Is one woofer wired out of phase by accident?
Usually the worst feature of 'out of phase' condition is terrible bass.
out of phase wiring either to the speaker cable, or even one driver is wire reverse.
Try switching ust ONE speaker wire plus minus around at one end only and see if the bass gets better.
I tried it but it didn't work. That just knocked out one of the tweeters while keeping the bass the same. Thanks for trying to help, though.
Any other ideas? Anyone?
Experiment with speaker placement.
Can you post a picture?
I see here
that the speaker has an unusual terminal configuration. Are you sure that you have them connected properly?
Assuming that you are not biwiring, and that your speaker cables are unshielded, the two red terminals should be connected together, perhaps with a metal jumper that was supplied with the speakers, as well as being connected to the red (+) output terminal of the amplifier. The two black terminals should be connected together, perhaps with a similar metal jumper, as well as being connected to the black (-) output terminal of the amplifier. The green terminal should most likely be left unconnected, assuming your speaker cables are unshielded.
If you have left one of the two red terminals and/or one of the two black terminals unconnected, it would definitely account for the problem.
01jeremy01- Swapping the speaker leads should have NO effect on the tweeter output, which leads me to believe that Al is onto something. If you search the forums, you will find that in matters electrical, "In Al we trust" ;-)
Hmm, are you sure it would have no effect on the tweeter output? Because the one speaker I switched got all muffled and the volume went down. Could it have been something to do with the concentric tweeter? I'm just guessing.
Al is right about the configuration. Red to red, black to black, and the two reds are connected by a jumper, as are the two blacks. I'm guessing the connections aren't the problem. There is base, just not extended base. I could be wrong, so I'm open to all suggestions, that's just my thinking so far.
Let me see if I can post some photos.
It doesn't seem like I can just drag and drop photos, and there's no option to upload photos...can anyone tell me how to add them so I can show you my set up? Sorry, I'm new to Audiogon.
You should be able to post a link to a photo-sharing web site, using mark-up tags. There is a link to the format for tags just below the 'Post your response" box.
Well, I don't have any photo sharing websites set up right now. But ignoring for a minute any issues in connectivity or speaker placement, does anyone think it could be an issue with system component matching? That I'm using the wrong DAC or amp for the speakers?
I never auditioned DACs apart from that Music Hall, but I did audition amps. I originally wanted a tube amp for more of that analog warm sound, but they were too slow for the speakers. The Arcam was much quicker and livelier with those speakers.
That amp is 40 watts/ch I read. Also an integrated which usually means smaller power supply, less current capable, etc. compared to separates.
SPeakers are average efficiency at best, not high efficiency that enables use of fewer watts for good bass.
Based on that, while stating I have never heard the amp or speakers, I suspect you would hear a difference in the bass at moderate to higher volumes using say a good quality 120w/ch or more power amp. Is there any way your could try a more powerful stereo amp or even monoblocks as an experiment? I would expect a difference. If it worked and you Arcam has pre-amp outputs, you could use it as pre-amp only still perhaps with separate power amp at first and see how that goes from there.
That's not to say the other potential setup or configuration issues already mentioned should be ignored. Those would have an effect as well regardless of amp used, so I would recommend making sure what you have is set up properly first before making any change. Then you will be at a good place to consider equipment changes/upgrades.
One other thing worth mentioning is that good bass is inherently a problem at low listening volumes due to our human ears. Its a normal thing but something that bothers some. The common solution in the old days was a "loudness" button, which provided an artificial bass boost at lower volumes, for better or for worse.
You want to listen at higher, more realistic volumes to better assess bass performance. Bass requires power so listen at higher volumes to best determine where any real issues with bass levels or quality might occur.
I looked through the descriptions and specs on all of the components, and the only thing I can add to Mapman's good comments is the possibility that the bass and/or treble control circuits in the Arcam are either misadjusted or malfunctioning. Have you tried its "direct mode" ("DRCT" on the remote), which removes those circuits from the signal path?
Also, like Michael (Swampwalker), I don't understand why reversing + and - to one speaker would kill the treble, but not affect the bass. In any event, to be sure that the two speakers are in phase with each other verify that a recording featuring a centered soloist results in a well focused image, centered between the speakers. As opposed to an image that is vague, diffuse, and hard to localize.
Can you try headphones or another set of speakers? How about connecting a sub-woofer to see if that produces bass? Or can you get some test tones and a db meter and see how the system measures?
Whoa, the DRCT really helped! It didn't really extend the bass, but the sound is so much more transparent and open now, including the bass. That definitely helped! Thanks!
And thanks for the other suggestions. I don't think it's a connection problem, and unfortunately the ps audio doesn't have a headphone out, but I am going to compare it with other DACs next week, and possibly see if a more powerful amp will make the difference. I'll keep those points about bass in mind.
Thanks, again! I think I'm getting closer to the answer.
The Arcam has a headphone jack. That is what I was suggesting. It goes through different amps and trying it would help understand if the 40 watt/channel was the issue. If there is plenty of bass through the headphones, then there is an issue with the output amps for the speakers. If they are equally muted in the bass, then it would be some other issue. Not definitive, but might help fill in part of the puzzle.
Given that the DRCT mode helped, what happens when you turn it off and adjust the bass and treble separately?
Oh, I see. You think I should try the headphone out on the Arcam. Well, can't hurt. Though I don't have a comparable set of headphones to the Tannoys, but I'll try to scrounge something up.
You know, I tried to adjust the bass and treble individually when I first got the unit. Maybe having the DRCT would make all the difference. But I wasn't impressed with the Arcam tone controls back then. But I'll try it again.
Update: I tested out a whole bunch of DACs next to mine, and that was the problem. The PS Audio is a very resolving, detailed DAC in the $1k+ value range, but it cuts off the low end for the sake of that great high end, mid range and detail.
Not the entire problem...my speakers are also biased towards vocals and high end, so I think it was just too many components working at the high end and they just didn't balance each other out. I think the DAC would be very good for speakers that have good bass. For now, I'm going to keep my speakers, sell the PS Audio and get Jolida tube DAC. At least until I can justify getting the Chordette QuteHD, which was amazing.
Thanks again for all your help!