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System Synergy

Dennis Foley May 6, 2018 No Comments
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System synergy. I get a lot of emails and a lot of phone calls from people. I get a lot of room forms. They go up to 40 a day now sometimes. So hopefully I get to them within 2-3 days for you. If not, be patient, I will get to you. If you don’t receive it within a week check your spam box. We’ve had some of the room forms going to the spam box. So check your spam box. I usually respond to all them personally. So you will get it, maybe the Google Mail will not deliver it into the right mailbox so check there.

Let’s talk about synergy because I get, like I said, a lot of calls, a lot of emails. Well, I bought this speaker, I bought this amplifier, I bought this XYZ and I put it in my closet. Basically that’s what a lot of people say. And they don’t really take into account that there’s a synergy between energy, okay? The parts, your amplifier, your speaker and your room – this is all a team effort, okay? You have to use and consider everything.

I was having a long discussion with a guy who had been an audiophile for 25 years and quit. Completely gave it up, sold all his gear, got so tired and frustrated because he kept buying new speakers, he kept buying new amplifiers, he kept buying new turntables, he kept buying new digital sources, all in the hope of getting better sound. And I asked him, I said “What room – did you change rooms with the gear changes?” Nope. Kept it in the same room.

So this is acoustic suicide. If you keep repeating the same thing expecting different results in the same room you are insane acoustically, okay? You will just not get it. It will not happen, trust me. I’ve been doing this for over 40 years. If you’re going to upgrade gear and spend more money on gear, and you have to be careful with that, too because there’s only after a certain point, very small incremental increases in quality. And those subtle increases in quality in an app, in a CD player, in a DAC can only be heard in a room that’s treated correctly.

So there’s breakpoints in all this. There’s diminishing return crossroads. You have to be very, very careful. If you’re going to change gear, change rooms. Or spend some more money on treatment. Alright.

So what are the matches that we have to look at? The main ones. I don’t want to go into all of them but the main ones are that low frequency driver, there’s a 2dB difference between a 10- and a 12-inch driver. 2 dB more output in gain can be 5, 6, 7 dB in room [inaudible 02:59] excitation. So you have to be really careful and have a balance.

The radiation pattern of your speaker. You can’t have a 7-foot speaker in a 7-foot tall room. Won’t work. There’s ratios there and you can refer to our videos for those ratios.

Room. Two parts. The shell – all about noise. Keeping the noise in. I put noise in parenthesis for some of us, music, hopefully and then noise from the outside coming in. So we have this two-way valve, that the shell, like the shell of an egg protects from, okay? And then in the middle part, the inside part is our treatment room. So we have two rooms. We have the shell and the treatment. You can consider them both separate rooms.

Our technology is unique and we combine both the treatment and the shell in 12 inches of space. And we’ll do some videos on that and we’re going to have some projects coming up on the slider that you can look at for that.

Low frequency. What is the acronym? TAP. Just remember this. Type, amount, position. Type, amount, position. The low frequency distributions in each room are completely different based on source, size and volume. And please, not all pressures are bad in the corners of rooms. Get rid of that thinking, okay? It’s dependent on the amount of energy in the room, the room size and volume, even the furniture in the room.

So we have a database now of a 136 rooms and I guarantee you, only about 16-17% of those have the highest frequencies in the corners. Most of the time the highest frequency is between the speakers and the front wall. Alright.

So type, amount, position. TAP. Middle. Same thing. Type, amount, position. We have absorption and diffusion. What type? How much? And where are you going to put it? And that how much, that rate and level is critical. I don’t care what anyone says about building insulation DuPont 703, DuPont 706. That’s building insulation, that’s designed to keep your room hot and cold. It was never designed as an acoustical tool.

Our foam took me 8 years to develop the curves on. You can read all about it in the literature and on our website. I tested it in over 200 rooms. I never could get the response curve that I wanted. Because human hearing and voice and music are related and you have to take those relationships into consideration.

Balance. Balance. Balance. Okay? No one thing can stick out just like in reverberation times, the amplitudes have to be equal, for all sources everything has to be balanced in your system in order to get that synergy, in order to get that subject – it’s interesting, we have to balance scientifically to get the feeling and the emotion subjectivity of that. So it’s an empirical and a subjective balance that we have to achieve. And if we get all our Ts crossed and our Is dotted, we will get that synergy and that emotional connection.

So it’s a balancing act between all of these components. And don’t fall in love with your gear, don’t fall in love with your speakers because the room couldn’t care less about that. It’s just an energy source to it. So treatment and balance are very important. So system synergy, remember that word. And system is not just your amp and your speakers but the room also.

This is an unedited transcript from our video series from Acoustic Fields. There will be some errors in grammar and sentence structure that occur during this translation process.

For complete understanding and comprehension, please view the video which is included in this text. For any additional information regarding this topic or others relating to room acoustics, please contact us directly at:

P: 520 – 392 – 9486

info@acousticfields.com

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Dennis Foley

I am an acoustic engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the business. My technology has been used in Electric Lady Land Studios, Sony Music of New York, Cello Music and Films founded by Mark Levinson, and Saltmines Studios in Mesa, Arizona, along with hundreds of others. Connect with me on Google+

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