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Stumped by Rens

Discussion in 'Infinity Loudspeakers' started by Brunt, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. Brunt

    Brunt New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    San Diego
    I somewhat recently acquired a pair of Ren 90s for my father who was fairly jealous after I showed him my Sigmas, though some time after handing them over to him he let me know that he thought they were quite underwhelming. I think that his room isn't very speaker friendly (lots of hard surfaces and fairly small) so I brought them back to my house to give them a try with my amp, and considering how similar they are to the Sigmas I had assumed that they would live right at home in my room right where the Sigmas normally sit.

    After getting some help lugging my casket sized primaries out of the room I plopped the Rens in their spots and... well I was completely underwhelmed initially. While they certainly had the same depth and musicality of the Sigmas, their image was vague at best. I've been toying around with their positioning for the last couple of days and I can't seem to get it focused anywhere near as well as the Sigmas are even when they aren't set optimally. I even tried my project pair of Magnepan 1.6QRs and without even fine tuning their positioning they immediately had a much clearer and more precise image.

    I know that the Rens are capable of more, well I assume so anyway based on the prevailing opinions of them out there on the net. Can anyone help give me some tips to proper positioning for these things? My Sigmas are happiest when I have them about 3 feet from the back wall, 4 feet from the sides, and with 0 toe in. They sit 10.5 feet apart cone to cone which is the same distance that each one is from the my sitting position. I tried the Rens in the same position with 0 toe, a little toe, pointed straight at me, and in every case the imaging that I'm hoping for just isn't there.

    I'm not expecting them to project the vocals into the center of the room or do anything crazy but the best I've been able to get is a feeling that instruments aren't coming from the speakers and are somewhere in a fog of sound between them, but nothing even close to precise.

    Any ideas?
     

     

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  2. okeeteekid

    okeeteekid Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    They may have been tampered with by previous owners, I had the Ren 90's and the sigmas in the same room to compare them to each other, the Ren 90's imaged well but the sigmas imaged a little better with a more 3d/hologram image or the person is really there as compared to the already good Ren 90's, the sigma is a more expensive speaker so you would think that it should image better.
     
  3. jazzmans

    jazzmans Super Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    Location:
    devils playground, NV
    I think you are getting what you would expect going down from the Sigmas to the ren 80. (That sure sounds weird, as the ren 90's are by far the best speaker I own)
    I also own Maggie 1.6qr, and the rens are better. They are really, REALLY close, and if the 1.6QR was a true ribbon, they'd probably beat the rens. I wouldn't rule out something being wrong with the rens, how does the Emit and Emim look?

    I've done this before, try to supplant a speaker with a lesser speaker from infinity, and I've always been disappointed.

    FWIW, I don't listen for a holographic soundstage, I rarely sit still long enough to enjoy such a thing.
     
  4. pauljh

    pauljh Active Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    San Francisco
    It’s so much less complicated if you just don’t compare things :)
     
    tubed likes this.
  5. tubed

    tubed Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,221
    Location:
    Aztlan
    We assume and expect one speaker model to sound "better" than another.
    I've found that not to be the case necessarily because a well designed speaker will always have its advantages and limitation(s).
    Most well designed speakers really sound pretty good and come down to individual preferences that can change from day to day recording to recording;)
     
    kjello likes this.
  6. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head Staff Member Super Mod

    Messages:
    37,824
    Location:
    Paragould, Arkansas
    And I'm stumped by Stimpys! :)
     

     

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  7. Brunt

    Brunt New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    San Diego
    I understand that they are different, but I hunted down a pair of Ren 90s for my father because of how similar they appear to the sigmas (same drivers with 1 less emit and 2 less woofer inches). I dont expect them to sound exactly the same, im just trying to figure out why they, at this point in time, have the worst image of any pair of nice speakers that I've ever heard.

    I initially brought them to my listening room to prove my dad wrong and tell him that the speakers were in fact very nice and it was his room/amp that were crap, but after playing with these for a while I really cant get any sort of image between them. The bass is deep and tight and the EMIM/EMIT are as precise and transparent as ever but its just a wall of sound at this point with no discernable location to any one instrument/vocalist.

    I'll check to see if they've been tampered with tonight and post pictures of the crossovers once I get the woofers/polyfill out.

    If they aren't tampered with does anyone have any ideas as to what I could be doing wrong with their setup?
     
  8. scottykarate

    scottykarate Ain't skeered! Subscriber

    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Well, my 80's sound pretty good until I fire up the Sigmas. The Rens sound a little more congested/less separation...just less of everything.
    With that being said, the Rens kick butt. I'm actually pulling my sale ad for them down because I'm pulling them out of the home theater set up and going to use then in an office set up. I just can't part with them and hate them being relegated to surround sound.

    I was in sonic bliss for awhile today after I cleaned the Infinity preamp controls and connectors and ran the Sigmas and McIntosh amp together. But alas, the Infinity preamp started messing up it's mono/stereo and speaker selector. She looks beautiful inside, but needs a tune-up. Man, it kicks the hell out of my McIntosh C35.
     
    pauljh likes this.
  9. tubed

    tubed Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,221
    Location:
    Aztlan
  10. okeeteekid

    okeeteekid Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    You have to check that all wires to the drivers and crossover are wired correctly and nothing is out of phase
     
    AZDean and pauljh like this.
  11. AZDean

    AZDean New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    What he said ^ One driver out of phase can still sound pretty good with vague imaging, and I've also heard one driver out of phase completely destroy the sound. Very common issue too it seems. Had that problem with my RSII woofers when I bought them a couple years ago.

    I was at a Best Buy Magnolia last weekend, they have some nice Bowers & Wilkins speakers, like $5000 a pair. I sat down and immediately recognized they had one of the speakers backward. After the guy finished his demo for another customer, I said "let me help you".
     

     

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  12. Brunt

    Brunt New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    San Diego
    Here some crossover pictures, I don't have time right now to do a full tear down and make a schematic of the crossovers or anything though.

    Anything jump out to anyone? The hand written labels on the wires running from crossover to driver wires strikes me as odd, but I'm not terribly familiar with the internals of Infinity's Renaissance series.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  13. jazzmans

    jazzmans Super Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    Location:
    devils playground, NV
    that's the original wiring. I haven't looked at my rens, but my RS are wired the same way, with lables (edit, see below, apparently not)

    I'd verify that VC1 is voice coil 1 and VC 2 is voice coil 2, but since these are rubber surrounds and don't need refoam, there's no real reason anyone would have been into the woofer side of them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
    scottykarate likes this.
  14. tubed

    tubed Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,221
    Location:
    Aztlan
  15. okeeteekid

    okeeteekid Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    Those crossovers and wire are not stock, here are pics of stock Ren 90 crossovers, infinity didn't use masking tape and a ball point pen to mark the speaker wires in the Rens, this would explain why they don't sound right.
    ren90-pcboben-vor.jpg
    r90-mh-wei-vor.jpg
    renaissance-90-3-infinity.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
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  16. jazzmans

    jazzmans Super Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    Location:
    devils playground, NV
    The wire in your pictures @Brunt look identical to the wire in my RS 2b, being monster AWG wire, even to the lables(but my lables weren't hand written) but after seeing @okeeteekid post, I went and pulled the midbass coupler from my rens.
    They are wired like his, with clear wire, and the same color coding tape.

    So, your ren 80s do not look like they have the original wiring.
    Sorry for the confusion.

    here's a shot of my RS2b wires
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018

     

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  17. 7.62

    7.62 Gearhead Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,562
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Yep, those crossovers have been monkey funked bigtime.
     
  18. okeeteekid

    okeeteekid Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    My k9's have that black wire in them also and I bought my k9's new so I know they are stock, my k8's and k6's had the clear wire in them and I also bought them new so the wire could be stock in Brunts speakers but just relabled for some reason, Infinity puts those labels to the very end of the leads Brunts labels are not all the way to the end of the leads, Brunts speakers are missing the crossover board for the High frequency drivers and seem to have way more caps than the stock Rens, something is definitely not right there.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
    jazzmans likes this.
  19. Brunt

    Brunt New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    San Diego
    Well I guess that would explain it. I'll see if I can pull the crossovers out and get the values of all of the caps, maybe it was some poorly executed attempt to upgrade them or something by a previous owner.

    Okeeteekid, where would the crossover for the highs normally be located? Do you have any pictures of it for me to reference? I would like to try to bring these things back as close to stock as I can since they sound so off right now. I guess that will supplant the rest of my projects as the priority since my Dad doesn't currently have anything to listen to.

    On the bright side I'm sure a lot of the parts are reusable so I hopefully wont have to spend too much money on the fix, just a lot of time.

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  20. okeeteekid

    okeeteekid Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    Tip the speaker over on it's side then unscrew the bottom of the speaker cabinet, the HF crossover is mounted to the bottom board that you will be removing.
     

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