That touch of brightness at higher volumes

gbhsi1

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Hi, my setup is pretty modest and I'd like to think its a good system which comprises of a Roksan MK3 integrated, Roksan MK3 power amp, pro-ject xperience 2 turntable, Trichord Dino phono stage, Ortofon 2M blue, Arcam CD93 and Neat Motive 2 speakers. The sound is very good most areas, especially timing which I think is very essential especially in rock music...which is a majority of what I listen to....but yes, there is always a BUT....when pushed 'volume' wise (im saying closer towards the 11 o clock dial, the treble tends to reach screeching point and often tiresome to listen to which in turn ruins the enjoyable factor, why is this? Are the speakers tweeters to blame? I have sufficient amplification...but I'm still puzzled how I can manage to eradicate this, is it only possible to get true music heaven through spending a lot of money???
 
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Anonymous

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I think your describing the sound hardening up, its usually a sign that you amplifier is starting to run out of steam and is struggling to drive your speakers at those higher levels. The best quality amps don't do this, they get louder but its more the volume that fatigues you rather than the treble/ midrange quality changing. I had an old Cyrus 2 that exhibited the same characteristics, once I got rid of it and changed to a smoother Audio Analogue pre-power set the problem never reared its head again using the same pair of Harbeth (demanding of amp) speakers.
 

gbhsi1

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Interesting, so if it is running out of steam then what you saying it requires more oomph...so when I attempted bi-amping it had enough power on tap but still it happens? or do you mean my amp can't drive my speakers..surely the neats are not hard to drive....Just listening to AC/DC track 'BIG BALLS' on vinyl- is my amp missing some? :)
 
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Looking around other forums (naim) it does seem like the Neats don't like to play too loud, they do have a sensitivity of just 85db which ususally requires more current. Having owned a few pairs of insensitive speakers I tend to feel that the more power you throw at them the better they'll sound, even if you can't get them to play loud. Seems it could be the power amp does either not like to deliver clean power, or its a missmatch for your speakers.
 

paradiziac

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Hi,

I'm no expert on the rest of your kit but what you describe of the sound is how I would summarize the strengths and weaknesses of the Neat Motive 2's heard in a demo room with my Sugden Mystro amp (50W).

Loved the timing and nice bass, but thought the treble was just a tad raspy even at moderate volume. A good speaker, but I imagine it could become annoying long term. I'm not the only one to think that.

I've heard that the Neat Elite SE is a better speaker than the Motive 2 without that treble characteristic, you might pick one up for around £500 used if you're lucky.
 

gbhsi1

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Maybe I should save up a bit and buy the neat elite SX- which has been offered tto me for £1600 with my part exchange of the neat motive 2's. Neat ELITE SE, checked online but cant seem to find any for sale?
 
gbhsi1 said:
Hi, my setup is pretty modest and I'd like to think its a good system which comprises of a Roksan MK3 integrated, Roksan MK3 power amp, pro-ject xperience 2 turntable, Trichord Dino phono stage, Ortofon 2M blue, Arcam CD93 and Neat Motive 2 speakers. The sound is very good most areas, especially timing which I think is very essential especially in rock music...which is a majority of what I listen to....but yes, there is always a BUT....when pushed 'volume' wise (im saying closer towards the 11 o clock dial, the treble tends to reach screeching point and often tiresome to listen to which in turn ruins the enjoyable factor, why is this? Are the speakers tweeters to blame? I have sufficient amplification...but I'm still puzzled how I can manage to eradicate this, is it only possible to get true music heaven through spending a lot of money???

Perhaps I can throw some light on the problem: When I auditoned the LIII I found the sound a little in-ya-face...

From memory I seem to remember WHFI's review when the MKIII found its match with the Rotel RA-03. It went along the lines of: "The Kandy still remains a fine amplifier but recent price hikes and slight raggedness at both frequency extremes..."

The one thing we both have in common is the speakers: My MAs and your Neats both share hard domed tweeters. Any hardening of sound would be lessen or eliminated by a Ribbon or soft tweeters.
 

paradiziac

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The Elite SE's must be an older model that would have been higher in the range than the Motives? sorry I can't be more specific.

Sounds like it's the combination of amp/speakers based on PP's comment above.

Both are pretty good, but if you match the weak points of both...
 
paradiziac said:
The Elite SE's must be an older model that would have been higher in the range than the Motives? sorry I can't be more specific.

Sounds like it's the combination of amp/speakers based on PP's comment above.

Both are pretty good, but if you match the weak points of both...

After spending some considerable time with the kandy, IMHO it isn't whether it can control the speakers or not, more of a matching problem. If it were me I'd audition PMC DB1is
 

altruistic.lemon

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I agree, I think it's the speakers. Rather than stick with Neat, why not try another brand, perhaps Harbeth, Spendor or , if you don't mind a hint of warmth, Sonus Faber. There's also Opera, which used to be my favourites but they seem to be out of fashion at the moment.
 

gbhsi1

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Whatever I decide to do it will involve spending a lot more money...and I thought I've done well so far. Don't get me wrong, I love my setup but... :)
 
gbhsi1 said:
Whatever I decide to do it will involve spending a lot more money...and I thought I've done well so far. Don't get me wrong, I love my setup but... :)

Depends on whether the problem is major or not? If it's a minor niggle then it could be resolved by... I know... cables. They don't makes huge differences overall, but tonally they can veer it away from any slight harshness.

This does demonstrate the importance of system matching: I am so meticulous (why I bore the pants off most people, including dealers) but I've yet to put a foot wrong.
 

SteveR750

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plastic penguin said:
gbhsi1 said:
Whatever I decide to do it will involve spending a lot more money...and I thought I've done well so far. Don't get me wrong, I love my setup but... :)

Depends on whether the problem is major or not? If it's a minor niggle then it could be resolved by... I know... cables. They don't makes huge differences overall, but tonally they can veer it away from any slight harshness.

This does demonstrate the importance of system matching: I am so meticulous (why I bore the pants off most people, including dealers) but I've yet to put a foot wrong.

And there's the rub. I totally agreeabout system matching, would even add your room into the equation, but to "discover" unlikely but great matches requires time and patience unless you work in the industry. For example, I had to drive from Cardiff to Cheltenham to demo the M2, and similarly for ProAc, and it's simply not feasible for a lot of people like me to build up such a well stocked library.
 
That is so true, Steve, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know the sound you're after. The rule of thumb is if a component ers on the bright or lively side then you counteract it a smooth/warm component (depending on room acoustics). I totally concur that achieving the ideal sound can be minimal, but I am responding to folks I don't know and, therefore, have no idea on room set-up.

Hence Why I'm trying to find out what cables he uses.

And, no. Never worked in the industry - guess I'm just lucky...;)
 

gbhsi1

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I have a few cables. The chord silver plus for the cd player, chord crimson for the turntable, Brilliance synergy for the power amp. Various mains cables too..such as Russ Andrews Signature Powerkord for the amp and the rest are connected via classic powerkords.

I don't think cables will make that much of a difference...as say a change in speakers or amplification
 
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gbhsi1 said:
I have a few cables. The chord silver plus for the cd player, chord crimson for the turntable, Brilliance synergy for the power amp. Various mains cables too..such as Russ Andrews Signature Powerkord for the amp and the rest are connected via classic powerkords.

I don't think cables will make that much of a difference...as say a change in speakers or amplification

Correct it will be a smaller difference than a major component change, but a change nonetheless.
 
gbhsi1 said:
I have a few cables. The chord silver plus for the cd player, chord crimson for the turntable, Brilliance synergy for the power amp. Various mains cables too..such as Russ Andrews Signature Powerkord for the amp and the rest are connected via classic powerkords.

I don't think cables will make that much of a difference...as say a change in speakers or amplification

I used to have Chord Canival Silver Plus as speaker cable but not heard of an interconnect.

If the problem isn't significant then changing to copper cables for speakers and a Crimson or Chrysalis for the CDP. Unless you're determined to change one component, then PMCs are the biz - but I am biased. Or even more drastic, cull the Roksans and get Arcam. That certainly won't be bright in any sense.
 

SteveR750

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plastic penguin said:
That is so true, Steve, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know the sound you're after. The rule of thumb is if a component ers on the bright or lively side then you counteract it a smooth/warm component (depending on room acoustics). I totally concur that achieving the ideal sound can be minimal, but I am responding to folks I don't know and, therefore, have no idea on room set-up.

Hence Why I'm trying to find out what cables he uses.

And, no. Never worked in the industry - guess I'm just lucky...;)

I agree, and that's why forums and the tinternet ar so useful, find some points of reference, reviewers who seem to have the same preferences for the same equipment you know and you are in truth 90% there. I have been lucky too, I've not had a bad experience so far....and if that hasn't invited trouble!
 
SteveR750 said:
plastic penguin said:
That is so true, Steve, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know the sound you're after. The rule of thumb is if a component ers on the bright or lively side then you counteract it a smooth/warm component (depending on room acoustics). I totally concur that achieving the ideal sound can be minimal, but I am responding to folks I don't know and, therefore, have no idea on room set-up.

Hence Why I'm trying to find out what cables he uses.

And, no. Never worked in the industry - guess I'm just lucky...;)

I agree, and that's why forums and the tinternet ar so useful, find some points of reference, reviewers who seem to have the same preferences for the same equipment you know and you are in truth 90% there. I have been lucky too, I've not had a bad experience so far....and if that hasn't invited trouble!

Ooo, that could be the kiss of death...;)

This is the one BIG problem with advising on a hi-fi forum, we can only go by our personal experience. The issue is their room size/acoustics, plus a whole number of permutations that could the flipside to ours.

Sometimes when I give advice I honestly cringe and start to:pray: ...
 

gbhsi1

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Ermmmm it's supposed to be chord chameleon silver plus interconnect. I don't think I'd change the amplification at the moment as just purchased the power amp, I think a speaker change is eminent in the not to distant future :) a super tweeter could perhaps sort it out.....?
 

kevinJ

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Have you tried changing that silver plus IC? What speaker cable do you use?

So, for what it's worth:
Things that work in my system are: the interconnect that came with the cd player (but it narrows the soundstage alot), Chord Cobra3 (not the new CobraPlus), Atlas Equator II (works even better than the Chord when playing rock/metal).
Speakercables that are ok to use: Chord Carnival SilverScreen, cheap 2.5mm² (Monster?) cable.

I've also tried the Chord CobraPlus, Chord Cadenza, Van Den Hul D102-III, Wireworld The Solstice and Oasis 6 (I hate that one's connectors!)
I also have the Chord Epic speaker cable, but it also seems to make things too bright, especially when combined with one of the above interconnects.

So, I've found that, in my setup that, every silver plated cable makes the whole system too bright, and I don't even believe cables can make a difference!!
 
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gbhsi1 said:
Ermmmm it's supposed to be chord chameleon silver plus interconnect. I don't think I'd change the amplification at the moment as just purchased the power amp, I think a speaker change is eminent in the not to distant future :) a super tweeter could perhaps sort it out.....?

Looking through an old copy of WHF March 2009 they have this to say in summation about your speakers; "True the treble can be over exhuberant when really pushed, but these are still excellent floorstanders".

It would seem thats where the blame lies, sorry if I sent you off with the wrong thoughts initially about your amplification, doesn't seem likely a change here would cure anything.
 

6th.replicant

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plastic penguin said:
...The one thing we both have in common is the speakers: My MAs and your Neats both share hard domed tweeters. Any hardening of sound would be lessen or eliminated by a Ribbon or soft tweeters.

My Totems also have 'hard domed tweeters', but they never, ever, ever, ever, sound bright. Perhaps the 'metal tweeters = bright' theory is a myth? :?

I also demo'd ATC SCM40s, which IIRC have soft-domed tweeters?? And IMVHO, the SCM40s are screechin', ear-piercin' 'orrors. YMMV :shifty:
 
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6th.replicant said:
plastic penguin said:
...The one thing we both have in common is the speakers: My MAs and your Neats both share hard domed tweeters. Any hardening of sound would be lessen or eliminated by a Ribbon or soft tweeters.

My Totems also have 'hard domed tweeters', but they never, ever, ever, ever, sound bright. Perhaps the 'metal tweeters = bright' theory is a myth? :?

I also demo'd ATC SCM40s, which IIRC have soft-domed tweeters?? And IMVHO, the SCM40s are screechin', ear-piercin' 'orrors. YMMV :shifty:

I'd agree, its how they're implemented. My Epos metal dome seems pretty smooth and well integrated and I've never heard it misbehave. Previously had both Harbeth and Rogers with metal domed tweeters which occasionaly would sound tizzy. The soft domes on Proac's has to be one of the hottest tweeters I've ever heard.
 

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