Hey all - I just have a question regarding my new speakers. I would say I am an audiophile apprentice. I just got new speakers in the system and likely they have a more sophisticated sound with tighter bass and likely more detail but I think that the upper midrange (my words but it seems to be noticeable with male vocals and some guitar etc) is too forward. Current system uses Prima Luna Dialog HP Integrated and went from Totem Sttaf to Devore Fidelity Gibbon 88. I notice it both with analog and CD sources. At first the sound was more "advanced" with the Devore speakers and I was hearing things in the vocals with bands like the Allman Brothers that I had not heard before. As time goes on, I am starting to think it may border on the fatiguing. The Sttaf with the silk dome tweeter may be more to my liking though would be a trade off with more cabinet resonance I think with the Sttaf. Not sure if there is any fix but am I missing anything? Anyone have similar experience? All parts of the system are broken in I believe (I bought the Devore speakers used). There actually may have been an improvement in the sound with the Devore speakers before the spikes were added as they were being shipped and I could not wait. But now I have the spikes in place and positioned well I think. Thanks in advance.
I always hate it when an 'upgrade' turns into something not expected, so I will commiserate with you. I was going to say it may be the 'break-in' period, but you seem to dismiss that.-Did the previous owner say how long they were played? Perhaps another consideration may be the speaker cables and interconnects, which you have not listed. Also, room acoustics may also play a part in your displeasure.
Don't overlook the possibility of changing the tone of your system by simply changing driver tubes (power tube changes will also work) in your amp. Works for me, all the time. That is one of the side benefits of using tube amps/preamps.
I am using the supplied EL34. Any benefit to switching to KT88 or other for this issue? I am not sure how broken in the Devore's are to be honest but I am assuming that they are broken in. And don't get me wrong the Gibbon 88's are a move up in sound which they should be given the price point new but I find myself missing the sweet sounds of the Sttaf and the only complaint currently with the Gibbon's is possible fatigue and then I get fatigued wondering if I am overthinking things too much. I kept the Sttaf for now so I will be doing some A-B comparison soon.
Play with speaker toe-in. You can try any angle from straight ahead to having the speaker angle cross over in front on you and everything in between. I would start with straight ahead (no toe-in) and see if the anomaly disappears. This may cause some issues with the coherence of the soundstage. If so, start toe-ing in the speakers until you have the best balance between consistent soundstage and forward/fatigue.
If you can't get them to work with adjusting the positioning, you're left with trying to tame the forwardness with cables, tubes, etc.
It could be that you just prefer the totems over the new speakers......
I used to own a pair of DeVore Gibbon 8 speakers. I never felt they were bright or fatiguing but they were quite lean in the bass. I had to get them close to the wall behind them and that did help a little. I was using an all tube preamp (Audible Illusions Modulus 3A) and a 175wpc Classe' 15 amplifier. I ended up trying a pair of subwoofers with the speakers and eventually tired of it and sold the speakers and subs. I would try getting them a little closer to the wall and perhaps even try close to a corner. It may thicken up the bass enough to get rid of the leanness you describe. I also found toe in was more critical with the Gibbon8. Not sure how that would relate to the 88.
Thanks for all the replies. Looks like I've got some experimenting to do. Positioning them straight ahead may be the way to go in that room with these speakers and oddly enough I thought there MAY have been improvement when there were no spikes (the manual advises to try to have the front of the speaker higher than the back and thus the need for the spikes). I feel like that breaks all sorts of rules and covenants but I may have those babies sitting on the carpet with no spikes at all. And inna I did buy the speakers unheard. Took a risk I know but really no other possible way due to location of being out in the middle of nowhere. And stereo5 I did try moving them closer to the wall but the feeling of the upper mid range being about two notches higher in volume than the rest of the range (even when I think that really ALL of the range individually sounds good including the bass). Kind of a weird problem. Anyway I will get to work on trying to find the sweet spot and thanks again everyone
There can be multiple causes - which would require multiple solutions. Putting the speakers on the carpet will just muddy up the sound. The Gibbons probably are very sensitive to upstream electronics. Clean power is always a good thing An initial suggestion would be to replace any silver-plated power cords from your system with all copper. As Jafant mentioned, try other cabling down the road.
While you are fiddling around with the toe-in of your speakers, you might try crossing the axis of your speakers in front of your listening position. The result is often very similar to firing the speakers straight ahead except you can avoid some of the brightness that side wall reflections can create when the speakers are pointed straight ahead.
I can recall at least one review (Positive Feedback?) that described the speaker as bright, with elevated response through the presence region. That's pretty common among audiophile designs, IME. A lot of speakers trade strict neutrality off for increased perception of detail and enhanced dynamic "jump" factor. A little goosing in the presence region can really make a speaker sound exciting.
Damping the first reflection on the walls and floor can often help tame that a bit, but the speaker may just be a bit forward for your tastes.
In general I agree with Marty - this is one reason I dont like a lot of "high end" speakers and prefer classics like harbeth.
Bigger issue is if you dont love them now - and its clear you do not - its unlikely tweaking will help. You might end up spending a lot of money, be really frustrated, etc. Seriously consider cutting your losses now and switch speakers rather than go down this rabbit hole.
While the Gibbon 88 is nominally specified as an 8 ohm speaker, if you already haven’t I would strongly suggest trying them with the 4 ohm output taps of your amp. For a couple of reasons:
1)The 4 ohm tap will have a significantly lower output impedance than the 8 ohm tap, and I suspect that the Gibbon 88 has a significant impedance rise in the upper mid-range, in the vicinity of the crossover point between drivers. The interaction of high amplifier output impedance and that kind of speaker impedance characteristic will result in increased emphasis of that part of the spectrum.
2)The measurements section of Stereophile’s review of the DiaLogue Premium HP states that "... the lowest mid-frequency distortion was obtained when the 4 ohm tap was used to drive 8 ohms.... These graphs suggest that the 4 ohm tap is best used with loudspeakers whose impedance ranges from 4 to 16 ohms, as long as this tap can provide sufficient gain."
Also, if you already haven’t it might be worthwhile trying whichever output stage operating mode (triode or ultra-linear) that you haven’t been using.
Yes, put them on the floor directly, and still give them the tilt they suggest by placing a book or books under the front of them. I know it doesn't seem right to you, but most of the small tower speakers I have used like this configuration.
One more point about trying the 4 ohm taps. It can be expected that you'll have to turn the volume control up a bit higher than you would when using the 8 ohm taps, to achieve the same volume. If the volume control is considered as if it were the face of a clock, the difference will probably be in the vicinity of an hour or so.