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Spkr Cable/ Interconnex - What will open things up?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by azs, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. azs

    azs
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    Could really do with some help with this if anyone can oblige.........

    Mission 775 floorstanders (low,high,low - in that order) A 4ft high weighty speaker. Bi-wired
    Rotel RB970 BX power amp
    Denon AVC-A1D being used as the pre-amp
    Roksan Caspian Mk1 CD (no upgrades)
    Van Den Hul - DM 102 mk3, between the amplifiers
    Van Den Hul - The Source between CD and Denon

    To be honest the speakers could probably do with a bigger room -or at least they definitely benefit by being further from walls-but I can't do this permanently. I'm looking for something that's going to open things out more, need a more airy sound and want to improve the soundstaging/stereo image. They really sing when moved away from the walls, but this is not a permanent solution.

    Any suggestions that aren't going to financially cripple me - the cable runs are 5 metres.
    cheers
     
  2. gavp

    gavp
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    I would start by taking the VDH's from between the pre and power amp, I was advised not to use them in my system in this way as they are hybrids using carbon, the science bit being that the flow of current won't be as high or clear as either silver or copper can give, so I have the VDH D102 Mk3 between pre and cd and a Black Rhodium (any will do, down to cost of course) doing pre-power duties, very musical with good bass :smashin:
     
  3. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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    I think you have identified the real problem, your speakers and their location. Concentrate on this area.
     
  4. azs

    azs
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    Thanks Both, I'll try the changing of interconnects and see if that helps.
    As for the speaker location....what the hell can I do about it? I'm a bit stuck on that one, the living room is only 12ftx 14ft and the speakers are on the 14ft wall,so they can't be brought forward too much- + they're fairly close (8 inches either side of a 42inch plasma)

    I was hoping someone may reccommend a spacious,light & airy speaker cable..... 'tis a tricky problem !
     
  5. severnsource

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    Londondecca is right, cables will make between no difference and an only just detectable difference to the sound.

    If you can't put the speakers in a good position one option is to try tone controls if your amp has them. A bit of lf cut and treble boost may have the required effect (the Quad tilt control is very good for this sort of adjustment).

    Bill
     
  6. SKA.face

    SKA.face
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    I'd go for a better pre.
     
  7. The Duke

    The Duke
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    Depending upon your budget, having been playing with the mains leads this year, it can make THE difference. I have Transparent Interconnects and power leads and it might just be that the power cable makes the single biggist difference in having the music "leave the box" - something you might try as all good hifi shops I know let you trial cables.
    Plan on spending £2-300.

    Tim
     
  8. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    A few choices.
    A) Improve the Pre Amp. Would possibly open things up. Certainly make things clearer.
    B) Change the speakers to some high quality standmounts.
    C) Change speaker cable to Cat5. (Small outlay but would (Probably) open things up nicely) and certainly for very little outlay.
    D) All of the above.

    Bear in mind the room will limit what you can do. You could try Wall drapes directly behind the speakers, this would certainly soften the sound. The thing is you really don't have the length of room required for speakers that size. As you've already found moving them out into the room helps. That says to me you need to compromise.....
     
  9. Paul Williams

    Paul Williams
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    Hi azs

    I feel Londondecca is pointing you in the right direction. You've already said your speakers really sing when they are moved into the room - is this the sound you want? If so you really need to investigate boundary balanced speakers with a similar tonal balance. What sort of levels, type of music and use do you want to put them. In many instances large speakers a purchased for their bass output which is not at all usable as this require a large room to fully exploit their extended response. Do you want a good AV & Hi-Fi speaker? What is the maximum extent they can be brought forward into the room?

    Paul
     
  10. azs

    azs
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    Thanks everyone - these were the general lines I was thinking on - esp. the pre-amp (SKA) . Although to be honest I could throw money at amplification and still be limited by the size of the room and speakers.

    Paul - I can "get away" with moving the speakers about a foot from the wall,further than that is no good. Also, because I have been experimenting, I'm not using the spikes to avoid countless holes in the carpet ! Yes,they have a matching centre and form the front of an AV system. Music, mainly indy, female vocals.

    Knightshade - Are you serious about this ? Cat5 Data cabling? I'll try it ! I'm actually quite worried you're right about the stand mount suggestion, this is likely to mean considerable outlay when a sub is brought into the equation - could be interesting nonetheless.

    Duke - Not yet - I know it can sound better before I go down this route,although a friend of mine has just added mains filitering and decent cables to a DVD player with amazing results.

    GavP - I removed the hybrid cable, and therefore used the integrated in the AV amp, and noticed and improvement. Whether this is the Rotel,or the cable remains to be seen but things sound better so I may flog the 970BX with the hybrids.

    Interested to see that no one thinks that different speaker cable will make the required difference.

    I had some Tannoy E11s, an 80's JVC amp, and a Sherwood CD player about 10 years ago. It was all stolen and I don't think I have ever matched it's ability to provide a tall and deep beleivable image. Standmounts could be the answer.
     
  11. Paul Williams

    Paul Williams
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    azs

    Using stand-mount speakers doesn’t mean you have to include a sub into the equation and in any case true/realistic low frequency output is function of the room size as much as the speaker system. Unfortunately, there seem to be fewer and fewer boundary-designed speakers these days. I would however check if you have a Revolver Speaker dealer near you and audition some R16’s as these work well near the wall. These are also available in cloth covered exteriors at reduced cost (silver, burgundy, black) so can merge more sympathetically with the room décor. Revolver doesn’t advertise anywhere, so any reviews you find are uninfluenced by the use of advertising space if you believe this to be a factor.

    Check them out at

    http://www.revolveraudio.co.uk

    and if you have any questions email them – they are really helpful.

    Paul
     
  12. azs

    azs
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    Thanks Paul, and yes I do think the magazine review situation is a little suspect. Surely more second hand equipment would be recommended otherwise ?

    Agree about the room affecting the LF response. I'm not desperate to see if the current thinking on integrating a Sub for music is the way forward and would make do without for movies, in favour of better HIFI.

    The revolvers look much more female friendly than the 775s as well + a smaller box is less of a problem to move further into the room if needed.
     
  13. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=161861

    Azs get thyself to the cable forum and do some reading.
    FWIW two of the best things Ive ever done (that apply to your circumstance I feel) in my system was to use :

    CAT5 speaker cabling – ended my audiophile neurosis about cabling

    Added an active Sub to my stand-mount speakers. Whatever your budget unless spending £1000+ on floorers I would opt for stands £500+ £500 sub.


    HTHs
     
  14. azs

    azs
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    Paul,

    Just looking at your kit list (while checking to see if you actually worked for Revolver !) and notice that you're using the Exposure amp.
    I listened to some Vandersteens (£2k floor standers with no box surrounding the mid and treble units) and found that the image, depth and placement of instruments was superb - and this was through a 2010s integrated also. So,possibly the combination of the Revolvers and the exposure is doing something similar. I may look at the amp situation as well - a demo of the 2010 or 2010s at home with my speakers could be very worthwhile I think.
    cheers for your help, best post I've made I think!
     
  15. azs

    azs
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    cheers cjross - data cabling for peanuts, can't go wrong !
    I'll investigate, and as you say, make some better use of the different forums !
    What standmounters are you using, the Quad 11L is a best buy in all the mags at the moment (and are very pretty with it) mostly rock,indy, and movies, so some finesse and a bit of welly comes second to the depth of image for me. Think Talk Talk and that just about covers the lot I think !
     
  16. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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    Do not be put off by a subwoofer. Poorly placed they will boom and effect the timing of the music, correctly placed they enhance the music. It is really worth the effort.

    As you have found out, room acoustics are critical in any HiFi/AV system. Even stand mounted speakers prefer some space away from room boundaries. If you buy some smaller speakers budget for some decent stands and use the spikes. The speakers should be held as rigid as possible otherwise you are loosing sound quality.

    Once you have your speakers resolved that is when I would look at CAT5 cables etc
     
  17. Paul Williams

    Paul Williams
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    azs

    No, I work for the good old NHS, but Revolver are a local company and is run by employees of two former local speaker company's with a good pedigree (JPW & Heybrook). If you are in the South West the 2010s is in the classifieds now, but for collection only. If you think the revolvers might be an option I'd drop them an email, for further info.

    Paul
     
  18. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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    I would advice that you listen to any speaker in your own room. No speaker is neutral and what may sound great to someone else may not appeal to your ears.

    I am not implying that there is anything wrong with Quad or Revolver but the only thing which counts is your ears and your room
     
  19. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Azs, Im using Castle Richmond 2s bigger earlier versions than the current Richmonds 3is – purely for matching the kit I have they work very well (Id recoomend them to you too – but they need a sub as well – If you search the net just now you should find some very good deals on Castle Durhams rrp £399 but now being sold for £199 – a good bargain IMHO, Castle are smoothe though and suit a valved type sound – maybe not your rock/indy tastes (lathough they tame a lot fo recordings for me). Quads do have a very good reputation but the majority of people I see using them in a hifi seem to pair them with NAD/Marantz kit, I note your using a Rotel PA, Ive always felt Rotel & Dynaudio do well toegther. Choice choices dude.

    Good luck. And remember when you think about CAT5 as speaker cable : QED Genesis Biwire speaker cables : Yours for £60/m :).
     
  20. Peter Baker

    Peter Baker
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    Two obvious things to try, if you haven't already
    Try toeing the spekers in a lot more, this can have the effect of opening up the soudstage, particularly if they are close to boundaries.
    Put them back on spikes. Floorstanders without decoupling tend to sound flabby and boomy, certainly not open as you require
    I agree with the consensus that cable alone will be unlikely to give you what you want.

    I also agree that for your situation standmounts may well be a better bet, and that these do not always require a sub. Try Proacs, Spendors, Totem or HArbeth. Or if you're feeling flush, how about Sonus Fabor
     
  21. Paul Williams

    Paul Williams
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    This will depend on the seating/speaker positioning, room dimensions and decor and of course the speaker itself - on my set-up the speakers are toed in 4 degrees, any more and the soundstage will start to collapse. An open soundstage is of course very different from an open sound!

    I usually set-up speaker position with the aid of 3 tape measures, roofing square and lo-tack masking tap (used to mark the floor until a final acceptable position is found) and a pair of ears. An SPL meter will soon be added to this tool kit.

    Paul
     

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