Squeezebox and Audioengine setup help please

themicksa

Novice Member
Hi. I wonder if I can kindly enlist some help in thinking my way through a new streaming hi-fi (no turntable, no CD, no tape, no movies etc.) set up. I recently bought some Audioengine HD6 powered speakers for my bedroom setup that is fed via a trusty old Squeezebox Touch which connects to various streaming apps and to a NAS drive elsewhere in the house that contains my lossless digital music. The Touch is connected via TOSlink to the powered HD6 speakers. I also just added a BK Gemini II subwoofer (presently connected to the RCA outs on the HD6) and am experimenting with the sound of that as best I know how. Mostly everything sounds great, though sometimes the bass sounds a bit unruly depending on what sort of thing I'm listening to. I can live with that though I'm wondering whether there is a bit of kit that would give me some measure of control over the sound, without having to blindly twist knobs on the back of the sub or fire up EQ software on the PC or phone. As I understand it, the Touch has a pretty decent DAC on board and the HD6s have their own amp, but the Touch has no EQ control built in. I'm very pleased with the overall sound of this set up but would be willing to spend, say, £150/200 so on equalizer, preamp, amp or some other hybrid bit of kit that would make the most of what I have and give me some measure of manual control of the system.

On the subwoofer side, this is right now connected via a two-into-one RCA Y connector on the L-R speaker RCAs, to the single (Mono) RCA line in on the Gemini. Is that the best way to hook these up? The high-level Neutrik Speakon connector can't be connected right now but I wonder whether I'd even notice the difference?
So, my question is basically,
  • is there a single bit of kit that would give me manual tone and volume controls and accept or improve on present speaker and sub connections?
  • what would that be (equalizer, amp, preamp, DAC)? And what would be the best way of connecting everything together?
Hope that makes some kind of sense and grateful for any thoughts you might have.
 

dave48

Active Member
Have you tried connecting the Touch via RCA rather than Toslink? The onboard DAC is not bad at all and if the sound sounds wrong then the problem is likely the speakers or the room / positioning. I’d be surprised if simple tone controls fix the issue.
 

themicksa

Novice Member
Thanks to you both.
dave48: I did have the speakers originally connected by RCA but went with the optical link, a) because I got the impression from reading around that it was marginally better, and b) because I happened to have a spare cable. Not sure I could tell the difference at the time tbh, but I'll give it another whirl.

As to positioning, my hands and my speakers are tied. The HD6s are in the clear on plinths, while the Gemini II sub, was chosen as much for the fact that, among its many charms, it neatly fits the 30cm width available between a wall and a wardrobe.

Which is why I think, larkone, your suggestion, the DSPeaker-Anti-Mode 8033, is inspired. Reconsidering my muddled message seeking advice, above, I think my need to tinker probably does boil down to taming the bass; in my pre-sub days I was very much enjoying my speakers and didn't feel much in need of tone controls. Except in the bass department, and especially at lower volumes.

Also I think I didn't appreciate that incorporating a sub into a hifi system could be so tricky (and potentially too expensive for me) to get right. So if the DSPeaker-Anti-Mode 8033 is as good as it appears from reviews I'm reading, I think I'll go for it and hope to call it job done because it sounds great enough for me.

Just so I understand properly the implications in my setup:
  • the 8033 would sit in-line between the two pre-out RCA jacks on the HD6s (and a Y-jack to single RCA) and the single Mono RCA input on the Gemini sub. Yes?
  • does that do something I should know about to the relationship between the bass from the 8033 and the middle and upper ranges of the HD6s? Does the 8033 temper its output with reference to the speakers or is it merely listening to and adjusting the performance of the bass frequencies?
  • Where does this leave cross-over settings? Do you calibrate and set the bass then adjust cross over to that?
Thanks again and grateful for any thoughts on the above. I'm away to take a look at sourcing an 8033 and will let you know how I get on.
 

larkone

Member
Have a read of the manual as it explains how it works and how to connect it
Crossover - you shouldn't have to change it though you may find the 8033 improves/changes things so that you may want to increase the frequencies sent to the sub - trial and error because it will depend on your room.

I always used these for my subs and still have one on my kitchen system and consider it an essential for a conventional system with sub. I had one on my main system until I switched over to Lyngdorf's RoomPerfect, and that adds a whole new level of sub / main speaker integration, so much so I am replacing the kitchen system with another Lyngdorf amp. RoomPerfect delivers absolutely seamless integration between the speakers and sub.
 

themicksa

Novice Member
Just a note to say thanks again for pointing me in the direction of the DSpeaker unit which is now installed and sounding terrific after the calibration process. I'm very impressed and glad to now get back to the main business of listening to the music. Much appreciated.
 

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