Ipspam Posted September 17, 2022 Share Posted September 17, 2022 (edited) Hey everyone. I'm a proud owner of Vandersteen 3a Signatures, and a previous owner of 2CE's. Pretty much the only speakers Ive ever used, though I own some Yamaha NS-690's, and Kef Concertos. I have owned my 3A sigs for about 3-4 years now, and its always placement placement placement. I VERY much dread having to go back to placement every couple months, but it usually pays dividends. I have a room that is 130 inches by 190 inches long. the 190 inches opens up into the bedroom with double french doors which I have put in storage to open up the room. Until last week I have had the speakers out from the back wall almost 70 inches. In such a small room it allowed the backbounces to be 12+ milliseconds from the original sound. I cant say if I just didnt have the right placement before when I tried having them closer to the front wall, or if my treatments were lacking, allowing all kinds of early reflections to completely destroy the sound. I have always had my speakers 1/5th out from the sidewalls, which is 18" to wall, and 26 to center of speaker with 62" between the inside edges of the speakers. Recently I found a "magic" formula for speaker placement that I stole from a Focal manual. (ALWAYS read the manuals!!! you WILL learn something). It is Bsq = AC, where A > B> C, and those three measurements are distance to sidewall, distance to frontwall, and height to middle of bass driver from floor. I used the numbers 26" from sidewall, and originally 8.25" to center of rear woofer that covers 26-35hz. That gave me 81.9" out from the front wall. I had some trouble philosophically about whether that number was to the front, middle or back of the speaker, and I certainly picked wrong at first. eventually, after re-reading the speaker manual, I noticed it clearly states the acoustical center of the speaker is the very center of the speaker. Eventually as everything got more and more dialled in, i realized I had made a critical mistake trying to measure my ear height by myself and my "stick" for measuring was 34", not 36". So after fixing the tilt that I had lived with for years, everything started to magicaly come together, and all the years of work started paying dividends. after that things happened fast. I got a new measurement of 8.75" to the middle of the woofer, which meant 77.257" to the back wall, and this time I knew the exact acoustical center of the speakers. WOW! did that sound good. So then I had to try the Focal formula on the front Bass driver that covers up to 600hz. That meant 26" and 33.5", and I was to 43.16" from the front wall. (33.5sq = 26 * X) (1122.5 = 26 * 43.16) This is where Im at today, and damn is it good. I use zero toe in. (or indistinguishable from zero toe in) I also listen "nearfield". With my speakers 78" from acoustical center to acoustical center, an equalateral triangle places the ears listening position about 66" back from the middle of the speaker, or only 61" from the front of the speakers. This largely helps take the small room effects out and allow the direct to ear sounds to arrive faster than would otherwise be compared to first and early reflections. TUBE TRAPS: Tube traps are a miracle of engineering. They are powerful and compact and work on pressure differences rather than trying to trap a half wave of bass thats 30 or 40 feet long. The round fiberglass is sealed on both ends and compresssed to the exact right density to have the perfectly optimized air flow resistivity. When the pressure changes in the room, the pressures in the room and inside the tube trap starts to equalize within 2ms. When this happens, air flows through the compressed fiberglass, and is resisted the perfect amount to change into heat as it struggles through the fiberglass. Next, there is a poly-cylindrical diffusion. Its a rounded vinyl like covering under the cloth that has the exact right amount of holes in it to effectively be a 600hz crossover. Over 600hz is diffused back into the room, while under is absorbed. THis poly-cylindrical diffusion is time and phase aligned and so works wonders time and phase aligned vandersteens. (in my opininon!) I have also stolen a technique from here, whereby paths to the ear that are short in timing are absorbed or diffused, and long bounce paths are encouraged. This is hard in my small room. So i combined it with another technique mentioned whereby two tube traps are placed with diffusion panels facing each other directly between the speakers. Except I did this on my 8 foot ceiling between the speakers and listening position. The 8 foot ceilings are the 3rd worst first reflections after the sidewall and floor bounces. I tried cieling clouds, but they were not linear, they took off the very top end, but that was all. So tube traps it was. I put two half rounds facing each other, about 2.5 feet apart. The idea being that sound gets trapped and pinballs back and forth until it escapes, some of it getting to the listening position. This gives a nice cathedral like decay where the sound eventually reaching the listener is delayed in time by many many milliseconds. Each bounce of about 2 feet adds 2ms. It also allows for extreme clarity as I have now treated all major first reflections except the floor, and then managed to get some long throw treble as well for a nice decay rate that adds ambiance and depth beautifully. I have a Chord Qutest DAC. Its real secret sauce is the Watts Transient something filter that uses 50,000 taps to extract more timing information from the music. My other secret is Stillpoints. They are great. They are the feet on my 3A signatures. I understand this is heresy around here, but with all due respect to Richard, I doubt he ever considered putting putting $2000 worth of footers on a $5700 speaker. (6x $340USD Stillpoints SS ultra). Either way, I paid about $1400 USD used for the speakers, and about$1000 USD used for the footers. and its worth every penny. I have them screwed into the 1-4/20 on one end, with bullet spikes on the other, and then spiked through carpet into the concrete foundation. My speakers are floated. It keeps the colors well, and allows SOOOO much detail to shine through. Im also a big fan of expensive DC power supplies. I own a sonore optical rendu and optical module deluxe that electrically disconnect the dirty wireless router from my system. Every single piece of equipment is powered through a single cable into the wall. That cable feeds a Balanced Power unit that has a floating ground and keeps the noise from the neighborhood and house out of my system very well. Im also big into platforms, and own a sandbox style one, a PS audio dual platform/power conditioner, and a HRS platform. I find the effects of taking care of vibrations are stackable, with linear drainage being better than keeping vibrations in, or turning them to heat in a non-linear fashioon, I currently use a NAD M22 v1 as a power amp. 200W of class D. It is the only piece of equipment in my system that is NOT time and phase aligned because it uses a whole shit tonne of feedback to operate in Class D. But it has some things going for it, like a used pricetag of $1600 USD, real time sensing and adaption to impedence changes to the woofer, and astonishingly low distortion. I also bi-wire, in a true sense, so that the crossover happens at the output terminal of the speakers, and I keep the two wires off the ground with cable risers and the two cables a couple inches apart from each other. Needless to say, I get pretty amazing control of the bass woofers. For a pre I currently use an Allnic L-4000. Its pretty amazing at 0.016% distortion. Anyway, its all about the room/speaker/listening position geometry, vibrations, timing, phase, electrical noise, and keeping away early reflections in favor of direct-to-ear speaker path sounds. Edited September 17, 2022 by Ipspam Picturea 2 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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