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Multi-Channel, Multi-Amplifier Audio System Using Software Crossover and Multichannel-DAC

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dualazmak

dualazmak

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Hello Vit and friends,

In my above post #297, one ASIO4ALL panel image was mis-pasted in one of the diagrams. The correct diagram is as follows;

VB-Audio Hi-Fi Cable into EKIO under ASIO4ALL (Common for ROON and JRiver MC) then into DAC8PRO;
WS001238.JPG


Sorry for any confusion, if you may have by the mistake.
 
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dualazmak

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Note: I am an end user audio enthusiast and I have no conflict of interest at all with any of the manufacturers, import companies, distributors and audio shops relevant to this post. This post is not intending to intensively share objective and/or subjective evaluations of the candidate amplifiers, but I would like to share about how I would test and try candidate amplifiers in this project.

Hello friends,

Due to my mission related to the re-increase of COVID-19 in Japan, the frequency of my posting on this thread has been declining since early December, while my amplifier exploration is still ongoing.

In some of the preceding posts, I confirmed and shared the use of a Class-A Hi-Fi amplifier to drive the Beryllium tweeter (Be-TW) plus horn super tweeter (ST), as I focused on Accuphase A-36.

I am also currently planning/arranging tests and evaluations of TA-A1ES, Sony's quasi-Class-A integrated amplifier, which has been occupying a unique position in the market for rather long period after its launch in 2013. I hope your web browser would properly translate this conprehesive page on TA-A1ES and also this spec page into English.

I could find many (pros and cons) review pages on TA-A1ES in Japan and abroad; in all of them, however, people were using TA-A1ES in full range operation, and I found no report nor review on using TA-A1ES in multichannel multi-amplifier configurations with other amps.

It is said that TA-A1ES behaves as pure Class-A (a little bit warm though) under about 10 W output power range, and it behaves as Class-AB above 10 W. I am, therefore, much interested in trying TA-A1ES to directly/dedicatedly drive highly efficient Be-TW plus ST in above 6,000 Hz range, hopefully within its Class-A operation.

I would like to share my coming experiences with TA-A1ES in my multichannel multi-amplifier configurations by the end of February, only if I could find and spare enough time for that in the beggining of (hopefully towards happy) new year.

I do hope all of you would please stay safe and enjoy music during the holiday season and new year.
 
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dualazmak

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Yes, they where translated into English. :D

Hi Doodski,

Nice to hear so!

As I just wrote here, I am very much interested in SONY's description of;
"The TA-A1ES uses a current feedback type power amplifier to achieve a sound with excellent focus of the sound image without phase rotation up to the ultra-high range. "
(This looks somewhat similar to Accuphase's description for A-36 as shared here.)
and,
"In addition, by applying sufficient bias, the heat generation of the transistor becomes almost constant, there is no sudden temperature change at the semiconductor chip level, phase rotation in the ultra-high range is suppressed, you can enjoy a sound with good focus, and the emitter resistance is deleted. "

In any way, I am planning to test and evaluate TA-A1ES for Beryllium Tweeter (Be-TW) and Horn Super Tweeter (ST) in this multichannel multi-amplifier project.
 
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dualazmak

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Hello friends,

SONY TA-A1ES (quasi Class-A, 3-year warranty) and YAMAHA A-S3000 (Class-AB, 5-year warranty) have just arrived at my home.

As you may aware, the new model A-S3200 is now on sale, but A-S3000 is still available at some audio pro shops in Japan with YAMAHA's 5-year warranty.

I would like to test and evaluate TA-A1ES and A-S3000 in my multichannel multi-amplifier configurations within a few weeks.
 
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dualazmak

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YAMAHA A-S3000 and SONY TA-A1ES Tests and Evaluations: Part-1
In Single-Amplifier + LC-Network Full Range Audio System


Note: I am an end user audio enthusiast and I have no conflict of interest at all with any of the manufacturers, import companies, distributors and audio shops relevant to this post. This post is not intending to intensively share objective and/or subjective evaluations of the candidate amplifiers, but I would like to share about how I would test and try candidate amplifiers in this project.

Hello friends,

As pre-announced in my posts #302, #304 and #305, YAMAHA A-S3000 Class-AB integrated amp and SONY TA-A1ES quasi Class-A integrated amp have arrived at my home on January 4.

I hope and believe your web browser would properly translate this comprehensive page on A-S3000 and also this spec page into English. As you may aware, the new model A-S3200 is now on sale, but A-S3000 is still available at some audio shops in Japan with YAMAHA's 5-year warranty.
WS001368.JPG


TA-A1ES, Sony's quasi-Class-A integrated amplifier, has been occupying a unique position in the market for rather long period after its launch in 2013. I hope your web browser would properly translate this conprehesive page on TA-A1ES and also this spec page into English. TA-A1ES is still widely available in the market in Japan (with 3-year warranty at SONY's web store) and other countries.
WS001367.JPG


It is said that TA-A1ES behaves as pure Class-A (a little bit warm though) under about 10 W output power range, and it behaves as Class-AB above 10 W.

I am very much interested in SONY's description of;
"The TA-A1ES uses a current feedback type power amplifier to achieve a sound with excellent focus of the sound image without phase rotation up to the ultra-high range. "
(This looks somewhat similar to Accuphase's description for A-36 as shared here.)
and,
"In addition, by applying sufficient bias, the heat generation of the transistor becomes almost constant, there is no sudden temperature change at the semiconductor chip level, phase rotation in the ultra-high range is suppressed, you can enjoy a sound with good focus, and the emitter resistance is deleted. "

I tentatively stacked these two amps for my tests and evaluations; the physically cool A-S3000 is under the relatively warm TA-A1ES;
WS001366.JPG


Prior to the tests and evaluations, I did burning-in for A-S3000 and TA-A1ES in rather large (ca. -20 dB) sound volume by playing my audio sampler music tracks for continuous 48 hours. The large sound volume burning-in was done "in silence" using the 8 Ohm 100W dummy speakers (ARCOL HS100 8R F) on my SP cabling boards.

As usual, I started the full-range tests and evaluation of A-S3000 and TA-A1ES comparing them with ACCUPHASE E-460, my reference integrated amplifier.

As shared repeatedly, the reference set-up with E-460 is like this;
WS001365.JPG


The details of the LC-network in the outer box and software crossover EKIO's I/O configurations are shown in this diagram;
WS001364.JPG


Please refer to my post #248 and #251 for the 22 Ohm fine tuning resistors in Be-SQ, Be-TW and ST circuits.

And, "the simpler, the better" EKIO crossover filter configurations remain unchanged;
WS001363.JPG


For the following tests and evaluations on A-S3000 and TA-A1ES, I mainly used my audio sampler music tracks as shared in my post #44 which is also pasted here for your reference;
WS001370.JPG


I listened to these sampler music tracks more than hundred times throughout my current project for the past 18 months, and my ears and brain well memorize the best relative gain/volume configurations for all of these tracks.

OK, I first tested and evaluated A-S3000 in full range operation as in this diagram, just by replacing E-460 with A-S3000;
WS001362.JPG


and;
WS001361.JPG


Even though I listened A-S3000 several times at Yamaha's show room and audio stores, this was my very first experience listening it at my home in my current audio setup.

In comparison with the reference sound with ACCUPHSE E-460, the total sound presentation given by A-S3000 is similarly very nice and really impressive. As reviewed and reported in many places in Japan and abroad, the sound is clear, natural and rich, in very slightly warmer and lively side compared to E-460.

My wife and I agreed that we felt very pleasant with the sound of A-S3000, just like E-460, especially the nice and wonderful low range (ca. 45 - 500 Hz). We also confirmed this by playing only the low range 45 - 500 Hz sound using the EKIO's flexible mute/solo functionalities in its GUI I/O panels.

A-S3000 is an integrated amp, and we also confirmed the excellent volume controller which gives no audible coloring nor distortion in normally applicable volume range.

As known well, the bass-tone, treble-tone and L-R balance controllers are fully bypassed when we set them in the neutral positions, this feature is really nice.

My wife said that she liked A-S3000 better than BENCHMARK AHB2... Yes, I know and confirmed that the engineering sound design policy and approach for these two amps are different with each other as you may agree; I should not, I cannot, therefore, deny her subjective feeling unconditionally.


On next day, we moved-on to full-range tests and evaluations of SONY TA-A1ES;
WS001360.JPG


and;
WS001371.JPG


Again, even though I listened TA-A1ES several times at audio stores, this was my very first experience listening it at my home in my current audio setup.

After listening to all of the audio sampler tracks twice, we (my wife and I) unanimously agreed that we slightly more liked the total sound presentation of A-S3000 and E-460, especially in the low - mid range, as well expected.

Then we carefully and intensively listened to the high range sound of TA-A1ES (above ca. 6,000 Hz, mainly by Be-tweeters Be-TW and horn super tweeters ST) by playing only the sound above 6,000 Hz using the EKIO's flexible mute/solo functionalities in its GUI I/O panels.

I this purpose, we also used the wonderful "Track-20 High frequency linearity check" of Sony's SUPER AUDIO CHECK CD, which I touched in my post #26. The Track-20 is really extraordinary recording of "Bimmel Bolle Classic Orgel" sounds like huge European Carillon containing very much powerful, high-energy, high-speed, high frequency bell ring together with wide range 30 Hz - 20 kHz base sound. I usually use this track to check sound and phase of tweeters and super tweeters, as well as total Fq linearity. I have never heard recorded sound having such a high-energy and high-speed high Fq components.

I clearly found, and my wife agreed, that the high range sound (above 6,000 Hz) of TA-A1ES is really nice and wonderful in clearness, cleanliness, sonority and 3D perspectives, maybe due to its very nice phase characteristics just like we have experienced with ACCUPHSE A-36 class-A power amp as shared in my post #282 and #283.

TA-A1ES is a very simply designed integrated quasi Class-A amp with no tone nor L-R balance controller, and I also confirmed the excellent volume controller which gives no audible coloring nor distortion in normally applicable volume range.

Well, in addition, I should not forget to share this point with you; both of A-S3000 and TA-A1ES (just same as E-460) are really quiet amps. Even in very high volume/gain position, I could hear no high frequency hiss noise at all when I placed my ear(s) almost contacting to the Be-tweeter and the horn super tweeter.


Having these findings and impression on A-S3000 and TA-A1ES in full-range operations, I moved into the bi-amp tests and evaluations still using LC-network, to be shared in my next Part-2 post.
 
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dualazmak

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YAMAHA A-S3000 and SONY TA-A1ES Tests and Evaluations: Part-2
In Bi-Amp + LC-Network Stereo System together with ACCUPHASE E-460


Note: I am an end user audio enthusiast and I have no conflict of interest at all with any of the manufacturers, import companies, distributors and audio shops relevant to this post. This post is not intending to intensively share objective and/or subjective evaluations of the candidate amplifiers, but I would like to share about how I would test and try candidate amplifiers in this project.

Hello friends,

The LC-network in outer box was designed and prepared capable of bi-amp or bi-wire connection from amplifier(s) so that one amp would drive woofer (WO), and another amp would drive Be-squawker (Be-SQ) + Be-tweeter (Be-TW) + horn super tweeter (ST), as shown below;
WS001348.JPG


Consequently, I first tested bi-amp operation with YAMAHA A-S3000 and ACCUPHASE E-460 in two cases,

Case-1:
A-S3000
to drive Be-SQ + Be-TW + ST
E-460
to drive WO

Case-2:
E-460
to drive Be-SQ + Be-TW + ST
A-S3000
to drive WO

as shown in this diagram;
WS001357.JPG


and;
WS001356.JPG


Please refer to my post #248 and #251 for the 22 Ohm fine tuning resistors in Be-SQ, Be-TW and ST circuits.

We found that both of Case-1 and Case-2 gave us very comfortable nice, clear/clean and rich, sound presentation for all of the audio sampler tracks. My wife slightly liked Case-1 where A-S3000 was driving Be-SQ, while I myself slightly liked Case-2 where E-460 was driving Be-SQ; please note that Be-SQ is always covering most audible sound range of ca. 500 - 6,000 Hz.

I assume these impressions are quite reasonable for us two, since I have been listening to the "reference" sound with E-460 so intensively for the past 18 months. My wife, however, has joined our listening session much less frequently; she has no intention of precisely "comparing" the sounds of E-460 and A-S3000 in her brain, but she just hears and feels the sound currently played in front of us. In any way, I believe that it should be quite nice having these two people, i.e. my wife and myself, in our current tests and evaluations...


Then we moved-on to the next Case-3 bi-amp test and evaluation with SONY TA-A1ES and YAMAHA A-S3000;

Case-3:
TA-A1ES
to drive Be-SQ + Be-TW + ST
A-S3000
to drive WO
WS001355.JPG


and;
WS001354.JPG


As well expected again, the low range sound by A-S3000 was really amazing, and we felt the Be-SQ sound (ca. 500 - 6,000 Hz) given by TA-A1ES was very slightly inferior to that given by E-460 or A-S3000.

We again did the intensive high range (above ca. 6,000 Hz) test and evaluation by using the "Track-20 High frequency linearity check" of Sony's SUPER AUDIO CHECK CD, which I touched in my post #26, and found and confirmed the excellent high range sound presentation/quality given by the quasi Class-A TA-A1ES, including the wonderful 3D perspectives and nice phase characteristics.


Having these findings and impression on A-S3000 and TA-A1ES in bi-amp operations still using LC-network, we moved into the final multichannel multi-amplifier test and evaluation fully eliminating the LC-network, to be shared in my next Part-3 post.
 
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dualazmak

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YAMAHA A-S3000 and SONY TA-A1ES Tests and Evaluations: Part-3
In Multichannel Multi-amplifier Stereo System together with ACCUPHASE E460


Note: I am an end user audio enthusiast and I have no conflict of interest at all with any of the manufacturers, import companies, distributors and audio shops relevant to this post. This post is not intending to intensively share objective and/or subjective evaluations of the candidate amplifiers, but I would like to share about how I would test and try candidate amplifiers in this project.

Hello friends,

Having the findings and impressions in full range single amp tests and in bi-amp evaluations shared in my preceding two posts, we tested/evaluated YAMAHA A-S3000 and SONY TA-A1ES in multichannel multi-amplifier setup together with ACCUPHASE E-460 by fully eliminating the LC-network;

TA-A1ES to drive Be-TW + ST
E-460
to drive Be-SQ
A-S3000
to drive WO
plus
YST-SW1000 (sub-woofer, SW) to cover super low range,

as shown in this diagram;
WS001352.JPG


Please refer to my post #248 and #251 for the 22 Ohm resistors in Be-SQ, Be-TW and ST circuits.

The software crossover EKIO's EQ filter configuration was;
WS001351.JPG


Since I have intensively listened to the audio sampler tracks more than hundred times during the past 18 months, it was quite easy for me finding the best relative gains/volumes in downstream as follows without any objective "measurement";
WS001350.JPG


EKIO's I/O and routing configurations with EQ diagram;
WS001349.JPG


I also very carefully compared again the "use or bypass" of the three protection capacitors for Be-SQ, Be-TW and ST. Fortunately, I found no audible inferior effect of the three protection capacitors (68 microF, 10 microF, 10 microF Jantzen Audio Standard Caps). As I really would like to protect my treasure Be-SQ and Be-TW, I decided to keep these protection capacitors at least all the way throughout further tests, evaluations and fine tuning of the system.

Edited to add:
As for the measured Fq responses before and after the protection capacitors, please refer to my post #402.

As expected after having the findings shared in the preceding two posts, the total sound presentation given by this multichannel multi-amplifier setting was really excellent and wonderful in whole.

Due to complete elimination of the LC-network, A-S3000 is really easily and nicely controlling/driving woofers (WOs), E-460 is driving Be-SQs more efficiently and wonderfully without stress of network coils and capacitors, and the same for TA-A1ES which is efficiently and steadily driving Be-TWs and STs in excellent 3D perspectives and stable phase characteristics.

we listened to all of the the audio sampler tracks twice with pleasure and comfort, and we also carefully and intensively listened to the full orchestra music with soprano solo and chorus of Schubert "Rosamunde (Complete)", Kurt Masur (conductor), Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, with Elly Ameling (sopraso) and Rundfunkechor Leipzig (Leipzig Radio Chorus), Philips ASIN: B00000E2SS which I touched on in my post #258. We also carafully listened to our favorite piano solo (Iddo Bar-Shai) and period instruments (Purcell Quartet + organ) albums which I wrote in my post #265.

By the way, I really like and I am impressed by the nice simple comment by Purité Audio (keith) at here; he wrote;

You must hear equipment in your own room in your own system, compare unsighted if there isn’t an immediately apparent difference/improvement. To go further if there isn’t a significant improvement then don’t change anything, the largest gains are speakers and room. Keith

Yes, during the past 18 months, I have tightly fixed/kept the SP drivers and the room, and have been hearing/listening my equipment and candidate gears, including the software crossover, in my own room in my own system!

At the end of our current intensive listening sessions with this multichannel multi-amplifier setup using TA-A1ES, E-460 and A-S3000, we, my wife and I, fully agreed that we may possibly decide this setup as our first-step goal of my amplifier explorations.

In case if this would be the reality, how can I physically arrange beautifully and elegantly these gears on our cabinet? This is another very important issue towards the real consent and permission from our strict chief interior coordinator, my wife.

Then, I did several intensive "Layout Simulations" using a 2-meter metal measuring rod and Microsoft PowerPoint, and finally I reached this simulation drawing for review and examination of the chief interior coordinator;
WS001374.JPG
 
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luisma

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Amazing journey as I said before @dualazmak as a former owner of an A-S2100 I was expecting you to like the A-S3000, great integrated for the money, I kind of regret selling it, best SS I owned.
As always thank you for posting.
I am intending to do something similar to you but using HQPe convolution and matrix instead of EKIO, we will see how it turns out.
 
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dualazmak

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(Provisional) Decision on Amplifiers Selection; Views of the Listening Room

Note: I am an end user audio enthusiast and I have no conflict of interest at all with any of the manufacturers, import companies, distributors and audio shops relevant to this post. This post is not intending to intensively share objective and/or subjective evaluations of the candidate amplifiers, but I would like to share about how I would test and try candidate amplifiers in this project.

Hello friends,

During the past 18 months, I have intensively tested and evaluated these amplifiers in this multichannel multi-amplifier project;

ACCUPHASE E-460 Class-AB stereo integrated amp (as my reference sound system)

YAMAHA MX-A5200 Class-AB 11CH AV amp

DENTEC DP-NC400-4-EXP Class-D 4CH power amp, two units

BENCHMARK AHB2 Class-A(H)B stereo power amp

YAMAHA A-S301 Class-AB budget stereo integrated amp (only for tentative use)

ROTEL RB-1582 MkII Class-AB stereo power amp

ACCUPHASE A-36 Class-A stereo power amp

TEAC AX-505 Class-D stereo integrated amp

TEAC AP-505 Class-D stereo power amp

YAMAHA A-S3000 Class-AB integrated amp

SONY TA-A1ES quasi Class-A Integrated Amp

Please note that all of these amps, except for YAMAHA A-S301, are capable of XLR balanced input from OKTO DAC8PRO.

(Almost) all of the home-use Hi-Fi amplifiers, I mean integrated amps and power amps, are designed for full range operation, i.e. to cover ca. 20 Hz - 30 kHz. This means that we should be very much careful in evaluating and selecting each amplifier to directly and dedicatedly drive each of the SP drivers, in my case woofers (WO), Be-squawkers (Be-SQ), Be-tweeters (Be-TW) and horn super tweeters (ST). These BE-SQ, Be-TW and ST are highly efficient in response to amp's power input.

And of course "You must hear equipment in your own room in your own system, ... " as Purité Audio (keith) simply and kindly wrote here, so I have been intensively exploring amplifier evaluations and selections in this multichannel multi-amplifier project during the past 18 months.

Furthermore, throughout my amplifier exploration, I well experienced and learnt that we should never exclude high quality Hi-Fi "integrated amplifiers" to be possibly implemented in this type of multichannel multi-amplifier project.

In my case, one of the important "must" conditions (specifications) is that the amplifier should be capable of XRL balanced input from OKTO DAC8PRO.

I well aware of this unique blog style thread has been visited and reviewed more than 40,000 times since its start on April 6, 2020, as you can check at the nice index page here.

Now, therefore, I assume that it is the time to decide and fully install multiple amplifiers in my current project.

Consequently and finally, at least until the COVID-19 pandemic has hopefully well subsided, I decided to use (provisionally) SONY TA-A1ES, YAMAHA A-S3000 and ACCUPHASE E-460 in my current project.

You would please note that, in addition to my intensive evaluations shared in my preceding three posts, these amplifiers are Japan domestic products still with good warranty and service capabilities within Japan, even under the very difficult pandemic status which may not subside for another year or much longer.

Of course, as I wrote and shared in detail, we (my wife and I) are really satisfied and much impressed by the wonderful total sound presentation given by these three amps plus the sub-woofers in my multichannel multi-amplifier setup.

In this post, please let me share with you again the four detailed diagrams of the multichannel multi-amplifier configuration with these amplifiers;
WS001352.JPG


WS001351.JPG


WS001350.JPG


Please refer to my post #248 and #251 for the 22 Ohm resistors in Be-SQ, Be-TW and ST circuits.

Edited to add:
As for the measured Fq responses before and after the protection capacitors, please refer to my post #402.

And;
WS001349.JPG


Last weekend, I have fully paid for A-S3000 and TA-A1ES, and carefully arranged them on the cabinet for many wirings;
WS001346.JPG


WS001345.JPG


Well, I aware that I have not yet shared the entire view of my listening room environment...
I hope the following several photos are self-explanatory and of interesting for you.
WS001343.JPG


WS001342.JPG


During our listening sessions, we usually keep the glass sliding doors behind the SPs opened like this; please note that we have no "bass reflex port" behind these SPs. Well, I often place sound absorption sponge mattress and/or large cushions under the keyboard of our piano during the intensive listening sessions.

As for the very unique positioning of the super tweeters FOSTEX TA925A under the woofers, please refer to my specific post.

The ceiling is covered by microporous diatom panels carefully selected with proper sound absorption performance. On the wooden floor, we have the large carpet also selected with suitable sound absorption properties.

The distance between the L and R SPs, i.e. center-to-center distance of L and R renovated YAMAHA NS-1000 is 2.0 m (78.74 in, 6.56 ft) , and the distance between the SP surface to my ears while sitting on the listening sofa is 3.65 m (143.7 in, 11.97 ft).

As you can see, the SPs are not exactly directing (or targeting) towards my ears, but they are placed in parallel with the room walls as the results of very careful fine tuning of SP alignments.

Of course, the wooden heavy outer LC-network boxes are fully bypassed in multichannel multi-amplifier settings.

Speaker cables... I use rather thick AWG10 (JIS 5.5 sq) cables for A-S3000 to WOs as well as E-460 to Be-SQs, and I use AWG12 (JIS 3.5 sq) ones for TA-A1ES to Be-TWs and STs. Please refer to my specific post for the SP cables I am using. It is really critical and important to fully eliminate any of magnetically susceptible metals in handling of speaker level signals, as I shared in my post #250.


WS001341.JPG

Now, behind the listening sofa, you can see another Japanese style tatami-mattress-floor room which is acoustically "dead" and effectively minimizes the sound reflections and resonances. Of course, the sliding doors between the rooms are kept open during the listening sessions as shown in this photo. I often place sound absorption sponge mattress in front of the white wall and the glass door leading to the corridor.

WS001340.JPG


WS001338.JPG


Closer looks of L & R speakers;
WS001337.JPG


WS001336.JPG

Please note that I recently pushed L and R sub-woofer YAMAHA YST-SW1000 15 cm (5.90 in, 0.49 ft) ahead...

Of course, in multichannel multi-amplifier setting, the attenuators in the YAMAHA NS-1000 cabinet and the outer LC-network boxes are fully eliminated / bypassed.


Using one thin HDMI cable, I can easily connect the still very nice Panasonic plasma TV to the PC of the audio system for occasional 4K Hi-Fi streaming or local-video-file viewing and listening with our full multichannel audio setup;
WS001377.JPG


WS001378.JPG


WS001376.JPG



You would please PM me, if you like to take a look on original hi-res image (6720 x 4480 pixel) of any of the photos; I usually use my CANON EOS 5D Mark IV for these photo sessions.


Of course, this post is definitely not the end of this thread!

I really would like to continue sharing my project with you, and sharing various information and topics on multichannel multi-amplifier audio system with you, as I wrote in my very first post on this thread.

Let's keep communication, and your further comments, suggestions, advices and participation will be much appreciated...
 
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tpaxadpom

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I am happy to see you have found your sound! At least for the time being. Congratulations.

What I would be very interested in is to see/hear a recording on youtube showing your system. A few possible configurations that would be of particular interest to me:
1. Accuphase e460 driving the NS1000 full range
2. Yamaha as3000 driving the NS1000 full range
3. Full active system with Sony, Yamaha and Accuphase
4. Any configuration above without supetweeters
Subwoofers active in all use cases.
PS: I understand the lack of proper microphone setup won't do a justice but the changes should be apparent even when recorded with cellphone. No-one in the right might would judge the sound of your system based on youtube video recording alone and since I won't ever be able to attend your listening room it would be limited but still interesting experience.
 
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dualazmak

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Hello tpaxadpom,

Your invaluable comments in post #266, together with the nice four comments given by my friend in Japan, were really very excellent indispensable guides in the recent stages of my amplifier exploration.

Regarding your kind request of YouTube AV clips...

As I shared in my recent posts, I have intensively performed all of the items 1. through 4., and finally decided to use Sony TA-A1ES, Yamaha A-S3000 and Accuphase E-460. I do not have, however, enough sound recording capabilities to meet with your kind requests, I am very sorry...

I only have just "one" ECM8000 measurement microphone connected to my PC using CEntrance MicPort PRO USB. And, I am always much suspicious about the sound qualities, especially the phase characteristics, of YouTube video/audio clips prepared by non-professional naive manner.

Consequently, I am really reluctant to share the sound of my audio system with other people through YouTube.

If I would have the same 4K recording capabilities as "Voices of Music" and their team for YouTube, I may perform the recording sessions to meet your expectations, but the possibilities are clear, it's zero.

Furthermore, another personal issue for the time being; due to my missions related to the badly re-emerging COVID-19 infections in Japan, it is now quite difficult for me to find enough time to acquire suitable recording capabilities and also to find time for such recording sessions...

Your kind understandings will be highly appreciated.
If you would have chance to be in Japan in the near future, please PM me for possible audio sessions together at my home!
 
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tpaxadpom

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Thank you for the invitation. This is unlikely going to happen in the near future but I really appreciate it.

I wasn't asking for fancy recording setup, mono recording with measurement microphone is fine as well as cell phone mounted on selfie stick. The whole point is to compare the difference using the same microphone/s placement within your setup. Not to compare to any other system. I would place the microphone significantly closer to your speakers versus your sitting arrangement and get the volume in the same ballpark (I can correct it later on if needed). But I understand it is an extra effort that you may not see much point in or physically have time to do.

The most important thing is that you like your newest configuration and it brings the joy to your life. Everything else is a second nature. I was very curious what you will end up with. My sixth sense was telling me you won't end up with amps with the highest SINAD score. :)
 
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dualazmak

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Thank you for the invitation. This is unlikely going to happen in the near future but I really appreciate it.
.....
The most important thing is that you like your newest configuration and it brings the joy to your life. Everything else is a second nature. I was very curious what you will end up with. My sixth sense was telling me you won't end up with amps with the highest SINAD score. :)

Thank you for your kind understandings!

I believe the most suitable and important key word in my recent (final) stages of amplifier exploration was/is "musicality" of the total sound.

I do not too much care about the SINAD specification of the amplifiers I tested, since in all of the amplifiers the superficial SINAD specification figures/numbers always have fairly enough margin under our/my audible level.

On the other hand, the really subjective Merkmal key word "musicality" cannot be objectively measured, but it should be decided/evaluated by my ears and brain including whether I subjectively "like" the sound in total or not.

I well know you would fully agree with me that the amazing NS-1000's cabinet and the drivers (Be-TW, Be-SQ and WO), together with supertweeter T925A and subwoofer YST-SW1000, can now very effectively and sensitively respond to the very subtle difference in amplifier's sound characteristics by fully eliminating the LC-network coils and capacitors.

This means, at least for my ears and brain, I can now hear much more clearly the difference in "musicality" between the amplifiers, and also the "musicality" in the combination(s) of amplifiers in multi-amp configuration.

But, how can I describe and share the nuance and background of "musicality" of the total sound? This would be always a big, endless and eternal theme in our HiFi audio world...

Let me share with you here just one recent example of "musicality" issue, as follows.

During last Friday (Jan 15) to yesterday (Jan 17), I had interesting communication at Watchnerd's thread entitled "Poll: Best Looking Stereo Integrated Amp", and the specific communication on "musicality" started by Doodski's post #851 showing Yamaha's (advertisement) YouTube video clip for the development of their integrated amplifier A-S1100;

In the video clip at 1:09, Mr. Taro Morii, Supervisor HiFi Group, specialist on fine tuning of Yamaha amplifiers, said;

We have developed it (A-S1100) based on the concept from A-S3000. The sound concept is "musicality", or to be more specific, the quality of low frequencies, the straight-forwardness of response, and authenticity of the sound...

really subjective comment, but it looks they are/were actually fine tuning the amplifiers based on this, i.e. what they call "musicality", in the final stage of their development by using their ears and brain.

You would please note that I looked at this YouTube clip of Yamaha for my very first time on Friday (Jan 15) after I fully decided the amplifiers including A-S3000 in my current project one week before, around Jan 8. The Yamaha's YouTube video clip is, therefore, very much interesting and a kind of surprise for me that they are using the word "musicality" which I have been unconsciously using in my brain as major merkmal in recent stages of amplifier exploration.

Even though I do not know people call it "musicality" or not, (almost) all of the amplifier developers and manufacturers are doing the similar kind of fine tuning of their amplifiers to have the best total sound quality to their ears and brain, and in many cases, to implement own sound characteristics (coloring?) to each of their amplifiers, regardless of such final fine tuning can be objectively measured or not.

And I believe no amplifier is released to the market without the intensive ear-listening final fine tuning.

In summary, at least in recent (final) stages of my amplifier exploration, the "musicality" of the total sound to my ears and brain was/is the principal determining arbiter, and I assume your invaluable comments in your post #266 is based on the same concept in terms of "musicality"...
 
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dualazmak

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L + R Frequency Response at Usual Listening Position in the Listening Room and Environments

Note: I am an end user audio enthusiast and I have no conflict of interest at all with any of the manufacturers, import companies, distributors and audio shops relevant to this post. This post is not intending to intensively share objective and/or subjective evaluations of the candidate amplifiers, but I would like to share about how I would test and try candidate amplifiers in this project.

Hello friends,

In my post #311, I shared the (provisional) decision of multiple amplifiers, i.e. YAMAHA A-S3000, ACCUPHASE E-460 and SONY TA-A1ES, in my multichannel multi-amplifier project. You can also see the actual speaker alignments and listening room environments in that post #311.

The software crossover EKIO's configurations and the relative gains/volumes are shown again here as;
WS001385.JPG


After my various intensive fine tunings by my ears and brain in this setup, today I briefly measured the L+R frequency response of the system at my usual listening position in the room and environments using one measurement microphone BEHRINGER ECM8000 (with CEntrance MicPort Pro) and the software REW.

The distance between the L and R SPs, i.e. center-to-center distance of L and R renovated YAMAHA NS-1000 is 2.0 m (78.74 in, 6.56 ft) , and the distance between the SP surface to my ears while sitting on the listening sofa is 3.65 m (143.7 in, 11.97 ft), and the microphone ECM8000 was set at the center between the position of my L and R ears.

The measurements were performed by REW's "Measurement" with;
Frequency: 10 Hz – 25 kHz
Output : L + R
Length: 1 M
Sweeps: 8
Graph Smoothing: Psychoacoustic

WS001383.JPG


Using the Mute and/or Solo buttons of the EKIO's output channels, I could easily measure the sound of each SP driver as follows;
WS001384.JPG


I have no intention of further tuning towards the total frequency response curve to be in more flat, but these are the measurement results of my (hopefully) best ear listening fine tuning of the system at the listening position in the room and environments.

Furthermore, I have rather little interest in the measurement at very near (1 m?) from the L or R speakers.
 
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gene_stl

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Are the SPLs on the ordinates actual absolute SPLs. What SPL did you use to measure and how long do you let the pink noise run ( I apologize to all the experienced REW users to whom this may be obvious) prior to recording the frequency response? Did you check it at various levels and does the microphone and room have a "Fletcher Munson curve" or does it stay pretty similar over various SPLs?
Oops I see they are sweeps not pink noise.
 
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dualazmak

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Hello gene,

I assume that the free software REW would be a kind of de facto standard measurement tool in many audio forums including ASR.

As for the sound levels for these measurements, REW has the level check routine, and I first fixed the level at about -8 dB from the "REW's internal clipping level" for entire sine sweep SPL measurement; I kept that level all the way through the individual SP driver measurements.

The real absolute sound volume during the all measurements was not so large, but it was as comfortable as my usual music listening sessions. The sensitivity of the ECM8000 microphone is really high and sufficient enough.
WS00001007.JPG


The Y-axis in dB in REW's SPL graph is, therefore, not the absolute sound pressure from the SPs, but it is a kind of arbitrary scale for REW's internal signal processing.

REW can send the sweep tones into L+R of DB Audio HiFi virtual cable (as an audio device), and ASIO4ALL successfully redirects the tones into EKIO. For the level control in the measurements, therefore, I use only the CEntrance MicProt Pro's mic level and EKIO's L&R input gain attenuations with all the other relative gains and volumes remain unchanged as shown in my routing-gains-volumes diagram.

I am very happy to see and know that the woofers are now very efficiently responding over 40 - 750 Hz to the direct drive by YAMAHA A-S3000 with no LC network coil nor capacitor.

Sorry, but I know nothing about "Fletcher Munson curve" at present. As for the room acoustic measurements including the delay, reflections and resonances, I briefly evaluated these using REW-Wavelet analysis as shared in my post #15 to #24.

Edited to add:
I just learnt that "Fletcher Munson curve" is identical to the "Equal Loudness Contour of Human Hearing", and I agree with you that level adjustments in frequency response measurement would be an important issue. I assume that my recent measurement with REW at about -8 dB from the "REW's internal clipping" would be rather suitable for my objectives in just objectively supporting my ear-listening fine tunings.

Edited to add:
According to the manual of REW;
"Psychoacoustic smoothing uses 1/3 octave below 100Hz, 1/6 octave above 1 kHz and varies from 1/3 octave to 1/6 octave between 100 Hz and 1 kHz. It also applies more weighting to peaks by using a cubic mean (cube root of the average of the cubed values) to produce a plot that more closely corresponds to the perceived frequency response."
I feel that "psychoacoustic smoothing" seems to give the frequency response curve that best corresponds (matches) to my auditory sensation.
 
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