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Pawnshop123

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Hi,

So I had a cheap soundbar (without a subwoofer) for years.
Last week bought a new Hi-Fi system - KEF R3 Meta & Cambridge Audio CXA81.
The problem is that it sounds bright to my ears.

Voices don't sound as full & warm as I would expect and for example, high hats are too much on my ears.
My music taste is mostly Hip hop, and R&B but also some pop.
This is also based on a comparison with AirPods Pro which I am used to listening to and my previous soundbar.

I auditioned the KEF R3 Meta but with a different amp *at a store* (I think it was some very expensive tube amp and it sounded warm, maybe even too much for my taste) and I know it's regarded as a neutral speaker overall.
The CXA81, however, does seem to feature some elevated treble in most of the reviews but also a 'full-bodied' midrange.

So I wonder now what to do now.
I also wonder how much of the problem is in the room.

Maybe buy a DSP to EQ the sound?
Will acoustically treating the room make my setup more warm? Added photos of my room if it helps
Will adding a subwoofer help?

Please ignore the color choice of the tablecloth, I thought it would help to treat the issue so I threw the first thing I saw.
Thanks!


EDIT:
I auditioned the speakers at the store* with that different tube amp. Probably important thing I forgot to clarify
 

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solderdude

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So I wonder now what to do now.
I also wonder how much of the problem is in the room.

Maybe buy a DSP to EQ the sound?
Will acoustically treating the room make my setup more warm? Added photos of my room if it helps
Will adding a subwoofer help?

The room and way the system is setup in that room is very likely the main problem.
Another amp is not the solution.

Play with positioning of the speakers.
Use room treatment (not easy)
Use EQ
A combination of those options might lead to improved sound.
A problem might be you may not have many options regarding positioning of the speakers and listening position limiting the options you have.
 

DVDdoug

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Doses the amplifier have any EQ or bass & treble controls?

If your source is a computer or phone you can use software EQ.

A regular-old graphic equalizer is another option. Not as "precise" as DSP EQ, but more user friendly, especially if you just want to temporarily tweak a song. And probably less costly than the miniDSP.

I auditioned the KEF R3 Meta but with a different amp (I think it was some very expensive tube amp and it sounded warm, maybe even too much for my taste) and I know it's regarded as a neutral speaker overall.
The CXA81, however, does seem to feature some elevated treble in most of the reviews but also a 'full-bodied' midrange.
Virtually all amplifiers have flat frequency response (except most integrated amps have tone controls).

So I agree - What you heard auditioning was probably the acoustic environment, or the program material, or maybe your mood...
 

GiBo61

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If I remember correctly, the Cambridge CXA81 does not have tone controls (not a smart choice by the manufacturer...). If you need a streamer in your system you could buy a Wiim Mini, for less than 100 Euros/Dollars you get a bit perfect streamer with both a 10 band equalizer and a 4 band parametric equalizer. Likely, even without a more sophisticated room calibration system, you should be able to get a sound you like more.
 
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Penelinfi

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Another white room full of hard surfaces sounds too bright. I sense a theme here. I'd put a nice thick 3" or maybe more absorber behind the listening position. You can get white polyester acoustic panels or sheets, should be able to find some in a large 2-3m X 1.2m perhaps, or use multiples of smaller, neater ones.

Could also try hanging one on reflection point at the window. Personally I'd be putting some at other places too but that may be too much for some people's aesthetics
 

antcollinet

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Looks like your source is the TV. Is that correct?
 

Daverz

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I'd experiment with speaker toe-in and moving the speakers a few centimeters out from the wall. You can even try them toed-in so that the axis of the speakers cross in front of the listener. Note that coaxial speakers are not meant to be pointed right at the listener (0 degrees of toe-in), but slightly off, say 10 degrees of toe-in or toe-out.

As for room treatment, I'd start with the sidewalls and window. I imagine there's a "slap echo" in that room with all the bare, flat surfaces. Adding some furnishings, like a bookshelf full of books, might help to break up echo from the flat, parallel surfaces.
 

thewas

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In my experience very often when some well measuring loudspeakers are sounding bright the problem does not lie in the higher frequencies but the lower ones, usually due to some wide bass dips, with a couple of measurements at the listening position we would know much more.
 

Mart68

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Room is way too barren and reflective. Modern decor isn't compatible with sound quality. High frequencies can bounce around unhindered.

You need to damp the place down by whatever means possible. Even some big plants will help if nothing else.

I would totally remodel the place to 1970s style - but that's not for everyone.
 

Timcognito

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Sokel

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I don't know what kind of search you did before you buy them,but a highly reflective room combined with a bright speaker can make you bleed from your ears.
Look at it's response as it would theoretically be in room (which this room is not too reflective ) and it's already bright.
Good thing is that you have the anechoic measurements so you can apply a broad Q self up there to knock them down.

1698097247007.png
 

thewas

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I don't know what kind of search you did before you buy them,but a highly reflective room combined with a bright speaker can make you bleed from your ears.
Look at it's response as it would theoretically be in room (which this room is not too reflective ) and it's already bright.
Good thing is that you have the anechoic measurements so you can apply a broad Q self up there to knock them down.

View attachment 320818
He has the R3 Meta which is more balanced with less treble:
newplot (1).png


Source: https://www.spinorama.org/compare.h...origin1=ErinsAudioCorner&speaker1=KEF+R3+Meta
 

Sokel

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Still bright thought,and at the worst region that they can be,between 3-7Khz,put me in front of that speaker in a reflective room (or not so reflective) and I can confess sins that I haven't done yet!

(don't get me wrong,I must have a condition to it,every speaker with that area elevated or thin midbass gives me a round headache,it's physical,not taste)
 

Jim Creek

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You could try adding a tube buffer with a warm sounding tube.
 

thewas

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Still bright thought,and at the worst region that they can be,between 3-7Khz
I don't see it as bright there

1698098129121.png

even less at when he is listening to it at 30° off-axis like he does on his photo.
 

Sokel

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I don't see it as bright there

View attachment 320824
even less at when he is listening to it at 30° off-axis like he does on his photo.
The link you posted above shows them like this:

17.png



So,1.7db more at 5Khz for the older ,the absolute worst area and both of them elevated from midrange.
If it's not right I stand corrected thought.

Edit:Meta is also elevated between 1-2Khz.
 

thewas

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The link you posted above shows them like this:

View attachment 320825


So,1.7db more at 5Khz for the older ,the absolute worst area and both of them elevated from midrange.
If it's not right I stand corrected thought.

Edit:Meta is also elevated between 1-2Khz.
I am talking about the R3 Meta which the thread creator owns and the listening window which is closer to what is perceived.
 
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