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Loudness imbalance in speakers: (Read 6179 times)
Mark
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Loudness imbalance in speakers:
11/26/12 at 23:40:57
 
OK, first a long-shot of my system / room...



I'm experiencing a disparity in apparent loudness favoring the right speaker... Using basic Decware gear, there is no way to change the balance... Even my Decware CDP has a ganged stereo output pot...

Another thing is that I have zero leeway in moving the speakers, as they must be on the console table in the shown position...

Any ideas here?... (m.)
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #1 - 11/27/12 at 00:04:58
 
First thing first. Swap speaker cables side for side to make sure problem follows, to rule out speakers.
Then swap interconnects to rule out source.
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« Last Edit: 11/27/12 at 00:06:48 by Donnie »  

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Mark
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #2 - 11/27/12 at 00:26:25
 
Right... I swapped ICs, output tubes, speaker wire, and even swapped the speakers themselves... The volume still favors the right side...
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orangecrush
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #3 - 11/27/12 at 00:44:01
 
Cool speakers Mark, what are they?
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Mark
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #4 - 11/27/12 at 00:47:55
 
Tang Band D3-1 back loaded horn speakers... They come in a kit form directly from TB...
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will
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #5 - 11/27/12 at 00:59:00
 
Quote:
I swapped ICs, output tubes, speaker wire, and even swapped the speakers themselves...


Weird! When you switched the speaker wires, was it the speaker end only. This could identify it as the amp.

Is this a new amp?

I suppose it is possible that some weird room canceling is happening. I would call Steve tomorrow. Great trouble shooter, and the fixer if is in the amp.
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #6 - 11/27/12 at 01:02:52
 
I think your right speaker is adding the amplitude of resonance from the right hand side wall to the original signal.  Your left hand speaker is less constrained by walls, comparatively speaking.

Try to hang some kind of cloth on that wall, and see if this balances out the volume bias.  If it does, there's need to put some absorption material there, permanently, with an acceptable 'WAF'

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Mark
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #7 - 11/27/12 at 01:05:01
 
(@ Will)  Hi... No, swapped the speaker wires completely... I think I may be looking at a speaker / room interface problem here... As you can see, the right speaker has much more wall behind it on both sides, and an adjacent corner... Funny thing is, I can put my left ear right up to both, and the right speaker still seems to be louder... Of course, this can still be because of the rear wall...
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Mark
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #8 - 11/27/12 at 01:10:31
 
(@ Fireblade)  I have no wife... Do I need to get one before I do the mod you suggested?...
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will
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #9 - 11/27/12 at 01:10:55
 
And/or, toe the the right speaker in in small progressive increments. And/or try toeing in both the same way. This could possibly change room reflections and cancelation. Worth a test anyway.
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Mark
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #10 - 11/27/12 at 01:17:13
 
Good idea... It might make a small difference... Only thing is, the cone point metal discs are seated pretty well on the table... I'll have to unstick them...
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #11 - 11/27/12 at 01:19:25
 
Not really, Mark   Smiley  

I think the problem is compounded by the proximity of the back wall.  I assume you must be hearing slight echoes/reverberation, to a certain extent, possibly correlating with volume pot position?

Even if that speaker is tilted to the left, you may still experience resonance addition (overlapping) sound waves through the back-firing ports also.  I woud just hang a large beach towel there, just to check.

An even easier test would be to slide that table in an arc, from right to left, with the left speaker position as pivot, to momentarily place that right speaker farther from that corner.
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #12 - 11/27/12 at 01:22:37
 
If you can't trace it to the equipment then it is the room. Looking at the room it looks like thr rt. side is closer to a wall then the left.
If you stand between the speaker the sound should be very focused and from the center. If it sounds diffused try swapping the +- on one speaker only. If it sounds more difussed switch it back.
It maybe early relections coming from the right wall. For a fast test hang a heavy blanket on it. Although it is not the best way to test it, it may show you what the problem is.
I would place some broadband absorbtion on the rt wall to help balance the room anyway.
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Mark
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #13 - 11/27/12 at 01:29:23
 
I think I'm looking at a speaker / wall proximity problem here... Everything else is in good order... I would say about a 3db+ difference across the spectrum... It really does make a difference in the soundstage...

There are no rear ports on these speakers... They are full-range back-loaded horns, but the horn mouth is front firing... I chose these because I knew the speakers would be almost against the back wall...
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #14 - 11/27/12 at 01:42:39
 
Quote:
An even easier test would be to slide that table in an arc, from right to left, with the left speaker position as pivot, to momentarily place that right speaker farther from that corner.


Maybe, but the toeing test is still relevant. It will cause reflections to change pattern, and possibly combing cancelation. 3db is notable alright.
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Mark
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #15 - 11/27/12 at 01:56:06
 
I always wanted to make a pair of dedicated stands for these speakers from the very beginning... That way I could experiment with placement... Now, I have little choice in placement... Well, none, actually...

Also, I'm toying with the idea of getting the MG 944s... That would change the whole equation here...

Note: You wouldn't believe just how good these Tang Band speakers sound... I would hate to give them up, really...

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Mark
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #16 - 11/27/12 at 02:04:14
 
Oddly enough, my avatar kind of mirrors the problem I think I have... The early reflections from the nearer (rt.) corner, plus the extra wall behind the right speaker may be causing the difference in percieved loudness...
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will
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #17 - 11/27/12 at 03:30:50
 
Mark,

I agree the right walls are the most obvious possible issue, but I always start with subtler stuff to avoid too much obvious room treatment in my living area.

Comb filtering (where the 1st bounce reflection wave form is exactly opposite, one with the hump below and center, and the other above and center, or different offsets of this) or frequency specific enhancement (the opposite, where the 2nd wave form is parallel or some offset) can be huge. Straight on placement is the best way to get these. It can be many times 3db.

If the 1st bounce causes them to hit the side walls first, this sets a very complicated pattern that can help.

Perceived volume can have loads to do with mid mids up.
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« Last Edit: 11/27/12 at 03:34:12 by will »  

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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #18 - 11/27/12 at 03:50:59
 
Mark,

If you really want to check the side wall proximity, for test purposes, you could put the system centered on the long wall briefly. This is likely the best start anyway if there is any possibility of changing the furniture into a nice configuration this way.
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Mark
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #19 - 11/27/12 at 13:08:48
 
Will: I thought about that; however, the photo does not show that a heating baseboard turns at the corner, then contines on a bit, and the console table almost butts up against the end of it on the right... I'd have to pull out the table much more to get in front of it, and also risk heat damage to my table and equipment...

I'd love to get the speakers another 2ft. apart, then toe them in a bit... That would be about perfect, scale-wise in my room...

I also have a Harrison Labs 2 ch. adjustable attenuator box for line-levels... Since I have two program sources, I could simply use it to cut the signal coming from the two right channels on my tuner and cdp, then go into the amp... But this has its drawbacks, as it inserts more pots into the system, which warms up the sound... I already have pots on the CD output, and of course the pots on the amp input for volume control... I don't want to dumb down the system any more than necessary...   (m.)



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« Last Edit: 11/27/12 at 13:14:09 by Mark »  

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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #20 - 11/27/12 at 13:09:16
 
Mark,
  I know you don't have much flexability to move you equipment but you could try this. Move the rack to the corner where the lamp is and place it on an angle. This will give both speakers the same reflection points. I have set up systems this way with good results there placement like yours is differcult.
John
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #21 - 11/27/12 at 13:36:58
 
J: Great idea, but first let's look at that corner:



As you can see, it has its own set of problems: An AC unit, window, and baseboard heating, which is on now for the winter...
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #22 - 11/27/12 at 13:41:01
 
My not without cost suggestion: order a CSP2+* . . . or see if you can get Steve to add dual volume pots on the ZCD (mine had them).


* The sonic benefits of the CSP2+ far outweigh perceived loss from other interconnects, pots etc. and you'll have balance control via the trim pots, you can either adjust the input, output or both.
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« Last Edit: 11/27/12 at 13:42:38 by Lon »  

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Mark
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #23 - 11/27/12 at 13:46:40
 
Lon: I was thinking that very thing about the ZCD... That would at least give me some control over the situation... Of course, it would leave the tuner out of the equation, but I don't listen to the tuner all that critically, even though HD radio is very good...
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #24 - 11/27/12 at 14:04:08
 
The CSP2+ would allow you to add the tuner. Worth considering. . . . Before adding on vinyl listening to my daily repretoire (something I can't think of doing without now) I kept trying to do without my CSP2 or CSP2+ in the chain, but I have stopped resisting, it's just part of the magic, and it's so flexible.
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #25 - 11/27/12 at 14:09:41
 
Lon: The CSP is a preamp only, and that would put me in need of something like the Taboo, right?... And that runs in pentode mode, right?...
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #26 - 11/27/12 at 14:12:41
 
As a preamp (and headphone amplifier) the CSP2+ would match up wonderfully with your current amp, and allow you switching between two sources.
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #27 - 11/27/12 at 14:23:39
 
Just realized that... Thanks... Idea: Instead of adding wall treatment that takes away sound / reflections, why not add a floor-standing panel to the LEFT of the left speaker?... I could make it out of 5/8" firecode drywall, just like my current walls... I could even put little wheels on it to roll it out of the way when not in use...  

My concern is that I'm right at the margin right now as far as amp power, and any wall treatment that takes away SPL might put me below the margin... (m.)
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #28 - 11/27/12 at 14:40:32
 
Mark,
 I don't think other thean a heat issue placing the system in the corner would be that bad. I would add loudness.
Where do you sit when you listen? Is the table in front of you?
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #29 - 11/27/12 at 14:50:06
 
J: I usually sit way off, about 10 ft. from the whole system, out in the room somewhere [not in photo]... The table shown is very close to the system, and that is why I used a taller table to set the speakers on, which also serves to house the system...

I just don't think the corner thing would work, long-term... It might be good to just try to see what's going on... Although the corner thing would work well if I got dedicated speakers stands... That might be good... (m.)
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #30 - 11/27/12 at 15:34:26
 
Mark,
 When you set up the system you need to keep in mind symmetry.
To get good balance and imaging both sides need to be the same.
Putting in a fales wall would help as long as you are sitting between the speakers. Can you take pictures of the entire space or draw the layout. That would give us a clearer idea of what you are dealing with.
John
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« Last Edit: 11/27/12 at 15:52:15 by jpv »  

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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #31 - 11/27/12 at 15:53:52
 
John: I used to have a full floor layout diagram... I'll see if I can find it... Short of that, I'll add more pictures if I can't find the layout diagram...

I do think a simple cure would be to at least have individual output pots on the Zen CDP... That would give me L/R volume control of at least my CDP, which is what I use the most... (m.)
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #32 - 11/27/12 at 16:28:37
 
Mark,

I recall your interest in 944s. I can't say for sure, but from experience with mine, up against the wall, without some symmetry, and without room to tweak their toe and placement, they would very likely be very challenging.
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #33 - 11/27/12 at 17:01:17
 
Mark,
  While dual vol. controls will fix the channel inbalance it will not fix how it sounds. The one closer to the wall will have a diff. sound then the one away from the wall. How much it effects it only you can tell.
Just for a test try the corner and see what it does, then try moving out into the room, them maybe the opposite wall. It will show if it is a placement issue.
My system is very sensitive to placement and it took a lot of work getting it right. I am luck I have a listening room (the wife gets the rest of the house Smiley) and I could do the stuff I suggest.
John
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« Last Edit: 11/27/12 at 17:01:53 by jpv »  

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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #34 - 11/27/12 at 17:05:41
 
I wonder if, with the right speaker stands and rack table if you could not work around the baseboard thing being a problem?

I agree with John that corner placement could be your best solution. Even without the frequency combing and amplification that appears to be happening, and after manually balancing the channels somehow, soundstage is so dependent on symmetry and minimized reflection issues. It seems corner placement is probably the easiest way to do both at the same time...evening everything, and dispersing reflections most quickly from all the walls bouncing them around.

There is one of Steve's papers that discusses corner placement  fully. Worth a look.

Edit:Sorry, responded before reading Js last. I am slow!
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« Last Edit: 11/27/12 at 17:08:51 by will »  

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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #35 - 11/27/12 at 17:10:46
 
Agreed, other end test, but also that a test in the center of the long wall is still worth the research.
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« Last Edit: 11/27/12 at 17:12:06 by will »  

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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #36 - 11/27/12 at 17:51:40
 
Mark, the first thing I would do to make sure it was the wall proximity.
Just remove the sp cables from sp`s. Put the speakers on the floor centre room, connect up again. You should hear a balanced sound, ruling out amp probs.
Nice looking speakers, I`ve seen mini floorstanders as big.
The white finish on the amp and light blue sp cbls are very cool.

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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #37 - 11/27/12 at 18:15:18
 
Thanks, all... I know a very good woodworker, and he even offered to let me use his shop if I want... I'm going to work up some drawings for some speaker stands... That way, I'll more easily be able to experiment with speaker placement in the room... Moving the console table around in such a small apt. is not really going to work for me...

I do like the speakers a lot... I'll have to work up a stand design that still has a rather small footprint, but yet is sturdy enough to prevent toppling...

This done, I will be able to try the corner and/or bring out the speakers a bit, and/or anything else that has been suggested on here... At this point, I'm almost 100% sure it's the extended wall and near corner that is causing the problem... So, Ill work from there... Thanks... (m.)
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orangecrush
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #38 - 11/28/12 at 01:49:16
 
My room is not good either, but you can minimize problems by listening in a near field equilateral triangle.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #39 - 11/28/12 at 02:02:12
 
You might think me an ass, but if I were in your position I would seriously consider remaking that whole space to accommodate listening; instead of bending over backwards and contorting sideways to try and tweak everything to fit into a clearly unsuitable layout.
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #40 - 11/28/12 at 02:07:19
 
Mark,

I was in a similar situation and opted for the speaker stands and the difference was abysmal.  My speakers need to be away from walls and obstacles to perform at their best, so I put the stands well into the room and the sound is great.

In addition, the speakers sharing the same table with the amp does not help the amp's sound, especially a small one like yours (even with anti-vibration devices, I presume).

That decision was the best I could have made after choosing my Decware gear.  The height of the stands ought to be about 26" or close to that, depending on your ears' height at the listening position.

Good luck!
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will
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #41 - 11/28/12 at 04:02:54
 
I would say the height of the stands should be whatever is necessary to put the tweeter at about ear level from your listening seat.
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will
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #42 - 11/28/12 at 14:49:08
 
But I have never used horns. What is the theory of speaker height with horns...probably different and more flexible?
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #43 - 11/28/12 at 17:23:13
 
There's some leeway with the horn mouths, but the drivers sound best at ear level... That would be no problem if I made the stands...

I will have some room to bring the speakers out if I do away with the table in front... I don't use it much anyway... Even if I get the MG 944s, I'll be able to bring them out...

I will have to get new speaker wire... And that's going to cost as well...

Oh, well... You can't take it with you... Or can you?... (m.)
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will
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #44 - 11/28/12 at 18:19:54
 
Sounds like a good solution x-ing the the table! Speaker cables are a slippery slope in my experience, different ones having soooo much impact of the sound. What are you thinking of?
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #45 - 11/28/12 at 21:54:36
 
Will: If I get the MGs, I'll probably opt for the Decware speaker cables... Perhaps Steve will give me a break on the lot...

What I have now is a pair of "Blue Heaven knock-offs"... Solid silver wire strapping, 20 conductor, 10 for each terminal... They're pretty good, really... Only 6.5 ft.  I'll need more than that if I play around with speaker placement...

Note: I do want to convey that I am very pleased with the sound of the Zen Triode and Zen CDP... Great sound... Esp. with the Tang Band speakers... So, I may just go ahead with making the stands for now... (m.)

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will
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #46 - 11/28/12 at 23:04:44
 
Mark,

I think making the stands is a great idea. Since you already have system synergy, the efficiency of the horns has got to be a good thing. And by being able to move around and toe the speakers, say in the corner area, I bet everything will get pretty satisfying fast.

Sounds like interesting cables. So far I keep returning to Zen Styx with my 994s and HR-1s.

I am breaking in a pair of Morrow SP6 I got a good price on, to test now. No idea, but some SP4s I tried sounded quite good to me once they finally broke in (600+ hours!!!!) and I tuned the system to their sound. They do seems to successfully solve smearing, but with warmth. Not recommending them yet, but.....

The styx had notably more flow, but also, I could hear the smearing from the thick stranded cable. After I got used to it again, it sounds great, the smoothing not being offensive in any way, being quite musical. The silver on copper gives quite a nice blend of detail and warmth too.

I bet your cable sounds very clean.
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« Last Edit: 11/28/12 at 23:07:09 by will »  

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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #47 - 11/28/12 at 23:17:11
 
Will: Yes, very clean... I was toying with the idea of making my own speaker cables out of solid silver wire, leaving them bare, and just seperating the two conductors with small wooden tubes, with cotton string run through to hold the whole thing together... Air being the best dialectric outside of a total vacuum...  (m.)
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will
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #48 - 11/28/12 at 23:39:26
 
Sounds very interesting. What about the silver tarnishing!

I made ICs from VHaudio silver formula, and they are really good. Here the silver comes with a cotton sleeve on it, you wrap them with a specific turn onto soft teflon tubing, and finally wrap the whole in teflon plumbers tape. Pretty slick design including ways to deal with dielectric while being protected.
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #49 - 11/28/12 at 23:51:11
 
Will: Silver tarnish, unlike copper, is conductive... So it shouldn't make any difference...

Teflon is very good for wrapping wires... I think the best would be cotton braiding... Just silver wire, and cotton braiding to cover...

Like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/321012966274?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m...

BTW, may buy a set of these soon... (m.)
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will
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #50 - 11/29/12 at 00:09:07
 
Those are a cool design! Let us know if you try them.
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Re: Loudness imbalance in speakers:
Reply #51 - 12/05/12 at 08:46:16
 
Talk about with friends
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