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Can I get some tips on improving my system please

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I have changed bits and pieces over the years and I'm fairly happy with what I have now but I know there are probably some simple things I've overlooked.

 

I mainly listen to digital music such as wav and flac files from a readyshare server attached to my router through my PC using Foobar with wasapi output.

 

My other components are

 

Asus Zonar D2X

 

Arcam Delta 290

 

Monitor Audio S8i speakers with cheap Bi-wiring.

 

My lounge is 4m wide x 5m long. Carpeted with plaster walls and average height ceiling.

 

The wife thinks the speakers are there to put ornaments on :)

 

I am fairly handy with a soldering iron if there are any mods recommended for the crossovers. I hear MA-s8i's can be a bit bright.

 

I do find the highs can be a little harsh at higher volumes but female vocals are not as forward as I have heard on some kef q35,s for example through my Denon PMA-720 amp though it has no where near the same punch.

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welcome to audioenz.

 

those speakers were designed for floorstanding use, raising them like that will affect their performance.

 

off the cabinet and onto the floor in front.

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Thanks for the tip Michael, although I may not be able to position them on the floor permanently because it's a high traffic area. I will definitely try it out though. Is it possible to sit then on bricks or something?

 

I never even thought about the importance of putting them on the floor.

 

Is bi-wiring recommended also?

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Definitely put the speakers on the floor. A speaker designer "voices" the speakers with the knowledge of how high from the floor the drivers will sit. Your speakers will not sound as intended up high.

 

From there, look as using a proper DAC instead of the sound card in your computer.

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Sounds unanimous ?

 

What ideas on a DAC?

 

I would like to continue using the pc optical out if possible.

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Brightness - I have found in the past, that bi-wiring can result in brighter tone - because separating the tweeter from the woofer allows the tweeter to be more dynamically - which should be all good, but the perceived tonal balance does change.

 

Try with the speaker connection links back in, if bi-wired.

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Well I tried a few things and there's good news and bad news.

 

I removed the bi-wiring and I don't think it's changed the brightness but it doesn't seem to have reduced the sound quality and fullness in general so I might stay with it for a while. Should I bi-wire or no??

 

I moved the speakers on to the floor, straight on the carpet and forward nearly a meter.

 

I cranked up a flac of "Doors, Riders on the storm" and I was ready to shake hands with Jim, the sound stage was really noticeable when the vocals kicked in. I've never really experienced it like that before :)

 

The sad thing is the speakers can't stay where they are :( might need a new house.

 

As far as the trebles being a bit bright goes I have heard of cross-over mods for these speakers but can't find any details.

 

The amp is supposed to be quite sweet. I bought it from a guy that lived near the mansion dotcom was renting. His kids had their own adventure playground.

 

I would be prepared to buy a reasonable DAC but none of my friends have any decent gear to try and I wouldn't like to spend too much without knowing it would make a difference. The Xonar isn't the worst DAC I've used.

 

Does anyone have experience changing from a reasonable sound card to a nice DAC?

 

I'm located at Beachlands in East Auckland by the way :)

 

 

 

 

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Try taping a piece of tissue paper on front of the tweeters

 

This may knock out the excessive trebels

 

Next issue is the quality of the recordings, if your source material is "brickwalled" the treble will be horrible

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Some decent speaker cable wouldn't go amiss. I wouldn't worry about bi-wiring either. Bridge the top and bottom together and just go shotgun (single cable). I've got some installer cable from Nordost. Not cheap, but it will give you another hit again...

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Lol, the tissue paper is an interesting idea but I would prefer to sort everything else out first and maybe then I will try the tissue and see if it makes a difference. Cheers Phred.

 

I have some reasonable recordings. Just a sample of last played...

 

"Led Zep,Ramble on" 2746kbps flac

 

"Norah Jones, Cold Heart" 1411kbps wav

 

"Pink Floyd, Run Like Hell" 820kbps flac

 

etc

 

I just did a quick google on that DAC Ernie, looks like a good'n. It would certainly be worth a try if we can work something out.

 

Last I looked the USB output was limited but it seems times are a changing.

 

I look forward to experimenting and getting my sound "perfect"

 

Cheers, Chris :)

 

 

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Unfortunately to tame the hi's you need to do a few things but sadly a couple are no-goes...

 

Use the speakers on the floor. This is where they are "voiced" to be.

 

Maybe try them upside down??? Worth a shot.

 

The TV screen in the middle really boosts the treble as it's a very reflective surface. Throw a sheet over the TV to kill the reflections... This has it's limitations when in AV mode though ;)

 

Bi-wiring IMO does increase the treble output. Single wire with the + wire to the + tweeter and the - wire to the - bass terminal. And use the same cable for the links as you are for the speaker cable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I tried the tissue over the tweeters as a test but that totally killed the tambourines.

 

I tried turning the speakers upside down and blocking the rear ports with some mixed results. I will leave them like that for a couple of days. Might have to tape the screwed up handy towels in so they don't keep getting blown out.

 

I may need to do some frequency testing to see if/where the balance is out.

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Yes, making sure that your  LFs are working, will help keep the HF balance in check.

 

Check the manuf's instructions but floor positioning & rear ported spkrs designs will be sensitive to rear wall proximity - experiment.  (They come with port 'bungs'?)

 

Grilles-on should also help tame HFs.

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I tried a few different combos and I'm fairly sure my speakers are missing some high/mid frequencies. I took the metal gauze off the tweeters which helped a lot but not really enough. I was wondering if anyone has an opinion on these speakers http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=1041386876 or any other suggestions ??

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They look nice and the reviews seem good but they are too far away to trial.

 

I have just purchased a dacmagic plus off trademe so I will see how that goes once it arrives and maybe try a bit of port blocking and experimenting with the speakers I have for now.

 

Looks like the speakers will need an upgrade some time soon though. I would really like to trial some Kef R500's but they are a bit out of my price range. For the right speaker I would change the cabinet :)

 

Went into Harvey Norman today to listen to the Theophany psallo cardia floor-standers. Not a bad sound but a bit out of my price range. They seemed fairly accurate,  open,  warm and balanced (if those are the correct terms) but it is always hard to tell in a shop on unfamiliar gear I guess and not knowing the quality of the recordings intimately. At ~4K I won't be buying them any time soon :)

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I have been doing more reading and those speakers look pretty awesome. They also have a bit of interest now on trademe. I didn't realise they had such a high amplifier rating. Up to 150w.

 

It's a pity about the 5 hour drive to check them out but they may be what I'm looking for.

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Went into Harvey Norman today to listen to the Theophany psallo cardia floor-standers. Not a bad sound but a bit out of my price range. They seemed fairly accurate,  open,  warm and balanced (if those are the correct terms) but it is always hard to tell in a shop I guess on unfamiliar gear and not knowing the quality of the recordings intimately. At ~4K I won’t be buying them any time soon but it's fun to have a listen

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Just a bit of an update.

 

I bought a dacmagic plus which upscales everything to 24/192 which they say only improves the quality.

 

Also bought a pair of old image 404's and had Chris fit the new crossovers and tune them up.

 

I gotta say, it's a huge improvement on what I had.

 

Silky smooth and cohesive sound even at volume with no fatigue. Really hits the enjoyment spot.

 

I have the speakers on the floor as advised atm and will be upgrading the cabinet to a shorter one as soon as I can sell the existing one.

 

I would like to thank everyone for their input.

 

Life is too short to listen to bad sound ?

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Excellent.....pics plse or it didn't happen!  ;-)

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Yes, I just have to upgrade the cabinet first. She's a bit of a jumble atm

 

Probably a week or two away

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Here is a pic. I still need to damp the wall behind

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