAH!
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Paaf »

A funny random thing.
I had the same song on my NAS as both 320k mp3 and lossless FLAC. In the past I've compared such many times by sound - typically ending up in "treble sounds a bit dirty" for the mp3.

I now compared with the tune method instead. Oh yeah.
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Re: Paaf system

Post by sunbeamgls »

Try putting your foam stuff along the side walls at the first reflection point and see how you get on. It might be the closer proximity of the rh side wall rather than the corner itsself.

Or it might not :)
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Paaf »

It's a good idea Sunbeamgls, a friend also mentioned the same thing. There are some random objects, curtains and flower pots on the wall at the height of the speaker, so it's not a hard shiny wall... but there is a window behind all that so it's definitely worth a shot. Imagine the WAF of large grey audio damping wool plates all over the windows in the living room! :)

Meanwhile, I've upgraded all power cables as well as the speaker cables. More about that later.
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Paaf »

I placed a pillow on the right wall in the right corner, just to the right of the speaker. That is, not at the previously mentioned point about midway between the speaker and the listening position, but actually just next to the corner.

The huge skewing of the stereo image is solved! I can't explain it. That position isn't usually a problem area. The pillow doesn't dampen much mid range or upper bass. When I measure the room acoustics, there doesn't seem to be a difference with and without the pillow. BUT... stereo image is now "acceptable".

Also, since I measured the room acoustics for the first time now, I realize it is obviously seriously flawed, massive dips and so on.. but the music sounds great so... *shrugs* :)
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Paaf »

Merry Christmas!
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Re: Paaf system

Post by tokenbrit »

:-) And to you, Paaf. And to you :-)
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Paaf »

I'm still gawking about the sound of my HAKAI after (temporarily) disabling Volumio. So niiiiice!

I also played a CD for the first time in ... several years! It's actually a Panasonic 3D BluRay player, so certainly it's neither very hifi nor optimized for tunefulness! I look forward to improve it with my recent new understandings!
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Per A »

Hi Paaf

Thanks for sharing your interesting upgrades.

I have the same type of Qnap nas that you replaced. It is quite noisy in itself. It makes a low frequency sound that can be heard through the walls of our apartment. But what is worse is it is so slow that I hardly use it except for music I can’t find using spotify. It may be that I should rebuild the database or something tedious like that. Was your Qnap slow, did you have to wait several minutes after pressing music in kazoo for the folders to appear?
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Paaf »

Hi! The QNAP was a bit slow but not as much as you describe. With a SSD it was completely quiet.
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Paaf »

I went on vacation for a week, and after arriving home I fired up the hifi system. I got a total eargasm. OMG!

It certainly puts things in perspective. This time I was actually super satisfied for weeks. No need to modify anything!

It was only today that I went in to modify something, and ONLY because I got slight stuttering listening to internet radio. I went into the HAKAI and killed the Volumio processes, and that seemed to solve it. I suppose my buffer size 256 is a bit tight.

*happy*
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Defender »

interesting to see that camping matresses from thermarest are also usable to improve musicality:)
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Paaf »

Defender - nice catch. :) Don't start hunting Ebay for one though, its efficacy for musicality wasn't convincing!

Not that musicality is a very objective way to tune hifi... but it's still the most useful I've found. :)
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Paaf »

Hello friends, I got a little sidetracked but now the interest blossoms again.

1. HAKAI was upgraded with a new MPD version which removed a slight stutter issue that I've had since I first built HAKAI! I had kind of convinced myself "sure it's not optimal but the musicality between the stutter is so amazing"... Friends visiting immediately commented on the stutter. But now it's gone and - without a proper ABA test - I can confidently say that the musicality jumped up significantly too.

2. STAX. I have read about these weird electrostatic headphones / ear speakers for more than 20 years! I never had the chance to try any and I didn't really try to either, they always felt out of reach and people were complaining about build quality - and recent years I've also had a vague idea "it's probably cold, analytical and un-tuneful" - total nonsense, as it turned out!

While reading up on the various models suddenly a SUPER deal second hand popped up and I went for it. At that price I'm 100% sure I can sell it without any losses if it turns out I don't like it. Then it feels like "free stuff"! lol

The combination is a little odd: SR-407 ear speakers and SRS-252S energizer. Odd, because the 407 is the 2nd best of 4 models of the previous range of ear speakers, and the 252S is the entry level in the current range of energizers.

I'm sold. Absolutely wonderful sound - and so musical.

Someone here told me once that Stax have no bass but... at least my combination, in my system, for me, it is quite the opposite. Of course, no overly boosted booming bass - but a deep, clean, relaxed yet fun and tuneful bass. A few times the bass actually surprised me by scaring me! Once was a Bach Organ track. Another was a pop song where the bass drum suddenly hit me in my stomach.. weirdest thing. And a few Jaco Pastorius tracks went from meh to super awesome.

After some weeks with my Stax set, I see that the power supply to the energizer is a joke... First a power supply converting EU 240V to 110V and then a japanese cheap power supply converting from 100V to 12V DC. (The 110V vs 100V doesn't seem to matter.)
Surely it MUST be much better to get a good 240V to 12V DC instead! Upgrading might make a huge difference! Just think of those extremely expensive Linn Klimax power supply units for the LP12. The power parts of our system must be extremely important.

Not that I feel a need to improve it right now - I have constant eargasms...

3. Upgrade to Linn Silver from amp to Stax energizer. Nice improvement. Of course more tuneful but also sound wise kind of.. "fatter and cleaner" if I'm allowed to venture into such descriptions. (OK OK sorry, I take it back!)

4. When stumbling upon a Supra ethernet cable I was reminded of Fredrik's recommendation of the Supra USB cable for HAKAI. Casually checking the price of the USB one, I could not believe my eyes. Why the f**k didn't I get one before, it's virtually free compared to Linn Silver IC! Fine, ordered one immediately and it will arrive next week.

5. Tried to put the cables in a way that signal cables can touch each other but not cases and definitely not power cables and so on... Tricky enough if I could bundle it together but another variable is that all cables should lie freely without tensions... The changes I made could not be undone really, but I have a pretty strong feeling that the tunefulness 2x!

Grateful for input from you guys who surely are much better at placing cables than I am!
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Re: Paaf system

Post by ThomasOK »

Sounds like a series of nice improvements. You are definitely allowed to talk about the sound aspects as long as the main evaluation is Tune method or true musicality. Interesting about the headphones. I have owned Stax headphones in the past and did enjoy them. One wonders whether one of their amps would improve on the entry level energizer or not.
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Paaf »

Thanks ThomasOK!

The new Linn Silver ICs are now connected in the correct direction... At what age do we learn to follow simple instructions like "follow the arrow"? (amp output => energizer input). Do I need to elaborate on which direction was best? lol

Related to Stax: Thirty years ago I walked into a hifi shop and was floored by the extreme spacial illusion created by a pair of entry level Martin Logan electrostatic speakers. Maybe one day...
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Re: Paaf system

Post by dasher »

Hi Paaf

I also have the 407s, driven by the 006t 'energiser and I ;love mine. I changed the standard ear pads for the leather ones that are standard on the 507. Not for one minute would I say that the tune is easier to follow - but they are much more comfortable!
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Paaf »

In April all my equipment was unplugged for two weeks. When plugged in again, the Magik DS-i didn't start. Completely black screen. Scary. A day or two later it randomly started up and then just worked fine for months.

This weekend I was away again, and had unplugged everything. Now it doesn't start again. Sigh.

Googling now gives that it's a common issue and that one can heat up the PSU with a hair dryer.. even Akurate 4200 and other models have the same weird issue. I doubt any units have this fault from the factory.. so I'm thinking potentially some kind of aging issue, which usually means caps.
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Tendaberry »

If you have it in stand-by, when not using it, this can happen, when you switch it off completely, if it's an older unit.
I had this with my 4100 and 6100 power amps. Apparently it's some cap responsible in the start-up routine of the amp. My dealer changed the failing caps and since then I've had no problems.
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Paaf »

A few hours later it randomly turned on. lol

Correct, I always have it in stand-by when not using it. Do you mean that it can help to switch it fully on before powering off?

Aging caps then, thanks for confirming my suspicion. What did that cost you approx?

Here's a look inside if anyone is curious. It's a repair guy who manages to fix a non-working DS-i. Yes, he changed caps related to stand-by.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cz9VYWRzIMw

Going directly from stand-by to music most likely has a negative effect on the performance as well, compared to having it always fully on.
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Re: Paaf system

Post by Tendaberry »

Paaf wrote: 2022-08-02 12:20 Correct, I always have it in stand-by when not using it. Do you mean that it can help to switch it fully on before powering off?

No

Aging caps then, thanks for confirming my suspicion. What did that cost you approx?
Around € 200,- if I remember right (for both)
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