Hyped high end on Vandersteen 2CE speakers...need input

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hello all -

I'm running Vandersteen 2CE speakers through a cheap Alesis RA-100 amp,
and I realized recently that the high end is (very) significantly
hyped. I don't have another amp to try this on, but would you say it
was the amp causing this hyping, or could it be the speakers? Any
recommendations on a <$400 flat amp? I listen to several recordings
through Sennheiser HD600 premium headphones and am getting a very
different HF response. Any input appreciated!

RB
8 answers Last reply
More about hyped high vandersteen speakers need input
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    rbaulbin@hotmail.com wrote:
    > Hello all -
    >
    > I'm running Vandersteen 2CE speakers through a cheap Alesis RA-100 amp,
    > and I realized recently that the high end is (very) significantly
    > hyped. I don't have another amp to try this on, but would you say it
    > was the amp causing this hyping, or could it be the speakers? Any
    > recommendations on a <$400 flat amp? I listen to several recordings
    > through Sennheiser HD600 premium headphones and am getting a very
    > different HF response. Any input appreciated!

    I used to own a pair of 2CEs and I don't remember them being hyped at
    all. I used them with Counterpoint, Hafler and Golden Tube amps and the
    speakers always took on the character of the amp to a large extent. I
    also have the HD600s and have compared the headphones to speakers many
    times. It's not really a fair comparison, but at least spectral balance
    can be evaluated - taking the room into account with the speakers and
    the difference in the way we hear with headphones, etc.

    I'd say the issue is your amp. I remember a few years back when the
    Mars stores were first getting going. I was down in their Tampa store
    (one of the first) and they had a demo room for monitor speakers and
    amps. We listened to several different amp and speaker combinations,
    but one amp really jumped out as sounding harsh and hyped on the top.
    It was a Mackie power amp. Turns out that it had a "HF lift" switch or
    some similar nonsense - so maybe check your amp for this kind of a
    thing.

    Failing that, I'd definitely suggest to try those speakers with a
    different amp. Bryston, Pass, Hafler Trans Nova, etc.

    If you get a chance to do this, let us know how you fared.

    Karl Winkler
    Lectrosonics, Inc.
    http://www.lectrosonics.com
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    <rbaulbin@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >I'm running Vandersteen 2CE speakers through a cheap Alesis RA-100 amp,
    >and I realized recently that the high end is (very) significantly
    >hyped. I don't have another amp to try this on, but would you say it
    >was the amp causing this hyping, or could it be the speakers? Any
    >recommendations on a <$400 flat amp? I listen to several recordings
    >through Sennheiser HD600 premium headphones and am getting a very
    >different HF response. Any input appreciated!

    I don't know, but I can't imagine an amplifier much worse than the RA-100.
    I'd suggest trying the speakers with an amplifier that has some reasonable
    current-producing ability and see if the bottom end is not somewhat
    better.

    There are plenty of decent amps from Adcom, Parasound, and Hafler. Just
    about anything will be a big step up from the RA-100, but I'd suggest
    a used Adcom GFA-555 as a first try.

    Then again, maybe the speakers aren't voiced the way you want them.
    Without a decent amp, you'll never know, but with an amp you can at
    least make an informed decision.
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    I'd go with the adcom. HD-600's are rolled off at 20k, check the
    frequency plot on those. Many Hi-Fi consumer speakers come with the
    California curve, check their response graphs.

    Jim Williams
    Audio Upgrades
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "Karl Winkler" <karlwinkler66@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:1120685142.999610.113400@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com
    > rbaulbin@hotmail.com wrote:
    >> Hello all -
    >>
    >> I'm running Vandersteen 2CE speakers through a cheap
    Alesis
    >> RA-100 amp, and I realized recently that the high end is
    >> (very) significantly hyped. I don't have another amp to
    try
    >> this on, but would you say it was the amp causing this
    >> hyping, or could it be the speakers? Any recommendations
    on
    >> a <$400 flat amp? I listen to several recordings through
    >> Sennheiser HD600 premium headphones and am getting a very
    >> different HF response. Any input appreciated!

    > I'd say the issue is your amp. I remember a few years back
    > when the Mars stores were first getting going. I was down
    in
    > their Tampa store (one of the first) and they had a demo
    room
    > for monitor speakers and amps. We listened to several
    > different amp and speaker combinations, but one amp really
    > jumped out as sounding harsh and hyped on the top. It was
    a
    > Mackie power amp. Turns out that it had a "HF lift" switch
    or
    > some similar nonsense - so maybe check your amp for this
    kind
    > of a thing.

    Most Mackie power amps have a switch that optimizes their
    frequency response for driving constant-directivity horns,
    which require response that rises at about 6 dB per octave.
    This can also be implmented with a small capacitor in series
    with the speaker, but at a considerable loss of amplifier
    power transfer.

    RA100's do't have a CD horn feature. As a rule they deliver
    fairly flat response into relatively easy speaker loads.
    RA100s don't have true balanced inputs, and don't have
    really good low-impedance load handling. The OP might be
    hearing premature clipping due to operation into a load that
    is outside the RA-100's limited operational envelope.

    If premature clipping is causing the perception of harsh
    respone then an amp with more robust power into low
    impedance loads could be a big improvement. Some more
    modern, and/or Hafler or QSC for example.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Thank you all for the input..

    I'm beginning to think the Digi001 setup I'm running this from might
    have something to do with it, in light of this article:

    http://www.marktaw.com/recording/HomeStudio/Digi001/MeasuringtheDigi001.html

    Is this a possibility?
  6. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <1120794720.718156.134030@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
    <rbaulbin@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >Thank you all for the input..
    >
    >I'm beginning to think the Digi001 setup I'm running this from might
    >have something to do with it, in light of this article:
    >
    >http://www.marktaw.com/recording/HomeStudio/Digi001/MeasuringtheDigi001.html
    >
    >Is this a possibility?

    Yes, that's also definitely a possibility. But swap it out for a
    decent standalone CD player for an afternoon and see.

    If it were me, I'd replace the amp AND get good outboard converters.
    But that's just me.
    --scott

    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  7. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    <rbaulbin@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1120794720.718156.134030@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
    > Thank you all for the input..
    >
    > I'm beginning to think the Digi001 setup I'm running this
    from
    > might have something to do with it, in light of this
    article:
    >
    >
    http://www.marktaw.com/recording/HomeStudio/Digi001/MeasuringtheDigi001.html
    >
    > Is this a possibility?

    Frankly not based on just what these plots plots show,
    particularly

    http://www.marktaw.com/recording/HomeStudio/Digi001/Comparison/Comparison/fr.png

    I see a +0.25 dB rise above 15 KHz, which is very likely to
    be inaudible, let alone being a deal breaker.

    If you want to get some experience with hearing the effects
    of small and large frequency response variations, please
    listen to some of the files you can download from

    http://www.pcabx.com/technical/dips_pips_tips/index.htm

    and

    http://www.pcabx.com/technical/low_pass/index.htm

    I should point out that http://www.marktaw.com/recording
    shows measurements on someone else's equipment operating in
    their environment. There are such things as equipment
    failtures and interface effects, and they could be affecting
    the sound quality where you are.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Stephen Sank <bk11@thuntek.net> wrote:
    >Scott, ya' think the RA100 sounds as bad as a Dyna ST120?

    Well, the ST120 at least has an excuse. Back then folks didn't really
    know the pitfalls of designing with high-gain solid-state stuff. Today
    they do.

    Well, some of them, anyway. Clearly not everyone.
    --scott

    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
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