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Need Help Balancing Speakers (Read 1442 times)
ny10522
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Need Help Balancing Speakers
12/18/10 at 21:13:28
 
I am currently running a pair of Decware Radial 3 speakers off an Eddie Vaughn Carina SET amp. I believe over time, one channel of the amp has weakened. In addition, one of my ears has less sensitivity than the other. Both effects combine to make the left speaker much louder than the right. Adjusting the external resistors/capacitors at the back of the radial speakers will not fix the problem. Can someone suggest an easy way of balancing the channels without messing around with the internal electronics of the amp? Is it as simple as adding a variable resistor to one speaker wire, or will that degrade audio quality to some degree?
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Lon
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Re: Need Help Balancing Speakers
Reply #1 - 12/18/10 at 21:29:27
 
A new matched tube set may cure the amplifier's misbalance. . .

Not sure what else to do.  You could experiment with placing one speaker nearer than the other and other placement attempts.

One "cure" may be to purchase a CSP2 and use the channel trim pots to fine tune and get better balance. Expensive option I know. . . .
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Need Help Balancing Speakers
Reply #2 - 12/19/10 at 03:41:51
 
ny10522,

The solution is likely so simple you can't see it.  Since you hearing in one ear is weak and the same channel of the amplifier is weak, all you have to do is reverse the speaker wires (left for right) on the back of the amp and then reverse the RCA input on the amp (left for right).  That will put the strong channel on the weak ear.

Steve
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ny10522
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Re: Need Help Balancing Speakers
Reply #3 - 12/19/10 at 14:55:40
 
Thanks so much for the suggestions but its still a no go. Steve, I already swapped channels/speakers with limited success. Apparently the amp imbalance is greater than my hearing imbalance, so one side is always tilted.
Lon, turning out one speaker wouldnīt look (or sound) right and I did consider another preamp but.... my wife wonīt let me put another amp in the living room. Actually she is very good in this respect since the living room already has nine speakers including a sub and and very large Magnapans. The Radial 3s and Carina provide the center channel (though I often also listen to them as L/R speakers too) in front of a video panel. The L/R, sides and rears each have separate preamps that permit accurate balancing, so no problem there.
No fix through adding something (small in size) to either the amp or a speaker? Maybe a tiny, high quality preamp that I can sell to the wife?

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« Last Edit: 12/19/10 at 15:25:38 by ny10522 »  

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opnly_bafld
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Re: Need Help Balancing Speakers
Reply #4 - 12/19/10 at 15:34:23
 
If you are not too concerned about degrading the sound quality the Parasound Zpre2 $399 is fairly small:  
http://www.parasound.com/ParasoundZ/zpre2.php

Lin
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« Last Edit: 12/19/10 at 18:48:15 by opnly_bafld »  
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Matchstikman
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Re: Need Help Balancing Speakers
Reply #5 - 12/19/10 at 15:58:51
 
Combine both channels and listen in mono.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Need Help Balancing Speakers
Reply #6 - 12/19/10 at 20:27:01
 
Well, the first question that comes to mind is why not have the amplifier fixed.  Reduced output on one channel can't be healthy and likely to get worse.  

A quick temporary fix would be an attenuator on the good channel.


available from Partsexpress.com
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Matchstikman
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Re: Need Help Balancing Speakers
Reply #7 - 12/19/10 at 21:26:35
 
Even if the amplifier was fixed ny stated that one of his ears has suffered hearing loss to some degree.  This would mean that if the amp was adjusted so that one side had less output than the other side the listener would still have to sit directly in front of the system.  Also, it would seems that no one else that had normal hearing could properly enjoy his system.  It would be a system just for ny.

I say, go MONO!!

I've heard mono systems that sound amazing.

Just sayin'
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ny10522
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Re: Need Help Balancing Speakers
Reply #8 - 12/20/10 at 01:12:39
 
Thanks for the suggestions. Iīll try the attenuator solution first because it took over a year to receive the amp and it could possibly take almost that long to have it repaired (could also be just a weak tube, Iīll check). Another solution that my wife would go along with is to replace a DAT player on my audio rack with an Audible Illusion Mod 3 preamp in the closet. I hate to lose the DAT, but these days Iīm listening mostly to music through my computer (Itunes/Pandora One Desktop) anyway. Itīs interesting that lately my turntable rarely gets used.
This forum is terrific. Thanks again all.
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« Last Edit: 12/20/10 at 06:50:35 by ny10522 »  

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Steve Deckert
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Re: Need Help Balancing Speakers
Reply #9 - 12/20/10 at 18:25:58
 
If you're using your computer as the source, you can adjust the balance from the sound settings in your computer...

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ny10522
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Re: Need Help Balancing Speakers
Reply #10 - 12/20/10 at 21:34:37
 
Steve, I am using the digital out of my Mac into an outboard DAC so itīs not possible to adjust the balance or loudness through the computer. I believe this is also true on a PC.
Took out the Audible Illusion preamp, precisely adjusted the volume levels for each channel, and the speakers sound great. Problem solved, but nice to know a simple attenuator can be used for a rough fix.
Incidentally, I have a pair of Decware Radial 1.5s in the back (balanced through a Lexicon processor) powered by a Decware Integrated amp. Also, a Decware subwoofer. In the bedroom, a Taboo amp. All your gear sounds great, so a big thanks is in order. Smiley
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« Last Edit: 12/20/10 at 21:37:37 by ny10522 »  

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opnly_bafld
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Re: Need Help Balancing Speakers
Reply #11 - 12/20/10 at 22:54:59
 
Glad to hear you solved the problem by using the AI preamp, it really didn't deserve being in the closet. Wink

Lin
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« Last Edit: 12/20/10 at 22:55:28 by opnly_bafld »  
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JLM
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Re: Need Help Balancing Speakers
Reply #12 - 12/24/10 at 21:00:10
 
Another solution would be to use one or two stepped attenuators.

Google Scott Endler.
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