Speaker cable question...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vince Chan, Oct 10, 2001.

  1. Vince Chan

    Vince Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    I understand that different types of speaker cable impart different characteristics to the sound coming out of the speaker. I'm looking for a cable that will add warmness to the sound, or at least reduce harshness. Is there a crand of cable out there that does this at a reasonable cost?
    Thanks
     
  2. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    Oy! Not again. Please check out this archived thread before we start this discussion all over again.
    ------------------
     
  3. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    IMO, you probably don't want to use speaker cable as the means to add warmth to your system.
     
  4. Vince Chan

    Vince Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay here's my Gear:
    Receiver: Yamaha RXV496 (a very bright receiver, I know)
    Mains: Paradigm Monitor 3 (bright speakers, breaking them in did not reduce the initial harshness like I expected)
    Center: Paradigm Reference Studio CC
    Rears: Paradigm Titans
    Sub: Paradigm PW2200
    Current speaker wire used: Acoustic Research 16ga
     
  5. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Yup, that's a "known bright" combination. Could you describe your room and speaker setup please? Distance from listening position, degree of toe-in, floor/wall coverings, furniture, room dimensions, placement of speakers in the room?
    I doubt you could tame a Yamaha/Paradigm combination with speaker cable, unless you bought something that deliberately rolled off the high frequencies, and if you want to do that, you're better off buying an equalizer.
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    sounds like a job for speaker placement and/or the nature of your room. of course one could also use the tone controls to get the sound you want.
     
  7. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Oh no! I agree with Chu Gai! Somebody shoot me! [​IMG]
     
  8. Vince Chan

    Vince Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    My room is about 10 x 12 feet. There is carpet on the floor, the chairs are soft and there is a false ceiling using soft tiles. The speakers are toed in about 10 degrees inward. Full walls on the front and right side of room, half-height walls on rear and the left of room. I basically sectioned off a corner of the family room to make this mini-theatre.
    Pictures are available on http://www.arcticcircle.ca/about.htm
    The are located near the bottom of the page.
    [Edited last by Vince Chan on October 11, 2001 at 06:49 PM]
     
  9. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Vince,
    Boy, that is a real tough listening area you are situated in. You are looking at some serious acoustical dampening for that room. From the 2 pictures posted on your site it appears as if you a combating a serious tonal imbalance due to the LF exiting, passing through, and literally getting lost in the larger room your HT is situated in. What you are probably left with, most likely, is the HF remaining and reflecting in your HT area -- and to no end. And the more you crank the gain, the HF glare, and "brightness", most likely gets worse.
    Man, if you could rebuild those two half walls all the way up to the ceiling you could have a fighting chance of taming (with some wall/room treatment) the brightness. And the wood paneling( it appears to be, anyway) surely does not help matters. Any chance of double drywall if you can carry those half walls to the ceiling. Sorry if I am recommending a room rebuild project, but unless you can keep all the sonics, the total sound pressure, in the HT space, there is no real way to correct any tonal imbalance.
    I am no acoustical expert, by any stretch, but just having built a dedicated basement HT room, I have some practical knowledge. That may make me totally dangerous, but I temper it with about 6 months of serious research on the subject of room acoustics. OK, I admit, I may still be dangerous, but I toss this out as free interchange.
    Check out www.geocities.com/jonrisch//a1.htm
    for DIY room treatment.
    I would consider buying a $23. pack of Owens Corning R19 unfaced batts of insulation, two packages of "Create-A- Craft" highloft, 1/2", quilters Polyester Batting ($6.60 [email protected] Mart) and fashioning a makeshift wall panel for the first reflection points for your Monitor 3's. Hang the insulation (6-8" thick, 30" wide, i.e. two batts wide)wrapped inside two wraps of batting off the first mirror/ reflection point of your 2 Monitor 3's.
    This is a "trial" hanging to see if it helps. If it does, then I would proceed with Jon's wall panel recipe as close as you can without your wife screaming at you. If it does nothing, toss the insulation up in your attic (can't hurt, right ?-- in summer and winter) and re-package the batting and just smile when you approach the Wally Mart service desk for the return (don't forget receipt). And, of course, experiment with this room treatment. The bass trap recipe may also pique your interest as it is not tuned to a particular frequency range, even the newest Quick and Dirty recipe.
    Really, Jon Risch's site, if nothing else, may get you going on the idea that room acoustics have more to do with the sonics of your system than any piece of gear you currently own , or ever buy in your lifetime.
    And crazy enough, I agree with Chu. He and Saurav are right that cables as tone controls are an ass backwards approach. Sure there are so called "warm" cables, but the systems resolution must be at maximum; and room acoustics must be optimIzed before audible differences are realizable,IMHO.
    BTW, I own a Yammie receiver and Paradigm speakers too. It's the reason I responded to your post, actually --- as many times this combo is "branded" way "too bright". I prefer to use the "clarity and detail" description for the combo myself. But it is all in the listeners ear anyway. Just personal taste after that.
    Good Luck with your room,
    BOK
    typo edit
    [Edited last by Brian OK on October 11, 2001 at 08:39 PM]
    [Edited last by Brian OK on October 11, 2001 at 09:02 PM]
     
  10. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    I've never built a dedicated audio/HT room before, so I'll defer to Brian's experience on this. I can think of some suggestions that you could try, but you might be fighting a difficult room.
    Anyway, my suggestions:
    * First, is your subwoofer optimally placed? A quick-and-dirty way to find a place for a subwoofer is to put it in your listening position (yes, up on the seat), and then crawl around the room with your ear close to the ground listening for a spot where the bass sounds good. Well, something like that. Anyway, if what Brian says is correct, you might be losing bass and that might be contributing to the sense of imbalance, so see if you can move the sub to increase bass in your listening position, as opposed to trying to fill the room with bass evenly. You might also try moving your seat back or forward a few inches, as that makes a difference in peak and null points at bass frequencies.
    * Put the grilles back on the speakers.
    * Throw a comforter over the front of your TV and see if that makes a difference. That's a big flat reflective surface. If the comforter works though, I don;t know how you can turn that into a permanent solution [​IMG]
    * Find the first reflection points on your walls (sit in your listening chair and have someone move a mirror on the side wall until you can see the tweeter in it), and then put something there. The best options are acoustic treatments like Brian said, but you could try a rug or a pillow or anything soft, just to see if that makes a difference.
    * If your toe-in points the speakers directly at you, change the toe-in so that they're pointing 1-3 feet behind your head, or in front of your head.
    I hope some of this helps. Good luck.
     
  11. Vince Chan

    Vince Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys, I'll go and pick up some generic 12ga cable tonight and try some of those tricks you mentioned!
    As a related question, what causes the brightness in the Yamaha? Is it the amp or the processor. I had been thinking of getting outboard amplification for the main channels and was wondering if I got an external amp such as one by Marantz, would that warm up the sound?
     
  12. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    I also have a Yamaha/Paradigm combo and really like the sound. I describe the sound as accurate. I have Yamaha RX-V795 and Paradim Monitor 7's in front.
    I did purchase a pair of Nordost Super-flat bi-wired cable s for the 7's and did notice a better sound. The cost is not cheap. The 3 meter pair retails for $250. As an alternative, I suggest you invest in 12 gauge wire for your mains. Lowe's and Home Depot sell 12 gauge wire for around $.35 per foot, USD.
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    your yamaha is not 'bright'. it is more likely that your system in general is doing a respectable job at reproducing your high frequencies reasonably accurately (assuming of course that your room is not exacerbating the condition due to reflections). for some people that is an issue. if playing with your tone controls results in an acceptable sound then there you go!
     

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