Demo Feedback - Naim Uniti Atom/Lyngdorf TDAI 1120/Hegel H120

Steve356

Distinguished Member
Yep. I did a factory reset on arrival and also tried disabling/re-enabling that setting. I've checked and the demo unit is running latest f/w 1.3.2 as well

Only other thing I can think of is to switch off the 1120 completely (not just standby) and remove the plug from it. Wait 1-2 minutes and then reconnect and start it up again, i.e. a cold start. If that doesn't fix it, I suspect you have a defective remote.
 

Hear Here

Active Member
I hope you can get the Lyngdorf going OK, but it's not a good start with so many problems.

Regarding control - surely the Lyngdorf offers its own control app so you don't need to rely on external hardware or software? I'm sure other Lyngdorf users can confirm, but I wouldn't touch any streamer that doesn't include its own comprehensive app for control.

The app should offer immediate access to Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music and other streaming services, plus Paradice Radio, plus internet radio, plus access to your own hard drive stored music, plus selecting inputs from other sources such as whatever is connected to the other analogue and digital inputs.

Your alternative from NAD (eg M10 or C658 + C298) or Bluesound (eg the low cost, low flexibility Powernode) will work with its own BluOS app that is available on all 5 platforms - that includes Amazon Kindle - useful if you have one of these devices you've given up on! The Home page on a PC will look something like this. Smartphone needs a bit of scrolling to see the areas you need.

BluOS screen.PNG
 

pfaz

Standard Member
I hope you can get the Lyngdorf going OK, but it's not a good start with so many problems.

Regarding control - surely the Lyngdorf offers its own control app so you don't need to rely on external hardware or software? I'm sure other Lyngdorf users can confirm, but I wouldn't touch any streamer that doesn't include its own comprehensive app for control.
I don't think the h/w remote thing is a big issue, does just look like a bad remote. Lyngdorf app is working fine but afaics the product doesn't have connection to streaming services built in like the BlueSound app unless I go via Roon for which I don't have a subscription currently. I have a Node 2i which I can use as a streamer which I'll test as well to eliminate variables. Otherwise I'm constrained to Airplay which limits bitrate (I wouldn't start stating I've compared and can tell the diff though)
 

Hear Here

Active Member
I don't think the h/w remote thing is a big issue, does just look like a bad remote. Lyngdorf app is working fine but afaics the product doesn't have connection to streaming services built in like the BlueSound app unless I go via Roon for which I don't have a subscription currently. I have a Node 2i which I can use as a streamer which I'll test as well to eliminate variables. Otherwise I'm constrained to Airplay which limits bitrate (I wouldn't start stating I've compared and can tell the diff though)
I hope all works out - at least you get a stand with the mic - most of a stand anyway! The NAD comes with mic only so you have to hand hold or use your own stand.

I found a stand more trouble that it's worth as some reading locations (including the prime listener position) can't be accessed by a stand unless you move furniture and that would upset reading accuracy.
 

Paul7777x

Member
I don't think the h/w remote thing is a big issue, does just look like a bad remote. Lyngdorf app is working fine but afaics the product doesn't have connection to streaming services built in like the BlueSound app unless I go via Roon for which I don't have a subscription currently. I have a Node 2i which I can use as a streamer which I'll test as well to eliminate variables. Otherwise I'm constrained to Airplay which limits bitrate (I wouldn't start stating I've compared and can tell the diff though)

I’ve not used it yet, but the Chromecast app in the 1120 should give you all you need.

I use a MacBook for streaming so I’ve no idea how it works.
 

a3rmk

Active Member
Morning pfaz,
Just read your first post. Hope the home trial is going well. Please note that the Hegel H120 dues have a streamer section built in so no need to use a Node etc. It has Airplay and Spotify built in and to play Tidal, Qobuz etc you just need to download a upnp app. I used mconnect and it’s pretty simple and sounds really good.
I am selling my H120 on this forum, if you wanted to make a great saving. Didn’t go with my Neat speakers, but apart from that was great.
R.
 

pfaz

Standard Member
As mentioned previously a few posts back, I’ve had the Hegel H120 and Lyngdorf TDAI 1120 since Friday alongside a pair of Kef R3s on trial and so I thought it was about time I reported back...

Warning! This is long and requires a proper brew when reading. I’ve learnt so much from the forums, I thought it only right I try to put a little something back by trying to convey my findings but those of you short on time… sry, no spoilers!

Recap: I’m a big Hegel fan after walking out of the store demos a few weeks back. The H120/H190/H390 all massively impressed and I was surprised as anyone when I preferred the H120 to the Uniti Atom which really was going to be my slam dunk impulsive, what could go wrong, purchase. Running through Kef R3’s I could have bought the H120 combination there and then and been happy. Unfortunately the TDAI 1120 didn’t get a fair crack of the whip and I really wanted to see what RP was all about. Given the objective is to correct the room, I don’t want to hear how it corrects the demo room, I want to hear it at home in it’s target environment so that’s what was arranged.

Saturday was free and so despite the beautiful sunshine I thought no, what’s needed is hours locked away in a hot, darkened room trying to see what these products can do. I also invited a good friend over who has a really nice Musical Fidelity/Monitor Audio setup at home as he mentioned he’d love to have a listen so why not, four ears better than two.

The H120 had been used the previous night to help position the speakers and was still connected so that was up first, using a Node2i as streamer. I’d settled with speakers around 80cm from front/side walls after a handful of positions, impatience preventing further experimentation. The room is 7m x 4m and newly built with not a lot of furniture and a 4m glass sliding door, not ideal. However I found with a small amount of toe, imaging was as fantastic as everybody reports about the R3 and bass ‘seemed’ deep and well controlled (we’ll come back to this!). I couldn’t help noticing some ‘bathroom’ effects which highlighted that the room really needs some more furnishings/wall coverings/etc… It's still a work in progress. I thought for now it won’t stop me from comparing products.

Few tracks in, it’s clear the H120/R3 combo is a great partnership to my ears. It sounds balanced with a fantastic level of detail, control with clear separation and a sense of scale coming out of the speakers that really has no place on a boxes the size of the R3. I was enjoying hearing music reproduction again, taking me back to the days of my old Linn LP12/Naim system from the 90s, no age jokes pls. It also reaffirmed what I’d heard in-store and if anyone is considering this pairing you can’t really go wrong if the balance is to your taste and it works in your room. At this point the 1120 is a sideshow to give me something to compare to, I mean nobody buys the first house they view!

So, the switch over to the Lyngdorf, minus RP as I was still waiting for the missing microphone part. To minimise variables I carried on using the Node2i. Before anyone asks why not use Airplay, I needed to use Wifi for now which the Hegel doesn’t support. Also it means I could play hires tracks which cognitive bias says must be better.

We cue up the first track, Rachelle Ferrell’s I Can Explain which we’d just had on the Hegel. The opening of this track is a spellbinding vocal/piano duet which had us grinning ear to ear on the Hegel. The little Lyngdorf isn’t going to compete, I mean it needs to weigh more for a start and it’s large feature set must mean tradeoffs need to be made in the sound quality dept right? Well 30s past where Rachelle’s vocal’s start, my mate is literally laughing out loud while I’m a little dumbstruck at what we were hearing. This wasn’t close...there was a level of clarity and detail coming from the Lyngdorf which the previous high bar from the H120 could’t touch. The timbre of each note, it’s position in 3d space, the decay into absolute silence and then to top it off, along came Rachelle who pulled up a chair in front of me and gave a personal performance that was pure goosebumps. We played the whole track through, and then wondered what had just happened, vocalised through a few choice swear words. To cut a really long story slightly shorter, we carry on with a few more tracks on the 1120 and after a while my mate has to stop me and ask “ok go on, how much more is this?”. He knew the price of the Hegel but knew nothing about the 1120 so when I tell him he just shakes his head. I can literally see the internal man math calculator fire up as he wonders what second hand MF amps go for nowadays.

So pack up Hegel, buy Lyngdorf, live happily ever after? Hold on, there’s no rush...

Regardless of amp, with certain tracks it was clear the room was presenting issues (you can see where this is going…). Deep base was prone to boom (London Grammar - Hey Now will do that just nicely!) but there was also an effect as if midrange was sucked out which seemed inconsistent but on some tracks was obvious. Michael Jackson’s opening dialogue in Dangerous was a good demonstration. On decent headphones it’s clearly resolved but through the speakers we couldn’t easily pick this out which was just weird. I could swear my soundbar in the lounge was more intelligible on this track.

As we continued to go back and forth between the amps, some aspects of these problem tracks actually sounded better on the Hegel, most noticeably lower frequencies which were clearer, it was easier to pick out those double bass notes which on the Lyngdorf felt slightly out of control. BTW, balance wise there was hardly anything in it. If the Hegel is neutral which I see reported as generally is, then I’d say the Lyngdorf is similar. None sounded that different, none brighter/more forward or more relaxed/rolled-off. At a pinch the Lyngdorf sounded richer in the lower registers (which wasn’t helping bass clarity in the room) and I attribute this strength of the Hegel’s to it’s famed damping factor in the flesh. This was nowhere near enough to swing it in its favour though, there was just the odd track where you’d favour the Hegel. A diet of dance/techno/hip-hop would push a vote to the H120 at this point on Saturday.

And so we come to RoomPerfect. A few hours in, the missing piece conveniently arrived through the post and we were both keen to hear RP in action. Could it actually cure the booming bass and improve lower frequency clarity? Could it close the gap on the lower frequencies between the Lyngdorf and the Hegel? Out comes the microphone and for once I decide to fight genetics and briefly glance through the instructions. Against all natural instinct I push the R3’s close to the rear wall as instructed and start the process. Some 20 mins, 93% knowledge and some of the weirdest noises to emit from a speak cone later, we sit down to hear the effects. Hey Now is going to be the demo track which frankly turned into a bit of a mess after a minute into the track due to the overwhelming bass. With the speakers against the wall, surely it’s going to be a disaster!

Err, no.. doubts were flushed them away as what came out of the speakers was missing all traces of boom, leaving a tight/crisp base that was unlike anything we’d heard to date. What was wooly and prone to overbearing and arguably was spoiling the track had been transformed into Hegel beating clarity in the lower frequencies. That ‘hole’ we were detecting in the midrange also appeared to be much improved although let’s be clear, I wouldn’t propose people setup 1120’s in their bathroom and expect miracles. Nevertheless is this audio nirvana at £2k?

Not yet I’m afraid… Yes bass clarity was in a different league but there was an unexpected trade off. The sound stage seemed to fall back to the wall somewhat mimicking the speaker’s position. Vocals were no longer hanging in front of our eyes. That hard to define ‘wow’ factor was reduced with Hannah taking a few steps backwards. We’d lost some drama, excitement, emotion, it was quite hard to define and tbh a little disappointing. Yes the Lyngdorf sounded amazing as standard without RP however RP is reported as a game changer so why aren’t we hearing it? This wasn’t just my opinion, my mate voiced his reservations before I uttered a word. It was also trivial to prove. I just selected RP bypass, brought the speakers back out and everything we’d lost was found.

“How could this be?”. There was no doubting the impressive way RP had corrected the room’s bass issues but I couldn’t accept the trade off we were hearing. So what do you do at this point? Well I fought all instincts and RTFM properly, watched youtube RP videos and tried to see if I’d done something wrong, I wasn’t ready to give up. I quickly realised a key instruction I’d overlooked which was to keep the microphone between listening and standing height. A few measurements had the microphone way too low, could this make much difference to the result?

Checking clocks, we had time available and decided we had to give it another go. However, I ignored, or took the manual literally, at this stage. The manual states “you can place the speakers up against the wall without negative effects to the sound”. I read ‘can’ as ‘if you want’. All R3 guidance suggest they need space to image and work at their best (I tried the port plugs once and didn’t like what I heard) so leaving them where they were out in the room, we kicked off another round of audible torture therapy using correct height for all measurements. I decided if this didn’t work, it wouldn’t take long to move back to the wall and run again. A positive side effect is the neighbours will never come round and ask to listen to my playlists after hearing the racket generated.

To try and wrap up tersely, this is the current status and the result is that RP is everything I’ve read was possible but you couldn’t help but doubt. Prior to RP, what I thought was tight and deep, controlled base has been shown to be a woolly and undefined. I’m sorry but damping factor doesn’t get close. RP’s focus mode is truly well named for multiple reasons. I thought the imaging was outstanding pre-RP but with RP engaged, soundstage is wider, instruments are etched in 3d space and speakers just disappear. A layer of ‘muck’, for want of a better word, has been removed and the previous high bar for clarity and depth is shown wanting. If this is what room correction does after an hour’s tinkering I now realise I don’t want to run a system without it. The logic is quite simple in that I could spend a fortune on amplification and I’d wager I’d still have boomy bass and a sucked out midrange. That’s the room and without treatment and/or correction, quality of amplification isn’t going to solve that. The ability to just flick a switch and cure some room ills seems like magic when it’s setup. Crucially, with the speakers in their current position but measurements done correctly, I’ve not lost ‘wow’ factor, it’s actually gone up as this additional layer of detail is revealed.
Next experiment is to try measuring again with speakers against the front wall but part of me can’t help thinking that’s a convenience to improve WAF. If you have the space is it expected to improve by moving them back, I mean does it really get better? I plan to find out.

Apologies for the rambling length of this post. I’ll report back over the next couple of weeks if I have further developments but if my choice right now is H120 vs 1120, it’s an easy call. The H120 is a fantastic product as are all the Hegel products I’ve heard but in my room, the lack of furniture and large windows has revealed the value of room correction. Even with RP disabled though, the 1120 was the better product for me, ymmv.

If you got this far your tea must be cold now so put the kettle on while I get back to my microphone placements...🍵
 

Steve356

Distinguished Member
As mentioned previously a few posts back, I’ve had the Hegel H120 and Lyngdorf TDAI 1120 since Friday alongside a pair of Kef R3s on trial and so I thought it was about time I reported back...

Warning! This is long and requires a proper brew when reading. I’ve learnt so much from the forums, I thought it only right I try to put a little something back by trying to convey my findings but those of you short on time… sry, no spoilers!

Recap: I’m a big Hegel fan after walking out of the store demos a few weeks back. The H120/H190/H390 all massively impressed and I was surprised as anyone when I preferred the H120 to the Uniti Atom which really was going to be my slam dunk impulsive, what could go wrong, purchase. Running through Kef R3’s I could have bought the H120 combination there and then and been happy. Unfortunately the TDAI 1120 didn’t get a fair crack of the whip and I really wanted to see what RP was all about. Given the objective is to correct the room, I don’t want to hear how it corrects the demo room, I want to hear it at home in it’s target environment so that’s what was arranged.

Saturday was free and so despite the beautiful sunshine I thought no, what’s needed is hours locked away in a hot, darkened room trying to see what these products can do. I also invited a good friend over who has a really nice Musical Fidelity/Monitor Audio setup at home as he mentioned he’d love to have a listen so why not, four ears better than two.

The H120 had been used the previous night to help position the speakers and was still connected so that was up first, using a Node2i as streamer. I’d settled with speakers around 80cm from front/side walls after a handful of positions, impatience preventing further experimentation. The room is 7m x 4m and newly built with not a lot of furniture and a 4m glass sliding door, not ideal. However I found with a small amount of toe, imaging was as fantastic as everybody reports about the R3 and bass ‘seemed’ deep and well controlled (we’ll come back to this!). I couldn’t help noticing some ‘bathroom’ effects which highlighted that the room really needs some more furnishings/wall coverings/etc… It's still a work in progress. I thought for now it won’t stop me from comparing products.

Few tracks in, it’s clear the H120/R3 combo is a great partnership to my ears. It sounds balanced with a fantastic level of detail, control with clear separation and a sense of scale coming out of the speakers that really has no place on a boxes the size of the R3. I was enjoying hearing music reproduction again, taking me back to the days of my old Linn LP12/Naim system from the 90s, no age jokes pls. It also reaffirmed what I’d heard in-store and if anyone is considering this pairing you can’t really go wrong if the balance is to your taste and it works in your room. At this point the 1120 is a sideshow to give me something to compare to, I mean nobody buys the first house they view!

So, the switch over to the Lyngdorf, minus RP as I was still waiting for the missing microphone part. To minimise variables I carried on using the Node2i. Before anyone asks why not use Airplay, I needed to use Wifi for now which the Hegel doesn’t support. Also it means I could play hires tracks which cognitive bias says must be better.

We cue up the first track, Rachelle Ferrell’s I Can Explain which we’d just had on the Hegel. The opening of this track is a spellbinding vocal/piano duet which had us grinning ear to ear on the Hegel. The little Lyngdorf isn’t going to compete, I mean it needs to weigh more for a start and it’s large feature set must mean tradeoffs need to be made in the sound quality dept right? Well 30s past where Rachelle’s vocal’s start, my mate is literally laughing out loud while I’m a little dumbstruck at what we were hearing. This wasn’t close...there was a level of clarity and detail coming from the Lyngdorf which the previous high bar from the H120 could’t touch. The timbre of each note, it’s position in 3d space, the decay into absolute silence and then to top it off, along came Rachelle who pulled up a chair in front of me and gave a personal performance that was pure goosebumps. We played the whole track through, and then wondered what had just happened, vocalised through a few choice swear words. To cut a really long story slightly shorter, we carry on with a few more tracks on the 1120 and after a while my mate has to stop me and ask “ok go on, how much more is this?”. He knew the price of the Hegel but knew nothing about the 1120 so when I tell him he just shakes his head. I can literally see the internal man math calculator fire up as he wonders what second hand MF amps go for nowadays.

So pack up Hegel, buy Lyngdorf, live happily ever after? Hold on, there’s no rush...

Regardless of amp, with certain tracks it was clear the room was presenting issues (you can see where this is going…). Deep base was prone to boom (London Grammar - Hey Now will do that just nicely!) but there was also an effect as if midrange was sucked out which seemed inconsistent but on some tracks was obvious. Michael Jackson’s opening dialogue in Dangerous was a good demonstration. On decent headphones it’s clearly resolved but through the speakers we couldn’t easily pick this out which was just weird. I could swear my soundbar in the lounge was more intelligible on this track.

As we continued to go back and forth between the amps, some aspects of these problem tracks actually sounded better on the Hegel, most noticeably lower frequencies which were clearer, it was easier to pick out those double bass notes which on the Lyngdorf felt slightly out of control. BTW, balance wise there was hardly anything in it. If the Hegel is neutral which I see reported as generally is, then I’d say the Lyngdorf is similar. None sounded that different, none brighter/more forward or more relaxed/rolled-off. At a pinch the Lyngdorf sounded richer in the lower registers (which wasn’t helping bass clarity in the room) and I attribute this strength of the Hegel’s to it’s famed damping factor in the flesh. This was nowhere near enough to swing it in its favour though, there was just the odd track where you’d favour the Hegel. A diet of dance/techno/hip-hop would push a vote to the H120 at this point on Saturday.

And so we come to RoomPerfect. A few hours in, the missing piece conveniently arrived through the post and we were both keen to hear RP in action. Could it actually cure the booming bass and improve lower frequency clarity? Could it close the gap on the lower frequencies between the Lyngdorf and the Hegel? Out comes the microphone and for once I decide to fight genetics and briefly glance through the instructions. Against all natural instinct I push the R3’s close to the rear wall as instructed and start the process. Some 20 mins, 93% knowledge and some of the weirdest noises to emit from a speak cone later, we sit down to hear the effects. Hey Now is going to be the demo track which frankly turned into a bit of a mess after a minute into the track due to the overwhelming bass. With the speakers against the wall, surely it’s going to be a disaster!

Err, no.. doubts were flushed them away as what came out of the speakers was missing all traces of boom, leaving a tight/crisp base that was unlike anything we’d heard to date. What was wooly and prone to overbearing and arguably was spoiling the track had been transformed into Hegel beating clarity in the lower frequencies. That ‘hole’ we were detecting in the midrange also appeared to be much improved although let’s be clear, I wouldn’t propose people setup 1120’s in their bathroom and expect miracles. Nevertheless is this audio nirvana at £2k?

Not yet I’m afraid… Yes bass clarity was in a different league but there was an unexpected trade off. The sound stage seemed to fall back to the wall somewhat mimicking the speaker’s position. Vocals were no longer hanging in front of our eyes. That hard to define ‘wow’ factor was reduced with Hannah taking a few steps backwards. We’d lost some drama, excitement, emotion, it was quite hard to define and tbh a little disappointing. Yes the Lyngdorf sounded amazing as standard without RP however RP is reported as a game changer so why aren’t we hearing it? This wasn’t just my opinion, my mate voiced his reservations before I uttered a word. It was also trivial to prove. I just selected RP bypass, brought the speakers back out and everything we’d lost was found.

“How could this be?”. There was no doubting the impressive way RP had corrected the room’s bass issues but I couldn’t accept the trade off we were hearing. So what do you do at this point? Well I fought all instincts and RTFM properly, watched youtube RP videos and tried to see if I’d done something wrong, I wasn’t ready to give up. I quickly realised a key instruction I’d overlooked which was to keep the microphone between listening and standing height. A few measurements had the microphone way too low, could this make much difference to the result?

Checking clocks, we had time available and decided we had to give it another go. However, I ignored, or took the manual literally, at this stage. The manual states “you can place the speakers up against the wall without negative effects to the sound”. I read ‘can’ as ‘if you want’. All R3 guidance suggest they need space to image and work at their best (I tried the port plugs once and didn’t like what I heard) so leaving them where they were out in the room, we kicked off another round of audible torture therapy using correct height for all measurements. I decided if this didn’t work, it wouldn’t take long to move back to the wall and run again. A positive side effect is the neighbours will never come round and ask to listen to my playlists after hearing the racket generated.

To try and wrap up tersely, this is the current status and the result is that RP is everything I’ve read was possible but you couldn’t help but doubt. Prior to RP, what I thought was tight and deep, controlled base has been shown to be a woolly and undefined. I’m sorry but damping factor doesn’t get close. RP’s focus mode is truly well named for multiple reasons. I thought the imaging was outstanding pre-RP but with RP engaged, soundstage is wider, instruments are etched in 3d space and speakers just disappear. A layer of ‘muck’, for want of a better word, has been removed and the previous high bar for clarity and depth is shown wanting. If this is what room correction does after an hour’s tinkering I now realise I don’t want to run a system without it. The logic is quite simple in that I could spend a fortune on amplification and I’d wager I’d still have boomy bass and a sucked out midrange. That’s the room and without treatment and/or correction, quality of amplification isn’t going to solve that. The ability to just flick a switch and cure some room ills seems like magic when it’s setup. Crucially, with the speakers in their current position but measurements done correctly, I’ve not lost ‘wow’ factor, it’s actually gone up as this additional layer of detail is revealed.
Next experiment is to try measuring again with speakers against the front wall but part of me can’t help thinking that’s a convenience to improve WAF. If you have the space is it expected to improve by moving them back, I mean does it really get better? I plan to find out.

Apologies for the rambling length of this post. I’ll report back over the next couple of weeks if I have further developments but if my choice right now is H120 vs 1120, it’s an easy call. The H120 is a fantastic product as are all the Hegel products I’ve heard but in my room, the lack of furniture and large windows has revealed the value of room correction. Even with RP disabled though, the 1120 was the better product for me, ymmv.

If you got this far your tea must be cold now so put the kettle on while I get back to my microphone placements...🍵

Great write up! :thumbsup:

In case it's of any interest, I have ATC speakers and being a sealed design, in theory they can be placed very close to the front wall as Lyngdorf suggest. I've tried many positions of these speakers over the last 18 months or so when trying different Lyngdorf amps and processors (I have owned a TDAi-3400 for the last 12 months). Similar to your findings, in my room, the soundstage tends to lose image depth when the speakers are placed hard up against the wall. As such, I settled on my speakers being about 20 cm from the front wall to the back of the speaker (50 cm to the front of the speaker). In this position, I get all the positive aspects of RoomPerfect bass quality and timing, while maintaining a 3D soundstage.

Enjoy your testing and keep the reports coming on your findings and thoughts. Really interesting stuff. :beer:
 

Paul7777x

Member
The 1120 is indeed a bargain. Even without the streaming stuff (which I don’t use) it is still quite impressive.

Add a properly run RP, and a little time spent on speaker position experimenting and I really can’t see anything coming close.

Proper room correction is awesome.
 

Paul7777x

Member
Great write up! :thumbsup:

In case it's of any interest, I have ATC speakers and being a sealed design, in theory they can be placed very close to the front wall as Lyngdorf suggest. I've tried many positions of these speakers over the last 18 months or so when trying different Lyngdorf amps and processors (I have owned a TDAi-3400 for the last 12 months). Similar to your findings, in my room, the soundstage tends to lose image depth when the speakers are placed hard up against the wall. As such, I settled on my speakers being about 20 cm from the front wall to the back of the speaker (50 cm to the front of the speaker). In this position, I get all the positive aspects of RoomPerfect bass quality and timing, while maintaining a 3D soundstage.

Enjoy your testing and keep the reports coming on your findings and thoughts. Really interesting stuff. :beer:

I found the same with both my Adams and Trios Steve.

Close to the wall just didn’t do it for me.

A bit of free space between the rear wall and the speakers really whipped out the sense of depth.

However, on two other speaker pairs it made much less difference.

No substitute for experimenting.
 

DT79

Well-known Member
As mentioned previously a few posts back, I’ve had the Hegel H120 and Lyngdorf TDAI 1120 since Friday alongside a pair of Kef R3s on trial and so I thought it was about time I reported back...

Warning! This is long and requires a proper brew when reading. I’ve learnt so much from the forums, I thought it only right I try to put a little something back by trying to convey my findings but those of you short on time… sry, no spoilers!

Recap: I’m a big Hegel fan after walking out of the store demos a few weeks back. The H120/H190/H390 all massively impressed and I was surprised as anyone when I preferred the H120 to the Uniti Atom which really was going to be my slam dunk impulsive, what could go wrong, purchase. Running through Kef R3’s I could have bought the H120 combination there and then and been happy. Unfortunately the TDAI 1120 didn’t get a fair crack of the whip and I really wanted to see what RP was all about. Given the objective is to correct the room, I don’t want to hear how it corrects the demo room, I want to hear it at home in it’s target environment so that’s what was arranged.

Saturday was free and so despite the beautiful sunshine I thought no, what’s needed is hours locked away in a hot, darkened room trying to see what these products can do. I also invited a good friend over who has a really nice Musical Fidelity/Monitor Audio setup at home as he mentioned he’d love to have a listen so why not, four ears better than two.

The H120 had been used the previous night to help position the speakers and was still connected so that was up first, using a Node2i as streamer. I’d settled with speakers around 80cm from front/side walls after a handful of positions, impatience preventing further experimentation. The room is 7m x 4m and newly built with not a lot of furniture and a 4m glass sliding door, not ideal. However I found with a small amount of toe, imaging was as fantastic as everybody reports about the R3 and bass ‘seemed’ deep and well controlled (we’ll come back to this!). I couldn’t help noticing some ‘bathroom’ effects which highlighted that the room really needs some more furnishings/wall coverings/etc… It's still a work in progress. I thought for now it won’t stop me from comparing products.

Few tracks in, it’s clear the H120/R3 combo is a great partnership to my ears. It sounds balanced with a fantastic level of detail, control with clear separation and a sense of scale coming out of the speakers that really has no place on a boxes the size of the R3. I was enjoying hearing music reproduction again, taking me back to the days of my old Linn LP12/Naim system from the 90s, no age jokes pls. It also reaffirmed what I’d heard in-store and if anyone is considering this pairing you can’t really go wrong if the balance is to your taste and it works in your room. At this point the 1120 is a sideshow to give me something to compare to, I mean nobody buys the first house they view!

So, the switch over to the Lyngdorf, minus RP as I was still waiting for the missing microphone part. To minimise variables I carried on using the Node2i. Before anyone asks why not use Airplay, I needed to use Wifi for now which the Hegel doesn’t support. Also it means I could play hires tracks which cognitive bias says must be better.

We cue up the first track, Rachelle Ferrell’s I Can Explain which we’d just had on the Hegel. The opening of this track is a spellbinding vocal/piano duet which had us grinning ear to ear on the Hegel. The little Lyngdorf isn’t going to compete, I mean it needs to weigh more for a start and it’s large feature set must mean tradeoffs need to be made in the sound quality dept right? Well 30s past where Rachelle’s vocal’s start, my mate is literally laughing out loud while I’m a little dumbstruck at what we were hearing. This wasn’t close...there was a level of clarity and detail coming from the Lyngdorf which the previous high bar from the H120 could’t touch. The timbre of each note, it’s position in 3d space, the decay into absolute silence and then to top it off, along came Rachelle who pulled up a chair in front of me and gave a personal performance that was pure goosebumps. We played the whole track through, and then wondered what had just happened, vocalised through a few choice swear words. To cut a really long story slightly shorter, we carry on with a few more tracks on the 1120 and after a while my mate has to stop me and ask “ok go on, how much more is this?”. He knew the price of the Hegel but knew nothing about the 1120 so when I tell him he just shakes his head. I can literally see the internal man math calculator fire up as he wonders what second hand MF amps go for nowadays.

So pack up Hegel, buy Lyngdorf, live happily ever after? Hold on, there’s no rush...

Regardless of amp, with certain tracks it was clear the room was presenting issues (you can see where this is going…). Deep base was prone to boom (London Grammar - Hey Now will do that just nicely!) but there was also an effect as if midrange was sucked out which seemed inconsistent but on some tracks was obvious. Michael Jackson’s opening dialogue in Dangerous was a good demonstration. On decent headphones it’s clearly resolved but through the speakers we couldn’t easily pick this out which was just weird. I could swear my soundbar in the lounge was more intelligible on this track.

As we continued to go back and forth between the amps, some aspects of these problem tracks actually sounded better on the Hegel, most noticeably lower frequencies which were clearer, it was easier to pick out those double bass notes which on the Lyngdorf felt slightly out of control. BTW, balance wise there was hardly anything in it. If the Hegel is neutral which I see reported as generally is, then I’d say the Lyngdorf is similar. None sounded that different, none brighter/more forward or more relaxed/rolled-off. At a pinch the Lyngdorf sounded richer in the lower registers (which wasn’t helping bass clarity in the room) and I attribute this strength of the Hegel’s to it’s famed damping factor in the flesh. This was nowhere near enough to swing it in its favour though, there was just the odd track where you’d favour the Hegel. A diet of dance/techno/hip-hop would push a vote to the H120 at this point on Saturday.

And so we come to RoomPerfect. A few hours in, the missing piece conveniently arrived through the post and we were both keen to hear RP in action. Could it actually cure the booming bass and improve lower frequency clarity? Could it close the gap on the lower frequencies between the Lyngdorf and the Hegel? Out comes the microphone and for once I decide to fight genetics and briefly glance through the instructions. Against all natural instinct I push the R3’s close to the rear wall as instructed and start the process. Some 20 mins, 93% knowledge and some of the weirdest noises to emit from a speak cone later, we sit down to hear the effects. Hey Now is going to be the demo track which frankly turned into a bit of a mess after a minute into the track due to the overwhelming bass. With the speakers against the wall, surely it’s going to be a disaster!

Err, no.. doubts were flushed them away as what came out of the speakers was missing all traces of boom, leaving a tight/crisp base that was unlike anything we’d heard to date. What was wooly and prone to overbearing and arguably was spoiling the track had been transformed into Hegel beating clarity in the lower frequencies. That ‘hole’ we were detecting in the midrange also appeared to be much improved although let’s be clear, I wouldn’t propose people setup 1120’s in their bathroom and expect miracles. Nevertheless is this audio nirvana at £2k?

Not yet I’m afraid… Yes bass clarity was in a different league but there was an unexpected trade off. The sound stage seemed to fall back to the wall somewhat mimicking the speaker’s position. Vocals were no longer hanging in front of our eyes. That hard to define ‘wow’ factor was reduced with Hannah taking a few steps backwards. We’d lost some drama, excitement, emotion, it was quite hard to define and tbh a little disappointing. Yes the Lyngdorf sounded amazing as standard without RP however RP is reported as a game changer so why aren’t we hearing it? This wasn’t just my opinion, my mate voiced his reservations before I uttered a word. It was also trivial to prove. I just selected RP bypass, brought the speakers back out and everything we’d lost was found.

“How could this be?”. There was no doubting the impressive way RP had corrected the room’s bass issues but I couldn’t accept the trade off we were hearing. So what do you do at this point? Well I fought all instincts and RTFM properly, watched youtube RP videos and tried to see if I’d done something wrong, I wasn’t ready to give up. I quickly realised a key instruction I’d overlooked which was to keep the microphone between listening and standing height. A few measurements had the microphone way too low, could this make much difference to the result?

Checking clocks, we had time available and decided we had to give it another go. However, I ignored, or took the manual literally, at this stage. The manual states “you can place the speakers up against the wall without negative effects to the sound”. I read ‘can’ as ‘if you want’. All R3 guidance suggest they need space to image and work at their best (I tried the port plugs once and didn’t like what I heard) so leaving them where they were out in the room, we kicked off another round of audible torture therapy using correct height for all measurements. I decided if this didn’t work, it wouldn’t take long to move back to the wall and run again. A positive side effect is the neighbours will never come round and ask to listen to my playlists after hearing the racket generated.

To try and wrap up tersely, this is the current status and the result is that RP is everything I’ve read was possible but you couldn’t help but doubt. Prior to RP, what I thought was tight and deep, controlled base has been shown to be a woolly and undefined. I’m sorry but damping factor doesn’t get close. RP’s focus mode is truly well named for multiple reasons. I thought the imaging was outstanding pre-RP but with RP engaged, soundstage is wider, instruments are etched in 3d space and speakers just disappear. A layer of ‘muck’, for want of a better word, has been removed and the previous high bar for clarity and depth is shown wanting. If this is what room correction does after an hour’s tinkering I now realise I don’t want to run a system without it. The logic is quite simple in that I could spend a fortune on amplification and I’d wager I’d still have boomy bass and a sucked out midrange. That’s the room and without treatment and/or correction, quality of amplification isn’t going to solve that. The ability to just flick a switch and cure some room ills seems like magic when it’s setup. Crucially, with the speakers in their current position but measurements done correctly, I’ve not lost ‘wow’ factor, it’s actually gone up as this additional layer of detail is revealed.
Next experiment is to try measuring again with speakers against the front wall but part of me can’t help thinking that’s a convenience to improve WAF. If you have the space is it expected to improve by moving them back, I mean does it really get better? I plan to find out.

Apologies for the rambling length of this post. I’ll report back over the next couple of weeks if I have further developments but if my choice right now is H120 vs 1120, it’s an easy call. The H120 is a fantastic product as are all the Hegel products I’ve heard but in my room, the lack of furniture and large windows has revealed the value of room correction. Even with RP disabled though, the 1120 was the better product for me, ymmv.

If you got this far your tea must be cold now so put the kettle on while I get back to my microphone placements...🍵
Phew, I feel exhausted after that rollercoaster ride! Great write up. Glad you found a great solution for your room.
 

DT79

Well-known Member
In case it's of any interest, I have ATC speakers and being a sealed design, in theory they can be placed very close to the front wall as Lyngdorf suggest. I've tried many positions of these speakers over the last 18 months or so when trying different Lyngdorf amps and processors (I have owned a TDAi-3400 for the last 12 months). Similar to your findings, in my room, the soundstage tends to lose image depth when the speakers are placed hard up against the wall. As such, I settled on my speakers being about 20 cm from the front wall to the back of the speaker (50 cm to the front of the speaker). In this position, I get all the positive aspects of RoomPerfect bass quality and timing, while maintaining a 3D soundstage.

I found the same with both my Adams and Trios Steve.

Close to the wall just didn’t do it for me.

A bit of free space between the rear wall and the speakers really whipped out the sense of depth.

However, on two other speaker pairs it made much less difference.

No substitute for experimenting.

I stuck my S40s as close to the wall as I could get them right at the get go and ran RP and have been perfectly happy with the result, but listening to you guys and @pfaz maybe I’ll do a little experimenting if I get a spare couple of hours at the weekend.
 

Steve356

Distinguished Member
I stuck my S40s as close to the wall as I could get them right at the get go and ran RP and have been perfectly happy with the result, but listening to you guys and @pfaz maybe I’ll do a little experimenting if I get a spare couple of hours at the weekend.

Easy enough to try different speaker positions and to re-run RP. It's another one of the features I like about the stereo amps (the processors take a lot longer to run RP due to amount of speakers).
 

pfaz

Standard Member
Easy enough to try different speaker positions and to re-run RP. It's another one of the features I like about the stereo amps (the processors take a lot longer to run RP due to amount of speakers).

Hi @Steve356 - I'm aware multiple focus positions can be saved but it's not clear to me if this is a completely independent/multiple RP settings I can recall at any point or is it just a tweak on the existing stored setting.

The reason I ask is I was wondering if I could use this to store multiple RP settings for the different speaker positions which would make comparisons easier or are multiple focus positions not quite the same thing?
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
The focus point is based on your current speaker positions as RP would have heard them. You can set a different focus point for that speaker setup but would need to rerun RP if you move the speakers as RP would not know what the impact of moving the speakers is until it can measure them. You can store named files based on different setups (speaker/furniture etc) using the USB drive backup function and reload them as required
 

pfaz

Standard Member
The focus point is based on your current speaker positions as RP would have heard them. You can set a different focus point for that speaker setup but would need to rerun RP if you move the speakers as RP would not know what the impact of moving the speakers is until it can measure them. You can store named files based on different setups (speaker/furniture etc) using the USB drive backup function and reload them as required
aha cheers @larkone, that's a great tip 🙏
 

Steve356

Distinguished Member
Hi @Steve356 - I'm aware multiple focus positions can be saved but it's not clear to me if this is a completely independent/multiple RP settings I can recall at any point or is it just a tweak on the existing stored setting.

The reason I ask is I was wondering if I could use this to store multiple RP settings for the different speaker positions which would make comparisons easier or are multiple focus positions not quite the same thing?

Sorry @pfaz for the delay in my responding, but I had to go out this morning for some appointments. I see @larkone has answered your question, so you're good to go. :smashin:
 

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