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Yet another Elac Debut reference thread!

Audiofool1Q84

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Hi all - noob here and this is my first thread on ASR so please be gentle :)
Mods, if this needs to be merged with another thread please fire away.

So, after all the research I took the DBR 62 plunge. These are setup in my partially treated living room which measures about 12X20 feet with a 9ft ceiling. I've got them on good stands (which are 28 inches tall) and about 30 inches from most walls (the very best I can do). For this setup I'm only doing Qobuz from a rpi via usb to Topping E30 (both powered by Allo Shanti lpsu) which then plugs directly into my custom built dual mono block AB power amp which measures (as per the builder) 195wpc at 8ohms.

I love everything about the Elacs, except low volume performance. I had a day with REW but forgot to save my readings (though iirc nothing "exceptional" showed up in measurements). Anything below 65 db and they sound dull and lifeless. Above that level the Elacs start to really shine. From my very basic understanding, my options to solve this (without breaking the bank) are:

  • Get a "better" class D amp like the ncore or purifi builds. I'd love to experiment with these but I'm in a geography where shipping + duties push the price up by 50-80%
  • Some fellow Dbr 62 owners who've used the E30 suggest moving to E50 or even the DX3 pro+ as they work "better as preamps"
  • Add a dedicated preamp and use the topping in dac mode only
  • Add a sub
  • Correlate this phenomenon to speaker design and either use one of the above "fixes", live with the compromise or (..gasp!) replace the 62s
I've tried several other speakers (more efficient ones) with this setup and in other chains in the same room but never really felt this issue with a complete loss of dynamics at lower volumes. There are bits and pieces of some of the info I'm seeking all across ASR and the internet but I haven't found any definitive answers - hence the thread.

Any help would be most appreciated!
 

jae

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Your room is small. Are you accustomed to listening at 65 dB? What volume(s) did you measure at? Only definitive way of seeing some objective differences is comparing FR at 65 and say 85 dB and see if there's major differences in the general response. Looking at the PIR of this speaker its possible that lower volumes may exacerbate some of the inherent issues with it.

I would also give the EQ a try regardless: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/p...eq/Elac Debut Reference DBR-62/iir-autoeq.txt
 
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Audiofool1Q84

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Thanks all for the responses so far.
1) Sub - I've had several other similarly sized speakers from Wharfedale, Monitor Audio etc in the same room. Never felt them lacking even at lower volumes and in fact have used them in much larger rooms as well. This is still a maybe for me especially considering a good sub costs at least as much as the speakers themselves
2) PEQ - Thanks @jae I'll certainly give this a whirl thru Moode - a free and easy experiment
3) AVR or other similar solution (like Audessy) with dynamic eq - will keep as a secondary solution as I'm really not keen at adding more gear to the chain ideally - but I suppose the philosophy is the same in terms of using some dsp to compensate at lower SPL (?)

There is also a lot of chatter among audiophile circles on power/pre matching. Could the E30 directly plugged into my pa acting as a pre+dac be a bottleneck in any way? Some youtube reviewers have said this about the E30 but I don't understand their rationale for this claim..
 
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Audiofool1Q84

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RandomEar

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There is also a lot of chatter among audiophile circles on power/pre matching. Could the E30 directly plugged into my pa acting as a pre+dac be a bottleneck in any way? Some youtube reviewers have said this about the E30 but I don't understand their rationale for this claim..

Honestly: If they claim that, the burden of proof is on them. Except for grossly mismatched impedances, I don't see any reason this should happen.

I would first question, what "dull and lifeless" actually is. Do the speakers lack base? Is the treble recessed? At lower volumes, you will be listening mostly to your speakers, as reflections in the room become less audible.

Therefore, the suggestion to use a PEQ is good, as that lets you dial in more volume in arbitrary freq ranges easily, without the need to blindly switch components. You might also experiment with more or less toe-in on the speakers and with moving them closer to the rear wall. That's all easy to do and free, which is why I would try it before anything else. And maybe you can borrow a sub from a friend, to try that, too? Would be a risk-free option to check if you miss punch in the base.

Also, the fact that the REW plot looked good doesn't really mean that it sounds good to you: If your previous setups had excessive base or mids or treble and you liked that, then a clean REW plot now doesn't help you pinpoint the problem. That is, assuming you didn't use REW with your previous setups.
 

RandomEar

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Can you provide some substantiation?

All evidence suggests otherwise.
Just logic: Reflections will be lower in volume than the sound directly from the speaker. If you're listening at very low volumes, the reflections therefore should start out below the noise floor of the room. As you increase the volume, they will become audible at some point.

If that's an incorrect assumption, I'm happy if you could point me to a source that explains why.
 

abdo123

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If you're listening at very low volumes, the reflections therefore should start out below the noise floor of the room. As you increase the volume, they will become audible at some point.

your assumption is correct, but you're underestimating how loud early reflections are (~30ms) that are considered disruptive. and you're overestimating most rooms' noise floor, above 1KHz most rooms have a noise floor of 20-30dBSPL.

In reality research suggests that since the ratio of direct sound and reflections is the same the quality of the sound should be the same (in the context of destructive reflections) but you're not the first person to bring this up to be honest so i was curious.
 
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Audiofool1Q84

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Honestly: If they claim that, the burden of proof is on them. Except for grossly mismatched impedances, I don't see any reason this should happen.

I would first question, what "dull and lifeless" actually is. Do the speakers lack base? Is the treble recessed? At lower volumes, you will be listening mostly to your speakers, as reflections in the room become less audible.

Therefore, the suggestion to use a PEQ is good, as that lets you dial in more volume in arbitrary freq ranges easily, without the need to blindly switch components. You might also experiment with more or less toe-in on the speakers and with moving them closer to the rear wall. That's all easy to do and free, which is why I would try it before anything else. And maybe you can borrow a sub from a friend, to try that, too? Would be a risk-free option to check if you miss punch in the base.

Also, the fact that the REW plot looked good doesn't really mean that it sounds good to you: If your previous setups had excessive base or mids or treble and you liked that, then a clean REW plot now doesn't help you pinpoint the problem. That is, assuming you didn't use REW with your previous setups.
Some good points. I've spent a lot of time and effort in optimizing placement so I believe I have that covered. I'm working on the peq option and will report back.
 
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Audiofool1Q84

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As a follow up to my own question, some very helpful suggestions and further experimentation:

- Perceived lack of dynamics at low volumes, say <60db may be attributed to the Fletcher Munson curve
- This slight dullness at low volumes is in the nature of "flatter/more neutral" speakers like the 62s
- I may be used to speakers in the past that have boosted U or V curves hence never felt this before
- Changing amp/dac may not have any bearing on low volume dynamics assuming it is nowhere near clipping/distortion levels
- Experimenting with peq has potential benefits - I need more time with this. Dynamic peq may be an option in the future
- A sub may help - I'm flirting with the idea of a Rel T zero given budget constraints but unsure if it's enough for my room

Any other suggestions or experiences are most welcome!
 

SeshatCZ

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Hi Audiofool1Q84,
I have similar experiences with these speakers. I like them too much to let them go, but one must have some burn-in period with them. But on the other side of the whole chain, than it is ment usually with this term, which is per se a bit vague, and unscientific. YOU must accommodate to them during substantial time.

I have tried switching Amps and Preamps, but this "signature" of them was/is persistent. There is some relatively subtle threshold in volume to start sense their qualities.

I use them in the similarly sized room like You, in an acoustically untreated Living room opened to Dining room. And no, adding a sub is no solution from my experience. There is only another value of the threshold, similarly like with changing amps/preamps.

On the other hand, I have primarily had a similar intuition, that more bass will explains this "abscopal effect". However, I am not sure with this now. What I am able to comprehend from this problem, which I have treated with my limited knowledge of audio, and only subjectively till this time, it is better to let them alone for hifi stereo usage, because adding ONE sub will not solve this, and you are on the more excited level only, like in some spiral. So I use the sub with them only for TV by optical, and Spotify streaming by Bluetooth, i.e. with less detailed, and less subtle digital sources. I am OK with them alone for more serious Listening - hi res streaming with Amazon, flacs from PC, and various hifi analog sources from my vintage gear, mainly several FM tuners, and from time to time tapes.

It is my own 2-year-experience with them. Very positive one, but with a bit bitterness sometimes. So, it is a Love....

Pavel
 

Sernyl

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As a follow up to my own question, some very helpful suggestions and further experimentation:

- Perceived lack of dynamics at low volumes, say <60db may be attributed to the Fletcher Munson curve
- This slight dullness at low volumes is in the nature of "flatter/more neutral" speakers like the 62s
- I may be used to speakers in the past that have boosted U or V curves hence never felt this before
- Changing amp/dac may not have any bearing on low volume dynamics assuming it is nowhere near clipping/distortion levels
- Experimenting with peq has potential benefits - I need more time with this. Dynamic peq may be an option in the future
- A sub may help - I'm flirting with the idea of a Rel T zero given budget constraints but unsure if it's enough for my room

Any other suggestions or experiences are most welcome!
Hi,
An interestin g feature is the "dynamic loudness" control : you adjust it as you like.
I don't know if this is implemented in many pre/dacs, but have a close look at the manual of the RME ADI-2 (PRO FS)
Page 14.
And other features can be of some interest.
Regards,
 

Gorancho

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Elac dbr62 are as good as it gets, and better. One need sub ofcourse, good amp and solid dac, which is setup a have. So every component is more expensive than elac. One can say you are using 6000euro luxman with cheap elac, but elac is not the weak link in any sistem. Maybe A.Jones got lucky with these dbr62, maybe it has nothing to do with luck, but they are magnificent. They are not dull, they are not boring, and other stuff some audiphiles are saying, the are just MAGNIFICENT for unbeatable price. If one has problem having 500euro component in his setup, well than that is a condition one must deal with.
20220908_204738.jpg
 
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