Question My system is light on bass. Any suggestions?

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Having heard the 603 with some little Q Acoustic speakers it sounded cracking. If you're happy with the digital sound, then it could just be the phono stage built-in to the turntable - it is very much a budget table.

Agree with the others, bi-wiring isn't necessary - it could be detrimental to the sound. I've only had single wire, having experimented with with bi-wiring and found it sounded worse
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Well-known member
Feb 21, 2015
Marantz MCR-603 Music Centre/Receiver
Mordaunt Short 904 speakers (20 years old) with QED bi-wire cable (actually bi-amped and yes I've checked polarity)
Pro-Ject Primary E Phono Turntable with original Ortofon OM nn cartridge and stock sperical stylus.

Clearly this isnt a high end system, but I'm disappointed with the sound, especially when playing vinyls. My age old Rotel (long since departed), Castle Accoustics speakers and Pioneer PL12D with Shure M75E cartridge seemed far better.

I play FLAC's (at CD quality) that are actually far better than vinyl in terms of how engaging the music is. I listen to a wide range from Blues, Rock, Jazz and Classical. FM/DAB radio is also better than the turntable can reproduce.

I've often thought that the speakers arent the best. The treble can be harsh at times and the bass has never been that good. I've tried most things, speaker placement, different cables etc. Turning the bass up on the amplifier a tad helps, but it can get very boomy if I go too far. The room is around 5x 5meters and is fully furnished.

Does anyone have any thgoughts? Should I spend around £100 and upgrade the stylus to an OM20 maybe? Or what about some new speakers? Budget would be about £500.
Is the QED cable that you are using called the QED silver anniversary ?. If so they sound lean in nature. Try changing to thick copper cables first like the Van Damme 6mm squared before changing your components


Active member
Sep 14, 2022
Is the QED cable that you are using called the QED silver anniversary ?. If so they sound lean in nature. Try changing to thick copper cables first like the Van Damme 6mm squared before changing your components

Hi Zakhele, My speaker cable is QED XT25 Bi-Wire. I changed from some generic 14 gauge copper pair with jumers a couple of years ago in an attempt to improve things. I didnt notice any difference.............................


Active member
Sep 14, 2022
Welcome to the forum.
Definitely have a look at the cartridge and that's a big room for those speakers.

I bought an Analogis Black Diamond nude eliptical stylus from Mr Stylus (about £40 inc postage from Switzerland) and noticed an immediate improvement. The bass is slightly cleaner and the soundstage is far more engaging. I really didnt expect much of an improvement.


Well-known member
Feb 11, 2021
If you are willing to spend 500 for upgrades, see my post about a £1000 system (it's actually less than that). There are other combinations that, depending on your preferences may be a substantial upgrade to what you are using.

Your issues are probably threefold. A combination of a small amplifier and perhaps slightly too inexpensive and compromised speakers.

Then there is your room which could either enhance or kill bass. Walk around and listen if you can get strong bass in any other parts of the room from where you normally sit. If yes, perhaps you can re-arrange.

Square rooms are a PITA to get sounding good by the way. I hope you don't have one of these.

Another option is to add a sub but I'd sort the basics out first if it was my money.

I personally wouldn't spend on a cartridge upgrade just yet either. The rest of the system as is may not be able to benefit fully.


Well-known member
May 18, 2015
I had MShort speakers of that age from new - they had no bass - so without question IMO your huge gain will be to get some other speakers. Everything else may improve this or define that, but the sound you are looking for is not obtainable from those old MShorts.

Either get a load of new ones in to demo in your room, or take a punt on some 2nd hand but very popular make/models - they will be easy to sell on at little or no loss if they don't work for you in your setup, and of course 2nd hand you'll be getting something several steps up over new for the same money.


Well-known member
May 30, 2015
Before you spend anything, try moving your speakers around a little. Nearer the wall, adjust toe-in, a few inches either way in how and where you have your speakers can make huge differences to the sound you hear.
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