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Most cost effective upgrade route?

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sea

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Can I ask what is it about your current system that you are unhappy about?

My rule is: don't spend money without knowing what problem you are trying to solve. What problem are you trying to solve?
nothing particularly wrong with it, but i think the bass could sound better on some tracks. (comparing against headphones, i know they're a different thing and can't really compare but it's all i have to go off of lol :p)
i don't have much experience with any other speaker setup apart from my own, so don't really have anything to reference against.
 

ZolaIII

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@sea what's the source as you mentioned YouTube mostly?
Do you want to stream to KEF's?
 

JktHifi

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I prefer adding a new system than upgrading the existing one if I am satisfied and have enjoy it for years. Don’t change a winning team.
 
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OP
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sea

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@sea what's the source as you mentioned YouTube mostly?
Do you want to stream to KEF's?
mostly apple music and some local files. streaming to the kefs aren't a big priority, i hardly use them wirelessly, only occasionally through roon when i select the wrong output lol
 

Keith_W

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Sometimes, ignorance is bliss :)

If you are happy with your setup, then there is no need to change. I know there are some people in this thread who are recommending subwoofers + DSP, but I have to warn you that subs may not be easy to integrate into your system and may involve a bit of a learning curve.

What I am going to suggest will not cost you any money, and you can do it right now. I understand that you have placed your bookshelf speakers on your study desk with your monitor in between, correct? And the rear of the speakers are fairly close to the wall? You could try these:

1. Fix your bass by positioning your speaker. Any bass that comes out the rear port of your KEF LSX II will be reflected by the wall and interfere with the front firing bass. It may interfere constructively, in which case you might get more bass. Or it might interfere destructively, where you will get less. The interference will be frequency dependent, and this will manifest itself as "one note" bass where some bass notes are louder than others, or complete lack of some bass notes. Use this online tone generator and play some bass notes (i.e. 20 - 120Hz). Position your speakers by pulling them away from the wall until most of the notes sound the same. If you don't want to use your ears, then download an SPL meter or pink noise analyzer for your phone. It will tell you what the problem frequencies are, at your listening position. Then use a free equalizer for Windows and remove the loud notes.

2. Elevate your speakers. Speakers placed directly on the desk will have "desk bounce" where sound reflections from the desk interfere with the main sound from the drivers. This is often out of phase with the main sound and can cause comb filtering. You also ideally want your speakers at ear level. Place some books under your speakers and see if it improves the sound. If it works, and if you don't like the look of books under your speaker, you could (1) wrap some bricks in paper and use that as a stand, (2) construct your own stand, (3) buy stands.

3. Eliminate desk resonance. Speakers placed on a desk will cause the desk to resonate at its resonant frequency, which can colour the sound. If you can feel your desk vibrating while you are playing music, then it is resonating. You could mass load the desk by placing heavy objects on it until it goes away, or you could decouple your speakers by placing something absorbent under them, like rubber foam, a folded up towel, etc.

4. Engage pressure mode. Try to seal your room and make it as airtight as possible. Close the windows and the door, stuff clothes under your door sill, etc. This will cause bass to behave in pressure mode (or room gain) which will increase bass. The better your seal, the more effective this will be.

Of course, the better way to do it is to go down the route that others have mentioned: i.e. buy a microphone, get a MiniDSP, buy subwoofers. This is the best route, but it will cost you money.
 

staticV3

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if i were to go the rew route i should turn off the kef room settings right? or would i be able to use a mic to figure out what the best settings are in the app?
You could disable the kef room settings and do your EQ via EQApo.
You could use the mic to optimize the kef room settings.
Or you could use EQApo in conjunction with the kef room settings.
The world's your oyster!
 

ZolaIII

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mostly apple music and some local files. streaming to the kefs aren't a big priority, i hardly use them wirelessly, only occasionally through roon when i select the wrong output lol
You didn't really answer my question. I ment do you use PC/laptop and which OS? So that if you do and don't need standalone DSP we could recommend you to use EQ APO or JRiver and both are I am afraid limited to Windows if you want them on system level or at all.
My recommendation is that you get a SVS SB-1000 sub and cross it at 80 Hz on KEF integrated amp. Put foam korks in KEF speakers port's. Get UMIK-1 mic to use for measurements and make EQ's.
Show us the room and placement? I want to see about proposing vibration dumpers.
 

palm

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If you go for a sub before the measurement mic, and since your speakers seem to include crossover capabilities, I can recommend the test signals that can be found on Neumann website. It seems low tech but those clever signals allow to adjust level and phase using your ear, provided you can quickly disable the sub and the high pass filter.
 
OP
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sea

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Sometimes, ignorance is bliss :)

If you are happy with your setup, then there is no need to change. I know there are some people in this thread who are recommending subwoofers + DSP, but I have to warn you that subs may not be easy to integrate into your system and may involve a bit of a learning curve.

What I am going to suggest will not cost you any money, and you can do it right now. I understand that you have placed your bookshelf speakers on your study desk with your monitor in between, correct? And the rear of the speakers are fairly close to the wall? You could try these:

1. Fix your bass by positioning your speaker. Any bass that comes out the rear port of your KEF LSX II will be reflected by the wall and interfere with the front firing bass. It may interfere constructively, in which case you might get more bass. Or it might interfere destructively, where you will get less. The interference will be frequency dependent, and this will manifest itself as "one note" bass where some bass notes are louder than others, or complete lack of some bass notes. Use this online tone generator and play some bass notes (i.e. 20 - 120Hz). Position your speakers by pulling them away from the wall until most of the notes sound the same. If you don't want to use your ears, then download an SPL meter or pink noise analyzer for your phone. It will tell you what the problem frequencies are, at your listening position. Then use a free equalizer for Windows and remove the loud notes.

2. Elevate your speakers. Speakers placed directly on the desk will have "desk bounce" where sound reflections from the desk interfere with the main sound from the drivers. This is often out of phase with the main sound and can cause comb filtering. You also ideally want your speakers at ear level. Place some books under your speakers and see if it improves the sound. If it works, and if you don't like the look of books under your speaker, you could (1) wrap some bricks in paper and use that as a stand, (2) construct your own stand, (3) buy stands.

3. Eliminate desk resonance. Speakers placed on a desk will cause the desk to resonate at its resonant frequency, which can colour the sound. If you can feel your desk vibrating while you are playing music, then it is resonating. You could mass load the desk by placing heavy objects on it until it goes away, or you could decouple your speakers by placing something absorbent under them, like rubber foam, a folded up towel, etc.

4. Engage pressure mode. Try to seal your room and make it as airtight as possible. Close the windows and the door, stuff clothes under your door sill, etc. This will cause bass to behave in pressure mode (or room gain) which will increase bass. The better your seal, the more effective this will be.

Of course, the better way to do it is to go down the route that others have mentioned: i.e. buy a microphone, get a MiniDSP, buy subwoofers. This is the best route, but it will cost you money.
oh wow, I just tried placing books under my speakers per your suggestion and they actually made a noticeable difference. thanks so much for the suggestions :) i'll give em a go before purchasing anything.
You didn't really answer my question. I ment do you use PC/laptop and which OS? So that if you do and don't need standalone DSP we could recommend you to use EQ APO or JRiver and both are I am afraid limited to Windows if you want them on system level or at all.
My recommendation is that you get a SVS SB-1000 sub and cross it at 80 Hz on KEF integrated amp. Put foam korks in KEF speakers port's. Get UMIK-1 mic to use for measurements and make EQ's.
Show us the room and placement? I want to see about proposing vibration dumpers.
ahhh sorry, english is not my first language. I'm running apple music and roon on my windows PC. I already have eq apo installed and they're used with my headphone eq profiles. ill post some pictures later
 

ZolaIII

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oh wow, I just tried placing books under my speakers per your suggestion and they actually made a noticeable difference. thanks so much for the suggestions :) i'll give em a go before purchasing anything.

ahhh sorry, english is not my first language. I'm running apple music and roon on my windows PC. I already have eq apo installed and they're used with my headphone eq profiles. ill post some pictures later
Books won't work, try to find "Egg seaters" chair mats cheap (7~10€ a peace) and put them under speakers and subwoofer when you get one. They are thinner on one side than other so you can angle them (speakers/subwoofer) a bit up or down by it. Not very elegant but not ugly either. Don't know how will they look under small KEF's, they look fine to me under my bigger bookshelf's. Neither is mine (English a first language).
 

Keith_W

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oh wow, I just tried placing books under my speakers per your suggestion and they actually made a noticeable difference. thanks so much for the suggestions :) i'll give em a go before purchasing anything.

Yeah, most speakers perform at their best when they are listened to on axis. I forgot to mention in my earlier post that you should experiment with toe-in, that is angling your speaker so that the axis of both speakers intersects somewhere behind your head. If you have your speakers at desk level, you are listening off vertical axis. Something as simple as wedging something under your speaker (like a book) will bring them into alignment, but will not eliminate desk bounce. It only reduces it. You may or may not want desk bounce. Yes, it interferes with your frequency response, but it might give you more bass. If you think your speakers are thin sounding when you elevate them with books, you may be better leaving them on your desk and angling them upwards.

It is very easy to construct speaker stands. All you need is wood, some nails, or wood glue, and a saw. You may not even need a saw if your hardware shop can cut the wood to the correct size for you. If you like, I can draw up some plans for you.

The first rule of speakers is: make sure you position them properly before considering spending any more money to fix problems you may not have!
 

Cote Dazur

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The first rule of speakers is: make sure you position them properly before considering spending any more money to fix problems you may not have
Some golden advice right there, refreshing in contrast to knee jerk reaction we usually see on pushing for new gear and/or EQ/DSP, fix the injury first, then add the bandage if necessary.
oh wow, I just tried placing books under my speakers per your suggestion and they actually made a noticeable difference. thanks so much for the suggestions :) i'll give em a go before purchasing anything.
You are on the right pass, you will eventually find out what your excellent speakers can really do for you.

My free advice is to use speaker placement calculator. Get stands (anything that you already own, like stools, pile of books, etc...) it will allow you to place the speakers exactly where they need to be from the calculator, also give proper height in relation to your seat. The speakers and seat will end up in the middle of the room, so it is going to be impractical and just as a test. It will make you realize what your speaker can do, stereo image, FR balance, minimizing the room Huge impact on what you hear. Place tape marks on the ground so you can go back to it.
It is free and will help you understand what to look for when setting up where it is practical in your room.
Have fun.
 
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