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Proper spacing for the RF-7's


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See the picture of my room in the "Is my room too small for Klipshorns" thread. I've had mine set up all sorts of different ways, and no matter how I did it -- they sounded great. You can use your room and placement like tone controls, moving them around until you find the sound you like best. I will tell you that even inches can make not so subtle differences, and there are great rewards that come with experimentation. Have you figured out the secret to moving them yet? Stand next to the speaker, put one hand in the horn, and the other along the rim of the terminal cup.

If you are on carpet, use the spikes. Simply move them apart until the center image begins to thin and becomes diffuse. This is easy to tell, as the voice will lose it's perfect center, will begin to spread out, and sound like it's emitting from a 4 foot mouth. Move them back inwards, and inch at a time until things zero back in.

There has been a lot of debate on how far from the back wall the ports should be. The rule of thumb says 1.5 X the diameter of the ports, so you are looking at a foot or so. However, I currently have mine 4 inches from the back wall, and think it sounds outstanding. I've been told several times by others that the "rule of thumb" doesn't really apply as long as the port isn't covered. Whatever the truth, it sounds great, and if I'm losing anything, it's below where my material lives.

I point the horns right at my head, but I've also had success toeing them in so they shoot behind my head, and in front of me. Trust your ears. If it doesn't sound "right", it probably isn't.

Getting them towards the corners "fattens" things up a little. Get them a couple of feet from the side walls and they are tighter and "faster" sounding. I suggest always taking benefit of at least the floor and rear wall boundaries -- the bass really seems to benefit from this.

I know Kelly prefers getting speakers away from the back at least three feet, and it does sound very good that way -- really giving the soundfield an atmospheric quality. With the RF-7 however, I have found an overall more pleasing experience by giving up some of that in exchange for the cohesive and "tight" sound of boundary placement.

Bottom line: Trust what the room is telling your ears. You'll know when it's "right".

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Great post Dean.

You sure know those beasts, don't you.

Here's a couple quickies from the audioreality files. :)

1. use spikes.

2. Biwire them.

3. Keep them roughly 1'6" from the back wall.

4. Toe them in so they geometrically intersect about 1' behind your listening position.

5. Treat the walls (acoustically) on each side of them.

(acoustic panel work best, but heavy cloth drapes or a tapestry works really well too)

6. As long as you treat the immediate side walls, you can butt them right up against the walls with no major worries.

7. Lucky 7...and last but not least.

Definately run them off an out-board amp and not your HT receivers' amp if possible.

The RF7s really appreciate having their own decent torrodial to draw from.

Enjoy.

Regards,

John.

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Complicated subject.

It makes a difference, and you can hear it. I just could never decide if it was a "good" difference. I finally just built my own crossovers and soldered quality wire between the high and low frequency sections of the crossover.

With horns, I think birwiring accentuates the highs a little, and decided it was too much of an already good thing.

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So, you remove the connectors on the low end and high end posts, then run one set of cables to the high posts and one set to the low posts? If this accentuates the highs, then I might do it, since the absence of bass and treble control on the Cayin is the only thing about it I'm unhappy with (although it's of course not a big deal). I like a tad bit more treble, like maybe 2 or 3db.

-Jesse

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I just love talking about this subject. (gloves on and laced up)

Biwiring offers a little more than just what's perceived as increased trable.

(which in fact isn't increased, it's just less modulated)

Simply put, It's a way to get more clarity across the whole audio spectrum by letting more available harmonic info to be introduced with every single note.

Biwiring a speaker with separated internal crossovers allows more of the high frequency info/harmonics to be realized at playback.

Granted, only to the extent of the gear preceeding them, the room their in, and the source material used.

All High frequency harmonics are an intregal part of timbre and pitch.

The more that can be propagated accurately, the more defined the sound will.

That can be both a blessing or a curse.

This is where RFs can make you love them or hate them.

They were primarily engineered for accuracy using the latest greatest technology.

Fast, tight, and controlled.

Perfect for todays popular HT multichannel formats, but harsh for most non-modern 2 channel material.

Here's my take on why that is.

Our playback gear aside, when audio engineers used to mix down their 30 odd tracks onto 2 channels, before MIDI, they were'nt hearing as much detail/info as what new gear has to offer.

But it was there, none-the-less.

When you record something and your recording gear exceeds the limitations of your payback monitor, stuff just gets in there that shouldn't.

That leads to an audio crapshoot of sorts.

Could be good, could be bad.

It really depends on the engineer and his gear he used, above all.

Often times, an older song will sound harsh with horns simply because your hearing the garbage that many engineers couldn't.

I say garbage, because if they had more revealing recording/playback gear back in the day, they would have attended to it.

As many know, there has always been a few studios with top notch, hand built equipment.

The best of the best.

Though, again, they were still limited to the capabilities of their playback monitors.

In comes modern technolgy rapidly advancing.

Now, we can hear it all.

Literally.

Not that the extra info modern gear can retreive is always bad, just sometimes hearing that information can be an unpleasant thing.

Horns, which tend to beam and distort in their own way, coupled with unintended harmonic input can be painful to listen to.

(listening fatigue)

With RF7s, running bi-wired, you have not only the clarity of a horn, but the added benefit of independant crossovers, and the accuracy of the Ceramettalic cones.

When used in HT, every creak, snap, crackle, and chirp is heard as if it was occuring in the room.

Simply perfect.

When used for older 2 channel formats, one must be prepared to hear the "musical truth".

Ha Ha

And don't I know...sometimes the truth hurts.

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Okay, so how do I bi-wire the RF-7's? I assume that I remove the high/low connectors from the posts, then run a wire from the amp to the high end posts and a wire to the low end posts, on each speaker. So, instead of the 2 wires I'm running now, I'll be using 4 wires? I want to be sure before I try it so that I don't fry anything :)

You're also totally right about the RF-7's with a great tube amp exposing engineering flaws. Some albums sound wonderful, and others just don't sound as good.

-Jesse

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Yep, that's the skinny of it.

Run two sets of wires from each amplifier terminal out to the RF7s.

Make sure the jumpers are removed so that the HF and LF can run independantly.

Any speaker cable (zip cord) will work fine, but for very little cash, a decent pair of AUdioquest Type 4, would permit a vast improvement.

I think you could get a 10' pair of them for around $20-$30 bucks.

It is fairly inexpensive and was specifically engineered for use with bi-wired loudspeakers.

They use two different gauge (18-22), solid core conductors wrapped systematically around a center dialectric to minimize RFI and a cover it with a thick PFE outer jacket dialectric to reduce EMI.

The idea being that in order to get ultimate clarity, one must first get the clearest signal possible to the speakers.

Lots of intriguing science myths floating around concerning the best way to acheive that but you really have to take them with a grain of salt while still maintaining an open mind.

The main thing is to keep whatever speaker cable your using away from any power cable.

If they must intersect, make sure it's at as much of a 90 Deg angle as possible.

The worst thing someone can do is allow a speaker cable to run parallel in close proximity to a power cable.

Have fun with it. :)

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