Looking to improve my system


I have been a member for a while and check the forum listings daily. My first posting. Looking for some advice on tweaking / improving my system which I started a couple of years ago

Before this I had a Denon amp, CD player and some JBL 4412 speakers inherited from my father-in-law, RIP.

My current system is


Primaluna EVO 400 and  Arcam A49

Q-Acoustic Concept 500 speakers

LKS MH-DA004 DAC

Bluesound Node 2i

Pro-ject Carbon Espirt SB turntable


QED XT40 speaker cables.

Blue Jean coax and RCA

Audioquest Yukon XLR

Signal Power Cable on the amp (can't remember which one but cost about $100)

The other components are using original power cables.  

Furman PL-Plus-C

GIK acoustic panels (bass traps in back corners. 7 other panels in the room)


The room is 12 X 19. 8 foot high ceilings. I sit on the long wall so I’m about 8 feet from the speakers. The speakers are an equal distance from the side walls. Today they are about 7.5 feet apart and toed in slightly. 15 inches from the wall


Mostly listen to the Bluesound either streaming through Amazon or Neil Young Archives and a hard drive or Network drive which contains my many CDs ripped to FLAC files through EAC. Very little vinyl.

My musical tastes vary

Classic jazz - MIles Davis, Art Blakey, Bill Evans but also Joshua Redman and Diana Krall

Classic and Grunge Rock - Stones, Beatles, Pink FLoyd, Led Zeppelin, Talking Heads, DIre Straits, Pearl Jam, Alixce in Chains

Acoustic music - David Grisman / Jerry Garcia Bob Dylan, Bluegrass, Neil Young.

Indie Music - Ryan Adams, Bon Iver, Lord Huron


So what is the problem? Not really sure. There are moments that are really good, but to be honest it seems never as good as a live performance.  (Not sure if you can really  reproduce the live experience and I have been to poor sounding live shows )  I would  say it does depend on the recording. Talking Heads -Stop Making Sense Psycho KIller and David Grisman / Jerry Garcia The Thrill is gone recordings are great. Miles Davis- Kinda Blue and BIll Evans -Sunday and the VIllage Vanguard are really good. But much of the rock music and indie stuff (except maybe for Bon Iver) can be lacking.


What is the problem? Not always sure but maybe a separation of instruments, or that some instruments get lost and others are too prominent. In the Miles Davis song “So What” I  love to listen to the bass, drums and piano in the background while the sax and trumpet are playing. Sometimes, even in that song, those background instruments get lost, especially the drums. Rock music is worse, Seems like no separation. Just generalizing here.  I would almost rather listen to this music in my car.

Also some music can sound harsh, at times. What I want is to not be thinking about the system but just enjoy the music and feel like I’m being enveloped by the sound. To not just hear the sound but feel it.


I feel I am set with my amps. I want the Concept 500 speakers to work but also looking at the Klipsch Forte III. (I think the Cornwall IV are too big?) Or maybe something else? Also not sure if I would change the DAC or streamer. Have looked at the Furman Elite15 PC but not sure if I want to go that way. I plan on adding a dedicated 20 amp circuit. Not sure about adding higher end cables. I don’t want to re-ignite a battle. While I can’t wrap my head around some of those cable upgrades it is more from lack of experience. I wish I could compare speaker wire, connectors and power cables, just not sure how. There was a suggestion from GIK to add some additional panels to the ceiling and more bass traps high on the back wall .


Sorry for the long post, I know there are a lot of you out there with so much experience and knowledge and I will take all suggestions openly. If there is anything I have taken from reading the posts in this forum, it's that people are passionate about their music.



stalajkowski

[email protected] twoleftears

 " Point one is to ignore all the advice given to you by the first person who responded."
Thanks for all the advice so far. I have thought about going the long way in my room. It would take some significant mods to the room and in ways not ideal for other reasons. Not to get into all the details. But it would be easy to move the speakers and at least try it out. I have heard many members in other posts comment on the Tekton Double impact speakers. Any thoughts?
Ugh.  Don't get caught up in the flavor of the month.

Buying new speakers is a lot sexier than moving furniture around or measuring acoustic panels.  But it's a lot cheaper!
I have heard many members in other posts comment on the Tekton Double impact speakers. Any thoughts?


Everything I’ve previously mentioned will address exactly the points you mentioned. Including the Double Impacts which are indeed very highly regarded. At the risk of repeating myself, problems like you noticed "separation of instruments, or that some instruments get lost and others are too prominent" is more often than not a speaker problem.  

Separation of instruments can also easily be bad wire, which is why I recommend replacing those freebie rubber power cords and factory fuses. Separation of instruments can also be vibration control related, and acoustical, which is why I recommend HFT, ECT and BDR. But when you add in that some instruments get lost while others are too prominent, that more likely is speakers. If you notice a pattern to this tendency, where say trumpet almost always sounds good but piano hardly ever, anything like that, is more likely speakers.

Tweaking speaker placement always helps. But no amount of placement tweaking will address your concerns. Which is why I didn’t waste any time commenting on it earlier.

You can decide for yourself whether to take my advice or not. Typically what I have found works for me is to read through some posts of different people just to see if they really do seem to know what they’re talking about. Then check out their systems. And decide for yourself who is all talk and who can actually walk the walk.

https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/4505
https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8768
https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367
Sorry, I got Tekton Moabs about a week ago and haven’t updated with new pics yet.
OP,

You gotten solid advise from twoleftears. In addition to points made in his first post, I would address the weakest link in your system...Bluesound streamer. I would consider replacing that with a better streamer. Look into Lumin, Aurender and Innuos.

Once you have addressed your main source then look into Cabling. The cables from Audio Envy will provide dramatic uptick in SQ without breaking your bank.