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RobTr

Upgrade help needed

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Hiya

Having recently heard a friends valve amp I realise just how nasty my set up sounds. It just dosn't encourage extended listening.

 

I have a Rega Planar 3 with Shure 97 A400x amp and Missions 733s.

My question essentially is what should I replace first - or what is the best way to improve my sound for say $1000. I'm guessing the speakers are the weakest link.

 

Any thoughts / advice much appreciated

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Hi Rob - can you give some details of your friend's system that you listened to?

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Hi Rob,

 

Welcome along. I'm not familiar with your speakers at all, but just looking at your system I'd recommend starting at the front end and working your way through trying out some different components.

 

Cheers

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RobTr;190444 wrote:
I'm guessing the speakers are the weakest link.

 

Your room then the speakers probable.

 

Could you post a pic of your room showing where the speakers are placed in relation to the rest of it?

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I've always heard OK sounds from Mission speakers and have never got along with pioneer amps (i have 2, use neither). me2 is right pointing out the room first.

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Room details would help.

 

As I often say, before throwing money at the problem, go through your existing setup and make sure everything is in order - turntable setup, speaker setup etc.

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Maybe borrow your friends amp for a listen in your system - might be a short circuit to the problem. Also as above look at your current system configuration & layout in the room to establish if that is optimized.

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I'm with Owen, need some idea of

1) what you are comparing your system against, and

2) what is your definition of 'nasty'??

 

You don't have any components that scream 'howler'..... just a cart/amp/speaker chain that is consecutively laid back in sound, so additively may lack a little life at the top, and a bit loose at the bottom? hence the need to know what you define as nasty :D

 

then we can consider room effects etc too, but unless your room is particularly live (polished floors, no carpet etc) or dead..( heavily furnished, lots of carpet and curtains0, it will influence but not overide the basic sound of a system, same with speaker placement....so again, what is nasty?

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Nak-Mad;190452 wrote:
then we can consider room effects etc too, but unless your room is particularly live (polished floors, no carpet etc) or dead..( heavily furnished, lots of carpet and curtains0, it will influence but not overide the basic sound of a system, same with speaker placement....so again, what is nasty?

 

All it takes is for someone to be sitting in a big 200 - 300hz null and their system will appear to sound dry and analytical lacking warmth and body. (as one example)

 

Option 1 is to spend a lifetime swapping amps and cables trying to add more warmth, or option 2 is to identify and address the null problem.

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Hey thanks for your comments interest etc.

 

The room is approx 4.0m square 10ft stud polished wooden floor no curtains or carpets and just a sideboard and sofa.

 

Speakers are on spikes and approx 1.8m apart ( with tt and amp between on sideboard) about 3.6m away from sofa.

 

It's warmth that's missing - so listening become a little taxing rather than the enveloping warm experience of the valve set up I spoke of.

 

The cartridge is newish so maybe it will improve with a few more hours ??

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You're describing a very reflective room. The advice given above may well alleviate this harshness you hear - get some more soft furnishings, or rugs , or curtains, or pets , or small children that will act as sound absorbers.

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Although a valve amp will tend to add some warmth I agree with the guys above that main problem is probably the reflective room.

Before you start spending money on alternative components see if you can get some soft furnishings into the room. You may be surprised at the difference.

If I remove the two soft couches from my room the sound is quite different.

Even though I have wall to wall carpet I have added another carpet square in the listening area.

Cheers

Graham.:)

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RobTr;190477 wrote:
Hey thanks for your comments interest etc.

 

 

 

The room is approx 4.0m square 10ft stud polished wooden floor no curtains or carpets and just a sideboard and sofa.

 

 

 

Speakers are on spikes and approx 1.8m apart ( with tt and amp between on sideboard) about 3.6m away from sofa.

 

 

 

It's warmth that's missing - so listening become a little taxing rather than the enveloping warm experience of the valve set up I spoke of.

 

 

 

The cartridge is newish so maybe it will improve with a few more hours ??

Rob,

You are sitting in the middle of a Peking Man song .. sounds a very 'live environment'...and the room shape is what it is!

As an experiment, beg, borrow or steal a couple of large rugs for the floor between the sofa and sideboard, something with a bit of pile. Grab a dining room chair and site it 2-2.5m from the speakers, toe the speakers in to converge on the chair, and have a listen at low-moderate volume... see what you think.

Have a listen from various positions in the room too..and note down what you hear.

 

Sounds like an older house... gib or panel walls?.. and what WAF factor do you have to accommodate?;)

 

If you can get hold of a copy of "get better sound" by Jim Smith to read, it will help immensely too.

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What others have said and it sounds like your speakers and couch are nearly hard up against the wall. play about with moving them towards the listening position and moving the couch out from the wall a bit.

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RobTr;190477 wrote:
The room is approx 4.0m square 10ft stud polished wooden floor no curtains or carpets and just a sideboard and sofa.

 

 

 

Speakers are on spikes and approx 1.8m apart ( with tt and amp between on sideboard) about 3.6m away from sofa.

 

 

 

It's warmth that's missing - so listening become a little taxing rather than the enveloping warm experience of the valve set up I spoke of.

 

That sounds like a very challenging room acoustically. Square rooms are usually the worst for producing big peaks and dips in the frequency response.

 

I rent where I live and have moved three times in the last six years. I have found the quickest and most reliable way to dial in a new room is to measure the frequency response. Otherwise at the end of the day you are just guessing.

 

This is a handy tool for getting a rough idea what particular speaker placement in a particular room could do...

 

http://www.hunecke.de/en/calculators/loudspeakers.html

 

(I'm having trouble updating Java at the moment so I can't put in your room dimensions)

 

And this is a good guide in how variations in the frequency response influence how your system sounds... http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

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