Lean, black, wobbly and bright.....

Drummerdave

Standard Member
Hi all,

Currently enjoying my recently upgraded system – AVI Lab Series CDp, Integrated amp and Duo speakers but think maybe I could improve things further. Music can sound a bit bright at times and there isn’t as much bass as I’d like. I have already contacted AVI about the bass issue and was told that it was a matter of my ears adjusting to a better quality of low frequency reproduction, my last speakers having been “boomers” and exaggerated the bass notes. This is fair enough, the speakers are fairly dynamic but I’m not sure the system is performing to its optimum.

I am fully aware of the debates regarding system running-in times, and the arguments that electronics need time to reach their best (not an idea I subscribe to) and speaker drivers take time to loosen up (this makes more sense as it’s a mechanical issue) however there are three areas where I feel I might be able to make improvements, any comments/recommendations would be welcome –

1)My speaker cable is a generic ofc multi-strand type – is anybody else using one of the more expensive cables successfully with this system? (eg Chord Odyssey 2) – again I am aware of the raging debates regarding cables and the ridiculous “burn in” issue.
2)My hifi is sitting on a shelf which at the moment is not as stable as it could be – I am in the process of sorting this out – could this make much difference to the sound quality in respect of vibration, isolation etc?
3)My speakers are sitting on granite plinths spiked to a suspended timber floor and there are a lot of hard surfaces in the room, the ceiling is 3.6 m high – would this have an affect also?

I have also toyed with the idea of buying a subwoofer (Velodyne Microvee) but not sure if it will be overkill for music only duties.

I hope to borrow some cables so that I can decide myself if there is any merit in an upgrade to Chords.

Thanks

DD
 

LPspinner

Established Member
Hi Drummerdave:

First of all the guys at AVI usually know their stuff pretty well, they make good kit and they tend not to go for the “wanky wire” tweeko stuff. The cable you have got should be just fine. Expensive cables, despite the marketing hype, will do very little to improve the sound.

As for the equipment stand yes rigidity will help the CD player do its job a bit better but you don’t have to get too carried away any rigid shelf, rack or sturdy book case will be the ticket.

The Duos are nice little floor standing units with a bass response that is actually pretty good considering the driver size but yes the speakers main strengths are resolution, neutrality and mid range integration rather than bottom end oomph. I would live with it like it is for a while and if you really do need the bottom end reinforcement the subwoofer would be the way to go, but make sure you get a good one that will complement the rest of your kit.

LPSpinner
 

Drummerdave

Standard Member
Hi Drummerdave:

First of all the guys at AVI usually know their stuff pretty well, they make good kit and they tend not to go for the “wanky wire” tweeko stuff. The cable you have got should be just fine. Expensive cables, despite the marketing hype, will do very little to improve the sound.

As for the equipment stand yes rigidity will help the CD player do its job a bit better but you don’t have to get too carried away any rigid shelf, rack or sturdy book case will be the ticket.

The Duos are nice little floor standing units with a bass response that is actually pretty good considering the driver size but yes the speakers main strengths are resolution, neutrality and mid range integration rather than bottom end oomph. I would live with it like it is for a while and if you really do need the bottom end reinforcement the subwoofer would be the way to go, but make sure you get a good one that will complement the rest of your kit.

LPSpinner

Cheers LPSpinner - No plans to spend a lot of money on cables but might borrow some out of curiosity.

My shelf won’t be a megabucks proprietary unit but a piece of 2.5” thick reclaimed timber to replace the softwood shelf in the cupboard I made for the hifi. Should be solid enough and look good too.

The whole system is sounding better and better so I must be adjusting to the sound – voices are portrayed in an incredibly lifelike way. Deep bass seems to be there when the music requires so the purchase of a sub may be put on hold for a while.

Thinking about upgrading my turntable and headphone setup – any comments on the following kit?

Pro-ject RPM 5.2
Graham Slee Gram Amp1

Grado SR60
Pro–ject Headbox Mk1

Cheers

DD
 

LPspinner

Established Member
Drummerdave wrote
My shelf won’t be a megabucks proprietary unit but a piece of 2.5” thick reclaimed timber to replace the softwood shelf in the cupboard I made for the hifi. Should be solid enough and look good too.

You don’t have to spend mega bucks on support; - really. As long as the support stable and reasonably rigid enough to minimise vibrations and wobbles. Again, like cables, AVI aren’t really interested in designer HiFi racks that claim to improve the sound of the equipment it supports

Drummerdave wrote
The whole system is sounding better and better so I must be adjusting to the sound – voices are portrayed in an incredibly lifelike way. Deep bass seems to be there when the music requires so the purchase of a sub may be put on hold for a while..

That’s great to hear (pun intended), some times it takes a little time for our expectations and awareness to adjust to a new sound. I forgot to mention in my last post that if you want deeper bass at the expense of imaging and lower mid-band neutrality you may want to move the speakers closer to the wall. Speakers that are close to walls and room corners tend to have more bass due to the room loading effects. The trade of is a more boomy base and a muddled mid-band, you just have to find what is right to your ears.

Drummerdave wrote
Thinking about upgrading my turntable and headphone setup – any comments on the following kit?

The project RPM 5 is a good deck for the money but perhaps a little exposed in the context of the rest of the system. Also what cartridge are you using? Although if you only have a few records (less than 50 or so) and you don’t intend expanding the collection I would stick with the project and perhaps look at a more expensive cartridge if you feel like a small upgrade. Otherwise you may want to budget for good deck in the 1000-1500 pound bracket. Something like a gyrodeck, Roksan or a VPI if you want to look state side, you need to do some research and find out what you like.

As for the headphones well these are very personal things in both the sound and comfort departments, only you can decide after a lot of foot slogging around the local dealers. I love the AKG 501 / 601 / 701 series for comfort and sound but I know many people find the AKG’s uncomfortable for long term sessions .Others Love the Senheisers HD650 and while they sound awesome I found them uncomfortable where many others find them easy to wear. Only you can tell. Other brands to look at are Byerdynamic, the high end Sony range, AudioTechnica and of course Grado.

If you are only a casual LP user I would go the headphone upgrade first. Also take youre Project headphone amp along to the dealers because although the little project headphone amp is not all that bad it can have issues driving some of the more unusual headphone designs.

Hope I have sowed a few seeds ….

Happy listening…


PS: I also find a good Shiraz or Shiraz Merlot blend a brilliant upgrade to any HiFi system.:D


LPSPinner.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
1)My speaker cable is a generic ofc multi-strand type – is anybody else using one of the more expensive cables successfully with this system? (eg Chord Odyssey 2) – again I am aware of the raging debates regarding cables and the ridiculous “burn in” issue.
Unless your cable is long and thin, this would have no effect. What's the diameter?
2)My hifi is sitting on a shelf which at the moment is not as stable as it could be – I am in the process of sorting this out – could this make much difference to the sound quality in respect of vibration, isolation etc?
You mention having a turntable. Instability can seriously affect turntable performance. Try wall-mounting.
3)My speakers are sitting on granite plinths spiked to a suspended timber floor and there are a lot of hard surfaces in the room, the ceiling is 3.6 m high – would this have an affect also?
Hard surfaces can indeed affect the sound, making it bright. The height of the room can make the sound more open, but I would consider this advantageous.
 

ttree sound

Established Member
If you like bass in music then a subwoofer is not just on option but more of a necessity.

I use pmc floorstanders but even they dont satisfy my bass cravings, my subwoofer satisfies completely and is certainly not overkill for music.

The only way I think that I could live without a sub for music is that the speakers would have to be pretty massive in dimensions and cost to deliver as much bass as a sub. There arent many speakers that can do this.
 

Ightenhill

Established Member
Unless your cable is long and thin, this would have no effect. What's the diameter?

ROFL... :lease:

Have your dealer lend you some different cables to try, its the best way to find what suits you and your system.
 

Drummerdave

Standard Member
Thanks for your comments/advice thus far guys.

My current turntable is a Project Debut mk1 with NAD pp1 phono stage, so an upgrade would make sense to bring it in line with the rest of my system. Hadn’t considered going so far up the ladder as a Gyrodec or VPI but they are fantastically tempting pieces of kit. I have about 350 lps so I suppose that would further justify an upgrade. So, yes, a seed (of further debt!) has definitely been planted.

Any thoughts/reviews on the new Clearaudio Performance and what sort of phono stage would go well with this level of turntable? Something like the Trichord Dino maybe?

My speaker cable is 3mm dia – it’s actually bi-wire cable because it was bought to be used with MA RS6s (which were sold cos they’re crap). The redundant strands have been trimmed back however I read somewhere that greater sound quality can be had if the four strands are bound into two at each end and connected like single cable – is there any truth in this?

If I do decide that I want more bass in the future would a Velodyne Microvee be suitable for music?
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
My speaker cable is 3mm dia – it's actually bi-wire cable because it was bought to be used with MA RS6s (which were sold cos they're crap).
3mm is more than adequate, and there's nothing to be gained by spending any more money on speaker cable.
The redundant strands have been trimmed back however I read somewhere that greater sound quality can be had if the four strands are bound into two at each end and connected like single cable – is there any truth in this?
The word you used to describe your MA RS6s would be an accurate response.
If I do decide that I want more bass in the future would a Velodyne Microvee be suitable for music?
To better match the rest of your (planned) equipment, can you stretch to the DD series?
 

alexs2

Distinguished Member
......
Any thoughts/reviews on the new Clearaudio Performance and what sort of phono stage would go well with this level of turntable? Something like the Trichord Dino maybe?

........

There are a few to look at in that price area....

EAR
Trichord Dino
Slee
Tom Evans Microgroove

My own choice was the Dino,but with the NC power supply...it's a very versatile stage in terms of cartridge loading and also very quiet,but does benefit greatly from the(rather costly) PSU upgrade.

I also tried the Microgroove and found it to be very much "in-yer-face" as regards presentation and sound,but very detailed.
The Musical Fidelity wasnt up there with the rest...just seemed flat and lacking detail or life.
 

The latest video from AVForums

LG G3 MLA OLED Evo Best Picture Settings - works for ALL 2023 LG OLEDs
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Back
Top Bottom