Ok, more detail on my set-up..
The speakers are the new Cambridge Soundworks T500's, they have a built in powered sub and are bi-wireable. My room is 13ft wide and 19ft long and the celing is 8ft , however the listening area is aprox 10ft from the two main speakers. The speakers are floor standing units, spaced about 6ft apart.
Alesis Masterlink CD Player/hard disk recorder (connected to)
MSB Link DAC3 (connected to)
Sunfire Theater Grand 2 Preamp
Marantz mm9000 5ch amp 150w X5 (front and center ch.)
ADCOM 5400 2ch amp 125w X2 (rear Surrounds)
CD,DAC,Preamp powered through PS Audio Power Plant 300, connected to PS Audio Ultimate Outlet (20 amp.) from wall socket.
All connection wire is Tara Labs RSC Prime
Speaker wire is Monster Z series
Check once again for proper wiring polarity; if one woofer is out of phase, say goodbye to slam. Use a test CD if available, or just trace wires from amp to speakers.
ALSO, take out the PS Audio Ultimate Outlet. Having used one myself, I found it did bad things to my amps' sound. The PP300 is enough. Plug your amps straight into the wall.
dynamics issue? Are you using (I see no mention of) upgrade AC cords? If not then you need to experiment with some good cords. Other tweaks that can help to enhance dynamics: cones, shelving, Vibrapods, preferrably all placed under your source component in a sandwich stack but again experimentation is required to determine what will work best in your own particular application.
I am thinking that you need to work on your speaker placement QUITE a bit. I sincerely doubt that you have them optimized for either good imaging / soundstage properties or bass reproduction.
While i am not familiar with the specific model Cambridge that you have, i assume that they are too big to be placed that close together in a room that sized or for your specific listening distance. You also don't mention if they are placed on the long or short wall, the distance from the rear wall, etc... All of these factors can make a big difference with in-room response and loading, etc...
Don't underestimate the importance of speaker placement and room acoustics. It can make or break a system. Sean
Thanks for the feedback guys. I do have after market power cords, they are the hi-end voo-doo cables. As far as speaker placement I've screwed around with that so much I'm DONE! the imaging is really good, its just the attack I seem to be missing. I also have all source componets isolated with vibrapods (I'm a total geek about this stuff). The one thing I'm really not sure about is this polarity issue that "estrnad" mentioned? Can you please go a little deeper into what you mean?
Just check that the "+" or "positive" (ie, Red) output wire of your amp goes to the corresponding "+" terminal on each speaker, and the black "-" or "Negative" terminals on amp-speaker also match up. If one speaker has the polarities reversed at the speaker terminals or at the amp, it will be "Out of phase" with the other speaker, and the bass will cancel out.
A test: Put the amp in "mono" and play something with a lot of bass and have the speakers facing each other. Reverse the polarity to one speaker. If the bass increases, they were out of phase. If the bass dies, the speaker polity was correct. The correct polarity will be obvious to the ear.
Interesting thread..you seem to have decent gear and are into the hobby as much or more than most of us here. If I were in your shoes I'd sell the Sunfire and Marantz amps and buy either the Theta or YBA five channel amp. Plenty of ballsy power.
Hi Mhubbrd, you may be getting too much vibrapod sound. My experience is they slow things down a touch and take away a bit of vibrancy. Take a few out and see what happens.
Thanks again guys,
Ya know.... maybe "jeffloistarca" just hit it on the head! I really like the Sunfire Preamp and Matantz amp for movies. I just watched "Apocalypse Now REDUX" which was just realeased (if any of you guys are into DVD, this re-master of the original should not be missed!), and it was absolutly incredible sounding. Perhaps I'm just expecting too much from my equipment for stereo nervana. I should just be happy that my equipment sounds as good as it does (its still pretty damn good!). When the time is right I'll simply build a 2ch specific set-up with music alone in mind.
Thanks again for all the feedback.
mhubbard: i, too, enjoyed viewing the dvd of "apocalypse now, redux." it's a mistake, however, to call it a "remaster." it's closer to a "director's cut," with lots of added scenes. some work, some don't. just the extra footage of robert duval's air cav segment, tho, is worth the purchase price. -cfb