Rbschauman...did you buy all this new gear without listening to it? I am not asking in a critical manner, just wandering you if you auditioned it all at a dealer or not? If you did audition it and it did not sound lean in the mids and lower frequencies but is now exhibiting this leaness in your home, then it may be that you have a suckout in your room somewher in the low to mid frequency band and it may be ameliorated with a change in speaker placement and/or room treatments. Just one avenue to explore. If you bought the system sight unseen (or unheard) than you now have to figure out where this leaness is being introduced in the signal chain. I would still play around with speaker placement and see if that helps. Good luck.
I am not familiar with Rega gear, but I think that speakers are the most variable piece of gear in the chain of equipment. If you don't want to take the whole system back and start over, try some speakers that are known as having a warmer sound. I can vouch for Dali Helicon 400 MkI (not II).
You will probably have to get tube gear to reproduce or better your old system in this respect though.
Floor reflection typically causes some cancellation in the upper bass, around 100-200 Hz range. First try an area rug in front of the speakers.
my impressions of rega speakers (which i regard highly) is that they're extremely silky and revealing at the high end and tend to leanness at the lower end--curiously, rega doesn't publish frequency specs, so it's not easy to tell how deep they're supposed to extend. i'm not sure bases/footers/etc. will markedly increase low end response. tho i'd certainly experiment with placement, room treatment etc., at the end of the day i'd look at adding a sub.
Thanks for the responses.
Cmalak – Your point is well taken. This system is an assemblage of Rega products over time without audition. Therefore, I have no benchmark to refer back to.
Cmalak and others – You put forth my best hope; toying with speaker placement. Hopefully, I will pickup a bit of what I yearn for through repositioning. It’s what the US importer of Rega products suggested as well.
I do have to face up to the fact that the nature of the beast that I’m contending with (Rega products) in a perfect setting will not yield exactly what I’m looking for. I simply want to maximize its abilities.
Why did I assemble this system anyway? For durability (others in the house play it), affordability, the design of the R7 speakers (our cats can’t reach the fabric to hurt it) and cosmetic consistency.
BTW – Anyone care to suggest another high-end manufacturer who creates a full line of gear like Rega? (Pre & power amps, CD, TT, speakers, and tuner)
Randy...the other one that comes to mind is Linn, Cambridge Audio and I think Naim (also UK-based). Any reason why you want all the components from the same manufacturer? I would think that one-stop shop brands probably have core strengths in one or 2 categories but offer less than optimal offerings in other areas just to provide a full suite of products. Just a supposition...In the US, there are holding companies that own a portfolio of different brands in different categories. I am thinking of Harman which owns Revel and JBL speakers, Mark Levinson electronics, AKG headphones, Harmon Kardon electronics, and Lexicon electronics among others. But they have different looks and design principles etc...Hope this helps.
Getting back to your system, do you have a local dealer of the Rega products that you can consult. Part of their aftermarket service is to help clients with system install and dialing in. They could help you better place speakers in your room and maybe suggest some room treatments. Good luck.
Since you were pleased with a tube amp before, perhaps you could borrow one to see if it helps.
Cmalak - Components from the same manufacturer? System synergy, cosmetics, and wife/childproof…weak, I know when ultimately the objective is good sound. Not that what I have is awful by any means, just a bit short of the robustness and sweetness of my previous tube driven setup. Hopefully I will return to that someday – for know I’ll survive.
BTW, I’ve embarked on a rebuild of my vinyl collection and have been picking up some 180 gram records. Gosh do they sound great in comparison to my “oldies”; a step in the right direction of pursuing a better sound.
Thanks again for your help,
I think one brand systems are a great way to go (I used an all Linn system for about 20 years). I tried Conrad Johnson and McIntosh tube gear about 25 years ago, but just wasn't happy with their relative weaknesses in pace, rhythm and dynamics--beautiful tonality, but the music lost its life and energy. Products from Rega, Naim, and Linn were more to my liking. More recently, at the urging of a local dealer, I took home some Rogue tube gear to try out, but again, the music seemed to fall apart temporally to me.
One other brand not mentioned above that makes almost a complete system (no turntable) is Quad. I'm curious to hear what their lower-end (99 series) components sound like with one of their small, stand-mount speakers.
Jrtrent – Thanks for the pick-me-up! Not often do I see one coming to the defense of solid state products.
Maybe the CJ system I had was not as great as I seem to recall, although I’m sure it was very good in many ways. It’s kind of like how legends grow through time…
One other factor I have failed to mention in previous postings is that my hearing isn’t what it once was. I am 49 and annual audiograms administered here at work show some loss of ability.
You might also want to consider adding a tube buffer to the chain. It could hopefully be placed in a less visual location to preserve the look of your system and might give some of the fullness you are looking for. The Dodd tube buffer gets a lot of good reviews (there's even a DIY kit if you are so inclined), but there are others as well. Eastern Electric's is also well reviewed. There are less expensive prebuilt tube buffer options as well.
((Maybe the CJ system I had was not as great as I seem to recall, although I’m sure it was very good in many ways. It’s kind of like how legends grow through time…))
Roscoeiii your memory is fine and you are still a young guy.
What you owned CJ,Vandersteens and a turntable etc was and still is a high performance high end Audio system.
Compared to what you have now i think its wishful thinking if you feel like most here you can polish a decorator approved system into progress by making small tweaking changes only finding your going in circles.
Could it be cheaper and more enjoyable in the long run to go back to Vandersteens a tube pre an Vinyl?
To confirm what you already know and are second are guessing youself on take a listen to Vandersteens, a Tube pre amp with black records again in my onion its timeless.
Look up the definition of Form following function
and thats what worked for you instead of now your working for it.
you should spend some time looking into room acoustics, treatment options, and speaker placement. Actually reverse what I just wrote...speaker placement, then room treatments, then room acoustics to make sure the treatment options are what you need.
I experienced improved lower/mid range warmth and body when I added a pair of subwoofers to my system. Even though they are set at 35Hz each, they did improve the sound of lower/mid range.