Do you have another pair of speakers that you can swap?
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Anything by Bill Frisell, for instance, sounds phenomenal. You feel you can grab the instrument from the air. I mention this since he uses similar instruments to Zeppelin. Bowie's stuff sounds awful, as does Queen. I know they should sound better. Kind of Blue is fantastic. Gaucho, Sea Change, Elephunk, Wildfloflowers, Know what I mean? -- all great. To a friend, I said that this means bad recordings sound bad. The friend said that's not it. what do you say? How can I improve the sound?Any of a number of ways. But that's not the question now, is it? You clearly have great sound already-
Anything by Bill Frisell, for instance, sounds phenomenal. You feel you can grab the instrument from the air.To think you have a system that can do this, but yet it has something so strangely wrong it cannot do it with Zeppelin, is just nuts. You even have the answer already, and yet no one here can see it. Why am I not surprised?
Technically, it is not the recording. To understand what is going on you have to really know and think about all the various steps involved between the performance in the studio and your playing it at home.
The only way to say for sure it is the recording is to have the master tape. Never gonna happen. Next will be a copy printed at the time. With Zeppelin that will be a vinyl record.
We know the Zep was really well recorded because, well look: https://better-records.com/products/ledze3_2104?_pos=3&_sid=3c678aa90&_ss=r You simply do not get anyone paying $800 for muffled mids. Tom gets big money for these for one reason and one reason alone: they sound freaking fabulous! (I know, I have several.)
Yours sounds muffled. It's not the recording. What, then?
Original Master tapes represent a tremendous investment no one wants to risk, so right away they start making copies. These copies almost always are what is used to make the records and CDs we buy. They can be any generation, any quality. Then too the care taken in making the pressing can vary widely.
If you are streaming Zep guess what? They bought a crap file, probably made from a crap copy of a copy of a copy of a master tape. Something like that. Last thing in the world it has anything to do with is your system. Everyone here should know this. Jeez Louise!
If you must use Zeppelin as the reference, the only releases to use are the 2014 Jimmy Page remasters or the original flat transfer CDs, circa 1986, 87.
High quality records will be costly.
There are other remastered CDs through the years which are bright sounding but these should not be used as reference.
Hey OP - can you clarify is it just LZ or pretty much all classic rock. MC’s theory might be right if it’s just LZ but if it’s all/most/ a significant portion of classic rock then his theory doesn’t work. I know MC has a strong bias against streaming and that often seems to cloud his judgement. Also if this was the issue wouldn’t everyone streaming from Tidal experience this problem?
I had a similar issue recently though it wasn't with classic rock - rather it was just with certain recordings. After looking at interconnect issues and tightening my speaker drivers to no avail I finally realized the DAC I was using, in certain instances, was putting out too much voltage for my pre-amp to handle. Instead of using full output from my DAC I turned it down (randomly to 83/100) and the problem was solved. Not sure if this could be your issue as well.
@gmercer - don't know if you're just trolling, but I will explain why I asked in case you are actually just ignorant, and also for the sake of the OP and others in this thread. The OP has a great amp and speakers, truly excellent stuff in fact. He/she does not need to change those, at least for the sake of quality. Changes in his/her price range would mostly be a lateral move, at best. Tidal, although not as good as Qobuz, should not inherently have "bad mids." So, by process of elimination, there are a few variables left that could be causing the OP's issues: speaker cables, power issues (bad power coming into house/room, limiting/missing power filter or conditioner, etc.), or room interactions (no ICs, so not a consideration). For simplicities sake I asked only about the speaker cables.
OP, as I said, that list was for your sake, too. I would also consider the stand, isolation, and/or coupling you have for your speakers. If you just have your speakers sitting on a stand or shelf, without coupling them to a good stand or alternatively isolating them from the stand, then this could be your issue. Without isolation or coupling, your speakers will audibly vibrate on their placed surface, often times muddling up the mids, especially. This makes sense that you notice it more with rock, because the mid/bass driver will be moving more, and causing more vibration. GL
petar, I am not sure what "muffled mids" means. If there is a peak centered on 300 Hz you will get "muddy" or "thick" midrange. If there is a dip centered at 5000 Hz you will get dull midrange. Both issues can be the result of room acoustics and/or speaker issues. I doubt it would be elsewhere in the system. Speaker issues can include amplifier matching problems. The only sure way to figure this out is to get a calibrated mic and a frequency response measurement program. Then you will be able to see the problem and determine if room treat, speaker adjustment etc. are working. Another way to deal with it is a room control unit. It will come with the mic and measurement program and the ability to EQ your system digitally without any ill effect. This is a great unit, https://www.deqx.com/products/hdp-5/ DEQX also makes a less expensive unit that will also do everything you need. Once you have your system corrected everything will sound better.
He's getting great sound from other files and sources. So its NOT the damn cables!!!
I guess for you, you change out cables every time a streamed file sounds bad.....
I'm done with these forums. I don't ever see respectful discussion, but rather prideful lunacy. Good luck filtering through all the BS. My parting gift - https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/3-ingredients-to-a-healthy-audio-community
thank you to everyone who responded. With due respect, I do wish that some posters read the whole post. Problem is that some music sounds great as it should but some does not and the question is, among other things, why such difference. I am now investigating the source and will try cd, records, and alternative streaming application. I tried another set of speakers -- the same result, some music sounds great but not LZ. I did try LZ first album (tidal, deluxe edition) and it sounded OK. Actually, quite good.
I meant no disrespect with my comment. It was just based on a lot of classic rock is pretty midrange centric. Not a lot of lows or high highs so if there is a dip in that range I was thinking it may sound a little muted. To be honest though I’ve only ever gotten Zepplin to sound descent, not great.