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post #1 of 16 Old 01-01-2010, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey to everyone in the forum,
(My intro is kinda long, the 2 real questions are at the bottom, so if you don't want my background you don't need it)

Although i'm just joining the forum now, i've always looked to it for critical, and usually unbiased info about anything audio and video. I wasn't really bothered about such things as sound and video quality, but a few buddies of mine who did convinced me to upgrade my headphones to a pair of sennheiser cx550 style II headphones,then I understood the meaning of the phrase "wool over my eyes" meant.

So for the past months I've been researching anything to do with audio(currently a 2nd year engineering student, and it helps when my tutor is the senior lecturer on digital music effects and signal processing).
Apparently I mentioned to my mom I like the Bose Companion 3 Series 2(This was BEFORE I paid any attention to quality). So I got it for christmas, and now i'm kinda wishing I got socks and vouchers. Not saying I didn't like them, but little things happened through my listening experience, like the music volume just dropping randomly, certain notes were missing sometimes and they require such specific positioning to sound decent. When they worked they were great, to my ears at least. Even did a frequency test using a few pure tones my tutor sent me, noticed bass was quite loud, mids were truncated and highs were strained. An EQ change fixed most of that( I finally found a use for making an custom EQ), but if I didn't get it right, they
sounded quite bad.

So I finally got rid of any mp3's less than 320kbps and decided I was gonna return these speakers. Very adamant to do so, I thought I should find a replacement and break it to my mom so she doesn't get mad she went out of her way for me. Logitech z2300, Swan M200 and Klipsch promedia 2.1 and M-Audio av 40 came up with great reviews, along side the bose companion 3.
I'm in London so the ProMedia 2.1 aren't available to me, and the promedia 2.0 are ugly, so ugly I really couldn't accept them on my desk, no matter how good they sound over the Bose.
When trawling this site, I found so much bose bashing, I kinda felt bad for a friend of mine who is a bose fan(owns bose in ear headphones and 301 bookshelf speakers), since he advised I buy them, although I went over his head to get the sennheiser(which are awesome btw). Then I realized sound is subjective, and he's customized his sound and setup, so I shouldn't if he spent good money on it with research and his ears backign him.

I like the bose acoutimass base module, but the tweeters are kinda pissing me off, can't put into words why. I even got a few friends to go with me to a store to compare the bose and logitech, and they said they prefer the bose clarity over the logitech when using my personal music I brought with me. I kind of agreed, because the logitech's bass even when reduced was still overpowering, but I couldn't call it a far test since I don't live in a crowded department store with tile ceilings and no carpets.

Questions:
I looked around, but couldn't find specific answers to these questions, so i'm asking them for anyone with experience and patience to help a reasonably experienced noob.

1: Is is possible to hook up a pair of M-Audio AV 40 StudioPhile Speakers as tweeters to a Bose Acoutimass Module from the Bose Companion 3 Series 2 set to handle the highs and mids? And how if so? I'm thinking of buying the m-audio, which are pretty inexpensive as a solution for what i'm missing in my sound.

2: Are there any speakers available in London that completely trump the bose in every way(aside from looks) that I can find to demo?

To end a rather long post with what might be a silly question, what do audiophiles clean their ears with? I mean they spend more money on gear than I spend on tution, so they must have some special brand of electronic automatic tools for the job. Just thinking out loud.
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-01-2010, 11:00 AM
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1. I doubt it. The bass module includes EQ for the Bose satellites which would not match with anything else.
2. Undoubtedly but, from here in the US, I cannot advise you in specific. I am sure some locals can.
3. Electronic ear cleaners? That's a scary thought. Normal hygiene should suffice.

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post #3 of 16 Old 01-01-2010, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, but I'm not quite sure what you mean by match. However, I'd still like to know if the connection is possible, whether or not its advisable or optimal.
Also, if anyone knows any other names for speakers other than the klipsch, swan and m-audio I listed that I should take a look at, I'd be happy to receive your recommendation. They'd have to be active though, as I don't have the space to house a separate amp, or the money to build something custom myself right now.
Thanks in advance
-Dr. Snide
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-01-2010, 03:35 PM
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All these speaker systems are self-contained so any tweaking you can do to them would be minimal. You're dealing with rather low-end systems and my only suggestion is to step up your budget a little. The M-Audio AV 40s are actually pretty good but the bass is rather light on them. I'd recommend maybe the AudioEngine 2s or 5 if possible.
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-01-2010, 03:52 PM
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Wharfedale makes some pretty good bargain speakers, I'll bet you can find space for a small receiver.

Ron
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-01-2010, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Snide View Post

Sorry, but I'm not quite sure what you mean by match. However, I'd still like to know if the connection is possible, whether or not its advisable or optimal.

OK. Inadvisable. The FR of the output to the Bose satellites is shaped to compensate for their inadequacies. Applying that undefeatable correction to any other speakers will make them sound terrible, wasting whatever money you put into them.

Quote:


Also, if anyone knows any other names for speakers other than the klipsch, swan and m-audio I listed that I should take a look at, I'd be happy to receive your recommendation. They'd have to be active though, as I don't have the space to house a separate amp, or the money to build something custom myself right now.
Thanks in advance
-Dr. Snide

Then live with the Bose until you can do better. There are some wonderful powered speakers out there but the cost will greatly exceed what you are looking at.

Kal Rubinson

"Music in the Round"
Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #7 of 16 Old 01-04-2010, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t1337Dude View Post

All these speaker systems are self-contained so any tweaking you can do to them would be minimal. You're dealing with rather low-end systems and my only suggestion is to step up your budget a little. The M-Audio AV 40s are actually pretty good but the bass is rather light on them. I'd recommend maybe the AudioEngine 2s or 5 if possible.

Thanks again for the input. I'm still learning a lot about audio, and can't find any reliable sources of information to use as a reference. So i'd like to use this chance to ask about some terminology.
What is/are:
-crossover frequency
-nominal and input impedance( I know how impedance is used in electronic circuits, are it the same thing?)

I ask this because when I did some reading to a similar problem i'm having, they said if I knew the crossover frequency I could still connect the bose acoutimass module and m-audio av 40's as tweeters
I've looked at the audioengine a2 and a5. Price isn't too much of a problem, as these are a reward. I'm loving the a5, still trying to find a warehouse to audition them.
So, anyone else think the audioengine a2 or 5 are a pc speakers than the bose?
I don't really care about THX certification, but is it really important, I mean I don't watch movies to TV for how we'll i'm hearing it, but for what's being said.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 05:13 AM - Thread Starter
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hello, anybody there?
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 05:16 AM
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Quote:


To end a rather long post with what might be a silly question, what do audiophiles clean their ears with? I mean they spend more money on gear than I spend on tution, so they must have some special brand of electronic automatic tools for the job. Just thinking out loud.


lmao, I could see someone hyping and selling very expensive Q-tips

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post #10 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Snide View Post

Thanks again for the input. I'm still learning a lot about audio, and can't find any reliable sources of information to use as a reference. So i'd like to use this chance to ask about some terminology.
What is/are:
-crossover frequency
-nominal and input impedance( I know how impedance is used in electronic circuits, are it the same thing?)

I ask this because when I did some reading to a similar problem i'm having, they said if I knew the crossover frequency I could still connect the bose acoutimass module and m-audio av 40's as tweeters
I've looked at the audioengine a2 and a5. Price isn't too much of a problem, as these are a reward. I'm loving the a5, still trying to find a warehouse to audition them.
So, anyone else think the audioengine a2 or 5 are a pc speakers than the bose?
I don't really care about THX certification, but is it really important, I mean I don't watch movies to TV for how we'll i'm hearing it, but for what's being said.

First I think you might be a little confused when you say "40's as tweeters". It sounds like you want to use the Acoutimass module with the 40s? The Acoustimass is like a subwoofer it only does the low frequency stuff so you really should post you want to use the 40s as mains and the Acoustimass as the subwoofer. Meaning, you are using the 40s as more then just tweeters.

You can do this, you just need to somehow wire the acousitmass into a normal AVR setup and use a normal crossover.

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post #11 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 05:36 AM
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I would not recommend the A2s. Had 'em; sold 'em very quickly. Easily the worst speakers I've had on my desktop, and volume control on back of speaker made them very annoying to use. To be fair, they are also maybe the second cheapest speakers I've tried, so maybe my expectations were too high (based on lots of good reviews).

Check out a guitar store/music store (not sure what you have in the UK) for decent selection of powered speakers. If you have some space on your desktop you can do pretty well here.
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post #12 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droht View Post

I would not recommend the A2s. Had 'em; sold 'em very quickly. Easily the worst speakers I've had on my desktop, and volume control on back of speaker made them very annoying to use. To be fair, they are also maybe the second cheapest speakers I've tried, so maybe my expectations were too high (based on lots of good reviews).

Check out a guitar store/music store (not sure what you have in the UK) for decent selection of powered speakers. If you have some space on your desktop you can do pretty well here.

Thanks for the (non)recommendation. I was more interested in the A5 really, just wanted to check if your recommendation is about AudioEngine in general or just the A2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

First I think you might be a little confused when you say "40's as tweeters". It sounds like you want to use the Acoutimass module with the 40s? The Acoustimass is like a subwoofer it only does the low frequency stuff so you really should post you want to use the 40s as mains and the Acoustimass as the subwoofer. Meaning, you are using the 40s as more then just tweeters.

You can do this, you just need to somehow wire the acousitmass into a normal AVR setup and use a normal crossover.

Yeah, I think you're about right. That's what I intend to do. Just wanted to check if that was possible, if it would improve the overall sound of the 2.1 setup. Also, what's an AVR setup?
Thanks
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Snide View Post

Thanks again for the input. I'm still learning a lot about audio, and can't find any reliable sources of information to use as a reference. So i'd like to use this chance to ask about some terminology.
What is/are:
-crossover frequency
-nominal and input impedance( I know how impedance is used in electronic circuits, are it the same thing?)

I ask this because when I did some reading to a similar problem i'm having, they said if I knew the crossover frequency I could still connect the bose acoutimass module and m-audio av 40's as tweeters
I've looked at the audioengine a2 and a5. Price isn't too much of a problem, as these are a reward. I'm loving the a5, still trying to find a warehouse to audition them.
So, anyone else think the audioengine a2 or 5 are a pc speakers than the bose?
I don't really care about THX certification, but is it really important, I mean I don't watch movies to TV for how we'll i'm hearing it, but for what's being said.

Crossovers serve 2 purposes:
Purpose 1:
To limit distortion by muting frequencies that a driver can't produce. You shouldn't expect a tweeter to reproduce loud bass, and you wouldn't expect a big heavy woofer to produce high frequencies.

Purpose 2:
To prevent damage to delicate components like tweeters. Higher frequencies require significantly less energy to reproduce.

Sending a 100 Watts signal to a tweeter is a good way to fry it.

A really good crossover design is important. It can affect driver placement/phase, resonance, sensitivity, resistance and more. Poorly designed crossovers can cause bad side effects like ringing, or muddy bass.

The optimal crossover point is typically where drivers frequency response typically rolls off naturally on it's on.

Norminal impedence is a tricky term. This is often the average, or optimal resistance a speaker shows to the receiver. But it is not constant. Resistance varies with frequency and typically gets lower once drivers hit their resonance frequencies. (Especially in lower frequencies) I've seen some speakers go from a nominal of 8 ohms, way down to the mid 2's.

I've recently seen one brand swing as high as 40 ohms to as low as 2.5!

Modern receivers are voltage devices. If you use V = IR, and cut the resistance in half, you will double your current. But this is typically hard on all but the better quality components.

Speaker design is rather an art. There is no such thing as the perfect painting. Likewise there is no such thing as a perfect speaker. It's part science and part personal preference.
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post #14 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info on crossovers and nominal impedance. I haven't been able to find a source to explain it to me so directly. Still looking in my quest to obtain a decent set of speakers. I've already upped my budget hoping I get more options, and found a few demo rooms, so hopefully all goes well. Just wanted to take my time to thank everyone on the forum that helped, and would still appreciate any advice on brands to look out for and things to avoid.
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post #15 of 16 Old 01-18-2010, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I've got another question that I'm not sure would be considered fact or opinion. I'm guessing its ideal to have dedicated drivers for each bands of frequency(high,mid,low), however, which is the better compromise if you had 2 drivers and had to share the frequency range across them?
Would it be better to have a low/mid driver and a separate high driver, or a dedicated subwoofer with a mid/high driver?
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post #16 of 16 Old 01-18-2010, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Snide View Post

I've got another question that I'm not sure would be considered fact or opinion. I'm guessing its ideal to have dedicated drivers for each bands of frequency(high,mid,low), however, which is the better compromise if you had 2 drivers and had to share the frequency range across them?
Would it be better to have a low/mid driver and a separate high driver, or a dedicated subwoofer with a mid/high driver?

You are asking some fundamental questions which cannot be answered unequivocally, even by saying "all other things being equal." I suggest you get a book on basic audio and/or home theater or find a tutorial on the Internet. I cannot advise you on the latter but there are books by Robert Harley and Mark Fleischmann.
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The...=Robert+Harley
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Pra.../9781932732115
Undoubtedly, there are others.

Kal Rubinson

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Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
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