Help with Warmth vs Detail

The last 10 years has been a struggle of Warmth vs Detail in my system. For better or worse the Detail group has been winning most of the battles. Most mods or changes brings out more detail but most of the time at the cost of warmth(realness). Yes, you can hear the proverbial mouse running across the back wall in the recording studio. However, I don't seem to be able to combine that detail with the warmth I seek. Expecting too much?
Some details:
I have the same room(12 x17 x8, modest room mods, full floor carpet, corner tube traps, first reflection absorption panels on the side walls, rear wall and wood ceiling.)
Dynaudio 1.3 mk2, Diy cat5 cables, Diy Belden 1695a coax with Eichman bullet interconnects, Tube mono block with Mullard/seimens/teles/you name it input tubes, mullard or tele drivers, Flying J EL34s. Only inline cap is one Mcap silver/oils(in the amps, back to back silmics in the Denon dac) and Caddock TF resistors.
This part of the system has been much the same(sans the philips/denon) over the period with minor changes.
I have used The following sources with and without an Audible Illussion 2a pre, as the mono amps have a volume control(carbon and conductive plastic pots have been used);
Arcam Alpha 5, Philips dvd963, Magnavox cd563, Denon 1500, Nakamichi player 4, Adcom gcd700 and now a Philips/Denon dvd5000(transport/dac). All with extensive mods. Some of these player had an external 6922 tube stage(TDA1541a). I like the PCM1704 sound better. The others had opamp rolling.
It seems that all PS improvements/changes and SPDIF cable mods really bring out the detail, but again at the cost of warmth. I did notice that the "digities" with this new Philips/Denon combo has all but disapeared, a welcomed change, with clear and non fatigueing sound. But still thin to me.
Has anyone been able to get that warmth with detail, and if so, what was the magic that made it happen? I guess I'm looking for the silver bullet! I was thinking of changing the amp driver load resistor from the existing Caddock mp925(20k, 5 watt minimum) to a Mills. Any Ideas?
 

Jay

Banned
2003-02-11 9:02 am
Jakarta
Are you sure the tube amp can drive those Dynaudio well?

I think there will always be "warmth vs detail" but when detail starts to be preferred then it is usually a good sign.

Good PS will improve the detail but may "kill" the warmth with its poor impedance. Use CLC or shunt regulation anywhere. No 78xx/79xx for sure (some expensive devices still use it). CLC for tube heater is a must.

May be the silmics is not a good idea. I know that your setup shows that you like "detail" more than "warmth" but it could be the effect of improper warmth in your system (and lack of detail) due to insufficient drive of the loudspeaker.
 
Power is no problem

Thanks for the reply. The amps are rated at 250va each. The output transformer has a 3.75 ohm tap so I think this area is quite fine. I understand the difficulties with getting the warmth and detail at the same time. I have read that back to back connected electrolytic caps negate most of there shortcomings in a signal coupling usage(?). Silmics have a good reputation for signal passing and decoupling, the dac system in the denon used them exclusively for all electrolytic needs, including decoupling. Just wondering if anyone has really modded their way into this combination, warmth and detail. Somewhat subjective, yeah.
 
Eq tweak for the purist? I guess I have used this on the car system, and it sound good there. I was hoping to avoid additional items in the signal path. I always thought the Equalizer would phase shift or distort, maybe there is a good one out there!

Changing speakers is a possibility. I have somewhere an double set of old(1970's) large Advents somewhere. Warmer maybe, but not as distortion free as the Dynaudios. I remember the brightness control making them somewhat strident sounding. Maybe a bit of crossover moding would help.

Anyone out there have any components that where changed that help the warmth without losing detail?
 
The last 10 years has been a struggle of Warmth vs Detail in my system. For better or worse the Detail group has been winning most of the battles. Most mods or changes brings out more detail but most of the time at the cost of warmth(realness). Yes, you can hear the proverbial mouse running across the back wall in the recording studio. However, I don't seem to be able to combine that detail with the warmth I seek. Expecting too much?

...

It seems that all PS improvements/changes and SPDIF cable mods really bring out the detail, but again at the cost of warmth. I did notice that the "digities" with this new Philips/Denon combo has all but disapeared, a welcomed change, with clear and non fatigueing sound. But still thin to me.
Has anyone been able to get that warmth with detail, and if so, what was the magic that made it happen? I guess I'm looking for the silver bullet! I was thinking of changing the amp driver load resistor from the existing Caddock mp925(20k, 5 watt minimum) to a Mills. Any Ideas?
The quick answer is, yes. And the somewhat unpleasant answer to the 2nd part, is that it depends!! The silver bullet, as in something one can add, like a magic exilir, to any system to transform it into a "perfect" reproducing machine does not exist!!

That said, you're well on your way to getting there. Detail needs to come before "warmth", which is actually a term meaning "lack of distortion". If you get the level of audible distortion below a certain point then every recording becomes warm, as in, enjoyable to listen to. Chucking away detail is an easy solution, but hasn't solved the problem; it's effectively just throwing a heavy army blanket over the speakers, so you don't hear the problems ...

Anyway, I won't rabbit on; if you tune in at all to my point of view give me a yell, so I know it's worthwhile continuing ... :D, ;)

Frank
 
Could it be as simple as a slight eq tweak?

Almost certainly.

IME, the Fostex FExxx drivers sound "detailed" but rarely "warm". They usually have a tilted-up frequency response.

Larger speakers with full BSC would carry significantly more energy in the 2-500Hz range (where oft-used horns etc for the Fostexes don't provide much), giving them a relatively "warm" sound.

Its quite easily demonstrable. Those active Behringers can go from warm and cuddly to thin and detailed by altering the BSC by a couple of dB.

Chris
 

Jay

Banned
2003-02-11 9:02 am
Jakarta
Its quite easily demonstrable. Those active Behringers can go from warm and cuddly to thin and detailed by altering the BSC by a couple of dB.

Expensive speakers rarely use the BSC trick. Even if the Dynaudio woofer is relatively small in diameter, the low frequency performance is achieved by lowering the sensitivity a-la LS3/5A.

Speakers like the 1.3 will shine with amplifiers that can drive low impedance load well. I'm not familiar with high power tube amp circuits, but I think it doesn't equate to higher damping proportionally and automatically.

The output transformer is the key for voltage to current transformation. For high power amp this is getting expensive and critical. I guess this high power amp in used can be Chinese made or DIY with OT much less than the quality of Tango/Tamura.
 

Jay

Banned
2003-02-11 9:02 am
Jakarta
Detail needs to come before "warmth", which is actually a term meaning "lack of distortion". If you get the level of audible distortion below a certain point then every recording becomes warm, as in, enjoyable to listen to. Chucking away detail is an easy solution, but hasn't solved the problem; it's effectively just throwing a heavy army blanket over the speakers, so you don't hear the problems ...

"Warmth" usually refers to "friendly" distortion. High order distortion or good THD spectrum.

In this system, the final chain is the tube amp driving the Dynaudio. This determines the "warmth" of the system. "Detail" can be achieved by lowering distortion of the front end, or even using Cat5 style capacitive cable. We can see that OP has put the effort to improve the detail more than keeping the maximum warmth.

In above case, the tube amp coupled with the Dynaudio can be the bottleneck. Tube amp is usually a distortion machine, and hundreds of watts may mean even stronger distortion machine, especially given a difficult speaker load such as the Dynaudio.

I guess I would prefer Aleph X in this situation. For solid state, it needs vertical mosfet in class-A to approach the warmth of a tube amp.
 
Thanks for the exchanges. I don't want to go the equalizer route, as I would live with the system as is first.

These amps are unique, as they are high quality instrumentation amps built for the like of NASA and the Bureau of Standards, with very high quality parts and transformers. They were built to drive difficult loads, 200va and stable with loads of +and - 1PF, that is fully capactive to fully inductive loads. The Dynaudios are impedance compensated, and should be an easy drive for these amps. I pick the dynas for there "revealling, accurate" reputation. Additionally, the amps have an adjustment that will dial out the internal impedance of the amps and I believe giving them as close to infinite damping as possible.

I did change the MF grid stoppers on the EL34s to CF, which took away some of the sparkle, without reducing the usable detail. In other words, going towards my tastes.

Anyone there have other Ideas?
 
Get rid of the Dynaudios, seriously. They are very near field monitors,not fullrange living room loudspeakers, it's a mistake to use loudspeskers like these for such apllication.

A small loudspeaker like that will never give the sound you like.
These Dyanaudios have two very serious shortcomings. One, they are just too small. Warmth with detail is possible, very simple even but it is never ever going to work with small woofers, sorry. You will need large woofers with low rms values to accomplisch this.
 
I did change the MF grid stoppers on the EL34s to CF, which took away some of the sparkle, without reducing the usable detail. In other words, going towards my tastes.

Anyone there have other Ideas?
Real music has sparkle, tons of "usable" detail. And it's also what's on the recording. Unfortunately for a lot of systems, if they are improved to the point of revealing that reasonably correctly then they also make the remaining distortion in the playback chain very obvious, and disturbing.

So then one has two options: accept that residual audible distortion as being inevitable, and spice it up in various ways, "flavour" it to suit one's preferences; or, attempt to eliminate it completely. Personally, I've found the latter route to be more satisfying in the long term ... :)

Frank
 
Size Counts?

I was under the impression from others/reviews that the dyna 1.3mk2 was an accurate and neutral speaker. I am using them in a 5.2 x 3.7 x 2.5 mtr room. Close field listening is possible, and I have done extensive speaker position experiments to find the best location. Also have many room acoustic mods in place.

Not sure how big woofers help midrange warmth, the area I would like to improve.
Does size really count here? I seem to recall that some BBC monitors and other British brands have very nice warm sound. Dynas are maybe not the warmest. However, I am looking for an accurate, detailed warm type of sound. I don't need to move lots of air to achieve the warm sound as I listen to simple acoustic music, with and occasional romp thru light 70's rock. I have used larger speaker systems in the past, didn't find them useful in a small room.
 
Masking the sound

Hi Frank, I know what you are saying. I have been modding this system for over ten years, yes the same components sans the cd player. I am some what of a minimalist at heart. CD player, amps, speakers. One cap(Mcap sil/oil) in the signal path, one on/off switch. I don't wish to mask anything. Others suggested tone controls, not here thanks.

Detail is important for soundstage presentation. I have that. Like I said before, you can hear the defect in the heartbeat of the mouse that ran across the recording studio back wall. Maybe that is what is bothering me.

I live at 2000 mtrs, thinner air have an effect on sound transfer? Looking to just add warmth, not reduce the highs or detail................
 
OK, you're essentially in the same zone as me, in terms of your approach, and I think the main trick will be to get the language used by us to synchronise. You keep mentioning warmth, and I'm still not sure precisely what you mean by the term -- put it this way, do you find real instruments warm? If you had real musicians in your room, playing the music you're listening to, would you find it less pleasant to listen to than the sound you're after ... ?

Frank
 
Others suggested tone controls, not here thanks.
Is it just me, or after a while of listening to a particular pair of speakers in a particular room, doesn't everyone begin to crave the opposite of whatever peaks, troughs and phase anomalies it's giving them? The active DSP person is able to subtly tweak the sound at the push of a button every now and again. This may be perceived as a failure to find the perfect setup, but I imagine the same thing would happen if you had to listen to live music constantly from a single position in a concert hall. I'm glad I've got the DSP to play with rather than having to expensively churn gear constantly just to avoid the ignominy of employing tone controls!
 
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First, I don't spend money changing equipment. I like what I have. Just one resistor change can make as much difference in the sound in a very revealing system. I am looking for a component change to warm the already tweaked system I have.

More warmth is what I would like. I listen to acoustic music most of the time. What I hear now is very detailed, piano bench creaks, picked string, fingers across the surface of the guitar etc. What I want or seem to be lacking is the smoothness of the vibrating string/decay in both instruments. You can hear the piano hammer strike, but the string soundslike a hard pure tone without harmonics. For the lack of a better word, clinical or hifi....

The highs are not fatigueing, just up front.
 
This may be perceived as a failure to find the perfect setup, but I imagine the same thing would happen if you had to listen to live music constantly from a single position in a concert hall.
This certainly demonstrates that people have different ways of listening to music; if I was hearing a live, world class performance by talented musicians, the last thing on my mind would be that were FR irregularities in what was going on ... :rolleyes:

Frank