Reducing speaker harshness

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Basheer, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. Basheer

    Basheer Auditioning

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    Hi folks, I have Aperion Audio 522 fronts and surrounds and a BIC center all driven by a Denon2803 receiver. At low to medium volume this is pleasing and detailed. At moderate to high volumes, harshness difines the sound quality. At high volumes it's eardrum ripping (not literally)and highly unpleasant to listen to, sadly. The Aperion speakers are beautiful and I'd really like to keep them.

    Is there a way I can modify the signal so that harshness/edginess is reduced at higher volumes? I have the receiver's treble control ALL the way down and it only helps a bit.

    Thanks very much!
     
  2. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    isn't that harshness a sign of the Denon running out of power?
     
  3. MikeyWeitz

    MikeyWeitz Supporting Actor

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    Get a power amp like a crown xls 402b and tha harshness will be gone.

    BTW, why does your center not match your mains?

    That kills your sound quality too.
     
  4. Alan M

    Alan M Second Unit

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    Basheer,

    A while back,I had a slight harshness problem also.Not as bad as you're experiencing,but still noticeible.I did two things to solve the problem.

    Firstly,I changed my speaker wire from 16/2 gauge to 12/2 gauge.This did make an audible improvement.

    Secondly,I changed from an amp putting out 165 WPC to an amp pumping out 400 WPC(my speakers are power hungry).All harshness is gone(within reason considering the qualities of my speakers).

    Try the wire ,and see if theres a change.This is an inexpensive upgrade and simple change to make.I always try simple(read cheap)changes 1st.
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

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    Basheer,

    I notice you have two different speaker brands. Perhaps only one of them is the problem. See if you can figure out if it’s the Aperions or the BIC that is giving the harsh sound at high volumes. (I’m putting my money on the BIC.)

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Notch the treble adjustment down if it's both of them. Does it sound just as bright in stereo as it does with surround modes?

    I haven't heard either, but if you buy brighter speakers (I've heard BIC compared to Klipsch), then there is not too much you can do to tame their characteristic sound.

    Wire isn't going to make any difference unless you are using too small of an AWG of wire to begin with. More power could help though, if your receiver isn't capable of delivering enough power for these speakers for the volume you are trying to drive them at.
     
  7. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    So you have NO powered subwoofer in the system.?

    Is this harshness noticable in both 2-channel Stereo no sub, and also DD/DTS/etc no sub..?

    How big a room are you filling, aprox ft^3 wise.?

    Is the room rather live with a tile or wood floor, bare or not much on the walls, etc,,, or is it carpeted with some soft absorbent furnishings in the room.?

    How is you rig configered, large all speaks, large fronts-rest center & rears small and if so "crossed over where", etc.?

    Of course your front stage is not matched & it may not make for the best front sound stage, but this is not the direct question here. It may well play into it as in which exact speaker/s are the most harsh, or maybe all are some what harsh when played at higher volumes.

    More information about your set up would be helpful. If you have NO self powered subwoofer, a large-ish room, and "some or all speaks being run large", lack of clean power could very well be the problem. More information might help others to figure out what options might/could be the most helpful for your situation.

    Cheers
     
  8. Victor Ferguson

    Victor Ferguson Stunt Coordinator

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    Room interactions could be causing this as well. Room treatments may be of help in this situation. Need more info on the room size, layout, speaker positions and materials in the room.
     
  9. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I have an idea but it might require getting your hands "dirty". hehe

    You could modify the crossover of your Aperion speakers. This could be as simple as adding 2 resistors and "attenuating" the sound of the tweeter so that it's reduced in sound by 2 or 3db.

    If you know what you're doing, you could identify what crossover design the speaker is using, then replace the capacitors with "designer" caps. I don't change inductors because the value is usually not labeled, but I do change resistors. Just swap GOOD quality capacitors for the 50 cent electrolyte cheap ones they have in there.

    I've done this to JBL speakers and the results were fantastic. Then to push that a step furthur, you could adjust the roll off of the tweeter. This I wouldn't recommend unless you know what you're doing.

    Other than that... Harsh sound at high volume is probably because the speakers were designed that way, or because they are underpowered. But since it's not like they are seriously underpowered by that Denon receiver, I think it's the speaker that sounds "shouty".

    The speaker wire shouldn't make an audible difference.

    Another way to reduce harshness is to make the room less "live" is to cover reflective surfaces with blankets or put it into a room that's more acoustically dead.

    Anyways, I think a lot of speakers sound ok at low volumes... It's when you start to crank them up when you separate the good from the GREAT. hehe

    The harshness you are hearing is "distortion". Time to save and upgrade. [​IMG]
     
  10. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Add a tube to the signal chain.

    What Bic is it?
     

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