Budget Stereo Setup

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svaze

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Hi folks,

I am planning to buy a stereo amp+speakers for my home. I live in Pune and have a limited budget. I recently auditioned Wharfedale Xarus 4000 floorstanders(17k) and liked them very much ! I also auditioned the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 bookshelves(12k). Thought they were good, but needed a woofer to get the punch. Both these speakers where paired with a Technics amp (don't know the model #)

If anyone here has auditioned the Xarus 4000, can you share your feedback on them? Can anyone tell me which other floorstanders are available for under 20k ? There was a Wharfedale Diamond 8.3 available in the shop, but didn't get a chance to hear it.

My room size is 12x20 sq.ft. and my music taste includes, mostly hindi stuff (bollywood/gazals fast/slow numbers), western/indian instrumental, and some western pop/rock (no heavy metal stuff)

Thanks,
Swapnil
 

particleman

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Wharfedale makes excellent speakers -- the Diamond and Evo2 and Opus ranges are widely and well known. However Zaldek and Xarus are pretty terrible speakers meant mainly for parties, DJs and others looking for loud, bass-heavy music. You can forget about accurate and natural sound with either of these. Under 20k I would suggest:
Monitor Audio BR2 bookshelf (18k)
Diamond 9.1 bookshelf (12k)
Diamond 8.4 floorstander (< 18k)
Mordaunt-Short 914i (20k)
Mordaunt-Short 904i (14k)

Other choices are Boston Acoustics, Polk Audio, etc.

Since you are in Pune, your best bet is probably to get in touch with Sound & Vision:
Contact : Jay Nihalani
Mobile: +91 9822088022
Shop no 22, 2421, East Street Galleria,
Pune 411001, Maharashtra
Phone: 020 - 26357647
Fax: 020 - 26357647
Email: sound_vision2000@yahoo.com
Web: www.soundnvisionhifi.com
 

svaze

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Thanks particleman. I will call up Sound & Vision to fix an appointment for auditioning.

Which amps do you suggest I should pair with these speakers ? Any options under 15k ?
 

superczar

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The Nad 320BEE pairs up really well with these speakers...You should be able to find it within your budget if you hunt around....

Amazingly warm sound and excellent soundstage from an amp in this price segment :)
 

skt

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Hi
TO get the best out of your Music you need good source, cables also other than the speakers. A good CD player not any sony, philips type.
player with 24bit audio DAC on good THD%. also try B&W bookselfs you may strech you plans :)

cables doesnt mean all hi-end costly stuff. good thick OFC cables.

Best wishes....
SK...
 

vinayde

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Hi Svaze,
replying as I'm in pretty much the same boat as you, I have decided to hold off buying until I get things clearer.
I listened to the wharfedale's too and I really liked their sound. The 8.2 bookshelves have a clear bass advantage over the 8.1's. The bass sounds distinctly better in the 8.2's, Also had the same thoughts of buying the 8.1's and pairing with a subwoofer, probably sonodyne roarr, which I again liked.
I have yet to audition mordaunt shorts but I would do it over the weekend.
Have you had an opportunity to listen to Norgea audio's amplifier ? they retail for about 10,000 and that means more money freed up for good speakers and hopefully a subwoofer as well. One thing that I have read on the forums is that they do not have a pre-out so I cant connect an active subwoofer onto this, any ideas ?
Another thing is that there are only 2 possible amps from norge that can drive speakers, the concerto 1000 and the reference 2000, I guess being Pune based, you could get a listen.

Cheers, hoping to hear from you.
Vinay
 

svaze

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Hi Vinay,

Norge has a dealer in Pune and I am planning to visit him soon to audition the amps. I am looking at the Marantz SR 301 AV receiver as well, since its in my budget and lots of people on this group have talked positive about the musical abilities of this receiver. But I need to audition it before I take some decision.

Regarding the 8.2s, yeah I agree with you.

~Swapnil
 

skt

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Hi,
To have Good brand stereo setup you need CD player, Stereo Amp, Floor standing / good bookshelf speaker and quality speaker and interconnect cables.
Getting budget Stereo setup will be a compromise without all this. What all you say...?

Ya no need of that highly priced stuff but something an uncompromised or which is on par with the audiophile range.

One more more imp thing to consider is we should not lose our good ears it should continue work till at least 60 ? 70 years old. I mean the whole setup should not be tiring with the hi power amps.

Let me know your thoughts.

thanks
-Sk
 

svaze

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Hi skt,

For people like me who are on a budget, the strategy should be to audition whatever is available within ones budget and choose the best in that range. You can always upgrade in future.

Again, the budget should not be ridiculously low.

So I think you need to start somewhere, and then keep on improving your setup with time.

My 2 cents. What say others ?

~Swapnil
 

vinayde

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what do I say skt.. Life's just a compromise... glass half full or half empty.. thats what counts :)
 

skt

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This is one of my view which I cornered. if you need a good Stereo setup we need to shell out a min 70k or another good option is DIY setup ya you can get a very satisfying stereo package with DIY kits.

I come to this after around 10 yrs of listening in various levels of this Hi fi audio. again choice is ours.

I really happy when I found few nice guys done with their DIY audio setups and i think twice thrice about the premium audio devices on par to them and the best thing the satisfaction level of those guys on their device which they build there on... i am not pushing any one to DIY but if you think I can?t shell 70k now then an DIY kit 20k is not compromise go for it and then you upgrade. Why i am telling go for it or you miss yours years man on audition and to reach your full dream machine.

I know there is second opinion on this, sorry please don?t take it personally.
Sk.
 

superczar

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Hi,
To have Good brand stereo setup you need CD player, Stereo Amp, Floor standing / good bookshelf speaker and quality speaker and interconnect cables.
Getting budget Stereo setup will be a compromise without all this. What all you say...?

Ya no need of that highly priced stuff but something an uncompromised or which is on par with the audiophile range.

One more more imp thing to consider is we should not lose our good ears it should continue work till at least 60 ? 70 years old. I mean the whole setup should not be tiring with the hi power amps.

Let me know your thoughts.
bunch of fallacies above
A good stereo setup can be build around a PC source, quality bookshelves and a good Amp if one is on a budget..There isn't any need to spend moolah on a high end CDP or obscenely expensive branded cables if the budget is limited

Also, high power amps do not make a setup tiring....A high powered amp does not mean you play it loud...It just means that a ) - your amp can drive the speakers with a better level of control and b) your amp won't clip while playing on moderately high volumes

Loudness really has very little correlation with the power of an amp
 

smedhavi

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This is exactly what I wanted to ask since quite some time.
I have been seriously disappointed while trying PC, Laptop and iPod as source. They don't come close to a CD player. Finally I concluded that this setup would work only if I add an external DAC; but a good external DAC is more expensive than a CD player. So I finally gave up.

Any recommendations?

Thanks,
Sharad
 

unleash_me

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Sharad,

Don’t know about the availability of any in India. I wanted to have one for sometime. So finally now am getting the TC-7510 from Beresford. Purely going by reviews and recommendations - not exactly a very good idea but no choice right now. Should cost me aprx. 6-7k, I guess. I'm sourcing it from eBay via a friend who is flying down this month.

Will update you how it sounds. Hopefully good!
 

skt

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This my experience and opinion.
I also used PC as a source for Audio play back, I used windows, Linux and Mac OSX systems and given up, even a walkman cd player was better than PC as a source. even used Adobe and apple Audition software, unless you have hi-end sound card you not going to get what u like.

But a marantz cd player given yet another experience for me with the same songs/cds I have and from thr I don?t have any second thoughts on it - Source is a matter and its Important than Amp...
May be someone who use MP3 can compromise to any source.
 

smedhavi

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Yes skt, it is largely a h/w issue. Using different software would not solve the problem. All my tests were based on uncompressed wave files, os it was not a compression issue either. I have a Realtek 7.1 HD audio card on my PC. I normally don't use the PC for audio, just tried it out once.

unleash_me,
I am looking forward to your experience with TC-7510.

Has anyone tried using a computer with a DAC in good AV receivers?
What if I connect the SPDIF out from a computer to a receiver like Denon 3808 or Onkyo TX-SR 875, and then take the preout back to the stereo amp?

regards,
Sharad
 

unleash_me

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What if I connect the SPDIF out from a computer to a receiver like Denon 3808 or Onkyo TX-SR 875, and then take the preout back to the stereo amp?

YES, that will do.

The optical output (or coax). You will essentially be using the DAC in the avr. Denons are better than onkyo here, strictly in my own personal experience.

For me this is not phisically possible. I needed a good source when am with my PC/Laptop, where I spend most of the time, which unfortunately is far away from my HT/HiFi room.

Source is a matter and its Important than Amp...May be someone who use MP3 can compromise to any source.

Agreed.

I believe the freedom/convenience/convergence PC offers in archiving and playback is something that a component/separate system can't offer. Yes, quality is a question here. But hey PC is after-all not exactly a "reference system" anyways.

In the case of HiFi, you obviously want to keep it as pure as possible. Heck, I am totally against having even a carousel changer. Single disk spinner wins any day.

Best regards.
 
Last edited:

Marclau

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Another bad review on the Xarus 4000???

Why Why Why.......?

I have had these speakers for a small while and although they are cheaper then day Dali Concept 6 or Mordaunt Shorts, I have compared them and they have very good lower and mid range.

If movies are your thing as well, these speakers are sensational.
Very forgiving speakers when you like all music types and yes they are loud.
What do you expect from 200 wattsa and 2 8 1/2 drivers !!?

When these first came out they were more then double the cost and magazine reviews gave them positive reviews.

For a middle of the range speaker, the are excellent. By a Velodyne Sub, and a good Centre, match them with Xarus 1000, and you will be smiling not only for the music, but also smiling with the money you have left in the bank...
 

particleman

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@Marclau:

I can completely understand being upset when one reads negative comments about one's kit. Choice of speakers being such a subjective affair this tends to happen. While I agree that I could have voiced my opinion more diplomatically I stand by my comments given the context of the discussion.

While the Xarus may not be terrible speakers in absolute terms they simply do not fit the bill in this scenario. It is no doubt a powerful speaker with a pronounced bass response. However it is clearly outdone by its own cousins, the Diamond 8 and 9 series. Especially in terms of musicality and presentation. After all, the Diamonds are such brilliant performers that they eclipse even speakers above their price range. Consider also the intended function of the speakers: Wharfedale themselves position it as part of the "Home DJ" series. Its job is to provide that loud, visceral performance that suits movies and parties very well. If it falls short on accurate and tuneful music presentation, it cannot be faulted - it was never meant to.

That you enjoy the sound of the Xarus and are satisfied with them should be all that matters. Each of us look to a speaker to serve a different purpose and to do it well. That it serves your purpose suitably is the most important thing of all.
 
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