Lacking punch in current system....

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Chester0711, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minneapolis,MN
    Current setup:

    Table - Pro-Ject Xtension 9
    Cart - AT-VM760-SLC
    Phono Stage - Lounge MKIII w/Silver Wire
    Amp - Yamaha A-S501
    Speakers - KEF LS50 (on KEF stands)

    Room size = 12x12

    was doing a little vinyl listening with a friend who is into vinyl and getting a lot of positive feedback on my system. He is the type of person who likes a mellow sound that does not have too much punch. He thinks punch sounds “artificial” I personally like where my system is at and fine tuning is really all I have been doing. Speaker placement, wiring, power conditioning, room treatments ,etc....

    One thing I want us more punch, I am not like
    my friend and enjoy punch to my tunes.

    fast forward to more recently as one of our local shops opened and I wanted to go in and see what was up, not really in the mood to buy anything at the moment, and the sales guy, who knows my system, as I have bought other stuff from them, starts to tell me I need to upgrade my amp....

    they deal in higher end stuff, but he thinks my amp is the source of my lack of punch? Does an amp have that much to do with punch? Thought it was more the cart, phono stage and speakers?
     
  2. c-eling

    c-eling I never dreamed another way.

    Lounge has a 'warm, laid back' signature, that may be part of it. I moved mine to my main system and put an old VLPS-II into play for my digital transfers. 12 inch singles etc.. that require 'punch' :winkgrin:
    Some mastering's/recording's/remaster's however just don't have it, just depends.
    Example-AC/DC-Back In Black Ludwig, compared to the 2003/New Order-Movement UK Townhouse, compared to the remaster.
     
  3. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minneapolis,MN
    So my argument to the salesman was that it would
    most likely be my lounge Phono pre amp, and not my Yamaha.

    he knew nothing about the lounge and in all honesty, they have limited choice in their store in Regards to phono pre-amps.

    I was wondering if this was more a product of the Lounge, which is by far and away a wonderful pre-amp! Maybe just not the one for me if I want punchy sound?

    totally understand the mastering aspect. To test this we played a copy of The Band (brown album mastered by Ludwig) on my system and my buddies system....it was punchier on his and he is using a vintage marantz integrated (2270 I think) As his phono stage.
     
    c-eling likes this.
  4. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Amp may be the culprit. Try doubling the wattage and current delivery - see if you get more punch. Perhaps your dealer can lend you a demo unit of the amp he wants to sell you?
     
    sushimaster likes this.
  5. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Also, do you have a sub in the system? May help
     
    sushimaster likes this.
  6. crn3371

    crn3371 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    First thing that comes to mind is to upgrade your amp. The LS50’s like power. When I had them I went through several amp upgrades, each one having increasingly more power, each one giving increasing punch. My second recommendation is to get a subwoofer(s).
     
    dennem, sushimaster, rocnred and 2 others like this.
  7. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minneapolis,MN
    The sub is on my list as possibly the next upgrade. It’s a small room, so not sure how to deal with a sub in that space. I get enough bass for me, and I recognize that a sub will help with the sound of that bass. What I am saying is, I don’t need more, just more definition maybe?
     
  8. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minneapolis,MN
    I have heard people say this and am wondering if the sales guy was thinking along these lines. They sold me the LS50’s and didn’t know much about the Yamaha I had when they did it...
     
  9. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Mind elaborating on what "punch" means in this context? That sort of sound can translate to a smiley-faced EQ curve.

    In any case, you've got a cart with boosted high end. I'd switch the stylus for the cheaper 540ML stylus on the same body as you will get more neutral sound from that. You can do that when your current stylus wears out.

    Next thing I would do is switch out the Lounge for something more neutral. That thing is highly colored, to put it politely. Get something more neutral instead. It need not cost a lot of money, but if you want to spend a bit on a phono preamp you can. Whatever you buy make sure the input capacitance is 100pf or less. The cables going from the TT to the phono preamp should also be low capacitance.

    If that doesn't do the trick I would look into getting a subwoofer of some sort, as LS50 users often run a sub. You may have to audition a few to find one you like.

    Other than that I would agree that "punch" starts with the recording and mastering as @c-eling said.

    Don't worry about replacing your Yamaha integrated, it's not the problem. 85 WPC should be enough to power those speakers.
     
    Chester0711 likes this.
  10. Mr.Sign

    Mr.Sign Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Germany
    .
    Nice setup ,
    I think your dealer is right. A lot more powerful high quality amp would help, and if you are into bass performance, a sub might be a good idea too.
    This changes sound quality even at low listening volumes.

    Good luck!
     
  11. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    you should get decent punch with your speakers and amp in your room.
    1 do you have another source, cd , digital, dvd player to see if is isolated to turntable?
    2 are the port plugs in the ls50s? remove if they are
    3 position speakers at least 24 inches back baffle to back wall.
    4 check speaker cable wiring and cartridge wiring to see if all are same polarity.
     
    TeflonScoundrel and patient_ot like this.
  12. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    The amp is definitely not the culprit. The bipolar-transistor based Yamaha integrateds are some of the most dynamic out there.

    The reality is that LS50s are just not very dynamic. I enjoy LS50s, but similar to most of the BBC-type monitors, they don't really do that chest-punching bass. For that, you generally want speakers of higher sensitivity. It also
    depends on designer voicing. Bookshelf speakers I've heard with better dynamics include the previous gen B&W 600 series, Paradigm's Premier series and Epos Epics. The last of those would definitely require a sacrifice in refinement, but dynamics are off-the-charts. Maybe look for a pair of Epos Elan 15s.
     
    The Pinhead, boyhitscar and Fruff76 like this.
  13. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    For my small bedroom, I chose a Cambridge Audio Minx-30 sub. It's very compact and fits in fine. Bass to 31 Hz. $349 new.
     
  14. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    for reference i had the ls50s driven by a 20 watt tube amp and they had impressive punch in my much larger room.
     
  15. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    The Lounge preamp produces plenty of punch as well. In fact, its EQ curve heavily favors the bass freqs.
     
  16. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    I would try some larger speakers, maybe a 2-way with 8" or 10" woofers for a start. Something with a bit more output in the 50-80Hz range.

    jeff
     
    The Pinhead likes this.
  17. punkmusick

    punkmusick Formerly 4011021

    Location:
    Brazil
    Maybe it's the cartridge, or maybe a cartridge-interconnects-phonostage mismatch due to high capacitance.
     
  18. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Maybe, but OP is going to need a more neutral phono preamp first to avoid a wacky sound from that cartridge in any case.
     
    punkmusick likes this.
  19. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Great idea. Take the phono system out of the equation entirely and see if there is still a problem. Get a few recordings that are known to be "punchy" and crank them.
     
  20. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    This is correct, in fact for a time Robert had feedback from customers that there was "too much bass" in some of his releases after going to Silver wire, and he had to make some adjustments. I had one of those that was bass heavy, but long since sent back for a different upgrade (the Gold+ upgrade) and now the punch is just right.

    I still own three different Lounge products, and none of them are bass / punch shy. In fact as I type I am listening to Fleetwood Mac on an SL-1200 M3D with a DL-110 and the Lounge Max and it is wonderful, bass is punchy and just right.
     
  21. fretter

    fretter Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    From my limited experience, the problem is either the speakers or a lack of a graphic equalizer, or both. Speakers on the floor add oomph. A graphic equalizer can be shaped to maximize said oomph.
     
  22. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    I'll throw this out there too - the 760 SLC of course requires dead nuts alignment / set up being a line contact --- if you're certain the azimuth is right on, the VTA / TF are right on, etc --- try to increase TF a little, and slight tail up on the VTA.

    If it's not adjustment related, then I would next consider the amp --- the LS50's of course like watts (100+ I've seen recommended) and good watts to boot - the A-S501 I think is rated at 80W into 2 channels, which in theory is probably plenty for the LS50.... but consider you have an amp that retails for less than your cartridge....... just sayin'.

    I'd be thinking of auditioning a different amp with a little more oomph personally....... realizing quality of watts is just as critical as quantity.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
    IRG and Benzion like this.
  23. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minneapolis,MN
    I have played some FLAC files, and other albums with mastering that would dictate punch (Lou Reed Coney Island, Fleetwood Mac Rumours)
    I think what I am referring to as punch, is probably more “definition”?
    A sub my help quite a bit, it is one thing I have not tried to this point and have been curious about.

    more or less not sure on size needed for strictly music playback in a smaller room?
     
  24. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minneapolis,MN
    You make a good point. The amp itself, and maybe the phono stage, aren’t exactly in line cost-wise with the rest of the system.
     
  25. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    What is Lounge Max?

    I recently sent my LCR Silver to Robert for an upgrade to Gold, and my Copla for upgrade to Silver.
     

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