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Old 9th September 2012, 10:03 PM   #291
bcmbob is offline bcmbob  United States
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R-11 Review.

Another big surprise. Reversing the resistor reduces the heft of the sound but the advantage gained in clarity and stage is well worth the trade-off, from what I'm hearing. The stage is the most impressive as it is improved both in width and specially depth. Much more of the in room 3D ambiance comes through. I hear a significant addition of space between the instruments and a better focus of voices - both solo and group. I would call the build guide position as stronger, but muddy in comparison to reversing the orientation. I haven't tried any heavy classical music yet but will do so this week. These results were based on the original test mix I did on the beta thread.

A few days ago I also compared the Black Gate Std against the F series. The Std is more precise and favors the high end. I would call it clean and analytical when compared to the F caps. The F produces more heft across the spectrum while maintaining (and maybe improving on) the separation between instruments and voices. It is like slightly raising 80 - 90 percent of the pots on a 16 ch equalizer - nothing drastic - just a bit more color to what is already there. This is only a comparison between two Black Gate caps and I will be interested in the results produced by other builders using other brands. For me the F caps are staying in.

There have been enough swaps and substitutions by me that I honestly can't zero in on an exact comparison between the beta and RC PCBs. In general I would claim the RC produces a cleaner or softer sound. If Dario was trying to resolve some of the high end edginess often reported of the LM3886, I would call it a noticeably successful design change.
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Old 9th September 2012, 10:43 PM   #292
bcmbob is offline bcmbob  United States
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If I confused anyone this is what I have now. The more I listen the more I like the stage and balance. I can hear sounds resolving both inside instruments/voices as well as behind my head in the room. This may again be one of those personal preference decisions, but I am still dumbfounded by how much such a simple twirl of a component can effect the sound.
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Old 9th September 2012, 11:02 PM   #293
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Question Caps, Volume????

Hey Bob,

Are you using the "alternate C9, R10 orientation?" I thought you preferred the original.

Dario, other experts,

Have you noticed any change in sound volume when you change C9? I am hearing differences between caps, but I'm not totally sure the differences are not due to volume, even though I haven't changed anything except the caps.

If I understand this correctly, two different caps with different ESR's might have an effect on the feedback loop gain, even well above the corner frequency of the C9, R10 filter. That might explain an overall change in sound volume due to changing caps at C9. Is this reasonable, or have I been playing too long and fooled myself.

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Old 9th September 2012, 11:09 PM   #294
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Bob,

You have a PM from me on test music.

Jac
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Old 9th September 2012, 11:22 PM   #295
bcmbob is offline bcmbob  United States
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Jac,

The world was much easier to understand and predict before Dario exposed us to his "voodoo theories" I'll be the first to admit that one can truly become dizzy from all the swaps and rotations. On top of that there has to be some interaction both upstream and down between neighboring components. There appear to be almost endless possibilities, and only the summation of results from a majority of a larger number of builders will approach anything like "best" or "correct" IMHO.

Hey, it is indeed a fun and interesting ride .
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Old 9th September 2012, 11:33 PM   #296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lehmanhill View Post
Have you noticed any change in sound volume when you change C9? I am hearing differences between caps, but I'm not totally sure the differences are not due to volume, even though I haven't changed anything except the caps.
Sure.

I think it's mainly perceveid loudness.

Caps with a bigger amount of bass will be perceived as louder sounding, IMHO.
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Old 9th September 2012, 11:51 PM   #297
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Another big surprise. Reversing the resistor reduces the heft of the sound but the advantage gained in clarity and stage is well worth the trade-off, from what I'm hearing.
(...)
I would call the build guide position as stronger, but muddy in comparison to reversing the orientation..
These are signs that the wrong direction is used, IMHO.

In some aspects the 'wrong' direction could be be charming (3D soundstage, extreme focus, rock solid bass) but as time passes listenting fatigue, thin sound, hardness and harsness become unbearable.

All my directions selections followed such rule, the right direction is the less open/aggressive, fuller with less controlled bass.

It seems counterintuitive but it gave me best results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcmbob View Post
There have been enough swaps and substitutions by me that I honestly can't zero in on an exact comparison between the beta and RC PCBs. In general I would claim the RC produces a cleaner or softer sound.
Yes, I think it's so and most of the improvement is due to SMD Susumus and their orientation, IMHO.
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Old 10th September 2012, 10:07 AM   #298
bcmbob is offline bcmbob  United States
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A little detail on the R-11 dialog may be in order here. Several weeks ago Dario asked me to test the reverse orientation. He did it like a blindfold test by not giving a hint of what to expect. He first saw the impressions from the audition in my post along with everyone else. What we heard individually was remarkably similar. Whether those changes in the sound are beneficial over time, ex. ear fatigue, require more listening on my part.

IMO, the big take-away here is the continued validation of the orientation of components being almost as important as the selection of value and brand.

So I'm encouraging builders to take the time and extra effort to use as many sockets as is practical in order to gain first hand experience in "tuning" of the FR RC.
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Old 10th September 2012, 10:42 AM   #299
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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And what is the effect of with and without the sockets?

I suspect the socket effect is bigger than the paint effect on the resistor !
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Old 10th September 2012, 10:56 AM   #300
bcmbob is offline bcmbob  United States
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I don't know if you are pulling my leg with your reference to paint , but both the sockets and the extra lead lengths required for their use are things I am looking forward to eliminating. That probably won't happen till the final version though.

Socket users must also be very careful when filing leads to fit sockets. If looseness is discovered from an overshoot a quick light coating of solder (yes, that's another variable) will tighten the fit.

I think the beta pieces Dario did for his brother were socket free. Maybe he can report on the significance here.
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