Are my speakers too good?

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charmerci

Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #20 on: 30 Dec 2015, 02:12 am »
charmerci,

You state that you've had the Philharmonics for a few weeks. At this point, how many hours do you have on them?


I dunno - 60-70 more, I listen to them all the time. I've never heard massive break-in speaker differences before - I've owned about 7 new pairs (mostly buy used) in my lifetime. No the sound isn't changing unless I make changes to my system.

charmerci

Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #21 on: 30 Dec 2015, 02:14 am »
Two issues -- that laptop is a pushing a ton of crap into your gear and it's being magnified. GIGO. 

Secondly, your cables are also a weak link (pun intended). A $20 USB cable isn't gonna get it done. 

What are you using for power conditioning?


No power conditioning and unfortunately, for now, I really can't afford more than $20 cables.

JerryM

Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #22 on: 30 Dec 2015, 02:27 am »

I dunno - 60-70 more, I listen to them all the time. I've never heard massive break-in speaker differences before - I've owned about 7 new pairs (mostly buy used) in my lifetime. No the sound isn't changing unless I make changes to my system.

I've heard speaker break-in that made me think I had a double ear infection. I also tried to make changes to my system to overcome the sound.

Try not to make a judgment until you get to a few hundred hours on them. Leave the rest of your system alone. Play your system as much as you possibly can to get the hours. It doesn't need to be loud, just play them. You might end up pleasantly surprised.

Have fun,

Jerry

ebag4

Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #23 on: 30 Dec 2015, 02:27 am »
You have probably already tried this, but when I was using my laptop it sounded much better on batteries than it did plugged into the wall.

Best,
Ed

charmerci

Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #24 on: 30 Dec 2015, 02:37 am »
You have probably already tried this, but when I was using my laptop it sounded much better on batteries than it did plugged into the wall.

Best,
Ed


No - but it's cheap and worth a try.



Try not to make a judgment until you get to a few hundred hours on them. Leave the rest of your system alone. Play your system as much as you possibly can to get the hours. It doesn't need to be loud, just play them. You might end up pleasantly surprised.

Have fun,

Jerry


Will do - will get back to you on that.

JLM

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Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #25 on: 30 Dec 2015, 11:51 am »
Seems like in total every aspect of your room, your power supply, your gear, even the amount of break-in has been questioned. 

So to summarize, allow for at least 200 hours of break-in before making an analysis, and ...

to answer your question:  yes, your speakers are too good (they way out class your room and your gear).

Scott F.

Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #26 on: 30 Dec 2015, 01:41 pm »
A $20 USB cable isn't gonna get it done. 


I disagree. Right now I'm playing with the Pyst cable in my system and it sounds fine. Great?...no. Fine and mostly grain free?...yes.

My system is a 24TB NAS with the stock USB3 cable feeding a dedicated all-in-one PC (on my equipment rack) feeding a BMC Pure DAC via the PYST cable. That feeds a slightly modified McIntosh C220 tubed pre via AudioNote pure silver cables. That feeds a McIntosh MC452. The 452 feeds a pair of B&W 800 Diamonds via my home brew Cu/Ag/Teflon speaker cables. Everything is conditioned via a BPT Signature conditioner. All of my power cables are Kaplan.




Trust me, it's not the Pyst cables. Granted, not great but they sound fine.

AJinFLA

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Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #27 on: 30 Dec 2015, 02:15 pm »
There was a lot to like about them but there were things about them that I wasn't crazy about - mainly just overwhelming bass when played loudly and one "problem" that I've had over the last few years - some digital harshness that is somewhat bothersome. (Equipment being FLAC files into ODAC/ I had the Pioneer VSX-D912 http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=68889.0 / Odyssey Tempest pre-amp/AVA Synergy 240/ cables are StraightWire/Soundsilver/Kabeldirect)
No idea how/why you could have a AVR, preamp and power amp simultaneously configured, but if you can drive the speakers with the D912, then you should have EQ capability. I have an old Pioneer AVR (D812, D815?) stashed somewhere and I'm pretty sure one can manually EQ. Not perfect, but you could try applying some to see if you could cut whatever bass peaking you seem to have with that speaker/room/position.
I also agree with Dennis that you could simply be overdriving those small speakers, but then again you might be clipping an input somewhere. No way to tell remotely, since I can't figure how you have all that connected. :wink:

cheers,

AJ


zoom25

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Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #28 on: 30 Dec 2015, 02:16 pm »
I also had problems in the past with harshness when using laptop as a source. I was using Flac with Audirvana and Amarra. Nowadays switched to Bryston BDP-1 and it definitely cleared up problems. Using standard stock power cables and TOTL Mogami W2549 and W3173 for analog and digital. Well priced.

Before worrying about cables, I'd try to clean up the power in your components.

rollo

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Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #29 on: 30 Dec 2015, 04:01 pm »
  Your new speakers are exposing something up the chain that requires a change. Reavealing speakers are just that . REVEALING. After a 200 hour plus break-in try removing the Staightwire cabling and try a different cable.
   Your source is a computer and my educated bet it is that. Ya know ya change one thing you always have another change. That's the way it works.
   BTW i know it is temporary but those stools are NOT helping in evaluating the speakers. Move get settled set up the system properly and then after 200 hours start with a cable then the source. Have fun.


charles

charmerci

Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #30 on: 30 Dec 2015, 06:35 pm »
IME your new speakers (especially the RAAL tweeters) would reveal the warts of far better supporting room/gear.  These appear to be truly wonderfully detailed speakers, lacking only the bottom octave(s).  You could easily justify spending $10,000 on DAC, preamp, power amp, cables, stands, and room treatments to fully support these speakers. 

Didn't find any specifications on-line.  Can you spell out the specifications of the speakers for us? 

Hard to believe they could put out "overwhelming bass" (unless you're getting frequency specific resonance in a horrible room).

I'd love to spend $10K...but it's just not in the cards...or in my wallet.

They're a new DMurphy design but he's said that they are a very easy load and not inefficient.
Yeah, a lot of that bass was specific to the room but I've moved them around and it's not so bad.

IME digital is fatiguing until you get into some of the higher priced DACs... the suggestion to run a server/streamer setup is a good one, check out this thread, it'll save you a ton over commercial product:http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?19221-Streamer-to-kill-the-big-boys-for-under-250I'd also seriously consider an ifi micro DSD and tube buffer for your source, the DSD DAC would work well with the above streaming solution. You also might be able to find a used Sony HAP-Z1ES around, it's not cheap but it's a one-box solution. IsoAcoustics stands for your speakers would be a good idea and won't be expensive. This will clean up the bass quite a bit and keep it from rattling random stuff in your house. Way better than sorbothane.


The ifi Micro DSD is $500...I just don't have that now.

The AVA Ultra is a tube DAC so I don't think it's contributing to any harshness.

The sorbothane feet made a difference but I don't think IsoAcoustics will do anything about the high end harshness I'm hearing that's coming from the tweeters.

If that pic is indicative of the rest of the room I would not expect to get good sound in there, especially at high volume.


Yeah, I know but as I said, it's all I have to work with now. That's why I've pulled the speakers way out from the surfaces - I've pulled them farther from that TV but it doesn't make much of a difference. I'm listening about 10 feet away, away from any side walls.

to answer your question:  yes, your speakers are too good (they way out class your room and your gear).


Geez, why doesn't that statement make me feel good?  :lol:

I disagree. Right now I'm playing with the Pyst cable in my system and it sounds fine. Great?...no. Fine and mostly grain free?...yes.Trust me, it's not the Pyst cables. Granted, not great but they sound fine.


Cool. I've ordered some more.

  Your new speakers are exposing something up the chain that requires a change. Reavealing speakers are just that . REVEALING. After a 200 hour plus break-in try removing the Staightwire cabling and try a different cable.    Your source is a computer and my educated bet it is that. Ya know ya change one thing you always have another change. That's the way it works.    BTW i know it is temporary but those stools are NOT helping in evaluating the speakers. Move get settled set up the system properly and then after 200 hours start with a cable then the source. Have fun.charles


I only have one Straightwire cable - out from the laptop. I'm actually getting some more.


Yeah, I guess this is going to be a long-term....read slow....process. I'm not sure I can afford my ears!
:roll:

charmerci

Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #31 on: 30 Dec 2015, 06:40 pm »

No way to tell remotely, since I can't figure how you have all that connected. ;)


I wrote..I had the Pioneer receiver hooked up. It's old, it went 'poop' on me. It's permanently out of the chain. That should make my hookup more clear.

AJinFLA

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Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #32 on: 30 Dec 2015, 09:42 pm »
I wrote..I had the Pioneer receiver hooked up. It's old, it went 'poop' on me. It's permanently out of the chain. That should make my hookup more clear.
Well, there goes the hardware eq option. What media player do you use?
I assume you didn't have these issues with prior speakers and previously checked with each manufacturer that you're not overdriving an input somewhere in the chain?

lowtech

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Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #33 on: 30 Dec 2015, 09:53 pm »
I recommend "downgrading" to a speaker that uses a dome tweeter.  You will find them to be more musical (due to producing far lower distortion).

Doing so would require you to change your moniker, though.

JLM

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Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #34 on: 30 Dec 2015, 10:07 pm »
I use Straightwire USB cable (so does Schiit) and have no complaints (after comparing it to 8 other cables - read my cable review).

And I'm a bit of a "speaker guy" and like you apparently like to over emphasize speakers compared to most.  So it's easy to overdo it with the speakers.  In your case the speakers are high quality and highly detailed, especially with the RAAL tweeter, so they will reveal all the warts. 

Hold off making any decisions until the speakers have broken in and you've moved into the final room you mentioned.  Other than speakers I believe the room is the biggest factor in playback performance.  Room size/shape, speaker/listener setup, acoustic isolation, acoustic treatment, and proper bass proprogation are all bigger factors IME than software, sources, amplification, power, or cables.  Frankly if you can't develop a decent room, it's honestly better to have a modest in-room system and go for a good headphone system. 

charmerci

Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #35 on: 30 Dec 2015, 11:23 pm »
I use Straightwire USB cable (so does Schiit) and have no complaints (after comparing it to 8 other cables - read my cable review).

And I'm a bit of a "speaker guy" and like you apparently like to over emphasize speakers compared to most.  So it's easy to overdo it with the speakers.  In your case the speakers are high quality and highly detailed, especially with the RAAL tweeter, so they will reveal all the warts. 

Hold off making any decisions until the speakers have broken in and you've moved into the final room you mentioned.  Other than speakers I believe the room is the biggest factor in playback performance.  Room size/shape, speaker/listener setup, acoustic isolation, acoustic treatment, and proper bass proprogation are all bigger factors IME than software, sources, amplification, power, or cables.  Frankly if you can't develop a decent room, it's honestly better to have a modest in-room system and go for a good headphone system.


Yeah but I just wanted to be done with the speaker buying to keep these llllllooooonnnnnggggg term which is why. I just assumed that all great speakers would make everything just sound better.

charmerci

Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #36 on: 30 Dec 2015, 11:25 pm »
OK - I just dug out my old Sony (MOR) Cd player that I forgot that I had - and, yes a lot of the harshness went away - with some compromises in detail, etc. Just a quick but obvious initial impression from a couple of songs.

So, it looks like most(?) of the problem is the laptop>Muse USB-RCA converter>coax DAC input. Better cables will help somewhat - and then there's the room.


Thanks to everyone for the help!  :thumb:

konut

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Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #37 on: 31 Dec 2015, 12:32 am »
In your picture I see hard floors and hard walls. That could contribute to harshness. An old soundman's trick, clap your hands: one sharp clap. What do you hear? Ringing? Slap echo? At a minimum you could buy a sheet of Owens Corning 702 insulation, the thicker the better, and cut triangles to fit in the corners, where high freqs tend to gather and ring. Get some thin cloth , in the color of your choice, and wrap the triangles using safety pins to bind the corners of the cloth in back of the triangles. Next screw picture hanging hooks into position to run rubber bands from the hooks to the safety pins, suspending the triangles 1-2 inches from the ceiling and walls. As the cloth and insulation weigh next to nothing, the hooks bear no real weight.  If this is a rental, when you're done in the room and take the corner dampers down use toothpaste to hide the holes. I've done this in the past and never got caught.

kingdeezie

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Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #38 on: 31 Dec 2015, 01:09 am »
I think Konut is on to something with acoustic treatments, but doing it really right (GIK bass traps, reflection, diffusion, etc, etc) can get expensive.

Power conditioning could make a huge difference. The sound of digital products can get really skewed when there isn't clean power to drink from.

I just had a lesson in this recently, as I had been plugging my Class D amplifiers directly into the wall, based on the manufacturers recommendation. I had a friend come over, and pick up on the sound not being quite right, so for kicks we plugged the amplifiers into my power conditioner.

HUGE difference for the better. Way more tonality and texture, way less thin and dry. My power must be really horrible.

I know you said your budget is limited, maybe keep an eye out for a used PI Audio MagikBuss? That should be reasonably priced, and at least give you an idea if there is improvement to be had with power conditioning.

DaveC113

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Re: Are my speakers too good?
« Reply #39 on: 31 Dec 2015, 01:22 am »
OK - I just dug out my old Sony (MOR) Cd player that I forgot that I had - and, yes a lot of the harshness went away - with some compromises in detail, etc. Just a quick but obvious initial impression from a couple of songs.

So, it looks like most(?) of the problem is the laptop>Muse USB-RCA converter>coax DAC input. Better cables will help somewhat - and then there's the room.


Thanks to everyone for the help!  :thumb:

Yup, check out the DIY streamer thread I linked to previously, it's probably your best bet for getting a source that doesn't add so much harshness without spending a small fortune. It's not easy to have a digital source that isn't fatiguing without spending a lot but this server/streamer/HQPlayer/Roon/DSD upsampling setup seems promising. That's part of the reason I think it's worth checking out the ifi DSD DAC, so you can upsample to DSD, IME DSD is easier to listen to vs PCM, which often has a hardness to the sound that is pretty annoying.

I also agree with the comments on break-in and room acoustics... be patient!

And power... if you want I have an older SurgeX I'd give you for the price of shipping.