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  1. #1
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    Pairing Nad C355BEE with Monitor Audio BR2

    Hi,

    This is my first post so please be gentle on me.

    I've just tested the Nad C355BEE with Monitor Audio BR2. My source is an iPod.

    I must say I'm quite disappointed with the result. The Bass is good, but the middle and treble look awful, like if the musicians were trapped inside the box. I can hardly hear the plates of the drums.

    Both these components have received good reviews everywhere, but the match is terrible. Has anyone had a similar experience?

    I'm looking for a solution, and would very much appreciate the help of the users of this forum, as they seem to know much more than I do.

    So, what should I do? Replace the amp, or the speakers, or both? I can go a little higher on the budget, but not much more.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Antonio

  2. #2
    Ajani
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    I suspect most people on this site would tell you to ditch the ipod....

    I have a few questions though:

    What format is your music saved in? AAC, Lossless, MP3, etc???
    Have you tried your ipod with other amp/speaker combos and been happy with the result?

    I would expect NAD and Monitor Audio to be a decent pairing.... Though I would have opted for a cheaper NAD Model and a pair of Monitor Audio RS1s instead of the BR2...

  3. #3
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    Hi, Thanks for the reply.

    I'll get a CD player soon, a decent one I hope, but first I'm trying to get these two, amp and speakers, right.

    I've tested the ipod with several other HiFis and it works. OK. I know that is not the best source, but whatI'm complaining here is about a result that is bellow avervage when compared to inferior setups, theoretically speaking.

    I get a great bass, but treble and mifd range is bellow par, even for an iPod.

    Did anyone tried these two together?

    Best Regards,

    Antonio

  4. #4
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    Hi Ajani, thanks for the reply.

    I know the iPod is not the best source, I'm getting a CD player, or a DacMagig box soon :-)

    What I'm complaining here is a result below par, I've tested the Ipod with other HiFis and it works much better. Some of the other HiFis where inferior in theory to what I have now.

    I mean, the bass is great, but the treble and mid range is clearly below par.

    Has anyone tried this combo of amp and speakers?

    Best Regards,

    Antonio

  5. #5
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonioRF
    I've just tested the Nad C355BEE with Monitor Audio BR2. My source is an iPod...I must say I'm quite disappointed with the result.
    The NAD should have no trouble driving those speakers. I use one of their HT receivers and I find their sound be quite decent. I would also recommend trying a CD / SACD source.

    rw

  6. #6
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    Hi E-Sat,

    those were exactly my thoughts, but the reality is quite different :-(

    I must make sure that I've got the right combo and I don't want to spend more money until I do. I may need to return one of the components, or even both. If I get a CD player now it may be harder to trade for something useful because the store doesn't have much variety.

    They have KEF IQ5 and MA BR5, but I'm afraid the BR5 won't fit my room because they have a port on the back, ad that requires some distance from the wall.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I have a pair of Monitor Audio S1's and I find that I have to turn the treble control up on my integrated amp to get the sound I like. NAD has a warmer sound and may not be a good match with the MA's but you really won't know until you get a CDP.

    Do you have a DVD player that you can try as a CD player to see if this improves the sound?

    Also, don't mistake a brighter sound as a better sound. Many cheap stereo's and speakers tend to have a brighter sound in my experience and some people get fooled by this.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
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    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
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  8. #8
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonioRF
    They have KEF IQ5 and MA BR5, but I'm afraid the BR5 won't fit my room because they have a port on the back, ad that requires some distance from the wall.
    Really? They're not dipoles like my stats where you do need room behind them. I run ported Polks pretty close to a wall in the HT system. I'm also curious as to the question Ajani asked you as to the format(s) you are running with your iPod. I've got an iPhone myself, but haven't considered using that as a source. In any event, I don't use low-rez MP3s.

    rw

  9. #9
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    I've tested the system with 320kbps MP3 to no avail.

    blackraven: Yes, turning the treble control up does improve the sound. But I was under the impression that those controls should not be used if the pairing is good, or am i being too picky?

    I also feel that I've combined two components with warm sound, hence not getting the treble and mid range response I would like too.

    Any comments regarding the other speakers I've mentioned? Will I find also a warm sound in the BR5s? Are the IQ5 a better match for the NAD?

    Thanks a lot to everyone who has already contributed :-)

  10. #10
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Don't worry about the ports on the Monitor Audio's. If they are like mine they should come with foam plugs for the rear ports. I use plugs because it tightens up the bass quite a bit. You get deeper bass with out the plugs but I prefer the tighter sound.

    I'm a believer in tone controls to an extent. Don't let the snobs around here tell you not to use them. Every room has different acoustics and tone controls can help some. Are tone controls the best answer, no but they are a cheap way to help tailor the sound to your liking.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  11. #11
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    Blackraven: Thanks for the pragmatic reply :-)

  12. #12
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Antonio, the BR5's will probably have the same problem with the treble. They probably use the same tweeter as the BR2's. I would check to see if thats the case.
    Give the guys at www.saturdayaudio.com a call. They sell MA speakers and were helpful in me making a choice for my MA's.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  13. #13
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonioRF
    I've tested the system with 320kbps MP3 to no avail.
    Well, the only way to determine whether or not the issue is the speaker amp combination is to use a higher resolution source. That's high for MP3s and I've ripped some at that rate, but they don't sound as good at the top as 1440k WAV. The decoder used also makes a big difference.

    Try a CD or vinyl.

    rw

  14. #14
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    A typical example of what only descent stereo equipment can do to ones perception of sound quality. True that NAD paired with Monitor Audio Bronze 2's isnt the most "open" or "smooth" sounding (most would propably call it "grainy") but if one hasn't yet really understood the limitations of compressed audio (simply hasn't experienced Mp3 from a dedicated Hi-Fi equipment) the results might be quite confusing as we see here. I would say that this combo emphasizes more the nerve wrecking treble qualities of Mp3 than most.

    I own a pair BR 2's and have to admit that even as descent as they are considering their respective price level they have two apparent weaknesses/shortcomings.

    While room acustics, speaker placement and the size of the listening room have their prominent role in sound reproduction, especially in the bass area, the more apparent weakness these little bone crushers have is their overly emphazised upper bass area (a common problem with ANY standmount speakers in their price level having as deep bass extension as they have and propably the exact reason why MA supplies foam bungs for the bass reflex port). The bungs do their job to some extent tightening the bass up while naturally loosing some of that sweet extension you were first so enthusiastic about. Personally, I believe that MA is highly aware that at this price level a little "extra" bass is what most customers would rather prefer than lacking the extension which is what more expensive small monitors are mainly about; concentrating and focusing on the frequency range starting from little above. After all at this price level speaker design is pretty much making compromises while minimizing as many as possible.

    The second area were the speakers leave their character present is the upper mid-range area. Altough not that apparent nor creating any significant listening fatique it is noticable every once in a while and becomes more inevitable when using the foam bungs.

    That said Monitor Audio Bronze BR 2's are top quality speakers but demand more laid back or "smoother" electronics with tight and accurate bass reproduction to excel at their best. If paired correctly they are hard if not impossible to beat for the money.
    Last edited by Rasputin; 05-12-2009 at 01:58 PM.
    Hearing is believing

  15. #15
    Forum Regular Kevio's Avatar
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    I have two comments:

    1/ These are not terrible components. You have to try hard to create a bad system from good components. If it truly sounds terrible, you need to look for basic problems. Is the unit in mono mode? Have you checked for proper polarity on the speaker wiring?

    2/ I get lackluster results driving a system from an iPod (headphone jack). I've come to believe that it is the iPod, not the compressed data format that is the source of trouble. The same files sound better when played from the computer.

  16. #16
    Surgeon Registered Member
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    I'd still advice anyone putting more than 500$ in his/her system to stay far away from compressed audio signals. There's no "justice" putting your hard earned in a stereo system costing a grand or more and playing it with a lesser quality signal. Its like bying a HDTV to watch your grandmas VHS. These days you can get a terra of memory with a hundred if you look around and that Terra can hold FLAC lossless somewhere around 1300 albums... At that same breath of air, before having a stroke, I'd suggest to leave your headphone jack for your headphones.

    Theres no need for compressed audio anymore, not at least if you want to enjoy your music to the fullest. At the end of the day compressed signals represents pretty much everything what that machinery you payed for is trying not to.
    Last edited by Rasputin; 05-13-2009 at 03:53 PM.
    Hearing is believing

  17. #17
    Forum Regular Kevio's Avatar
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    Yeah, the headphone thing is bad news. Does anyone know whether the line out available through he docking connector sounds significantly better.

    In terms of disk storage, perhaps there's no need to compress. It is still useful for portable devices. As a logistical issue, the improvement in sound quality is not enough to get me excited about re-ripping 500 CDs.

    BTW, welcome to the forums!

  18. #18
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    Thanks Kevio, glad to be here.
    Hearing is believing

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