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Monitor Audio RS8 too much bass boom....Help

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by bookle, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. bookle

    bookle Active Member

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    Just taken delivery of a lovely pair of MA RS8's.:)
    Bi-amped via an Arcam AVR300 with SB3 as music source and a sub.

    My problem is I have faaaar too much bass on rock tracks, it is mega boomy.
    Everything else about the RS8's is just fabulous !!!

    I have a small/med room which is 3m wide by 5.5m long with speakers at the narrow end about 8" from rear wall and 10" from sidewall. Sub is behind a settee and well placed for good clear bass.
    Room also has all the wrong things in it (laminate suspended floor, not much soft furnishing etc).

    Never had such a big an issue with my QA 1050 floorstanders (due to careful placement of my sub and avr crossover at 80Hz and advice from a fellow forum member).
    I thought all I had to do was drop the RS8 in place of the QA's and i was in business. But the RS8's have multiplied a small but manageable problem by 5.
    Its nothing to do with the sub as I have tried switching the sub off and problem is still there.

    I have to trim the avr crossover to 100Hz or more and turn down the bass 2dB to make it tolerable !!!
    However I don't want to kill those lovely RS8's by taking too much away from them. Every 10Hz I increase the crossover I lose more weight and authority.

    So far, I have tried....

    Bungs in rear and front ports (all combinations) = no difference whatsoever
    Position away from wall - minor improvement but had to move them too far into the room to be practical
    Heavy curtains and rug - going in v. soon.

    Changing the room is much trickier than the speakers. I can do the soft furnishing + rug part but I can't change the decor with bass traps etc.

    Do I face the fact the speaker is too big for the room:thumbsdow, bite the bullet and trade in the RS8 for a good pair of bookshelfs ?.
    or
    Persist with room and speaker adjustments
    or
    Any other suggestions out there....


    thanks, alan
  2. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard Well-Known Member

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    Curious, is your AV amp set to 'Small' or 'Large'?

    Most recommend it be set to SMALL.

    With Small the low bass is directed away from the front speakers, and strictly sent to the Sub.

    With Large, the low bass is sent to both the fronts and the Sub.

    If your fronts are too bassy, they likely you have then set to 'large'. Setting them to small will start a fast roll-off of all frequencies below the set Sub crossover frequency.

    That should solve your problem, assuming it is a possible setting on the AV amp.

    Steve/bluewizard
  3. bookle

    bookle Active Member

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    Speakers are set to large for movies but the avr300 has different setting available for stereo.
    I have this set to 'sat + sub' along with a sub crossover of 100Hz.
    If I set stereo speakers to 'large' then wow, the boom is unbelievably bad with the fronts getting full frequency.
  4. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard Well-Known Member

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    Try setting the amp so that for stereo, you just have the front speakers with no Sub.

    I would suspect that if your amp is set to Large, then when you change to Sat+Sub for stereo, it remains set to large.

    While you may sacrifice some bass if you set the amp to Small, I don't think it will be much. You can always boost the output from your sub, and I think removing the low bass from the fronts will clear up midbass and midrange quality.

    But given how nice the RS8 are, I think they will perform best in a pure 2.0 mode for stereo.

    Just a suggestion.

    Steve/bluewizard
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  5. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer Active Member

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    Given all the things you have tried to do to tame the bass boom it sounds like the speakers are just not suitable for the room. This highlights the importance of getting a demonstration of any speakers you intend on purchasing beforehand and most local dealers would be able to offer a home demonstration.

    I would recommend having a look at some much better quality but smaller speakers. Something along the lines of the PMC DB1i standmounts or the very slimline GB1i would work superbly in a room the size of yours and I know from experience that they are a formidable combination with the Arcam amplification. Both of these speakers are well suited to small rooms and are not too fussy position wise.

    Other speaker options to consider would be the Dali Ikon 1 standmounts of the Dali Ikon 5 floorstanders which are both very good speakers and should not exhibit the problems you are having with the RS8s. The Tannoy Revolution Signature DC4s would also be worth considering or the Revolution Signature DC4Ts if you still prefer a floorstanding speaker.
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  6. Crocodile

    Crocodile Well-Known Member

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    My RS6 are in a similar sized room & layout. I find they really don't like being close to a side wall. MA recommend >20" & this does indeed seem to be a minimum (mine are 2' away).

    Where are you sitting? I find some tracks boom a little when sat at the other end of the room but the boom disappears at the recommended listening distance. I keep meaning to try a little toe in so that could be worth a try.

    I'd definitely ditch the sub for stereo.
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  7. bookle

    bookle Active Member

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    Thanks for your suggestions....

    Crocodile + Bluewizard.
    If I run in 2.0 the bass boom is totally intolerable especially in large but also in small mode.
    I have to trim it back from the fronts to 90Hz minimum for rock tracks but trimmed back with no sub it sounds really lightweight and really missing something (yeh like, 30-90Hz missing ! no surprise)
    So I really need to use the sub and I can because I can place it at a location in the room with no boom.
    The problem is 100% NOT the sub, If I switch the sub totally off I get the boom at anything less than 100Hz.

    I am sitting just over 2m back from my fronts in the middle of the room, speakers toed in as you suggest. Clarity, Imaging and separation is fabulous.

    crustyloafer
    You are of course correct about getting an audition. It wasn't possible for the last of the RS8's as none are available locally and I bought them from a shop a few hundred miles away.
    Seduced by a reasonable price and great reviews, I took the risk !

    I am pretty much resigned that your suggestion to use a smaller speaker is the right one.

    With the speakers you suggest, if I currently get boom at around 90Hz or below would I still have the same issue with a bookshelf ?
    On the floorstanders you suggest, why should I get less boom with those ?

    Meantime will mess around with settings, furnishing etc and report back.


    Any other thoughts most welcome !!!
  8. lbstyling

    lbstyling Member

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    block the port.
    this will roll the speakers off early- if it works and your happy with the sound- change the sock or whatever you blocked the port with for a sponge that isnt too compressed to fit into the space and idealy 2 inches or less in thickness- so the air doesnt have to go through too much sponge- this is called a variovent.-it will not significantly effect the speaker in any other way.

    try it and report back.
  9. Zorba_8

    Zorba_8 Member

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    I think Alan has already tried this. :)
  10. kidloco46

    kidloco46 Member

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    This is exactly the reason why I bought the GS10s rather then the RS8s. I really wanted some floorstanders and they sounded great in the demo room of the hi-fi shop, granted the top end and mid range wasnt in the same league as the GS10s but they just sound huge and controlled. My friendly local dealer then let me take both sets home for a few days to decide. :thumbsup:

    [​IMG]

    The RS8s just needed so much room around them to breathe otherwise they sound bloated and horrid. The only way I coould get the bass under control was to keep them well away from any walls, at least a metre behind and to the side, a bit more if you can. This just wasnt realistic in my setup as they would stick out far to much so they went back.
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  11. Crocodile

    Crocodile Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't suggesting that the sub was the problem, just that it should be unnecessary. Can you move them, at least temporarily, away from the side walls?

    I'm assuming that the Arcam has some sort of direct stereo mode that defeats all processing & EQ. Have you tried that?

    One last thing you could try is reversing the connections to one speaker. It's a common error that reduces bass.

    At the end of the day it may just be that you can't accommodate the speaker's required breathing space.
  12. bookle

    bookle Active Member

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    Thanks for the info kidloco46...

    The GS10 was certainly 1 alternative I had in mind. (Very nice they are too :)).

    Do you run a sub in your setup ?
    How do the GS10's perform with rock and low freq in your room ??
    What are your room dims ?
    Are you sending full range freq. or tweaking them back a little via your amp ?

    Probably an obvious question, but are you happy with the GS10's ?

    Sorry for all the questions !!
    cheers, alan
  13. bookle

    bookle Active Member

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    I can move them but not a huge amount or they would be far too close to me. Will experiment a bit more later though.
    The Arcam has direct mode but that means full freq to the fronts and boom time ! (even with my old QA 1050 its was a little boomy in direct mode).

    I will double check my connections but I agree that its almost certainly that the room isn't suited to the RS8's.
    cheers, alan
  14. Crocodile

    Crocodile Well-Known Member

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    I find the proximity to the side walls to be far more critical that to the back.

    It's a bit left-field but I was suggesting that you try deliberately wiring out of phase, just as an experiment.
  15. pwood

    pwood Member

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    I take it the RS8's were bought for circa £425. Unfortunately they are boomy in nature unless in very large rooms. The crossover route seems the most logical one. I know what you mean when you say you are reluctant to not make use of their amazing bass performance but it seems where they are they just dont work so set the main crossover to 80htz and try from there. Does it sound more controlled as you head upward from 80htz or not.

    Other tips you can try which may help (not cure) is to place the RS8's on granit or marble tile. Try not using them spiked onto the tiles. Try a solid core speaker cable that has a leaner faster sound (sorry someone else would have to advise on what as Nordost is the only one that comes to mind).
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  16. bookle

    bookle Active Member

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    Yes it does sound more controlled, 80Hz is good for some music, 90Hz is borderline for rock/indie and 100Hz takes the boom away except for really bassy tracks and 110Hz takes the problem away.
    Problem is my sub isn't making up for the difference and every 10Hz I climb from 70Hz I lose more and more weight and authority.
    Maybe I need a better sub too.....:rolleyes:
    As well as that the overall sound becomes more and more bright as the cross over increases.

    I'm using the padded feet supplied and not spikes (as recommended by the MA manual)
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  17. Buckster

    Buckster Moderator

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    or you could see the Arcam and get an amp with full EQ on it ....

    :D
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  18. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer Active Member

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    The output at those frequencies from a bookshelf will be far less prominent and likely to be far more controlled sounding. Also bear in mind that crossovers are not brick-wall filters, they are the point at which the output starts to get reduced, therefore the problems you are having are still likely to be caused by frequencies a little bit lower than 80-90Hz. The RS8s are very well known for having quite substantial bass output and that they require a lot of space around them in order to not sound boomy and overblown. The speakers I have suggested have much tighter and more controlled bass by their very nature and are far less demanding with regards to their positioning.

    Again, the floorstanders I have suggested are really quite compact and are far less fussy positioning wise than the RS8s. The PMC GB1i work fantastically in small rooms and do not require much space around them at all. They are a transmission line design and do produce very good quality and deep bass for their size but they do not sound boomy when place in close quarters to room boundaries.

    I see you are based in West Lothian, so it would not be difficult for you to arrange to take a set of some of the speakers I have suggested away on a home trial.
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  19. NickEdin

    NickEdin Member

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    As recommended by Crustyloafer, we have all of those speaker suggestions available for demonstration and would be more than happy to let you take any of them away for a short home trial so to see how you get on with them. We are in the centre of Edinburgh so not too far for you to travel either.

    Regards,

    Chris.
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  20. kidloco46

    kidloco46 Member

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    For stereo I listen to them use the amp in pure direct, and have the stereo speaker setup to just 'large', I find the GS10s have enough bass of their own for my music tastes. and the bass they have is very well defined and controlled.

    Room dimentions are around 4m by 10m I would say.

    As for if I am happy with them, hell yeah :D , they are fantastic speakers, I must have listened to about 20 different speakers before deciding on the GS10. With each upgrade you make to your system they just sound better and better, I originally had a seperate amp for music (roksan kandy III) but the faffing around when changing from music to movies became a pain. so i switched to the arcam av amp I have now. they still sound great but they were amazing on the roksan. the mids and highs they are capable of when on the end of a nice setup are truly stunning (for the cash).

    They also look great as well, as much as I like the gloss black I home demod, i bought them in ligh oak.

    [​IMG]
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  21. bookle

    bookle Active Member

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    Hi everyone,

    A big thank you for the all the help and advice on the thread. It was great to get direct experience and expertise from you, particularly those who have faced the same dilemma.:smashin:

    I will demo a couple of the suggested speakers at home (HCC, thanks for the offer).
    Will need to sell the RS8's before I can buy new though...

    Might be after New Year now given the holidays and about 8" of snow that is lying in West Lothian right now !
    Unless I can sneak into Edinburgh before Hogmanay !

    Have a very Merry Xmas and a great New Year !!:clap::clap::clap:

    alan
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
  22. Zorba_8

    Zorba_8 Member

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    I don't think you'll have any trouble shifting them Alan! ;)

    Merry Christmas to you too!
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  23. Passingbat

    Passingbat Active Member

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    A bit of a wild card here, and a remote chance of it being the case, but is it possible that they are faulty?. Granted, it is unlikely that they both are, but is it maybe one speaker that is causing the problem?

    The first RSLCR centre that I got was faulty and had to be replaced ---- it was elevating the high frequencies.

    There must have been loads of these sold recently due to the heavy discounts and this is the first thread I've come across reporting the problem you have, though you did say your QA 1050s were a little prone to it, suggesting it culd indeed be a room/speaker matching problem.

    As i say just a thought, unlikely as it may be.

    The good news is, that one all the discounted new ones are sold, which can't be that far away, you will probably get a good price for them if you sell.
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