Originally Posted by MIkeDuke
I can only try.
Try??? Mike, that was one hell of an effort.
There's not a lot I can add to that. I just throw a few things out there.
When I use certain words, please do not think that I am using them in a disparaging way. I will start with my own system. My speakers are maybe 91db sensitive and really are full range in my room. I know I can listen with the sub on(for music), but more often then not, I just listen to music in bypass mode. Unless it is a MC SACD or DVD-A. I ocasionally listen in one of the multi-channel modes of the Integra but I guess I am just stubborn
. My system, IMHO, presents the music in a more "calm" way then compared to Craig's Triads. Forget about the dynamics, in which there is no comparison between the two, Craig "wins" that one hands down.
IMO, you give your own system too little credit. The beryllium tweeters in your speakers are very dynamic. Their extremely low mass makes them very easy to drive and control and that makes them very quick, dynamic and detailed.
If you look back in my thread at my measurements, you will find that they are very good. I think they even surprised Craig, The RT time really was a shock to him I think. I am right on the money with the RT measurement so the decay is probably as good as I can get in this room. That gives the entire sound, highs to bass an incredible "presence" and start stop feeling. The music and movie effects just start and stop on a dime. At least I think they do.
Yes indeed, the "decay" in your room is exceptionally good for such a small space. Your room treatments have done an excellent job with that. Here is the RT-60 measurement, (which is actually more like an RT-30 measurement at these levels):
(Ingnore the high frequency roll-off in this measurement. I had the mic pointing straight up for this measurement. The mic is a "pressure" mic not a "grazing incidence" mic. It needs to be pointed directly at the speaker for high frequency measurements. It's fine for everything below about 5 kHz with the mic pointed straight up, (grazing incidence), but above 5kHz, it needs to be pointed at the speaker for accurate measurements. My error.
Here is the bass decay in your room, (upper right corner):
Together, these show very short decay times across the board in your room... and it sounds that way also. There is no "overhang" at any frequency. Notes, voices and other sounds all "stop" very quickly. This gives everything excellent articulation and intelligibility. I would like to think my room is similar:
In both of our rooms, I "hear" very articulate sound.
Now, I have Dire Straits Brothers in arms as a remastered CD and Craig has it as a SACD so it is not a true comparison. I really like the way this CD sounds on my system. I can get a great sound stage and the instruments all sound real and correct. I really can't hear anything wrong with the way it plays the CD. In bypass mode or regular stereo mode. I can say that another CD I have, TOOL 10,000 days, often fools me into thinking my surrounds are on even when I know I am listening in bypass mode. That's how good of an image I can get. Now, in Craig's system, it is a whole different kettle of fish. His system has a clarity that I have rarely heard on any system, even my own. That Brothers in Arms SACD was just magnificent on his system. Since I think it was a MC SACD, the sound filling the room was remarkable. The Vocals coming from that center were some of the best and cleanest I have ever heard.
I think it's important to note that the Brothers in Arms multi-channel SACD is a re-mix as well as a re-master. The re-mix allowed placements of sounds in the CC and surrounds that are not possibe on a CD, no matter how good the re-mastering is. I agree that the SACD sounds magnificent on my system, but some of the credit needs to go to the recording. Mike, we should listen to the SACD on your system to make a fair comparison.
Here is an interesting tidbit that I did not mention before. When we first started, Craig did not realize that something was amiss with one of his amps. It turns out we were first only listening to the silver wide speakers he had and no center. I have to say, with music, that sounded pretty good. But then when he realized the problem and fixed it, and we were running the Plats, well, I think you can guess the results.
Detail: We had a lightening storm the night before Mike came over, and it had tripped a couple of circuit breakers in my panel, unbeknownst to me. One of them was the 20 amp circuit for my Earthquake amp. I didn't notice that it wasn't working at first because I had a CD case in front of the power indicator light. After the intro of "Money For Nothing" I knew something didn't sound right. I skipped to "Ride Across th River", and when that sounded wierd, I started investigating... and found the tripped breaker. We had been listening to just the Emotiva amp driving the Wides and Sides, (without the Earthquake driving the fronts and rears.)
It sounded a lot better when I corrected it.
The rest of the day was uneventful.
But again, if I were to try and compare my system to his, it is still hard to do. I really like the sonic signature of my speakers. If we move to movies, you can again hear the difference.
Craig's speakers just keep on going louder with no problem at all. That center is simply fantastic. Spoken words are just so damn clean and clear. Now in my room, with movies, I still like how my speakers sound and I think Craig would also agree that they sound very good. But mine would probably give up the ghost at really really high levels. Lucky for me, my room is small enough that my Focal's get plenty loud before I can hear any breakup.
I think this is probably the biggest difference between the two systems... sheer output capability. Mike's system is more than capable in his room. My room requires more.
In Craig's room, having 9 speakers around the room just puts you in the middle of the music or movie. It is quite the experience. Now don't get me wrong, I still really like my system and I love the way it sounds. But Craig's system is just that much above mine as putting you in the action. But, for movies, I can get close to that as well I think in my small room. They obviously sound different.
And this is the other big difference. Mike's system is more "intimate", and it get's its' envelopment from the nearfield. Mine has enough distance separating the fronts and sides that there seems to be an empty "hole" between them. It's not dramatic, but sometimes "pans" seem to "jump" from the front to the sides. The Wides fill that gap and provide a completely enveloping surround field. It's a different kind of envelopment, and both systems work.
Regarding bass. In my room, the bass is first rate, IMHO. Craig did a fantastic job calibrating the sub. It just fills the room. Adding the Crowson was the icing on the cake. Now it is even a better, more fun experience for me. Craig's bass system is just plain sick...
...watching Avatar had me saying "Anybody who has an issue with the bass in this movie needs to watch it here."
Thanks, Mike. Obviously, this is the area of my system that I've put the most effort into in terms of setup, so your kind words are truly appreciated.
In summary, I think Craig would agree that both of our systems are really good even though they present the media in different ways.
I could not have summarized it better.
Mike, thanks for taking the time to comment on my system. You may think you don't have the technical knowledge, but you certainly have the listening experience and the well-tuned ear to *know* what good sound is. This makes your comments on my system especially appreciated.