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  1. They are time aligned. It's rather obvious. They are only ~3 feet from my head. They are raised on home made stands. Strangely enough, I had already "tacked" the speakers in place using poster putty (a lot like blutac). I placed putty between the stands and the table and between the speakers and the stands. That's a no-go for me. My computer table has a lot of computer and audio gear on it. I wouldn't be happy with an empty table covered in a blanket or something. That's an interesting suggestion: Zero toe in. I think I'll experiment with it. At the moment they are toed in such that the tweeter paths cross roughly 3 feet behind my head. I might consider hanging a blanket or other tapestry kind of thing behind my chair on the wall to absorb sound. That might make a positive difference. Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions. Brian.
  2. Your listening distance will necessarily change the full path length of reflections. Nearfield is tough for subs because you can end up with the sub closer to the center of the room than the boundaries. Which means that you necessarily will experience destructive interference from reflections off of the boundary walls. I guess if you want to do this, putting your desk against a wall and the sub very close to that wall should yield the best results, generally speaking. My nearfield setup has the sub facing a rear wall, with me sitting a few feet off of that wall, and my desk almost in the middle of the room. In my case, placing the sub under *or* on the desk would probably be pretty awful. As it is now, the bass response is quite good. I wasn't trying to argue about this specific setup (the Focal 2.1 system). I was speaking about sub placement in general and the idea that high placed subs are usually a bad idea. The details are super important. Placement is probably 80% of sub "tuning". Brian.
  3. There are several good reasons for subs to go on the floor. Rattling/vibration/etc/ have been discussed. The bigger two reasons are: 1. Placing a sub up high induces a floor bounce reflection. The sound from the subwoofer takes (at least) two paths: One directly to your ear and another down to the floor, and then reflected back to your ear. The path length of the floor bounce equates to a cancelation in the upper bass region, which you don't want. All reflections are bad. This is one we can eliminate by placing it low. 2. Many subwoofers have response that goes much higher than you would expect. This is why you can hear the lower part of voices and things when you play a subwoofer all by itself. If the sub is at (or near) ear level, you tend to hear these higher frequencies. Placing the sub low masks these high frequencies more. Brian.
  4. A few details about my system to make things more clear: My DAC is pretty decent: A Schiit Audio Modi Multibit. I was quite impressed when I upgraded to this DAC. The "desk" these speakers are on is rather large, at 6 feet (2 meters) wide. One speaker is inches from a wall, the other is in the middle of the room. Between them is a 27" monitor. The desk is littered with sundry electronics and desk items. Including a full sized receiver, DACs, a headphone amp, etc. This is certainly nothing like a pristine, non-reflective environment. My listening position is generally about 2 feet from the back wall, though sometimes right up to the wall. I think the brightness I hear is mostly due to my close proximity to the speakers. It seems to drop off a bit as I move back. But I can't go far enough back to be at a more typical 7 to 10 foot listening position, as the wall stops me from going any further. This is not a living room: It's a spare bedroom that I use as a hobby room and office type area. I would entertain doing a little bit of treatment, or tweaking of speaker positions. I should probably play with toeing the speakers out a bit. They are pointing in towards me at the moment. Probably intersecting at a point about 3 feet behind my head. I've never seen any audiophile system with speakers hung from the ceiling. I don't think I'm willing to experiment quite that far. Thanks for the thoughts and ideas. Brian.
  5. The HSU VTF-1 (10") is probably worth looking at. It's $50 more than the S8. I have the HSU VTF-2 (12") and I think it's pretty incredible. Brian.
  6. It's been a couple of weeks now with the Warfedale Denton 80s and the HSU sub I bought to go along with them. Overall I'm pretty impressed with this setup. It's very dynamic and "fast" sounding with a lot of instrument separation. The bass is really well integrated. I spent a lot of extra time getting the sub position and parameters set up. Really a lot. I even re-arranged my room so that I'm sitting very close to a wall and my desk and speakers are near the center of the room. This improved the bass a good bit and the midrange and highs as well. Instruments became even more separated after this re-arranging. The sound is actually more "audiophile" and revealing than any other system I've had. Some of my systems have been far more expensive. The bass in particular is some of the best over the entire range that I've ever heard from my systems and really even from most audio shop systems I can think of. But that's the sub integration. The bass from the Dentons alone is OK, but they have 5" drivers. So you're never going to get real bass from them. The HSU makes a huge difference. Vocals in particular are pretty incredible. I'm not sure I've ever heard Mark Knopfler or Michael McDonald or BIlly Joel sound as full of life as on these. The chest resonance really makes them sound "big", but the emphasis on the upper midrange also gives just a ton of detail to the voices. I wouldn't exactly call the Dentons "warm". They are extremely revealing, but also not terribly harsh. When played loud or with music that's kind of "forward" or complex (think loud rock or metal) they get a bit unpleasant and I usually turn it back down. I bought an NAD integrated amp to go with them hoping it might warm the sound up some. I don't think the NAD did any "warming", but I think the overall sound is better now; more smooth and maybe a smidge less strident or harsh. I think my listening distance plays a big role in this. My ears are around 3 feet from each speaker. When I push back from the desk and nearly touch the back wall, the forward nature of the sound (like the singer is very close to you) goes away and they sound a bit different. I'll probably play with position a bit more. I've got the treble on the NAD turned down a few notches which helps. But it doesn't really change the character of the speakers. It's just a tweak. As you can see I'm happy, but have slightly mixed impressions. Brian.
  7. Thanks for the extra suggestions guys. I've already bought the Wharfedale Denton 80s. I'm still tweaking things. ...and I have new amplification and a crossover coming soon, so more to be done. I'm mostly liking the Dentons, but I find them a bit thin sounding. On some music they get kind of unpleasant. My choice of speaker position and seating position probably influences this greatly. I may do some room re-arranging experiments too. Thanks, Brian.
  8. I have never owned any horn speakers. I've heard a small number of home audio horn based speakers. I've set up and heard a good number of pro audio speakers. I've also helped design a couple of large scale bass horns, but that was very unusual, featuring huge amounts of power, large drivers, and horn mouths that were 8 feet tall or more. Different and interesting with high SPLs. But not "hi-fi" by any means. Brian.
  9. I received and installed the Wharfedale Denton 80s yesterday. Initially I thought they were rather bright. But then I realized that they just have good upper midrange detail. Voices sound very natural. Even at elevated volumes, I never got any unpleasant sibilance or other high frequency exaggeration. In general I would say I like these pretty well. However, they do lack in bass a lot. Which isn't surprising given that they only have 5" drivers. Turning the bass knob up on my receiver to about the 3/4 mark helped a lot with this. But they are still a bit lacking. Luckily I anticipated this and a new subwoofer is arriving today. I'm hoping that both fills in the lower two octaves and perhaps makes these even a bit more "warm" without sacrificing too much of their midrange detail. I may have more to say in a few days... though I'm not sure anyone here is all that interested. Brian.
  10. Good horns have some "magic" that's for sure. Bad horns are really bad. Very "poke you in the ear" sound. I think the reason that good horns are so good is because of the enhanced coupling of the driver (the thing that moves) to the air mass in front of it. A metal dome tweeter sitting on a mount on the front of a speaker is kind of a normal tweeter. To many people, like me, metal dome tweeters sound pretty bad. Very "screamy" and just not natural at all. But if you take a similar dome shaped driver and put a horn in front of it, the air load on the metal dome changes it's behavior drastically. The dome moves much less though it's pass band because the air mass is coupled to it. Almost like a weight being attached to the dome. Paul Klipsch said that horns revealed the "Inner voices in recordings". Those are interesting words because on the right system with horns, you really do hear subtle details that are masked on other systems. I often think of those words when listening to good horns. Midrange and bass horns that are good are much more rare, especially in the hi-fi world. On the other hand, even good horns can be a little too revealing. Bad recordings can really sound bad. This is the balancing act we play with high end audio: How much detail, resolution, and "wow!", versus how much listenability with average to poor recordings. For me, after 30+ years of seeking great audio, I've finally decided that all I really care about is loving listening to the music that I already like. If my chosen system won't play Van Halen's 5150 and make me like it, then I should have a different system. 5150 is particularly bright 80s recording that sounds quite bad on systems with a lot of tweeter response. It's also music I really like, so I want to be able to listen to it. The Cowboy Junkies', The Trinity Session is a bit of an audiophile standard and sounds good on many systems. It's actually great music too, which is quite rare. Many audiophile quality recordings are boring, or niche, or otherwise don't have much appeal. The Trinity Session is a great exception to that rule. But it's not a great way for me to judge whether or not I like a pair of speakers... because it sounds good on a lot of different speakers. The Violent Femmes, Pink Floyd, The Cure, and The Beastie Boys should all be equally at home in my system. Because those are all bands I love and I should enjoy listening to them, as opposed to saying to myself "you know this is a bad (70s, 80s, 90s) recording and I should play something better on this great system." That's flawed audiophile BS. Horns can be great! Just make sure they play the music you like in a way that makes you smile. Brian.
  11. I'm trying to decide what to power the Denton 80s with. I'm currently using an old stereo Technics receiver with the volume up to 1 oclock, and an external passive preamp for volume control. Why? Because the amp sits under my desk to save space and the passive preamp can sit on the desk taking up very little room as it's only about 7" wide and 2" tall. I also have an older Crown DC300A amplifier that I could use in the same configuration. But it occurs to me that neither of these seem like a great match for these kind of speakers and the sonic profile I'm looking for. I've heard NAD receivers in the distant past and was quite impressed with them. Maybe a bargain used NAD receiver or power amp? Thanks for any advice. Brian.
  12. I just ordered a pair of Warfedale Denton 80th Anniversary speakers. Based on reading quite a few pages of forum threads about these, and some reviews, they sound like exactly what I'm looking for. I guess I'll find out in about a week. Thanks again for the suggestion @Hugo9000 . Brian.
  13. Headphones were a big thing for me a few years ago. I have a decent headphone setup (nothing great) with a dedicated headphone amp, DAC, and a few pairs of headphones. I've mostly lost interest in headphone listening for music. It can provide a good experience, but it's different than speakers. Also, I'm fairly certain that extended listening to headphones, at moderate to low levels, has increased my tinnitus substantially. So I avoid extended listening with headphones these days. which is too bad because I've found that the value proposition of headphones is just enormous. In many ways, my $300 pair of headphones bests my Paradigm main speakers that cost closer to $2500 for the pair. So I'm still on a quest for a desktop setup that does more things right than wrong. My budget is steadily creeping up as I continue to shop. Darn it. That always seems to happen! Brian.
  14. I've done some reading and watched some videos on the Wharfledale D80. These honestly sound the closest to what I'm after so far. I think I'll definitely want a subwoofer with these, which increases my budget of course. If anyone has more suggestions, I'd like to hear them. Thanks, Brian.
  15. Ok, let's say that I completely accept everything you said in your last post. What speakers can you point me to that have "dark", "warm", or similar response that I might like? Polk and Genelc are not particularly known for that kind of sound as far as I know. I have not heard all that many Polks and zero Genelecs, so I'm just going based on general impressions and what I have read. In other words I could be wrong! Brian.
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