Why you should audition equipment!!

johnjeff61

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Dec 8, 2023
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So I don't consider myself an audiophile, I just want equipment good enough to be able to enjoy music.
Going back to the nineties I had eventually compiled a system that I was 100% happy with, it was perfect for my needs and comprised of
Monitor Audio MA4 speakers which I had had since the late 70's, a Marantz cd player and a 50W Denon Amp.
After a gap of about 20 years not listening to music I decided to buy a system, A Pioneer all in one streamer, cd player, amp and a pair of Q
Acoustic 3050's and this is where it started to go wrong, it sounded very bright with the some higher notes sounding harsh. As I have never read a bad review
of the Q 3050's I assumed it was the all in one class D Pioneer and decided to revisit 90's Japanese and bought a second hand Marants SE66 Ki.
and an equally ancient Archam Alpha 7 CD player hooked up to the 3050s
A slight improvement but still the upper end, was very wearing and what can be best described as sibilance on some female vocals.
As this was totally destroying my enjoyment of music and so I decided to sell the Marantz amp and upgrade to a Cambridge streamer and separate Amp
Well no better, I had sold what was probably a better sounding amp and paid many times more for a more detailed but ultimately not as 'Gorgeous amp' in the words of the purchaser!
OK it was clear to me now, the fault lay with those Chinese speakers, so I bought some more Chinese speakers (its hard not to) and a few days ago I unboxed and eagerly set up my Dali Oberon 7s hoping to be able to just forget about HiFi and listen to music. Well as you can probably guess, it was even worse so I have returned the Dali 7s.
Before I ask for advice, I have tried different speaker cables, interconnects and moving speakers into a different room. It is the same problem listening to Cds or Flac files.
So what I am wondering is if anyone has had any experience around perceived distortion, perhaps within the ear. I don't seem to have this problem apart from listening to music but I am open to any suggestions.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Welcome to the forum!

Sorry to read you’re suffering from sibilance and generally too brash treble. Neither QA nor Dali Oberon are renowned for this, so something is up.

Have you listened to any systems at a dealer? Or a friend’s with a Hifi? You need some frame of reference, so maybe some live music - preferably an unamplified singer/guitarist or an orchestra, or a piano?

If you are aged 50 plus, you may have some hearing loss, and some of my friends report increasing sensitivity to treble harshness despite failing high frequency perception in the ears themselves. It might even be you need your ears syringing or vacuuming. An audiologist will check you out for about £70.

Good luck.
 
Placement of the speakers within any given room is important. Higher frequencies can be exaggerated by placing them close to side walls, or having a generally “live”, reflective room which will reflect higher frequencies, bouncing them around the room which just makes things worse. Any amplifier working near its limits can produce a brighter sound (distortion). It could be something as simple as your speaker wiring out of phase, which will cancel out bass, producing a “thin” sound.

You need to identify any major issues first, but at this point it could be any number of things which we don’t know about as we don’t know enough about your system or surroundings. If there arent any, it’ll be down to choosing the right speaker for your room. Loudspeakers that use waveguides for the HF unit tend to control high frequency dispersion, helping to avoid bouncing HF off sidewalls, ceilings, and floors.

While electronics and source can make a difference, it’s the speakers that interact with the room.
 

Dom

Well-known member
I have no problems with the Dyn's having found them balanced with ample measures of bass.

It must be a source of pain not knowing where the sibilance is coming from, having tried different setup's only to find its gotten worse than before.

I don't know what to suggest other than to keep trying until you have found the source of the sibilance and fixing it, buddy.
 
Last edited:

ianrjones

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2023
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I have a hearing defect, I have a paddle hanging to the left of my left speaker. It's not perfect, but it's infinately superior to a graphic equaliser. It's hard to accept, but easy to fix.
 
So I don't consider myself an audiophile, I just want equipment good enough to be able to enjoy music.
Going back to the nineties I had eventually compiled a system that I was 100% happy with, it was perfect for my needs and comprised of
Monitor Audio MA4 speakers which I had had since the late 70's, a Marantz cd player and a 50W Denon Amp.
After a gap of about 20 years not listening to music I decided to buy a system, A Pioneer all in one streamer, cd player, amp and a pair of Q
Acoustic 3050's and this is where it started to go wrong, it sounded very bright with the some higher notes sounding harsh. As I have never read a bad review
of the Q 3050's I assumed it was the all in one class D Pioneer and decided to revisit 90's Japanese and bought a second hand Marants SE66 Ki.
and an equally ancient Archam Alpha 7 CD player hooked up to the 3050s
A slight improvement but still the upper end, was very wearing and what can be best described as sibilance on some female vocals.
As this was totally destroying my enjoyment of music and so I decided to sell the Marantz amp and upgrade to a Cambridge streamer and separate Amp
Well no better, I had sold what was probably a better sounding amp and paid many times more for a more detailed but ultimately not as 'Gorgeous amp' in the words of the purchaser!
OK it was clear to me now, the fault lay with those Chinese speakers, so I bought some more Chinese speakers (its hard not to) and a few days ago I unboxed and eagerly set up my Dali Oberon 7s hoping to be able to just forget about HiFi and listen to music. Well as you can probably guess, it was even worse so I have returned the Dali 7s.
Before I ask for advice, I have tried different speaker cables, interconnects and moving speakers into a different room. It is the same problem listening to Cds or Flac files.
So what I am wondering is if anyone has had any experience around perceived distortion, perhaps within the ear. I don't seem to have this problem apart from listening to music but I am open to any suggestions.
Amp, sources and speakers are more revealing than the equivalent from 30-odd years ago. So any brightness to the room acoustics is exaggerated by the modern stuff.

Other than add carpets and/or soft furnishings, not sure what to suggest, other than look for a retro amp, source and speakers from the 1980s/90s.
 

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