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advice for stereo set up

Wharfedale EVO4.1 Bookshelf Speakers

shashanksiddhant

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May 27, 2018
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gwalior
hi....to all respected members ....for the past few weeks I am looking for options for stereo which i m trying to set up but in my whole life i never found anything so confusing as this hobby is ......not able to decide at all which way to go. At first i was hesitating a bit to start a new thread bcoz of being a novice in this field who neither know anything about this field nor even understand the some basic terminologies which u guys use often while discussing on threads ( sth like that - this speaker sounds warm, this one laid back and this one is completely neutral or this one is dead flat:confused: ) but i know for sure that one day i will.
so please i req all of u to help me out with ur experience. This weekend I am going to delhi to audition some brands which I selected via reading reviews on this forum or by watching you tube reviews. so please advise me which way to go, I mostly listen to Hollywood movies ost (mostly themes composed by Hans Zimmer and Alan Silvestri) and old 90's songs and my every morning starts with "The Dark Knight" soundtrack "like a dog chasing cars" or "Eptesicus" or "its our fight" from "transformers" on my Vifa Oslo which is my till date hi-end reference point but now i would like to take a plunge into this field and want to experience real stereo. but being a native of kanpur and currently living in Gwalior (both place have no dealers for hi-end) I never had a chance of experience or understand hi-end. So ur advise will be appreciable......thanx to all
 

Indranil Sen

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Jan 20, 2018
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Hello shashanksiddhant,
You mentioned stereo in the introductory post but provided reference to movies. This is an important distinguishing factor that you have to clarify before getting further into it. If you are serious about listening to 2 channel music then your selection of components would be very different from a multi-channel set up which is typically used for Home Theater type applications. However regardless of what you choose some of the components which build the framework wouldn't change between the two set ups. This includes speakers (Front Left and Front Right), good quality AC and AC distribution unit, some room acoustics, etc etc. Folks here can walk you through some basic set up criteria once you clarify following items

1. Your Room size
2. Stereo/Home Theater set up
3. Listening preference (type of music), if any
4. Budget

Hope this helps.
 
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shashanksiddhant

New Member
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
18
Points
3
Location
gwalior
Hello shashanksiddhant,
You mentioned stereo in the introductory post but provided reference to movies. This is an important distinguishing factor that you have to clarify before getting further into it. If you are serious about listening to 2 channel music then your selection of components would be very different from a multi-channel set up which is typically used for Home Theater type applications. However regardless of what you choose some of the components which build the framework wouldn't change between the two set ups. This includes speakers (Front Left and Front Right), good quality AC and AC distribution unit, some room acoustics, etc etc. Folks here can walk you through some basic set up criteria once you clarify following items

1. Your Room size
2. Stereo/Home Theater set up
3. Listening preference (type of music), if any
4. Budget

Hope this helps.
sir i listen to these soundtracks via apple music or through my laptop not while watching movies. my room size 16*14*12 feet with no acoustic treatment, budget -can stretch up to 1.5 lacs or 2 or may be a little more, listening preference i stated above
 
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Indranil Sen

Active Member
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Jan 20, 2018
Messages
167
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Location
USA
shashanksiddhant- Thanks for your clarification. I would recommend following items for a 2 channel set up.

1. Start with the AC framework in the room.
- Get one or two 15 amp dedicated circuits for your 2 channel system, if possible. You can also do 20 amp circuits. Any electrician would be able to do that and it should not be too expensive
- Change the Wall receptacles to some audiophile quality or hospital grade receptacle like Hubbell. Again it should not cost a lot of money
- Get a good power distribution box to connect all power cables to it. This will connect to the wall outlet

2. Next select the speakers. This is probably the most important step in the entire process that you have to pay attention to and do it right. Spend at least 60-70% of your budget in buying good quality Floor standing full range speakers. Although there are so many varieties of speakers I am not the right person to recommend you a few because I am not very familiar with the models currently available in India. But I am sure that others in this forum would be able to recommend you a couple such that you can start the auditioning process. In general a neutral speaker which does not over emphasize any particular frequency range would be better suited for music and please make sure that it has sufficiently efficient i.e has a sensitivity rating of 89 db or higher at 8 ohms impedance. Every speaker spec would list this sensitivity factor. Besides you have to really listen to the shortlisted speakers and then buy it.

3. Get a decent 2 channel integrated amplifier which will drive your speakers. Again there are plenty of models available in the market and you have to choose based on your budget and how it sounds in the audition test. Some of the popular brands are Parasound, Marantz, NAD, etc which you might be able to find in Delhi

4. I assume that you already have a source to connect to the integrated amplifier

5. Buy some decent cables (power, interconnect and speaker) to connect source, integrated amplifier and speakers

Here are some of the components that you can buy either now or add it later which will greatly improve the performance of your system

6. One or two Subwoofers
7. Good Power isolation component
8. Room acoustics products

Once you have items (1-5) you would be ready to set up the system in your room. At that point you would need to read articles on speaker/listening couch placement which would help minimize room reflections and provide a flat frequency response at your listening position.

Hope this helps....
 
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mshifi

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Messages
976
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63
Location
hyderabad
With the budget you have mentioned, you could get a good 2 channel setup. You could audition amps of Marantz, Nad, CA, Yamaha etc with speakers such as Dali, MA, B&W, Kef. You need to visit the showrooms in delhi and have an audition of these system and get a fair idea of how each of the systems sound and are they to your liking.
 
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shashanksiddhant

New Member
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
18
Points
3
Location
gwalior
shashanksiddhant- Thanks for your clarification. I would recommend following items for a 2 channel set up.

1. Start with the AC framework in the room.
- Get one or two 15 amp dedicated circuits for your 2 channel system, if possible. You can also do 20 amp circuits. Any electrician would be able to do that and it should not be too expensive
- Change the Wall receptacles to some audiophile quality or hospital grade receptacle like Hubbell. Again it should not cost a lot of money
- Get a good power distribution box to connect all power cables to it. This will connect to the wall outlet

2. Next select the speakers. This is probably the most important step in the entire process that you have to pay attention to and do it right. Spend at least 60-70% of your budget in buying good quality Floor standing full range speakers. Although there are so many varieties of speakers I am not the right person to recommend you a few because I am not very familiar with the models currently available in India. But I am sure that others in this forum would be able to recommend you a couple such that you can start the auditioning process. In general a neutral speaker which does not over emphasize any particular frequency range would be better suited for music and please make sure that it has sufficiently efficient i.e has a sensitivity rating of 89 db or higher at 8 ohms impedance. Every speaker spec would list this sensitivity factor. Besides you have to really listen to the shortlisted speakers and then buy it.

3. Get a decent 2 channel integrated amplifier which will drive your speakers. Again there are plenty of models available in the market and you have to choose based on your budget and how it sounds in the audition test. Some of the popular brands are Parasound, Marantz, NAD, etc which you might be able to find in Delhi

4. I assume that you already have a source to connect to the integrated amplifier

5. Buy some decent cables (power, interconnect and speaker) to connect source, integrated amplifier and speakers

Here are some of the components that you can buy either now or add it later which will greatly improve the performance of your system

6. One or two Subwoofers
7. Good Power isolation component
8. Room acoustics products

Once you have items (1-5) you would be ready to set up the system in your room. At that point you would need to read articles on speaker/listening couch placement which would help minimize room reflections and provide a flat frequency response at your listening position.

Hope this helps....
thanx sir for ur valuable advice....
 
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shashanksiddhant

New Member
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
18
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3
Location
gwalior
With the budget you have mentioned, you could get a good 2 channel setup. You could audition amps of Marantz, Nad, CA, Yamaha etc with speakers such as Dali, MA, B&W, Kef. You need to visit the showrooms in delhi and have an audition of these system and get a fair idea of how each of the systems sound and are they to your liking.
sir can u a few good dealers to start with...and what should i decide first bcoz i have which amp pairs well with which speaker and which is not?
 
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mshifi

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Profx deals with yamaha/ Denon amps and kef / Polk speakers. Not sure where you could audition marantz and dali. You need to checkout on the net as to dealers
 
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Indranil Sen

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shashanksiddhant- You might want to decide on the speaker first because this is likely going to be the single most important factor in getting great sound and a long term investment. All other electronics could be built/purchased around speakers. So in my opinion, take your time to audition some of the great speakers already suggested above and get it done first. Dali, Kef are all very good brands. A couple of other suggestions in speakers would be Paradigm, PSB, Aerials if these are available in India.
 
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shashanksiddhant

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gud aft noon to all respected members .....last weekend I auditioned some of the brands like Monitor Audio, Kef, Dali, B&w, Tannoy, Revel but because of busy schedule I cant share my experience here but now i m so u guys can advice me further:
Sight&Sound- Here I started with B&w 685 s2 and then B&w Cm6 then 705 s2. All three of them I liked cm6 the most because of its vocal clarity and price vs performance ratio and in fact 705 s2 performed better than cm6 but not that much as the price difference indicates between these two. All the bookshelf were played via Rotel RA-14, first they were playing through Rotel top of the line pre (i guess) and power combo but i insisted them to play via some decent priced amp. And then for some moment I listened to Tannoy XT6f towers but did not liked the signature. May be its bcoz of wrong pairing with rotel RA-14 bcoz xt6f are well praised speaker in audio community.
Bass&treble- Here I auditioned MA silver 200 & Bronze 6 side by side and to my surprise bronze 6 performed very well considering their price, more bass than 200 and can go pretty loud but not up to mark to silver 200 stature bcoz everything is more refined & clear, bass is more full ans less distortion without obstructing details, sorry i forgot the name of Amp they were played with.
Audiozzz, Ambala: Next day i went to Ambala to audition Revel Concerta 2 m16 and i am glad that i made that effort boz these speakers worth a try bcoz imo they offer a great performance at a amazing price, they offered me best low end, sound stage was huge while playing old Agneepath movie soundtrack and they looked quite nice to me visually with revels dedicated stands and these were paired with CA cxa80 and imo they will perform even better if paired with more expensive amp.
Top gizmoss: most disappointing exp of my delhi visit bcoz the guy who provided me the demo of Dali zensor 3 & opticon 1 and manuet bookshelf speakers doesnot much about stereo or hi-end and not seemed interested to be and their demo room is worst of all demo rooms i visited, so may be thats why Dali bookshelf failed to impress me at all.
Audio Nirvana: Its the place where i hit the sweet spot of my journey-Kef ls50 (passive) paired with top of the line Rega Elicit R amp and this combo delivered a top notch performance to me with jaw dropping details in each song played by me with impressive mid range performance and amazing stereo separation where i able to hear every single piece of instrument and bass response is more than enough for my taste and these babies looks really stunning in person and feels very premium. And then I noticed one thing that this demo room was in square shape but was most well treated of all the rooms i visited so may be thats why i couldnt notice any flaws in the performance bcoz i read somewhere that square shaped room is not good for music listening.

so my top three picks are: 1. Kef ls 50 2. Revel concerta 2 m16 3. Monitor audio silver 100 ( bcoz i dont want towers)

So my problem is if go with kefs i dont have enough budget for Rega elicit R, thats why my q....is Rega Elex-r is sufficient for kefs or Kefs demand more power so whts in ur opinion guys is best matched amp for kefs in the ball park of 80 k to 120k. or should i go for Kef ls50 active? will that be a wise decision?
 
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tuff

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Try to audition with Peachtree Nova. Plenty of power and should be a good match for the Kef's.
 
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newlash09

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Hi shashank... If the best audio quality is what you seek in your budget, and don't plan on changing anything atleast for the next 5 years , then go for the LS50 actives. Will be difficult to beat them with any amp pairing and LS50 passive, even if you can stretch your budget a bit. The LS50 actives are that good. And who knows how to match a amp to a driver better than the manufacturer. So active is a great way to go ahead, and not to mention it will look tidier than a conventional setup with cables all around.

That said, if you want to get into box swapping, to see how different components sound. Then you will be limited in your options. And a pure 2 channel passive system will be better suited to your needs.
And bear in mind that the LS50 passive speakers are great speakers that will perform even better as you increase the quality of your amplification.
 
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shashanksiddhant

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May 27, 2018
Messages
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Location
gwalior
gud aft noon ...respected members .....so I finally purchased kef ls50 (racing red) with kef performance stand. I currently running it via Rotel RA 10 and chord mojo (what a shame :p but its not that bad what I was thinking .....read darko audio on RA-10) which I borrowed from one of my friend for sometime until i got time to purchase a decent amp (at least 100 to 150 wpc ) and the main reason its very difficult for me to select amp for these babies ...i am currently eyeing on Hegel H190 which is currently out of my budget so decided to wait and save enough for this and I would also like to treat my room acoustically first ...thts why today I am here to seek ur knowledgeable advice ... I would like to start from floor which in my case is tile....... then side walls with acoustic foams . Is carpet or rug will be enough for floor ? if yes then what material will be good ? and what should be thickness of carpet and from where i can purchase these ? please throw some light on acoustic treatment.....thnx

https://darko.audio/2017/07/happy-accidents-will-happen-rotels-ra-10-integrated-amplifier/
 
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Indranil Sen

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shashanksiddhant- Congratulations for getting the KEF speakers and I am glad that you are thinking about room acoustics which would help you build a solid audio foundation in your room that you will be able to enjoy for a very long time. Here are few tips to get you started...
1. For the floor use any floor carpet or rug that we normally put on the floor. Make sure that it covers the 1st Reflection points. I will explain the mirror technique to find out Reflection points on any surface at the bottom.
2. Identify the 1st Reflection points on two-side walls (Left and Right) and put broadband absorbers
3. Identify the 1st Reflection points on the ceiling and put broadband absorbers
4. Install velocity bass traps (porous insulation) in the 4 tri-corner of the room
5. Install additional bass traps in the 4 wall-ceiling corners
6. For the bass traps which would be installed at-least 10ft away from the listening position bond a thin plastic sheet or a very thin plywood on top of the insulation to reflect high frequencies to prevent over-dampening of the room
7. If your back wall, wall behind the listening position, is more than 6ft away from the listening position you might install wooden diffusors to keep a nice balance between low frequency absorption and high frequency reflection in the room.

Now coming to the 1st Reflection points, these are the areas/points on the wall or ceiling or floor where sound from your loudspeakers gets reflected and reaches the listening spot right after the direct sound. These are very harmful as it smears the sound and kills soundstaging. Here is an online link which explains the mirror technique to identify 1st Reflection points. You will find many articles on this website about room acoustics which will help you understand the concept and also organize your room with these kind of products.

http://www.gikacoustics.com/video-early-first-reflection-points/
 
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shashanksiddhant

New Member
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
18
Points
3
Location
gwalior
shashanksiddhant- Congratulations for getting the KEF speakers and I am glad that you are thinking about room acoustics which would help you build a solid audio foundation in your room that you will be able to enjoy for a very long time. Here are few tips to get you started...
1. For the floor use any floor carpet or rug that we normally put on the floor. Make sure that it covers the 1st Reflection points. I will explain the mirror technique to find out Reflection points on any surface at the bottom.
2. Identify the 1st Reflection points on two-side walls (Left and Right) and put broadband absorbers
3. Identify the 1st Reflection points on the ceiling and put broadband absorbers
4. Install velocity bass traps (porous insulation) in the 4 tri-corner of the room
5. Install additional bass traps in the 4 wall-ceiling corners
6. For the bass traps which would be installed at-least 10ft away from the listening position bond a thin plastic sheet or a very thin plywood on top of the insulation to reflect high frequencies to prevent over-dampening of the room
7. If your back wall, wall behind the listening position, is more than 6ft away from the listening position you might install wooden diffusors to keep a nice balance between low frequency absorption and high frequency reflection in the room.

Now coming to the 1st Reflection points, these are the areas/points on the wall or ceiling or floor where sound from your loudspeakers gets reflected and reaches the listening spot right after the direct sound. These are very harmful as it smears the sound and kills soundstaging. Here is an online link which explains the mirror technique to identify 1st Reflection points. You will find many articles on this website about room acoustics which will help you understand the concept and also organize your room with these kind of products.

http://www.gikacoustics.com/video-early-first-reflection-points/
thanx sir for ur valuable advice...
 
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