Inherited Rotel RA-02, RCD02 & BW DM 602s3, but need more bass

Binman

Well-known member
Aug 22, 2008
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Hello all, first time poster so sorry if I fall foul of any forum ettiquette....

I have inherited the above system, apparently it was a recommended system in what hifi a few years ago. All of the components are in A1 condition and its all set up with half decent leads and stands.

Having read reviews on the speakers (and by the sheer size of them), they shouldn't be lacking in bass. However, when I listen to bass heavy tracks, the low end of the bass is not reallly there - you have to really try and listen out for it, and when it is, it seems to lack any sort of punch. I get the same result when listening to lossless files via my Squeezebox.

Does anyone think that the amplifier is a little underpowered for the speakers? Or does the problem lie with the speakers?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Those speakers do have a pretty low sensitivity, so are hard to drive (like most older B&W speakers) and coupled with the Rotel with a power output of 40W I'd say you've certainly identified a problem.

I used to have a RA-04 driving a pair of B&W 685's which is basically the newer version of your set up and it seemed to work fine, so it could be an indication of how technology has improved.ÿ
 

Binman

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Aug 22, 2008
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Yes, I did notice that the BW's were quite hard to drive.

I am thinking of the cheapest solution to the problem. I do like the look of the system (and its been given the thumbs up by my girlfriend!).

Has anyone got any views on the Rotel RB-03 power amp? This would up the power to 75W per channel and I could use the RA-02 as the pre-amp, or I could ditch the amp and get a new more powerful one.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
This would definitely improve it, provided power is the problem. If you like the way the RA-02 sounds apart from the lacking of bass there is no reason to stray from Rotel as they are generally a good pairing with B&W. How much have you found the RB-03 for (if you don't mind me asking!)?
 

Binman

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Aug 22, 2008
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Yes I am generally happy with the rest of the performance of the system - I also have a turntable, so am greatfull for the internal phono stage on the RA02.

I haven't found a RB-03 yet so can't give a price. I can't see it being worth too much more than £100 though. If it doesn't fix the problem I can always sell it on again.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Just spotted there is one on ebay ...

http://shop.ebay.co.uk/?_from=R40&_trksid=m38.l1313&_nkw=Rotel+RB-03ÿ
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The RB-03 isn't short of low end welly so it should prove to be a good move. Depending on what suits, the RA-03 will give you the same result but with less boxes.

Another considerations is speaker placement. If you can move them closer to a wall you will reinforce the low end output somewhat.

There's always a sub...(runs away)
 

Big Chris

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Apr 3, 2008
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Octopo:
Those speakers do have a pretty low sensitivity, so are hard to drive (like most older B&W speakers) and coupled with the Rotel with a power output of 40W I'd say you've certainly identified a problem.

I used to have a RA-04 driving a pair of B&W 685's which is basically the newer version of your set up and it seemed to work fine, so it could be an indication of how technology has improved.ÿ

90db/w/m low sensitivity!?!? Not where I come from it ain't.

????

Van Den Hul 'The Bay' interconnects also give a warmer than neutral tone to the sound, you might want to try a pair.
 

Binman

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Aug 22, 2008
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I thought about a sub, but then decided against it.

I've tried speaker placement, but it just isn't making too much difference apart from making the bass that is already there boom a little.

I've put a bid on the ebay item - thanks for that, fingers crossed it stays at 99p....

Hopefully the power amp will sort things out for me, if not i guess i'll have a power amp for sale quite soon.

Also - thanks for the quick replies guys - have you no work to do or something!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I didn't have the figures to hand, just going on experience, and they do need plenty of power.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Binman:
Also - thanks for the quick replies guys - have you no work to do or something!

You'd be amazed what creatures of the night be lurking 'ere...ÿ
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I'm 602s3 user.... and getting enough bass from it, especially after replace the interconnect with Siltech SQ-28G5.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I have the DM 602's too, though older S2 model, pretty the same speakers anyway. With their 90 dB sensitivity, I don't think they are such demanding partners... They are coupled with 45+45 watt Marantz PM 6002 and they surely don't lack bass.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
What speaker stands do you have?

Decent sand filled ones can make a big difference to the bass response.
 

tounra

New member
Sep 25, 2007
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If an amp is underpowered it would be more likely that it cannot control the bass and therefore you would get too much, loose and flabby bass.
The Rotel RA-02 shouldn't have any trouble driving the B&W's but I think Rotel's bass delivery is rather tight, arguably a bit lean.
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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Why decide against a sub? If you like what your amp does in terms of tonality and everything else but the bass adding a sub can work wonders and even be cheaper than an amplifier change. Have a look at ebay, a regular listing is for ruark vita, a little subwoofer which is incidentally the same as MJ Acoustics Pro 50 of a few years ago. A tiny thing with modest power but better with music than many newer powerful subs. I think it costs a ton or so. Worth a pun.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Subs work guv, honest. Get the best you can afford and you won't be disappointed.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Just to reiterate: I think decent stands filled with sand will do wonders.
 

Binman

Well-known member
Aug 22, 2008
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The stands I have are made by Alphason, filled with sand, very heavy, on spikes on a concete floor.

Re the subwoofer :- I may see if I can borrow one. I am guessing a small one would be better suited to music, say one with a 8" woofer.

I may try to borrow another amplifier with more power to see if thats the issue. My dad has a Sony TA940 and I can probably get hold of a Cambridge Audio Azur 640 to try.
 

Binman

Well-known member
Aug 22, 2008
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tounra: but I think Rotel's bass delivery is rather tight, arguably a bit lean.

This certainly sounds like the case. At low volumes the bass is so 'lean' I can't really enjoy the music.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The 602 S3 shouldnt have a weak bass, it might also not necessarily be the amp as Rotel amp is a high curret design despite the modest power rating. Are you listening at the correct distance...too near or too big a room might make the bass seem weak...

My RA-1062 drove my ATC to very lively levels with taut and well-defined bass lines at a modest 60W pc....And those ATCs were using Super Linear magnet with 9kg motor system for the midbass driver.

Your 602 S3 at 90dB/m/W shouldnt be weak in the bass, try relocating it around the room...put the speakers along the long wall if your room is rectangular (avoid the shorter wall).

Cheers
 
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Anonymous

Guest
tounra:If an amp is underpowered it would be more likely that it cannot control the bass and therefore you would get too much, loose and flabby bass.
The Rotel RA-02 shouldn't have any trouble driving the B&W's but I think Rotel's bass delivery is rather tight, arguably a bit lean.

True. Also, agree with BigChris, the s3's are not difficult to drive at all, even with 40w ( I had the NAD c340 (40w/channel) driving these 602s3s, and they did so with ease, with shed loads of bass. In fact the bass was awesome for the price of the kit. I'd say it was the amp character that's responsible, rather than the power output. Adding a power amp will help with the bass delivery (should sound cleaner, more tightly controlled) and give you more quality at volume but not 'big up' the bass specifically. I don't know, maybe a sub is the answer in this case....?
 

Binman

Well-known member
Aug 22, 2008
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18,540
Thanks all for your replies. I have been constantly listening to the system over the weekend trying different speaker positions etc.. Things have got a little better, and I guess my ears are getting used to the way the system sounds.
 

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