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What's you main speaker/system gripe?.

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by chrisp1, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. chrisp1

    chrisp1
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    I've posted just recenlty about problems I've been having with my Mission centre and main speakers. Time and time again, since I've owned so called hi-fi, the main bug I've had is getting a harsh or forward sound that makes long term listening a pain.

    Seems like my speakers are mainly to blame (awkward positioning in a domestic environment doesn't help, but what can you do beyond a certain point?). I've also been through several amps to try and resolve things and usually failed. My latest AV reciever is an HK AVR630, which seems very nice but once again its revealed a nasty harsh edge to my speakers.

    Anyhow, that's my experience, what's yours?. With so much badly recorded harsh, bright sounding material out there (I suppose this mainly applies to music?), I wonder why the equipment manufacturers seem to amplify the problem with bright sounding components. The only stuff I've had so far that I really liked was an amp by Musical Fidelity that I loaned from a friend (just lovely for music!!) and my old Arcam Xeta 1 - nice and smooth but grosely underpowered!!.
     
  2. ab1385

    ab1385
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    My mordaunt short 904s are still too bright for my liking, even 10 months down the line, though changing the amp from a pioneer C301 to a CA Azur540R made a bigg difference.

    Now desparately saving for a pair of KEF q5s! :D
     
  3. danny daniell

    danny daniell
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    Yamaha Av amps have a nice warm,full sound to them but arent quite crisp enough for music.Unless you spend mega bucks,it is very difficult to find an amp/speaker that does both with equal aplomb

    Regards Dan
     
  4. RaceTripper

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    I have a very bright, hard surfaced room (hardwood floors and plaster-on-concrete walls), but my Arcam AVR300 & Dynaudio Audience speakers/sub sound great. Very neutral sounding and no harshness, even at high volume levels.
     
  5. Knightshade

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    Hi Chrisp,
    A lot can be done to alter/tone down the brightness of certain speakers. The problem is there are an awful lot of factors that play a part.
    Out of all the hi fi equipment speakers are possibly the one item you keep for quite a long time. Matching equipment to speakers is never easy.
    If I were you I would look to my source first. Try and demo some different CD/Amp combinations. Try and find one that sounds smooth with preferably no harshness.
    You don't have to worry to much about power as the missions aren't going much of a strain on a decent amp. You can then reduce the harshness further with careful choice of cabling. I know this is a very argumentative area but different cables do add a different signature to the music and can be usefull in reducing brightness.
    I don't know your budget but a Rega Planet/Mira combination would certainly be worth a listen.
    HTH
     
  6. russraff

    russraff
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    I wouldn't call harman/kardon kit bright! My old 8500 was as smooth as can be, as was the 5550 I had before it. If you are still getting an overly harsh sound from your setup, then the cause is most likely elsewhere.
    What Mission speakers are you using? I do seem to remember the old 75 range as being very harsh indeed and a "Freedom" range was released to amend this. Do you have the 75 range?
    As Knightshade said, look at your source. If you are mainliy criticising music, then demo a CD player as most DVD players just aren't up to it and the same goes for amplification. Frankly, unless you spend huge amounts of money, an AV amp will not have the quality of a moderate stereo one. Perhaps you are expecting too much from a mid range AV amp compared to some of your past stereo ones?

    Russell
     
  7. chrisp1

    chrisp1
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    Yeah - the problem is definitely with my speakers, which I now regard as aggressively bright sounding. A friend recently loaned me a small JM labs centre speaker and the sound I'm getting has immediately improved, although I thought this unit was also rather 'forward' sounding. I instantly noticed that the hard almost ragged edge I was getting with my Mission centre had gone. I'm now looking to replace my Mission with a used Kef reference 100, pending the replacement of my main speakers.

    As for wiring - I agree this can make quite a difference. I get the impression this is a controversial area, but I've tried a variety of wires at about the same price point and heard quite noticeable changes in the sound quality I get. I'm currently using QED Silver Anniv and would say this tends to give a more detailed, but also slightly brighter sound than some alternatives.

    When it comes to my HK reciever, I'm quite happy with it and I'd say the sound is about 'neutral'. Certainly less forward than some units I've heard. As for wether its any good with music - I think its a lot better than my old Yamaha, but I'd say the results are still very so-so. Its nowhere near as 'musical' (can't think of another word to express my meaning) as a modestly priced dedicated music amp, but I don't hold that against it. I've come to the conclusion that you have to spend a lot,lot more (Bryston territory?) to get equipment that really handles both music and movies equally well. I say that after hearing some quite expensive gear including Tag, Arcam and Musical Fidelity stuff.

    That's only my opinion though :) ......
     
  8. RaceTripper

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    I agree with that. I changed my front speaker cables to Transparent MusicWave and improved my DVD Player's digital coax cable. Both of those changes eliminated some harshness I had in the high end. The improved speaker cables additionally improved detail in the mid to lower end.

    Dean
     

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