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Sibilance from my SCM40s

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  • Sibilance from my SCM40s

    Some months into my new system, and it's sounding wonderful. Recently, by focusing on noise removal (ethernet, power filtering, grounding etc) I've moved the sound to a rich, dark, un-digital point of near perfection.

    However, some recordings, though well-recorded and warm, still present some significant sibilance, particularly with female vocals. In fact, too many for it to be the occasional bad recording.

    Granted, I have tinnitus - so this frequency area may well be my Achilles. And my room does have a hard floor and too many reflective surfaces.

    Has anyone else had the same issue with ATC speakers, and any suggestions on how to solve?


  • #2
    With active ATC it depends very much on the DAC and preamplifier.

    I have had an RME ADI Dac 2 FS on my SCM45A for a long time.

    That sounded fantastic and high resolution. Sometimes, however, female voices also gave me a bit of a strain.

    This increases even more when you are tired and the speakers are still cold.

    I usually got rid of that with a slight treble reduction in the roon equalizer.

    Since I swapped the RME for the ELAC DDP-2, the problem has gone completely. It sounds even rounder and the highs are there without being annoying. It now fits together perfectly.​

    i have a few absorbers in my room too to fight echoes in the room. You should do that if possible, that does more to good sound than cables etc....
    Last edited by SolarMusic; 01-06-2023, 04:56 PM.


    • #3
      SolarMusic. Thanks.

      I have already trialled Roon, and though I really like the DSP functionality it does come at a significant SQ cost. My Hegel H390, from what I've read in reviews, has a pretty good DAC, so I suspect I would need to spend pretty big on a better DAC to improve on it. It does sound like there are some good options out there, include Lampizator which have tube output stages.

      I have also considered buying some cheap l-pad's and seeing how reducing power to the tweeter's binding posts affects things. If it went well I could measure the resistances of my preferred setting and replace the l-pad with two quality resistors.


      • #4
        heard good things about Hegel.
        i overlooked, your SCM40 ar passive ones

        i have thin absorbers behind the speakers and a few on the sidewalls in mirror-position. A few behind me in the corners.
        that made a big difference in sound. Its more precice with less room echoes.

        also the hand-clap test sounds more dry 😀


        • #5
          Originally posted by QuiteLikesMusic View Post
          And my room does have a hard floor and too many reflective surfaces.

          Has anyone else had the same issue with ATC speakers, and any suggestions on how to solve?
          Adding a carpet will clean up the HF for sure. I have hard marble flooring.
          Adding diffusors to the ceiling also helps but I have not done this in my setup.

          Hard flooring creates a high frequency "hash" that goes away when you add a carpet.



          • #6
            Thanks Nikhil.

            I might have been overly critical of my ATCs. Maybe it's just me and certain recordings.

            What's changed my opinion is going into the office this week for the first time in months. In my desk I have a pair of Sennheiser Momentum (closed, over-ear), and a Chord Mojo DAC. Both are commonly regarded as warm - and together for extended listening sessions, or cutting out the background office noise, they're perfect.

            However, listening to a recording, with which I have particular issue (Riverside by Agnes Obel), revealed the same obvious sibilance.

            Looks like I'm just going to have to "tough it out" :-)


            • #7
              Great to hear that you have that sorted.
              One thing with ATCs is for sure ... you will hear the truth!



              • #8
                My ATCs are ruthless in revealing recording anomalies. In saying that, with my ATCs I have discovered hidden gems in my collection which I previously thought were mediocre.


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