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Man in the Box

New to Klipsch! Love my RP-160s but disappointed with performance of classical music. What to buy next?

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1 hour ago, Man in the Box said:

It's interesting that you find a 15 inch sub not to add much to what you already have. If that's the case, especially given the genres you listen to, I imagine a 10 inch sub may not add much either.

 

You raise many good points in that comment.  I only have a couple of minutes until I go out, but I'd like to address those questions later today in more depth.

 

My 15" sub adds a lot to the bottom end of my CF-4's which have dual 12" woofers, but we are talking high performance here.  My reference material is the piano and the sub adds wonderfully to the lowest octave, with authority.

 

I find the 600M very well balanced from top to bottom, but physically speaking it will not produce the depth of sound the CF-4's do.  A sub, even a ten inch can add to that depth of sound.

+++

 

For jazz I tend to like brass instruments from groups like Mnonzil Brass.  In the classical world I like orchestral.  The New World Symphony, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovitch, Pictures at an Exhibition, that sort of thing.

 

Can you leave a Youtube link to the kind of classical and jazz you listen to? 

 

Here is a short non-traditional example of the kind of brass I like. It takes horns to play horns.   Play it LOUD!  :)

 

 

 

+++

Here are the RP-600M's sitting upside down on top of RF-83's.  I now have the ten inch Paradigm sub (not pictured) sitting between the mains in that cabinet.  I'll optimize the setup for the 600M's and use some of your source material.

 

591494550_RP-600Mbi-amprightsideview_800.thumb.jpg.b8712124600503367435c1ae83b68773.jpg

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29 minutes ago, glens said:

 

From a different angle so far explored, what is the source of your "classical" music?  And how are you "playing" them if CDs?  Also, if CDs, what are their vintage?

 

I ask because fairly early on, classical CDs (more so than other types) could contain pre-emphasis of the highs, rather like Dolby B.  There are two ways to indicate the presence of pre-emphasis: in the disc's Table Of Contents, and in a track's sub-channel.  When I ripped all my CDs to flac for "serving" the music from my computer I found several which indicated pre-emphasis in their TOCs, and several which didn't yet did in sub-channels.  I understand that most if not all dedicated "CD players" get things right and apply the necessary de-emphasis, while computer-based "players" often (typically?) don't.  Hence my questions to you: a lack of de-emphasis when called for makes the music sound bright, or lacking in bass.

Good question. I've been using the following sources: 1) a flac library on a USB stick, 2) streaming Primephonic (great app, btw) via a lightning cable from my iPad/ iPhone and 3) streaming Apple Music via Airplay (which is built into the receiver). The latter seems to be a slight compromise in quality in return for convenience, but the first two sound good to my ears. 

 

I find that music really varies from source to source. Some will be bass-heavy while others will over-emphasize treble. I've tweaked the default settings on my receiver to increase bass and slightly decrease the treble, thanks to the stuff I've learned from this thread. Sounds like an overall improvement, even if it's not optimal across the board. 

 

I haven't considered using CDs with my system. There's a plenty of cheap used CDs in the market, if I learn where to look, but I'll have to buy a CD player too. Would you recommend it?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, wvu80 said:

I find the 600M very well balanced from top to bottom, but physically speaking it will not produce the depth of sound the CF-4's do.  A sub, even a ten inch can add to that depth of sound.

 

This only comes to prove that I need to buy both the towers and a subwoofer. Can't wait until I have both!

 

 

Quote

 

For jazz I tend to like brass instruments from groups like Mnonzil Brass.  In the classical world I like orchestral.  The New World Symphony, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovitch, Pictures at an Exhibition, that sort of thing.

 

Can you leave a Youtube link to the kind of classical and jazz you listen to? 

 

Here is a short non-traditional example of the kind of brass I like. It takes horns to play horns.   Play it LOUD!  :)

 

 

That's pretty cool, I enjoyed that. Brass sounds amazing on these speakers. What’s the source you normally use?

 

I listen to music from the romantic era, mostly, starting with late Beethoven through Brahms up to Tchaikovsky and Shostakovitch. Here's a couple of examples of what I've been listening to. I find the slow third movement of the Brahms concerto (@ 28:41) to be beautiful, as is Kissin's performance of Mikhail Glinka's material in the second link:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote

 

Here are the RP-600M's sitting upside down on top of RF-83's.  I now have the ten inch Paradigm sub (not pictured) sitting between the mains in that cabinet.  I'll optimize the setup for the 600M's and use some of your source material.

 

 

 

 

Your setup looks neat and so carefully proportioned! Very efficient use of space. Do you move the 600s to the back when watching movies or are they permanently stationed there? What's your rationale for stacking them on top of each other?

Edited by Man in the Box
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2 hours ago, Man in the Box said:

Good question. I've been using the following sources: 1) a flac library on a USB stick, 2) streaming Primephonic (great app, btw) via a lightning cable from my iPad/ iPhone and 3) streaming Apple Music via Airplay (which is built into the receiver). The latter seems to be a slight compromise in quality in return for convenience, but the first two sound good to my ears. 

 

I find that music really varies from source to source. Some will be bass-heavy while others will over-emphasize treble. I've tweaked the default settings on my receiver to increase bass and slightly decrease the treble, thanks to the stuff I've learned from this thread. Sounds like an overall improvement, even if it's not optimal across the board. 

 

I haven't considered using CDs with my system. There's a plenty of cheap used CDs in the market, if I learn where to look, but I'll have to buy a CD player too. Would you recommend it?

Absolutely ... get a (good quality) CD player.  (If it plays SACD's it's a bonus :) ) I suggest an Oppo 103 or better, or even an inexpensive Sony UBP-x800. In the US they range around $200-$300 ... sorry, but sure it will be a lot more in Bahrain :( 

 

Glad to see you are using flac files to test your system :D  99.9% of youtube downloads are horrible. Share your classical preference :) 

 

By the way ... upgrading is the biggest fun of this hobby.  Try the sub first, then get the bigger towers ... after that get the ...

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3 hours ago, Man in the Box said:

I've been using the following sources: 1) a flac library on a USB stick...

 

Depending how the flac files were obtained (ripped from CD on a PC?) they may well have high-frequency emphasis that wasn't removed at the time, with no "flagged/tagged" way of knowing now whether it should have been.  There may be other software which also does, but I know for sure "sox" has an option to apply redbook deemphasis to whatever it's handling.  Perhaps you can find a packaged version for whatever system you're running and experiment with some of the suspect files.  The software is free open-source stuff.  (Which means that at the least you can peruse the code/documentation to see what constitutes proper deemphasis and duplicate another way, perhaps.)

 

The other two sources you mentioned are most likely right in terms of emphasis, so with them you're left with:

 

Quote

I find that music really varies from source to source. Some will be bass-heavy while others will over-emphasize treble. 

 

If by "source" you mean record labels (or whatever they're called now), that's always been an issue on every format in my experience.  If your audio equipment matches what they listened with to "master" the recordings (possible) and you can match their settings and room treatments (quite unlikely), then you'll be hearing what they thought sounded good.  Otherwise, the more neutral and accurate your system is, the more you'll be hearing the inverse of how far from neutral and accurate their system was.  That's to say that if, for example, theirs was bass-shy it'll be bloated for you, and if theirs was soft or hot in the treble it'll be bright or dull for you, etc.  Wouldn't it have been (or be) nice to have standards in this regard?

 

1 hour ago, Emile said:

Glad to see you are using flac files to test your system :D  99.9% of youtube downloads are horrible. 

 

Well, we can flac-encode crap sources, too.  All flac does is ensure the original content will be decoded bit-perfectly to whatever it was that was flac'd.

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https://linux.die.net/man/1/sox is the sox "man page" (a manual).  Read until you get to the mention of "audacity" (which may also perform the function - I don't know off hand but expect it does), then "search/find in page" for deemph for some good info.  If audacity will apply deemphasis and you're not so "hacking" inclined (sox is a command-line tool - which is better for batching than graphical utilities), it is surely (and freely) available for your computing platform of choice.

 

With either software you should be able to play the file, however you direct its modification, directly to the sound card without creating a new file or modifying the original stored copy (you'll merely be reading the file and piping all modifications directly to the sound system).  Of course you can write to storage anything as well if you wish.

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@Man in the Box & @wvu80

 

This may say it all:

 

10 hours ago, Man in the Box said:

I need to buy both the towers and a subwoofer.

 

Or, nearly all. 

 

(wvu80, it's nice to have agreement, isn't it?)   In this case, my thinking, or lack of it, was heavily influenced by Man in the Box having only $1,000 to spend.  Either the Yamaha or the subwoofer could be set so the subwoofer could come in as high as 120 Hz -- I hope -- if his 6.5" woofers act like 6.5" woofers (i.e., severe roll off under 120 or 100 Hz).  Klipsch may have been able to work some minor magic with the rear porting etc.  As you know, if he could put the speakers very near a wall, without blocking the port, the bass extension and amplitude could be increased.  But, I can see going the other way, too, getting some good floor standers, and no sub, or saving up and getting both.  Most orchestral music (my favorite) tends to roll off as high as 35 Hz (unless there is an organ), but bass power from about 120 down is needed badly, for fullness and balance.   Pop is much easier to build a relatively inexpensive sound system for.  Rock/metal needs more in the basement because of bass guitar, etc, but the orchestra is king!  Paul W. Klipsch said that to get the "blood stirring" level of a full symphony orchestra, you need very brief peaks of 115 dB at your ears (much of that in brass and percussion, and percussion, including piano, needs lots of bass, as Yamaha well knows, since they own image.png.32aaf7512055c19e1026aef31d3cf826.png).   Think of a Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff piano concerto, or the drums in Fanfare for the Common Man or The Firebird).  Here is a portrait of a kick drum.  Notice the 31 Hz part of the boom lasts the longest and goes as loud as any of them.  A big bass drum like in an orchestra (like the Telarc bass drum), since it is bigger, would be deeper.  Tympani are all over the place.

image.png.752734cc9745fbdb623f15dd4a1d3e6e.png

 

Paul's 115 dB figure probably came out of his measurement of such orchestras while recording them.  As someone on the forum pointed out to me recently, we have a lot more information about simulating those high levels than was available in Paul's day.  THX now says that in a smallish room (a big home room) we can get along with 5 to 10 dB less, due to the nearfield reflections of nearby walls, ceiling and floor, even when we try to control them.   The 4" thick professional Sonex anechoic wedge foam pad I used to have did a good job with the upper frequencies, but had a cut-off at 400 Hz, which is 2 to 4 octaves above serious bass. 

 

I assume the Yamaha has a subwoofer output.  The sub should have its owm amp, built in.

 

The one Yamaha power spec that counts is the 80 watts per channel at low distortion, 20 to 20,000Hz.  The other power specs (at least on the page I saw) are pretty meaningless (e.g., looking at the power available at 1K Hz).  Virtually all AVR, car, and inexpensive home stereo manufacturers have adopted this basic dishonesty.  The same manufacturers are far more objective in rating their separate power amps and preamps.  But I think we can trust the 20 to 20K figure of 80 w.p.c. when running 2 channels.  That will give you, conservatively, the 105 dB peak power the music & movie industries bank on, at any conceivable listening position in your small room.  With speakers less sensitive than Klipsch, you might not get near that.  If you get a subwoofer, and you plan to run the occasional movie, it will need to be able to put out 110 dB peaks, or so, at listening position.

 

Lots of good luck!

 

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I've found dialing in the RP-160Ms running full or close to full range with a set of subs augmenting the bottom can be quite satisfying.  The low end balances the highs much better.  I have RB-5s in the picture vs my RP-160Ms for which the stands were made, but very similar frequency response. Bookshelfs (kind of) at ear height.

FL-system.thumb.jpg.f9611ccf6274f9e8cb56db6aa1943bd6.jpg

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Your room dimensions (13 x 13 square) are going to make it more difficult to get balanced sound, even with a subwoofer. I think someone earlier mentioned placement, and I agree with this. I don’t know if it is possible, but have you tried diagonal placement? This method can be effective in square rooms.

My 160M’s sound very full in a 13 x 17 room. They are just amazing. My only gripe is moving them out a few feet from the wall on top of my 50 pound stands. For that reason, I bought a pair of RP-5000F towers yesterday. Much easier to move by just grabbing the rear port. Now, to determine if they sound better than the 600’s...

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1 hour ago, mcp said:

Your room dimensions (13 x 13 square) are going to make it more difficult to get balanced sound, even with a subwoofer. I think someone earlier mentioned placement, and I agree with this. I don’t know if it is possible, but have you tried diagonal placement? This method can be effective in square rooms.

My 160M’s sound very full in a 13 x 17 room. They are just amazing. My only gripe is moving them out a few feet from the wall on top of my 50 pound stands. For that reason, I bought a pair of RP-5000M towers yesterday. Much easier to move by just grabbing the rear port. Now, to determine if they sound better than the 600’s...

Ah, RP-5000F.  Let us know your thoughts vs the the 600s.  Usually towers will provide more effective mid-bass.  Also the fact that the stands typically don't reinforce bass compared to even a single woofer tower, will make a difference.  I think it has to do with similar function as BSC.  A little help from floor or a solid panel vs an open stand makes a big difference.

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On 7/10/2019 at 7:12 PM, Emile said:

Absolutely ... get a (good quality) CD player.  (If it plays SACD's it's a bonus :) ) I suggest an Oppo 103 or better, or even an inexpensive Sony UBP-x800. In the US they range around $200-$300 ... sorry, but sure it will be a lot more in Bahrain :( 

 

Glad to see you are using flac files to test your system :D  99.9% of youtube downloads are horrible. Share your classical preference :) 

 

By the way ... upgrading is the biggest fun of this hobby.  Try the sub first, then get the bigger towers ... after that get the ...

Yeah youtube is pretty bad. Does anyone here stream high res audio for convenience? Which is the preferred service aside from Tidal? I found Primephonic to be pretty decent (though quality does vary from record to record). I shared a couple of clips above. Let me know what you think, if you get around to listening to them — though you won’t be very impressed with the streaming quality. 

 

I don’t know even have a CD player or any CDs in the house anymore. I’ll try to borrow one to see if it’s worth the hassle and cost. They take quite a bit of space, too, all those CDs. 

 

I think leaning toward the 10 inch SVS makes the most sense at this point. Thanks for the advice!

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7 hours ago, pzannucci said:

I've found dialing in the RP-160Ms running full or close to full range with a set of subs augmenting the bottom can be quite satisfying.  The low end balances the highs much better.  I have RB-5s in the picture vs my RP-160Ms for which the stands were made, but very similar frequency response. Bookshelfs (kind of) at ear height.

FL-system.thumb.jpg.f9611ccf6274f9e8cb56db6aa1943bd6.jpg

Interesting. What’s the size of your room?

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39 minutes ago, Man in the Box said:

Interesting. What’s the size of your room?

That is actually a approx. 24x24x12.

The wall is about 14'.

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On 7/10/2019 at 8:19 PM, glens said:

If by "source" you mean record labels (or whatever they're called now), that's always been an issue on every format in my experience...

 

 

Well, we can flac-encode crap sources, too.  All flac does is ensure the original content will be decoded bit-perfectly to whatever it was that was flac'd.

Yes, I meant the way in which record labels engineer the track or how a flac file is extracted from a CD. I don’t have much knowledge about either, but I think I can tell there being clear differences in quality between different files. I’ve heard mp3s that sound better than some flac files. 

 

On 7/11/2019 at 2:33 AM, garyrc said:

@Man in the Box & @wvu80

 

Paul W. Klipsch said that to get the "blood stirring" level of a full symphony orchestra, you need very brief peaks of 115 dB at your ears (much of that in brass and percussion, and percussion, including piano, needs lots of bass, as Yamaha well knows, since they own image.png.32aaf7512055c19e1026aef31d3cf826.png).   Think of a Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff piano concerto, or the drums in Fanfare for the Common Man or The Firebird).  Here is a portrait of a kick drum.  Notice the 31 Hz part of the boom lasts the longest and goes as loud as any of them.  A big bass drum like in an orchestra (like the Telarc bass drum), since it is bigger, would be deeper.  Tympani are all over the place...

 

I assume the Yamaha has a subwoofer output.  The sub should have its owm amp, built in.

 

The one Yamaha power spec that counts is the 80 watts per channel at low distortion, 20 to 20,000Hz.  The other power specs (at least on the page I saw) are pretty meaningless (e.g., looking at the power available at 1K Hz).  Virtually all AVR, car, and inexpensive home stereo manufacturers have adopted this basic dishonesty.  The same manufacturers are far more objective in rating their separate power amps and preamps.  But I think we can trust the 20 to 20K figure of 80 w.p.c. when running 2 channels.  That will give you, conservatively, the 105 dB peak power the music & movie industries bank on, at any conceivable listening position in your small room.  With speakers less sensitive than Klipsch, you might not get near that.  If you get a subwoofer, and you plan to run the occasional movie, it will need to be able to put out 110 dB peaks, or so, at listening position.

 

Lots of good luck!

 

Thanks very much for your thoughtful post. Had to look up some of the things you’ve discussed. Hope I understood you correctly:

 

When you say x plays at a certain peak decibel, does that mean the volume I’d set would be set at a lower level than the set volume, and that the speakers will briefly exceed it by x number of decibels when listening (vs continuous listening volume)?

 

If so, is my receiver capable of such a performance?

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On 7/11/2019 at 10:21 PM, pzannucci said:

That is actually a approx. 24x24x12.

The wall is about 14'.

Your room is a lot bigger than mine. Ever tried running the 160s with your subs alone? 

 

It’d be great if buying a sub will offer all I need from the system, given the limited space in it.

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4 minutes ago, Man in the Box said:
On 7/10/2019 at 1:19 PM, glens said:

If by "source" you mean record labels (or whatever they're called now), that's always been an issue on every format in my experience...

 

 

Well, we can flac-encode crap sources, too.  All flac does is ensure the original content will be decoded bit-perfectly to whatever it was that was flac'd.

Yes, I meant the way in which record labels engineer the track or how a flac file is extracted from a CD. I don’t have much knowledge about either, but I think I can tell there being clear differences in quality between different files. I’ve heard mp3s that sound better than some flac files. 

 

It's been said, to me back in the '70s, that engineers would at times mix an album using 6x9 car speakers so it would sound best in a car.  I don't know if that's entirely true, but experience through the decades leads me to believe stuff like that goes on.

 

FLAC does not alter the sound quality.  It's completely lossless.  You can encode a digital source and decode to that exact sequence of 1s and 0s each and every time.  If a flac file sounds bad that means the file that was encoded sounded bad to begin with.

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4 minutes ago, glens said:

It's been said, to me back in the '70s, that engineers would at times mix an album using 6x9 car speakers so it would sound best in a car.  I don't know if that's entirely true, but experience through the decades leads me to believe stuff like that goes on.

 

Totally true... Often use different kinds of speakers to try out mixes, make tapes to put in the cars to try out... lots of stuff like that went on.

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5 hours ago, Man in the Box said:

 

...

Thanks very much for your thoughtful post. Had to look up some of the things you’ve discussed. Hope I understood you correctly:

 

When you say x plays at a certain peak decibel, does that mean the volume I’d set would be set at a lower level than the set volume, and that the speakers will briefly exceed it by x number of decibels when listening (vs continuous listening volume)?

 

If so, is my receiver capable of such a performance?

 

Your receiver is capable of such performance in a room your size, with your Klipsches, providing you don't turn the bass way up to make up for your speakers not having enough fullness for orchestral music.   The easiest way to handle this is to have a good subwoofer, which can be turned up a bit, if necessary.

 

With the bass at the Flat, straight up, or neutral position, in your room, at your likely listening distance, your RP160s need a little less than 70 watts per channel to produce 105 dB, the peak level THX says you need.  Since this peak power is only needed for an instant at a time (usually measured in milliseconds), a good receiver considerably less powerful than yours could produce those 105 dB pulses.   A good, full, robust, convincing, loud (ff) level is about 85 to 95 dB, which would take less than 20 watts, with your full 80 watts per channel available for the occasional big peak of 105 dB.

 

 

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Im not a big fan of bookshelf's for mains (even with a sub). Im sure there are lots of great systems that would change my mind (for the record I don't count speakers like heresys as bookshelf).

 

With that said having no used market a sub as recommended already would be the next move. And down the road at some point to get floor standing speakers. The sub would still be an asset with the bigger speakers. The bookshelf's could be sold or moved to surround duty. 

 

Welcome to Klipsch AA. 

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Posted (edited)

Update: I went to the store. They sell Klipsch, Yamaha and B&W speakers and subs, among other things. The place is kind of a showroom (it was a spacious hall) and isn’t optimized for music listening. Perhaps this is the reason why I was unimpressed with what the 12 inch Klipsch sub added to the 260s I demoed there. The 260s of course were great. 

 

Then I got the saleswoman to play their Yamaha record player, which had a John Coltrane and Miles Davis record on. I was blown away. Made me consider buying a record player instead of a sub. But it seems to entail a plenty of running costs.

 

I really want to splurge but can’t figure decide where my money would be best spent. Perhaps a sealed SVS sub in room would add more than what I’ve experienced in the store?

Edited by Man in the Box

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