General Speaker Advice and Recommendations

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by shotgunshane, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    That room is horrible! Worse than I imagined!

    The Usher Mini-2s are flat, voiced slightly different from the Mini-1s, which have a little bit more bass. I am thinking you are getting the "Ety" sound because of how close the walls and ceiling (LOL that too) are to the speakers, and getting that good ol' excessive diffuse field bounce off those surfaces. The room treatment required would be intensive, and at that rate, might not yield much in terms of where you want to go.

    If you want bit a of mid-bass rumble, and something that might be easier to work with, consider Harbeth. A totally different direction. The Harbeths have a bit of mid-bass and also incorporate a BBC dip in the upper mids around 2-3kHz. A used Harbeth Monitor 30 should be within your price range.
     
  2. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    The other side of the room is about 16' x 13.5' and a normal shape. I may need to try the set up over there, to see what it's capable of, but that would mean my pool table probably stays in permanent storage.
     
  3. jhaider

    jhaider Acquaintance

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    I recommend a different direction: go with something that has as narrow and constant directivity as possible through the mids and treble to minimize those early reflections.

    One that I've heard that would be a better fit than most is the Tannoy Revolution XT 8F. With the addition of a notch filter to reduce the mid/woofer breakup level, KEF's Q900 is also a good speaker, if not very well finished. One of the DIY Sound Group options may also work well if you're inclined to build or commission cabinets. Shane, I see you're also in ATL. I just worked with a fantastic small woodworking team on a new media cabinet with some fun features like an open record crate integrated into the top and a subwoofer on the bottom incorporating a Tymphany LAT tubular driver. I think their shop is in Tucker. Ping me if that's a direction that interests you and I'll connect you.

    A wider dispersion speaker would be OK, too. Compared to the above choices, a wider dispersion speaker will sound little more spacious but with less focused imaging, due to the more prominent early reflections. A few good options there are the 3-ways by NHT, the three-way Monitor Audio Silver-series towers, Revel, Bryston.

    But with close-in sidewalls the dispersion disruption inherent in 7" 2-ways with flat baffle tweeters is fatal in a room with close-in sidewalls, because the tonality of the reflections in the upper midrange differs so much from the direct sound.
     
  4. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Thanks for the additional info. I'm struggling with how would a wider dispersion speaker help in this particular room location?

    I've discovered the larger portion of the room is big enough for a 7ft pool table but unfortunately not my 8ft table in storage, so I guess it will go up for sale. I'm going to move all the audio equipment over into that larger space now. I'll have a 15'4" wall to place everything against with a normal high ceiling. That part of the room is 13'6" deep on a third of the back side and the other 2/3's opens into the smaller space shown in my picture. I should be able to get each speaker 3 feet or more from the sidewalls (I have to take into account a door into the attic area).
     
  5. jhaider

    jhaider Acquaintance

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    In my view, the close sidewalls demand extremely smooth dispersion, so that the reflections match the direct sound as much as possible. Narrow or wide dispersion depends on your imaging preferences: is focus or spaciousness more important?

    The worst thing for such a space is is a speaker with a big midrange dispersion disruption. That's what you have in there now. If you can change the space, those speakers may work if you can live with the inherent upper midrange coloration from the dispersion disruption.
     
  6. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I moved everything over to the other part of the room. It's a fairly significant improvement. Notes are richer and weightier in comparison. Imaging is better and engagement has improved. Upper mid shout has also been tamed. I'm not sure they will ultimately be keepers; I still would like a little more impact and rumble. Tonally they are a little on the dry side for me.

    IMG_0824.JPG
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I drew this up but forgot to post it. In order or priority. You can also consider corner traps, but those tend to be expensive compared to DIY panels. Same idea applies to your new space.

    IMG_0819.JPG
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I would be curious on an RTA at your listening position. I suspect a huge null in that room that is robbing you of the bass. Those woofers should rock. But then again, if you want real impact and rumble, you got to go 12"+. A single 12" makes x2 8" woofer sound like soft farts.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
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  9. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I was wondering if there could be a room null somewhere in bass, especially considering the impressions of these speakers I've read. Are their ways to treat for a bass null?
     
  10. mresseguie

    mresseguie Rando

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    Hello, Shane.

    I've got a few questions for you:

    Approximately how many hours have your speakers been run for break in? Do not be surprised if you need to run them in for 200+ hours.

    Have you tried pulling them further into the room - backs of the speakers 3' to 4' from the front wall with a little toe-in?

    Is that a Parasound amplifier you've got there? How many watts has the amp got?

    I was in an Usher showroom in Taiwan this past winter. I listened to the same speakers you have. That pair was pulled WAY into the room - something like 8 or 10 feet! The speakers were placed about 8 feet apart with just a couple degrees of toe-in. They were driven by Usher's 150w amp, preamp, and CDP (CDP discontinued, I believe). Unfortunately, I was not allowed control of volume or music selection, but the dealer played classical, Jazz and girl and a guitar. Most of the music was unfamiliar to me. Nonetheless, the soundstage was deep, high, and very 3D. The was bass aplenty in that setup. However, what I couldn't tell for sure was how resolving they were nor could I determine the quality of the midrange because I hadn't heard any of the music before.

    Even though I was impressed, I was certain of a couple things: The room had been tweaked and very carefully acoustically treated to maximize acoustics and soundstage. The front wall had something like 50 cinder blocks in a set pattern. [I'd never seen that trick before - definitely not WAF acceptable.] The music was all on a single disk, so that had been carefully selected to produce the best results. Could I reproduce that soundstage in my living room? Hell, no. Would I be disappointed if I stuck them in my living room and played my music? Hell, yes. My listening room is very different from the showroom.

    You describe the listening room as L-shaped with a pool table behind you. I suspect that space is sucking out bass from your speakers. How many cubic feet is the entire room?

    Have you considered adding a subwoofer (or two) to the setup? The subs could handle the ~20Hz to ~80Hz range with the Mini-twos handling everything above 80Hz. I have a Rythmik F12G servo-controlled sub that is fast and accurate. It's got a 12" paper cone designed to be fast and accurate without mushiness.

    Regards,

    Michael
     
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    No way to effectively treat a bass null. Maybe a sub, but I don't think you will need it with these Usher drivers (I know what drivers they are roughly), and subs tend to work best for low bass which I don't think you have a problem with. These drivers will hit low.

    Assuming low bass isn't an issue, the bass ports might be tuned too low for your room. What you want to do to in this case is effectively increase the resonant frequency of the ports and even create a small bass bump. To do this, you want to decrease the volume size of the cabinets.

    An easy way to do this is open up the cabinets and throw in well sealed food containers or cans of dog food. Don't laugh. I've done this myself.

    P.S. Based on your comments, I think just a bad match with the room and also your preferences. Harbeth 30 is calling for you. 40 is above your price range. They are less dry and have quite a bit more punch and boogie.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  12. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    The L shaped room is a total of about 355 sq ft. Think of it as 2 rectangles: one of 150 sq ft with those angled walls and one of 205 sq ft.

    Amp is an Anthem MCA-20, so plenty of power. Speakers are used; they should have plenty of run in (about 2 years old I believe).

    While sub bass is a little light, mid bass and upper bass seem to be the problem. I don't think a sub will help me much with these issues.

    There is really no way to pull these very far off the wall, as I'm limited to how far back I can get the seating position. Also the speakers have pretty deep cabinets (about 20" deep), so even near the wall that makes the speakers themselves 2 ft from the wall. They get leaner and leaner the further out from the wall I get but like I said, I can only go so far, which is nowhere close to 8'~10'. I think right now I have 8'~ or so between them.

    From all the feedback, it seems I just chose the wrong speakers for my space. No way in hell I'm going to attempt shipping these, so hopefully I can find a local buyer if I decide to sell.
     
  13. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Well hell. For kicks and grins I pulled them about 6 feet off the back wall and the difference in note weight and bass authority is fairly significant. Of course this is unrealistic for me to leave them like this, there is no place to sit and enjoy.
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Definitely a room thing then. :-(
     
  15. Poleepkwa

    Poleepkwa Friend

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    @shotgunshane.
    I have a pretty similar problems in my room, although I have 12" coaxials.
    I doubt that changing your speakers will be of much help if the room is to blame.
    I have a couple of suggestions:
    - Have you tried moving your listening position closer?
    - Have you tried placing the speakers closer together, straight against the backwall and firing straight ahead with no toe-in?
    You might have to stuff the ports if the lowbass gets too boomy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
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  16. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    I can second that, especially when the back wall is stone or other heavy material in a problematic room.
    You might get way too much quantity, but bass coherence might improve.
    Stuffing ports limits power handling, be gentle with with bassy material.
     
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  17. winders

    winders Mentally ill. Do not engage.

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    With the Vidar release coming next weak if all goes well (all the bad stuff that could happen seems to have happened), I have ordered a set of these speakers:

    http://www.tektondesign.com/double-impact.html

    I have a friend back East that has a pair of Tekton Design Pendragon speakers which he loves. He has a friend local to him that has the Double Impact speakers. He says they sound even better. Yes, this is second hand information regarding speakers to which I have never listened. But, I trust this friend's ear and he was quite enthusiastic about them. Once they arrive, I have 60 days to evaluate these speakers. My plan is to get two Vidar amps and test with a single Vidar in stereo mode and two Vidar amps in monoblock mode.

    Once I get everything setup, I will post some photos of the room and equipment setup.
     
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  18. danishchelsea

    danishchelsea Rando

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    Please do post. There is lot of internet chatter bout these speakers. But not many professional reviews.
     
  19. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I decided to try the speakers on the shorter wall of the bigger space. This means I have a wall behind me, however it sounds so much better now. I have the cabinets about 13" or so from the back wall and facing straight ahead. The left speaker has no side wall and the right speaker is about ~34" from the side wall.

    This is best I've gotten out them, other than pulling them 6' into the room. I think some acoustic panels behind me and maybe one on the right wall and I'm done. This is the location for speakers in this room.
     
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  20. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    Could be that what you were hearing before was the bass cancellation from the back wall behind you. In my room there's absolutely no subbass when sitting in the middle of the room because of the null at the lowest room mode (25Hz).
     

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