No bass in the Proac Response 3

I've just had the opportunity to buy a Proac Response 3 from a fellow agon just recently. One of the foam the 6.5" woofer was
torn ( with holes) so I already had it replaced with brand new foam. The treble improved quite a bit once I had the foam replace. The midrand is still the same and I have to say the Proac midrange is beautifull. I can sit and listen to female vocal (Krall, Elle, Cassandra) music all day. There is no sign of harsh or etch at all.

However, my problem now is that the bass is nowhere to be found when I play rock/pop. I do the regular Proac reccommended speaker placement of 2 feet away from the wall and the deep bass , mid bass are all but lost. If I moved the Proac very close to the wall then I get stronger bass, but now my image and everything else got all messed up. A simple analogy would be like I don't feel the singer is standing in the rooming sing anymore once I move the speakers toward the wall. Everything is just so flat ( 2-d), but the bass is good.

The most simple weak link that I can see in my system is that maybe the Krell integrated is just not big enough to produce the kinda big bass that I used to. But another interesting thing to know is that before I got the R3, I also got a much smaller Proac supertower that produced bass twice as much as the R3; and the R3 is twice the size, but lacking in the lower freq department.

My system is following:
Krell KAV-300i (integrated amp)
Arcam DV-27 (CD player)
Sony DVD player + PS Audio UltraLink DAC
Proac R3 (Full range speaker)
You need to experiment more with speaker positioning. Also experiment with the listening position. You should be able to get bass response solidly down into the 40Hz range with the ProAcs.
I agree with Onhwy61. Your amp should have enough juice to drive the ProAc's. Probably a speaker-room issue. Maybe you are sitting in a bass node? Try walking around the room to see if the bass improves. I know someone who added a subwoofer and could hear no bass at all, yet his room-mate upstairs was complaining :)
I agree with the rest--the issue is not the amp. My buddy has a pair of R3's and we have found that they benefit from much experimentation in placement. And, they are somewhat fussy in this regard--as you report there are often tradeoffs to be made when moving them around. Even under the best of circumstances, however, the R3's do not produce what I would call strong, foundational bass. Despite the cabinet size they can be a little lightweight in their presentation, despite some other very good qualities. Also, this is a speaker that has issues with aging woofer foam, as you have addressed. I've been trying for years to get my friend to move to another speaker but he won't budge--likes his Proac's just fine.
Give it time - better bass is often less resonant and in your face than what you typically get from boom boom tizz speakers...
Thanks a lot for all the quick response. I've had the Response 3 for about more than a month and the surprising thing that I found is that when the 6.5" midwoofer was tearing up, the treble was the first to go ( very surprising). SO I've had all the foams professionally refoam. And the treble came back ( I always thought that the high frequency came from only the tweeter. But it's not true with the Proac).

Anyway, back to the R3 bass, I've tried a few speaker placements experiments before. However, have not had good success. However, based on the urge of you more experienced gentlemen, I will go home tonite and try a few more locations, even I will change my sitting location. Also, another thing I forgot to mention is that I've filled up the sand pretty full. Could someone please enlighten me more on this sand filling thing in the R3. Please understand I am a pretty newbee in audiophile. And another school of thought. I've heard that class A amp will do wonders with bass and even less harshness in female vocal. Is it true that getting a new amp will help or it's still more a speaker placement problem..Thanks, ducchau.
I don't know how many hours you've played the speakers after replacing the foam surround, but maybe they need to be broken in some. If you want to break them in fast just reverse the speaker wire polarity on ONE speaker only and place the speakers facing each other very close and let "em" rip. You can also put a blanket over them if it is still to loud. I have heard speakers with very little bass when new have great bass after loosening up some by about 50 hours.
Racamuti...Nope. Have not had burn-in time for the new woofer foams. Just picked up the drivers last weekend so probably not than 20 hours of playing. But really burn-in time for foam also. This is the first I've heard. Thanks, Ducchau.
Could you have reconnected the drivers out of phase? Try switching the polarity on one of the drivers.
If ALL the 6.5" drivers had their foam suspensions changed out then you will need break in time to get the bass back. If only one driver was changed and suddenly bass has disappeared, the last post may have merit... did you somehow reverse polarity when re-installing said woofer back into cabnet?
Otherwise break-in time should bring it back.
I don't know about Krell's integrated, but the old Krells had great bass. About class A: Some Class A's are better than Class AB but Class AB done right (like an Eagle 4) are no issue. My old Forte 1a (50 watts class A) was pretty good in the bass, outperforming some 250 watt amps I compared it too.
04-17-08: Prefab
Could you have reconnected the drivers out of phase? Try switching the polarity on one of the drivers

My thought also......

Ducchau, without having to remove the drivers again you can check for proper polarity using a 1.5 volt D cell battery.

* Pull the front grills from the speakers.
* Disconnect the speaker cable wires from the Amp.
* Take one speaker cable and hold the negative wire on the negative post of the battery. While watching the speaker driver cones of the speaker momentarily touch the positive wire of the speaker cable to the positive post of the battery.
If the polarity is correct each driver cone will move forward. If any cone pulls in instead of outward reverse the wire connections on that driver.
* Repeat process for other speaker.
If you are filling the cabinet with sand you are changing the internal volume of the enclosure which will change the frequency response of the speaker, most notably reducing the bass response. Try taking the sand out. You could try a shopvac with a small hose through the port. You may need someone to tip the speaker while you vaccume. You have plenty of power for the speakers. I've heard them sing with 25w Quick Silver Mini Mites. I agree with Dodgealum, the response 3's never had a lot of strong bass and are a little lightweight in presentation, especially for thier size, but are a very nice speaker. New surrounds, as others have said, will take some time to break in, sometimes hundreds of hours. Upgrading the crossover with capacitors of your choice will make a wonderful improvement.
Aside from all the great comments already posted, have you fed the speakers with test tones? Also, since these speakers are bi-wires, have you tried to use the 'low' set to see if any difference occurs? With different aged drivers you are always going to have differences in the response. In speaker land, there is something called 'matched drivers' and that can have some impact on what your listening to now. I had that problem many years ago when I replaced a woofer in another ProAc model.
Hifibri, how could the sand filling change the internal volume of the cabinet when the cavity that contains the sand is totally separate from the other box that contains the drivers ? So this is the point that I don't quite get from all the techniques of higher end speakers designers use.

However, I did remove half the sand last night and it seems to help the bass quite a bit. Although not to the point that I am happy. So more speaker placement experiments.

Jea, thanks for the technical trick to test out the polarities of the speaker connections. Although I feel that I did connect the speaker wires correctly, I will try what you suggested.
Ducchau, here is what ProAc says about filling the sand cavity......

"After removing the cover the cavity should be part filled with dry silver sand, then the listener is invited to add or subtract sand, which will tune the bass quality for his taste and room acoustics. As a general rule of thumb, a small amount of sand will give the bass more warmth, adding more sand to the cavity will give a dryer tighter quality, most people will find that half to two thirds full is optimum in most models."

Also, I assume you are using spikes on the speaker plynth.
Hi Ducchau, New drivers dont burn in, they break in. The new surrounds are stiff and they get more compliant as they play some allowing the cone to move back and forth easier. The more movement the better, so just crank em up for awhile and they will loosen up and bass will get better and better.
I see. We'll see how it goes over the weekend. I send out report of how things pan out.
I will presume you have speakers with the tweeters set up correctly on the inside of each speaker.
I would start with removing all of the sand.
Bring the speakers toe in so that you can see just a little bit of the inside cabinet wall of the speakers from your listening position.once you find your favorite spot in the room make sure your speakers are absolutely level, spiked and the nuts tightened snug up the plinths as well.
Any time you move the speakers
recheck and confirm the speakers are level and
not rocking.
Make sure you run the same type speaker wire on tweeter as the woofers. Run one CD player at a time.
If you have 2 going unplug the one you are not using.
Let us know how you made out
Cheers John Rutan
recheck and confirm the speakers are level and
not rocking.
Good advise but I would use the word plumb instead of the word level. The important thing here is to make sure the front of the speaker is plumb. Not sure this would have any effect on the bass directly but it sure will affect the treble, so I guess in a way it would affect the bass in the overall balance of things.

Run one CD player at a time.
If you have 2 going unplug the one you are not using.
Would you please explain your reasoning here. How would this affect the bass?

Having 2 CD players on at a time.
Its bad enough we have one cd player hooked up
but two can add even more digital noise back into the system
which causes line noise with a bite.
just keep the one not being used turned off while listening.
Cheers John
I've waited for more than two weeks already for the woofer foam to break in or break up and now the sound has started to open up. Although as Shadorne has put it, I don't get the boomy sound with chest-pounding/in-you-face bass, the sound coming out of the Proac is a very deep and tight bass. Anyhow, it's just something that I am going to have to get used to.

Do you have the room properly treated? Good bass traps will always smooth out the low freq response and, somewhat counter intuitively, will give you more, not less, bass.
Got similar story and think that good speaker cables could improve your bass freq. Used to have the Krell 300i but now replaced with the Atma Sphere MA1 Mk3. Even with the MA1 power, the bass still lack of impact/realism. After testing so many bi-wire product, currently, very happy with Anticable for the HF and the Canare Quad for the LF. On the subject of Proac's bass capability, when the Proac Response 3 is paired with the AudioValve Challenger 115 and Tungsol 6550, I've experienced the most realistic bass ever i.e. growl, impact, pressure... Btw, systems owned include Joule, Shindo, but most realistic bass come from this combination Audiovalve + Proac...
I didnt read all these posts so if someone said this already-- sorry-- but when you refoamed-- you had to take the woofer out of the box, right?
Did you maybe re-wire out of phase (easy to check) or not tighten the screws down enough to seal the woofer back to the box tight? The Response three should have pretty significant bass....
This is response to previous two responses.

Abramsmatch , yes I made sure that the connection were properly in phase.I even went ahead and followed instruction from one of the gentlemen who posted earlier and used a small AA battery to bias the woofer. It worked great .If the woofer were incorrectly connected the woofer would move in, instead of moving out (please see above) if connected inphase.

Indofunka, I know how valve/tube amp sounds like. They sound seductive, but I am a freak for bass and it just doesn't cut it for me. Currently , I've got my hand on a real Krell DVD/CD and sold away my cheap Sony DVD and the PS Audio DAC and first impression is that it sounded way better than what I had before. Boy, the combination of Krell amp + Krell CD + using balanced cable is just incredible.

However, on a side topic, the Krell DVD Showcase I just bought is giving me a lot of problem with playing scratched disc, and etc... Plus every 20 sec or so, depending on the disc, it would shutoff. This is the most frustrating thing I've seen. I've had cheap 15$ DVD players made in China/Japan that play scratched disc and do not have mechanism to shut down just the like the Krell that cost 500 times more. This is just so stupid. If anyone has experience with this problem please let me know . I haven't contacted Krell yet. As I am trying to get hold of the invoice form from the dealer so that I can get warranty.
I made suggestion about the cables, they made a noticaable difference in my setup. I am glad Krell 300i provides the bass quality you are looking for, but to say "tubes" don't cut-it is wrong. Have you experience Joule, Atma MA1, Shindo, and.or Audiovalve Challenger with Tungsol 6550??? There is no comparision between what I listed and Krell 300i. Like day and night, 2D and 3D :) I could also suggest another SS integrated amp for $700 that blew the Krell away!
Scan-Speak 18W 8542 woofer refoam instructions

(Scan-Speak 18W 8452 bass/midrange speakers are fitted as original equipment to many high end speakers such as Pro-Ac Response speakers, Scan-Speak 200, Celef monitors, Carlsson OA52 and 53 and others)

foam surround repair kit (stock code 0653K) for Scan-Speak 18W 8542 contains the same genuine surrounds as originally fitted. If you use any other surround on these speakers you will suffer greatly reduced bass output.
Wayneke- I know it's been a few years since this post ran, but I need a set of surrounds for the Scanspeak woofers in my Proac Response 3 speakers. Do you recall who might have a supply of these surrounds, or a number I can call to get more info?
Thanks, Pepperdog


I have replaced the drivers on my Supertowers and they sound better than original. I have just gotten Studio 100's from the late 90's that need new foam. Should I get new drivers or just call Madisound and do the refoam myself? I'm leaning that way. Still not sure which ones I'll sell. How do I find out how much I should ask (both in teak) since there are no records I can find of either types selling on the net? Thanks.
It's amp matching. Use a tube amp that normally might sound thick and flabby and bass will come back.
I have heard response 3s before and bass is quite lean.