Multichannel surround music with X3

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 1721 times.

Desertpilot

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 309
  • Retired
Multichannel surround music with X3
« on: 6 Aug 2021, 07:20 pm »
My third X3 arrived and I will go pick it up later today from the shipper.  Once installed I will use it for center channel duties.  As many of you know, I listen primarily to classical music.  Almost all of my music is 5.0 channels, DSD or FLAC.  If you are not familiar, I recently began a thread providing my recommendations for demonstration worthy classical music.  All of this music is available in either 2.0 Stereo or 5.0 Surround.  https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=177443.0.

Why multichannel?  Personally, I've always preferred multichannel for classical music.  I am not alone.  The reviewers at HR Audio.net https://www.hraudio.net/ also prefer multichannel for superior sonics.  Mastering engineers, of course, have a multichannel setup in their studios so they can master music in to multichannel.  See Brendon from TRPTK studios discuss his studio set up, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYCYGlm358Q.  Lastly, my favorite equipment/music reviewer Kal Rubinson of Stereophile magazine has always been a fan of multichannel music.  He reviewed the exaSound S88 DAC I own last April https://www.stereophile.com/content/exasound-s88-multichannel-da-processor.  Almost all of these reviewers and mastering engineers use floor standing speakers.

Currently, I've used my X3s in 2.0 channel stereo mode since mid May.  Truly exceptional sound.  They are 5 feet from the front wall, 9 feet apart and 11 feet from the MLP.  Soundstage is huge and deep.  Phantom center channel is precisely located.  How will a center channel speaker help?  I don't know yet.  I hope to have it set up by early evening and will begin evaluating it then.  I've delayed using REW until the third X3 is installed.  But, certainly, I will run a number of REW tests (over this weekend).  Up until now, I have been completely satisfied with the sound.  In my mind, I can hear every note.  I do not know what REW will tell me.  But, if REW says there are problems, I certainly cannot hear them.

I have not felt the need for more subwoofers so my old SVS 13 Ultras have been turned off.  I am still using my SVS Ultra Surround speakers.  They are pretty decent and generally only carry ambient sound so I will stick with them.

I'll add to this thread as I gain some experience with the new configuration.

Thanks
Marcus

jtwrace

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 11327
  • www.theintellectualpeoplepodcast.com
    • TIPP YouTube Channel
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #1 on: 6 Aug 2021, 07:24 pm »
I do not know what REW will tell me.  But, if REW says there are problems, I certainly cannot hear them.
If you never educate your ears on what is actually neutral and accurate, you will never know.  I promise you that you will have issues!  Every room does no matter the cost and design. 

Desertpilot

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 309
  • Retired
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #2 on: 6 Aug 2021, 07:30 pm »
If you never educate your ears on what is actually neutral and accurate, you will never know.  I promise you that you will have issues!  Every room does no matter the cost and design.

You are most likely correct.  I've watched your interview with Mitch Barnett of Accurate Sound several times, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1n8o7Wv4LQ&t=2715s.  After REW measurements, I will contact him for his thoughts and solutions.  I'm in this to win!

Thank you
Marcus

Desertpilot

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 309
  • Retired
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #3 on: 7 Aug 2021, 12:36 am »
Picked up the third X3 and it is installed as my center channel speaker.  Initial listening tests, as I expected, are fabulous, playing 5.0 music.  I already knew where to set it up relative to my Left and Right speakers. 

This weekend I am going to run REW, measure speaker distances and measure SPL to make sure all are the same.  This will be a fun exercise.

Marcus

Desertpilot

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 309
  • Retired
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #4 on: 7 Aug 2021, 05:05 pm »
Initial thoughts.  All three speakers are 11 feet 4 inches from the MLP (minimizing any timing issues).  This means the center channel speaker is a bit closer to the front wall.  This is a good thing as I cannot detect any interference with the left/right speakers.

2.0 listening (using stereo albums).  No difference from my previous listening experience.  Soundstage and depth are robust.  Phantom center channel still rock solid.
5.0 listening (using multichannel surround albums).  So far, excellent results.  Orchestras are robust.  Beefed up center channel adds to the overall experience.  Soundstage and depth still great.  Speakers still disappear allowing the entire front wall to come alive with music.

Now, it's on to REW testing.

Marcus

doggie

Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #5 on: 7 Aug 2021, 09:26 pm »
If you never educate your ears on what is actually neutral and accurate, you will never know. 

Therein lies the slippery slope! How would you ever know what is neutral and accurate? Even a live concert in a good venue has sound reinforcement and room acoustics. So what is accurate? If you want to see how crazy folks get over that debate just go over to Audiophile Style (AKA The Computer Audiophile) and watch the objectivists(measurement folks) and subjectivists(use own ears) battle it out!

The best you will ever do is to decide for yourself that you are really happy with the sound in your own room from your own system. There is no "Absolute Sound" but it sure sells expensive(overpriced) equipment...

Desertpilot

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 309
  • Retired
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #6 on: 7 Aug 2021, 11:06 pm »
The best you will ever do is to decide for yourself that you are really happy with the sound in your own room from your own system. There is no "Absolute Sound" but it sure sells expensive(overpriced) equipment...

Thanks for adding your thoughts.  I agree.  I will likely do measurements anyway just to see what they look like.  But, I am, in fact, very happy with the sound I am getting from my system.  Listened a lot today.  I did not feel a need to "fiddle" with speaker positioning.  Just sat back and enjoyed the experience.

Marcus

franSSS

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 100
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #7 on: 9 Aug 2021, 09:33 am »
The best you will ever do is to decide for yourself that you are really happy with the sound in your own room from your own system. There is no "Absolute Sound" but it sure sells expensive(overpriced) equipment...
[/quote]

I agree. Seems so many people go millions of miles to find Natural sound. In the meantime most artists dont sound like that on a recording. They've spend hundreds of hours making it "better". So much for what the "pure-ist" want.

Even the gear they use at live shows are aimed to make it sound more impressive. In essence i dont mind this.

Mr. Big

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 172
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #8 on: 9 Aug 2021, 02:09 pm »
FrasSSS.

Your right all the time we take to find perfect sound will never exist, never did, it is something made to get us all to continue buying gear and try to find the absolute sound. That is never going to happen, what can happen with our system in our "own" room is a sound we find enjoyable. Change one power cord and the system charge will change as much at times as a new piece of gear. Change an equipment rack, or amp stand the sound will change. Tweaks of all types (Including AC wall outlet and even the wall plate that covers the outlet) will change the sound also, not to mention acoustic panels and so on.

From 40 years in this hobby, I have learned that when it's good it is good, after that you just change the sound for the sake of having a different sound, perhaps like me a new speaker, going from Quad's ESL 63 that was totally rebuilt including power supply by Electrostatic Solutions, to the Sapphires M3's which in turn caused me to rethink my cables and power cords due to what I purchased brought out the best in the Quads, which did not have the deepest lows or the highest highs like the M3's. So what I had used to bring the Quads out was not a match for the M3's, so after burning in happened, my goal was a complete one brand loom of power cords, interconnects, and speaker cables, and I tried AQ power cords 1st, and when they made such a great improvement, I purchased interconnects and speaker wires. Even then finding which gear worked the best with the power cords due to having one level different than the other 3 due to budget. So 3 Tornado power cords and one Fire power cord. With speaker cables and interconnects being the Fire level. Do I have the absolute sound, hell if I know, but for my room and system, I would say yes. In your room and anyone else who owns the same speaker, I could not say how the sound would be.

So we can all get as deep as we want and make it super complicated, but in the end what we all do in this hobby is get our system to sound the best it can to "our" tastes in what we feel is correct, for me I like body and weight to the music as well as transparency like I hear with live music, which is never hyper-detailed and in your face. I heard the Cleveland Orch, and the sound life was laid back and relaxed and never over loud or in your face at their home Severance Hall in Cleveland Ohio 3 years ago and I said to myself that is how Quad speakers reproduce sound, they had the same sonic reproduction feel.  So Peter Walker's design and what he tried to accomplish was dead-on correct for natural music, Clayton speakers do well there also, but can rock out more, go deeper and higher, and I always say the music sound like they are in your room due to the dynamic and that is unlimited in scope.  Both take a different approach, with wonderful results for each of their designs and each can bring much enjoyment, and both kill many other speakers costing thousands and thousands more, and I know because I tried to replace my Quads for 2 years and heard speakers in the 20K and up range that could not do right what the Quads could. My Sapphires M3's make me want to listen to music, and that when you know you hit the home run, beat all the other speakers I heard at my local stereo store, for 1/4 the price.


Desertpilot

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 309
  • Retired
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #9 on: 9 Aug 2021, 02:13 pm »
I'm posting a couple photos of the new setup.  My problem?  Notice that I had to move the speakers closer to the front wall.  This was to satisfy the WAF.  Speakers are about 2.5 feet from the front wall now.  Still sound okay, but width and especially depth of the soundstage shrunk considerably.  For home theater, no problem.  Also, we had a "get together" yesterday with a few friends.  For background music, again no problem.  I will move speakers back out to 5 feet from the front wall later today for serious listening.  I have GAIA II feet installed.  But, the speakers are on sliders to accommodate moving them.  I'm not happy about keeping them on sliders.  At the moment, I'm stuck with them.

Marcus







Desertpilot

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 309
  • Retired
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #10 on: 9 Aug 2021, 02:15 pm »
... My Sapphires M3's make me want to listen to music, and that when you know you hit the home run, beat all the other speakers I heard at my local stereo store, for 1/4 the price.

Yes!  My X3s make me want to listen to music all day long.

Marcus

Tyson

Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #11 on: 9 Aug 2021, 03:40 pm »
Sorry to hear about that, hope you can chip away at this over time & get them back where they belong.

Desertpilot

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 309
  • Retired
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #12 on: 9 Aug 2021, 04:44 pm »
Sorry to hear about that, hope you can chip away at this over time & get them back where they belong.

They are back out from the front wall now.  To be honest, the WAF is very accommodating except when guests are coming over (or, sometimes, when we are watching a movie).  I know that Ron at NRD has to move his speakers every day because he has small children who would likely play & damage them.  At least I only have to move them occasionally.  I think today, I may remove the sliders and let the GAIA II spikes sink in to the carpet.  That would be very emotionally satisfying.

Marcus


abomwell

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 213
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #13 on: 9 Aug 2021, 04:52 pm »
By electronically delaying your L/R speaker out at 5' with the center speaker at 2.5' can you avoid having to move anything?

Al

franSSS

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 100
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #14 on: 10 Aug 2021, 05:27 pm »
FrasSSS.

Your right all the time we take to find perfect sound will never exist, never did, it is something made to get us all to continue buying gear and try to find the absolute sound. That is never going to happen, what can happen with our system in our "own" room is a sound we find enjoyable. Change one power cord and the system charge will change as much at times as a new piece of gear. Change an equipment rack, or amp stand the sound will change. Tweaks of all types (Including AC wall outlet and even the wall plate that covers the outlet) will change the sound also, not to mention acoustic panels and so on.

From 40 years in this hobby, I have learned that when it's good it is good, after that you just change the sound for the sake of having a different sound, perhaps like me a new speaker, going from Quad's ESL 63 that was totally rebuilt including power supply by Electrostatic Solutions, to the Sapphires M3's which in turn caused me to rethink my cables and power cords due to what I purchased brought out the best in the Quads, which did not have the deepest lows or the highest highs like the M3's. So what I had used to bring the Quads out was not a match for the M3's, so after burning in happened, my goal was a complete one brand loom of power cords, interconnects, and speaker cables, and I tried AQ power cords 1st, and when they made such a great improvement, I purchased interconnects and speaker wires. Even then finding which gear worked the best with the power cords due to having one level different than the other 3 due to budget. So 3 Tornado power cords and one Fire power cord. With speaker cables and interconnects being the Fire level. Do I have the absolute sound, hell if I know, but for my room and system, I would say yes. In your room and anyone else who owns the same speaker, I could not say how the sound would be.

So we can all get as deep as we want and make it super complicated, but in the end what we all do in this hobby is get our system to sound the best it can to "our" tastes in what we feel is correct, for me I like body and weight to the music as well as transparency like I hear with live music, which is never hyper-detailed and in your face. I heard the Cleveland Orch, and the sound life was laid back and relaxed and never over loud or in your face at their home Severance Hall in Cleveland Ohio 3 years ago and I said to myself that is how Quad speakers reproduce sound, they had the same sonic reproduction feel.  So Peter Walker's design and what he tried to accomplish was dead-on correct for natural music, Clayton speakers do well there also, but can rock out more, go deeper and higher, and I always say the music sound like they are in your room due to the dynamic and that is unlimited in scope.  Both take a different approach, with wonderful results for each of their designs and each can bring much enjoyment, and both kill many other speakers costing thousands and thousands more, and I know because I tried to replace my Quads for 2 years and heard speakers in the 20K and up range that could not do right what the Quads could. My Sapphires M3's make me want to listen to music, and that when you know you hit the home run, beat all the other speakers I heard at my local stereo store, for 1/4 the price.

Very sensible input/suggestions, thank you. I like how some people bring a lot of understanding when they partner gear together. One of the reasons i opted for a complete package is to try and eliminate guesswork between components. I think a lot of people often get rid of the "right" gear in the chain jut to discover their mistake later. I've seen a number of posts in the past where people lamented their decision to change a piece of equipment. Feedback like yours make me very impatient to get my Sapphires made up(as well as the Z10). I believe my speakers should hit production this week. HA!! i feel like a young guy waiting for this 1st car.....I am trying to keep my expectations moderate to low, but it doesnt really suit my personality, heheheehe

Mr. Big

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 172
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #15 on: 10 Aug 2021, 08:49 pm »
FrasSSS. Speakers will be worth the wait, then the hated burn-in period. What I did to help it out was play with positioning I also found no spikes at 1st gave the presentation weight, but once burned in the front 2 spikes went on and bass became more dynamic and detailed, I don't use the back spike for my room, I don't like the effect, it smooths things out too much, I want a real foundation to the music, the bottom supports the rest of the music from mids up. Bill Dudleston told that years ago why the bottom-end is so important. He also told me to listen when someone speaks to you, you will notice the voice very relaxed, neither sharp nor itched with a body to go with the voice, if a mid-range cannot do that then you have a hi-fi speaker, he was dead on in both cases.

Desertpilot

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 309
  • Retired
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #16 on: 11 Aug 2021, 12:02 am »
Yes, I did remove the sliders yesterday and let the spikes sink in to the carpet.  Very satisfying!  I'm going to put them back on to fiddle with placement a bit more.

Today, I ran Audyssey calibration.  These speakers are part of my home theater as well.  Calibration tones through the X3s were LOUD.  I guess 97 dB sensitivity is the truth.  Everything looked good to me except loudness corrections.  Audyssey just couldn't deal.  I need to calibrate loudness using a handheld SPL meter.

Marcus

franSSS

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 100
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #17 on: 11 Aug 2021, 06:50 am »

From 40 years in this hobby, I have learned that when it's good it is good, after that you just change the sound for the sake of having a different sound.

So we can all get as deep as we want and make it super complicated, but in the end what we all do in this hobby is get our system to sound the best it can to "our" tastes in what we feel is correct, for me I like body and weight to the music as well as transparency like I hear with live music, which is never hyper-detailed and in your face.
[/quote]

My Problem is i am always driven to do better or find better. In someways it is good. But i get the feeling in music it is not always sensible. I believe this will be the last major upgrade i am taking on. There after it will be self control and self restraint. Lol if that is possible for me.

But your point is valid. I too in general aim for entertaining music. Why else have music? All i want to be carried along with the song.

Tyson

Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #18 on: 11 Aug 2021, 04:58 pm »
I've been in this hobby long enough that I am no longer interested in sideways moves.  Only moves up, and substantial ones at that.

franSSS

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 100
Re: Multichannel surround music with X3
« Reply #19 on: 11 Aug 2021, 05:36 pm »
I've been in this hobby long enough that I am no longer interested in sideways moves.  Only moves up, and substantial ones at that.

a Music dealer told me the other day.... A lateral move is a bad move :-) I didnt think much of it at the time, but the more i mull over it the more i understand the wisdom of it. i dont think i have ever made a later one since i am too recently involved with building a system. But what is true is even though i like what i have bought i did not get what i needed. But guess this is a part of the journey. The only reason i have not listed the ayre v5 xe, valve audio predator or the Aragons 1k palladiums for sale is i want to hear them with the new speakers as well. but all 3 amps are really nice, just curious how they will do with the spatials. plus i will use one of them to burn in the speakers and the cables....