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Old 07-30-2015, 12:35 PM
Prizen Prizen is offline
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Default Calling all Audiophiles - Hifi Advice please !

Hey all,

I wonder are there many hifi audio enthusiasts on here? I have been into and out of hifi over the past few years. Recently, I decided to get back into it. I do post on some hifi forums, but many people get too technical there, talking about fourier waveforms, crossovers etc.

Currently, I have:
- a pair of Harbeth P3ESR speakers
- Marantz PM6005 integrated amp
- Cheap CD player

I want to do a few things:

1. Get a pair of floorstanders to use in another room - something that is a really enjoyable listen and doesn't have to be "accurate". To give you an idea of my taste, I really like using the loudness button on my Marantz amp, it really adds richness and warmth to the sound. What would you recommend Budget c. $2,000?

2. Get another amp. I believe that there are relatively small differences from one amp to the next. One comment that i can never understand is when people mention that a particular type of speakers "really loves a lot of power / watts" - I mean, surely this only applies to cranking up the sound while preventing clipping and distortion etc.

3. Source - I have a lot of flacs on an external hard drive, so I am thinking of building a cheap streamer from a Raspberry Pi. Alternatively, I will try source a Squeezebox touch.

So, what do you guys think?

Cheers!
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:29 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prizen View Post
2. Get another amp. I believe that there are relatively small differences from one amp to the next. One comment that i can never understand is when people mention that a particular type of speakers "really loves a lot of power / watts" - I mean, surely this only applies to cranking up the sound while preventing clipping and distortion etc.
It can also apply to two other situations: inefficient speakers and prevention of low-end compression.

Inefficient speakers tend to need more power to get moving, just like a sitka guitar top needs more right-hand effort than a cedar top to put out sound at the low-end of the dynamic range. That figures right into the second topic, dynamic response:

While we tend to think of bass being occupied by the long, thick droning notes, the truth is that dynamic modern kick drum and classical tympanies live down there are well. Bass is a power hog and will soak up the overhead of your amp much quicker than treble. The first effect you will often hear is compression of the dynamic range, way before you hear distortion. The result is a flat sound without dynamics. The two ways to avoid it are 1) to have plenty of reserve power to prevent compression and allow plenty of dynamics or 2) use a powered subwoofer with a crossover to take the low-end reproduction chores away from the main amp and speakers.

Bob
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:00 PM
Herb Hunter Herb Hunter is offline
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Asking an audiophile to recommend speakers that donít have to be accurate is like asking a guitarist with absolute pitch to recommend a guitar whose intonation doesnít have to be good.

You might audition a pair of the very efficient Klipsch Heresy III speakers but be sure to place them in corners of the room to achieve the sound I think you seek (you may even prefer the sound achieved by removing the included risers).



http://www.crutchfield.com/p_714HRSY...9268225&awdv=c
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:57 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Plus one on the Klipsch Heresy speakers; these are great speakers in my opinion, though expensive.

For about $375 including shipping I had a pair of late 60s Rectilinear III floor speaker systems sent to me out in the Pacific Northwest from Buffalo. I already had a pair of these from about 1970 and knew that I really liked them, and this approach was way cheaper than buying new, equivalent speakers.

Crutchfield often has good deals on Polk Audio floor speakers that are less money than the Klipsch Heresy, though they are not going to sound as good, either. http://www.crutchfield.com/g_12000/F...-Speakers.html

For another amp, I bought a fairly standard 100W/channel RMS into 8 ohm Sony receiver from Crutchfield. The Rectilinear III speakers are reasonably efficient, though they are not like JBL speakers, which are often really efficient comparatively speaking. The Rectinear III speakers are very smooth and well balanced, not harsh at all. The Klipsch Heresy speakers are fairly efficient: sensitivity: 99 dB (1 watt/1 meter).

Best of luck!

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Last edited by Glennwillow; 07-30-2015 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:19 PM
seannx seannx is offline
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I recommend checking your local Craigslist offerings. In my bedroom, I have a pair of Marantz 7000 vintage speakers (3 way w/12" woofers), and a Marantz Audio/Video receiver, that cost $350.00 total. My son bought me a Marantz 5 CD player at Goodwill for $39.00, and the system sounds fantastic. There is no need to use the loudness control, and one of the great things about the powerful amp and big speakers, is that the bass really comes alive. I often find myself listening to the bass guitar as much as the lead and vocals, because it comes through with such a full sound and richness.

The living room system is a pair of vintage JBL 4311B Control Monitor speakers (free), a vintage Sansui amp ($200), Technics CD Player ($75), and my linear tracking vinyl turntable that I got new back in the 1980's. The combo sounds fantastic, you can crank it way up, and it also needs no loudness setting compensation.

When you find options on Craigslist that look promising, I google the name and model number plus "reviews." That usually gets you links to the Audio Karma forum, and good advice about what you can expect. Just because something is vintage, or the specs sound good, doesn't mean that it will okay. Sometimes there are known problems with the components, or maybe the speakers need to be re-foamed.

Bring a CD along to give a listening test before you buy. If you were here in the SF Bay Area, $1,000 would get you a nice system, and $2,000 even more.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:41 PM
Herb Hunter Herb Hunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
... For about $375 including shipping I had a pair of late 60s Rectilinear III floor speaker systems sent to me out in the Pacific Northwest from Buffalo. I already had a pair of these from about 1970 and knew that I really liked them, and this approach was way cheaper than buying new, equivalent speakers. ...
The Rectilinear III was highly regarded as an especially accurate speaker system. I would much rather have a pair of old Rectilinear IIIs in good condition than a new pair of Heresey IIIs but based on Prizen’s post, think he might prefer the Heresey speakers especially considering that his amp’s rated output is 45 watts.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:13 PM
BernebeM50 BernebeM50 is offline
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I am into audio as well. In fact I have four systems set up - main 2 channel/ht, bedroom system, basement system, shop system. As I kept upgrading the gear kept going into other systems.

My main system has quite a few sources and is used for home theatre as well. It has grown quite a bit so the list is a bit long but here goes:

Acoustat 2+2 speakers
Ray Lumley M-100 tube mono block amps with KT-120 tubes
Jeff Rowland model 5 solid state amp
Beard P-100 tube amp with KT-88 tubes
Jeff Rowland Consummate preamp with phono amp
Lenco L-75 turntable with a modded plinth and ADA MG1 Linear Tracking Air Bearing
arm and Denon DL-103R cartridge
Stax Quattro II CD player
Oppo BDP-95 BDP
Studer A807 reel to reel
Pioneer LD-S2 laser disc player
PIoneer F-91 tuner
Iscan VP50pro video processor
Darbee Darblet video processor
Mitsubishi HC-5 Front projector
Elunevision Reference 106" motorized screen
60" Samsung Plasma TV
Consonance Ultra 15 Reference Power Conditioner
Opera record cleaning machine (RCM)
Audience AU24e and Black Cat Lectraline cables

I have multiple power amps that I switch between. The system sounds the best with tube amps but it is too hot in the summer and for movies I use the JRDG amp as it runs cooler (and saves on tubes).

I also have the same projector and a 92" motorized screen for the bedroom system. Watching a movie on a large screen while laying in bed is one of the most comfortable things.

If you have the room, Acoustat speakers sound great and are usually around $1000 U.S. You do need a strong amp though as they are inefficient and can drop to below 2 ohm impedance at the higher frequencies.

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Last edited by BernebeM50; 07-30-2015 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:49 PM
sbeirnes sbeirnes is offline
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I am a big fan of PSB speakers. I have a set of Imagine T floor standers that sound great. I also used a set of CS180s for years that kicked all kinds of but.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:08 PM
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Just a comment regarding the source for FLACS. I considered a streamer along the lines you mention, but I ended up going with a Dune HD TV-303D. Tiny box with a 1 or 2 TB 2.5 inch drive, more codecs than you can shake a stick at, WiFi, Ethernet, digital, HDMI, etc (see http://dune-hd.com/eng/products/full...dia_players/36). Not expensive and works incredibly well with my audio system. My collection is mostly in FLAC format, with a few OGG. The rest of the system: Rega Apollo CD, Naim Supernait integrated amp, Fidelity Acoustic floor-standing speakers (transmission line), REL powered subwoofer, Naim's proprietary speaker cables (which actually do perform as promised by the company).

The Dune cost me a total of Ä260 including the 1TB internal drive (swappable) -- no fuss, no mess, no configuration issues, and a great interface.

I have similar Dune unit, slightly older, with a Western Digital internal 2 TB SATA drive, and I use that with my home theatre system. Again, a ridiculous number of codecs built in. No financial interest on my part, more's the pity. YMMV.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:21 PM
kydave kydave is offline
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I enjoy mixing my old Marantz receiver with floor Marantz speakers...





Marantz 2270 Receiver; Marantz Challenger VII Speakers

Last edited by kydave; 07-30-2015 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prizen View Post
Hey all,

I wonder are there many hifi audio enthusiasts on here? I have been into and out of hifi over the past few years. Recently, I decided to get back into it. I do post on some hifi forums, but many people get too technical there, talking about fourier waveforms, crossovers etc.

Currently, I have:
- a pair of Harbeth P3ESR speakers
- Marantz PM6005 integrated amp
- Cheap CD player

I want to do a few things:

1. Get a pair of floorstanders to use in another room - something that is a really enjoyable listen and doesn't have to be "accurate". To give you an idea of my taste, I really like using the loudness button on my Marantz amp, it really adds richness and warmth to the sound. What would you recommend Budget c. $2,000?

2. Get another amp. I believe that there are relatively small differences from one amp to the next. One comment that i can never understand is when people mention that a particular type of speakers "really loves a lot of power / watts" - I mean, surely this only applies to cranking up the sound while preventing clipping and distortion etc.

3. Source - I have a lot of flacs on an external hard drive, so I am thinking of building a cheap streamer from a Raspberry Pi. Alternatively, I will try source a Squeezebox touch.

So, what do you guys think?

Cheers!
If it were me I'd start with speakers At that budget I would save up just a bit more and consider a pair of Martin Logan EM-ESL mfg. list $2499... probably get some off that price street at a dealer. They are a curve liner electrostatic type with a conventional bass driver in the bottom. The curve of the electrostatic mid/high section gives a bit wider sweet spot

You can read more here http://www.martinlogan.com/electromotion/em-esl.php

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Last edited by KevWind; 07-30-2015 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:31 PM
seannx seannx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kydave View Post
I enjoy mixing my old Marantz receiver with floor Marantz speakers...





Marantz 2270 Receiver; Marantz Challenger VII Speakers
My Marantz 7000 floor speakers look just like yours, with the same size and placement of the components, adjusting dial, overload light, and logo. The only visible difference is that the two small individual speakers have metal grills.
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:36 PM
FranK_S FranK_S is offline
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Find a pair of original vintage advents, restore if necessary, new foam surrounds, new caps in the x-over.
Acoustic Research AR3a would be good too, if you can find them.
Put them on (20") stands to get them off the floor.

They're always on Ebay or Audiogon and can be had for not much money at all.
You'll save loads of money and have something capable of decent sound.

I have 2 pair of them in my office. I also have Harbeth M40 and B&W 803's, 3 systems in all. I use the Advents with a mid 70's Kenwood receiver, (KR-7600)
It's a low budget system in "audiophile" terms.
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:28 AM
Herb Hunter Herb Hunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FranK_S View Post
Find a pair of original vintage advents, restore if necessary, new foam surrounds, new caps in the x-over.
Acoustic Research AR3a would be good too, if you can find them.
Put them on (20") stands to get them off the floor.

They're always on Ebay or Audiogon and can be had for not much money at all.
You'll save loads of money and have something capable of decent sound.

I have 2 pair of them in my office. I also have Harbeth M40 and B&W 803's, 3 systems in all. I use the Advents with a mid 70's Kenwood receiver, (KR-7600)
It's a low budget system in "audiophile" terms.
Though they are legendary speakers deserving their reputations for accurate sound, given the fact that in the opening post Prizen mentions preferring the sound of his existing system with the loudness circuit engaged and that accuracy isnít important, I think it unlikely that he would like the neutral sound of the AR-3a, Advent Loudspeaker or the previously mentioned Rectilinear III speakers especially with only 45 watts available to drive them.
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:46 AM
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Everybody likes a bit of their own brand.

Bob
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