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Heresy III - Help


Beta
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I sure could use some help.



Does anyone have any thoughts or recommendations as to how one can reduce the
"brightness" of the mid range horn in this speaker? All the
gear I use is of adequate quality. My amp and preamp are solid state. I am utilizing a quality sub as well.



I do not want to move to tubes. Wall
treatments are not an option do to the WAF.
I am simply trying to figure out if there is a tweak I can make to the
speakers themselves that will warm them up a bit?



I absolutely love these Heresy IIIs at lower levels. However, as I
push power into them, my ears quickly fatigue. I am at the point where I
am going to move them out of my system if I can't figure how to get them to
produce a warmer sound in their mid section at higher listening levels.



Thank you kindly if anyone has any input on this
subject!

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More specifics on your equipment used will help. I have found that a simple change in your source can affect things drastically... while trying different DACs I experienced a lot of brightness with one, muffled distortion with another, and a couple that were somewhere in between. Actually, I am still looking for the "right one" but that is a story for another thread.

Also, what is it that you are listening to the most?

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Thanks all for your replies. Much appreciated!



My music preferences are quite diverse. However, I mostly listen to
rock and pop. In an attempt to acquire warmer mids, I have tweaked
everything in my rig from cables to DACs to components. I am fairly
confident it's not a synergy issue. I have everything dialed in quite
well. Soundstage, separation, imaging, clarity etc. is nothing short of outstanding.



I chose the Heresy III because of Klipsch reputation (right or
wrong) of tending to be on the brighter side of the sound spectrum. Due to
space constraints and the WAF, I decided on the Heresy III over the Cornwall
III. The Heresy sound stellar up to just shy of nine o'clock on the volume.
However, nine o'clock on is fatiguing (that’s the best way I can describe it).



Our living room doubles as my listening room. The room is 20' feet by
14'. We have plenty of furniture, knick knacks etc. to break things up.
It has tile flooring (yes a challenge) with a large area rug. The speakers
sit on 24" high end tables on each side of an 8’ wide sofa and against one
of the 20' walls. I elevated the speakers because I have only one
option for speaker placement. If I place
them on the floor, they sit below the sofa and are “cramped” between other
furniture.



Ceiling height directly above the speakers is 7' 5'' and it moves up to 9'
8'' when it meets the other 20' wall (which the speakers face). We have a
6' 2'' wide by 6' 8'' opening in that wall.
This opening accesses our dining room and kitchen (also tile with area
rug). The rest of this wall is taken up
by a large 6’ 7’’ wide by 7’ tall sideboard and hutch.



I am open to any mods or tweaks. I’m
not concerned about voiding the warranty.



Thanks again for any thoughts or recommendations.

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I have owned Heresy II's. They never sounded like you describe. I have 2005 Belles at the moment.

Much as you don't want to hear this, It has to be an amplifier mismatch. Lots of poorly designed modern amplifers and receivers are voiced for cone speakers with a reticent midrange and these amplifers tend to blare when used with highly sensitive speakers at certain volume levels. Your Heresys are not reticent in the midrange and I recken they are simply high-lighting a tonal imbalance. I think when you advance your amplifer volume, maybe you are striking the exact worst case scenario of cross over and other distortion for your amplifer. With less sensitive speakers this little 'window' of bad sound from your amplifier wouldn't fall where you want to listen.

Don't junk your speakers. See if you can borrow another amplifier - either s/s or tube so you can re-evaluate your speakers.

How old are your speakers? Have you run them in?

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I own HIIIs and the mids are a joy. I listen to accoustic jazz mostly although some jazz rock from the 70s too.

If you have some tone controls on the amp you may want to play with them. I think pop music tends to be bright so that may affect you.

I used to have Infinity SM 102s and the HIIIs are actually less bright.

Good luck

Rich

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Crumple up some kleenex and experiment placing it inside the horns. Play around with it. You may at least figure out if it's the tweeter or the squawker, and who knows, you might fix the brightness issue! I've never tried this, just thought of it this morning. It can't hurt, right? I can come up with tons of dumb solutions if left to my own devices...

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Beta,

As you can see from my system profiles, all of my preamps/amps are of the neutral/warmish variety. I too have a ton of tile in my main listening/HT room but with my chosen gear and few area rugs, I was able to tame the brightness to levels that are a joy to listen to for extended periods.

Can you provide a list of your system profile so we can better help your situation?

Toe-in or lack of can reduce or increase the brightness. Experiment with that also.

Bill

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You mention having problems with the volume control at 9 o/c or higher. Because of the way much equipment is designed, with the volume control at that position you could be driving your amp into clipping (it would be worth knowing the input sensitivity of the amp). More details about your amp and preamp would be helpful. Also, if you happen to have, or can borrow, a sound pressure level meter with which to take a reading at your listening position when the sound isn't to your liking, some potentially useful information may be gleaned. Where are you located? There may be folks nearby who can come over with other equipment to form the basis of comparison.

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Thanks everyone. I very much appreciate all of you taking the time to try to assist me. I am stumped on this one. I am located in the Los Angeles area.

The tissue paper idea appears that it actually may not be that farfetched. I read a post somewhere about a gentleman who addressed a similar problem by taping a sheet of toilet paper across the mid horn. I am kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I was actually thinking of trying that.

I have had the Hersey IIIs since January 2010. I have been trying to figure out this issue since then. Any thoughts on tube buffers and where and how I would incorporate same into my system?

In the end, the problem could just be me. Maybe my hearing simply isn't a match for the speakers. The thing that really has me confused though is that these speakers are absolutely perfect in every way at relatively lower volume.

I have listed below my current set up. Thanks again for any suggestions or ideas.

Parasound Halo A21 amp



Parasound Halo JC 2 preamp (no tone controls)



Cambridge Audio 840C CDP



MIT Shotgun S.1 XLRs



Cambridge Audio 650T tuner



MIT Shotgun S.1 RCAs

Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2

MIT Shotgun S1.3 XLRs

iPod classic



Wadia 170 iTransport



Channel Islands Audio VDC-9.0 power supply upgrade



MIT Magnum Digital interconnect



Kilpsch Heresy III



MIT Shotgun S1.3 biwired speaker cables



Polk Audio DSW microPRO 2000 subwoofer



AQ Black Thunder subwoofer cables



PS Audio Power Plant Premier



PS Audio Power Plant Duet



PS Audio Power Port Premier wall receptacle



All power cords are PS Audio AC-5



Parasound Zbreeze fan



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The tissue paper idea appears that it actually may not be that farfetched. I read a post somewhere about a gentleman who addressed a similar problem by taping a sheet of toilet paper across the mid horn. I am kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I was actually thinking of trying that.

I understand your embarassment. You wouldn't be the first person to suffer public ridicule for following my advice. It's a leap of faith you're considering. It's OK, come on over to my side. I can offer a plethora of unconventional, weird, and (considered by some) insane suggestions.

In the end, the problem could just be me. Maybe my hearing simply isn't a match for the speakers. The thing that really has me confused though is that these speakers are absolutely perfect in every way at relatively lower volume.

This is highly probable. If this is indeed the case, the kleenex belongs in your ear.

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Beta,

My receiver has an EQ for each speaker. I can dial down the mids if necessary.

I have twaeked this over months, and have arrived at settings that suit me perfectly.

I can run in "Direct Audio" mode which bypasses these settings, and do so quite often.

I would suggest trying to do the same for at least a "band aid".

It may be your pre; or the source material. (Mp3s under 320kbs sound distinctively worse. I have done A-B comparisons).

I am not familiar with your equipment. As suggested, I suspect the issue lies there somewhere.

I have had HI s for almost a year, and have never felt fatigued after listening at any level for any length of time.

Your speakers trump mine in every way.

Good Luck.

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I see you are using an Ipod, Im not sure what format you are downloading in, but if your not downloading in the highest format, Klipsch speakers are unlistenable to with poor quality music. I can very easily tell a difference at higher volumes. I am pretty sure you are using the highest quality based on your knowledge and equipment list, but its something to look into.

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To rule out whether it's the speakers which are kicking out some nasty distortion products at a certain power level or higher, you need to connect another amp/preamp, receiver, etc, and increase the volume to produce the same sound pressure level at your listening position as the Parasound equipment. Alternatively, if you have a peak reading/storing multimeter, you can connect it (AC range) across your speaker terminals (each can be tested individually) and measure the voltage at which they start sounding poorly to you. Then, connect the other equipment and listen at the same voltage or higher. If the speakers still sound find, you at least will know that it's the Parasound amplification which is causing the problem.

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Thanks Bill. I will be the first to admit that I am no audio expert and that I possess only a rudimentary understanding how all this stuff actually works (from a technical perspective). Nonetheless, I tend to lean toward agreeing with your comment.

I keep circling back to the conclusion that my issue is one of room/space/acoustic constraints and of personal preference.

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I thought we might be on to something when you mentioned Cambridge Audio in your line up. I have been testing a couple of DACs recently and found that while the Cambridge Audio DacMagic introduced a nicer clarity and soundstage it also brought with it a "brightness" that I would call harsh and fatiguing after a while. (that said, it is still my first string DAC) I'm wondering how the DacMagic DAC compares to what's in the 840C. I would think the 840c ought to be quite a step up. Are you are saying you hear this brightness all the time no matter the music or source at a given volume? I find that some recordings don't seem to bother me (most jazz sounds great) while some can grate on my nerves (some rock). In regards to volume - to a point anyway, the louder it is... the more I hear good and bad. I wonder if what you are hearing at higher volumes is still there at lower volumes but isn't objectional at that level. What do other people think who have heard your setup?

Don't give up... it can be a lot of time and trouble to chase one variable at a time to see how things change when making a tweak or equipment change. If you are methodical and don't change more than one thing at a time you can learn a lot and when you share it here then we can all learn!

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I have been testing a couple of DACs recently and found that while the Cambridge Audio DacMagic introduced a nicer clarity and soundstage it also brought with it a "brightness" that I would call harsh and fatiguing after a while. (that said, it is still my first string DAC) I'm wondering how the DacMagic DAC compares to what's in the 840C. I would think the 840c ought to be quite a step up.

Muel,

I have read several good reviews on the DacMagic. The 840C does have two digital inputs to utilize its DAC for additional sources. I have used the DAC in the 840C extensively. It is excellent. However, I recently acquired a Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2. This DAC, in my humble opinion, significantly outperfoms the DAC in the 840C on all fronts.

I concur with you about recording quality. Poor recordings can be torture.

Thank you kindly for your thoughts and comments.

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