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B&W owners, does your trebble sparkle/glare?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Daneel, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I can't think of a way to describe it, but the trebble is just too bright and clear. It is an impressive sound but not one that is easy to listen to. The strange thing is that it is fine with just my 2011 driving my 602s, but adding a decent power amp (Parasound A23) has made the highs sharp. It has improved the sound in many ways, better soundstage, the bass is extended and more controlled, everything sounds clearer and more detailed, but the sound just isn't listenable. I want to turn the volume down rather than up. :(

    What have other people found?

    Is it just this power amp that is making my speakers sound like this, is it the B&W metal dome tweeter or perhaps the 2011 as a pre-amp? I am seriously questioning my upgrade path of 700 series now and I'm running out of speakers to demo! I just can't seem to find something I REALLY like the sound of. So far:

    B&W 704: Liked them, but bass was lacking and they didn't sound vastly different to my 602s with a Primare amp.

    B&W 703: Liked them,bass was good but I think that's what my 602s with a Primare amp and a decent sub would sound like.

    Totem Staff: highs like the B&Ws, in the bad way, bass is bloated and sounds forced.

    Spendor S8: Nice, bass extension wasn't great, smooth sound but nothing special.

    Monitor Audio GR20: Somewhere between the 704 and 703 but again, nothing special.

    A demo is setup for the ATC SCM35 and I may be able to have a listen to some PMC FB1s.

    I have started more threads this last week than I have in the past 3 months, sorry for board spamming. It's just that I really want to improve the sound I'm getting but am being frustrated at every turn. Someone please show me the path to audio enlightenment, at a reasonable price!
     
  2. Zoidy

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    my 603's.. had a bit too much treble.. and i think i put the treble control into the minus range to compensate ..
     
  3. Mike430

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    Daneel,

    My theory is that electronics enhance your listening experience. Amp, Pre-Amp, CD, etc. all add something to the speakers, but if the problem is dramatic, I then blame the speakers as not making me happy. I demo'd a pair of speakers on equipment that I am familiar with, and found that the speakers initially seemed impressive on lower volumes. After I spent some time listening to them, started turning the volume up, etc., I realized that they were fatigueing (sp?) to listen to and that I was being fooled at lower volumes. The tweeter was just shrill, bass not right, etc.me So I moved on...

    Another issue I kept having was BASS. This took time to find out what I liked and what I didn't like. Ultimately, I traded off loud bass for realism, and boy was I happy with hearing music that sounded like a concert instead of alot of color in the bass. I could always add a sub if I feel the need, but I'll save those earth shaking lows for Home Theatre.

    Midrange was easy to spot the right speaker. Just listened to various types of music, and hit it on the head.

    Don't give up the fight yet. Try to demo more speakers. See if a dealer will let you "borrow" a pair if you like them in the shop. Then you can play at home and hear the nuiances of the amplifier, source, etc. You can work on those later (unless you have a money tree).

    When you find your match, you will know, and it will be worth it's weight in gold.

    See if you can demo some of the lines JMLab offers (didn't see it on your list).

    Good Luck!
     
  4. Daneel

    Daneel
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    Thanks Mike, JMLab added to the list, now to find a dealer....
     
  5. MuFu

    MuFu
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    You're going to HAVE to listen to a pair of PMC GB1s after all the comments from Bristol. They use a new, fabric-domed tweeter instead of the 3rd party-sourced Al ones in the DB1 and FB1.
     
  6. Ettepet

    Ettepet
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    Have you changed some of the cabling? I discovered a couple of days ago that using an unproper (digital!) coaxial cable between my dvd and amplifier resulted in a very harsh sound. Resolved by using an optical one for now.
     
  7. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I tried the analogue output from my CD player as well as the coaxial digital connection. I didn't notice much difference other than the analogue being about 3 dB louder. The problem isn't so noticable with the Pioneer on it's own and I remember nothing but improvement when adding the Primare power amp.

    Mufu: Added to this list, cheers.
     
  8. SKA.face

    SKA.face
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    What B&W 600 range are you using?the originals or S3.The originals were bright,and most B&W are as they use metal dome tweeters,the originals were a bit spitty and bright,but i found them enjoyable as i like a brightish sound.

    I didn't personally find that the 700 series sound anything like the 600,I was a bit dissapointed in them ,they were fast,tight,but also thin,grey,hard upper midrange,and again a shrill treble,so maybe not your answer.

    If I was you,when demoing speakers ask you dealer if you could try some softdome tweeters,have a listen to them and see how you feel the treble compares to metal domes.

    Cables have been mentioned,have a look at the Audioquest cable range,if you can find them as they have a generally smooth character that "may" tame the treble.
     
  9. Daneel

    Daneel
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    SKA.face: My whole system is in my sig, it's the S3.
     
  10. Ettepet

    Ettepet
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    It might be then as you guessed that the Parasound and the B&W's don't match.

    Is it possible to plug your cd directly into the Parasound to eliminate the Pioneer from the equation? (this is n00B territory for me :D)
     
  11. rags

    rags
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    It's the B&W's that are causing the problem and maybe the Primare providing an offset. Either way sounds like the Parasound doesnt suit the 602's. If you ever down the Watford way your more than welcome to come down and have a listen to B&W Nautilus 805's running off a Parasound A51 - even in my bare room it doesnt sound unduly harsh(the 805's are supposed to be less toppy than a lot of other B&W speakers.
     
  12. rags

    rags
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    Nope - not possible. The A23 is a power amp.
     
  13. Ettepet

    Ettepet
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    Aren't the inputs regular phono plugs, of identical signal level? :confused:
     
  14. ~Kev H~

    ~Kev H~
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    I have a pair of the 604 S3's and most of the time they sound incredibly crisp and clear but then on certain tracks and at higher volumes they can get tiring to listen to.

    The covers/grills went on recently so the speakers could be moved and I have been listening to them ever since with the covers on, I had initially thought that the cloth covering them would be abolutely transparent to sound but it definately does reduce the harshness.

    Have you tried just putting the covers on?

    Kev
     
  15. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I have a set of 805's run off Krell KMA100s from a TAG AV32R,which obviously has no tone controls.....the treble has never been harsh or unduly strong,but certainly is clear.

    No complaints here!
     
  16. rags

    rags
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    :smoke:
     
  17. alexs2

    alexs2
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    rags....I think I see another satisfied owner there!

    Seriously though,the treble quality is certainly clear and extended,but never harsh,unless the source material is harsh....personally I hate brash,tinny sounding treble,and tried several speakers in this price range(incl Wilson Benesch,Proac,Spendor etc)before settling on the 805s.
    Obviously amplifiers also make an impact on sound quality,but in my case,Krells could never be accused of sounding recessed in the treble ranges.
     
  18. Zoidy

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    try watching romeo must die.. the beginning fight scene in the bar.. that used to hurt when i had 603's. those that smashing glass :/
     
  19. alexs2

    alexs2
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    As I suggested,ancillary equipment has a huge influence on how a system sounds,and can result in a set of speakers sounding either too bright or harsh,when with different amps etc,they sound fine....system synergy is something which often gets overlooked in the shop setting until you get the things home,and maybe wish you hadn't!
     
  20. rags

    rags
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    Yes Alex very satisfied !!

    The 805's sound a lot less toppy than the M&K's in my room. Wonderful speakers and the Parasound drives them very well.
     
  21. alexs2

    alexs2
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    The Parasound I'd expect to go very well with the 805s....nice smooth sound quality and plenty of current for the low LF impedance of the 805s....I've found a lot of "AV" speakers to sound a bit forward,which sounds impressive on films etc,but doesnt go well with music.....my system is used about 50/50 on music and films,so i wanted something that would take plenty of power when necessary,but would also work nicely with music.
     
  22. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    I am expecting a lot of grief for this one but have you tried Bi-Wiring your speakers, possibly with a different cable make than you are currently using, I found my 603 S2's a tad sibilant when I first got them and I found bi-wiring helped (to my ears anyway), If you can borrow some cable it may be worth a try.

    I will duck Now.:D
     
  23. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I biamp with my Pioneer, which I *think* made a difference. If the change was that small with passive biamping I'm doubt bi-wiring will do anything noticable. Thanks for the suggestion though, if I get desperate, you never know :)
     
  24. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    You Bi-Amp? Is this Four channels from the Pioneer or Two from here (high) and two from the Primare (low), I got a bit lost reading the thread.

    I assume the gain of the two sets of amplification are the same? Have you checked with a SPL Meter? Not trying to teach you to suck eggs, just curious.
     
  25. Daneel

    Daneel
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    Bi-amp 4 channels from the Pioneer. I did bi-amp from the primare (A30.5 has 5 channels so I used 4) too but just cause the speakers were set up that way, I never tried single amped.
     
  26. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Well, I'd try Naim kit.

    Just tried it again tonight and I like it again. Just good quality kit.

    As for the speakers. When you go back to Signals, try the actives too. You may like them as the passive ranges are running out..........:D

    I'll poss be able to drop the Primare SPA20 round Fiday night, say just before 7pm. I'll have to confirm that as Friday can be a funny day to get around for me. You'll be able to try it for 24 hrs or so, maybe through to the Sunday.

    Guy.
     
  27. 1 GND

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    Try Mirage Om7s . Not that easy to locate dealers but well wort it.
    I tried B+W, Spendor S8, Mission, Ruark and PMC FB1 with my Pioneer AX10I and none really impressed me that much and almost gave up on what I really had in mind.

    I hunted down the Mirages and made my mind up within the first 3 minutes of the dem!!

    They have unbelievable (but believable) scale, imaging you`ll
    love and are a touch rich but are still really clear.

    I too found B+W bright (so did the dealer) but the Mirages are spot on.
     
  28. Daneel

    Daneel
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    Thanks Glen, I'll look into it.

    Guy, I should be home by 7pm, you might want to give me a call before coming round, if I don't answer I'm still driving. Thanks very much BTW, it should allow me to work out wheather I need to get rid of the Pioneer sooner rather than later or if it is just the Parasound.

    Also, my opinion on the Parasound has softened a little, as has the sound. I'm not sure what has caused the difference, I think it's just that I got a reasonable amount of sleep, being tired makes me delicate. Either that or I've gotten used to the sound. The clarity is amazing, my Sen 580s sound dull in comparison but even now it is a little too much and somewhat sterile.

    Guy has been pushing me towards a Bryston but I think that would sound very similar to the Parasound in my current set-up.
     
  29. warrj

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    Hi,

    I'm using also using B&W 805s and an HTM2 across the front (fed by a Roksan AV5 and Arcam AV8). I wouldn't say the treble is harsh. The 805's are just as close to a completely 'transparent' speaker as I've heard. If the treble on recording is harsh then then that's what they'll replay. I guess it boils down to whether one wants accuracy or a sound which is coloured to sound good.

    B&W's don't flatter poor recordings IMHO.

    Regards,

    Jules
     
  30. kiddi

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    I just love my 602's. They are bi-wired. Never had a feeling they were too bright.
     

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