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Wisconsin Part 2

I was on a forum a few weeks back and came along a thread about speaker placement with one of the participants sharing a link to Bob’s video. So I started to watch it and it was interesting actually intriguing. I also noticed it was like an hour long so as I listened I wondered just what could possibly fill that much time. However Bob made many good points along the way and the time went by quickly. Long story short it was not long after viewing the video that I sent the link to my son and then gave Bob a call to discuss coming to our homes. We set a date a few weeks out and with my son’s system added he had three systems to dial in.
Backing up a minute what made total sense to me about Bob’s presentation was:
He dialed the speakers into the room they were in. I was used to the measuring etc. that all the manufacturers tell us to do but really each room is different and unless it’s perfectly symmetrical (which almost no room is unless for the rare dedicated purposeful built room) then does that really make sense? So the idea that both speakers need to be the same distance from the front wall, same toe in and rake just did not make any sense anymore.
He used his ears and a level. That’s it! Nothing wrong with meters etc. but we do listen with our ears so that made sense too. I know this will fly in the face of the technically minded but what I have learned in audio is there are a lot of things that affect sound for the good and some just can’t be measured or are very difficult to do so. I’m sure with enough equipment/time this process could be more analytical but it’s just not practical and most certainly not affordable.
During the video he made the comment that multi-channel sound will never sound right if the two channel is not right. Never really thought of it that way but that to hit home.
Another nice thing is swapping out components and wire will not change the speaker’s lock on the room. Unless you need to move them physically or change the room you are free to add and swap out as you like. For me that was great as I do have some plans and I think many of us have a tendency to hang on to our speakers much longer then components.
So when Bob got done what are the results?
The speakers in my rooms are not physically at the same distance from the front wall and the toe in’s are different. The reason is my two rooms are not symmetrical just like I would suspect the vast majority of them out there. They are not the same but not crazy different or totally obvious either to look odd visually.
Music room – always had a good center but now the center is at the right height for a singer or instrument. This is so exciting as in the past they were mostly on their knees but not any longer. There is good additional depth beyond what I had previously. The music is more engaging with a wider soundstage. My room width somewhat limits that but he did maximize it.
Media room – This room may have had the biggest change of the two. It is also the room I spent way less time fine tuning on my own also. But my wife says the sound now is so much better for just TV listening/movies are now much improved and I totally agree. We listened to a movie as one of the last activities with Bob and it was really stellar in my opinion.
The other thing I would like to mention beyond what Bob did is the Anthem ARC software. This has been recently rewritten from scratch and it is so much better than in the past. Don’t get me wrong the older version was good much better than a past Pioneer Elite version but I always had to do some manual tweaking. Even Bob said to go ahead with the process but most likely there will be a need to manually tweak. Once we were done actually we did not it was that good! I credit this to getting the 2 channel right first and then the new software. The combination just made such a big impact.
Beyond that Bob is just a great person to discuss our hobby and a wealth of information. It was great swapping stories of our past, equipment, and experiences. He is a hard worker that if you allow him to visit will do his very best to get your system to sound its best. I compare Bob’s service cost-wise similar to room treatments. Room treatments came to me more recently but were a real eye opener.
We all get hung up on the next new DAC or amp, cables , etc. all that is well and good however it comes at a price and in some cases a very steep price. On the other hand, I have found that room treatments can have a very significant impact on how a system sounds and is relatively inexpensive compared to a similar upgrade with a component. Bob’s service is very much in that category and just like Bob’s process treatments allows your system to sound better in your room. If you have your forever speakers or at least don’t plan on getting rid of them for a while and your room is stable you owe it to yourself to give Bob a shot. We did and are very pleased with the results!
My Systems:
7.2.2 Media Room – Martin Logan(Expression 13A speakers, 2-Descenti i subs, 5- Vanquish Surrounds and Focus center), Parasound A31 and 3- A23’s, Anthem AVM60 Processor, Entreq Silver Tellus Ground box, Pioneer Elite Blu-ray, 77” OLED LG Panel and Nordost QB8 II, QX2, Odin Root, T2 power, SC and interconnects, V2 HDMI, H2 network, TIVO Bolt+
Music Room – Martin Logan(CLX and 2-212 subs), Bricasti (M21 and M28’s), Aurender W20, Nordost (Odin/Odin 2 power, SC and Interconnects, QB8 II, 2-QX4’s, QK1’s, QV2’s, QKore 6, TC Sort Kones, Fut and Lift, Furutech Duplexes, SoTM switch with upgraded power and internals, Audio Quest Diamond Network, Room Treatments (Front, First Reflection and Rear Wall)

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