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My humble beginnings in Hi-Fi world

Wharfedale Speakers

esanthosh

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After a month of laziness, I finally managed to upload my pictures to HFV. Very minor changes have happened in the 2 channel setup after the pics were taken, but the pics will be updated after some major changes I am planning :).

I started my journey with lot of questions: http://www.hifivision.com/what-shou...questions-more-questions-confused-newbie.html. Of course, I had a budget that maxed at Rs. 1L for HT and Rs. 75K for stereo setup. As with everybody, HFV had a "bad influence" on me too and I ended up spending much, much more. Stretch is a small word for that ;)

Thanks to Srikarkav, moktan for recommending Audire and others who helped me on that thread, venkatcr for his review that got me interested in Audire IO2. I also took plenty of help thus far from venkatcr, gobble reg the config, Bala (thevortex) has introduced me to several new ways to spend, Santhosh (santhol2) holds lot of promise for making me poorer in the next few months, psychotropic for introducing the forum to TP20, "Golden Ears" Titus (iaudio) for reading my rants patiently, alcy for pushing me to post the photos unsuccessfully for the past month :p, Amien & cranky on TE for helping to finalize my HTPC config, gurubhai for giving me the "Ortho" experience when my speakers had not been finalized. Hope I've not forgotten other names...

I am a bad photographer who beats the Anti-Shaking feature of camera with my hand shakes. So, don't expect too much quality :eek:

Home Theater setup:

TV: 29" Panasonic CRT
AVR: Marantz SR5004
Speakers: Wharfedale 10.6 Fronts, 10CS Center, 10DFS Rear, SW150 Sub
Sources: Sanyo DVDP, XTreamer playing from a WD Green 1TB in Transcend Storejet 35U enclosure, Tata Sky

Changes since the Pic: The bottom shelf has been gleefully filling up with more DVDs

From left to right: Half View :rolleyes: (No rear speakers shown), Front View



2-Channel Setup

Sources: Marantz 63SE CDP, Sony Cassette Deck WE-635, HTPC
Middle-men: Maverick TubeMagic D1, Bravo V2 headphone "pre-amp"
Amp: Topping TP20 MKII
Speakers: Audire IO2
ICs in pic: All MX
Speaker Cables: Cardas

Changes since then: 2 ICs have been upgraded to Blue Jeans Cable LC-1, Speaker positions changed a bit - nothing much.

Pics from Left to Right: Full Setup, Sources, Amp and rest of HTPC, HTPC - Front View, Audire IO2 Speakers

 

suprateep

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congrats esanthosh - especially on the 2 channel setup. How is the topping amp perofriming with the audires?
 

santhosh

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Nice Writeup buddy. Good to know that you have two seperate setups.

Nice AV equipment you have there mate, especially love the Silverstone HTPC cabinet and the Audires:licklips:.

I am a bad photographer who beats the Anti-Shaking feature of camera with my hand shakes. So, don't expect too much quality :eek:
That makes two of us.
 

esanthosh

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Jan 22, 2010
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congrats esanthosh - especially on the 2 channel setup. How is the topping amp perofriming with the audires?
Very well, I should say. To my ears, they do not seem to be lacking too much - Details, sound stage or bass. Before finalizing the IO2, I also auditioned them at Audire. This tiny thing with the help of Marantz 17SE CDP at full volume managed to fill the 20 x 20 audition room.

Of course, one needs to keep in mind that it's still a low powered amp. So, better powered amps could deliver all this at a lower volume and then have plenty more power left. But then they are 'steeply priced' compared to the TP20 :)

Nice Writeup buddy. Good to know that you have two seperate setups.
Thanks Buddy!

But, without joining HFV, I would still be listening to my old Computer speakers. It's only the helpful souls here that have made this possible :)

Congrats for new setup.
Thanks Spiro!
 

iaudio

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After a month of laziness, I finally managed to upload my pictures to HFV. Very minor changes have happened in the 2 channel setup after the pics were taken, but the pics will be updated after some major changes I am planning :).

I started my journey with lot of questions: http://www.hifivision.com/what-shou...questions-more-questions-confused-newbie.html. Of course, I had a budget that maxed at Rs. 1L for HT and Rs. 75K for stereo setup. As with everybody, HFV had a "bad influence" on me too and I ended up spending much, much more. Stretch is a small word for that ;)

Thanks to Srikarkav, moktan for recommending Audire and others who helped me on that thread, venkatcr for his review that got me interested in Audire IO2. I also took plenty of help thus far from venkatcr, gobble reg the config, Bala (thevortex) has introduced me to several new ways to spend, Santhosh (santhol2) holds lot of promise for making me poorer in the next few months, psychotropic for introducing the forum to TP20, "Golden Ears" Titus (iaudio) for reading my rants patiently, alcy for pushing me to post the photos unsuccessfully for the past month :p, Amien & cranky on TE for helping to finalize my HTPC config, gurubhai for giving me the "Ortho" experience when my speakers had not been finalized. Hope I've not forgotten other names...

I am a bad photographer who beats the Anti-Shaking feature of camera with my hand shakes. So, don't expect too much quality :eek:
You had to that, didnt you?:D
Nice to finally see the pics of your set up. Hope to come, listen and click a few pics next month!
You have always been kind enough to share each step of your hi fi journey with prompt updates via pm/sms.
 

asliarun

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Very well, I should say. To my ears, they do not seem to be lacking too much - Details, sound stage or bass. Before finalizing the IO2, I also auditioned them at Audire. This tiny thing with the help of Marantz 17SE CDP at full volume managed to fill the 20 x 20 audition room.

Of course, one needs to keep in mind that it's still a low powered amp. So, better powered amps could deliver all this at a lower volume and then have plenty more power left. But then they are 'steeply priced' compared to the TP20 :)
This is a really really nice setup! When you get the chance, can you please post a review of the Audire IO2 speakers? Would love to hear about (if not hear) these horns driven by the exotic Fostex Sigma drivers. How does it perform in the bass department? Is there any kind of music that these speakers are especially good at or not so good at (I ask this only because they are single drivers).

The Topping amp's noise increases a bit in high volumes. Do you notice it, especially as your speakers are most likely really "revealing"?

I have a small suggestion, if you don't mind: Why don't you install thick curtains on the window behind your television so that it completely blocks out the light?
 

esanthosh

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Thanks gurubhai, iaudio and arun.

This is a really really nice setup! When you get the chance, can you please post a review of the Audire IO2 speakers? Would love to hear about (if not hear) these horns driven by the exotic Fostex Sigma drivers. How does it perform in the bass department? Is there any kind of music that these speakers are especially good at or not so good at (I ask this only because they are single drivers)
Bass: They extend very well. I was able to play a test file of 30hz the other day. Of course below that I cannot hear, but "see" i.e., the driver vibrating.

Review: I've not written a review thus far because it's my first setup. If I hear something wrong, I have no idea which one is at 'fault' - source, DAC, speaker, amp, room, me :rolleyes: Will definitely try to review all components (except the CDP and Cassette Deck) later on. As you can see above, I am hosting a better pair of ears ;)

Strengths? Weakness?: Again, this is my first setup. With not much experience with higher end speakers or a great "reference", I'd have to go by what I hear. YMMV!

As they are neutral, they do well with most types of music I listen to. I was told that single drivers are good only for 'simple' music. But, if you want to see somebody blasting Math metal through single drivers, feel free to visit. May be I'm crazy, but I've always been :)

When I played Nirvana's "Unplugged in NY" at Audire, they sounded kind of 'intimate'. Kurt Cobain's vocals came through like I've not heard before. They also do well with Classical music because that is what they use to "tune" the speakers with. But then I am very new to Classical music, so I've not much idea how they are supposed to sound.

I do listen to variety of genres - from Prog Metal, Classical, Industrial etc., So naturally I was worried before choosing them. But I consoled myself that I already had a multi-driver in the form of Wharfs. So, I went ahead. With time, either my brain got "burned in" or the drivers improved with "burn in", I do not have that many complaints. With modifications done during the course of time - like HTPC as source and BJC as ICs, burn-in, 8 repositions of the speaker .... the final sound has improved a lot viz., sound stage, separation etc.,

Sometimes I feel that in a complex passage, I hear the "front" details clearly, while the "back" details that would be clearly heard in a headphone are lost in the coherent sound. But since most of my music varies between bouts of heaviness and acoustic beauty, I've not minded them too much.

The Topping amp's noise increases a bit in high volumes. Do you notice it, especially as your speakers are most likely really "revealing"?
I usually listen at lower volumes. When idle, they are very quiet. And so far, unless the recording itself has noise, I've not heard it. Would try this and see.

I have a small suggestion, if you don't mind: Why don't you install thick curtains on the window behind your television so that it completely blocks out the light?
Ideally I should. But if I did that, I have to change a few more curtains to maintain uniformity. However, I usually watch TV / Movies in the late evenings or late in the night. So, no issues from light :)
 
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asliarun

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I do listen to variety of genres - from Prog Metal, Classical, Industrial etc., So naturally I was worried before choosing them. But I consoled myself that I already had a multi-driver in the form of Wharfs. So, I went ahead. With time, either my brain got "burned in" or the drivers improved with "burn in", I do not have that many complaints. With modifications done during the course of time - like HTPC as source and BJC as ICs, burn-in, 8 repositions of the speaker .... the final sound has improved a lot viz., sound stage, separation etc., Sometimes I feel that in a complex passage, I'd have loved to hear a small detail that does not 'come out and hit me' like I am used to in headphones.
Thanks! I was just looking for subjective feedback and your thoughts.

If you get the chance, can you please try playing different types of songs both in your home theater setup (in stereo mode, driven by your Wharfedale fronts) and your stereo setup, and try comparing the two? I realize that this is a completely unscientific comparison as we should ideally change only one component. However, your two setups represent two completely different "camps" of audio setup. Hence, it would be really interesting to know how say, a certain type of song sounds in both your setups.

Again, I'm just looking for your subjective opinions and your listening experience, not a "study". It would also be really valuable input for many of us as it is often quite difficult to hear both these setups in the same place at the same time, and especially difficult to listen to a good single range setup. Plus, there are so many opinions and misinformation floating around about single driver setups that any inputs you can provide will be very helpful.
 

gobble

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Sometimes I feel that in a complex passage, I hear the "front" details clearly, while the "back" details that would be clearly heard in a headphone are lost in the coherent sound. But since most of my music varies between bouts of heaviness and acoustic beauty, I've not minded them too much.
Blame the amp preamp and source. Its not the speakers fault I suspect. My speakers are still waiting to *really sing* due to want of a good power amp but I am quite certain - a gut feeling really that the components in the chain are causing this. For xample with the oppo, the treble frequencies are forward and jut out of the speaker, but with CD6002 they come across subdued. Likewise with another amp I had for a short time, some sounds that were recessed earlier were more pronounced. Poor harmonics can also cause this.

Regards
 

esanthosh

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Blame the amp preamp and source. Its not the speakers fault I suspect. My speakers are still waiting to *really sing* due to want of a good power amp but I am quite certain - a gut feeling really that the components in the chain are causing this.
Gobble!

I tend to agree with your assessment.

For the longest time, I felt my speakers sounded congested. Once I switched the source to HTPC and STX, I did not feel that way, especially after the drivers had burnt-in for 200 hrs+. Only a couple of days ago, when testing the Maverick DAC that I figured that it was the Chinese tube in the pre-out that was causing the issue :)
 

alcy

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Sometimes I feel that in a complex passage, I hear the "front" details clearly, while the "back" details that would be clearly heard in a headphone are lost in the coherent sound.
Seriously, even with earphones costing about 100 bucks I am able to hear those "back" details ! With my setup I have to make a conscious effort to try and listen to those details, increase volume etc. For eg., one of Steven Wilson's cover songs, there is sound of raindrops falling on a roof, which can be easily heard on ANY earphones, but with my setup, as I said before, I have to consciously try to listen to it. This is just one example, there are other times, in case of backup vocals etc., when I feel bad about the setup.

ANYWAY, those Audires look super cool man ! :cool:

Both the setups look nice and I like your reviews ! ;)
 

esanthosh

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If you get the chance, can you please try playing different types of songs both in your home theater setup (in stereo mode, driven by your Wharfedale fronts) and your stereo setup, and try comparing the two? I realize that this is a completely unscientific comparison as we should ideally change only one component. However, your two setups represent two completely different "camps" of audio setup. Hence, it would be really interesting to know how say, a certain type of song sounds in both your setups.
Frankly, I tried doing that a week ago, but only for a brief period - 2 songs. May be because I am used to the single driver, I felt that the Wharfs were 'hitting' from multiple directions, not coherent. And in another heavy passage where I thought that a multi-driver would separate the layers brilliantly did not happen the way I imagined.

There is a difference in acoustics of both setups. Also, in Wharf's case, they are given enough juice by AVR, while IO2s may not be getting enough out of TP20.

Since the Wharfs don't weigh as much as the IO2s (60 Kgs), I'll try to move them into the same stereo setup one day and do a direct comparison - switching just the speakers. That will be a better way.
 

esanthosh

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With my setup I have to make a conscious effort to try and listen to those details, increase volume etc. For eg., one of Steven Wilson's cover songs, there is sound of raindrops falling on a roof, which can be easily heard on ANY earphones, but with my setup, as I said before, I have to consciously try to listen to it.
Thanks alcy!

Yup! That's one of the MAJOR problems I am facing. I was not searching for a pair of speakers - I was searching for an equivalent of Phonak PFE ;)

Audire's Seraphim sounded closest to my desired signature. But then it cost Rs. 10 Lakhs+. It was an incomplete product then, so cost is a rough guesstimate. So, between selling my house (for the whole setup I heard that day incl SACD Player + Pre + Power) and settling for IO2, I had to "compromise" and settle for the latter :)
 

iaudio

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That was something I wanted to tell you, I have also felt the same thing reg headphone vs. speakers. I guess you should stop comparing speakers to hps.
 

esanthosh

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^ Thanks rallynut :)

I was really too afraid to post my "reviews" (or subjective, personal impressions without any of the descriptive lingo) in this forum full of knowledgeable people. But on the contrary, I'm really encouraged by the responses thus far. So until I learn how to properly evaluate and write a review, bear with me and my 'impressions' :)
 
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corElement

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Thats a nice setup, the 10.6's are a little fuller than the 10.5 but the 10.5 probably has a better med range however regardless, nicely done. not humble at all. quite sexy :D
 

cooltoad

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Great setup and nice review, Santhosh, what is a modest setup for you may be a dream one for many. So enjoy. BTW, how much the audires cost(maybe when i get crazy sometime i may consider them)
 
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