Bass is not enough !!! Speaker problem? Speaker cable? Power Amp? PC of Power Amp?

The bass is not enough!!  Not sure which part is not good enough. Can anyone give any idea??

My system:
Speaker: Sonus Faber Amati (SC = Jorma Prime)
Power amp: Esoteric A80 mono blocks (IC = Transparent Opus MM )
Pre-amp: Esoteric C-02 (PC = Jorma Prime)

PC for Power Amp:
I had been using BMI Oceanic Statement。The sound was beautiful, but the bass was not low enough.
I changed to NBS Black Label II 。The bass was better, but still it was not good enough. However, the sound was not as good as BMI Oceanic Statement. So now I have changed back to BMI .

How I can improve the bass performance??
Amati's weak point is bass? Jorma Prime's bass is weak? 


What is your room size? Where, in the room, are the speakers & listening area located?
Post removed 
What's your source?
Source? Recording(s)? How old is your speakers? Did they play at least 50hours?
Like the last two posts, I agree that it may be your source. The amp, cables and speakers can only reproduce what is sent through and to them. I had the biggest improvement in bass response going from a CD player to a SACD player (better built, more substantial power supply, etc.) It got even better when I got the matching integrated.

Better ICs tightened up and toned the bass while allowing better delineation and nuance. Some new monitors took it big step further by being able to portray that new bass presentation, and better speaker cables took it further by sorting out the gestalt of it all. But it all started out with that SACD player, so make sure your source is up to snuff.

All the best,
I feel it's not the room that is the most important, but how the air volume of the room and your ears are pressurized by the speakers. Speaker placement is everything. I invite you to see my website -, read ALL the articles, then contact me for the true answer to your difficulties. You can have the best gear available, but if the speakers aren't where they BELONG, you have no chance.
I second the questions about what source(s) you are using. In particular because the rather low 10 Kohm input impedance that is specified for your preamp will definitely roll off the deep bass if driven by the many tube-based source components (and perhaps also some solid state components) which have output coupling capacitors that have been chosen with the expectation that preamps having higher input impedances will be used.

-- Al

How far is the speaker from the front wall?   Moving them closer might help the bass.
Although I agree with the above posts I have to ask if your speakers are phased in correctly?
Even if the + and - are the same on both speakers they still might be out of phase. I'm not knowledgable enough to (as many others are) to explain why but I know it can happen and could be an easy fix.
yep if wired out of phase no bass there will be with any wires or sources.
lak makes a good point.  Even if you check your wiring and everything looks correct, one of the speakers could be wired out of phase internally.  Swap the + and - on ONE of the speakers (either one is fine) and see if things get better.  This is likely the easiest thing to try first.
Have you considered a subwoofer? Best of Luck

Thanks for all the advice.

I will check the speaker phase as the first step.

Seems my room is normal.

Seems the Source should be good?

Would it be the spike base, or Wellfloat anti-vibration platform, or even the Power Supply?


Here is my full system set up

Speaker: SF Amati (Spike base = Silent Mount, Audio Board = TAOC SCB-CS

| - SC = Jorma Prime


Amp: Esoteric A80 (Audio Board = BDR The Source carbon fiber)

| - PC = BMI Oceanic Statement (no power supply)

| - IC = Transparent Opus MM


Pre: Esoteric C-02 (Audio Board = CEC Wellfloat anti-vibration platform)

| - PC = Jorma Prime (Power supply = combak reimyo als-777)

| - IC = Tara Labs Zero Gold


DAC: Esoteric D-01 (Audio Board = CEC Wellfloat anti-vibration platform)

| - PC = Jorma Prime (Power supply = Kojo Aray MK II)

| - Digital = Wireworld Platinum Eclipse 7


Transport: Esoteric P-01 (Audio Board = CEC Wellfloat anti-vibration platform)

| - PC = Transparent PLMM2X (Power supply = Kojo Aray MK II)


All equipment/cables: 2nd hand

Audio Rack: TAOC MS MKII (Spike base = Silent Mount)

Speaker position:  away from wall = 0.5M, distance between speakers = 2M

Room size: 5M (wide) x 6M (depth), thin carpet flooring



Two other things come to mind - fluctuating voltage and power amp/ speakers mismatch.
In the daytime voltage over here drops and my rig sounds like a big boombox, and forget the bass. Later in the evening on some days and with some recordings I can get too much bass.
Checked the Polarity is OK. Nothing is strange of this part.

The power supply in my area is stable and I am using good power supply unit. Day-time and Night-time are the same in system performance.

For Power Amp/Speaker mis-match, how to find it out?


Your room is close to a square pattern and that can be a problem. Are the speakers placed along the long or short wall? How far away from the walls are the speakers? How far is the listening seat from the speakers? You have excellent gear, I don’t think that is the problem. Also, are you using balanced interconnects (XLR terminations)? In some gear the + & - poles are reversed. If so, you might try using single ended (RCA) interconnects as an experiment to see if you can recover more bass and reveal if your interconnects are wired out of phase.
What are the recordings you're actually playing?
You can also try amp with larger power. My Aerial 10t go down to 20's hz with 300wpc/8ohm;500wpc/4ohm.

While i have not auditioned the Esoteric components, I have demo'ed their spinners. You certainly have excellent speakers + associated cabling. Per haps, it is your pre&power amp combo?

Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
Second note;

Cabling is my passion and fave aspect of our wonderful hobby.

You may want to convert to an all Jorma or OPUS system!

I have always wanted to demo Jorma cables/cords.
Conversely, I have heard the OPUS system (PC & IC) several times with several different gear combos- it never disappointed. At this price point and performance grade, it should never disappoint!

The system is at the short wall.

Speakers to the wall is 0.5M
Have moved myself to different distances, and the bass is still the same; not enough.

All cables are XLR, except Pre-to-Amp is using RCA. (Do not think + & - poles are reversed. Checked.)

I played Japanese “Diamond Dust”, by Umi matsutoya (I played many CDs. The bass is not enough)

Esoteric C-02 Pre + A-80 mono power should be OK???

Try an RCA interconnect from DAC to preamp. Have you tried moving the speakers closer to the wall & corners? Can you move your listening position back, closer to the rear wall?
I looked over descriptions of your equipment, which is indeed very fine, and I don’t see any compatibility issues involving the electronic components or the speakers.

I did notice that the Wireworld Platinum Eclipse 7 you indicated is being used as a digital cable (and I assume there are two of them, since two of the D-01 DACs are required for stereo) appears to be intended for use as an analog interconnect. And given also its "quad DNA helix" design I suspect that its impedance is far from optimal for conducting digital signals. I suspect that is unrelated to the weak bass issue, but it’s something that may be limiting the sonic results you are getting in other ways.

Also, I couldn’t find any meaningful technical information on the Jorma speaker cables, but given their apparently narrow gauge (as signified by their relatively thin outer diameter + conductors that are configured as tubes), coupled with the low impedance of your speakers in the bass region (approaching 2 ohms at some frequencies), I suspect that they are contributing to the bass problem to some degree (although I doubt that they are the only contributor, and perhaps not even the main contributor).

Not sure what else to suggest at this point, given that you have tried different listening distances (and therefore different distances from the rear wall). Can you describe the bass weakness more specifically? Does it occur in the deep bass region, the mid-bass region, or both? Does it seem to occur just on certain notes at certain frequencies, or throughout those regions?

-- Al

Thank for All.

The Digital AES/EBU pair are  Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7. (My mistake of always mixing up Wireworld cable names)

Not sure how to describe the bass region.
In pop music, the drums are not punchy enough. 
The big bass (like those played by Ben Wolfe) is not deep enough.


Would it be those audio boards (CEC Wellfloat anti-vibration platform and BDR Carbon Fiber board) take away the bass?
If they are, the impact to source or the power amp is higher?

Would it be the spike bases (strong in anti-vibration) create the problem?

The speakers are too close to the wall. How long will it take for you folks to realize that the combination of equipment and the way you push minute voltage fluctuations through wire and fuses pales in comparison to the importance of how your ears are pressurized by the speakers in the listening environment, and the resultant effect not only on sound quality, but also musical involvement? Opera lover - your speakers are improperly placed and positioned, plain and simple - moving them to where they belong, mot just where they fit is the solution to your problem. - read and learn- then talk to me!
According to your statements, all components including speakers match each other and only option left to exercise is your personal hearing. For this you'll need to actually measure frequency response in your room http://http//
Did you try any other amplification? Why did you decide on Esoteric? Was there ever enough bass in your system current or previous? What compares to what you've heard before? How old are your speakers and how many hours they've played so far?
It does sound like you may want to try a much more powerful/high current amp and probably different cables. You'll just have to experiment, I guess, we appear to be out of ideas.
Wow so many problems.

Tomorrow I am going to try removing wellfloat board from the source.
If the improvement is there, I am going to remove all wellfloat board and BDR carbon fiber board.

I am also going to try removing spike base or TACO board or both from the speakers to see whether it is the problem.

I hope the above could improve (regardless bog or small), or....
Opera_lover at this point try moving the speakers around as people have suggested and rather than music try listening to test tones of bass frequencies to really get an idea of what's going on.
ebm, i noticed you don't use exclamations anymore. is there bug in the new system?
Sounds wonderful no problem.

opera_lover, allow me to ask a diagnostic question. Did you recently move from another speaker to the SF? Also, what speakers have you heard which you are extremely pleased with the low frequency response/output? Is there a correlation in your experiences of hearing bass you thoroughly enjoyed and the drivers chosen for the bass? 

It is quite possible there is "nothing" wrong literally with the performance of the speaker beyond your expectations. True, you will see some degree of change to the bass - and all other parameters of the speaker's performance by switching power cords, interconnects and speaker cables. However, you will not get a sea change, that is, you will not be able to replicate bass which a speaker with more capacity to produce prodigious bass can do. 

If I have looked at the correct speaker, the Amati Homage, it has two 8" bass drivers. I will tell you that in my experience if I were looking for top end results I would not select a speaker for my personal use with 8" bass drivers regardless of brand, as in my opinion there is simply too much given up in terms of LF performance (This assumes no subwoofer in use). I have used several such speakers and found them lacking in low end impact and frequency extension.

Now, there are a lot of variables in speaker performance, however, there are simply absolute limits to such a driver's bass output. It will not sound anything like a different speaker with comparable quality drive units, but rather larger, i.e. 12". I have handled dozens of speakers of various sized bass drivers, including towers with multiple 8" and giant floor standing ones with multiple 12". There is a world of difference in the capacity of a speaker to have impact and frequency extension based on the drivers used. 

I believe you are disappointed in the speaker. I am quite sure that if you were to bring in any number of speakers with rather different driver configurations to allow a more prodigious bass experience you would find happiness. However, be careful, because you will also experience differences in tonality and cleanness of the bass in different brands. If you obtained the Amati on recommendation from a dealer I suggest you return to them and discuss the insufficiency of the low end. They should be able to help you find a better speaker suited to your taste. 

You may also have room and funds to supplement the speaker with an appropriate subwoofer, a very efficacious and audiophile-like solution to your issues with the speaker.  :) 

I have been using the Amati for a year. Previous it was Cremona, which I could not experience good bass.

The bass I need is just simple as , drum is a drum in pop music, big bass is big bass in jazz....I do not need those bass at the level which makes my heart beat jump with them. 

I have never experienced satisfaction of performance of my systems ever since, so it has been upgraded gradually of pre-amp, speakers and all cables and speakers. (Only components no change are source, DAC, and Amp.)

Until now, after putting in Platinun Startlight to Source -> DAC, Zero Gold to DAC -> Pre,  Opus MM to Pre->Amp, I am more happier than before, EXCEPT the bass.

I have been wondering whenever I visit audio shop, there normal system performs quite well in bass (and other aspects.)
No need to sit in the optimal listening position, just entering the door, I can be immediately attracted by the music. From far away, from behind the listening position, the bass (and other aspects) are very good.

Normal system, normal cables, except some good ceiling panels. Some of them even have big glass shelf next to the system! The systems are just in a corner of the space, not in a dedicated audio room, etc etc; BUT they perform well in many aspects. The importance is the music attract me right after I enter the shops...So I am still wondering what has happened to my system.

Believe me, those systems and the rooms, in audio shops I am talking about are normal (you know what I mean of "normal") compared with many of our systems in the forum.

I removed wellfloat anti-vibration broads from source and DAC, the bass has obvious improvement, and lost nothing from other aspects.
I removed wellfloat and carbon fiber board from Pre and Amp, additional bass improvement.
I am  happier than before of the system now.

The next, I will try taking out the spike base, or taking out the audio board, under the speakers, tomorrow.

Cannot wait.  I tried
- taking away spike base and resting speakers on TAOC board, No improvement
- removing TAOC board, placing spike base on carpet. Addtional improvement of bass.

Now, all wellfloat board, BDR carbon board, TAOC boards are removed from the system, the BASS is back! Also, more details are heard.

That means in my system, all these boards kill the frequencies.

(My wife likes music and is a concert goer, but does not know anything of hifi. She gave a comment that the system is much much better with more details and good bass.)

Why there are so many such boards in my system in first place? They were there since several generations of upgrade. I kept using them and thought they were knowledge was/is so weak!

Thanks ALL for the advise. All suggestions/ideas helped.

The Kimber PK10 Palladian power cords I put in my system improved the bass significantly. I described the experience on my system page if you are interested. 
I always thought it had to be i needed something else...all about as someone pointed out listening placement and pressurize in  a thread i stated moved my couch back... walla system immediately dialed in full coherent bass,detail everthing i was missing...many probably will point you to buy something...the effort costs nothing....cant beat that.

Not enough BASS you say!. First things 1st. You have posted a

subjective question to all on this Forum.

1. You have of course taken your favorite SACD to a buddy home

  who also has the same speakers & gear & very similar room?

2. Only to discover his destroyed yours low Feq performance?

3. How much is enough?

4. What is your bench mark for enough?

5. In closing in my collection of just over 375 CD's & 1200 Vinyl

 CD's Maybe 40 have well enough engineered recording that have the  BASS EQ just....right.!

p.s. rent a Real-time analyzer & calibrated condenser mike.

    Ears Lie>>>>>>> Cal Mikes don't...


A Los Angeles Orange County Audiophile Society friend of mine has a 250K+ system that he only plays vinyl records on.  Outstanding (solid state) equipment, speakers, cables, etc. but NO BASS.  Then, after three years he finally upgraded his MC cartridge.  Now he has thunder in his room.  Look to the source. 

For you tube people (like me) go for the KT150 if you can.  Better bass over the KT88 and a night and day difference when compared to the EL34.
wow pay $250k only for mids, but bass is extra. right?
This is strange. Even $100 cartridge can give you decent bass.
Well, your room is certainly big enough. Do you have acoustic treatment in the corners (bass traps)? And at the first and second reflection points?
Also, you do need to pull the speakers out in the room and away from the side walls if you have not (1/2 meter is not at all ideal), and be sure you have something breaking up the waves at first and second reflection points. If acoustic damping is not possible right now (because it looks bad), a tall plant (ficus tree, palm plant, or something with leaves that break up the reflections) will work well.
Room is EVERYTHING, something people forget. I have heard the same system in 3 rooms and in one room, it was....decent. Second room, good; third room was great. Exact same equipment ( know because I had owned it before I gave it to two friends). It was the room and how the equipment was set up. And acoustic treatment is important: Soft rugs or fabric woven art are great near the speakers. Or heavy cotton curtains (HP had one wall down the length of his listening room covered with a curtain on a rod. The curtain was thick and had folds in it). Other than that, he just had  a piece of Sonex at the first reflection point near one speaker. 
The room comes first.
Let's not exaggerate - room is not everything, as important as it is.
You are correct - to a point, so let me amend that, then.


 Even HP, if you read his TAS review of the WATT/Puppies in issue 65, seems not to have gotten the best out of the WATTS, as contradicted by Dave Wilson's comment provides (I had WATT/Puppies since 1987, and owned 4 generations of them. My room in California was 10x13x27. Dave's room for the WATTS was…well, huge, since he had them in his warehouse. With MY Goldmund Studio (which Dave had set up) on the WATTS, the sound was vastly more open in his warehouse. This was back in 1988, when he was still in Novato, California. 

Now, you're free to disagree,  but I have found, in my Connecticut home, in my two ASC- Wall Damp treated  listening rooms, the exact same equipment sounds different in the 13x20 room than it sounds in the 23x45 room.
As Anna Russell once said, I'm not making this up, you know.

I use subs that I turn up or down when I feel they need adjustment…and KT150s do kick butt…I've had mine for over a year and love them things. 
Bass is all about moving air, speaker placement and seating position.  If one of those factors are wrong, then bass suffers.  Period. 
I use a separate amp and preamp to power my subs, It works great. The two systems are matched and the subs are time aligned, using a ruler, with my B&W's. I recently had to use a different preamp for a while, and my bass got really muddy, despite my amps' having once been described in a review as having "gargantuan bass".
One thing not mentioned-plug the power amp into the wall.
Corner traps from GIK or other-a must. Go for it here!
I have to have great bass also. Have moved my speakers, sometimes tenths of inches, sometimes feet. It really paid off.
One thing not mentioned-plug the power amp into the wall.
Corner traps from GIK or other-a must. Go for it here!
I have to have great bass also. Have moved my speakers, sometimes tenths of inches, sometimes feet. It really paid off. Listening seat also.
Haven't measured, but suspect I get 20 hz or better, but it took some work.
Order the soundtrack for Homeboy, Eric Clapton. That will get you some bass and you can use it as a test when moving your stuff around as well as trapping the room.
Opera Lover...a lot of smoke and mirrors here.  You want dynamics, huge soundstage, low level detail and phenomenal powerful controlled bass? Do yourself a favor and try MIT.  I went through a similiar experience having spent oodles of $$$ and missing bass.  You will have impedance matched cables and sound that you could not think possible through a stereo!