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Austin - next HTF meet planning


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#1 of 128 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted July 21 2004 - 06:03 AM

I have got a couple of ideas for our next meet and wanted to throw them out, before I forget about them or something.

1) Colin has finally got his room acoustically measured, and I assume will be purchasing (or building and if this is the case we could perhaps fit some of this into the meet) room treatments to treat his acosutic problems. Seeing how most of us are pretty familair with Colin's room and set-up I would love to do a meet based on the acoustic treatment of his room. We could do a projector slide show of all the various measurements taken and what the computer spit back out as the cure. Then we could listen to the room sans treatments for awhile (assuming the treatments are easily removable), take listening notes or whatever. Finally install the room treatments, and maybe even install them a little at a time with a quick listening session in between to determine the effectiveness of each treatment area. As someone who really likes the majority of Colin's gear, loves the HT performance of his system, but hears serious problems when you drop down to 2 channel music listening, this is would be a great test case.

2) Jacob has been hinting at doing something in line with his store opening, perhaps if things work out we could make it a little bigger and better. Jacob you are wanting to do some blind listening tests of your equipment prior to the store opening. If they are blind and serious listening tests then you will of course need to limit the number of testers to get any sort of decent results from the group as a whole. But what about possibly aiming for the weekend before the store opens to do these listening tests earlier in the day, and then after a certain time inviting the rest of the HTF group over for something like an Opening party. Fire up a projector to show a movie, have folks continue listening to gear in other rooms, socialize, organize the group to provide food and drinks, and maybe even do the door prize raffle type thing like we did at SMA. To me this is a great opportunity that doesn't come along very often, and if we don't take advangtage of this opportunity I know I will feel as if we blew it. Kind of like the group not organizing some stripper party or something prior to Jonathan getting married last December, big time blown opportunity! Watch out whoever is in line to be married next! Oh that would be you Jacob wouldn't it.Posted Image

So give me some feedback, and let's start some planning!

#2 of 128 OFFLINE   Jacob Aaron

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Posted July 21 2004 - 08:52 AM

Well we need a judge or 2 and I think I have one. We also need blind folds really damn good ones.

Technically there are 2 HT rooms, so we could have lets say 8 testers total (4 for each room). We also have one listening room for stereo listening. We could have 4 test subjects for that. Rotate the 4 between the tests and we could likely have it organized and neat.

We could run the test from 9am to Noon, eat some pizzas from Frank & Angies up the street and then go over the results from 1-2:30pm.

Then from 2:30pm to 4pm we can open it up to the meet. Then go to three HTs for a tour. I suggest Colin's and Chad's. Then add up to 2 more HTs for the tour. I'm positive we will get some volunteers.

#3 of 128 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted July 21 2004 - 10:08 AM

Jacob,
I am glad you are up for my suggestion of expanding upon the blind testing stuff, but I personally think that doing blind testing and then some relaxing, eating, drinking, listening, socializing, etc. afterwards would probably already eat up most people's time that they are willing to devote to a meet. Thus what I am getting at is that 1) my two ideas above were intended to be done as two separate meets, as each would take up plenty of time on their own, and 2) throwing in a tour of HT's on top of the above would just be excessive.

My observance for our meets is that on average you can count on folks willing to commit to 4-6 hours, if they stay beyond six hours then they have probably just had too many martini's and are just waiting the martini's out. Right, Nils?Posted Image

#4 of 128 OFFLINE   Jacob Aaron

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Posted July 23 2004 - 03:59 PM

Ok heres the deal I met with my staff today and we decided to delay our opening until AFTER CEDIA (weekend of September 10th). So we will be opening two weekends after that. I'm up for doing this on the weekend before CEDIA. That would be Saturday the 4th, we will be opening Friday the 31st. I get married the 18th and will be out of town until the 30th. So we would hold the event the weekend of September 4th and 5th. Before CEDIA.

We can do the blind tests early, and then have an open house for HTF people, AVS Austinites, anyone interested in getting to hear/view some of the best equipment in the industry. Also I will have the store open for sales to anyone who comes to this event. 20-30% off EVERYTHING we carry. Our Grand Opening for normal people will be 10-30% off everything. The only gear that will be 20% off for this event will be gear that I'd lose money on. This is a one-time offer that will AMAZE people.

In addition Luke Manley owner/designer of VTL will likely be in attendance and bringing his baby with him:

http://www.vtl.com/p...iers/Siegfried/

Luke mentioned he would love to do an open house right before we open so people can witness products like the S-400, TL 7.5, and of course: Siegfried.

So everyone will get a chance to hear a $40k monoblock amp. Other owners of manufacturers will likely be in attendance from Mirus Audio (duh), Avalon, Oracle, Acoustic Zen, and a couple other companies including one that might interest John Prator and all will likely be bringing some products I'd normally never have in the store.

So we can do the blind test, and then have some real fun with the designers of the equipment, play some movies, music, enjoy food catered by my fiance (who until recently had a gourmet catering company), and some drinks. My friends will help co-ordinate the strippers.

If you guys like that idea, I'll start coordinating with the product manufacturers who have already shown an interest.

We will have an Open House on Sunday as well. LHF members and others will be given invites, but people who can't make it on Saturday could attend.

#5 of 128 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted July 24 2004 - 05:39 AM

All I have to say is WOW! I am flabbergasted!
If this happens and all goes well this will be like...mmm Twinkies!Posted Image

#6 of 128 OFFLINE   Jacob Aaron

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Posted July 24 2004 - 06:54 AM

I fixed the dates as I posted that message quite drunk. Posted Image

The date is now fixed, and I'll start working on getting the details nailed down.

We can have 12 Blind Test Subjects. First guys who want to donate their time should get verbal. The football game is in the evening. So this will be a morningish event. Subjects show up at 10:00am and can participate and still make tailgating at Memorial Stadium later (for those who do such things). I'll put the game on in the store in Hi-Def if its available or just put it on (I dont want to miss it and I'll be going, plus I might give away 2 seats to a luxery box).

After that we need to set an Invitation List, people can volunteer here, and I'll email printable invites. Lets say 35 people from here. So first 35 to say I'm in.

#7 of 128 OFFLINE   Hank Frankenberg

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Posted July 24 2004 - 12:05 PM

Scott: I've been hinting at such an event for at least a year. One event to measure and recommend, and another to build/install. Since Colin's HT room is measured, I vote for doing the build/install. If that's too long, then I'd vote for an install, doing it gradually to hear the effects. I agree with you that 4 hours is the average committment time.

As for Jacob's next idea, I'm all for it and I'm in! Saturday, Sept 4th sounds good. It will be nice to help kick off a local entrepreneur's store.

#8 of 128 OFFLINE   Mark J

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Posted July 24 2004 - 02:10 PM

Ohhh. I'm in.

I think the best part of this event is that you aren't making us choose between this and the game!

--Mark

#9 of 128 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted July 25 2004 - 11:11 AM

Looks like we're gravitating to Scott's second option. Of course, I like the idea of option #1, as it will improve the sound of my HT. Posted Image

Maybe we can do the acoustic treatment idea for a meet in the October-November time frame...

Scott -

What are the "serious" problems with 2-channel music reproduction in my HT? I know that acoustic treatment, sub integration, and early reflections all could stand to improve. Also, Maggies are not known for "pinpoint" precise imaging but rather present a diffuse image (at least in part due to the reflections off the back wall that dipoles create). Any thoughts on what I could be doing to improve the sound???
Colin Dunn

#10 of 128 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted July 25 2004 - 11:29 AM

I am just referring to the fact that the room needs treatment to get the best out of 2 channel music. Waves are bouncing around in there so much if you were to make the concert hall seating analogy I would say without treatment your system puts the listener in the very back row or maybe even out in the lobby. Very diffused and confused soundfield. Listening to the Maggies at Audio Systems in their well treated reference room is whole 'nother ballgame.

So, I am hoping that by getting your room measured and treated that your system will be on the playing field with Audio System's set-up.

But yeah, I don't know your & Jonathan's timeframe on getting these treatments installed, but I think it definately would be the logical choice for the next meet after this one on 9/4.

#11 of 128 OFFLINE   Jacob Aaron

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Posted July 25 2004 - 03:33 PM

Colin- Seriously your Maggies should have precise imaging and the ability to create lifelike sound images. A grand piano should come alive on your Maggies and you should be able to practically hear which string is playing in the piano.

If you aren't getting that then something is wrong and I'd be willing to bet its placement combined with room acoustics. I had a pair of old Tympani IVs growing up and they were very direct. I've noticed Maggies have gotten better (the Tympani IV was from 78) but they still have a direct sound field. Have you tried toeing them in? Placement is a very big deal with them. Get them placed, then fix the room. I think John and Scott can help with placement as well.

#12 of 128 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted July 26 2004 - 04:43 AM

Jacob and Scott -

I have my Maggies about 5-6' out from the back walls, about 1' in from the side walls (front), and toed in toward the listening position (probably about 20 degrees of toe-in). Maybe I need to experiment with the toe-in angle and placement again. Any thoughts on a good starting point, or is it purely a trial-and-error process?

I've read reviews in which people put their Maggies further away from side walls, but I would block my movie screen if I move them much further in toward the center of the room.

Maybe I'll have to pop into Audio Systems to hear the 3.6s and MGCC2 (big danger of catching the upgrade bug if I do this) and see how their room is set up.

My work may throw a monkey wrench into these plans. The boss is thinking of relocating the office to the RR-620 and Bee Caves area, which is about as far away from my house as you can get yet still be in the Austin metro area.

If that office move happens, I may just sell my house and move south (to the Kyle/Buda/northern Hays County area). Between that and the property tax increase - er, I mean hospital district, I may have to move to avoid an hour-long commute and a crushing tax bill... Posted Image
Colin Dunn

#13 of 128 OFFLINE   Jacob Aaron

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Posted July 26 2004 - 05:20 AM

To quote the Maggie webpage:

Quote:
Each room has a sonic "sweet spot" for speakers. The sweet spot is different for each room. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut for simple trial and error.
If you have the luxury of placing your current speakers in the best spot of your listening room, then most likely the Magneplanars will sound best within a foot or so of that spot. In the "real world", consumers often have to place their speakers in a less than ideal position. They may spend thousands of dollars on a speaker and lose a significant portion of the performance on a less than ideal setup. But, real life compromises.
Often the question boils down to "How much of the Magneplanar performance will I lose by placing them in a less than ideal position?". That question is best answered by experimenting with less than ideal positioning in the dealer's showroom.


Which means you need some help. Maggies are notorious for being a hassle in placement, but generally when good placement is found the speakers are amazing. You spent some good money on them.

I'd be willing to help out sometime if you need it.

#14 of 128 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted July 26 2004 - 06:42 AM

Jonathan's room measurements will tell you the speaker's ideal placement to create the least amount of room anomalies (at least I think it will and will hopefully take into account the maggies dipole/bipole nature I think it does this as well). So you should be able to use that as a starting point, but I would still believe that even more so than placement is that your room just needs some acoustic treatment. You bascially have a barren room with only the carpet doing any sort of absorbing, even your furniture being that it is leather is not absorbing much.

#15 of 128 OFFLINE   Frederick_Falk

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Posted July 27 2004 - 01:57 AM

I am in for the September 4th opening day festivities. Posted Image
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#16 of 128 OFFLINE   Gomez

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Posted July 27 2004 - 03:22 AM

I'm all in for Sept 4th.

Scott, I tried to reply to the email you sent out regarding this but the email got kicked back twice. Count me in.

#17 of 128 OFFLINE   Rajiv Arora

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Posted July 27 2004 - 03:25 AM

I was out of town for the last meet Posted Image, but I will definitely attend this one! Count me in for the blind testing too.

-Rajiv

#18 of 128 OFFLINE   Christopher Collins

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Posted July 27 2004 - 03:33 AM

Count me in , I would love to do some blind testing as well. I am about to start construction on my theater and would love to do some A/B testing.
Its a "Digital Home Theater System" not a "RADIO" honey...

#19 of 128 OFFLINE   Humphrey

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Posted July 27 2004 - 03:44 AM

I'm in for the 4th, sounds like a great time and would love to check out the new store.
Humphrey
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Panasonic AE900 720P, 120" Screen, PS3 Blu-Ray, HK AVR635, 7 Mirus Audio Debrios, 2 Soundbridge Subs (for now), Oppo DVD, all in the Smallest HT in Austin (that I know of) at 10x11 feet.

#20 of 128 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted July 27 2004 - 04:23 AM

I am in for the September 4 meet!
Colin Dunn