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  1. #1
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Question How do you "chill" a "bright" sounding speaker?

    As some of you may know I scored some Platinum Audio Studio 3's off of ebay recently. After experiencing the "joy's of biwiring" firsthand (see previous thread), I sat down to listen to these speaks yesterday.I was listening in 2 channel stereo in my living room.

    I'm running a:

    Onkyo 898 receiver (its' not monoblocs but it'll do)
    Yammie CD 675 CD player (analog mode)
    Platinum Audio Studio 3's - 3 way floorstander with two 5"s and a domed tweet.
    First generation Monster Cables wired direct to the speakers.

    After about 3 hours listening to these speakers my ears were not feeling all that well. I found that (even after setting the speakers up and calibrating them) these speakers had a very "up front and bright" mid to high end. Bass was ample and substantial but overall the speaker was damn near shrill. I'd been running Ohm Walsh F's ver.2 before this and had kicked the highs up a notch on the receiver while running them After turning the tone down to 0 on the receiver I still found it bright as hell.

    What can I do to allevieate this problem, aside from the tone knob on the receiver?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Da Worfster

    PS I changed Mains because my son's Mum didn't like the look of the Ohms. She said and I quote "Pyramids are for the desert, NOT the living room". I told her to lump it but I scored these (far more pleasing to her eyes) Plastinums and decided to give em a try. These are my first "slimline" modern speaker. I'm NOT impressed. Sigh... go fig.

  2. #2
    RGA
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    I try and avoid slim lines because frankly most of them sound pretty much the same. I have never heard of Platinum Audio...the speakers or even the company??

    Did you listen before you bought? Always do this. Never judge the speaker on looks. Most of the time the better looking the speaker the worse it sounds. A few exceptions like B&W but generally speaking. A lot of speakers are sold more on looks and how many you can fit on a plane for shipping than sound...though they will cover all that up with nice marketed technical arguments which mostly are paper thin.

    Some speakers are just bright and nothing can be done. Sorry for the bad news but if you've gone to the extreme of using treble knobs and you've adjusted for positioning(toe in etc), then it COULD be bad discs or the cd player.

    If not these then it's time for different speakers.

    Kappla!!

  3. #3
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I try and avoid slim lines because frankly most of them sound pretty much the same. I have never heard of Platinum Audio...the speakers or even the company??
    Platinum Audio was an east coast company that went belly up about 2 years ago. They made a well received line of Speakers like the "Solo" and "Duo" which you can find reviews of here on this site.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Did you listen before you bought? Always do this. Never judge the speaker on looks. Most of the time the better looking the speaker the worse it sounds. A few exceptions like B&W but generally speaking. A lot of speakers are sold more on looks and how many you can fit on a plane for shipping than sound...though they will cover all that up with nice marketed technical arguments which mostly are paper thin.
    Nah, this was strictly a used, ebay, too cheap not to try speaker thingy. Any speaker I've not liked when scored on ebay has gone either back on ebay or into someone else's system.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Some speakers are just bright and nothing can be done. Sorry for the bad news but if you've gone to the extreme of using treble knobs and you've adjusted for positioning(toe in etc), then it COULD be bad discs or the cd player.

    If not these then it's time for different speakers.

    Kappla!!
    I'll fiddle with these some more... give em a month or two. If it don't git no better.... out they go and puddin' be damned. And a Quappla to you too friend.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101
    As some of you may know I scored some Platinum Audio Studio 3's off of ebay recently. After experiencing the "joy's of biwiring" firsthand (see previous thread), I sat down to listen to these speaks yesterday.I was listening in 2 channel stereo in my living room.

    I'm running a:

    Onkyo 898 receiver (its' not monoblocs but it'll do)
    Yammie CD 675 CD player (analog mode)
    Platinum Audio Studio 3's - 3 way floorstander with two 5"s and a domed tweet.
    First generation Monster Cables wired direct to the speakers.

    After about 3 hours listening to these speakers my ears were not feeling all that well. I found that (even after setting the speakers up and calibrating them) these speakers had a very "up front and bright" mid to high end. Bass was ample and substantial but overall the speaker was damn near shrill. I'd been running Ohm Walsh F's ver.2 before this and had kicked the highs up a notch on the receiver while running them After turning the tone down to 0 on the receiver I still found it bright as hell.

    What can I do to allevieate this problem, aside from the tone knob on the receiver?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Da Worfster

    PS I changed Mains because my son's Mum didn't like the look of the Ohms. She said and I quote "Pyramids are for the desert, NOT the living room". I told her to lump it but I scored these (far more pleasing to her eyes) Plastinums and decided to give em a try. These are my first "slimline" modern speaker. I'm NOT impressed. Sigh... go fig.
    It depends on "bright" means here. It is most likely a peak in the frequency response in the upper midrange, whereas a treble control has most effect higher than that. I take it you have tried tone controls. There are a lot of speaker deficiencies ordinary tone controls will not help. You might try an equalizer with a calibrated microphone. Either that or go for speakers you like better. This shows the dangers of buying speakers you haven't heard.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  5. #5
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    As previously stated, ...

    ...there is no cure for a speaker you do not like... however, room placement/treatment can make a HUGE difference (you probably knew that...). It seems you were experimenting with these on a whim (nuthin' wrong with that!) but not satisfied due to the excessive/bad tweeter output...

    So... a freebie you might wanna try - drape one, two, or however many sheets of toilet paper it takes to quell the ornery beast. Not pretty, but very economical.

    I find Charmin very open, whilst retaining the the subtle.... O.K., I'm kiddin...

    Let us know!

  6. #6
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Before you throw the baby out with the bathwater, you might want to look over your room acoustics. More than anything else, a lousy room can make any speaker sound horrible.

    Since I know you're into tweaking, why not try something like acoustic curtains or ceiling panels? You'd be surprised at how effective a few fiberglas panels behind the front speakers can be at not only taking the edge off harsher sounding highs, but vastly improving the imaging as well. This is largely because an excessive amount of reflected sound from the front wall that mixes with the direct sound will smear the sound and give it a harsh in-your-face edge. I experimented with hanging ceiling panels in my room and they can really change the acoustic signature of a room. Along with a thick rug, those panels significantly reduced the audible "slap echo" that I previously heard.

    Speaking of which, yes wall tapestries, floor rugs, and cushy furniture work as well.

  7. #7
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    You could switch to a more laid back amp that may help subdue some of the brightness. You could also send them to a professional DIY'er who could change some aspects of the crossover, like reducing a resistors size, which would help.

    I am a little surprised at your problem. I had never heard a bad thing about Platinum Audio. I believe the creator of Platinum Audio moved on to Soliloquy so maybe you could even contact him and see if he has any recommendations. I'll look for his name and post back if I find it.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Worf -

    Here's what the homemade paneling system I built looks like. Just some fiberglas panels wrapped with fabric and suspended from a picture molding that my wife and I installed just below the ceiling. I recently put a new audio rack in the corner as well, so the system is now REALLY complete.



    This is a perspective shot of the system. I got acoustic panels hung behind all three front speakers. To keep the center speaker from sliding off the top of the TV, I use a layer of 1" seat cushion foam. It also helps to isolate the speaker from the reverberant TV cabinet.



    View of the rear panels. You can see how they hang off the molding. The panels are held together and hung off the molding with two thin strips of wood clamped together with 2" C-clamps.

  9. #9
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    You have quite a number of options for reducing the high frequency output. Here are a few ideas. Easiest is to use an equalizer instead of a tone contol. This gives you more precise and flexible control. Next easiest is to add an addition piece of grill cloth or two in front of the tweeter. If you are handy with a screw driver and soldering iron, you have some more choices. You can wire a resistor in series with the tweeter. This will reduce the overall tweeter output. An 8 ohm resistor (I'd say about 5 or 10 watts would be ok) will reduce it by 3 db. You could add an 8 ohm L-pad to the tweeter for a continuous level control. You can "equalize" the tweeter also by adding a series inductor and/or a shunt capacitor to the tweeter. The values will determine the rolloff frequency and by using one or both, you will get either 6 or 12 db fall per octave. I'd try a pair that added a rolloff at about 14 khz to start and work down from there. Formulas for calculating suitable values are available many places such as Parts Express website and the parts should not be too eqpensive. You could also substitute a different tweeter or bi-amplifiy (not bi-wire) the speaker so that the tweeter has its own amplifier with its own gain control. If I were to choose, I'd go with the equalizer. It makes the most sense to me.

  10. #10
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    Play around with the speaker cable and interconnects. Try Audio Quest, or Kimber Kable. Out side of changing electronics, this is a good bet.
    Remember, different isn't always better, but it is different.
    Keep things as simple as possible, but not too simple.
    Let your ears decide for you!

  11. #11
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    This is a very expensive and hit or miss proposition. Why pay for an expensive cable because it has high shunt capacitance or series inductance when you can just go out and buy the capacitors and inductors at a small fraction of the price? What if the effect is in the right direction but the magnitude is insufficient? Do you just keep adding more and more wire until you get the degree of effect you need? How much will THAT cost and where is all of that extra wire supposed to go. This is IMO the WORST idea for fixing this problem...that is unless you sell wires for a living, then it's the best.

  12. #12
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Wink Questions for Woochifer

    Hey Wooch, great pics,
    Just a little curious, you seem to have a towel or toothpaste green foam pad underneath what appears to be a Reference center channel CC-470 maybe, I'm not sure...but it would match the Studio's I see.
    Anyway, what's the towel for? Have you discovered some secret advantage to insulating the bottom of the center?

    And, how on earth did you ever get your wife to allow that mess of cables in her living room?

    Oh, and is that not really just a "bakers rack" I see in the corner - and not an over priced fancy named audio rack?

  13. #13
    Forum Regular Registered Member 46minaudio's Avatar
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    I agree with skeptic and woochifer...I have to disagree with throwing money away into cables and electronics..You have recieved some great advice on how to correct this issue.IMO if does not help its time to resell and look for a speaker to your liking..The advise from skeptic and woochifer will help...

  14. #14
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Rotflmbbao!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy C
    ...there is no cure for a speaker you do not like... however, room placement/treatment can make a HUGE difference (you probably knew that...). It seems you were experimenting with these on a whim (nuthin' wrong with that!) but not satisfied due to the excessive/bad tweeter output...

    So... a freebie you might wanna try - drape one, two, or however many sheets of toilet paper it takes to quell the ornery beast. Not pretty, but very economical.

    I find Charmin very open, whilst retaining the the subtle.... O.K., I'm kiddin...

    Let us know!
    Man, your last line about the audio qualities of Charmin... I'm still laffin. Stop, you're killin' me... I can't take it!!!!!

    Da "Wish I Could Stop Laffin' Worfster

  15. #15
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Red face To Wooch and Skeptic and all the folks who answered..

    Update on the problem. I played around with these speakers for about 3 hours last night and have made significant progress.

    1. I recalibrated the speakers and since this is my first "slimline" speaker, toed em in and adjusted my listening position.

    2. Worked with tone settings on the speakers set flat. That means no added bass or treble, but also none removed.

    3. Checked to make sure my homemade jumpers were working.

    4. Hung two African wall hangings (THANK YOU WOOCH!!!) that I had hanging around behind the speakers.

    5. Lastly, I used "modern" music both on the turntable and the CD player. Some of what I was listening to at first were old AAD reissues from the bad ole early days of CD's. Not a lot of bass, mids or refinement in some of those recordings. Source material does really matter.

    The results are that the speakers sound much better than when first listened to. I listened for an hour straight last night and felt that I'd gotten much closer to a liveable situation than before. Don't git me wrong. I still want my old Walsh F's back on center stage but... these at least don't my my ear's bleed like before.

    I'll keep a tweakin'. Thanks all for helping.

    Da "still workin' on it" Worfster

  16. #16
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Hey Wooch, great pics,
    Just a little curious, you seem to have a towel or toothpaste green foam pad underneath what appears to be a Reference center channel CC-470 maybe, I'm not sure...but it would match the Studio's I see.
    Anyway, what's the towel for? Have you discovered some secret advantage to insulating the bottom of the center?

    And, how on earth did you ever get your wife to allow that mess of cables in her living room?

    Oh, and is that not really just a "bakers rack" I see in the corner - and not an over priced fancy named audio rack?
    No secret, I just needed something to keep the Studio CC center speaker more solidly secured to the top of the TV since the TV has a slight slope and a rounded shape on top. The speaker was a bit wobbly when I just placed it on top of the TV, so I went down to the local crafts store and had them cut a sheet of 1" seat cushion foam (cost was less than $2). It holds the center speaker firmly in place, and it helps to isolate the speaker from the body of the TV.

    That pic is a few months old. I was using a baker's rack to stack up all of the components, but yes all those cables in the back were an eyesore. And that rack was a poor platform for my turntable. So, we did wind up getting one of those overpriced fancy named audio racks (a Salamander Synergy modular set -- very versatile and attractive, but expensive and inconvenient to put together), and the baker's rack is back in the kitchen!

  17. #17
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    Give them a chance

    ..........Did you try biwiring them? If not give it a try. You might be surprised. Also you might be wanting them to sound like your other speakers. Thats not to say the studio 3's sound bad, just different. Do the studio 3's have a higher sensitivity rating? If so the higher volume might add to the shrill you discribed. Turning down the volume and adjusting the tone controls as well as positioning the speakers might be the answer. In any case, give them a chance to get use to them. You may find you like them......Zapr

  18. #18
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    bright speakers can be tamed in many ways..
    1) Speaker cables 2) Interconnect cables are usually the causes of bright speakers.

    Onkyo receivers are inherently bright and edgy like all AV receivers so nothing new.
    Put on the grills which came with the speakers, play with the toe in angle, raise the speaker height.

    the best thing to do is to buy rubberised cork sheet and granite tiles.
    if you got studs on the speakers put the granite tile over the cork and put your speakers on the granite. if your speakers dont have studs put the cork on the granite time and put your speaker on it.

    Works wonders.

  19. #19
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manek
    bright speakers can be tamed in many ways..
    1) Speaker cables 2) Interconnect cables are usually the causes of bright speakers.
    Is this something that you measured or imagined? The only instances where swapping out cables made any difference in my system was when I swapped out a pair of poorly shielded OEM interconnects, and that eliminated some audible interference. But, compared to the easily measurable and verifiable differences that room treatments make, cabling makes a minimal difference, hardly what anyone can truthfully say "are usually the causes of bright speakers." You mean that swapping out the cables will instantly cause a measurable attenuation in the high frequencies? I didn't think so.

    Quote Originally Posted by manek
    Onkyo receivers are inherently bright and edgy like all AV receivers so nothing new.
    And I presume that you've listened to ALL AV receivers, and know this to be fact? And if they're ALL bright and edgy, what amplification then does not sound bright and edgy?

  20. #20
    Forum Regular TinHere's Avatar
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    Worfster,

    Stuff a sock in it. Try PM'ing Smokey and see if his new tweak is for subs only or, as is more than likely, they will also function with tweeters. I'm not sure if they are ready for market yet or if they are still in the break in stage of development.
    TinHere

    Enjoying a virtual life.

  21. #21
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    I saw that thread....

    Quote Originally Posted by TinHere
    Worfster,

    Stuff a sock in it. Try PM'ing Smokey and see if his new tweak is for subs only or, as is more than likely, they will also function with tweeters. I'm not sure if they are ready for market yet or if they are still in the break in stage of development.

    I was gonna give em a broadside but you guys were already bangin' him around like a pinata on Cinco de Mayo so I gave him a pass. Where does he come up with those threads? I do miss his "Best Of" threads though. I used to love savagin' him on those.

    Da Worfster

  22. #22
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    Aiming the tweeters at your ears may be your problem

    While on-axis tweeters may measure flattest for treble, they can sound too bright, especially if you sit close to the speakers (air absorbs treble much more than other frequencies = sit closer to the speakers and the treble is relatively brighter).

    The fastest way to move the tweeters off axis is to tilt the speakers/stands back a little so the tweeters are aimed over your head. You'll get a little more high frequency roll-off and as a bonus, the soundstage may move higher (singers may sound like they are standing in front of you singing rather than sitting across the room from you singing).
    I do this at home. You may need a few weights on the front of the base of the speaker stands to stabilize them after tilting them back. My stands had four spikes in them -- I made the front spikes as high as possible and removed the rear spikes = stands now tilt backwards aiming tweeter over my head = more mellow high frequencies (needed mainly because I sit quite close to my speakers.

  23. #23
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinHere
    Worfster,

    Stuff a sock in it. Try PM'ing Smokey and see if his new tweak is for subs only or, as is more than likely, they will also function with tweeters. I'm not sure if they are ready for market yet or if they are still in the break in stage of development.
    My understanding is that plugging the port hole mainly affects the low frequencies. What it does is it lowers the tuned frequency for the port and increases the low end extension, but makes the dropoff in the SPL level begin at a higher frequency.

  24. #24
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Smile Thanks folks, together we've tamed the savage breast!

    Thanks to all the suggestions given here, particularly Woochifer's, I've been able to take two midfi speakers that were inches from going out the window and turn them into two speakers I'm really starting to like and understand. My ear's aren't ringing or hurting anymore and there are some subtleties of these badboys I actually LIKE!!!! Still not good with older digital material which they tend to make sound hollow and flat but modern music sounds good if not great. Gonna test em on some classic MIngus and Miles tonight and see what's what. At least though I can live with em...

    Thanks everyone...

    Da Grateful Worfster

  25. #25
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    Hi ! i gott very good results with Van den hull cables ..the are excellent for too bright systems !! Royal jade hybride & ,or ,cs 122 hybride for speakers and D102 MkIII vor amps !!

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