too much acoustic treatment suck mids, shrill highs


I have a room that is 14 1/2 by 27. 8 ft ceiling - berber carpet on slab.

My speakers are along the long wall, 3 feet out, 8 ft equa distant in a near field Cardas setup. I wish the room was 2 feet deeper

My system used to sound very natural
I upgraded amps, speakers and did room treatments in preparation for the new gear

Finding just the right amp / speaker synergy has been a quest

The room had a slap echo that I previosly tamed with 5 Echo Buster panels behing the listener 1/2 foot on the back wall.

I did a consultation with Real Traps and it was scary the amount of excess room energy once the sound treatments were completed. They did a great job suggesting treatments for my room

I have a sketch of the room and treatments at my office I will add tomorrow.
There is a partial cut out around my couch. I have switched out the wall behind me to diffraction panels, the four corners have corner mondo bass traps. I have absorption panels for the first point ceiling reflections. The side walls are too far away for first reflection issues but have bookcases full of books and albums. No treatments behind the soeakers - windows and artwork constrained.

Here is my issue. When music is dynamic my equipment sounds like it has an emphasis on the treble at the expense of the midrange.

I have chosen neutral sounding speakers, cables, amps.
Now I'm wondering if I haven't overdone my room treatments.

Music without a lot of high impact dynamic treble - think Norah Jones, Nick Drake, Bill Evans - sounds fabulous. Great tonality, a you are there sound. Harder music sounds a little edgy and this is on a pristine vinyl rig and Audio Research CD 9 cd player. Doshi pre and mono blocks. Various cables, Several pairs of speakers and amps. Lower volumes are better but 95 db things get shriller. Imaging is to die for, it's tonality in the top end or supression in the midrange that is the issue

I've went from a low efficiency 84 db speakers with 300 watt hybrid high watt setup, to a 97 db sensitivity 80 watt tube synergy.
It is really coming together

The sounds is more refined but still has frequency issues.
I've tried so many things. Hence the note to consider the treatment factor.

The music sounds more natural in the next room

Would it be worth taking elements of the treatments out of the equation?
Go back to absorption instead of diffusion behind my head?

Sounds like I need to touch base with the sound consultants for advice.
Tom
audiotomb
One of the absolutely worse sounding systems I ever had the displeasure of hearing in lauded about $10,000 worth of room treatments.
never heard of treatment making system bright . most reply sucking life out . look elsewhere in system . you mentioned new components . that is most likely where the issue is .
Mid's problem? Carpet may be too thick.
I have some experience with this type of problem. You have to be really careful when dealing with HF's, because there's a good chance that its not the room.

"The music sounds more natural in the next room"

That's almost always the case, regardless of the system. One thing that you can do, and I highly recommend it, is to set your system up in a different room just as a test to see if the problem goes away. If the problem still exists, its almost certainly going to be a component issue.
95db is awfully loud to my ears so the first thing I'd do is not listen at those levels. I listen in the mid 70s db range and occasionally hit the 80s and it begins to pressurize my ears. My room is smaller than yours so I know the next thing to go are my ears and then maybe my lease. :-)

With a very efficient speaker it's possible that one of the drivers is starting to break up or strain sooner at levels you're used to listening to. My older Tonians would start to get shrill at higher volumes and they're 95db efficient. My new Clearwaves, which are 85-88db efficient never approach even a semblance of harshness at the same levels.

All the best,
Nonoise
Gentlemen, note that the OP posted today in his system description thread that he "removed 3 diffusion panels behind my listening couch and it made a big difference in bringing up the mids relative to the highs."

Regards,
-- Al
Al,
Thanks. I was going to suggest that he remove the room treatments one by one and listen for the effect it has. I see he figured this out on his own. Congratulations.
Zd542,

You stated, "One thing that you can do, and I highly recommend it, is to set your system up in a different room just as a test to see if the problem goes away." That's an interesting suggestion. I would never thought of that. But for many people this is not a practical solution since moving to a different room means ... well, I think most people can figure this out. So much lifting and moving and reattaching cables and ... where is the room with an appropriate space to move the system into? ... and if the room has different acoustics then you are left scratching your head over the difference in the sound ... where's that coming from? ... I never heard things sound like that before ... etc. So, although this suggestion might sound good in an ideal world, on Planet Earth it may not be a very practical one to put into place for many people -- and even if it were there is a high probability the new room would cause new acoustic challenges, as most rooms do.
OP here

went to edit my system and it removed all but my new additions, what did I do

I have a post in audio circle acoustics circle

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=132711.0

received some great suggestions like yours

the 95 db is peaks not sustained and when I really want to hear it max out the room. I'm usually in the mid 80s

the tonality I am talking about is disconcerting but it's not massive

The diffusors 6 inches from the back of my head may have been affecting the high end too.

thanks

Tom

I updated my system

will do some more investigation this weekend
I'd suggest taking all acoustic treatments fully out of the room and then doing process of elimination testing on your speakers, gear, cables, etc....this will be time consuming and frustrating but I don't think any of us can tell what problems are being masked and which are being exacerbated. Have you considered borrowing one consistent line of interconnects & speaker cables and trying them together? On another note, have you tried using the Daedelus speakers on stands horizontally (see Doug Schroeder's system...he states this is his preferred/best way to hear this speaker)? I have to admit I'm a bit confused as to where I would start if I were in your place but I think the room treatments are getting in the way for now; try to get the system itself to the most listenable config and then use the treatments to refine/correct the things that remain.....my 2 cents, you know what they say about opinions :-)
"02-26-15: Sabai
Zd542,

You stated, "One thing that you can do, and I highly recommend it, is to set your system up in a different room just as a test to see if the problem goes away." That's an interesting suggestion. I would never thought of that."

It all depends on what you're trying to do. I made the suggestion because of what the OP said here.

"Here is my issue. When music is dynamic my equipment sounds like it has an emphasis on the treble at the expense of the midrange.

I have chosen neutral sounding speakers, cables, amps.
Now I'm wondering if I haven't overdone my room treatments.

Music without a lot of high impact dynamic treble - think Norah Jones, Nick Drake, Bill Evans - sounds fabulous. Great tonality, a you are there sound. Harder music sounds a little edgy and this is on a pristine vinyl rig and Audio Research CD 9 cd player. Doshi pre and mono blocks. Various cables, Several pairs of speakers and amps. Lower volumes are better but 95 db things get shriller. Imaging is to die for, it's tonality in the top end or supression in the midrange that is the issue"

It didn't seem like he was too sure what the root of his problem was. And given that it was in the upper frequencies, I thought trying the system in a different room may help figure out what the problem is. Its much harder to fix HF problems by tuning the room because they're so directional. In most systems, you have a direct line of sight from the tweeter to the listening chair. So, for example, if you have a sibilance problem that's equipment related, I find that the problem will follow the system regardless of the room. I'm not saying the system will sound exactly the same, just that you should still hear the sibilance issue regardless of the room and how the room is treated. If the OP had a different kind of problem, such as a bass issue, moving the system to a different room probably won't help all that much in diagnosing the problem. Keep in mind, though, that this is the nature of trouble shooting. My suggestion is just 1 of several possible causes, so I could be wrong. But the more causes you can rule out, the closer you get to isolating the problem.
"Moving to the system to a different room..." would not have thought of that either as we (or at least I) are conditioned to have at most one room in the house we can call our own for these systems, and that sometimes at a bartering arrangement to preserve some space!!! Brilliant suggestion!
Zephyr24069,

Thanks. But I wouldn't say it was brilliant. Its just a quick way to eliminate some possibilities as to what could be causing the problem.
Zd542,

In my experience, trial and error in your dedicated room with careful testing usually brings the answer, along with possible remedies.