The Two Channel Advice Thread

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by purr1n, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. pLuhhmm

    pLuhhmm Rando

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    Hopefully this is the right thread, but here we go.

    • Goal: Build my HT setup out of used parts with good used discounts
    • Use: Movies/TV
    • Will you be adding a subwoofer? Yes, but to be determined later
    • Are you building a surround sound system? Ground up
    • How loud do you want to play? I live in an apartment, lol
    • How far will you be sitting from the speakers? Hm, 8ft I think.
    • Speaker Experience: 2.0 setup with Klipsch RP-150m on my desktop + random 10+ year old small speaker JBL system from Best Buy that was given to me by my dad, lol.
    • Question: Any alternatives I should look at? Either MSRP of $1000 or just as good as that price tier.

    Klipsch RP-280F - The cheapest one here by far. MSRP of $400/$350 per speaker used
    KEF Q750 - $800 MSRP/$400 used
    KEF Q950 - $1000 MSRP/640 used
    Definitive Technology BP-9060 - $830 MSRP/$440 used
    MartinLogan Motion 60XT - $1000 MSRP/$600 used
    JBL Studio 590 - $1000 MSRP/740 used (although previous research shows $450-500 used, but also maybe not great at all? requires more research)
    Paradigm Premier 800F - $1000 MSRP/780 used - Only ones I've listened to in person.
    SVS Ultra Tower Speaker - $1000 MSRP
    Revel F36 - $1000 MSRP
    Bowers & Wilkins 603 - $1000 MSRP

    Recent eBay results:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  2. murphythecat

    murphythecat Friend

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    if you plan to use a sub:
    https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/speaker-kits/satori-ara-2-way-speaker-kit-pair/

    no commercial speaker can even come close to the quality of the drivers used in this kit. and really, the quality of the drivers is what makes or break SQ
     
  3. shanchandi

    shanchandi Acquaintance

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    Any chance you could comment on this kit vs the ATC SCM7s or 11s? Strictly for music. I'm interested in the kit, but for what it costs in Canada I'm seeing used ATC SCM11s for less
     
  4. murphythecat

    murphythecat Friend

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    yeah, in canada the kit is very expensive. scm11 use great drivers as well. I personally wouldnt get the ara kit if in canada due to cost.

    I use my atc scm7v3 with a loki to tame a little the treble and it sounds great. ive heard from users that scm11 is also a bit "treble" orientated.
     
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  5. drgumbybrain

    drgumbybrain Science Nut

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    Hello folks, how you doing. I’m wondering with upgrading from mogami 3103 to kimber 4tc would give me Any sound improvement. I cannot try those cables at home, and maybe mogami it’s very mid and bass centric in my system ... (if this kind of crap it’s possible) hope someone has tried both
     
  6. JeffYoung

    JeffYoung Friend

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    I'm not a big believer in cable sound, but the Kimber certainly looks cool. (It also has much lower inductance than standard cable, which can be good or bad depending on the amp.)
     
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  7. PTS

    PTS Friend

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    Every time sometime asks about upgrading from Mogami cables (usually on pro audio forums) folk chime in to remind everyone that top recording studios often use Mogami exclusively, and if it's good enough for that application, blah blah.

    Get a good return policy and do some blind A/B testing with help from a friend if you really have the itch to find out. It's pretty much impossible to have a subjective opinion otherwise, as your unconscious bias will usually go with the fancy/expensive cable.
     
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  8. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Or better yet don't waste your time and keep what you have.
     
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  9. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Don't use a cable to EQ your system... I bet there are free/cheap options you can try that are actually noticeable. Like tweaking placement or acoustics.

    Some more info on your setup might help us give you some ideas.
     
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  10. plcamp

    plcamp Rando

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    For powering bookshelf and other moderate to high efficiency speakers, I suggest looking a vintage power amps. One I got recently is an Adcom 535II, pristine, essentially a dual mono amp with 60 solid watts per channel and cost me 225 CAD.

    Another good option, if you can find one,, could be the Hafler 200 or 220. I suggest this one because emerging at diyaudio are new driver boards with a redesigned FET front end. Don’t know exact availability, but boards were under test a month ago. I got a 220 and a 280XL coupla years ago for $250 each. I would guess they have increased a bit since then.

    the Adcom and the XL power my open baffles now. Effortless because at 1w its already quite loud, and there’s tons of headroom left.
     
  11. nishan99

    nishan99 Rando

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    How can you listen back to your speakers if your headphones have much better technicalities?

    I have a hard time listening to my Adams A7x, their resolution and transients are much inferior to my headphones and it's just hard to listen to them anymore. I prefer listening to speakers in general but after upgrading my headphones things changed.

    My room is treated adequately and the only thing I can think of is upgrading the damn speakers, but I am not in the financial state that allow me to upgrade to the speakers I want right now. So in the meantime what can I do? dumping my headphones for a while to get accommodated to the speakers is not really an option, I have to use my headphones a lot, especially late at night.

    Is there something I do to get more out of the adams? or any way to let those two systems blend more evenly in the meantime?
     
  12. plcamp

    plcamp Rando

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    I never really expect a speaker listening session to be as detailed as headphones, to me they are two worlds. Maybe, if you’re able to equalize the speaker’s response to match that of the headphones they might be a bit closer to each other, maybe if a dsp corrected phase on the speakers it might get a bit closer?

    Only other thing I have heard of doing (but never tried myself) is addition of diffuser panels at wall reflection points. I’m intrigued with “fractal diffusers” and have construction plans for them. Might try it, but they are large, heavy and clumsy...not exactly WAF ideal.
     
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  13. amill

    amill Rando

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    My system consists of DAC > tube pre-amp, power-amp

    I read it's best practice to power on starting from the source and then power off backwards. I usually let the tubes warm up for a minute before powering on the amp. Earlier I forgot and powered on the amp too early, it made a loud pop sound. So far things sound fine but wondering how dangerous this is to the system and if there's a safeguard besides not being an idiot :p
     
  14. fastfwd

    fastfwd Friend

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    Some amps have a soft-start/delayed-start circuit that prevents those thumps, and it might be easy (for an appropriately technical person) to install a delay circuit in your amp. But if you're an idiot then you'll still have to worry about thumps from switching the preamp power, or from unplugging your interconnects while the amp is on, etc. So best to do as you suggested and just choose not to be an idiot.

    That said, the thump probably didn't hurt your speakers.
     
  15. amill

    amill Rando

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    well, searching through documentation it looks like the Bryston 3B-ST has slow-start, so it doesn't entirely prevent this? I will try not to do any of the others you mentioned but no promises...
     
  16. lagadu

    lagadu Acquaintance

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    How loud are we talking about here? "Vintage gear powering on" loud (less than a popcorn popping at a comparable distance) or "Oh shit I think something exploded" loud?

    Edit: and because you didn't specify, the sound came from the speakers yea?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  17. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Want to chime in because these questions are something I've been thinking about for years. But please, please understand my HUGE bias based on very limited experience. Far from generalizable arguments.

    That being said, here are what I converged to in the end:

    1. Acoustic perspective: Technicalities are mostly multi-dimensional. By "multi dimension", I mean it's nearly impossible to robustly find a clear superiority of one over the other regardless of musical context. For example, among my collection, ribbon (raal sr1a) or Be material headphones (zmf verite) doubtlessly convey better details and resolutions than cheaper material drivers, but I can always list quite a few tracks that I want to listen to with cheapass polk speakers. Then are speakers always better than headphones? Nope (at least to me). There are also a lot of tracks where headphones feel more appropriate once my brain adequately adjusts spatial factors.

    2. Non-acoustic perspective: Speakers are always better with regard to "wearing nothing". No doubt. Headphones are always better with regard to "no neighborhood/family complaints". No controversy, either.

    I typically don't recommend side-grades. But in this case, you can consider passive speakers instead of active (powered) ones.

    In affordable or semi-affordable ranges, it's rather difficult to find builtin amps with scalable technicalities. Not to mention class-D, I often feel like even many class-AB internal amps "equate" source qualities. Again, no offense, and just my experience with jbl and a few other brands. I found myself preferred passive speakers+dedicated power amps over active counterparts if total costs of amp+spk fixed at sub-1k levels. Particularly so when dacs resolve a lot of information (e.g., most multibit, r2r, well-controlled delta-sigma, etc etc).
     
  18. amill

    amill Rando

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    about "oh shit" and yes from speakers. I am interested to know if anyone's ruined a pair of speakers doing this
     
  19. moriya

    moriya Acquaintance

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    Hey all, everyone's favorite question - "what should I get??":

    I'm building a combo HT/Hifi system. Currently this is centered around Paradigm 85f's and a Denon 3500h - this is...well, OK, but I'm looking for either an integrated or separates because I know what the speakers can sound like with a dedicated stereo source. The Paradigms are very sensitive - 93db - and I don't listen loud, rarely above 70db, and almost never above 80db (I live in a flat and like my neighbors).

    Option 1: Separates. Due to the speaker sensitivity and volume, I'm thinking I could start with a single Aegir hooked up to the pre-outs from my amp, add a Freya+ after, and maybe another Aegir after that. I like the incremental upgrade path, but I wonder if the preamp stage from the Denon immediately hamstrings the Aegir, and I'm not stoked on the idea of having 18 million boxes and cables (preamp, phono stage, DAC, amp, probably a miniDSP for Dirac) added to my already cluttered system.

    Option 2: Ragnarok 2. I really want to like the rag 2, but 2 things give me pause, both relatively minor. First off, no dedicated HT bypass - yes, yes I know you can just set it to passive and set it to 0db - I can even automate this since I have a harmony remote, but I just have a feeling I'm going to forget to do this eventually, turn on some music, and blow the windows out of my room. The second issue is more minor, but if I get it with the multibit DAC onboard its USB only - I don't have a dedicated PC for listening and use a Sonos Port for streaming, which is coax only.

    Option 3: Arcam SA20 or SA30. Has literally everything I need - input-assignable HT bypass, phono stage, coax digital, and in the case of SA30 even Dirac and streaming. The SA30 is very expensive and not out yet, so realistically would go for SA20 + a miniDSP if needed, but just throwing it in the ring since it would truly be all-in-one. Also like the idea of the Class G amp stage, which sounds similar to the design of the Aegir, but admittedly I'm just dipping my toes into HiFi, so I'm probably also being swayed by marketing and review gibberish.

    If the Denon preamp isn't trash, it would be great just to get the Aegir and use the preamp (and Audyssey) on the Denon, would really simplify things, but I feel like the AVR in the stereo chain is definitely suboptimal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
  20. moriya

    moriya Acquaintance

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    It also looks like my window to edit my previous post has passed, so sorry for the spam, but probably helpful:

    Likes - I love how lively and dynamic the speakers are, would want this is in a pairing. I mostly listen to classic/indie rock, r&b/rap, reggae, jazz. Some electronic, but things like Jamie XX, LCD Soundsystem, Daft Punk, Caribou, Four Tet.

    Dislikes - The speakers' highs don't need to be any brighter, let's put it that way.

    Ultimately, would love for more definition and separation in the mids (this is the most lacking right now), lively bass (the bass is already quite good), and something that doesn't add to harshness in the highs.
     

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