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Would better amplification solve congestion ?


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OK, go it.

Your preamp seems to have 2 lots of outputs. Run one to the power amp' and the other to the RCA inputs of the REL.

On the outputs to the power amp, use something like this - https://www.xkitz.com/collections/active-crossovers-and-bi-amplifiers-1/products/linkwitz-riley-2-way-active-crossover-fully-assembled-xover-2 to filter out the low frequencies to the power amp. 

About $140 delivered for 2 (one for each channel). You'll need a DC power pack or linear power supply. Sorted....

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Its pretty obvious too much is being asked of the speakers as they're far too small, and a 2-way, to cope with the demands of complex music played a reasonable levels.   

Did someone mention an Elektra?    

The instruments you describe have very low frequency extension, especially the organ, and require insane amounts of energy to be reproduced. The extra low frequency of digital audio is what's killing

2 minutes ago, deepthought said:

OK, go it.

Your preamp seems to have 2 lots of outputs. Run one to the power amp' and the other to the RCA inputs of the REL.

On the outputs to the power amp, use something like this - https://www.xkitz.com/collections/active-crossovers-and-bi-amplifiers-1/products/linkwitz-riley-2-way-active-crossover-fully-assembled-xover-2 to filter out the low frequencies to the power amp. 

About $140 delivered for 2 (one for each channel). You'll need a DC power pack or linear power supply. Sorted....

Does it matter whether it's the Left or Right output from the pre , as there's only 1 rca on the REL for what they call " low level " ?  A NAD amp I owned some time ago, had a specific " sub out " rca, which worked well.

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1 minute ago, Berkel said:

Does it matter whether it's the Left or Right output from the pre , as there's only 1 rca on the REL for what they call " low level " ?  A NAD amp I owned some time ago, had a specific " sub out " rca, which worked well.

OK, so it's summed mono.

 

One of these (preferably better quality) will do the trick:

MULTICOMP PRO PSG02777

 

 

 

REL T3 - Hi-Fi Database - Subwoofers

Edited by deepthought
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9 minutes ago, deepthought said:

OK, go it.

Your preamp seems to have 2 lots of outputs. Run one to the power amp' and the other to the RCA inputs of the REL.

On the outputs to the power amp, use something like this - https://www.xkitz.com/collections/active-crossovers-and-bi-amplifiers-1/products/linkwitz-riley-2-way-active-crossover-fully-assembled-xover-2 to filter out the low frequencies to the power amp. 

About $140 delivered for 2 (one for each channel). You'll need a DC power pack or linear power supply. Sorted....

or this :) :) :)

 

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Not sure on the specs on that. Looks to be "passive" so no idea what the slopes will be like (1st order, 2nd order) etc.

Worth checking out perhaps

I'd still use an RCA summer, like the Ebay one above to feed from stereo into the mono RCA in the REL.

Edited by deepthought
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1 hour ago, maximus said:

*Marantz 15s1 SACD player for $950 in SNA, crazy value and honest player.

PMC 25.21,   2.2k used, you'll get separation and good scale, accuracy, brilliant timing.

 

I agree with those PMC 25.21, small bookshelves with sub will handle congested music better then many floorstanders under $5k. When it comes to accuracy in normal volume they can compete against B&W 805d3. 

But PMC with class D amp is getting very close to active studio monitors. 

 

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I can verify what some posters have said about b&w speakers needing lots of power. I have floorstanders CM10 S2 and originally had a Emotiva XPA-2 Gen 3 amplifier driving them. They sounded good but as I listened to them more I thought they were lacking something. Unfortunately the Emo amp blew a component and while it was off getting repaired I did some research on other listeners experiences with CM10s and purchased an Elektra HD Reference 300 watt amp. Wow, it made a massive difference to the sound. The speakers were more alive and bass response improved dramatically, so I suggest you probably would notice a difference with more power, at least an amp that can handle the range of impedance that the B&W CM speakers seem to need. My thoughts only based on my experience...other posters are much more knowledgeable than me on the technical issues. Unfortunately Elektra amps are not cheap, but they sure do deliver the power.

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Amplifiers are a funny thing when you are looking at pairing them with speakers.

 

I have played around a fair bit and am now running a pair of Tannoy DC1000 concentrics with an Old Richter Son of Thore sub in my Dinning Room and have to say am very impressed using an A/B class Kenwood player.

 

My lounge am running Snell Type B's which were powered by a Yamaha A1, then went to the Yamaha Ax1 for more power (170x170w), then went to a Yamaha 2602M (260x260w) using the Yamaha Pre CX-A5000 alot better giving the speakers a chance to breath easy when needed.

I also have a Emotiva XPA3 Gen1 seems to be alright but no good when using more than 75% of its power so use that on my rear and centre channels only now. (It blew a channel running at 80% continuous).

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, IanRM said:

I can verify what some posters have said about b&w speakers needing lots of power. I have floorstanders CM10 S2 and originally had a Emotiva XPA-2 Gen 3 amplifier driving them. They sounded good but as I listened to them more I thought they were lacking something. Unfortunately the Emo amp blew a component and while it was off getting repaired I did some research on other listeners experiences with CM10s and purchased an Elektra HD Reference 300 watt amp. Wow, it made a massive difference to the sound. The speakers were more alive and bass response improved dramatically, so I suggest you probably would notice a difference with more power, at least an amp that can handle the range of impedance that the B&W CM speakers seem to need. My thoughts only based on my experience...other posters are much more knowledgeable than me on the technical issues. Unfortunately Elektra amps are not cheap, but they sure do deliver the power.

Thanks Ian,

That certainly is very interesting, especially from your 1st hand experience.

Dennis

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I just tried listening with the subbie disconnected. Very little bass ( on organ music )but perhaps a small improvement in congestion ( muddle ). However, I need to have the " contour " turned to L - 2, i.e. 2 steps down from neutral. I had it on neutral to start, but couldn't bear the harsh treble. On L -2 it was reasonable.

 

Cheers,

Dennis

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Would a Krell KAV 300i do the trick with my B&Ws ?

 

Cheers,

Dennis

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If you're contemplating getting this one then go for it. It's the only SS amp that I have repurchased after onselling it the first time. It has plenty in reserve and works very well with B&W floorstanders. If you like PRAT then this is for you. You can also hook it up as a power amp and add a tube preamp in the future.

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Krell-KAV-300I-Integrated-Amplifier-Black-Enamel-and-Silver-Charcoal-Alumunium-/274634539376

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On 10/01/2021 at 2:03 PM, Berkel said:

Thanks again folks. All good suggestions, but I'm unsure which to tackle first.

I have limited funds ( the age pension doesn't allow much " mad money " to spend on audio ) so what's the 1st

" line of attack ", i.e. cost : benefit ratio ?

 

Dennis

 

Hi,

are you sure you don't have vibrations of speaker cabinets/devices/cables affecting the playback at high volumes? This would concur to sound congestion and the fix might be on the cheap side...

 

About component swapping, I recently got a pair of Finnish amphion Prio towers and they are so revealing I couldn't believe I was so used to the sound of congestion...

 

HTH,

Stefano

 

P.S.:  50Hz cutoff for the sub is in my experience right if you really want not to color voices

P.P.S.: My analog rig used to play tones very very deep, deeper than those of my digital one... I don't really think vinyl playback is bass limited, generally speaking.

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10 hours ago, Berkel said:

Would a Krell KAV 300i do the trick with my B&Ws ?

 

Cheers,

Dennis

I think the last good small B&W speaker made that were reasonably priced were the DM100 and DM110. I think the Krell will make them shrill.

Get more efficient larger speakers mate. These could be helpful.

 

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16 hours ago, Berkel said:

I just tried listening with the subbie disconnected. Very little bass ( on organ music )but perhaps a small improvement in congestion ( muddle ). However, I need to have the " contour " turned to L - 2, i.e. 2 steps down from neutral. I had it on neutral to start, but couldn't bear the harsh treble. On L -2 it was reasonable.

I don't think I implied anywhere it would sound significantly better without the subwoofer by the way.

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No, I realise that. I just wanted to try this experiment to hear if there was less congestion.

Not really much difference.

11 hours ago, xlr8or said:

If you're contemplating getting this one then go for it. It's the only SS amp that I have repurchased after onselling it the first time. It has plenty in reserve and works very well with B&W floorstanders. If you like PRAT then this is for you. You can also hook it up as a power amp and add a tube preamp in the future.

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Krell-KAV-300I-Integrated-Amplifier-Black-Enamel-and-Silver-Charcoal-Alumunium-/274634539376

I've read lots of good reports on this Krell, however I remember hearing one years ago, and to me it sounded overly bright in the treble.

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Thanks to all who have responded with suggestions and recommendations.

I'm still unsure of which route to take : different speakers or amp. Also whether the subbie is drawing off power, as I've interpreted some folks suggestions. My interpretation is that it's better to connect the sub from either a dedicated " sub out " ( as I used to have in a NAD C 326 BEE ) or extra " pre - out " in my pre amp, instead of using the Neutrink connection through the speaker terminals ..... ?

I don't understand the purpose of the external crossover which was mentioned.

 

The majority of respondents  indicate I would be better off with larger, more efficient speakers.

So, I'm going to do more research, and would welcome more feedback if anyone would like to share their experience.

 

Cheers,

Dennis

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2 hours ago, Wimbo said:

I think the last good small B&W speaker made that were reasonably priced were the DM100 and DM110. I think the Krell will make them shrill.

Get more efficient larger speakers mate. These could be helpful.

 

Thanks, but space is a problem .

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Not sure if this has been suggested yet but If you have an issue that you chose to describe as "congestion", the first thing I would do would be to grab a usb mic and run a few sweeps of your room with REW (free software and easy-ish to use).

This will show you where your room modes are. Room modes cause boominess, especially at high volumes, which congests the presentation and obscures detail. The effect can be massive, especially in systems with a subwoofer.

Fortunately you can get rid of these with EQ.

 

The easiest and cheapest solution is to equalise down your room modes using a parametric EQ such as the one in Roon. However this will not apply to your turntable set up (which you say does not have a problem, but this puzzles me).

 

The best way to permanently address room modes is to get a DSP system (I recommend Minidsp SHD but DEQX is also highly rated) which will seamlessly integrate your sub with your mains and gets rid of all the room modes. I would be extremely surprised if you still experience any congestion after the room modes have been dealt with. 

 

Part of the problem can be also that your amp is clipping or your speakers are compressing at high volume, but I would not describe this as congestion...more as distortion or lack of dynamics.

Edited by o2so
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24 minutes ago, Berkel said:

The majority of respondents  indicate I would be better off with larger, more efficient speakers.

So, I'm going to do more research, and would welcome more feedback if anyone would like to share their experience.

 

Cheers,

Dennis

This is only going to help you if the problem is that your speakers are compressing or your amp is clipping. If the problem are room modes, bigger speakers will not solve it. In fact they could make it worse.

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To clarify, you can see the frequency response chart in my room, suing two bookshelf speakers and two subwoofers, without and with EQ to control room modes.

 

 

ls50meta_SVSSB200_EQoff.jpg

ls50meta_SVSSB200_EQon.jpg

Edited by o2so
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1 hour ago, Berkel said:

I don't understand the purpose of the external crossover which was mentioned.

The purpose of the external crossover is to stop sending bass to your main speakers that the subwoofer is already doing, to allow them to breathe better and not work in their compressed sound range. It is the solution to what I suggested may be the problem plaguing your setup.

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2 hours ago, Berkel said:

 

I don't understand the purpose of the external crossover which was mentioned.

 

 

As Con posted, Dennis:

 

22 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

The purpose of the external crossover is to stop sending bass to your main speakers that the subwoofer is already doing, to allow them to breathe better and not work in their compressed sound range. It is the solution to what I suggested may be the problem plaguing your setup.

 

IOW:

  • you connect your pre out RCAs to the external active XO (such as a miniDSP 2x4 or 2x4HD)
  • the active XO splits the sound into hi's ... and lows.
  • the hi output goes into the power amp inputs (driving your B&Ws) - this would be, say, frequencies above 80Hz.
  • the low output goes into the sub low-level inputs - this would be, say, the frequencies below 80Hz.

With this arrangement, the B&Ws are no longer trying to push out LFs.  This means 2 things:

  1. the amplifier's power can be used to better effect on the rest of the FR (ie. above 80Hz).
  2. and the distortion level on the B&Ws goes down - as the bass cone is no longer excurting as far as it did when it was trying to deliver the lower frequencies.

If you still need more power on the B&Ws, then look for a more powerful amp.

 

Andy

 

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Thanks Andy ; that explains it nicely. Much appreciated.

 

Dennis

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1 hour ago, Ittaku said:

The purpose of the external crossover is to stop sending bass to your main speakers that the subwoofer is already doing, to allow them to breathe better and not work in their compressed sound range. It is the solution to what I suggested may be the problem plaguing your setup.

Thanks Con ..... very helpful.

Dennis

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3 hours ago, o2so said:

This is only going to help you if the problem is that your speakers are compressing or your amp is clipping. If the problem are room modes, bigger speakers will not solve it. In fact they could make it worse.

Or not. Big speaker> big instrument. Small Speaker> Small instrument. Or Soundstage. His problem is trying to get a full scale orchestra with dynamics out of a small loudspeaker.

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25 minutes ago, Wimbo said:

Or not. Big speaker> big instrument. Small Speaker> Small instrument. Or Soundstage. His problem is trying to get a full scale orchestra with dynamics out of a small loudspeaker.

I thought his problem was congestion.

If the problem is dynamics, then yes a bigger speaker will have greater dynamics (at high volumes only).

I do not  agree with the statement that a small speaker with a subwoofer will have a smaller soundstage than a big speaker. Maybe not as tall, depending on the height of the tweeters, but the width depends on the tweeter of axis response (for the same placement in the room).

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Wimbo ; you've nailed it !

Can full - scale symphony orchestra / cathedral pipe organ be REASONABLY reproduced in the home ?

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1 hour ago, Berkel said:

 

Can full - scale symphony orchestra / cathedral pipe organ be REASONABLY reproduced in the home ?

 

 

Yes, it can!  But not, realistically, from small stand mounts like yours.  :(

 

But I thought you had said, last year, that you were quite happy with the sound you were getting - it's just that, as a result of some equipment swaps since that time, your musical enjoyment decreased?

 

Given you have a sub, you can get valid orchestral reproduction from the equipment you have ... but you need to make some tweaks:

  1. introduce a HP XO to roll off the B&Ws, so 80Hz or 100Hz and below is handled by your sub.
  2. have several hundred watts driving them.  See if you can get hold of a s/hand Elektra HD Reference 300w amp, like IanRM bought.  Or even a used Emotiva XPA-2 Gen 3, like he had before.

Andy

 

Edited by andyr
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2 hours ago, o2so said:

I thought his problem was congestion.

If the problem is dynamics, then yes a bigger speaker will have greater dynamics (at high volumes only).

I do not  agree with the statement that a small speaker with a subwoofer will have a smaller soundstage than a big speaker. Maybe not as tall, depending on the height of the tweeters, but the width depends on the tweeter of axis response (for the same placement in the room).

I'm mainly talking about the instrument size. Yes, the soundstage is involved and with that, we all know that we have to use our eyes there.

As I said before and after listening to various versions of them, I find there smaller cheaper speakers lacking in detail and dynamics and in a lot of cases there cheaper floorstanders as well.To be honest, I found Orpheus and early Richter blew them away. I was also a fan of the Basic Sonique 5.5. Not the SE.

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Its pretty obvious too much is being asked of the speakers as they're far too small, and a 2-way, to cope with the demands of complex music played a reasonable levels.   

 

+1

 

A powerful amp say 250 w with a big power supply will control the mid/bass driver much better, but if you want to listen to complex music at reasonable levels without compression you'll be better off moving on from standmounts ..

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Maybe this is a broader question for a separate thread, but is there any reason why standmounts + subs can't reproduce complex music at reasonable levels as well as floorstanders?

 

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Can't really see the case.

 

My previous setup consisted of 2 standmounts + 2 subs (each 100lt. sealed, filtered at 50Hz, if I remember correctly) and I had a wide powerful musical "picture" out of it.

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1 hour ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

Maybe this is a broader question for a separate thread, but is there any reason why standmounts + subs can't reproduce complex music at reasonable levels as well as floorstanders?

 

Depends on what "reasonable levels" is to you. Basically if you have enough surface area, and enough excursion, but remain within the linear range of the drivers, it won't matter whether it's a floorstander or a standmount.

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1 hour ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

 

Maybe this is a broader question for a separate thread, but is there any reason why standmounts + subs can't reproduce complex music at reasonable levels as well as floorstanders?

 

 

My opinion is ... that they absolutely can, Trev - but:

  • the stand mounts (as small spkrs are generally inefficient / drop to low impedances) need to be driven by a powerful amplifier
  • they need to be high=passed, and
  • the subs need to be good, too.

Andy

 

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Lot's of info going on here, but I'll just offer what i've been looking into recently for organ reproduction in classical music: tapped horn subs?

 

If size is an issue then they're a no-go. With >300L speaker now in the listening room, I too am struggling to figure out where I would fit some of these reportedly organ-worthy subs...

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5 hours ago, andyr said:

 

Yes, it can!  But not, realistically, from small stand mounts like yours.  :(

 

But I thought you had said, last year, that you were quite happy with the sound you were getting - it's just that, as a result of some equipment swaps since that time, your musical enjoyment decreased?

 

Given you have a sub, you can get valid orchestral reproduction from the equipment you have ... but you need to make some tweaks:

  1. introduce a HP XO to roll off the B&Ws, so 80Hz or 100Hz and below is handled by your sub.
  2. have several hundred watts driving them.  See if you can get hold of a s/hand Elektra HD Reference 300w amp, like IanRM bought.  Or even a used Emotiva XPA-2 Gen 3, like he had before.

Andy

 

You're quite right Andy. I was enjoying the music, but since changing equipment, the enjoyment has diminished, and the sound is irritating to a degree. Of course memory is a fickle thing, but I seem to recollect that my satisfaction levels were higher when I had a couple of NADs. It's all about synergy eh ?

Dennis

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3 hours ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

Maybe this is a broader question for a separate thread, but is there any reason why standmounts + subs can't reproduce complex music at reasonable levels as well as floorstanders?

 

 

Probably worth defining where the probably is, in the bass or the sub-bass frequency range:

 

image.png.e8738febd862e569f662f986d2a8672d.png

Edited by Telecine
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