Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass

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dbx

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Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« on: 13 Apr 2016, 05:18 am »
Does anyone notice their Exotica 3 not putting out enough bass from the active subwoofer section?

I have not changed any of the dial settings since receiving my Exotica 3s.  The disclaimer that comes with the Exotica 3s is that the settings are tuned in to optimum settings.  if you change it, you are on your own.  Yet, they do not put out the bass anywhere near what I am getting from my Soundscape 8s.   The Exotica 3s do put out sound from the subwoofer.

Note that I am using only the stereo inputs - I am not running a line in setting into the subwoofer section.  When I put in a line in setting from my ipad as a test, the bass still felt shallow, not hard hitting like the SS8 does with ease.

But the Exotica 3s do sound great though in its midrange and tweeters.

Folsom

Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #1 on: 13 Apr 2016, 05:30 am »
Please list what else is in your system. And specifically power treatment?

dB Cooper

Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #2 on: 13 Apr 2016, 05:49 am »
I have heard the E3 and to say the bass is impressive would be an understatement. Did they sound OK at first and then you noticed a change, or have they been this way from the get-go? How long have you had these?

dbx

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Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #3 on: 13 Apr 2016, 06:38 am »
They have always been like this.  I Had them for about 6 months and lived with them just fine as being bass shallow.

However, after hooking up the Soundscape 8 back into the system with all the bass it outputs, it makes me crave the exotica 3 to put some muscle into the bass output.

Do you know your dial settings on your exotica 3?

dbx

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Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #4 on: 13 Apr 2016, 06:42 am »
Please list what else is in your system. And specifically power treatment?

Onkyo Grand Integra M508 Power Amp and P308 Preamp stereo - dual mono design.
Toshiba sd9200 DVD Player
Wyred 4 Sound dac2 dsd-se da converter

I have a belkin power filter.  Cant remember the model though - i should be able to find out more tomorrow.

Folsom

Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #5 on: 13 Apr 2016, 07:06 am »
Can you try without the power filter tomorrow? You could try with the sub amps not plugged into it, and then without the power filter at all if you don't get what you're looking to get.

My guess is a resonances from the power filter is causing a problem with the sub amps.

Big Red Machine

Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #6 on: 13 Apr 2016, 11:47 am »
You have a setting out of whack. Have you ever had them cranking properly? If not then it is a simple thing to try. Start with the gain control first - is each speaker set the same level? If not then one was probably moved. Otherwise remember the setting and tweak them up a skosh.

jsalk

Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #7 on: 13 Apr 2016, 01:02 pm »
dbx -

If you remove the cage covering the amp controls, you can adjust the gain upwards until you are happy with the results.  Bass is room dependent (and a matter of personal taste).  But the gain of the woofer section can be adjusted to taste with no problem.  I would not touch any of the other controls, however, as the phase, crossover, etc. were dialed in before we shipped the speakers and those settings will not change.

- Jim

dbx

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Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #8 on: 13 Apr 2016, 04:58 pm »
Thanks Jim.

I removed the cage and noticed the three dials, but have not touched any of them after reading the disclaimer that came with the speakers.  I will try tinkering with the gain setting tonight.

Out of curiosity, would the phase and crossover settings be the same for every Exotica 3?

And before shipping an Exotica 3, perhaps marker settings showing the reference points around the phase crossover section of the dials be helpful in case someone accidentally moves a dial, or has little kids around?

I will also move the power cable that is going to the subwoofer off of the AC filter as it was previously suggested to see if there is an improvement.

jsalk

Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #9 on: 13 Apr 2016, 05:19 pm »
Yes, the gain is the only thing you want to deal with.

As to whether or not the settings are the same for every Exotica 3, I don't know.  You can't assume every driver and every amp will perform exactly the same.  And the controls might vary in terms of performance as well.  So we calibrate each pair before it ships.

Marking them is probably a good idea, although we would have to find a very fine marking pen.

- Jim

Folsom

Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #10 on: 13 Apr 2016, 05:49 pm »
Thanks Jim.

I removed the cage and noticed the three dials, but have not touched any of them after reading the disclaimer that came with the speakers.  I will try tinkering with the gain setting tonight.

Out of curiosity, would the phase and crossover settings be the same for every Exotica 3?

And before shipping an Exotica 3, perhaps marker settings showing the reference points around the phase crossover section of the dials be helpful in case someone accidentally moves a dial, or has little kids around?

I will also move the power cable that is going to the subwoofer off of the AC filter as it was previously suggested to see if there is an improvement.

It's important that you try without any AC filter plugged in as well. If it is the source of the problem then it can happen just by being on the same AC line from the breaker. (not necessarily, but it can)

coke

Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #11 on: 13 Apr 2016, 07:30 pm »
Yes, the gain is the only thing you want to deal with.

As to whether or not the settings are the same for every Exotica 3, I don't know.  You can't assume every driver and every amp will perform exactly the same.  And the controls might vary in terms of performance as well.  So we calibrate each pair before it ships.

Marking them is probably a good idea, although we would have to find a very fine marking pen.

- Jim

Seems like there should be a way to hold your setting with something that locks the knob in place such as a pin, and can easily be removed and unlocked if the settings need to be changed.  Returning the knob to the original location and reinserting the pin would ensure proper alignment with factory settings.   Just an example of what came to mind.

dbx

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Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #12 on: 13 Apr 2016, 07:51 pm »
Also what comes to mind - to take a picture of the knob settings on each of the Exotica 3 speakers.  This way, if you don't want to make marker settings on the Erotica 3, you would always have a picture reference of the settings.

woodsyi

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Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #13 on: 13 Apr 2016, 07:56 pm »
Jim should not put a disclaimer in the back that scares folks from touching the gain setting on the amp.  With all kinds of amps/preams/processors/receivers out there with myriads of variable impedance matches even before considering room interaction, there is no freaking way Jim can dial in the woofers for his customers without going out on location  because he doesn't know how your amp drives the mids and highs. 

You need to level match the sections after you receive the E3s. :duh: 

I don't have the E3s but I have an active system and I tweak the balance for different genres of music for god's sake -- different compression scheme between rock and classical recordings.  I encourage you to play with the knobs.  :lol:

dbx

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Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #14 on: 13 Apr 2016, 08:06 pm »
Jim should not put a disclaimer in the back that scares folks from touching the gain setting on the amp.  With all kinds of amps/preams/processors/receivers out there with myriads of variable impedance matches even before considering room interaction, there is no freaking way Jim can dial in the woofers for his customers without going out on location  because he doesn't know how your amp drives the mids and highs. 

You need to level match the sections after you receive the E3s. :duh: 

I don't have the E3s but I have an active system and I tweak the balance for different genres of music for god's sake -- different compression scheme between rock and classical recordings.  I encourage you to play with the knobs.  :lol:

Jim includes such a disclaimer in the documentation that comes with purchasing an Exotica 3 - I do not have the doc in front of me at work - but he does make the claim here as well.  The dials are optimally tuned for the performance of the speaker - particularly in the phase and crossover settings on the back of the Exotica 3.

Unfortunately, most of us, including myself, do not have the luxury of having an active crossover system.  I assume this is what you meant when you say that you have an active system.

Folsom

Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #15 on: 13 Apr 2016, 08:07 pm »
You probably won't be able to hear the difference as long as you get it back real close to the location. Even if it was off by a 1/16th an inch you may not be able to tell by ear.

I wouldn't touch anything but gain.

However I sincerely doubt the gain is the problem. The only thing that would make sense for that is if the room somehow was gobbling up the bass frequencies.

dbx

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Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #16 on: 13 Apr 2016, 08:29 pm »
You probably won't be able to hear the difference as long as you get it back real close to the location. Even if it was off by a 1/16th an inch you may not be able to tell by ear.

I wouldn't touch anything but gain.

However I sincerely doubt the gain is the problem. The only thing that would make sense for that is if the room somehow was gobbling up the bass frequencies.

Hi Folsom.

I am not certain that it is the room.  The Exotica 3s have front firing bass drivers.  When I stand in front of them, I don't hear much energy coming from the bass.  There is some energy, but it is not much, and one would not be so impressed.  My preamp bass setting is at zero.  (Even with no bass output from the subs, the detail is still amazing with the Exotica 3s.)

If I swap it for the Soundscape 8 in the same equipment - there is no comparison.  I would have to turn the bass control down from -6dB to -8dB (3 to 4 settings down from zero).  Still - there is no comparison.  I can have the Soundscape 8 placed anywhere in the room - and still have no escape from the deep, lush, rhythmic bass that it offers.  The Exoticas are not even trying to compete - so it may be a gain issue, or a power issue
So I don't believe it is the room acoustics.  I should know more tonight when I get home and will post my results.

Big Red Machine

Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #17 on: 13 Apr 2016, 08:39 pm »
Is the power cable in tightly and the green light on?

dbx

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Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #18 on: 13 Apr 2016, 08:46 pm »
Yes it is.  It turns red when there is no signal after a certain amount of time.

TomS

Re: Exotica 3 not outputting enough bass
« Reply #19 on: 13 Apr 2016, 08:47 pm »
A very simple basic test is use a pink noise source (e.g. wav or flac file) then measure it with a free RTA app on a phone or tablet. No special gear or mics are needed.

http://www.audiocheck.net/testtones_pinknoise.php

http://www.studiosixdigital.com/audiotools-modules-2/acoustic-analysis-modules/rta/