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Disappointed with MA Bronze 5... or was it my fault?

xicu

New member
Aug 25, 2014
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Hi all,

I recently ordered a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze 5, based on the excellent reviews, together with some rebate on a store in my area.

They took a lot of time to break in (before that, they were just terrible). Now the sound is super smooth and crispy (in a good way). However, there's a complete lack of bass, which was one of the good points of all the reviews of these small towers. I was not expected anything impressive below 80 Hz, but I'm missing the base of the male voices.

They are paired with a cheap Yamaha receiver (I know that it's not ideal, but I don't only miss a change in their tone). I have upgraded the cable to 2.5 mm2 bi-wired. I have placed them next to the wall, far from the wall, toeing in, toeing out... the bass is not there.

Could it be that my living room is too large? It's about 45 m2, although I'm sitting just 2.5 meter far from the speakers, in a perfect triangle, and side walls are 1.5 meter away. I wonder if I just need larger drivers than 5.5". Or could it be that MA signature is not for me? Any suggestions in this budget would be very appreciated. Preferably, I'm looking for a not-so-large tower with 'honest' sound. Maybe Q Acoustics 3050? Zensor 7?

Thanks all :)

PS: There'll be a subwoofer soon, but what I'm missing here is the bass, not the sub-bass.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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What are the dimensions of the room and how far from walls do you sit?

Are you noticing the same if you sat closer to a wall opposite the speakers?
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,916
255
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I know this sounds a really poke-in-the-eye obvious question: Are the speakers phased in correctly?

Depending on the reciever, does it have enough grunt to control the sound?

Have you tried experimenting with speaker placement? And how many hours have they been run-in for?

As I used to own RS6s, they can sound great when placed correctly for your room, or can sound lop-sided if you get it wrong.
 

xicu

New member
Aug 25, 2014
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Hi insider9,

Thanks for the prompt reply. Answering your questions:

* yes, hear the same in the opposite wall (only changes when I put my head 50 cm in front of the TV, which is between the speakers).

* The room is around 45 sqm. I sit about 2.5 meter far from the wall of the speakers (with 2 meter between them) and about 2.5 meter from the rear wall, which is full of books.
 

YOLO

New member
Oct 15, 2016
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Hi Xicu,

what Yamaha receiver do you have? Is it a stereo receiver RX or RS series?

If so

- check the 4 or 8 ohm switch on the back, is it set to the apropriate setting matching your speakers? (operate only as stated in the manual)

- Check the variable loudness knop, set it on flat/zero

- press if your receiver has one: 'Pure direct button' (set your volume to zero before pressing pure direct and then increase gradually)

good luck.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
648
282
19,270
Hi. I'll +1 the checking the phase comment. As in make sure + and - are properly connected to one another.

Also, try connecting them single wired. Most times bi-wiring does more harm than good. What speaker cable are you using?

Ultimately, the receiver might also be part of the problem, as I think Yamaha (stereo) amps lack any kind of punch in the bass.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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Bronze's are, according to MA voiced as a more fun speaker.

They should not be bass light but perhaps you expect to much from a small floorstander.

Other than that it's either something connected wrong, your room or your cheap A/V.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
986
179
19,070
First video incredible harsh,agressive,second video not much bass

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJBZJxqOqC8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba5RIEKzuFM

Q Acoustics 30250 sounds as if the bass is better

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nccYzf-Bxs

It's still youtube but sound as if the bass might be better from the q acoustics 3050

Or look at Mission LX they have a good bass
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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I have used the Bronze 5 with Cyrus andArcam a few years ago. I think I posted on here about it.

I thought the Bronze series was better than the Silver at that time.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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Bass will always be its lowest in the middle of the room. Assuming a rectangular room about 6 x 8 m and that you sit on the shorter length that's very close to the middle.

First I'd check if the links are in place. Secondly make sure the speakers are in phase. Bronze 5 is not going to have a ground shaking bass in any room. I've used previous generation BX5 and would call its bass conservative. If your amp doesn't supply enough grunt this will make them sound even more safe.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
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0
insider9 said:
Bass will always be its lowest in the middle of the room. Assuming a rectangular room about 6 x 8 m and that you sit on the shorter length that's very close to the middle.

First I'd check if the links are in place. Secondly make sure the speakers are in phase. Bronze 5 is not going to have a ground shaking bass in any room. I've used previous generation BX5 and would call its bass conservative. If your amp doesn't supply enough grunt this will make them sound even more safe.
Good point

Try listening at the far end with your head closer to the wall. Place speakers relatively close to the wall. They will need boundary re-inforcement.

I remember HifiWorld measuring the speaker and it had phenomenal results with decent bass extension for the size but no upper bass lift like many. Just good engineering. for the price. Better than many more expensive ones.

Measurements are one thing and a speaker will never please everyone. This one is not for bass heads for sure but fun nevertheless.
 

xicu

New member
Aug 25, 2014
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0
Thank you all for all your useful answers. I'll try to answer to all your questions:

* I checked phases and they're correct, I'm afraid.

* I was using 1 mm2 OFC cable and 'upgraded' it yesterday afternoon to 2x2.5 mm2 OFC. I removed the jumpers. Highs are slightly smoother but the bass is the same.

* The receiver is a cheap v475. I don't like equalizers or DSP modes, so I mostly use the 'straight' mode. To make it 'acceptable' I have to tweak the tone (-1 dB treble, +1 db bass) and even then I still miss a lot of bass. The receiver is only feeding these two speakers (back in time I read that it lacks power for multichannel, but can deliver pretty well for 2 channel).

* What I miss is the so-called 'upper bass'. Bass in electronic music is acceptable for the size; but upper bass (i.e. male voices foundation) is low.

* I've been breaking it for 6 days now. As they're used for TV watching as well and I'm on holidays, you can expect about 50 hours now. Highs have become much, much better than when new. Bass has only improved a little bit only.

* I live in The Netherlands and Mission can't be bought here.

I was wondering if a 2x6,5" speaker would fit my room better, that's why I was considering the 3050. I'd love to keep the clarity of the Bronze, so I was also considering the Zensor 7. The seller allows me to return the speakers if I'm not satisfied, but I'd like to be sure that I can find something better out there.
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
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It's always best to hear speakers before buying if you can, some is a matter of taste, you can't just go on reviews. I think maybe your receiver maybe part of the problem. Can you try a Roksan Kandy amp. see if that makes a difference. Did you buy them from a hifi dealer?
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
527
242
19,270
Hi Quality sound requires a synergy between all the equipment and the room, hence you should always listen before purchasing. (If you buy blind or from reviews then you are asking for disappointment)

Put the links back in on the speakers and single wire them, then move the speakers in small steps till you get the best sound you can, after that try re-arranging the furniture or adding rugs, bookshelf’s etc. to tame the room. (Make sure you have nothing solid directly behind where you sit)

Once this is sorted, run the room correction software on your receiver to help reduce any remaining room anomalies. (While the Yamaha room correction software is not brilliant, it is better than nothing at all (Avoid pure direct or similar modes)

NOTE: The interaction of the room and speakers is the most important to get right first, the rest is fine tuning.

If after the above you still cannot get it to sound right, then you will need to go to a dealer to listen to some other combinations.

Bill
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
Don’t be too worried about exact room set ups. Your set up is good and a decent sized room. And the last thing you want to do is go to a dealer and listen there to make decisions, based on how you bought these, but get some amps home on demo.

Id check if the ports have foam bungs and if they do, take them out for added bass.

But if that doesn’t meet your tastes I’d say it’s almost certainly amp matching and your amp. I’d be cautious with roksan and monitor audio judging by the frequent comments about brightness with this pairing. But I’ve heard the smaller monitor audios sound decent with a cyrus lyric with lots of decent power (am not recommending this amp per see, just to say i think you can get what you want). Decent bass accross the board. But I think some receivers are not the best bet for 2 channel audio as they can be thin with bass in my experience eg lesser or cheap onkyo. You want a dedicated 2 channel amp, as much power as you can get of a well known quality brand, and I’d recommend at least one around £750-£1000. Ie double up speakers price, to get best out of the monitor audios.

Id borrow some amps and see if you can get the sound you like, as I’m almost certain you will, within the constraints of what the speakers can do. If you find though amps in this price bracket don’t float your boat with the speakers, then buy new speakers but I’d probably, at that stage, buy both new amp and speakers together. But please always listen to both at home. You’ll be surprised how many dealers lone shop pairs and amps of an evening or weekend etc, when they are shut.
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
219
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Just my 2 cents with my reading experience on this forum ( not my listening experience )

Under powered amps, cause wooly uncontrolled bass. And can't control the bass drivers well, leading to exaggerated bass. Adding more powerful amps, with control the bass better and tame it down. So though bass output drops, it sounds more textured and controlled.

So in my opinion, the Yamaha's low power might not be the culprit. It might just me poor synergy between the both. I would suggest trying a different amp known for bass, like a nad. Before considering different speakers.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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There's no mistery to be solved. They are voiced and built to sell quick off the showroom floor.

They didn't break in, you just got used to them as much as you possibly can, but it's not going to be fulfilling pleasure. You know things are not right.

Don't listen to them for a week and try again, you will see this 'breaking in' will dissapear and their horridness coming back in full.
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
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Yes I think Vlad is right about breaking-in, it's more your ears that are getting used to the sound rather than the speakers breaking in.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
newlash09 said:
Just my 2 cents with my reading experience on this forum ( not my listening experience )

Under powered amps, cause wooly uncontrolled bass. And can't control the bass drivers well, leading to exaggerated bass. Adding more powerful amps, with control the bass better and tame it down. So though bass output drops, it sounds more textured and controlled.

So in my opinion, the Yamaha's low power might not be the culprit. It might just me poor synergy between the both. I would suggest trying a different amp known for bass, like a nad. Before considering different speakers.
id agree with comments on run in. What you hear at outset is essentially what you will always get with slight improvements.

But it’s also different perceptions on what bass does or gives. Low woolly bass might help the situation for more bass, taught controlled bass might give better impression of bass too, it might not depending on tightness of speakers heard in past and what you are used too re wooliness of bass, but the speaker always has a limit of what it can achieve, no matter the amp.
 

Rethep

Well-known member
May 2, 2011
15
0
18,520
As i have heard Monitor Audio sounds rather direct with some emphasis on the treble. It is not that you miss bass, but you could have too much treble.

Try to demo another amp. Creek would be a good combo i think.
 

jimmy1

New member
Nov 5, 2013
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can you set the amp output so it knows they're large speakers, worth a try before spending more, good luck :)
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
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Here's where it all went wrong for you:
xicu said:
I recently ordered a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze 5, based on the excellent reviews
I don't think I've ever known another hobby that sees so many people buying products based purely on someone else's preferences. Don't ever do it. Take advantage of your consumer rights to send them back, rather than try to get used to them or supplement them with another product (subwoofer) in the hope it will cure their ills. Then consider your lesson learned. Afterwards, go listen to some speakers, and if the dealer will let you, bring home the two pairs you most like the sound of in the shop, and choose the pair which sounds the best in your room.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
MajorFubar said:
Here's where it all went wrong for you:
xicu said:
I recently ordered a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze 5, based on the excellent reviews
I don't think I've ever known another hobby that sees so many people buying products based purely on someone else's preferences. Don't ever do it. Take advantage of your consumer rights to send them back, rather than try to get used to them or supplement them with another product (subwoofer) in the hope it will cure their ills. Then consider your lesson learned. Afterwards, go listen to some speakers, and if the dealer will let you, bring home the two pairs you most like the sound of in the shop, and choose the pair which sounds the best in your room.
hang on it hasn’t gone wrong just yet. It may be just a change in amplifier.....
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
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QuestForThe13thNote said:
hang on it hasn’t gone wrong just yet. It may be just a change in amplifier.....
When you change your speakers, but you don't like the sound of them, and hope to cure the issue by changing something else in your system that you were up to that point happy with, you have already wandered deep into 'gone wrong' territory. Don't buy hifi you can't audition first. Or if you really must, make sure there is a returns option if you don't like the sound.

In the UK, what used to be called The Distance Selling Regulations (subsequently subsumed into - and replaced by - The Consumer Contracts Regulations) protect your rights. If OP bought online, he should quickly exercise his right return the speakers before he wastes any more time and money.

When we buy a product unheard with so many great reviews yet we don't like it, we are always troubled with the 'it must be me' syndrome. Why do I not like this product that all the reviewers are telling me is awesome? It must be a problem in another part of my system. It must be my room. Perhaps I just need to go out the back and give myself a good flogging because clearly I don't know how to listen to real hifi. It's none of those things. You just simply don't like them. End of. Send them back.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
The point is he said that he was happy with them in terms of the detail and other areas etc, just the issue with bass, which as people know is often amp dependent. So no rushing to the dealers just yet for me, as he could return them, then go to the dealer and find them sounding good with another amp. The time limits on distance selling regs are strict and i suspect have past. The best thing is to have a word with the same dealer and try and swap them for a more expensive pair, as leverage for the return, if indeed it’s warranted after home borrowing some better amps to see if the speakers measure up. That’s what I’d do.
 

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