What is wrong with my system

Hi everyone -

I’m posting here because individually I think my components are all good, but together my system is not making music, rather is is making bright bass less noise. Honestly, I’m thinking it’s no one component, but the matching of components that is causing this issue. I would like to get everyone’s opinion as to what I’m hearing. My components are as follows:

B&W 802D (first generation diamond)
Audioquest bi-wired Indigo speaker cables

Classe CAM-200 monoblock amplifiers
Audioquest Water XLR interconnect

Bryston BP26 preamp
Audioquest Water XLR interconnect

Mark Levinson 5100 cd player (PCM slow minimum phase)

thanks in advance.

Mark Levinson 5100 CD player

Have you tried moving around your seating and or your speaker placement. Nothing in your equipment list would really account for the sound as the 802D’s are no bass deficient nor are the CAM mono’s which should be on the warmer side of neutral.

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How’s your room? Hard/soft floor, windows, furniture, size?

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Hi onehorsepony…

How long has it been since you last heard music from your system?

Also since you last heard music from your system have you changed or upgraded any
part of your system? power cables, ic, speaker cables amps preamps dacs etc…

Best wishes

Thanks for the replies so fast.

Let me answer in order:

Finished basement. Dimensions are 18x21. Speakers along the 18’ wall

I listen to the system almost every night. I keep all equipment on at all times (except for storms). I added interconnects and CD player about 2-months ago.

Ok, so did you notice the lack of music occuring after
the new cd player and interconnects?

Thanks, distance of speakers from the back wall? And where are windows? Room height?

before changing out the interconnects and cd player, the sound was dull and congested.

room height 7’, no windows, speakers 3’ from the back wall

Strange… at least in treble a complete change…what cabling/CD did you use before?

In case you have no serious room/placement problem, my basic opinion is, if you don’t want to start with your equipment from scratch, you should try a EQ’ing device like the Decware Z-Rock and solve the further bass problems by moving the speakers forth and back.

My opinion about the equipment combination (although this won’t be your main problem) would not be constructive.

used to use Audioquest RCA Ruby interconnects, and an Arcam CD-72 cd player

Were you ever pleased with the sound?


As Elk mentioned, if it did sound good to you, then look for whatever changed. Your description of the sound is not much to go on. But start with the phase of all connections; positive/negatives should be perfect. If not, the sound can get pretty thin.

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I hate to be so straight, but I think you are the typical common dealer, or audio audio press victim as we all were or are. You’re not more “stupid” than all of us.

No matter how good all our single advices will be, my serious advice, unless you want to spend years and tons of money to be really satisfied, is, to get an onsite consulting of someone who has experience and doesn’t primarily want to sell. Not sure if you will have to spend around 1k for someone like Jim Smith or if you might find a good dealer who trades-in your equipment and just finalizes the deal with you when you heard everything in your home. Anyhow this will be the least and best money you spend in your audio life.

Online, just to get a good and meaningful impression of your room situation, would take a thread and at the end, you’ll have the serious issues slightly improved but no good audio.

I wrote so much because I’m so aware of your problems and want to help, but I’m sure for a self or online cure, it will take longer than you might want. I myself (also due to quite high demands) was near giving up high end audio completely in the past and am now quite the opposite, so I feel with you.

And it’s not a question of price or brand, but effort and time or the right consulting at the right time.

In the past, tone controls, although not high end, saved us thousands of $ by preventing constant equipment/cabling changes.


Hey onehorsepony…

I’m wondering …how long have you had your system ?

Perhaps your system gas not had enough burn in settling in time.

Just thinking about what may have occured with your sustem.
You really have very nice gear…

Best wishes…

Have you measured the room for resonance peaks? A 7 ft ceiling will produce a resonance at ~140hz which can really muddy things up. $20 will get you the AudioTools app for the iPhone or iPad that can help to quickly pinpoint acoustic issues.

My room basement room is roughly the same dimensions with a 7 to 7.5’ ceiling due to bulkheads for ventilation ductwork. My setup sounded god-awful when the speakers were set up on the short wall with one speaker under the bulkhead and the other not. I actually got much better results moving the speakers to the long wall as I was able to get a smoother overall room response. A lot of absorption/diffusion was needed, as well, to smooth out the highs.

Ironically, one of the best rooms I’ve had was an unfinished basement room in a temporary rental with insulated walls and ceilings, but no sheetrock. I bought a roll of closeout grillcloth from (I think) ATS and stapled it to the walls and left the ceiling as-is. A tad on the dead side, but other than that . . .


Empty room, naked ceiling and walls, floor?

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

As suggested by others, I would play around with speaker position and consider room treatments. I’ve found that often when changing equipment, adjusting position (speaker and seating) are usually a necessary evil.

Upgrading equipment and interconnects can make the sound much more revealing, and if you’ve got lots of reflections (7ft ceilings, ahem), that added detail can become harsh real quick and bass traps in corners and absorbers at first reflections can work miracles and collectively cost less than one of your new interconnects.

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always check the obvious first: are your channels out of phase?
that can sound like lacking bass and over brightness.