Geek magazine hacker daily blog

3 years, 2 months ago
Podcast transcript "Sound": House acoustics and answers to questions

It is a transcript of the ninth release (29.04.2014) of a podcast "Sound". In it Timofey Shikolenkov and Dmitry Kabanov answer questions of listeners of a podcast on acoustic preparation of home rooms, bi-wiring and bi-amping, music 5.1 and a difference between the sound card and external TSAPOM.

[To listen to this release]

[In more detail about a podcast]

Transcripts of other transfers

Timofey Shikolenkov: [Answers a question of how to prepare the room for listening of music] if the room absolutely empty, it is possible to check easily [as far as it is suitable for listening]: to come and potopat, hands to clap, and everything will be clear at once. There will be rereflections there. When music is reproduced, everything will be much worse because music is many-sided, there are a lot of different frequencies, and all frequencies will begin "to walk". Naturally, they are reflected all differently, and as a result instead of music there will be a cacophony. Of course, the room, anyway it is necessary "to suppress".

Why people do not think of it? Because, usually indoors something already is. And something there is a lot of it. In our Russian realities speaker systems are put, as a rule, to the room … or it is a bedroom, now it is very fashionable to do movie theater in a bedroom. The technician can hide all to the storeroom, TVs rather flat now, on a wall hung up – does not take the place, acoustics built-in. The movie theater turns out.

In spite of the fact that the bed occupies 80% of all room, all the same this "sleeping movie theater" – very fashionable subject. If it is a drawing room or the hybrid room, anyway, there something is. It is furniture, carpets or a carpet, a decor of walls. It turns out that all this damps the room, catches rereflections. The sound from walls recoils not so actively, and not from all walls. A problem on a global scale which arises when the room absolutely empty, becomes less.

Dmitry Kabanov: It seems to me, people sometimes just take down some wall, overlapping. And the problem arises because of too big space even if there is an upholstered furniture or carpets, they are not enough.

Timofey: Yes, of course. Each situation is unique and individual. Acoustics wants to be put not as it would be necessary. Because there is still an opinion of the woman who has an esthetic component on the first place. About it there was already one of releases, about an ecosystem, and it is really very important when on equipment of a column it is necessary to put in one place, but the wife does not agree with it because they spoil a type, block something.

Ways for a solution two: if not to take in accounting installation of additional upholstered furniture or something else, there are special sound traps, from the point of view of an esthetics they it is even worse. If in the apartment there lives a woman with specific vision of how the room has to look, then this option disappears at once.

Dmitry: About a size what sound trap?

Timofey: Of the size of a floor column, and maybe it is more. Traps happen a different configuration: both rectangular, and angular. Some it is possible to finish a wall with top to a bottom, some are mounted in corners. They are very noticeable. It is possible to make so that they were imperceptible, but then the effect will be less or it is necessary to process, close walls entirely.

But it is already an excess towards transformation of the room into studio where there is no rereflection at all, so there can be a feeling as if on ears "presses", it is bad. If it is not going to do in this room studio, it is precisely bad! Comfortable sounding is when on ears does not press when it is possible to relax, actually, for the sake of what buy speaker systems home. To listen to music to relax, derive pleasure in the natural environment, in the natural atmosphere. And when we will muffle all room, it [atmosphere] will be unnatural. The feeling of affectation will press. But here it is always necessary to observe balance: certain restrictions are imposed also by the room, and what indoors it costs.

For house application there is one more method, unfortunately, little-known in the household sphere. But very widely used in the professional sphere. These are special acoustic proofreaders, devices which are put between a signal source and the amplifier, that is between the network player, the CD player, the computer and the amplifier. The microphone is connected to such device. And it "listens" that occurs indoors. On an input the source signal, music is given, and the microphone it "listens" that it turns out as a result. Proceeding from what turns out it adjusts a signal.

Podcast transcript "Sound": House acoustics and answers to questions

Example: Digital acoustic proofreader of DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033S-II

They are called sometimes equalizers, but it is wrong. It is not an equalizer, there more difficult logic, and devices very different. There are those which are expected only low frequencies. The frequent, main problem – "to collect" low frequencies that it was possible to hear the tool, but not just a rumble. There are devices which work with all range, of course, and the prices of them will be different.

As a result it turns out that such device is capable to liquidate not all flaws of the room, but can quite minimize them. Then listening will be the most comfortable. In the professional sphere these devices are used long ago and cost fantastic space sum. Household devices appeared in the market recently and cost from twenty thousand rubles. The price depends on that, how scrupulously you treat this question.

Dmitry: Yes.

Timofey: Acoustic proofreaders — very cool piece.

Dmitry: It really will help not to encumber the room with traps and will give effect.

Timofey: On narrowly targeted Hi-Fi exhibitions, and they pass in hotels, each company has a stand with the equipment which it shows, – installations, speaker systems on racks, – there are people, show them. Someone comes, listens, sits down in a chair, people can ask to put the disk – here such plan of an exhibition.

Podcast transcript "Sound": House acoustics and answers to questions
Artem Fayermark and Arslab Old School Superb 90 / Photo of

And as they pass in hotel, that is in the room approximate to reality, the amusing situation turned out once. We brought such proofreader, connected him. We showed rather inexpensive cool systems and still the acoustic proofreader. Our system which cost about hundred twenty thousand rubles plus the proofreader sounded, according to visitors, it is better, than systems in the neighboring rooms for one million rubles. Why? Just just because the room spoils a signal. For equipping the room and to put any traps or there is not enough place, or an opportunity, for example, in hotel cannot hang up something, to paste or drill.

Dmitry: This others.

Timofey: Yes, therefore opportunities are very limited. We traditionally hang up fabric on walls. First, for appearance, secondly, there is a certain effect of damping, plus [then] we used the acoustic proofreader. It turned out so that the equipment which is on orders more expensive proved to be much worse, than simple, but competently collected with use not absolutely still the mainstream technologies of a thing.

Dmitry: Fine. The following question from the listener: it expresses gratitude to our project. Says that we have excellent ideas and the direction and asks the following questions: the first – myths about connection of bi-amping. The second – the myth that acoustics has to stand on special thorns. The third – he asks to tell about connection of a wire to acoustics directly or through "bananas", what is better? What to pay attention to?

Timofey: It is very good that there are a lot of classical questions. When we invited engineers, there was a wish that they told about bases which are not enough for people and there is no place to take. And it is so natural to engineers, as clear as a day, all the same, that to invite the academician in younger school to conduct a lesson, to it it will be very difficult!

Concerning thorns: it is not the myth, normal, natural state of acoustics. To any serious acoustics there are in a set so-called thorns. Why thorns? They look so: on top big, from below small. Thereby all vibrations are extinguished. When acoustics costs on a floor, it begins to vibrate. Paul gives vibration to all other objects standing on a floor. As a result not only the column, but also all the rest that around is plays.

Thorns allow to minimize vibration – acoustics area of contact with a floor is very small, and parasitic vibration is minimized. For a floor there are special podstavochka under thorns, their big variety. There are a lot of nuances. The same Cold Ray, the company known for the anti-resonant products, relatively recently, in a year before last, let out Cold Ray Solutions – different podstavochka under thorns: from small to big, depending on columns.

Podcast transcript "Sound": House acoustics and answers to questions
Cold Ray cones [the overview on a subject, other products of Cold Ray]

There is also the cheapest method – to substitute five-ruble coins under thorns. But it is very inconvenient. Probably, there is no sense to buy decent columns and to arrive thus.

Dmitry: And seriously they hold?

Timofey: Five-copeck coins can fall out. It is recommended to use something more or less decent. But if there is no money at all, there are also such very cheap supports under thorns. Buy by a time something expensive from us, but save on accessories. "I will put on coins!" But the coin at some point can fall out, and then the thorn will damage a floor covering. Will solve a problem more expensive.

Dmitry: And nervozny …

Timofey: Yes, with thorns everything is simple, they are necessary. In absolutely cheap columns there is no such history. Usually [audio systems] compare to multimedia acoustics, and it is intended for reproduction of sounds in some toys, but not for listening of music, but this separate history.

I answer the third question. In professional [equipment] the connectors absolutely. As for the household Hi-Fi equipment, the acoustic cable is usually named, that is connectors are put: either bananas, or blades. Why in principle it is useful to use connectors? If not to use the connector, and to use clips on speaker systems, on amplifiers, then you press that cable which you insert there, it will be distributed unevenly, as a result …

Dmitry: Contact will be uneven …

Timofey: Yes, contact will be leaky. To twist a cable in a tubule, to insert it into the jumper and to clamp so that evenly everything managed to be pressed, it is impossible. The difference can be not strongly noticeable, but the more expensive equipment is used, the this difference will be more noticeable, as always. All these technologies influence a sound of subjects more, than better the source is reproduced.

When we listen .mp3, even on very expensive system, noises, artifacts which will be heard will be evident, and all the rest will not matter. When we take qualitative material and the high-quality equipment, the more it serious, the more this difference.

Dmitry: Of course.

Timofey: Not to use connectors, and to use a cable in pure form is bad manners. It is possible, but what for? there are two types of connectors: bananas and blades. Blades are more preferable as in them contact more dense. It is a clip too, but a clip of other sort, all blade entirely enters the connector and nestles.

Podcast transcript "Sound": House acoustics and answers to questions
Connector acoustic blade type of Analysis-Plus BGS Spade Gold

This preferred choice, but not the most widespread because it is easier to stick and clean banana. Banana thrust in the connector when it is necessary cleaned, it is not necessary to turn off anything. If to compare on quality of result, then the blade, then banana, then intermediate option is on the first place – to insert a cable into a metal tubule, to insert this tubule into the connector and to clamp, and the worst on quality is not to use anything, to smooth out the ends of a cable, to twist them and to clamp.

Podcast transcript "Sound": House acoustics and answers to questions
Connector acoustic banana type of Supra Combicon Banana (4 pieces)

Dmitry: It is clear. We go further.

Timofey: About bi-wiring we did not finish speaking. Very good, difficult subject bedraggled at forums. Speaking about bi-amping, it is necessary to tell about bi-wiring, especially for those who do not understand what is it.

Let's begin with simpler option. It is bi-wiring. There is one column, on it four jumpers. Why four jumpers are necessary? I will make retreat to explain what is in a column and as it works. People think that in a column there are wires, ahead there are loudspeakers, and behind a column there are connectors which conduct to these loudspeakers …

Dmitry: Directly …

Timofey: Generally and. [In understanding of the inhabitant] something there still is, but it does not matter. But understanding that is between jumpers and loudspeakers, very important. People think that loudspeakers happen different, they, allegedly, cannot reproduce at the same time low, mid and high frequencies therefore in a column put several loudspeakers and do different connectors. "It is necessary to make not two pairs of jumpers, but three connectors to separate high, mid and low frequencies" is an utter nonsense!

It is important to understand that each loudspeaker has a range of the reproduced frequencies, that range which it can issue, turn into a sound and give on it that range which it cannot reproduce, senselessly. Especially it concerns loudspeakers high-frequency. It cannot give a low-frequency signal and, moreover, it is harmful to the loudspeaker. Therefore in speaker systems there is a difficult passive device, it does not need power supply - it is the filter. It is called the crossover. The subject of design of the crossover is very difficult and important in an engineering range. It is one of important parts …

Dmitry: … which allows to make the loudspeaker unique in own way.

Timofey: Which allows to make a column in general. Without crossover it is impossible to make the speaker system. The result depends on type of the crossover and that logic which is put in it, not to a lesser extent, than on loudspeakers. In the market there are very good, popular loudspeakers, a large number of vendors uses them in the speaker systems, and the sound turns out different. How it can be? Sounds differently because differently electric signals reach loudspeakers.

The main task of the filter – to protect loudspeakers from those frequencies which they cannot reproduce. It is important! If it is simpler to tell, then the crossover can be separated into two parts: for high frequencies and for low frequencies. If we are connected by one cable, and at the speaker system two pairs of jumpers, then the signal is distributed on high-frequency loudspeakers and on low-frequency loudspeakers via two different filters.
At the same time, on jumpers behind the speaker system there are jumpers that each block – high-frequency and low-frequency, received the signal. Here the important thing or terrible secret about which very few people speak is covered. A basic reason of a difference in a sound when using two pairs of jumpers, bi-wiring-ovoye is unimportant it is connection or bi-amping-ovoye are jumpers. If these jumpers to disconnect, throw out or replace them, then the sound will change.

Podcast transcript "Sound": House acoustics and answers to questions
Jumper for acoustics of Cardas CLJP R Bi-Wiring

Dmitry: It is clear.

Timofey: It is big secret, about it vendors of cables especially do not tell because, knowing it, it is possible to save on a cable. That is instead of taking two cables and to connect separately high and low frequencies to the amplifier, it is possible to take one and in addition rather expensive jumpers, and the difference will be felt.

Dmitry: Seriously?

Timofey: It is true about which usually are silent! It is important to understand that presence of two pairs of jumpers at speaker systems does not do them at all it is better than those speaker systems which have only one couple. It is different approach to designing, design and opportunities. But it does not mean that speaker systems with two pairs of jumpers potentially can reproduce a sound better, than speaker systems with two jumpers.

Dmitry: It should be discarded as criterion of comparison.

Timofey: It is important to understand it because occasionally people select speaker systems by the number of jumpers. For example, we have acoustics worth one million rubles which has two jumpers. To accuse her of unworthiness of sounding it is silly because sounding uncompromising! You should not select columns in this way just.

It is necessary to understand that there are different approaches to designing. It is possible to make two separate crossovers which will work for high frequencies and all others, separating a sound and filtering the necessary frequencies, giving dynamics what it can "eat and issue". And there can be one crossover on an input from two jumpers. It also filters that where will go. Once again: neither that, nor another not good and not bad! These are just different approaches.

Returning to a question, I will tell that bi-wiring-ovoye connection is when two couples of cables and one amplifier are used. Really there is a difference in a sound, cannot tell, it is good or it is bad as there are different cables. There was no wish to touch upon a subject of cables, but it is necessary to mention it at all – with different cables the system sounds differently. The one who doubts it let will arrive to one of our shops, will ask to connect and will hear it.

We will not speak about it in detail, but it is necessary to touch upon this subject, in it a connection essence bi-wiring-oho and bi-amping-oho. We use different cables. Being connected to pair of jumpers, we use one cable, being connected to two pairs of jumpers – to four jumpers, we use two cables. The result differs. It is better or worse? As we spoke, all very individually. Someone can like one option, someone can like another, and someone can like option of my layfkhak, use instead of bi - wiring - and expensive jumpers.

In a case from bi-amping-ohms, two amplifiers are used. For high frequencies one amplifier, for low frequencies other amplifier. Everything depends on that as as it is connected and that is used. At forums I quite often see that recommend to use a receiver for this purpose. I categorically would not recommend to think in general of acquisition of a receiver if your purpose – to listen to music. The receiver is a device for scoring of the home theater. It is the multichannel amplifier, it is the special processor and a heap of the different additional counters connected with cinema.
When people compare the amplifier and the receiver which is equally standing the amplifier and a receiver will give absolutely different quality of reproduction of a stereo. It is necessary to understand that at the identical cost in twenty thousand rubles, in a receiver there will be six channels of gain, seven, and even eight. Configurations happen different.

If there is a wish to listen to music, then "to play" with bi-amping-ovymi connections on a cheap receiver silly. The stereoamplifier is much better to purchase for the same money, to connect one cable and to receive the best result. Besides, it is easy to come to salon, to connect, listen and hear this difference. The receiver is actual when the main objective is a cinema. The channel amplifier is necessary, and there is no place to disappear here.

Podcast transcript "Sound": House acoustics and answers to questions
Cambridge Audio Topaz AM5 stereoamplifier

Returning to a subject: if there is a desire to improve quality of sounding of those speaker systems which are it is possible to purchase one more power amplifier and to improve sounding in this way. It is not the myth, the difference is, but here, as always, a question of its visibility and that quantity of money which is could and there is a wish to enclose in it. The difference in money can be less expected.

When we compare sounding of speaker systems for ten thousand rubles and for twenty thousand rubles, we hear that quality, conditionally, changed twice, the difference space because one sounds, and another does not sound. Than more expensive system, that a difference is less noticeable. But when we speak about an uncompromising sound, there any means are good, and each additional change in quality is worth it.

If to speak about an inexpensive house solution when there is a wish to receive that sound which is pleasant and to enjoy music which is pleasant then these games you should not play. It is worth purchasing one, but good amplifier, one, but good cable. If it is the speaker system with a possibility of separate connection of high and low frequencies, then to purchase good jumpers, to put all this on good thorns and to receive much the best result, than upon purchase of the cheap receiver and the amplifier connected by two cables according to the scheme bi-amping. The difference will be for benefit of the normal stereoamplifier.

Dmitry: We go further. A question from the listener: "Tell about listening of music 5.1. What format is more qualitative? As, in your opinion, it is better to listen to records 5.1, for example, the same Pink Floyd: from the computer or through a DAC or to purchase separate CD, the DVD player? As to you such sheaf: PSB Imagine plus Arcam 950?" Here such question.

Timofey: Concerning a sheaf. I can tell about the opinion, but I have no reality, and it only opinion. Take, listen and, based on it, draw the conclusion, it is good or it is bad, it is pleasant to you, approaches or does not approach.

With volume music 5.1 big problem. The fact that the person had a question not about where to take this music and on what to listen to it – it is remarkable! It means that it has this music, and it very cool! Generally is live recordings. Very much there is not a lot of multichannel music. This question arises extremely seldom, and it is great that someone has a similar collection, a selection. Though if there is a question of formats, then there is no selection.

If there is a big desire to listen to a surround sound – it is remarkable! But, according to my data, an opportunity to purchase disks with this multichannel sounding, small. About separate TsAPy it is possible to forget is a stereo. When we speak about a surround sound, TsAPy disappear at once, conversation goes about TSAPAKH which are built in receivers or AV-processors. The AV-processor is an equivalent of part of a receiver which has no power amplifier.

If it is necessary to increase quality, then it is possible to purchase not a receiver, but the multichannel amplifier of power and separately AV-the processor, the receiver in two blocks will turn out. It is one of methods.

Podcast transcript "Sound": House acoustics and answers to questions
Multichannel amplifier of power Atoll AV 50

To listen how exactly? To put columns, to connect and listen. I not up to the end understand question essences. If there is a large number of "volume" music, it is better to listen to it in volume. But it seems to me that it is more for movie theater. If the question of how to make it qualitatively - it is high-quality speaker systems, including rear. At cinema rear columns play very small role – when some you start a demo, something will fly by, will rustle, povzryvatsya, think: "Oh, as cool!" the movie, and a sound for some reason only in front Begins. It was necessary to learn to shoot movies so that there was an effect of presence!

Dmitry: Yes.

Timofey: If to speak about multichannel music, then all columns will play a large role. If a question of how to improve system as to make it such that it very well reproduced multichannel music, then this separate acquisition of the processor and multichannel amplifier. It will give much. Important, from where the source undertook. If record is simply downloaded, then all there was a speech about, it does not make sense!

Dmitry: It is necessary to evaluate the opportunities and the selection, how often it will be listened how large volumes of a selection and whether there is a sense to be put in it.

Timofey: In my opinion, there is no sense. Exists records of volume music so a little in comparison with that huge number of qualitative music which can be taken. The question is very individual. I think that there is a sense to communicate in the mode of dialog with our specialists, and some solution because the equipment is will be found. There has to be a dialog!

Dmitry: Perfectly. Last question. The listener asks to tell about a difference between the sound card for the computer (external) and an external DAC. On the one hand, it is the same things, but after all as far as he understood from our releases, it not absolutely so.

Timofey: We in detail spoke about it in one of our releases.

Dmitry: Yes, there was the whole release on this subject.

Timofey: It is important to understand that there are different tasks. The DAC is a device which is intended only for music, for reproduction of a stereo, obtaining it in digit and its transformations into analog. Sound cards though I do not like this word, any they not cards any more, they are external devices. They have several other tasks.

Considering existence of the word "professional" in the name, we say that there is a certain profession for which it is intended. For example, for an audiorekording. We connect the microphone, guitars, multichannel different stories. The group plays, by means of a sound card, the card we write this sound on the computer then to be engaged in its processing. The card has an output. Through it it is possible to listen. But there is the same question that with receivers and amplifiers.

It is necessary to understand that when comparing the multifunction device and device intended for something one, same class and for the same money it is impossible to receive identical result. It is impossible! The specialized device with much smaller element base intended for something one that is narrowly targeted, will always win with other things being equal, at equivalent comparison.

If we compare very expensive sound card with very cheap TSAPOM, can happen so that the difference will be towards the sound card, and can and vice versa – the inexpensive DAC on quality of reproduction will change expensive sound card.

Dmitry: People sometimes try to use cunning. To save, to itself to gain something else. All the same that having purchased the truck gazelle to ride for work on traffic jams. Just in case you will have a big luggage carrier.

Timofey: Perhaps, but there are certain traditions, that is sound cards were earlier, were always. And people got used that the sound is reproduced by means of the sound card. It is a usual way. TsAPy appeared relatively recently. To believe that there are two different devices having essentially different playback modes of a sound, not easy!

Dmitry: Therefore people go to shop with a question: "The sound card is necessary".

Timofey: There is a problem because it is different shops. Sound cards are on sale in computer shops as it is computer devices, and TsAPy are on sale in shops with specialization on audio.

Podcast transcript "Sound": House acoustics and answers to questions
External DAC of Arcam rBlink

It turns out, there are no such shops where at once both that, and another to take and to try without acquisition is on sale to listen. It is possible to listen to TsAPy at us, sometimes we give on wiretap. We have several copies which we can give home for several days that the person listened and evaluated a difference. I will repeat, the difference is, and it in respect of quality for benefit of TSAPOV because it is specialized devices and they are intended for reproduction of music. These are not many-sided, multifunction devices what sound cards are. In it the main difference and benefit TSAPOV.

If you really need the sound card, you have different problems, well! But, maybe, there is a sense to purchase also a DAC to listen to music because the difference will be. On the other hand, can for you this difference is not basic. But if the person thinks of acquisition of the serious sound card, for it the difference is considerable, time he is ready to invest money, but not just to connect something mini-Jack to the computer and to enjoy what turned out.

This article is a translation of the original post at
If you have any questions regarding the material covered in the article above, please, contact the original author of the post.
If you have any complaints about this article or you want this article to be deleted, please, drop an email here:

We believe that the knowledge, which is available at the most popular Russian IT blog, should be accessed by everyone, even though it is poorly translated.
Shared knowledge makes the world better.
Best wishes.