It is always a conundrum whether to polish or rearrange a stereo system.
The first time I hear a new audio system that has yet to be dialed in I have to decide if it is close enough for a bit of polish or so far off we need to start from scratch.
We just went through this exercise at PS Audio.
Ever since we replaced the Infinity IRSV with the aspen FR30s we’ve not been happy with the system’s bottom end—frustrating because the FR30s have an extraordinary bottom end that rivals the IRSV (aspens extend down to about 23Hz in the room and are more than capable of rattling your pant leg and putting a smile on your face). Unfortunately, because of Music Room 2’s dimensional ratios (and the fact its floor is as bouncy as a spring), the best position for imaging is the worst place for the bottom end (in the case of the IRSV we simply moved the separate bass towers to where in the room we got proper bass performance at the listening position).
Music Room 3, however, is a little longer front to back and the dimensional ratios work. Those few feet of additional length are all that we needed to enjoy the aspen’s thundering bass and so they were moved.
Caleb and the guys in sales did all the heavy lifting of switching systems and rooms. When I first sat down for a listen I was duly impressed. They had done a wonderful job of setting everything up and in the right place. I whipped out the disc from The Audiophile’s Guide: The Loudspeaker, and played Gabriel Mervine’s tracks (where the Quartet is presented one instrument at a time). Sounded pretty close but not perfect.
Polish or rearrange?
For me, the easiest way to determine this is to begin with some obvious polishing steps like moving a little the loudspeakers and/or the seating position. If it feels like we’re making sufficient progress then that’s the right thing to do.
If it’s just different…..then time to start from scratch.
In the case of Music Room 3 and the aspens, all we needed was a bit of a polishing touch (truth is, these are some of the easiest speaker in the world to dial in).
If you’re in the neighborhood, due stop in and have a listen.