ISO - grit, texture, decay, life from snares and bass drums

Hi all,

Interested to hear some theories on what I'm looking for in a speaker (or new amp).  My system features the Rega Aethos driving a pair of Wharfedale EVO 4.4 (bi-wired).  

Don't get me wrong - it sounds great. Clear, precise, involving.  Great tone, imaging, and separation.

But I'm missing a little bit of grit and texture.  Sometimes I wish these speakers partied better.  Snares don't *snap* crackle pop.

Off axis listening - especially standing in the room, rather than sitting - changes tonality significantly.

What am I looking for?  More bass? More musicality? More Life?  I don't want bright or fatigue.


Some speakers I'm considering in no particular order based on descriptions/reviews:

- Sourcepoint 8

- Revival Audio Atalante 3

- PMC prodigy5




Would a couple subwoofers help? My Magnepan LRS+ has the issue of the changing sound when standing. Interested in comments.

Perhaps an EQ to dial in aspects of sound that you're looking to enhance.

The low frequency (bass) range up to around 200Hz or so contains the fundamentals (lowest frequencies) of instruments like kick drum and bass—this range usually affects the tonal quality that’s typically described as “thump” or “boom”, in studio jargon.

The lower-midrange (Low-Mids) includes everything from upper bass—“punch”—to the frequencies that often account for a “boxy” quality, something usually avoided in a modern mix.

The area I labelled just “Midrange” is the center couple of octaves of the audible range. This range is often attenuated (reduced in level) to prevent too much overlap of harmonics and overtones in a mix, which can negatively impact overall clarity.

The upper-midrange (Hi-Mids) is typically referred to as the “presence” range—with most instruments and voices the overtones here can bring the part forward in the mix, which is described as adding presence. Accentuated frequencies in this range can help pull up a part in the mix, but too much can be harsh and peaky.

The highest frequency range (treble) is sometimes referred to as “air”. Most of what falls into this range is the upper overtones of bright instruments like cymbals and acoustic guitar, and some subtle ambience—a little boost up here can sometimes add a bit of openness, a.k.a. “air”.


CUT — up to 150hz 
It is common to do a hi-pass to get rid of the low end of the snare. It’s unnecessary and just clutters the space. 

BOOST —150-250hz
This is the body of the snare drum, boost to get more weight out of your snare drum.

CUT —500-800hz
This is the boxiness of the snare, when we cut it we get a little more clarity between the lows and the highs.

BOOST — 1500-4500hz
This is the brightness and snappy-ness of the snare drum. Boost to taste.

CUT – 4500 and above
This is the ringy sound of the snare. We can cut or put a lowpass to dampen it.


@audionoobie appreciate this guidance. I have a Loki on my kitchen system and have been thinking to try it out on the mains. Thanks for the encouragement. 

@soix morrow ICs, Belden 10AWG speaker wire. Primary Source is CDs and streaming through Marantz SA-KI Ruby 

If you think your system sounds great, you might try some better speaker cables. Whether they can give you what you want is a crapshoot. I have heard everything from no difference to system-changing, so I would recommend borrowing something from a local dealer or the cable company. I am a big fan or Audience AU24, but I also think that Purist is excellent, although much heavier. I’ve had Beldens and they worked great with some speakers and not with others. Definitely worth trying if you’re looking to bring out the best in what you have.

Horns and high sensitivity may be a direction to pursue. Sourcepoint 10 have some snap. I think your current speakers use an AMT which can often roll off smoothly up top, and take away some bite. 

I'm a drummer and love Triangle speakers for the way they present drums, however that may be more related to toms and cymbals rather than snare. A speaker with very open, forward, and clear midrange is where you get that fast attack of a snare. Might want to look at studio monitor/HiFi brands like ATC, PMC, or even Revel Be for that type of presentation. 


Sometimes I wish these speakers partied better.  Snares don't *snap* crackle pop.

Sounds like you’re missing some dynamics and resolution.  I’d recommend taking a look at ATC speakers as they excel in those areas.  Best of luck. 

I am also a drummer. I’ve been playing for the last 40 years or so. I’m getting fantastic drum sounds with both my Magnepan .7’s and ATC SCM19 v2’s. Running both with a Belles Aria Sig pre and monos. Just amazing mid range with both speakers. 

your listed front runners appear to be stand mount speakers, yet you have pricing approaching $3k.  

have you considered ? 

* amazing midrange

* nearly 99dB sensitivity

* better off axis since their original version

* no stands needed

I have the Impact monitors (the "top half" of this speaker) and it's the best imaging and soundstage I've ever heard in my home.  (they sit on a pair of HSU ULS 15" subs) and with the towers linked above, you get 30hz-30khz without a sub.

Sounds like your issue is not the amplification, but more directly related to the room effect you're noticing in your sound. It sounds, to me, like you're experiencing what I've come to know as bass bloat. 

When your bass response becomes grounded it will kick you in the teeth. I think that's what you're looking for, lol.        : )

I addressed that issue in my system with a form of EQ known as Room Perfect that is built into Lyngdorf integrated amps. The results kind of speak for themselves, I guess is the way to say it. I read a ton of reviews and it seemed lie a lot of folks seem to think Lyngdorf's version is somewhat superior. 

You would also most likely enjoy using a setting they call Global, as opposed to Focus. The global setting allows a very pleasing off-axis listening experience, to be used if you're listening from anywhere in the room besides the sweet spot location.

Lyngdorf's entire approach to what most folks call "tone control" is also quite unique. They use set frequency response curves to allow you to reduce middle frequencies and upper frequencies proportionately so that it doesn't jack with the presentation of the music as far as the soundstaging or imaging is concerned.

There are two different setting that allow you to, essentially add more bass ... but you're not actually doing it by adding bass, you achieve the effect by reducing the other middle and higher frequencies. There is a Bass 1 and Bass 2 setting, depending on how much you want to bring the bass out of the recording. Way different from anything I've ever heard of. And doesn't skew any of the other frequencies like traditional Tone Control.

What the critics say, is that their approach doesn't change the way your speaker sounds, it actually makes  your speaker sound more like the speaker designer intended it to sound. Sounds like you like your speaker, you just need to get it to perform better.

Anyone else on this thread have experience with Lyngdorf products?

btw I disagree with @ozzy62 that friends don't let friends EQ. That's kind of outdated. It used to be true, but this is the 21st century and things have improved dramatically in terms of how to achieve good sound with EQ.I think Friends advise friends on how to get the best version of EQ they can, because nowadays it's actually possible. You just need to be smart how you do it.

What I am getting from this is Be. Beryllium. Not good for you, but "sharp". You'll be happy with the decay, trust me....

@coralkong not following you, Can you explain? Are you saying Be good or Be bad?

I have Be tweeters in my bookshelf speakers, Usher Be-718's and they perform extremely well. Curious about your experience.

A well thought out system in a well treated room will need no eq. Address all other issues and you will find that it’s unnecessary.

@tunefuldude Wrote:

btw I disagree with @ozzy62 that friends don't let friends EQ. That's kind of outdated. It used to be true, but this is the 21st century and things have improved dramatically in terms of how to achieve good sound with EQ.I think Friends advise friends on how to get the best version of EQ they can, because nowadays it's actually possible. You just need to be smart how you do it.

I agree! The key is a great EQ. I use a White Instruments Inc analog EQ 4100 10 Band/Channel.😎


@audionoobie, 👍 on the hz suggestions; the best way to seek those points is with a parametric eq, or an octave version that allows one to narrow or widen that/those choices. ;)'s nice to have an RTA to verify what's happening and to minimize any inadvertent 'side effects' about the chosen hz band....

One doesn't want a meat cleaver when a paring knife will do...*G*

@tunefuldude , Beryllium tweeters are good, as long as that’s the sound you’re going for. Very crisp and precise. The OP mentioned snare and cymbal pop. Can't really get better than Be for that, imo.


Thanks for all the thoughtful responses.

Horns sound great to me for a bit, but they get tiresome - fatiguing.  Additionally i don't love their directionality.

I'll look into ATC - any particular models as a good value.

Also considering Omega Alnico Monitors - anyone with experience on their sound signature?

Or the KEF R3 Meta?

I'm wondering also if my current speakers are too big for my room (11.5' D x 12.5 W x 10.5' H, with open spaces on both sides of the width.  Couch at the back wall.  Tweeters are approx 2ft from the front wall)





I’ll look into ATC - any particular models as a good value.

As you seem to be looking at speakers in the $3k range I’d recommend the SCM19 v2. Music Direct offers a return policy so I’ll include their link here…

I happen to think the SCM40 offers a lot of value as you get a floorstander that incorporates their separate dome midrange driver, but that’s $6k so may be over your budget although there is a used pair available for a bit less…

Hi all,

happy thanksgiving. By way of an update, I moved my Loki EQ to my main system, did an initial tuning with Pink Noise, and then tweaked back with listening. For those unfamiliar it’s a pretty simple EQ with only 4 knobs and here’s where I ended up:


  • 20Hz -boost
  • 400Hz -cut
  • 2kHz -boost
  • 8kHz -boost

wow - the result is great. It’s like a veil was lifted and the mix is much cleaner-less muddy. And I thought it was clear before! Snares and the drum set as a whole pops more. Newer rock music, which can be somewhat harsh, is less fatiguing and more involving. Speakers disappear more.

Much better. But I still think the system is a little polite. I ordered DynaTens from Omega Speakers last week - these are 90db 10” full range driver speakers with a tweeter in a big beautiful box. Excited to see what they can do.