KEF Q900 driving issues - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 117 Old 11-07-2013, 01:34 PM
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You may have received defective speakers.

I recently bought a pair of KEF Q900s and I am driving them with Yamaha RX-A2030. It has 140 wpc x 9. My speakers are not biwired and are in a big family room. I compared them A/B to Aperion Grand Verus Towers and KEFs had noticably deeper bass than aperions and was one of the reason I kept them. I dont use YPAO and I have set crossover at 60 Hz.

Please refer to this thread for additional details

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1489971/a-b-in-home-speaker-comparison-aperion-verus-grand-towers-vs-kef-q900
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post #92 of 117 Old 11-07-2013, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post

You may have received defective speakers.

I recently bought a pair of KEF Q900s and I am driving them with Yamaha RX-A2030. It has 140 wpc x 9. My speakers are not biwired and are in a big family room. I compared them A/B to Aperion Grand Verus Towers and KEFs had noticably deeper bass than aperions and was one of the reason I kept them. I dont use YPAO and I have set crossover at 60 Hz.

Please refer to this thread for additional details

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1489971/a-b-in-home-speaker-comparison-aperion-verus-grand-towers-vs-kef-q900

Interesting. Your AVR sounds very close as far as power to mine (SC-67). How would you rate the bass with those speakers without any "bells and whistle's" from the AVR? Do they have some "punch" to them? I'm not meaning strong bass, just noticeable that its there. I still think mine without a sub a very "thin" sounding bass.
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post #93 of 117 Old 11-07-2013, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jer181 View Post

Interesting. Your AVR sounds very close as far as power to mine (SC-67). How would you rate the bass with those speakers without any "bells and whistle's" from the AVR? Do they have some "punch" to them? I'm not meaning strong bass, just noticeable that its there. I still think mine without a sub a very "thin" sounding bass.

After reading through all that you've done and you still stating that they sound better with that tiny little Pioneer sub, I have to think that the speakers are somehow defective. A pair of Q900s should walk all over that little sub. They should extend deeper and have FAR greater output. Heck you shouldn't even be able to hear that sub with the Q900s cranking.

Don't waste anymore time. Take them back and try a different pair or another brand. Maybe give the SVS Ultra towers a shot. 45 day trial and free shipping both ways.

That or for a less expensive trial, a pair of PSB Image T6s or Klipsch RF82IIs.

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post #94 of 117 Old 11-07-2013, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

After reading through all that you've done and you still stating that they sound better with that tiny little Pioneer sub, I have to think that the speakers are somehow defective. A pair of Q900s should walk all over that little sub. They should extend deeper and have FAR greater output. Heck you shouldn't even be able to hear that sub with the Q900s cranking.

Don't waste anymore time. Take them back and try a different pair or another brand. Maybe give the SVS Ultra towers a shot. 45 day trial and free shipping both ways.

That or for a less expensive trial, a pair of PSB Image T6s or Klipsch RF82IIs.

Yes, don't know what to tell you. Have you ever heard those speakers? If so what did you think of the low end?
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post #95 of 117 Old 11-07-2013, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

What's your reference? A pair of Q900's won't sound like, say, beats headphones.

and I wouldn't want them too... but shouldn't those speakers at least have a little bass to them. I am not looking to blow my face off. Just nice, bold bass that falls inline with the rest of the music. Not a jacked up bass sound that over takes everything else in the music.

You didn't answer my question: what is your reference?

I do agree that the Q900's are voiced a little on the lightweight side through the midbass, but your description makes me wonder what's going on.

Download some sweep tones up to say 500Hz and play them with the grills off, as loudly as you can stand. Perhaps you'll discover that a driver is disconnected or something.
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On the same note about bi-amping... I was also the the AV Forum from the UK, were many many people have these exact same speakers and have told me its a must to bi-amp them, because they were having the same issues I was having and that bi-amping made those speakers "come alive".

Those are people you can safely ignore...

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post #96 of 117 Old 11-07-2013, 03:51 PM
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Yes, don't know what to tell you. Have you ever heard those speakers? If so what did you think of the low end?

Never heard any of them. I live in an audio waste land, but the weather is nice smile.gif

Just based on reviews, both end user and professional. The SVS Ultras have some serious bass output into the low 30s. The PSB and Klipsch not so much and not as deep, but they cost less. Crutchfield has 60 day trial period with free shipping. There might be a small charge for return on non defective stuff, but it is only a few dollars if any charge at all.

You really need to try another set of speakers to see if it's your expectations or the speakers that are off.

If you want some guaranteed low end and a nice mid range check out Def Techs ST series towers with powered subs. Those I have heard and they have really nice output down into the low 30s and extend to the mid 20s in the larger models but will be a few dbs down some more from the -3db point. Especially the 8060 and 8080 models.

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post #97 of 117 Old 11-07-2013, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

You didn't answer my question: what is your reference?

I do agree that the Q900's are voiced a little on the lightweight side through the midbass, but your description makes me wonder what's going on.

Download some sweep tones up to say 500Hz and play them with the grills off, as loudly as you can stand. Perhaps you'll discover that a driver is disconnected or something.
Those are people you can safely ignore...

hahaha... yes test tones are a great idea! My reference was when I first listened to the same speakers on an Onkyo TX-NR828. I kept asking the sales guy if anything else was hooked up because I couldn't believe that was just those speakers and nothing else... no sub nothing. Just playing in stereo mode.
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post #98 of 117 Old 11-07-2013, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I can understand getting "a" lemon, but 2... I would have to have really ****** luck... possible.

I mean they "work" as I can feel the active woofer vibrating but by no means does it extend out of the cabinet. you can't even see it driving.
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post #99 of 117 Old 11-07-2013, 09:41 PM
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Quality speaker drivers are not normally moving (obviously) like those cheap ass speakers on a normal casual listening level.

Of course if you crank them more it should move more...but duh? Never should your woofers move many cm obviously like some stupid "excursion videos". I already get so loud that i can feel my sofa/walls vibrate before obviously see them moving.. My casual listening volume is low, about 65-75dB.

I watch movies on 2.0 stereo (DTS downmixed to 2.0 in XBMC/Plex HTCP app). Just yesterday i tested some movies and peaks were easily about 90db with my preamp (Emotiva XDA-2) volume "only" at -35 translates on my setup about 90dB peaks! (goes to 0) ! Listening distance 3 meters. Thats already too loud for my normal viewing. i can feel the effect impacts on my sofa. i have not yet had the guts to test over -20 ! With the older amp i coudnt feel it so much with the same or moderate volume level. They sounded somehow weeker / thinner but there was some bass also then.

Somehow i suspect you have a POWER issue. I mean, are you REALLY sure the pioneer amp has enough juice to really feed the CURRENT these speakers want? Or your pioneer is broken/configured wrong?

See the stereophile review about the measurements. All i can say what i experienced. When i swapped my 45 watt old (made from year 1980) integrated pioneer SA-610 stereo amplifier to a dedicated power amplifier (Emotiva XPA-2) these speakers came alive! They sounded already "ok" but after XPA-2, the bass was way more powerfull and faster.

If you see the impedance measurements of KEF Q900 the low ohm levels are mainly in the bass region. You really should also try another amp just for kicks.
Also check your source settings.
(what is your source?)
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post #100 of 117 Old 11-08-2013, 05:19 AM
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It's worth a shot to try another amp at this point, but like I said before, Pioneer Elite is known for having very good amp sections. I really doubt it's his AVR since the Onkyo 828 at the store had no problems playing these well. Why not take them back to the store and have the dealer try YOUR speakers with an AVR there. See if there is an issue, if not then you know you might have a problem with your AVR. I would strongly consider the SVS Ultra towers if you end up deciding to try a new speaker, as was mentioned above they pay shipping both ways and you get 45 days to try them. They have exceptional bass and would be great for music in a stereo setup.

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post #101 of 117 Old 11-08-2013, 07:05 AM
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It's worth a shot to try another amp at this point, but like I said before, Pioneer Elite is known for having very good amp sections. I really doubt it's his AVR

yes, and the class D amps in 2 & 5 channels are quite capable

"Two channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 144.5 watts
1% distortion at 191.6 watts"

if they can drive 4 ohm 85 dB efficient Magnepans even without a sub, then they can drive his 92 dB efficient, 8 ohm KEF's with woofers rolleyes.gif

no, I would almost guarantee it's not the amp. not even close, although I wouldn't argue that more power can't make a speaker come more alive because that is definitely the case with Magnepans, which are notorious for wanting hi power, hi current to sound their best..

Severe deficiency in bass will not be resolved by changing to a comparable powered receiver. the Pioneer SC's have been shown time and time again to hold their power even with multiple channels driven to same level at same time, when others, like the highly praised flagship Denon 4520 has been tested by one German review site and they got sags to about 60 watts IIRC when 5 ch driven simultaneously.

his problem is most likely defective speakers, poor room layout-bass suckouts, or his expectations wink.gif he already has a next action step to do: manual EQ boosts (suggested days ago by several, including me)

so let's not confuse the issue by telling him he needs to change receivers already rolleyes.gif that would be the very last thing I'd be trying.

why the continued discussing & debating instead of him trying the next logical steps? including just trying another speaker in the room, which has been suggested by several already.

If it were me, I'd be 1)make 100% my setup was correct 2) try manually boosting the bass region in the EQ'r and 3) try moving the speakers or my listening position. If all 3 fail to make me happy, I know what I'd be doing - and it wouldn't be to continually discuss this on a forum OR sell my receiver rolleyes.gif I'd be sending-taking them right back to the dealer and start demo-ing other & better speakers, seeing if my dealer would allow an in-home evaluation.

if I don't like the way my speakers sounded, I'd get different speakers. selling my receiver at a loss, getting another one to try or doing bi-amping to compensate for some unknown deficiency in the hopes it may make a difference would probably be a waste of money & time.

in audio, the speakers & the room are 80-90% of our sound quality, the electronics a distant 3rd place. if the amp is powerful enough to drive them without clipping, then swapping amps isn't the answer to sound quality, imaging, soundstage, depth, or in-room freq response. his speakers are spec'd for 50-200 watts so 140 watts is plenty rolleyes.gif
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post #102 of 117 Old 11-08-2013, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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yes, and the class D amps in 2 & 5 channels are quite capable

"Two channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 144.5 watts
1% distortion at 191.6 watts"

if they can drive 4 ohm 85 dB efficient Magnepans even without a sub, then they can drive his 92 dB efficient, 8 ohm KEF's with woofers rolleyes.gif

no, I would almost guarantee it's not the amp. not even close, although I wouldn't argue that more power can't make a speaker come more alive because that is definitely the case with Magnepans, which are notorious for wanting hi power, hi current to sound their best..

Severe deficiency in bass will not be resolved by changing to a comparable powered receiver. the Pioneer SC's have been shown time and time again to hold their power even with multiple channels driven to same level at same time, when others, like the highly praised flagship Denon 4520 has been tested by one German review site and they got sags to about 60 watts IIRC when 5 ch driven simultaneously.

his problem is most likely defective speakers, poor room layout-bass suckouts, or his expectations wink.gif he already has a next action step to do: manual EQ boosts (suggested days ago by several, including me)

so let's not confuse the issue by telling him he needs to change receivers already rolleyes.gif that would be the very last thing I'd be trying.

why the continued discussing & debating instead of him trying the next logical steps? including just trying another speaker in the room, which has been suggested by several already.

If it were me, I'd be 1)make 100% my setup was correct 2) try manually boosting the bass region in the EQ'r and 3) try moving the speakers or my listening position. If all 3 fail to make me happy, I know what I'd be doing - and it wouldn't be to continually discuss this on a forum OR sell my receiver rolleyes.gif I'd be sending-taking them right back to the dealer and start demo-ing other & better speakers, seeing if my dealer would allow an in-home evaluation.

if I don't like the way my speakers sounded, I'd get different speakers. selling my receiver at a loss, getting another one to try or doing bi-amping to compensate for some unknown deficiency in the hopes it may make a difference would probably be a waste of money & time.

in audio, the speakers & the room are 80-90% of our sound quality, the electronics a distant 3rd place. if the amp is powerful enough to drive them without clipping, then swapping amps isn't the answer to sound quality, imaging, soundstage, depth, or in-room freq response. his speakers are spec'd for 50-200 watts so 140 watts is plenty rolleyes.gif


I went home last night and moved my speakers farther apart and away from the wall more, angled them inwards more and put the AVR into "stereo". I then went into the MCACC menu and set the speakers to LARGE and turned that little sub off. I then looked in my KEF book to see what the frequency range of my speakers are. I then looked on youtube for a test in that range to see if they were working fine. I then hooked up my phone to the bluetooth and went on youtube and played http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rDUhnJXg7c , as it was the only thing I could find.

I had the grills off to see if I could notice any movement....

I sat there on my couch and heard the bass come out of those speakers. I could feel it from 10ft away and it was rattling my couch and the room! So my speakers seem to be working properly as I was feeling the bass doing that test.

Why don't I get any bass while listening to any music though? The same types of music that I would listen to on my old Sony book shelf speakers have lots of bass, why not on these? I mean even songs like "Alice and chains unplugged should be way richer in sound than what I am hearing.

Is it an EQ problem? I still have the EQ flat lined across the board.
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post #103 of 117 Old 11-08-2013, 09:55 AM
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Do you have a DVD/Blu-Ray player that you can hook up and play something? I wonder if there isn't something weird going on with your laptop HDMI out.

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post #104 of 117 Old 11-08-2013, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Do you have a DVD/Blu-Ray player that you can hook up and play something? I wonder if there isn't something weird going on with your laptop HDMI out.

Yes, I have a PS3 hooked up right now. I bought a bunch of blu-ray's last week (Led Zeppelin-Celebration day, The Door's-live at the bowl '68, Eddie Vedder-water on the road, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynold- Live at Radio City). Those Blu-ray should sound really rich and deep, especially the Dave Matthews and the Led Zeppelin should just pound with that heavy kick drum though out)

Other then that for listening to music I will hook up my laptop via HDMI and play FLAC files (specifically Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd). or I will play files through my phone via the adapter port using bluetooth.
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post #105 of 117 Old 11-08-2013, 10:07 AM
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What is your PS3s audio output set to?

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post #106 of 117 Old 11-08-2013, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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What is your PS3s audio output set to?

I'm not 100% sure. Before I got these speakers I hadn't used it in over 2 years. I would think its just whatever the factory setting would have been. Not sure if I have ever looked into that setting before. Not familiar with the PS3 at all really.

I know some music on my phone doesn't sound that good because they are downloaded MP3's. I have noticed with a good pair of speakers the quality of music sure makes a huge difference.
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post #107 of 117 Old 11-08-2013, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

What is your PS3s audio output set to?

Think this would be some good step's to go through?

http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/demystifying-the-audio-settings-on-your-playstation-3/
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post #108 of 117 Old 11-08-2013, 10:22 AM
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I'm not 100% sure. Before I got these speakers I hadn't used it in over 2 years. I would think its just whatever the factory setting would have been. Not sure if I have ever looked into that setting before. Not familiar with the PS3 at all really.

I know some music on my phone doesn't sound that good because they are downloaded MP3's. I have noticed with a good pair of speakers the quality of music sure makes a huge difference.

You want to make sure your PS3 is set to bitstream, so the receiver does all the audio processing. You would also want the same setting for your laptop hdmi output, I am not sure how to go about that but I am sure google will help.

Make that setting change, and then try one of the blu-rays, since we know the speakers work now, it's just a matter of getting everything set up correctly.

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post #109 of 117 Old 11-08-2013, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

You want to make sure your PS3 is set to bitstream, so the receiver does all the audio processing. You would also want the same setting for your laptop hdmi output, I am not sure how to go about that but I am sure google will help.

Make that setting change, and then try one of the blu-rays, since we know the speakers work now, it's just a matter of getting everything set up correctly.

AWESOME!! I will look into all of this on the weekend. I am really glad that everyone has help me out with all of this! And that my speakers have BASS!!! BASS THAT I CAN FEEL IN MY CHEST!!! biggrin.gif
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post #110 of 117 Old 11-08-2013, 02:29 PM
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LOL ! So it WAS the source(s) settings after all! Good luck and happy listening!
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post #111 of 117 Old 11-21-2013, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

You want to make sure your PS3 is set to bitstream, so the receiver does all the audio processing. You would also want the same setting for your laptop hdmi output, I am not sure how to go about that but I am sure google will help.

Make that setting change, and then try one of the blu-rays, since we know the speakers work now, it's just a matter of getting everything set up correctly.

Just tried looking into the whole bitsteam things last night and it doesn't even give me the option to change over from PCM linear or whatever the heck its called.
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post #112 of 117 Old 11-22-2013, 04:31 AM
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Even by following that guide you mentioned?

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post #113 of 117 Old 11-22-2013, 08:14 AM
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I currently just have the 2 speakers hooked up and a 85W old pioneer sub.

I think the KEF Q900's bass will sound thing unless you use good subs.

I've used one 10" NHT sub w/ 80W amp. It shook my room like a ragdoll. How big is your 85W sub?

I know that when I use my Audyssey Dynamic EQ, the subwoofer bass comes alive.

Does Pioneer have anything equivalent to Sub EQ and Dynamic EQ?
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post #114 of 117 Old 11-22-2013, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Even by following that guide you mentioned?

Yes, I swear I have seen the option before in the PS3 menu, but when I looked the other night, it didn't even give me the option of changing it. Any ideas?
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post #115 of 117 Old 11-22-2013, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

I think the KEF Q900's bass will sound thing unless you use good subs.

I've used one 10" NHT sub w/ 80W amp. It shook my room like a ragdoll. How big is your 85W sub?

I know that when I use my Audyssey Dynamic EQ, the subwoofer bass comes alive.

Does Pioneer have anything equivalent to Sub EQ and Dynamic EQ?

I think the sub is a 10". I actually got more bass out of my speakers, so when I listen to music, I listen in Stereo mode now and the bass sounds nice and even with the music. I actually made those speakers come alive from what they were. I'll post my EQ setting in case anyone else is having the trouble of bright, thin, sound.
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post #116 of 117 Old 11-22-2013, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jer181 View Post

Yes, I swear I have seen the option before in the PS3 menu, but when I looked the other night, it didn't even give me the option of changing it. Any ideas?

Not sure, I don't own a PS3. Glad though that things are working for you, I had a feeling it was something to do with the source/EQ.

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post #117 of 117 Old 11-22-2013, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes I set the EQ as follows:

+1.5
63hz

+3
125hz

+2
250hz

0
500hz

-3.5
1khz

-1.5
2khz

0
4khz

0
8khz

-5.0
16hz

+2
Trim

.............MAJOR improvement in sound. More detailed mid's and the lows actually have a little punch to them!!! Low's just seem a little muddy now though... any one know what I should tweak to improve it more?
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