Why don't my Wilmslows sing?

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I visited my brother on the weekend and listened to his Dynaudio Contour 1.3MkII speakers and I have to say that I was very impressed.

The problem is that when I came home and listened to my Wilmslow Vogues (SS 18W8545 D2905/9500) I was quite disappointed. There is a distinct lack of bass and very little soundstage in comparison to the Dynaudios. The whole sound was rather flat.

My question is can my relatively cheap amp/cd player (Arcam Alpha)r eally make so much difference to my speakers performance? Can the room size/shape and speaker positioning affect the sound so much?

I know that my drivers should deliver a similar level of performance as the Dynaudios and I know that Wilmslow are well respected but why such a huge difference in performance?

Any suggestions welcome.

Big A
 
My question is can my relatively cheap amp/cd player (Arcam Alpha)r eally make so much difference to my speakers performance? Can the room size/shape and speaker positioning affect the sound so much?

Al of the above can make a huge difference. It may be a good plan to borrow some of your brothers components over a weekend. At least it will help you get some point of reference.
 
It sounds like you have one of your Vogues out of phase, check the wiring.

I found the contour 1.3 mkII dull, with ill-defined bass with respect to my own wilmslow home studio monitors. Personally; i found the bass of the smaller contour 1.1 much more accurate and enjoyable.

The wilmslow products are generally voiced neutral, so may sound a bit thin compared to comercial boxes that have a circa 100 Hz hump, to make them sound bigger than they are. But IMO that neutrallity is what makes for a long-term enjoyable, exciting sound.

Your tweeter should also be standing out as being a long way ahead of the contour unit.

Mark
 
Thanks for the replies, its good to be reassured that Wilmslow know what they are doing.

As for transporting equipment about, my brother has kindly informed me that his equipment isn't going anywhere! Nice eh. I suppose he does live 200 miles away.

I'm currently building a gainclone using Brians LM3875 PCBs so hopefully that will improve things. The quoted sensitivity is ~88 so hopefully the gainclone shoould be fine for moderate listening levels. I will also probably be looking to build a DAC at some point, maybe a Scott Nixon kit.

My wife is going to visit family for a couple of weeks soon so I think I'll have a play at moving my speakers into various different positions in the room and also get the amp closer to the speakers.

@Mark

I checked the wiring and everthing appears to be connected as it should be. Should I try switching reds for black to see what happens?
 
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@Mark

I checked the wiring and everthing appears to be connected as it should be. Should I try switching reds for black to see what happens? [/B]

Having both speakers out of phase is unlikely to produce the big effect you are looking for, you could try tho....... try swapping just one out of interest. Are you 100% sure the internal speaker wiring is correct?
 
I bought the speakers 2nd hand and I've never opened them up but I'd be very surprised if the internal wiring wasn't correct. The cabinets looked very well built so I'd imagine the same care was given to the crossovers.

I'll try switching the phase on one of them tonight but to be honest I imagine that their placement in the room and the shape of the room is the main problem. Unfortunately I'll have to wait for the wife to be away before playing with that.

Thanks all

Al
 
Even if care was used when constructing the crossovers internally, it is still rediculously easy to accidentally hook up the tweeter with the incorrect polarity, especially if you build the second one on a different day to the first. I wouldnt count this out as a possability, although unlikely if another person has lived with them.

If indeed one is completely out of phase with the other a reversal of the wiring from the amp to the speakers will resolve this really easily. One way will have bass, one wont. You will still have the extension but the bass will have no power whatsoever.

If the speakers are indeed 88dB then that means they either have misquoted sensativity or zero bafflestep compensation, try moving them closer to the back walls and see if this improves things.
 
5th has probably nailed it, if Wilmslow have chosen to preserve sensitivity then BSC is inadequate and they will never sound warm wherever you place them. Even if you get a better low bass level close to the wall, the upper bass/lower mid area will be depressed and voices/ cellos/basses etc. will sound thin.
You could ask wilmslow how they have voiced these- or if you have the component values of the xover handy see if the series inductance on the bass is less than say 1.5mH. If it is then you will always find them a little light sounding.
It may be that a different crossover would suit your tastes more- wilmslows choice of balance may not be the same as yours....
 
Cheers Float,

I do have a schematic of the crossover from Wilmslow so I'll dig it out and have a look (i'll try to scan it in if I can find a scanner at work). I know that the crossover was different from their usual one for the Vogues as the previous owner upgraded the tweeter to the 9500 from 9300. Wilmslow modelled a new crossover for this new combination.

Al
 
crossover for 18W/8545 and D2905/9500

This is the crossover modelled in LEAP for the upgraded tweeter in the Wilmslow Vogue. What do you guys think? Cabinets are 33L.

A
 

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Hi Waltona,

got to admit this looks a little off to my (inexpert:D ) eyes, though its risky to judge sound from a schematic.

Wilmslow seem to have used quite high-Q (peaky) slopes, and baffle step is not fully compensated, so I would guess these sound a little 'middy'. 33 litres is also a big box for these drivers; maybe bass is a bit bloated?

Disclaimer time: I've not heard or measured these, and Wilmslow obviously have, so please take my comments with a pinch of salt.

If these were mine I would change the bass coil to 1.8mH, the bass cap to 10uF and add a zobel across the woofer (maybe 8.2 ohm +4.7uF). Change the tweet resistors to 3.9 and 8 ohms and have a listen- should be much richer now, but maybe a bit recessed in the mid. Increasing the tweeter coil to 700 or 800mH may help here.
Measurement gear, an endless supply of components and weeks off work are also useful.
It can be quite easy to get a good sounding design, but very difficult to get a GREAT one. Your drivers have massive potential, and as you dont like the current sound, why not have a play.

I recently heard the dyn contour 1.4's and coming home was a revelation. The dynamic freedom and openess of the 8545 in the bass (and mid) was on a different planet to the dyns.

So, the question is- do you want to open Pandora's box? :devilr:
 
Cheers for all you help float.

When you say the crossover seems a bit 'off', is it far enough off to make the drivers sound pants? (IYHO) or should I concentrate on improving my amp/ speaker positioning etc. first. Could it really be affecting the bass response that much?

I'm just thinking how my missus would react to me pulling them to pieces. ;)

I know at some point I just won't be able to resist having a play!

Al
 
float said:
..............

I recently heard the dyn contour 1.4's and coming home was a revelation. The dynamic freedom and openess of the 8545 in the bass (and mid) was on a different planet to the dyns.

................

That's the same experience i've had with wilmslow's designs against the dyns, Wilmslows gear is a class above. Which is why i urge looking for a fault with this particular speaker, rather than a design problem.
 
What about a potential fault in the cabinet construction? To me it looks as thought the cabinets were a true DIY construction. The port has been moved to the rear of the cabinet, the finish isn't the greatest I've seen. Would poorly constructed cabinets cause the sort of problems that I'm experiencing?

I had a look inside the cabinet and it did appear (from the little I could see) that they may have been sectioned off just below the bass driver, i.e. a standmount cabinet converted into a florrstander. Of course I may've been mistaken (I'll take a 8545 out to get a better look when I get a chance) but I assume this would make a huge difference.

Wilmslow charge ~150pounds for flat pack cabinets plus veneer. Quite expensive if it doesn't make any difference.

Al
 
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