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Clinical sounding Monitor Audio BX2-Yamaha AS500 combo

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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Hello all,

I recently bought a pair of Monitor Audio BX2, and am currently testing a Yamaha AS500 amp with them. Though i'm really happy with the performance of the system (the BX2's are amazing), i have the same feeling of some other people here on the AS500. The detail is impressive, but it all sounds a bit "harsh" (excuse me if i use the wrong english word here), or "clinical". I have a almost constant tendency of wanting to turn down the trebble on the amp. Bass is (more then) ok, but there's really to much clarity up high. Don't get me wrong: the amp is very good value for the money, but maybe not for my taste of sound.

My question: any suggestions on a better amp for my taste? I read a suggestion here of the older NAD326, but maybe there are other tips you can give me?
 

scene

Moderator
Sep 25, 2008
778
173
19,070
Couple of questions:

What speaker cables are you using?

How long have you had the amp+speakers?

The first is that if you're using speaker cables with silver coating (say), these can make a speaker sound brighter (i.e. more treble). The second question is that it can take a while for a system, especially speakers, to burn-in. MAs using metal tweeters, these sound notoriously harsh/bright when not burnt-in. When I first set up my MA silver 8is I thought I'd made a mistake, but once they had run in, they sounded as wonderful as the ones I'd heard when demoing...

EDIT: Sorry - welcome to the forums!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I don't remember the type or brand of the speaker cable, will check that tonight. Have the speakers for about 4-5 weeks now and gave them a lot of "burn-in"-time. I used an old (70s) basic kenwood amp first, and indeed noticed a difference in the speaker performance after about 2 weeks. The "clinical" sound really came with the Yamaha AS500 (1,5 week now). At first it is: "wow, the detail" but now it's more and more becoming "ouch, the detail".
 

scene

Moderator
Sep 25, 2008
778
173
19,070
OK, I agree - 4-5 weeks of reasonable usage (3-4 hours per day) should just about be run in. I'm not sure, but I would think that the Yammy should have settled in by now, though maybe give it a littel longer. You might want to try some pure copper (OFC) speaker cables of a decent thick gauge, to tame the treble a bit and mellow things down a little...
 

Cypher

New member
Jun 8, 2007
156
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I like the BX2 speakers a lot (incredible value for money) but the amp is the problem here. Try the Nad C326BEE or Marantz PM6003 for a more musical and sweeter sound. Maybe not as informative as the Yamaha amp but the most important thing is that you enjoy your music.
 

Pistol Pete1

New member
Jan 27, 2008
248
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The Chord Carnival Silverscreen helps tame treble, I've found.

Assuming you can fit that diameter of speaker into your system area!!!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks, everyone! I will try the other amps mentioned and experiment a bit with cables too. Very curious about the results.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I would like to offer my own advice as a new owner of the same amplifier. The AS500 is wonderfully clear and detailed. I am running a pair of B&W DM602 S2 speakers from mine. When I first powered up the system I was elated. As I listened to more music though, I felt something was not quite right.

My guess is that you are hearing exactly the same thing that I was: lack of bass extension. Your speakers are almost identical in size and frequency response to my B&W's. Although our speakers achieve impressive bass performance, they do not capably reproduce frequencies below 42Hz. You are missing out on a whole world of musical information from 42Hz down! Adult humans cannot hear frequencies above 20kHz. On the other hand, we can all hear bass down to 20Hz, and we can all feel bass at frequencies below that.

I bought a B&W ASW 300 subwoofer and added it to my system. The difference between my system before and after the addition of a subwoofer was so subtle that I nearly regretted the purchase. Having listened for several weeks now, I could never regret it and I would never go back.

It took me a lot of tinkering to achieve a balanced sound. I now have it tweaked just right. I used a single RCA cable to connect the subwoofer output on the amp to my sub. I then activated the low-pass filter on the sub and set the cutoff frequency to 42Hz. I set the volume control on the sub to about 10 o'clock.

When you experience the sub bass frequencies which were previously missing you achieve a whole new appreciation for your music. Audio recordings have a surprisingly massive amount of sub bass information which you cannot hear without a subwoofer. As nice as your speakers are, they are physically incapable of producing sub bass frequencies and a quick glance at the spec sheet will prove that.

Bass is something which is as much felt as it is heard. The "clinical" sound of your speakers is likely a result of clarity without substance. The missing substance is bass! Sure you think the bass is good, but it's the bass that you've got. And you don't have all the bass!

In my opinion, many people obsess over relatively meaningless aspects of hi-fi systems such as brands, cables, and so-called "burning-in". First, look at the most elementary components of your system. You need tweeters. You need woofers. You need subwoofers. In my system, those drivers measure: 1 inch, 7 inches, and 8 inches respectively. What do you think you would notice first:

1) Changing the type of metal on the cable connectors

2) Changing the brand of amp

3) Adding a dedicated 8 inch bass driver which plays frequencies which are not played by the other drivers

Enough said!
 

GCE

New member
Jan 31, 2011
10
0
0
Hi! I too am looking for YAM AS500 and my speakers are B&W 1800, 2 way reflex, with metal dome tweteer- from year 1990 - My actual amp pre & power are Quad 34 & 306 (1999), very musical and smooth, but lacking some input and perhaps in bass punch, so I think to change, budget 500 Eur (430£) - I am afraid that Nad C326 has too dry high freq. and Yamaha A-S500 too present middle freq or annoying high freq. I have only listen to Yamaha A-S700 with 2-way floor st. Proac and B&W 685, it seemed articulated in low and not so bright and cold in middle-high - never seen the A-S500 - But I fear that perhaps the high freq. problem is due to the Yam, because with the old Kenwood the treble were ok- I know the big risk of this change, from Quad to an int amp, mostly due for the difficult to make comparation in the only two shops left here in Florence, IT... In the eighties was very simple turnover the separate hifi, as I tried and used (or owned) many amps: Akai,Technics, Kenwood, Nad, Denon, Marantz, Accuphase and finnally Quad for the last 12 Years! but now is the desert... Anyway I hope for some good advice from this very competent Forum and I'm waiting for any suggestion and comparison referred to these 2 amps: what's the best with my speakers - why someone says that AS 500 is better than AS700? thanks!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I too own the Yam 500 and the BX2s. I demo'd both together at Sevenoaks and was knocked out. I used a Rega RP1 as the source and my own vinyl. To my middle aged ears the sound was spot on without a hint of brashness. I also tried the B&W685's which were not to my taste (they lacked the sparke that the BX2 had). Its horses for courses I suppose!
 

GCE

New member
Jan 31, 2011
10
0
0
And now how is going with this AS 500?

I'm thinking to buy one for my B&W - need some suggestion, thanks
 

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