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Revel Speakers The Science of Sound

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  #21  
Old 08-10-2017, 04:13 PM
Rex Anderson Rex Anderson is offline
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My Revel F208's are in a horrible living room too. Left speaker gets a bounce off a side wall of sliding glass door, right speaker has no side wall and feeds a huge open space.

Great thing about Revel is the wide dispersion from the tweeter wave guide. I have no acoustic treatment other than closing the drapery which kills the glass bounce. I have to sit dead center between the front and rear wall so I'm in the bass null, but the speakers still sound great.

Floyd Toole says you don't need much treatment when the speakers have wide dispersion and off axis response is similar to on axis response. His research resulted in the Revel designs.

Optimize speaker and listener locations based on the room and put the equipment where it needs to be. Amps between speakers for short speaker cables, short runs of unbalanced interconnects. Vibration and acoustic isolation for the turntable.

There are a lot of ways to measure and smooth out the frequency response in your room.

You want to get the most out of those Studio2's.

Last edited by Rex Anderson; 08-10-2017 at 07:14 PM.
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  #22  
Old 08-10-2017, 05:16 PM
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BWB75 BWB75 is offline
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The wide dispersion is one reason these speakers were attractive to us. We are grateful that the sound stage is excellent (wide, tall, deep, precise) as they stand, in my best guess eye-ball position.

These puppies weigh 112 pounds each. Tweaking their positions is hard work!
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  #23  
Old 08-10-2017, 05:52 PM
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If you can get your hands on an MEN220 to demo, that may be what you are looking for.

Adding room correction to my system was the single biggest bass improvement that I have ever did.

I am a believer now for room effects, so it sounds like that could be a factor.

I have a friend running more power hungry speakers with 100wpc, so I'd bet room is a bigger factor vs. your power.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BWB75 View Post
We are trying to break in our new Studio 2s, and to adapt the rest of the system to these new loudspeakers. They are replacing a pair of bookshelf Sonus Faber Concertos (18 years old and still great). As noted in previous posts, it turns out that a major change in speakers is not always a plug and play experience.



They are now in our living room, looking pretty great in gloss black. They are plugged into a McIntosh MA7900 200wpc integrated, which itself is plugged into a Transparent Powerwave 8. They are positioned about 16 inches from the rear wall and about 18 inches from the edges of the credenza. The credenza holds out TV and the turntable. It is an Ikea unit.



We were lucky enough to be able to sample them at the audio store using a McIntosh MA8900 on the 4-ohm taps, which is substantially identical in power to our MA7900 at home (the MA8900 has a modular digital section... smart).



We are still in the break in period, we think. They have been running quietly at night and louder for listening sessions during the early evenings (mostly) (okay sometimes) (okay pretty late in some cases) (every night). We plugged them in on Monday, and it is now Thursday.



Initially the bass was very thin. They were delivered and installed while I was at work, and my wife was so concerned with the sound that she checked the connections. It turned out that they were still connected to the 8-ohm taps. Oops. She switched to the 4-ohm taps before I got home, saving me the needless panic attack.



The bass was still thinner than we heard in the store, but we know the break-in can take some time. Over the past few days the bass has become more and more full, and they sound pretty balanced now. The highs have also smoothed out.



Here is where it gets complicated. The bass on the turntable was still thin on a lot of recordings. A/B between the CD player and the turntable on the same material sounded thinner (and a lot quieter) on the turntable. In addition, as the bass improved, it caused a warbling feedback loop on the turntable, so anything like normal listening level sounded like the vocalist was doing vibrato. Very bad!



I mitigated this somewhat last night by slightly increasing the tone arm weight. That seemed to make the vibrato effect go away, at least at normal to loudish levels. it also seemed to improve bas performance on LP playback. It reached a point where Leonard Cohen's Ten new Songs on CD and LP were indistinguishable. The LP was a more airy, but the overall tonal balance was sufficiently close to the same as to make no difference to me. It is still necessary to turn up the volume level for the LP playback to reach the same output. The LP system is an unsuspended table with a low output MC.



Now the bass is good, but still not quite as tight and confident as we recall from the dealer.



We are not sure what to do about the bass. The room is our living room, so it may never be perfect, and maybe they are still running in. It seems like the sound is different every day.



What if the bass continues to fill out? The dealer said it could take 30 days for the speakers to fully break in. (!!!!) More bass might shake the turntable even more.



All of this is to ask:



Is cartridge weight really affecting how much room energy gets sent through the needle? Or, do we need to move the table further away? Replace the credenza with a proper audio rack? Our old speakers had way less bass, so we did not have to contend with the issue of isolating the turntable to anything like this degree.



Are we underpowered? The demo was with 200wpc, so why would it be different at home? Should we skip the power conditioner and plug straight into the wall?



How long does break in take with these things? Has anyone had it take more than a few days?



Caveat: They sound awesome. The improvement is sufficient to warrant the upgrade. We are not unhappy, just looking to get the most out of the system.



Solutions not requiring a major spend (like a couple of MC601s) would be helpful. The credit card is still warm to the touch.



Any feedback will be read with interest and appreciation!
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  #24  
Old 08-10-2017, 09:32 PM
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BWB75 BWB75 is offline
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Okie dokie. In response to Rex and Grasshopper's excellent advice (the MEN220 is an awesome idea but not actionable right at the moment) we centered the turntable on the credenza to get it out of the peak node and into an area where the energy levels were't shaking it.

We had a dramatic demonstration of this effect before we made the move, as we were experimenting. We turned up Leonard Cohen's Waiting for the Miracle to volume level 65 on the amplifier to form a baseline. A feedback loop occurred and the right channel drivers started bouncing like kids in one of those inflatable play pens, and then the amp's power guard kicked in. Yikes.

Let's not do that again.

I discussed the issue with my wife. She concurred that the television was not really very important but that the sound was, so we removed the television and centered the turntable on the credenza, giving its some breathing room away from the speakers. We also moved the facing sofa out of the center of the room, relocated the Eames chair to the bookshelf in the newly opened space, and gave it another try.

The result? It is currently playing at level 75% and doing wonderfully. No feedback, no seismic waves, no distortion. Bass is awesome. Mid and treble are seamless. The Revel's sound like Devore point source speakers on a female vocalist jazz track... except they are playing Mr. Cohen with a chorus. Tonal balance is coherent and event across the board.

Very awesome results. Now to unplug the amp from the Powerwave and see if it breathes any better with a direct wall connection.

I will post pictures if I can figure out how to do it.
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  #25  
Old 08-10-2017, 09:47 PM
The Trace The Trace is offline
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Default Turntable positioning

Does putting the table in front of the speakers, particularly at above moderate volume affect the sound?
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  #26  
Old 08-11-2017, 11:49 AM
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The turntable being too close to the speakers definitely impacted the sound. We had the record player and the television on the credenza. The credenza is not large enough comfortably to support both, so the TV was off center to make room for the turntable, and the turntable was on the left side of the credenza, much too close to the left channel speaker.

Yesterday evening we decided simply to remove the television. This allowed us to put the record player in the center of the credenza, far away from either speaker. This was a huge improvement. The system is clear as a bell as far as the amp can push it.

In keeping with Rex's advice, we also measured the tracking force. Recommended is 2.3 grams, and it was at 3 grams. I adjusted it back to 2.3.

Finally, we adjusted the speaker positions for better balance.

The result of all these efforts? The sound is amazing - vastly more detailed and dynamic than before, and no comparison to at all to our old speakers. I have no doubt further isolation will improve the low level resolution in the turntable even further. The LP sound is so rewarding now that I have trouble picturing how it could improve, but with these speakers, who knows?

CDs are a joy. I had all but stopped listening to CDs because they tended to sound flat, to me. This I attributed (mistakenly, it seems) to CDs generally being poorly recorded and lacking dynamics. Now I am reliving my affair with the CD collection and enjoying every minute.
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Last edited by BWB75; 08-11-2017 at 01:10 PM.
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  #27  
Old 08-11-2017, 01:50 PM
Rex Anderson Rex Anderson is offline
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Not sure what you know, so don't take offense to my advice.

Stereo listening for best phantom center image requires sitting at the apex of an equilateral triangle. Speakers should be toed in, tweeters aimed at your ears. You can play with toe in a bit to adjust the image. The more precise you are with getting the speakers perfectly placed (same distance from back wall, same toe in angle etc), the better things sound. I liked the sound of my F208's best with the spikes installed.

To hear some well recorded bass and kick drum, try Donald Fagen's CD "Morph the Cat". I use it for evaluating hi fi speakers and tuning PA systems.

Happy to hear you are making progress and solving problems.
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  #28  
Old 08-11-2017, 02:30 PM
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Mikado463 Mikado463 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
Not sure what you know, so don't take offense to my advice.

Stereo listening for best phantom center image requires sitting at the apex of an equilateral triangle. Speakers should be toed in, tweeters aimed at your ears. You can play with toe in a bit to adjust the image. The more precise you are with getting the speakers perfectly placed (same distance from back wall, same toe in angle etc), the better things sound. I liked the sound of my F208's best with the spikes installed.

To hear some well recorded bass and kick drum, try Donald Fagen's CD "Morph the Cat". I use it for evaluating hi fi speakers and tuning PA systems.

Happy to hear you are making progress and solving problems.
what does that have to do with listening to Revel Studio II's ?
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  #29  
Old 08-11-2017, 04:17 PM
Rex Anderson Rex Anderson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
what does that have to do with listening to Revel Studio II's ?
I have been helping BWB75 troubleshoot problems he was having with his new Studio2's. My last post was just information on setting up his listening room.

He might already know that, I was just trying to be helpful.

If you go back and read his first post and the others following it, my response might make more sense.

Otherwise, sorry if it bothered you. Have a nice day.
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  #30  
Old 08-11-2017, 04:23 PM
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Mikado463 Mikado463 is offline
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nah, I didn't go back to the previous posts, gotcha ......
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