Troubleshooting SQ - Are you ever tempted to go completely back to basics?

Checked and think they must be correct.

I cannot go back as I have never gone forward! My dream system is a 32.5/HiCap/250 and that’s what I’ve got, it will never be changed.


Ok, so a confusing afternoon of trying things.

Speakers left as in images above position wise for now.

Epos ES14s running passive - confusing - seem very bright on several tracks with much smaller soundstage than in hybrid mode. Other tracks vocals sounding rather soft (London Grammar) and not very emotive or incisive. Less involving.

SBLs running passive - possibly a little less harsh, cleaner but less detail and ultimately not that involving.

Epos ES14s with LF NAP 250 feed (to whole speaker)/SBL tweeters via HF NAP 250 feed. Much bigger soundstage, clearer incisive vocals, fuller more rounded sound, ultimately very involving and enjoyable. If there was a demo with invisible components I’d choose this.

Some may wonder if this is a wind up post, I can assure you it’s not and I’m simply baffled why the hybrid approach sounds so good. Is it simply a reflection of what active brings to the table even in an unconventional manner???


Does the Epos passive and the SBL active not sound right to you?

If you can put up with four speakers in your room, why not go with the hybrid?

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Epos passive has a smaller soundstage though clearly speaker positions are odd, they also sound brighter than I’d expect. They always had better bass extension than the SBLs, perhaps coloured.

SBL active is harsh with complex material and warmth/soundstage relatively lacking.

Ultimately it’s what sounds involving and the weird setup is just that.

Maybe it suggests an issue with the SBL mid bass drivers or gasket integrity.

There are so many variables, but two others I’ve maybe not considered are:

1 - The new SNAXO 242 - used as is out of the box - details on need for and role for internal LF/HF pots is vague in the extreme. They may be set to zero/minimum.

2 - Gaia feet on SBLs - not sure they changed SQ much compared to spikes/no spikes, possibly brighter, but such a faff to install (or remove) they stayed to avoid damage to the wood floor.

Moving my NBLs around in my last room (on gliders) there was an optimum distance between them where the scale of the music seemed to expand along with soundstage depth. Engagement also improved. Working with the restraint of the projector can’t be helping.

But before all that you need to get a torque driver that will do 3.6Nm and if it goes down to 0.8 or less so much the better. The Draper one at ~£50 a few years back isn’t all that precise so aim a bit higher than that. If you buy the right tool for the job you won’t end up blaming it.

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The projector image isn’t actually such an issue with the SBLs as their height means they lie just beneath it.

I chose the wide position for symmetry with speaker position relative to the image, but more importantly at the time as I didn’t know if the rack/table arrangement I’d envisaged mentally would fit in a narrower space more centrally, especially in range of the wall sockets without further extension leads.

Moving the SBLs won’t be too difficult due to the Gaia feet, it’s all the electronics that will be a big chore.

Nice to read!, 100% agree!! Interesting subject!!
My dealer in Toulouse (a big dealer) with al kind of high end hifi like Moon, Naim, MCIntosh, Audioquest etc etc has at his own home a simple Luxman L590 30watt into eight ohms class A amplifier with a 3000 euro pickup and speakers and a 25 euro power cord/power strip, thats all… And it sounds so amazingly good…
I am also very happy with my N272. Serious consider/discuss with my dealer to replace my XP5XS power supply with the 555PS as an upgrade…

The last time I went to the Bristol Show one of the best sounds was Avid’s entry level system, TT, amp and speakers. Didn’t enquire as to the cost but wonderful sound from so simple a system.

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Is the Luxman L-590 the original mk1 or the L-590AXII? The latter is very good and a lot better than the original 590.