I would really not like to bring extra hardware to the system to make it sound the way it is supposed to by default. It just doesn't feel right. I don't think Proacs were designed to sound the way mine do, I still assume there's something wrong with my setup or the speakers are malfunctioning.
Just a thought: Have you checked the speaker wires. If they are connected incorrectly you'll lose bass that way.
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dimedrol, when you say the Proacs have no bass as in only about 25% of what they should have below 100hz, that is compared to what? Some other speaker you've heard with the same recordings and the same source and amps in the same room? If so, which other speakers? Compared to the same recordings on some other system in some other room? If so, what system? Compared to live? Compared to what you think there should or what you'd like to be below 100hz? Or what you feel instinctively there should be
I'm comparing them to my AKG K271 headphones and my small active studio monitors Adam A5x. Adams and the headphones do have pretty similar tonal balance and I trust them. Proacs being driven with my amps are quite different: their bass is subtle, totally missing "punch" and sitting in the background at whatever high level. When I play rock or club music there's no drive at all, no midbass. When I only connect the woofer I can see it sounding very very flat, not even daring to go under 70 Hz (thats what I feel). Highs in contrast are very nice, making up very good stereo image, better then my monitors do.
Yes, that is what I am referring to as correct phasing. I did verify it using AA battery and Audio Test CD, there's no issue with that.
Actually the bass is so weak that changing phase on a speaker doesn't affect perceived volume level, just stereo image breaks identifying connection problem.
I want to thank everybody for your support and attempts that you are making to help me resolve my problem.
I was finally able to visualize the problem that will probably tell you more then I've done on the two pages. I have recordered same drum solo from the two pairs of speakers: smaller Adam monitors which sound right to my ears and my Proacs. Both have same setup: one meter between the speakers, one meter between each speaker and the microphone. I used Shure SM58 but I don't think it really matters for the purpose I was pursuing.
Take a look at the picture below, see the difference, it expains what I hear very well
I think that the chief part of the blame is with the Proac speakers. Could you just use your Adams instead?
If not replace the Proacs with something with more bass extension - and hopefully something that's at least as good in the midrange and treble. Amplifiers are almost universally tonally neutral give or take a db or two. Speakers aren't.
Adams are ok but they are too small with narrow stereo image and I want something for a larger space. If I give up the Proacs will become luxurious wooden boxes which I might eventually anyway end up with. Then I will go with similarly sized active monitors which anyway cost like a good amp without speakers. But I need to make sure I can do nothing with them before that happens. After all, I don't believe whathifi people that gave them 5 stars were deaf.
What are your Proacs resting on (ie. If on a stand - what brand, and are you using Spikes / Blu-Tak / Filling etc); and if on the floor, is it concrete or suspended wood?
Also, what are the dimensions of the room they are in?
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When it comes down to the stands, brand, filling, spikes, ground. etc, I like to mention that the Adams play bass wherever I put them: on a book, on a table, on the floor etc, and if during a drum kick you put your eye to their reflex port it will be blown out. For the Proacs I have Monster Stands with spikes, which the adams can only dream of. But still they don't nearly deliver what I expect. Again, I don't blame them, thats just my situation.
Every speaker design can be different and some are more sensitive than others to positioning, and what they are placed on.
My speakers were seriously lacking bass, until I isolated them from the suspended wooden floor they were sitting on.
But you should agree that isolation barely adds to the attack power. If the woofer barely moves you can not expect powerful attack out of it. Thats my understanding. I auditioned those Proacs in three different living rooms on different surfaces without any significant change in the bass perception. Adams played well everywhere. I will do additional measurements with a microphone more suitable for the low frequencies later but for now I'm giving up. I still appreciate any comments and hints though.
In my case, the bass was disappearing into the 5' space under the floor, as the spikes coupled the speakers to the floor....so the punch, depth and attack was transformed, once isolated (Auralex Gramma and Granite).
....but that was my case. I brought it up in case it was relevent....though I hear what you're saying.
IMO. - If the speakers are sitting on a concrete floor, they should be coupled to, it through spikes.
- If on a suspended wooden floor, they should be isolated from it, with measures like Granite under the spikes, stands filled with rice (if possible), and Blu-Tak between the speaker and the stand.
Equaslier will only add noise to the singal.. Thats my opinion. May be u are yet to give the proac the kind of amp they like.
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You could try getting a couple of subwoofers, which would be best placed below and as close as possible to each of the Proacs.
If you're buying any hi-fi component that will depreciate, never trust anyone else's ears but your own. Always try to listen to proposed purchases before buying, with your choice of music at your normal volumes, with your system, preferably in your room. If you're buying something that won't depreciate you can buy whatever you fancy without hearing it first and sell it on if you don't like it.
Get a very good thick MAINS CABLE for your amp! This definitely helped INCREASE the bass to a point where the bass was overbearing. The cable worked well with my old Rega Brio 3 and Totem Rainmaker setup, where the bass was severely lacking. It was not suited for my system because it brought too much bass to my Klipsch's. My suggestion to you is get a good quality thick 12awg - 14awg mains cable. Mine was silver-plated. Most people say silver is bright, but the opposite is true. Compared to the stock copper cable, the silver-plated mains cable brought tighter, increased bass with smoother, detailed highs. The stock cables sounded harsh, less detailed, and had no deep bass whatsoever.
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there are so many variables in this audiophile equation... Whereas from my past experience, I just need to bring decent pair of active monitors of the Proac's size and forget about cables, spikes, granite slabs, they just do what they are expected to. Fairly. if they have drive - and they all do - you will hear it anywhere anytime, it may vary depending on the conditions but it never disappears, no one will ever claim they don't play bass, under any conditions, thats my experience. 50 dollars chinese multimedia speakers do play bass too, well not that beautiful right bass but you can perfectly hear its presence. I think I will just drive 300km to the audio shop and audition them in their showroom with the best equipment that they have.
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