|History: 25 Years CD||Ortofon, Garrard, Decca, Tannoy||The Sound of Tubes and Transistors|
|Your Desert Island Discs||Lp Cleaning & DIY Cleaning Formula||Elisabeth Lugt Soprano|
|Turntable & Cartridge Adjustment||Marie-Claire Alain, Organist|
|The Universal Stabilizing Ring||SACD: Upsampling & Noiseshaping||Decca London Ribbon HF Loudspeaker|
|DIY: Turntable Weight/Clamp||The Joy of Well Positioned Speakers|
|URSR: Review in HiFi World||LP Lists||Vintage Equipment|
|URSR: Picture Gallery||The Long Playing Record Guide|
|The TD124 page||The SP10 Page|
|Joachim Bung: Swiss Precision||Stefano Pasini: German Perfection|
|Mengelberg's St. Matthew Passion||Plinth for Technics SP-10 mk2||Record Shops in Amsterdam|
|Paris Jazz||The Sound of The Turntable Mat||Acoustic Revive R77 Generator|
|CLASSIQUE 777 Lp Record Covers||The Treasure Trove||How to Correct WARPED Records|
|Klaas A. Posthuma - Remembered||Ernst Lumpe: Allegro-Royale Pseudonyms||Nostalgia: Violinists on 7" 45 rpm|
|Steinway-Lyngdorf Model D||Infinity KAPPA 7 A Loudspeaker Systems||DIY - Draaitafelconstructie - in Dutch|
|The Turntable Mat - Page in Russian||Ajuste de un giradiscos||NOTES: The Belt Drive Turntable|
|Phono Cartridge-Headshell-Plinth||Porgy and Bess||Active Loudspeaker System|
|Phono Cartridge Optimizing||Gold for Bernard Haitink||Rabco SL-8E Tangential Tonearm|
|Mercury Living Presence Records||HiFi Tunes: DAS KLASSIKERBUCH||DIY:Tonearm Building|
|The Bullet Plug||Violinist/Violist Paul Godwin||The Remington Site|
|Mercury Recordings on Fontana||CINERAMA and Trinaural microphone Placement||Concert Hall - Musical Masterpiece Society|
|Willem Mengelberg and his orchestra filmed in Epinay in 1931-||Contemporary Records - Lester Koenig-|
hobbyists's views for hobbyists
are going to invent your very own loudspeaker system. "Your very own"
means that you may try to realize a soundreproduction which gives the
"being there" illusion, with a wide, high and deep stereo image, with
extended bass and high frequency reproduction, a system which will give
speed and magnitude as if you were in the concert hall. That is the
I myself want to have the experience of the live performance sound in my listening room. A grand piano should just stand there in full bloom. A violin should have that same live character as when my brother is playing a Tartini sonata or a Kreisler gem. A drum should show its vibrating skin. Already for that instrument you need a large surface to reproduce the lows and the lower mids. And the brass section should have the high top frequencies and the warmth which are so characteristic of that scintillating and chiseled sound. Yes, writing about it is easier than making it happen.
first thing to do is to learn what the sound of acoustic instruments
is like in reality. Even if you are not too fond of classical music
you should go to a concert hall from time to time to listen to a symphony
orchestra or a piano recital. You should go to a jazz club. You should
pay attention when a fanfare plays in the square of your hometown or
just passes by in your street with that firm sound of the drum and the
dynamics of the glockenspiel.
While constructing you will learn that sound is not only frequency and decibels. You will learn that it is also amplitude and that the low frequencies produced by your bass speaker are going to provide the basis for the mid and high frequencies. What the bass speaker does not reproduce and will not be produced by the mid range unit, will not be followed up. In other words, harmonics will only be heard if the basic frequencies are reproduced.
Amplitude can only be achieved by dynamic loudspeakers and not by electrostatic loudspeaker panel and isostatic speakers.(br)If sufficient amplitude is lacking in the bass or an irregular amplitude curve (like in ported speakers and transmissionlines with a dip in the region of 60 to 75 Hz.), than the mid and high registers will be restrained and will repeat the harmonics of the irregular patern in the bass. But once you have heard a big system like a Klipschorn which -because of the high efficiency- can make the step from a tender pianissimo to a realistic, but well controlled fortissimo in a few milliseconds, untill you have heard a Cabasse Atlantic which reproduces a Bösendorfer Imperial Grand as grand as real life, untill you have heard the impact of a drum accompanied by cymbals in a symphony orchestra, or have heard the live performance of a violin in your listening room, you may aim for big speakers. Only then of course when you have enough space and your wife or partner does not object.
2. Transient and harmony
harmony, phase, wide range, transient response and amplitude are all
related and depend on each other, one can say that harmony is the first
important aim to be realized. You can find an extremely harmonious configuration
without being completely correct in all registers. I have heard fantastic
active speaker configurations (also one arrangement of my own) which
made the hairs on your arms stand up and could move you to tears so
to speak just because of the impact the harmonious sound had, yet the
system was behind in many other aspects.
depends on the correct phase of the entire system.
response depends on the bandwidth of the system. That is why in the
golden days of analog quality phono stages boasted on a bandwidth of
400.000 Hz. instead of the limited 40 or 50 kHz. The drawback of most
of those devices was that they picked up signals form radio stations
(you could hear Radio Moscow via your cartridge) and transmitters for
3. Best loading
are going to reinvent the loudspeaker as it were - if you have not already
done that earlier by building a passive speaker system.
4. No hurry
Make sure that you have loudspeaker systems to listen to, even if these are simple but effective 2-way speakers like those of Mission Electronics or Bowers and Wilkins. This means that you will be able to enjoy music while you are going the long way of building an active system. So you need not be in a hurry to finish your active system (if it ever will be). While listening to the smaller speakers, you will be confronted with correct sound and this will make you realize if you took a wrong direction somewhere on the way.
devising and optimizing the active system you should use (two or three,
depending on the configuration of the system) identical power amplifiers.
It is not advised to use different makes and types of power amps unless
you can measure that the phase characteristics are indentical over the
entire frequency band.
sure to have a good source: CD-player and/or turntable. You should know
the behaviour of the source, its qualities and its limitations. Do not
compensate for shortcomings of your CD-player and phono section (cartridge,
arm, phonostage), but make sure these sources are performing correctly.
If you are in doubt of the correct performance of your high end turntable
and 4 kilo bucks cartridge, use a good but simple specimen that has
justified its existence over the years as a good analog source. Momentary
I play with a vintage Shure M91 moving magnet cartridge and am amazed
and enjoy a very good overall performance with a very good midband.
While constructing and optimizing you will notice that you will compensate for acoustic anomalies (imperfections) of the listening room. Standing waves will easily be generated. Your starting point should be a given position of the speakers which can be adjusted slightly if necessary when you are progressing. Read the article about Loudspeaker Placement to get more ideas and information that you can apply to your listening room. Place the speakers some five to six foot apart, to begin with. And determine a good distance from the side walls and the back wall. Distances depend not only on the room, but also on the width of the baffle and the size of the units and the position of the units.
If you want to extend your system to surround sound you can do that later taking your active system as starting point. Since the additional surround speakers are restricted in their frequency bands, they only will influendce the reproduction of the midband. In that case the best placement of the rear and center speakers have to be found without altering the active system (if it is optimized). This means that you still can listen to old, fantastic high resolution analog sound when you wish to. You would not give that up just for some heavy door-slamming and car crushing in an action movie. Would you?
or racks used for the power amps should be identical. Do not forget
that when a rack gets heavier by placing more heavy power amplifiers
in it, the sound reproduced by the units can alter slightly.
as well as acoustically there are variables which need to be controled
and adjusted. First there are the levels. These are very critical. You
will learn how to adjust the levels of the various sections in relation
to each other. A slight turning of the volume of one channel can alter
the sound significantly. Especially when using 6 dB slopes, the turning
of 1 mm of a volume knob can be enough.
The listening room
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