Love my $6,500 system ... what would you Upgrade Next???

bizmord

bizmord

Full Audioholic
:) interesting discussion.

I am actually using "fancy" $170 or was it $300 cables my friend bought long time ago and gave them to me. Now he is taking them back and I am perfectly OK buying the 14AWG monoprice or similar cables. I am not a believer in cables.

I do however think that 2 biggest improvements can be room treatment and 2nd sub. Specifically 2nd sub.... why? Because I notice that if I move my ass exactly 2 feet to the right, I can feel more sub. So clearly bass is not distributed evenly in the room and maybe 2nd sub will help in evolving the sweet spot. Right?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I don't doubt some people could get different sound, sound that they might prefer, by using specially designed cable that alter the signal but that's scam and if one actually likes the altered sound it would be by mostly by chance. It is better to start with unaltered neutral sound then use tone control, EQ etc., to suit one's liking. For me, it is neutral that's what I prefer and leave it at that but that's just me.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
:) interesting discussion.

I am actually using "fancy" $170 or was it $300 cables my friend bought long time ago and gave them to me. Now he is taking them back and I am perfectly OK buying the 14AWG monoprice or similar cables. I am not a believer in cables.

I do however think that 2 biggest improvements can be room treatment and 2nd sub. Specifically 2nd sub.... why? Because I notice that if I move my ass exactly 2 feet to the right, I can feel more sub. So clearly bass is not distributed evenly in the room and maybe 2nd sub will help in evolving the sweet spot. Right?
You got that right, and you want to see it as well as hearing it, investment a little on something like a UMik and REW (free).
 
bizmord

bizmord

Full Audioholic
You got that right, and you want to see it as well as hearing it, investment a little on something like a UMik and REW (free).

you're bringing me back to what I looked at a year ago, got scared because I didn't fully understand how that thing works ... like, is it just getting software on my Ipad, attaching mic to USB plug, turning on some music or movies and watching the graphs? Just didn't fully understand it and bailed out but now I am curious enough to start asking around. So in simple steps ... how does this thing work? :)
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Warlord
you're bringing me back to what I looked at a year ago, got scared because I didn't fully understand how that thing works ... like, is it just getting software on my Ipad, attaching mic to USB plug, turning on some music or movies and watching the graphs? Just didn't fully understand it and bailed out but now I am curious enough to start asking around. So in simple steps ... how does this thing work? :)
Now you're starting to come around.

Speakers, gear, electronics can only get you so far. After you hit the diminishing returns on gear, it's time to start looking at where that next $ and that next piece of experience buys you the next huge leap.

You are at a point that lots of $ spent on new gear buys you a small improvement. On the other hand, little money spent on treatments and measurement gear (areas that have not had $ dropped on them yet) will provide larger improvements.
 
bizmord

bizmord

Full Audioholic
I am actually sitting about 18-19 feet away from my front speakers and my surrounds are about 5-6 feet away from my ear, so as you can imagine my surrounds are toned down.

front speakers are about 6-8 inches away from the walls ... kind of close. Each speaker in somewhat of a corner. Here is the pic.

ht.jpg
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
you're bringing me back to what I looked at a year ago, got scared because I didn't fully understand how that thing works ... like, is it just getting software on my Ipad, attaching mic to USB plug, turning on some music or movies and watching the graphs? Just didn't fully understand it and bailed out but now I am curious enough to start asking around. So in simple steps ... how does this thing work? :)
Perhaps someone can speak to the various options for measurement tools:
REW is free (very popular) and capable, but there is also OmniMic sold by Parts Express and XTZ measurement systems which run ~$200 and more.
Do the "pay for" systems offer any conveniences or performance benefits over REW?
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
You guys are making general statements about all power conditioning. I would prefer to see specific posts like " I tried this ___________ unit and these were my results". In my system the results were significant to my ears. If it wasn't I send it back for a refund, no harm done.
Here is an example:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/18424/compelled-to-write-mapleshade-power-strip
With wording like "and was hoping for some improvement as the Monster didn't work well for me. What I got from this Power Strip is the equivalent of an upgrade in components. I feel like I went out and spent several thousand dollars to get the best possible sound from my system, not the $275 I actually spent.", how could they NOT hear a difference?

Once someone hopes to hear a difference AND DOESN'T DO AN A/B COMPARISON TO VERIFY THE DIFFERENCES, there's little chance they won't. Also, when someone goes from something that "didn't work well for me", the chance that the new one won't be better is slim. Just like cables, the new one usually sounds better because the old one was faulty.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Perhaps someone can speak to the various options for measurement tools:
REW is free (very popular) and capable, but there is also OmniMic sold by Parts Express and XTZ measurement systems which run ~$200 and more.
Do the "pay for" systems offer any conveniences or performance benefits over REW?
With either the Dayton or OmniMic, each mic is calibrated individually and comes with the results, unlike the Behringer ECM8000, which someone calibrated but it's not all of them, so it's just about impossible to know how accurate the calibration file is for the whole range of the mics produced. I have an ECM8000 and it seems to work well enough but I'm not doing speaker production and there's not much on the line if the results are wrong.

The OmniMic looks like a decent package, although I think REW offers a lot and they have a lot of info about what's needed for the mic (nothing special, really).
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I have no experience with the other software but I do like REW, it seems accurate and consistent. I also like the fact that it measures THD, but I guess the others do also.
 
fuzz092888

fuzz092888

Audioholic Warlord
The biggest benefit to Omnimic and XTZ is that they are plug and play. There's no real fiddling around with settings or this and that and there are generally fewer things to go wrong. You load the software, plug in the mic and get to measuring (assuming you are familiar with measuring procedures so that you get accurate and repeatable results).

With REW, it isn't hard to use per se, but it can take a little more finagling and there are more settings you sometimes have to be cognizant of in order for everything to function correctly. Like knowing that you have to calibrate your sound card first (and how to do that). You also need to double check sampling rates and a few other little things that can all affect your measurements. You also need to be aware that REW has to absolute SPL, so it won't always be accurate in that area, at least that was the last I had heard about that unless that was fixed in an update. The UMIK comes with a cal file and is mostly plug and play so that simplifies things a bit. A better option, IMO, is the UMIK from CSL.

Overall I like REW and have no reason to invest in the omnimic or XTZ systems since REW works just fine.

Perhaps someone can speak to the various options for measurement tools:
REW is free (very popular) and capable, but there is also OmniMic sold by Parts Express and XTZ measurement systems which run ~$200 and more.
Do the "pay for" systems offer any conveniences or performance benefits over REW?
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Looking at the pic you posted you might want to check out Bedrock Speaker Stands. I use them for the Paradigm Reference Active 40's L-C-R in my system and they made a huge difference over the traditional type of stand you have. I think they would also give you more placement flexibility:
http://hometheaterreview.com/mapleshade-time-correcting-maple-bedrock-speaker-stands-reviewed/

You might have to move the sub though.
The right brand of Stand has such an effect on SQ (over any other sturdy non-resonating stand) - not!
So do you work for Mapleshade? Or are you just an easy mark for them?
 
witchdoctor

witchdoctor

Audioholic
Fair question, I don't work for them and get no compensation. I called Mapleshade years ago to order their Rooted Buttress stands for my front speakers. Pierre told me to try the Bedrock's which were much less expensive. I thought it strange a vendor would downsell me rather than upsell me and of course there was the 30 day trial. The nice thing about stands is you don't need to break them in. As soon as I set them up it was like I was listening to another set of much better speakers. After this experience I just trusted the guy. I knew whatever I tried I could send back if it didn't work. I haven't tried a lot of the other vendors and I am sure there are some other very good ones besides Mapleshade.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
With REW, it isn't hard to use per se, but it can take a little more finagling and there are more settings you sometimes have to be cognizant of in order for everything to function correctly. Like knowing that you have to calibrate your sound card first (and how to do that). You also need to double check sampling rates and a few other little things that can all affect your measurements. You also need to be aware that REW has to absolute SPL, so it won't always be accurate in that area, at least that was the last I had heard about that unless that was fixed in an update. The UMIK comes with a cal file and is mostly plug and play so that simplifies things a bit. A better option, IMO, is the UMIK from CSL.

Overall I like REW and have no reason to invest in the omnimic or XTZ systems since REW works just fine.
Come to think of it, it did take me a little while to get everything set up. Once that's done though, it is pretty much plug and play too. I have used both HDMI and the phone jack cable, either way works well and simple.

What did you mean by from CSL? I bought mine directly from the miniDSP website.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Looking at the pic you posted you might want to check out Bedrock Speaker Stands. I use them for the Paradigm Reference Active 40's L-C-R in my system and they made a huge difference over the traditional type of stand you have. I think they would also give you more placement flexibility:
http://hometheaterreview.com/mapleshade-time-correcting-maple-bedrock-speaker-stands-reviewed/

You might have to move the sub though.
At $395, that's known as 'The Big Eye Gouge'.

FYI- ANY small speaker will sound larger if it's in a corner of two walls, a wall and floor or wall and ceiling. Try it, using a small block of wood to raise the front of your speakers. It's not a new phenomenon.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
At $395, that's known as 'The Big Eye Gouge'.

FYI- ANY small speaker will sound larger if it's in a corner of two walls, a wall and floor or wall and ceiling. Try it, using a small block of wood to raise the front of your speakers. It's not a new phenomenon.

I'm still waiting for my equipment rack to break in- I'm hoping it will be done by June.
 
fuzz092888

fuzz092888

Audioholic Warlord
Come to think of it, it did take me a little while to get everything set up. Once that's done though, it is pretty much plug and play too. I have used both HDMI and the phone jack cable, either way works well and simple.

What did you mean by from CSL? I bought mine directly from the miniDSP website.
I agree, after setup it is more or less plug and play. However, there's always support. Some people like being able to e-mail or call the company instead of having to go to a forum to get answers to their questions. Personal preference I guess.

CSL = Cross Spectrum Labs. I've had UMIK's from both, as well as a Behringer from CSL. CSL does independent calibration of UMIK's and Dayton mic's and will also generate a calibration file for any other mic you wish. I sent one of the two first gen UMIK's to CSL and and compared all three against each other. They all performed well, but the CSL calibrated one's were better towards the extremes. That could also have been because some of the original UMIK's were calibrated against a faulty mic, but I think those were gen 2, not gen 1.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Witchdoctor is nothing but a forum troll who has nothing better to do than bait members into needless discussions. The best thing we can do is not feed the trolls. To anyone else reading this thread, you should ignore any posts by Witchdoctor as he only flogs manufacturers ' advertising glossies as science without even the remotest clue email as to what real science and engineering is.
 

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