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Hi Fi set up

Melvin

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Feb 21, 2021
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Hi I’m wanting some advice on a system I am thinking of buying, and what to do with my listening room (living room) in order to get the best out of it - could you please assist me?
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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Hi I’m wanting some advice on a system I am thinking of buying, and what to do with my listening room (living room) in order to get the best out of it - could you please assist me?
Start by considering the acoustics of your intended listening room. Killing excess reverberations was the best thing I ever did - far more beneficial than many equipment changes.
Great areas of bare walls, floor, glass will ruin your sound.

Ensure that there will be no obstructions between you and your speakers (I've seen sofas / furniture partially blocking sound).

State the size of your room, whether you'd prefer floorstanders or standmount speakers.
Say which sources you want to listen to and give your maximum total budget......prepare for recommendations but ensure that you listen to different stuff before buying.
 
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Melvin

Active member
Feb 21, 2021
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Firstly, the size of my room is 21’4” by 11’1”. It is a fairly typical livingroom having two windows on the left wall (measuring 7’7” and 5’9” respectively, both have blinds and curtains,) the rear wall has one window (measuring 5’8” again having blinds and curtains) the right wall has a centrally mounted gas fire. The front wall has a centrally mounted tv. and a large painting. There is a small painting hung between the two windows on the left wall and another small painting on the rear wall. The floor is wooden and of the suspended type, there are two large rugs laid between my hi. fi. system and both mine and my wife’s listening positions (a large leather settee and chair positioned 10/11 feet from my speakers). There is a large glass atacama rack (housing my electronics - Roksan Kandy LIII Intigrated Amplifier, Roksan Kandy LIII CD Player, Bluesound node2 streamer a blue ray player and a sound bar). Either side and slightly forward of the rack are my floorstanding speakers (Tannoy revolution signature) distance between the speakers is 6’1”, distance from the front wall is 3’ and the side walls 2’6”. My system was bought as a hi. fi. bundle from Creative Audio (sadly no longer trading). Streaming is via ”Tidal”.
A little bit of a backstory: I am 68 years old, my wife is 61; I’ve been listening to music since the mid sixties firstly on a Dansette Major through monograms, stereograms , music centres and separates technology has certainly changed over the last fifty plus years!
The new system I’m possibly going to buy (I will audition before I buy) is Naim Unity Nova with a pair of floorstanding speakers, Focal Aria 926,936; Kef Q950 (price range £4,819.00 - £5,579.00). As the floor is of the suspended type I will also be buying 4 iso acoustics Gaia 111 for each speaker, and 4 iso acoustic ores series isolation feet for the rack & 4 for the Nova Uniti Nova.
The above systems are “for sale” at Sevenoaks, they also have a number of different speaker cable options the most expensive being Qed Sig Revelation terminated at a price of £111.96 2 metre pair. I am somewhat surprised at the price given that I have found them much cheaper elsewhere (perhaps because of my ignorance on such matters I’m comparing apples with oranges!). Would these be a good choice or would I be better- off spreading my net a little wide ? I’m thinking of What HI FI Best Buy Audioquest Rocket 22.
I’ve seen on a number of ”YouTube” videos systems being demonstrated with racks situated between the speakers, I note that What HI FI says that this is a bad idea. I’ve asked , in another place, whether I should replace my existing rack with a smaller one placed in the corner of my room ,rather than between my speakers. The answer was to stick with what I have as both interfere with soundstage and imaging. I’m somewhat puzzled.
I apologise for the above diatribe.
If there are any suggestions as to how I could improve my listening enjoyment I would be much obliged.
Thanks.
 

jjbomber

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Dec 22, 2006
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Firstly, welcome to the forum.

Secondly, you have to decide a lot of these things for yourself. Don't follow the rules blindly, but do your own auditioning. If you like the rack in the middle and it sounds the same, leave it there. It's your home. Some might say that 3 large windows and a glass rack will make systems sound bright, but it's your system and your ears.

Naim and Focal are the same company these days, so that should be a great pairing. I have a Naim?Focal system in the bedroom and they really to rock.

Speaker cable may be terminated at Sevenoaks and bare cable elsewhere. As you say, make sure you're not comparing apples with pears. Or oranges. I find Audioquest too well behaved and, er, boring. I'd go QED or Chord.

Diatribe is fantastic. The more information we get then the better the advice.
 
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Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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You've got a bit of decent gear already there Melvin.
You've also got more idea (and money to spend) than questioners often have, so you'll be fine.

Just on the subject of kit positioning.
A few years back I had a demo of (Pro-Ac Tablette Ref 8) speakers in one of Audio T's purpose-built demo rooms. I've never before or since, heard such perfect central imaging. It's no coincidence that there was absolutely nothing between the speakers (their rack was off to the side).
Not very practical of course - I'm sure most people have something between their speakers, if not equipment then a chimney breast. But I'm in no doubt about the benefit of leaving the space between clear. Wish I could.
P.S. Take all YT 'demos', reviews and advice with a pinch of salt.
 
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Paul Clarke

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Oct 12, 2007
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It's great to hear from an elder statesmen of the hifi world and great to hear your continued enthusiasm for all things hifi.
We'd all love the perfect shaped room, with the perfect height ceiling and no other clutter to compromise our systems. But life isn't like that. More often than not our listening rooms are our front rooms in family homes and stuff goes where you can get it in. Like me, you seem to have a very supportive and understanding partner. It really helps!
Wooden floors can provide different results. A solid wooden floor can deliver a very tight bass, but a large expanse of wooden floor can be slightly echoey or overly bright. A sprung wooden floor can have the opposite effect and make the bass very bloomy and sound out of synch slightly with the top or middle.
Spikes can help, but there are also some decent feet available for a modest price (sub £100) that can really work wonders on a wooden floor. They certainly did for me.
I've used Chord cable throughout for years and can't really remember too many other cables, other than some pretty lifeless (to my ears) Van den Hul speaker cables that do stick in the memory. I would always recommend Chord.
Regards racks. Some do say a glass rack can add brightness to a system. Last year I moved from a long standing Blok rack with glass shelves to an all wood hifi racks set up. I couldn't hand on heart say I heard a massive difference, but I think I did. You always want new stuff to sound great though!
I will say however, that it looks incredible!
No idea if this is of any use to you, but good luck with everything!
PS. Just a question. Where's the turntable?!? :LOL:
 

amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
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Melvin, you are bang on the money with the GAIA III's. I too use these on my suspended wooden floor and the results are clear.

I've also tried many other options in the lead up to using these - from sorbethane, subdudes, subdude copies, washing machine anti vibration feet, various spikes etc. etc.

GAIA III's, for me in my room are clearly the best, and by some margin too. Improved sound, tighter bass, next to zero carry to floor or also my party wall.

In regard to kit, listen to it first and try and get a home dem if you can. And as for cables, that's a rabbit hole to fall into and a bombshell question to ask on here 😂. I use Tellurium Q Black II, which are very good ime. However, some others will comment that I am wrong and all cables sound the same.

Good luck and enjoy what you buy 👍
 
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Al ears

Moderator
Melvin, you are bang on the money with the GAIA III's. I too use these on my suspended wooden floor and the results are clear.

I've also tried many other options in the lead up to using these - from sorbethane, subdudes, subdude copies, washing machine anti vibration feet, various spikes etc. etc.

GAIA III's, for me in my room are clearly the best, and by some margin too. Improved sound, tighter bass, next to zero carry to floor or also my party wall.

In regard to kit, listen to it first and try and get a home dem if you can. And as for cables, that's a rabbit hole to fall into and a bombshell question to ask on here 😂. I use Tellurium Q Black II, which are very good ime. However, some others will comment that I am wrong and all cables sound the same.

Good luck and enjoy what you buy 👍
I would agree that, if Townshend equipment is way out of budget, the IsoAcoustics Gaia are the next best thing.
 
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Paul Clarke

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Oct 12, 2007
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I was intrigued by the GAIA III feet mentioned in this thread as I have wooden floors. I do use isolation feet and was very impressed when I bought some many years ago. I've since upgraded my speakers, so after spending the evening researching them have decided to give them a go. Will hopefully turn up on Friday.
 

amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
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I was intrigued by the GAIA III feet mentioned in this thread as I have wooden floors. I do use isolation feet and was very impressed when I bought some many years ago. I've since upgraded my speakers, so after spending the evening researching them have decided to give them a go. Will hopefully turn up on Friday.
Interested to hear your thoughts when they arrive. In my experience it will be very apparent you've made a change.

What speakers are you putting them on?
 

Paul Clarke

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Oct 12, 2007
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Interested to hear your thoughts when they arrive. In my experience it will be very apparent you've made a change.

What speakers are you putting them on?
PMC 25/26.
Seeing that you also use PMC was a deciding factor.
I initially thought they might be too heavy for the III, but the isoacoustics system calculator says they will be fine.
I will certainly feedback any thoughts.
 

Melvin

Active member
Feb 21, 2021
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Thanks for all your information and advice. Roll on April in order to allow me to do some auditioning . I will update you when the mission is completed. Stay safe.
 
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amormusic

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Feb 24, 2016
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I was intrigued by the GAIA III feet mentioned in this thread as I have wooden floors. I do use isolation feet and was very impressed when I bought some many years ago. I've since upgraded my speakers, so after spending the evening researching them have decided to give them a go. Will hopefully turn up on Friday.
Hi fella, you may have already received yours, if so this is too late....
Audio T have a flash weekend sale on loads of stuff, including Gaia III's. 149 for 4, new. So 300 squids for a set.
Also at Melvin OP, this is an utter bargain.
Paul, if bought online, you have automatic return rights within 14 days under distance selling regs, bank yourself a 100 saving.
And for anyone else that is remotely considering Gaia's*, at 300 for a double set (4 under each speaker), pounce on this. You will thank me later.
 
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Melvin

Active member
Feb 21, 2021
4
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Hi fella, you may have already received yours, if so this is too late....
Audio T have a flash weekend sale on loads of stuff, including Gaia III's. 149 for 4, new. So 300 squids for a set.
Also at Melvin OP, this is an utter bargain.
Paul, if bought online, you have automatic return rights within 14 days under distance selling regs, bank yourself a 100 saving.
And for anyone else that is remotely considering Gaia's*, at 300 for a double set (4 under each speaker), pounce on this. You will thank me later.
Thanks for the information, much appreciated. Ordered!
 

Paul Clarke

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2007
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I set up the Gaia III on my PMC 25/26 today.
I found the installation a little fiddly if I'm honest.
Once I got the speakers back on their feet, my first thought was how wobbly they felt.
As a previous spike user as well as Soundcare Superspikes, I'm used to the speaker sitting rigidly on the floor. This new feel will take a while to get used to after nearly 30 years!
Oddly, my Linn turntable wobbles like a jelly, but again, it's what I'm used to.
So to the sound.

I used a familiar set of bass heavy tracks I usually use for auditions.
Funky Monks by Red Hot Chilli Peppers
The Chain by Fleetwood Mac
Pick it up by Paul Weller
Strange museum by Paul Weller
Badman's song by Tears for fears

The first thing I noticed was that I didn't actually notice a massive difference with the bass. Perhaps a little less bloomy.
However, the difference across the midrange made me sit up in my seat.
Certainly more clarity, width and depth. I wonder if the less bloomy bass allowed the midrange to really perform.
The top end felt tight. In fact, there is a percussion shaker on Pick it up by Paul Weller that I hadn't really noticed before.

There will be many doubters for products like these and that is healthy.
However, do your research and seriously consider giving these a try.
The results (in my opinion) are worth the price. This is a great product.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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I wonder if the less bloomy bass allowed the midrange to really perform.
I think that's certainly possible. It's a consequence that many people report when bass no longer bleeds into the mids on headphones.
It's funny but logic would suggest (to me) that for tighter, less 'bloomy' bass, no wobble would be important.
Your findings suggest the opposite - that the benefit comes from compliant de-coupling rather than rigid coupling to the floor.
(I'm thinking that cones would move either relative to, or along with the cab, depending on the foundation o_O
If something works, I need to know how).
 
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Al ears

Moderator
I think that's certainly possible. It's a consequence that many people report when bass no longer bleeds into the mids on headphones.
It's funny but logic would suggest (to me) that for tighter, less 'bloomy' bass, no wobble would be important.
Your findings suggest the opposite - that the benefit comes from compliant de-coupling rather than rigid coupling to the floor.
(I'm thinking that cones would move either relative to, or along with the cab, depending on the foundation o_O
If something works, I need to know how).
The compliant decoupling certainly comes into its own if your speakers, like mine, are in a room with suspended floor. I have not yet tried them out downstairs on a concrete / carpeted floor but wouldn't expect to hear such a difference in this situation plus the room is bigger anyway. In this situation I probably wouldn't have purchased the Gaias
 

amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
202
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10,970
Quote didn't work - quoting Paul...

Exactly my thoughts. A great product.

As for the wobblyness, not really an issue as the bottoms are suction cups and as I have mine on granite plinths (chopping boards), they are pretty sturdy and unlikely to topple with a knock Plus they rarely/never get knocked anyway.
 
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