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Offline Martin Colloms  
#41 Posted : 23 May 2021 10:04:41(UTC)
Martin Colloms

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Seismics from Townshend

I have belatedly realised that I have been successfully using them for upwards of a year for a preamp support.

Under my nose, the Townshend Allegri Reference line control has inbuilt Seismic supports!
Offline Pete_w  
#42 Posted : 03 September 2021 19:43:24(UTC)

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Gosh, when did I start this thread? It's slow work, building a house in a pandemic.

Anyway, the Martin Logans are now in my new room and are sat on Townshend Seismic Podiums. And at 60+kg per speaker, with no significant hand-holds, my wife and I felt that wasn't a trivial achievement in itself! We suppose that, in principle, we ought to try repositioning them to optimse the "new sound", but let's be honest, it's not going to happen. We worked out where they seemed to sound best, with me moving them and my wife listening to Robert Plant and directing me, and then we put the stands under them. Job done.

Happy? Yes, I think so, very much. A *lot* has changed since the previous room - with the odd exception, the equipment is the same, but the room is very different. The ML Prodigies *should* be able to deliver deep solid bass that starts and stops, and now they do. In my old room, they never did - they delivered quite a lot of bass, but not with desperate precision. But they weren't spiked, we'd bought them second-hand just before (and I mean, the weekend before) the first lockdown in March 2020, so we got them home, plugged them in, and then had other things on our mind. Anyway, sat on the carpet+underlay in the new room, they were sometimes fantastic and sometimes very odd. Townshend has sorted them. They can now "play tunes" in what I consider to be the deep bass. And the stands have further improved the "big, dynamic" souund of the Prodigy across the rest of the range too.

The room has, however, brought with it a slightly explicit and "up front" quality to the midrange that I'm not entirely in love with at the moment. It's a slightly tricky one, as (eg) Miles Davis's trumpet is a brass instrument, without the mute it's not *meant* to be easy listening. And it isn't. Musical, rhythmic, detailed, yes, yes, yes, but could be a little more relaxing to listen to, shall we say. I'm hearing far more detail than I did in the previous room...

Just musing, I think that there's a few things going on that I still need to work on...

- The biggest change is probably electrical, in that I used to have the kit off to one side, and then very long (2 lengths, 2m + 3m joined end-to-end) runs of vdH The Second between the passive pre-amp and the power amps, which were colocated with the speakers. Transformer pre-amps are much better at that sort of thing than the "old" style of resistive passive pre-amps, but it wasn't at all ideal. I've now ditched a lot of that, and just have 2m between pre and power (this is all XLR balanced) so getting rid of 3m of vdH each side, and some XLR connectors, could well be a cause of more "explicitness". Or "clarity", if you prefer. I've a feeling that "The Second" is quite old hat now, I suppose I could look down the interconnect rabbit hole again...

- In the old room I didn't have to worry about side walls at all. Now I do, and I do have some undamped wall on one side at the "first reflection" position, so I need to play with that a bit. The room's symmetrical in structure, but one side has bookcases, the other is hard plaster.

- I don't think I've yet got the wiring optimised (both routeing and choices) to minimise electrical interference

- Mindful of what Martin wrote just up from here about supports for his Allegri, I had a play and I can now hear the effect of different supports under the Music First pre-amp, which I never could before. So there's a fertile ground to experiment and waste some more money... The basic stand on which everything is now sat is a Hifi Racks Podium XL, custom size with 8 legs...

- My DAC is somewhat long in the tooth, it's very much a "first generation" 96/192kHz USB DAC, and I suspect the the increasing clarity down-chain means I'm now starting to hear its limitations, which had perhaps previously been smoothed over.

Oh well, that's a to-do list, anyway. At this rate I'll report back again in about 3 years!

But I just wanted to cap the thread by reporting back and saying yes, I did buy some seismic podiums, and yes they're good. And once you get them under your speakers, they don't look quite as bad as you think they're going to....


Offline Pete_w  
#43 Posted : 14 September 2021 19:03:04(UTC)

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I just wanted to add a bit more to this, as the Townshend Podiums are creeping up on my consciousness. We're realising that we're hearing quite significant amounts of detail that we've never heard before. For example, we have a very well-used instrumental sampler CD album from dear old Windham Hill, "The Impressionists", which has some of the Windham Hill artist roster arranging and performing tunes from Satie, Debussy, Saint Saens and so on. It's great when you're knackered and just want to relax and let your mind wander. Anyway, playing it the other day, we suddenly both noticed that not only were we hearing more "body" and "envelope" to many piano notes, we were hearing the pedals and pedal mechanism being pumped as well, for the first time.

So the podiums do seem to be doing exactly what Max says they will in the advertising, even in a new room which was always intended to house the hifi & cinema[1]. It's becoming clear that the noise floor has dropped very significantly. They're not "transforming" the sound of the system; it's the same system, you can just hear more of it. Very nice.

[1] Hooked up Room Eq Wizard at the weekend. It seems to have got a lot more complicated since last I used it, which is many years ago, so I mashed a few buttons to see what happened... In-room frequency response of the MLs is lovely, flat-ish out to 10k, slight gentle broad dip at around 1k, with gently rising bass down to what appears to be a real 25-30Hz in room. Only major flaw appears to be a suck-out at about 40-45Hz, with a matching peak at 80-90Hz, so I guess I'll have to get my calculator out and work out which physical bit of room might be causing that. Impulse response is lovely; after the initial pulse there's a much-reduced copy at about +2ms (possibly a floor bounce?), a couple more at 8-9ms (that'll be the rear reflection coming back from the front wall, the panels are about 4ft out from the bookcases) and then that's it until a tiny blip at about 37ms (there's obviously a bounce-around-the-room path somewhere that's 37' longer than the direct path!). So the room's pretty dead, which quite possibly explains my earlier comments about the "up front" quality of the sound. We're getting used to it, it's very very different to the previous room which had a diffuse sound field in a large and lively room.
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