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Help Me Build My Music System

Wharfedale Evo 4.2

idthiru

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Posting it here as i find it the appropriate place.. thanks.

Dear FMs

My clear objective here is to build a music system, just for music.

I have read lots of similar posts and thought of getting what i want by asking these precise questions:

I can understand, for music and just for music alone, I would need a stereo amp and bookshelf speakers. I am in the US. I need to place the music system in my living room which will be ~ 180 sqft. Budget is medium on a scale of low/medium/high.

1. Which Amp will be a best. I could see Cambridge and Marantz are the brands that are widely talked about in the forum. What about Yamaha and Denon, do they not stand out in front of Cambridge/Marantz amps?
Help me choose an amp.
2. If all i would need is a 2.1 stereo, does it mean that i would need 2 speakers and 1 sub woofer?
Help me choose a speaker and sub woofer.
3. Do I need a DAC? or otherwise - A stereo amp + book shelf speakers would be suffice?
Help me choose a DAC if required
4. Would i need a pre-amp though?
Help me choose a Pre Amp if required
Also please help me understand what DAC ad Pre-Amps are and what are their significance in terms of setting up a music system esp'ly one for my need?


TIA,
thiru
 
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dheerajin

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hi Thiru,

answers-

1-audition, audition,audition..only your ears can tell you which stands first

2-only 2 channel is recommended for audiophile systems, however people who love bass, puts subwoofer. 2.1 configuration is generally done when speakers are active ones and directly run by computer

3-If your source is a laptop or PC , you may need DAC for better sound output.
You are in blessed land as far as affordable DACs goes..check Schiit & Emotiva.

4.Its better to start with integrated amps, later on when taste and knowledge is acquired, go for pre-power combo. In this forum you will get much knowledge about DAC & Pre..

My recommendation is to buy used system, you can audition the same before buying..so you know what it is worth..
second it will be bang for a buck..
third-people are very impulsive when they start this journey and in 90% of the cases they do mistakes in buying new components and later to correct them , they have to sale the equipments at very low price..so in this case..it will not happen with you..
do research , check the classified in your city..go and take home audition...zero it down to 2 system and then bargain...
Hope my advise will work for you..

Cheers

Dheeraj
 
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grunthos

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Help me choose an amp.

Help me choose a speaker and sub woofer.

Help me choose a DAC if required

Help me choose a Pre Amp if required
Would you like some sun, moon and stars too with that ?
 
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Falcon21

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Fiio toslink D3 would be the simplest thing if your mobo has spdif

you would just need a spdif cable and a audio L/R cable and get PCM 2.0 stereo signal

media center is the best audio player i've heard

you might wanna consider floor standers over bookshelf if get good pricing
 

asliarun

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Welcome to this forum and on your audio journey!

Where are you in the US?
What music do you listen to?
How loud do you listen?
What is your ballpark budget?
Do you have kids?
Will any other family member be operating the system?
Do you love strong bass? Or are you more about clarity and vocals sounding good? Or both?
Do you listen music to relax or to get pepped up?

One of our esteemed forum members once said that research and knowledge can improve your audio setup as much as money can.

A starter setup would consist of bookshelf speakers with stands or tower speakers, sensible speaker cables, an integrated stereo amp, and your music source.

Source can be a pc or iphone or smartphone or dvd player or dedicated cd player or a streaming media device. I use Roku as my music source or music player.

You can also go to Accessories4less: High End Audio at Low End Prices! to find heavily discounted Marantz, Denon, Yamaha, etc. models.
 

asliarun

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Also, dont get caught up on brands. Figure out how to analyze basic specs of amps and speakers.

Example: Yamaha is an entry level brand but their A-S2000 amp is considered a genuine high end amp. It is also $2000 though :)

The US market is also very evolved and there are also tons of local manufacturers who offer far better value for money than many of the mass market brands. Same goes for the used equipment market.

At the entry level, Nad and Marantz are the most popular. I guess Rotel as well. Parasound is very good too.

Denon focuses more on AVRs. AVRs are all about features and bling. Nothing wrong with that, except that at a given budget, especially at the entry level, features come at the expense of audio quality.
 

afj

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hi idthiru
you'd first need to decide on your budget. also factors to take into consideration are room size - if your room is small, you can go for a pair of bookshelves, if its large floorstanders are better. im not a fan of a sub unless you want some real boom boom bass. also what sort of music do you listen to

once you decide on these above factors, then imo you should decide on what speakers you want first. once you decide on a price range you will get a few suggestions on this thread. and after you've decided on a speaker we can help you with an amp to pair.

this seems a long drawn out process but definitely will be worth it since different set ups have their own sound signature and only you will be able to tell which suits your listening habits.

as for the amps mentioned, marantz, cambridge, nad are all good and a step above yamaha and denon.

a dac is part of your source. if you are using your computer as a source, i suggest a dac. if youre using a cdp, then it has its own inbuilt dac. a dac is a digital to analog converter
 

Naztone

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in addition to the sensible suggestions here...
whats your budget - thats a imp factor in a hifi journey, once you have figured that out, u can decide how to proceed
# go about it nice & slow - adding components as you go....plus point of doing ut this way is you get to evolve n decide what kind of sq suits you
#or if you can afford it you can pretty much make yourself a happy boy in a jiffy

re 1> Cambridge Nad & Marantz seem to focus on the stereo end more, while denon onkyo & yamaha etc seem to focus on avrs more.....at least thats my take, & like asliaran correctly states at the entry level an abundance of features is possible by compromises in soud quality
i had a option to get a pretty nifty onkyo avr (almost new) at half the price of a marantz pm6004....but ......the onkyo could do a lot of funky things......the marantz just does one thing "amplify music".....so well marantz it was for me

best option do demos & listen ...

re 2 > i made do without a sub for a coupla years - was still happy, now that i got me a sub am even happier :) depends on what you like - good clean crisp bass or ... ....... but once again you have to take the time to find a sub that matches your setup


3) if you plan to use your pc/laptop to play music - a dac is definetly a good thing

4)if you can afford it & know what you want a pre amp would be awesome..

however if your just starting out with hifi, then perhaps a good pair of towers & a good stereo amp can go very far (make sure u demo extensively with your own demo disks & read up online, (this form has been a huge help to me in that regard) - but always just trust your ears at the end).

then as when budget/time etc permit you can keep adding to your system ...dac....sub....
cheers
 
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