Hold you fingers gently on the woofers to make sure they are moving when music is playing.
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Yes, I did check the speakers and they are all working. As well as the level controls on the x-over. To test the rest of my gear I hooked up an older pair of Polk LS9 floor standing speakers and they had more bass. You can tell that the 3's will go deeper. But at a much lower level compared to everything else that is coming out of them??
I am still confused...
The Vandersteens are not a lean sounding speaker, actually they err on the warm side. The Kimber 8TC is a good match for the Vandersteens, perhaps they are a touch lean but that's not a bad thing for the Vandersteens. Positioning is important, use the guidelines in the owners manual. I see from your System photos you had your previous speakers close to the wall, while that might emphasize bass that is not the best location for Vandersteens. Ideally they will be at least 2 feet from the rear wall, more is better. Setting up the tilt of the speaker is detailed in the manual, but has no effect on bass. The tilt gets the upper frequencies just right for your listening distance and ear height. I would suggest checking all of your conncetions to make sure you don't have the woofers out of phase with each other, i.e., the connection of one speaker is the reverse of the other. That will kill the bass. Having done all that I would play bass heavy music and walk around the room listening to the bass level. You may find your room has a lot of bass nodes where cancellation or reinforcement are taking place. Speaker and listening seat placement may have to be adjusted to make sure you are not sitting at one of those nodes. Good luck!
Second Pmotz' generous reply. Even a seasoned user can get phase reversed accidentally :o( and much more important, positioning and room characteristics have a huge effect on bass.
One approach is to use monophonic source material with a lot of bass content. Turn the balance control all the way to one side. Place that speaker vis-à-vis the rear wall for best bass output. Then center the balance and place the other speaker for imaging. Yes mono for imaging: the sound should be centered.
The process takes a while; apologies if I'm telling you what you already know.
Are there really speaker cables out there that are so bad that they could possibly cause a speaker -- one that is well known to have excellent bass -- to sound like it has "not much bass at all"? That's a sad state of affairs, if true.
I vote for a phase issue. With 10 connectors, it would be easy to accidentally swap a pair.
certainly the out of phase issue should be looked at.
I just mentioned the wire because I do think 8TC is a bit lean and if a few other factors like setup and one other lean component (if applicable) could sway the sound to be thin and lightweight.
I have found system matching to be critical and balance can sometimes be difficult.
my two cents...
Alot of great answers above, if one of these do not answer your question, its possible a speaker problem. To put this all together, Start easy, check your speaker wires at the amp and the speakers, + to +, - to -. Next, temporarily move your speakers closer to the walls/corners, see if this brings out the bottom, next, you might want to slightly back your mid and treble controls down a hair on the back of the speakers.
My guess is as mentioned you are dealing with room nodes. You might want to do something like measure the room and use something like the "Golden Triangle" formula by Cardas for imaging. Placing speakers by its measurements do help get rid of room nodes. I suspect that you have gotten used to a bit of bass boost by your other speakers being closer to the walls. You can use the Golden Triangle, then if not enough bass, start moving your speakers, by a couple inches at a time toward the corners until bass reinforcement is where you want it, then adjust your tow in accordingly. I hope all of this helps. Tim
Could it be you are just used to hearing fat ported bass and the bass alignment in the Vandersteen with the passive radiator sounds comparatively lean? It's easy to find that fat sound appealing. It may also take some time to get used to the difference.
I can make large changes in my setup with a set of ASC tube traps. You might try experimenting.
Hi, I once bought a pair of Reference 3A speakers and after a few weeks of driving my self nuts trying to get some bass out of them, someone suggested that I check the internal wiring. I opened them up and found that one speaker had been wired incorrectly at the factory and was out of phase with the other speaker.
once I reversed the wires on that one speaker the bass came back and I was a happy camper!
Just a thought, Tish
I agree it may be a phase issue. Maybe the original owner messed with the drivers and mis-wired the woofer on one speaker...if changing wires at the speaker terminals doesn't net a root cause. You could ask the person you purchased them from if he did any experimentation or repairs.
Also, you could purchase a RS SPL meter and a test tone disk and test to see how they measure. Don't forget to add in the corrective values to your findings to get an accurate indication of the measurements.
Good luck in you discovery,
Use a test CD to do a phase test. I use a Rives Audio test CD 2. You could always just raise the cover sock on both and put some heavy kettle drums and place your finger to see if the woofer pushes out or in as others suggested. If one pushes in reverse the woofer wiring. I keep a cheap integrated amp just as a system isolation tool. The woofer coils could also be overheated as it is used. The 3a is not as efficient and may need more power amp.
i would say the 3a sigs have very good but short of excellent bass
careful positioning and side/rear wall reinforcement matters
as is using a good powerful solid state amp... i had wonderful response from a hegel amp, known for its outstanding damping factor
no accident r v went to active subs in his 5's as next rung up back in the day
It could easily be a phase situation, but it may be something else. Teh cable isn't going to make THAT large a difference based on how bad it seems to be. AS others have said, go to the Vandersteen home page and join the fourms. It's just all about Vandersteen products and music, but you will get to the bottom of your issues much easier as Richard will see your post and make sure he or Brad respond. Let's get this fixed!