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Attenuate highest highs?



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 12th 20, 12:19 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
~misfit~[_3_]
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Posts: 93
Default Attenuate highest highs?

I have a pair of 2-way speakers that I like very much - except they go too
high and are too bright. They're Sony SSK-30s and otherwise make great
near-field monitors in my office. They image and reproduce voice
exceptionally
well.

I'll be 60 next year and can't hear a huge amount above around 16 - 17 kHz.
However they distract me too much with sounds that I can barely hear (no
other
speakers that I've heard lately do this). Because of this they're tiring to
listen too. Sony sold them as being ideal for SACD and claim they go up to
70
kHz (and call them "Extended Definition" speakers).

So what can I add to the cross-over to attenuate the highest highs but leave
the main body of the upper frequencies at the same level? A tiny inductor?
Surely a resistor would drop all tweeter frequencies and mess with the
balance?

I have other speakers I could use but these just sound so damn good
otherwise.
Re-discovering music from my past through these is amazing, music I've been
listening to for decades has new stuff in it... (A cliche but very true in
this case.)

I tried using a pair of Goodmans Mezzo IIs (that I've always liked) for a
few
days but they are lacking in the very upper frequencies (likely due to the
32mm SEAS tweeter). I want the highs to be there but not in a piercing way.

Input appreciated.
--
Shaun.

  #2  
Old February 13th 20, 04:59 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
UnsteadyKen
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Posts: 176
Default Attenuate highest highs?

In article >,

~misfit~ says...

> So what can I add to the cross-over to attenuate the highest highs but leave
> the main body of the upper frequencies at the same level?
>

Try the acoustic disrupter method:-)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tissue...stic_disrupter


--
Ken
  #3  
Old February 13th 20, 11:18 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
~misfit~[_3_]
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Posts: 93
Default Attenuate highest highs?

On 14/02/2020 5:59 am, Unsteadyken wrote:
> In article >,
>
> ~misfit~ says...
>
>> So what can I add to the cross-over to attenuate the highest highs but leave
>> the main body of the upper frequencies at the same level?
>>

> Try the acoustic disrupter method:-)
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tissue...stic_disrupter


I considered physical barriers (I no longer leave the grilles off them and have considered
'thickening' the upper part). That section of Wkipedia you linked ends with ... "suggesting that
more controllable and less random electronic filtering would be preferable" which is where my
thought processes ended up.

I have a few examples of acoustic lenses on my parts shelf (mainly from old Sansui speakers) but
after researching and finding they were designed to disperse high frequency sound horizontally
rather than attenuate it decided against trying to use a lens.

Cheers,
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy little classification
in the DSM"
David Melville

This is not an email and hasn't been checked for viruses by any half-arsed self-promoting software.
  #4  
Old February 14th 20, 12:11 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Peter Wieck[_2_]
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Posts: 119
Default Attenuate highest highs?

What are you using for a pre-amp/power amp and/or integrated amp? Does it have tone controls? A small cut to the treble might solve this neatly. But:

I run an AR Athena sub-sat system in my office - via a Dynaco PAS-3x & ST-35. Given that even though I am "the boss", I am in an office environment so I keep the volume low. Were I to run the system "flat", I would have exactly the problem you describe. The 3x has a 'loudness' switch that boosts the bass relative to the treble, just a bit. That allows a more balanced perceived sound at the low levels I use. That capability went out of style more-or-less in the 1980s. The other option would be an outboard equalizer - overkill certainly, but an option.

The 'disrupter' method, while cute, may require you to try many sorts of materials before you are satisfied and/or may require different materials based on the signal at hand. It does *work* however.
  #5  
Old February 18th 20, 05:05 AM posted to rec.audio.high-end
~misfit~[_3_]
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Posts: 93
Default Attenuate highest highs?

On 15/02/2020 1:11 am, Peter Wieck wrote:
> What are you using for a pre-amp/power amp and/or integrated amp? Does it have tone controls? A small cut to the treble might solve this neatly. But:


Sorry Peter I didn't see your post until now and have replied to all of the others in this thread
so there might be relevant info there. I'm using a very basic pre-amp with no tone controls and a
certain Dynaco ST120 power amp. There is a pass-through crossover between the two taking everything
below 70Hz to a 10" subwoofer as described in another post.

> I run an AR Athena sub-sat system in my office - via a Dynaco PAS-3x & ST-35. Given that even though I am "the boss", I am in an office environment so I keep the volume low.


As mentioned elsewhere my 'office' is a 'soft' alcove (there's carpet, an armchair, curtains etc.)
off my main open-plan dining / kitchen area where I have my computer and desk. As I live alone and
usually listen to material with a wide dynamic range I tend to listen at levels higher than most
people would in a true office environment.

I shouldn't have called it an office really, it's not an accurate description of the space.

> Were I to run the system "flat", I would have exactly the problem you describe. The 3x has a 'loudness' switch that boosts the bass relative to the treble, just a bit. That allows a more balanced perceived sound at the low levels I use. That capability went out of style more-or-less in the 1980s. The other option would be an outboard equalizer - overkill certainly, but an option.


I've been watching auctions for good quality EQs but unfortunately anything other than used
gimmicky plastic 90s things (that people seem to ask new prices for) are well beyond my price range.

> The 'disrupter' method, while cute, may require you to try many sorts of materials before you are satisfied and/or may require different materials based on the signal at hand. It does *work* however.


I did a bit of reading on the subject (mainly
<http://www.bobhodas.com/examining-the-yamaha-ns-10m.php> ) and dismissed it - for now at least.

Cheers,
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy little classification
in the DSM"
David Melville

This is not an email and hasn't been checked for viruses by any half-arsed self-promoting software.
  #6  
Old February 18th 20, 02:45 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Peter Wieck[_2_]
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Posts: 119
Default Attenuate highest highs?

Please note the interpolations.


> so there might be relevant info there. I'm using a very basic pre-amp with no tone controls and a certain Dynaco ST120 power amp. There is a pass-through crossover between the two taking everything below 70Hz to a 10" subwoofer as described in another post.


I see that. And you mentioned that the Sub amp has a level-control. Have you tried boosting that just a bit?

>
> > Were I to run the system "flat", I would have exactly the problem you describe. The 3x has a 'loudness' switch that boosts the bass relative to the treble, just a bit. That allows a more balanced perceived sound at the low levels I use. That capability went out of style more-or-less in the 1980s.. The other option would be an outboard equalizer - overkill certainly, but an option.

>
> I've been watching auctions for good quality EQs but unfortunately anything other than used
> gimmicky plastic 90s things (that people seem to ask new prices for) are well beyond my price range.


The SE-10 I mentioned came my way for $0, as it was perceived as totally dead from the BIN (Buy-it-Now) pile at Kutztown. You will notice that the fuse is inside... and missing in the example I found. As I have my original example purchased as a kit, I do not need two. So, to you it would be cost-of-shipping, not inconsiderable.

>
> > The 'disrupter' method, while cute, may require you to try many sorts of materials before you are satisfied and/or may require different materials based on the signal at hand. It does *work* however.


Getting back to your sub-amp. I am assuming that it is strapped for a single output at 300 watts into 4 ohms. For the record, driving 2N3773s in that configuration to 300 watts is wildly optimistic. Much as one *can* operate a Ford Focus engine at 6,000 RPM - just not for very long. All that aside, I also understand that particular amp sometimes has a problem amplifying mains current hum? When I looked it up, I saw no associated power-supply (or, to be fair, no transformer) or diode/capacitor block. Just a "suggested power supply" http://home.alphalink.com.au/~cambie/PM300/PM300.htm I would also 'fix' the bias (replace the pots) for stability, once you are sure of the proper value(s). A number of US manufacturers used pots back in the day - and as the pots went open, all that magic smoke escaped. And given that device was designed c. 1980, that may be a consideration.

Cutting to the chase, try playing around with the bass output levels, and keep in mind that pretty much anything below 500 HZ is non-directional in any case - such that distance between the treble source and bass source (and you) are the governing factors, not direction. Leading to having the bass source, ideally, the same physical distance from your ears as the treble source. Do also verify phasing - speakers out-of-phase give all sorts of unhappy effects.

Some "stuff" on that: https://us.kef.com/blog/how-to-get-t...nd-positioning

Some further experimentation with placement may be in order.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA

  #7  
Old February 19th 20, 01:21 AM posted to rec.audio.high-end
~misfit~[_3_]
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Posts: 93
Default Attenuate highest highs?

On 19/02/2020 3:45 am, Peter Wieck wrote:
> Please note the interpolations.
>
>
>> so there might be relevant info there. I'm using a very basic pre-amp with no tone controls and a certain Dynaco ST120 power amp. There is a pass-through crossover between the two taking everything below 70Hz to a 10" subwoofer as described in another post.

>
> I see that. And you mentioned that the Sub amp has a level-control. Have you tried boosting that just a bit?


Yes. I've tried boosting and dropping it. In fact I adjust it depending on source material. With
older source material it sounds better with a slight boost, with more recently recorded stuff I
drop the bass level a bit as it can become overpowering.

>>> Were I to run the system "flat", I would have exactly the problem you describe. The 3x has a 'loudness' switch that boosts the bass relative to the treble, just a bit. That allows a more balanced perceived sound at the low levels I use. That capability went out of style more-or-less in the 1980s. The other option would be an outboard equalizer - overkill certainly, but an option.

>>
>> I've been watching auctions for good quality EQs but unfortunately anything other than used
>> gimmicky plastic 90s things (that people seem to ask new prices for) are well beyond my price range.

>
> The SE-10 I mentioned came my way for $0, as it was perceived as totally dead from the BIN (Buy-it-Now) pile at Kutztown. You will notice that the fuse is inside... and missing in the example I found. As I have my original example purchased as a kit, I do not need two. So, to you it would be cost-of-shipping, not inconsiderable.


Thanks for the kind offer.

>>> The 'disrupter' method, while cute, may require you to try many sorts of materials before you are satisfied and/or may require different materials based on the signal at hand. It does *work* however.

>
> Getting back to your sub-amp. I am assuming that it is strapped for a single output at 300 watts into 4 ohms.


320 watts into 4 ohms and 200 watts into 8.

> For the record, driving 2N3773s in that configuration to 300 watts is wildly optimistic. Much as one *can* operate a Ford Focus engine at 6,000 RPM - just not for very long.


It uses three pairs of 2SK1058 / 2SJ162 TO-3P power MOSFETs.

> All that aside, I also understand that particular amp sometimes has a problem amplifying mains current hum? When I looked it up, I saw no associated power-supply (or, to be fair, no transformer) or diode/capacitor block. Just a "suggested power supply" http://home.alphalink.com.au/~cambie/PM300/PM300.htm I would also 'fix' the bias (replace the pots) for stability, once you are sure of the proper value(s). A number of US manufacturers used pots back in the day - and as the pots went open, all that magic smoke escaped. And given that device was designed c. 1980, that may be a consideration.


That's a different amplifier. Unfortunately it seems they recycled the name. The unit I'm using was
described in Electronics Australia 1995-04 and 1995-05 issues and was sold as a kitset through
Jaycar Electronis and Dick Smith Electronics in Australia and New Zealand.

The power supply uses a 300 VA toroidial transformer and has 20,000uF of capacitance on each
channel. The active crossover was previously released as a stand-alone kit (1994-09) but integrated
into the same case as the power amp in this version.

I have pdfs of the magazines but can't find them hosted on-line anywhere.

> Cutting to the chase, try playing around with the bass output levels, and keep in mind that pretty much anything below 500 HZ is non-directional in any case - such that distance between the treble source and bass source (and you) are the governing factors, not direction. Leading to having the bass source, ideally, the same physical distance from your ears as the treble source. Do also verify phasing - speakers out-of-phase give all sorts of unhappy effects.


Thanks. The sub is directly below the left channel (bookshelf) speaker, facing the same way. I've
tried swapping the phase and it sounds best in-phase. The output from the subwoofer is more than
enough (and I like good clean bass) so that the level control is rarely above ~85% - and that high
only with material recorded in the 70s and early 80s (such as Rickie Lee Jones' eponymous album on CD).

I rarely have the issue of half-heard fatiguing highs on older material. It's mainly on stuff
recorded after 2000 or so.

> Some "stuff" on that: https://us.kef.com/blog/how-to-get-t...nd-positioning
>
> Some further experimentation with placement may be in order.


I'm a bit limited within the space in which I use them but have experimented with toe-in and
subwoofer placement and the current set up seems optimal - except for that annoying half-heard high
frequency stuff. Maybe it's just that my age, the condition of my hearing and these otherwise
excellent speakers aren't suited together?

That would be a shame as they are by far the most revealing and best imaging speakers that I own.

Cheers,
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy little classification
in the DSM"
David Melville

This is not an email and hasn't been checked for viruses by any half-arsed self-promoting software.
  #8  
Old February 14th 20, 05:18 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Trevor Wilson[_3_]
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Posts: 130
Default Attenuate highest highs?

On 12/02/2020 11:19 pm, ~misfit~ wrote:
> I have a pair of 2-way speakers that I like very much - except they go too
> high and are too bright. They're Sony SSK-30s and otherwise make great
> near-field monitors in my office. They image and reproduce voice
> exceptionally
> well.
>
> I'll be 60 next year and can't hear a huge amount above around 16 - 17 kHz.
> However they distract me too much with sounds that I can barely hear (no
> other
> speakers that I've heard lately do this). Because of this they're tiring to
> listen too. Sony sold them as being ideal for SACD and claim they go up to
> 70
> kHz (and call them "Extended Definition" speakers).
>
> So what can I add to the cross-over to attenuate the highest highs but leave
> the main body of the upper frequencies at the same level? A tiny inductor?
> Surely a resistor would drop all tweeter frequencies and mess with the
> balance?
>
> I have other speakers I could use but these just sound so damn good
> otherwise.
> Re-discovering music from my past through these is amazing, music I've been
> listening to for decades has new stuff in it... (A cliche but very true in
> this case.)
>
> I tried using a pair of Goodmans Mezzo IIs (that I've always liked) for a
> few
> days but they are lacking in the very upper frequencies (likely due to the
> 32mm SEAS tweeter). I want the highs to be there but not in a piercing way.
>
> Input appreciated.
> --
> Shaun.
>


**If your hearing is attenuated at HF, then you don't need to further
attenuate HF (assuming the speaker has been competently designed).
You've already stated that you can't hear anything above 16 ~ 17kHz.
Perhaps you should consider room effects. Have you measured the in-room
response?

--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au
  #9  
Old February 14th 20, 06:32 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Peter Wieck[_2_]
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Posts: 119
Default Attenuate highest highs?

I think you are missing the point. If too much energy is being dissipated by the speakers in the high range, then too much energy is being dissipated in the high range. And, the brute fact of the matter is that there is not a whole lot going on above 15 kHz anyway. So if the OP perceives that his speakers are overly bright, we should start there.

I agree that attenuating the high range is not the answer. But neither is tweaking room acoustics. We need to work with the Human Ear and how we perceive sound at various volumes.

Which is why balancing the speaker output does seem to be an answer, especially given that one does not normally blast music in an office. At low volumes, in general, not enough energy gets to the bass driver(s) to balance the treble, especially as speaker efficiency drops. These are 88 dB speakers, not horrible, but not great either.

Eschew needless complexity. If the electronics have a "Loudness" function, start there. If they have tone-controls try *BOOSTING* the bass - again that nasty issue of low-volume weak bass is more at-issue than excess treble (at low volume). Failing both these things, is it possible to relocate the speakers, moving them more towards room corners, or closer to the floor, or similar so as to help 'boost' the bass response. However, this might sacrifice sound-stage.

Only after the obvious fixes have failed should we push towards more heroic measures.
  #10  
Old February 16th 20, 05:58 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Trevor Wilson[_3_]
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Posts: 130
Default Attenuate highest highs?

On 15/02/2020 5:32 am, Peter Wieck wrote:
> I think you are missing the point. If too much energy is being dissipated by the speakers in the high range, then too much energy is being dissipated in the high range.


**Unlikely. Assuming nothing is broken is the system (as suggested by
Dick), then it is almost certainly a room problem. Room and speaker/room
interaction *IS*, by a very considerable margin, the dominant factor is
perceived audible problems in an audio system.


And, the brute fact of the matter is that there is not a whole lot
going on above 15 kHz anyway. So if the OP perceives that his speakers
are overly bright, we should start there.

**Well, again: Assuming there is nothing broken in the speaker (which,
obviously, should be checked first, to ensure correct functioning), then
the room is the next item to check.


>
> I agree that attenuating the high range is not the answer. But neither is tweaking room acoustics. We need to work with the Human Ear and how we perceive sound at various volumes.


**And trust me on this: The room is, by a very considerable margin, the
dominant factor in audible problems with systems.

>
> Which is why balancing the speaker output does seem to be an answer, especially given that one does not normally blast music in an office. At low volumes, in general, not enough energy gets to the bass driver(s) to balance the treble, especially as speaker efficiency drops. These are 88 dB speakers, not horrible, but not great either.


**I am making several assumptions in my diagnosis:

1) That the speakers have been professionally and correctly designed and
constructed. Either of these things may not be true. I don't know. Sony
is a proper brand, so I assume design and construction has been done to
decent standards.

2) That the amplifier is not broken.

Therefore, the room is the problem. Room treatments can be challenging
to apply, but they can be very, VERY cost-effective.

The room will be the problem. Too many hard surfaces is most likely.


>
> Eschew needless complexity. If the electronics have a "Loudness" function, start there.


**No. Tone controls (and loudness controls) are very much a hit and miss
treatment. Without proper measurements and controls, tone controls are
pretty much a waste of time.


If they have tone-controls try *BOOSTING* the bass - again that nasty
issue of low-volume weak bass is more at-issue than excess treble (at
low volume). Failing both these things, is it possible to relocate the
speakers, moving them more towards room corners, or closer to the floor,
or similar so as to help 'boost' the bass response. However, this might
sacrifice sound-stage.

**The speakers should be placed in a location where they have been
designed for. Any other location will deliver unpredictable results.

>
> Only after the obvious fixes have failed should we push towards more heroic measures.
>


**Room treatments are hardly heroic measures. Room treatments are
FUNDAMENTAL to the proper operation of a sound reproduction system. In
fact, I would posit that the STARTING point of a sound reproduction
system is the room. Everything else is secondary. And, when I say 'room
treatments' I do include speakers and speaker location as part of the
process. However, since the speakers are already chosen and, presumably,
located appropriately, then room treatments (damping materials) is the
next approach to take.

--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au
 




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