Beolab 8000 Dilemma

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  • #8727
    styppen
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 3
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    Hi Beoworld

    I’m in the process of updating and upgrading my home setup. I’ll take the liberty to tell the whole story so bare with me.

    Until now, my setup consisted of the following components:

    • Beomaster 5500
    • Beovox S45-2
    • Beogram 1202
    • Airplay streamer

    The brains of the operations was a Beomaster 5500 where all the sources were connected to. Everything was controlled by a Beo4 remote. I was happy with the sound that Beovox S45-2 produced and how daily operation looked like.

    Recently, I started renovating my appartment and I had to move everything out. For the time being, I will not have Beogram in the living room since it doesn’t get much play time.

    A couple of weeks ago, I’ve stumbled upon a pair of Beolab 8000 MK2 for a really really good price. These speakers are something I’ve wanted to have since my teenage years when I first got introduced to Bang & Olufsen. I purchased the Beolab 8000 and took them to a technician to check them and verify that they are in good condition. The technician determined that the speakers (drivers, foam, etc.) are in perfect condition. Thus, I decided to move Beolab 8000 to my living room and give my Beomaster, Beovox and Beogram some rest.

    But for a transitional phase, I connected my TV to 8000s via TV’s line out. Unfortunately, the Beolabs 8000 subwoofers are not enough to produce any meaningful bass since the living room is acoustically tricky (tall ceilings, large room volume).

    I generally like the mids and highs of the Beolab 8000s but the bass is nowhere to be found in the room. Honestly, the sound at lower volume that Beovox S45-2 produced was much fuller and complete than the Beolabs 8000s. When changing the source to an Airplay streamer the sound does improve but bass is still an issue. The situation improves when playing Beolabs at louder volume but I’m still not satisfied with the bass. I assume that the larger subwoofer from S45-2 can push more air than the smaller subwoofers in the Beolab 8000s.

    I am in contact with the local B&O dealer and the plan is that I borrow a Beolab 19 subwoofer for a couple of days and test them at home. I imagine that the Beolab 19 will solve the bass situation that 8000s lack, but the placement of the subwoofer in general can be challenging. Also I’m not entirely keen on having a separate speaker positioned somewhere in the living room since floorspace is limited. I am not looking for an earth shattering bass (my downstairs neighbours would not appreciate), I just want to enjoy a balanced sound where highs, mids and lows are properly produced.

    Also worth mentioning, I purchased Almando powerlink switch where I’ll connect the Airplay streamer and the TV. This should give me a seamless daily operation. I’m still waiting to receive the cables from Steve but until then I’m in a transitional period.

    I was wondering if I could get an input from this community whether Beolab 8000s + Beolab 19s would be a good setup. I also have an option to get the Beolab 20 speakers which are a more complete speakers with a large dedicated subwoofer driver. Unfortunately, the Beolabs 20s are second hand and I can’t test them in my living room. Does anyone have any experience in comparing Beolab 8000 + 19 or standalone Beolab 20?

    Thanks for reading!

    #8729
    trackbeo
    BRONZE Member
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    The Beolab 19 will have a very slight delay (4.4 msec) from the 8000s — DSP takes time vs. analog instant sound.  This may not matter if the 8000s have no significant output at those frequencies anyway, to phase-cancel.  But in the (unlikely) event you find the bass uncompelling, place the 19 closer to your main listening position than the 8000s by 1.5 meters.

    #8730
    styppen
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 3
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    Interesting, I haven’t heard about this delay. But I assume if 8000s are connected to the 19 itself the delay should be gone, right?

    #8731
    Die_Bogener
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 1
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    The delay will only be compensated when you sit straight inline… TV-BL8000-Bl19.

    If you sit in different locations not inline you will hear the delay.

    Are you sure, that the powerlink socket is a output for other speakers and not input?

    It is no good idea to mix analog speakers with DSP driven digital speakers, there is always this disturbing delay. Playing with the runtime of the signal is only suitable for one (small) position in the room where it sounds right. All other positions notice the difference in runtime … distance and DSP runtime.

    Why not using a quite normal analog bass?

    #8733
    styppen
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 3
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    Die_Bogener, thanks for pointing this out. You are correct, Beolab 19 only has one powerlink input. I must have confused it with Beolab 11 subwoofer.

    Thank you for also pointing out the issue with mixing analog and DSP speakers.

    Do you have any suggestions for an analog bass?

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by styppen.
    #8735
    hustlelover
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 0
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    This may not matter if the 8000s have no significant output at those frequencies anyway, to phase-cancel. Just use mod apk app to check.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by hustlelover.
    #8736
    Die_Bogener
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 1
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    This may not matter if the 8000s have no significant output at those frequencies anyway, to phase-cancel.

    Your ears will notice the difference that there is something wrong. Be sure, you can hear it. Maybe not today, but in some weeks…

    And if you know that there is something wrong, you can hear it. Everytime, everywhere …  😉

    Why not a quite normal Beolab 2 ?

    #8737
    styppen
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 3
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    I’ve read that Beolab 2 is a great subwoofer for movies but not music.

    I’m sort of inclining towards the Beolab 11 now. Less powerful than 2 and 19 but should be enough to compensate the lack of bass on 8000s.

    #8753
    Die_Bogener
    BRONZE Member
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    For music you dont need more than 2 good speakers. Any speaker more makes it worse.

    Music and something like Dolby 5.1 is not working. It sounds great some hours and then you notice: there is something wrong. Even if it was recorded in Dolby, you will hear the difference, it just takes some time … and then you will sell it or scrap it.

    For TV it doesn’t care, there is no music, just noise… bumbumrattatatabigbadabooom

    #8754
    Millemissen
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 6
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    @ Die Bogener

    I certainly do not agree!

    One speaker should be enough 😉

    MM

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Millemissen.
    #8767
    styppen
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 3
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    For music you dont need more than 2 good speakers. Any speaker more makes it worse. Music and something like Dolby 5.1 is not working. It sounds great some hours and then you notice: there is something wrong.

    Not sure where this is coming from but I’m not looking into any surround setups. I’m also in favour of stereo setup. I’m just trying to find the bass with 8000s in a large room :).

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by styppen.
    #8779
    trackbeo
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 4
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    I regret saying anything.  You have a dealer who will let you borrow a Beolab 19?  Just do it!  Then you will know how it sounds.

    People already go pushing their subwoofers around the room to eliminate room modes, and live to tell the tale without “incoherence of the bass” ever being discussed.  Also, I completely disagree with @Die_Bogener about straight-line.  Even putting a sub in the middle of two 8000s which are in an equilateral triangle with you, already shortens the distance somewhat!  If any expert reads this and would care to weigh in, especially if your large room size makes the effect (if any) better or worse, that would be great, but it’s still theory until you “pressurize the volume” yourself.

    As to the 11, in a large room you might think either: (a) any little bit will help, or (b) that’s not enough to even notice.  Maybe *two* 11s, one for each 8000?  (Joke but not joke.)  You just have to *try* it, unless you’re an audio genius with a modelling program.

    But after re-reading your initial post I wondered why you would spend Beolab 19 bucks on a woofer given that part of the point of the 8000s was being a bargain.  I love the way they look myself, and would never switch to 20s from a designy point of view, but if you can get them for a reasonable price… from a sound point of view, I might make an exception…  Their 10″ woofers are good for your large room, and the acoustic lenses let you roam around too.  In all ways except looks superior to 8000s.

    P.S.  Don’t forget to post saying what you finally installed.  A picture would not go amiss either…(:-)

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by trackbeo.
    #8783
    styppen
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 3
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    You sort of summarized my thoughts. I’ve been thinking the same thing as you’ve pointed out. The 8000s were a bargain and spending for Beolab 19s feels not right. I’ve found a decently priced Beolab 11 and I’ll give it a go.

    Regarding the 20s. I feel like that these are something that would totally fit my use case. The downside is that I can’t try them out. Sort of have to gamble one them 🙂

    Also will have to convince my wife since she quite likes the 8000s :).

    #8795
    ajames
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 4
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    From my own experience my secondhand Beolab 8000s sounded awful compared to Beovox S45-2, S60 etc. However this may have been because the foam rotted. Certainly several years before when I bought some brand new ones the bass was fine and i thought they sounded amazing.

    I would try the subwoofer and see how it sounds. I tried one with my 8000s and i found it just muddled the sound of music.

     

    I just wonder if there is something else wrong with the way have the system connected? You say that the TV is connected via Line out – is there any way of adjusting the bass on the TV? Can you connect the speakers to the Beomaster using powerlink and see how they sound?

     

    #8799
    matador
    Moderator
    • Paris France
    • Topics Started 23
    • Total Posts 246

    From my own experience my secondhand Beolab 8000s sounded awful compared to Beovox S45-2, S60 etc. However this may have been because the foam rotted. Certainly several years before when I bought some brand new ones the bass was fine and i thought they sounded amazing.

    Same experience here when BL8000’s MK1 replaced S45-2 and then P50’s.
    I changed the foam (black rotten with brand new white) and get a little increase in bass but not that much. They still didn’t even compete with my BL4000’s.

    But the pencils are now driven by a Playmaker with the bass cranked up a little and mostly used to listen to analogue music (Beogram) and I must say I’m happy with it: not those deep chest striking bass but bass low and round enough to my taste. When listening to digital sources they are more “average” but as this is often background music it works also. And as already said, the benefit of the iconic design. It’s not a perfect deal but it’s ok right now. Sometimes I’d like to add a BL2, sometimes not because it is hard to place in my room and wires, etc… The Beolab2 is also quiet expensive even in second hand. There is one around for 350€ but it’s faulty and i don’t know how easy/difficult repairs are on this unit.

    aJames, you also compare second hand BL8000’s with brand new you bought years ago. Were the the same mark because the brand new may have been MK2 with improved bass and the second hand MK1, couldn’t they?

    #8814
    ajames
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 4
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    I think my first 8000’s must have been mark 1s as they were bought in the very late 1990s – they replaced RL60.2. Both used with a Beocenter 9300 – I remember not being impressed then compared to the RL60s but after a while i grew to love the sound of them and never thought they lacked bass, maybe they needed some time to wear in?

    I now also use a Playmaker for streaming, i have it plugged into a Quad 303 as it drives my M100-2 speakers superbly and if i want more bass i can turn it up on the playmaker. Like you i mainly listen to vinyl (BG4002) and i find the playmaker a brilliantly simple but great quality preamp that can stream music too. The M100-2s and they are the best B&O speaker that i have owned – but bear in mind I can’t afford Beolab 5s and upwards so I cant compare them with those – but to me they are fantastic. I recapped them with a kit from Dillen and the performance now must be close to when they were new if not better.

    Prior to the Playmaker/Quad combo I tried an Audio Icon valve amp with KT88 valves – the result was very involving but i found there was too much bass and slightly muddled lower end. Beolink Passive was just not powerful enough. Quad 33/303 very good but not as warm as playmaker/303, Beomaster 2200 great, Beomaster 6000 brilliant, Beomaster 6500 slightly muffled and nowhere near as open as the 6000.

    I guess the thing is to experiment and find the sound you like

     

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