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Thread: SHL5s balance in my room

  1. #1
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    Default SHL5s balance in my room

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to explain a problem I have whilst I have a demo pair of SHL5's in my home. My room is rather small, about 3.5x4m with very high ceilings - over 3.5m in height!

    I'm struggling to get the balance of bass right with the SHL5, unfortunately due to space, my listening position is up against the long wall of the room, however, the speakers are positioned about 6-7ft apart, and about 50cm from the back wall.

    I love the Harbeth sound, but the balance of bass is a real issue (in my room - obviously they're great speakers). It's all very deep and low, without any punch - it's difficult to distinguish bass notes on something bass heavy. Certain tracks also sound quite bright to my ears - however, my room is quite heavily furnished... large 3 seater sofa with heavy cushions, a leather arm chair, and various other soft furnishings throughout.

    Now it's got me thinking perhaps the C7ES3 would be a better match in my room? I'm just worried that I'll lose the 'scale' with the C7ES3 that I get on certain tracks with the SHL5.

    I listen to a wide range of music, from folk and classical, to techno and electronica.

    I've attached a rough photo so you can get an idea.



    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Room adjustment suggestions

    This is what I can suggest. You may show us photo from another side as well. Based on this photo from this angle only, it seem to me your bass issue mainly from left side which is very close to back and side wall. If i not wrong right side is where you put your turntable. You may try to move the whole cabinet to left side to act like a diffuser of sound. Also you can try to move your speaker out a little bit by bit and toe in slowly.

    Last but not least if your stand is filled try to empty it.
    "Bath in Music"

  3. #3
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    Default Atacama stands

    I forgot to mention, they're on Atacama SL 400 stands (40cm in height) - 4 columns all filled - they're very heavy and dense. The tweeter is at perfect ear level from my sofa.

  4. #4
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    Default Bass issues in my room (with ATC)

    Thanks for your swift reply - I will certainly give it a try. I forgot to mention, I had the exact same issue with my previous ATC SCM 35s - although the bass was ultra dry and boomy, I really didn't care for the ATC sound and found it heavily fatiguing after a short while.

    Ultimately I know the issue is with my room, however I'm worried that even with the C7s it might still be there if I don't tame it whilst I have the demo pair of SHL5s.

    Although we're on the ground floor, the house was built in 1860 and there's a flat below (also with very high ceilings) - so we have a suspended wooden floor.

    Thanks a lot

  5. #5
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    Default Too close?

    Hi there,

    For the bass issue, the speakers are too close one of another. (mine is 3,5 meters). Try to have 2m at least.

    And again about tv : the space behind it is too large (again for mad bass).
    The Bladelius amp is with dac inside? Did you checked the correct phase of IEC?
    Cheers

  6. #6
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    Default DIY decoupling suggestion

    Yes, the floor is also a problem in your case.

    Try this experiment for decoupling the stands of the floor: You need two boards of MDF (about 45x45cm) or other materials (or shelves), Put a news paper on the floor and sprinkle dry sand over ( about 2 cm thick)

    Fold the paper, so that you get an envelope with sand. Put the board over the envelope and press till becomes flat and stable.

    Now put the stands and the speakers over the mdf (try with or without spikes).
    Enjoy

  7. #7
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    Default Room adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by micron View Post
    Hi there,

    For the bass issue, the speakers are too close one of another. (mine is 3,5 meters). Try to have 2m at least.

    And again about tv : the space behind it is too large (again for mad bass).
    The Bladelius amp is with dac inside? Did you checked the correct phase of IEC?
    Cheers
    I'll try and pull them out as far as I can and let you know how I get on. It's actually the older 'Advantage' Bladelius amp (before they renamed to Bladelius) - about 130w p/channel. I don't understand 'correct phase of IEC'?


    Thanks for your help.

  8. #8
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    Default Super HL5 in my room ....

    After some experimentation this morning (moved cabinet with record player - added mdf boards under stands) - I'm still getting booming. I suspect it could even be from the high ceilings as well - and to be honest, it's not something I can really treat, so I figured I'd be better off with a pair of Compact 7s. The balance is definitely 'off' in my room, so I have to work with what I've got... and from what I've heard, the compact 7 deals better with awkward spaces.

    Thanks to all for your help! Looking forward to trying a pair of C7ES3s! Wish me luck

  9. #9
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    Default The problems of cubic rooms

    A few thoughts based on my experience:

    Your room is close to a 3.5m cube so you will have a strong resonance at about 100 Hz.

    Little you can do to remove that apart from using room compensation software in a pre-amp, however perhaps you can improve matters by:

    1. moving the speakers out from the wall about 50cm (if you have sufficient room)
    2. putting a rug on the floor to cover the region of the first floor 'bounce' you hear.
    3. adjusting the toe-in the speakers until you can just see the inside walls of them
    4. auditioning some other amps to get better control of the bass

    David

  10. #10
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    Default IEC phase and the danger of death

    The plug must to be turned 180 degree to select the best mains phase polarity for each component. Try this link for better understanding.

    Did you tried the sand under the MDF?

    {Moderator's comment: WARNING - DANGER OF ELECTROCUTION! If the internal mains switch is intentionally switching only the LIVE wire that switch will be near the input socket, electrically. Should you reverse the connection the entire equipment will be receiving supply volts and the switch will be present on the outgoing side to the (then) NEUTRAL pin. If any fault developed inside the equipment, you run the risk of the case becoming live. This could BE FATAL.}

  11. #11
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    Default Only in the socket

    I'm talking here only to switch the plug from the power cord in electrical outlet (180 degree) to check the phase polarity. This is no risk.

    {Moderator's comment: Not true. There are two pins, LIVE and NEUTRAL and maybe a third, EARTH. The mains switch (if it is just single-sided, one pole) expects to cut the LIVE feed INTO the equipment. If you swap LIVE and NEUTRAL that switch will cut the NEUTRAL, return wire which means the LIVE power will run all around the equipment right up to the switch.}

  12. #12
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    Default Roome dimesnion problems - difficult

    There is vry little you can do about a room with 'bad' dimensions (that is, width/heigth/depth close to the same dimensions), except using very large bass traps.

    The best is to use bass traps tunes to the resonant frequencies of the room. Taming these bass modes will have the most impact on the sound.

  13. #13
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    Default Room + speakker issue not amp

    Quote Originally Posted by micron View Post
    The plug must to be turned 180 degree to select the best mains phase polarity for each component. Try this link for better understanding.

    Did you tried the sand under the MDF?

    {Moderator's comment: WARNING - DANGER OF ELECTROCUTION! If the internal mains switch is intentionally switching only the LIVE wire that switch will be near the input socket, electrically. Should you reverse the connection the entire equipment will be receiving supply volts and the switch will be present on the outgoing side to the (then) NEUTRAL pin. If any fault developed inside the equipment, you run the risk of the case becoming live. This could BE FATAL.}
    Yeah - that doesn't sound good! The amp has always worked fine with previous speakers (I've had it for almost 7 years now) in various rooms, so I'm certain it's a combination of the room I'm currently in + speakers too large for the space.

    I've got the C7s coming at some point now on home demo - will report back when I receive them.

    Thanks again for all your help.

  14. #14
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    Default Electical voltage test

    Now I understand and realize about the special electric outlets in England ... my mistake.

    But even so, you can checked with an pencil voltage like this

    In the most common situations you must have red light on the marked "L" for safety.

  15. #15
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    Default Cannot beat room acoustics?

    In my experience the influence of amps, cables, cd-player as well as stands is neglectable. The SHL5 creates bass down to about 40Hz. The bass is there.
    Unless you do not treat the room sufficiently nothing will really help. I just saw that, trough the Harbeth range, the bass output goes up to 70Hz with the P3ESR.
    I suggest you do consider these as well.

    Quite possibly the C7 will still to bass-heavy for your room. And no other speaker that goes down to the same regions will act any different in your room.

    The room is the "problem" not the speaker or its placement on filled or unfilled stands.
    I just yesterday experimented with HUGE bass traps made of rockwool. I am still puzzled how much room influence there is. And of what perfectly tuned and exact bass the Harbeths are capable.

    {Moderator's comment: don't forget room correction *at the lowest frequencies only* is another possibility. Generally speaking, if the room has a latent issue a sealed speaker rather than a vented one can be a workaround for the room boost at LF.}

  16. #16
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    Default My new house and listening room

    Quote Originally Posted by thurston View Post
    In my experience the influence of amps, cables, cd-player as well as stands is neglectable. The SHL5 creates bass down to about 40Hz. The bass is there.
    Unless you do not treat the room sufficiently nothing will really help. I just saw that, trough the Harbeth range, the bass output goes up to 70Hz with the P3ESR.
    I suggest you do consider these as well.

    Quite possibly the C7 will still to bass-heavy for your room. And no other speaker that goes down to the same regions will act any different in your room.

    The room is the "problem" not the speaker or its placement on filled or unfilled stands.
    I just yesterday experimented with HUGE bass traps made of rockwool. I am still puzzled how much room influence there is. And of what perfectly tuned and exact bass the Harbeths are capable.

    {Moderator's comment: don't forget room correction *at the lowest frequencies only* is another possibility. Generally speaking, if the room has a latent issue a sealed speaker rather than a vented one can be a workaround for the room boost at LF.}
    Perhaps - the difference in frequency range isn't all that different from the SHL5s - but it does give me slightly more room to work with using a smaller cabinet.
    I'm worried with the P3ESR they will be too small and underpowered for when I occasionally turn it up..

    Could anyone recommend a place to purchase bass traps so I can experiment? I've tried moving everything around - taking everything out of the room, it still booms no matter what! What pains me is how amazing everything else sounds when there's no bass. If I play anything acoustic I'm simply blown away..

    I've never ever had issues with rooms in the past, it seems that my new house just doesn't want to make life easy for me

    {Moderator's comment: by stripping the room bare you have reduced desperately-needed absorption and that will certainly encourage hang-over. Cheapest temporary experiment is to buy some bags of Rockwool or Rockwool batts and place them in the room. DO NOT CUT THE BAGS OPEN! We've covered this before here ........}

  17. #17
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    Default My room - more pictures

    Some additional photos of my issue:


    The living room extends out through the doors (where I'm standing taking the photo from) for another 4m - making the whole room about 8m long


    You can just make out my partners knee (ha!) on the bottom right - that's the listening position.. which is a large 3 seater sofa up against a wall.

  18. #18
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    Default P3ESRs may surprise you

    Quote Originally Posted by jack667 View Post

    I'm worried with the P3ESR they will be too small and underpowered for when I occasionally turn it up..
    Worth a try, though, if you have an accommodating dealer who will lend you a pair for home audition. You may be surprised at what they're capable of. However, they will definitely have less room interaction in the bass than the larger Harbeths.

  19. #19
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    Default Standing waves

    Wow, sitting against the wall will also do very little in eleviating the effects of standing waves. Try to move the seat forwards some 30 cm and please do try the P3ESR's or M30 in that room with that listening distance...

  20. #20
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    Default Fireplace?

    The second room (the right side of the system), it's a bedroom?

    I see two sources of booming bass: the old fireplace and the entrance door (if that is the entrance). Maybe is better to try a smaller speaker.
    Cheers

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