Monitor Upgrades, High-end phones and a subwofer that cured my room acoustics!?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Tarkovsky, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. Tarkovsky macrumors 6502

    Tarkovsky

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Location:
    London/Norwich
    #1
    It's been an expensive Christmas for me as a I decided to upgrade my monitors. I now use KEF 102s, with the outboard eq made for them by KEF - it's not a gimic its the eq that's left out of the crossover. Not only did I buy these, I also bought a REL storm II, which can hit 20 and is VERY musical - the exact opposite of one note bass. I also got some HD600s. And finally I picked myself up a Graham Slee Green solo - a brit made headphone amp.
    Here's a roundup.

    The HD600s with the Graham Slee are pretty astonishing. The Graham Slee Green solo is a lesser known headphone amp. Out of the box my mate thought it already sounded better than heavily modded xcan v2, I wasn't so sure. This amp is famous for its long burn-in. And everyday I have a listen it just sounds better and better. You're supposed to give it 500 hours and I've had it burning in for about 30. Even so it's pretty special, though I'll post a proper review on head-fi when it's properly burnt in. The HD600s are very well burnt in and on them I can comment. Especially on vocals you can hear a ridiculous amount of detail. I instantly spotted over sibilant recordings, in my tracks and off of CDs. If it's there you'll hear it. Nails on guitars, snot in bjorks nose on hyperballad. In fact more than anything I can really hear the imperfections in commercial recordings. The bass is very very accurate, this is great if you have room issues. The problems with these phones are the same as all phones - unrealistic sound stage and lack of infrasound. Not to say this setup couldn't be better. There are better headphones out their up the increasingly expensive and less rewarding scale of hi-fi upgrades, but for detail this is pretty incredible.

    The KEFs are great - loads of detail and soundstage. They are starting to show the limmits of my CA 540r. I'm pretty pleased with them but I don't think they will come into their own until I get a better power amp for them. Still the detail and flat eqing is lovely, and they are just a tiny bit warm.

    The Storm II - ok it's an older version, but I got it pretty cheap for what it does. It's a very musical sub. It can actually reach 20hz (measured by other people) which is no small feat, as most subs have a response in that region that's way too weak. What really surprised me, and this is probably what you skipped the rest of the threat for, was that a combination of the new monitors and this sub seems to have removed all the easily audible standing wave issues I had in here.

    A friend had claimed that a good sub might have more control on the deeper frequencies. "Yeah yeah, but my room has serious standing waves - I mean it sounds like a ford escort with a 30 inch sub in the back". But I was eating my words when we got the thing set up right. I'm not claiming that it's solved all my EQing problems, or that bass traps wouldn't be a sensible investment. But bass now seems to br evenly distributed across the room, the 30hz kick drum in purple haze isn't a wimper, or a belch, it's a kick drum. Odd. Really odd. I'm shocked...
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    yeah, that does seem strange. perhaps the standing wave problem, still present, is being masked by lower frequencies now?
     
  3. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    #3
    First thing I would try would be to move the sub...

    Beyond that, time to start adding mass, and moving over to an audio forum for serious problem solving. Good luck!

    Nice setup by the way!
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #4
    time to start adding bass traps like these until the low frequencies are under control. and i remain unconvinced that a sub is either necessary or advisable.
     
  5. Tarkovsky thread starter macrumors 6502

    Tarkovsky

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Location:
    London/Norwich
    #5
    Cheers gotzero, I'm living on rice and yoghurt to pay for it! :eek:

    Zim-

    Yeah, well I'm going to get my GF to build me some bass traps - she designs theatre sets and I suck at DIY. But I can't agree with you about the sub.

    I agree that mosts subs would present issues - too much bass, inaccurate and poorly timed - and no one listens with subs. However the REL storm is a bit different. It uses the speaker outs of your amps in parallel with your speakers to keep the character of the amp and naturally extend beneath your speakers. This sounds like a load of marketing, and well it is, but this box really does seem to produce very tuneful and accurate bass. In fact it's not just bass notes that seem to be improved. Voices seem to gain more texture and reality as well as the obvious things like drum kits. There are definitely advantages in timing (in terms of speaker response) to be gained from using smaller speakers and a sub.
    I agree that whilst very few will listen to what I produce with a sub, to see how that sounds I just have to hit the off the button...
     

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