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  1. #1

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    Default I took the plunge!

    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.

  2. #2

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    Default

    Yeah theres a way you can improve the bass...

    Buy a subwoofer...
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  3. #3

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    Hard to tell, maybe the Onkyo isn't as linear with a slight bump in the bass frequencies, but I doubt that's the case.

    This is weird...I've never heard anybody having bass punch issues when moving from receivers to seperates. You double checked the polarity right?

    How about a shot of the rig?

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  4. #4

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    Yeah double checking polarity was the first thing I did. I'll try and snap some shots for you guys.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: I took the plunge!

    Originally posted by peersool
    isn't that just "cheating"?
    your system, your ears.

    just don't tell them you're using it.

    )

  6. #6

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    Default 1st pic

    here you go 2 channel on the left, TV in the middle, HT on the right
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  7. #7

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    Default Onkyo up close

    ...
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  8. #8

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    Default 2 channel stack

    ....
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    Last edited by halo; 10-28-2005 at 12:12 AM.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for posting the pic. I was thinking maybe it was your room having a bass null sucking out the upper bass but it doesn't look like it. In fact, you should be getting plenty with that speaker right on the corner.

    Now that I think about it, it's possible that the Onkyo's sound isn't as linear as Rotel. Now that you have the Rotel powering them, the lower bass may be covering up some of the upper bass. By looking at the speaker placement, it seems like you're getting quite a bit of boost in lower bass. Have you tried moving your set up more to the left so the right speaker can have more breathing room? Try it and report back. Keep us posted on what you do and the results. I know we can find the problem.

    btw, I have the same alarm clock:).

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  10. #10

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    Wow, never seen that Onkyo before but the new Rotel looks damn sexy!

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  11. #11

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    Unfortunately the room is set the way it is. I'd only be able to move the speakers a few inches to the left (where it was until a couple of days ago) and I didn't notice a change in the sound. I've been toying with this set up for about 2 weeks now.

    It is an Onkyo Integra TX-108 Computer Conrolled Tuner Amplifier circa 1988.

    I think the Rotel gear is pretty sharp too...
    Last edited by halo; 03-15-2005 at 01:11 AM.

  12. #12

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    Default ...

    ...
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    Geez, will ya look at all the bells and whistles on the Onkyo!

    I too am of the thought that the Onkyo has a bump in the mid bass region that the more linear Rotel doesn't have.

    FYI, I would highly recommend you put the pre amp under the amp, that Rotel can put out some heat.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  14. #14

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    The current stack is temporary. The amp will be on top all by itself when my "carpenter" gets around to making me a nice(er) rack. :D
    Last edited by halo; 10-28-2005 at 12:14 AM.

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    Is the Rotel amp used? Maybe it has an issue. I would hope the Onkyo Integra line doesn't have an artificial bump.

  16. #16

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    Yep, both the amp & pre-amp are used. They are both in REALLY good shape - I don't think its an issue with the amp - at least I hope not! :(

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    Default

    Another idea......the gain in the pre amp section of the Onkyo may be higher than the Rotel pre amp. That could explain why you have to turn the Rotel up more to get more sound/bass.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  18. #18

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    Default My $$ on the Rotel's linearity

    I second F1's thoughts.

    It does sound as though you are hearing your source material more accurately now, as though there is a boost in the bass from the Onkyo.

    IMO the less bells and whistles (read circuits) your electronics has, the less chance there is of something detrimental happening to the signal. Even when using "by-pass" features/circuits.

    And ditto on letting that amp vent better.
    polkaudio speakers: SDA-SRS-2.3 (modified) SDA-2B SDA-CRS+ RT3000p CS400i LF-14 Monitor 7B

  19. #19

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    F1 - The overall sound is louder (mids and highs) coming from the Rotels. The bass just isn't keeping up with them. I don't have to turn the volume any farther than the first marker to be almost too loud for casual listening.

    Bob - Yes, more accurate is a good description & I've already got that ventilation problem fixed.

  20. #20

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    Ok, then it's probably not a gain issue. Back to the boosted mid bass on the Onkyo.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  21. #21

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    Default Re: I took the plunge!

    Originally posted by peersool
    <snip>
    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.
    <snip>
    Is there anything I can do to improve bass response?
    <snip>
    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.
    <snip>
    seriously, if you're determined to stick with your speaks and the rotel gear, are not getting a sub for a while and you can't find a way to get the sound you want otherwise, you can learn a lot from an equalizer if you think about what you're doing with it and you really want to spend that much time fiddling with your gear and understanding what's going on.

    if you're going to play with eq, find out what rta's folks are using to plot their frequency response charts and use one to help you set it up. and, if you're going to go through all of that, it might also be interesting to *see* the differences between the two amps. do heavy doses of comparison and listening without the eq though and remember that you make the load on your gear a lot tougher with radical swings of the controls.

    in the long run, you'll probably be better for expermenting with it thoughtfully *now* before you move up the gear foodchain.

    if you're not that interested though, and you just want to listen to your tunes in peace, you might try preset eq trims in your dvd player if it has them. that might get you close enough to buy you some time while you consider your next move.

    )

  22. #22

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    Scott

    Who are the RTA's folks? I guess I never *knew* nor do I *know* how to properly set up an EQ. I think it would be fun to *thoughtfully* experiment now as long as I have some guidelines to go by. I do have an extra sub laying around but I really didn't want to *have* to use it. Should the sub I use - IF I use one - be powered/amplified or passive? Thanks :)

    BTW - I'm using a Kenwood CDP as the source, not a DVD/CDP. ;)
    Last edited by halo; 03-16-2005 at 01:20 AM.

  23. #23

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    Originally posted by peersool
    Who are the RTA's folks?
    heh,heh. ok, i guess i set myself up for that one. rta is real time analyzer (or analysis) or real time frequency spectrum analyzer.

    if you go to subwoofer & bass management, it's the program that measures and makes those charts that the folks there use. i don't know what's available today, i played with them back when they were stand alone components. so, the folks over there will be more helpful for finding and setting up the new fangled versions. i'm sure there is freeware on the net that is light years ahead of what i have in the closet.

    with an equalizer, rta can help flatten the in room frequency response of your system, though, it's technically and audibly better to get as close as possible with treatments and placement before using eq.

    that said, if you were happy with the bass you had from your speaks before the rotel gear, there isn't much reason to expect that you can't get the same or better now with a more capable amp, equalizer and some work with modest eq settings. to do this, if you can't get it by ear and working the controls on equalizer yourself, the most direct route would be to set up the rta with the receiver and get that graph, then try to duplicate it with the rotel gear.

    i mean, you might get close by ear with the equalizer alot faster and with less effort, but, if you want to learn and not feel like you are uh,cheating, try it with the analyzer.

    things to think about,..
    -your gear, colletively, should have a much flatter response than what happens after it's sound hits your room. at this stage you are correcting problems that your room introduces.
    -pink noise is a continuous sound.
    -music is quick bursts.
    -peaks are a combination of direct sound from speaks and room reflections and/or resonances.
    -reflections arrive later than the direct sound, so a graph from a continuous tone often exagerates the effect of what you would hear with music unless that music has notes at the peak frequency that are sustained for longer than the time it takes for the reflections at that frequency to reach your ear (or chest for notes you feel).
    -deep troughs are often frequencies that your room sucks up like a blackhole.
    -to correct deep troughs with eq alone usually requires very powerful gear (see svs) and can melt down not so powerful gear. often correcting it creates other forms of distortion.

    that should be enough to get you started without any reason for guilt.

    )

  24. #24

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    Scott,

    That is A LOT of information.

    Many thanks ;)

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