And the water is...............different.
As you may or may not know, I've been piecing together a new 2 channel rig. I swapped out an Onkyo Integra TX-108 stereo receiver with Rotel separates; RC972 pre & RB980BX amp. The speakers Iím using here are R50ís.
I heard a difference right away but the difference isnít all good. The separates really made the midrange & highs CRYSTAL clear. The sound is wide open and much more defined BUTÖthe mid bass/bass response, while still there, canít hold a candle to what the Onkyo gave me. When the bass hit with the Onkyo I HEARD & FELT it even at a very low volume level. With the separates I only get the similar levels of bass when I have the volume up LOUD. I've heard Troy refer to "loudness" buttons as "cheating" & that you aren't hearing "true" bass - just boosted midbass (50hz and up). The Onkyo does have a loudness button. It also has a dynamic bass expander (two separate slides/switches/dials for boosting the frequencies between 50hz - 100hz). It also has simulated stereo and a bunch of other stuff. Admittedly the bass expander was "on" originally and what I felt/heard seemed to be bass to me - it was shaking the whole room (if it looks, walks, and quacks like a duck it must be a duck -right?). Even after disabling all the Onkyo's "effects" it is still more pronounced in the low end. I am using the tone controls with the Rotel pre-amp because running it with the tone controls off makes it sound worse to me. Now Iím wondering if I made the right choice. I was happy that I was able to upgrade and stay within my budget but without the slamming bass I experienced previously Iím on the fence about whether or not this was worth it. Believe me that when I tell you I have been switching back & forth between the separates & the receiver it becomes clearer and clearer who stands out where. When I switch the source from the pre-amp to the receiver I'm using the same IC.
Is there anything I can do to improve bass response? I didnít change the wire or the placement of the speakers but I did switch my ICís from AR to Audioquest. The source was/is a Kenwood CDP (If junk in - junk out is the idea then why does the Onk sound better using the same source?). Iím also using a panamax surge protector/ line conditioner (I was using it with the Onkyo too). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I do have a Yamaha EQ laying around somewhere but isn't that just "cheating"? Plus its next to impossible to get everything to sound right with that thing. Thanks in advance everybody.