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Topic: About speakers Imbedded Macro-Positioning.

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Posted by Romy the Cat on 05-16-2007

Quite a few people send me emails asking about my techniques to trace the DPoLS

Sure the DPoLS are practically not known techniques and it is great to “handle” it but there is something else in there. The DPoLS sure is very powerful and superbly influential but they are the last stork of brash, the final kink in the art of playback positioning. However, the majority of the installations out there do not even approach to the point of failure at the DPoLS level as they fail at much lover level – the macro-positioning.

The Imbedded Macro-Positioning is my term that has a very precise meaning. The macro-positioning relates to strategic positioning of the loudspeakers in the room. Still he macro-positioning is not really the positioning itself but rather understanding the entire speaker in context of the room, if fact if the Imbedded Macro-Positioning is well-thought and properly implemented then whatever the common audio-knowledge suggest about speakers positioning become … irrelevant.

If you paid attention I very seldom talk at my site about the subject of speakers macro-positioning. There is a reason. The reason is that I do not see a lot of common grounds with practically anyone with whom I spoke about speakers positioning. I read quite a lot on the subject and spoke with a number of smart people, much smarter then me in the subject of speakers positioning, and I never accepted what they all proposed as anything inspiring. In fact, I saw a lot of inconsistencies in their views about speakers positioning. Looking at a number of rooms and playing with several speakers I developed my own view about winning speakers positioning techniques, I will share some basics of it in this thread.

Do not be overly exuberant - not many of you will be benefited or will be able to use what I propose. However, some of you would try and you will be VERY surprised with very effective results. However, if you do not even try it then follow this thread then you might understand the objectives and the attempted means to accomplish the objectives. Then, perhaps, it will make you to think about something. Some of your will find my speakers macro-positioning view too radical or perhaps too absurd. Did you see me to care? Well, it is all up to you....

So, stand by - I will continue this thread with some applied posts.
Romy the Cat

Posted by Romy the Cat on 05-17-2007

Before I go into describing the concepts of Imbedded Macro-Positioning I would like to pass some overturning statements.  They are not necessary directly related to the Imbedded notion but they do have SOME relation and I would like you to think about them for a while.

1) Acoustic system is not only loudspeakers and not the loudspeaker-room interaction but rather the sound of the room itself. The loudspeakers juts trigger the room… if the loudspeakers in-phase with room.

2) Deviations from frequency linearity are auditable, however… The bid however… We less sensitive to lack of linearity and more sensitive to be annoyed by the FALLOUT OF REASONS THAT FORMED THE GIVEN NON-LINEARITY. There are good reasons and bad reasons, like the cholesterol presumably. The good reasons that create non-linearity make us audibly less annoyed, we do register them lightly and our awareness easy tune itself off. They are also bad reasons and they do bother us...

3) If your objectives are the “ADVANCED AUDIO AND EVOLVED MUSIC REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES” THEN practically all Commercial loudspeakers are compromised. It is not necessary because they are bad but because any Commercial off the shelf loudspeaker does not utilizes the “Imbedded Macro-Positioning” and therefore fundamentally underperforms. (Unless the specially built rooms that it very different subjects). I am very much NOT against the Commercial loudspeakers – they just should be designed differently for the “evolved music reproduction”.

4) There are no such a things as bad sounding rooms, at least at the Macro-Positioning level. The rooms sound bad because the Imbedded techniques were not used properly or were not used at all.

5) Acoustic treatment as it exists in today Hi-Fi (unless we are talking about VERY large diffusers and very large resonators… that never used) are not applicable at sub approximately 700Hz. The carp that the Morons use for bass and upper bass control is juts horrible as it shrink reverberation time at higher frequencies. Unless we do for VERY high expense and large custom made solutions the sub 700Hz are not intentionally controllable. The irony is that with the Imbedded Macro-Positioning … it is good they are controllable because it becomes the… benefit.

The Cat

Posted by Romy the Cat on 05-21-2007

Ok, the very first thing in your way to the proper Imbedded Macro-Positioning is to undusted what you what to accomplish. Most of you redder can not understand it before 2 reasons:

1) You were thought and learned wrong thing for too long
2)  You hardly ever experienced what accurate Imbedded Macro-Positioning, not to mention the DPoLS can do.

Therefore, I would lean this there as a proposal to experiment. Try it and if you appreciate the result then good for you. If the sonic results of your practical assessments you do not find good for you then discard whatever you read here. Oh, yes, also stoop do audio… because you are deaf….

So, have you seen loudspeaker sitting in the room, screaming with all their drivers like wounded in ass hyena but sound is “little sound”? The individual notes have absurdly high self-declaration but the notes are too individualistic, disconnected and the system has the conflict between resolution and musicality? Sure you have seen it – I just described 90% of high-end audio installations out there. However, despite of the poor electronics and poor acoustic systems that might be used the 50-60% pf the sound that I characterize as stupid sound come on those installations from the poor “room loading” of the Macro-Positioning of the loudspeakers. Generally ANY properly Macro-Positioned speakers should over perform in musical scale ANY improperly Macro-Positioned inhalation. Yes, a cheep but good consumer amplifier with a inexpensive old JBL monitor, properly Macro-Positioned, will literally destroy a performance of $250.000.00 high-end installation of the installation is … against the interests of the room. Do I have to pump you up more?

So, what to do next? Let forgot whatever crap you have heard about better and worst rooms for Sound, unless you build a listening dedicated rooms from scratch, that, as a concept, has it’s own problems. Let forgot a point about the topologies of loudspeaker. Also, let forgot the idiotic idea that the industry have implanted in you – “you have to find best position in your room for your given loudspeaker”. The reason why the industry pushed this notion to you is because the loudspeaker are design to performer more of less linearly in more of less anechoic environment. The problem is not that your listening room is not anechoic environment. The real problem is that your listening room is a bitch with attitude and you as the room owner need to USE the given attitude in your benefit.

With the said let me to introduce you with a bogus concept of mine that I used for years – “Room Polarity”. The Room Polarity has nothing to do with Polarity in a normal since and it is rather a semi-philosophical generalization…. However, one of the major task of the Imbedded Macro-Positioning to place your loudspeaker in-wide-phase with the Room Polarity. This is the absolutely mandatory and this is VERY seldom done by audio peoples. Without your acoustic system (or at least the fundamental channels of your loudspeakers) operating in-wide-phase with your room to get an “interesting sound” is practically impossible (with some very seldom exceptions that I might cover in future)

So, the next my post in this thread will provide some practical guidance how to set your playback in-wide-phase (or as I call it “in-second-phase”) with your listening room.

Romy the Cat

Posted by Romy the Cat on 05-22-2007

Ok, how to start. First of all we have to understand that out subject of attention will be a region between approximately 80Hz and 500Hz or something that shape the fundamentals of the “melody range” within your playback. Search my site I have written about the prominence of the upperbass a lot ….

Most of the mid and small size rooms (very large room is a separate subject) have two types of the room modes: narrow modes and wide modes. Your primary task at this point is to find where those wide modes in your room will be. As you understand when I talk about the room modes I mean the modes in the Melody Range. The narrow modes are 1/4 octave wide and you should discard them. You need to search for picks that would be wider then ½ octaves. I have seen some rooms that have plus 5-6dB at 130Hz and 1.5 octaves wide. The smaller room the more room modes might be and the more “problem” the room most likely will have. Do not worry about it – search for the wildest bandwidth and for the highest amplitude of modes in your room and those “problem” will not be problems if you use them properly.

How to search it? It is deepens of many parameters. Your listening expertise and topology of your loudspeakers (the Melody Range channels) are not the last among all variables. Generally a simple RTA with 1/6 octave and higher will do. You do not need any good quality microphone as you do not care about absolute number but rather about the relative values.  Running pink noise with very fast averaging and resetting itself after, I would say, 15 seconds is a good tool. You need to connect one channel of your Melody Range and to let your friend to tango with the speaker (or with a Melody Range substitute this will be even better) across your room. Do not forget moving your microphone and well if it is necessary. You should sit at your desirable listing spot with microphone, looking at your RTA and to listen the sound. The combination of what you hear and what the RTA shows is be a good tool for you to get a sense of directions. Change at least a half of dozen listening positions until you feel that you found the SECOND UGLIEST LOCATION IN YOU ROOM.  What does it mend the “second ugliest”. The first the most ugliest location for your Melody Range will have a maximum amplitude of the narrow modes (Do not approach to the room’s walls closer then 3 feet). Keep looking you need to look for the WIDEST BANDWIDTH, EVEN AT SLIGHTLY LOVER AMPLITUDE.

If you are ability lucks of any sensibility and hearing then you might use you loudspeaker as a microphone. Fill your room with band-pass noise (Melody Range) and look with a meter or scope how much signal you your speaker pick up at their output. It is very erroneous way but it juts a handicapped way for the deaf beginners. Do not forget that in this case you will need to conduct a number of discrete measurements at different very narrow band-pass frequencies in order to determine how wide bandwidth of the room gain. Do not forget also that the position of room noise-filing speaker should be at the position where you will be listening from.

Anyhow, some people might propose to use some kind of modeling software but I personally have no positive experience with software and I considering then superfluous toys. Perhaps it is juts me. You might use whatever means are available in your disposal to found the “boomiest”, across wide bandwidth, spot in your room.

Two important comments. This relatively-wide bandwidth “agilest” spot in your room will not be a spot but rather a quite large space. It is very difficult to make a generalization about it but generally this quite “large bloomy space” will be a space equal to, I would say, 1/8-1/12 of the room dimensions. I call this large bloomy space as ACOUSTICAL EROGENOUS ZONE (AEZ) of your listening room. Now you need to found the AEZ’s dimensions. Mark the found location of your AEZ and move your speakers a few feet in all direction measuring loosing the room gain within the Melody Range. Eventually you will discover an approximate relatively large region in your room that might be considered as AEZ. Now, you need to find the AEZ’s polarity. The AEZ’s polarity is the AEZ’s side where the room gain in the Melody Range would be at maximum. The AEZ might be right-polarized or left-polarized.

So, what to do next? Now you need…. to place both of your loudspeakers in the AEZ, trying to position the right channel in the most polarized region of your AEZ. Regardless speaker’s topology is used your loudspeaker’s Melody Range they, the loudspeakers, must be INSIDE of the AEZ. It is not only because you have extra feed db gain in there – this it beneficial but very secondary. The key is that now your artificial room transducer (speaker) is in-phase with nativity of your listening room and then do not work against each other.

If your Melody Range channel (or live instrument as well) are in AEZ then they are capable of wonderful thing by “TURNING THE ENTIRE ROOM ON” – you can’t not accomplish it with better speakers or better amplifiers. Let dive slightly in the dangers territory. Driving your room by loudspeakers from outside AEZ location is like pleasing different parts of female body – it gives positive and effective atomic (individual, isolated) effects to her gratification. However, but performing necessary actions on women G-spot is capable to create for some women not atomic but a FULL-BODY REACTION. The Melody Range lodging a room from AEZ is very much hits the G-spot of your listening room and allows you get a VERY different and very evolved result of the room loading that is unimaginable if you drive your room from outside of AEZ. I can assure you that if you are not a Moron™ and each time you heard any more or less interesting sound from any playbacks then the loudspeakers, in one way or other and in most of cases completely accidentally, were near the AEZ.

The very next actions will be removing all filters, impedance normalizes, resonators from your upperbass driver (and perhaps your lower midrange driver) and let your upperbass installed in the enclosure-topology of your choose to play full range. In the next my post I will continue describing the next steps…

Romy the Cat

Posted by George on 05-24-2007

I am not quite understanding part of what you say:

"It is very difficult to make a generalization about it but generally this quite “large bloomy space” will be a space equal to, I would say, 1/8-1/12 of the room dimensions."

Picking a room that is 15'x25' and applying 1/10 would give an AEZ of 1.5'x2.5'.

Next you say:

"Now you need…. to place both of your loudspeakers in the AEZ, trying to position the right channel in the most polarized region of your AEZ."

Is putting both speakers in the 1.5'x2.5' AEX temporary?


Posted by Romy the Cat on 05-25-2007
 George wrote:
I am not quite understanding part of what you say:

"It is very difficult to make a generalization about it but generally this quite “large bloomy space” will be a space equal to, I would say, 1/8-1/12 of the room dimensions."

Picking a room that is 15'x25' and applying 1/10 would give an AEZ of 1.5'x2.5'.

Next you say:
"Now you need…. to place both of your loudspeakers in the AEZ, trying to position the right channel in the most polarized region of your AEZ."

Is putting both speakers in the 1.5'x2.5' AEX temporary?

George, I was planning to go there in my next article but very briefly: the really of the rooms is not so exact. The "large bloomy space" in your room not will be 1.5'x2.5' but it will be rather a wide field with max gain concentrated along any size of that field. It is not the "active spot" in the room but rather an active zone in room and it is why I usually call it "Macro-Positioning" (as opposite to DPoLS Positioning that is very-very precise micro-positioning).

So, our task is not to fill the "active zone" wish loudspeakers but to place loudspeakers somewhere within the zone. For instance in my room of approximately the same demotions as your the "active zone" is ~3x6x3 and the speakers are ~ 12" apart across the long wall. Surely it is imposable to stick the speakers in the “zone” but it is possible to locate the speakers that the zone might be used. Let go for some practicality and use the standard off the shelf products for a common reference. Before the Macondo I used Avantgarde Trio upperbass horn. It was 140Hz Tractrix with no back chamber. Anechoicly the AG’ bass horn do on the people’s rooms those 140Hz – I measured it. However placing “active region” of my room the AG’s horn had minus 3dB at 85Hz right channel and 105Hz left channel. 85Hz and 140Hz are huge difference but it is not all – there are other factors. The major factor is that being placed in the “active region” the horn has a capacity to “turn to room on”  and the you begin to integrate your MF channels not with the upperbass horn but with the sound of the entire room. So, the key is to consider the sound of the upperbass in the “active region” as a new base reference and to build up the rest of the sound in the room from it, USING the room gain instead of fighting with it.

Yes, playing with hot spots in listening room it will be always a presumed not evenness of gain between right and left channel – it is not good. But here is where the DSET concept kicks in – who prevent you to fix the levelness between channels modifying gain for each channel? For instance I know that I have 1.7dB difference between the right and less bass channels, the little less then 1dB difference between the right and less upper-bass channels. With DSET it is very easy to put a little divider into input of a necessary channel to set the acoustical right-left channels balance leveled.

BTW, in my past whan I used Lamm’s ML2 for Bass the chasing that precise right-left channels balance was a major pain in ass to me. When I was asking Vladimir about prospective options of changing the ML2 gain he insisted that (paraphrasing and mocking) “ML2 is a perfectly calibrated mashie with very properly and precisely implement feedback and any changes in depth of that feedback will remove the amplifiers from the Stereophile recommended component list”. Then the very same Vladimir came up with his “ingenious” solution recommending me to substitute with 12AX7 in the ML2 input stage with 5751 that has 30% less gain. I remember I hanged up phone and was laughing... as proposing to change the gain of the open loop Lamm… did in fact changed the affective death of the feedback… (BTW, ML2 become very unstable with reduction of feedback).

Anyhow, the summation of this post is to get best (means more) out of room and the feel the rest with efforts of electronics. BTW, did I mention that doing it there is suddenly no such a thing as the “room problems”?

Romy the Cat

Posted by Ronnie on 05-28-2007
I THINK I managed to macro position by ear from to your advice. I did the tango with my bookshelf speakers and listened for evenness and bloom in the 80-500Hz area (filtered out the rest with EQ).


Yellow marks the first hot spot I found, and then went looking for the same sound in a suitable place for the right speaker. As you can see, the speakers ended up way out in the room.
I seem to have found a reasonable place for LF too, even if it's all set up along the short wall. Will investigate some boomy tones further.
Haven't had sound with this kind of impact here before. It's extremely even throughout the whole room (behind the speakers too), except for the LF. Wonderful!

Can't wait to ask the horns for a dance...

Posted by Romy the Cat on 05-28-2007
BTW, I forgot to mention one very important thing that might be very easily overlooked: the Imbedded Macro-Positioning Reality lives in three dimensions. It is not about the right, left, closer and further but also up and down. In fact the vertical positioning usually has much less tolerance then tolerance in other dimensions and I have seen situation when moving a speaker latterly 5 inches up of down quite hugely affected “room loading”. So, do not overlook the vertical positioning…

Posted by Romy the Cat on 05-29-2007
 Ronnie wrote:
Haven't had sound with this kind of impact here before. It's extremely even throughout the whole room (behind the speakers too), except for the LF. Wonderful!
BTW, Ronnie, did your recent experiments somehow altered the problems that you have reported before:
Rgs, Romy the Cat

Posted by Ronnie on 05-29-2007
Now that you mention it, I'm not experiencing any of those distortion problems with this setup.

The "breaking glass" sound seems to appear mainly when I'm listening to bandwidth limited speakers though.
I have also noticed that it's only my left ear that's picking up or producing that distortion! The right ear is always relaxed and happy...
I think my slight tinnitus is mostly connected to the left ear, and have learned that the ear itself can produce distortion when there's a hearing problem. Think I'll go have my hearing checked.

I can sit through a whole live (classical) concert without even the slightest problem, but listening to a single midrange driver seems to be instantly uncomfortable.

Anyone here with similar, perhaps tinnitus-related symptoms?

Posted by yoshi on 05-29-2007
I don't know what tinnitus is, but got a similar problem also on my left ear.  Sometimes it appears as ringing to certain frequency, sometimes it appears as a piercing distortion (like beaming).  First, I thought my ears got very sensitive to mid-high anomaly while strugging with the Lowther shout, then realized the ringing problem recently.  I often have to put a finger to the front of the left ear to check if the problem is in the playback or in my ear.


Posted by Romy the Cat on 06-03-2007

I stopped yesterday in Borders at lunch and looked through the June’s Stereophile. It had Wes Philips review of the Watt/Puppy 8. The writing was below any criticism  - it was not review but rather the typical product release drumming. I do not even what to talk about it… too boring…

However, there was a moment in there that I would like to pay attention in context of this thread. The large section of the Wes’ articles was about someone come to him room and perform the necessary "magic" of speaker’s installation.  Wes is correct – the Wilsons if they are not properly installed sound like worst crap but when they properly installed they sound much better.. but still as "better loudspeakers" from the same crap domain.

David Wilson calls for “Zone of Neutrality”,  or the location where the speakers interact less with the boundaries of the room. I call for the “Zone of Maximum Partiality” when acoustic system is organically imbedded info the imperfections of the room, taking advantage of the imperfections, converting imperfectionsinto advantages. Wilson afraid the boundaries problem, I very much welcome them. Wilson feels that there are “better rooms”,  I feel that there are no bad rooms. Wilson looks for a neutral zone outside of which a room booms. I look for the boomiest zone outside of which … nothing happened. Wilson sweat-spot is a 3 inches location, my sweat-spot (with identical speakers) is a walkable space. Wilson burns sensitivity fighting for neutrality, I gain sensitivity fight for neutrality. Wilson feels that dealer should be your slave I feel that you do not need to have any dealer at all… Wilson feels that “wrapped knowledge” matters, I feel that liberation form the artificial conditions where any knowledge is meaningful is more important….

Rgs, Romy the Cat

Posted by Ronnie on 06-03-2007
Interesting. I wonder whether I actually did the Pussy- or Wilson positioning.
I found 4 tiny hotspots around the whole room (for one specific vertical position). The boom areas were large (or perhaps there were many boom areas, close together?), but maximum-bloom was in absolutely tiny spots.
Haven't tried the LF sections vertically aligned with the rest, but I suspect the bass would be very weak.

Hm.. I think I remember hearing Wilson Watts placed far out into a room. Does Wilson lift their LF electrically?

I did a bit of upper bass horn tango too, but it seemed I didn't have enough H (20mH) available to tame their HF.

Posted by Romy the Cat on 06-03-2007

None of the commercial speakers might relay on the Imbedded principles because the obvious reasons. They always look for as neutral as possible location because they mostly designed for anechoic operation. However, if the Imbedded techniques are used then we are in a very different ball game.

You see, when the upperbass location is properly imbedded then, only then the decision about the speaker topology or design generally should flow. Do not forget we do not build loudspeakers but we built sound in out listening rooms…. Let me give an example.

Many people walk around and pitching that there is nothing as good as bass horn or upper basshorn. It is imposable to talk to them critically or listening with them because as soon then see (I mean just SEE) any upperbass horn as their mind if flipped out and they loose of this freaking awareness. The realty is that the bass horns are great but largest part of the bass horn’s performance comes from the horn-room interaction. I have seen the bass-horns are pumping a huge amount of pressure into the “dead zones” of the room and the entire installation sounded like Kharma loudspeaker with a single 5” ceramic footer in 1.700 cube feet listening room. The irony is that the very same room with basshorn might be sonically lightened up with a single boxed 10” woofer if the channel is placed Imbeddengly properly. The diffidence might be at almost 10-12dB and the room might response absolutely different.

So, as in anything else that I’ am trying to pitch at my site- a correct solution does not come from knowing many solutions of big theories but in building up within ourselves the appropriate and honest patterns: how to conceive methods, asses the results and interpret the outcomes to pursue own listening objectives.

Romy the Cat

Posted by Romy the Cat on 07-12-2008

A guy read my site and sent me a series of emails complaining that it is too difficult to found Imbedded positioning for his new bass horn as it is too big and too balky. Moving the large and heavy thighs and measuring them is the hard. I agree, but there are ways…

Here I a very brief description of the method that make the thing easy.

1)      Find EQ frequency of your horn. Let pretend that you driver runs down to 150Hz and your horn is down to 110Hz – so the searched frequency would be 150Hz.

2)      Place at your listening stop a sealed loudspeaker and drive it with 150Hz sinusoid. Let call it Radiating Speaker

3)      Connect a good AV meter with ¼ db resolution and high sensitivity to your bass horn’s driver.

4)      Drive the Radiating Speaker. Measure the AV meter after the bass horn’s driver. In this case your horn/driver will act like a microphone.  Celibate the AV meter that the measurement would be in the middle of the AV meter’s range.

5)      Now, move the bass horn and observe where the measurement of the AV meter will be maximum.

6)      Run a sweep from 150Hz and plus minus 3 octaves, putting the AV meter’s data in a gaff

7)      Run a vibrating sweep from 150Hz and plus minus 3 octaves. this will get rid of the standing waves

8)      Moving the horn and reading the AV meter you need to found a max measurement of the AV meter across the WIDER bandwidth. You might have a pick somewhere - discard it.

The Cat

Posted by ArmAlex on 06-08-2011
Romy wrote
Most of the mid and small size rooms (very large room is a separate subject) have two types of the room modes....

Dear Romy,
 You mentioned big rooms are different as my room is very big(46x33 ft.) how can I find AEZ?

Best regards,

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