Choosing new speakers

Aslund

Active Member
Thank for all the inputs.
First of all let me address my house. I am lucky to have a flat ground floor house. So it is easy to get things in and out. No stairs whatsoever to deal with. :D
So let me start by disappointing @Orobas. The speakers are just 2 meters apart. I have 40cm to the corner with this setup.
@lindsayt thanks for your input. I sadly did not have time for AB comparison. But let me share to all of you my reason for lending the FM-50.
I had the FM-30 at home for demo for a week. During that time, I admit it hands down, I was obsessed with finding thst bass I heard at Gato Audio's demo room. I found it almost when I put the speakers up against the wall.
The same was the goal when I bought the FM-30's. I tried different approach but only found satisfying bass with the speskers up against the wall. The last week I have listened to this setup and I had a nagging feeling. The sound sounded skewed. I missed a bit in the upper frequencies and I didn't even had the oomph I was looking for in the bass.
I then remember a talk I had with @Gato Audio Frederik some time ago. I asked about the difference between FM-30 and FM-50. I was told the obvious difference are the bigger woofers but the detail is that the midrange and treble are tuned to the bigger woofers.
So now I have setup the speakers. I ended up with same setup as the FM-30, 5 centimeters from the wall.
So how was the sound? To my surprise the bass actually seems to be less than that of the FM-30. I don't know if the extra depth of the cabinet is the culprit. On the other hand the lower bass is more in control after RoomPerfect. With FM-30 I could have tracks where the bass is slightly off or boomy.
I still do not have the oomph but the vocals and treble seems much more pronounced.
I know the memory can not be trusted 100% but I feel the sound of FM-50 to be much more balanced.
The only problem is clarity and details. The FM-50 I borrowed is from the previous generation, so I don't know if the missing clarity and details is also present on the 2021 update.
 

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Aslund

Active Member
I had to return the Lyngdorf BW-2 subwoofer today and I ended up lending a NAD C298 power amplifier to see how much constrained I was by the 1120's power delivery.
I must admit that with the C298 the was just a tad more control and separation in the bass, but it was not a night a day difference.
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
Thank for all the inputs.
First of all let me address my house. I am lucky to have a flat ground floor house. So it is easy to get things in and out. No stairs whatsoever to deal with. :D
So let me start by disappointing @Orobas. The speakers are just 2 meters apart. I have 40cm to the corner with this setup.
@lindsayt thanks for your input. I sadly did not have time for AB comparison. But let me share to all of you my reason for lending the FM-50.
I had the FM-30 at home for demo for a week. During that time, I admit it hands down, I was obsessed with finding thst bass I heard at Gato Audio's demo room. I found it almost when I put the speakers up against the wall.
The same was the goal when I bought the FM-30's. I tried different approach but only found satisfying bass with the speskers up against the wall. The last week I have listened to this setup and I had a nagging feeling. The sound sounded skewed. I missed a bit in the upper frequencies and I didn't even had the oomph I was looking for in the bass.
I then remember a talk I had with @Gato Audio Frederik some time ago. I asked about the difference between FM-30 and FM-50. I was told the obvious difference are the bigger woofers but the detail is that the midrange and treble are tuned to the bigger woofers.
So now I have setup the speakers. I ended up with same setup as the FM-30, 5 centimeters from the wall.
So how was the sound? To my surprise the bass actually seems to be less than that of the FM-30. I don't know if the extra depth of the cabinet is the culprit. On the other hand the lower bass is more in control after RoomPerfect. With FM-30 I could have tracks where the bass is slightly off or boomy.
I still do not have the oomph but the vocals and treble seems much more pronounced.
I know the memory can not be trusted 100% but I feel the sound of FM-50 to be much more balanced.
The only problem is clarity and details. The FM-50 I borrowed is from the previous generation, so I don't know if the missing clarity and details is also present on the 2021 update.
You can obviously only work with the room you have.. so you may have toe in a bit more aggressively.
Re bass on the 50.... this is volume related as i mentioned on my previous message on the FM-50. It, like so many of the big speakers out there, only come alive at volume which is why the smaller fm30 seemed more active.
The control you experienced though is what I expected the bigger speaker to have so great news there.
You need to find a time during the day where you can open up the amp .. and I mean volume past north... then you will hear the lower end more.
The only other option with the fm30/50 is to go class A with something like a sugden to get the low end at quiet volumes.

I think given where you are sound wanting.... and the allotted volume you have to play with that returning the gato is probably best and grab a pair of Spendor A4 or A7... the TDAI can really shape those with no issue... and just run a Rel T7i or a MJ Pro 150 or a Sonus Faber Gravis 2 sub off of the speaker terminal as opposed the bypass or sub out is what is needed realistically looking....
 

Aslund

Active Member
You can obviously only work with the room you have.. so you may have toe in a bit more aggressively.
Re bass on the 50.... this is volume related as i mentioned on my previous message on the FM-50. It, like so many of the big speakers out there, only come alive at volume which is why the smaller fm30 seemed more active.
The control you experienced though is what I expected the bigger speaker to have so great news there.
You need to find a time during the day where you can open up the amp .. and I mean volume past north... then you will hear the lower end more.
The only other option with the fm30/50 is to go class A with something like a sugden to get the low end at quiet volumes.

I think given where you are sound wanting.... and the allotted volume you have to play with that returning the gato is probably best and grab a pair of Spendor A4 or A7... the TDAI can really shape those with no issue... and just run a Rel T7i or a MJ Pro 150 or a Sonus Faber Gravis 2 sub off of the speaker terminal as opposed the bypass or sub out is what is needed realistically looking....
Thank you for your input @Orobas .
I properly have explained myself wrong, a signature trait of mine. I don't feel the FM-30 is more active than the FM-50. As a speaker comes closer to the wall/corner the bass is boosted. On FM-30 this gave a big boost but the midrange and treble can not properly complement the increased bass, resulting in a sound signature that feels slightly skewed.
The reason I choose to go for FM-30 compared to Sonetto V originally was the buttom. Its bass area was detailed and consistent, but I loved Sonetto V for the treble part.
With FM-50 I somehow do not gain the same boost in bass close to the wall/corner but I have a sound signature that are far more balanced. I thoroughly enjoy the FM-50's compared to the FM-30's.
I might still miss the physical feeling I original felt at Gato Audio with the FM-30, but with the increased vocal and treble presence I really enjoy the music and tracks with heavy bass there is a bit of punch.
And this is with TDAI-1120 alone, without the power amplifier. But it seems I have to start saving up for a future amplifier if I go with the FM-50. But the TDAI-1120 does a fine job.
Regarding volume, then the FM-50 behaves like the FM-30. Cranking up the volume only adds to the sound pressure. It is very good at preserving the dynamics even at lower volumes.
So I don't know if things are as bleak as the impression you got from my post. Would you still recommend me to give Spendor A4/A7 a listen?
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
Thank you for your input @Orobas .
I properly have explained myself wrong, a signature trait of mine. I don't feel the FM-30 is more active than the FM-50. As a speaker comes closer to the wall/corner the bass is boosted. On FM-30 this gave a big boost but the midrange and treble can not properly complement the increased bass, resulting in a sound signature that feels slightly skewed.
The reason I choose to go for FM-30 compared to Sonetto V originally was the buttom. Its bass area was detailed and consistent, but I loved Sonetto V for the treble part.
With FM-50 I somehow do not gain the same boost in bass close to the wall/corner but I have a sound signature that are far more balanced. I thoroughly enjoy the FM-50's compared to the FM-30's.
I might still miss the physical feeling I original felt at Gato Audio with the FM-30, but with the increased vocal and treble presence I really enjoy the music and tracks with heavy bass there is a bit of punch.
And this is with TDAI-1120 alone, without the power amplifier. But it seems I have to start saving up for a future amplifier if I go with the FM-50. But the TDAI-1120 does a fine job.
Regarding volume, then the FM-50 behaves like the FM-30. Cranking up the volume only adds to the sound pressure. It is very good at preserving the dynamics even at lower volumes.
So I don't know if things are as bleak as the impression you got from my post. Would you still recommend me to give Spendor A4/A7 a listen?
Showrooms and commercial buildings are built all solid brick/block usually with treatments for some sound deadening. If you look at the volumes used in showrooms.. it is always far louder than you or i would get away with in a flat or semi/terrace housing which is why they always sound so good when you demo them at a shop.

The fm50 needs that power constantly to feed the low end along with the sound pressure or a lower powered class a that has the amps.

If you cannot get the sound of the showroom at home, then it is a case of live with the fm30 and get a rel/mj/sonus Faber sub at a later date connected via speaker not bypass or sub out... or be safe, go spendor and get the sub for the same money
 

Aslund

Active Member
Showrooms and commercial buildings are built all solid brick/block usually with treatments for some sound deadening. If you look at the volumes used in showrooms.. it is always far louder than you or i would get away with in a flat or semi/terrace housing which is why they always sound so good when you demo them at a shop.

The fm50 needs that power constantly to feed the low end along with the sound pressure or a lower powered class a that has the amps.

If you cannot get the sound of the showroom at home, then it is a case of live with the fm30 and get a rel/mj/sonus Faber sub at a later date connected via speaker not bypass or sub out... or be safe, go spendor and get the sub for the same money
Please enlighten me @Orobas, because there is something you see that I don't.
When I feel the soundstage and sound profile is significantly better on FM-50 than FM-30, then why should I discard FM-50 as a possibility?
When I felt the midrange and treble had a lifeless and dull tone when I combined FM-30 with a subwoofer, then why should I go for a FM-30+subwoofer combination?
You say the FM-50 needs power and current, it might be so, but I don't feel a night and day difference between TDAI-1120 with or without a power amplifier.
Am I missing something?
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
Please enlighten me @Orobas, because there is something you see that I don't.
When I feel the soundstage and sound profile is significantly better on FM-50 than FM-30, then why should I discard FM-50 as a possibility?
When I felt the midrange and treble had a lifeless and dull tone when I combined FM-30 with a subwoofer, then why should I go for a FM-30+subwoofer combination?
You say the FM-50 needs power and current, it might be so, but I don't feel a night and day difference between TDAI-1120 with or without a power amplifier.
Am I missing something?
Bass needs power and air to be moved.. The lower the note, the more power it needs as the speaker cone has to move further and slower which given it is on a magnetic spring... as such.. requires more effort. (a large thick rubber band needs more strength to pull than a thin one). Power = volts + amps.. volts and amps ONLY come with increased volume.

A class A amp for example.. say a Sugden A21.. is only what.. 30w/c ... but as it is class A it pretty much delivers all its power from the word go (transisters are on all the time.. not 50/50 like a class AB or a switched power modulation from a class d).. but at the expense of lower wattage and a blast furnace temperature due to its amp class.. with the lower wattage delivers all of its power much quicker than say your TDAI which only delivers all of its power much higher due to the higher wattage of it..

Hopefully i haven't lost you so far!

Now.. the bigger FM-50's need a lot of room due to their size (basic physics 101 here).. they also need a bare minimal of power to "sound" their best... not "recommended" amp size... this is where so many people get confused and caught out. This is why showrooms are always large and they run the amps much louder.. but with the building structure.. the sound is absorbed more making it sound quieter and "apparently" in reach of what people listen volume wise at home.. its a marketing trick that works really well and why we say to home demo where possible as your home is where you listen.. not in a dedicated commercial property

The FM-30 is more suited to the smaller place you have than the FM-50 is.. but the Gato is the better speaker for the issues you had with the Sonus Faber.. so on that front.. we correctly got that part correct. The problem(s) you have .. are.. (A) you cannot run the Gato's at the volume's needed for them to sound their best and deliver what they are capable of.. and (B) .. Given the phase alignment built in on the crossovers.. The TDAI's, Arcams, Denon's etc with built in room eq were not built with these style of speakers in mind where each speaker driver naturally fires out of phase to the other..

Still with me lol ?

Now.. you had the wrong sub running (granted you weren't to know) .. it had too high a low crossover point so you were extending well into the speakers low end.

By running a more mainstream sub like the REL T7i or the Sonus Faber Gravis 2 sub.. but connecting it to the "speaker output" not the sub out or bypass is how you run a stereo music setup..

the sub gets fed full range signal from the speaker out and the sub filters out only what it needs as set on the x-over... these subs are able to run at a much lower crossover point to what the bw-2 could so you are reinforcing the bass (that oompf) that the speakers are "not" capable of.. not doubling up on what the speakers can re the bw-2 setup.

Hopefully you are still with me!

FM-50 speaker, realistically... would want to be in a room some 10m long by around 4m wide at the smallest.. all solid walls, solid floor with some sound damping around the room. This is about what a speaker of this size would typically be found in! The Sonetto V's ideal room size is about 7m x 5m.

A standard built speaker like the Spendor A4 or A7 is a convential design.. it will do whatever a room eq setup tells it to do.. its a simple speaker with a simple crossover. Spendors are polite off the shelf, they just make beautiful music.. do they plumb the depths of bass.. heck no.. that is not in their remit.. but they play clean tight bass.. adding a sub off the speaker terminals as per above.. and now you have the low end extension :)
 

Aslund

Active Member
Bass needs power and air to be moved.. The lower the note, the more power it needs as the speaker cone has to move further and slower which given it is on a magnetic spring... as such.. requires more effort. (a large thick rubber band needs more strength to pull than a thin one). Power = volts + amps.. volts and amps ONLY come with increased volume.

A class A amp for example.. say a Sugden A21.. is only what.. 30w/c ... but as it is class A it pretty much delivers all its power from the word go (transisters are on all the time.. not 50/50 like a class AB or a switched power modulation from a class d).. but at the expense of lower wattage and a blast furnace temperature due to its amp class.. with the lower wattage delivers all of its power much quicker than say your TDAI which only delivers all of its power much higher due to the higher wattage of it..

Hopefully i haven't lost you so far!

Now.. the bigger FM-50's need a lot of room due to their size (basic physics 101 here).. they also need a bare minimal of power to "sound" their best... not "recommended" amp size... this is where so many people get confused and caught out. This is why showrooms are always large and they run the amps much louder.. but with the building structure.. the sound is absorbed more making it sound quieter and "apparently" in reach of what people listen volume wise at home.. its a marketing trick that works really well and why we say to home demo where possible as your home is where you listen.. not in a dedicated commercial property

The FM-30 is more suited to the smaller place you have than the FM-50 is.. but the Gato is the better speaker for the issues you had with the Sonus Faber.. so on that front.. we correctly got that part correct. The problem(s) you have .. are.. (A) you cannot run the Gato's at the volume's needed for them to sound their best and deliver what they are capable of.. and (B) .. Given the phase alignment built in on the crossovers.. The TDAI's, Arcams, Denon's etc with built in room eq were not built with these style of speakers in mind where each speaker driver naturally fires out of phase to the other..

Still with me lol ?

Now.. you had the wrong sub running (granted you weren't to know) .. it had too high a low crossover point so you were extending well into the speakers low end.

By running a more mainstream sub like the REL T7i or the Sonus Faber Gravis 2 sub.. but connecting it to the "speaker output" not the sub out or bypass is how you run a stereo music setup..

the sub gets fed full range signal from the speaker out and the sub filters out only what it needs as set on the x-over... these subs are able to run at a much lower crossover point to what the bw-2 could so you are reinforcing the bass (that oompf) that the speakers are "not" capable of.. not doubling up on what the speakers can re the bw-2 setup.

Hopefully you are still with me!

FM-50 speaker, realistically... would want to be in a room some 10m long by around 4m wide at the smallest.. all solid walls, solid floor with some sound damping around the room. This is about what a speaker of this size would typically be found in! The Sonetto V's ideal room size is about 7m x 5m.

A standard built speaker like the Spendor A4 or A7 is a convential design.. it will do whatever a room eq setup tells it to do.. its a simple speaker with a simple crossover. Spendors are polite off the shelf, they just make beautiful music.. do they plumb the depths of bass.. heck no.. that is not in their remit.. but they play clean tight bass.. adding a sub off the speaker terminals as per above.. and now you have the low end extension :)
Thank you for the details @Orobas. Everything makes sense, but I feel a small detail is omitted.
If the FM-50, in my room, sounds better than FM-30, then I doubt anything can change that. The oomph sound I am looking for is not the deepest bass notes that thunders through the neighborhood, it is around the 100Hz mark where drums and other instruments are played. That is why I put the crossover so high.
I am therefore weary to keep experimenting with FM-30. You mention that FM-50 needs 10m*4m, my room is not that far off from that.

There are some jokers. The FM-30 has not played for that many hours. While I have heard about break-in periode, then I doubt the sound signature would change dramatically.
Furthermore I am not so discouraged about bigger speakers and room size. I had my Dali 850 with me around many places and I never had any problems with them. It was actually first in my current home that the problem arose, and it is even the biggest room I ever had them in.

I am also thinking about future. Maybe in future I will scrap the door so the speakers can use the full width of the room.
Same with amplifier. If the TDAI-1120 does a fine work now I can be satisfied and still look forward to a future upgrade.

Sorry if I am a bit pushy, but today is the 30th day since I got these speakers, so I just want some clarification for myself where to go from here.
Honestly, personally I would return the FM-30 and arrange a proper demo of the FM-50. Maybe borrow a Rel subwoofer too, just to try out.
Buy some Rockwool isolation in plastic wrap and place a few around the room to see how it affects the sound. Luckily I can just return the Rockwool isolation as long as it is still packed.
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
Thank you for the details @Orobas. Everything makes sense, but I feel a small detail is omitted.
If the FM-50, in my room, sounds better than FM-30, then I doubt anything can change that. The oomph sound I am looking for is not the deepest bass notes that thunders through the neighborhood, it is around the 100Hz mark where drums and other instruments are played. That is why I put the crossover so high.
I am therefore weary to keep experimenting with FM-30. You mention that FM-50 needs 10m*4m, my room is not that far off from that.

There are some jokers. The FM-30 has not played for that many hours. While I have heard about break-in periode, then I doubt the sound signature would change dramatically.
Furthermore I am not so discouraged about bigger speakers and room size. I had my Dali 850 with me around many places and I never had any problems with them. It was actually first in my current home that the problem arose, and it is even the biggest room I ever had them in.

I am also thinking about future. Maybe in future I will scrap the door so the speakers can use the full width of the room.
Same with amplifier. If the TDAI-1120 does a fine work now I can be satisfied and still look forward to a future upgrade.

Sorry if I am a bit pushy, but today is the 30th day since I got these speakers, so I just want some clarification for myself where to go from here.
Honestly, personally I would return the FM-30 and arrange a proper demo of the FM-50. Maybe borrow a Rel subwoofer too, just to try out.
Buy some Rockwool isolation in plastic wrap and place a few around the room to see how it affects the sound. Luckily I can just return the Rockwool isolation as long as it is still packed.
The more expensive 50 will sound better than the 30.. yes.. cost will do that as they can apply more work to the electronics etc.. I do not dispute this in any way :)

Volume is the issue and getting the power through the Gatos.. that is the number 1 issue you have with them.. nothing is going to change that fact.. They are not bass monsters like those classic 850's unless you are seriously given them some big watts flowing through them and annoying the neighbours and even then.. the bass is flat and clean and true.
 

Aslund

Active Member
The more expensive 50 will sound better than the 30.. yes.. cost will do that as they can apply more work to the electronics etc.. I do not dispute this in any way :)

Volume is the issue and getting the power through the Gatos.. that is the number 1 issue you have with them.. nothing is going to change that fact.. They are not bass monsters like those classic 850's unless you are seriously given them some big watts flowing through them and annoying the neighbours and even then.. the bass is flat and clean and true.
Yeaa :D Finally on same page. :) The bass on the FM-50 is indeed very flat and clean. I initially was disappointed, as you mentioned, the Dali 850 are a different beast, which I have gotten used to over 13 years of listening.
But as I continued to listen to the FM-50 the balance and treble response really caught me. I find it light years better than FM-30. They can't compare.
Under ideal circumstances the FM-30 might be fine for my room, but somehow I need the extra bass to make speakers have enough depth. On the FM-30 this results in a skewed sound where the midrange and treble sounds a bit recessed while the balance in retained on the FM-50.

One thing I actually noticed with the FM-50 was that the speakers has the oomph I am looking for, just without RoomPerfect on. I therefore have a naughty dream that with bass traps in the corner it might be possible to get everything I want :D
But I will not make the same mistake twice, I need a proper demo. Last time I ended up testing two speakers and two amplifiers within a week. Eventhough I was home the whole week then with a small baby it just left too little time for proper immersion.
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
Yeaa :D Finally on same page. :) The bass on the FM-50 is indeed very flat and clean. I initially was disappointed, as you mentioned, the Dali 850 are a different beast, which I have gotten used to over 13 years of listening.
But as I continued to listen to the FM-50 the balance and treble response really caught me. I find it light years better than FM-30. They can't compare.
Under ideal circumstances the FM-30 might be fine for my room, but somehow I need the extra bass to make speakers have enough depth. On the FM-30 this results in a skewed sound where the midrange and treble sounds a bit recessed while the balance in retained on the FM-50.

One thing I actually noticed with the FM-50 was that the speakers has the oomph I am looking for, just without RoomPerfect on. I therefore have a naughty dream that with bass traps in the corner it might be possible to get everything I want :D
But I will not make the same mistake twice, I need a proper demo. Last time I ended up testing two speakers and two amplifiers within a week. Eventhough I was home the whole week then with a small baby it just left too little time for proper immersion.
Now that is interesting that the FM-50 work better for you without the RP on, whereas the FM-30 only just had the edge over the gato amp when the RP was on... Given the size of the speaker and the cost.. i can't say its a surprise but it is at least interesting..

You can experiment for sure with things like bass traps etc.. but your real problem is and always will be getting enough power through the FM-50 i think...
 

Aslund

Active Member
Now that is interesting that the FM-50 work better for you without the RP on, whereas the FM-30 only just had the edge over the gato amp when the RP was on... Given the size of the speaker and the cost.. i can't say its a surprise but it is at least interesting..

You can experiment for sure with things like bass traps etc.. but your real problem is and always will be getting enough power through the FM-50 i think...
Everything has it price. While the FM-50 has that slight oomph without RoomPerfect on, then the bass is a bit boomy. That is why my hope is that the installation of a bass trap can help remove the boomy bass so RoomPerfect doesn't adjust the bass too much down.
But we will see. First of all I have to find a way to get a bass trap. Seems my idea with buying Rockwool is not feasible as the fabric has to be breathable, plastic does not cut it it seems.
So close yet so far.

Regarding power I am not that worried. The bass is fine at both higher and lower volumes. Adding the power amplifier does add more air and separation in the bass, but I feel it is more about details and nothing about the oomph.
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
Everything has it price. While the FM-50 has that slight oomph without RoomPerfect on, then the bass is a bit boomy. That is why my hope is that the installation of a bass trap can help remove the boomy bass so RoomPerfect doesn't adjust the bass too much down.
But we will see. First of all I have to find a way to get a bass trap. Seems my idea with buying Rockwool is not feasible as the fabric has to be breathable, plastic does not cut it it seems.
So close yet so far.

Regarding power I am not that worried. The bass is fine at both higher and lower volumes. Adding the power amplifier does add more air and separation in the bass, but I feel it is more about details and nothing about the oomph.
try the jumper on the back of the speaker first on the bass.... to see if that helps a bit with the boom as it will attenuate the bass output by a db or 2....

acoustic foam panels are probably the easiest for making a bass trap.. you can cover some of those with fabric if they work to make them look more "art" style...

re the power increase.. this is still relevant to the detail as the speakers are able to move more freely with that additional wattage/voltage/current so can play more accurately
 

Aslund

Active Member
Regarding bass traps, does anyone have experience with Hofa?
I can see someone is selling these bass traps second hand and I wonder of they are any good.

My only problem is that they are 5cm too wide compared to the distance between the wall and the speaker. I might buy and move the speaker a bit to see what it gives.

try the jumper on the back of the speaker first on the bass.... to see if that helps a bit with the boom as it will attenuate the bass output by a db or 2....

acoustic foam panels are probably the easiest for making a bass trap.. you can cover some of those with fabric if they work to make them look more "art" style...

re the power increase.. this is still relevant to the detail as the speakers are able to move more freely with that additional wattage/voltage/current so can play more accurately
I must say that those jumpers on the back, for me, seems more like a gimmick. I don´t notice any difference, it is really subtle the change they make-
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
You haven’t thought of buying Dali Oberon 9? Bass heavy monsters. Most likely you well lose the sound resolution you have now.

I know your heart is set on having the Gato speakers, but it never hurts to try something else.

While listing to them at the store-the bass is insane. Earth shattering bass response.

1120 might struggle to give enough current, but you can try.
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
Regarding bass traps, does anyone have experience with Hofa?
I can see someone is selling these bass traps second hand and I wonder of they are any good.

My only problem is that they are 5cm too wide compared to the distance between the wall and the speaker. I might buy and move the speaker a bit to see what it gives.


I must say that those jumpers on the back, for me, seems more like a gimmick. I don´t notice any difference, it is really subtle the change they make-
the difference is supposed to be subtle... they are so finely tuned that they only need that 1 or 2 db attenuation.. but bear in mind this is at volume where this subtle change really is noticeable
 

ooctaviuss

Active Member
I'm writing again regarding to amplifier. You wound need to try different amplifier which could get more current and faster bass. I didn't know that till I change yamaha as701 to Kinki EX-M1+ This amp ist a beast regarding to bass delivery. It has strong and fast bass. You will need soon or later because FM-50 are bigger speakers. I'm able to listen music on very low volume (evening / small child) and I get always plenty bass more than6I expected :) With Yamaha before it was nonsense. Really try to borrow Kinki studio. I know it come from China but... be clever and read reviews...

Just for reading - The Kinki Studio EX-M1 Integrated Amplifier Review 2022. | Steve Huff Photo
 
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Aslund

Active Member
Hello everyone

Time for a small update.
In my frustration regarding handling the Gato Audio FM-50, I saw no other option than to try room treatment.
At the same time I did not want to put money into something, that I do not know how much it will help.
Luckily I managed to find a helpful guy through a forum post on a Danish HiFi forum. He had 3 pieces of Vicoustic bass traps I could borrow.
So I managed to setup a last home demo of the FM-50, now with bass trap installed.

I installed the speakers like I always do, just against the wall. I first tried to listen without RoomPerfect, just briefly. I noticed an immediate difference. The bass was much more balanced and controlled, but not entirely without boomy bass. To my disappointment the oomph I had before bass traps was gone.
With RoomPerfect I ended up with basically same sound as without bass traps, the bass was not very prominent and felt lacking just so slightly. To the defence of the bass traps, then there was a better bass control in RoomPerfect also.

Everytime I have tried to pull the speakers out, then the bass has died, but this time I had the bass traps. So I tried to pull out the speakers, around 24cm out, and run RoomPerfect again.
Wauw wauw wauw. I would say that I am very close to the ideal sound now. I would wish for a little bit more oomph, but all in all I am very satisfied with the bass output now. The is that slight slap in the bass when a good number is played.
One number that bother me is "Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd. The bass doesn't always sound nice, but I don't know if that is due to the recording or more traps are needed. Otherwise I am pleased with the sound. Even at lower volumes the bass is nice and tight.
My only gripe is the accumulated price. The higher price of FM-50 plus expenses to a bass trap. Not to mention the price I need to pay on other things to satisfy my wifes displeasement :D
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
Hello everyone

Time for a small update.
In my frustration regarding handling the Gato Audio FM-50, I saw no other option than to try room treatment.
At the same time I did not want to put money into something, that I do not know how much it will help.
Luckily I managed to find a helpful guy through a forum post on a Danish HiFi forum. He had 3 pieces of Vicoustic bass traps I could borrow.
So I managed to setup a last home demo of the FM-50, now with bass trap installed.

I installed the speakers like I always do, just against the wall. I first tried to listen without RoomPerfect, just briefly. I noticed an immediate difference. The bass was much more balanced and controlled, but not entirely without boomy bass. To my disappointment the oomph I had before bass traps was gone.
With RoomPerfect I ended up with basically same sound as without bass traps, the bass was not very prominent and felt lacking just so slightly. To the defence of the bass traps, then there was a better bass control in RoomPerfect also.

Everytime I have tried to pull the speakers out, then the bass has died, but this time I had the bass traps. So I tried to pull out the speakers, around 24cm out, and run RoomPerfect again.
Wauw wauw wauw. I would say that I am very close to the ideal sound now. I would wish for a little bit more oomph, but all in all I am very satisfied with the bass output now. The is that slight slap in the bass when a good number is played.
One number that bother me is "Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd. The bass doesn't always sound nice, but I don't know if that is due to the recording or more traps are needed. Otherwise I am pleased with the sound. Even at lower volumes the bass is nice and tight.
My only gripe is the accumulated price. The higher price of FM-50 plus expenses to a bass trap. Not to mention the price I need to pay on other things to satisfy my wifes displeasement :D
Further to the "Blinding Lights" .. this is a very engineer heavy remix at its core making appear as though it is sampling multiple 80's songs overlaid with Abel Makkonen Tesfaye's voice.
I have run this via my hifi and listened flat through to multiple eq curves and it is definately boosted across the entire bass to around 7khz where it tails off.. few minor deliberate dips on fixed frequencies occur across the entire spectrum elsewhere.

It is an epic song for sure and with a heck of a lot of eq work on my pc.. i can flat curve it and then apply a seas curve which i really enjoy.. but this was with a good hour plus of manual work.

Regarding the traps.. I take it you are aware of where the vicoustic corner panels operate...
Effective low frequency absorption between 60 - 125 Hz <----
Maximum effectiveness between 75 -100 Hz <----

That explains why you have lost that ooomph.. they are absorbing the very bottom end.

I think you are looking too deep into these speakers and trying to go too technical with them. You know the 2 main issues with why they are not quite there... your room construction type vs that of the demo room at the showroom and also the interaction of that baby TDAI to the speakers and it trying to counteract the phase alignment of the drivers on the FM's crossover and override them and their tuning.
 

Aslund

Active Member
Further to the "Blinding Lights" .. this is a very engineer heavy remix at its core making appear as though it is sampling multiple 80's songs overlaid with Abel Makkonen Tesfaye's voice.
I have run this via my hifi and listened flat through to multiple eq curves and it is definately boosted across the entire bass to around 7khz where it tails off.. few minor deliberate dips on fixed frequencies occur across the entire spectrum elsewhere.

It is an epic song for sure and with a heck of a lot of eq work on my pc.. i can flat curve it and then apply a seas curve which i really enjoy.. but this was with a good hour plus of manual work.

Regarding the traps.. I take it you are aware of where the vicoustic corner panels operate...
Effective low frequency absorption between 60 - 125 Hz <----
Maximum effectiveness between 75 -100 Hz <----

That explains why you have lost that ooomph.. they are absorbing the very bottom end.

I think you are looking too deep into these speakers and trying to go too technical with them. You know the 2 main issues with why they are not quite there... your room construction type vs that of the demo room at the showroom and also the interaction of that baby TDAI to the speakers and it trying to counteract the phase alignment of the drivers on the FM's crossover and override them and their tuning.
Thank you for your input @Orobas
I am aware that bass traps absorb the lower frequencies, but it does improve the bass response of the speakers. Before installing the bass traps, then any attempts to pull the speakers a bit more out in the room resulted in weak bass. With the bass traps I can now enjoy a nice fast and lean bass that just has a slight hint of oomph on many records. Even with the speakers pulled slightly out.

I just have two questions in my head. Would additional treatment around the speakers? E.g. some panels under the TV.
Another thought is to use 2 Lyngdorf BW-2 with a high crossover (100-150Hz) together with a 2-way speaker like the Spendor A7. I would at least like to try it to see how it works, although I am a bit fearful how the Spendor A7 will react. On FM-30 I experienced that the treble and midrange lost some spark with a 100Hz crossover to a single Lyngdorf BW-2.

I don't really understand how you lost faith in RoomPerfect. I remember we discussed RoomPerfect and Gato Audio some months ago, that time it was not seen as a problem.
But to get a clarification, I tried to ask Lyngdorf directly if they see any problems between the phase alignment in Gato Audio speakers and their RoomPerfect system.
This is their response (Translated from Danish to English).
RoomPerfect only corrects for the unfortunate influence of the room on the sound. Where other room correction systems have a fixed idea on how it should sound - a target curve - RoomPerfect itself finds out which properties belong to the speakers and which are due to the room. This means that the speakers you have chosen, because you like the sound, still sounds like the same speakers after RoomPerfect has corrected.

RoomPerfect does not look at how the speakers and crossover filter are designed; all corrections are based on measurements in space. So there is no immediate negative consequence of using room correction with the Gato Audio FM-50. From a room correction point of view, a speaker is a speaker! I think you can safely use RoomPerfect with these, and all other, speakers.

Lyngdorf Support
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
Thank you for your input @Orobas
I am aware that bass traps absorb the lower frequencies, but it does improve the bass response of the speakers. Before installing the bass traps, then any attempts to pull the speakers a bit more out in the room resulted in weak bass. With the bass traps I can now enjoy a nice fast and lean bass that just has a slight hint of oomph on many records. Even with the speakers pulled slightly out.

I just have two questions in my head. Would additional treatment around the speakers? E.g. some panels under the TV.
Another thought is to use 2 Lyngdorf BW-2 with a high crossover (100-150Hz) together with a 2-way speaker like the Spendor A7. I would at least like to try it to see how it works, although I am a bit fearful how the Spendor A7 will react. On FM-30 I experienced that the treble and midrange lost some spark with a 100Hz crossover to a single Lyngdorf BW-2.

I don't really understand how you lost faith in RoomPerfect. I remember we discussed RoomPerfect and Gato Audio some months ago, that time it was not seen as a problem.
But to get a clarification, I tried to ask Lyngdorf directly if they see any problems between the phase alignment in Gato Audio speakers and their RoomPerfect system.
This is their response (Translated from Danish to English).
My issue with the room perfect's interaction is that it listens to the speakers and the room and then suggests alterations to the amp which it applies.
The phase alignment means that frequencies are arriving at non standard times compared to a conventional speaker, some sooner, some later and it is this uneven sound delivery that the room perfect is having to work out if it is the room nodes that need notching or if it is correct against what it knows.
Take a sub for example with a continual phase adjustment from 0-180 degrees... each time you rotate that dial a fraction you alter the entire sound interaction of the sub to the room to your ears which is why it has always been so hard to balance a sub correctly in a room!
Whilst the Gato speakers are not this complex with their phase setup, the effect is still there with the RP to try and decipher if this makes sense.
It is true that i said it shouldnt be too much an issue at the start, but i did have reservations as to how well it could tune the speakers (or room to the speakers) (apologies if i hadnt distinguished this correctly) but as time has elapsed and you have run into more oddities with the rp and the rew systems, it has become increasingly more frustrating not only for you, but for me also in that all i can see are the same 2 issues.... Your building construction and its interaction with the amp/speakers .. and the RP's inability to tune to the speakers to your err... "technical specifications at the 100-200hz hole"
Coupled this with a sub being trialled with too high a low end crossover has not helped especially given what the sub was designed for.

I am equally as frustrated as you are, believe me, given the considerable time and resources i have fed into this thread and fully appreciate how you are feeling and that given the money you are investing that you want things to be showroom exact, but in reality this can very rarely be acheived in the majority of domestic homes

Re the gatos, and looking at other eq setups... have you not looked at simply manually notching the missing frequencies direct on the TDAI .. ie with the 100-200 end... notch those direct and leave the rest. The TDAI is capable of this type of adjustments. more often than not.. manually notching is more beneficial than running a auto eq.
I sat for over an hour with a 2 x 31band eq on that Blinding Lights track to get it flat by ear and then manually adjusting the eq so that it fit the seas curve i prefer which in the room i have, my roksan amp and especially my dynaudios...... was no easy task i can assure you lmao but .. i got it eventually just working by ear.

When running a stereo setup and introducing a subwoofer... the most recommended way of doing this is high level input via speaker terminal out and into the sub and adjusting the sub's filter .. true you can run a low level in or a sub out.. but this robs the sub of the amp's final output and sound characteristics. You need a sub where the lowest crossover is below the speakers flat bottom... hence my repeated mentions of this. This way you can stop anything above the speakers bottom end and only reinforce the negative response and under of the speaker (-3 , -6db frequency of the speaker). This is a sub running right (to many ..... it may not be by the letter but this is how typically it should be done)
That BW-2 lyngdorf sub is in no shape or way correct for a floorstander. It cannot go low enough and its cut off is too high which is why it is used for in-wall / on wall or bookshelf speakers that bottom out much higher than a floorstander.

This goes the same with the Spendor A4 , A7. They are beautiful speakers, easily tuned with the TDAI with very little notching needed. True they are not bass monsters and especially the A4.. is made for the smaller room but they are almost sound perfect for the rooms they are made for.
The D7.2 is much more of a bass monster than the A7 but it needs so much more work in amp choice and room eq to tame it and reduce it to the same audio quality of the A7 but keeping the additonal bass the D7.2 brings to the party.

Adding a sub to the A4, A7 or D7.2 is even more important to run a speaker line to a REL or a MJ or a Sonus Faber Gravis 2 or a BK Electronics sub and use that lower crossover bottom end.. (the BW-2 i think is 80hz.........) the BK or the REL T7/i for example can go right down into the 30Hz or lower as their MAX output....
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
While plenty of subs can go down to towards 20Hz, the biggest headache I find is the lower limit of crossover adjustment is often 40Hz which I find interacts badly with main speakers that only start to roll off in the low 30Hz region. With some miracle of placement, MLP, etc then sometime you can find a sweet spot to smoothly push the roll off down toward 20Hz, but without alot of patience with measuring and tweaking - more trouble than it is worth. Its get better if you have a crossover that can be set at the right frequency.

OP - if you are looking for oomph - often that comes from excessive livelyness in the 40-60Hz region either in the room, or in resonant sound shaping of the kick or bass or whatever sound. Some of the best synth sounds are themselves tilted, but sometime actually not enough in production and so only really shine in a suitable frequency tilted room (I used to do alot of music production work, synth sound design etc).

If you take away the livelyness from a room, the while you may be getting closer to the recording, maybe you are also removing what your room added that you liked.

Room perfect is a pretty good system (that IMHO aims for a good balance of speaker in room, but removing the problems as much as it reasonably can), but it is not like you can achieve by hand tuning a correction filter in an advanced filter creation application.

I don't use RP and instead use my own custom filter I made for a convolution based system which does also try to preserve the speaker as much as it can, aiming for a smooth tilted frequency response that removes as many of the peaks and troughs as it can, and then aims for an overall target curve somewhere between a damped speaker response and the natural in room response (including some room).

I don't know if RP gives you that much flexibility, but I find that end result most enjoyable while keeping it all tight.

I used to have a heavily damped studio system here as well (from when I use to work in production) and while great for mix work, it was not something I particularly enjoyed just listening on and found it much more engaging to listen with some room ambience despite that doing so lets some faults in.

Assuming you refer to album version of that track, how is the bass for you on the next track (In your eyes)?
 

Aslund

Active Member
My issue with the room perfect's interaction is that it listens to the speakers and the room and then suggests alterations to the amp which it applies.
The phase alignment means that frequencies are arriving at non standard times compared to a conventional speaker, some sooner, some later and it is this uneven sound delivery that the room perfect is having to work out if it is the room nodes that need notching or if it is correct against what it knows.
Take a sub for example with a continual phase adjustment from 0-180 degrees... each time you rotate that dial a fraction you alter the entire sound interaction of the sub to the room to your ears which is why it has always been so hard to balance a sub correctly in a room!
Whilst the Gato speakers are not this complex with their phase setup, the effect is still there with the RP to try and decipher if this makes sense.
It is true that i said it shouldnt be too much an issue at the start, but i did have reservations as to how well it could tune the speakers (or room to the speakers) (apologies if i hadnt distinguished this correctly) but as time has elapsed and you have run into more oddities with the rp and the rew systems, it has become increasingly more frustrating not only for you, but for me also in that all i can see are the same 2 issues.... Your building construction and its interaction with the amp/speakers .. and the RP's inability to tune to the speakers to your err... "technical specifications at the 100-200hz hole"
Coupled this with a sub being trialled with too high a low end crossover has not helped especially given what the sub was designed for.

I am equally as frustrated as you are, believe me, given the considerable time and resources i have fed into this thread and fully appreciate how you are feeling and that given the money you are investing that you want things to be showroom exact, but in reality this can very rarely be acheived in the majority of domestic homes

Re the gatos, and looking at other eq setups... have you not looked at simply manually notching the missing frequencies direct on the TDAI .. ie with the 100-200 end... notch those direct and leave the rest. The TDAI is capable of this type of adjustments. more often than not.. manually notching is more beneficial than running a auto eq.
I sat for over an hour with a 2 x 31band eq on that Blinding Lights track to get it flat by ear and then manually adjusting the eq so that it fit the seas curve i prefer which in the room i have, my roksan amp and especially my dynaudios...... was no easy task i can assure you lmao but .. i got it eventually just working by ear.

When running a stereo setup and introducing a subwoofer... the most recommended way of doing this is high level input via speaker terminal out and into the sub and adjusting the sub's filter .. true you can run a low level in or a sub out.. but this robs the sub of the amp's final output and sound characteristics. You need a sub where the lowest crossover is below the speakers flat bottom... hence my repeated mentions of this. This way you can stop anything above the speakers bottom end and only reinforce the negative response and under of the speaker (-3 , -6db frequency of the speaker). This is a sub running right (to many ..... it may not be by the letter but this is how typically it should be done)
That BW-2 lyngdorf sub is in no shape or way correct for a floorstander. It cannot go low enough and its cut off is too high which is why it is used for in-wall / on wall or bookshelf speakers that bottom out much higher than a floorstander.

This goes the same with the Spendor A4 , A7. They are beautiful speakers, easily tuned with the TDAI with very little notching needed. True they are not bass monsters and especially the A4.. is made for the smaller room but they are almost sound perfect for the rooms they are made for.
The D7.2 is much more of a bass monster than the A7 but it needs so much more work in amp choice and room eq to tame it and reduce it to the same audio quality of the A7 but keeping the additonal bass the D7.2 brings to the party.

Adding a sub to the A4, A7 or D7.2 is even more important to run a speaker line to a REL or a MJ or a Sonus Faber Gravis 2 or a BK Electronics sub and use that lower crossover bottom end.. (the BW-2 i think is 80hz.........) the BK or the REL T7/i for example can go right down into the 30Hz or lower as their MAX output....
I also really appreciate your effort @Orobas.
Let me clarify, I do not chase to get an exact sound like the showroom. I am well aware of the difference between my room and Gato Audio's showroom, especially in room treatment.
But I can not ignore the fact when a speaker totally lacks any authority in the bass. As mentioned in my post, then I am quite satisfied with the bass on FM-50, when pulled out a bit and with a bass trap in the corner. I can only imagine that making the bass easier to handle for RoomPerfect makes it possible for RoomPerfect to slightly enhance it instead of subdue it.
Then we have the issue with the very uneven frequency response in REW. I have not posted or shared it, but I actually made a REW measurement of the FM-50 when I had them without a bass trap. It looks almost identical to the FM-30, but the sound was radical different from what I experienced with FM-30. It made me question the validity of my measurements and I have not bothered since then to do any measurements. In the end, if it sounds fine, is it not fine?
On the other hand I waver a bit on the thought on whether I put a lot of money into a speaker I do not give proper room to shine. You don't buy a Ferrari just to drive in the city.
The fact still remains that as a whole the Gato Audio is still the best speaker I have heard so far.

I regards to subwoofer, do you not remove the strong selling point of RoomPerfect and Lyngdorf by opting for a high level input than the traditional low level input? Then RoomPerfect see the subwoofer and speaker as a single unit and might not optimise the integration properly?
Are there any general problem with setting the crossover high on the subwoofer when having a 2-way floorstanding speaker?

I sadly did not have time to experiment with any EQ on the Lyngdorf, as mentioned earlier in the post, then I am very unsure about the validity of my REW measurements and secondly my time is very sparse and I do not have time to see for longer time to adjust and tweak the EQ.
 

Aslund

Active Member
While plenty of subs can go down to towards 20Hz, the biggest headache I find is the lower limit of crossover adjustment is often 40Hz which I find interacts badly with main speakers that only start to roll off in the low 30Hz region. With some miracle of placement, MLP, etc then sometime you can find a sweet spot to smoothly push the roll off down toward 20Hz, but without alot of patience with measuring and tweaking - more trouble than it is worth. Its get better if you have a crossover that can be set at the right frequency.

OP - if you are looking for oomph - often that comes from excessive livelyness in the 40-60Hz region either in the room, or in resonant sound shaping of the kick or bass or whatever sound. Some of the best synth sounds are themselves tilted, but sometime actually not enough in production and so only really shine in a suitable frequency tilted room (I used to do alot of music production work, synth sound design etc).

If you take away the livelyness from a room, the while you may be getting closer to the recording, maybe you are also removing what your room added that you liked.

Room perfect is a pretty good system (that IMHO aims for a good balance of speaker in room, but removing the problems as much as it reasonably can), but it is not like you can achieve by hand tuning a correction filter in an advanced filter creation application.

I don't use RP and instead use my own custom filter I made for a convolution based system which does also try to preserve the speaker as much as it can, aiming for a smooth tilted frequency response that removes as many of the peaks and troughs as it can, and then aims for an overall target curve somewhere between a damped speaker response and the natural in room response (including some room).

I don't know if RP gives you that much flexibility, but I find that end result most enjoyable while keeping it all tight.

I used to have a heavily damped studio system here as well (from when I use to work in production) and while great for mix work, it was not something I particularly enjoyed just listening on and found it much more engaging to listen with some room ambience despite that doing so lets some faults in.

Assuming you refer to album version of that track, how is the bass for you on the next track (In your eyes)?
Thank you for your input @Khazul
When I mention the word "oomph", then it covers the physical sensation of the 100Hz-200Hz area. I am not chasing the deep rumbling bass, but rather a little bit higher.
I apologise in advance for my strange music taste, but "Beyond The Time" by TM Network is a good example of a song with a good strong beat that I just want to feel the slight sensation of, nothing ground shaking at all.


I don't plan to go crazy with treatment, but I was considering additional 2-3 smaller panels behind the speakers to avoid any boomy bass. I am also thinking maybe in the future to make a cover for my radiator with a diffusor pattern.

Right now I listen to music through Youtube Music and I heard "Blinding lights" from there. It was the only track I heard that sounded off in the bass. Other songs I heard all seemed fine.
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
Then we have the issue with the very uneven frequency response in REW. I have not posted or shared it, but I actually made a REW measurement of the FM-50 when I had them without a bass trap. It looks almost identical to the FM-30, but the sound was radical different from what I experienced with FM-30. It made me question the validity of my measurements and I have not bothered since then to do any measurements. In the end, if it sounds fine, is it not fine?

Maybe worth posting them if you still have them.

It is not unusual for at least the bass region to end up being quite similar looking among different speakers in the same location in the same room because what you are seeing is the room which will impact all speakers in the same way (at least within their frequency range) if they are in the same location.

Also single measurements can make things look a lot worse than they are when listening so I tend to do several in a cloud around the listening position.

When you look at the phase and step response is where you tend to see differences which reflect the cross over behaviour, room reflections and the dynamic response of the amp+speaker which in turn have an impact in the sound quality you end up perceiving.

I regards to subwoofer, do you not remove the strong selling point of RoomPerfect and Lyngdorf by opting for a high level input than the traditional low level input? Then RoomPerfect see the subwoofer and speaker as a single unit and might not optimise the integration properly?
Are there any general problem with setting the crossover high on the subwoofer when having a 2-way floorstanding speaker?

If you use the high level to the sub then may end up will all sorts of problems. The near speaker measurements will not longer be accurate especially if sub is not close to speaker and and if it has its own DSP delay. It will not be able to correctly assess the phase of the bass either. At best it will probably try to apply some dumb EQ in that region and most likely get it wrong.

You are better off letting the Lyngdorf do the crossover and delays as it can them phase align correctly accounting for any DSP latency in the sub which if uncorrected by DSP or positioning just adds a load of comb filtering in the cross over region with the result that you can never get good smooth integration and as well as peak and trough resulting from the room modes you end up adding more due to the comb filtering. DSP room correction system will really struggle to make sense of the result and if you have aligned by ear, the you will be largely depending on a partial phase match which if disrupted (by the room EQ) will change the perceived level drastically.

As you may guess - I have been through this manually (using REW), both successfully with my old speakers, but with my new speakers where the mains are rolling off in low 30Hz region and sub in 20Hz region I came to the conclusion that everything sounded better without the sub involved in stereo playback.

I don't have a lyngdorf, but I do know their functionality quite well and am very familiar with room correction filtering approaches.

So let the lyngdorf do the crossover, but really with 30Hz or so roll off, you may prefer without the sub.
 

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