mystery muffled mids

I have a year-old setup I enjoy very much. B&W D3 805s and Hegel H590. Sound is really great. Imagining fantastic. every second with it is pleasure until I try to play classic rock. Anything by Led Zeppelin sounds like someone has smushed the sound and it lost the mid range, imagining disappears. I tried playing louder but live with too many people around to be able to do that constantly. And it did not improve anything noticably. 
I normally stream from Tidal via Audirvana. 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? thank you in advance.
Depends on which LZ recording you are talking about. Some are pretty good, some are horrible. Makes a difference.


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,  DEQX also makes a less expensive unit that will also do everything you need. Once you have your system corrected everything will sound better.

57 posts
04-28-2021 12:39am
@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.

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.....
Another easy way to isolate the problem is to get a trial version of Qobuz and play the same LZ songs for comparison. While it's not always the case, I've noticed that certain songs sound better on Qobuz.