Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
10/20/14 at 14:09:13


Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
Next steps with system - more body (Read 2176 times)
smokingdrum
Verified Member
**




Posts: 13
Next steps with system - more body
11/19/08 at 22:32:46
 
Hello All,

I've been a Decware user for years, having purchased a Select Zen amp, reference interconnects, and built the WO32 subwoofer and most recently HDT speakers (all written up on my site).

My system as it stands, does an awful lot right, I'm very, very pleased with how it sounds, but it could do with more "body" to the overall sound.

The system comprises; Origin Live Ultra turntable, Origin Live Silver MkII tonearm, Goldring Eroica LX cartridge, Lehmann Black Cube SE phono stage, Decware Select Zen amp, Decware HDT speakers (self built). Decware reference interconnect and Chord Odyssey 2 speaker cable, plus Vertex Jaya mains filter.

It presents a fantastic soundstage, both in width and front-to-back depth. The separation, coherence and tonality is also excellent - I can hear the spaces around instruments, easily hearing separate instruments and their textures. Also, speed, thanks to the HDTs, is brilliant - everything really starts and stops, with pretty good dynamics.

Overall, then, I am extremely happy.

I'd like to move forward by addressing the lack of body. Some recordings can sound a bit light, for example vocals sometimes sound as though they are not weighty enough, especially in the mid band.

It may well be my listening room, which is an "A" shaped loft room (see photo). The speakers are against one slope and I sit on the other side against the other slope. While I think the shape of the room probably helps to break up standing waves, the high frequency may possibly be reflected up and down the ceiling to my ears.

I am intending to set up the system in our (conventionally shaped) living room to see if it makes a dramatic difference to the overall tone. But, even if it does, I cannot permanently move it down there - I have to look for a solution in my listening room for the time being.

Thinking about the various possible ways forward I was thinking maybe trying a preamp with the Zen amp to improve weight and body and perhaps experimenting with some other cables, or even considering another amp. I am loathe to change my speakers as they do so much right but if they are completely wrong for this room then I am open to ideas.

Your thoughts and ideas would be gratefully received.

John

Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
DPC
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 129
Re: Next steps with system - more body
Reply #1 - 11/19/08 at 23:45:28
 
Just a thought but have you tried moving the speakers closer to your seated position (nearfield)?  The subject of room treatments also comes to mind.

My solution to this was to purchase a second SE84CS and monoblock em.

You have a very impressive setup there!

dennis
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2425
Re: Next steps with system - more body
Reply #2 - 11/20/08 at 04:48:18
 
Your system description is impressive, especially the source.  However I regret to say you haven't heard it even near it's potential yet.  A flaming weak link exists called your phono stage.  That is going to have to be right before you do any room tweaking - which I'll be happy to assist you with...  in a system like yours, the phono stage is everything.

Of course to get the body you want from CD's your going to need the right tube preamp.  If it were me... since money doesn't grow on trees... I would do a ZP3 and also use it as a line level preamp with a reverse RIAA filter so you can feed your CD player into it.  Strange as it might sound, it doesn't get much better.

Steve
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 11/20/08 at 04:53:40 by Steve Deckert »  
WWW   IP Logged
smokingdrum
Verified Member
**




Posts: 13
Re: Next steps with system - more body
Reply #3 - 11/21/08 at 09:44:03
 
Hi Steve and Dennis, Thanks for the replies.

Dennis, I totally agree that I need to consider room treatments - I'm guessing I need to put something soft (like a big drape) on at least one of those sloping ceilings! Any other ideas?

Steve, I'm very interested that you consider the phono stage to be the weak link (especially as I just purchased this Lehmann one, sob!).

Can I ask you, is this because you consider all solid state phono amps to be poor (thin sounding) relatives to tube phono amps or is it just that you know something about this Lehmann one in particular?

I fully admit that I do not like the sound of transistors at all (I hate them) but I thought with a phono stage you would go for accuracy, and so long as your amp is tube driven the overall sound would be fine.

So I am happy to take the right steps to fix this problem - I just thought it would be with a preamp or change in amp setup. If you genuinely think the phono stage would make the most difference then that is what I must consider.

I read your paper on preamps ("Preamps - Do they help or hurt the sound"), about how "a good preamp can add body and weight and size to a stereo image". Is a preamp, like the CSP2, something I can and should still consider adding? Or is it better to use two monoblocks like Dennis has done?

All things considered, I assumed monoblocking the power amp would not necessarily increase body but just overall power.

Many thanks,

John
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
DPC
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 129
Re: Next steps with system - more body
Reply #4 - 11/21/08 at 13:54:48
 
Hi John,

The game of room treatments is a fun voyage.  You can find suggestions and products here at Decware and other DYI projects on the internet.  I have some of the Decware diffusers and many DYI absorbers in my room.  For me it has been a lot of fun experimenting with different setups.

Many people will tell you that a cheap stereo in a well treated room will sound better than a expensive rig in a bad room.  I find a lot of truth in that.

Over the last seven or eight years I have found Steve Deckert's advise to be invaluable.

dennis
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Yoda
Senior Member
***


I ride!

Posts: 64
Re: Next steps with system - more body
Reply #5 - 11/21/08 at 20:15:02
 
I would recommend and agree to the following, having been down this path with your amp and speakers....

1 - CSP 2 preamp, although Steve's thought is interesting wrt: ZP3.  I use the Hagerman Cornet II phono.
2 - 2nd  CS -  or EX transformers adds more weight to the fostex
3.1 - Alternate tuning on the  HDT cabinets or
3.2  Swap fostex drivers for the HDT II 4 ohm drivers.  No mods to internal tuning pipes or to passive radiators.  Slightly more relaxed tone, a little more body, no loss of detail.
Back to top
 
 

Decware HDT-Alt tuning, Hagtech Cymbals
Hagerman: Chime Gold DAC; Castanet Line Stage; Cornet II, Piccolo, Thorens TD160 w/ Rega Rb300; Oracle Alexandria II TT, Mayware F4 arm w/Soundsmith-Denon dl-103, Yamaha T-1 Tuner
Many fostex experiments....
  IP Logged
smokingdrum
Verified Member
**




Posts: 13
Re: Next steps with system - more body
Reply #6 - 11/22/08 at 13:30:33
 
Hi Yoda,

Thanks for the ideas. What do you mean by "2nd CS or EX transformers"?

I built the HDTs with alt tuning, will certainly look into the Fostex driver swap you suggest.

Looks like I'm definitely going to look at the preamp and phono amp, probably both!

Thanks,

John
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2425
Re: Next steps with system - more body
Reply #7 - 11/22/08 at 16:46:42
 
My comment about your phono stage comes from hearing it directly A/B'd with our ZP3.  Of course the ZP3 is far more expensive.  Nevertheless, the difference between the two is exactly what you described was lacking in your system.  And body is really only a small part of it.  I have nothing against solid state phono stages, my comment would have been the same for 1/2 a dozen tube phono stages as well.  

But assuming that your phono stage is your main source, we can't make your overall system sound any better than the source will allow it to sound.   All of the other suggestions for room treatment, adding a preamp, tweaking speakers, etc., are valid, but again, in the end the sound will not go beyond the weakest link.

Steve
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Yoda
Senior Member
***


I ride!

Posts: 64
Re: Next steps with system - more body
Reply #8 - 11/22/08 at 20:44:10
 
John - Steve built special output transformers for the c/cs amps that offer more weight w/ 8ohm and higher full range speakers.  If you add a 2nd CS amp to run a pair as monoblocks, you bridge the outputs in series, and this has a similar effect, but adds more headroom because of the extra tube.  I went through all of these options in my journey, but the best improvement on the amplification side of the equation was to add the CSP2 amp in front of a CS amp.
Back to top
 
 

Decware HDT-Alt tuning, Hagtech Cymbals
Hagerman: Chime Gold DAC; Castanet Line Stage; Cornet II, Piccolo, Thorens TD160 w/ Rega Rb300; Oracle Alexandria II TT, Mayware F4 arm w/Soundsmith-Denon dl-103, Yamaha T-1 Tuner
Many fostex experiments....
  IP Logged
Stone Deaf
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 172
Re: Next steps with system - more body
Reply #9 - 01/01/09 at 16:33:40
 
I'm new here but I agree with DCP about moving the speakers more into the room. I also agree you need some room treatment. Have you done a clap test to see if there is any echo in the room? Doctors are taking up a lot of my dollars so I have to shop hard for my hobbies. I found someone on Ebay selling rigid fiberglass panels like the ones from Auralex for a fraction of the price. I purchased 18 1'X4'X1" panels and another 24 2'X2'X1" panels and 2 2'X4'X4" bass traps covered in Guillford of Maine fabric for under $500. You may have to keep checking back for a color you can live with but these are over runs from special orders or large projects this company has done. They even sent wall mounting brackets with them. After I did my room 15X18X8 the sound was much smoother. I did two walls and ceiling. One wall is all book cases and the other has a large window with honeycomb insulated blinds and heavy curtains so that was all I could do with that. The floor is hardwood with a couple of throw rugs. As I commented to Steve the room feels different when you enter it like the air is more still. It has a very rich feel to it and I'm pretty poor LOL.
Back to top
 
 

My system: Decware Taboo, CSP2, ZP3, Pro-Ject RM 10 / Grado Reference Sonata, Adcom 700, ERR Radials, Lots of Mapleshade, Kimber and Herbie's stuff.
  IP Logged
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print