Question Around £10,000 budget for a set of hi-fi, what would you get?

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hi Derek

If you move your speakers very close to the rear wall you’ll get better bass timing because the direct sound and reflected sound arrive at the listening position at the same time.

The simplest way I know to describe this is that the bang of a drum will be restored from sound like BANANANG to BANG. So a single impulse rather than one muddled with secondary reflections.

If you move boundary woofers away from the corner the difference is very obvious but I’ve not tired this with many full range speakers. Logically it should deliver a similar benefit but its not something I’ve made much noise about as for the most important message I’m trying to spread is that you want the best sound you should measure and correct your system.

I’m really happy RoomPerfect has transformed your system. If I was you, I would take a couple of hours to reposition your speakers and re run RoomPerfect. When you have, please let us know how you get on, all feedback is greatly appreciated.
 

D.D.D.

Active Member
If you look at these graphs of a system before and after correction, the smooth blue line showing the corrected response will sound much more accurate. The smooth line shows that say, each note on a piano would be heard as loud as the next.

View attachment 1361726
What is the distance from speaker to microphone for these graphs? Is it on tweeter axis or with some angles?
 

D.D.D.

Active Member
These graphs show how digital processor try to fool our ears+brain, which are much better processing devices then any hardware available on the market.
I'm for real stereo and I do not believe, that good speakers in properly made listening room will sound better with some processing.

The image for measurements attached looks like typical measurements with infinite window of speaker in listening position - let's say 3m distance.

In "infinite" window measurement software counts all the signals - direct signal, all kind of reflected signals, all kind of many times reflected signals until it stops to measure.

With that kind of measurements we see that higher frequencies are more easily diffused/absorbed, thus we see that after 10K they fall down by let's say 6dB. But this is true only for what microphone+software counts. It is not what brain+ear have. Brain is much more powerful processor - it understands direct signal and reflections (= changed phase of signal + arrival time, we understand wherre from sound comes, etc.). Digital processor very precisely calculates reflected signal, change it's phase/time and add it to main signal which is reproduced by speakers, then microphone summarize it and we get flat response. Brain is fooled, as direct signal what he hears is distorted with and addition of another signals.

To illustrate this, I attach you speaker measurements in a room.
All measurements are on tweeter axis.
red line is 1m with short window - some 3ms.
grren line - from 3 meters (changed amplitude be close on the graph ro red, to show that it is basically same signal)
blue: infitine window, when all reflections a counted - speaker + room response.

1m-vs-3m-vs-infinite-window.gif

If speaker have red response curve, on a listening position we have same direct signal - green, but after some milliseconds arrives another signals - floor, ceiling, speaker baffle, walls, etc.

believe, our ears + brain understands what is what.

below you see 2 graphs - speaker response (red) + phase (blue) and impulse response

Speaker response + impulse.gif

Main and direct signal what we hear is what is reproduced from first impulse (3ms). This signal arrives to our ears first.

Next is floor (6ms), next is ceiling (8.2ms), next is some wall (8.7ms), etc.

DSP rebuild signal from each reflection pulse and add it "inversion" to main signal to kill it in listening position (but not on the other place in the room!). On you graphs it also add +6dB for 10-20kHz to direct signal, to get the curve flat.
So, it changes speaker response by adding highs and it adds calculated reflections signals with phase/time change, and it all will be sent to our ears from speakers. In microphone position it will be summed and we will get flat cureve as on you 2nd graph, but it is only by microphone + software.
Sure, our main processor (=our brain) will be overloaded with false info and will send signal to hands to turn the volume down :)
 

D.D.D.

Active Member
D.D.D Thanks for joining in.

If you are correct it would mean every company making room correction is wrong and everyone who has heard its benefits has been fooled.

Are you free to come and listen to any one of the 10 systems here that sound much better for the use of RoomPerfect?
I'd like to come, but I'm in another country, but I sure contact you once I'll come to UK, thank you for invitation!

What message I sent here is that for good speakers and properly made listening room with good DAC and good amplifier digital correction will not sound that good in Stereo. I have not seen any DSPs on hi-end exhibitions, where extremely good high-end stereo setups were presented.

BUT for "average" speakers and some rooms where is not possible to do acoustic treatment and especially in multichannel it works fine. That is why DSPs are exist, and they do some of the job. They can adjust overall response for speakers like these: graph below. Believe, many commercial speakers have that kind of problems - no matter what is price class (poor design? limitations from marketing? do not know..). I've watched video you attached, it is good description, but not the only "right power response" makes speakers sound good. Ears+brain is much more precise and less studied devices :)

DSP will adjust overall response,

Here is example of response of some bookshelf with good reviews:

bookshelf-1.jpg

It will do some adjustments to response and phase on microphone axis and these speakers will sound better with DSP rather then without. DSP will remove some of design errors, but not all.

speaker responce: upper graphs - on-axis and +15degree up, lower is phase response
bookshelf-2.jpg

And extreme example - another speaker: looks like bad crossover design, DSP will do some job, but bad speaker will still sound bad. DSP cannot adjust how drivers are joined in crossover, looks like there is phase shift and one driver's response eats another ( "+180" vs "-180" in sine will be "0" ), and the place where drivers are joined is "inside the speaker", DSP see only what speaker reproduce at that point, and try to adjust what DSP see on microphone axis.
bookshelf-3.jpg

Anyway, DSP will change response and I would say that it will be more positive then negative for that kind of speakers.

The message is for OP - get the best speakers you can, they will do the sound, not a processor.

I'm not against DSPs, they do their job in their segment (I would say - for average user, not an audiophile). At home I use processor for multichannel - it is good for movies. I use it also to listen music from Youtube. Indeed , I switch there subwoofer on and use processing and add there extra bass to get a "kick" in poorely recorded youtube pop. But for good recorded hi-res classics/jaz/vocal I switch to pure stereo - only L R speakers (no subwoofer) and another amplifier and DAC + source, as it does more natural reproduction and more involving to music listening.
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I’m sorry you can’t come for a listen as graphs do not equate to good sound……

I disagree with the thought that DSP doesn’t belong in high-end music systems. Take the best electronics and speakers and place them in the most carefully designed and treated room and you’ll have audio quality that’s measurably and audible inaccurate.

I cannot see why this is acceptable when the technology exists to remove these errors without adding anything negative to the signal.

I have various stereo systems here that I believe more faithfully reproduce music than any traditional hifi system due to a number of technologies including their all digital design and use of RoomPerfect.

Many of my clients are musicians who I regard as the most discerning clients and these are the only systems I have found that will impress these clients.

Room correction is widely accepted for home cinema but not for hifi………. but there is not logical reason why it should work for one and not the other. Having said that, RoomPerfect is the only system I know of that provides the quality I think is necessary for use in a high-end stereo. If you can arrange a demo am sure you’ll stop grouping all DSP together.

The hifi world hasn’t accepted room correction because the brands most reviewers and retailers’ favour don’t provide have the technology to correct room errors without adding problems. Perhaps more important is that most people in the hifi world are locked into brands, habits or beliefs systems that are more important to them than sound quality. RoomPerfect gives technically and audible better sound than a system without it and I’m sure anyone who hears it correctly set up will agree.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
@Rob Sinden - You asked me to feed back once I'd finally set up my system, so here it is!

My system comprises a Lyngdorf TDAi 3400 amp, a Denon DCD-2500 CD player and a pair of PMC Twenty.26 speakers (as well as a Linn Sondek LP12, a Pioneer CD recorder, a Nakamichi tape deck, a Questyle CMA 800R Golden headphone amp and a pair of Sennheiser HD800 S headphones).

I'd moved the speakers back as you suggested and they're now as practically close as I can get them whilst still being equidistant - around 20 cm from the back wall. The CD player was a most recent acquisition and it took me some time to fully run it in (@gibbsy's suggestion).

Let's get the bad out of the way first: I absolutely HATE the microphone stand! I found it fiddly, confusing and a right royal pain in the arse! However, running Room Perfect is so easy even a techno simpleton like me can't cock it up.

I just listened to CD's today and what can I say? It sounded absolutely MAGNIFICENT. The sound is just so clear, detailed and effortless. I kept switching between RP on then off and the benefits of room EQ are instantly apparent - off and the bass is overwhelmingly boomy in my room and completely swamps the sound, on and there's still plenty of bass but it's tight, controlled and beautifully clean, and the sound instantly becomes much more balanced.

I made a decision last year that I would try and buy the last system I'd ever own before I die, and I feel like I've pretty much arrived at that point. Yes, of course you can always spend more money and get better sound quality, but the Law of Diminishing Returns suggests that improvements won't be night and day, but incremental.

Thank you again for your advice regarding the 3400, I am incredibly happy with my choice of components and I think there's a great synergy between them. The amp is simply wonderful to use to listen to my music and I agree with every word you say: I have no idea why on earth room correction is standard and expected for Home Cinema, but not for Hi-Fi. It absolutely makes a world of difference in a bog-standard, non-treated room like mine and listening to music is now a pure joy instead of a constant battle to get the sound right.

There is no way I would ever go back to a Hi-Fi amp that didn't have some form of room EQ - there is a palpable improvement and Room Perfect is well, perfect, for someone like me who hates tweaking and graphs and constant bloody fiddling! It literally does all the work for you and is so easy to use.

@ricecooker - I apologise if it seems I have hijacked your Thread, but it is about spending significant sums of money on a great system that will absolutely serve your music to your satisfaction. I would unreservedly recommend a Lyngdorf amp (the 3400 if you can afford it), a Denon CD player (the DCD-2500 if you can afford it, the 1600 is a good substitute) and a pair of PMC floorstanding speakers for their brilliant bass performance. :)
 
Last edited:

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Derek – Thanks so much for such an incredible review. I’m so grateful you took a leap of faith and tried a TDA and took the time to share your findings on its incredible performance.

There are lots of great reviews on Lyngdorf TDA’s (true digital amplifiers) starting to appear but I’ve only read one where I think the writer has really understood the product, so I’d like to give my take on it and explain why it’s nothing less than a total game change for audiophiles.

Let’s assume you have a great pair of speakers. The hifi industry recommends buying the best source, amp and speakers to get the best from them. On the face of it, this seems logical but this won’t get the best results from them.

Connect the best DAC, pre amp and amplifiers in the world to your speakers and the sound will be measurably and audibly inaccurate. Unplug these components and connect the TDAi3400 and you find:-
  • Your music sounds cleaner and clearer because the amps Equibit design maintains the signal in the digital domain digitally until the output stage. A shorter, simpler signal path means you hear more.
  • The TDAi3400 will drive and control any speakers regardless of how big and how awkward the impedance.
  • Run RoomPerfect at the huge errors that rooms create will be removed for measurably far more accurate sound.
I understand this is heresy, so why not “do a Derek” and give it a try.

The TDAi3400 allows you to get the best from any speakers in any room. It means you can buy the huge floor standers you have always lusted after than don’t work in most rooms or that used to require stacks of electronics to make them work. Alternatively it perfectly integrates subs with smaller speakers for full range sound in any room.

The new TDAi1120 at £1,995 is a very similar, less powerful product and is going to put this technology into the hands of lots more people. I’m really looking forward to the feedback on these. Here is the review I mentioned.

 

beechy06

Well-known Member
Connect the best DAC, pre amp and amplifiers in the world to your speakers and the sound will be measurably and audibly inaccurate.
Without going down a rabbit hole that’s a bit of a bold sweeping statement to make

(and I love my Lyngdorf kit)
 

musicphil

Active Member
Connect the best DAC, pre amp and amplifiers in the world to your speakers and the sound will be measurably and audibly inaccurate
Erm I think not- if the system is balanced and has synergy....... then fit it in a dedicated acoustic room and I think that the sounds being created would be fantastic.
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I have tried building the perfect room many times and it doesn’t work. There is a link below that details my last effort.

The best equipment in the most carefully designed and treated room will not deliver accurate sound quality. Some form of measurement and correction is the only way you can.

I can demonstrate 10 different systems that give accurate sound quality, 9 of which are in untreated rooms. Last night I had one of the UK’s most highly regarded calibrators here, Steve Kemp who said the main system here was the finest music system he has heard in his life.

The only way to know if this is real or spiel is to come and listen.

Would you like to visit and then post your feedback here? I cook a pretty good steak if I say so myself.

 

D.D.D.

Active Member
I have tried building the perfect room many times and it doesn’t work. There is a link below that details my last effort.
"The front wall is acoustically “dead”, with the addition of a Rockwall covering"
This is what you should avoid for stereo setups.
Do you have RT30/60 and time/freq CSD graphs and for this room?
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I have tried dozens of configurations in this room and the current one is the first I'm happy with. The point is it was built to the highest standards by expert acousticians and didn't sound good.

I've had many dem rooms over a 30 year period and installed 100s of systems and the only way to achieve consistent good sound quality is with room correction. It is impossible to do with design and treatment.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Panasonic HX800 TV + Sony HT-G700 Soundbar reviews, movie and TV show news and reviews
Top Bottom