Improving Bass response NAP250-DR, NAC-N272, Focal Electra 1038BE, NAC-A5

I added Chord Epic speaker cables factory terminated with Chord Omnic plugs and that improved the bass control and tonality in my system, in a room that’s 22 x11 feet, play8ng across the width of the room - so bass boom has always been a potential problem for me.

But yes, get a psu - ideally a 555dr. That would be transformative.

Thanks for the offer. Our next trip is by air but we do use the night ferry from Portsmouth sometimes so I may take you up on that.

Masterset did the trick! Many thx!
A lot of work, but nice to do :slight_smile:


Thank you all for the tips and tricks. Adding a PSU is something I am still (for a few years now) considering, but first need a new (secondhand) car, I need to get to my work to save for the PSU :slight_smile:


I would try moving the speakers closer together to couple the bass driver better. I’d also recommend trying tellurium Q black speaker cables.

I have a 250 DR, XPS DR and the NAC272 and a tonne of bass. Even running my old Royds there was plenty. In fact, since kicking off in 94 with a NAC 102 and NAP 180 it’s the first time I’ve been happy with the bass. Like others have suggested it maybe your room.

Think I’d add a power supply of possible (it does help) and/or investigate changing speakers.

@rikbast I took the “Master Set” class with a Sumiko fellow years ago… It’s akin to taking Driving Classes or Motorcycle riding classes… You really don’t know, what you don’t know, until you find better. It’s alway been first Speaker Setup, and then Room acoustics ,all the rest is icing on the cake.

Also there’s always a bit more tweaking that you can do with you speaker set up once you get the hang of it or Ears for it!

Speaking from experience I recon a 555ps dr is an absolute must … when I tried doing this it made a jaw dropping difference to the 272. Also if you ever upgrade … it will stay … with the 555ps dr. One last thing speaker room positioning and listening position. Go on line…and google it there are plenty of good tips…you could be at a null point. Also use my bass test album Lapa Spirit Vessel…try track 4 … Back to Africa…this is a killer track…the bass should not boom but be tight deep and tuneful.

With this quality setup and size of speaker you really should not need a sub…


I used it to set up some Thiels and got the off axis image effect, when I replaced the Thiels with NBLs it wasn’t applicable but once we’d optimised the distance to the wall I found that placing the centre line of the NBLs where those of the Thiels had been gave a similar effect on imaging, though it didn’t extend to the side sofa as the Thiels had but If anything the NBLs gave more image depth when not so radically off axis, not something I’d expected.

I found a small document with a procedure, which I followed up. Result seems ok now. But shifting speakers only a few mm’s isn’t that easy. Maybe I need to tweak a little bit more. You need to toe-in also.

Try removing the foam bung.

I’m surprised to hear that 1038be lack bass. I’ve had their smaller brother, 1028be, for quite some time now, using them with 250.2, 300DR and now 500DR. Never in all that time have they lacked bass. Indeed, my dealer has had to adjust their position on a couple of occasions because, following a source/PSU upgrade the bass became a bit too much. On one of these occasions I tried the bungs. Oh dear! The bass was tamed a bit but at a heavy price of loss of vitality.

Neither the 1038’s, or 1037’s before them have bungs.

Followed this thread with interest. I have lived for 12 years with 1037’s ( extensibly the same as 38’s). Neither base extension or its control are ime deficiencies. They do however, as has been mentioned above by others, require BOTH a largish room and a quality source to give their best. Amplification, I have an 82/hc and, like you @rikbast a 250dr. My listening room is 5.5mx6.5m and has a vaulted ceiling. I recall it took my dealer and I some time to set them up and I remember too that the Focal guidance on positioning certainly didn’t bring out their best in my room. Patience is often the key to achieving a component’s optimum and these speakers are no exception.
Based on my own long experience with them, I would recommend you concentrate on positioning and then upgrading your source with a PSU as has been said.

Good luck !


It doesn’t have a foam bung

Totally agree…I think this is 85% a room positioning thing…you need to logically
work through the null points. I would put speakers on mdf boards with rounded edges so I could drag them around … and keep testing…not forgetting adjusting listening position. This could take some time… obviously a 555ps dr will help matters…

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Also if it helps you could put a test tone from youtube of say 50hz through your system … not at high volume … walk around the room and see where its loudest… then adjust the speaker position to see how that changes sound … to suit your taste…its time consuming…

Agree with Richieroo, almost certainly related to speaker positioning and listener positioning… the smaller the room the more crucial speaker positioning and listener positioning becomes for great bass. (And reduced higher frequency reflections). Small rooms can be superb for bass and all frequencies for that matter… it’s just you need care on positioning and absorbing reflections.

You might find currently you have a null or dip between around 100 to 400 Hz because of reflections from the walls / side walls which will make the system feel bass light, although the bass is there it’s just the speaker positioning is having it muted or attenuated when listening in your room.

There are plenty of modelling programs out there on the web, though might be easier to trial and error. Using a pink noise source and an application like REW with a calibrated mic, can really help… it also shows you when you may then get peaks, and boom or excessive over hang in bass… you can easily tip the other way.

Almost certainly this will not be solved with electronics/speaker cable/PSUs. Yes this may change the presentation and acoustically mask the issue in your mind… but it will be still there and you will inevitably notice it again when listening to a well known recording,
That said different speakers will couple differently in rooms, and if you can’t resolve with positioning, then different speakers (or different room) might be the only satisfactory answer.

Take a look at

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pay attention to the sinergy DR and Focal, in my experience with focal diablo utopia power supply not DR are better than DR

Whilst I am not familiar with those speakers, having looked them up I am very much inclined to agree with those who have suggested that the problem may be the room not the speakers’ lack of output, unless you are specifically meaning well below 30Hz. Different speaker and/or listening position may be what is needed.

My own experience in my present room brought this home to me when I moved into the house, set up as planned - and was shocked to find no bass from speakers that were very capable. Using REW as a tool - which was very useful, allowing me to see the response and what was happening in different locations in the room, and then the effect of different speaker positions. I ended up with a complete rearrangement if the room. With REW it took just a few hours - without it I suspect it would have taken many days.