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Intergraded amp for Dynaudio Excite X12

 

New member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 1
Registered: Oct-10
Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark and i live in The Netherlands. My hobby is audio. I love to listen to music (can't live without it) and try to do that in the best possible way. The most recent step to achive my goal was to buy new speakers, a pair of Dynaudio Excite X12. Unfortunately my receiver gave up on me and for me this is the best time to "go stereo".

I currently own this system: Panasonic DMP-BD80 player, and Dynaudio X12 speakers. I listen to lossless music from my pc and therefore choose a DAC as my source: the RDAC.

The Goal is to buy an amp with a budget of €1000. I've had a listen to the following amps:

Arcam FJM-A18: Sloppy bass, good voices and ary hights

NAD C356BEE (this amp was not run in at the time, so that could be the cause of the flaws): Not as laid-back as the Arcam. But overall sounded better. The only flaw i could find was the lack of punch and bass.

Rotel RA-06SE: A very musical amp, with limited soundstage, nice mids but is a bit sloppy when the music gets complex.

Marantz 7004: Very safe sound. It is laid back with tight bass and no mistakes overall, but as i said, it sounds safe.

Next week i wil have a listen to a variaty of amps. Do you guys have any suggestions?
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1655
Registered: Oct-07
Any chance of finding an Onkyo?
You may like the A-9555 which got a lot of good press.
If you like 'd' amps, that is.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 785
Registered: Dec-06
At that price level you should proably look at the Naim Nait 5i, Rega Mira3, and Exposure 2010s2. I personally own the latter, and love it for it's clarity, pace, detail, and bass articulation. Of course it's best to hear the various options through your Dynaudios before you commit.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1026
Registered: Jul-07
That speaker is fairly inefficient. No crazy impedance dips, but it still should have a reasonably powered amp. Have you considered Creek ?
 

New member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 2
Registered: Oct-10
Searched for it, but no audio shop in my area has Creek.

Also the audio shop that i talked to said that is was an easy speaker for a amp. But that isn't thrue?
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1660
Registered: Oct-07
http://stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/dynaudio_excite_x12_loudspeaker/index4. html

If this data from stereophile is any guide, I'd believe any reasonable amp should do.....electrically. As for quality reproduction, Stereophile reviewer used a Creek......which may not be a bad starting point.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1118
Registered: May-05
I'd add the Unison Research Unico but I haven't heard any of your options except the NAD
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1029
Registered: Jul-07
From the stereophile review linked to by Leo "This speaker will work better with relatively high-powered amplifiers". I think he also states any reasonably powered amplifier who power these speakers, but it's the difference between good and better that you're striving for.
 

New member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 3
Registered: Oct-10
Amps i want to listen to are :

Rega Mira (avalible from december)
Primare I 21
NAD C356BEE

And i have a question. My previous listening session was with a RDAC, and all of the amps missed some of the drive in the low frequency (excerpt the Marantz). Could the RDAC be the problem?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 790
Registered: Dec-06
I'd say if the Marantz had that drive then it's probably not the rDac. Although it could certainly contribute. Not to beat a dead horse, but if you can try the Exposure amp that might do it for you. Plenty of low frequency drive and excitement. Honestly, the bass is the first thing I notice with that amp, it's IMO slightly emphasized over the rest of the frequency range.

That said, I would try to hear all the amps on your list before making a decision. Your comments on the various amps in your first post are about the same as others report, though NAD does tend to be known for very prevalent bass. Maybe they've toned that down a bit, I'm not sure.

I can't comment on the three you have listed in your last post...other than to say Rega doesn't have as good a reputation for amps as they do CD and record players, and Primare tends to be viewed as a bit safe sounding. But I must add the disclaimer that I personally have not closely listened to a Rega, NAD, or Primare amp.
 

New member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 4
Registered: Oct-10
No they did not. The NAD that i heard is according to WhatHifi a good amp, but sometimes a bit too much drive and excitement. Could it be the loudspeaker cable? Anyway tomarrow i wil have listen to some more amps. The primare is noted high on my list. The Rega and the Creek are not avalible in my area.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 15451
Registered: Dec-04
Is a Anthem 225 available to have a listen to?

It is a nice neutral high powered integrated.
 

New member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 5
Registered: Oct-10
I listened to the Advanced Arcoustic MAP 306 and it was a very good experience. Bass is tight, mids are not to sharp and highs are musical.

What concerns me is the Whathifi review of the MAP305II. It gets two stars!!!!

Could you please provide some feedback of your experience with this amp?
 

New member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 6
Registered: Oct-10
I also found out that without the RDAC all the amps sounded much better (on a NAD CD player). So i do not know what to do.
 

New member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 7
Registered: Oct-10
I have the Rotel RA-1520 with the RDAC as source on home demo and it is very good. The highs are musical and mids are just right, but the low end is to loud. Especially the mid-bass (puch) is very present.

Do you now if it is the RDAC or the Rotel? What do i have to do?
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4051
Registered: May-05
Is this with the Dynaudio Xcites? Have you tried adjusting speaker placement? Maybe the room is at fault? Rotel isn't overblown bass gear to my ears, and Arcam is less so. I haven't heard the rDAC, so I can't say it's not at fault, but by both companies' reputations, I'd look at speaker placement and room setup.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 802
Registered: Dec-06
I don't have much experience with Dynaudio, but the pair I heard (Excite X16) definitely did have very prominent bass, what I would personally term overblown. I agree with Stu, perhaps you need to play with placement. Are the speakers on stands? How much space do they have around them? Do you have them toed in? From all I've read Dyns are known for their deep bass, but they are also very highly regarded so I'm sure they can be made to sound amazing. You just maybe need to work on placement, and ensure the speakers are on stands. I doubted just how important good stands were, but once I got a pair I was able to hear the difference and there is doubt no longer. For a speaker like Dynaudio, that has lots of bass energy, it's even more crucial. Toeing speakers in a bit should help bring the highs and mids into focus, which might alleviate the bass issues some.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 15519
Registered: Dec-04
Get the speakers well out into the room.
 

New member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 8
Registered: Oct-10
Upload
 

New member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 9
Registered: Oct-10
Thats my room. I think its the RDAC that is causing the problem. Whathifi stated that carefull system matching is required to avoid the bass to become bothersome
 

New member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 10
Registered: Oct-10
There is nothing wrong with the bass itself, but there is too much punch, it is to boomy. Does the Arcam A18/A28 correct this problem? I love the the Highs of the RDAC?
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4052
Registered: May-05
Your speakers look very close to the back wall, and the right speaker looks like it's too far into the corner. Not that I'm assuming your picture is to scale or anything like that. Having speakers closer to walls and corners reinforces bass. I'd like to suggest an experiment...

Get something from around the house that you can put the speakers on. Something solid (not pillows) that doesn't have a back that'll be behind the speakers. End tables may work well. Move the bed out of the way and put the speakers along that wall. Try approx 2 feet away from the back wall, approx 8 feet apart from each other, and have your chair the same distance away (from the speakers, not the mid line) - basically an equallateral triangle. Try to get the tweeters as close to ear level as possible when you're seated.

That should help determine if it's the speaker placement or the gear. It's a little bit of work to move stuff around, but it won't cost money in changing different components several times to possibly end up where you started.

If that changes the bass, we can work with you to get the most out of the system while still being able to have a bedroom.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 11
Registered: Oct-10
I have the amp and dac on demo so i have to dicide if i like it or not. I know my room sucks and the placement of my speakers sucks even more, but that is not an issue jet, because i have the setup on demo.

The Denon i had before (AVR 2105) i did not have any bass issues, it was not bass heavy. At the store the Rotel was not bass heavy either, but at home i need to turn down the bass to make it listenable.

So what i need is answer to the question: What causes the bass problems, the RDAC or the Rotel or both? Then i will decide what to do next.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1734
Registered: Oct-07
If that's your room in the picture, I'd start there. The RH speaker loaded into a corner like that will increase bass a lot....3db? 6db?

Also, the room appears square. That's bad, too.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 803
Registered: Dec-06
I doubt anyone here can tell you if it's the rDAC or the Rotel, unless someone here has been able to hear them, preferably in the same system. That isn't likely.

If you still have your Panasonic player you can use it and take the rDAC out of the chain to see if that helps.

Boomy bass in my experience tends to be a speaker issue, and Dynaudio in particular has lots of bass energy. If you put those rear ports right up close to a wall then boomy bass should pretty much be expected. I'm not sure why the Denon wouldn't have those issues, if used with the same speakers in the same spot, but that is a receiver and I suppose it's possible that there was a setting engaged that minimized bass output.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1735
Registered: Oct-07
I'm not HT literate, but if he was using a Denon HT receiver and set the fronts to 'small'.....wouldn't that limit bass?
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4053
Registered: May-05
If you want to keep running back and forth to the dealer trying out different gear, then do what you've got to do. The experiment I mentioned will determine if it's the placement, speakers, or components that are at fault. Whatever you do, I'm confidant that you'll have the bass problem so long as you don't move the speakers. Trust me, I've been there.

Moving the speakers around will take less time than packing everything up, bringing it to the dealer, and selecting something else to take home.

If you don't believe us, ask your dealer. Tell him where and how your speakers are placed, and ask him what issues that could cause.

The speaker-room interface is the most important thing in a system IMO. It'll make or break any system.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 12
Registered: Oct-10
Update:

In the past week i've tried many different amps at home with different results regarding to the sound. I agree to what Stu Pitt said about the room and i will move the speakers around when i have the time.

I will post a short impression of each amp i ve been listening to.

Rotel RA1520, RDAC

As i have stated before the combo is a good match. The highs are exactly what i want without any harshness and they are very musical. The mids are very smooth and full of expression. Bass is tight, but overpowerd with to much punch.

Arcam A28, RDAC

This was not the sound that i was looking for. A very wide stereo image, but to clinical. Every error in the sound is exposed. Mids are good, but nothing exceptional. Bass is tight and excatly right in my room.

Marantz PM7004, RDAC

I was blown away with the difference between the session an the store and the session at home. I stated before that the Marantz sounded safe, but at home it was very alive and detailled and the vocals where somewhat sharp. Bass was tight and was not overpowerd at all.

So i short the only amp where i have experienced the overpowerd bass was the rotel. But the difference between the marantz between the store and home was very shocking too.
 

New member
Username: Crazybull

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-11
Hey mark, are you done with the amp ? marantz or what ?
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1225
Registered: May-05
Mark,

I just went through a similar exercise with a higher price point. As Dan, Leo and Stu are telling you, it makes no sense to bring in another amp until you get your speakers in the correct position in the room. Your speaker placement is causing sound distortion in the bass and likely in the midrange and treble as well, although the bass will be most noticeable. Until you fix that, you can bring in a $10,000 amp and you still will have boomy bass that doesn't sound right.

Once, I moved my speakers into the room, my system changed dramatically to the better and my sound improved to more realistic. Only then, was the new amp a revelation. If I had purchased the new amp first, I would have assumed the new amp wasn't very good. In fact, the new amp is incredible but you need to move your speakers or you will just continue to beat a dead horse.
Dave
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 13
Registered: Oct-10
I am sorry for the late reaction. Based on tips on this thread i decided to buy nothing and have a friend check out the setup and placement.
The only thing that has changed is that i use the speaker plugs with the Dynaudio X12 and let the STampede do al the bass. It works so much better!

Then i decided to buy an RDAC, but unfortunately it doesn't match well with the Denon 2105. Instead of returning it i'm trying to find a amp wich is a good match with the Dynaudio's and the RDAC, because the age of the Denon receiver. I hope it is the right decision. Leaning towards the Rega Brio, but i don't know the amp.

here is my amp shortlist:

Roksan K2
Peachthree Nova
Creek Evo

 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1227
Registered: May-05
Mark,

I don't know any of those amps. I am sure the other folks on here will be able to help you, though. I lived with my initial set-up for 20 plus years before I got the upgradeitis. In the last 6 months, I've bought two amps and new speakers but it was only when I changed my room set-up that I finally recognized the improvement I got with the first amp and where its real shortcomings were and I could then research to determine what I needed from the new amp. Now, I have a set-up that I will likely live with for a very long time.

Good luck and report back after you get the speakers in the right place. You might want to take an hour and look at my Integrated Amps for $3000 thread and start reading about 1/3 to 1/2 way down where I started getting advice on speaker placement, room treatment and other tweaks. They really made all the difference.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1228
Registered: May-05
Mark,

It's the thread right below this one but here's the link https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/672623.html
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 14
Registered: Oct-10
Thank you. Here are some pictures of how the setup looks now and whats under the speakers to uncouple them from the desk, works very well. (don't mind the mess)


 

Bronze Member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 15
Registered: Oct-10
Upload
Upload
 

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1229
Registered: May-05
Mark,

Jan and others can speak to this better than me but there are a number of reasons why that set-up will cause you problems. Dave
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 16
Registered: Oct-10
What can i do to improve the acoustics of my room?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tha_limp_man

Post Number: 17
Registered: Oct-10
Does somebody have some suggestions
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1303
Registered: Jul-07
Mark, start here.....
https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/676769.html

This topic has been circled around a lot lately so if you check out some of the info on the site you'll find a lot of suggestions. It's difficult to fully diagnose from your picture, but it certainly appears that your setup has a few areas you could improve on. Read through some of the speaker placement methodologies. Your speakers are far from ideally located. Your other gear (e.g., amp/receiver) seems to be resting in enclosed "furniture", without any thought to isolation from structure or air born vibrations (energy).

As Jan so often says, placing things in a convenient way, seldom results in optimal placement for system performance. If you can be flexible on where things go, and how they are put there, then you can make a huge difference in the performance of your system.
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