My stereo sounds muddy - what to do?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Royster, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    I'm listening to my system for the past few days and am scared to death.

    My Martin Logan speakers (only had 'em two weeks) sound very muddy. Bass is loose and the highs are really lacking. Vocals have lost their air and presence. I listen to my favorite recordings in horror only confirming what I'm hearing. This is NOT the way they sounded last week.

    Have I damaged the panels? Damaged the amp? What's wrong here. Thanks in advance.

    Adcom GCD700 player
    Denon 3802 as pre-amp
    HK 780 amp
    Martin Logan reQuests
     
  2. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    If they're new, I'm assuming you know that electrostats need to be plugged into the wall, unlike other kinds of speakers? If you did know that, maybe someone unplugged those 'stats from the power supply accidentally and without your knowledge?
    If that turns out to be the solution, let me know when you're ready to send me my check [​IMG]
     
  3. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    LOL.
    C'mon Saurav. You know me. Of course they're plugged in.[​IMG]
    I've also checked outlets with a light bulb.
     
  4. Michael Yung

    Michael Yung Stunt Coordinator

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    Are they plugged in? Could the power outlet be out? I remember reading a post not to long ago regarding Logans sounding muddy and it turned out the person didn't realize he had the plug the Logans to an electricity outlet. So double check to see if something is wrong with the power supply.
     
  5. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    *grin* There goes my check [​IMG] At least I'm not the only person who thought you were capable of that mistake [​IMG]
    That brings up another point - maybe the 'stat panels are fuse protected, and you blew the fuses during an extra-loud session or something? That would create the same effect, wouldn't it?
     
  6. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Good point on the fuse.

    Problem solved though. DOH!!!

    I had a party for the fight saturday night and some male guests were alone with the stereo for some time. Specific instructions were "don't touch, volume here. CD player here. don't go past -15 on the volume, have fun!".

    Somebody changed to the denon DACs for cd playback. So basically my buddy changed from analog mode (adcom dacs) to digital mode (coax digital to receiver for PCM playback).

    Changed back to analog and sounds great again. whew.
     
  7. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    John,

    Glad you solved the mystery.

    Question: do you have a volume difference when going from Analog to Digital input as well as the sound quality change?
     
  8. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Paul,

    Yes I do. Maybe about 4-5 db. The thing about it...I was listening to my stereo for days thinking "What's wrong?". Played my favorite recordings over and over at strong listening levels - 80-90+ db and softly as well. Something was definately missing.

    I'm just glad I found it.

    -edit- sp
     
  9. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    I thought the Martin Logans were suppose to sound muddy in the first place?
     
  10. Ferran Mazzanti

    Ferran Mazzanti Stunt Coordinator

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    What amazes me is not the different volume level, but mostly the fact that using analog sounds that different from using digital... is this normal? I mena, at least my Marantz doesn't produce this difference.
     
  11. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Ferran:


    Different DACS, even high-quality DACS, can sound quite different from one another. In fact, I am putting my Levinson 360 processor up for sale, as I prefer the DACS in my Ayre D1.

    Larry
     
  12. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    What accounts for the volume loss on digital? Just the conversion process and filtering? Mine avgs. about 4-5dB as well using H/K 310, 510 receivers.
     
  13. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    The volume difference is most likely from the analog portion of the D/A. The digital signal that the internal D/A of the CD player should be the same voltage as when used as a transport to an external D/A. Therefore, the gain of the analog portion of the circuitry is probably substantially different between the various CD players and D/A's BTW I've also experienced the same difference in volume for various players, external Dac's and in prepros.
     
  14. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Ted. I've just noticed that the volume difference is less with HDCD material. Instead of 4-5dB it's 3dB and the sound character is also very close to Analog. I think I just discovered a good reason to hang on to my 510. [​IMG]
     

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