Lack of Bass - Help Please

jasonmiddleton

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Oct 16, 2008
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I've had my current set up for about a year and I'm very happy with it, it's just that it lacks bass at the bottom end. What I'd call the top end (higher frequency) bass is there, it's just the bottom (lower frequency bass) is lacking. My room is very small 2m x 4m with a pair of cupboards along the longest side, which my Tannoy F4 Custom's sit each side of. My source is uncompressed media files feeding into a DACMagic via a CA TOSLink cable. The DAC then feeds into an Arcam A28 via a Chord Chameleon Silver Plus. My speaker cable is CA 400 series wired as bi-wired. Several friends of mine who are into HiFi say that the system sounds very good, but agree with me that bass is lacking. The room has a wooden floor with a rug and is suspended over a walkway. Sorry, if this sounds like loads of detail, but some of you might know what the problem is. I know it’s not the Chord Chameleon Silver Plus as I tried six different cables when I set the system up and that gave me the most detail as well as the most bass. I’m thinking of adding a sub but could changing the speaker cable help, or is it simply the room layout or speakers. All help and advice appreciated. Cheers!
 

kevinJ

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Nov 2, 2008
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Have your tried changing the layout of your room?

Move the speakers around and see if it makes a difference.
 

jasonmiddleton

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Oct 16, 2008
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That's a little difficult as the room is also my study and moving things round is difficult. The speakers are right next to the wall so I would have thoughts that they would generate quite a lot of bass. Could the problem be that the room is small so I'm not driving the speakers enough?
 
T

the record spot

Guest
I wouldn't have thought the speakers were the issue; the're good floorstanders and a good size, the Arcam doesn't strike me as bass shy, I wouldn't bother changing cables - IMO a wasted exercise - but the DACMagic is often cited as being very detailed, but equally very clinical and lacking warmth. This might be what's causing you a lack of bass. Is there any way you can try/borrow some others to see if they help?

One or two dealers will do this (Item Audio with their Emotiva XDA-1 - and others - for instance) which might give you a better appreciation of where your problems really lie.
 

jasonmiddleton

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Oct 16, 2008
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I'm having the same problem with both my turntables as well. I've also tried plugging my iPhone into the system and that also seems to lack something. I think you're right about the speakers as I don't think that thy have a reputation for being bass light and they are located next to the wall. Could it be the cupboards they are next to? Would it be possible for them to absorb the lower frequencies and dissipate them. The bass sounds quite heavy downstairs so could that be a possibility? Any structural engineers around who might know if this is possible??
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
jasonmiddleton said:
That's a little difficult as the room is also my study and moving things round is difficult. The speakers are right next to the wall so I would have thoughts that they would generate quite a lot of bass. Could the problem be that the room is small so I'm not driving the speakers enough?
No - My RS6 were driven fine by a 40 watt Arcam. The speakers should generate sufficient bass and Arcams generally are fairly big boned sounding. Try single wiring the speakers. That could have an influence on the bass.
 

jasonmiddleton

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Oct 16, 2008
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I had thought of upgrading the speaker wire and going for a single run of better quality cable rather than bi-wiring them. I remember when I got my Arcam A28, it did sound like it lacked a little bottom end compaired with my 20 year old Sony amp, but it has tons more detail and refinement. What if I add a sub into the mix to add a little to the bottom end?
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Hi Jason

This sounds like the problem I had....in my case, it was caused by the suspended wooden floor. The bass seemed to disappear down though the floor boards into the 4 ft space below.

IMO The solution may lie in isolating the speakers from the floor, rather than connecting them to it (eg. through spikes).

The first thing to try, are some Granite Worktop Savers from the likes of Argos (use spikes into spike shoes - which can be made from 1 pennies). In my case that wasn't enough, and I ended up getting some Auralex Grammas, each of which I placed on 2 Granite Savers and trimmed round with wood.
It was only then that the bass was satisfactory.....it made a huge difference.
 

mbmichael

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Dec 30, 2011
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Hi Jason,

Have you tried changing the spacing between the speakers and the wall? A change in distance from adjacent walls can make a huge difference to the harmonics of the sound.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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Room acoustics maybe? Tok me ages in my old house to find a bass anti-nodal point because it was an L shape there were all kinds of reflections going on that killed the bass in almost all seating positions.
 

jasonmiddleton

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Oct 16, 2008
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Thanks for the advice guys. I've solved the problem in two ways. Firstly I got some old black Victorian bricks from the garden, washed them and then stuck some rubber feet on the bottom of them. I then put two bricks (side by side) under each speaker, with sit on the bricks via spikes. Wow! What a big difference four bricks can make. The sound is much more controlled with a more accurate delivery and a much more taught bass. The stereo image is also much more accurate. I also ordered a Wharfedale 10.sx sub for £129 and put than under a small table next to my listening chair so it provides indirect sound. A little playing around and this gives me the missing lower end punch that I was looking for. Now my whole system sounds like it's never sounded before. And who would have thought that the best audiophile upgrade I've ever made involves washing some old bricks and sticking them under my speakers. Result!
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Glad you got sorted.

Its amazing the difference isolating your speakers from the floor can make.
 

jasonmiddleton

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Oct 16, 2008
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I've now upgraded the speaker cable and it's even better! I'm not going to borther with bi-wire as it sounds very precise now.
 

Richard Allen

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Jan 9, 2010
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jasonmiddleton said:
I've now upgraded the speaker cable and it's even better! I'm not going to borther with bi-wire as it sounds very precise now.
The whole bi-wire thing again. You've just proved that a good quality single wire wins over bi wire. You and many others have said this. I have this conversation with nearly all my customers and What HiFi themselves showed this when they reviewed the Monitor Audio BX2s. Bi wiring was detrimental to the sound.

Great result Jason. So pleased you are happy.:cheer:
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Richard Allen said:
The whole bi-wire thing again. You've just proved that a good quality single wire wins over bi wire. You and many others have said this. I have this conversation with nearly all my customers and What HiFi themselves showed this when they reviewed the Monitor Audio BX2s. Bi wiring was detrimental to the sound.

Great result Jason. So pleased you are happy.:cheer:
Agreed. Just make sure you replace the original "jumpers" with links made of the new wire, or at least something good. Specialist links are available to buy if necessary.
 

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