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02-26-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 9920
Reply to: 9920
Off-the-wall playback or the 'hamster solution'.
fiogf49gjkf0d

Last two weeks I play a strange game with myself while I am waking in my room. I walk soft like a Cat and really pay attention where I lend my leads, I afraid to step on anything. Nope, I did not pawn my Cat and got a hamster. What I afraid to step on are…. my new loudspeakers.

If you follow my Macondo MiniMe Project then you know that I am nowhere with it so far. Still I have no other playbacks and to run 12 Milq channels for not attentive listing is damn and keep shuffle the different crappy monitors without any good results and without any high expectations.  It is not that I have difficulty to put any mini-system in my room. My primary listening is FM and me to have any other new tuner is to have 3dB last from my main antenna cable. So, I would rather to run my main tuners and source the secondary playback from my main preamp…

Anyhow, a couples weeks back I got a hold for two awful 2 mass-market monitors. I would not name the brains even – it is not worthy. It is very small, the size of a hamster, two way little speaker with a little port and if to listen it normally then it is truly revolting. So, some weeks back I was trying to listening something the Prairie Home Companion level and had nothing operation in my hand. I connected those let call them the hamster-speakers and let them to play where they were – lying on the floor and shooting in Got know where. I was listening the Prairie Home Companion, then I was listing the BSO Sunday concert and then I asked myself: what the hell is doing on?

The crappy hamster-speakers sitting on my floor and pointing in random direction gave surprisingly good sound. It was not THAT good that would make me to shut up bitching about Sound but it was remarkably not annoying and quite musical. For the next few days I was moving the hamster-speakers around the floor spot, turning them, trying to shape more interesting sound. I do have a good success. You have to clearly understand how ridicules it is. When I am taking about hamster-speakers I mean the 7” tall little plastic hi-fi speakers the have $29.99 retail price tag and when I am taking about “floor” I mean the literally sitting on the floor behind my rack. There is no even direct line of sight between me and the hamster-speakers, in fact I can listen them from any location of the room with identical result.

I am not kidding when I say that it sounds good. I even asked myself if I even need to abandon my further peruse of the MiniMe speaker. Probably if I did commission the guy from Palanet10 then I would. Does the “hamster solution” sound as good as I would like the MiniMe to be? Nope it is not. However, it is very much accepted sound and I hate it much less than many hi-fi solutions that I have tried.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-27-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
jp
Posts 39
Joined on 02-25-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 9925
Reply to: 9920
Re: Hamster solution
fiogf49gjkf0d
Its interesting that the DPOL concept applies to even "hamster" speakers albeit on a smaller scale.  Ive been on a mission to hit the DPOL everyday for the last month and a half, moving my speakers around the room and its been educational to say the least.  Ive finally gotten to the point where moving 1/2" forward, backward, sideways makes a tremendous difference.  Getting somewhere near the DPOL, the sound is obviously better in reference to the four levels.  It also allowed me to see even more clearly some of the shortcomings in my system and helped me to target specific areas I would like to improve.  Ironically, the shortcomings are considerably less annoying.  I guess that explains why even the hamster solution works. Fascinating stuff.
03-02-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
el`Ol
Posts 225
Joined on 10-13-2007

Post #: 3
Post ID: 9927
Reply to: 9920
Stig Carlsson
fiogf49gjkf0d
Hello Romy!

I have been into the topic of indirectly firing speakers for a while, starting with highly dirictive fullrangers directed towards the ceiling. I don´t know whether you are familiar to Stig Carlsson´s speakers. Probably the older Sonabs with ceiling firing midwoofer and multiple tweeters. Less well-known outside Sweden is the later OA-50 series:
http://www.carlssonplanet.com/oa52_2.php
I built speakers like that originally with strange FR/dispersion fullrangers and currently prototypes with added tweeters, what didn´t spoil their spacial properties at all, so now I am glad to be away from paper highs.
The result achieved with Carlsson speakers is a stunning spacial realism when fed with true stereo recordings. With synthetic reverb recordings the sound just sticks to the speakers and you have nice pingpong stereo. For me this is only the case for a few ancient music recordings, but this trait makes these speakers mainstream incompatible.

Regards,
Oliver
03-02-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 9929
Reply to: 9927
The Hamstering might be a solution for all-time on playback.
fiogf49gjkf0d

Nope, I am not familiar with those Carlssons but I have seen a number of similar ideas. I never was too warm with them as usually people introduce is as a solution for main systems. I do not know how about that but for the second, “pilot-type” playback it might be a very smart move.

I have a local guy who has some absolutely ugly and horrible 40 years old American monitors sitting on his shelf, shooting god know where and covered with stuck of records, CD and VCR tapes. It more looks like the speaker in a used record store then a home playback. However, over the years I always very surprised how “readable” and distinctive music sound in his room…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-02-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 498
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 5
Post ID: 9932
Reply to: 9927
Omnidirectional speakers redux
fiogf49gjkf0d
 el`Ol wrote:
I don´t know whether you are familiar to Stig Carlsson´s speakers. The result achieved with Carlsson speakers is a stunning spacial realism when fed with true stereo recordings. With synthetic reverb recordings the sound just sticks to the speakers and you have nice pingpong stereo.
I first experimented with omnidirectional speaker constructs in the 1980's, my concept hypothesis being that omnidirectional microphone input would be best reproduced as omnidirectional speaker output. The fundamental issues that arise are firstly that the ultimate "receivers" are your ears, that have a very specific location in space and secondly that the speakers interact with the room.

Because the music is invariably recorded in a live acoustic space, this sort of demands that the playback of an omnidirectional system be done in an anechoic setting to avoid double/ghost imaging/acoustic reflections. Carlsson's designs address this is a way, by modulating the frequency response to the expected sum of direct and indirect acoustic energy. What is revealing is that the system functions poorly with recordings with a lot of reverb. This is what one would expect of course, given the setup. Probably the best recordings to play on such as system would be the old Three Blind Mice records and such, due to their being recorded with the musicians in separate anechoic chambers. The recordings sound strange on a traditional stereo, but on a Carlsson type setup, they might be quite magical.

Adrian
03-03-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 297
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 9941
Reply to: 9920
We know so much
fiogf49gjkf0d
Only, we don't know much about speakers do we?

In my kitchen I have a $180 (list) Sony mini-system with subwoofer that is very very satisfying. That price includes AM/FM, dual cassette wells and 3-CD changer! But it's the main speakers that do the trick and I don't know how they manage it but they have carrying power.

In my upstairs room where I have another one such just for easy use, as well as a real system with real speakers and real electronics etc, I was listening one night to Prairie Home Companion. Usually I will turn down the voice (with remote control) but I was intrigued in this instance by how real Garrison's voice sounded, so I left it up. Then the phone rings. I never answer during PHC, but I turned the volume down and picked up the receiver. It was my neighbor across the street, who apologized and said that Diane was ill in the front room and while they normally enjoyed whatever I was playing, right now the voice was coming through so loud... could I turn it down please?

But "loud" wasn't what it was. It was carrying power. And we're talking about, through two windows as well!

I've told the story around, but no one has a clue as to what may be happening here.

clark
03-06-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
el`Ol
Posts 225
Joined on 10-13-2007

Post #: 7
Post ID: 9957
Reply to: 9932
Spacial information
fiogf49gjkf0d
 drdna wrote:

What is revealing is that the system functions poorly with recordings with a lot of reverb. This is what one would expect of course, given the setup. Probably the best recordings to play on such as system would be the old Three Blind Mice records and such, due to their being recorded with the musicians in separate anechoic chambers. The recordings sound strange on a traditional stereo, but on a Carlsson type setup, they might be quite magical.


Hello Adrian!

It just came into my mind that I have a CD that goes in this direction, multiple mono recordings in quite dead room(s), panned, no additional reverb, some indio music from Bell Records, early eightees. The result on the Carlsson setup is very strange. There is no information about distance on the recording and the Carlsson-like speakers don´t add some, either, what results in some kind of headphone sound.
On the other hand old BIS recordings done with the Sennheiser MKH-105 omnidirectional microphone are truely revealing, with reach-out-and-touch realism, not diffuse despite of the large amount of (natural) reverb.

Oliver
Page 1 of 1 (7 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  The “Dead Points of Live Sound”..  Confused...  Playback Listening  Forum     28  208327  05-14-2005
  »  New  Rightsizing from extreme systems......  It is Hot! The summer playback...  Audio Discussions  Forum     7  50586  06-17-2006
  »  New  About speakers Imbedded Macro-Positioning...  Big room AEZ...  Playback Listening  Forum     15  131066  05-16-2007
  »  New  Macondo’s MiniMe or about Pilot Acoustic Systems..  Injection Pilot?...  Audio Discussions  Forum     213  1411133  09-03-2008
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