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Boomy bass?!?! (Read 34489 times)
roggae
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Boomy bass?!?!
11/23/14 at 21:24:38
 
so ive been running my torii in my new place for a couple months now.  the room is 15'x25' and has a giant window box(about 9'x9').  i've got the room furnished and about 30% of the floor covered by a rug.  i put up some ATS fiberglass acoustic panels and have played with the positioning of my speakers.  i've got zu omens set up in the basic cardas golden ratio configuration.  everything sounds pretty great, but i'm hearing a bit too much boom in the room for my tastes.  what are some things i can try to get rid of this?
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DBC
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #1 - 11/24/14 at 19:22:30
 
How close are your speakers to adjacent walls? Is it only boomy at higher volumes or at moderate volumes also?

Did you experiment with Height Adjustment off the floor as Zu suggests:

Quote:
What's the correct gap height?

All floor standing Zu loudspeakers that do not have a powered subwoofer need a bit of gap between the bottom of the loudspeaker and the floor. While they are not a ported design (bass reflex) the finger port detail on the bottom needs to see the acoustic impedance of the room to correctly function. Setting the gap height is relative to your amp matchup, your room and your tastes—it’s tunable. Yes, optimum gap height will change from amp to amp and person to person.

Start with 1/4” [6mm]
Min. 1/32” [1 mm]
Max. 5/8” [16 mm]

Increasing the gap height, depending on amplifier, usually results in increased bass weight in kick drum and wood timbre, but it nearly always results in less output in deep bass. More gap height usually increases bass noise as well, causing the timbre to be a bit thick or wooly sounding. Less then 1/4” [6mm] will increase bass articulation / attack, increases bottom octave amplitude, but does reduce overall bass amplitude a bit. Typically, most arrive at gap height to be just about 3/16” [5mm], which is the size of those skinny half-hight CD jewel cases, perfect for a quick and easy gauge. But again, each amp will respond differently as the gap height influences the load impedance, a good thing because you can now better match amp and speaker and room, a bad thing because there’s one more thing you can fiddle with. Here is a great time saving idea regarding adjusting your gap height....

How to make adjusting gap height simple.

Zu knows you have music to listen to and that you really hate fiddling with the gap height—getting down on your knees, looking up at the bubble level, checking to make sure all four spikes are solid... it gets old fast. So, once you get your speakers where you like ‘em—making sure the left and right channels are spaced the same distance from the listeners center line, that they have the same toe-in, that they are both level, and that the spikes are equally weighted, with no cabinet wobble—set the gap height to roughly 1/4”. Likely they will sound great, but still, you should mess around with the gap height, with some amps it makes a huge difference. The easy, and best way to do this is shimming the gap with standard letter sized paper. The paper will be placed on the floor centered under the loudspeaker between all four spikes—don’t lift the speaker up you don’t want your spikes on the paper you want them firmly coupled to the floor. Best place to start is with a stack of paper that will take up roughly half the gap space, listen and go from there. You might want to take sheets out, increasing the gap height a bit, or add to reduce the gap height, experiment. Do the gap height shimming with just your left channel connected (or right) it reduces the work to half. After you get the left side sounding the way you want, mirror the changes on the right channel. You might find the difference to be huge, we usually do. It’s easy and free, mess with it.
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roggae
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #2 - 11/25/14 at 14:02:07
 
the speakers are like 6' from rear wall and about 8' from side walls.  i have not played with the gap height.  the bass is boomy at all volume levels.

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #3 - 11/26/14 at 06:08:29
 
I take it that u have tried the 2 possible bass settings?
Does the bass sound tighter at one setting?

Choosing another impedance setting can also help tighten the bass.
Have u tried that too?
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roggae
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #4 - 11/26/14 at 22:38:20
 
i switched impedance and that helped.  still trying to dial it in.
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roggae
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #5 - 11/26/14 at 23:21:43
 
Here is my room. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

http://i.imgur.com/hFrooGL.png

the doorway is actually opposite of the stereo.  not off to the side.  thats an apple panorama.
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« Last Edit: 11/26/14 at 23:50:09 by roggae »  
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #6 - 12/15/14 at 22:14:43
 
Pics are worth a thousand words, thanks for posting!

The kind of bass traps needed for such an issue would be linear absorbers that cover 60Hz to 120Hz in at least two room corners minimally.  These traps would be around 12 inches thick if diaphragmatic, thicker if not.  They would also have to start on the floor and work their way up the corner at least 4 or 5 feet.

It can be tastefully done, even in a decor as nice as this, but it probably won't be cheep or easy.

That said, the first thing I would try is adjusting the TORII with a different tube compliment, one that better works with your system. It could be enough of a change to alleviate the need for additional traps.  

Tungsol has recently come out with a new 6L6G output tube that is fabulous in the TORII.  It has really great bass control without sounding dry.  Better than the KT66 and way better than the EL34.

This is what the tubes look like:



I have the tubes but they're not yet on the web site.  The quads will sell for $149

Steve

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #7 - 12/20/14 at 07:11:04
 
Would the Tung Sol 6L6-G work in the SE 34i.2+/Rachel?

Cheers,
Blake
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #8 - 12/20/14 at 12:55:00
 
roggae,

Very nice room. For the modest investment I suggest you try the Subdude II isolation platform under each speaker.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SubDudeII

I realize there are strong opinions for coupling speakers to the floor verses decoupling them. In my case I was having difficulty eliminating vibration in my equipment rack. As an experiment I installed these platforms under my down-firing Subs and Wala, virtually all floor vibrations were eliminated and my equipment rack is rock steady.

To my surprise the biggest benefit was less Bass Boom. It became obvious the low frequency vibrations being introduced into the floor caused the floor to act as a big radiator generating it's own low frequency sound which Muddled the low end. I should note the floor vibrations were transmitted mechanically to the walls also.

In any event I know the Zu's vent on the bottom of the speaker (downward firing to some extent) and that you are on wood floors. The isolation platforms made such a difference in my room I now have them under my mains also.

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roggae
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #9 - 01/04/15 at 16:31:13
 
Wow!  thanks for the suggestions guys.  i love this room.  it was my main focus when we bought the house.  i was also stoked that my wife thought my stereo should be the centerpiece of our living room.  

steve, i just bought some gold lion KT66s.  would have much rather bought the $149 tung sols.  i looked around for tube suggestions but was unsure where to go, so i just went with what was suggested in the manual.  i'd love to try those tubes.

not sure how i feel about the pads that go underneath my Omens, though i'll do my research.

thanks again guys!
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roggae
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #10 - 01/04/15 at 16:41:18
 
will the KT66's give me some bass control?
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Lon
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #11 - 01/04/15 at 19:01:57
 
R,

I personally think the Gold Lions are a lot better than the Tung-Sols but all rooms and systems are different. Bass will be different than with EL34s, will be interesting to see how they work out for you.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #12 - 01/05/15 at 17:05:00
 
I am also breaking in a pair of Tung Sol KT66s in my MKIII.  They have improved over time, but still a little boomy in the 80-100Hz region.  I have bass traps in all 4 corners.  I have played with EQ in Audirvana and dealt with it for the most part.

Before the Torii, with my Rachael, I thought it sounded boomy, so I measured the room and found out I was sitting smack dab in the middle of a node.  I moved my listening chair up about 3 ft and it really cleaned it up.

Before I do anything too drastic with the MKIII, I will measure the room again.
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roggae
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #13 - 01/05/15 at 22:13:23
 
well i installed the KT66s and the boomy bass is gone.  but now i'm wondering "do i miss it????"  only time will tell...thanks for the info guys!

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Lon
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #14 - 01/05/15 at 22:21:38
 
I think the KT66 will settle in and you'll get a little bit more bass without more "boom" and you'll be very happy! Glad the tubes made a change for the better!
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roggae
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #15 - 01/05/15 at 23:25:35
 
yeah.  big difference.  way more feel of the bass and less saturation of the bass.  wish i'd had these in the first place.
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will
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #16 - 01/06/15 at 00:03:25
 
roggae, The EL34s I put in were more prone to looser, boomy bass and also more upper mid detail than the tighter KT66s, though from Steve's post it sounds like the Tungsol 6L6G takes it further. Good the Gold Lions helped…they will loosen up and become more facile and delicate in time, but they are surprisingly good at first. Have you played with your impedance and bass switches now that the boom is controlled?

My room and speakers are treated/tuned, a lot of it for better bass when I had a MKIII. I did not have enough space for traps as big as Steve spoke of for you, so made some smaller ones and tuned the speakers. Still bass adjustments gave me better sound and more flexibility with tubes, so I got into simple, targeted bass EQ. With the more controlled MKIV, here, the bass switch takes care of it very effectively and musically with most tubes and without EQ. But I like to use EQ to get VERY fine tuned. With it, my bass switches are off since I like the mids a little more this way. Also I now tune out minor room unevenness across the spectrum with very narrow and mostly very small EQs. I have been into this tuning a long time though, and I have to say the switch is quite good were I less into the fine tuning.

I like clean but powerful bass. I like to feel it, but also like to be able to hear the skin and interior echo of a drum, or the rich full body and deep impact of a stand up bass, but also a natural dynamic hit and the pull and brush of fingers on the strings. In this room (measured, but tuned from there by sound) right now, I like a progression of low shelf cuts... -1 dB @ 74, -1 @ 66Hz, -.78 @ 56, and then narrow .093 and .125 octave almost 4dB cuts @ 66 and 45 Hz. Those two are the real problems here, but I like the shelves and narrow Qs more than using 5-6 db cuts necessary without them at 45 and 66. Below that is a + (plus) 1 shelf @34 and a dump of -18 dB @ 18.5Hz. The dump is audible, and a very nice, though a somewhat subtle effect. These are also dithered EQ, which with my software player sounds bigger and more powerful. Undithered I would use smaller adjustments.

So my difficult modes are pretty low, and my room actually benefits from boosts a bit higher, again very narrow Qs, +2 dB @ 93 and +2 @ 116.

It goes on from there, but these settings are really good here with big body Genalex and more neutral Valve Art KT66. What is amazing to me is that with a bunch of carefully placed, low-key Q's, an already eerily good sound goes off the charts here.

You got off easy with a tube change, but luckily we have a good variety of tools for sorting things out gracefully and beautifully. I guess I have gone almost everywhere in the system by now, and happy I have. Every time I listen I can't believe how natural and satisfying the sound is. I think it is better than I have heard anywhere…including great live venues to some excellent studio rooms. I said that several years ago, but there always seems to be more to learn and glean from this quality gear, and the MKIV is a great tool for getting more!

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« Last Edit: 01/06/15 at 02:05:57 by will »  

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roggae
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #17 - 01/09/15 at 22:01:03
 
so the kt 66s have made a big difference in the sound.  it sounds more lush.  less boom to the bass.  what next?
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #18 - 01/09/15 at 22:04:47
 
Quit while you're ahead. Smiley

I agree, in my amps the KT-66 are a real improvement. I'll not go back to EL34.
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will
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #19 - 01/10/15 at 02:38:07
 
Sounds like expected results from the Gold Lions. Nice tubes! What do you mean by what's next? What would you like to happen?

Isn't the MKIV amazing! Have you explored the switches fully. I did not like the Reconstructive Feedback until several hundred hours, but after that…I can't turn it off. Such a natural sounding lucidity here anyway.
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roggae
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #20 - 01/10/15 at 17:28:03
 
will i felt the same way about the RFS.  always on now.  i mean what is the next tube i should swap out to change the sound?  what is worth trying?
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will
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #21 - 01/10/15 at 17:59:50
 
Every tube effects the rest, and some are cheaper to explore than others but quite effective. What are you using now in all positions, and what is it you don't like about your sound and/or what would improve it….Is the bass where you want it now….tighter or fuller, mids richer/warmer or more transparent, highs smoother…clearer, more or less air…overall is the balance lucid enough… spacious/open or too dense….aside from an overall sense of density versus openness how is the tonal density…the notes themselves, not what is in-between…..if you can explain as clearly as you can what you would like and can make some suggestions.
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roggae
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #22 - 01/16/15 at 22:48:14
 
now i am playing with the switches.  this thing truly is a gem!  though the tube swap seemed to clear up the muddy bass...
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Lon
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #23 - 01/16/15 at 23:06:34
 
roggae, so glad the bass problem has been solved and you are enjoying the amp so!

You can really BOND to these Decware amps. They become. . . dare I say it. . . almost like a family member! And they feel like heirloom products.
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roggae
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #24 - 01/16/15 at 23:56:51
 
will,

this is for you.  maybe you can tell me what i have better than what i do.

https://imgur.com/a/TBFYB
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will
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #25 - 01/17/15 at 02:59:37
 
roggae,

Great pics. I was thinking you might have these tubes, but never know as Steve seems to move around at times when something comes up with quality or better sound or both. Also wondering if you could figure it out with the obscure russian markings. Cool

So you have Chinese Ruby 5U4G-STs for rectifiers....Russian made OA3s, the Voltage regulator that filters the power tubes.... Russian OC2s, the Voltage regulator for the input tubes...and the inputs look like Russian 6N23P, a variant of the 6922/E88CC. Not that Russian covers it...there are different factories and vintages with variations in sound...but this is the base line and useful.

Do you have some thoughts about what you would like the sound improvements to be? There is a lot you could do, but some sense of what you are after would help....some of those sound areas I mentioned earlier could be good to think about.
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« Last Edit: 01/17/15 at 03:36:10 by will »  

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roggae
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #26 - 01/17/15 at 16:26:49
 
i'd like to tighten up the bass even more.  it can still get boomy with reggae and some jazz.  other than that i'm just looking for transparency.
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roggae
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #27 - 01/17/15 at 16:31:18
 
what does changing out the OA3s and the OC2s do?
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #28 - 01/17/15 at 16:50:34
 
They can change the "drive" of the unit, the "push". . . . I moved from an OA3 to an OB3, it has given a bit mellower bass and a bit calmer dynamic swing. . . .I guess that's the best way that I can think to describe it. I changed the OC2 to an OA2, gave it a bit of old school warmth.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #29 - 01/17/15 at 17:47:54
 
I have always preferred OB3s in the MKIII and IV for the less dense, more open sound, also taking the bass down a notch. The OC3 is a good option if you need more opening and bass calming. If you can get them reasonably, it would not be a bad thing to get a pair of both OB3 and OC3 in order to find your best sound and to have around for fine tuning. Though I have not tried OA2s, I agree with Lon, changing the OC2 is another good option for calming the bass while keeping a friendly sound. At least the RCA OB2s I have sound calmer, but still warm and textured. Both VRs will open things up some, causing a sense of increased transparency while also reducing bass density. I am doing a little direct comparison and will give a few suggestions later today, but have you looked at this thread:

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1420057863/3#3
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« Last Edit: 01/17/15 at 18:25:02 by will »  

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #30 - 01/17/15 at 17:50:36
 
so here is what i have lying around: GE OA3As, russian(?) OA3s, EH ECC82s, some GE 5y3GTs, MAgnavox 6v6GTs, black glass 6k6gts, magnavox 6eu7s, and a bunch of other singles.  thoughts?
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #31 - 01/17/15 at 18:05:58
 
I would say try the GEs and the 5Y3GYs. The latter may reduce the bass a bit and the GEs may add some compensatory warmth.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #32 - 01/17/15 at 18:09:58
 
cool.  thanks lon!
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #33 - 01/17/15 at 18:58:40
 
Right, so let us know what the 5Y3s do for you. That will give a good indicator of how much the bass needs adjusting. Any of these changes, rectifiers and VRs basically adjust the density of the signal and therefore the bass, and typically the dynamics and tonal density. I was just trying some GZ34s, generally good for little sag, while opening with great dynamics and tighter bass (compared to 5U4G). With the OB3s (my standard), OB2 (new today), things got a little flat and lacking tonal density. So I put back in the 75C1s (like stock OC2s) and it is really good....open and fresh with nice tonal density but not that thick density that makes it sound dark and too full. Also tighter bass, and very nice textures.
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« Last Edit: 01/17/15 at 19:01:12 by will »  

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #34 - 01/17/15 at 19:45:51
 
take that back only have one 5y3.  oops.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #35 - 01/17/15 at 20:01:34
 
Ooops. Well you have others to play with. Smiley
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #36 - 01/17/15 at 20:08:19
 
Too bad. That would have been interesting. 5Y3s do chill the bass, but they also soften the tonal density of the notes, as well as the overall density, and they can do this pretty musically...opening some but with warmth and texture. They also hit the dynamics. All this can be good or bad depending on everything else, but the softening of dynamics and note tonal density (interrelated) keep them out of my amps.
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« Last Edit: 01/17/15 at 20:09:17 by will »  

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #37 - 01/18/15 at 07:57:47
 
So here is what I heard today.

I am using Valve Art KT66 rather than Genalex, so a little different, but in the neighborhood. These are more open and transparent than the Genalex by a bit, with less push and body. Not a lot, but some. With them I have been using Mazda GZ32s, British made 75C1 (OC2), 40's Sylvania OB3, and various PCC88s for inputs.

I put in some 6N23Ps marked like yours and they sound quite good. A little more forgiving than my usual PCC88s, but a bit less spaciousness, micro detail, extension, and dynamics. For tighter bass, I put in some Zaerix (Hitachi) GZ34 rectifiers, but with the 6N23s they sounded pretty dull. With PCC88s, they were pretty nice. They did open things up and tighten bass, but the 6N23Ps being dull by comparison indicates a difference between 6N23Ps and PCC88s. GZ34s have always been seductive to me when I first put them in, but then they start seeming too taught.

So leaving the 6N23Ps in, I put in my "go-to" RCA 5U4G-STs with top “hanging” D getters…Different. These allowed really nice open textures and micro detail from the 6N23Ps, in fact bringing out beautiful tone from the russian inputs. The RCAs are a clear improvement over the Ruby's in delicacy, micro detail, texture.... Very good toward the end of true transparency, they probably will not reduce your bass much, though it would be more refined.

Then I changed the slightly warm 75C1 to the stock russian OC2. They brightened it up some...and similar to the Ruby/RCA rectifier difference, the stock VRs are a bit tighter and less complex, but they are good. They feel more clear than the 75C1s with the balance a bit more to the mids, upper mids and highs, but it is more just a balance difference than resolution, the 75C1s being really complete. The Russians seem like pretty nice tubes though, especially for less bass/more bright.

Next I pulled the Sylvania 40s OB3s putting in the stock Russian OA3. The balance shifted toward bigger, more forward mids and bass… increased overall density. This also gave a less refined quality, less micro detail and associated delicacy of tone...they are harder and feel a little veiled due to less micro detail, though they are pretty bright. The greater push and harder edges concentrate the sound too much here. The end result is less detail balance, with a harder, pushier, less textured quality. This is a similar problem as the Ruby compared to the RCA 5U4G ST, the Rubys having less refined character. So far two of your tubes could be improved toward pulling better tonal refinements from the source….things ultimately critical to a real feel.

Then I put back the Mazda GZ32s...Generally, these particular tubes are a touch warmer and more defined than the RCA 5U4G ST, but they balance with their own style of sweet micro detail, and their special clarified ambience. There is a little more sense of density to the clarity and dynamics, but in this case it does not sound harder. The midrange is balanced with natural, smooth highs and the bass is less and a bit tighter.

I think I recall that the GZ32 is sort of between the 5U4G ST and GZ34, and it sounds that way. This is hard to put my finger on, but I really like these tubes and they sound quite good with the Russian VRs and 6N23Ps. The Mazdas are my nicest GZ32s for bass tightness, open ambience, and natural tone, next being a fat straight bottle GE with black plates and a round top getter, similar but more bassy by a bit. Then the RCA 5V4G (coke bottle shape) can be really good too, but in my rooms this is my least favorite being a little thinner mids up and a little less taught mid-bass down. The bass comes across different with all of them and may or may not solve your particular bass buildup problem area, but they do seem to have less bass than 5U4G STs.

With the stronger feeling bass of the GE 5V4Gs, and my usual OB3s, I tried RCA OB2s replacing the front Russian OC2 VRs. Tightened up the bass a notch. Nice, but a little lean for me.

Finally I put back my 75C1s (OC2) and some really nice 50s Siemens PCC88 inputs. This is awesome. Bigger bass, but tighter....open and textured mids…greater tonal density, extended and smooth highs...beautiful ambience. This tube set is GE fat bottle 5V4G, Sylvania OB3, Valve Art KT66, 75C1s and Siemens PCC88s.

Finally, the OB3 and OC3 are the first tubes I would explore. You will get more open spaciousness, micro-detail, and more refined warmth with NOS OB3s. Then a notch more openness and less push with OC3s. The best OC3s I have are coke bottle ST shape Hytrons from the early 40s. Hytrons are in their own league for openness, delicacy, textures, slight warmth and other aspects of musicality, things for which several of your tubes are lacking in various ways for ultimate sound. The other OC3 that is really nice is a Sylvania OC3W, with the big brown base that takes up most of the tube. Some call these egg beater shapes. They are warmer than the Hytrons, but nice. For increasing your transparency, the Hytrons would likely be better.

It would be nice to get some 40's Sylvania OB3s and OC3s. One or the other will be best and there is only one way to find out! I was told by an experienced tube dealer that he thought all the OB3s are Sylvania no matter the label, and the 40s tubes can be identified by a D shaped stabilizer welded to the middle wire just up from the glass base, but this is hard to see in pictures since these have a low getter flash. I found that by looking carefully at the 3 wires coming up through the interior glass blob, just above the tube base...if the 3 wires are evenly spaced in the blob, they are 50s tubes and a touch warmer and more textured. If the middle wire is offset from center, these are the slightly more open and dynamic 40s tubes. They are all good though...

So toward your objective of transparency and tighter bass, I guess I am thinking that ideally you would replace the rest of your tubes other than the power tubes, perhaps the OC2s being the best if you keep one pair, and the 6N23Ps next. You will not regret changing the rectifiers and OA3s. Both are limiting your potential for open complexity and refined musicality, and this will very likely help your bass also.

Then, changing the 6N23Ps to some decent PCC88s....I almost always like them best. All I have tried are nice, but like all the tube types, they have different signatures. They are generally extended, open and textured, with relatively controlled bass, likely good things for your setting. Several more reliably rise to the top though.
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« Last Edit: 01/18/15 at 19:22:00 by will »  

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #38 - 01/18/15 at 18:57:37
 
Wow!  thats a ton of info to take in. thanks!
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #39 - 01/21/15 at 04:30:21
 
My Bass was boomy with my Tekton Pendragons with the KT66's in my Torri4. So Steve suggested the Tungsol 6L6G's and man it sounds awesome now! Nice and super tight bass, big sound, even cleared it up big time! Thanks Steve!
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #40 - 02/01/15 at 17:45:20
 
so one of my 5u4s is making a good bit of noise and has started to make sparks internally when i power it up.  i assume it is on it's way out.  should i just replace it with another from Steve or should i try something else?  does anyone have any suggestions of cost effective 5u4s?
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #41 - 02/01/15 at 18:03:18
 
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #42 - 02/01/15 at 18:22:32
 
Same tube type. Very different tubes than I think are shipped with the amp.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #43 - 02/01/15 at 20:10:21
 
better or worse?  i mean what should i get to replace my sketchy one(it's sparking inside on powerup and i can hear a faint scratchy sound for about a minute after it powers up)?  5y3? 5u4? basically i like the sound i'm getting now but i'm open to trying something different...thanks!
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« Last Edit: 02/01/15 at 20:38:03 by roggae »  
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #44 - 02/01/15 at 20:57:24
 
I don't know for sure what you were sent. If it's a Ruby 5U4GT then I would say definitely there are better rectifiers, many, than that one, in my experience (which seems mirrored by many here). If you like the overall sound you are getting then stick with a 5U4 type. I find that the brand and type I like best are RCA "bottle-type" but many other NOS tubes will be an improvement and are not as expensive as those Winged-C you list. (I've never heard the Winged-C version of this rectifier). For a new production tube that works very well in my Toriis the Valve Art 274B is a good tube. . . a lot like the NOS 5U4 types but with a big bold presentation.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #45 - 02/01/15 at 21:04:13
 
are those 274b tubes much bigger than the 5u4GTs?  with my kt 66s there is very little room between the rectifier and the power tube.

what about these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Two-RCA-5U4G-Coke-Bottle-Audio-Guitar-Ham-Vacuum-Tubes-/...
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« Last Edit: 02/01/15 at 21:10:02 by roggae »  
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #46 - 02/01/15 at 21:14:31
 
Yes, you may have a space problem with the 274B, they're big. Those RCA look quite nice, test a little low but still have some life, and would likely sound very nice in the amp.
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« Last Edit: 02/01/15 at 21:15:35 by Lon »  

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #47 - 02/01/15 at 21:19:50
 
what about these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/PAIR-BALANCED-5U4G-RCA-COKE-BOTTLE-BLACK-PLATE-RECTIFIER...

i can submit an offer.  thanks much for helping me navigate this myriad of options...
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #48 - 02/01/15 at 21:44:01
 
Look like very nice tubes and should sound great.
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will
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #49 - 02/01/15 at 22:06:48
 
I agree, the RCA-STs and Valve Arts can be nice, though I liked Valve Arts better in the MKIII than the MKIV and the fit is a problem. The micro detail potential of the MKIV brings out the RCAs abilities in tonal complexity. But I like fine detail. And you may be able to get a good price on those Ebay ones, though they may jump a lot in the final minute. Do you know how to play that game? I often have someone go just over my high bid that I submit in the last few seconds.

Next to the Ruby's, I think RCA 5U4G-STs would be a notable upgrade in a similar sound balance though they vary some in bass density. The following are built just like my favorites. Mine have great balance and transparency and reveal everything with delicacy:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PAIR-BALANCED-5U4G-RCA-COKE-BOTTLE-BLACK-PLATE-RECTIFIER...

I don't like it when sellers don't list the ratings, but they look good and clean, like a good match in how they are built, and the top D getter is a good sound in my experience. He says they are balanced and strong, which probably means they are good, especially since a lot of buyers like him. But if interested, I would write and ask for more information. What are the test scores and how do they relate to new and minimum scores.

Alternately the NOS Russians you are looking at from that period are popular and can sound good. I never loved them in the MKIII, and listening now in the MKIV first impressions are good ...textured detail and warmth though the bass is a bit too loose for me. Mine are 1955s. The bass not as defined as the RCAs and with the warmth, especially mids down....I am a little concerned that if you still have some low-mid/bass muddle at times, this could be an issue.

I think my current fav in the MKIV is still the Mazda GZ32 coke bottle (ST) shape, but it is not better than the RCA 5U4G-ST, just different.
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« Last Edit: 02/01/15 at 22:20:56 by will »  

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #50 - 02/01/15 at 23:12:56
 
will,

when it comes to tubes, i love your info.  thanks.  so what are the tubes that DECWARE is selling?  are they most likely the same tubes i'm currently using?  should i be concerned by the "light show" i'm getting out of the rectifiers?  it's subtle but i notice it.  would swapping out the OA3s do anything beneficial?
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #51 - 02/02/15 at 00:50:57
 
From your pics I think your rectifiers are Chinese, Shuguang, sometimes labelled Ruby, and I guess those would be the tubes Decware would have for sale, but not positive. NOS RCAs are a different level with more complexity and natural timbre.

I don't think changing the OA3s would help the flashing. The rectifier is before them in the circuit I believe. Changing them from OA3 to OB3 or OC3s will progressively open your sound, reduce overall density and bass though if that is still an issue.

I am not sure about a light startup flash being an issue, I have put up with it happening occasionally with Valve Art 274Bs, but this does not mean it is OK. If you search the forum using Steve Deckert and 274, you will probably find a good post he made some time ago on the issue with 274s anyway.

But since you have a flashing rectifier that is also making noise, I would replace it asap. If it blows, the fuse should take care of things (at least it has when I have blown a rectifier), but then you would be out of music! Best to get to it I think.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #52 - 02/02/15 at 04:01:00
 
awesome!  thanks will!

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #53 - 02/02/15 at 23:25:20
 
I have both the Valve Arts 274B and the RCA 5u4g st in my MKIII and prefer the RCA for most music.  As Lon said the Valve Arts have a big bold sound.  The RCAs seem more refined.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #54 - 02/08/15 at 23:22:18
 
installed the RCAs today.  i dont really notice much of a difference in the sound as of yet.  i do notice the absence of static.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #55 - 02/08/15 at 23:35:45
 
No static = Good news
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #56 - 02/10/15 at 04:18:06
 
not sure if its the new RCAs but i'm not digging the low volume sound i'm hearing from my amp.  normally i listen at lower than normal levels and everything sounds great to me, but i find myself turning the volume up louder than normal with these new tubes. does this make any sense?
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #57 - 02/10/15 at 06:20:58
 
Sorry they are not an easy fit.

Not sure what is causing the need to turn the amp up more. Is it that the tubes seem quieter...or maybe less clear...darker might make them need more volume to get a good sense of the mids and highs.....what would you say? Different rectifiers can be a little louder or quieter, but 5U4G-STs should be pretty close electronically. Some NOS RCAs are bigger and darker than others, and warmer/darker than Ruby's, but I have not heard one that does not sound more refined...more solid, with better micro information and nuance. So it surprises me that you aren't hearing much sound difference with the new tubes other than the volume thing. Did the ones you got test NOS or near NOS? If they are true NOS, they will take a while to burn in and open up, and if they test low...well I don't know on that one. I have not used low testing rectifiers.
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« Last Edit: 02/10/15 at 06:22:48 by will »  

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #58 - 02/12/15 at 02:23:48
 
i guess i would say: darker.  i've gotta turn them up louder to get a clearer sense of the music.  at lower volumes they seem to smear or just have less clear detail.  am i making sense?
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #59 - 02/12/15 at 02:31:15
 
might look into a different pair of tubes actually.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #60 - 02/12/15 at 06:11:03
 
No darker/less clear makes sense, but the less bright quality compared to the Russians is more likely showing more that your room/system is still too close to the edge of bass overwhelming the mids. Rather than trying different rectifiers, I would try some OB3s or OC3s...back to your beginning question. If you look, you could get a pair of each for less than most NOS rectifiers. Alternately, you could get Shuguang/Ruby's like you had inexpensively, getting the brighter tone, but being bound to that quality of sound. If you can open the sound up otherwise, the RCAs should take the sound to new levels.

I guess you have the bass switches toward the back for less low bass boom???
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« Last Edit: 02/12/15 at 06:12:38 by will »  

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #61 - 02/12/15 at 14:30:34
 
Quote:
Will wrote:

No darker/less clear makes sense, but the less bright quality compared to the Russians is more likely showing more that your room/system is still too close to the edge of bass overwhelming the mids.


Quote:
DBC wrote earlier:

roggae,

Very nice room. For the modest investment I suggest you try the Subdude II isolation platform under each speaker.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SubDudeII

I realize there are strong opinions for coupling speakers to the floor verses decoupling them. In my case I was having difficulty eliminating vibration in my equipment rack. As an experiment I installed these platforms under my down-firing Subs and Wala, virtually all floor vibrations were eliminated and my equipment rack is rock steady.

To my surprise the biggest benefit was less Bass Boom. It became obvious the low frequency vibrations being introduced into the floor caused the floor to act as a big radiator generating it's own low frequency sound which Muddled the low end. I should note the floor vibrations were transmitted mechanically to the walls also.

In any event I know the Zu's vent on the bottom of the speaker (downward firing to some extent) and that you are on wood floors. The isolation platforms made such a difference in my room I now have them under my mains also.


I posted the above early in this thread and have been following it for a while. Have not read every post in all 5 pages of this thread but it looks like many logical options have been implemented with limited success.

I still think there is a chance the bottom vented Zu's are coupling to the room in an odd way causing at least part of the Boom? Sweetwater ships fast & free of charge and accepts returns no questions asked. It would not cost much to try the Isolation Platforms.

Good Luck
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #62 - 02/13/15 at 22:45:42
 
well guys.  i've got bad news.  the static is back.  its only on one channel.  could it be the oa3?
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #63 - 02/13/15 at 22:49:15
 
the static is basically only present a few seconds after powering up.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #64 - 02/13/15 at 22:59:21
 
Bummer.

You can figure out if it is a tube by methodically switching channels with each tube  pair and see if it changes sides, though this may be a little time consuming if warming up a tube stops the noise. It could also be a dirty connection...if you identify a tube, and don't have any deoxit, you can use high strength alcohol, like 90% to clean the pins, or very fine steel wool if you are careful.....
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« Last Edit: 02/13/15 at 23:01:01 by will »  

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #65 - 02/13/15 at 23:50:14
 
I have a light round piece of wood about 3/8" in diameter and about 8 inches long. I have found that often a tube that produces intermittent static will produce the same static if you tap it lightly while the amp is powered up. I just go around and tap each tube lightly. This method has saved me a lot of tube swapping to find a bad tube.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #66 - 09/08/15 at 22:44:53
 
so i am back to the boomy bass stuff again.  do you guys think those tubes steve recommended would make a big difference?  i'm thinking its time to try out the isolators that go under the speakers...really bummed because i was hoping to be DONE with the upgrade game.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #67 - 09/09/15 at 00:10:42
 
Roggae,  I have isolation under everything including my speakers.  No boomy bass that I can hear.  I'm a big fan of isoation and my DIY platforms were cheap to make.  If you PM me an email address I will send you a few pictures of what I came up with.  I think the isolation helps with the sympathetic vibrations induced thrugh coupling of the speakers to the structure.  Seems like a good thing to avoid.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #68 - 09/10/15 at 00:13:45
 
archie,

i PM'd you my email.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #69 - 09/10/15 at 01:04:16
 
Hi roggae,

Last December I suggested the SubDude: Sweetwater can have a pair to you in a couple of days, $120.00 for the pair and free shipping. I'll pay the return shipping if they don't provide a significant improvement (I'm on the public record now). It's a sure bet for me and you will wish you had done it sooner.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SubDudeII

Like Archie, I have isolation under everything (mains & subs) and it makes a big difference. The isolation platforms are especially effective with bottom vented speakers as you have.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #70 - 09/10/15 at 01:04:14
 
I sent you some pictures.  Let me know how things work out.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #71 - 09/10/15 at 16:49:23
 
ok, DBC i bought some off of amazon(free return shipping).  they will be here saturday.  we shall see!
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #72 - 09/10/15 at 20:54:08
 
roggae,

I understand, I was a skeptic also. I was simply trying to nudge you enough to give them a try. I'm not associated with Auralex in any way but I am completely sold on how much they cleaned up the low frequency in my room.

A few others here and on other sites were reluctant to try them also. So far I've not had to send any of them cash to cover the return shipping. In fact most purchased additional platforms for other subs and or speakers in their systems.

So as you say, "we shall see"
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #73 - 09/11/15 at 01:57:45
 
right on, dbc.  right on.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #74 - 09/11/15 at 21:58:06
 
is there any thing else that could be causing this extremely low frequency bass to be bouncing around?  is it possible my rack needs to be adjusted or replaced?  here are some photos: http://imgur.com/VZWdKO2

http://imgur.com/OKR1CRy
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« Last Edit: 09/11/15 at 21:59:42 by roggae »  
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #75 - 09/11/15 at 22:05:32
 
I didn't re-read the whole thread so forgive me if this has been discussed but hardwoods are pretty tough to work with.

Bass traps?
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #76 - 09/11/15 at 22:09:46
 
i have those acoustic panels lying around.  where would i put the bass traps?
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #77 - 09/11/15 at 22:20:13
 
Any corner you can fit one to start.

I don't have true bass traps but I lean 4 of those 2 X 4 acoustic panels across each of my two front corners.  I used to have them spread around the room, but it took away too much air and didn't really help the bass.  Then I stacked them in the front corners and it helped a lot.  

I also have triangle bass traps in all four of the upper corners.

I still struggle with bass in my room, but its better than it was.

This shot is before I consolidated them in the front corners:
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« Last Edit: 09/11/15 at 22:22:59 by Palomino »  

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #78 - 09/12/15 at 00:54:40
 
You could place a 1/2 to 1 inch rubber mat under a nice rug of your liking and that will help.

JD
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #79 - 09/12/15 at 01:05:02
 
Have you tried EL34s? Seems system/tube complement dependent, will above reports looser bass with EL34s, I find they have tighter, less copious bass in my system.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #80 - 09/12/15 at 01:28:00
 
i started with the EL 34s.  i really liked the sound i got out of the KT66s v. the EL34s.  i've got those isolators coming tomorrow.  i'll put those into place and report back.  i'll also try the panels in the corners too...
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #81 - 09/12/15 at 01:37:39
 
I think I would start by isolating all of the components.  I had  really bad feedback until I isolated my ZMA.  Also the spikes under the TT (if that's what the feet really are) seem counter intuitive.  I can pound on the support under my TT with no effect but I would think spikes would transmit any platform vibration into the component.  Is it possible that what you hear as bass boom might be related to feedback?
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #82 - 09/12/15 at 02:12:32
 
Cool. I prefer KT66 as well, but if my bass were too boomy I'd probably try EL34s again; was using a quad recently in the Torii that I had at my Dad's place and they sounded great, was also nice to hear the Hazen Grid mod in place again. Still. . . KT66 are great, I'm really enjoing the TAD I've been using nearly a year. . . probably will order another quad soon.

I'm not using those isolators because I'm not having bass issues and I'm afraid they may raise the tweeter height a bit more than I'm accustomed to.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #83 - 09/12/15 at 16:56:58
 
i thought it was component vibration too, but i'm getting it with every component regardless of its isolation.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #84 - 09/12/15 at 17:27:20
 
Quote:
i thought it was component vibration too, but i'm getting it with every component regardless of its isolation.


So it could be the amp, the speakers or the room?  You've got the subdudes coming, the room could be complicated so you might try a cheap and easy isolation for the amp by puting a lightly inflated wheelbarrow wheel innertube under it.  I've never tried this kind of isolation before but I've seen it used in some isolation systems and industrial machinery vibration isolation footers.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #85 - 09/12/15 at 18:30:00
 
tell me more about this inner tube idea?  i work in a bike shop.  i can basically get any size.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #86 - 09/12/15 at 20:43:25
 
I find that the Torii responds to EVERYTHING, for better or worse, and vibration will mush up everything including bass. Location of the feet (if you use them) makes a notable difference.

So isolating the speakers will very likely help as the floor vibrations are also getting your rack and your gear, especially if you like the "sound" the isolators make. But it would surprise me if you didn't find further improvement with good sounding vibration control on your rack and the amp. The reason I say good sounding is that different isolation and feet sound different. I have not made Archie's isolation rigs, but they make sense to me and are inexpensive. I just have a good range of isolation tools so have not built any.

Also, as posted above. OB3, OC3 and OD3 will progressively open/tighten the sound from pushing the power tubes less. This gives more spacial information from opening the sound and reducing bass power and density. Usually, these are pretty subtle shifts if you have bass issues masking the rest, but you can hear it.

I just turned off my EQ for a quick test on the Tungsol 6L6Gs Steve recommends for reducing bass. Compared to the Valve Art KT66 I have been using (more open and transparent than the warmer/deeper Genalex and the warmer Tungsol 6L6G), the 6L6G bass does sound less deep and wide. Another potential step, but not huge. Then with the bass switches back, another improvement. But for me, in my room, still dense and less resolving compared to fine tuned EQ.

I have one low going diagrammatic bass trap, but it does not quite get it in this room arrangement and I have no place for another in the living room.

Then I changed my usual OB3 to a Sylvania OC3A and put the bass switch back to the off/forward position, and that just about does it for me with the 6L6Gs, the 7C51 (OC2 type) Mazda GZ34, and Siemens PCC88 I have in. I like the richer tone this way though the bass switches "on" help reduce low bass further.

Then I put in a Mazda OD3 and like it quite a lot with the Tungsols. The bass switches off is pretty good, the OD3 also opening up the warmish Tungsols nicely.

Generally, I don't hear much boom here perse, but I get fatigue from low stuff being too strong. Without measuring, from experience this is very low bass resonance as well as low bass. By attenuating some specific frequencies (usually 45/66/ and a shelf cut around 20 Hz), the bass actually sounds bigger and does not hurt my sensitive ears. Even though my speakers are not supposed to go that low, the 25 down stuff can be really irritating to me.

Still prefer the EQ sound, but it subtly adjusts all remaining minor and more major room anomalies.

I just turned EQ back on with the Tungsol 6L6G and OD3 in and it sounds really good. Pretty similar to the more open Valve Art KT66 with my usual OB3s.

Bass traps and resonance/vibration are your primary tools, but if it is close, there are tubes.
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« Last Edit: 09/12/15 at 20:50:10 by will »  

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #87 - 09/12/15 at 20:56:31
 
alright.  i've got the sub dudes in place.  i would say there is some perceptible difference, but the bass still seems to be kinda boomy.  i think it's just the room and i'm going to have to learn to live with it.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #88 - 09/12/15 at 21:24:16
 
Yes, it is the room and how your speakers and amp load it, but I suspect there are few rooms where you can't tame the bass via the range of available tools. Real (not pseudo), low ranging bass traps, the first purist approach.....

Another tool is Green Marigo tuning dots. They transparently tighten the resonance of mid/bass drivers. Last I looked they were about $35 for 12. I use two each on the front and radial drivers of the HR-1s. If I did not have bass challenges, I would like these anyway.

Also, do your Zus have ports. You could experiment with different levels of tuning (plugging) them.

BTW, thanks for getting me to try the Tungsol 6L6G again. I like what they bring to my current sound in the mids.
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« Last Edit: 09/12/15 at 21:27:20 by will »  

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #89 - 09/13/15 at 15:10:31
 
roggae,

Now that your bottom ported speakers are isolated from the floor they should be less sensitive to placement within the room. My point here is, speaker placement that did not work before may sound just fine now with the isolation? So you might want to experiment with placement again.

I know you have experimented with the gap under the speaker as Zu recommends. Once again, now that you have isolation from the floor you may be able to hear a bigger difference by adjusting the gap. Zu recommends anywhere between 1 mm and 16 mm (1 inch is approximately 25 mm), this is a wide range.

Quote:
Quote from Zu site:

Increasing the gap height, depending on amplifier, usually results in increased bass weight in kick drum and wood timbre, but it nearly always results in less output in deep bass. More gap height usually increases bass noise as well, causing the timbre to be a bit thick or wooly sounding. Less then 1/4” [6mm] will increase bass articulation / attack, increases bottom octave amplitude, but does reduce overall bass amplitude a bit. Typically, most arrive at gap height to be just about 3/16” [5mm], which is the size of those skinny half-hight CD jewel cases, perfect for a quick and easy gauge.
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #90 - 09/13/15 at 16:12:23
 
after further review i would say that the bass has tightened up and is less loose.  it still booms in this room.  i moved some furniture and it sounds a touch better.  not perfect but better.  why must i have such hearing?  thanks for all your suggestions/advice/comments folks!
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« Last Edit: 09/13/15 at 16:12:46 by roggae »  
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Re: Boomy bass?!?! ***SOLVED***
Reply #91 - 09/28/15 at 03:00:34
 
so i decided i'd move my table today.  it sat on this home made shelving unit i made.  it served it's purpose in theory.  i noticed it had a fair amount of wobble every time i touched the table.  i moved the turntable to a much less mobile shelving unit and BOOM! bass becomes less flabby and resonate.  so i think this might be the fix.  it seems to make so much sense, but who knows?  right?
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #92 - 09/28/15 at 15:06:06
 
Yes, this makes sense. Vibration can set up all sorts of distortions, subtle and not-so-subtle, especially with a TT, but with anything in my experience. My system sound, across the spectrum, is effected differently by different vibration reduction feet. Even different locations of the same feet under the Torii MKIV changes the sound.
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« Last Edit: 09/28/15 at 20:19:55 by will »  

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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #93 - 09/28/15 at 18:18:37
 
I agree with Will.  I have my amps and speakers on my home-built isolation platforms.  My TT is on it's stock feet which already give excellent isolation.  The TT isolation need is easy to understand; it's the amp isolation that I don't understand as well.  Must be something in the tubes?  I never had isolation with my SS amp.

I hope the BOOM stays GONE!
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #94 - 09/29/15 at 03:06:51
 
so far so good guys!
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #95 - 12/19/15 at 16:50:14
 
I also notice that the bass is less when I switch my voltage regulator tubes from OC2 to OB2. Sound is different, seems slower with more sparkle but sharper and leaner.  OC2 is fuller, faster more complete but also on some songs music resonates too much leading to a boomier bass.

JD
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Re: Boomy bass?!?!
Reply #96 - 12/19/15 at 17:12:25
 
OA2 is interesting as well (I'm running RCA). Warm bass but tight in my Torii.
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« Last Edit: 12/19/15 at 17:36:49 by Lon »  

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