Question Is there any speaker cables (silver?) can "clean" the fluffy/turbid bass?

Tension255

Active Member
Hi Guys, thanks to your help, we bought a setup consisting of of KEF R3s and a YAMAHA RN803D connected by a pair of Audioquest Slip xtrm 14/2. All in all, everything is perfect, and it produce the sound that we are looking for - a good proper balance between vocal and music. The only little thing is (only from my ears) I found that the bass is a bit fluffy rather than tide, taking into account that I am used to natural & slightly cold sound. I found the vocal sometime is also Muffled and warm.

So my question is - if a pair of cables would help to clean the muffle and make the bass tide? For instance, Chord Clearway, some pure silver or silver coated cables. I am also considering to bi-amp the speakers. However, customer service of KEF and the local store recommend single wire.

Thanks in advance!
best,
T.
 

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Ugg10

Distinguished Member
I my experience (other may/will differ), for domestioc use of runs under 10m wire, wires have no effect on the sound and bi-wiring also has no effect so long as the cables you are using are made of Oxygen Free Copper (or 99.9% pure) and over approx 2 sq.mm cross section and the ends have not tarnished over time. Something like the Van Damme Blue 2.5mm or Kabeldirect wires from amazon will be more than sufficient. Edit - your Audioquest are more than adequate with 2x14awg per cable - approx 2x11awg = 4sq.mm.

Now Bi-amping - running separate amps to the tweeter and bass speaker connections can have an effect but only moderately. (You will need an additional power amp to do this but Yamaha do not do one so this may be difficult to get one to match the gain stracture fo the RN803 - note that if you amp has two sets of speaker connectors then you still only have one stereo amp (internally one amp for left, one for right) that is then just connected to two sets of connectors in parallel).

Have you tried running the room eq system on the Yamaha, this may help clean up the bass which may be suffering from room interactions and cleaning this up will have benefits further up the frequency spectrum into the vocal range.

Finally, can't see whatever picture you posted, but speaker placement may also help, they should be at least 22.5cm from the rear wall and 50cm from any side wall and ideally in an equilateral triangle with the main listening position. Also, I think the R3's come with foam plugs for the rear vents, you can try these to see if that helps. I would suggest trying to position the speakers as per the Kef Manual (summarised above) even if this is not ultimately practical just to see if it is the amp/speaker combo or the room/placement that is the problem. Then inch them back into place noting where the sound changes, that is your limit. Also try straight ahead and toe in to see if that helps.

https://www.shop.us.kef.com/pub/media/documents/rseries/r2018_manual.pdf - page 9
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Speaker cable will only effect your wallet and eyes as long as it’s ofc and a decent thickness I.e. at least 2.5mm2 or (I think) 12g. As above speaker suitability for and placement in the room is much more important. If that doesn’t help then a stereo amp preferably auditioned in the room.
 

Tension255

Active Member
I my experience (other may/will differ), for domestioc use of runs under 10m wire, wires have no effect on the sound and bi-wiring also has no effect so long as the cables you are using are made of Oxygen Free Copper (or 99.9% pure) and over approx 2 sq.mm cross section and the ends have not tarnished over time. Something like the Van Damme Blue 2.5mm or Kabeldirect wires from amazon will be more than sufficient. Edit - your Audioquest are more than adequate with 2x14awg per cable - approx 2x11awg = 4sq.mm.

Now Bi-amping - running separate amps to the tweeter and bass speaker connections can have an effect but only moderately. (You will need an additional power amp to do this but Yamaha do not do one so this may be difficult to get one to match the gain stracture fo the RN803 - note that if you amp has two sets of speaker connectors then you still only have one stereo amp (internally one amp for left, one for right) that is then just connected to two sets of connectors in parallel).

Have you tried running the room eq system on the Yamaha, this may help clean up the bass which may be suffering from room interactions and cleaning this up will have benefits further up the frequency spectrum into the vocal range.

Finally, can't see whatever picture you posted, but speaker placement may also help, they should be at least 22.5cm from the rear wall and 50cm from any side wall and ideally in an equilateral triangle with the main listening position. Also, I think the R3's come with foam plugs for the rear vents, you can try these to see if that helps. I would suggest trying to position the speakers as per the Kef Manual (summarised above) even if this is not ultimately practical just to see if it is the amp/speaker combo or the room/placement that is the problem. Then inch them back into place noting where the sound changes, that is your limit. Also try straight ahead and toe in to see if that helps.

https://www.shop.us.kef.com/pub/media/documents/rseries/r2018_manual.pdf - page 9
Thanks a lot! Yes, I did try with the room eq YPAO and it does not change a lot of the performance, either the direct mode did. The bass reduction did work a bit with the vocal but unfortunately cut the bass also rather than making it tide. The backside of the speakers have >40 cm from the wall at the moment. I will try the plugs and see if that help. Thanks a lot for your constant help!
 

Tension255

Active Member
Sorry, photo updated. The speakers are already moved a bit more forward than in the photo. Will try more according to suggestions above.
 

RayP

Well-known Member
The bass reduction did work a bit with the vocal but unfortunately cut the bass also rather than making it tide.

I don't understand that sentence. What does "making it tide" mean? The other point I would make is the streamer/amp is £700 and the speakers are £1300. Bit of a mismatch there really. The speakers are probably revealing the weaknesses in the amp.

Did you audition these in your own home before buying?
 

phil t

Well-known Member
Speaker cable will only effect your wallet and eyes as long as it’s ofc and a decent thickness I.e. at least 2.5mm2 or (I think) 12g. As above speaker suitability for and placement in the room is much more important. If that doesn’t help then a stereo amp preferably auditioned in the room.
12 awg is about 3.3 mm2 and 14 awg just a smidge over 2 mm2.
Bless the Americans.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
12 awg is about 3.3 mm2 and 14 awg just a smidge over 2 mm2.
Bless the Americans.

Both make a mess at short range of course.
 

RayP

Well-known Member
@Tension255 , just a point about streamers. The Bluesound Node 2i is a popular choice amongst the hi-fi fraternity. I have one myself and it performs very well with my Naim / B&W combo.

The Bluesound is £500 so when compared against your Yamaha it suggests the Yamaha doesn’t have a brilliant amp section. Maybe the performance of a budget £200-300 unit.

Your speakers are not the problem. I think the problems emirate from the amp. To give you an example I listened to stereo music for years via my £2K Yamaha RX-A3010 AVR and although it was okay I knew the sound was being compromised by the AVR.

When I incorporated a serious amp - the Naim XS3 into my system music was transformed and I had my hi-fi system back. I was hearing bass that I’d never heard from these speakers before.

I suspect you’re not going to be satisfied until you try a better amp which possibly necessitates a change of streamer. Hope that isn’t too deflating.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Yamaha are packing a lot into the cost of the RN803 and maybe the amp itself is just not good enough at controlling the bass on the R3. I certainly found out the old R300s need a firm control on bass when auditioning amps a few years ago and what you are describing is what I found with Naim amps and KEF speakers.

A different amp, in my case a Rega, solved the scruffy and uncontrolled bass and the match between the two is perfect. Unfortunately the Rega would cost twice as much as the Yamaha. Speaker wire is not going to solve the problem, it's simply wire and not a magic wand.

You can see from the reply given by @RayP above that Naims partner well with his B&W speakers. Sometimes you don't notice it in a quick audition at a dealers.

Have you tried bunging the rear port with the foam inserts that were supplied with the speakers. They can be fully bunged or half bunged and with some fine tuning movements in and out you may get a better bass response. My R300s are half ported and are sitting a lot closer to the wall than yours and I get a good fast and tight bass response.
 

3rdignis

Active Member
Fluffy, loose muffled bass/mid doesn't say too much bass to me.
Is the soundstage a bit unfocused as kef should do this well, reflections could be an issue.
Try moving speakers a lot closer and sit a lot closer to test the effect of room reflections (does it sound better)
 
D

Deleted member 824153

Guest
taking into account that I am used to natural & slightly cold sound. I found the vocal sometime is also Muffled and warm.
Sounds like you need a little time for your brain to readjust to a different sound
 

Tension255

Active Member
Thanks guys! I appreciate all your comments and suggestions. Unfortunately, I cannot spare too much energy in a new amp in short term but will definitely do that early next year.

These two days I tried several things to improve the sound, according to some of your suggestions. The sound indeed has been improved - quite a lot.

1, totally blocked the port - to get a flat response - this improves quite a lot!
2, set the 803D for 4 ohm rather than 8 - this reduce the resonant boomy in male vocal
3, use my own m-Dac into the CD port - this improve a bit the vocal clarity
4, use YPAO together with the CD input - YPAO indeed reduced the boomy. No clue about the magic here, M-DAC ---> RN 803 (CD port -ADC -DAC - DSP - AMP)????? This would be very interesting.

I think for the next upgrade for us shall be something with damping factor (DF) >1000, and >200 W per channel to get a tight bass (the RN803D only has around DF 200). After seeing the power of room correction, I cannot live without it any more.
 

RayP

Well-known Member
@Tension255 , yours is a classic case of an excellent loudspeaker revealing warts n’all in a below par amplifier. Given you’ve spent £1300 on the Kefs I would suggest you need to spend no less than £800-£1000 on a decent stereo amp. You don’t need 200 watts per channel. My Naim has 70 watts but outperforms the 150 watt of the RX-A3010. My Naim has no room correction. It just controls the speakers superbly.

Don’t think too much about damping factors. Take your speakers to a dealer and listen to a few suitable amps. Trust your ears. :thumbsup:
 

Tension255

Active Member
@Tension255 , yours is a classic case of an excellent loudspeaker revealing warts n’all in a below par amplifier. Given you’ve spent £1300 on the Kefs I would suggest you need to spend no less than £800-£1000 on a decent stereo amp. You don’t need 200 watts per channel. My Naim has 70 watts but outperforms the 150 watt of the RX-A3010. My Naim has no room correction. It just controls the speakers superbly.

Don’t think too much about damping factors. Take your speakers to a dealer and listen to a few suitable amps. Trust your ears. :thumbsup:
Thanks RayP! Indeed at the store I used naim to drive the r3s and they sound great! There was just a super black friday deal that sold me the rn803...... I will definately consider a naim amp for next step.
 

RayP

Well-known Member
Thanks RayP! Indeed at the store I used naim to drive the r3s and they sound great! There was just a super black friday deal that sold me the rn803...... I will definately consider a naim amp for next step.
When I was demoing both the Supernait3 and much less expensive XS3 I really couldn’t hear any difference so saved myself a chunk of money and opted for the XS3.

But @gibbsy will advise that Naim and KEF do not make for a good match. The sound may be a little bright. But the best judge are your own ears ... with a home demo. ;)
 

larkone

Member
Or consider a Lyngdorf amp and let RoomPerfect sort out your room interaction with your speakers
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
I dont know that amp, however I wouldn't be surprised if it lacked the speaker control of some higher end amps (Yamaha A-S1100/1200/2100/2200, Rega Elicit etc).

A huge change in bass was one of the major thing I noticed when I first got my Yamaha A-S2100 (stronger, more impactful but also far more tight and controlled) - your description is close enough to what I was experiencing before that I would suggest looking into a better amp. My only caveat is that I wouldn't expect such a problem with those speakers - it is something I tend to associate more with larger more awkward to drive floor standers rather than stand-mounts/bookshelf.

As for room correction - for music that may actually make the sound less enjoyable unless it is a very good correction system. TBH I am not convinced room correction is the answer (at least not alone) from your description.
 

RayP

Well-known Member
As for room correction - for music that may actually make the sound less enjoyable unless it is a very good correction system. TBH I am not convinced room correction is the answer (at least not alone) from your description.

I tend to agree. A flat line response curve doesn’t necessarily equate to better sound. If room correction was the answer why haven’t other manufacturers jumped on that bandwagon? Plenty of high end amps out there that sound great without it.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Bass boom is usually not correct speaker placement. But sadly every room has bass problems. In my experience Yamaha makes power full amplifier. Still from my understanding you would like a faster bass response. Hegel amplifiers may just be the ticket.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Hi Guys, thanks to your help, we bought a setup consisting of of KEF R3s and a YAMAHA RN803D connected by a pair of Audioquest Slip xtrm 14/2. All in all, everything is perfect, and it produce the sound that we are looking for - a good proper balance between vocal and music. The only little thing is (only from my ears) I found that the bass is a bit fluffy rather than tide, taking into account that I am used to natural & slightly cold sound. I found the vocal sometime is also Muffled and warm.

So my question is - if a pair of cables would help to clean the muffle and make the bass tide? For instance, Chord Clearway, some pure silver or silver coated cables. I am also considering to bi-amp the speakers. However, customer service of KEF and the local store recommend single wire.

Thanks in advance!
best,
T.
Try some sorbothane feet’s under the speakers. That may help with the bass response.
 

larkone

Member
Good room correction (RoomPerfect) does not aim to go for a flat line response as that would sound awful. I find it amazing the opinions thrown about about room correction from those that have obviously never heard it properly implemented if they have heard it at all.
 

RayP

Well-known Member
Good room correction (RoomPerfect) does not aim to go for a flat line response as that would sound awful. I find it amazing the opinions thrown about about room correction from those that have obviously never heard it properly implemented if they have heard it at all.
The OP does not have a difficult room regarding sound. The speakers are well away from the back wall but the problems with sound persist. It's very likely to be a low quality amplifier causing the problem. Once he changes to something suitable for the very revealing KEFs the problem will go away.

That might be a Lyngdorf but a Naim or Rega would also be a huge upgrade. Incidentally, I don't throw my opinion around. My advice is based on 40 years of hi-fi experience. The same rules apply now as in the 70s. Quality speakers require a quality front-end and quality amplification.
 

Tension255

Active Member
Thanks guys! It is actually the boom in male vocal that bothers me, especially from some "cool" guys with low frequency & authority voice on TV or movie. Felt like my brain was resonating with the speakers when those people speak on the screen, LOL. Nothing wrong with female vocal. Music is just PERFECT. Besides the improvements mentioned above, I also turn down the bass a bit some time. Next step will be playing around with the stands and isolation.
 

larkone

Member
@RayP It doesn't matter how high the quality the front end, amp or speakers are if the room has issues, it will still sound bad. Silk purse/sows ear :smashin: Not sure how you can pass an opinion on the OPs room from the safe distance of a forum - my experience (also 40 years +) says you need to be in the room and hear the system interact with room to determine if the room has an detrimental affect on the sound.
 

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