XR290 Listening Impressions

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by Velocityboat, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    Are you saying that your impression is that the computer program's basic curve is too " bright"?

    Even symphonic distant mike recording still place the recording pair quite a bit closer than the listening location of the audience. The air itself will disapate high frequencies more than bass frequencies let alone the absorption caused by rows of fellow audience members.

    Popular music recordings using common close mikeing techniques can be brutal.

    My ongoing issue with the push a button and the computer will fix the problem concept is a lack of integration with the users personal expectations and real world experiences.

    What the client likes in the most basic terms. I mean the computer must be right, right.
     
  2. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Well-Known Member

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    Yes it is too bright now for a neutral setting and bass was a tad thin lost some richness. The clarity is astonishing. The current voicing sounded great playing a movie independence day 2. But for music it felt like I wanted to be back 10 rows. The soft voicing here tamed it a bit . The loudness contour was better. Bass 1 and 2 settings where bass was 3 and 6 dB higher were not to my liking. The other voicings I do not have manual shots for will have to boot up voicing program to get.

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  3. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Well-Known Member

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    IMG_0157.JPG So 24 hours later I decided to give it one more listen before another room recalibration because of perceived brightness. What I discovered is 95 percent of the music is perfect if played with Neutral voicing listened at in Focus One sweet spot position. If it seems a tad bright it is easily addressed by moving your head back a few inches resting on sofa cushion, or alternatively adjusting volume down slightly with remote or using voicings I have reprogrammed the TDAI2200 with the Room Perfect voicing tool. Or simply going to Global Setting for Entire Room Voicing. Of the voicings the LowBass 1 shown above with higher dB in 10 to 70 Hz range seems to least change vocals character yet knock down brightness equally without losing very much Focus One Detail or clarity inherent in the Neutral after you then increase volume dB. The low bass voicing that affects 10 to 100Hz is not bad but changes vocal characterization more to my ears. You will notice none of the Room Perfect voicing add equalization but only take dB away. Thus no adding of equalization artifacts.

    I will say I had some amazing listens to some music in just Neutral Focus 1 mode last night. The songs never have sounded better and only had to play volume with meter dancing arund 1 watt to agressive passage 10 watts and occasionally a dynamic 100 watt passage.

    I will say Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Pink Floyd DSOTM, Jimmy Hendrix, Doors and Led Zepplin songs were revealing in the details and in the room experience.

    Until furnishing or rug adjustments or Twiiii convinces me I need that MX-151 I will keep this as dialed in.
     
  4. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

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    I'm not sure if the 100% resulted in the sound being to bright because the highs were perfect according to some folks. What I saw were areas in the bass that need improving. so as a quick fix I would choose the soft curve for the 290's. unless you want to go in there with your MQ `107. Roger always recommended the B Curve for the 290's. And I pretty much agree. You can always return to flat using your tone controls. Remember speakers with a high Q. high directionality emphasize highs by there very nature. I really prefer A below 1 KHZ and B above. Then depending on the sourceI add 2 db for the bass and even subtract a little more for the highs. Now my old recordings I made live with tube Ampex equipment and tube condenser mics I set the system totally flat. I use to set the system flat with Sheffield recordings. too, but now that I am using a MP 100 phono pre amp I am back to rolling off the highs using the B curve above 1000 Hz. Some verve, capitol and reprise labels I use even more roll off. Cd's usually only require 1 or 2 db hear or there, accepting CD reissues of analog recordings. Then I break out my 11 band graphic EQ. One thing I learned over the years is Bozak and Klipsch owners of the old school prefer the b curve for the bottom and the C curve for the top. Thats almost the small room X curve movie producers shoot for small rooms and almost the curve we used for sound reinforcement systems in large spaces./
    aa2g2.jpg .
     
  5. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    VB - here's what I'd like to know. How does the system sound with the simplest signal path:

    Source > C39 > MC1000s > XR290s

    ??
     
  6. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Well-Known Member

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    That would be a fairly easy comparison. I cac just take the balanced cables coming from the DAC feeding the MC1000s and switch to the C39 outs and do a source feed direct from DAC. The C39 already has ins since I am driving the pool system with it. To not be biased I will use my dsughters ears who is a music education major and has orchestra director experience. She is flying in tomorrow for a week. That should be a fun listen event. As would a RTA comparison using tone controls to polish it.

    I found this curve under C39 when I picked it up with th XR290s and amps. I do say my install was lots better. But then again the XR290s did not back to awall as is required. So much for tech at Don's Fidelity in Amarillo.
     

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  7. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Well-Known Member

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    Some vintage Sales porn.
     

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  8. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Well-Known Member

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    I think I saw these some which showed curves for different music types. Interesting info. Seems RTA plots versus voicing filters is a good idea.
     
  9. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Well-Known Member

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    Time for dedicated power circuits.

    Egged on by some Boston "More than a feeling" I hit a current limit. The left MC-1000 is on a dedicated 15 amp The right running the integrated Lyngdorf TRAI200 and MC1000. Hit a 2000 watt peak shut the Lyngdorf shut it all down with a E50 current fault code. So good up to silence. Damn the digital technology. Killed both channels at once. Getting closer to the MX-151 without a amp sucking up current and no speakers to drive.
    Whar's cheaper a new dedicated power line or a another Mcintosh?
     
  10. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Neither! How far away is the panel?
     
  11. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    And?
     
  12. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Well-Known Member

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    About 80 feet linear with outside up wall and second floor attic to two floors down. In 100 degree plus TX attic heat. The run is doable since storyand a half floor plan with access areas to lower floors.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  13. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Well-Known Member

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    Regretting never got to swap.But still planned. We did some serious Lyngdorf rocking out. My sister and husband were 80's centric. We did a AC/DC channel on Pandora. Iron Man , followed by Crazy Train and you Shook Me All Night Long. With Volume at 93. OMG. then we mellowed to REO, Skynrd, Seger. The shook me and ironman leveled it.

    I will stretch out C-39 yet. lyngdorf hard to unhook. Wife and I listening tonight. Her XR290 favorite Queen Bohemian Rhapsody. The Chorale sections had her convulsing.
     
  14. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Well-Known Member

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    I spent an hour and a half today listening to IDS-25. Having XR290s i can say there are differences. There are advantages to both designs. But now I want both.

    Large room no special acoustic treatment my lead in Album was Eagles Hell Freezes Over "Hotel California" The percussion XR290 is sharper and bass deeper. The vocals and acoustic guitar IDS-25 a noticeable difference. The best I ever heard. After that Tequila Sunrise sound quality, clarity coherence

    After that we went to the basement room with lots of acoustic treatment and vinyl albums to soak up reflections. I soon found myself nailing the volume on MC601s and lighting the power guard. iDS-25 i found I was pushing past its limits but current resistors did not kick out. But had to turndown the volume.

    In a room equivalent size to my listening room I found the XR290 with room perfect to exhibit similar air listening qualities. But at lower volumes IDS-25 is clearer and more natural strings and vocals. Symphony and jazz and brass i prefer the XR290 but only if room perfect was used. An XR290 is fuzzy and warm like a tube amp without room perfect. with room perfect the Difference closes quickly a most sound levels. A digitally uncorrected room goes to IDS-25 until you are nailing the volume where the XR290 is king of SPL. It makes me wonder what a IDS-25 would do with full room perfect. If one did not have to worry about dumping 1KW peaks to the IDS-25; yes It would be the king. A lot is lost to crossovers and aligned drivers. Active biamping or tri amping I see benefit

    Do I still want a pair of IDS-25? You bet I will make it happen. The wife already is saying she can see a pair of IDS-25s in our house. But XR290 Is not leaving.
     
  15. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

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    I'm Glad you like the IDS-25. I also appreciate you taking the time to explain the differences in sound. Its like hearing the difference between an Altec 604 and a Klipsch corner horn. The Klipsch is louder has more bass, but the imaging and staging is all screwed up compared to the Altec might be a vlid relative comparison.

    Now I would never say the 290 bass is fuzzy thats a term only we Bozak Concert grand users can claim before bi-amping. But I catch your drift. And yes Room perfect improves the sound while maintaining the basic sound of the speaker, if thats as far as you want to go. So Room perfect might be just the ticket for the IDS 25. I'm glad to hear the IDS doesn't fall apart with a 601. The boys at Audio Classics were given a choice to sell the IDS 25. Steve said they had to pass. He loves ML and XR bass, as I do and I guess the IDS didn't tow the mark. I'll let him answer the question for the company. The question is how much are you willing to give up to gain the the imaging and staging of the IDS 25. Being a low brass player and my better half a lower register reed player, the speakers would never be accepted in our house. Maybe that's unfortunate. I'm curious about what you thought about the emissions above 7 kHz. That could be a real issue with large cones and so many different arrival times for a very long array.

    Way back when I use to believe that I would rather have great signal to noise ratio and low distortion, which is a form of noise, than super wide frequency response and very high dynamic range. I still believe that way to day though I find low bass below 40 hz very necessary today more than I did so 50 years ago,

    I was listening to and watching the latest video of the UP 844 break in run on the internet. And like all commercial video recordings, the guys are interested in getting the picture right and have no clue what to do with the sound. So I got out my CD dubs or recordings I made with a Nagra and Neumann microphones, Even my recording on video setting the gain properly without going into the limiter with a Audio Technica Stereo mic were much more life like with the bass rolled off starting at 70 hz. If you want to challenge your system some time find a Original Masters LP of UP 8444 flying buy at 75 mph with the mics placed with in 8 ft off the RR tracks. If your system can't put out 115 db, and produce 30 hz you will be very disappointed. It will be like listening to a Volkwagom compared to a full throttle DODGE Hemi with straight pipes. I've measured over 120 A db continuous at 30 ft from the RR tracks with 8444 flying long between Larime and Cheyenne. I almost fainted the first time I heard Shirley Muldonney race Big Daddy Garletts at a drag strip. .

    I wonder if some one could make big money selling accurate Noise Fi systems?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 11:57 AM
  16. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

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    Ive always wondered what two 8 ft stacks of smaller JBL line arrays with two double 15 inch subs would sound like in a home. They can produced over 133 db. I wouldn't play them that loud, not even close, But what would they sound like. I have heard the big arrays at concerts and at shows and been around for sound tests. A lot of folks make line arrays now days for touring groups. Its fortunate I guess recording engineers do control dynamic range artfully. None of us would be happy with our systems other wise. Its no wonder Paul Klipsch use to get so frustrated with small speakers and their compromised dynamic range, Its a matter of choice. AR chose frequency spectrum over dynamic range. They chose broad dispersion so more people could enjoy the presentation of stereo versus clarity. Fortunately Roger brought line array into the home market successfully. Allowing clarity, Low distortion, extremely wide frequency spectrum and a fairly wide dynamic range spread out for all the family to enjoy.
     
  17. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Well-Known Member

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    The IDS25 the bass is really there. It seems to really get it you have to be pushing lots of power. then when the Dynamics of the music picks up the amp is pegged from needing so much equalizer boost at the low end. It was a Josh Groban song that I way peeged the power guard on the 601s. I think a MC302 or MC352 would be choice. The bass on the IDS-25 is on about par level wise to the XRT20. Just the IDS is a lot cleaner. It was a hard adjustment me being used to XR290. I would say in large room that my XR290s were in when I picked them up, if your far away, greater than 20 feet, the holographic surround effect is more complete. I think I could totally adjust to IDS-25 it I could have read the DAC preamp outputs and got myself synched to the MC601 watt meters. He crosses them over at 80 Hz with a sub for movies with a MX150 and never kicks off the current limiters. His bedroom pair he drives with the MC452. I think using a sub for two channel with them might be blasphemous.

    The soundstage and imaging maybe better on some pieces with IDS-25. Ken did say he had a symphony piece that the XR290 did a better job of letting you feel the immensity of the symphony hall better than the IDS-25. The IDS-25 did piano excellent perhaps setting it back far behind the wall. Whereas the XR290 placed the grand front left of stage eith more grand presence in the room. As for violins and cello. Give me The XR290. For reed instruments the IDS25 is hard to beat on sax or clarinet.

    I would love to set a pair of IDS-25s in same room with XR290 and compare them for days. I have a feeling an IDS-25 could do well on a steam locomotive but equalization is going to have it maxed the XR290 will have no issue 115 dB plus. I can drill 110 dB at 100 to 150 watts easily. I just never tried to measure insane peaks since I am usually trying not to turn powerguard lights into solid yellow when pushing volume. One thing for certain neither system ever distorts or hurts your ears at any level.

    As for XR290 and fuzziness without room perfect. It is more up in mid bassupper mid region that it is burying information. It is perhaps just shortfall of my listening room and nodes where sweetspot is. Ken's basement listening area I foundi felt like I wanted to be seated further back and found myself smashing body into couch cushions like in my room to get perfect sound and bigger stage. So lots of similarities between their behavior.

    I am tempted to do a clone IDS-25 but wife says no more projects I should just buy it and sell off equipment that is excess. Both products show off Roger's great skill as a speaker designer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 3:59 PM
  18. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Ah, here we go. A few years back, Roger and I discussed some of the strengths of his IDS via email. He told me that he ultimately sold his pair of XR290s as the IDS satisfied his needs better.

    Knowing that Roger likes electronic music, I recommended Benny Benassi Rock N Rave to try on his system. He bought the CD on Amazon and relayed his feedback. He was quite impressed with just how much his speakers could excite the room on many of the tracks. At the time, I did not yet own the XRT22s and as great as my Altecs are, reproducing electronica heavy in 30cycle bass at concert levels was not their strength. Benassi's music has more energy in the midrange and top end than anything I know of - we're talking hard core speaker killer music here. I was always worried that I would cook the stock Altec diaphragms in the 802D drivers so playback was always at lower volumes than required to do the music justice. The XRT22s are the only speakers I've owned that I dare to play the stuff on. Club loud ... No problem.

    Roger recommended a bunch of music to me as well - stuff he used in the development of speakers. Ray Lynch Deep Breakfast is one of his faves. Jean Michel-Jarre, Yello, etc are others. All of it is served well on his designs.

    I feel fortunate to own one of Roger's premier designs.
     
  19. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Well-Known Member

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    I am sure the pro JBLs could be adapted home use in a big enough great room. I had a house once with a huge great room wish I still had it to let those XR290s stretch their legs more.
     
  20. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Well-Known Member

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    Ken played some music he digitized off a studio tape. Not being familiar with it we sampled tracks we knew more. I am interested in trying some of Rogers development tracks. I did wonder how much I heard was attributable to Ken's D1100 DAC preamp compared to my DAC. Not knowing what is speakers and what is DAC filtering.
     

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