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Supersimo
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Hello everyone. New guy needs advice on speaker upgrade.

Hello guys I'm a virgin on here so please go easy on me.

My current system consists of the following: Creek cd53 SE cd player, NAD silverline s100 pre, NAD Silverline s200 Power amp, KEF Reference 104/2 speakers. Cabling is Nordost red dawn throughout.

My listening room is 6.5m long x 4.5m wide with speakers firing from the narrow wall (about 50cm from back & side walls in free space)

Overall the sound is good but the bass is a bit thumpy and perhaps not the quickest - in fact it seems to plod along sometimes. Midrange and treble are good. I tried rearranging the speaker position but it didn't change the sound much...

Do you think a speaker upgrade would solve the problem or could it also be the NAD amps ? I was thinking of Mordaunt Short Performance 6, Dali Helicon 400, used JM Lab Utopias, Hyperion 938's, ProAc, B&W 803's...even used KEF reference 4.2..

Any suggestions would be appreciated !

Jan Vigne
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Re: Hello everyone. New guy needs advice on speaker upgrade.

The 104's are getting on in years but they were a design capable of quick bass when driven by a good receiver and the fact you don't have that is bothering to me. I would be thinking of an equipment change. But I would try to get as much performance as possible from the gear I own before I spent any money. You say you tried speaker position changes. What method did you try? If you are doing this by intuition you might be doing it poorly. My experience has been that most often when I go into a room set up by someone who has "tried" placing speakers, they have made some wrong choices or they have a room that requires a placement other than what they've chosen for convenience.

First, I would suggest you get the speakers further out into the room. Put "speaker placement" in a search engine and read a few of the guidelines for setting up speakers in a room. George Cardas has a good reference for setting up speakers in a rectangular room and Wilson's W.A.S.P. is a good start for someone who has less freedom in placement. While the Cardas system works with the math of the room, the Wilson system works with what you hear in the room and has done a good job overall in many applications for me.

Work a bit with the speakers and possibly the equipment set up before you put money into equipment. Racks and support systems do have an influence on what you hear. You will have largely the same problems with new gear if you don't address them now. What are the room furnishings like and do you think they might be part of the problem? Is the room too dead acoustically? Have you walked the room to listen for the area where the bass improves? Where you sit in the room has as much influence on what you hear as speaker position does.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Hello everyone. New guy needs advice on speaker upgrade.
Audioman
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Re: Hello everyone. New guy needs advice on speaker upgrade.

Regarding your amps question, an audition of NAD's integrated amp C372 would be interesting.

As a previous poster mentioned, the KEFs are long in the tooth. Paradigm Studio 60 is a thought.

cyclebrain
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Re: Hello everyone. New guy needs advice on speaker upgrade.

Download true audios spectrum analyzer software for your computer. Buy a Behringer ECM8000 microphone $60 and a Rolls MP13 mic preamp, I forgot the price but I think about $40-50. With this setup find out what your speaker/room combination is doing and the effect of speaker and listener position has on response. Then try room treatment to fix the things that speaker/listerer positioning can't.
Very worthwhile project. Will show you how that no matter where you position your speakers, one thing will improve at the expense of another.

Supersimo
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Re: Hello everyone. New guy needs advice on speaker upgrade.

Thanks for the detailed reply Jan Vigne. I will also take a look at the link and try to position the speakers accordingly .... and see what happens !

I was also looking through the gallery to get an idea of how other posters set up their system in relation to the rooms. Very interesting.

Supersimo
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Re: Hello everyone. New guy needs advice on speaker upgrade.

Thanks Audioman but I don't really think the 372 would help. The silverline 100 & 200 pre and power from NAD is only 2 years old and cost approx 3,500 euro whereas the 372 from the same manufacturer costs about 900 euro and uses inferior components.

If I changed the amp I would go for a more grippy, punchy amp. Maybe a Krell integrated or something. I don't want to spend the money unless I have to so I will play around with the speakers first.

I have heard that the 372 is a good amp though. Thanks again !

Supersimo
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Re: Hello everyone. New guy needs advice on speaker upgrade.


Quote:
Download true audios spectrum analyzer software for your computer. Buy a Behringer ECM8000 microphone $60 and a Rolls MP13 mic preamp, I forgot the price but I think about $40-50. With this setup find out what your speaker/room combination is doing and the effect of speaker and listener position has on response. Then try room treatment to fix the things that speaker/listerer positioning can't.
Very worthwhile project. Will show you how that no matter where you position your speakers, one thing will improve at the expense of another.

I never thought about doing that ! I'll maybe try that in the future if I don't get the results I want by changing the placement. Thanks !

Supersimo
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Re: Hello everyone. New guy needs advice on speaker upgrade.

I spent about an hour last night changing the speaker placement and it did make a difference. In the end I positioned both speakers 12-14 (toed in) inches from the rear wall which was pretty much the same as before. However I did move both speakers a further 4 inches or so in from the side walls and I really noticed the difference. It seemed to tighten up the focus of the sound and give a less 'one note bass' sound with more depth to the bass.

In addition to this I toed them in an additional 5 degrees or so which also sounded - to my ears- better.

I believe that the speakers were originally too far apart compared to where I was listening from - meaning that I was in fact sitting too close.

I measured purely by ear and when I measured the distance between the speakers and the distance to my listening position I noticed that I have almost an exact equilateral triange.

Thanks for all your help on this topic...maybe I'll wait a while before buying new speakers !

ohfourohnine
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Re: Hello everyone. New guy needs advice on speaker upgrade.

Quote>> "... I have almost an exact equilateral triange. "

That relationship - speakers/listening position - works pretty well in lots of situations. Keep tweaking and save your money for a while. Good Luck.

Thor
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Re: Hello everyone. New guy needs advice on speaker upgrade.

You can also place one of them at not the same distance from the walls as the other - that way you don't excite the same node. It is an old trick with a scientific basis. One reason speakers are not cubes and bracing should not be symetrical.

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