Yes, that's what I'll try first. I'm hoping that my preamp is the culprit, that would be a simple solution. I kind of doubt it though. I'm thinking it's a room issue, but hopefully I'm wrong, because there is no easy fix for that.That is good to hear you have at least eliminated one piece of the system as the problem Ziba. As you said go through each piece of equipment to see which is the issue. Does you AVR have pre out on it? if so try that with your amp, though I'm sure you know that already. Good luck.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I forgot to specify that I did try other cables I have (Nordost Blue Heaven, Totem Tress) and it didn't fix the sound. I might as well bring the generic cables that I'm using with the receiver too when I try it in my main listening room.And the speaker cables too. You can´t believe how some good brand and sometimes very expensive cables are RF contaminated, producing this unwanted nasal sound. Try it! you might nail your nasal problem. I am not saying that the cables that you are using with your main system are bad. What I am do saying is, that these cables could be the culprit of your nasal sound. They are so good conductors that even RF are allowing to pass through them.
I'm sticking with room issue.... I thought that if you listened real close to the speaker - the issue would go away - possibly indicating an issue with how the sound was integrating with the room.....I've been pretty busy the last couple of days, but I finally managed to try the Vantages in another room (the living room), something I never actually tried before. And behold, everything sounds right! I simply hooked the speakers to an AVR using generic speaker cables. I'm not even using an external DAC, just a cable straight from the headphone jack connected directly to the AVR. I'm a little shocked! Voices sound like voices, and imaging is clear!
So, to answer a few questions that were asked in the last few posts:
- There is definitely no phase issue.
- When listening a few inches away from the speakers, there is no nasal issue.
- There is no object located directly behind the listening position in both my main listening room and living. The back wall is located approximately 12' and 4' behind behind the main listening positions, respectively.
It's reassuring to confirm that the Vantages themselves aren't the problem. Seems like it's either a room issue or preamp/amp issue. I'll move the speakers back to my main listening room and test the receiver their to issue what happens. Hopefully I can give it a try later this week.
I've heard the Directstream around a year ago in a very nice system and it sounded fantastic!Just out of curiosity, have you tried a different source? I don't know any thing about the Cambridge Audio DAC, but I know my transport and DSDAC from PS Audio made a huge difference in my sound and imaging, and I was using a darn good CD player before that.
I've already tried putting some panels on the front wall behind the speakers. I tried again tonight putting four 2' x 4' panels along with bass traps in corners. It does tame some aggressiveness and reduce listening fatigue. Imaging gains focus and I can hear the different instruments better, but the soundstage gets narrower, as everything seems to be more centered. Voices still don't sound natural though. Most importantly, the sound loses it's holographic quality or "magic", for lack of better term. I don't have true diffusers, but I've got four Ikea cd shelving units on the front wall (those tall ones), two on each side of the, which should theoretically help.Have you tried absorptive acoustic panels or diffuser panels on the front wall directly behind the speakers to absorb or diffuse the back wave of the speaker?
To answer one of your questions, I don't really see how the ceiling could affect the sound as you describe. Being line sources, ML's don't really have a problem with floor/ceiling reflections, and anyway if your ceiling is fiberglass panels those tend to be more absorptive than reflective. This seems like it has to be either speaker setup and speaker interactions with the walls of the room, or some defect in the equipment chain. Or the speakers themselves are defective somehow.
I think I would try a lot of absorption and diffusion across the front wall (like three or four absorption panels and two diffusers, with the diffusers placed to catch the back wave of the speaker), with the speakers placed five to six feet from that wall and two feet away from the side walls. Maybe some diffusers on the rear wall as well, directly behind the listening position. If that didn't fix it, I would look to upgrade the source, and possibly the speakers themselves.
I assume azimuth is the same as rake? If so, they used to be at the default position, but they're currently at 90 degrees (perpendicular to the floor). To be honest, I feel the change in sound to be very subtle. Also, I use ETC spikes with floor shoes.Panel azimuth? Floor decoupling?
That's what the diffusers are for. A diffuser behind each speaker panel will bring back the wider soundstage and holographic magic, while absorption between the diffusers will help with imaging and taming the aggressiveness.I've already tried putting some panels on the front wall behind the speakers. I tried again tonight putting four 2' x 4' panels along with bass traps in corners. It does tame some aggressiveness and reduce listening fatigue. Imaging gains focus and I can hear the different instruments better, but the soundstage gets narrower, as everything seems to be more centered. Voices still don't sound natural though. Most importantly, the sound loses it's holographic quality or "magic", for lack of better term. I don't have true diffusers, but I've got four Ikea cd shelving units on the front wall (those tall ones), two on each side of the, which should theoretically help.
If cupping your ears solidifies the image, then I think you have Left-Right asymmetry of the first or second reflection points. You could attempt to correct some asymmetry by using a panel (which doesn't have to be all that large if it's in the correct place). Could you show us pics of your room?Another important issue is that instruments cannot be located precisely in space. I always "kind of" knew it, but it's only when I happened to cup my hands behind my ears that this became obvious. When doing so, everything snaps into focus and it becomes easier to locate each instrument and to hear them individually within the sound stage. They do not blur in together. Putting 2" broadband panels on the front wall behind the speakers helps a little. As I've mentioned previously, moving the Vantages to another (untreated) room with basic electronics seems to improve the sound significantly. I've also tried a pair of Totem Mites in my main listening room and most issues are apparent.