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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

Monitor Audio RS8 speakers harsh sounding.
Monitor Audio RS8 speakers harsh sounding.
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Old 4th February 2010, 06:18 PM   #1
GooBall is offline GooBall  Greece
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Default Monitor Audio RS8 speakers harsh sounding.

Hi! I have a pair of Monitor Audio RS8 speakers and I find that they sound a bit bright/harsh with music. I am considering upgrading the crossovers, but was wondering if there are other things I could try first.

Any ideas?
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Old 4th February 2010, 06:54 PM   #2
tomtt is offline tomtt
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tube amp(s)
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Old 4th February 2010, 06:58 PM   #3
GooBall is offline GooBall  Greece
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Thanks for the reply!
I know nothing about tube amps. Any ideas as to where to start looking (brand, etc)?
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Old 4th February 2010, 11:33 PM   #4
tomtt is offline tomtt
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Honestly, most of mine, came from the trash.

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Last edited by tomtt; 4th February 2010 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 5th February 2010, 03:24 AM   #5
PeteMcK is offline PeteMcK
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first thing to try is to pad down the tweeters a bit
Impedance varies with frequency, use impedance plots of your drivers and make crossover calculations using the actual impedance of the driver at the crossover frequency
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Old 5th February 2010, 04:21 AM   #6
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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1. Toe-out the loudspeakers first. (rotating away from the listening position.) Also consider some higher freq. absorptive material on the side-wall closest to each loudspeaker.

2. Add a powered subwoofer with an extended low freq. response.

3. Look to an amplifier with a less aggressive top-end. Usually a pure class A solid-state amplifier OR a tube amp with larger output transformers and limited high freq. bandwidth.

and if neccesary:

4. (THEN) look into altering the crossover.

USUALLY the combination of 1 & 2 is sufficient. 1 is the cheapest and easiest "fix", but 2 is what usually "seals the deal" for most people.
perspective is everything
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Old 5th February 2010, 05:29 AM   #7
Lynn Olson is offline Lynn Olson  United States
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I have a Denon home-theater receiver and the sonics are nothing to write home about - apparently, the weak point of these things is the very modest power amplifier section (the power ratings are largely fictitious).

If I didn't already have a pair of over-the-top triode amplifiers, I'd run out and buy Bob Latino's Stereo 70 kit. What I like about the VTA circuit is that it does three very important things:

1) Discards the unreliable and not very linear 7199 input/phase-splitter tube (which was originally chosen because it was a cheap part widely used in the black-and-white televisions of the day). The pentode section, in particular, was never designed for audio use and has quite poor performance in that application.

In addition, there is an outright design error in the original Stereo 70. The 7199 is operated with the (phase-splitter) triode section exceeding the manufacturer's maximum heater-cathode voltage, which over time, causes destruction of the insulating layer of the heater, current flow between the heater and cathode, and failure of the tube. (Thanks to Matt Kamna for spotting that one.)

2) Replaces the split-load inverter with a Mullard input amplifier and phase splitter. The grid of the "bottom" driver is AC-coupled to ground, and DC-coupled to the grid of the "top" driver. This provides the same DC operating point for both tubes, and the phase-splitting action is provided by the common cathode connection and the long-tail resistor.

In other words, at audio frequencies, the driver operates as a differential amplifier for the power tubes. The more linear current available to charge the Miller capacitance of the power tubes, the faster the amp can slew, and the better the HF performance. More current in the driver stage = faster amplifier. This is true for transistor amps as well.

3) As a result, the open-loop bandwidth is greatly improved over the original Dynaco Stereo 70, which results in much lower distortion at the top and bottom of the audio band, as well as better phase margin. The importance of extended open-loop bandwidth cannot be overstated - it's the difference between mushy and distorted sound and clarity and a sense of "ease" with a wide range of program material.

The VTA circuit retains the best part of the original Dynaco (simplicity and value-for-money) while discarding the original set of design compromises. Not really all that expensive, either, considering the VTA/Latino amplifier is comparable or superior to commercial high-end amplifiers in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.

Last edited by Lynn Olson; 5th February 2010 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 5th February 2010, 07:27 AM   #8
chris661 is offline chris661  United Kingdom
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No-one's asked the obvious.

How long have you given them to run-in?
My work: www.grimshawaudio.com
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Old 5th February 2010, 09:45 AM   #9
tvi is offline tvi  Australia
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Cheap, simple, easy to reverse, might be worth trying
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Old 5th February 2010, 10:03 AM   #10
tomewing is offline tomewing  Australia
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As previously mentioned - how long have you had them for? I used to have the RS2s and while I no longer have them, I do think very highly of them. I upgraded from a fairly ordinary pair of speakers and it did take me a long time to mentally adjust. So if you haven't already, give them a few weeks, then try your old ones again if you still have them, and see where you are.

I'm assuming it's not distortion that's causing the impression of harshness. You could consider an active filter to bring down the high end (a low pass shelving filter, see the Linkwitz active filter website). Try a few different values to see if you can get the sound you want. My feeling is you'll need very good measurements and and a lot of time to improve the stock XO.

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