Jump to content

Distortion on Some Tracks (Particular Resonance Problem?)(Heresy IV)


daviswinchester
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone, 

 

I noticed that when listening to one particular album (Oklou's Galore) via my DAC, I'm getting heavy distortion in the mid driver and tweeter when there's a loud bass note in the song. For instance, on "Unearth Me," when there is a bass hit accompanied by vocals, the vocals will distort.

 

I cannot get the speakers to distort under ear bleeding levels with other tracks / albums even with very heavy bass. What concerns me is that I know I've had great experiences with this album in the past WITH the Heresy IV's, so I'm wondering if something happened to my speakers that dislodged something. I'm not sure what it would be. I haven't moved them around or anything. 

 

Since the distortion is only showing up when the woofer is loaded WITH the mid driver and tweeter, I'm assuming the speakers aren't blown. Is it possible that a particular album is running at a resonant frequency with the speakers and causing distortion? Not sure what to do. I even swapped speakers, swapped mono blocks, swapped cables etc. all of the way up the chain, and I can't pin point anything wrong with the rest of the system. 

 

Maybe I should just forget it. I guess what troubles me is that I know I've listened to that album before without this happening, so I'm not sure. 

 

I would appreciate any advice or experience here!

 

Thanks in advance, 

Davis 

 

edit: oh I guess it would help to know the chain. roon > tidal > raspberry pi w/ roopie > modi dac (mostly an analogue listener) > quicksilver pre amp > quicksilver horn mono blocks > heresy IV

 

 

Edited by daviswinchester
adding in audio chain
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, billybob said:

Hello, try a different source just to check speakers and, if possible, take DAC out to check that particular source.

Interesting...

 

I actually CAN get distortion on my vinyl copy IF I crank the bass on my EQ (not something I'm ever likely to do). Can't really get any other copy to distort. I've listened to the album in a lot of different formats and I know the distortion that I'm experiencing isn't ingrained in the album. It almost sounds like a blown tweeter / mid driver when it happens, but I don't think that's the case.  I wasted a day losing my mind over this issue. Perhaps I should just give it up, but I thought people more knowledgeable than I might have had similar experiences to draw on. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, pbphoto said:

That track has a ton of bass.  Maybe something else in the room is vibrating at the resonate frequency?

 

I thought the same thing. I just posted a link to a video. The distortion is certainly coming from the mid driver and the tweeter though. I did put my ear up close to them to test as I was losing my mind yesterday. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, daviswinchester said:

I noticed that when listening to one particular album (Oklou's Galore) via my DAC, I'm getting heavy distortion in the mid driver and tweeter when there's a loud bass note in the song. For instance, on "Unearth Me," when there is a bass hit accompanied by vocals, the vocals will distort.

 

Just for clarity…. Is the distortion tracking with the volume level you are playing at. (Ie: does the distortion go away at lower volumes)..?

 

Is the distortion the same in both speakers…?

 

I’m not familiar with your digital equipment chain but based on some recent experiences with a friends system we found some digital set-up options that were wrong and the symptoms exhibited as intermittent distortion in the mid/hi frequencies especially noticeable on the vocals on many recordings.

 

miketn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create a CD with test tones (sine waves) spaced every third octave (at least). If it is distorting, you will hear a "harshness". At what frequency does that occur? This will help narrow down whether it is a driver or a rattle in your cabinet. Determine the frequency, don't try and guess the frequency.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

edit: oh I guess it would help to know the chain. roon > tidal > raspberry pi w/ roopie > modi dac (mostly an analogue listener) > quicksilver pre amp > quicksilver horn mono blocks > heresy IV

 

 

Edited 56 minutes ago by daviswinchester
adding in audio chain

Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, mikebse2a3 said:

 

Just for clarity…. Is the distortion tracking with the volume level you are playing at. (Ie: does the distortion go away at lower volumes)..?

 

Is the distortion the same in both speakers…?

 

I’m not familiar with your digital equipment chain but based on some recent experiences with a friends system we found some digital set-up options that were wrong and the symptoms exhibited as intermittent distortion in the mid/hi frequencies especially noticeable on the vocals on many recordings.

 

miketn

Yes, the distortion is at least very minimal at lower volumes on this album. I found that the same recording would distort via lp format if bass was boosted or driven to extremely loud levels, but not at a normal listening volume. I could cause distortion with the LP version if I boosted my bass via the equalizer in the analog chain, but that's not something I would typically do. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, PrestonTom said:

Create a CD with test tones (sine waves) spaced every third octave (at least). If it is distorting, you will hear a "harshness". At what frequency does that occur? This will help narrow down whether it is a driver or a rattle in your cabinet. Determine the frequency, don't try and guess the frequency.

I've ran several frequency sweeps and test tones through the speakers (yesterday). I can't get the distortion to occur at any particular frequency, only at that combination of frequencies (bass at whatever frequency the track is at + higher frequencies) no single frequency or frequency range causes distortion, it seems to be a combination of multiple frequencies. I hope that makes sense.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's hard to hear from that clip.  It's a funky track that I'm not familiar with so I don't know how it should sound.

 

Do you have headphones?  Do you hear it through headphones?  Is it coming from both H4's or just one?

 

I play that track from Qobuz --> Roon --> macbook or Sonus and I don't hear distortion - just an asston of bass.  I can't run it through my H3's or Lascalas right now.

 

Do you have roon volume leveling set to auto?  Does roon give you another version to try in Tidal?  Just brainstorming.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, pbphoto said:

It's hard to hear from that clip.  It's a funky track that I'm not familiar with so I don't know how it should sound.

 

Do you have headphones?  Do you hear it through headphones?  Is it coming from both H4's or just one?

 

I play that track from Qobuz --> Roon --> macbook or Sonus and I don't hear distortion - just an asston of bass.  I can't run it through my H3's or Lascalas right now.

 

Do you have roon volume leveling set to auto?  Does roon give you another version to try in Tidal?  Just brainstorming.

 

 

 

I should probably get another clip of it. That's a clip I sent to one of my more audio knowledgeable friends. It happens mainly in the first 20ish seconds of that clip and then again in the last two. Almost sounds like something is clipping. I should probably try to play the track via another line level source into the amp. I guess because I could get the same distortion via LP (with boosted bass) I assumed I could get it with any source, but it's worth a shot. I should also say that when I adjust my roon EQ to lower the 50-80z range just  2-3 db, the track doesn't distort. If its the case that I'm maxing out the speaker somehow (I've never really tried to max it out) then with this track it's happening at low db levels (just fill up the room type sound). 

 

I've been listening to other music all night without any distortion. I figured if I was maxing out the bass on the speaker I would hear distortion via the woofer, not the tweeter. Either way you are right, there's an asston of bass on that song - it seems that producer sort of overblows the bass intentionally. I think my concerns here might sound particularly crazy. A normal listener would probably say "whelp my speakers can't handle that album" or something. In my mind the album is simply presenting a problem that need to be solved, but maybe I should just write it off. 

 

I will try running the youtube through airplay to try the track. (Just played the track via youtube at high levels with much LESS distortion, just a little. Maybe the decreased dynamic range helps out a bit? Maybe I'm going insane and I really am just maxing out the speakers somehow.)

 

I just checked the roon auto levelling function which was off. I'll turn it to auto now. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it only on, or predominately on, the LP version at high volume & boosted bass?

 

Could it be mistracking exacerbated by vibration traveling to the phono cartridge/stylus?  When I had that years ago (Ortofon moving coil/SME arm/Thorens table), it sure sounded like it was in the midrange/treble.  The cure was increasing tracking force (but still within manufacturer's specs).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you need to rule out mechanical noises first. Pull midrange out check tightness of driver to horn....check all screws etc. 

Check the jumpers and wired connections. I have found a lot of jumpers loose on a lot pf problems of my friends. 

Twist all the RCA connectors to check those connections. 

Then go to the equipment try different recording or source with that song on it. If it can be checked with headphones that would help also. 

Is it on one speaker will it do it in mono on other speaker??? Switch speakers left to right. 

Hope one of those ideas helps. 

I think if it was speaker it would do it all the time. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are useful tips from the participants to rule out what other causes could be. (both Heresys with the same symptoms?, without or with symptoms over headphones? Or to test your amp with, same symptoms with other speakers?
Following suggestion. My guess is if it's really the speaker itself that it sounds to me more like the bass chassis, maybe the coil or other vibration when something isn't glued together properly. Or it is mechanical parts that resonate, or the chassis is not properly screwed and you can hear a screw or the frame of the chassis vibrate. 


The Heresy 4 has separate terminals for bass and treble. Can you listen to the same part of the song again and remove the bridges between the terminals first? And connect only the bass driver without the treble input.
If my guess is correct then you should hear the scratching much more clearly when the midrange and tweeter are not running. You could even localize it because it would be the only high tones.

Just in case ,everything is flawless then repeat the process and connect only the treble to see if there are any errors. But don't do it if you have a tube amp, it could be damaged. If you only hear the bass, it's ok for a tube amp.
A transistor amp can be connected without problems only to the high frequency input.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The track, for some reason, seems exceptionally hard to reproduce faithfully on any of my highly resolving systems (headphone setupts, secondary setup), but all of my other systems handle it a bit better than my main. I have a feeling the track really pushes the 20 watts I am sending to the heresy's with all of that bass, it's just odd that other bass heavy tracks don't do the same thing. I am at the point that I am going to blame the recording, but that does feel like a bit of a copout. 

 

After a few days of listening, I CAN get the Heresies to distort at incredibly loud volumes, so I'm wondering if that track is just maxing them out at a much much lower level? 

 

I will try to plug in other speakers with the amp tonight, but I believe I only have one set of speakers around that the 20 watts can drive effectively.

 

I do have tube amps, so thank you for the heads up on sending only the high input signal to the speakers. 

 

I have switched the speakers around, the distortion remains on the same channel, so I don't believe it's an issue with the speakers exactly. I have swapped line out from the pre amp, and the distortion will follow whichever channel is the right channel in that track. I cranked the track even louder, and both speakers distort, which again leads me to believe it's the track itself. Both pre amp channels and tubes are fine, the tubes in the mono blocks are fine, the output cables have been switched from the dac, so the dac is fine, and like I said the speakers distort on this album whether it's vinyl or digital. I am able to essentially eliminate the distortion but lowering the bass a bit on the equalizer that I have in my analog chain. 

 

So essentially I'm left with two considerations: 1.  Something in the speakers is resonating an causing distortion, or 2. I'm simply "maxing out" the speakers, and for some reason on this track it happens at a really low volume. 

 

I'm leaning on #2 if only because I was able to get the speakers to do the same thing on tracks like Massive Attack's "Angel" last night, but only at blistering db levels. I can essentially mimic the problem with most bass heavy tracks, but the problem doesn't present itself until I'm at a highly uncomfortable db level. It's certainly possible I'm chasing a problem that isn't really a problem. Last night I had a friend tell me, "don't blow out your speakers trying to figure out if your speakers are blown," and I think at this point the best option is just to keep listening at manageable levels to various genres and see if the problem ever presents itself at listenable levels. I have no idea why this album is such a problem even compared to other tracks with really heavy bass, regardless of input source / type. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How loud is loud?  Have you measured the SPL with a meter set on "fast," at "C" or "Z" weight (to measure the bass as well, instead of rolling it off the way "A" weight would)? 

 

On your record, one channel (the one the distortion stays with) could easily have much more bass than the other one.

 

It's easy to assume that 20 watts is enough, given the high efficiency (sensitivity) of Klipsch speakers -- I make that assumption -- but you are turning both the volume and the bass up (I don't blame you!).  So, lets go through the steps.

  • The sensitivity of the Heresy IV is specified by Klipsch as 99 dB in an average living room [not in an anechoic chamber.  (A Klipsch engineer -- not Roy -- said the sensitivity of Klipsch speakers in an anechoic chamber is about 4 dB less).
  • Is your room average in liveness?
  • How far away do you sit?
  • How big is your room in cubic feet?  In the USA, typical is about 3,000 cu.ft.
  • Indoors, one loses about 3 dB for each doubling of distance (not the 6 dB one loses outdoors).

So, if you sit 13 feet away (~~4 meters), that's 2 doublings, so you would get 93 dB at 1 watt. 

1w - 93 dB

2w - 96 dB

4w - 99 dB

8w -102 dB

16w-105 dB

32w-108 dB (with a bit of dynamic headroom for instantaneous peaks).

 

Dolby/THX figures peaks of 100 dB full scale in our reduced size rooms (compared to a big hall), but that is above about 80 Hz.  Below 80 Hz, a separate subwoofer is allotted 110 dB in our rooms.  If you are cranking it up that far, with no subwoofer, you might be needing about 53 watts on instantaneous peaks (an amp rated at 26.5 watts if it has truly excellent headroom)!  So, could it be just barely clipping, or just barely overheating the tweeter or midrange voice coil, as clipping is wont to do?

 

Addendum: One more thing to consider.  Is your last name Winchester?  In California there is the Winchester Mystery House.  The place is full of ghosts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...