Planar Speaker Asylum

Welcome! Need support, you got it. Or share you ideas and experiences.

Return to Planar Speaker Asylum


Message Sort: Post Order or Asylum Reverse Threaded

I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis

67.176.78.50

Posted on February 24, 2017 at 17:52:55
Boulder Bob
Audiophile

Posts: 19
Joined: June 23, 2008






I need help setting up my Tympanis.

Are there previous threads I can read?

I am moving them around my room trying to get the "magic" and I am not there and I'm getting a little discouraged. I have attached a sketch of my room and am asking for guidance.

I have varied dimension "A" from 36" to 42" in 2" increments, varying the angle of the tweeter panel in each position. Dimension "B" right now is 35" on the left and 34" on the right. Is it important for this to be the same om both sides? Is it better to get this "B" dimension smaller?

I am trying different listening positions. Is there any guide to establishing a relationship between dimension "D" and dimension "C"?

Should I try bringing them "way out" into the room? Should I try cross fired tweeters?

I am also having some issues with the vertical angle of the speakers. One side is not as "vertical" as the other. I have placed wedges under the feet, on the front of the speaker, to help this. Should I aim to get them perfectly plumb? I remember on my SMGa's this vertical angle had two positions.

Will biamping and/or more power help deliver the "magic"? I am using my 200 watt per channel (into 8 ohms) Threshold Stasis 2. I do have 2 PSE power amps available. I was hoping to enjoy these speakers without biamping, but I am willing to try. I could also try one PSE amp, full range per channel, in bridged mode - might this be worth the effort?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

P.S. One more thing: I feel like I'm not getting the top end of the highs. These speakers just came back from a complete rebuild. When I first hooked them up, one of the tweeters was not working. I had to put Deoxit on the jumper and "excercise" it to get it to work. I'm surprised Magnepan didn't test the speakers before shipment. Should I remove the back jack panels and tension/clean those contacts? Also, I don't believe Magnepan touched the crossovers so I have 1981 components in there. Is this a problem? Is getting the setup right a key to getting the highs right?

P.P.S. All those guitars have pads under the strings to prevent them from ringing and the piano soft pedal is activated.

 

Hide full thread outline!
    ...
RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 24, 2017 at 21:10:27
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4216
Joined: July 6, 2002
I am assuming it is a T1D. If it is a subsequent model then tell us

The venerable 200W Stassis is not enough to provide the speaker sufficient current. Use the PSE amps one for each pair of bass panels in bridged mode and the Threshold (or is it a NAK?) for the tweeter.

For a start, pull the speakers out a minimum of 5 ft, 6 ft would be better. I have a T IV in a similar sized room, my short wall is a ft shorter than yours,

The speakers should be shimmed up to perfectly vertical. You should also make large legs to keep them steady and rigid. Then a cross piece going from the top 1/3rd of the speaker to the leg - at least one per panel to give a triangle's rigidity. Alternately, you can brace the bass panels to the walls with poles.

Separate out the tweeter panel from the bass panels and give it its own feet so that you do not transfer bass vibrations to the tweeter.

Using a tape measure fixed at your listening seat (set it initially a few ft from the back wall) or a laser measure align all the panels to an equidistant arc. keep the placement symmetrical to the room. Move the chair along the central axis between the speakers to find the best seat then readjust the speakers in the arc again if you feel there is more to be had in imaging.

There are other placement schemes possible. We can talk them through once you tried this one.

Re contacts and crossover components. The connectors are a known weakness and if you can solder I would replace them with well made non-magnetic binding posts.
The coil is ok but the cap in the XO can be easily improved upon with a modern made film type like an Obbligato gold of the same value..

What are you using for speaker cable?

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 24, 2017 at 23:20:05
andyr
Manufacturer

Posts: 11419
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
OK, here's my take (last year I helped a mate set up his refurbished T-1Ds).

What model are your Tymps?

What is the performance of your Threshold Stasis 2 into 4 ohms? Over 350w?

B is nearly 3' - that is great. Given the hanging guitars etc, I would suggest you keep that distance but I recommend putting your tweeter panels on the outside. (Maybe you already have this ... I can't make out which are the tweeter panels.)

A at 42" is great - can you get it to 60"?

Put the bass panels flat (or almost flat) to the front wall and just angle the (outside) tweeter panels in. Have them pointing at your knees.

C is not that important - better to position your listening chair so that your ears are 1/3rd into the room. My own listening position (which delivers a wonderful sound stage) is an equilateral triangle from the centre of the 2 tweeters. But, unfortunately I cannot be 1/3rd into the room! :-((

Re. 'vertical' - you will only get an approximation with those pathetic stock 'T' feet ... to get really vertical, you need some Mye stands.

Here's a pic of my setup; my Maggies are basically T-IVas with only 1 bass panel each side:




Andy

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 25, 2017 at 02:08:10
BDP24
Audiophile

Posts: 155
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Joined: September 12, 2013
Nice guitars, but as hollow bodies they must be resonating like crazy! Perhaps you can throw a lightweight blanket over them during listening sessions. Is that Vox amp an AC30? Great amp!

With that much room available, you should definitely, as Satie said, pull the Tympanis further away from the wall behind them, 5' minimum. And with that much width available, tweeters on the inside is a good choice, keeping sidewall reflections to a minimum.

If you can, bi-amping is a pretty cost-effective improvement for Tympanis. A high-powered solid state amp on the bass panels and a tube one on the mid/tweeter is a classic set-up. An electronic crossover won't cost much, as a single capacitor is all that is needed to create a 1st order high-pass filter for the tweeter amp, and a simple 1st or 3rd order (depending on panel orientations---see past Satie blogs on this subject) for the mid/tweeter amp. Great speakers, whether T-I's or T-IV's!

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 25, 2017 at 05:51:56
Boulder Bob
Audiophile

Posts: 19
Joined: June 23, 2008
This is great info and giving me some things to work on. I will answer the questions:

1. yes they are I-Ds
2. speaker cable is Audioquest Rocket 33
3. I don't know the amp's output into 4 ohms, it's not in the specs I have
3. yes it's a mid 60s AC30 Top Boost - wonderful amp but too loud for most indoor gigs

It will take me a while to start with the tweaks as my wife is in the middle of a kitchen remodel and I have an 8 year old and 12 year old demanding some attention once in a while (as well as a ski season that has hopefully has another 6 weeks left)

Thank you all so much! I will report back.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 25, 2017 at 10:46:37
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4216
Joined: July 6, 2002
The cables are slightly warmer sounding and rather light gauge for an insensitive speaker with a wide tweeter like the T-1D's. That tweeter has a tendency to beaming and drooping high end response that requires the tweeter panel to be carefully aimed at the listening position (equidistant arc placement will do that for you). When biamping you will want a brighter sounding cable for the tweeter. You can make such cables from CAT5 or 6 wiring or silver plated copper with teflon dielectric from Mil Spec excess inventory. Those are available online from Apexjr and ebay sellers. While 14 gauge is enough for the tweeter, it is not quite there for the bass panel wiring. You would probably hear a benefit going to fatter gauge cables. When biamping you can use a cheap stranded copper cable like automotive hookup wire (6 gauge). If you use your PSE's in mono then you would have the option to use relatively short runs.

Biamping the Tympani 1D there is less of a benefit from using a line level crossover than is normally observed when biamping other models since it is a simple 1st order crossover so is not a very reactive load for the amps. That said, using line level crossovers is still a significant benefit - to an extent that is because you bypass the OEM connectors and jumper scheme..

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 26, 2017 at 08:40:48
Norman M
Audiophile

Posts: 778
Location: NYC Suburb
Joined: December 9, 2012
I found an interesting discussion of using CAT 5/6 for speaker wire here:

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/694823-cat-6-speaker-wire.html

If anyone were to ask me (and they'd really have to be silly to do so), it's just looking for trouble. However being only a hobby, that's the way they work. If everything were straight forward and simple one would have nothing to do but listen to music.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 26, 2017 at 19:05:13
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4216
Joined: July 6, 2002
I have used the design they were referring to a long time ago and did other variants of it. I drove the Tympani IV through those initially in all their ear shearing glory, aided by the thin bright Bryston 4B NRB. I later made a separate tweeter speaker lines with a simplified version. The complex weave of Venhaus' (sp?) design is not necessary for the bulk of the benefit and it brings out the brightness even further.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 26, 2017 at 19:23:21
russ69
Audiophile

Posts: 899
Joined: December 13, 2009
Back in the day, the configuration that I saw the most is just like you have it but with the outside wings toed in and pointing to the listening chair. The sweet spot was very small but the sound was close to the best I had heard (Infinity Servo Static 1A were a bit crisper).

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 26, 2017 at 20:06:14
Boulder Bob
Audiophile

Posts: 19
Joined: June 23, 2008
sounds like what you are saying is the tweeters (wings?) were on the outside. I have not tried that yet. Mine are still on the inside.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 26, 2017 at 20:07:36
Boulder Bob
Audiophile

Posts: 19
Joined: June 23, 2008
I got the speakers 6 feet out from the front wall and I am making progress. Seems like sometimes I'm sitting closer that what would seem "normal". There is that distance where the direct sound and reflected sound reinforce each other. And the timbre changes with the amount of direct sound. What might happen if I lined up my guitar amps on the front wall behind the speakers? More absorption and diffusion. Vocals are a little thin right now....

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 26, 2017 at 20:47:20
BDP24
Audiophile

Posts: 155
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Joined: September 12, 2013
Good idea of the amps on the wall behind the speakers, and if possible the guitars too. They will act as diffusors, a good thing for the rear wave of Maggies. The distance between the T-I's and the wall behind them will create different interaction between the front and rear waves, leading to varying degrees of comb-filtering. Trial and error will be necessary to find the optimum position to minimize that.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 26, 2017 at 22:03:51
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4216
Joined: July 6, 2002
You need to fine tune the aspects of positioning from offset from the front wall, to your listening angle (meaning as determined by your listening distance) ,to the spread between the speakers, and tweeters in vs.tweeters out. Once you have these things aligned as well as you can for your preferences then start experimenting with absorption and diffusion.

Instead of watching for tonal shifts and focusing on timbre, you should find a well regarded recording where imaging is known to be very well done. Then do the fine adjustment of the positioning for image related issues, soundstage size and width and depth as separate aspects, image specificity and solidity and detail retrieval. These are all better when the speaker's time behavior is closest to good alignment.

So long as the room is essentially raw there will be tonal balance issues as reflections balance with direct sound.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 27, 2017 at 05:04:54
Boulder Bob
Audiophile

Posts: 19
Joined: June 23, 2008
Thanks, Satie - can you suggest some recordings?

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 27, 2017 at 07:51:57
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4216
Joined: July 6, 2002

A good listing is provided by these audiophile sites.
http://www.soundstage.com/referencediscs/referencediscs.htm
http://www.tnt-audio.com/topics/testrecords.html
We recently had a discussion about recordings with interesting soundstaging
http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/t.mpl?f=mug&m=223995

There is also this discussion where Stereophile test CD 2 and 3 are suggested, I use #3 for some testing and have done so since the mid 90s.
http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/albums-used-to-position-speakers-for-best-soundstage.206249/

Personally I use The Stravinsky Haitink ballet suites recordings, Modern Jazz Quartet the last concert, Vivaldi La Stravaganza on L'Oiseau Lyre, Billie Holliday's last recordings (stereo), Benny Goodman's live recordings from his 1958 European tour. Decca Ashkenazy Beethoven Piano Concertos, Telarc Beethoven 9th Symphony and the early Karajan DG Beethoven symphony cycle, and a few others used more for late fine tuning once you are closer to being done.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 27, 2017 at 07:56:22
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4216
Joined: July 6, 2002
Yes, as I noted elsewhere, you should give tweeters out a go as well, just remember that with tweeters out you will have more early sidewall reflections if the speakers are placed too close to the sidewalls. target the tweeters in the out position to be around 30" from the sidewalls as a starting point for experimentation and pull the speakers away from the sidewalls from that till the direct/reflected sound is balanced to provide good imaging and ambiance.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 27, 2017 at 08:25:13
Boulder Bob
Audiophile

Posts: 19
Joined: June 23, 2008
Thanks, Satie - this is good info. Busy work week coming up -- I will report back

I'm holding off on biamping until I get the position right since it will be a lot harder to move things around with a biamp setup....

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 27, 2017 at 09:05:48
Norman M
Audiophile

Posts: 778
Location: NYC Suburb
Joined: December 9, 2012
Satie, thanks for your input. I always very much enjoy reading and learning about the experiences of knowledgeable inmates such as yourself. If you haven't already seen it and have the time and patience to read the Ven Haus story, it can be found here:
https://www.venhaus1.com/diycatfivecables.html




 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 27, 2017 at 09:35:31
josh358
Industry Professional

Posts: 9489
Joined: February 9, 2010
Contributor
  Since:
February 3, 2012
OK, so --

I used to own 1-D's and the jumpers between the panels are always flaky. I'm sure Magnepan tested them but that's just they way they are -- they should have used better connectors. For now, Deoxit should work but you might want to consider either better connectors (you'd have to find something that fits) or just doing away with them and soldering the wires. There's really no reason to have jumpers there anyway, how often do you take them apart?

The tweeters in the 1-D's beam so the tweeter panel must be aimed at the listening seat. Then you can experiment.

Get hold of the manual. It was written by one of the foremost experts on speaker placement. Use his guidelines as a starting point. In general, you want the tweeters facing you as I said and then you want to fold the woofer channels a bit, so you get a bit of a zigzag.

The 1-D's have a very wide separation between the acoustic centers of tweeter and woofers, so to get the best imaging they're best listened to at a good distance. However, as with all planars (and really most speakers), you'll get the most depth as you pull them out from the front wall. 3' gives OK results, 5' is even better. The further out you pull them, the better from that perspective but you have two things you're working with here so it's going to require trial and error.

The tweeter panels will have more effect on imaging than the woofer panels, so put them at the normal stereo position (60 degrees) and then experiment. I like them best at 60 degrees, but a lot of people prefer putting them closer together. You can experiment with tweeters in and tweeters out. With Tympanis, this will depend a lot on room size but I'd try tweeters in first because woofers in will tend to block the backwave. But try it both ways.

Proximity to side walls is less important with planars. Two feet or more is fine.

Best position for bass will depend as with any speaker on your room. However,

Consider trying HP's rule of thirds -- speakers 1/3 out into the room, seat 1/3 into it. With a large speaker like the Tympani, if you sit at the same distance from the rear as the speaker is from the front you'll cancel the first bass wave reflection! Try it, it worked well for me.

Unfortunately, the best position for bass never seems to be the best position for imaging. The universe is perverse that way.

Be prepared to experiment a lot! That's one of the charms or annoyances of planars, depending on how you look at it. I became adept at moving the 1-D's by grabbing the wings. Furniture sliders can help.

Re power, that depends entirely on how loud you listen. 200 watts should give you roughly 106 dB peaks at your listening seat, but amps differ very much in their peak power delivery and recovery and with a good amp you'll typically get several dB of peak reserve above that. That's pretty loud. The 1-D's will likely play louder, though, given the chance -- they're very robust speakers, and with their big woofers and low midrange panels are cleaner than other Maggies at elevated levels. I used to blow the fuses periodically in my irresponsible youth. That being the case, bi amping could net you something *if* you listen at that kind of level but most audiophiles don't.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 27, 2017 at 09:43:30
josh358
Industry Professional

Posts: 9489
Joined: February 9, 2010
Contributor
  Since:
February 3, 2012
I used them on the outside too. But you really have to experiment, there are a lot of variables here -- room width, backwave, crossover lobing. Too many to make a cut-and-dry recommendation.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 27, 2017 at 09:47:37
josh358
Industry Professional

Posts: 9489
Joined: February 9, 2010
Contributor
  Since:
February 3, 2012
Diffusers are a common treatment behind planars. I'd recommend however that you decided where you're going to keep them first. With 1-D's that can take quite a while! Then you can try some QRD diffusers at the first reflection point of the tweeter panels on the front wall (where you see them in a mirror when seated at your listening position).

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 27, 2017 at 14:35:41
Boulder Bob
Audiophile

Posts: 19
Joined: June 23, 2008
Thank you, Josh358, for your insight! I have a lot of experimenting to do.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on February 27, 2017 at 14:52:40
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4216
Joined: July 6, 2002
Those were the instructions I followed.

The results are a very good but brightly balanced cable, which I think the OP would appreciate for his tweeters..

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on March 3, 2017 at 15:59:46
pictureguy
Audiophile

Posts: 7075
Location: SoCal
Joined: October 19, 2008
I would not have any of the panels paralell to the front wall.

Is that just me?
Too much is never enough

 

RE: Why on earth not??? nt, posted on March 3, 2017 at 16:40:39
andyr
Manufacturer

Posts: 11419
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
.

 

RE: Why on earth not??? nt, posted on March 3, 2017 at 18:38:21
pictureguy
Audiophile

Posts: 7075
Location: SoCal
Joined: October 19, 2008
Direct back reflection and standing waves. At least that's the idea.

In 35 years of owning panels, I've NEVER placed them Parallel to the front wall. Or any wall, for that matter.
Too much is never enough

 

RE: Why on earth not??? nt, posted on March 4, 2017 at 03:12:04
andyr
Manufacturer

Posts: 11419
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
You said: "Direct back reflection and standing waves.".

I think you are wrong about standing waves - they are generated irrespective of the angle of the bass panel as they depend on the dimensions of the room.

Re. 'back reflection' you could possibly be right - but you can't consider the back wave from the bass panels to simply go backwards, perpendicular to the panel. It in fact goes backwards - I would suggest - within a 90 quadrant ... ao the reflection off the front wall is on many angles.

And when I say "parallel to the front wall" - in fact my bass panel frames are probably 5 deg toed in. Whereas my mid/ribbon frames are 40-50 deg toed in.

Andy

 

RE: Why on earth not??? nt, posted on March 4, 2017 at 10:10:59
pictureguy
Audiophile

Posts: 7075
Location: SoCal
Joined: October 19, 2008
Never mentioned bass, which by general agreement is nearly omnidirectional. The frequencies of interest would be maybe 500hz on up.
The space between the panel and the wall form a cavity. It is of regular dimention and will reflect the sound right back at the panel.
Sure, it'll go all over. And it'll diminish or fade very quickly.
5 degree toe might be enough to break up a standing back wave. I don't know.
By actual measure, my panels are toed at 11 degrees.

I suspect that you could MEASURE such a phenom by comparing a panels impulse response in Free Air VS in a room. Limit response window to 5 to7 ms. Try different frequencies, too.
You might ALSO see such energy reflected back to the amplifier, but I don't know, other than a O-Scope how you'd measure that.
Too much is never enough

 

RE: Why on earth not??? nt, posted on March 4, 2017 at 22:08:10
BDP24
Audiophile

Posts: 155
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Joined: September 12, 2013
Of course if there are diffusors behind the Tympani panels, the panels alignment in relation to the wall behind them should not be that important---the rear wave will be scattered anyway, even if the panels are parallel to the wall. Right?

 

RE: Why on earth not??? nt, posted on March 4, 2017 at 22:20:50
pictureguy
Audiophile

Posts: 7075
Location: SoCal
Joined: October 19, 2008
I suspect rather strongly that this should be TESTED by the means i proposed in another post.

Free air V parallel to wall V toe in. The frequency of standing wave between the wall and panel is related to the distance between 'em. The MOST intense reflection when parallel will be Right Back at the originating panel. Feed the panel various frequencies in a pulse and limit the time of reading to maybe 8 to 10 milliseconds.

I am using as my mental 'model' what happens to bass in a room. And having looked at the results from room mode calculators as well as reading up (and testing) ideas about sub placement.
Some setup helps when building an ALL NEW room advocate non-parallel surfaces for exactly the reason I mention. The ONE recording studio I was in made good use of non-parallel surfaces to randomize reflections and decrease the RT60 time. See Link:

I'm of the thought that INDEED diffusion is very important to panels. And that on the front wall directly behind the panel, the most important place of all. It will increase the 'virtual' distance TO said wall and that is almost always to the good.
Too much is never enough

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on March 11, 2017 at 05:54:25
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4216
Joined: July 6, 2002
PM reply sent, please note that your email filter kicked back a notice. So I don't know if you got it.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on March 14, 2017 at 15:22:29
Boulder Bob
Audiophile

Posts: 19
Joined: June 23, 2008
Just saw a used Bryston 10B for $1000, returnable. I have various amps to try for highs and lows.

Should I go for it?

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on March 14, 2017 at 17:14:48
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4216
Joined: July 6, 2002
That is up to you. Reliable high quality piece, just make sure its configured correctly for your use and not only setup for subwoofer use.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on March 14, 2017 at 18:37:56
BDP24
Audiophile

Posts: 155
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Joined: September 12, 2013
Bob, the 10B has a rather limited selection of x/o frequencies. Check the spec sheet on Brystons website for the details. The First Watt B4 has many more, and is equal in quality to the Bryston---no Opamps, no IC's. The First Watt is about to be discontinued, so if you decide to get one better call Reno HiFi asap!

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on March 15, 2017 at 13:40:39
Boulder Bob
Audiophile

Posts: 19
Joined: June 23, 2008
Well, all the used Brystons out there have XLR jacks and I have RCAs everywhere. I did see a photo of a Bryston 10B with RCAs so I know they made them.

So First Watt is Nelson Pass? I guess it's good stuff! I will check it out.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on March 15, 2017 at 16:28:11
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4216
Joined: July 6, 2002
Yes, the First Watt B4 is a very good unit at a good price and very flexible. A Pass design. This is the third generation of the design and it is pretty much refined.

 

RE: I am looking for guidance in setting up my Tympanis, posted on March 15, 2017 at 16:30:24
BDP24
Audiophile

Posts: 155
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Joined: September 12, 2013
Yeah, the Bryston is available with either RCA's or XLR's. And yup, the First Watt products are designed and built by Nelson Pass, and the B4 is available single ended with RCA's only. It offers 1st/2nd/3rd/4th order filters (6-12-18-24dB/octave) in 25Hz increments from 25 to 3200Hz. Amazing flexibility. Retail is $1500, but Reno Hi-Fi sells it for $1200, and even less at times. I've heard of it going for around a grand.

 

Page processed in 0.027 seconds.