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08Boss302

What To Do When You Don't Have A Balance Dial

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Looking for a bit of guidance and direction please peoples.

 

No matter the source, analog or digital I feel like my room has a right channel bias. It does go away with substantial volume but at normal to sensible levels I feel as though there is just bias to the right channel.

I have done all the normal things, swapped cables L/R, swapped the speakers and its still there.  Nothing is faulty.

 

My soundstage is fine, the vocals are by and large dead middle unless recorded otherwise, its just that I seem to be hearing more out of the right channel than the left and after a bit of listening it becomes very frustrating trying to make things sound like true stereo without pumping the volume and annoying the family.

My amp has a loudness button which helps a bit at lower volumes, it has tone dials but no balance dial.

 

Now, this could very well have become be a mental block, but now that I have heard it and zoned in on it cannot unhear it.  I've used my SPL meter and both speakers are fine using pink noise measured the same spot from the speaker and from my MLP.  I dont have any software or know how to produce a graph or supply measurements though. 

 

Is there anything I can do to try and replicate a balance dial on an amp that doesnt have one?  Has anyone else had this phenomena, what did you do?

I dont want to stick an ear plug in one ear or a heavy blanket over a speaker but could do this to trial...

The room is symmetrical and both speakers are mm perfect on each side of the room equally distanced from back and side wall with nothing else around them that differs from one side to another.....I sit between them forming probably a bit more an isosceles triangle than equilateral but its a line ball on that one.

 

 

Would one of those attenuators be worth a shot on the right channel only?  https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2-Harrison-Labs-FMOD-3dB-audio-attenuator-rca-in-line-level-reducer-1-pair/272677518411?hash=item3f7cd8bc4b:g:itcAAOSwRLZUC0Gv&frcectupt=true

I would plug this into the right channel of the amp input for what I am using and see how it goes, only issue is I'd prob need 5 of them for all inputs in that case I guess?

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2 minutes ago, 08Boss302 said:

I have done all the normal things, swapped cables L/R, swapped the speakers and its still there.  Nothing is faulty.

When you switch things does the bias switch or does it stay on the right?

 

If you have Roon you can adjust the gain on each channel. Maybe worth a try. 
 

 

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Posted (edited)

You have been a SNA member for a while now and not mentioned this before, so is it a new issue, what has changed recently?

Edited by awayward

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Stays the same, this is my frustration, I reckon it's due to one wall (the right wall) being plaster then to an external wall and the other bring plaster to another room and maybe more reinforcement in right side?

 

A preamplifier with balance could work too I thought but I like my amp and don't want lose its sound lol

 

Would moving the left speaker to more toe or something act in any way?

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Problem the same after switching spkr cables rules out source and amp. Have you physically swapped spkrs? Maybe use REW(Room Equalization Wizard) need a mic also take some time to learn how to use SW...

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, awayward said:

You have been a SNA member for a while now and not mentioned this before, so is it a new issue, what has changed recently?

Not much to be honest. I built my new rack but that's really it.

 

I noticed it a while ago but thought it was in my head - and still could be confirmation bias - but on my old amp from 18 months ago (Yamaha AS1100) I had a balance dial which would now be very useful to just play around with

Edited by 08Boss302
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Just now, mbz said:

Problem the same after switching spkr cables rules out source and amp. Have you physically swapped spkrs? Maybe use REW(Room Equalization Wizard) need a mic also take some time to learn how to use SW...

Switched speakers and cables etc, same thing.

It's not dramatic but as we all know, when your listening to your system as much as the music once you hear something a miss it needles you constantly 😂

Now I can't unheard it

 

I've tried everything from brutal death metal to Kenny Rogers and John Coltrane.  All were similar.

 

It's almost as of the left speaker disappears but the right doesn't

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I use ledr tones to check speaker positioning, and the relationship to the room. I downloaded the tones many years ago when illegal downloading was all the rage. I’ve found this online site if you are able to stream it. A very useful tool.

https://www.audiocheck.net/audiotests_ledr.php

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12 minutes ago, awayward said:

I use ledr tones to check speaker positioning, and the relationship to the room. I downloaded the tones many years ago when illegal downloading was all the rage. I’ve found this online site if you are able to stream it. A very useful tool.

https://www.audiocheck.net/audiotests_ledr.php

This looks really interesting

Will get onto this.  

I just toed the left speaker about more and it's made a positive difference, so while my speakers are now not uniformed it seems on a quick listen to have acted a bit like a balance dial somehow

 

I'll run the audiocheck too with speakers as I had them and also where they are now..

The OCD in me would prefer them positioned identical but if the room dictates a slight difference for the better sonic experience then I'll obey

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Have you checked your hearing? 

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I had an imbalance in my system to do with the room layout and reflections that balance couldn't fix - only the upper midrange and higher frequencies were offset. Using digital room correction with different profiles for left and right speakers nailed the problem and improved the focus out of sight.

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how are your ears themselves these days?

maybe treat them to a nice clean out? i.e. a flush via a GP or specialist vs hooking in with ear buds. just a thought no malice. although for a larf i did think of suggesting to slip a bit blu tack or something in your right ear

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8 minutes ago, Decky said:

Have you checked your hearing? 

yeah i was thinking the same - your post beat me to it

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14 minutes ago, Decky said:

Have you checked your hearing? 

 

11 minutes ago, wasabijim said:

how are your ears themselves these days?

maybe treat them to a nice clean out? i.e. a flush via a GP or specialist vs hooking in with ear buds. just a thought no malice. although for a larf i did think of suggesting to slip a bit blu tack or something in your right ear

Haha, I had a doc check up about two weeks ago due to a bppv episode and he checked my ears for an infection and  said they were all clean, I could go get an audiologist to do a hearing test but I reckon it's to do with the room

 

 

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He just needs to turn around and face backwards to see if the balance is unchanged.

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I just found the nordost system disc, it has the LEDR tracks @awayward provided on it, I don't have a means to run the tracks from the WebLink and the tracks last for a few seconds on the website but take a while to load.

The disc and shipping comes to nearly $100 as it's from the USA on eBay.

I might check some nordost stockists locally tomorrow see if they stock it, would prefer to keep local.

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.nordost.com/downloads/System%20Set-Up%20and%20Tuning%20Disc%20Booklet_LR.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjfqt2Kg4TrAhVacCsKHQm8BVcQFjABegQIBRAI&usg=AOvVaw0Wo8wL_tnSdneOTdRTqn4K&cshid=1596629246337

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1 minute ago, Ittaku said:

He just needs to turn around and face backwards to see if the balance is unchanged.

I'll do that tomorrow! I'll bring a kitchen chair in a listen forward then backward..my wife already thinks I've gone crazy during lockdown, this should confirm it for her 😂

 

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there is a big difference in having a "doc" say your ears are alright compared to having them checked by an audiologist, hearing checks are free, i would do this first if you like the sound of the system except the balance issue

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Fair point. Can book in but will wait now until this lockdown eases up. In the meantime I can tinker a bit with possible positions band I'll see if I can obtain the nordost disc or files.

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9 hours ago, 08Boss302 said:

I just found the nordost system disc, it has the LEDR tracks @awayward provided on it, I don't have a means to run the tracks from the WebLink and the tracks last for a few seconds on the website but take a while to load.

The disc and shipping comes to nearly $100 as it's from the USA on eBay.

I might check some nordost stockists locally tomorrow see if they stock it, would prefer to keep local.

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.nordost.com/downloads/System%20Set-Up%20and%20Tuning%20Disc%20Booklet_LR.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjfqt2Kg4TrAhVacCsKHQm8BVcQFjABegQIBRAI&usg=AOvVaw0Wo8wL_tnSdneOTdRTqn4K&cshid=1596629246337

I have the Nordost CD, I can rip it to flac and mail a usb thumb drive to you if you want, just PM me your details.

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12 hours ago, 08Boss302 said:

Looking for a bit of guidance and direction please peoples.

Get a temporary source like a smartphone or computer, and use it's balance control to see if that solves it.

 

Given that switching the speakers and cables doesn't solve it.... and you say that it's volume dependant.... and happens with multiple sources....  then I suspect it is either in your head,  or your amplifier is faulty.

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Have you tried mono test tones, so the sound is equal from each speaker?

 

Not sure if facing backwards will help as the ears are will be capturing things differently due to design.

 

I hear lows more in one ear, and highs more in the other ear, messes with me at times. Added to that It's a little with the room too, with refraction and reflection on one side and absorption on the other. I have just come to terms with it.

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54 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

Get a temporary source like a smartphone or computer, and use it's balance control to see if that solves it.

 

Given that switching the speakers and cables doesn't solve it.... and you say that it's volume dependant.... and happens with multiple sources....  then I suspect it is either in your head,  or your amplifier is faulty.

Confident the amp is not at fault, When I run Audyssey in the same room with my Marantz amp the speaker volumes are set slightly differently, that leads me to believe there is something happening in the room that causes the effect.  I will look at the results chart from Audyssey today and see what they show today.  I know its different amp but the speakers are the same and so is the room and positioning etc.

With regard to Increasing the volume, its an odd one but it seems to "fill" the issue, much like increasing speed can iron out a speed wobble.

All that said, I am not dismissing the fact that it could be in my head, of course, this is the last thing on the list to check!!

51 minutes ago, muon* said:

Have you tried mono test tones, so the sound is equal from each speaker?

 

Not sure if facing backwards will help as the ears are will be capturing things differently due to design.

 

I hear lows more in one ear, and highs more in the other ear, messes with me at times. Added to that It's a little with the room too, with refraction and reflection on one side and absorption on the other. I have just come to terms with it.

Ran some mono tones and some panning tones via Spotify, the mono tone was dead centre in a small ball, maybe I am more sensetive to low frequency on one ear also.

 

I find the whole thing quite interesting, its one of those happenings that only someone into Audio woudl pick up, my wife and daughter cannot hear a thing, but then they dont hear a change when I change something in or out either - but I swear I do!!

 

 

I am going to move things today and see if that alters anything.  Might be that I toe the left speaker in a little bit so its directed a bit more at me than the right, i'll start with small increments and keep going.  One other thing I have not done is bring the speakers close together in the middle of the room and work my out either.  If the issue is reinforcement on one side vs the other centralising the speakers and working my way back out should identify a point where that bias (albeit minor) kicks in.  I am limited to that though due to the TV and seating in the room so whilst I can try that method to potentially identify of disqualify a theory I cant leave the speakers in that position.

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15 hours ago, Ittaku said:

He just needs to turn around and face backwards to see if the balance is unchanged.

 

15 hours ago, 08Boss302 said:

I'll do that tomorrow! I'll bring a kitchen chair in a listen forward then backward..my wife already thinks I've gone crazy during lockdown, this should confirm it for her 😂

 

 

you're going to have to flip hearing by going ar$e-over-head so the forward orientation of your head and ears is maintained 

 

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1 hour ago, wasabijim said:

 

 

you're going to have to flip hearing by going ar$e-over-head so the forward orientation of your head and ears is maintained 

 

Lol, I've got a vision of Mork from Ork sitting in the couch

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