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ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 Bookshelf Speakers too boomy please test

Audioordeal

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Third time's the charm... or not. Long story short I've spent more than a year with my audio ordeal and this is my third attempt of improving my sound system and I'm nowhere near the end. I might summon the whole journey one day in another thread but today I'm asking for help from Elac Debut b 5.5 users and any other members that can do the test or contribute in any way.

It is not my intention to complain about the "good for the price" speakers, I'd just like to see if I'm doing something wrong or these speakers aren't as good as I hoped for. Speakers were bought for testing, eventually I might upgrade to Kef LS50 or LS50 Meta and I'm also buying a sub. Speakers are certainly loud and promising, but something seems off.

Can someone please listen to these two songs:
Liquido - Narcotic... at from around 1:14 to 1:20
Nirvana - Something In The Way... whole song

These two songs sound horrible at medium to high volume, boomy for the lack of better words, bass seems to be the problem. I would like to confirm if anyone else has same problem with this speakers or if anyone with different speakers might have a clue why it happens.

My setup:
ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 Bookshelf Speakers
Yamaha a-s501 integrated amplifier with 120W x 2 (max), 85W x 2 (RMS) high power output
ASUS TUF GAMING Z690-PLUS D4 motherboard
Decent copper wires, no banana plugs, decent toslink and rca cable
Speakers are placed on Sorbothane domes since yesterday but that didn't help
No sub... planning to buy a sub, set the low pass filter to 80hz so that speakers don't play frequencies lower than 80hz... would that remove the problem?

I've tried Toslink to the DAC in amplifier, tried RCA to CD input, used Pure direct mode on amp, everything flat, moving bass to lowest setting helps with the problem but it's not an acceptable solution, also tried playing these two songs from phone and they still didn't sound ok, so I'm guessing these speakers aren't as great as the internet seems to think, hope I'm wrong and I'm missing something. Also discovered the problems with Windows "enhancements", used Equalizer APO, removed DTS and instaled Microsoft sound drivers instead of Realtek installed ASIO4ALL and tried available options in MusicBee (ASIO, Direct, Wasapi), tried the Equalizer APO profile for these speakers and the list goes on.

Wish it wouldn't be so hard, expensive, and time consuming but I'll figure it out eventually. Used GENIUS SW-HF 5.1 5000 system for about 15 years, it was around 150€ and worth every cent, worked great with Windows 7, since Windows 10 the 5.1 system didn't want to wark as it should, Realtek panel and drivers seem to be getting worse, Windows settings are buggy and on multiple locations, some are hidden, everything seems to be developed for small budget speakers and headphones (no thanks) I won't even comment the "enhancements", licences etc.

Went form 5.1 to stereo instead of AVR 5.1 to keep it simple, tried powered speakers which didn't go well, and one year and around 1000€ later I might be half way there.

Thank you for your time, testing and and heplfull suggestions. Am no audiophile but I do have a pair of working ears.

71yNmd1xbDL._AC_SL1500_.jpg


20240120_194853.jpg
 
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mhardy6647

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How far from the side (and back) walls and corners are the loudspeakers? Farther (or is that further? ;)) is better.
How big and what is the shape of your listening space (i.e., the room you're in)?
How high above the floor do you have them? The manual recommends (if memory serves) 22 to 24 inches (56 to 60 cm) from the floor. My experience says anything lower just won't sound right.

That's all I've got off the top of my head.
 
OP
Audioordeal

Audioordeal

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You can try putting some socks into the bass reflex tube and see if that improves it.
Thought about plugging the port before but didn't try is until today. I tried it after your recommendation and unfortunately the problem remains but thank you for the suggestion.
 

GD Fan

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I used the slightly larger sibling, B6.2, for a short while and didn't have this issue. But they were always used in conjunction with an SVS SB1000 sub crossed at 80hz. Volumes were never / rarely especially high though.

So before scrapping them you might borrow a sub or go ahead and commit to one. The B6.2 had very nice sound stage presentation to my ears.

Good luck!

Edit: If it's still boomy even with the ports plugged perhaps they're exciting a room mode?
 
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Audioordeal

Audioordeal

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How far from the side (and back) walls and corners are the loudspeakers? Farther (or is that further? ;)) is better.
How big and what is the shape of your listening space (i.e., the room you're in)?
How high above the floor do you have them? The manual recommends (if memory serves) 22 to 24 inches (56 to 60 cm) from the floor. My experience says anything lower just won't sound right.

That's all I've got off the top of my head.
English is not my native language so I apologize for any mistakes. Room is approximately 25 square meters, speakers are on office desk 70 cm above the floor. The amp is between the two speakers, left speaker is about 10 cm from side wall (corner), both speakers are about 30 cm away from back wall (window). Speakers are placed upside down and front ports are behind the monitor with about 5 cm of space, but plugging the ports didn't change anything. I'm aware placement isn't optimal but that's the best I can do with the limited space available. Thank you for your comment.
 

mhardy6647

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left speaker is about 10 cm from side wall (corner), both speakers are about 30 cm away from back wall (window).
Your English is fine! My reading comprehension (or, more likely, my attention span) may have been a problem, though!

Both of the measurements quoted above may relate to your "issue". I understand that you're constrained by the space available to you but, for testing purposes, try increasing both distances and see what, if any effect it has.

Why do you have the loudspeakers upside down?

EDIT: In full disclosure -- I had a pair of these for a while and tried many different things with them -- but I was never very pleased with the way they sounded.
I never felt they were boomy though.
I only used them well away from the side or back walls in my (moderately large) listening room.
 
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OP
Audioordeal

Audioordeal

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I used the slightly larger sibling, B6.2, for a short while and didn't have this issue. But they were always used in conjunction with an SVS SB1000 sub crossed at 80hz. Volumes were never / rarely especially high though.

So before scrapping them you might borrow a sub or go ahead and commit to one. The B6.2 had very nice sound stage presentation to my ears.

Good luck!

Edit: If it's still boomy even with the ports plugged perhaps they're exciting a room mode?
The problem is obvious at normal listening levels I'm not trying to push them to the limit and I live in a flat just wanted to point out the problem won't be as obvious at low volume in case anyone does the test.

I'll get a decent sub, probably SVS brand sooner or later, checked and return is possible through 31 Jan which I'd like to avoid but don't want to resell speakers that aren't ok either.

Don't know about room mode, have less then ideal room, no acoustic panels etc. but hopefully I can figure out what is causing the distorted sound soon.

Thank you for your comment and feedback on similar speakers, appreciate any help I can get.
 
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Audioordeal

Audioordeal

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Your English is fine! My reading comprehension (or, more likely, my attention span) may have been a problem, though!

Both of the measurements quoted above may relate to your "issue". For testing purposes, try increasing both distances and see what, if any effect it has.

Why do you have the loudspeakers upside down?

EDIT: In full disclosure -- I had a pair of these for a while and tried many different things with them -- but I was never very pleased with the way they sounded.
I never felt they were boomy though.
I only used them well away from the side or back walls in my (moderately large) listening room.
 

mhardy6647

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EDIT: Oh, I am sorry! Mine were also the 6.2 (larger box and woofer).

While I am not at all proud of this ;) -- the photo below gives some idea of "typical" placement I used for them. It turned out that the elderly pair of KLH Model Six loudspeakers shown in the photo were much closer to the optimum height for the ELACs than any of the speaker stands I had been able to try them on. You can probably tell that they are far from any walls or corners (messy though the room was at the time!).

 

DSJR

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Are the speakers directly on the office desk? This gives what I call a 'stereogram (US console) effect where the desk-top may well resonate thereby muddying up the sound and obviously, putting the speakers upside down to try to help may well then put the tweeters below listening height?

Studio suppliers do market isolators of various sorts for this very situation. Here's one -


Mine in the second system came from 'Studiospares' in the UK but mine aren't made now.


The Isopucks are popular



Not always cheap, but might anything above help at all?
 

mSpot

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Room is approximately 25 square meters, speakers are on office desk 70 cm above the floor.
...
Speakers are placed upside down and front ports are behind the monitor with about 5 cm of space
What are the room dimensions (width, length)? I'm also curious about "front ports are behind the monitor". It would help us understand your arrangement if you post photos.
 
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Audioordeal

Audioordeal

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I'll try a different position eventually, I'm taking many breaks from testing and researching to keep my sanity and when I find the time I'll give it a try.

They are upside down because the PC monitor is in front of them and would cover the twitter and it seemed better that it covers the port... there's about 5 cm of space between port and monitor. That is why I'll probably switch to Kef with tweeter in the acoustic center of the mid-bass cone... monitor won't cover anything important.

Thank you for sharing your experience with this speakers. Perhaps boomy isn't the best way to describe what is happening but it is very unpleasant sound and something isn't right sound is decent most of the time but bass heavy songs don't sound as they should. Glad that someone else didn't find them as great as the internet seems to think, they have potential but after a lot of tinkering I'm not convinced they are worth keeping.
 

Spkrdctr

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Well, you mentioned it was at medium to high volume that it was boomy. A 5.25 inch driver is just not going to reproduce what you want. Getting a sub will easily fix your problem and you can cross your sub over at 100 to 120hz if that is available. You need to kill the low bass going to the 5 inch driver and send it all to the sub. You are within a whisker of fixing your problem. Good Luck!

Update: "bass heavy songs don't sound as they should", you just nailed the problem. It is exactly what I mentioned. Luckily it is an easy fix. Now, which sub do want? :)
 

raceskier

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Erin's review identifies some issues with this speaker.
I did not encounter 'boomy' bass when I tried a pair. Mine were over 4 ft from the front wall, with a sub. The crossover peak was, to me, quite obvious.
 

digitalfrost

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Interesting. Since we have the data I'm sure someone could figure out an EQ to somewhat improve the situation. Based on what I'm seeing I would eyeball an EQ at 100hz with Q=2 and start with -3dB.
 
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Audioordeal

Audioordeal

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What are the room dimensions (width, length)? I'm also curious about "front ports are behind the monitor". It would help us understand your arrangement if you post photos.
Was trying to avoid posting photos and incoming comments about placement but I've attached a photo so that the limited space is better understood. I have two monitors, right one is used by me or by my girlfriend (HDMI switch). I have two 3D printers next to the desk and speakers have to be in front since I use them with computer and sadly no dedicated listening room in a small flat.
 
OP
Audioordeal

Audioordeal

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Are the speakers directly on the office desk? This gives what I call a 'stereogram (US console) effect where the desk-top may well resonate thereby muddying up the sound and obviously, putting the speakers upside down to try to help may well then put the tweeters below listening height?

Studio suppliers do market isolators of various sorts for this very situation. Here's one -


Mine in the second system came from 'Studiospares' in the UK but mine aren't made now.


The Isopucks are popular



Not always cheap, but might anything above help at all?
Thank you for suggestions but I'm using Sorbothane domes to isolate speakers from the desk. I'm also using Sorbothane so that vibrations from my 3D printer don't travel to the desk. Not cheap, had to order from UK but work wonders. I'll look up stereogram, sound could still resonate despite the domes thru air I guess. Thank you for your comment.
 
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Audioordeal

Audioordeal

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EDIT: Oh, I am sorry! Mine were also the 6.2 (larger box and woofer).

While I am not at all proud of this ;) -- the photo below gives some idea of "typical" placement I used for them. It turned out that the elderly pair of KLH Model Six loudspeakers shown in the photo were much closer to the optimum height for the ELACs than any of the speaker stands I had been able to try them on. You can probably tell that they are far from any walls or corners (messy though the room was at the time!).

I can tell they are far away from any walls but unfortunately that room is probably as big as my whole flat and I'm trying to use these speakers as computer speakers on desk, closer to the term "bookshelf speaker". Thank you for sharing, I've attached a photo of my limited space situation in the thread.
 
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