Monitor Audio Bronze 2s sound pretty bad...?

mulberryhouse

Novice Member
Hi everyone,

I recently bought some Monitor Audio Bronze 2s to replace my Eltax Concept 400s. To be fair my amp isn't great, it's a Technics SU-x102, which I also plan to upgrade, but wanted to do it step by step so I could hear what was changing to the sound.

I have a small 4x5m living room, and don't really listen to music loud, and was looking for more clarity, which I certainly have. The top end on these is very clear, too clear, I've found myself rolling the treble off slightly, and I've had these for around 2 weeks now.

The only problem is that there is absolutely zero mid-range, and sounds very 'hollow'. Listening to vinyl (Technics SL-DD33 with a good condition original stylus+cart), the keyboards and warmth feels totally gone, anything that is in the 'gut' of the sound. Drums, vocals, percussion is really at the forefront. Bass is there, not massive, but is not a problem. But something like the warm keyboards on All Night Long by the Mary Jane Girls, or the equally moody keyboards in Talk Talk's New Grass just seems 'not there'.

I've read many reviews of these, and it seemed to get rave reviews. But after listening to them in my set up I'm confused as to how this would be the case seeing as how much of the sound seems recessed.

Is it my amp? Is there a power issue?

I was initially looking to upgrade the amp with either:
Yamaha RN602
Yamaha RN402D
Onkyo | A-9130

Thinking that I need to pair these with a warm amp...

Thanks for the help
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
I'm sure someone will be along soon with technical reasons based on actual spec etc but you are comparing what I think are probably 3 way floor standing speakers to 2 way bookshelf speakers. I've always found MA speakers to be a good option for type of speaker/price but they aren't magic so won't necessarily be able to do some of the things your floorstanders could do, while packaged in a compact stand/shelf mountable enclosure. They may well do what they can do very well and better than the Eltax but there are areas where they they perhaps won't be able to compete at all.
 

mulberryhouse

Novice Member
I'm sure someone will be along soon with technical reasons based on actual spec etc but you are comparing what I think are probably 3 way floor standing speakers to 2 way bookshelf speakers. I've always found MA speakers to be a good option for type of speaker/price but they aren't magic so won't necessarily be able to do some of the things your floorstanders could do, while packaged in a compact stand/shelf mountable enclosure. They may well do what they can do very well and better than the Eltax but there are areas where they they perhaps won't be able to compete at all.
Yes I understand, I was expecting the bass to be less, which it is, but wasn't expecting the mids. I was experimenting from sending the same song as the vinyl via airplay to my TV, and switching between the two, and I found my inbuilt TV speakers gave better mid-range for things mentioned above than these Bronze 2s.
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
I'm a trial and error kind of person rather than having the technical knowledge that a lot of the guys on here have so I won't try and explain but I totally understand where you are coming from. A year or so ago I 'upgraded' my Monitor Audio floor standing speakers that were 2.5 way with 3 drive units to some slightly bigger PMC floors floor standers that were 2 way design and I had a very similar experience to you. High end sounded so crisp and clear and in my case, very low end would sometimes show it's hand in a way my MA'S never did but it was everything in between that suffered. Guitar sounds were quiet, piano's started to sound more like cheap electric keyboards and all the life of the music was gone. The PMC's certainly did some thing far better than the MA's but it's what they didn't/couldn't do that soon made me realise they had to go again!
 

mulberryhouse

Novice Member
I hear what you're saying. And can understand that floor standing speakers are more 'speaker' so could do things a smaller speaker couldn't but then the speakers in my TV are tiny, so mid-range shouldn't really be due to the size? Surely then no bookshelf speaker will be able to get back the mid-range?
High end sounded so crisp and clear and in my case, very low end would sometimes show it's hand in a way my MA'S never did but it was everything in between that suffered. Guitar sounds were quiet, piano's started to sound more like cheap electric keyboards and all the life of the music was gone.
This is exactly it. The life of the music seems gone. But not just 'gone' compared to floorstanding speakers but 'gone' compared to inbuilt TV speakers which is odd. It's like all my records have been remixed with the instruments turned down in the mix, leaving vocals and percussive sounds up high.
 

NXT

Active Member
Not that i'm an expert in these things but can certainly sympathise with the situation your in. I've had a few occasions where a new speaker purchase has left me underwhelmed and full of disappointment. A few things I have learnt though over the years that might help.

Placement - experiment with placement. Your new speakers might not be happy in the same place your old ones where or the new place you've decided to put them. Both placement and your listening room can all play a part in what you are experiencing where the ''top end'' for want of a better phrase takes over. Making the midrange sound recessed in comparison.

Although it might sound obvious double check wiring and connections.

Do you know anyone that can loan you an amp so you can rule out that part of your set up as being the culprit? If you don't know anyone that can loan you one try a local hifi / AV shop that may be able to loan you something for a few hours. Or post a thread to see if a forum member in your area has something they could loan you.

Hope you get things sorted
 

Abacus

Banned
Good advice above.

Are you sure that the MAs midrange is recessed, or was the midrange of the Eltax too forward, without access to the original recording studio where it was mixed you cannot know which is correct.

People get used to a certain type of sound, (Without direct comparison to equivalent real instruments (A live concert for example) you cannot know which is the most accurate) and you may just like the way the Eltax did things.

Personal preference comes into it, which is why it is of paramount importance that you try before you buy. (Nothing is perfect and there is no one size that suits all)

If you don’t like them, take them back and buy something you do like the sound of. (Listen, Listen & listen again before purchase)

Bill
 

gibbsy

Moderator
It may sound a little silly to say check the connections but to err is human. I also agree with the positioning of the speakers. Are they on stands, shelf mounted, too close to the wall. Poor isolation can do weird things, especially with bass. Little things than can really effect the speakers performance.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
1.) Make ABSOLUTELY SURE that the speakers are wired correctly. That in every case the AMP(Red+) goes the the SPEAKER(Red+). And I mean ABSOLUTELY SURE! Nothing will suck the life out of a speakers like one of them being wired backwards.

2.) Consider Placement? Where are the speakers placed? As a test move the speaker about a meter or a bit more into the room and away from the walls, see if that cleans up the sound. If it does, then Placement is the problem. Close placement boosts the bass, but what you hear is the Mid/High becoming more muddy and recessed.

When you have verified with certainty both of these, get back to use with the results.

The Bronze 2 are well regarded speakers, and should sound better than you are indicating. Consequently, it seems that something is wrong, and the above two things are the most common things that go wrong in Stereo setups.

Steve/bluewizard
 

muljao

Well-known Member
If you don't have them biwired make sure that the metal jumpers are in, it sounds to me like they might not be
 
1.) Make ABSOLUTELY SURE that the speakers are wired correctly. That in every case the AMP(Red+) goes the the SPEAKER(Red+). And I mean ABSOLUTELY SURE! Nothing will suck the life out of a speakers like one of them being wired backwards.

2.) Consider Placement? Where are the speakers placed? As a test move the speaker about a meter or a bit more into the room and away from the walls, see if that cleans up the sound. If it does, then Placement is the problem. Close placement boosts the bass, but what you hear is the Mid/High becoming more muddy and recessed.

When you have verified with certainty both of these, get back to use with the results.

The Bronze 2 are well regarded speakers, and should sound better than you are indicating. Consequently, it seems that something is wrong, and the above two things are the most common things that go wrong in Stereo setups.

Steve/bluewizard
If you don't have them biwired make sure that the metal jumpers are in, it sounds to me like they might not be
Oooh I like these reasons.

Simple, but how many times have people on here have found the silliest things being the reason for something not working.
 

mulberryhouse

Novice Member
Ok did some tests.
- all wired correctly
- I added the little foam bungs for the bass ports (and with ‘extra bass’ function on - I have this on most of the time unless late at night - is it similar to a ‘loudness’ button?) this seemed to help tighten things up but still retain bass. My amp without super bass on sounds very flat with both the old and new speakers.
- I put them on the stools in in the picture and this helped also. It sounded quite good by this point.
- I also noticed that turning the speakers up louder made them sound more balanced totally.

Unfortunately, the speakers basically *have* to go here in the living room, because...basically they do, short of compromising every other aspect of the room for everyone else (eating, guests, TV, yoga space etc). I bought front-ported speakers knowing this and thought it would help minimise any issue.

My questions now would be:
1. Would small stands or foam pads help for the speakers at all? Or is the proximity to the back (15cm) and side walls (20cm) the true issue and lifting off the counter top wouldn’t do anything. Bear in mind the speaker is brought right to the front of the shelf, so it’s not coming out of the cone and bouncing off the surface of the shelf below.
2. Is there any new amp choice I could make based on power or the noticeable loudness helping the speakers sound more even?
3. Is an equaliser worth looking into to boost the midrange slightly?


This is my set up:https://i.ibb.co/vLhnyHd/IMG-3347.jpg
 
Last edited:

muljao

Well-known Member
I do suspect something is still not right. Them speakers are so easy to drive and have plenty of everything, I hardly push the volume beyond 9 o clock
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Having then close the the rear wall , near the corners and without foam plugs should give you more bass not less.
 

mulberryhouse

Novice Member
Having then close the the rear wall , near the corners and without foam plugs should give you more bass not less.
yes, thats why i have added the foam plugs, to try to control the bass, to see if it was overshadowing the midrange.

So far, it seems a little flabby in their position. Better with plugs in. Would little desktop stands or a foam pad help the flabbyness?
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
You can verity that PLACEMENT is the problem now that you have Stools. Put the speakers on the stool, pull the forward and away from the Side Walls. Pull then at least a Meter forward. It doesn't matter if this is practical it is just for a test.

If that clears up the sound, the Placement is the problem. Start working the speaker back until you find a compromise on the placement that work physically and still satisfies you sound wise.

Also, if placement is an issue, using the bass plugs can soften the problem.

You can put the speaker up on small stands on the cabinet, to moderate some of the bass.

Something like this -



These are not that hard to make or have custom made.

You can also place the speakers up on Yoga Blocks (yoga bricks). These are very cheap high density foam block, high enough density that you can stand on them without substantially compressing them, and they come in a variety of colors -

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=Yoga+blocks

If the speaker are on top of that cabinet, then move them as for forward to the edge of the cabinet as possible.

As I said, while poor placement boost the bass, what you hear is it raising hell with the Mid/High. The Mid/High becomes more recessed and muddy.

Steve/bluewizard
 
Last edited:

dogfonos

Well-known Member
...and with ‘extra bass’ function on - I have this on most of the time unless late at night - is it similar to a ‘loudness’ button?
I'm not familiar with this function button on the amp but if it is the equivalent of a loudness button, doesn't that usually boost both bass and treble? If that's the case, then the midrange effectively becomes recessed when the boost button is on.

I suspect you've grown accustomed to this bass heavy sound with the boost function usually turned on. I also suspect the sound you hear, whilst to your taste, is not particularly accurate (due to use of said boost function) though I appreciate you enjoy the sound you hear. However, for the sake of accuracy (and the lifespan of the speakers), I would try to wean yourself off the boost and return to what is probably a more accurate sound without using boost.

It's like omitting sugar from your tea or coffee - you'll enjoy sugar-free beverages even more when you, eventually, get used to it.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
In all honesty, I'm still betting on the Speakers being Out of Phase. That can be very frequency selective depending on the size of the room, the distance to the speakers, and the distance between the Speakers.

As a broad generalization, when one speakers it out of phase it is usually the Mid Frequencies that cancel each other out.

So, when I said verify the wiring with Absolute Certainty, I mean WITH ABSOLUTE IRREFUTABLE LIFE-&-DEATH CERTAINTY BEYOND ANY SHADOW OF A DOUBT!

I'm extremely careful when I construct and install my wiring. I mark the Plus wire with Red Tape or Red Heat Shrink, then I used Red and Black Banana plugs. I am meticulous in my efforts, ...and... sometimes... I still get it wrong.

Though nothing says you can't have multiple problem. It may be both placement and phase.

Again, while it could be multiple problems, what you are describing, to me, most sounds like an Out of Phase problem, partly because it is so frequency selective. So with IRREFUTABLE CERTAINTY verify the wiring. Not just a look not just a glance, but traced with CERTAINTY.

Compare your speakers to these - (making allowances for YouTube sound quality) -


Steve/bluewizard
 
Last edited:

Andywilliams

Active Member
In all honesty, I'm still betting on the Speakers being Out of Phase. That can be very frequency selective depending on the size of the room, the distance to the speakers, and the distance between the Speakers.

As a broad generalization, when one speakers it out of phase it is usually the Mid Frequencies that cancel each other out.

So, when I said verify the wiring with Absolute Certainty, I mean WITH ABSOLUTE IRREFUTABLE LIFE-&-DEATH CERTAINTY BEYOND ANY SHADOW OF A DOUBT!

I'm extremely careful when I construct and install my wiring. I mark the Plus wire with Red Tape or Red Heat Shrink, then I used Red and Black Banana plugs. I am meticulous in my efforts, ...and... sometimes... I still get it wrong.

Though nothing says you can't have multiple problem. It may be both placement and phase.

Again, while it could be multiple problems, what you are describing, to me, most sounds like an Out of Phase problem, partly because it is so frequency selective. So with IRREFUTABLE CERTAINTY verify the wiring. Not just a look not just a glance, but traced with CERTAINTY.

Compare your speakers to these - (making allowances for YouTube sound quality) -


Steve/bluewizard
Don't sound too shabby at all very good in fact I did own a technics amp years ago and that performed quite disappointingly I would look at upgrading your amp.
 

mulberryhouse

Novice Member
It's all wired correctly, but I did notice compared to Z's video that I have the speaker cables going into the top 2 posts, rather than the bottom two. The little piece of metal connecting the 2 sets, for single wiring, is solidly in place though, so shouldn't matter?

But yes I can confirm that it is definitely wired correctly.

Turning off the ‘super bass/loudness’, and putting the bungs in, has let the midrange present itself more evenly in comparison, but at the expensive of even more of the ‘body’ of the music. It sounds even but quite without life or sparkle. I need to find an amp to borrow to test I think.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Wire them to the bottom posts. That is always the recommendation that manufacturers have shown in all the bi-wireable speakers I've owned. I cannot say that wiring to the top posts makes any difference or cause problems because I've never tried it.

It will take a minute or two to swap the wires. Well worth giving it a go.
 

dazed&confused

Well-known Member
Wire them to the bottom posts. That is always the recommendation that manufacturers have shown in all the bi-wireable speakers I've owned. I cannot say that wiring to the top posts makes any difference or cause problems because I've never tried it.

It will take a minute or two to swap the wires. Well worth giving it a go.
Oh - this seems a bit odd - I was told to wire the red lead to the top post and the black lead to the bottom post of of the three drivers in my speakers.
 

Similar threads

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Panasonic HX800 TV + Sony HT-G700 Soundbar reviews, movie and TV show news and reviews

Trending threads

Latest News

What's new on Sky and NOW TV UK for October 2020
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Linn upgrades Majik LP12 turntable with new tonearm
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
VPI announces new Prime 21 turntables
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Skyworth launches 8K Q71 TV
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 23rd September 2020
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Top Bottom