Just to be sure nothing simple is being overlooked, are you sure that the new speaker cables are connected with the same phasing? If the cable on one of the two channels has + and - reversed relative to how the cable on the other channel is connected, it would produce the symptoms you've described.
Also, if one of the XLR interconnects is miswired internally the same thing could happen. If you have a multimeter, check that pin 2 on one end is connected to pin 2 on the other end, and that pin 3 on one end is connected to pin 3 on the other end. If pin 2 at one end were connected to pin 3 at the other end (and vice versa), on the cable for one of the two channels, it would account for the symptoms you've described. If you don't have a multimeter, try reversing + and - on one of the speakers (or on an amplifier output) and see what happens; doing that would compensate for a reversal in an XLR interconnect.
Something else is wrong. Your Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II has 97% of silver and 3% of copper. I use Acoustic Zen Absolute that has only 1% of copper and have plenty of bass and amazing soundstage. Check cables with ohmmeter as Al advised.
Something is possibly messed up. You have excellent components that should give deep bass down to the mid-30s, pinpoint imaging and an expansive sound stage, and should be lively and frisky as a young colt. If you had said it was too lively I would have understood better.
make sure your speaker settings in the oppo are correct for two channel listening with no subwoofer.
If the pc and oppo is your only source, you mayhave a setting issue in he oppo.
i'm getting bass but only on very high volume
checked the cable , - +
every thing look ok.
i bought the AMP and the PRE used (1 year old)
maybe there is something wrong with one of them?
maybe because i'm not using a proper DAC ?
It strikes me that your Cardas Clear wires are brand new... Put about 500 hours of a signal going through them... A break-in CD track or simple FM radio interstation hash will do just fine... And then reevaluate the sound... New wires can yield all sort of funny behavior that are often misdiagnosed as system problems... Lack of bass and uninvolving sound are just some of them.
Did you have this problem before you installed the new speaker cables? No? Then either the speaker cables are not adequately broken-in OR they may not be compatible with your system.
All good advice above. Other suggestions, don't buy new cables yet, borrow some to see if there are any major changes/differences. If you can find an Audiodharma cable cooker run in all your current cables, especially speaker cables, to see if there is a difference.
right , they are brand new
are you sure that might be the issue?
not a DAC maybe or room acoustic or speaker standing?
the acoustic zen silver reference ii XLR should be good enough for my system?
I see 2 things you may want to look at. First is break in. Cardas takes a very long time. Second is your PC. There's a very good chance setup is not as good as it can be for audio. If you haven't already done so, try comparing a ripped CD played through your computer, to playing the actual CD in your Oppo. See how big the difference is.
Does it sound like bass could be better or like something is "wrong"? I have the older Focal 1037 Be and also have an Oppo 105 and have never had weak bass in a pretty open room with high ceiling. I have tried Home Depot 14g copper extension cable as speaker wire (just for kicks), Anticables (copper) and Analysis Plus Big Sliver Oval, which range from $25 to $1000. All of them sounded different and had different presentation and definition of bass but all were enjoyable in thier own right and none gave the impression something was "wrong" I suspect the DAC/PC or other electronics or the room/placement.
I agree with playing a good sounding cd or sacd on the oppo and comparing to the PC. If the Oppo sounds better, look into your pc set up. I have used the Oppo Dac with great results with a Mac Mini and Pure Music.
I would guess it probably has to do with your speaker placement over anything else. That is really good gear you have there. Your source is probably the weak link if you have one. Acoustic Zen Silver ref is a good cable. It's not the problem at least not to the degree you are describing. Some rooms are very tough to get good sound in.
Also possibly something could be amiss with your computer setup and delivery to the DAC? Have you tried just playing CDs in the Oppo?
If you are looking for a different flavor you might try Grover Huffman cables. They are very cables and a great bargain too.
"Your source is probably the weak link if you have one"
you mean the DAC (oppo) or the PRE ?
when i play CD it's much better then the computer
but even then it's not so good.
i even though to replace the speakers with Utopia Scala or something else.
Pelo911 has put his system up with some pictures. You can see that he has a very difficult room to work with and some experimentation with speaker location may help with the bass. http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vevol&1351517525
Metralla, good job spotting the system description Pelo has just added, but the link you provided is to someone else's system. The correct link is:http://forums.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vopin&1383620370
The pix in your system description are very helpful, Pelo; thanks for putting them up.
The biggest problem I see is the short distance between the speakers and the wall behind the listening position. First, it looks like there is about a 4 or 5 foot distance between the listening position and that wall, which will produce a suckout in the deep bass region centered at about 60 or 70 Hz. Changing the position of the sofa relative to that wall will vary the frequency and the amplitude of that suckout, and experimenting with different positions may help significantly, although inevitably some compromise will result.
Second, I'm not sure that you are sitting far enough away from the speakers for their three woofers, two of which are in the lower half of the speakers, to blend properly with the mid-range driver, which is near the top.
Third, the close proximity of many reflective surfaces isn't helping imaging and soundstaging.
It appears that more space may be available at the far end of the room, near the window blinds that are visible. If practical, you might consider re-locating everything down there, so that the speakers are aimed along the room's longer dimension.
Damn! Thanks for picking up my error.
Sorry but the problem is the speakers. The Electra are too narrow sounding and slow. The CDP is not the best one also for dynamics.
Anyway it's easier to try a new cable. Try ANALYSIS PLUS SOLO CRYSTAL OVAL.
so i guess i need different speakers
and different DAC
any models/brands you recommend to try ?
So your source may not be a good match for your system, but don't start buying new gear yet. First try different placement of gear and sofa. Al pointed out possible bass suck-out; can you move the sofa close to the rear wall and toe-in the speakers?
Concerning weak soundstage, you'll never have a wide soundstage with the entire space between the spkrs filled with furniture. You need some air between the spks, maybe switch that IKEA unit to something vertical or shorter and put the amp on the floor (using good anti-vibration feet).
Also experiment with a blanket over the TV; it's causing reflections.
@Pelo911 : I agree with Lowrider57. Even if i think your speakers is a limitation, you should try to optimize your system before changing anything. An optimization is always a good thing to do because, even if you change your speakers afterward, you'll always keep your optimization! Furniture is a good start. www.hifiracks.co.uk is one of the best gear i heard to date for isolate electronics's vibrations. Try to move your speakers in the room to test acoustic problems.
My recommendation for speakers is always the same : USHER AUDIO. Best speakers for the money, period...
As a good DAC, you can try Mytek DSD DAC. Not expensive, handle HD tracks and very nice and musical. W4S DACII is also a great deal for small money!
Silver can even sound more musical than copper. It depends about the quality of the silver what is used. One thing is a fact that the best quality in silver Always beats the best copper in resolution, speed and drive. I use the Acapella pure silver XLR. This one is very dynamic and has a warm mid freq. I recently bought the brand new Audioquest Wild Blue Yonder with the new xlr plugs. Also this cable is very musical, with a very deep and fast low freq. Cheap silver cables can sound harsh and miss dynamics.
I tested many interconnects on Pass amps. You need an interconnect which can give a very sharp and realistic dimension of instruments and voices. Pass Labs give a deep and wide stage, but does not give the small and direct image you need. You need to understand all the properties of the stuff you own before you can choose an interconnect. Becuase they also have there own properties. For example; MIT and Shunyata make the stage also deep and wide and have the lack of a realistic dimension of instruments and voices. This irritating misstake is often made at shows.
Damn, How close are you to those speakers ?
Toe them in a bit and spread them apart if you can.
Also ,Can that couch go up against the back wall ?
That would help alot IMO. It seems to me that you are way too close . Now these are just my opinions ... just trying to help
so what model do you think are good match to Pass?
If I know Bo1972, I think he will recommend either the Diamondback or the WEL Signature.
Again, the cheapest tweek is to move the couch back, toe-in the spkrs and have a listen. Unless you already know the Focals are the problem. :)
Brands like Audioquest, Cardas, Transparent and taralabs all give a better sharp focus with Pass labs. I like Audioquest a lot cause of the timing and stunning blacks. There are more which are able to give a sharp focus
I see in another thread you've just started that you are replacing the Focal Electra 1038 Be II speakers (15 3/4 inches deep, 49 3/16 inches tall, 112 pounds) with Focal Maestro Utopias (30 5/16 inches deep, 57 7/8 inches tall, 256 pounds).
Hopefully you've chosen a different location for them in the house than the one shown in your system description photos, that we've discussed as being problematical even with the much smaller Electra. If not, unfortunately I think you are going to be disappointed, and the question of amplifier compatibility that you've raised in the other thread will not be the major issue.
For me, changing Focal for...bigger Focal is a mistake.
If you can, try a pair of Usher Audio CP-777. Even in a bad acoustic, those speakers are stunning. The Diamond DMD tweeter is way superior than the Focal's BE tweeter driver and the Appolito configuration assure a perfect phase. So you'll get a better image and sharp and smooth highs. The low register is also amazing. You'll not need a subwoofer with the CP-777...
The finish is also great and you'll save a lot of money in the process to invest in better wires.
The Focal speaker use very good crossovers. So you have the room to create a wide and deep stage. Good silver makes it more open en also can create a deep and wide stage. Good silver is expensive. For example I use both the Audioquest Sky and the brand new 2013 Wild Blu Yonder with the new XLR connectors. The difference in sound is huge. The Wild is more open but also a lot more musical. Sound is compared to the Sky less clean but warmer ( more pleasant)
Audioquest SKY/Everest is a favorite of mine.....Cardas makes my system sound like ----
Masterbuilt Signature. If you can spring for it, the Masterbuilt Ultras as soon as they're available. I auditioned the Ultras in March. The Signatures are pure copper. The Ultras composition is more esoteric.
dealer of Focal Advice TaraLabs 0.8 or Zero
told me it's the best cables for focal
what do you think?
Pelo, I assume your dealer also sells Tara cables??? Perhaps I am being cynical but its not surprising he is suggesting some very expensive ICs. Before spending big bucks on cables you should audition some to see if you can even tell the difference between the very high and lower priced ones. The Cable Co is a great place to try cables. At the very least your dealer should let you try out different Tara cables within their range. I for one have determined that I cannot really tell the difference between cables once I start getting close to about $1,000. And if I can tell the difference, the very small changes are not worth the typically huge step up in money.
Excellent advice from Tboooe, IMO. Also, I see in your system description thread that you'll be moving to a different house in a few months. Hopefully that will provide a much better acoustic environment for the speakers than you have now. I would suggest slowing down and not investing a great deal of money in trying to optimize the system until that time. Otherwise what you may end up doing in the meantime is making changes that band-aid room acoustic problems, but won't prove to be optimal when the speakers are in a better environment.