Speaker wire, amp or room treatments?

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  • John Holmes
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 2703

    Speaker wire, amp or room treatments?

    I was wondering if anyone has had this problem and if so, what were your findings?

    I tend to get a sort of " sssssss" sound at the end of certain vocals. It isn't as noticable on instruments.

    I have switched speakers (brands) back and forth so, I know the tweeters are ok.

    I run Monster XP speaker wire and have been considering trying something else.

    I also use an external amp/reciever setup. My amp is a quality amp (Fosgate) but has made me wonder if it being designed during the pro logic era, could be a contributing factor. I was thinking of trying Marantz 500 monoblocks.

    Last my room is quite small 15 X 11.5 and is completely sealed. The walls are plywood. The floor is wood with an area rug that covers 3/4 of it. The loveseat is made of a cloth fabric with big pillows. One window that has thin but dark drapes.

    What do you guys think!
    "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"
  • Lexman
    Super Senior Member
    • Jun 2000
    • 1777

    #2
    John, are you saying that your walls are all plywood? What finish, just varnish? If this is the case, you could be suffering from to lively of a room. I can't comment on your specific gear, but I think we need to address the room first. We need to get some accoustic panels, and also macrome, or quilt type things are excellent anti-reflective tools.

    Let's hear a bit more about the room, and go from there with hopefully some more input from others!

    Lex

    Comment

    • John Holmes
      Moderator Emeritus
      • Aug 2000
      • 2703

      #3
      Lex,
      The " PC" term for the walls would be paneling. The stuff that a lot of dens/family rooms were made of in 70's. There is a sheet rock fondation but it is covered with paneling. Yes, they are varnished. I have placed one quilt on the lower half of one wall (I have dipoles so I need to kept their reflective area open) should I place another behind the front speakers?
      "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

      Comment

      • Lexman
        Super Senior Member
        • Jun 2000
        • 1777

        #4
        John, I suggest add some accoustic panels behind the speakers as you discussed doing. There is an easy wasy to make these by using like a 1 X 2 frame, accoustical cloth, and like batt insulation to put inside of it. These can be made fairly cost effectively, and still have a great panel.

        Of course, you could check the accoustics section of " The Guide" , and see what that research turns up We did the hard part for you, looks like a couple of good links there already.



        That's what I keep trying to tell you guys, use the guide, use the guide, lol.

        Lex

        Comment

        • John Holmes
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Aug 2000
          • 2703

          #5
          Thanks Lex,
          I put a quilt behind the fronts. It helped a lot. I am checking out various accoustic treatments. I also purchased some MIT speaker wire to see if I like what it brings to the party. Thanks for links and help!
          "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

          Comment

          • John Holmes
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Aug 2000
            • 2703

            #6
            Well, today my new wires (MIT Terminator 5) arrived. These wire require a breakin period. So imagine my surprise when they already sound better than the Monster XP that it replaced. I can hardly wait for the next 48hrs (75% break in achieved). Two weeks for full break in. Their is something to wire!




            "I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's
            "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

            Comment

            • Lexman
              Super Senior Member
              • Jun 2000
              • 1777

              #7
              Thanks John, and I am extremely glad that the Guide was able to help you out!

              It's a great example of putting the Guide to work for you. It's going to get better and better too!

              I am a believer of quality wire on all significant connections. Come to think of it, this cost some significant coin too, lol. I run quit a conglomerate of wire including:

              Audioquest Emerald main analogs, Audioquest Quart analog other 5 channels, plus 1 other 2 wire applications. Audioquest Crystal bi-wire front end. Digital cables from Tributaries, Monster, and one I just can't think of. Opticals including 2 Monster, and budget toslink as well. Audioquest composite video, MIT composite video, S-video's from MIT and Tributaries, and a host of others. Also miscellaneous homade cables and Rat Shack specials! It's actually quite a daunting task to throw them all in a big box and install everything from scratch. lol.

              Lex





              <A HREF="http://www.catcables.com" <IMG SRC="http://www.htguide.com/lexman/other/sm_logo.gif"

              Comment

              • SiliGoose
                Senior Member
                • Aug 2000
                • 942

                #8
                Isn&#39;t this a sibilance issue? Sibilance is either a speaker, source, or room problem. I don&#39;t see how speaker wire could correct the problem. Then again, I&#39;m not a fan of the &#34; quality cable&#34; argument. I buy &#34; quality cables&#34; because they look cool...not because they supposedly perform better.

                Psychologically wire/cable could correct sibilance, &#34; it sounds more expensive already&#34; ...a syndrome we&#39;re all guilty of in one way or another.

                Then again, I&#39;ll always allow that perhaps my ears aren&#39;t as capable as the next person&#39;s. Maybe my &#34; quality cables&#34; really have improved my system but I&#39;m unable to hear it.

                Who knows?




                -Sili
                www.campmurphy.net

                Comment

                • Andrew Pratt
                  Moderator Emeritus
                  • Aug 2000
                  • 16507

                  #9
                  Well if its in the recording then you might be able to mask it with hardware but remember that this masking will also affect all the other software you play back on the system (even if it doesn&#39;t need it) MIT cables have a nice little grey box on them that basically chops off the very top freq&#39;s so they will sound much less bright. It sounds like this should help you&#39;re situation but but be aware that all your music is going to be dulled down a bit. My room is the opposite, I&#39;m looking to add brightness to it. I recently had the oppertunity to try some IXOS interconnects and they were noticalbly more open then the tributaries they replaced. It was an interesting experiement since there were three of us in the room, two listening and one doing the switching (blind test) and we both could easily pick one cable from the other. This was really the first time that I had had the chance to A-B interconnect cables and I was actully surprised that I could hear the difference (use to be in the cables are cables camp until that day)

                  Anyway room treatments should help tame things down a but but if its just the sssss it might be the recordings and there isn&#39;t much you can do to &#34; fix&#34; it




                  Comment

                  • John Holmes
                    Moderator Emeritus
                    • Aug 2000
                    • 2703

                    #10
                    Sili,
                    You are right about the room in my case. Thanks to some discussion with Lex & another former MIT owner from another site and help from the great search engine that is here, I was not only able to nail down the problems but look at new ways address them.

                    I started down this HT road in 1984 and until 1997 I did not believe that wire was a big deal either. It was then that I made the move to DD.

                    I was running the stuff that comes with your system and what ever generic wire I could find cheap. And if memory serves it was 18 or 20 gauge stuff. Now the sound was good to me at the time because I thought it was right! The only thing that trobled me then was, I felt the surrounds should have been more active. So after doing all the receiver adjustments that I could, I decided to ask a friend of mine who was heavy into 2ch what he thought. Without a second thought he said &#34; upgrade your wire&#34; !

                    He took me two GoodGuys and tells me for just education, we are going to buy the enrty level Monster. It was 14 gauge I think. He said &#34; if it dosen&#39;t work take it back&#34; .

                    It was the only change that I made and it worked. The surrounds came to life.

                    Since then I have started to back slide. Trying to cut corners where I can. Knowing what I know. Am I saying that you or anyone else will yeild the same milage...no. What I do find interesting is, EE&#39;s will say all day long that wire is wire but, what I would like to know is, if this is true how many of them are using less than 12 gauge wire?




                    "I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's
                    "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

                    Comment

                    • John Holmes
                      Moderator Emeritus
                      • Aug 2000
                      • 2703

                      #11
                      Andrew,
                      I fully understand. That day when you actually &#34; hear the change&#34; say this can&#39;t be! I do understand those that are stead fast on not hearing it and it doesn&#39;t matter. I also remember when going to the moon was so far fetched.




                      "I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's
                      "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

                      Comment

                      • Lexman
                        Super Senior Member
                        • Jun 2000
                        • 1777

                        #12
                        I haven&#39;t done AB tests on wires. First off, I think one of the wires needs to be one your intimately familier with in your system. Then, perhaps a difference could be told.

                        Really, the only self proclaimed incidence of actually hearing a difference, was the difference between optical and digital coax. I know, they say digital is digital. But I did hear a difference before between coax and toslink. The toslink presentation was more compressed sounding, more shrill. I know it presented a difference in my system, whether it was supposed to or not-

                        Lex





                        <A HREF="http://www.catcables.com" <IMG SRC="http://www.htguide.com/lexman/other/sm_logo.gif"

                        Comment

                        • John Holmes
                          Moderator Emeritus
                          • Aug 2000
                          • 2703

                          #13
                          Lex,
                          Wow! You have a lot of wire to choose from. I also think that the coax sounds better. This was another thing I thought to be equal until I tried it.

                          Do you notice any change in picture quality with different companies video wire? Just curious because you own some big name brands.




                          "I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's
                          "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

                          Comment

                          • Andrew Pratt
                            Moderator Emeritus
                            • Aug 2000
                            • 16507

                            #14
                            I have definatly noticed differences in s-video cables. So much so in fact that when I switched to a nice fat AR S-Video cable I had to recalibrate my TV since it was way difference then the Radio Shack cable I was using prior.




                            Comment

                            • Lexman
                              Super Senior Member
                              • Jun 2000
                              • 1777

                              #15
                              Yes, I would like to say yes I have. But I haven&#39;t really seen to much of this myself, you see, it seems that I have a need for most every S-vid I have, so usually when I get a new one, I just pop it into the system rather than comparing it with existing wires, removing and replacing this or that. I pretty well am confident in the cable I buy, so I don&#39;t worry to much about it.

                              I think I can amaze you though with one S-video story. To my bedroom it&#39;s over 12 meters to get to the Lexicon, without going through a wall, lol. My bedroom hookup off the Lexicon really complicates issues, but who can argue with playing one DVD in the bedroom out of one player, and another in the great room with another player, all on the Lexicon. Say I am watching something, and suddenly my daughter wants to use the great room? No problem, I just flip to Zone 2, and let her have it

                              Now to the story, lol. Due to cost, I decided to try my hand at building an S-video cable. Trust me, you better be detail oriented if you try this. It&#39;s very difficult. I tried to solder the wires using rosin core solder. I really blotched it up good, as the rosin just wasn&#39;t enough. I needed manual brush on flux, but didn&#39;t have any at the time. Can you imagine, me that did the Lexiglass without flux? HAHA.

                              I had the thing working ok, and somehow I pulled one of the ends loose. Then, trying to fix the other one, I messed it up to. I was so aggrevated, I took one of those cheapy S-vid&#39;s that come with panamax products, and whacked it in half. I proceeded to solder the wires cable to cable, taped them, and wired it up. The point being? The picture off the Lexicon to the bedroom, is as clear as can be. There are no artifacts. Very detailed. This on a roll of RS wire, with spliced ends. I could do those joints now I think. But long as it&#39;s working good, why bother.

                              Also, I run 5.1 DD to the bedroom via 1 RS audio quality wire via coax. It was actually 1 2 wire cable. I used an extension, split the cable in half, using the full length for 1 cable. DD is as fine on my bedroom system, as the optical hooked up to my portable DVD player in there.

                              I guess the point is, while I believe there can be differences. Mostly, I buy good cables because:

                              1. They look good.
                              2. Feel good going on.
                              3. Durability.
                              4. Longevity.

                              If I am lucky, they will perform better.

                              Lex





                              <A HREF="http://www.catcables.com" <IMG SRC="http://www.htguide.com/lexman/other/sm_logo.gif"

                              Comment

                              • John Holmes
                                Moderator Emeritus
                                • Aug 2000
                                • 2703

                                #16
                                Lex,
                                That is a great story! It sheds another light on DIY. At least you have the guts to try which is much more than I.

                                Your story had me laughing so hard! It was nice of you to share that with us.

                                I am wondering why you are doing the zone 2 with the Lexicon? I thought you had the 24TX in the bedroom?

                                Also I would like add that I have completed the 48hr period and these babies are cooking! They have brought a more pleasing sound (at least to my ear) to my HT. All of the bass has become tighter. The mids have more snap. Things like congas, drums and blocks have a scary realism to them. These were nice extras that the wires brought to the system however, my purpose in trying them was to help tame the highs, as most of you are already aware. Well, I am equally happy with the performance there as well. I know this is all subjective. So, whatever the wires have increased or removed from the sound, I love the end result. MIT&#39;s work for me.




                                "I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's
                                "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

                                Comment

                                • Andrew Pratt
                                  Moderator Emeritus
                                  • Aug 2000
                                  • 16507

                                  #17
                                  Good to hear that the MIT&#39;s have hellped out your situation.




                                  Comment

                                  • Lexman
                                    Super Senior Member
                                    • Jun 2000
                                    • 1777

                                    #18
                                    Glad you enjoyed the story John. It just goes to show that creating a special application cable, doesnt have to be a really expensive proposition, if your creative enough. Had I done those cables in really nice cables, it would have cost me a fortune. For an occasional use theater/application, it just didnt make economical sense.

                                    Regarding my reasoning for connecting the two, the bedroom only has a portable DVD player, and since most of my collection is loaded in a 300 disc megachanger, it makes sense to give both theaters the benefit of that device. After all, you could be using Directv in the great room, and want to play a DVD off the changer in the bedroom. Also, in order to use Zone 2, it minimally requires a seperate receiver for use. The way Zone 2 works, is I can obviously play zone 1 on any input, but I can also play zone 2 off any input, yielding a lot of flexibility.

                                    Lex





                                    <A HREF="http://www.catcables.com" <IMG SRC="http://www.htguide.com/lexman/other/sm_logo.gif"

                                    Comment

                                    • John Holmes
                                      Moderator Emeritus
                                      • Aug 2000
                                      • 2703

                                      #19
                                      Thanks Andrew,
                                      You guys really helped alot! Again my sincere thanks.

                                      Lex,
                                      Okay, I understand...it makes since.




                                      "I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's
                                      "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

                                      Comment

                                      • Andrew Pratt
                                        Moderator Emeritus
                                        • Aug 2000
                                        • 16507

                                        #20
                                        John well thats what we&#39;re here for




                                        Comment

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