PFO Award RMAF 2010

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Daedalus Audio

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PFO Award RMAF 2010
« on: 2 Nov 2010, 04:54 am »
PFO Award  The Best of the Best at 2010 RMAF
by Robert H. Levi
Speakers Under $10,000

"No doubt in my mind, the Daedalus DARMa Reference Monitors ($8595) in the ModWright room were speakers you could take home to mother! Detailed, warm, linear, rich, and truly amazing, I thought they cost $15,000! What a deal! Plus, ModWright electronics never sounded more fabulous. The ModWright Sony XA5400 with Ultimate Truth Mod ($3500) and a steal of steals, the LS 100 Linestage plus phono stage, ($3295+750), and the KWA 100SE power amp ($3995), was simply the deal of the century. The Soundstring Cable Technologies were used throughout to great effect."

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue52/rmaf2.htm

david12

Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #1 on: 2 Nov 2010, 05:15 pm »
 good news lou and no more than they/you deserve.
  David

vinyl_lady

Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #2 on: 2 Nov 2010, 07:36 pm »
good news lou and no more than they/you deserve.
  David
+1 :thumb:

jimdgoulding

Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #3 on: 2 Nov 2010, 07:55 pm »
Very nice, Lou.  Did you have these MS aligned? :roll:  Seriously, congratulations.

jriggy

Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #4 on: 2 Nov 2010, 10:29 pm »
Very nice, Lou.  Did you have these MS aligned? :roll:  Seriously, congratulations.

The Ulysses in Lou's room were, from my understanding, set up using Master Set.
The room mentioned above was Dan Wrights room, with the DA-RMa's - and from the looks of all photos I have seen, were not set up using  the Master Set technique. Dan could answer this for sure but I am pretty sure the Modwright room did not use the technique.

Pez

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Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #5 on: 2 Nov 2010, 11:07 pm »
I personally was not impressed with the Master set setup. It seemed incredibly arbitrary. I cannot honestly say that I noticed an increase in soundstage solidity. I also felt that ultimately there were voicing issues specifically with female vocals sounding a touch nasal. Just out of curiosity I took out a tape measure just to get an idea of what the speakers looked like from a completely mathematical stand point. The right speaker was approximately 4" further into the room than the left and the toe in of the right was different from the left as well by quite a large amount. Ultimately it turned me off to the process and I personally do not subscribe to it. 

vinyl_lady

Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #6 on: 2 Nov 2010, 11:51 pm »
It is not unusual for there to be differences in speaker placement from the wall behind the speakers when using the Master Set technique. It all depends on the room and where furniture is in the room, etc. The idea is to find the spot where each speaker pressurizes its 1/2 of the room equally and the speakers work as one. I had Rod set my speakers using Master Set last February and posted on the process here http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=73815.msg735386#msg735386


zybar

Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #7 on: 2 Nov 2010, 11:57 pm »
I personally was not impressed with the Master set setup. It seemed incredibly arbitrary. I cannot honestly say that I noticed an increase in soundstage solidity. I also felt that ultimately there were voicing issues specifically with female vocals sounding a touch nasal. Just out of curiosity I took out a tape measure just to get an idea of what the speakers looked like from a completely mathematical stand point. The right speaker was approximately 4" further into the room than the left and the toe in of the right was different from the left as well by quite a large amount. Ultimately it turned me off to the process and I personally do not subscribe to it.

How do you know the negative attributes you perceived were the result of a Master Set setup?   :scratch:

Did you hear the same gear, in the same room, with a different setup?

If so, it would be fantastic if you could articulate the differences you heard.

Thanks,

George




Pez

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Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #8 on: 3 Nov 2010, 12:00 am »
Yes I heard this room being setup prior to master set. I will post a bit more later.

zybar

Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #9 on: 3 Nov 2010, 12:01 am »
Yes I heard this room being setup prior to master set. I will post a bit more later.

Cool!

Thanks,

George

vinyl_lady

Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #10 on: 3 Nov 2010, 12:09 am »
George,

you may want to check with Lou too. He has posted that he was pleased with the sound after the Master Set. http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=87352.msg855467#msg855467

jimdgoulding

Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #11 on: 3 Nov 2010, 12:48 am »
For people sitting off axis or standing here and there at a show or in a showroom, there may be benefits.  As I understand it, MS was originally created by Sumiko(?) for demonstration purposes in showroom settings.  Seated in the sweet spot in a rectangular room such as mine with no furnishings between or near my speakers, I don't see how I wouldn't be getting proper pressurization or could have anything to gain save for more linear bass, perhaps.  Maybe too much linear bass (to my taste) with the nearness to room boundaries.  I have other theoretical issues with MS placement (duh).  I want what's in a recording to include hall ambience and image specificity and breadth of field (the one that's been recorded) when it's in those bits and grooves.  I imagine that MS placement pushes the whole presentation somewhat forward with its nearness to walls and adds boldness.  In other words, it ain't neutral to a recording :dunno:.

vinyl_lady

Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #12 on: 3 Nov 2010, 12:55 am »
I imagine that MS placement pushes the whole presentation somewhat forward with its nearness to walls and adds boldness.  In other words, it ain't neutral :dunno:.

Jim,

based on my Master Set experience in my listening room this is not the case at all. the presentation is not forward, it does not add boldness and is very neutral, more neutral than any other speaker position I have tried.

jimdgoulding

Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #13 on: 3 Nov 2010, 01:31 am »
Laura, I know how you feel.  And my speculation is just that.  But, you put dynamic speakers that close to the wall behind them, not to mention the walls beside them, and your gonna have an elevation as the frequency response goes down.  And that's just for starters.  More speculation . . I think MS placement uses the wall behind it to amplify along with the amplifier.  We're just not on the same page or have different experiences regards neutral is all.  But, I ask you, if it's true that there is an elevation in sound, can that be objectively neutral?  Some recordings, many more classical than popular, are discreetly microphoned and engineered with the particular setting or experience in mind.  Transparency, a word we audiophiles commonly use for example, means I get to sense where I'm sitting and the sound of the hall dimensions in addition to the placement of players.  Too much early reflection and this transparency of mine is compromised. 

Bet I come to your house and listen to "Rough Mix" (you KNOW I love this record) or some ditties you might offer and you come to my house and I play a special something for you, we would have mutual respect for one another's speaker placement.  Yours and mine.  Cheers.

Daedalus Audio

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Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #14 on: 3 Nov 2010, 04:10 am »
looks like we have two different camps here. I'll agree with Jim that the off axis benefits are more pronounced than the sweetspot but overall I tend to agree with the MS approach, I know my speakers very well and the placement for bass loading and balance makes sense to me.  that doesn't mean they would always be near the front and side walls. in the smaller rooms like the Modwright and First sound that would have created an unbalanced loading, the positioning used could very well have been similar to what Rod would have done in THOSE rooms.
Jason I think you're awesome but if I catch you with a tape measure again you'd best bring a sword ; ).  imho, the whole measurement routine is of marginal value in a room as totally asymmetrical as the one I show in @ RMAF (1030). Rod addresses this and I agree. anyhow I was pleased with Rod's work and by sat afternoon we had the best imaging in that room for the 6 years I've showed there.
thanks,
lou

Pez

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Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #15 on: 3 Nov 2010, 05:01 am »
Ok, I want to add this. Tape measures and the like are nothing more than a tool to help you get a decent approximation of speaker placement. The thing about MS is that it's the antithesis of this. It's entirely 100% arbritrary. There are of course a few ground rules, closer placement to the wall, deep soundstage is an illusion of the eye (which I couldn't disagree with more), and quite to the contrary to what Lou and a few others are saying, sweetspot centric. I did not see Rod sit in any other seat other than the sweet spot the entire time he was setting up the MS in Lou's room, which to me says that what he was focused on was sweet spot only. Maybe there's some benifit off axis, but if there was Rod certainly did not appear to be focused on that at all. By the time he was done I was not impressed with the results in either voicing or soundstage/imaging.

It just sounded wrong which is why I pulled out the tape measure to begin with. Not that I think that measurements are the end all be all, but because I wanted to get an idea why the soundstage felt like it was pulling to the right... Maybe because of the speaker placement, maybe because of the faulty amps, maybe for some other reason.

Fast forward to Saturday and Sunday when the Daedalus room sounded great. I still was unimpressed with the soundstage and imaging. The previous year setup was probably the best I heard at the show regarding imaging and soundstaging... Simply awesome. This year once the modwright amps were in it was all about tonality being the rooms best attribute.

Now, Emmanuals room in which the Ulysses were pulled out from the wall quite a bit, were relatively symmetric and well balanaced tonally (even better than 1030) did not utilize MS (at least I doubt it as the speakers were pulled into the room a lot more than 1030, but I might be wrong) Any way it was night and day! Best soundstaging, best imaging, best tonality, best bass, best over all sound IN THE SHOW. It was quite breath taking. I felt the soundstage depth go way deeper than room 1030, I noticed an ease of presentation with female vocals as opposed to a tendency to nasality with 1030 even with the Modwright amps. I attribute this to either the room, or the MS setup because that setup was almost identical last year and it did not have this as an issue. Plus in room 804 (1st music) it didn't matter where you sat, it always sounded flat out gorgeous. Room 1030 there were a few "B" seats in the house that were rather bass heavy or tonally off IMO.

Again, I am not a rock hard measurements guy. I agree with Lou in the sense that you can't setup a pair of speakers to have great sound in the sweet spot or otherwise using a tape measure, but I also think it's just as silly to be on the opposite end of the spectrum and do things based solely on tiny changes done from one listening position.

Please don't beat me Lou.  :lol:

Pez

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Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #16 on: 3 Nov 2010, 05:19 am »
One last thing. Every vendor complains at these shows about how bad things sound, how terrible the wall power is, how crappy the acoustics in their room is etc etc. Emmanual w/ 1st music not only over came all of these problems with a relatively simple setup, he actually made me think "this is one of the finest systems I have heard period." If you don't know me, know this; that is saying a lot.

Daedalus Audio

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Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #17 on: 3 Nov 2010, 05:25 am »
\

Please don't beat me Lou.  :lol:
[/quote]

oh man... we are on. 
just kidding.  Jason you have a lot of good points. we can use all these 'tools', to me the focus is to keep an open mind. as for the other two rooms, they are less than half the size and very symmetrical whereas my room is extremely asymmetrical. each needs a different approach. btw I think that a preamp plays as much of a role in imaging as the speakers or room and the First Sound pre is pure magic in that department.
oh and when the sound was to the right etc that was the bad tubes fault once we only used the Modwright there was no problem.


Daedalus Audio

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Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #18 on: 3 Nov 2010, 05:28 am »
Jason, one more thought for you.  how would you like to see the room set up next year and how would you go about it?  think on this for a while... you know I'm always open to suggestions especially if I'm given time to reflect...
thanks, lou

vinyl_lady

Re: PFO Award RMAF 2010
« Reply #19 on: 3 Nov 2010, 06:41 am »
Bet I come to your house and listen to "Rough Mix" (you KNOW I love this record) or some ditties you might offer and you come to my house and I play a special something for you, we would have mutual respect for one another's speaker placement.  Yours and mine.  Cheers.

+1 :thumb: :thumb: