Dissapointed with my new speakers


So a couple of weeks ago I replaced my 2 year old Klipsch RB25 bookshelves with a pair of B&W DM603 S2 floorstanders. When I first auditioned them I fell in love with their resolution and clarity however having lived with them for two weeks now, I am very dissapointed in the low-end and to a much lesser extent, the midrange.

On most songs, the bottom end seems very lacking compared to the Klipsch bookshelves and simply pales in comparison to the Klipsch RF82s we have in the living room. In addition the mid-range seems a little over emphasized. I can probably get used to the mid-range however, the lack of low end impact I probably couldn't get used to. I was thinking about adding a subwoofer but a half-decent one would start around $250 and go up from there and the speakers themselves are worth around $450-500. This got me thinking, maybe I should just switch to a different pair of speakers instead of trying to make the current system sound better. What do you guys suggest?

P.S.-I'm in Hawai'i so while I'm open to used speakers, shipping here will usually run about $250+ for floorstanders so I'd only have about $500 for the speakers.
skyline889
Mb9061,

If you are talking about the MA Gold series - they have a reputation for being overly bright - while the Silver and Bronze series (less expensive!) sound pretty darn good.
If you have the ability to drive and place these speakers in your listening room;what about magnepan speakers;any interest in trying a planar? I believe they offer a 30 day in home trial on their entry level pair and there are several used for sale now that fall within your pricing.
A little long but a "fast read" - I have mains that play flat to 50 Hz, and drop off from 40 to 20 Hz. Although they sound good full range, something was wrong.

I fully read through my processors and subwoofers set-up recommendations. Then, I sat down with a test CD and analog sound level meter in my listening position. Using graph paper, I graphed out my Mains frequency responses in dB's. I used 75 dB as a reference level for my Mains and looked for the obvious spot that the bass rolls off.

At the frequency roll off point, or very near to it, I identified the best place to cross over my subwoofer. When tested at 40, 50 and 60 Hz, 50 was almost the perfect crossover ticket.

How about automatically crossing over at the THX recommended 80? I tried it. They sound much better playing as low as they can play with a flat response. The lower the crossover point, generally the better from my research.

My fronts have 15 inch woofers. After I crossed over a SVS Ultra 13 at 50 Hz, I adjusted the "Q" - to flatten out the subwoofer peak at 80 Hz in that exact room position.

This final "Q" adjustment resulted in shocking clarity, balance and involvement improvements throughout the volume range. This simple set-up helped identify the exact spot to engage your mains with a musical subwoofer, and allow the mains to play their best notes with consistant balance and clarity.

If I left my fronts alone, they'd sound good, but the music below 50 Hz would be begging for volume adjustments and mess up the overall system balance when turned up. Like yours, the mids and highs would be too dominant.

Once everything is set-up, I rechecked it with the sub crossed over and turned on. I saw a very flat dB response all across the Hz range right at my listening position.

My processor allows me to turn off the sub and send full range to all speakers except when in analog Multi-Channel. It definately sounds better with the sub properly set-up and tuned with the fronts and my listening room.

It's sorta like tuning a musical instrument and easy once you get the hang of a SLM, test CD, graph paper, your processors crossover controls, and any further fine tuning allowable for the subwoofer. I follow speaker placement guidelines for my listening room as closely as possible.

A SVS Ultra 13 is very musical. Mine sounds best positioned up at ear level on a strong table, just behind the listening position about 8 feet back, slightly closer than my mains. It sounds much better than between the mains in a nearby corner where it sounded too muddy and too slow, even after adjusting the variable Phase dial. I can hear exactly where I have the sub located even perfectly tuned. Others have to look for it.

I'd consider playing your fronts full range with some good bass tracks while you're away if they require more burn-in time. Special CD's are available. I think Reference Recordings has a very good one.

Adjusting down the Ultra's "Q" peak of 80 Hz really synergized the over all sound. I'd consider a "Q" adjustment if you're shopping for a "musical" subwoofer. The final "Q" adjustment made in the Ultra produced a major musical improvement in the entire listening room at all volumes.

Probably most important - Any nagging desires I ALWAYS USE TO HAVE to make further adjustments have completely vanished. I quit listening for any reproduction errors. I never had a system so satisfying. Now, I just enjoy all the sounds and search for exceptionally well recorded and very musical performances.

Good luck and keep reading!
Thanks guys, I've done some additional listening and found that another contributing problem is my source. Though adequate for the Klipsch's, the Sony SCD-CE595 isn't refined enough for the B&Ws. A lot of the brightness and glare is from the Sony. I think I'm going to purchase either a Denon universal or an old Theta DAC and maybe add a subwoofer around $350.
I had two pair of the silver series. One pair was the 5's (gold cap in the middle of the two 5 1/4" drivers). The later pair was silver 8's I believe (2 x 6 1/2" drivers plus the same gold metallic tweeter). They were my first ventures into better speakers, but they were brutal for digital music in my setup. I'm not trying to make them out to be crap, they were nice for what they were in a home theater setup for someone that only occasionally listens to music.

I guess a lot of people get spooked due to it being easier to sell amps, source gear, etc. than speakers, plus the limited ability to demo stuff that's not in your town. Bottom line though, I'd say just as much or more attention should be payed to getting the speakers right than anything else from what I've learned.