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glen999
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newbie's question: sound from speakers

Hi all,

I have B&W 603 S3 + ARCAM A80 + ARCAM CD73.

sometimes, i think i can feel that the certain sound coming directly from the speakers. (with many CDs)
don't feel the soundstage.
can i improve it?

try to find stereophile test CD in singapore. so far, no luck.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: newbie's question: sound from speakers

The gear that you have is certainly wothy of a very, very good sound syetem. I do not think the components are the issue unless something is defective, which you would have picked up on by now.

Speaker position in your room could be robbing you of soundstaging. You may have to start experimenting with not only the overall position, but spacing apart, 8-9-10-11-12 feet, that improves this. Also the nearness of the rear and side walls will make a huge difference as will the rest of the furnisihings in the room.

Also some listeners will triangulate the position and will slighly toe-in the speakers facing direction to be aimed directly at your prime listening position. This may take some time and if you have someone who can help with the moving while you listen it can help as well, especially when you get to the final "tweeking" stage.

Also I have found in my living room where I listen often my seating position is not ideal at 12 ft where I sit most of the time. I can tell that in this room the optimum listening position is more like 15-17 feet back. My room has a vaulted ceiling, a fireplace to the left and is open on the right to a main hallway and to a 7 steps-down foyer to the front door, totally open on the right. There are many issues to the right side of my room with no real boundry there that the left wall and fireplace provide. My left speaker sits about 7 feet from that left wall. The right speaker has no wall. I can feel your pain. I do not suffer from any soundstaging issues, but I do have some channel balance issues from these boundaries that I have delt with. My speakers are only 8 feet apart, but there is air, depth and detail aplenty. The further back I get there is more of a cohesion/togetherness to the performance.

You may also want to start looking at your source to amp cabling and upgrade your speaker wires unless you have already done so. Look at the April "Phile" issue for their recommended cables. Even if some of the cables are expensive you should only have to buy them once.

Find a dealer who will allow you to try different manufactures and models from each. You may also talk to your Arcam dealer for their recommendations. They should be just as concerned about your lack to total enjoyment of their system you bought. This is what a good dealer is for. Value added.

There is no reason with the gear you own for you not to have an excellent stereo experience with air, depth, stage width and detail any of us would be proud to own. Good luck.

Monty
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Re: newbie's question: sound from speakers

Some recordings will be better than others at tossing a nice soundstage.

The very first thing in determining this aspect of reproduction is in sitting in a good spot. As a starting point, be sure and sit precisely between the speakers and form an equalateral triangle between you and each speaker. If the speakers are 8ft. apart, sit 8ft. away from them. The ideal location will depend on variables that you will have to determine as you become more familiar with the sound.

Speakers can vary greatly in how much distance they need to fully integrate the drivers and image properly. After you have tried listening from an equal distance, move back a foot at a time and listen to the same music. After that, move back another foot or so until it becomes pretty obvious that you are losing the soundstage separation.

If your room is large enough, do the same thing with the width between your speakers. Obviously, you have to be practical about where the speakers are going to live and where you are going to be while listening, but start with some sort of equalateral triangle.

If you toe the speakers in too much, that can narrow the soundstage a lot. A lot of people have way too much toe-in.

glen999
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Re: newbie's question: sound from speakers

thanx, guys. will do based on ur recommendations.

By the way, plesae forgive me. what do you mean by 'toe-in'?

While i moved around my speakers just now, I realized that i could hear hissing sound from the tweeter as my amp is on for 24X7. is it normal?

sorry to post so many questions as I still search for books for hi-fi beginner

Monty
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Re: newbie's question: sound from speakers

If you stand up and look down at your feet while trying to point your toes toward one another, that is "toe-in."

A certain amount of very low in level hissing is not abnormal. This is most likely RF noise created by junk in the electrical supply, though it could be partly due to your amplifier or cables. If you can't hear the hissing from your listening position, it's probably something to try and deal with at some point in the distant future or perhaps ignore if you can't hear it from where you are sitting.

glen999
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Re: newbie's question: sound from speakers

hi all,

should speakers point towards us or a few inches behind us?

thanx.

Kal Rubinson
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Re: newbie's question: sound from speakers


Quote:
should speakers point towards us or a few inches behind us?

Or a few inches in front of us? The Blumlein arrangement specifies having them point a few inches in front on the premise that any off-center listening position would have the effect of moving towards the axis of one speaker while simultaneously moving closer to the other. Sort of a dirty auto-compensation.

Kal

glen999
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Re: newbie's question: sound from speakers

I used to play a few of my favorite CDs in my car stereo.

But when i play these CDs in new B&W hi-fi, all the weaknesses are exposed. Singers become lousy. music lousily recorded.

do you have such experience?

Kal Rubinson
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Re: newbie's question: sound from speakers


Quote:
I used to play a few of my favorite CDs in my car stereo.

But when i play these CDs in new B&W hi-fi, all the weaknesses are exposed. Singers become lousy. music lousily recorded.

do you have such experience?


Nope. I rarely play CDs in the car and, then, usually terrible ones.

Kal

smejias
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Re: newbie's question: sound from speakers


Quote:

do you have such experience?

I've noticed this at times, Glen. Like you, I still consider myself new to this hobby, as there's so much to learn and experience. I think you'll find that some speakers are more revealing than others, will be more critical of poor recordings.

I wrote a little bit about this kind of thing here, concerning my experience with a Beck song.

A reader (Newbilong) left a very good comment, which you might also find helpful:

"you're hearing it right, Stephen. i think Guero is poorly produced. to me it sounds over-compressed and over-processed as if it was made only for ipods and car stereos (where it sounds heaps better, by the way). the soundstage is narrow and crowded. the dynamics are limited. the midrange, where all the music happens, is foggy, and all the highest frequencies have been carved off so the vocals sound lifeless and airless. the crud will sound like electronic hash on a good system like yours. that said, it shouldn't sound irritating like it did through the Aural Acoustics. a good system can make bad recordings sound disappointing, but it shouldn't make them sound irritating."

Logan
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Re: newbie's question: sound from speakers


Quote:
I used to play a few of my favorite CDs in my car stereo.

But when i play these CDs in new B&W hi-fi, all the weaknesses are exposed. Singers become lousy. music lousily recorded.

do you have such experience?

I think many recordings of a certain genre are deliberately engineered to sound good in less-than-ideal listening situations, such as car, ipod, ghetto blaster etc. Thus they sound lousy in quality equipment. We must conjecture as to the motives of the record companies in doing this, but the relative affluence (or lack of it) of teenagers, together with an apparent deficiency in critical facilities, might have something to do with it.

On the other hand I've recently been visiting the houses of some of the local rich and famous as part of a social survey. There is a trend - the more ostentatious and opulent the surroundings the more likely it is that audio is provided by a mini-system sitting on a window-sill in the kitchen. Krell and Martin Logan are usually found in the houses of those who would have to sacrifice to buy them. I'll leave it to the sociologists to explain that one.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: newbie's question: sound from speakers

I remember some big selling pop artists that as their last sound check was to take it outside and see how it sounded in the car. $5000 ribibon mics and thousands of dollars in mic pres later, look at what we are left with. I also remember some engineer telling how he pushed the sound to the right channel more so the driver hear a better image...for what I don't know. Now what do you do when you get home and sit in the sweet spot?

Once you start coming to Stereophile land you must upgrade your software or go crazy. Hearing gnat farts at 50 feet just became the audio equivilent of an elephant with a serious digestive problem.

Buy some of the software from the "Phile" site and you will really get it. Then go to www.musicangle.com and you can find some vinyl really worth spinning. Michael will have you scurrying to all of your older relatives to see who has an old turntable stached in the basement or the attic.

We would all appreciate more record reviews, but we do understand the economies of the magazine. This forum as been a big help in trying to expand this kind of software coverage.

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