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Something lacking...

Hi there. Have an small issue with the following set up and would be very greatful for suggestions and input:

Onkyo CR-515UK, QA1010 (on Soundstyle Z2 stands) and QED Silver Anniversary XT cable - all as recomended by What HiFi. Now, don't get me wrong, for the money I'm very, very happy with what I've got but something's nagging me...

Live in a flat so often play my music at low volumes in order to avoid an ASBO! Problem is, my music only seems to really sparkle at volume level 26 and above. Below this there's a definite dullness and lack of definition (not being an audiophile I'm struggling to come up with an accurate description). My gut instinct is that it's an issue with bass - there isn't quite enough of it at low volumes. So, on to my query's: am I simply expecting too much from my budget set up? would an upgrade to my speakers be worthwhile (i.e. would something a bit bigger than the 1010's enhance bass at low volumes)? Will repositioning my speakers make an iota of difference (at the moment the speakers are about 6 inches from a wall)? In case it's relevant, the room my set up is in is 4.0 meters X 5.5 meters - is this room a bit too large to get the most from this micro system?

Not adverse to spending a bit of cash if necessary but ideally would just like to get the most out of what I've got. Many thanks for any help you can provide!

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Re: Something lacking...

 Unfortunately it's simple physics: to get good bass you have to shift a lot of air at very lew frequencies and long wavelengths, and small speakers aren't great at doing that at low levels. Not that a change to larger speakers will help much, as then the amp probably struggle a bit.

Of course at higher volumes it's easier for more air to be shifted, as more power is being put into the speakers' electromagnetic motors, and thus the cones are moving more, but then that brings us back to the old Asbo problem, as most neighbour-nuisance is caused not by sheer volume, but by bass being transmitted through the structure of the building.

Moving the speakers out won't help, as that will just diminish the bass by reducing boundary reinforcement. The only answer might be a subwoofer, run at very low levels to avoid upsetting the neighbours. The CR-515 has a subwoofer output for just this purpose: you could use something like an entry-level Mordaunt-Short, Q Acoustics, Wharfedale or Gale subwoofer to add a shade of low-end oomph.
 

Anonymous
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Re: Something lacking...

Thank you for quick and comprehensive response! I'm checking out the Q Acoustics 1000S right now.

Anonymous
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Re: Something lacking...

 

Hi,

I have a question regarding the use of a subwoofer in a flat.... Having recently moved to a flat in a converted old house i'm wondering if the spikes on the bottom of my 15" Vibe sub will help much to stop the transmission of bass to my neighbours? Currently, until i can get some spike feet (the floor is laminate) i have the sub just on feet, not spikes. Will the spikes make a great deal of difference? The set-up is in a converted loft, its not really the transmission downstairs that worries me, as i inhabit that floor as well....

Thanks!

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Re: Something lacking...

user="zouche" wrote:
i'm wondering if the spikes on the bottom of my 15" Vibe sub will help much to stop the transmission of bass to my neighbours?

Unfortunately not Sad I bought a REL sub a couple of years ago, but have been unable to use it since I discovered how easily the sound transmitted to the flat above me Sad Looking forward to moving to a house!

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Re: Something lacking...

user="zouche" wrote:

Will the spikes make a great deal of difference?

Since you're not concerned with sound transmission and thus presumably more with sound, yes I'd expect the spikes to tighten the sound a little as they will locate the sub more securely and better ground vibrations to the floor.

However, for the structural transmission problem, I'm told these do a pretty good job. Do a Google for Auralex Gramma and you'll find no end of pro audio companies selling the Gramma for around £60-70.

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