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Quadzilla

Exiled QQ Veteran
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Messages
2,179
Location
London, Ontario, Canada
I mentioned this before and got crapped on, but here goes ...

I like phono stages. They don't take up a lot of room, they can be very cheap to try out, and they are easy to sell if they aren't your cup of tea. I found that matrix quad and variomatrix synth separation was greatly improved by using a modest outboard phono preamp rather than ones that are built into quad receivers (mine is a Sansui QRX-7001). I expect that it has to do with preserving more fine nuance in the signal that the matrix decoder relies on ... and they just sound better anyway.

I used an inexpensive Cambridge Audio 640P for a while until I recently upgraded to a Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 Special Edition (the cartridge is a Denon DL-160 High Output Moving Coil ... I don't use this system for CD-4 playback), and switching back to the Sansui's phono input was a huge disappointment on so many levels. The used 640P cost me $150 (CDN), and the Graham Slee cost me $225 ... so next to nothing in terms of enjoyment, expecially in synth mode.
 

w.a.reid

500 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
507
Location
denton texas
sounds good to me - i love more gear - and i really love better decoding - do the ones youve seen have any lights on them? i like lights:)

I mentioned this before and got crapped on, but here goes ...

I like phono stages. They don't take up a lot of room, they can be very cheap to try out, and they are easy to sell if they aren't your cup of tea. I found that matrix quad and variomatrix synth separation was greatly improved by using a modest outboard phono preamp rather than ones that are built into quad receivers (mine is a Sansui QRX-7001). I expect that it has to do with preserving more fine nuance in the signal that the matrix decoder relies on ... and they just sound better anyway.

I used an inexpensive Cambridge Audio 640P for a while until I recently upgraded to a Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 Special Edition (the cartridge is a Denon DL-160 High Output Moving Coil ... I don't use this system for CD-4 playback), and switching back to the Sansui's phono input was a huge disappointment on so many levels. The used 640P cost me $150 (CDN), and the Graham Slee cost me $225 ... so next to nothing in terms of enjoyment, expecially in synth mode.
 

wavelength

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
2,812
Location
Lacombe, Alberta, Canada
NO!!! don't try this at home!!!!
If you are trying to scare me then at least tell me your reasons. The result sounds fine - nothing is blowing up so you need to explain your concern. Don't just leave me hanging. In the meantime, I'm now running my player sub out through an EQ and then out to the sub.
 

wavelength

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
2,812
Location
Lacombe, Alberta, Canada
Use a sound meter.

After reading numerous times on the AVS Forums Oppo 105 Owners thread that a sound meter is required to properly set the channel trim levels I finally bought one yesterday. Shoulda listened earlier. My settings by ear where close but getting them exact with the meter improved my listening experience by a factor of way more than the cost of the meter. Sounds much better; more dialed in; more balanced; I don't know exactly how to describe it but just "feels" better. In the US Radio Shack or in Canada The Source both have a $50 model.
 

leevitalone1

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
3,988
Location
The navel of NY state
I cleaned my ports and lines ends with deoxit, all this red shit came off them. Even the gold plated connectors were all coated with oxidation. I'm sure it improved the sound quality. Works with video lines too.
 

wavelength

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
2,812
Location
Lacombe, Alberta, Canada
Wall treatments - I'm always trying to improve the sound in my room by putting "stuff" on the walls. The last thing I tried was cork and I am extremely happy with the results. I got some 1' x 1' x .2" cork squares from Walmart and placed them all along the front wall (behind the front speakers) at speaker level. The sound is much clearer. I think what is happening is that the secondary reflections that were coming off the wall behind the speakers are being absorbed by the cork. This means that the late reflections that were muddying the sound coming directly from the speakers are no longer there and thus the direct sound is not being muddied anymore.
 

wavelength

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
2,812
Location
Lacombe, Alberta, Canada
Unless you have software in your system that automatically calibrates the individual speaker levels, use a sound meter to set those levels. For every time I have thought that I could set those levels by listening with my ears I have proven myself wrong after checking with a sound meter. I have come to the conclusion that there is no way a human can correctly set the levels of 5 speakers by listening.
 

kap'n krunch

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
6,525
Location
nola, estados hundidos
Unless you have software in your system that automatically calibrates the individual speaker levels, use a sound meter to set those levels. For every time I have thought that I could set those levels by listening with my ears I have proven myself wrong after checking with a sound meter. I have come to the conclusion that there is no way a human can correctly set the levels of 5 speakers by listening.
I am CONSTANTLY changing levels on speakers....everybody's hearing is different, hence, their mixes are different....Doesn't matter if I calibrate my speaker's levels with the white noise feature in my receiver, it always changes...
MY FAVORITE TWEAKING? The channel level buttons!!!
 

wavelength

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
2,812
Location
Lacombe, Alberta, Canada
I am CONSTANTLY changing levels on speakers....everybody's hearing is different, hence, their mixes are different....Doesn't matter if I calibrate my speaker's levels with the white noise feature in my receiver, it always changes...
MY FAVORITE TWEAKING? The channel level buttons!!!
I know exactly what you mean. I do that too. But lately I'm trying to go with my meter levels - just as an experiment.
 

corneredcat

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Mar 29, 2014
Messages
638
Location
East TN
I am CONSTANTLY changing levels on speakers....everybody's hearing is different, hence, their mixes are different....Doesn't matter if I calibrate my speaker's levels with the white noise feature in my receiver, it always changes...
MY FAVORITE TWEAKING? The channel level buttons!!!
LoL..i am not alone! after a year i still have not bothered to learn how to save a particular set of settings..no reason to..constantly changing. it would be awesome if the avr could somehow auto-recall the settings for each disc! i calibrate the levels as a starting point..but depending on how each disc was done i find myself changing various speaker dBs somewhat frequently... it makes such a difference when surround channels are over or underwhelming..same with center...
so my fav tweak is the same as you...channel level button!
 

wavelength

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
2,812
Location
Lacombe, Alberta, Canada
The other day I lowered the front legs of my 3 floor-standing speakers (LCR) so that the speakers are tilted slightly up from back to front. Just a couple of degrees. I am now getting tighter bass and clearer vocals and just overall better clarity of the music. I'm really happy with this new setup.
 

barfle

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2005
Messages
36
Location
Meridian, ID
I swapped the phase on my left channel speaker, and it made stuff sound so much better I did it to the right speaker, too.
 

4-earredwonder

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
12,708
Not cheap [I luckily purchased them at a significant discount] but they work wonders [actually MIRACLES] for those difficult situations where room acoustics are far from perfect:

http://www.shakti-innovations.com/hallograph.htm




Hardly wife factor friendly...but I utilize two pairs in my MAIN SYSTEM...think of them as extremely effective ROOM TUNING devices.
 
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marpow

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Messages
3,386
Location
San Mateo CA
I have B&W Diamond bookshelf and center speaker as my fronts. The right and left sitting on a cabinet equal height and the center on mantel about 8" higher than the R & L. Not ideal, but great speakers and good distance from me about 10' and good width, about 8' apart and toed in slightly.
My listening spot has my ears I feel significantly below the tweeters, I compare to my B&W rears which are on stands and are perfect ear height.
I was watching some Audioholic YouTube and they had an episode on imperfect rooms for surround, my situation is better than what they showed but I felt they had one good tip that might be good for me and those are under speaker isolation pads that tilt the speaker downward, which I think will get my ear height more in line with my speaker height. I also on another video saw a good idea that I am going to try, and that is to take cat litter or sand and fill the legs of the rear metal speaker stands as the hollow metal stands can effect sound coming out of the speaker, I also ordered a 1/4" flat isolation pad for between stand and speaker. Total was about $60.00, not including cat litter. Hopefully I will get noticeable enjoyment.
 

shokhead

Active Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
88
Location
SoCal,USA
I think pretty common but I use cheap rubber door stops under front of center speaker to get the aim just right. One on each end.
 
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