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Lack of bass....?

StormRider

Standard Member
Hi,

Need help from expert here, as my system is lack of bass.

layout.jpg


Is the room layout is not ideal? that create suck out of bass at listening area?

What can be done to improve the bass?

Thanks
 

Nobber22

Prominent Member
What kit do you have?
Do you have carpets or wooden floors?
Lots of blank walls or are there curtains and other soft furnishings in the room?
 

Phlog

Established Member
What can be done to improve the bass?

Do you mean quality or quantity?

If you just want lots of boomy bass, put the speakers right into the corners.

Quality is a different matter, and depends on the type of speaker, particular amplifier, and the source material.
 

StormRider

Standard Member
Do you mean quality or quantity?

If you just want lots of boomy bass, put the speakers right into the corners.

Quality is a different matter, and depends on the type of speaker, particular amplifier, and the source material.


I mean quantity and quality as well. :) Right now I is really lack of quantity.

I had try before placing the speaker at the corners, and then I can only hear the bass in the 1st frount half of the room, the 2nd half which is the listening area is still got no bass at all.
 

StormRider

Standard Member
By the way, my system are :

Marantz CD6003
Marantz PM8003
Mordaunt short Mezzo 2
Canare GC-6 interconnect
Belden studio 814 speaker cable
 

Medrep1

Established Member
IMO its unlikely to be attributed to the carpet/curtains etc, this will have a small effect on low bass, but soft furnishings are more applicable affecting midrange and treble reflections.

Id say your current listening position was in a 'null' spot, and sometimes the only option is to change the position of the speakers and/or listening position. You say if you move forward then you can hear the bass, which to me answers the question.

You could change to bigger/more bass prominent speakers, and/or maybe add a sub to help fill out the bottom end, but i'd experiment with positioning first.

If you really want to know whats going on in the room, then head off to the sub forum for advice on REW, how to use it, and what to look for. Its a free software program that analyzes your room, Room Equalization Wizard.

That would be my advice before you start spending any money at all.

Also, just check that your speaker wiring is correct, and nothing is out of polarity/phase etc. You never know.....
 

makemywish

Established Member
By the way, my system are :

Marantz CD6003
Marantz PM8003
Mordaunt short Mezzo 2
Canare GC-6 interconnect
Belden studio 814 speaker cable

I have a CA 340a + 340c + CA S30 speakers. I thought the bass was not too powerful. So today I got a demo of Marantz PM6003 + CD6003 + Wharfedale 10.1.

When compared to my CA 340a, I thought the bass was weak. Just got back home from the demo and replayed all the CDs I played at the demo and was surprised that the bass from the 340a was adequate (one has to take into account that this is a £350 system).

I reckon it was due to the fact that the demo room was small. On the other hand, the PM6003 may not be great shakes.

Can you confirm the listening area and the speakers are in an equilateral triangle with the length of each side being at least 8 ft. With my current system I first tried at 6 ft with the listening area 8 ft away when I moved my speakers apart 2ft there was a significant increase in bass. In addition, if you have rear bass ports, make sure they are placed at a good distance from the wall (say 1.5 ft).

Also try three angles for the speakers.

1. Where speakers' imaginary lines intersect immediately behind listener.
2. Where speakers' imaginary lines intersect exactly where the listener sits.
3. Where speakers' imaginary lines intersect immediately in front of the listener.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
StormRider, don't mean to sound like a jerk, but that seems to be an awefull lot of curtains. Are you sure you haven't exaggerated a little?

Can you explain why three walls are virtually covered by curtain, and tell us what is behind the curtains? Again, I'm not trying to be a jerk. I'm asking because it matters.

Also, you've got some decent speakers, and a really good amp. Are you sure you haven't simply traded heavy droning one-note bass on your old system, for clarity, definition, and transparency on the new system?

Don't ask yourself if you can hear bass, ask yourself if you can hear bass guitar? That is a subtle but important distinction.

My speakers don't seem to have much bass, but if I turn the bass control up, it becomes overwhelming quickly. So the bass is there, but the droning distortion most of us associate with bass is gone.

The questions about carpets and curtains has to do with reflections in the room. If sound is being reflected, then reflected sound is colliding with direct sound and creating peaks and valleys in the sound. If you happen to be sitting in a valley, then there will be virtually no bass.

So, get up and move around the room. Move left and right, also move up and down, because the peaks and valleys can appear between the floor and ceiling.

Also, move forward and back, as well as near the side walls. Are there any places where you sense the bass peaks and valleys.

Next, are the speakers positioned as shown in the drawing, facing straight forward? If straight forward, try turning them inward slightly, more toward the listening position. That will alter the reflections in the room.

There is something call 'boundary re-enforcement'. Meaning as you move the speaker toward a boundary wall, the bass tends to pick up. Move it toward two boundary walls, side and back, and it picks up even more. Though that is not alway a good thing.

Keeping a reasonable space behind the speakers, move the farther to the side and nearer the side walls. Then cant or turn them inward slightly, again, more toward the listening position. See if that smooths out the bass.

I see no reason to think that the Mezzo 2 is anything less than a great speaker for the money. Any complaints I've heard about them have all been related to changes in the tweeter over the Aviano. Some prefer the sound of the Mezzo, though others prefer the sound of the Aviano. So, that's more a preference than a complaint.

But, I've never heard anyone criticize the bass in any of the Mordaunt Short speakers when woofer size and price are taken into consideration.

Your have a 6.5" woofer which is above average for a bookshelf speaker, and have a response down to 48hz, which again is good for a bookshelf speaker. Which is why we are all asking questions about the room, and the position of the speakers.

These many not blow the room off the place, but they should be well balance detailed speakers. And they are far above average in the Mordaunt Product line.

As always, just an opinion.

Steve/bluewizard
 

StormRider

Standard Member
IMO its unlikely to be attributed to the carpet/curtains etc, this will have a small effect on low bass, but soft furnishings are more applicable affecting midrange and treble reflections.

Id say your current listening position was in a 'null' spot, and sometimes the only option is to change the position of the speakers and/or listening position. You say if you move forward then you can hear the bass, which to me answers the question.

You could change to bigger/more bass prominent speakers, and/or maybe add a sub to help fill out the bottom end, but i'd experiment with positioning first.

If you really want to know whats going on in the room, then head off to the sub forum for advice on REW, how to use it, and what to look for. Its a free software program that analyzes your room, Room Equalization Wizard.

That would be my advice before you start spending any money at all.

Also, just check that your speaker wiring is correct, and nothing is out of polarity/phase etc. You never know.....

Changing the listening position by moving more forward will have more bass only if the speaker is place at the corner. Actualy the listening position is also for me to watch movie with screen behing the speaker. If I were to move the listening postion forward, then when watching movie I will need to move the listening position back again as it is too cloase to the screen. Sounds a bit troublesome :)

I have checked the wiring, everything connected correctly. will check it out the REW software that you recommended, is it complicated?
 

StormRider

Standard Member
I have a CA 340a + 340c + CA S30 speakers. I thought the bass was not too powerful. So today I got a demo of Marantz PM6003 + CD6003 + Wharfedale 10.1.

When compared to my CA 340a, I thought the bass was weak. Just got back home from the demo and replayed all the CDs I played at the demo and was surprised that the bass from the 340a was adequate (one has to take into account that this is a £350 system).

I reckon it was due to the fact that the demo room was small. On the other hand, the PM6003 may not be great shakes.

Can you confirm the listening area and the speakers are in an equilateral triangle with the length of each side being at least 8 ft. With my current system I first tried at 6 ft with the listening area 8 ft away when I moved my speakers apart 2ft there was a significant increase in bass. In addition, if you have rear bass ports, make sure they are placed at a good distance from the wall (say 1.5 ft).

Also try three angles for the speakers.

1. Where speakers' imaginary lines intersect immediately behind listener.
2. Where speakers' imaginary lines intersect exactly where the listener sits.
3. Where speakers' imaginary lines intersect immediately in front of the listener.

As my room dimention is about 18 ft long X 10ft wide. If I were to apply the 8ft triangle rule, then the listening position will be quite near to the front screen. I did try before and the bass will only be improve if the speaker is place at the corner. If the speaker is place 2-3ft from back wall, then bass will still be very weak even with the 8ft triangle rule applied. Currently the speaker are place slighty toe in where speakers imaginary lines intersect immediately behind listening position.
 

StormRider

Standard Member
StormRider, don't mean to sound like a jerk, but that seems to be an awefull lot of curtains. Are you sure you haven't exaggerated a little?

Can you explain why three walls are virtually covered by curtain, and tell us what is behind the curtains? Again, I'm not trying to be a jerk. I'm asking because it matters.

Also, you've got some decent speakers, and a really good amp. Are you sure you haven't simply traded heavy droning one-note bass on your old system, for clarity, definition, and transparency on the new system?

Don't ask yourself if you can hear bass, ask yourself if you can hear bass guitar? That is a subtle but important distinction.

My speakers don't seem to have much bass, but if I turn the bass control up, it becomes overwhelming quickly. So the bass is there, but the droning distortion most of us associate with bass is gone.

The questions about carpets and curtains has to do with reflections in the room. If sound is being reflected, then reflected sound is colliding with direct sound and creating peaks and valleys in the sound. If you happen to be sitting in a valley, then there will be virtually no bass.

So, get up and move around the room. Move left and right, also move up and down, because the peaks and valleys can appear between the floor and ceiling.

Also, move forward and back, as well as near the side walls. Are there any places where you sense the bass peaks and valleys.

Next, are the speakers positioned as shown in the drawing, facing straight forward? If straight forward, try turning them inward slightly, more toward the listening position. That will alter the reflections in the room.

There is something call 'boundary re-enforcement'. Meaning as you move the speaker toward a boundary wall, the bass tends to pick up. Move it toward two boundary walls, side and back, and it picks up even more. Though that is not alway a good thing.

Keeping a reasonable space behind the speakers, move the farther to the side and nearer the side walls. Then cant or turn them inward slightly, again, more toward the listening position. See if that smooths out the bass.

I see no reason to think that the Mezzo 2 is anything less than a great speaker for the money. Any complaints I've heard about them have all been related to changes in the tweeter over the Aviano. Some prefer the sound of the Mezzo, though others prefer the sound of the Aviano. So, that's more a preference than a complaint.

But, I've never heard anyone criticize the bass in any of the Mordaunt Short speakers when woofer size and price are taken into consideration.

Your have a 6.5" woofer which is above average for a bookshelf speaker, and have a response down to 48hz, which again is good for a bookshelf speaker. Which is why we are all asking questions about the room, and the position of the speakers.

These many not blow the room off the place, but they should be well balance detailed speakers. And they are far above average in the Mordaunt Product line.

As always, just an opinion.

Steve/bluewizard

The reason I put so many curtain around as my room is quite empty and I can hear slighly echo with clapping hand before that. Along the short wall behind the curtain is the windows, and along the long wall behing the curtain is just wall with some foam panel :)

Actualy my old system is also lack of bass, using Marantz SR7500 with mordaunt short avant 906. At first I thought is the AV amp or the speaker, but now it seems like is not the equipment, is it?

Compare to my old system, current sound really improve alot in details, soundstage,clarity.... but the only thing is still lack of bass :) I don't really understand why.

When I listen to some jazz music, I do able to hear the bass note of the bass guitar, not that bad though. but switching to pop song, you can immediately feel that the bass is lacking.....

I have also try on speaker positioning, toe in / out but still doesnt seems to do much on the bass, only can hear the differents in soundstage.

So far the more bass re-enforcement area is at the end of each short wall, behing the speaker and opposite it the PC table wall.
 

StormRider

Standard Member
Simple answer, get a subwoofer with high level connections :smashin:

I already have a sub and try connect it before, but then the sound just not right to me, maybe different speaker driver which cant integrate well together? I am using mordaunt short avant 309 sub.

Another point is, the sub needs to be place behind the listening area at the corner, with this only i can hear the bass. If I were to place the sub beside the speaker, the bass is also weak.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
There is not much more that I can say, other than what I have already said.

But I confess this is an intriguing problem. With the curtains all round, you seem to have gone far above what most people do to control room acoustic. The curtains and foam aren't quite bass traps, but they should make the room acoustically soft and warm. That should be great for the quality of the bass.

You seem to be doing everything right, so I'm some what baffled by why it is not working.

The only thing I can think of is, go back to basics.

First, make absolutely sure that your speakers are wired properly. Confirm beyond any shadow of a doubt that for both speaker the Amp(+) goes to the speaker(+). If you are bi-wiring, forget about that for now, and use standard single pair wire. The bi-wiring adds an unnecessary level of complication at this point.

This is important, too many people assume they did it right, and simply take a quick glance. I'm asking you to absolutely confirm the correctness of the speaker wiring. Because, if you've made a mistake there, that throws everything off.

You mentioned a Sub, was that an experiment, or do you have a sub available all the time? If you have a sub connected, you might want to consider the Phase control on the Sub. If the Sub in in front, the phase needs to be ZERO, and if the sub is in the rear behind you, the phase need to be 180.

Again, I confess that I'm confused, you seem to have done everything right. So, I can't understand why are you aren't getting noticeable results.

Steve/bluewizard
 
Last edited:

Medrep1

Established Member
interesting though, but is it worth to spend about 20-30% of the speaker price for a good stand, something like atacama stand?

Slightly subjective question but IMO, yes.

Put it this way....my speakers sitting flat on the floor sound boomy, which affects the qaulity of the bass, and then ultimately obscures the midrange and treble.

Spiking the speakers creates a taught bass, better midrange definition and imaging. It really is a night and day difference for me.

Speaker stands fall into the same category. I used to own atacama stands, and filling them with kiln dried sand helped further.

Whether better stands will give you the 'bass' your after though is another thing.

I would have a home audition of some hefty floorstanders if I were you, as others here have suggested all the right options, and your ears are still not giving you what you want?

Or, take your speakers into a local dealer for demo vs some more powerful ones. If there is a distinct difference between the models, or even if your speakers sound better there, your half way there to diagnosing the problem.

Good luck!
 

StormRider

Standard Member
There is not much more that I can say, other than what I have already said.

But I confess this is an intriguing problem. With the curtains all round, you seem to have gone far above what most people do to control room acoustic. The curtains and foam aren't quite bass traps, but they should make the room acoustically soft and warm. That should be great for the quality of the bass.

You seem to be doing everything right, so I'm some what baffled by why it is not working.

The only thing I can think of is, go back to basics.

First, make absolutely sure that your speakers are wired properly. Confirm beyond any shadow of a doubt that for both speaker the Amp(+) goes to the speaker(+). If you are bi-wiring, forget about that for now, and use standard single pair wire. The bi-wiring adds an unnecessary level of complication at this point.

This is important, too many people assume they did it right, and simply take a quick glance. I'm asking you to absolutely confirm the correctness of the speaker wiring. Because, if you've made a mistake there, that throws everything off.

You mentioned a Sub, was that an experiment, or do you have a sub available all the time? If you have a sub connected, you might want to consider the Phase control on the Sub. If the Sub in in front, the phase needs to be ZERO, and if the sub is in the rear behind you, the phase need to be 180.

Again, I confess that I'm confused, you seem to have done everything right. So, I can't understand why are you aren't getting noticeable results.

Steve/bluewizard

:thumbsup: just checked, 100% comfirm the speaker connection is correct.
meaning i still have lont way to slove the issue :(

I have a sub all the time but that's for my Av receiver when watching movie. Since I have the sub there so I just try out to see hows the matching and how will the bass improve with the sub. I have manualy set the sub crossover at around 60Hz and volume gain at around 10'oclock and also 180 phase shift. after running through some cds, i found out that the sub don't really mix well with the speaker. I dont know how to explaine in words :)

so at the end i am still try on how to improve the bass from the speaker without the sub. I am also quite sure that the speaker should be able to produce more bass than right now.......
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
I already have a sub and try connect it before, but then the sound just not right to me, maybe different speaker driver which cant integrate well together? I am using mordaunt short avant 309 sub.

That's an excellent sub and should integrate fine.

Another point is, the sub needs to be place behind the listening area at the corner, with this only i can hear the bass. If I were to place the sub beside the speaker, the bass is also weak.

The amount of bass the 309 will produce is way more than your speakers will manage. If this is still too quiet at the front, it's a setup problem.

If you place it behind and it's too loud, this is also a setup problem.

My advice would be to get a SPL meter.
 

trailer

Prominent Member
It may well be that you're expecting TOO much from the speakers. Remember that you're not going to get any room shaking amounts of bass from the Mezzos.

It could well be a case of having to get a pair of floor-stander's in order to reach nirvana.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Just a side note:

When the Subwoofer is in front of you, the phase should be set to 0° (zero).

When the Subwoofer is behind you, the phase should be set to 180°.

That is fairly important, as setting it wrong will cancel out the bass.

It is too bad you can't get another set of experienced ears on it, to determine if the speakers really aren't performing, or if your expectations are out of line.

Also, likely there is a knob on the front of your amp marked 'Bass', you are allowed to turn that up.

If you can't get the bass you need with the Bass control tweak upward, then I'm completely baffled. Something definitely isn't right. But I can't say whether is it your speakers, your room, or your expectations.

You are certainly not going to get 'blow the windows out' bass with speakers like this, but it should be more than satisfying given the size and price of the speaker. If it is truly not, then again, I'm mystified. You seem to be doing everything right. So, I'm not sure where to go next.

EDITED:
I had another thought, though you must proceed with caution.

Here are some links to test tones you can play from your computer, or burn to a CD, and test your speakers.

http://www.avforums.com/forums/speakers/925527-audio-test-tones-several-sources.html

Buy using test tones, you can isolate specific frequencies and determine with certainty whether this given frequency is playing or not.

But a word of caution. Start by setting the sound level at a modest comfortable listening level. These continuous test tone cause a lot of heat to build up in the speaker. If you are doing the low frequency sweeps pause for a few seconds every minute to give the speakers time to cool down. Or pause between the sweep tracks.

Now, if you turn it up louder, you can hear both higher and lower frequencies. But the test here isn't how loud can your amp go, but instead, what are the frequencies I can hear at normal comfortable listening levels. Once you establish a normal comfortable listening level, do not change it from there, or you risk damage to your speakers.

Also, have the grill covers off so you can see the speakers. You many see the speaker responding nicely to a given frequency, but still not be able to hear it. That's common. I would recommend, NOT testing at any frequencies below 20hz. And, it is really not necessary to test at any frequencies below 30hz, especially on a blookshelf speaker like yours.

Again, when the tones are playing, move around the room to see if you can hear it better in one location than another.

And, fair warning, proceed with caution. This is a reasonable safe procedure, IF you use common sense.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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moonkey

Standard Member
I Have Mezzo 2's & bass is no problem, but improved when I bi-wired them, have you tried that. I used cambridge audio silver @£4.99/m




Arcam A28 Pioneer PD-S801
 

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