What is wrong with my system ?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by karkus30, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. karkus30


    Jul 29, 2002
    Products Owned:
    Products Wanted:
    Trophy Points:
    Before you start posting with your woes and sorrows, most of us need some information to make a guess at your problem. So feel free to copy and paste this list and add your details.

    Listening enviroment:

    Length of room in metres :
    Width of room in metres :
    Height of room in metres:

    Regular shaped room Y/N (if not then describe or draw):

    Suspended wooden floor: Y/N
    Concrete floor: Y/N
    Floor coverings: Bare, some rugs or fully carpeted.
    Wall coverings : wallpaper, hangings, bookcases
    Furnishings: Beds, heavy furniture ?

    Listening position:

    Where are your speakers in relation to the room dimensions : Describe accurately

    How far apart are your speakers: In metres
    How far from the back of the speaker to the wall :In metres
    How far from the side of each speaker to the wall: In metres
    Are speakers in room corners: Y/N
    How far from the floor is each speaker: In cm
    How far from the floor is each tweeter: In cm
    Do the speakers point towards you (toe in): Y/N

    Where are you positioned in relation to the speakers: Describe accurately
    How far away from the left speaker are you : In metres
    How far away from the right speaker are you : In metres
    Are you : in front of the speakers and between them, in front of the speakers but to one side of them, neither (describe accurately).
    When listening to the system : what height is your ear from the floor in cm.
    Is your listening position against a wall Y/N
    Is your listening position in a corner Y/N

    Your system (2 channel stereo only):
    Turntable, arm and cartridge: (make, model and when purchased)
    CD player: (make and model and when purchased):
    Amplifier: (make model and when purchased):
    Speakers: (make model and when purchased):
    How are your speakers mounted: stands, wall brackets, floor, bookshelves.
    Speaker stands if used: (make model and when purchased):
    Interconnects: (make model and when purchased):
    Speaker cables: (make, model, when purchased and length):
    Any modifications to the standard components: Y/N (describe accurately)
    How is the amplifier and Cd player mounted :dedicated stand, on the floor etc
    Are the speaker cables running near any other cables: Y/N

    Your previous systems

    I have replaced gradually Y/N
    Its my first proper system Y/N
    I used a walkman, MP3 player, PC with speakers: Describe accurately.

    Mains Supply:
    Dedicated supply to the system Y/N
    Just plugged in the nearest socket outlet: Y/N
    Using any extension leads, multi-adaptors :Y/N (describe accurately)
    Any DIY wiring: Y/N (choclate block, twisted leads, dodgy plugs).
    Any problems with mains voltage: Y/N (brown outs, fuses blowing etc).

    Your music

    Do you like it loud: Y/N (what % of volume do you use)
    Do you think of bass as loud thumping:Y/N
    What types of music do you listen to: (bands, singers etc).
    Is the music from a genuine source or copied: Y/N
    If copied, what method was used to create the disc:

    Your age and general health
    Teenager, 30 something, getting on a bit, Bus pass :
    Ever had your ears tested: Y/N
    Suffer from Tinniitus, ear wax or general deafness: Y/N
    Used to work or still work in an area that requires ear defenders; Y/N
    Feel that you have lost some of your hearing: Y/N
    Struggle to hear what someone says when in a crowd: Y/N

    What you like and dislike about your system:

    Try and describe exactly what parts sound fine and which give you the most grief. What did you like or dislike about your previous set up by comparison.

    Most important tests and why


    Have you made sure your speaker cables are either properly terminated or free from loose strands? Loose, dirty and incorrectly terminated cables are one of the main sources of problems. Any loose strands poking out of terminals could quite easily cause intermittent short circuits or worse. Make sure every connection is clean and tight and that everything is pushed home and snapped into place.

    Correct speaker phasing :

    It is not only important to make sure the left signal comes out of the left speaker, but also that the positive is connected to the positive terminal red to red) and negative to negative (black to black).

    NOTE : your speakers will work regardless of how you have connected them BUT if they are out of phase they will LACK BASS and will not give a CENTRAL IMAGE.

    How have you ckecked this: visually only, the speaker wires are marked, with a test disc.

    If you used a test disc are you quite sure you understood the results Y/N

    REMEMBER : manufacturers can and do wire the speakers incorrectly INSIDE the enclosure. So if you are still not getting a central image it may be worth checking out.

    Frequency sweep
    This is usually on a test disc, but you can download via the internet. You should get a smooth sweep through all frequencies. If not, then you might have a faulty component. A speaker dropped in transit can often be damaged quite badly but still manage to sound reasonable.

    Anything else we should know ?????
    Do you leave everything switched on? do you play the system so quietly that a mouse is noisy by comparison? have you run everything in?

    Finally: What do you want from your system, how exactly do you feel it should sound ?

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