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 Post subject: Bass Frustrations ...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:32 pm 
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I'm not sure that anyone can help me with this, but some ideas would be helpful. I'm not new at this hobby, and I've owned a decent list of equipment over the years (though I sold everything and took a five year break from hifi at one point).

3 years ago, when I got back into this, I just got a simple system -
Oppo BD83 player (already owned)
Anthem receiver
Paradigm Studio 60v2
Mirage 8" sub (already owned)

I was quite happy with that system, and in the last year or so couldn't help myself, so upgraded to what I have now:
Oppo BD103 player
Anthem AVM40
Anthem MCA50
Paradigm Studio 100v4
Paradigm Seismic 12

For movies, the second system is much better (matching center and surrounds). With 2.0 stereo, it also is more transparent than the first system, and has a larger dynamic window. But despite the greater number of drivers (extra 2 per speaker) and significantly increased power (200wpc from 100 wpc) the bass is really lacking without the sub.

The first system was more balanced in this regard - though not as polished or dynamic, it had a better tonal balance. The bass was fairly meaty, and 2-channel music sounded good.

The second system sounds great with the sub, but without it is really anemic in the bass. All the drivers are working. I have moved the speakers (and listening position) all over the place to try to compensate (even with speakers almost against the front wall) but with little overall impact. It measures fairly flat down to 45 Hz from listening position, with audible output to about 28 Hz.

Pictures of my dedicated listening room can be seen in my gallery. The floor is padded carpet over concrete, dimensions are about 18wx15dx8h.

Any ideas where to look? I've heard v5 of the Studio 100 in a show room (far away from room borders) and the bass was very punchy and weighty. Not like this.

Thanks for reading.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:50 pm 
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Drop the Paradigm speakers and get something with larger woofers from a long list of manufacturers. I can report back later this week on somewhat affordable Tekton Double Impact speakers and quality of bass. Speakers with side firing woofers could be an option.

I'd also try borrowing a different amp to see if it makes a difference.


Last edited by James_W on Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:01 pm 
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James_W wrote:
Drop the Paradigm speakers and get something with larger woofers from a long list of manufacturers.


Thanks for the thought; it has certainly come to my mind.

You know, the 100 only measures 2Hz lower than the 60 according to the brochure ... despite all of the extra hardware. I have a theory that even if they put twenty 6" bass drivers on each speaker, it would still sound like a 6" speaker, just with more volume capability and resolution. As a matter of fact, these 100s sound more like a monitor/stand mounted speaker than a floor stander, which has good points, and bad.

The 100s do a lot of things right, and I enjoy their overall sonic presentation. I bought them thinking they would satisfy my desire for more bass ... maybe not. Then again, my room may be difficult with the concrete floor. If I were on a wood floor, I think the bass would carry a lot better.

What is frustrating is that I put together a Topping amp with a pair of Otimus 7 speakers for my wife (3" bass drivers) for her computer station in the kitchen. They don't sound anemic in the bass. The Studio 100s do (again, perhaps it's the room).

At this point I'm tempted to set the bass tone control to +6; the thought makes me cringe, as I haven't used those since I was a teen. Or just continue to use the Seismic sub. I've been through a series of upgrades and don't have the desire, will, or money to do any more at this point. But open to ideas.

-- 12 Jul 2017 00:08 --

James_W wrote:
I'd also try borrowing a different amp to see if it makes a difference.


Yes, the 100v5 I heard in the showroom was powered with Bryston (4Bxx?) There was a real sense of power coming out of them even at moderate levels. But Bryston is at least 2x the price of Anthem ...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:21 pm 
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Location: Saskatoon, SK, CA
If they are anything like the 100 v2 which I still use in surround duty they are hard to drive. They need an amp that can supply current and the solution for me was a Byston 3b ST. Which drove them okay but was short on watts at the volume I typically listen. The 100's really hit hard when I add a voltage regulator power conditioner.

There are easier speakers to drive like Cerwin Vega that have lots of bass and they don't sound all that bad when other components in the chain are good.

Speaking of voltage, I had an audiophile friend over. We could see on the power conditioner I was using the volts dropped from 120 to 113 every time the bass hit. The voltage regulator power conditioner keeps the voltage at 120 and the speaker doesn't lag at all, makes for what I call slam bass.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:35 pm 
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Location: Leduc, AB, CA
Visit the Cardas website and figure out exactly where the guides say you should be placing your speakers. Be sure to measure your room dimensions very carefully. Also make sure you understand the instructions for your subwoofer, as poorly written instructions can sometimes be very misleading. Close is never good enough with speaker placement. Listen for a week or so, then play with toe-in. Give it a month, no pressure, then you will likely know what to do next. You have to know what you have before formulating a plan for a fix. Best wishes.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:16 pm 
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I would suggest revisiting your AVM50 setup. I do not own one, but I read a few pages of the user manual to help you out.

You should configure properly in the Speaker Configuration the Music "Bass Management Configuration" and make sure the LFE is not activated and you are using the "Large" speakers.

Then I would suggest for the Music configuration (as opposed to Movie config) to deactivate completely all the ARC (Anthem Room Correction). While you can use it for Movies if you want, I would never use it for Music. I always had bad experiences from any Automatic Room Correction system from any manufacturers. They tend to equalize your room and speakers so they sound flat... really flat and dull and they will never do a better job than human ears.

Listen to your system after these steps. Is the sound better? How is the bass now?

If still not to your taste, just take the take the time to equalize manually your system and use your ears as the best judge. I guaranty you will be surprised how much bass your Studios can deliver. Every modern Home Theater audio processor has the ability to let you manually adjust the range of frequencies instead of using the Automatic Correction system. If you feel you do not have enough bass, just experiment adding 1 db at the time to your low frequencies (60 hz, 100hz, 250 hz...). Go slowly, step by step, listen, adjust, readjust..., add some highs if you want, lower a bit the mids... Do not over correct, just small adjustments. Work with music you know well, be patient and have some fun!

Hope this can help.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:28 am 
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glaferri wrote:
I would suggest revisiting your AVM50 setup. I do not own one, but I read a few pages of the user manual to help you out.

You should configure properly in the Speaker Configuration the Music "Bass Management Configuration" and make sure the LFE is not activated and you are using the "Large" speakers.

Then I would suggest for the Music configuration (as opposed to Movie config) to deactivate completely all the ARC (Anthem Room Correction). While you can use it for Movies if you want, I would never use it for Music. I always had bad experiences from any Automatic Room Correction system from any manufacturers. They tend to equalize your room and speakers so they sound flat... really flat and dull and they will never do a better job than human ears.

Listen to your system after these steps. Is the sound better? How is the bass now?

If still not to your taste, just take the take the time to equalize manually your system and use your ears as the best judge. I guaranty you will be surprised how much bass your Studios can deliver. Every modern Home Theater audio processor has the ability to let you manually adjust the range of frequencies instead of using the Automatic Correction system. If you feel you do not have enough bass, just experiment adding 1 db at the time to your low frequencies (60 hz, 100hz, 250 hz...). Go slowly, step by step, listen, adjust, readjust..., add some highs if you want, lower a bit the mids... Do not over correct, just small adjustments. Work with music you know well, be patient and have some fun!

Hope this can help.

I would also check your anthem set up, if set up done automaticly with microphone??? I most of the time readjust auto setup, I find them very questionable when it comes to bass management?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:01 am 
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I'm not using ARC (older firmware pre ARC). Using "music" setting with front speakers set to "large" and all other speakers (including sub) defeated. I may try a factory reset though (or firmware update) and start from scratch. There's got to be something going on. I didn't notice this lack of bass when using an MRX500 as a pre/pro.

I'm hoping the MCA50 is running enough power. I mean, that's a 200wpc amp made in Canada that weighs over 60 pounds. None of the reviews accuse it of being bass shy. Perhaps a dedicated 20amp circuit for the amp would help?

I've used ARC with the 500 and while it is excellent for surround movies, it is nearly useless for stereo listening, except perhaps for subwoofer integration.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:55 am 
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I think the greatest improvement when using ARC is to be found in the lower frequencies (generally below the room's Schroeder frequency Fs) which for most rooms is 300hz and lower. This tends to greatly improve the bass and particularly subwoofer and main system integration. I don't really use it above this frequency except for the MOVIE mode where I have the pre-set at 5000Hz as I have a 5.4.2 ATMOS setup with wildly varying frequency responses across all of the various speakers. The gain in frequency smoothing far outweighs any minor sound penalty that may exist and goes along way to creating a unified sound field. For 2 channel, I prefer the simpler and (potentially) less intrusive method of lower frequency adjustments only.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:13 am 
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I think that once your ears become accustomed to the Seismic 12, the bass will always sound lacking without it.

As others have pointed out, some speakers with larger than 6 inch woofers MAY or may not help.
Personally, I LIKE 6 inch woofers......for computer desktop speakers.

Good luck.

del Sol


Last edited by del Sol on Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:30 am 
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Clean,quick,low distortion,accurate bass with ruler flat frequency response can sound wimpy.
A little bass tilt eq couldn't hurt.

Gary


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:06 am 
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James_W wrote:
Drop the Paradigm speakers and get something with larger woofers from a long list of manufacturers. I can report back later this week on somewhat affordable Tekton Double Impact speakers and quality of bass. Speakers with side firing woofers could be an option.

I'd also try borrowing a different amp to see if it makes a difference.



Plus 1. I found Paradigms to be "unsatisfying" (I had 5se Mk 3). Moved on and never regretted it. You need speakers with a minimum of 12 inch woofers to meet your needs (IMO). I am using CV D7s on one system, CV HED 321's on my other. Both are powered by old-school Carvers (cm 1090 and 1.0T) and have found that the bass response is excellent. I also have bi-wired JBL S38s to both Vega systems for additional mids and tops. This works for me. I found the Paradigms to be "veiled" and lacking bass. Be aware that, as you go to larger woofers, that damping factors in your amplification becomes more important.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:13 am 
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There should be no problem with bass in that system if properly set up. Do some homework on room acoustics and your Anthem's ARC. I'd suggest AVSforums as a great source of info, Especially the Audio theory & set up threads, and the ARC thread.
The Seismic 12 can plunge down to 14hz, and loudly, but it's not the most accurate for music so it can use some EQ help. I'm a strong believer in using a sub for 2ch because it's easier to compensate for room and listening position by placement than you can achieve with your mains.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:14 am 
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sasquatch wrote:
Clean,quick,low distortion,accurate bass with ruler flat frequency response can sound wimpy.
A little bass tilt eq couldn't hurt.

Gary


100% correct. Take a look at almost every one of the class A Stereophile speaker review measurement graphs, such as the one below. Almost all have a large low and high frequency kick and a dip in the frequency region where humans have the most sensitivity.

https://www.stereophile.com/content/wil ... asurements

I always start by getting a flat response, then adjust for pleasure. The end is never close to flat.

Keep the sub!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:34 am 
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sasquatch wrote:
Clean,quick,low distortion,accurate bass with ruler flat frequency response can sound wimpy.
A little bass tilt eq couldn't hurt.

Gary


Yup, once you take out room "bloat" the result seems anemic. I experienced this first hand when I built an infinite baffle sub, four 15" drivers EQ'd ruler flat as low as I could measure, and it took some getting used to, once I did though I didn't feel the need to tilt the bass for music much, but for movies to get a more visceral impact I'd crank it.


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