Showing 1 of 58 conversations about:
Solarium
11
Apr 5, 2016
bookmark_border
Loving my MKIII, most likely the best powered stereo near field speakers under $500, and IMO better than the audio engine A5's. One thing to note though, is that there quite a bit of hissing from the speakers for me. I'm not sure whether this is normal or not, as the speakers goes up LOUD if turned up. I'm using a Asus STX II 7.1 sound card to hook it up with an additional subwoofer (the Pioneer AJ one), and I crossfeed to my sub below 60hz using the Asus software. This combo is absolutely fantastic, and can arguably rival most systems up to $1k. I am still kind of confused by the hissing, if someone can explain it would be greatly appreciated.
Apr 5, 2016
Pharmaboy
42
Apr 5, 2016
bookmark_border
I'm on my 2nd pair of MKIII's purchased direct from HiVi/US office (it was between drops). Both pairs behaved/sounded the same. Reasons I sent back 1st pair had nothing to do w/sound or performance. Anyway, a few impressions that may help Solarium and/or other MassDrop readers "on the fence" about these speakers:
1 - They sound amazing. I'm a long-time audiophile, someone who chases the best possible sound, and IMO, these are it on the desktop. Perhaps not the ultimate in razor-sharp detail, power, flash 'n' sizzle (spend thousands on Genelec or other studio monitors for that)--but for listening to music, these really are it.
2 - They play very loudly when pushed. If you're worrying about the volume the dedicated amps can generate, either you listen to such loud music that you risk deafness; already have some deafness; or just listen to extremely loud genres of music for which speakers like this may not be the best choice anyway (ie, the nuance & delicacy they're capable of is less evident at high dBLs on music like techno, heavy metal, etc--though these babies definitely can rock out). -- A word about the bass. There is a LOT of bass coming out of these speakers, no doubt the result of dedicated amplification + large speaker size. I probably should get them further out from the backwall (difficult in my situation) to see if bass thins out, but I just love the fullness, depth & clarity of their bass. They hit very hard in the bass/mid-bass, considering the fact they also play with considerable finesse up above.
3 - I've heard zero hiss--and I do mean ZERO hiss--from either pair, at any volume. I'm in a home office 12+ hrs/day, just 2 ft from the speakers. If you're getting hiss, my advice is to make/remake all connections; do some testing re components you connect to these speakers; and change the wire that connects sound card to Swans (in no particular order). FYI, I don't use my PC's soundcard at all*: I use a good quality USB-connected DAC (Peachtree Audio's DAC iTx) running through a passive volume controller, then on to the Swans + sub. I'll soon be significantly upgrading the PVC & sub and adding an external crossover.
*I did use soundcard for awhile only as a source of optical/toslink signal to a different DAC, 4-5 years ago when I had different speakers.
4 - The adjustments on the front of the powered MKIII speaker (right) really do adjust the sound. Slight upward/downward adjustments of treble or bass controls are readily audible. IMO flat works quite well w/these speakers, but adjustment is definitely possible/effective if needed.
Apr 5, 2016
Solarium
11
Apr 5, 2016
bookmark_border
It's not the connections, I have hissing at 0 volume even when not connected to anything. I thought that was normal so I never bothered to ask. It's more of a kind of low humming from the speakers than a hiss, but nonetheless a very noticeable noise when you put your ears next to the speakers.
Apr 5, 2016
Pharmaboy
42
Apr 5, 2016
bookmark_border
Very odd. I did extensive research on these speakers before pulling the trigger on them, read hundreds of comments& dozens of reviews; I don't recall anyone saying something like that. To me, it seems that you have 3 possibilities: some kind of ground loop in your connection to power; and EMI or other external noise-induced effect; or an internal defect in the speaker(s).
The first possibility you could test by trying different connections of the speakers to power, ie,
-- plug their dedicated power line directly into a wall socket; vs into a power strip or other device
-- If you can get your hands on another C7 power cable, try that (ie, rule out a defective cable as cause)
-- you could really go nuts and purchase a cheap IEC C7 adapter that allows you to use a regular grounded power cord to connect the right/powered speaker into the wall outlet or other power source. That capability, +/- use of a 3-to-2 prong "cheater," would pretty much rule out ground loops as a cause of the hum IMO. Here's an adapter for $3.51 on Amazon (probably could pick one up at Radio Shack) : http://www.ebay.com/itm/Standard-Molded-IEC320-C14-Socket-to-IEC-C7-Plug-AC-Power-Adapter-Set-UL-Approve/121594633669?_trksid=p2141725.c100338.m3726&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20150313114020%26meid%3Dfc8c41f0ff64490889ed9a47f155d872%26pid%3D100338%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D5%26sd%3D111931744538
-- I would also break/re-make the connection of the umbilical line that connects the 2 speakers
--I'd look long and hard to see if anything, even something tiny, could be contacting something metal on backplates of either speaker to account for this.
The 2nd possibility could be tested by moving the speakers to a minimum 4-5 feet from the computer or other nearest EMI-producing device, as a test, to see if that is a factor.
But if none of that helps, and you're still in warranty, you should send them back for repair, because that is definitely not normal behavior for these speakers in my experience.
Apr 5, 2016
Milind.K
1
Apr 5, 2016
bookmark_border
Hi, how are the MKIII compared to AudioEngine A2+ in terms of sound quality?
Apr 5, 2016
Pharmaboy
42
Apr 6, 2016
bookmark_border
Never heard the AE A2+'s, so can't say. But on paper at least, it's hardly a fair comparison. The A2+'s are tiny compared to the Swans...far less amplifier power...have passive crossover vs dedicated amplifier per driver...tiny cabinet ported in front, not back...and they can be directly USB driven, which the Swans cannot, indicating an onboard DAC (that's either a convenience feature or $$- & space-hogging complexity in an already miniature speaker, depending on your p.o.v.).
Even w/o hearing the A2+'s, it's a fair guess that they couldn't produce nearly as much sound in the absolute sense (ie, filling a room), nor as much quality bass as the Swan MKIIIs. That's just physics (the Swans are large, and sound like it).
A fairer comparison would be the AE A5+'s. I heard them in passing in a store once. Not really my taste--I was chasing the Holy Grail of a desktop/computer speaker that behaved like an audiophile speaker--but a lot of people swear by the A5+'s. Everybody hears things differently...
Apr 6, 2016
Milind.K
1
Apr 6, 2016
bookmark_border
Thanks for the reply, it helps
Apr 6, 2016
Solarium
11
Apr 7, 2016
bookmark_border
I've tried all that already, it must be the issue with the speaker then. How long are the warranty are these?
Apr 7, 2016
Pharmaboy
42
Apr 7, 2016
bookmark_border
Sorry to say that I can't find my warranty card. But it probably doesn't matter-- it's when you purchased the speakers that matters. My advice is to contact the supplier from whom you purchased the Swans (if you're in US, it's probably MassDrop or Chanes)--with purchase documentation in hand--and tell them when you purchased the speakers, and that you need warranty service. In my experience, very few products of this size & cost are warrantied for less than 1 year. Good luck!
Apr 7, 2016
Shogster
18
Apr 8, 2016
bookmark_border
Do you think placing them on speaker stands is a good idea?I really want to get them,and i will be ordering them next week from a local dealer,but i don't have the space on my desk to put them.So my option is either the stands,or a new desk,which i don't have the space at the moment.I have an svs-sb1000,so the lows are covered.I just don't know if their sound will change much when on the stands.
Apr 8, 2016
Pharmaboy
42
Apr 9, 2016
bookmark_border
Wow--tough/interesting question. No doubt the MKIII's are large speakers (the MKII's are a bit smaller, but I wasn't interested in them for various reasons). I was lucky to have enough real estate on my desk to accomodate them. Looking at pictures of the MKIII's, you can readily see they're well designed to sit on a desk "as is," in that the tweeters will be relatively well aligned w/your ears (depending on how high your desk is vs chair, of course); also because of the gentle slope of front baffle, which helps to time align the drivers. Still, I'm tempted to build some kind of wooden platform/spacer for each speaker to get it a couple inches higher off the desk. Think of the desktop as a "floor" and the speakers as floor-standing, and it becomes clear this is one way to possibly render the MKIII's strong mid-bass output even more natural (they sound so good that I'm constantly tempted to refine them further). Anyway, if you have to put them on stands, then do what you have to. But you may lose some of that mid/low bass power due to loss of the desktop boundry effect. It's probably a moot point, since it sounds like you'd have to put any fairly large desktop speakers on stands, not just the Swans.
My advice is if you put them on stands, try to keep them relatively close to your ears in distance and height, as if they were on desktop (as much as possible). These speakers probably sound excellent at medium distance, but they're so good from 2-3 feet away that I regard that as optimal.
Have you read the review in 6 Moons? The reviewer tested them on stands, as if they were trad bookshelf speakers, and compared the results to their use on the desktop; his rationale was their basic sound quality & design are so good that such a comparison is justified (not the case w/most desktop speakers).
Here's the URL: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/swans2/1.html
By the way, I plan to buy the same sub you have (SB1000); also install a quality external crossover with 24 dB/octave slopes & adjustable crossover point. That's a measure of how good these speakers are IMO--they're worth the time & investment to make other components in the signal chain as good as possible.
Apr 9, 2016
Shogster
18
Apr 9, 2016
bookmark_border
Yeah, i have read that review, and it got me thinking if i should even go for the stands at all,but i will get them anyway. The stands are the same height as my desk so the speakers will be at ear level, and not too far away, 2ft at best. I am really curious to hear how they pair with my sub, cause it is a great little sub.
Apr 9, 2016
Pharmaboy
42
Apr 9, 2016
bookmark_border
Well, I predict good results, based on your description of the stands (they sound fine); on my research of the SB1000, which I will soon purchase; as well as my experience running the MKIII's with a smaller sealed subwoofer, the 8" NHT Pro S-00 (which I ran for 7-8 years with a pair of NHT Pro M-00's).
The S-00 sub was specifically designed to support the powered NHT desktop speakers, which are very different from the Swans. The M-00's have 4.5" woofers and are sealed. The sub's crossover (main signal goes through sub's high-pass filter then on to the M-00's) features 6 dB/octave slopes on high-pass side--which I'd guess is selected to supplement the mid-bass of these speakers, which aren't robust in that area (sub's low-pass filter slope is 12 dB/octave, just like the SB1000). However, the Swans--which have larger woofers, are ported, and have far more internal volume than the NHT's--have very robust mid-bass output and don't need any reinforcement there. All to say this particular sub is hardly an ideal companion for the Swans; mid-bass "wooliness" caused by the shallow high-pass crossover slopes in the NHT sub is clearly audible.
But it doesn't even matter--the Swans still sound terrific. It's easy to "hear through" the mid-bass bulge and realize the inherent quality of these speakers. When I replace the NHT sub with the SB1000, beside the increase in quality and quantity of bass (12" sealed woofer replacing 8" sealed woofer), an equally important gain will be a flatter mid-bass, courtesy of the SB1000's 12 dB/octave high-pass crossover slope.
The SB1000 has a fixed high-pass crossover point of 80Hz, which is probably fine. But I plan to get an external crossover to play with that (probably selecting 90-100 Hz), also will use 24 dB/octave crossover slopes on both high-pass & low-pass filters. Can't be sure 'til I try it, but based on what I hear from the Swans so far, they'll probably reward each upgrade/tweak with a new/improved sound. They're that good.
Apr 9, 2016
Solarium
11
Apr 10, 2016
bookmark_border
I emailed Massdrop, and looks like they only provide 1 year warranty for these speakers, and my hissing issue will not be fixed. I got this email reply:
"Hello,
Kyle here with Massdrop. I hope this email finds you well.
Thank you for contacting Massdrop Support. It looks like the timeframe for the 1-Year Warranty Period has passed and I am unable to provide further Warranty assistance. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, let me know if you have additional questions or concerns.
Best Regards, Kyle"
Too bad I found out about this issue too late and did not tell them about it earlier. I thought they would have at least provided more than 1 year of warranty. It's really a shame.
Apr 10, 2016
JonLane
184
Chane Music & Cinema
Apr 10, 2016
bookmark_border
Pls contact me at Chane, Solarium...
Apr 10, 2016
Solarium
11
Apr 10, 2016
bookmark_border
how do I find you?
Apr 10, 2016
View Full Discussion