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post #1351 of 30489 Old 05-21-2006, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnGZ28 View Post

Ditto. At this price point an in home demo is the best way to go.

Roger that, man. As I alluded to earlier, this is a small time dealer. 1/2 Camera shop, 1/2 audio & video sales. I know they really went all out to get this system in-store. I highly doubt they have any other S8's in stock aside from the floor model. But I agree that I need to insist on an in-home demo before I pull the trigger.

I would say it's a 50% chance this will be a possibility, but unfortunately the next closest dealer, a large, major electronics store, is nearly an hour and a half away. And, besides that, I would like to buy from a local dealer. You know, support the Mom & Pop stores. These have been great guys so far and I will definitely throw them my business, even if they're a bit more money than the large elctronics store.

I'm going to have them A/B the S4 and S8's at their store and hopefully that will help with my indecision.

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post #1352 of 30489 Old 05-21-2006, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

The only other difference between the S8's and S4's, other than bass extension and overall power handling, is a slight improvement in midrange clarity / transparency. The S8's feature a dedicated midrange driver in a special enclosure, whereas the S4's use a mid/bass driver. The difference is slight, but it is there. For me, the improvement in overall in-room frequency response was worth the slight trade-off in midrange clarity. Our rooms are close to the same size and I can honestly say that I have never been able to drive any of the Signatures to audible distortion and I've tried. Mu point is that I wouldn't worry about being able to fill your room with clean sound if you go with the S4's and the C3.

Goo luck and let us know what you ultimately go with.

Cheers,

- Tim

Wow, hifi, that's great man. Thanks for your input, it's just the type of info I was looking for. It really comes down to the law of diminishing returns. I'm not convinced there is a $4000 difference in sound between the S8 and S4, particularly if the sub is properly integrated. But then again, so far i've been generally ignoring that law throughout this process . Thinking about it a bit, I guess I wouldn't even be looking at the Sig's if that law meant much at all to me. Oh well, i'll just have to A/B them multiple times and hopefully be able to audition them in-home as well.

BTW, I'm curious bud, what amp/prepro are you using?

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post #1353 of 30489 Old 05-22-2006, 12:34 AM
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Glad to help. When I read your inquiry, I was surprised at how similar your situation was to mine.

Yeah, there isn't a great difference in sound quality between the S4 and S8s, they are just built for different purposes. The S8 is for large rooms or for people looking for full range mains.

So what do I power my Sigs with? Well, first understand that I believe and it has been my experience that sound quality is most greatly affected by the the recording, the speakers, and the room. When it comes to front-end gear, I think you hit the law of diminishing returns pretty early. That is, I don't feel there is a significant difference in sound quality between a high end receiver and separates.

With that said I currently own a Denon flagship receiver, the AVR 5800. To my ears, the sound is clean, balanced, dynamic, and the soundstage is expansive (with the right recordings). However, and at the risk of sounding hypocritical, I will be replacing my Denon with separates later this year. I love this hobby and I'm willing to spend a lot more for a small gain. More than likely I'll go with Rotel, B&K, or Anthem.

Cheers,

- Tim
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post #1354 of 30489 Old 05-22-2006, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post

Roger that, man. As I alluded to earlier, this is a small time dealer. 1/2 Camera shop, 1/2 audio & video sales. I know they really went all out to get this system in-store. I highly doubt they have any other S8's in stock aside from the floor model. But I agree that I need to insist on an in-home demo before I pull the trigger.

I'm going to have them A/B the S4 and S8's at their store and hopefully that will help with my indecision.

Ask if you can take them home Saturday night about an hour before closing and return them on Monday when they open.

JohnG
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post #1355 of 30489 Old 05-22-2006, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

So what do I power my Sigs with? Well, first understand that I believe and it has been my experience that sound quality is most greatly affected by the the recording, the speakers, and the room. When it comes to front-end gear, I think you hit the law of diminishing returns pretty early. That is, I don't feel there is a significant difference in sound quality between a high end receiver and separates.

I agree with you fully. To be honest, I have considered going with an Outlaw Prepro and amplifier. That would shave at least 7 G's off my system cost with likely minimal difference in performance. It would also give me an upgrade path to look forward to. But, you said it as well as I could.......
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Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

However, and at the risk of sounding hypocritical, I will be replacing my Denon with separates later this year. I love this hobby and I'm willing to spend a lot more for a small gain. More than likely I'll go with Rotel, B&K, or Anthem.

Cheers,

- Tim


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post #1356 of 30489 Old 05-22-2006, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnGZ28 View Post

Ask if you can take them home Saturday night about an hour before closing and return them on Monday when they open.

Excellent idea! Thanks.

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post #1357 of 30489 Old 05-22-2006, 11:31 AM
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Gooddoc -

I'm glad to hear we are on the same page. I'm never quite sure the reaction I'll get when I say that I'm powering $10k in speakers with a $3K receiver. But, I trust what I hear, and to me, the 5800 does a great job. Even when I had the the S8's I could literally hit ear bleed levels with the 5800 without a sweat.

When it comes to high quality separates, I do think they can get you a bit closer to the "being there" experience, but that is a very intangible quality that I think should be reserved for those that have been in the hobby a while and are looking for that last 10% of improvement.

If you are considering Outlaw, I also recommend you check out Rotel, B&K, and Parasound. They have all been around a while and provide good value.

- Tim
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post #1358 of 30489 Old 05-22-2006, 01:10 PM
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HiFi

Hey, I am definitely no elitist. I just feel lucky that my job/income now allows me to consider equipment in this price range. It has not always been that way and all my friends are generally middle class guys that would consider your Denon Ultra high-end I took one of my buds to listen to the Anthem P5/D2 and Paradigm 5.1 set-up and he walked out of there blown away. He says to me, "what's that set-up run, $3000.00?" Some things money can buy, but the look on his face when I told him the cost was priceless.


I feel like I'm at an AA meeting, but here it goes......Hi, my name is Mark and I once owned a Bose acoustimass system AND thought it sounded good( hey, I was 19 years old and bought the hype...I'm recovered now). Having met true audiophiles with $250,000.00 PLUS in audio/video throughout their homes, I cannot put myself anywhere near that level of passion or "ear for music". To each his own. For me, and this is just for me, after about the $5,000.00 mark spent on well designed HT equipment all real or imagined improvements are just icing on the cake.

So my reaction to a $3,000.00 dollar receiver driving $10,000.00 speakers is simple. Nice system, man!!!

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post #1359 of 30489 Old 05-22-2006, 01:35 PM
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Right on. I like how you think (probably because it validates my own thinking).

I get the same reaction from my circle of friends. They can't believe the value I place on AV gear. Most of them cringe at the thought of paying more than a few hundred dollars on a receiver. It's odd though, many of these same people have no problem dropping a couple of grand on a TV. There just don't seem to be that many people that appreciate audio these days. They're all content with their iPods and MP3 quality audio.

It's too bad you're not in the Seattle area. You seem like someone I'd like to hang out with.

All the best,

- Tim
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post #1360 of 30489 Old 05-22-2006, 06:21 PM
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Hey man,

Small world. If I'm ever near Seattle the beer is on me

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post #1361 of 30489 Old 05-22-2006, 10:35 PM
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Sounds good.
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post #1362 of 30489 Old 05-24-2006, 12:44 PM
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Hi all,
I have decided to upgrade my 6 months old monitor 7's to Studio 100's this month. I went to my local dealer to listen to them and they sounded great hooked up to there $6000 Marantz. I do not have that kind of equipment so I asked the salesman if my Onkyo SR703 will be enough to drive the 100's. I gave him some info on the receiver(125w/ch, THX Select2 certified, ect.) His answer surprised me. He said "Absolutely no problem, most people listen to music at 3 or 4 watts. You might sometimes hit 7 or 8 but that would be extremely loud."

Is this true? It does not make sense to me. Any real world experience with the amount of power required to drive Studio 100's? Will I need a separate amp?(Secretly I hope the answer is YES.)
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post #1363 of 30489 Old 05-24-2006, 01:09 PM
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Oh boy, you opened a can of worms. It's just the kind of topic that can, and has, filled pages in this forum. I could tell you to search the forum, but where's the fun in that?

The short answer is yes....or no. I humbly submit that you will get really helpful answers if you post more info, ie. room size(small, med, large, stadium), listening habits(do you like it so loud your ears bleed?), type of audio(mainly HT, 5.1 music, or 2 channel purist).

Otherwise, things tend to get out of hand around here

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post #1364 of 30489 Old 05-24-2006, 01:18 PM
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My pair of Paradigm 60's are being run from an integrated amp only rated at 50 watts per channel and they sound great at volumes louder than i'd ever listen to them... If you secretly want seperate power just use your pre-outs if your receiver has them and buy an amp powerful enough to tell your speakers what the hell to do and when, but cheap enough not to break the bank.
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post #1365 of 30489 Old 05-24-2006, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 051473 View Post

Hi all,
I have decided to upgrade my 6 months old monitor 7's to Studio 100's this month. I went to my local dealer to listen to them and they sounded great hooked up to there $6000 Marantz. I do not have that kind of equipment so I asked the salesman if my Onkyo SR703 will be enough to drive the 100's. I gave him some info on the receiver(125w/ch, THX Select2 certified, ect.) His answer surprised me. He said "Absolutely no problem, most people listen to music at 3 or 4 watts. You might sometimes hit 7 or 8 but that would be extremely loud."

Is this true? It does not make sense to me. Any real world experience with the amount of power required to drive Studio 100's? Will I need a separate amp?(Secretly I hope the answer is YES.)

I have Studio 20s, a Studio CC 470 (and 2 Paradigm Atoms as surrounds), all being driven by an Onkyo TX SR-701.

While the 20s aren't as power hungry as the 100s, I have no complaints at all. Note that this receiver is the predecessor to the Onkyo 703. The 701 is 100 watts per channel (THX certified).
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post #1366 of 30489 Old 05-24-2006, 04:31 PM
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I certainly do not want to start some big off-topic debate here. I will take my "3 or 4 watts" question to the appropriate thread.

My room is 16x16 with 10ft ceiling. About 70% HT, 30% stereo music. I like them both loud.

Thanks for the input Logic and caesar. I am picking up the 100's tomorrow. I guess the best thing to do is hook them up and listen.
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post #1367 of 30489 Old 05-24-2006, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 051473 View Post

Hi all,
I have decided to upgrade my 6 months old monitor 7's to Studio 100's this month. I went to my local dealer to listen to them and they sounded great hooked up to there $6000 Marantz. I do not have that kind of equipment so I asked the salesman if my Onkyo SR703 will be enough to drive the 100's. I gave him some info on the receiver(125w/ch, THX Select2 certified, ect.) His answer surprised me. He said "Absolutely no problem, most people listen to music at 3 or 4 watts. You might sometimes hit 7 or 8 but that would be extremely loud."

Is this true? It does not make sense to me. Any real world experience with the amount of power required to drive Studio 100's? Will I need a separate amp?(Secretly I hope the answer is YES.)

I was able to run the Paradigm Signature S8's (the upscale version of the Studio 100) to ear-bleed levels with no distortion using a 140 watt AVR. My room is 23 x 13 x 9.

In answer to your other question, the salesman is correct, that most people listen to music and movies using just a handful of watts. To put this into perspective, the 100's have a sensitivity rating of 89dB. Which means that they will produce 89dB with just one watt of power (measured 3 feet away from the speaker). The further you are away from the speaker the more power you need to reach the same level, and there are other factors to consider, such as speaker impedance, but most of the time just a few watts are needed.
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post #1368 of 30489 Old 05-24-2006, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

the 100's have a sensitivity rating of 89dB. Which means that they will produce 89dB with just one watt of power (measured 3 feet away from the speaker).

Ok, that makes sense. Thanks hifi.

So my receiver should be more than adequate for my 16x16 room.
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post #1369 of 30489 Old 05-24-2006, 06:55 PM
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Ok, that makes sense. Thanks hifi.

So my receiver should be more than adequate for my 16x16 room.

I agree that 125w/channel is adequate. Many on this forum, myself included, tend to err towards the side of overkill when discussing/buying amps for many reasons. I'll just point out a few.

- It's a hobby. Hobbyists often spend a lot of money on their passions with the realization that only other hobbyists may appreciate the "collection"

- Hope that such overkill will allow the speakers to live up to their fullest potential, even if that extra gain is a 1 foot deeper soundstage on a couple of recordings in the entire collection

- Belief that the extra wattage DOES make a difference to THEIR ears, regardless of the conclusion of some "white paper" that claims it's rubbish. These folks wipe their rear-ends with "white paper", if you know what I mean

- They derive a certain satisfaction that cannot be scientifically measured when it takes two or more people to move their equipment


It's analogous to cars and houses. Most cars get you from A to B and most homes provide adequate shelter, and many do it in good style. But an enthusiast will spend way above the average person for very little real gain because they just "feel good" when they own the best their hobby offers.

I mention this only because you wrote, "(Secretly I hope the answer is YES.)". Clearly you were looking for a justification for a new receiver, possibly high-end separates. I am here to come to your rescue You should know that scientific measurements are not the only criteria necessary in this forum for purchase of new gear

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post #1370 of 30489 Old 05-24-2006, 09:23 PM
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Gooddoc -

Nice Yin to my Yang (or vice versa). And, I agree, as an AV enthusiast, I'll take the 200 watt amp over the 100 watt one, just to be safe. I'll also take the one with the toroidal transformer and higher quality internal components, even if it only means a marginal improvement in sound quality.

But I would also like to say to anyone on a budget, rest assured that you can get 85-90% of the sound quality of "high-end" from good quality mid-fi. Hell, for that matter when you get to the really esoteric stuff, often times it is technically inferior to mid-fi. A lot of that stuff is intentionally inaccurate and "voiced" to highlight a particular part of the musical spectrum. Because it sounds different, or the voicing matches the values of the potential purchaser, some will interpret that as better.

In the end, all that matters is that you listen objectively to what ever it is you plan to buy and to trust your ears.

Cheers,

- Tim
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post #1371 of 30489 Old 05-25-2006, 05:41 AM
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It's definately a prestige thing among hobbiests to go into the overkill territory. But that's part of the fun and if you have the money, why not? The car metaphor was the best. How many people do you know have purchased the biggest truck on the lot to drive it 60 on the highway, never seeing a splash of mud and never filling even a third of it's cargo capacity?

My personal preference with this hobby is "as much as I can reasonably spend without feeling guilty". $2200 CDN for the speakers and amp I recently purchased is probably the most expensive single item i've EVER purchased (22 years old btw...) but I feel great with that purchase. If I had bankrupt myself and spent $4000 I would not have enjoyed my speakers at all, always thinking I spent too much.

Do I *NEED* a new dvd player that costs 3 times as much as my current low-end player? Not really, I think my current one is just dandy, but how much taller do you feel standing next to your equipment after a new mid-to-high end purchase? You don't hide your gear or stow it away. You bring it out, and when people come over you stand tall and proud.

Least that's me...
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post #1372 of 30489 Old 05-25-2006, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
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- They derive a certain satisfaction that cannot be scientifically measured when it takes two or more people to move their equipment

Hilarious.

8 months ago I went looking for speakers to replace 10 year old Bose 501's. I was only going to buy new front speakers. I could not believe my ears when I listened to a pair of Monitor 5's. (which were in my price range) So, of course I got the Monitor 7's. And a new receiver. And a new center channel(cc-370 now upgraded to a cc-570). And surround speakers. And a DVD player. Wire, cable, surge protector.... Well, you guys know the story better than I do.

Do I need Studio 100's. No. But they are bigger, louder, and sound better than the M-7. More important, they match my center. MOST important, my brother is coming to visit from Arizona in 3 weeks and I cant wait to show off my new speakers.
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post #1373 of 30489 Old 05-25-2006, 09:06 AM
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I have a TX-SR702, and had 60s, and then 100s. I think it depends on a few things (of course), such as how loud you plan to play them, how your room is treated and its size, and where you cross them over. The higher the crossover, the less power they will need since they won't have to play as much bass.

My TX-SR702 drives the 100s adequately, but I definitely want to add an external amplifier, sooner rather than later.
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post #1374 of 30489 Old 05-25-2006, 08:51 PM
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So the 100's are hooked up. I listened to them for about 3 hours this afternoon making a few adjustments. They sound very good. The highs are a little harsh at high volume. Maybe they would benefit from a little more power. Has anyone else encountered this? Will this work itself out as the speakers break-in? X-Men 2 will start in about half an hour for an HT test.

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My TX-SR702 drives the 100s adequately, but I definitely want to add an external amplifier, sooner rather than later.

Thanks milt for the input. Your posts always have good info. Which amp do you have your eye on?
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post #1375 of 30489 Old 05-25-2006, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 051473 View Post

So the 100's are hooked up. I listened to them for about 3 hours this afternoon making a few adjustments. They sound very good. The highs are a little harsh at high volume. Maybe they would benefit from a little more power. Has anyone else encountered this? Will this work itself out as the speakers break-in? X-Men 2 will start in about half an hour for an HT test.

Thanks milt for the input. Your posts always have good info. Which amp do you have your eye on?

While I'm not a huge believer of "break-in", there is some truth to it and the tweeters should smooth out a little bit. The bass will also fill out some, which will help balance the sound with the top end.

Brightness can be exaggerated by the room. Do you have a lot of exposed hard surfaces? Glass, hardwood, tile? And then there is also the recording. Many rock and pop recordings are bright to begin with.

While I would never say that the highs of the studio series sound "harsh", some consider them to err on the side of brightness. Still, even if they sound a little bright, they should still be smooth.

It may help if I had a better understanding of what you mean by harsh? Raspy, grainy, blaring, bright, sharp?

I would let them break in for a few days and if the highs haven't smoothed out, I would look to the room and possibly the CD / DVD player before new amplification.
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post #1376 of 30489 Old 05-26-2006, 02:23 AM
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I agree with hifisponge that the large flat objects in your room is a big determining factor on the high end. Try listening to some jazz or blues to get a good mix of high and low end for demo material.

Typically the break-in period loosens and stretches the woofer surrounds to provide smoother and better bass response. The tweeters are affected somewhat as well, but not to the same extent, if I remember correctly. I didn't notice a significant difference before and after the "break-in period". Though I do usually just leave the speakers on at moderate volume for a few days to see if there's much of a difference. It doesn't hurt anything except my electric bill.

As for the amp, I'm looking at getting a few pro-audio amps, such as a Crown XLS-602, or something similar. One prerequisite though, is that it needs to be able to be auto-switched either via trigger or my purchasing of a power conditioner that has delayed auto-start. I don't want to have to have a mission control startup sequence each time I power on my HT. At the worst, it should be automated with the push of a button. Anyway, a pro amp with sufficient power is a great value and are typically just a bit louder (the actual amp, due to the typical fans that are included), so I'll just put them in my (future) separate rack space, disable the fans, and actively cool that space to eliminate heat & noise concerns.
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post #1377 of 30489 Old 05-27-2006, 01:46 PM
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I have a large coffee table in the room that I covered with a blanket. At first I thought the sound was much better. I then noticed a difference between store bought recordings and mp3's I burned to CD. The store bought recordings sounded great with or without the table covered. Certain mp3's, not all, have blaring highs with or without the table covered. So it seems the problem is with a few recordings and not the speakers.
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post #1378 of 30489 Old 06-01-2006, 05:39 AM
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Watching x-men 1.5 last night with the paradigm 60's I was noticing almost an overflow of bass coming out of the speakers. Almost like when nothing was going on there would be almost an annoying loud "heartbeat" sound coming out of them. When wolverine was being taunted my Xavier after being brought into the mansion for example.

Is x-men just very bass-heavy in some parts such as the "over hear, where you going?" scene or should I start to mess with the bass controls on my integrated amp rather than leaving them both pointing north?
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post #1379 of 30489 Old 06-01-2006, 08:40 AM
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Regarding the "overflow" of bass on the 60s; Are you using a sub with your set-up? Do you have the 60s set to large or small, x-over setting? Depending on where you sit also makes a difference in the basss that you are hearing too.

Update: I have 60s too with a sub (Servo15), with the "standard" set to small and 80Hz x-over. I have my bass/treble set to flat at "0". You probably should set it to the equivalent on your system, then adjust to your preference from there.
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post #1380 of 30489 Old 06-01-2006, 10:32 AM
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Integrated amp has no advanced settings to change stuff like this other than "bass" and "trebble" (It's the nad C320BEE). It's a 2 channel set-up without a sub.

The set-up is rediculously simple:

Speakers go to the amp. Dvd player goes to the amp. Tv goes to the amp.

I was almost thinking it might have been proximity to the wall adding extra bass. I think it's something like 11 inches away from the wall, toed in towards the seating position which is about 2-3 meters away.
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