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HT Audition - A noob's experience

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arunkvivek

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
672
Points
63
Location
Bangalore
I have decent amount of space in my living room (12 X 18 ft) and wanted to fill in a HT setup. I have had no HT apart from old computer 5.1 package from Mercury. I have been reading the blogs on the different threads on this forum for almost 4 months now to understand nitigrities of the audio systems.

More I read, more confusing it became. With a huge budget limitation, I was extremely confused as to where I should start.
Should it be AVR? Should it be Speaker?
The oft quoted buzzwords: Warm, laidback, attack, sound stage, distance were confusing adjectives. I decided to take the plunge last weekend to have an audition with a budget of 50 - 75K. My wife was reluctant and considered that expense could be a splurge; better investment would be on gold jewels (nifty):rolleyes:

Being in Bangalore, I called up the audio stores closer to my place to fix up audition time. Music Ranch in Jaya nagar was the first destination. As per the portal, they were supposed to open at 11:30 AM and I was there (with my wife) at 11 AM. Luckily for me, the owner Mr.Mukesh came in early to have the store opened. I had memorized a few buzzwords to showcase myself as an informed customer!!!

Looking at Mukesh, I dropped my gaurd and confessed that I was a first timer and sought his guidance. I also declared that I am doing a recce as my investments(!) would take at least a month or two to materialize.

I insisted that a FS has to be part of the HT setup. He let me go my way but suggested that I would be making a compromise if I were to try and fit into my budget; it was too tight for a good AVR and HT setup. We did not even venture into testing of the PSB FS he had lined up. He suggested that I start with FS and AVR and slowly add on other pieces.

He brought Tannoy V4i speakers from another room for demo. I told him that music would be my primary content. So, we did not want to waste time on a movie demo.

I played the following songs:
  1. Fall in Love/ Lucky Lips - Cliff Richards
  2. Kalinganardhanam Thillana - Aruna Sairam
  3. Vegam Vegam - Usha Uthup (Movie: Anjali MD: Ilayaraaja)

We were blown away. The adjective sound staging made sense, There were no blackholes between the two channels. The Carnatic piece brought the speakers to life. I expected the speakers to be true to Cliff Richards as it was Western music. The Guitar and Voice were super.

I wanted to see how the speakers fared with Indian Classical. The low notes on Mridangam, shrill notes from Ghatam and Aruna's bassy voice were all crystal clear. Even the small sound of Aruna managing her breath came out live.

I listen to a lot of Ilayaraaja songs so had to play this song by Usha Uthup. The different layers of the songs which I didn't know that they existed came out of the hiding. However, there was a lot of distortion. The CD that I got was mastered from a tape. That might have been the reason.

Just as an icing we listened to Jodha Akbar. The balance in mixing was evident. There were no distortions. After a good one hour of listening, Mukesh suggested that we try Polk Audio's Book Shelf. We tried them but after FS, it sounded bland. My wife declared that we would go for FS only. Finally, I managed to win over an important stakeholder.

The very evening, I had audition fixed up with HT Stores for Jamo S426H. We started off with music (same list). The speakers had no presence at all (biased view) as we had listened to Tannoy before that. Nevertheless, for the price, I wanted to try if I could convince myself by trying the movies. Fast & Furious was played. The speakers came alive and was so engrossed in the movie that Mr.Lokesh had to step in after 10-15 minutes to take my opinion.

I told him that I like the HT setup for movies but the music wasn't satisfactory. He asked me to try Pure Acoustics speaker (I don't remember the model number). Played the same playlist again, the output firmed up our belief that we shouldn't compromise on quality. I did not want to waste any further time. I told Mr.Lokesh about the change of mind that we had. We wanted to a good pair of FS over a value for money budget HT system. I also did not want satellites as I wouldn't be able to flaunt the money spent.:D

Mr.Lokesh took me into another demo room where he had Tannoy and another speaker lined up. Since we had already listened to Tannoy (same model), we requested him to play the 'other' speaker. Wow, we enjoyed these speakers more than Tannoy. We couldn't feel the presence of the devices in the room. It was just music. The speakers were Dali Zensar 7. My wife was checking out the recliners. One more item added to the wishlist now!!!

I requested Lokesh to give me some ballpark figures on where I would land. I told him that I shall cook some money and return to him.
The AVRs in both the cases were Denon - Tannoy was powered by X520BT while Dali was powered by X1100W
For a first timer, It was an unforgettable experience!
 

Audio_Freek

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
1,109
Points
83
Location
Bangalore
Welcome to the Forum, Nice write up with your first audition experience. Just though on why you prefer AVR ?Since you looking more like Music Guy.
The feel of Speakers would be completely enthralling paring with Stereo Amp.
 

krishnamurthy

Active Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Messages
304
Points
28
Location
bangalore
I have decent amount of space in my living room (12 X 18 ft) and wanted to fill in a HT setup. I have had no HT apart from old computer 5.1 package from Mercury. I have been reading the blogs on the different threads on this forum for almost 4 months now to understand nitigrities of the audio systems.

More I read, more confusing it became. With a huge budget limitation, I was extremely confused as to where I should start.
Should it be AVR? Should it be Speaker?
The oft quoted buzzwords: Warm, laidback, attack, sound stage, distance were confusing adjectives. I decided to take the plunge last weekend to have an audition with a budget of 50 - 75K. My wife was reluctant and considered that expense could be a splurge; better investment would be on gold jewels (nifty):rolleyes:

Being in Bangalore, I called up the audio stores closer to my place to fix up audition time. Music Ranch in Jaya nagar was the first destination. As per the portal, they were supposed to open at 11:30 AM and I was there (with my wife) at 11 AM. Luckily for me, the owner Mr.Mukesh came in early to have the store opened. I had memorized a few buzzwords to showcase myself as an informed customer!!!

Looking at Mukesh, I dropped my gaurd and confessed that I was a first timer and sought his guidance. I also declared that I am doing a recce as my investments(!) would take at least a month or two to materialize.

I insisted that a FS has to be part of the HT setup. He let me go my way but suggested that I would be making a compromise if I were to try and fit into my budget; it was too tight for a good AVR and HT setup. We did not even venture into testing of the PSB FS he had lined up. He suggested that I start with FS and AVR and slowly add on other pieces.

He brought Tannoy V4i speakers from another room for demo. I told him that music would be my primary content. So, we did not want to waste time on a movie demo.

I played the following songs:
  1. Fall in Love/ Lucky Lips - Cliff Richards
  2. Kalinganardhanam Thillana - Aruna Sairam
  3. Vegam Vegam - Usha Uthup (Movie: Anjali MD: Ilayaraaja)

We were blown away. The adjective sound staging made sense, There were no blackholes between the two channels. The Carnatic piece brought the speakers to life. I expected the speakers to be true to Cliff Richards as it was Western music. The Guitar and Voice were super.

I wanted to see how the speakers fared with Indian Classical. The low notes on Mridangam, shrill notes from Ghatam and Aruna's bassy voice were all crystal clear. Even the small sound of Aruna managing her breath came out live.

I listen to a lot of Ilayaraaja songs so had to play this song by Usha Uthup. The different layers of the songs which I didn't know that they existed came out of the hiding. However, there was a lot of distortion. The CD that I got was mastered from a tape. That might have been the reason.

Just as an icing we listened to Jodha Akbar. The balance in mixing was evident. There were no distortions. After a good one hour of listening, Mukesh suggested that we try Polk Audio's Book Shelf. We tried them but after FS, it sounded bland. My wife declared that we would go for FS only. Finally, I managed to win over an important stakeholder.

The very evening, I had audition fixed up with HT Stores for Jamo S426H. We started off with music (same list). The speakers had no presence at all (biased view) as we had listened to Tannoy before that. Nevertheless, for the price, I wanted to try if I could convince myself by trying the movies. Fast & Furious was played. The speakers came alive and was so engrossed in the movie that Mr.Lokesh had to step in after 10-15 minutes to take my opinion.

I told him that I like the HT setup for movies but the music wasn't satisfactory. He asked me to try Pure Acoustics speaker (I don't remember the model number). Played the same playlist again, the output firmed up our belief that we shouldn't compromise on quality. I did not want to waste any further time. I told Mr.Lokesh about the change of mind that we had. We wanted to a good pair of FS over a value for money budget HT system. I also did not want satellites as I wouldn't be able to flaunt the money spent.:D

Mr.Lokesh took me into another demo room where he had Tannoy and another speaker lined up. Since we had already listened to Tannoy (same model), we requested him to play the 'other' speaker. Wow, we enjoyed these speakers more than Tannoy. We couldn't feel the presence of the devices in the room. It was just music. The speakers were Dali Zensar 7. My wife was checking out the recliners. One more item added to the wishlist now!!!

I requested Lokesh to give me some ballpark figures on where I would land. I told him that I shall cook some money and return to him.
The AVRs in both the cases were Denon - Tannoy was powered by X520BT while Dali was powered by X1100W
For a first timer, It was an unforgettable experience!


Zensor 7 is better than all those you have auditioned. PSB X2T is marginally better than Zensor 7 although pricey by 30-35k.
 

sunilkm

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
999
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
Good to read your write up on demo.
If the primary usage is music, a stereo amp would do more justice to Zensor7 than x520/x1100. But in case you would like to expand in to 5.1 later, you are on right track.
 

bose

New Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2015
Messages
20
Points
0
Location
delhi
"More I read, more confusing it became. " I can relate!

"We couldn't feel the presence of the devices in the room. It was just music. The speakers were Dali Zensar 7. " I can relate, once again :)
 

asatsi

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2012
Messages
35
Points
0
Location
Pumbai
Awesome write-up! I am a noob myself but always wonder if one can do auditions at home instead of the acoustics treated setup at the stores. How to go about it? Because I suspect that the quality of sound as heard there in the stores would be hardly anywhere near when listened to in my drawing room.
 

grunthos

Active Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
Messages
456
Points
43
Location
Mumbai
Very nicely written audition
You have already listened to two of the best options in the entry-level floorstanders.
And after listening to floorstanders, you wouldnt want to consider bookshelves or satellites :)

Meanwhile if you were to want to check other options, the Monitor Audio BX5 is worth a consideration (same price as Dali Zensor)

As some other FM has already mentioned, the PSB X series are even better still, but cost a decent extra over the Dalis. But hey, worth a listen, right :) ?
 

raghupb

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Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
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Location
Bengaluru
@arunkvivek

"And God said let there be light!!"
But one of his/her mischievous assistants decided to have fun and said
"Let there be sound, hi-fi and surround sound"

Very well written and welcome to the crazy world of hi-fi.

Speakers are the most important element in the audio chain in my personal opinion. The rest of the chain can be built around them. You have a decent enough space for FS, there are BS speakers that can shine as well. Since you are in audition mode, why not listen to them. Some of the best speakers for purely music listening purpose are studio monitors, and they are mostly small form factor or stand mount. I have had BS speakers for as long as I can remember and have not found them lacking. In fact I am getting another pair this month (hopefully).

Cheers,
Raghu
 

arunkvivek

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
672
Points
63
Location
Bangalore
Welcome to the Forum, Nice write up with your first audition experience. Just though on why you prefer AVR ?Since you looking more like Music Guy.
The feel of Speakers would be completely enthralling paring with Stereo Amp.

Hi Audio_Freek,
I am glad you like my write up.

Since, HT is a long term goal, AVR is the compromise that I am willing to make for now. I want to get the big fishes now (FS and AVR is a big budget investment for me) and then buy stereo gears later. Incremental funds shouldn't (hopefully) affect my personal finance.
 

arunkvivek

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
672
Points
63
Location
Bangalore
Awesome write-up! I am a noob myself but always wonder if one can do auditions at home instead of the acoustics treated setup at the stores. How to go about it? Because I suspect that the quality of sound as heard there in the stores would be hardly anywhere near when listened to in my drawing room.

How to go about it? From what I have seen in the conversations on the forums, the members build a strong network. If the fellow forum members have the gadgets you wish for, you can request an audition. But, none of the audition experiences (studio or home) can be replicated at home as the room dimensions and accoustics are going to vary.
 

arunkvivek

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Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
672
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63
Location
Bangalore
Raghu,
That was a nice quote! After setting up HT, I am also planning to have a stereo setup for my PC.Probably because I listened to BS after FS, I was a bit averse. I am definitely open to some more audition and other form factors.

-Arun
 

sash

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Oct 6, 2012
Messages
597
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63
Location
Mysore
You have been to good places to audition. Both Mukesh and Lokesh are great people and are honest and knowledgeable.
 

raghupb

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Location
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Arun,
Audition at a home will be closer to the real world compared to demo room.
What happened to your hunt for speakers? Finalized on something?

Cheers,
Raghu
 

arunkvivek

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Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
672
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63
Location
Bangalore
Arun,
Audition at a home will be closer to the real world compared to demo room.
What happened to your hunt for speakers? Finalized on something?

Cheers,
Raghu

Hi Raghu,
Yes, I have! Got BS speakers from FM. Quite a lovely experience! I shall post about it and a couple of experiments that I tried with BS over this weekend!

regards,
Arun
 

raghupb

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Location
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Arun,
Cool. So you decided on bookshelf speakers. Keep a lookout for used stands. If something pops up and the price is right, grab them. They do make a difference.
Enjoy your new acquisitions (AVR + Speakers).

Did you find the snake cables you were looking for?

Cheers,
Raghu
 

arunkvivek

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Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
672
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63
Location
Bangalore
Arun,
Did you find the snake cables you were looking for?

Cheers,
Raghu

Thanks, Raghu!

I tried to go through DIY route (outsourced route). Went to SP road and got 6 RCA cables soldered to DB25 port. But, the solution isn't working. Not sure if it is the fault of the cable soldering or the AVR itself. I would have to spend this weekend on figuring out if it is possible to make the DB25 port work. Meanwhile the BS have distracted me from the experiments. I shall first post about them and then continue with the experiments. Need a couple of hours to narrate the adventure.

regards,
Arun
 

arunkvivek

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Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
672
Points
63
Location
Bangalore
Thanks, Raghu!

I tried to go through DIY route (outsourced route). Went to SP road and got 6 RCA cables soldered to DB25 port. But, the solution isn't working. Not sure if it is the fault of the cable soldering or the AVR itself. I would have to spend this weekend on figuring out if it is possible to make the DB25 port work. Meanwhile the BS have distracted me from the experiments. I shall first post about them and then continue with the experiments. Need a couple of hours to narrate the adventure.

regards,
Arun

Raghu,
I have posted the about the DIY snake cable http://www.hifivision.com/surround-amplifiers-receivers/61726-onkyo-integra-tx-sv919thx-4.html#post689381

I am also posting about the speaker setup at my place. watch out;)
 
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