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Poor sound with Van Damme Blue, too long or something else?

Andy.T

Established Member
Hi there,

I'm running Van Damme Blue 2 x 2.5mm to my recently purchased Monitor Audio Radius 225s (6 ohm impedance) from my Anthem MRX-700 amp.

The run is about 11 metres and the sound is really disappointing, almost like the source is radio rather than CD/Flac. Vocals sound particularly bad but the whole thing sounds kinda fuzzy and indistinct.

I had a look on...

Speaker Wire

..and here for the AWG of Van Damme Blue 2.5...

What AWG Is Van Damme Blue 2x2.5mm?? | AVForums

Am I right in thinking that according to the table, at 6 ohm load and with around 33 feet of (13 AWG) cable I should be fine?

I just want to rule out the cable as the issue really, I have the dealer coming over next week to try and help me sort it out and just don't want to waste his time.

Cheers,

Andy.
 

DodgeTheViper

Moderator
Providing the cable is connected correctly, I doubt that is the issue. I would suggest that the issue lies elsewhere.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Agreed, a 2.5mm2 cable won't make that much difference.
 

Andy.T

Established Member
Cheers guys that's what I figured but it would have been nice to think that upp'ing the cable to 2 x 5mm or something would have made the problem disappear. The cable is pretty well terminated and there's a good connection both ends (to the correct terminals).

Any other ideas for common problems that could be compromising the sound to this degree?

I've tried to keep mains cables away from the signal cables as much as possible etc.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Are the speakers pushed right into corners? If so, being them about a foot or so and see.
Obviously I'm thinking about acoustic effects.
 

DodgeTheViper

Moderator
I have 4ohm speakers and use the same cable with no issues.

What is the music source and how is that connected to the amp ?
 

Andy.T

Established Member
The effect is present on all sources, FLAC media via Squeezebox connected via digital coax, Sky HD via HDMI etc.

One speaker *is* kinda close to a corner (about 20cm which I think I read somewhere is the minimum for the 225s), could this be the problem? I could bring both a little nearer the telly to fix that but at the cost of good separation between the front speakers for stereo. Monitor Audio recommend that the front two main speakers are a minimum of 22 degrees off the prime listening position and they are already right on the border of that.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
You can move the speaker just to check.
 

Andy.T

Established Member
Yep will give it a go, they are on-wall speakers is the thing so not that straightforward. ;)
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I would try a reset on the AVR and then start over with any on board auto EQ.

Joe
 

Andy.T

Established Member
Cheers Joe, I tried just switching ARC off before and it was worse if anything, I can certainly try a full reset though as well.

The dealer is coming over tonight so maybe he will spot something that's not right. He's keen to try adding a REL sub into the system to see if that helps. It will certainly need a sub in the end, as the Radius 225s are only fairly small satellite speakers but I'd expect them to sound better than this in just stereo before we add a sub. It's not really the low bass where it's messy/muddled, it feels more mid-range.

Will report back with how it goes, what else I find.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
'the Radius 225s are only fairly small satellite speakers' - I wouldn't have expected too much from them if working without a Sub!

Joe
 

Andy.T

Established Member
They're "fairly small", but they're not tiny. ;)

See here...

Monitor Audio revamps Radius speaker line - News

...the 225 is the one bottom left, in front of the subs.

The odd thing is, in terms of low down bass, they are surprisingly punchy, as I say, it's vocals/mid-range where they are sounding a bit messy at the moment. I don't see how a sub is going to be able to contribute up there or be able to tidy it up. Hopefully I'll be proved wrong though, it would be nice if just bunging a sub into the mix will make everything better/clearer.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
If the AVR is set to send everything to the Radius they are possibly getting a bit congested - either that or you still have them set to small :)

Joe
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
I have one of these as a center.
The spec is here ,
Radius 225 | Radius | Monitor Audio
Note the freq. response , they start at 80hz which is going to sound terrible if your using them as the systems only speakers , this design is meant as the center or rear speakers in a surround system , they are not up to the job of being a main system speaker.

Lifestyle systems like this have specific limitations on each of the speakers , they do not do well "out of position" so to speak.
 

Andy.T

Established Member
Thanks for that.

Yep it was certainly my intention to use them with a sub. But I'd presumed (perhaps wrongly) that they would sound clear and tight without one - that the system would just be missing some low end grunt until a sub was added.

I'm pretty sure the 225 can be used as a main (ideally with a sub), MA certainly say so on the product page "Use it as a centre channel or main speaker", "Extend bass further by adding the awesome 380 or 390 subs for breathtaking full-range AV or stereo sound". Have I been marketing'd though? :blush:

If it's not fixable (via a sub or something else) then I quite like the look of the Apex A40s, maybe three of them up the front is the answer if the dealer will let me. ;)
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
The Radius 270 in that package are the only units that can be used without a sub. They start at 48hz -50hz or so. Even then , they are better with a sub.

Starting at 80hz , the speakers really shouldnt be advertised as being OK for a main unless the sub is made a requirement. That 40hz of low end is vitally important if the speakers are to be your only units.
 

Andy.T

Established Member
Cheers for the tips guys. Over the last couple of weeks I went through a long and painful process of trying my system with a sub, without a sub, trying different speaker positions in the room, trying shorter runs of speaker cable (just to rule that out), re-doing ARC several time, doing a full reset on the amp etc. etc.

The dealer also let me take the step up from the MA Radius to B&W FPM5s, which were much better than the Radius at filling the room. In the end though, in my room (which is far from ideal with side walls, openings etc.) nothing sounded better than my existing, and fairly long in the tooth, Celestion C2 floor standers.

I think the lesson I learned was that to get really great sound from on wall speakers, even partnered with a really well integrated sub, you seem to need to pay quite a premium (maybe PMC Wafers would have got there). The extra I would need to pay to get the sound I was after via an "on-wall" solution just wasn't worth it for achieving a slightly tidier look.

On the upside though, I've learnt how much I appreciate my current speakers and have found the spots in the room where they perform best, so it wasn't a complete waste. :)

Thanks again,
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
Agree 100%. For me, the satellite sub combo died when I simply could not get a full sound from some high res music I bought.
Most amps with sat sub combo,s will down mix high res material.

If you don't want down mixing then you need to play in pure mode , and for that you need full range speakers on front left and right.

Switched from the sat sub combo to full range floor standers and have been happy since.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Agree 100%. For me, the satellite sub combo died when I simply could not get a full sound from some high res music I bought.
Most amps with sat sub combo,s will down mix high res material.

If you don't want down mixing then you need to play in pure mode , and for that you need full range speakers on front left and right.

Switched from the sat sub combo to full range floor standers and have been happy since.

I don't get what you mean by down mixing the high res material?

If you have satellite and a sub then your amp will have cross over set for the speakers you have and output below that should be routed to the sub. Depending on your amp the parametric eq then may do a bit of correction to sort out any room issues. Whatever you play then will be distributed to the speakers appropriately but won't be down mixed or anything else. What amp\speaker combination were you using and what did you end up with.

I have gone for the Monitor Audio Shadow range which I am very impressed with, listened to various others. but wasn't impressed by the Kef T Series for example. The Shadows fit on the walls are conventional drivers and are about 40mm deep. They do benefit from a sub integration but are very good from the wife acceptance factor.

I also have floor standers in a separate room so can do a comparison.

Also need to remember that spending the same on just floor standers as opposed to a sub\sat system should give you better sound from the floor standers.
 

Andy.T

Established Member
Also need to remember that spending the same on just floor standers as opposed to a sub\sat system should give you better sound from the floor standers.

Yep exactly, I think I knew that to be true to an extent but I hadn't really realised just how much of a premium one has to pay to achieve for really great sound from on-wall/satellite speakers. Lesson learnt.
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
I don't get what you mean by down mixing the high res material?

If you have satellite and a sub then your amp will have cross over set for the speakers you have and output below that should be routed to the sub. Depending on your amp the parametric eq then may do a bit of correction to sort out any room issues. Whatever you play then will be distributed to the speakers appropriately but won't be down mixed or anything else. What amp\speaker combination were you using and what did you end up with.

The Material was Stereo , 24bit / 192Khz .... played in pure mode on a yamaha amp , output is only through front left and right , and obviously when fed to satellites , the speakers chop off the low end due to having a limited frequency response.
With the Amp processing engaged so that the LFE channel is active and feeding something to the sub , the amp downmixes the material to make an LFE output where there was none ! Note : check your manuals , almost all recievers do this.
So if you want to listen to stereo music in pure mode , its either wire up using high level outputs and integrate the sub very carefully , or get full range left and right speakers , by far the better sounding option for the money.
Note , on a nicely installed setup , extra wiring may be out of the question , whereas changing speakers usually is not !
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
So to clarify you mean that in this case in this case the stereo signal is being mixed to mono and the bit below 80Hz (or the cross over frequency) is being routed to the sub as part of the amps bass management.

Why would it down mix the rest of the feed that is going to the satellites.

Pure Direct removes any room eq, bass management and some other processing so the signal path is cleaner\shorter.
 

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