Bill's Listening Setup

The room is on the western end of a solar house aligned along an east west axis and is essentially a 7.1m (23.3') square with one wall of complete curtained glass jutting out to the north in a isosceles triangular fashion to a length through the centre of 9.5m (31.2'). (Readers in the northern hemisphere will have to readjust). The room has a timber lined cathedral ceiling which is 2.4m (8') at its lowest height rising to 4.6m (15') at the centre. All the interior walls are brick. The listening room enters onto a kitchen which partly extends the width of the listening room by a further 2.7m (8.9'). The listening room also enters onto a corridor 17.5m (57.4') long, 1m (3.3') wide, which runs the length of the rest of the house on the southern side. The corridor is a low bass freak's nirvana as the total length of 24.6m (80.7') can in theory support a fundamental frequency of 6.7Hz and much air movement has been set up on low bass notes in this corridor. The listening room has a very live acoustic which exacerbates brightness. Along the western wall of the room is a brick fireplace and the ribbons are placed in front of the raised hearth of the fireplace, 1.7m (5.5') from the back wall with no toe in. The bass panels are to the side of the hearth, 1.34m (4' 5") from the back wall and with a small amount of toe out as discussed in the Hi-Fi World articles referred to in the technical description of the Carvers. A series of measurements was done with the bass panels beside and behind the ribbons to arrive at the best compromise in-room bass response which confirmed the statements that have just been referred to. The best compromise was with a small amount of toe out. This positioning of the bass panels also has the advantage of slightly less apparent frontage for them. The distance between the ribbon centres is 2.6m (8.5') and the woofer centres is 3.3m (12.5'). These speakers need a large room away from walls, children, animals and disapproving spouses/persons. Bill thought that he would never see the day when speakers would dominate in this room but the Carvers do. Large Duntech Black Knight speakers in this room didn't look imposing (they have about the same height as the bass panels but half their width) but it is going to be a good camouflaging job to hide these speakers in this room. Everybody that Bill has shown pictures to of these speakers so far has been impressed with their physical size and the number of drivers but one has to live with them too. People, when they first see these speakers, will invariably walk right around them in amazement.


Bill's solar house front (northern) view. The corridor that has good bass in it runs the entire remaining length of the back (south) of the house from the listening room on the western end.

What's this? The Outhouse Gang trying to get the hang of these new five-holers for the new deluxe solar powered composting outhouse below?
No! Bill doesn't have such an outhouse and instead uses a mini treatment works, the water from which grows a jungle. The picture two above is a view of the back (southern side) of the house with the bass baffles during construction.

View larger picture (32K)
The Carver ribbons/woofers in Bill's place with Bill (height 179cm or 5' 10 1/2") standing in between

View larger picture (43K)
The Duntech Black Knights in the same room a few years back for size comparison

View larger picture (44K)
Conventional sized Alon II's plus a vented box subwoofer in the same room for size comparison. As you can see, the electronics is between the wing wall on the left of the fire place.

The associated electronics for Bill's room are as follows: a Marantz CD50 CD player used as a transport which has had a Simply Physics Isodrive and Trichord Clock 2 CD modification fitted. This feeds into an Audio Alchemy multibit Digital Decoding Engine V3.0 DAC. The preamplifier is a solid state Metaxas Audio Systems (MAS) Marquis. Australian high end audio firm Metaxas Audio Systems makes distinctive electronics. The preamplifier output feeds a modified Clearview active crossover. The Clearview active crossover has the small valued blocking output capacitor on the bass output replaced by a 10mF polypropylene capacitor to give it far more bass extension and a 20Kohm potentiometer put across the ribbon output to allow adjusting the levels coming out of the ribbon and woofer panels to be the same. The power amplifier to the constant 4ohm load ribbon panels is a solid state MAS Solitaire rated at 120wrms into 8 ohms which never heats up. The bass woofers are driven by an ordinary Australian made solid state ME75 power amplifier rated at 190wrms into 8 ohms. The ME75 amplifier has ample power into the low impedance of 5 16ohm woofers connected in parallel per side which gives a nominal load of 16/5 = 3.2 ohms.
View larger picture (28K) plus explanantion
Bill's associated electronics behind the left Carver ribbon.


For suggestions, comments contact Bill Alford
Last modified 29 October 2001.