Cant settle with new system - help!!

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Hi Folks,

Last month I purchased a long-saved for new Hi Fi system:

Audiolab 8000 amp

Quad elite CD player

CM8 speakers

It sounded great in the store (SuperFi were brilliant by the way) but at home I just cannot settle with the sound. The clarity and 'up front' nature of the sound just does not allow me to enjoy my music. I much prefer my old Arcam/Tannoy set-up.

I am so upset!

Obviously, I purchased the kit in good faith and cannot take it back. Is there anything I can do to calm the sound down and get a slightly warmer/deeper experience?

The room I have is small and wondering whether the speakers are the problem.

All ideas welcome!!

Andy
 

CnoEvil

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Can you please give the dimensions of your room and how it's decorated (carpets, rugs, soft furnishings and curtains etc).

What cables are you using?

How are the speakers positioned in relation to wall and corners?

Have you tried ringing the manager of the store to work things out?
 

iemslie

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I had a few sessions with the CM8s when I was looking for a new system.

They're great speakers for sure, very detailed with oodles of bass, but having a small listening room I was concerned they'd be a bit too 'in yer face' for my liking (Really wanted to like em too, they're gorgeous looking)

Not sure what the size of your room is but I suspect that you have too small a space for these speakers. As a previous owner of an Arcam/Tannoy combo I can imagine exactly how your feeling. Thats a real smooth sound, and probably a far cry from what you have now.

Sorry I can't offer any suggestions on how to tame your new kit. I'm not sure whether changing cables will help, but others may be able to suggest something to try.

I'd be more inclined to call the shop and try and sort something out, possibly exchange the speakers. Superfi are a good retailer and I'm sure they'll do whatever they can to put things right for you. Good luck.:)
 

cwalduck

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How long have you played the system all products need time to bed-in the manual for the speaker's state up to a month.

If it was me I would setup the speaker,s directly facing one another 10cm apart with one pair out of phase (cross the wires over) and setup the cd-player on repeat with a cd that has a good mix of music.

Turn the volume up to a level that won't bother people and go to work.

The out of phase setup should council out sound to quite a large degree allowing higher volumes to be run without bothering anyone, I have used this method to run speakers in before and appears to be quite successful.

Give it a listen you may find the setup mellows with time, don't give up quite yet ;)
 
andyscothern said:
Hi Folks,

Last month I purchased a long-saved for new Hi Fi system:

Audiolab 8000 amp

Quad elite CD player

CM8 speakers

It sounded great in the store (SuperFi were brilliant by the way) but at home I just cannot settle with the sound. The clarity and 'up front' nature of the sound just does not allow me to enjoy my music. I much prefer my old Arcam/Tannoy set-up.

I am so upset!

Obviously, I purchased the kit in good faith and cannot take it back. Is there anything I can do to calm the sound down and get a slightly warmer/deeper experience?

The room I have is small and wondering whether the speakers are the problem.

All ideas welcome!!

Andy

What Arcam gear did you have? As a dedicated Arcamer myself I found it so difficult to adapt - it took me a few months to fully embrace the Leema.
 

lindsayt

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I would contact SuperFi and tell them that you much prefer your old Arcam / Tannoy system.

I don't see any reason why you can't take it back. You paid a lot of money for a system with the express purpose of getting better sound than your old kit. The new system fails to do this. It is therefore not fit for purpose.

If you paid full retail prices, you paid £2500 to £3000 on that little lot, which is a substantial chunk of money.

By the way I wouldn't call -3db down at 69hz and -6db down at 43hz oodles of bass. I'd call it lean and unextended. But then one can't expect miracles from twin 5" bass cones.
 
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I would suggest going to superfi and explaining your problems with the system and seeing if they will let you demo a few different speaker cable / interconnect combos to see if that makes any difference. I would also echo other posters comments in the need for an extended run in period - both for you and the speakers, as imo it can take a while to get used with the sound of a new system.

If that doesn't work it has to be down to room size / acoustics - after all, you loved the sound in the demo room, right? At that stage it would really be up to you as to wether you want to spend time and money sorting that out, as well as to how much you are prepared to compromise your rooms aesthetics for a stereo set up.

Failing that, either change the system or accept it - you never know, this time next year you may love it!
 

CnoEvil

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lindsayt said:
I don't see any reason why you can't take it back. You paid a lot of money for a system with the express purpose of getting better sound than your old kit. The new system fails to do this. It is therefore not fit for purpose.
<

I'm not sure you can return it on this basis for the following reasons:
- Due to the subjective nature of hifi, you can't really argue that it's not better than his old system.
- The OP went for a demo and bought because of what he heard.
- If the products aren't faulty, then they are working as intended. It's not Superfi's fault if the OP doesn't like what he bought or the room isn't suitable.

I would throw yourself on their mercy, and hope that good a customer relationship / PR and possible future business might allow a deal to be struck....provided both sides are reasonable.
 

Sliced Bread

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I have a set of cm8s and love them. One of the best midranges for the money. That said, they need to be partner correctly, and I really wouldn't suggest the audiolab as a good match. I'm not surprised you find it a little too upfront. The cm8s need something a little warmer imo.

Electrocompaniet
Roksan
Arcam etc

As you like arcam, why not try give them a second chance :)

That said, maybe a softer room will help, if you don't want to swap anything out.
 

Sabby

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I listened to the CM8's at a dealer partenered by the Marantz Pearl Lite CD/Amp and also found it way too bright and lacking in bass. I think the brightness is exacerbated by the lack of bass. These are certainly, by any stretch of the imagination, bright sounding speakers, even partenered by fairly neutral sounding electronics such as the Marantz Pearl Lites. A change of speakers would seem to be the only solution for the OP.
 

tim92gts

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The amp is barely adequate for those speakers, low efficiency with 60wpc will start clipping at modest volumes giving a harshness to the treble.

I'd go for more like 200wpc and increase your soft furnishings as much as possible, go back to the dealer

and see what he's got. You should find a lot more power will tighten up the bass nicely too.
 

Sliced Bread

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Sabby said:
I listened to the CM8's at a dealer partenered by the Marantz Pearl Lite CD/Amp and also found it way too bright and lacking in bass. I think the brightness is exacerbated by the lack of bass. These are certainly, by any stretch of the imagination, bright sounding speakers, even partenered by fairly neutral sounding electronics such as the Marantz Pearl Lites. A change of speakers would seem to be the only solution for the OP.

I disagree.

I listened to the GB1's with an Audiolob 8200 cd player and matching power amp and that produced an incredibly bright system. The same speakers with the Electrocompaniet was warm, cosy and ery musical.

The cm8's were designed to be CM9's but for small to medium rooms. In that context the bass is quite ample (I have to move them away from the wall to prevent the bass being too over powering) n my 14 by 15 foot room.

In terms of the tonal balance, I agree that a lack of bass will make speakers sound bright, but as noted by OP CM8's require current to sound at their best.

I use an Onkyo 905 (on the warmer side of neutral) for amplification and a CA640C for the source (definitely lean and bright) and that results in a pretty neutral performance from the CM8's (in my room).

The problem can easily be remedied using warmer amps.

I'm not trying to over plug the CM8's which, while excellent are not perfect as careful partnering is required. But there are several avenues here. The Audiolab wil sound on the bright side with many different speakers.

If the room is particularly large, then yes a change of speakers might be the solution. If the room is medium or small then they can quite happily re-produce a warmer sound.

I guess the question is, how warm does the poster want it.
 

lindsayt

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CnoEvil said:
I'm not sure you can return it on this basis for the following reasons: - Due to the subjective nature of hifi, you can't really argue that it's not better than his old system. - The OP went for a demo and bought because of what he heard. - If the products aren't faulty, then they are working as intended. It's not Superfi's fault if the OP doesn't like what he bought or the room isn't suitable. I would throw yourself on their mercy, and hope that good a customer relationship / PR and possible future business might allow a deal to be struck....provided both sides are reasonable.

First of all let's see how Superfi respond. I'd expect them to have every sympathy for andyscothern. I'd hope that they make some effort to remedy the situation in order to leave him as a delighted customer.

I don't expect this to go to court. It would be interesting to see what would happen if a similar case did go to court.

My understanding of the law is that this might be similar to someone going to an expensive restaurant. Where you have every right to expect high levels of freshness and hygiene as well as quality of taste commensurate with the price. Tastiness of food is subjective in the same way that quality of sound from hi-fi is.
 

Lee H

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lindsayt said:
It would be interesting to see what would happen if a similar case did go to court.

It would last about 30 seconds.

It patently is fit for purpose; appropriate, and of a necessary standard, for its intended use. Its purpose is to play music - it does. Whether it is an improvement or not is subjective.
 

iemslie

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lindsayt said:
By the way I wouldn't call -3db down at 69hz and -6db down at 43hz oodles of bass. I'd call it lean and unextended. But then one can't expect miracles from twin 5" bass cones.

Naturally I meant in the context of the type of speaker - compact floorstander with small footprint.

That said, having spent a few hours with them when I was shopping around I'd still say they produced a surprising amount of bass regardless of the quoted range/response figures.

Back to the OPs dilemma. Hopefully Superfi will show some good will, perhaps they'll suggest an amplifier upgrade (with an upgraded price of course!). Might be an idea to get some research in before you go... Let us know how you get on. All the best.
 

iemslie

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smiley-smile.gif
 
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Anonymous

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Hi all,

Many thanks for the helpful comments. I apologise for the duplicate threads. It was not my intention but I must have been a little trigger happy!

I called Super Fi today. They were sympathetic and suggested that I try to run the speakers in for longer 'to take the edge off the brightness'. To be fair I have been running them in - but only at no/low volume to spare the neighbours. He suggested more running in at a decent volume will help the sound settle down.

All I can do for now is take the advice and hope things get better. If not I like the advice of offering to pay for an upgarded piece of kit to get the sound I want.

They also suggested that my room size (4x4m) should not be too small for the speakers.

I will persevere! Once again, I appreciate your help with this.

Andy
 

richardw42

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Hi there.
This may or may not be of some help. I had some B&W CM7s which I was extremely happy when I had paired with a MUSICAL FIDELITY XA2 amp (75wpc). However on changing to a Roksan amp it all seemed to fall apart. Bass seemed to lack focus and the higher frequencies suddenly became very fatiguing. I do like an upfront sound but this was too much.
If the running in does no good. I'd seriously investigate Musical Fidelity assuming the CM8s have similar characteristics to CM7. You could add a pair of XA50 (or XA200 monos) to add a bit more power. Or a higher output MF integrated.
 

lindsayt

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Lee H said:
lindsayt said:
It would be interesting to see what would happen if a similar case did go to court.

It would last about 30 seconds.

It patently is fit for purpose; appropriate, and of a necessary standard, for its intended use. Its purpose is to play music - it does. Whether it is an improvement or not is subjective.

Yes, play 15 seconds of music on old system A. Play 15 seconds of music on new expensive system B that sounds easily noticeably worse than system A. Case proven Mi' Lord.

This Superfi system clearly is not of a necessary standard for its intended use. It is well below standard due to it sounding worse than the old system whilst costing 3 grand.

Just the same as you'd expect a meal at a £150 restaurant to taste better than one at your local Wetherspoons. If it didn't you'd be quite entitled to your money back if you'd paid in advance.

I personally don't buy this "give it time to break in" nonsense. At best you will get a subtle improvement with use. What you'll also get is your ear aclimatising to the sound. Also the psychological factor of "I've had it so long. I can't take it back now." The basic poor level of performance will still be there. The very poor value for money will still be there.

Did Superfi say "If you're still not happy with the sound after the bedding in period, bring it all back for a full refund"?

If they won't give you a full refund are you then looking at the pragmatic solution of selling some or all of it and accepting a financial loss?
 
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the record spot

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Lee H said:
lindsayt said:
It would be interesting to see what would happen if a similar case did go to court.

It would last about 30 seconds.

It patently is fit for purpose; appropriate, and of a necessary standard, for its intended use. Its purpose is to play music - it does. Whether it is an improvement or not is subjective.

Indeed; buying in person in a shop doesn't afford the buyer the right to a return or a refund simply because they don't like the sound / colour / whatever post-purchase. That some places will refund is going the extra mile and good on them, most places will offer a credit note and others won't offer anything, it depends on the products purchased in question.

In this case, I'd like to think that Superfi might offer up something more than tea and sympathy in a couple of weeks if the OP still has similar issues with the gear. Legally however, they're on solid ground.

To the OP, try positioning your speakers outwards a little, toeing them out the way can help diffuse some of the brightness. Also, try setting them further or closer apart and nearer or further from you if you have the space in your room. Keep at it though. But do go back to Superfi and see what they can do for you - if they'll help, great and good on them, if not, you'll know better next time.
 

Lee H

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lindsayt said:
Lee H said:
lindsayt said:
It would be interesting to see what would happen if a similar case did go to court.

It would last about 30 seconds.

It patently is fit for purpose; appropriate, and of a necessary standard, for its intended use. Its purpose is to play music - it does. Whether it is an improvement or not is subjective.

Yes, play 15 seconds of music on old system A. Play 15 seconds of music on new expensive system B that sounds easily noticeably worse than system A. Case proven Mi' Lord.

This Superfi system clearly is not of a necessary standard for its intended use. It is well below standard due to it sounding worse than the old system whilst costing 3 grand.

Just the same as you'd expect a meal at a £150 restaurant to taste better than one at your local Wetherspoons. If it didn't you'd be quite entitled to your money back if you'd paid in advance.

I personally don't buy this "give it time to break in" nonsense. At best you will get a subtle improvement with use. What you'll also get is your ear aclimatising to the sound. Also the psychological factor of "I've had it so long. I can't take it back now." The basic poor level of performance will still be there. The very poor value for money will still be there.

Did Superfi say "If you're still not happy with the sound after the bedding in period, bring it all back for a full refund"?

If they won't give you a full refund are you then looking at the pragmatic solution of selling some or all of it and accepting a financial loss?

:rofl:

Cost is irrelevant in this case. Its purpose is to play music and it does.
 

Lee H

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I bought 2 books last week. The cheaper one was better. Does that make the more expensive one not fit for purpose?

I hope Superfi come to an arrangement with the OP, but they're under no obligation to.
 

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