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November 2008
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
New Listening Room!
Welcome to my new awesome humble abode
Part 2

Article By Steven R. Rochlin
Click here to e-mail reviewer

 

  Last month i introduced you to my new humble abode (click here to read Part 1). During the past month i have had more time to analyze the acoustics of this room and the newly added thick red drapes did a wonderful job at dampening the room. During serious listening sessions i close the drapes and the room has a very mild acoustic signature. It seems to be centered around 160 Hz or thereabouts, with no ringing and an even distribution until about 1 kHz. At the 1 kHz the sonic signature attenuates, so this means very little to virtually no upper octave ringing. The solidity of the walls probable has a lot to do with this as does the size and shape of the room. As discussed in Part 1 of this ongoing expose, the room size is 16 x 25 x 10 (WxDxH in feet) with a four foot hallway behind the partial wall behind the speakers.

As you can see in the photo above, the Stewart Copeland (of The Police fame) drums have arrived, are now tuned and properly dampened. It brings me joy to note that i have received many e-mails from fellow musicians, including quite a few drummer/percussionists over the past few weeks. One of the most interesting came from Bruce Beyer and says:

Steven,

   And I thought I was the only one to have a drum set in my listening room! Actually, quite a bit more than a drum set. It's questionable whether it's a listening room first or a practice room first. Some of my buddies call it "The House of Percussion".

Two Fibes drum sets -- one set up Buddy Rich style, one stacked in rear corner
Three timpani -- recent addition that doesn't show in the pictures
One early 20th century Deagan 4 octave Marimba
One early 20th century Deagan "Artists Special" four octave xylophone
Various snare drums including a brass Ludwig Supersensitive and a heavy brass 1920's Ludwig Super Various field drums
Set of timbales Pair of bongos Leedy Orchestra Bells (in need of casework)

I've found most of the sympathetic head vibrations can be damped with liberal use of white hand towels available at Costco. If you damp at least the top head, the ringing of the bottom heads don't bother me a whole lot.

It's a basement room with around an 8' 3" ceiling. Ceiling is suspended with "nubbiest" available tile. Joists above ceiling are completely stuffed with fiberglass. Side walls are 2x4 and drywall against concrete or double stud wall facing outside hallway.

Enjoy!

Bruce Beyer

 

Wow, a most impressive amount of tuned percussion and vintage drums! Bravo Bruce! There are many musicians within the audiophile industry, with thanks to Gordon Rankin of Wavelength Audio for convincing me to get back into drumming many years ago. It is also interesting to note that during the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) a few rooms used drum solos as demonstration music. As such, it is very easy for me to detect the missing upper harmonics and lack of sheer impact lacking in a majority of these systems. As such, i may produce my own high-resolution digital disc/file using my extremely closely hand-matched Earthworks microphones. 

Below are a few photos of the current configuration of the drum set for fellow musicians to enjoy. Of note is that i feel there are a few more cymbals needed so this will probably expand a bit, with wind chimes, cowbells and woodblocks being added in the future.

Roland V-Session fully expanded electronic set
Tama Stewart Copeland Signature Set
Sabian Cymbals:
  HHX Groove Hats 13-inch
  Radia Cup Chime 7-inch
  HHX Evolution Splash 7-inch
  HHX Evolution Splash 10-inch
  HHX Evolution Splash 12-inch
  AA Extra Thin Crash 14-inch
  AA Extra Thin Crash 16-inch
  AA Bright Crash 16-inch
  AA Chinese 16-inch 
  AA Crash Ride 18-inch
  AA Dry Ride 21-inch
  Lower full octave of Crotales

For drummers: The Stewart Copeland snare drum has amazing sensitivity and loud 'crack' when desired. It very easily cuts through even the loudest of music, yet can also be gentle and subtle as desired. Am very impressed with the sound and response of the HHX Grove Hats (13-inch), as these are fast and clean with a wonderful closed, partial and fully and open sound. i find that many 14-inch hats are a touch too slow for my liking. The HHX Evolution Splash (7-inch) is not quite the sound i was going for. While it is good, wanted something super thin and fast like my circa 1980 Zildjian paper thin that was fast with virtually no sustain. The remaining cymbals are very good, though wish the AA Dry Ride (21-inch) was even more dry and ping-like. Will probably dampen it a bit using Dynamat and this should bring it to what i was going for. The bell on the Dry Ride is very good, as is the bell on the 18-inch Crash Ride. Speaking of Dynamat, which is not pictured, is that i have used Dynamat to slightly dampen the drums. Fully open they sound great, with an even tone with nice pitch and harmonics as one would expect with thin shelled drums. Still, there as a bit too long a decay and therefore used a small amount of Dynamat on the top head to reduce this a bit. Before i forget, the lower full octave of Crotales is everything i had hoped they'd be and use them as a type of melodic 'ride cymbals' at times plus as melodic bells. Am so happy with the acoustic drum set that the Roland fully expanded V-Session TD-10/TDW-1 is now up for sale. As for why i chose the Roland V-Session TD-10/TDW-1, it was due to amazing flexibility in programming and that it uses Composite Object Modeling versus limited 'samples' or only analog or only digital as found elsewhere. Of course one could hookup a sampler via MIDI if they so desire. The Roland cymbals are actually very impressive sounding, something very few electronic drums get right imho.

 

Back To The Room And System
Am very pleased with the progress of the main listening room and am now awaiting the delivery of various high-end audio equipment to be delivered. Add to that, next month i plan to have a review on the new homewide audio distribution and NAS 2TB HD system that is arriving today. Just sent an e-mail for loudspeakers and a 'trick' preamplifier and amplification. So far am very happy with the progress and next month will have more to say on this subject.

 

Music Servers And Homewide Audio Distribution
As many of you know, i avoided the whole SACD versus DVD-Audio debacle. My feelings are that wasting money being an early adopter on hard formats is just that, wasted money. In the race for technological progress, waiting things out can pay great dividends later. As such, many audiophiles are now using intricate music severs to burn their music to a NAS and enjoy it throughout their home. For those unfamiliar, a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) system is basically a unit that has hard drive storage and a minimal computer operating system. Your computer and/or media controller handles the user interface and controls the main operation that allows you to choose the music you want to listen to. NAS units can store a relatively massive amount of information, with my humble system being a mere 2TB (2000GB) of storage. For high-end audiophile sound, the NAS/system simply spits out virtually perfect bits to feed your external DAC of choice. i have zero doubt that my choice for homewide audio distribution will cause a stir among hardcore audiophiles. For now, you will simply have to wait and see what i choose and why.

 

Music Everywhere Seminar At RMAF
I want to thank everyone who attended my Music Everywhere seminar. As the moderator, it was great to see so many music lovers who are enjoying or are interested in having music wherever they go. Panelists for my seminar included fellow Enjoy the Music.com journalist Steven Stone, Tyll Hertsens of Headroom, Bobby Oster of Sonos, Dylan Rhodes of Logitech/Slim Devices/Squeezebox, and  Neal Van Berg of Sound Scienceost. As you can see from this list, we mainly dealt with the hardware side of things, though note that a couple of music content providers were invited yet did not show up. After the obligatory introductions and very lively discussion commenced and the audience asked many excellent questions. Many people shared their experiences and it was a great seminar for all involved. Personally, i came away with a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of different system, which systems would meet my needs, and more confidence in the new homewide music system that is now setup within my home. Yes, between the hours of when i began writing this until right now my new system came and is now fully setup and running! Well, the NAS drive has not arrived. C'mon Mr. UPS and deliver my new 2TB NAS equipment!

 

Your Music Suggestions Wanted
While Pandora and various online music radio stations are being enjoyed, would love to hear about your favorite online streaming music links. E-mail them to me (click here) and i'll share the best links with readers within my upcoming review. For those Pandora users curious of what i may be listening to, check out this link and try the Musician Rock link, though most of the channels bookmarked are simply shared stations until i get a better handle on it all.

 

Enjoy the Music.com Swag!
By the way, quite a few show attendees received Enjoy the Music.com swag! Once i ran out of t-shirts and carry bag swag, there were quite a few who saw others wearing the t-shirt and asked where they can get it. So for those seeking beer steins, t-shirts, vinyl/media carry bags and much more, see this link and show the world you enjoy the music! Of course in the end what really matters is that we all...

 

Enjoy the Music (Thomas Dolby "She Blinded Me With Science" right now),

Steven R. Rochlin

 "It's poetry in motion
And when she turned her eyes to me
As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony
She blinded me with science
And failed me in geometry

When she's dancing next to me
(Blinding me with science)
Science
I can hear machinery
(Blinding me with science)
Science

It's poetry in motion
And now she's making love to me
The spheres are in commotion
The elements in harmony
She blinded me with science
She blinded me with science
And hit me with technology

When I'm dancing close to her
Science
I can smell the chemicals
(Blinding me with science)
Science...

Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto
You're beautiful

I, I don't believe it
There she goes again
She's tidied up and I can't find anything
All my tubes and wires
And careful notes
And antiquated notions
But, it's poetry in motion
And when she turned her eyes to me
As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony
Mmm, but she blinded me with science
She blinded me with science..."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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