I think the answer is yes. However the trick is matching the right components to to get the full lush sound. As one who came from mid-fi to hi-res, I think it takes some getting used too to appreciate the high resolution vs the mid-fi due to the fact that mid-fi is meant to wow you where hi-res will mealt you. Hi-res sneaks up on you with its subtleties while mid-fi makes its presence well known. I'm not trying to knock mid-fi, but trying to explain the differences as I see them.
The one thing that better components, cables and speakers do as you move up the line is bring out more low level bass detail. There is still no reason you can't improve a mid-fi system further by experimenting with interconnects, other speaker cables, and even power cords if your gear has IEC plugs.
The addition of a REL audiophile subwoofer will also bring out that low level detail, without changing the sound of the rest of your system that you enjoy. Check out the REL Stratus III or Storm III.
I can't help you with your system at all because I am not familiar with your speakers but detailed sound IS NOT bright sound. Frankly, I think you've put your finger on one of the most common weak points of a lot of speakers these days. There are tons of speakers that are to my ears unlistenably bright (almost an epidemic I think) and I think are intended to be "detailed."
Good luck in finding what you want.
Brighter sound implies more high frequency energy (volume). You can get more detail without adding volume. (Conversely, you can get less detailed, mushier highs without losing volume.) Obviously, if the high frequencies are emphasized, in addition to sounding brighter, there will be more apparent detail. I prefer detail without brightness. If you go the upgrade route, you may find some upgrades do not result in an immediately audible improvement in sound. For me, such incremental improvements are cumulative, e.g., two or three improvements that are not individually audible can add up to an audible improvement. Good luck.
I began buying used interconnects with the magazines as a guide I bought (or borrowed) every cable that Stereophile, Fi, and TAS had on there recommended lists. This was more for the fun of it, but also with the intent of writing a review at Audiogon. I never wrote the review because I learned that it's all so subjective I was afraid if I wrote my opinions some might take it to heart without trying to find the perfect match for their system, room and ears.
Anyway, I learned that there were a lot of overpriced and over hyped cables on the market. Some did far more damage than they did good. It turns out there was a great deal of "grain" and "glare" to be removed from the mid-fi cables. Each level of improvement was just like removing a layer of fogged glass from between me and my sound stage. It's an amazing effect but it's simple to see (hear). Each layer adds glare and high end energy. This is what people call "bright". A system can be extremely clean and open if the glare is not there, but it's that glare that is so fatiguing. It's true with electronics too, in electronics it's high frequency distortion, this is why lower end equipment and tube gear rolls off the signal at 17-19,000 Hz. I listen to my SACD player about 30% of the time. The signal in SACD is sent through to my speakers at 50,000 Hz so high frequency energy is an issue for me.
I tell you all this because in my opinion this is the key to good sound. The more glare or distortion the worse the imaging, sound stage, fatigue factor and enjoyment of your system. There does seem to be a difference in bass response although with "clean" cables this factor is low. The "PRAT" (pace, rhythm and tempo) is another thing all together. For reasons I don't understand the cable speed will effect the presentation. If the PRAT is right the whole thing simply comes together. All cables will send the signal and produce the proper sound at your speakers. All cables will also add noise, it's finding the one with the least noise for the best cost that we look for.
I attend live musical performances frequently. Live acoustic performances are balanced tonally, you do not hear the surreal brightness found in some audio systems. IMO, an accurate audio system is musically rich with detail but without overblown brightness in the highs.
assuming identical tonal balance, what makes some systems very musical is an absence of distortion. no amount of cable/interconnect changes can remove distortion, it will only change the tonal balance, i.e. deaden the high frequencies, etc. careful attention must be given to the selection of equipment that does not just create detail w/out regard to distortion. while higher prices do not guarantee good product you won't find this stuff at chain stores. this lack of distortion, you may call it resolution or transparency if you wish, is what makes products like quad speakers so musical. the trick is finding a pre-amp, amp and speakers that are neurtal to the incoming signal, which you find visually pleasing and which match the types of music that you listen to. happy hunting............
Welcome to the world of mixing and matching components. Cables are a component and must be auditioned if possible. My experience with silver plate copper is not good. It tends to have a upward tilt in balance in my system. At first, it sounds fast, then the fatigue sets in. I prefer high purity silver, but it is extremely detailed, and system flaws show up loud and clear. You might need to choose a cable with less top end to match your tweeters. Good luck.
I think that all these guys are right. In my experience, which is still limited compared to many, much experimentation is necessary to find the right component-cable match. It could be that your speakers are just very bright. Look for cables and interconnects that will counter that or maybe even look for a speaker upgrade. Many Hi-end dealers will let you audition their products in your own home. Check it out. Do your research with a price range in mind.
Sonic genius: don't forget that the microphones hanging near and ABOVE that orchestra are picking up a MUCH brighter balance than you're hearing in Row H, or even Row A! Especially string tone will be more detailed as the mics tend to be on axis with their soundboards.
Every recording engineer's chore is to rebalance the sound to a reference they deem appropriate. On rolled off systems a bright mix will sound great. On linear systems an accurate mix may sound detailed, yet too bright due to distortions in the reproduction chain and/or poor mixing decisions.
I state these comments as a result of sitting in the rear balcony with a veneravle recording engineer and acoustician through Zander's rendering of the Mahler 9 with the BPO at KJOrdan Hall a couple of weeks ago. I mentioned to Tom that the first violins sounded too bright. He responded: "Imagine what those mics are picking up down there!" It was a stirring performance, but the work lies ahead to mold the spectral tilt, eh?
The lower frequencies tend to get filtered out if the wire gage is too small. Kimber 4tc is a good example of this when used with some speakers. Try a double run of cable if you suspect this is the problem. - Bill L.
Yea! Another audio listener looking for the same things I am looking for - detail and warmth and fullness!
As my profession, I conduct large choral ensembles and play a large organ - I also have worked with orchestras and attend symphony concerts regularly. Any one who has been to live choral, organ or symphonic concerts will tell you the sound is penetrating, full and in your face 'present' but also shimmering, airy and broad from side to side and top to bottom - of course symphony hall in Boston has renouned acoustics so this may have influenced my taste. ;)
I have yet to find the perfect audio solution. When I find a group of components that sound shimmering and airy - they can't give me the penetration a Bass drum slam or a 32' Organ pedal point can produce. Likewise - components that make the organ and bass drum palpable sound dead and muted on the top.
Adding to my dilemma is the fact that I listen to music at home not from row M or row A but from the conductors podium - where the 'reproduced' sound is litterally around me and filling my room - as if I am in the midst of the orchestra.
Right now I have most of what I want in sound reproduction but I am still searching for that "heavy bass sound" that is 'not' fake and bloated but 'is' really what a pipe organ does do.
Subaruguru: This why I attend "acoustic" performances meaning no mics. I like to be up front and close. If there are mics, I stay away from the monitors (can't stand those EV horns).
SG: You misunderstand me: I'm not referring to mics for live sound reinforcement! I simply WON"T attend such a performance. I'm talking about the $4000 recording B&Ks used at Symphony and Jordan Halls to make recordings for Telarc, etc. from these live performances!
Ndmaitre: Yeah...I wonder how I can recapture the Bourdons of my youth, too: I was a teenaged organist touring the great French Canadian 4 rank Casavant Freres rigs in cathedrals in Northern RI in the 60s. Seems to me that a setup standing-wave at 16-40 Hz is difficult to reproduce in a properly well-damped home listening room because the space is just SO different from a highly reflective HUGE space. I remember having to work out a syncopation between the upper ranks and the pedal-stops because of the lagtime in developing the big bass notes. And if the priest decided to sing down at the altar 200 feet away it was even trickier! Sorry to verge off, but thanks for the trip down memory lane....
Subaruguru: If you ever want to re-live those years I play a 50 rank 4 manual Casavant in a building that seats 1800. The sound of being at the console and hearing that huge French-Romantic sound in your face and filling that space - unfortunately my audio budget does not allow for a system that can recreate 'that' realistically - if that is even possible.
What a great forum! Thanks all for your input. The quest begins! Artemus_5 sold me with his poetic allegory. I'm now looking forward to mixing and matching. Perhaps, I should go to the local haberdashers to get in training. Regards,
Welcome to the journey Steakster. You will find much good info both here and audioasylum.com. However I must warn you that some of your friends and family may think you have lost your mind from time to time because you spend so much $ on equipment.
Take your time picking components. Listen to the components if possible. Read as many reviews as possible and look for similar remarks from the reviewers. That will be the trait of the piece of equipment. Most of all enjoy the music and have fun