Faulty speakers?

ruskiru

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Nov 22, 2011
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A few months ago I bought a pair of new Wharfedale 9.1 speakers and NAD C316BEE amp to connect to my laptop. The sound has never been great, but I put that down to a cheap DAC. I recently upgraded the DAC to a Kingrex UD-01 Pro and there’s not much improvement. When I turn up the volume, the sound remains unfocussed, thin, doesn’t fill the speakers and has a strident/harsh upper midrange that gives me a headache after 30 mins. There’s no detail in the midrange and horrible sibilance on vocals. Bass response is not great and the sound in general has little power behind it. These are small speakers in a big room, but nevertheless, I’d expect something at least passable. In general, it’s impossible to listen to.

I think there’s something wrong with the speakers. I connected them to a cheap music centre, and while they sound a little less harsh, most of the other qualities remain. Flat, uninvolving and don’t fill the speaker when the volume’s increased. The cheap speakers from the music centre sound great when connected to the NAD J Also, the Kingrex sounds good when I connect a pair of cheap headphones to the NAD.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I probably just have to buy a new set of 9.1s and hope for the best. I’m just afraid to waste money and end up with exactly the same problem as I can’t rule out the amp being part of the problem. Any ideas how to troubleshoot this would be much appreciated.
 

Big Chris

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I'd be loathe to buy another pair of 9.1s if you've never particularly been a fan. The Q Acoustics 2020i might be a better bet.

Try to demo some speakers before parting with your cash, even if it means taking your amp along to your local dealer.
 

ruskiru

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Thanks for the replies. In the end I bought another pair of 9.1s and after 20-30 hrs of burn in, the difference is night and day. I can hear the bass drum kick, the mids are detailed and clear, and the stereo image stable. Who knows what was up with the last pair, but I suspect that I was sold a pair of already used and abused speakers, especially as no guarantee card was supplied. Buyer beware and trust your ears.
 

ruskiru

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I think 4 months down the line, it's unlikely I'm going to get my money back. Also I noticed there was no guarantee card included with the first set of speakers, which is suspicious. I'll will give it a go though.
 
A

Anonymous

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ruskiru said:
I think 4 months down the line, it's unlikely I'm going to get my money back. Also I noticed there was no guarantee card included with the first set of speakers, which is suspicious. I'll will give it a go though.

You don't need guarantee card. Have you a receipt?
 

ruskiru

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Yes I do. However, I should point out that I'm dealing with a dealer in Russia, so all normal rules of reasonable behaviour go out the window. Unless I can prove that there's something wrong them and that I didn't damage them myself, which is virtually impossible, I think the chances of getting my money back are nada. Under Russian consumer law, you have 14 days to return a product you're not satisfied with, and that was my only chance. Sigh ((
 
A

Anonymous

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ruskiru said:
Yes I do. However, I should point out that I'm dealing with a dealer in Russia, so all normal rules of reasonable behaviour go out the window. Unless I can prove that there's something wrong them and that I didn't damage them myself, which is virtually impossible, I think the chances of getting my money back are nada. Under Russian consumer law, you have 14 days to return a product you're not satisfied with, and that was my only chance. Sigh ((

Ah, bummer. I would never order outside the EU personally :) Not that that helps! :)

Have you opened them up and checked the wiring? Or tried them out of phase?
 

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