The louder it gets, the worse it sounds

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Ilia, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. Ilia

    Ilia Extra

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    Hi fellows,

    Here's what's been bothering me for quite a while. I'm running following setup: Nakamichi AV-10 receiver with a pair of B&W bookshelves (602 S3), can't remember what SS rears (in-ceiling), Adire Rava sub, and NAD DVD player. It all sounds very, very decent, including surround sound while watching videos. The problem starts when I crank up the volume listening to the audio CDs (primarily when we have guests and want to dance). All of a sudden the sound quality degrades and it feels like mid range starts dominating. It is either good quality at the usual listening volume (sorry, I would not know the dB level but this is what would anyone listen in the middle of the day) or dismal sound at a club sound level ( I don't think I turn the knob on AV-10 past the middle).
    My question is where this problem comes from? Do I need pre-amp or anything else or this is speakers, which I don't think it is since there is no distortion coming from them.[​IMG]
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I don't think your speakers are meant to sound good that loud. I know what you mean I've heard the same effect from my B&W 602s when cranking them hard and I try to keep them below the level of mush. It's not a problem in my room.
     
  3. Ilia

    Ilia Extra

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    Well, perhaps it's time to change the speakers since I have a bigger room now. Any recommendations on good towers below 1K? I prefer tight bass (although I can always switch it to sub only), and crisp highs. Last seems to be rare for towers in my opinion.
     
  4. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Sounds like you are running out of power when you crank it. Bigger room means more power too, not just bigger/more efficient speakers.
     
  6. Lee-M

    Lee-M Stunt Coordinator

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    These will fill your room with more sound than you can possibly imagine, and the price is half original retail... I'm not suggesting this particular pair (and no affiliation with the seller), and the model has not been manufactured for about 10 years; in good shape, they should give you a lifetime of listening...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/ebayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW
     
  7. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    I have the Nakamichi AV-8 and it seems to run out of power quickly when listening to two channel music.
    I have been trying to decide whether I should go for the new and improved processing capabilities and extra power of a Denon 2805 or just get an outboard amp.
     
  8. Ilia

    Ilia Extra

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    And that's what I was talking about - how do I know if I'm running out of power or this is speakers? Speakers start sounding loud and base, mid, higher range seem to merge, so again I can't reaaly tell which part of setup degrades.
     
  9. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    What you describe is a dynamic compression,and in many times what amplifier clipping sounds as well.However it is hard to tell if it is the amp or your speakers are at "fault".I would start with a larger more efficient speaker,then thinking about a new amp.
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    It could be your amp, though I was assuming your amp was competent. When I was running my 602s really loud I was using a Sherwood Newcastle AM-9080 which is a BEAST of an amplifier. It had to get -very loud indeed- in order to get mushy sounding. Perhaps an amp would be a good place to start. I agree with Lewis it's very hard to determine whether the problem is your amp or speakers. Trying a new amp like a Harmon/Kardon PA2000 in bridged mode may be a good first step. Those speakers you have sound wonderful.

    Make sure you're running bass through your sub!!! Bass frequencies will overload both the speaker and amp in no short order.
     
  11. russell allan

    russell allan Auditioning

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    Find a pro audio store in your area that rents sound equipment.

    Rent a pro amplifier with at least 200 watts per channel and put it in your system for the weekend and see if that solves your problem.
     
  12. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Russell's idea is great! I recommend a Crown!
     
  13. Ilia

    Ilia Extra

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    I am running bass through the sub using "small" speaker mode and crossover around 80 Hz or so. I also turned off "loudness" when listening at high volume since it's only usefull to bring up vocals a bit at a lower volume. Yet detail is not there at higher output, and I'm starting to have a feeling it's speakers. Nakamichi runs 120Wx2, and although it's not the best output out there, it still should be sufficient. A friend of mine has Mirage OM9B towers, and they dont do that, even though I think 602s much more natural at the regular volume. I can only guess bookshelves even as wonderful as 602s are not going to substitute quality towers. I'm going to look at the following towers and appreciate your opinion: Magnepan M612, JMLab Chorus (715S, 716S), Axiom M60 Ti, Tannoy M4, Paradagm Studio 80, Definitive Technology BP 10B, SWAN 6.1 BC, and Ascend Acoustics CMT 340M. Which one of those is similar to B&W sound concept (warm, realistic vocals), does not have too much crispiness in highs, and has accurate tight bass to work together with my Adire Rava (excellent music sub, just not enough power for my room (family with kitchen) but I hope should get some help from towers' bass)?

    Another question from the newbie like me: can I add power amplifier to aid Nakamichi AV-10 receiver? How would the setup look?
     
  14. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    The NHT ST4 towers I think would do the trick at less than $1000 a pair. They fit your description of what you want sound wise. The NHT SB3 bookshelfs are nice as well but they may be similar to the 602's.

    You may also want to experiment using the subs high pass crossover. That would give you more control. You would do this by setting the mains to large, connecting the speaker cables from the receiver to the subs high pass speaker inputs, then run another set of speaker wires to your 602's. I think this is a long shot in helping you though. Trying a outboard amp is not a bad idea but I think you just need to move more air and the 602's could be overmatched in the bigger room.

    Also, double check your wiring. It is easy to get a speaker wire hooked up backwards.
     
  15. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Ilia, you simply use the front left/right preouts (which it does have). Connect RCA cables from these preouts to the outboard amp input and run the speaker wire from the outboard amp to the speakers (of course removing the speaker wire from the receiver first). This is the short version.
     
  16. MikeRP

    MikeRP Supporting Actor

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    I agree with the others here........I rfecommend adding an amp before buying new speakers. You'll be suprised what an adequate amp can do for speakers.

    Then decide on speakers........also I picked Paradigm two years ago instead of B&W becasue I felt the B&W speakers - and I considered the same model you have - emphasized the mids too much especially at loud volumes.

    Some people like this - I don't so I picked Paradigm Studios. I have the Studio 40's, CC, and ADP's. Sometimes I feel the Studio CC is a little weak so I may upgrade it next but the Music is great. I'm very happy.

    Why I recommend an amp is that I added a 2 channel ADCOM 545 to my Pioneer Elite 45TX for the front mains. At high volumes I felt the Elite was compressing the sound. Now that's at 100 db average and 105 db peaks as measured on my Rat Shack meter.

    With the Adcom which was 100WPC with a clipping indicator, I could get to 102 - 103 db average with 107 db peaks which was all I could stand. But the sound did not compress at this level like it did with just the Elite.

    But the Pioneer could get to 100 db average without compression. Speakers were set to large for the test.

    I eventually took the amp off 'cause I never listen that loud.

    Mike
     
  17. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    If the speakers are set to small I see very little reason to buy a more powerfull amp.
     
  18. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I'm beginning more and more to believe that he needs to replace his speakers(his receiver too IMHO but that is for another thread). The updated processing/dacs etc wouldn't hurt.

    But if I was in your position, I'd consider better speakers. Perhaps just upgrade to the 603 or 604's and move the 602's to the surrounds. If you already have surrounds then you have a good excuse to go 7.1
     
  19. Ilia

    Ilia Extra

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    [​IMG] Oh, no. This is not an option, and it's me, not my wife, who does not let more furniture in the room.[​IMG] 5.1 works well for me (I have Sonance in-ceilings)- I just don't have much time for movies, but I was thinking of moving [email protected] into the bedroom since they do sound nice especially at the mild volume. I do think I need to upgrade speakers, although I cant's stand that Nakamichi won't let me have Large+subwoofer setup. I will need to go with Charles's advice and use the subs high pass crossover. How does it compare to the dedicated sub connection, BTW?
    I also can't check on the direction of the wires since I'm using 12g wire bough from Home Depot, which does not have any marking.
     
  20. Romar Armas

    Romar Armas Second Unit

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    I have 602 S3's for fronts and do not have any issues with them at high volumes. I have a DENON 2803 for my receiver and I do enjoy high volumes when the wife is not around as she's quite sensitive. I have watched several movies at almost 90dB with no problems (using Radioshack Analog SPL metre). My complete system is 602 S3's for fronts, 601 S2 for rears, LCR6 S2 for centre and an SVS 16-46 for sub.
     

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