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Audio speaker help needed
Old 12-03-2004, 06:15 PM   #1
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Audio speaker help needed

Hi Cut-Throat and other audio-savvy people! My son gave me a monster Denon integrated amp, and a tuner. My old Panasonic reciever had blown one channel.

This amp could drive me out of the county without stressing itself. My problem is that I now notice that my old Dynaco speakers that I bought in Berkely in 1971 really are pretty fuzzy.

I mostly listen to classical, jazz, Latin, Afro-Pop and jazz fusion. What I notice about my speakers is that they don't have the treble separation I need to really hear the individual percussion. Today I was listening to one of my Afro-Cuban CDs in my son's car, and the treble notes from the bongos were so nice and clear, almost like in a club. My speakers won't do that. On the other hand, I don't listen much to metal so I can give up something on the low end, as long as it is clear. For example, it would be more important for me to be able to really hear the notes on a string bass, than to get blasted out of my seat by somebody's double stack bass amp.

Any suggestions? I think really high end stuff I wouldn't want to buy. I can always wait for a hand me down should that become available.

Thanks, Mikey
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Re: Audio speaker help needed
Old 12-03-2004, 07:00 PM   #2
 
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Re: Audio speaker help needed

Mikey,

To me, it sounds like the tweeters are shot. The little drivers that produce the high frequencies.

To confirm this, Take the grills off and look at the tweeters. (They will be the smallest drivers) If they have a foam surround on the driver see if you can push it in with an eraser on a pencil. It should pop back, if it is good. If the pencil goes thru the foam, or the foam crumbles, it it shot and needs to be refoamed by a speaker repair shop. should be no more than 30-40 dollars per speaker.

Check all the drivers - If they all look OK. Take the back of the speaker off and look at the wiring and confirm that all the wiring is intact (I have seen wires come loose before as sometimes they are just pushed on with a clip).

Last, if everything appears good, turn the amp on and play music with the grills off and confirm with your ear up to each driver than music is coming out of it. (Not too loud - can be hard on your hearing). Do this with each speaker. Something is amiss for sure.

Let me know what you find out.
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Re: Audio speaker help needed
Old 12-04-2004, 02:30 AM   #3
 
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Re: Audio speaker help needed

Hey Cut-Throat! I shot a lot of tweeters before I gave
up hunting

Hey, I have to get ready to go fishing now, but I had a great idea for fund raising so that all the regulars here can get
their very own FIRE flag. I was thinking you and I could stage a mud wrestling event (mano a mano). You are 5-8 and 145. I am 5-9 and 155, but I am givin' away 5 years so I think it's an even match. I already checked
with the LaCrosse (Wisc) civic center and they are all
for it. So, what do you say? Don't be a wimp

JG
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Re: Audio speaker help needed
Old 12-04-2004, 04:39 AM   #4
 
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Re: Audio speaker help needed

Quote:
I already checked
with the LaCrosse (Wisc) civic center and they are all
for it. So, what do you say? Don't be a wimp
As a matter of fact I have an appt. in Lacrosse on the 16th of this month. BYOM (Bring your own MUd)
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Re: Audio speaker help needed
Old 12-04-2004, 10:31 AM   #5
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Re: Audio speaker help needed

Quote:

As a matter of fact I have an appt. in Lacrosse on the 16th of this month. BYOM (Bring your own MUd)
This is such an unusual way to hijack a thread! Anyway, it looks like Cut-Throat knows what to do. Thanks C-T, I'll do the tests you suggested this evening.

Mikey
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Cut-Throat- Audio speaker tests completed
Old 12-05-2004, 08:52 PM   #6
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Cut-Throat- Audio speaker tests completed

As to the surrounds of the tweeters, both tweeters and woofers seem to be mounted in very hard black material of some sort- looks like a mineral board. Nothing soft anywhere.

On the back of one, where the speaker cord attaches, one post seems to have become loose in the particle board. However, the connection must be adequate because music is coming from both woofer and tweeter.

I think both speakers sound about the same. I did the ear test, and frankly was not impressed with the tweeter sound, but it was there, and was even from speaker to speaker, as far as I could tell.

I would take the backs off if I could figure out how, but it is a very heavy piece of board, and I don't see any screws.

BTW- how long has it been since you have seen "Made in Denmark" on anything other than canned ham or cheese?

Maybe I am just having an attack of audiophilia?

Mikey
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Re: Cut-Throat- Audio speaker tests completed
Old 12-05-2004, 09:23 PM   #7
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Re: Cut-Throat- Audio speaker tests completed

Quote:
BTW- how long has it been since you have seen "Made in Denmark" on anything other than canned ham or cheese?
Denmark makes great furniture and boats, but I'm not aware of their prowess in the world of analog electronics. Oh, and I love their meatballs.
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Re: Audio speaker help needed
Old 12-06-2004, 10:45 AM   #8
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Re: Audio speaker help needed

Quote:
My only other reccomendation is if you are listening to these speakers and they are on the floor. Get them on a good pair of stands to raise them. Especially if they are quite small. This can make a world of difference.
They are on the floor. I'll try stands.

I really appreciate your expert help, Cut-Throat. Thanks,

Mikey
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Re: Audio speaker help needed
Old 12-06-2004, 11:31 AM   #9
 
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Re: Audio speaker help needed

mikey,

Another thought crossed my mind. Make sure that you have the Phase correct for the speakers. In other words - make sure that the + and - leads of the speakers are attached to the + and - out of the receiver. Some speakers and receivers will have a red and a black. I use the red for + and the black for -.

Crossing them can cause the speakers to be out of phase with each other and sound incoherrent.
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Re: Audio speaker help needed
Old 12-06-2004, 07:04 PM   #10
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Re: Audio speaker help needed

Quote:
mikey,Another thought crossed my mind. Make sure that you have the Phase correct for the speakers.
Cut-Throat, I checked that and it is correct.

Would they work well hung on the wall?

I only heat the back part of my house, and I have moved my drums into the heated part, and I am getting kind of short on floor space. If I hang them, should I try to isolate the speakers from the wall? Like with foam, or hanging from the ceiling with a spring in the wire or something similar?

BTW, I have some Studiophonic HEAROS Gold Series 20 ear-canal earphones that I use when I play along with recorded music. I put them in, then put a pair of earmuff type sound protectors on over them. They give very good sound, though I suppose a little weak in the bass. The same company makes a Platinum Series 25 which I have never listened with, but are supposed to be quite a bit better yet.

Fooling around with this setup I have noticed some interesting things. Like earmuffs attenuate selectively. The bass is way less affected than the high frequencies. My snare drum sounds as if the snare wires have been thrown off. I can't hear them at all with the earmuffs. Likewise the cymbals, normally very loud, are hard to make out clearly. OTOH, the drums themselves come booming through.

I always use ear protection when I play, but I think I will search for something that distorts less.

Mikey
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Re: Audio speaker help needed
Old 12-07-2004, 12:14 AM   #11
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Re: Audio speaker help needed

Quote:
I always use ear protection when I play, but I think I will search for something that distorts less.
I'm no audiophile, but that might be hard to do. The ear is fairly complex and has a very non-linear response. You'd probably need some sort of neural ear muffs to attenuate evenly. I think Carver Mead came up with an implant that could do the trick, but it requires surgery.
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Re: Audio speaker help needed
Old 12-07-2004, 05:33 AM   #12
 
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Re: Audio speaker help needed

Quote:
Would they work well hung on the wall?

I only heat the back part of my house, and I have moved my drums into the heated part, and I am getting kind of short on floor space. If I hang them, should I try to isolate the speakers from the wall? Like with foam, or hanging from the ceiling with a spring in the wire or something similar?
Yes, Speakers that are attached to the wall or hung from the ceiling are fine. What you want is air around the speakers, not anything else like foam, it will only muffle the sound. Give the speakers plenty of air, that is the reason you want them off the floor.
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