Uncovering the culprit

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Does this sound familiar?

You adjust the system volume to where it sounds right only to discover a lack of bass. Up goes the volume level to compensate. Now the bass is right but, doggone it, the rest of the music is somewhat too loud.

Your speakers, or the lack of a subwoofer, seem likely suspects. After all, they’re the ones responsible for producing everything you hear.

It is easy to forget they are part of a long chain of electronics.

I beam when I read the comments of a new BHK power amp owner raving about their increased bass levels without turning up the volume.

…”there is definitely not a lack of power! Instrument decay is more pronounced, more sense of air and space and texture. Imaging is more 3D. Most interesting is the fact that I don’t have to put the volume as high to get bass. It seems more linear at lower volume. I always thought that the speakers were the culprit. I had to have the volume higher to get satisfying bass.”

It’s easy to blame the wrong culprit in a system because, just as in a good Agatha Christie mystery, every member of the electronic chain is at least a little guilty.

Finding the right culprit can be a challenge.

But when the wily rogue is hauled off to the trade-in jail and replaced with a knight in shining armor magic happens.