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New hifi system : the great deception

Rutherberg

New member
Sep 13, 2016
1
0
0
Hi,

I'm new in the hi-fi game, I'm guitarist for 10 years and I have a lot of experience in instrument amplification but none in hi-fi.

Rencently, I bought a pair of Klipsch RB-81 MKII. Klipsch is renowned for its direct sound and punch. I listen essentially heavy metal ( *PARDON* ) so I thought it will do the trick. I know some heavy metal records aren't well mixed so I selected the deemed good ones to test the system.

Once connected, it was disappointing : the "in your face" feel is there (not especially in a good way though), the battery kicks and snare, the voice, the lead guitar, the bass guitar are overly present. The mediums/high mediums are clearly over the rest. It worsen when the volume increase. Ears fatigue comes quickly.

But the rhythm guitar feels really at the back and covered by all the rest, no growl in the riffs, the palm mutes have no punch... However rhythm guitar is probably the most important in this kind of music so it is a real problem. Same problem with piano, lack of growl in the low notes, sounds tiny !

I listened for more than 100 hours so break up is probably done, it is obviously better than in the beginning. I tried different amplifiers : Sonos Connect:AMP, an old Sansui re-caped and a Sony F670ES.

The Sony is less present in the mids and is generous in bass (and overall less defined) so it tame a little the aggressiveness of the Klipsch, but still not close to be fun to listen to.

Sources : Raspberry Pi 2 with Hifi DAC module and Yamaha CD-N301

Room : about 30m², with roof slope ( 1,5m to 5m)

My idea was to try B&W 685 S2 and Q Acoustics 3050, what do you think ?

I am really puzzled, frustrated and disappointed so any other suggestions under 1000€ is welcome.

Thanks ! *good*
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
181
61
18,670
Welcome to the forum. Based upon the review of your speakers here:-

http://www.whathifi.com/klipsch/rb-81/review

...they should be fine. I'm afraid that the amps you list are likely to be far too gutless for your needs. Can you audition your speakers with a new amplifier (at a dealer or friend), and maybe with a CD, to ensure there isn't something lacking with your computer set-up?
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
Rutherberg said:
Hi,

I'm new in the hi-fi game, I'm guitarist for 10 years and I have a lot of experience in instrument amplification but none in hi-fi.

Rencently, I bought a pair of Klipsch RB-81 MKII. Klipsch is renowned for its direct sound and punch. I listen essentially heavy metal ( *PARDON* ) so I thought it will do the trick. I know some heavy metal records aren't well mixed so I selected the deemed good ones to test the system.

Once connected, it was disappointing : the "in your face" feel is there (not especially in a good way though), the battery kicks and snare, the voice, the lead guitar, the bass guitar are overly present. The mediums/high mediums are clearly over the rest. It worsen when the volume increase. Ears fatigue comes quickly.

But the rhythm guitar feels really at the back and covered by all the rest, no growl in the riffs, the palm mutes have no punch... However rhythm guitar is probably the most important in this kind of music so it is a real problem. Same problem with piano, lack of growl in the low notes, sounds tiny !

I listened for more than 100 hours so break up is probably done, it is obviously better than in the beginning. I tried different amplifiers : Sonos Connect:AMP, an old Sansui re-caped and a Sony F670ES.

The Sony is less present in the mids and is generous in bass (and overall less defined) so it tame a little the aggressiveness of the Klipsch, but still not close to be fun to listen to.

Sources : Raspberry Pi 2 with Hifi DAC module and Yamaha CD-N301

Room : about 30m², with roof slope ( 1,5m to 5m)

My idea was to try B&W 685 S2 and Q Acoustics 3050, what do you think ?

I am really puzzled, frustrated and disappointed so any other suggestions under 1000€ is welcome.

Thanks ! *good*
Hi Rutherberg. Hardly the great deception. You just don't like the sound of the Kilpsch you have bought. they are not exactly renowned for neutrality so I struggle to imagine what you were expecting? If you come from a recording/live music background then you might want to try active studio monitors which incorporate their own amps (and sometimes DACs). If a home "hifi" is your aesthetic desire then try some ATC or PMC speakers. I would go with PMC because they go lower and may suit your musical taste better. You would however have to buy second hand to get their "hifi" range within your price range, or you could buy the (almost) identical speaker from PMC in their Professional" range for far less, but without the pretty wood veneer and fabric grilles.
 

Rutherberg

New member
Sep 13, 2016
1
0
0
nopiano said:
Welcome to the forum. Based upon the review of your speakers here:-

http://www.whathifi.com/klipsch/rb-81/review

...they should be fine. I'm afraid that the amps you list are likely to be far too gutless for your needs. Can you audition your speakers with a new amplifier (at a dealer or friend), and maybe with a CD, to ensure there isn't something lacking with your computer set-up?
Thanks ! I read this review, and it was indeed tempting.

What do you mean by "gutless" ? About power or in general ? What would you recommend considering the wild temperament of the Klipsch ?

nopiano said:
Hi Rutherberg. Hardly the great deception. You just don't like the sound of the Kilpsch you have bought. they are not exactly renowned for neutrality so I struggle to imagine what you were expecting? If you come from a recording/live music background then you might want to try active studio monitors which incorporate their own amps (and sometimes DACs). If a home "hifi" is your aesthetic desire then try some ATC or PMC speakers. I would go with PMC because they go lower and may suit your musical taste better. You would however have to buy second hand to get their "hifi" range within your price range, or you could buy the (almost) identical speaker from PMC in their Professional" range for far less, but without the pretty wood veneer and fabric grilles.
Hi, sorry, it was a bit theatrical ! Deception isn't the good word, translation error, in french it means disappointment.

Rightly, I didn't know what to expect as I'm new, and seeing that there is no hifi dealer close to my place, impossible to listen to it so I read the reviews. I bought it at http://www.son-video.com/ , I called them before and they told me the Klipsch would fit my needs.

I will check the PMC, thanks !

I don't know if I search for a really "hifi" system. I would like to have a system that is beefy and fun to listen to
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
Klipsch. Right brand, wrong model.

Rutherberg, go back to your dealer and ask to listen to their Klipschorns and Scalas. If you like them buy a pair 2nd hand. Or buy something from the same genre (2nd hand) from JBL, Altec, EV.

Your Sony 670ES is a good amp. Well worth keeping. What model of Sansui have you got? They made some really good amps too.
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
2
18,545
Rutherberg said:
Hi,

I'm new in the hi-fi game, I'm guitarist for 10 years and I have a lot of experience in instrument amplification but none in hi-fi.

Rencently, I bought a pair of Klipsch RB-81 MKII. Klipsch is renowned for its direct sound and punch. I listen essentially heavy metal ( *PARDON* ) so I thought it will do the trick. I know some heavy metal records aren't well mixed so I selected the deemed good ones to test the system.

Once connected, it was disappointing : the "in your face" feel is there (not especially in a good way though), the battery kicks and snare, the voice, the lead guitar, the bass guitar are overly present. The mediums/high mediums are clearly over the rest. It worsen when the volume increase. Ears fatigue comes quickly.

But the rhythm guitar feels really at the back and covered by all the rest, no growl in the riffs, the palm mutes have no punch... However rhythm guitar is probably the most important in this kind of music so it is a real problem. Same problem with piano, lack of growl in the low notes, sounds tiny !

I listened for more than 100 hours so break up is probably done, it is obviously better than in the beginning. I tried different amplifiers : Sonos Connect:AMP, an old Sansui re-caped and a Sony F670ES.

The Sony is less present in the mids and is generous in bass (and overall less defined) so it tame a little the aggressiveness of the Klipsch, but still not close to be fun to listen to.

Sources : Raspberry Pi 2 with Hifi DAC module and Yamaha CD-N301

Room : about 30m², with roof slope ( 1,5m to 5m)

My idea was to try B&W 685 S2 and Q Acoustics 3050, what do you think ?

I am really puzzled, frustrated and disappointed so any other suggestions under 1000€ is welcome.

Thanks ! *good*
If I was in your position I would either keep the Klipsch RB-81 MKII and add an amp that can grip them by the b@lls and add ultimate control increasing depth punch and clarity even at high volumes.

The amp that springs to mind ( no suprises here *smile* ) is the Abrahamsen V2.0 UP, it has a huge power supply and massive current delivery that allows for a very good transient performance, the music will not turn to mush at high volumes, it will retain separation, punch, and dynamics all at the same time.

http://www.iqspeakers.co.uk/abrahamsen-v20up-intergrated-amplifier?gclid=CJfq-7nu9MgCFSoEwwodtMEDOQ

Or you could sell your speakers and buy these Even Opal active speakers for £1895 a pair.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Event-Opal-Active-Studio-Monitors-pair-B-Stock-Excellent-Condition-/182270270375?hash=item2a70279ba7:g:FVMAAOSwgmJXzrOf

Of the two options with your taste in music I would probably opt for the event opals but it would probably be close and either option should satisfy.

Contact IQ speakers or check out the seller on ebay for more details.

Actually a third option would be one of IQ speakers Nord class D amps, loads of power and control for very little money.

http://www.iqspeakers.co.uk/hypex-amps?gclid=CJfq-7nu9MgCFSoEwwodtMEDOQ
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
267
60
10,970
Well I like heavy metal and I understand what your saying about electric guitar sounds on a Hifi .

I've played an electric guitar myself so get what you are saying but personally heavy metal music is not the best record music in the world but there are some albums that are not to bad on the quality front like over kill early albums , manowar are good testers .

i found with this kind of music you need some grunt on the amp front and some big floorstanding speakers it took me some time and money until I found what worked with this kind of music . I've used the 2up abe amp and it is good but found that Yamaha amps are good for this kind of music like the Yamaha S-3000 ,S-2100 , and they have just brought out a new one S-800 I think it is . Anyway try one of the Yamaha's or the marantz pm8005 I used to have one of this . On the speakers I use the Dali opticons 8s they are big floorstanding speakers with big bass drivers which gives you the right sounds on drums and bass guitar . The opticons use a twin tweeters ones a ribbon tweeter and the fact they are large cabinets so they can move some air . Anyway the lead guitar sounds right to me on my setup as good as you can get to the real thing anyway . But basically you need an amp with some muscle power and some big floorstanding speakers if you want it to sound right I personally think the box shelf speakers just do not do heavy metal very well manly because of there size and they just sound like boxes to me .
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
181
61
18,670
Your original post said a budget of under $1,000, so the suggestions above of spending double may not have helped much.

We seem to have some suggesting you got the wrong speakers. That might be the case, but I'd understood you liked them and needed a better amp. Hence my suggestion of getting the best amp you can afford for your budget - but I don't know dollar prices as I'm in Britain. I also think you need to check your computer source isn't affecting the sound negatively, hence the hopefully practical suggestion for you to try using a CD player.

Did you ever hear the speakers sound as you wanted? E.g before buying them? If not, then maybe they are the problem...
 

Rutherberg

New member
Sep 13, 2016
1
0
0
lindsayt said:
Rutherberg, go back to your dealer and ask to listen to their Klipschorns and Scalas. If you like them buy a pair 2nd hand. Or buy something from the same genre (2nd hand) from JBL, Altec, EV.

Your Sony 670ES is a good amp. Well worth keeping. What model of Sansui have you got? They made some really good amps too.
Thanks for the suggestion, but way too big and way too expensive, even in 2nd hand. About the 670ES, I have the same feeling, I had it for free as defective and it was only some cracky switches and relays. It's heavy, relatively well filtered and all the big caps are Elna Silmic II, signal caps are good quality too, so I suppose it is a good start ;-)

The Sansui was a AU-2900, entry level I think, but not so bad at low levels.

nopiano said:
Did you ever hear the speakers sound as you wanted? E.g before buying them? If not, then maybe they are the problem...
No and it was my error, I didn't heard it before, I only checked the reviews... My RPi2 + DAC sounds almost the same that my CD player, although CD player is maybe a little better. RCA and speakers cables are also of decent quality.

After deeper researches, I retained those possibilities :

- Passive hifi speakers : B&W in general seems to fit relatively well to electric music, so I'll give it a try

- Active studio monitors : Yamaha HS8/80 (adopted unanimously by metal production community), M-Audio BX8 D2, JBL LSR308, and last but not least, the Event Opal.

I think I'll retain the active option, mainly because I don't want to loose time and money to find the "perfect" match between speakers and amplifier, all in one is often cheaper than speakers/amp separated, room correction controls are sometimes built-in and I don't want any coloration in sound.

I raised my budget to 3000€ if necessary (so about 2500£), although all the options listed above are below 1000€ except the Opals. I know where to try a lot of studio monitors so I'll trust my ear this time ;-)

Thanks for all the advices, what a nice community :) If any suggestions, I'm still open !
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
Rutherberg said:
... But the rhythm guitar feels really at the back and covered by all the rest, no growl in the riffs, the palm mutes have no punch... However rhythm guitar is probably the most important in this kind of music so it is a real problem. Same problem with piano, lack of growl in the low notes, sounds tiny ! ...
What you need is a pair of Mackie HR824 Mk2 speakers.
 

Rutherberg

New member
Sep 13, 2016
1
0
0
steve_1979 said:
What you need is a pair of Mackie HR824 Mk2 speakers.
Yes, I spotted it too, as it seems to be designed for monitoring as well as entertainment.

I have a question about positionning. Is it a problem if speakers are close to a wall behind ?
 

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