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bjdalton1
03-27-2011, 09:32 AM
People,
I have a 50 watt 2 channel Nad C355BEE and a pair of B&W bookshelf's CDM 1NT's. All in pristine condition. It just doesn't give me the warm and fuzzy. Its appears a bit bright. Missing warmth and bass. I seem at a loss. There are so many types of equipment, speakers, etc. and combinations, it just makes my head spin. I talked with a guy at the stereo store yesterday. He was busy and couldn't give me of his time. Buttttt he thought that I should consider getting rid of it all and going with Definitive speakers and a 4 channel tube integrated amp. What say all of you experts?
The Wulf.

JoeE SP9
03-27-2011, 10:01 AM
Why not try a powered sub?

Ajani
03-27-2011, 11:11 AM
People,
I have a 50 watt 2 channel Nad C355BEE and a pair of B&W bookshelf's CDM 1NT's. All in pristine condition. It just doesn't give me the warm and fuzzy. Its appears a bit bright. Missing warmth and bass. I seem at a loss. There are so many types of equipment, speakers, etc. and combinations, it just makes my head spin. I talked with a guy at the stereo store yesterday. He was busy and couldn't give me of his time. Buttttt he thought that I should consider getting rid of it all and going with Definitive speakers and a 4 channel tube integrated amp. What say all of you experts?
The Wulf.

Starting a system from scratch can be a lot of fun... I suggest going to a few different dealers, letting them know your budget and auditioning combos in that price range...

Mr Peabody
03-27-2011, 11:52 AM
NAD has gone through a few transitions in it's history and I'm not positive I've heard your particular amp. I have heard a lot of NAD and for the most part it generally has decent bass and a warm dark character. Instead of scrapping everything I would start by trying some new speakers with your existing amp. I don't know what your budget might be I'd suggest giving a listen to Dynaudio Focus series, the 110 bookshelves are outstanding. I've also heard PSB are warm. Maybe too far in the "warmth" area but Vandersteen could be a possibility.

If what you want is just a bit of bottom end fill and impact, JoeE's suggestion of adding a sub is good and wouldn't cost a lot, well, depending on how crazy you go. Emotiva has some good subs at a good price. SVS entry level starts under $600.00 and they are awesome. And, then, you have your mass market stuff.

You can get into tubes or hybrid with JoLida very reasonable. What tube amp was that guy peddling? I wonder why it's a four channel. Also, Def Tech is not known for it's warmth. They make decent stuff but there is better for the money IMO.

blackraven
03-27-2011, 01:23 PM
First and foremost, what is your budget?

Feanor
03-27-2011, 03:29 PM
People,
I have a 50 watt 2 channel Nad C355BEE and a pair of B&W bookshelf's CDM 1NT's. All in pristine condition. It just doesn't give me the warm and fuzzy. Its appears a bit bright. Missing warmth and bass. I seem at a loss. There are so many types of equipment, speakers, etc. and combinations, it just makes my head spin. I talked with a guy at the stereo store yesterday. He was busy and couldn't give me of his time. Buttttt he thought that I should consider getting rid of it all and going with Definitive speakers and a 4 channel tube integrated amp. What say all of you experts?
The Wulf.
Well, BJ (or Wulf), my suspicion falls on the CDN 1NTs for your lacking warmth. I had a pair at home briefly a few years ago and they were distinctly "analytic". My limited experience with NAD is, indeed, that they tend to be on the warm side, so worry about the amp later.

bobsticks
03-27-2011, 04:12 PM
. Buttttt he thought that I should consider getting rid of it all and going with Definitive speakers and a 4 channel tube integrated amp. What say all of you experts?

I'd say that was a pretty bad idea. I suspect if you tolerated the B&Ws for some length of time the Def Techs will drive you to a spiritual torpor; a veritable somnabulant journey into la-la land. It should've already been said that the top end sizzle of the CDMs is pretty well documented and while adding sub support might theoretically help even out the overall frequency menu it has been tried unsuccessfully many times.

It's important to know that I'm biased against NAD amps. I find them grating and boring at the same time, which is an accomplishment unto their own. In this case, I also suspect that the 50 watt model runs insufficient current to properly feed hungry beemers. None the less, if you prefer that amp's voicing, auditioning a different speaker might be in order. I'd recommend something easier to drive.

Were it my dollars, IMO, I'd be looking for some different pairings. KEF/McIntosh and Rotel/Dynaudio immediately come to mind though if you're intent on a "tube" experience a VanAlstine/Almarro/Omega combination could keep these ears happy.

Obviously the choices are endless and, as has been suggested, it will mostly come down to desire and budget.

frenchmon
03-27-2011, 06:02 PM
People,
I have a 50 watt 2 channel Nad C355BEE and a pair of B&W bookshelf's CDM 1NT's. All in pristine condition. It just doesn't give me the warm and fuzzy. Its appears a bit bright. Missing warmth and bass. I seem at a loss. There are so many types of equipment, speakers, etc. and combinations, it just makes my head spin. I talked with a guy at the stereo store yesterday. He was busy and couldn't give me of his time. Buttttt he thought that I should consider getting rid of it all and going with Definitive speakers and a 4 channel tube integrated amp. What say all of you experts?
The Wulf.

Hello bjdalton1... the character of your NAD is not bright. Nor is the NAD overly warm either. And the NAD will be a great sounding amp with the proper system matching. The first thing you should do is know the character of the NAD. The CDM 1NT's can sound a little high in the upper ranges. And they can be a little recessed in the mids and bass for some listners. But the NAD shoud be able to give them a little definition in the bottom end. Speaker placement is important with those monitors. It could be as simple as proper placement and better speaker cable and interconnects thats better suited for the system. What source's are you using? And what cable and interconnects are you using. How big is the room?

Have you heard tubed gear? I would not look to the Def-Tech speakers unless I listened to a lot of loud hard rock. Do you? There is a speaker that I have taken a listen to...its the cousin of the Def-tech and its sound is more sophisticated in my opinion. Its the Golden Ear speaker. So if you do want a better bottom end, they
to have a built in sub. But your problem may be as simple as speaker placement, new speaker cable and interconnects....I would start there.

pixelthis
03-28-2011, 01:03 AM
sometimes its something simple. BEING a purist I HATE TONE CONTROLS, but turning up
the treble in a overly damped room just a tad made a remarkable difference.
Also, B&W bookshelves tend to benefit from a sub. I have tried several times to
set up systems with bookshelf beemers only, they seem to need a sub, even a pair of floorstanders I have (dm305) get good use out of a sub.
Try it(but save the receipt). AS FOR YOUR "NAD" they tend to be more accurate
in their power ratings, 50wpc is more substantial than in other gear. NOT BAD,
but bright speakers go with Nad very well.
Or maybe you have new car fever, nothing wrong with that, I GUESS.:1:

bjdalton1
03-28-2011, 03:44 PM
Well people thanx for all of the replies. See if i can answer some of your questions:
* Size of room is 11' x 12'-6. The speakers are on the 11' wall facing the sundeck and glass doors.
* How about some more sub woofer ideas, types?
* My budget is open.
* Does it matter its a 2 channel stereo? Other than I can't hook up more speakers, say, in the other room.
* Speakers are 6' apart and about 10" off the wall.
* Will better cable really make a noticeable difference?
* Does the brightness of the speakers reflect the amp?
* Is 50 WPC enough? One person says no while another says yes.

Thanks everyone, keep on with the help.
The Wulf

bjdalton1
03-28-2011, 04:31 PM
Can't do a sub woofer, no room.
The Wulf.

Mr Peabody
03-28-2011, 07:33 PM
Well people thanx for all of the replies. See if i can answer some of your questions:
* Size of room is 11' x 12'-6. The speakers are on the 11' wall facing the sundeck and glass doors.
- If nothing covering your glass doors that may be something to do. Perhaps a curtain with a backing. Blinds could help to diffuse but wouldn't be as effective as a curtain for taming the room.

* How about some more sub woofer ideas, types?
* My budget is open.
* Does it matter its a 2 channel stereo? Other than I can't hook up more speakers, say, in the other room.
- This shouldn't matter in regard to your issue.

* Speakers are 6' apart and about 10" off the wall.
* Will better cable really make a noticeable difference?
- If you are only using typical speaker wire cables could possibly help. The topic is highly debated, I have heard differences in cables, I don't try to convince any one there is difference but I do try to convince those interested to try for themselves. Many local boutique shops will allow you to borrow cables, most will at least allow a return and most all online sellers allow a return. Just watch for restock fees. Credible sellers don't charge restock.

* Does the brightness of the speakers reflect the amp?
- If the speakers are "neutral" it could be a reflection of the amp. Most speakers do have their own presentation and tend to sound brighter and B&W have that rep. On the other hand NAD is not known for being overly bright.

* Is 50 WPC enough? One person says no while another says yes.
- This is a complex question as all watts are not created equal. As stated earlier NAD's 50 watts are fairly strong as they build them to have reserve power for short bursts of demand, they can sometimes deliver much more than their rated power but for only a couple seconds or so. It also depends on the speakers design, the impedance and how stable that impedance is, important the sensitivity or efficiency of the speaker. I don't know your speaker well enough to determine if your amp is enough.
Thanks everyone, keep on with the help.
The Wulf

Did you mention what you were using for a CD player? Some budget players lack refinement and can make a system bright.

RGA
03-28-2011, 07:42 PM
People,
I have a 50 watt 2 channel Nad C355BEE and a pair of B&W bookshelf's CDM 1NT's. All in pristine condition. It just doesn't give me the warm and fuzzy. Its appears a bit bright. Missing warmth and bass. I seem at a loss. There are so many types of equipment, speakers, etc. and combinations, it just makes my head spin. I talked with a guy at the stereo store yesterday. He was busy and couldn't give me of his time. Buttttt he thought that I should consider getting rid of it all and going with Definitive speakers and a 4 channel tube integrated amp. What say all of you experts?
The Wulf.


Yes and that will make your dealer a nice amount of profit and you may be back here in X amount of time with several other sorts of problems.

I am not sure of the point of a 4 channel tube amplifier or that Definitive is exactly going to fix any problems - the CDM 1NT does have some issues. You also don't mention the source - and contrary to popular opinion - the CD player does matter.

The CDM 1NT can sound bright and interestingly the NAD Bee series amps tend not to be as bright as some amplifiers in this price class - although they can also sound a bit leaden and they're not good resolvers IME. B&W has some interesting issues with their tweeter on top technology and I don't find their tweeter matches up well with their midwoofers - in other words I always hear the drivers - and that is somewhat acceptable in a big floorstander with lots of drive and power but less tolerable with a standmount. Adding a sub may add bass - but that doesn't fix the integration issues and most subs sound dreadful when they have to produce actual musical instruments that people can hear. Even REL's top of the line I find pretty mediocre. Better than many but very expensive. Home theater is something else. And this assumes that you really set-it up bang on - even if you do I find it "so-so" and most people have a lot of trouble setting it up (requires a learning curve) and many rooms don't seem up to the job. And IMO you need two subs to get a proper stereo image - Read the Richard "bassnut" Green on audioasylum as to why 2 subs make sense. Two subs is lots more money however and lots more space required.

Fortunately, NAD and B&W are well known names so they should be easy to sell. But I sure would not just take the dealer's word for it. Start doing the homework. I generally like going the tube route but not all are created equal - not by a long shot. And not all are better than solid state just by being a tube unit. SS tends have a few "camps" of sound while tube amps have much more variation in sound - and more variation means some will not sound remotely as good as others while the fewer SS camps you can usually hear a "like" presentation across many of them. The Crown school and the Levinson school as has been noted by some are two examples of amplifier schools.

If I was to stay with SS and keeping a sane budget I would look at amplifiers from Sugden, Creek Audio, Heed Audio (Rotel Separates of the last 3-4years as they may be cheaper than an integrated from the first three I mentioned), Audio Refinement (though still not a great bass amp). Sugden's A21a is still the amp I would go for - it's probably the only SS amplifier that is worth buying - the Heed has potential but I need to hear it again. When I say the only one worth buying it's not that other more expensive SS amps are not better than the A21a it's just that above the Sugden's price point there are very very good tube amps - and in every case I have heard a Tube amp sounds better for less money than a SS amp. So your dealer may be on to something - but again depends on the amp.

Speakers is a wide open field. In the under $7k price range I like speakers from Audio Note, Harbeth, Acoustic Zen, Teresonic, Sonist, Gallo, Reference 3a, King Sound, Magnepan, Dynaudio, Tannoy, Studio Electric among some others.

The thing you have to try and think about is the "system" and not the individual components - kind of like a car - you can have a great car but put crappy tires on it and even a Ferrari is going to have trouble in a corner at 150mph. So buying something because it has a great review - both the NAD and the B&W probably got raves - isn't going to mean much if the result when combined is irritating.

poppachubby
03-29-2011, 05:07 AM
No sub huh? I agree with Peabody then, you will probably need different speakers to match your taste for bass. The NAD should provide plenty. You need to do some soul searching here and try to define your personal tatses. From there you can audition gear and try to match up a system.

I always did alot of listening at my local shops, but then shopped the used market. I am not going to drop a bunch of names on you, but rather suggest that you audition as much as you can and not rush into anything. If you know what sound you're after, the brands will reveal themselves to you as you search.

It's a shmae you can't get a sub. My instinct in your situation would be to get a sub to augment your speakers which I am sure must have lovely midrange. I would also suggest a tubed preamp to input into the NAD, this will help voice your system and give you some warmth where it's needed. Consider your room arrangement again and think about the sub, they are remarkably small nowadays. An 8 incher would probably suit your needs just fine.

Good luck and enjoy the hunt!!

Hyfi
03-29-2011, 05:37 AM
The wall with the glass doors is sucking the bass out of your room.

My neighbor had his system on a glass enclosed room and bass just was not there. He got several pcs of plywood about 3' x 3' or maybe a little bigger and wrapped them with carpet. Whenever he had a listening session, we would place the panels over the windows/doors and restore most of the bass.

JoeE SP9
03-29-2011, 12:29 PM
I believe Hyfi has hit a home run!

Cover the glass with something that absorbs sound. There is no other cure for a glass wall. Turning down the treble or using an equalizer will only make the direct sound dull. Plus you'll still have that glass wall reflecting the midrange and making the speakers sound bass shy.

atomicAdam
03-29-2011, 02:13 PM
I'd ask what your def of "warm and fuzzy" is.

pixelthis
03-29-2011, 02:18 PM
I believe Hyfi has hit a home run!

Cover the glass with something that absorbs sound. There is no other cure for a glass wall. Turning down the treble or using an equalizer will only make the direct sound dull. Plus you'll still have that glass wall reflecting the midrange and making the speakers sound bass shy.

TRUE , but do the "dumb" thing and use CURTAINS instead of hauling lumber all
over the place for a listening session.
ITS CURTAINS FOR YOU..LADDY. ARRGE!:1:

atomicAdam
03-29-2011, 02:21 PM
TRUE , but do the "dumb" thing and use CURTAINS instead of hauling lumber all
over the place for a listening session.
ITS CURTAINS FOR YOU..LADDY. ARRGE!:1:

Thick curtains will reduce high end reflections but will do absolutely nothing to keep the bass in the room.

Nasir
03-29-2011, 03:06 PM
The glass doors behind you are sending ( reflecting ) almost all the medium to high frequencies back into the room and the listening spot must be where the interference effect must add, in my humble opinion.
I suggest that you stand in the middle of the room and clap once then listen to how the echo dies away. If the echo is sharp then you need a lot of soft furniture and heavy carpets to bring the echo to a quick and definite end.
What happens if you open the glass doors so that they only cover half the area behind you? Is there a noticeable drop in treble and is this sound more to your taste? If so, then you need some heavy curtains to reduce the reflections when you close those doors!!
One more trick, put a long heavily stuffed pillow behind your head in the listening sofa. This cheap trick has seriously enhanced my listening pleasure as it deadens the sound at the listening position without creating severe marital problems, because the pillow can be safely hidden away when not listening and the wife is happy.
Finally try different speaker placements, just google it and there is enough material there to occupy an insomniac!!
Having failed all this, I can understand your initial reaction of wanting to try different components. Just one word of extremely good advice. You just have try the set up in your room, before you buy, otherwise you will be back with the same topic.

bjdalton1
03-29-2011, 04:38 PM
It would appear that I have a glass wall issue. I can't do curtains. The ole ball and chain won't go for that. But i can experiment a little. I can switch them with the ones in the next room. There is is no glass there. Maybe thats the ticket.
The Wulf.

blackraven
03-29-2011, 09:52 PM
While the glass wall is an issue, no one ever accused B&W's of being warm and fuzzy. I would consider new speakers. Other things to consider would be a PS Audio Digilink III DAC, Marantz SA8003 SACDP, Tube DAC or Tube Preamp-(the tube Van Alstine Gear is all warm sounding as his solid state gear.) These are all warmer sounding gear and things to consider. But I think new speakers would be the best place to start.

For subs I would look at a Rhythmik sub- http://www.rythmikaudio.com/products.html or a Martin Logan 700 which is very musical and can be wireless.

By the way, Atomic Adam has a used Van Alstine Amp and Preamp he is selling. They are solid state but have an airy warmer sound and the amp will pump out more power than that NAD.

bobsticks
03-30-2011, 04:59 PM
You could build an anechoic chamber, feed the speakers with VTL Wotans and the CDM 1NTs will still never be "warm and fuzzy". They can't give what they ain't got...

Mr Peabody
03-30-2011, 07:36 PM
You could build an anechoic chamber, feed the speakers with VTL Wotans and the CDM 1NTs will still never be "warm and fuzzy". They can't give what they ain't got...

What if we throw a wool blanket over them?

bluetrain
03-31-2011, 05:25 AM
. Maybe too far in the "warmth" area but Vandersteen could be a possibility.


MrP, I had Vandy 2 Sigs for many years, and never felt them to be warm. Laid-back yes, but not warm.

bluetrain
03-31-2011, 05:35 AM
Unison Unico Secondo hybrid integrated and Acoustic Zen Adagio Jr. bookshelves will give you what you need.

JoeE SP9
03-31-2011, 06:15 AM
No speaker or amp ever made can correct for a glass or highly reflective wall.

bluetrain
03-31-2011, 07:55 AM
No speaker or amp ever made can correct for a glass or highly reflective wall.

But even in the greatest room Nad C355BEE and a pair of B&W CDM 1NTs won't sound warm :biggrin5:

bobsticks
03-31-2011, 09:22 AM
Cosigns both posts #27 and #28...quite a conundrum, eh?

Tarheel_
03-31-2011, 11:49 AM
I feel Def Tech is just a notch above BOSE. I installed an 5.1 Def Tech systems years ago for a co-worker and was very disappointed to say the least. He liked them.
I also own one of their 15" subs and it has slam, but nothing else. Can you say S L O W...

Mixed results on NAD, but i always consider their sound on the bright side.

Great suggestions on the curtains and treatments...you should also consider a nice size rug if you floor is hardwood or tile.

Mr Peabody
03-31-2011, 04:04 PM
Warm or laid back, Vandies always sound like they are under a blanket to me. I know they have their fans but that's a speaker that just does not appeal to me.

bluetrain
03-31-2011, 06:36 PM
Warm or laid back, Vandies always sound like they are under a blanket to me. I know they have their fans but that's a speaker that just does not appeal to me.

MrP, I'm not talking about who likes what. Just saying Vandersteens are laid back, not warm. Now I have Acoustic Zen Adagios. Forward sounding, but warm. Very different concept. different sound. That's all.

Mr Peabody
03-31-2011, 06:56 PM
BT, you and I may have a different understanding of "warm", the Vandersteen I heard and it was a few different models have all been warm to the extreme. What did you drive yours with? This was a few years back as well when they used Vifa drivers. The systems I heard drove the Vandies with Adcom, Aragon and Golden Tube. The Vandies came off as the epitome of warmth, the highs were not that extended or promenant, the bass a bit tubby and lacking detail, the mids soft......

StevenSurprenant
04-01-2011, 06:58 AM
Too bright might mean that it lacks bass or that there is too much treble. I know that sounds rather moronic, but listen on...

Remember, I'm just an amateur here.

From my experience, the best sound comes from a system that is relatively flat in frequency response from bottom to top and where the fundamental frequencies are in balance with it's harmonics. To picture this, listen to a subwoofer that is turned too loud. The bass becomes one note. You just get Boom Boom- Boom. This bass note consists of a fundamental and it's associated harmonics. When you turn the sub up too loud, you now hear the fundamental overpowering it's harmonics. Taken to an extreme, listen to the subwoofer without the main speakers and you will realize how important the harmonics are. On the other hand, to illustrate my point, if the fundamental is produced by the sub and the harmonics are produced by the main speakers, and you shut off the sub, all you will hear are the harmonics. Your system will sound anemic and too bright.

Now take speakers is general and the room they are in. The room is everything, well not quite, but for the sake of argument, different rooms can make the same speakers sound totally different. A decent speaker in a great room will blow the doors off a great speaker in a poor room. If the room is highly reflective, you will have no soundstage and it will sound bright. If the room is highly absorptive, your speakers will sound dull. If your room has the wrong dimensions, you will get standing waves where the bass is too loud. BTW, that's a really strange experience. In one room, if I sat back all I could hear was bass, but just leaning forward in the chair moved me out of the standing wave and the things sounded much better.

So, how does this relate to your situation? You have very nice equipment and it's capable of much more than you have indicated. You said that your system seemed to be a bit bright. You might also be saying that your room is too reflective. I'm guessing here... If the room is the real problem, you will still have this problem no matter what equipment you own. The room is an integral part of any system and that should be addressed first before you spend another dime on different equipment.

So how do you treat a room? If your interested, just respond and I'm sure many here can give you great information. In general, the main thing to consider in your case is adding sound absorption to your room.

bluetrain
04-01-2011, 06:59 AM
BT, you and I may have a different understanding of "warm"


MrP, I believe this is the case. I had V2Sigs for 9 years. Tried them with SS, tube and hybrid components from $500 - $5000. Sound quality was immensely affected by the quality of the components I used, ranging from harsh, irritating, edgy to very enjoyable. One thing that never changed was their laid-back, "blanket over them" :) presentation, no matter what amp I used. Also, that laid-back thing contributes to the misconception of the V-n speakers to be warm.

My current speakers have an in-your-face presentation, but they're warm and smooth. I played lots of badly recorded, thin and edgy albums, and they still sounded acceptable with the Adagios. That wasn't the case with the Vandersteens. Before Vandies I had B&Ws. Boy, those were bright forward... horrible...

So, having, said that, IMO, based on my personal first-hand experience, warm and laid-back presentations are two different qualities. If you think otherwise, that's absolutely OK with me, I guess we can survive with different points of views :)

Tarheel_
04-01-2011, 10:45 AM
I've also read where bookshelves...whether full wall or not can really help out a room which is too reflective.

Nasir
04-01-2011, 02:43 PM
I have one more trick for you to try, although in theory it is supposed to be avoided, but it works for me.
Undo any sense of symmetry for the speaker placement:
1. One of the speakers closer to side wall than on the other side.
2. Put an obstacle behind one speaker and none for the other.
3. Arrange seating position so absorption by furniture is not the same on each side.
4. Behind your sweet spot break up the reflected sound in a non symmetrical manner as well.

Maybe others can chip in with more suggestions, but I have achieved more from my system by breaking the tight theoretical equidistant requirements..... these little steps help the fact that whatever is being constructively added by interference from one speaker is NOT exactly the same from the other speaker, thereby reducing peaks and troughs of loud and drowned sound ( and a more agreeable loudspeaker response manifests itself).

Mr Peabody
04-01-2011, 04:02 PM
Problem solved, buy headphones.