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Bass reflex speakers
Spekers placements
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January 20, 2018
8:25 pm
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I recently got a set of Finnish speakers: Amphion. I love their sound, but I find their bass reflex to be untamable and unpredictable.

I’ve tried placing them at different distances from the back wall, I’ve tried different EQ, and I’ve tried moving furnitures around quite a lot: something always sounds wrong: too many basses, too little basses, etc. Also, I find that other frequencies get affected as I move them around so something always gets lost in the process.

Is there a silver bullet to bass reflex speakers to at least make them sound accettable?

January 21, 2018
5:35 pm
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Hi, you didn’t mention which model you have. I looked at their website, I am not familiar with Amphion speakers but there are a number of different setup guides online. Or you could try contacting the company.

The models I did see online don’t look like they would have a lot of bass. There are some things that you should consider. If you are getting boomy, one note bass when you have them where the mid-range, highs, and imaging is best, the room would benefit from some acoustic treatments. If you have the freedom to do as you please with the room, not a shared space, or a partner that would object, buy or diy some bass traps. 

To diy, if in the USA, go to a Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Menards and get some large bags of insulation. Look for something that is about 4ft x 18inches in diameter. To see if it helps, leave it in the bag, well you will leave it in the bag either way. Place one in each corner behind the speakers, and if it helps but is still somewhat boomy, get two more for the other corners of the room. If one corner is near the door go with just the three. If that solves it, go to a fabric store, and buy some burlap or any other pleasing fabric and cover the bags. You might also need some acoustic panels directly behind the speakers. They can be built with 2″x4″s and some 4″ thick insulation that has a backing. Over at the Audio Asylum do a search for Jon Risch room treatments for more details.

Another thing you could try, is get something like foam rubber, or to try, just some old towels or t-shirts and plug the ports. I have speakers that have three 12″ woofers in each cabinet, and did both. I plugged the ports and made up bass traps and wall panels. I get good tuneful bass usable down to 25hz.

The trouble with most speakers is that the best place for imaging and mid-range on up, is not the best for bass. With speakers like I saw on Amphion’s website, a pair of subwoofers would be the best option, but costly. And you would still need to treat the room.  

Let me know if the above makes sense, or if you need more details.

The following users say thank you to jeffstarr for this useful post:

Elk, Gianni

Conrad Johnson CT5 Preamp; Sota Sapphire tt, Roksan Tabriz ZI, Dynavector 20xL,Camelot Lancelot Pro, K&K step up transformer; Oppo 83se, PS Audio PWT,  Lindemann 825 as dac, Toshiba Satellite laptop, JRiver, Vinyl Studio, AQ Jitterbug, HRT LineStreamer+; Magnum Dynalab Etude, Polk XRt XM Tuner; Legacy [Coda] amp; Legacy FOCUS speakers; PS Audio P300, Dectet, Duet; Bedroom: Benchmark Dac2 HGC used as preamp & DAC; Raspberry Pi3 running Volumio, w/750Gb USB Hard Drive; Harman Kardon Citation 23 tuner; Crown D150 amp; AR90 speakers; Panamax 1000;

January 21, 2018
7:38 pm
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Thank you!

I did try to plug the port using a foam provided by the factory. It does solve the issue, but the foam affects other frequencies too, and the overall sound gets deteriorated.

The speakers are the Argon 0

January 22, 2018
11:15 am
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I just took a look at your speakers. They don’t produce any real bass, they show a +/- 3db at 50hz, so your best bet would be adding a pair of quality subwoofers.

The cheapest solution might be to listen in the near field. Get them out away from the walls, and as far apart as possible, without losing the center image, then use toe-in to fine tune them. 

Do a search for Audio Physics set up procedure. It has been a long time ago, but they recommended a setup that had the speakers on the long wall, with the listener sitting closer than normal. I am not sure it would work, but is worth looking into.

I think you may be expecting more out of your speakers than they are capable of doing.

The fact that they come with plugs, means the manufacturer is aware of setup issues. I would call or email Amphion, and ask them for advice. If anyone is able to give you good advice it will be them.

Let us know if you solve it. It may help others with small monitors.

The following users say thank you to jeffstarr for this useful post:

Elk, Gianni

Conrad Johnson CT5 Preamp; Sota Sapphire tt, Roksan Tabriz ZI, Dynavector 20xL,Camelot Lancelot Pro, K&K step up transformer; Oppo 83se, PS Audio PWT,  Lindemann 825 as dac, Toshiba Satellite laptop, JRiver, Vinyl Studio, AQ Jitterbug, HRT LineStreamer+; Magnum Dynalab Etude, Polk XRt XM Tuner; Legacy [Coda] amp; Legacy FOCUS speakers; PS Audio P300, Dectet, Duet; Bedroom: Benchmark Dac2 HGC used as preamp & DAC; Raspberry Pi3 running Volumio, w/750Gb USB Hard Drive; Harman Kardon Citation 23 tuner; Crown D150 amp; AR90 speakers; Panamax 1000;

January 22, 2018
11:25 am
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Excellent advice, jeffstarr.  Thank you for your efforts.

By the way, John Dunlavy recommended long wall placement with the speakers farther apart than the listening distance.  His speakers are more than capable of producing low bass.  It works well, but feels a bit odd at first. :)

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Gianni
January 22, 2018
4:42 pm
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jeffstarr said
The fact that they come with plugs, means the manufacturer is aware of setup issues. I would call or email Amphion, and ask them for advice. If anyone is able to give you good advice it will be them.

I did make contact with Amphion a few weeks back. They asked for room measures and photos, and finally said it was the room’s fault. They suggested I use a room correction device that would end up being more expensive then the speakers.

They advised that my room (square, about 15 feet times 15 feet) will always be problematic for basses.

I have them about 2 feet from the back wall, which makes things better but it’s not resolutive.

[I edited this post to fix the format. Elk]

January 23, 2018
3:36 am
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They are right about the room being difficult, but not impossible. Is this a dedicated listening room? Do you have free reign to put things where you want? Did you buy the speakers from a dealer? If so, I would talk to them, as they may have some ideas.

If so, have you tried setting them up diagonally? Another words the corner of the room would be between the speakers. That might work. You still would want something soft in the corner. Some old pillows, or blankets rolled up, preferably a comforter or two. According to their website the Argon 0 is designed to be used in the near field. I suppose when you get them further out in the room you get no usable bass? There are certain rules to follow, like never putting your speakers the same distance from the side and front wall, which shouldn’t be an issue with your small two ways. While a square room does create problems, there are room treatment solutions. I looked at the price of your speakers, so I am going to assume you are on a budget. 

The idea is to solve your issues, then find a more permanent solution. There is a company called the Foam Factory that has really good prices on acoustic foam.

I will say this, a company that blames the room, and has no solution setting up speakers that don’t produce enough bass to be boomy is not a company whose speakers I would move up their line.

It might also help if you listed your system in your profile, someone might see something that could be done. Although I think it comes down to subwoofers, room treatments, and maybe different speakers. If you bought them new, you might be able to exchange them, or if used, sell them for what you paid for them.

The following users say thank you to jeffstarr for this useful post:

Gianni

Conrad Johnson CT5 Preamp; Sota Sapphire tt, Roksan Tabriz ZI, Dynavector 20xL,Camelot Lancelot Pro, K&K step up transformer; Oppo 83se, PS Audio PWT,  Lindemann 825 as dac, Toshiba Satellite laptop, JRiver, Vinyl Studio, AQ Jitterbug, HRT LineStreamer+; Magnum Dynalab Etude, Polk XRt XM Tuner; Legacy [Coda] amp; Legacy FOCUS speakers; PS Audio P300, Dectet, Duet; Bedroom: Benchmark Dac2 HGC used as preamp & DAC; Raspberry Pi3 running Volumio, w/750Gb USB Hard Drive; Harman Kardon Citation 23 tuner; Crown D150 amp; AR90 speakers; Panamax 1000;

January 23, 2018
4:55 am
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jeffstarr said
Although I think it comes down to subwoofers, room treatments, and maybe different speakers. If you bought them new, you might be able to exchange them, or if used, sell them for what you paid for them.  

Thank you.

I can’t really set the speakers diagonally, not enough room, and the room is not used for listening only. But I have a subwoofer that I can experiment with.

How does a subwoofer take care of boomy basses? I thought it would add to them rather then subtract?

January 23, 2018
8:50 am
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I am no expert on subwoofers, but if you do a search on the online Copper magazine, Jim Smith, who is an expert wrote some articles that explains it better than I can, with setup tips.

The obvious advantages are that you can place the sub and the speakers, each in the best location for them. A pair is better, and there is something called SWARM, that uses I think it is four subs to even out the bass. Then there is DEBRA that uses five subs, one out of phase. You like what your speakers do in the mids and highs, with a sub, or two, you can relieve the Argon’s of trying to cover the bass frequencies too. Make sense?

I highly recommend you read Jim’s articles on placement. You don’t want the sub in the corner. I think with your speakers crossing over around 80hz might be a good place to start. Someone with actual experience, may correct me on that. The last time I set up a sub was over 10 years ago. It was going to be used mostly in a home theater, but I set it up for music. If you have Tidal or own it, there is a bonus track on the Chet Baker CD, track 10 that has a really good bass solo, I also like to use Huston Persons and Ron Carter’s CD, for evaluating bass.

Well, we had snow last night, so hi ho, hi ho off to shovel and blow, I go;-) 

The following users say thank you to jeffstarr for this useful post:

Gianni

Conrad Johnson CT5 Preamp; Sota Sapphire tt, Roksan Tabriz ZI, Dynavector 20xL,Camelot Lancelot Pro, K&K step up transformer; Oppo 83se, PS Audio PWT,  Lindemann 825 as dac, Toshiba Satellite laptop, JRiver, Vinyl Studio, AQ Jitterbug, HRT LineStreamer+; Magnum Dynalab Etude, Polk XRt XM Tuner; Legacy [Coda] amp; Legacy FOCUS speakers; PS Audio P300, Dectet, Duet; Bedroom: Benchmark Dac2 HGC used as preamp & DAC; Raspberry Pi3 running Volumio, w/750Gb USB Hard Drive; Harman Kardon Citation 23 tuner; Crown D150 amp; AR90 speakers; Panamax 1000;

February 11, 2018
11:53 am
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Gianni,

We recently moved into a home and the room I set my system up was initially horrible for bass. 

Jeffstar has provided some good advice regarding room treatment, but if you are so inclined, you can take things a step further by doing some basic room analysis.   I am using a free program called RoomEQ Wizard, available from https://www.roomeqwizard.com/.

You will need to use a calibrated microphone, however, as well as  a laptop on which to run the program.  I bought a USB mic from Dayton Audio (EMM-6) for ~$80.00 US.  There is a link to US and EU sources on the roomeqwizard webpage under “Equipment.”

There is a learning curve, but if you are moderately computer savvy, it’s not too difficult. 

The program is amazing and pointed out the precise frequencies and resonance times that were causing my problems, so I was able to target the acoustical treatment as much as possible to the problem frequencies.   I would re-run the analysis after each change to the listening environment to gauge progress and compare it to what I was hearing.  

A quick and dirty alternative is an iPhone/iPad app called AudioTools by Studio Six Digital.  It’s $20, but features a basic SPL meter, a spectral analysis tool, and Fast Fourier Transform. 

Careful placement of speakers AND the listening position to take advantage of quarter-wave cancellation of bass frequencies resulted in as big of an improvement as room treatment.

It is an investment in time, but for me it was an invaluable learning experience.  It will improve the sound you get out of any set of speakers you own going forward.

Here are some further web resources I have found useful as I tackled my own bass monster

Tutorial on RoomEQ Wizard: http://www.realtraps.com/art-m…..ing.html  Also check the “Acoustics Info” tab on the home page

http://ethanwiner.com/acoustics.html

www,argen.com/acoustics-101/speaker-placement-boundary-interference/

http://www.acousticfields.com/videos  (look for the one entitled “Your Room Decides Where The Speakers Go.”

 

Hope this helps.  Have fun.

Front End: PS Audio PPP feeding Pass Labs XP-30, PS Audio PWT, PS Audio DSD, Aurender N100h streamer/server. Analog: VPI TNT Jr/ET II air bearing arm / Dynavector 17D3 / Bright Star isolation base (yep, definitely vintage) into Pass Labs XP-15. Amplification: Pass Labs XA160.8's direct to mains. M-L Summit X speakers. Wiring: Hero interconnects (balanced), MIT Matrix 28 speaker cables, Cardas Clear 2x USB cable. Various power cables from PS Audio and Pangea. Various room treatments from ATS and GIK.