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drowland3550
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Sound lacks sufficient fury

My system -- NAD 325BEE integrated amp, NAD 525BEE CD player, Epos ELS-3 speakers -- sounds great most of the time with most music, but I've noticed that the sound sometimes becomes muddy and confused when playing complex rock or pop music at high volumes. I don't want to make too much of this. I most often listen to jazz played at moderate levels, and for that music the system produces clear sound that is extremely involving. Still, I'm curious to know what's going on.

I live in a loft apartment, so the listening space lacks ideal geometry, and I suppose that could be the cause. It's also true that the NAD isn't the most powerful integrated amp out there, and the speakers aren't the most sensitive, so another possibility is that the 325BEE lacks the horses to drive the Epos speakers at these levels.

For all that, my guess is that I'm just asking for too much from those tiny little Epos speakers. Thoughts?

wkhanna
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Re: Sound lacks sufficient fury

You might try repositioning your speakers to see it affects the issue you are having.
If it does, you might look to some kind of acoustic treatments. This can sometimes be as simple a thing as adding a carpet on a hardwood floor, or some heavy drapes on windows or walls.

RGibran
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Re: Sound lacks sufficient fury

Who knows what you mean by moderate versus high volumes but I suspect that in general you have already figured out your concern. Probably asking too much from the system. Things do tend to get muddy when there's not enough power or speakers begin to break up, and that type of music will certainly stress a system at higher volumes.

BTW...love the title of your post.

RG

dbowker
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Re: Sound lacks sufficient fury

I think it's pretty much what you said- too much space for your system to really fill the room. It's all good gear, but I'd say something more along the lines of the M12s or M15s by Epos would be more appropriate for a loft. One idea would be to get a good powered sub-woofer that could take up the slack from say around 120HZ. The Epos sub would be the obvious choice- I think they sort of assume the mini monitors you have need a sub for any real bass or room filling volume.

From Epos: "The Epos ELS SUB is different and was conceived as a means of extending the frequency response of a small pair of bookshelf speakers, rather than just producing large outputs at one particular frequency, such as 60 Hz."

I'd start with the speaker end first- you really just need to move a lot more air to get the volume and clarity for what you're talking about. If the amp needs more power you can decide that later. But even if it was 500 watts, those speakers have to be big enough to get the music out.

Also- think about some room dampening ideas- if you're getting multiple wide space reflections they'd create some real mush too. Good luck!

ethanwiner
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Re: Sound lacks sufficient fury


Quote:
the sound sometimes becomes muddy and confused when playing complex rock or pop music at high volumes.


Others here pointed you in the right direction. The room you listen in has more to do with the quality and clarity you hear than anything else - even which loudspeakers in most cases. Adding some bass traps and first reflection panels will improve the sound enormously.

--Ethan

dbowker
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Re: Sound lacks sufficient fury

Isn't it a bit of conflict of interest to recommend your own products as advice on a discussion forum? If a Music Fidelity rep, or Dan D"Agostinio started giving advice to buy their amps to "solve" a poster's problem, I think we'd have a problem- even if they were technically right, which in this case you probably are to some degree.

drowland3550
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Re: Sound lacks sufficient fury

I don't have any doubt that the overall sound is affected by the acoustics of the room and positioning of the speakers, but I guess I need convincing that this particular problem derives entirely from that source. My thinking, which may be completely wrongheaded, is that if the explanation were room acoustics then the problem would be audible at all volume levels and with various kinds of music.

That said, I did play around with speaker position when setting up the system and wound up with the speakers placed closer to the wall than was recommended in the reviews I'd read. As I recall, the reviewers found that they got the best sound with something like 18" of clearance (but maybe it was 24"), but at those distances I found the sound to be too thin. I ended up with my speakers about 10" from the rear wall.

So here's my ecuminical theory. The wonderful little Epos speakers are overwhelmed by my room -- they just don't have the heft necessary to fill the space convincingly. Placing them close to the wall reinforces the bass, filling out the sound. But while this reinforcement is a good thing at low and moderate volume, it's too much of a good thing at higher volumes, causing the sound to become muddled.

bifcake
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Re: Sound lacks sufficient fury

I tend to agree with other posters. I think your room is too big for your speakers. Your immersion and the amount of volume is dependent on room reflections. When a room is small, you don't need as much power to get the same volume as you would in a larger room. I think you're asking your speakers to play too loud. It doesn't seem loud to you because your listening space is big and it needs a lot of volume to fill it. However, if you were to place your speakers in a smaller space and put your volume control knob in the same position, I think you'd find that your speakers were playing too loud. I don't know if that makes any sense to you, but the bottom line is that I agree with the other folks.

drowland3550
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Re: Sound lacks sufficient fury

See, now that's what I like to hear. It gives me an excuse to shop for speakers.

But, seriously, thanks for the feedback everybody.

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