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Amp + Speaker suggestion required

Audiolab 6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport

praveen6585

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Hi,

I currently have an old Philips deck which I have connected to my computer and Worldspace radio. However the music system has been giving problems lately and I am planning to buy a new setup. Budget is around 30-35k for both amp and speaker combined. Dont mind stretching that a bit though! :)

I primarily listen to a lot of music. Most of it is in the mp3 format. Also it would be nice if I could connect it to my TV to double up as a home theatre. Was considering bookshelf speakers (Wharfedale 9.2).. Not decided on the amp yet (stereo amp?).. Had a few doubts which i thought I would list down..

1) Can the computer, Worldspace and the TV be connected to the amp at all times.. As in not listen to them at the same time but just be wired up?

2) I like the bass to be strong when listening to songs.. Do bookshelf speakers do justice to the bass part of music? if no, i will need to go for an amp to which i can add a sub woofer later.

3) I already have a normal DVD player.. Do i need to buy anything else apart from the Amp and speakers?

Will be grateful to get some some inputs as the options are really too many and confusing! And to add to it I don't really understand technical terms too much! Taking a demo of the products is the best way but I thought shortlisting the products based on peoples experiences makes more sense.
 

sandeepmohan

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Hmmm....There are quite a lot of options for the price bracket you have mentioned.

First things first...connecting your stereo music system to the TV does not in any way make it a home theatre. If you are thinking of Home Theatre then Stereo Amplifiers are ruled out. You need a Surround Sound Amplifier/Receiver for Home Theatre. You need to decide if music or movies are your priority.

The Wharfedale model you mentioned is good but book shelves are not great for deep bass & are placement critical. If space is a contraint I suggest a book shelf and sub woofer combination.

Yes; your computer, television & worldspace can be connected to the amplifier at all times.

There are some book shelf speakers that offer superb bass but in controlled conditions. They are not the best choice in a normal home if one wants tight bass. You can buy any amplifier but pick up a sub woofer that has speaker level inputs and outputs.

Your good with the DVD player, speaker system & amplifier but do think about a sub woofer. I am not sure about the cost of the Wharfedales you mentioned. If you don't mind amplifiers made by Indian companies it should be possible to purchase everything within the mentioned budget.

I suggest the Bose Acoustimass 5 speaker system and a Norge or Telome Amplifier. It is a very good combination and you won't need a sub woofer. There are not many who like Bose and sound critics are totally against it. If you have the time & a Bose Outlet near by i seriously suggest listening to the speaker model i mentioned. Its superb value for the money. Its around Rs. 23000 and a compatible amplifier will be another Rs. 12000 from Norge (Referrence 2000) or Telome (TA8200). I love the sound from this speaker system. It does not occupy any space and sounds fantastic. The amplifiers i have mentioned are not good lookers (when compared to the Rotel, Marantz, etc) and do not offer remote control but have superb sound quality.
 
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psychotropic

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i agree with much of the advice that sandeep has given above except for the Bose + Norge combo. Without going into details about Bose's approach to quality, they're just poor value.

With your budget, go for a quality stereo setup and not a "home theater". the Wharfedale 9.2 should be very good for your bass requirements, especially as you're moving up from a Philips system. They come for 14k and you can pair them up with a variety of amps including the Marantz PM6002 (18-20k), CA 540A (17k), 640A (20-22k) and so on.

Invest the rest on a pair of good stands (5k for a pair that you can get made), and spend under a 1000 bucks on cables, and you should be set.

Of course since your sources are all lo-fi (worldspace, MP3, TV), it may not be a good idea to spend all this money unless you're upgrading your source as well. Good sources are available from 10,500 bucks (Marantz C5001) upwards :), or as moserw would recommend, you can try to put together a home theater PC (HTPC)

Another very good option you could consider are the Audioengine 5, powered speakers, for around 19k a pair, (i think they permit two inputs simultaneously), that would make more sense for your lo-fi inputs.
 
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praveen6585

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First of all thanks for taking out time to reply to my queries. I agree with your point that stereo system is not a substitute for a home theatre but atleast it will be better than the in-built speakers of my LCD TV! So music will still be my priority. So i guess i will stick to a stereo amp. (Assuming I can add a woofer to it later)

What i was planning is that instead of going for a Bose right away alongwith a local amp, I will buy just a pair of decent bookshelves (I think the Wharfedales cost abt 14k) and a good amp (Dont mind spending abt 20-25k for that) and buy a sub woofer in the second stage after some time. How much will a sub woofer cost me?

So keeping this in mind could you please suggest some combos? Also ive read that having an over powered amp is better than having an under powered one.. Otherwise the potential of the speakers will be lost. Does it really make a difference?
 
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sandeepmohan

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I honestly do not know anything about how Bose go about their quality control but i have been listening to the 5 Series for some 10 years now and it simply amazes me on sound reproduction. I do not own this speaker system. Have been listening to it quite often at a relatives place.

Praveen...i would not use the word "local" for Norge and Telome. The sound quality is just as good as a Marantz or CA. The only difference is that they can't finish the product as well (Built to a price) and hence look cheap in front of Japanese or British equipment.

You can pick up a Sonodyne sub for around Rs.12K. A matching (In Finish) Wharfedale might cost you a wee bit more.

The options mentioned by psychotropic are excellent suggestions. My personal favorite is the Marantz Amplifier. You can stick to the book shelf model you had in mind. You can pick up the amplifier and speaker system and try it out with your DVD player. If you like the sound then there will be no need to invest in a dedicated CD player.

Feel free to pickup any amplfier you like. Do not worry about the connectivity issues from the amplifier to sub woofer. When it is time to buy a sub woofer just check for speaker level inputs and outputs on the sub woofer unit. Sub woofers made for Home Theatre don't normally have these connectors. There are ones meant for stereo application so they provide just the right amount of extra bass. There are dual purpose sub woofers available but be careful when buying. You do not want to make the mistake of picking up one that is way too powerful cause this will be totally unecessary and will ruin the overall sound.
 
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praveen6585

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Ok.. So the next step is going to the shop and checking out how the Marantz or Norge sounds with the Wharfedales! Had a last doubt.. the Marantz model that psychotropic mentioned has power of 45 watts per channel whereas the capacity for the Wharfedale is 20-100 W.. So isnt the amp a bit on the under powered side? Of course i am aware that i will have to shell out money for a higher powered amp but wanted to know if it actually makes a difference.
 
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sandeepmohan

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Its next to impossible to find a dealer dealing with Norge and Marantz. Even if you did find one the dealer will suggest the Marantz as it is a premium product. I suggest not listening to them and buy what YOU feel sound best

Forgot to answer the last part of your question. Yes; you must try and match amplifier specifications with speakers as much as possible. Bring the figures as close. The Marantz is under powered but check sensitivity of the speaker system. The higher the sensitivty value the easier it is for the amplifier to drive the speaker. The Marantz will heat up if you plan on playing music loud for some time and this won't be good in the long run for the components in the amplifier. The Marantz will be at peace if listening volumes are at comfortable levels.

You will get better, more fuller sound with a quality amplifier that is speced closer the what the speaker system demands.
 
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praveen6585

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Yeah.. Even my friend was saying that when you take an actual demo of the products you may end up buying something totally different from what you had planned.. The speaker or amp may not have fab specifications but may sound good to your ears..

As far as availability goes I dont think it should be a problem as there is a long line of shops specialising in only high end A/V products near my house.. Will take some demos and keep you'll updated on my final decision.. Thanks for the suggestions!
 
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sandeepmohan

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Feel free to buy something you like. It need not be recommeded by everyone but if you like the sound quality go for it. It could be a brand we have never discussed here but ended up sounding terrific.

I wish Bangalore had such lines of shops. Every Hi Fi store out here is in a different corner of the city making it a pain to visit. Some of them totally un professional. I had a very bad experience with Pioneer (Kasuma's pro audio)
 
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praveen6585

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Yeah.. Its a tough thing when you cannot get the demos.. Esp. since buying a system is a thing of personal preference and liking.. So it can't be bought online.. Nothing can replace a physical demo..
 
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praveen6585

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Hi all!

Finally made up my mind and decided to go for floor standing speakers instead of bookshelves! Have got my hands on a Cambridge Audio CA540v2 stereo amp and Polk Audio TSi300 connected by 14 gauge Monster cables.. The combo is mindblowing! (The amp and speakers cost me 20k each).. Thanks to everyone who gave their valuable suggestions and helped me make up my mind!
 
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sandeepmohan

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Super....Lots of Cambridge Audio lovers these days....

I was going through the CAP5 system that has been incorporated on the 540A V2 and Point No.2 is a similar technology my 11 Year old Technics Amplifier uses for circuit protection
 
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praveen6585

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lol.. yeah! i decided against the bookshelves because when taking the demo they were just not giving that effect that i was looking for unless teamed with a subwoofer.. floorstanding ones are much better! and i had compared the Marantz and Denon with Cambridge and liked the last one the best.. i feel it has a clearer sound than the other two.. the marantz sounds warmer though.. but i prefer crispness more..
 
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