How to make bright sounding speakers sound more warm
Sometimes too much detail can be a bad thing, or perhaps you like the details your speakers can produce, but also find it a tad too hot in the treble.
I found that my speakers were almost perfect for home theatre, but the treble sizzled a bit too much for my liking. So short of changing them, what can we do?
Let’s start from the free maneuvers to the ones which cost…
Toeing in helps gives focus, and tightens the soundstage. But having the speakers point at your ears with makes the sound hotter. If your ears at the level of the tweeters, it also makes it hotter.
So fire them straight down the room, and sit a little above or even below the tweeter level.
Keeping the grilles on also helps tame the treble a bit.
In certain speakers, not all the inputs are the same. For example, in the B&W 800 series, by using the lower inputs, you get less treble energy.
Walls, glass, marble or hard floors are reflective and give the tone a ‘shiny’ or ‘bright’ signature. That’s why installers add things like curtains, carpets or even diffusers.
An empty room is also more likely to sound bright, but take your time to experiment, so it doesn’t become too acoustically dead.
Now, onto the stuff that costs money, and we will start from the less costly to the atmospheric…
These are simple ways to tune your speakers to a more ideal sound. But it may be hard to get cables for home auditions, so that leaves you the option of reading reviews, but that doesn’t mean that the same cables will work well in your own system.
As a rough rule of thumb, silver cables sound brighter, so using copper ones will turn down that treble a bit.
Wooden footers and softer materials help to tame the treble, but also run the risk of making the bass more woolly, so strike a balance.. These can be placed under speakers, the source or even the amp.
Now comes the more voodoo stuff. It’s entirely up to you to accept or reject this. But piezo crystals and other such stuff placed around with some trial and error can make a difference.
It’s your call on this, and I would avoid spending too much. Tweaks like this should be less than 10% of the cost of your speakers, others, it may be worth your while to simply sell off the current setup, and get something with a sonic signature which suits you more.
Experiment a bit, there is much trial and error, at the end of the day, one needs to assess if it’s still cheaper to swop out the errant speakers for another which suits your sonic tastes more.
I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.