Does anybody have any suggestions? I would love to have the Benchmark but it seems to be just out of my pricerange!
18 responses Add your response
Not sure what the rest of your system is or your requirements for sound improvement, but I found the Audio Mirror non-os DAC to be superior to others costing considerably more. I'm not familiar with your DAC which is why it might be helpful to understand what you are looking for in sound reproduction.
Well a NON OS DAC maybe the ticket. I know you were complaining about the female singers in another thread being zippy. Do you have anything else you could hook up to the integrated to understand what's going on? Is your Toshiba just a digital transport or does it have analog outputs? If it does try it without the Dac. If it's still zippy it's not a Dac problem.
Houston we have a problem! Only two components left speakers or integrated.You might be over driving the speakers, the integrated or both. Most 1st order crossover speakers cannot be driven as you would a higher order design. The tweeter will try to pass frequencies from the midrange driver. You may need to try a different pair of speakers.Something designed for higher SPL.
Sean34, I note in your other thread ("taming female voice") you indicate that you have a "cheap toshiba transport". Before I invested in another DAC I believe I would address the cheap transport first. As the saying goes, "garbage in - garbage out". Given your budget, perhaps a good CDP would be a better upgrade? Just a thought. Good luck with your search.
I have never heard this speaker before.From checking it out on the web. It's not much different from the speakers you already own. Take your time looking for the speakers,they are atleast 50% of the sound in a system IMHO. Noting you seem to favor a two way design and going on the power output of your tubed integrated,combined with the room size.The Zu Druids might be a speaker worth checking out.I'm not a cheerleader for them.God knows we have enough of them already around here!LOL
I've never heard them before.But I do favor minimal crossovers or none at all.That try before you completely buy policy is a great offer.You've proved that it isn't the source yourself.
I wouldn't spend another dime on cables or a source until you try a different pair of speakers.You maybe surprised how good your current gear sounds on a speaker with no crossovers in the critical part of the frequency spectrum. I'm sure you'll be stunned to say the least.:-) Of course this is just my opinion.
Once you find a speaker with sound characteristics that you can live with and become familiar with.Then you can begin to tweak the rest of the system.This is when you will hear any minuet change in the system..making it easier to tweak.
Well this is a big broad question Sean34.Not an ignorant one though. Maybe I should have said complicated passive crossover components in the signal path I do not favor.
Since every speaker uses a form of filter..whether it's acoustic, electric ,mechanical or all three with or without passive electric filters.
The speakers that use acoustic/mechanical/electrical filters without these added passive components just seem to my ears better at getting out of the way and allowing the original signal to come through.
The drivers in some of these designs may seem as they work harder but infact they do not. The driver uses the cabinet as a filter and the driver itself is a filter. It reacts like a piston using the cabinet as resonator to produce bass. Instead of forcing it through the drivers themselves ..like a direct radiating speaker.From everything I've read the less that cone has to travel to produce a given wave form, the less distortion you will have in your music.Also a speaker with no crossover is basically an active speaker.The amplifier is hooked directly to the driver itself.
Most of the non-crossover speakers that I've heard or seen use the less movement the better theory in their design.Most speakers designed like this will not play at rock concert levels(I'm sure there are exceptions).But for most folks they will do just fine.
I'm not a speaker designer so this stuff gets pretty deep.
There are sooo many variables it's mind boggling!
My speaker uses a simple filter so I'm not against them totally.IMHO they have their place where needed.I don't like it over done to the point of having large phase shifts and impedance swings. The phase shifts and impedance swings a speaker produces will dictate what amplifier will work best.Some companies use dirt cheap drivers and complicated crossovers to make the speaker perform to a given standard.While others use expensive well designed drivers that are built to perform better without the crippling effects of a complicated crossover.They still need a cabinet designed specifically for them to work their best though.
In theory the less drastic these swings the more efficient the amplifier should work and the less distortion it will produce doing the job. So it can be a win win situation. You have less distortion from the driver itself and less distortion from the amplifier. Believe me you can hear the difference.
The speakers you own now are designed like this in many ways. The cabinet is designed to produce the bass which allows the midrange driver to do it's job..the midrange.
One negative with TLs(transmission line speakers) is they don't play at extreme high SPLs as would a ported Bass Reflex design. But the positve side is they will produce some of the most natural cleanly decaying bass your likely to ever hear.
For your room size you really need to stick with a speaker that has this type of bass or similar. If not your going to have issues with plump fuzzy bass.Then you'll be out buying sound panels and everything else trying to compensate for the speakers themselves.If the room is fairly damped by itself(curtain,carpet floors,bookshelves,furniture,etc)..I wouldn't bother with panels unless the room is talking to you(echoes,etc). I see comments all the time where people say "A fullrange speaker's bass may over load a small room".
Well I'm here to tell you it depends on what kind of full range speaker and what type of design it uses.A fullrange ported bass reflex speaker is a NO GO in a room like your's or mine. Go with sealed, TL or some form of pipe tuned fullrange speaker. The other option stick with bass reflex speakers that roll off gradually below 50hz..like GMA Europas or Reference 3as for example.You don't need anything in a room that size going flat to 25Hz.If so you'll likely be in for some dissapointment.
I forgot about the Reference 3a..these speakers should be on your audition list also.
If need be I can direct you to some web sites that can explain this stuff much better than I ever could!LOL
Thanks man, I do understand from your explanation! I have heard two things on the reference 3a...people like em or hate em...the ones that don't like them seem to say that they are the same problem that I am having now...zingy?
I do have the echo problem, my wife has let me make the room a dedicated listening room! Soooo, there is no furniture except a chair. The floor is pergo with a area rug covering 3/4's of it, one solid wall and one wall with a picture window with curtains that stay closed. The speakers fire down the length of the room. At the opposite end of where the speakers are pointed there are french doors that open.
If your room is bare you need one of two things or both.Room treaments or furniture or both. Maybe a couple of fake plants wouldn't hurt either.It will atleast help. I assumed you had these speakers in a room with furnishings.Since you didn't mention otherwise in your previous post.Take care of the room.. after this you can decide if it's time to try a different pair of speakers or not.