Can you help me understand the experience? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Can you help me understand the experience?

10-25-2005, 05:11 AM
My setup consists of Yamaha RXV540, Pioneer DV366 and Lithos Satellites, a passive and an active Sub. I experience the following while playing audio cds. The sound quality is good at moderate amplification. I increase the volume (-35DB on my amp, do not know what is it equivalent to on other amps). The sound quality is alright except that some notes in music become ear piercing. Espeically selective notes played on Piano, Synth and some vocal notes.
What is causing this effect? Is it the way music is or is the system not producing the sound correctly? Or could it be the room as there is no acoustic treatment?


10-25-2005, 06:35 AM
By ear piercing do you mean distorted? In my experience I only come across one cd where the beginning of the song would be what I call ear piercing. I always thought it was the recording until I upgraded to a power amp. With the power amp it comes off smooth. So in my opinion your problem is a probably a combination of your receiver distorting the signal and your speakers not being able to handle those frequencies.
On my system with good power amps the highs are never ear splitting. They are smooth with maybe a bit of edge to it, like if its a trumpet or similar type instrument.

Resident Loser
10-25-2005, 07:19 AM misconstrued...

Is it the way music is or is the system not producing the sound correctly? Or could it be the room as there is no acoustic treatment?Thanks

The answer: Yes...could be any or all of the above...poor quality software...peaks in the speaker's frequency response...or room glare...

jimHJJ('ll have to do some "process of elimination" on that...)

10-25-2005, 09:23 AM
I don't want to tick you off, but you can upgrade your amps, preamps, cd-player, cables, speakers, power conditioners etc... and fix those problems.

My first Maggies were too sharp too in the beginning and the more i moved up the line the better it sounds. Its the quest for perfection or whatever goal someone has.


PS: Try a different amp and see if its gone

10-25-2005, 10:12 AM
I don't want to tick you off, but you can upgrade your amps, preamps, cd-player, cables, speakers, power conditioners etc... and fix those problems.
Unless it's the software, agreed? In this case, a more revealing system will only exacerbate the problem. Bad software over a good system is still bad software :).

To the OP,

RL said it best, the answer to your question is "Yes." It could be anything: amp distortion, speaker limitations, room interaction, etc. The first thing you need to do is locate the problem. Try different cd's and see if the problems still persists. Move your speakers around and/or install some cheap treatments (plants, curtains, rugs, etc.) to try to tame the room. Switch out the speakers with something else. Borrow another amp. You can't fix it if you don't know what it is.

Hope this helps.

10-25-2005, 12:48 PM
What recording is it? If you send me the file i can run it on the DIVA and tell you if its bad or not. Agreed, there is some crappy software out there but i have refound discs with the DIVA which i had never used with my other systems and hear details like never before.



10-25-2005, 01:25 PM
As the others have said, it could be any number of different factors. If you have a large room, then the amplification might be inadequate to play at high levels OR your speakers have peaks at certain high frequencies that can be painfully loud when the music hits certain notes.

With your setup, you'll likely start reaching the receiver's output limit around 95 db, depending on the distance to the listening position and your speakers' sensitivity. With a SPL meter ($40 at Radio Shack), check how high the levels are when you start noticing the sound characteristics change. If your listening level is above 90 db, then your receiver is likely outputing at least 10 watts/channel and won't take much more gain to reach the output limit.

Keep in mind that the wall and floor surfaces also reflect the sound waves at different levels for different frequencies. When the direct and reflected sounds interact with one another in close proximity and at nearly full amplitude (an echoey room with lots of hard reflective surfaces will do this), this can create time domain distortions and other interactions that make the overall sound harsher. The higher the volume, the more noticeable these interactions get.

First thing I would suggest is that you try hanging blankets or some other absorptive material along the front wall behind the speakers and along the sidewalls where the sound wave reflect. If the sound noticeably smooths out, then you'll know for sure that the room acoustics are more responsible than the amp, speaker, or source. In my room, I experimented with acoustic ceiling panels and was startled at how much they tightened up the imaging and smoothed out the overall sound. If deadening the room does not improve anything, then you need to start isolating the other potential causal effects.

10-25-2005, 08:43 PM
Thank you all for the reply. The room is 18ft x 15ft and has windows. This happens with not all the software. One well known cd could be Dire Straits Live At BBC, which many of you must have heard. Many say its a very good recording but I found many guitar notes played by MK to be loud.
As suggested I should begin with some simple room treatment.