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Frustration Frustration

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millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
448
190
11,070
Hi everyone,
Over time, i've invested a lot of time and money in my hifi set-up. It's not a high en set-up by any means but it still has a cost for the average joe like myself.
The thing is though that I'm not getting much satisfaction out of it.
I based my initial research on forums, youtube, Whathifi and a listen at the local hifi shop and ended up going for a Cambridge Audio CXA60, CXC and Dynaudio Emit M20 speakers. Although I can see why these are all considers good buys, they don't work for me as a combo. I listen to a lot of bass heavy hip hop and electronic music and this hifi system doesn't give me my fix.
I've since got lost in the reviews and discussions about what to do..Should I replace the amp with a warmer, deeper sounding one? Should I switch the speakers because they're too bright? So many questions and every day I get lost in all the different solutions available. Thing i don't want to do, is spend some more dosh and end up getting a similar result.
I'm thinking the speakers are probably the main cause here and i've been looking at the KEF Q350s and the B&W 607s to replace them but will this help?
I also thought about swapping the amp for an IOTAVX SA3 or the DENON PMA 600NE but that could be the second step of my journey.
All thoughts are welcome :)

This is why auditions are important and reviews arn't, they could review really well and have none of the virtues you're looking for! If that's the case it matters not a jot what the reviewer has to say.

The biggest mistake you're making is expecting small speakers to produce bass that you're thinking about, you have to be realistic, BUT then you're looking at small speakers again, the same mistake! I'm going to sound like a right grandad here and i'm not LOL im only 35 but they don't make any budget speakers today that produce what i call BASS sub 30hz without a subwoofer. If you want bass you need to go back 20 years its a different sound today, its a more refined sound, cleaner and leaner. Im talking about speakers that can deliver prodigy's thier law and poison and have your head shaking, that can deliver leftfields swords and or DJ shadows 3 ralphs and have bass that you can feel in your chest with just the speakers and no subwoofer!. There is nothing like that today south of 300 quid.

Your amp will be fine change one thing at a time! but if i where to change it be for NAD, Rotel and Yamaha, they really can deliver bass, they will P@SS on everything elese in this regard.

Speaker wise second hand is going to be your friend! BASSSSSSSS and mission go together like peanut butter on toast 20 years ago, models such as 701's 702 but especially 703's loud and brash and unapologetically so. 700 series loved Yamaha! if you want newer that would be the M7 series so m73 m74 both floor standers. this series loved NAD, I had the NAD320bee paired with M74's/74i's after this mission were starting to loose there way

B&W lookout for 603s1 and s3 I've never heard bass like it in all honesty just too dear for me back in the day. If you want bass you'll happy but they are still plenty refined.

Sorry, there all pretty much floorstanders but if you have your speakers on stands what's the difference!?

BUT you could always add another box and get a subwoofer look out for secondhand Velodyns but they still command high prices

You'll get comments like you cant return secondhand speakers, some of these ive mentioned cost 50 quid it hardly breaking the bank and you can always put them back up for sale and make no loss.

Thats my advice take it or leave it but trust me, speakers, you're looking for died out 15-20 years ago
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
798
130
19,070
Buchardt s400 can play bass.

I do like bass, i would rather go for the quality than the amoung of bass or the ultimate depth, i mean how many rock,pop,jazz songs have bass under 40hz, why strive to get bass under 40hz let alone 30hz, when you need alot more wattage to get good deep,clean and loud bass (i will spare you from a video), can your room handle it, for bass under 30-40 hz to be perfect you need a very big room, something physical with the lenght of the room equal something times x+y....... if the speakers are close to the wall the are playing towards the bass will reflect of that wall, mabye even make it boomy,muddy
 
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millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
448
190
11,070
Buchardt s400 can play bass.

I do like bass, i would rather go for the quality than the amoung of bass or the ultimate depth, i mean how many rock,pop,jazz songs have bass under 40hz, why strive to get bass under 40hz let alone 30hz, when you need alot more wattage to get good deep,clean and loud bass (i will spare you from a video), can your room handle it, for bass under 30-40 hz to be perfect you need a very big room, something physical with the lenght of the room equal something times x+y....... if the speakers are close to the wall the are playing towards the bass will reflect of that wall, mabye even make it boomy,muddy
In all honesty, if the OP was like me back in the day and it sounds like he is then the best sounding system isn't necessarily on top of agenda but dynamics and quantity certainly were sound quality was a plus just so happened it did sound good, different strokes for different folks and all that.

And i agree the Buchardt can play bass but fall well outside the budget, the speakers the OP listed are what? 3-400. s400 are what 1700? and that's the difference and what you pay for great engineering that can preform like floor standers. But they have their limits there still small speakers.

You don't need a big room but you need a solid room and luck you can take it is a different story, there's a lot of technical jargon in your reply wave length reverb and whatnot, I didn't care I just wanted to have fun at the time. In a 7-10 foot room, you will happily get under 30hz and with some clever placement of soft furnishings reverb is controllable. I have no idea of the OP room space.

Basically, Small budget speakers mean no bass (weak) and that's what your all suggesting the OP has clearly stated he wants more. IF you want more bass its either bigger bolder speakers or another separate box and 20 years ago the sound is a lot different today its a leaner sound today it was fuller and fatter back in the day.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
798
130
19,070
Mackie MR824 (not in stock), Kali Audio LP-8,krk Rokit RP8 g3/g4 (used or new), Adam T8v, Yamaha HS8.

All should play above 110db, all play down to under 40hz, all sound good,all should be able to be adjusted so the bass suits the room or the prefered level above the midrange and highs

Alle cost from £350 to 500 without shipping for a pair at thomann.de, i don't know OP's budget and if it's in euros,pounds or dollars
 

TK421

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2020
36
4
45
I was looking at the ELAC Debut 6.2s with a front port (even thought they're a step down from the M20s) but i noticed that the Nominal Impedance is 6 Ohms whereas my Cambridge CXA60 has a power output of 60W into 8 Ohms and 80W into 4 Ohms.

A. What does this mean?
B. Is it an issue for me if I buy the speakers?
 

kukulec

Well-known member
Jan 25, 2015
42
8
10,545
Hey. I heard the CXA60 with floorstanders, and it is everything but bass shy. Do not expect from standmounts the same bass performance. However, you can buy easier to drive speakers. The mentioned Elac is a good idea, although it will be less refined than the M20. A stronger amplifier could help also, but would have less impact. Anyway, that is the issue of Dynaudios, that they need very good amplification to sound good.
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
219
42
10,820
Hi everyone,
Over time, i've invested a lot of time and money in my hifi set-up. It's not a high en set-up by any means but it still has a cost for the average joe like myself.
The thing is though that I'm not getting much satisfaction out of it.
I based my initial research on forums, youtube, Whathifi and a listen at the local hifi shop and ended up going for a Cambridge Audio CXA60, CXC and Dynaudio Emit M20 speakers. Although I can see why these are all considers good buys, they don't work for me as a combo. I listen to a lot of bass heavy hip hop and electronic music and this hifi system doesn't give me my fix.
I've since got lost in the reviews and discussions about what to do..Should I replace the amp with a warmer, deeper sounding one? Should I switch the speakers because they're too bright? So many questions and every day I get lost in all the different solutions available. Thing i don't want to do, is spend some more dosh and end up getting a similar result.
I'm thinking the speakers are probably the main cause here and i've been looking at the KEF Q350s and the B&W 607s to replace them but will this help?
I also thought about swapping the amp for an IOTAVX SA3 or the DENON PMA 600NE but that could be the second step of my journey.
All thoughts are welcome :)
Hi sir :)

The dynaudios are very revealing speakers. And the Cambridge could easily be provoked into sounding bright. Iam not one to sing the praises of cables. But in this particular case, I would really advocate trying out speaker cables from transparent music links stable. They really sorted out ragged and bright treble from my chain.
 

TK421

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2020
36
4
45
I was looking at the ELAC Debut 6.2s with a front port (even thought they're a step down from the M20s) but i noticed that the Nominal Impedance is 6 Ohms whereas my Cambridge CXA60 has a power output of 60W into 8 Ohms and 80W into 4 Ohms.

A. What does this mean?
B. Is it an issue for me if I buy the speakers?
Any info on this? Thanks
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
786
490
11,270
The lower the impedance, the less there is for the amp to 'push' against - but this isn't a fixed figure - it will vary for a given speaker depending upon where you are in the frequency range. A speaker with low impedance and low sensitivity (the Elacs seem to be 87dB w/m, which isn't particularly sensitive) mean that generally speaking, higher power might be necessary to get the best, particularly if you want volume. But in of itself, impedance means little and a mismatch between amp and speaker isn't an issue.

A 'perfect' amplifier will double its power output into a halved impedance, but few match this ideal behaviour - if the CA did, its output would double from 60 to 120w if impedance halved from 8 to 4 ohms.

That said, the Dynaudios are an even tougher drive, so if volume isn't the issue with them, it shouldn't be with the Elacs. Them being considerably cheaper could be, though. Will you be able to audition soon?

Can you describe any better what it is about the sound you have that you don't like? Does the bass seem to thin and weedy, too bloated and not taut, for example? Does what you have go loud enough even though you don't care for the sound?
 
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TK421

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2020
36
4
45
The lower the impedance, the less there is for the amp to 'push' against - but this isn't a fixed figure - it will vary fr a given speaker depending upon where you are in the frequency range. A speaker with low impedance and low sensitivity (the Elacs seem to be 87dB w/m, which isn't particularly sensitive) mean that generally speaking, higher power might be necessary to get the best, particularly if you want volume. But in of itself, impedance means little and a mismatch between amp and speaker isn't an issue.

Tat said, the Dynaudios are an even tougher drive, so if volume isn't the issue with them, it shouldn't be with the Elacs. Them being considerably cheaper could be, though. Will you be able to audition soon?
I've ordered the Elacs off Amazon and should be getting them soon. I'm curious to see if they'll make any difference at all...but I'm dubious. Worth trying out a front port speaker though.
I almost bought a pair of KEF 300s from a neighbour but he's had them for three years so i thought better of it.
 

TK421

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2020
36
4
45
Speakers last if not abused - I'd have been keen to at least hook them up and see how it sounded.
I had to make a choice. If the ELACS don't do it for me, I'll send them back and then maybe check out the KEFs
I wouldn't mind spending more and getting some top notch speakers but I'd be in the same position and i can't really afford to be ordering expensive gear and swapping it around...
 

TK421

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2020
36
4
45
I received the Elacs this morning. Very well built and a pretty elegant looking speaker (better looking than the photos I'd seen) but right off the bat, I could tell that the aren't as dynamic as the Emit M20s..The front port doesn't seem to change much bass wise but it's early doors. This might grow on me and develop over time but generally it's a less defined sound all round.
I'm thinking unless I go for speakers worth a grand, the differences are going to minimal.
However I do now think that a different amp might be the solution. The Denon PMA seems to have a warmer edge to it and this might help the Dynaudios perform more to my liking. Whatsmore, the 800NE is currently being sold for cheaper than the 600NE. Is it worth going for the more powerful amp given the price differences?
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
786
490
11,270
I fear that's as much a consequence of them being further down the food chain as anything else. A pity, as my first experience of kit is seldom changed much with familiarity.

Two suggestions:

- Borrow those KEFs - you've nothing to lose.
- Try to describe what's wrong with the bass - I don't really understand what your problem is (or how you want it to sound but feel you aren't getting) - without that you might end up flailing about (wasting time, energy and possibly money) without reaching a happy conclusion.
 
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TK421

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2020
36
4
45
I fear that's as much a consequence of them being further down the food chain as anything else. A pity, as my first experience of kit is seldom changed much with familiarity.

Two suggestions:

- Borrow those KEFs - you've nothing to lose.
- Try to describe what's wrong with the bass - I don't really understand what your problem is (or how you want it to sound but feel you aren't getting) - without that you might end up flailing about (wasting time, energy and possibly money) without reaching a happy conclusion.
I like a penetrating, vibrating bass rather than the thumping bass that I’m getting right now. I listen to a lot of hip hop and electronic music and the warmth and full bodied bass of that type of music isn’t apparent with current set-up. It all feels too bright and analytical and would probably be more suited to opera or soft rock...which is what I suspect the designers actually listen to themselves. I can just imagine the folks at Cambridge audio listening to early Genesis or a live version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall (I say this with humor before anybody berates me - I like that stuff too).
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
786
490
11,270
If you are meaning taut and deep (and what you have is a bit boomy and overblown), will you try it with the Dynaudios unbunged and out in free space? I know you can't leave them there, but it might help in choosing a direction.
 

12oner

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2020
59
11
45
Hey bud, I've had a flick through most of the comments (not all) I don't believe anyone has advised the Elac Debut Reference's (DBR62)? I saw you were contemplating the 'Debut 2.0 B6.2' which I agree are prob a step down from the M20's, but the Debut Reference's will be much closer in overall quality.

I had the DBR62's in a similar space like you, on top of a build-in cabinet, about 20cm from the rear wall. They have a front firing port and gave much cleaner bass than rear ported speakers I've tried. They are also voiced with some warmth in the bass region, which I believe is what you're after.

You mentioned you like 'penetrating, vibrating bass', which to be honest I don't think you'll get delivered cleanly in your space, but I think the DBR62's will provide some pretty reasonable heft and added warmth.

You can grab them on Ebay for £400 or under, don't think you'd lose any money if you sold your M20's in their place.

I listen to hip hop, Aphex, whole bunch of stuff and I liked them. My 2 cents.

Nice Van Gogh avatar by the way.
 

12oner

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2020
59
11
45
I'm wondering if 'penetrating, vibrating' bass means the sort that you can feel in your chest at highish volumes. If so, standmounters are not going to deliver.
I just think realistically you're not going to get that sort of bass in that space, no? And @TK421 if you mean Kef R300, that will be a bad choice, i literally did the same and that space will starve them of their performance. The bass will be boomy and the whole speaker restrained. Also you'll need a better amp to drive them.
 

TK421

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2020
36
4
45
I just think realistically you're not going to get that sort of bass in that space, no? And @TK421 if you mean Kef R300, that will be a bad choice, i literally did the same and that space will starve them of their performance. The bass will be boomy and the whole speaker restrained. Also you'll need a better amp to drive them.
I mean the Q300 that are front ported...Thanks
 

TK421

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2020
36
4
45
Are the Q300s a range equivalent of the Emit M20s? They seem to be price wise but what about performance? They seem pretty similar but the Q300 has a front port..
 

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