My '82-model musicroom


#1

The house is a ‘58 model that I bought in 1980. We finished its first remodeling in the spring of 1982. This room used to be the 14’ (4.23m)-wide living room. After pushing out its north (concrete-block, outside) wall five feet (1.5m.), it’s now 21’ (6.4m) wide and 19’ (5.8m.) deep. I also removed the ceiling and ‘moved it’ to the bottom of the roof which now slopes upward from 6.5’ (1.98m.) high at the front wall to about 12’ (3.66m.) at its peak over the listening position and then back down to meet the rear wall at the traditional 8’ (2.46m.) high. The room has a relatively low amount of parallel surfaces, and there’s only one 90-degree corner in the place (other than the walls’ intersections with the floor and ceiling). It has always sounded quite good, and after adding two HUGE basstraps, one corner of which is visible in the upper-left of the pic and the other of which lives at the intersection of the rear wall and the sloping ceiling, the c. 30Hz bass node is at least lower in level if not ‘tamed’. More on that later.

The system has evolved the last six months into more of a movie system–the years-old screen is in Panavision’s 2.35-ratio and is 96" wide–but it still plays two- and multichannel music excellently. Projector is an Epson pseudo-4K/3840 model ‘5040, and BrD and UHD discs look excellent at my 10-1/2’ (3.2m.) viewing distance.

Frontend is an Oppo '203 DP that’s HDMI-cabled to the new-late-last-year Marantz AV7704 preamp/processor. That drives the four visible poweramps and two Rythmik F15HP subwoofers located against the back (not front) wall. IC for the stereo channels is the EXCELLENT Neotec NEI-1002 solid-UPOCC-silver cable which is, as I write, being converted into balanced configuration using Neotec '6613 connectors. These will drive a pair of BHK 300s driving the Vienna Acoustics Mahlers. Current main amps are five-channel Butler TDB 5150s, one of which also drives a pair of ceiling Atmos/DTS:X speakers. Centerchannel is a Revel C208 driven, biwired, by a Stellar M700 (which sounds QUITE nice). Front-three speakercable is Clear Day solid-24g.-silver-conductor Double-Shotgun-Plus, the ‘Plus’ meaning each pole uses 6 conductors for c. 16-1/4g. per pole. The basscables are inexpensive stranded-copper 16g.-times-4, using 6 of those 16g. conductors per pole (= c. 8-1/4g.) for the mains and four conductors (= 10g.) for the CC.

Surrounds and ceilings in this 7.2.4 system are all ELAC B6s; I plan to further complicate the system by adding another pair of ceiling speakers for 7.2.6. Poweramps for the surrounds and ceilings are one of the Butlers (two channels) and a humble, old, EXCELLENT-for-the-purpose Outlaw 7100. After I replace the Butlers’ 10 channels with 2 from the '300s, I’ll find another inexpensive seven-channel amp to drive the 10 surrounds/ceilings.

The Rythmik SWs are driven in stereo by the front-L/R channels–NOT the ‘.1’ channel–and sound excellent.

Power conditioner is a Balanced Power Technologies Ultra-3.5 unit; mine is the first BPT-3.5 built using his then-new six-duplex-outlets chassis. (I had sent him six Furutech duplex outlets and a Furutech 20-amp IEC inlet.) Powercables are mostly Furutech UP-OCC-copper, 13g. to the DP and preamp and 11g. to the main poweramps, with DH Labs Power-Plus 12g. cable to the M700. ALL components are driven by the conditioner with long cables running from the conditioner at left, around the left-front corner, against the front wall, and then to the amps; some is visible in the pic. I have three dedicated 20-amp branch circuits running into the musicroom; only one is used now, to drive the conditioner.

ALL cables for the three front channels are lifted off the carpet with DIY, plastic-tube-based elevators, and different kinds of cable are dressed carefully to cross only at 90 degrees and at least a couple inches apart.

The SWs are equalized with a pair of small, commercial, single-channel RANE parametric eqs. Each eq has three sections, each adjustable in (1) center frequency continuously from something like 10Hz to 2kHz, (2) the width of the notch/peak (‘Q’), and (3) gain. These help greatly in taming the main 28-30Hz room node and two other notches or peaks.

I’m VERY happy with the sounds of my system, and I expect it to sound even better with the BHK '300s replacing the surprisingly good-sounding Butlers.

I listen to, mostly, large-scale Classical and film music, and mutichannel SACDs sound simply dazzling. Another upgrade soon will be a Marantz AV8805 pre/pro.


My new/used Quad ESL 2905s
Finally upgraded to SM9s
#2

Very nice. Thanks for sharing.


#3

Here 'tis with the Quad '2905s added this week. Still using the Butler TDB 5150 poweramps; my BHK300s should arrive in maybe a week. The system sounds better than it ever has. 4_gif 4_gif 4_gif 4_gif

2018Feb08_with-2905s_1500w.jpg


#4

@jeffreybehr that is an impressive array of speakers, multi-channel and viewing experience.

Do you plan on using your subwoofers with the Quads? I’ve been thinking about this for a while (only for music) but have ultimately sat on the fence. Quad say don’t do it but many others say the result is worth it. Either REL or Rythmik subs would likely be my choice. When you have had some time with the 2905s and particularly the S300 mono’s I’d be very interested to hear your feedback.

laugh Regards. Frank


#5

Hey Frank, no experience with Quads, or subs, but I have read quite a bit about the JL Audio subs with their separate electronic crossover. Those or Rels would be on my list.


#6
frank7036 said

(1) @jeffreybehr that is an impressive array of speakers, multi-channel and viewing experience.

(2) Do you plan on using your subwoofers with the Quads? I’ve been thinking about this for a while (only for music) but have ultimately sat on the fence. Quad say don’t do it but many others say the result is worth it. Either REL or Rythmik subs would likely be my choice. When you have had some time with the 2905s and particularly the S300 mono’s I’d be very interested to hear your feedback.

laugh Regards. Frank

(1) TYVM.

(2) I am using SWs with the Quads, the same Rythmik F15HP sealed models I’ve had for a couple years. They are driven in stereo by the LF and RF channels. Each is positioned against the slanted-corner portions of the back wall, about on the same front-back position as the listening position. Essentially, each is firing at its matching left- or right-channel speaker. With the Mahlers and the previous Serenity Super-7s, I had the low-pass filters set on 25Hz, so they were really SUBwoofing. With the Quads, I moved the fiters to c. 35Hz and have adjusted the levels by ear so as NOT to be able to identify the output of either except with really-bottom-octave energy. That stuff is simply in the room with no apparent source.

I LOVE these Rythmiks and don’t want to have a system without good bottom-octave energy. I use two small, old, commercial-level Rane model FPE 13 parametric equalizers to drive the SWs and to reduce the huge peak at about 30Hz, a canyon above that, and another, lower-level peak above that.

2016Apr18_Rane-FPE-13s_1800ww.jpg

Each of the three sections of each is independantly adjustable from 10Hz to 2KHz.


#7

Have you considered acoustic treatment on the bottom of the beam? I have heard rooms with a similar beam improved by damping first order reflections off of the beam.

Perfect use of the Ranes.


#8
Elk said

(1) Have you considered acoustic treatment on the bottom of the beam? I have heard rooms with a similar beam improved by damping first order reflections off of the beam.

(2) Perfect use of the Ranes.

(1) No. The tops of the speakers are directly below that surface, so little energy hits it. But now that I think about it, perhaps I should damp the forward surface of that beam. In this case, 'forward' mean north-facing; the room and listener face north.

(2) TY. With only XLRs and 1/4"-fone-plug connections, they were awkward to connect with RCAs, but a couple adapter cables worked fine. I was going to convert the cables feeding the SWs to balanced until I realized the plateamps had no XLR inputs. …ahem… With main ICs using RCAs and driving the RCA’d poweramps, I’m currently driving the Ranes with short, Audioquest-brand balanced cables from the preamp’s XLR outputs, so that simplifies things. But further simplifying the output cables by using XLR’d main cables wasn’t easy. I had SonicCraft reterminate the RCA’d main cables with XLRs, since my incoming BHKs are balanced. That meant that the main cable then would use the XLR-outs that were driving the Ranes, so as part of the retermination work I had Sonic Craft remove the preamp-end XLR connectors from the short ‘bass’ cables and then add those stubs to the main-cable preamp-end XLRs so that I can drive both the BHKs and the Ranes. I’ll post a pic soon.

That main IC cable is Neotec NEI-1002, the perhaps-2014-generation, super-high-quality, UP-OCC-solid-silver, BEST-quality IC, now discontinued, as Neotec is no longer making UP-OCC-silver-conductor cable of any kind, if I understand correctly. (Sonic Craft’s Jeff Glowacki says the ‘1002 is the best-sounding IC he has ever heard.) Neotec’s current best IC uses what they call ‘Pure Silver’ which, I believe, is what they used in the older-gen. NEI-2002. Good thing I bought all the ‘1002–some 50’ IIRC–that Sonic Craft had left when they were closing it out. I still have two unused, long pieces (12’ and 16’). laugh


#9

I misinterpreted the pictures. I see the speakers as further back. Amusing what the eye will do with two-dimensional images some times.


#10

Very nice. Thanks for sharing.
Servo bas yes - Rythmik F15HP sealed models nice. More love from Denmark


#11

One sonic characteristic I’ve noticed recently is the Quads’ transient quickness. Was listening to a familiar album and was amazed at the quickness…snap…of what I think was a whip crack that I’ve heard dozens of times. Excellent!

Still don’t have my BHK 300s. cry 20_gif


#12

Center-stage focus. I was watching the 500-mile Spin-'Em-Out from Daytona yesterday and decided to hear how my multichannel system sounded without a centerchannel speaker… Turns out it sounds EXCELLENT, so I left it turned off… That left an M700 monoamp unused, so I did the natural thing and ordered a mate for it, which will be here Wednesday… I’ll use this pair of M700s as my main amps and remove the Butlers and get them off to Butler to be repaired/refurbished/ reconditioned before I advertise them for sale… Also, my BHK300s should ship this week, so I’ll have TWO new pairs of amps for my system… About a month from now(1) I’ll be able to compare the two pairs and determine a sound-quality winner… (I have no doubt the the BHKs will sound better, but the question remains as to just how much better and whether they’ll be worth keeping FIVE times the money invested in the BHKs.). I’m confident my system is resolving enough to present the differences, but are my ears and brain?. But that’s why one has golden-eared friends, huh!!!

(1) that being when I’ll have about 500 hours on both pairs… I also have SIX sets of tubes(2) to run thru the BHKs; I plan to put about 70 hours on each set while the amps are running 24/7.

(2)** (A) the original (new-production, Russian) Gold Lions; (B & C) ‘70s-era, British-made Amperex A-frames and Mullard O-getters; (D) Upscale Audio-selected and -tested Tungsram 7DJ8/PCC88s; (E) Vintage Tube Services’ NOS ‘Matsusheeta’ 6DJ8s from the late '60s and early '70s; and (F) dirt-cheap, new JSC Voshkod 6H23Ps… Phwew!


#13

Lots of fun coming up. Don’t forget to undertake “double-blind” tests of your equipment, you wouldn’t want your brain to fool you. LOL


#14
frank7036 said

Lots of fun coming up. Don’t forget to undertake “double-blind” tests of your equipment; you wouldn’t want your brain to fool you. LOL

'Fun' indeed.. Probably good advice, but of course that'll never happen due to lack of adequate staffing here at 'Jeffrey's Audio'.. I do have two friends who can help me evaluate the '300s' tubes; that can be done single-blind since the tubes are in the backs of the amps, that is, I can change the tubes without anyone seeing which are coming out or going in..

After removing the CC speaker, I’ll be resiting the four main amps on four temporary pads*… I’ll have six poweramps in five stacks including two new, inexpensive Emotiva A-700 amps for the four surround and six ceiling speakers.

  • I have four new, yet-unused shelves I had made for an equipmentrack I never finished… Material is 1-5/16" MDF, veneered with very thin cherry and with edges about 3/16" thick, sawn from solid cherry. For temporary use as amppads, they’ll NOT be spiked to the poured-concrete-slab floor but will be merely lying on the carpet… One of these five below won’t be used as an amppad since, as the top of the intended rack, it’s larger than the other four. I will be using Herbies Tenderfoot isolation feet on at least the '300s and, I hope, all four amps if I have enough.

2016_three-shelves_2000W.jpg2016Jun01_Five-shelves-in-a-column_2000h.jpg


#15

WAHOO!!! My BHK300s will be here Thursday!!!

I already started rearranging the existing amps to accommodate the pairs of old and new, those being six–two-each of M700s, BHK300s, and Emotiva A-700s, the latter for surround and ceiling speakers.


#16

I’m ready… 4_gif happy-132_gif clapping_gif happy-090_gif

The M700 awaits another to arrive today the 21st. The Emotiva A-700 awaits another arriving the 23rd; both will drive the surrounds and ceiling speakers. The empty pair of pads awaits the pair of BHK 300s arriving tomorrow the 22nd.

2018Feb20_Empty-amppads_1500w.jpg

The cable’s ready.

2018Feb20_cable-ready_1500w.jpg

The damping blocks are ready… The four brown ones on the left are 1" thick, while the black ones are 3/4" thick. The whitish dots are Herbies’ Grungebusters… I have eight already placed on equipment.

2018Feb20_damping-pads_1500w.jpg

The cables are dressed, waiting for amps… The green-striped IC is the old Neotec UP-OCC-silver-conductors stuff that I had Sonic Craft reterminate with Neotec '6613 XLRs… This is my first time ever having a balanced-output preamp and fully balanced amps, so it’s my first time with balanced cable.

2018Feb20_cable-dressed_1500h.jpg

I plan to start breaking-in the M700 shortly after it arrives. After the '300s arrive Thursday, I’ll install them on the outer pads, connect them to the Quads, and then connect the new M700 to a cheap speaker I have lying about and drive that, too, 24/7 until all 3 amps are as broken-in as the ‘old’ M700 (over 500 hours). I’ll also be braking in the six sets of tubes for the '300s, probably for four days for each set.


Uhh...new forum software stinks so far. And where is MY system thread? I can't find it
#17

The BHK 300s arrived Feb. 22 and are breaking-in along with the second M700 that arrived Feb. 21. The 2nd Emotiva A-700 arrived today Feb. 24. The two '300s and the '700 are runnng in 24/7, and at least the '300s will get c. 500 hours on them. The two seven-channel Emotivas are in the center-stack; they drive the 8 (soon to be 10) surround and ceiling speakers. I removed the centerchannel system because the Quads focus the soundstage’s center better than the CC system did.

The sound with the new amps is already excellent and is getting better. I installed the 1st set of aftermarket tubes in the '300s after c. 48 hours on the original set. Four more sets to go!


#18

Pics under cover.