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Old 28th December 2010
Lives for gear
Zep Dude's Avatar

Another possibility is that there is something wrong with the speakers or their set up.

Things that will falsely lead you to believe your hearing detail and that productions don't sound as good as you remember include:

-phase issues in the room (not the drivers out of phase, but acoustical phase cancellations)

-speakers not angled inward enough to create solid center image

-poor bass response due to speaker interaction in the room, design, placement etc (this is a big one).

-Speakers too close to the listening position so their drivers don't have a chance to gel.

All of these, in my hard earned experience, can cause you to hear greater "detail" due to the fact that they are removing masking frequencies. For example an acoustic guitar string squeek that is acceptable with normally set up speakers will suddenly sound obnoxious if lower mids are attenuated due to phase cancellations. Attenuated mids and lower mids create a false sense of heightened detail -something I do intentionally with eq when mastering if a mix is muddy.

When I first set up my Dunlavy SC-V's I thought I was hearing incredible detail and flaws in records. But after too many "good" sounding records sounded horrible I realized it wasn't them, it was my setup. It took several days of tweaking and moving by inches until good records sounded good and then, yes, some records didn't sound as good as I had previously thought.

Warning: mixing with "mastering" quality speakers will cause you to under use effects like reverb, echo etc What sounds correct on those speakers is inaudible to the rest of the world. Put on Peter Gabriel "So" for instance and check out some sounds you always thought were so cool on the radio. They'll be so in your face you'd never instinctively mix them so out front -but that's how they sounded great!

I gave up trying to mix on the SC-V's after learning that I could nail a mix in half the time with almost no recall issues on the ADAM S3A's.