Bass Attenuation - best approach


I've been using the Martin Logan Odyssey speakers since new about 14 yrs ago and have been very happy with them in almost all respects. 2 days ago, however, I auditioned a pair of Martin Logan Theos speakers and heard what I thought to be, better detail in the upper mid ranges. I know that improvements in ML's overall technology has been made but I'm wondering if some of this "improvement" , at least to my ear, has something to do with the more limited bass output of the Theos. It's not that the Odysseys are lacking in the upper registers, but I feel that the bass output interferes or detracts from my appreciation of them. It's not that it's muddy or boomy; it's just there. I do have personal hearing issues (I'm 72 yrs old) that may contribute to this phenomenon but I'm looking for the best way to make an adjustment to accommodate my listening tastes.

My understanding of the most obvious fixes include using a good equalizer or going back to bi-wiring and installing resistance in the bass path. What I'm hoping for, then, is some advice regarding the best approach to this issue and will appreciate any that's offered.

My equipment is: Shanling CD100 disk player, Peachtree Audio Nova used as a preamp and Peachtree audio 220W power amp.
broadstone
The Odyssey's have a bass control switch on the rear. Try it at the -3db setting to tame the bass a little.

BTW, I was a Martin Logan dealer for many years and the Odyssey is still one of my favorite ML speakers.
I did that yrs ago but I'm looking for a bit more reduction. I share your opinion of the Odyssey and believe them still to be one of the best and most versatile speakers available.
I owned Odysseys for quite awhile and loved them when I had an all Martin Logan HT system. Have you tried moving them farther out away from the walls?
Get a Rives PARC there are 2 for sale on the bay. One is mine. Selling due to getting my room completely done for stereo only. Nothing else but a chair in the room.
I have a PARC and it worked wonders, but only after treating the room with Tube Traps. Have you tried that first?
"My understanding of the most obvious fixes include using a good equalizer or going back to bi-wiring and installing resistance in the bass path. What I'm hoping for, then, is some advice regarding the best approach to this issue and will appreciate any that's offered."

I don't know why you would assume the speakers are at fault. You heard the Theos in a different room with different electronics. To start with, I would bring your current electronics in to store that you heard the Theos and see how they sound with your gear.
Thanks for your responses. When I bought these I too was into HT and had all ML equipment with the Odysseys in the system as R and L fronts. When I switched back to 2 channel years ago I tried Electra and Nautilus for short periods but eventually returned to the Odysseys which, thank goodness, I had kept in storage. Having used ESL's for over 10 years before these, I guess I'm habituated to their sound.

I have not tried traps or any other type of room treatment primarily because my listening room, although fairly large, is our living room. I do have them located three and a half feet from the rear wall and about three feet from the side walls. I know from reading other comments that for best results they need even more room than that but most of us don't have that option.

I have completely enjoyed these for many years in the same environment as they now reside but hearing issues have progressed to the point that I don't do well even on a day to day basis when there are competing sounds. The quality of my equipment or listening environment, then, are important but my problem here is related more, I'm sure, to my own personal hearing issues.

Except for the expense involved I'm not adverse to the idea of trying the newer ML Theos or Ethos speakers but I'm still very satisfied with sound reproduction from the transducers; it's the woofer section (frequencies below about 350Hz) that I feel need taming.

I'll look into the PARC suggestion but continue pursuing the idea of adding resistance to the bass section and would appreciate any advice on that matter.
If you haven't tried it yet, you might experiment with room placement. A lot of the bass you hear is coming off the walls, so pulling the speakers out may reduce the overall bass a bit. As you get closer to/further from the walls, the frequency range that is being boosted by room reinforcement will change, as well. Simply shifting this frequency may also help with your issue. The results can be quite significant.

Also, it's free, so it's definitely worth a try, IMO.
You could try the dspeaker for around 1k . It is a small box and works wonders.
+1 on the Dual Core 2.0
You mentioned that your ML's are 14 years old there is a very good possibility that your panels are in need of replacement. If you liked the sound of the newer ML's you might try them in your home.
"11-13-14: Martykl
If you haven't tried it yet, you might experiment with room placement. A lot of the bass you hear is coming off the walls, so pulling the speakers out may reduce the overall bass a bit. As you get closer to/further from the walls, the frequency range that is being boosted by room reinforcement will change, as well. Simply shifting this frequency may also help with your issue. The results can be quite significant."

He's right. There are places in a room that will help boost bass, but there are also places that can weaken it. If you try some different locations, its very possible that you can fix the problem without spending any money.

A couple of other things you may want to look into, is changing your seating position, as well. Sometimes, if you move your head closer to the wall behind you, it gives you the same effect as cupping your hands like you would do if you were trying to hear something. Another similar option would be to use room tuning devices that better reflect, or enhance the mids and highs. Basically do just the opposite of bass traps do. I'm just guessing, but it sounds like that may be a better option for you. Based on the info you provided, it sounds like you are having more trouble hearing the upper frequencies, as opposed to too much bass being the cause.

Have you tried headphones? That could be another possible solution.
These are all good suggestions but my limitations are fairly significant when it comes to room placement. The configuration of the room, although furnishings have had a few changes, has been the same for 37 years. I'm a little reluctant to spend a lot of money on electronic fixes (passive or active) or new panels even though it may be advisable, because what may be necessary in the end is new speakers.

The first thing I'll try, then, because it's cheap is add a 4 ohm resister in series in the woofer wire. Here is how I plan to do it and where I need more input. I'll remove the jumper between the high and low frequency speaker connections and replace it with a resistor. This is where I need some advice and won't even try it until someone with pertinent experience reassures me that this won't cause further problems. It makes sense to me but could use some hand holding here.
For some reason Audiogon doesn't allow me to submit a post except on an occasional basis and then, only if I tinker around with signing in for awhile and if I start a new thread instead of continuing with my existing one. The original thread solicited advice regarding attenuation of bass for my Martin Logan Odysseys that I've owned since new many years ago.

I received several pertinent comments but decided that if I considered all the possible causes of this real or perceived issue of exaggerated bass I could spend a lot of time and money chasing a solution so decided to change speakers instead. In Over 50 years of using many different and several types of speaker, although I don't claim them to be the best speaker type for everyone, I've become habituated to electrostats having used them primarily for 30+ years. I decided, then, to look at newer models and, because of their exceptional customer service, chose to stay with Martin Logan.

I auditioned the Theos primarily because of its price, and was thoroughly impressed with reproduction in the upper mid frequencies, which is where much of my age related hearing issues occur. I was going to order them but decided on the Ethos instead; it uses a powered instead of a passive woofer section giving it the capability of somewhat lower frequencies for those occasional movie watching times when I would like deeper bass. I also bought their small Dynamo 500 sub. Because I'll be using the LFE connection I will not have control of crossover points on the subwoofer which may be another issue altogether. I'll report on the results of this new setup in a few weeks; I won't take delivery of the new speakers until December first.

BTW, my current system is Shanling CD100 CD player or Apple TV using ALAC files as source, Peachtree Audio Nova as preamp, Peachtree Audio 220 power amp and Martin Logan Odyssey speakers.
Measure the woofer resistance with an ohm meter to see if it is 4 ohm or 8 ohm. It likely is one of the 2. Then purchase an L-Pad from Parts Express in the right resistance. This will keep your crossover working at the right point, just hook the l-pad right before the woofer. Use wire that lets it sit outside the speaker, right behind it, for convenience. Dial away to the point you like!
I would second the Lpad idea, there is a Radio shack in wall volume control with transformers.
Thanks. I did buy the Lpad but decided on another approach. I traded the Martin Logan Odysseys that I've had since new, for the newer ML Theos. It has a very useable bass control rheostat and performs as well as the Odysseys in most ways and, possibly, is superior in the upper midrange frequencies. I think my problem in mostly solved.