Tannoy F4 Bass problem - All mids no lows!

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Evil4sh, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Evil4sh

    Evil4sh
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    I have a problem with my Tannoy F4 customs. They are supposed to be really warm sounding and capable of deep rich bass, however I've never in 4 years of ownership found the sound to be warm or at all bassy. I've checked the bass response and although they do go down to their stated 35hz, the volume only reaches the correct volume at 100hz and over, so something must be up. :mad:

    I originally had a Sony str-dg910 hooked up to my F4s and always hated the sound (too bright). I thought it was the room, then I moved (not just for the acoustics), but it was still rubbish sounding albeit slightly improved. So I then decided it must be the amp, so I bought a Yamaha rxa1010 because I thought a "warm" amp would finally give me the sound I always craved. Still nothing, I might as well have bought a Pioneer!

    So it must be the speakers. I've opened them up and the wiring/crossover all checks out. [​IMG]

    I've heard that there might be a wiring issue with the crossover perhaps, or the woofers themselves have the + and - in the wrong places (thus they look fine but are actually wrong). However, I've checked the polarity with a battery and it all checks out (both cones move out together as they should).

    It's also weird that they both sound the same, or are speakers built in pairs to insure they sound the same (i.e drives coming from the same production batches?)

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. PSM1

    PSM1
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    Your Yamaha receiver deserves much better speakers to get the best from it.
    Do you have a sub? If so what has the receiver set the crossover too?
     
  3. Evil4sh

    Evil4sh
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    I'd love better speakers, and that really might be the problem.

    I've got the amp set to do "double bass" and the the fronts set to large so all the bass is sent to the f4s aswell as the sub. I guess I could live with the bass coming from the sub, but I want to use the pure direct function (I like the blue light).

    Today I moved them around and put them far apart in the corners, weirdly the bass appeared! When I pulled them closer together (back to their positions beside the tv) a bass null appeared between them right where the seats are. These speakers are fussy.

    Please is there anything I can do to stop these bass null blackholes? I can't put the speakers anywhere else!

    Are all speakers this fussy?
     
  4. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Bass NULLS are caused by Reflections. Sound bouncing back from the walls is intersecting with forward moving sound and canceling each other out. Though I suspect if you move around the room, you will also find bass PEAKS, place where intersecting sound is re-enforcing itself.

    Also, there is a matter of expectations. To a kid, no decent speakers has enough bass ... ever. To an adult, clarity and balance are typically more important that raw windows rattling bass. If you want more bass emphasis, there is a knob on the front of your amp marked BASS, you are allowed to turn it.

    As to placing the speakers in the corner, the produces what is called a Boundary Effect. When ever any speakers is placed close to a boundary (wall, floor, ceiling, desktop, etc...) it gets a bass boost. But typically that bass boost isn't free; a gain in one area means a loss in another. In my experience, the more you boost the bass, the less mid-range clarity you have.

    Which brings us back to personal expectations and perception.

    Have you confirmed that the bass drivers are actually working? Next, have you confirmed with ABSOLUTE IRREFUTABLE CERTAINTY that the speakers are wired correctly? That in every case, the Amp(+) goes to the Speaker(+)? Nothing will suck the life out of speakers like incorrect wiring.

    Next, perhaps you are expecting unrealistic levels of bass? I don't know, I'm not there. Plus I can't read your mind. But most quality speakers are design with a reasonable balance of bass, mids, and highs.

    Also, perhaps setting your front speakers to LARGE is just cluttering the sound with different bass sources. The more sources of a sound, the more sources and angles of reflection your are going to get, and the more chances for reflective Peaks and Nulls.

    Perhaps, toeing the speakers in just a bit will change the angle of reflections in the room, and minimize cancellations?

    Can you describe the room. Is this a bare minimalist room that is currently so popular, or is it a more old fashioned cluttered room with carpets, curtains, bookshelves, and other misc debris laying around? Modern minimalist rooms tend to be an acoustic nightmare.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  5. PSM1

    PSM1
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    I would second Steves suggestions. I would also let your sub take up some of the slack in terms of bass. Subs are designed to produce the low stuff so let it do what it is designed to do. By taking some of the load of the F4s you will clear up the mids and again let them produce the frequencies they are more comfortable with. With home AV the general advice is to always set the speakers to small and have a 80Hz crossover point. Have you tried it this way? If not why not try it as you may well like it. If not then you can return to your current settings.
     
  6. Evil4sh

    Evil4sh
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    Thanks for the advice, moving around the room I definitely do get peaks.

    I'm certainly not looking for a bloated boomy bass sound. I just like a good warm rich sound. I guess I've started looking into the sound problem after I set up a system in my bedroom. The sound is perfect (for me) rich, warm, no dodgy fatiguing highs; and it consists of my 1st attempt at a homemade floorstander (with single 6.5 inch peerless woofers) and a 15 year old Nad 310 amp. AND they are placed in really dodge place: close together and in the corner.

    Is there anything I can do about the null and peaks? From what you say, could it be reflected sound from the back wall cancelling out sound?
     

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  7. Evil4sh

    Evil4sh
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    Thanks, yeah, I did try it set to small but the sound was not good either. It just seemed a bit hollow. Even at a crossover of 100Hz, there seemed to be a gap in the midrange. It also sounded really clinical which is not the sound I want.

    My amp and speaker combo worth over £1000 should sound better than this system shouldn't it? :
     

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  8. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Unless I missed it, you don't specifically say what Sub you have. It is possible that it is the Sub that is inadequate.

    If you don't have at least a Subwoofer with a 10" bass driver, then it is probably not good enough. Many very basic Sub, and especially the smaller models only go down to about 35hz, which is no better than your main speakers.

    From what you are saying, it does not sound like you Sub is set up properly. Again, with the Amp set to SMALL and the front/sub crossover set to 80hz should work. If you are using Subwoofer bass control in the AV amp, then you do NOT use the various controls on the Sub itself. It should be set to ZERO phase, Maximum Volume, and Maximum Frequency. The AV amp will then control all those parameters for you.

    If you are trying to use the controls on the Sub in conjunction with the AV amp, the the two units are working against each other.

    As to reflections, check YouTube (or Google) for Acoustic Panels, Bass Traps, Acoustical Foam, and Acoustical Diffusers. You should get some idea of how to make your own, and some sense of what is available for purchase.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  9. PSM1

    PSM1
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    I agree with Steve above except the volume on the sub should be set to around half volume and then use the gain in the receiver to level it off with the other speakers.
    Have you tried toeing the speakers in and out in their current location to see if that improves the reflection issue.
     
  10. Evil4sh

    Evil4sh
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    "Have you tried toeing the speakers in and out in their current location to see if that improves the reflection issue."

    I've tried spacing out the speakers as much as I can and toeing them in, but as you can see from the picture there's not much wiggle room there.

    "If you don't have at least a Subwoofer with a 10" bass driver, then it is probably not good enough. Many very basic Sub, and especially the smaller models only go down to about 35hz, which is no better than your main speakers."

    Woops sorry, should have said. It's a Mordaunt short 309i. It's getting on a bit now I guess, so maybe its time to retire it. I think a diy sub is on the cards, I've seen BK plate amps on ebay, they'll do nicely!

    "From what you are saying, it does not sound like you Sub is set up properly. Again, with the Amp set to SMALL and the front/sub crossover set to 80hz should work. If you are using Subwoofer bass control in the AV amp, then you do NOT use the various controls on the Sub itself. It should be set to ZERO phase, Maximum Volume, and Maximum Frequency. The AV amp will then control all those parameters for you."

    I've set the sub to halfway and the gain on the amp is set to -1.5 (the volume set by ypao +1db). It is interesting that when I set the fronts to small and the crossover to 80hz, I get a dip in the frequency range at around 90-100hz. I've checked this using an spl meter and a subwoofer setup cd.

    "As to reflections, check YouTube (or Google) for Acoustic Panels, Bass Traps, Acoustical Foam, and Acoustical Diffusers. You should get some idea of how to make your own, and some sense of what is available for purchase."

    Thanks for the advice here. I thought this might help, I've already got some thick wadding, some cotton sheets, and some old box canvasses; I'm sure that'll make some mean acoustic panels. I just wasn't sure if reflections were the whole story; especially since my bedroom has nothing on the walls and bare shiny floorboards!

    I'll give it a go and see what happens!
     
  11. Evil4sh

    Evil4sh
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    Okay so I messed about today with placement. I did some research on acoustic treatments for reflections as per BlueWizards suggestion. There is a lot of info! One thing I have tried is putting a concrete block under each speaker, it seems to have made a bit of a difference. Rather awsomely the blocks are the exact height of my harth so it has allowed me to move the speaker further to the side and toed in slightly. Also since the bass has improved slightly setting them to small doesn't sound as weak and tinny as it did (so all on small now).

    Sounds much better but still not perfect, not until I make some 8" thick bass traps anyway!
     

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