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July 2012 Issue - page 5

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July 2012 Issue
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LEEMA LOVE

I feel I need to write to you regarding customer satisfaction. Approximately three years ago I purchased a Leema Stream CD player of which I am very impressed – well was.


It suddenly developed a driver error and wouldn’t allow the drawer to open. I contacted Leema via their web site and contacted them to see where I stood. They responded within minutes, asking me which day would suit me as they wanted to collect the machine and take a look at it for me. I work away from home a lot and after some messing about, at my end, they collected my machine and kept me posted all the time and said it would be a 7 working day turnaround before I would see the machine.


They resolved the problem but not only that, they also uploaded the latest software for my Stream and upgraded it to the Leema Stream 2 free of charge. Their services were out of this world, and I must say so is my CD player now.

Thank you all at Leema.

Phil Dilley


ROOM ISSUES

I love reading the reviews about exotic hi-fi equipment, while drooling over the pictures of tubes glowing away, Mac power meters, Teflon capacitors and such! I particularly like Hi-Fi World for your reviews on analog and valve gear! One day I am going to have a set of the Icon 845 MKII power amps that you use as a reference.


Until recently I forgot about probably the most important component in my stereo only system, the listening room. We recently moved house. In the old house the stereo had been set up in the lounge room which had a lot of weird angles (no parallel walls), thick carpet, openings into other rooms and a lot of overstuffed furniture. The sound was really quite good. The soundstage was as wide as the speakers and as deep as the front wall, with good tonal balance and imaging.


The room that was set aside in the new house for the stereo had nearly perfect dimensions: 3.1m wide x 3.6m long x 2.4m high, but with hard wood floors. The room was to be a dedicated listening room with the speakers (large 3 ways), a DIY air rack to hold the amp and SACD player and my listening chair. I got the system set up, thinking that things would sound very good. It sounded terrible  muddy sound, boomy bass, limited soundstage, blurred imaging, overly bright, just about unlistenable! First thing to go in was a thick wool carpet to cover the floor. A little better, but still not very listenable, and only at very low volumes.


What to do? I had been thinking about room treatments for the new room before we moved in, so I installed some DIY Argent Room Lenses and some DIY Tube Traps. The sound clarified and became extremely listenable! The soundstage goes beyond the speakers to the right and left and the depth is unbelievable (when it is present in the recording). Muddiness is gone. Bass is taut and more powerful. Mids are sweet and pure as are the high frequencies. Imaging is pinpoint. With small jazz groups you would swear they are in the room with you! The sound had blossomed and was beyond what I thought was possible from my system. For far less than the cost of any single electronic item in my stereo I achieved a sound that no upgrade has ever allowed me to hear!

Cheers,

Peter Gron

Australia

 

 

 

sound-treatment

Sound diffusing panels on the Vicoustic stand at the High End Show in Munich this year. These disperse sound waves, getting rid of phantom images, whilst not causing a dead sound.


Hi Peter. You are right that the room is crucial and indeed we have just moved offices to get a room that is great for loudspeaker reviewing. But whilst your new room may have good proportions, it is too small to avoid problems. The carpet will help absorb the floor wave from the loudspeaker, but the low ceiling may need some diffuser panels to eliminate ceiling images; I heard people singing from the ceiling in a demo a few months ago! The room just wasn’t right in this respect and our own listening room has ceiling diffusers to ensure we are listening to the loudspeaker and not the ceiling.


Your largest dimension results in a room mode at 48Hz, which is high. It will enhance bass at this frequency, which will suit small stand mounting loudspeakers but not big floorstanders. Small room volumes have a higher Q than large rooms too, so you get bouncier/boomier bass. There are plenty of room mode calculators on the internet by the way. Put room mode calculator into a search engine or go to www.realtraps.com for plenty of info on all this.


I have no experience of Argent Room Lenses, but you would need to use wall hangings acting as an absorber or diffuser panels to lessen flutter echo in your room and bass traps in corners to control bass boom.


The sound stage will move beyond the loudspeakers when left and right wall reflections reflect treble energy to the listening position. As with the ceiling, diffuser panels are best used to control this effect. They distribute the energy, rather than absorbing it. You end up with a lively sound, but not one so strong in any frequency band as to interfere with the loudspeakers. Absorbers result in a dead sounding room, albeit a ‘quiet’ one I have found. Brits can go to www.studiospares.com and their Acoustics section to find absorber and diffuser panels to clean up common room problems, NK



 

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