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Newbie questions on system configuration (speaker/amp pairing, etc)

AV Cables

asliarun

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I am a newbie to this group, and to high fidelity audio. I am doing research on building a modest stereo system (2 or 2.1) that will provide good sound to cover the living room of an apartment (approx. 20x15, i guess). I am a bit flexible on my budget but do not want to spend more than 40k (30k would be ideal). I know my budget is not too high, so I am only looking for robust and reliable components, good sound clarity, decent bass, and sufficient power. Any help that you can provide would be of immense help to me, both in helping me finalize my system configuration, and in improving my understanding of the subject.

Q1. I am considering Lithos Noa1 speaker (70W @ 6 ohms) and subwoofer set, along with Norge 2060 (80W). Some of the reviews that I found on the internet seem to be quite positive. Can anyone share their views/experiences about these products, please? Is there an alternate configuration that would be better?

Q2. How should I pair speakers and amps? The speaker webpage recommends an amplifier that can provide 30W-100W per channel. The Norge 2060 is rated at 80W per channel and the Norge 1000 is rated at 125 W per channel. Which one would be a better amp for the speakers? Plus, the 6 ohm rating of the speaker is also confusing me.

Q3. Will 70W RMS be sufficient for an apartment (Will it have any power headroom or will it be just sufficient)? I guess that furniture and drapes will also absorb the sound. I don't want it to be painfully loud but it would be sweet to have some extra power on tap.

Q4. The speaker also comes with optional wallmounts and floor stands. Apart from aesthetics, is there any difference in the sound experience between the two?

Thanks in advance!
Arun
 
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venkatcr

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At the outset welcome to HiFiVision.

Q1. I am considering Lithos Noa1 speaker (70W @ 6 ohms) and subwoofer set, along with Norge 2060 (80W). Some of the reviews that I found on the internet seem to be quite positive. Can anyone share their views/experiences about these products, please? Is there an alternate configuration that would be better?

I have heard the Noa1s speaker a couple of years ago for a couple of hours at Rajeev's house. He was using a Marantz CDP and Amplifier. What impressed me most was that I was able to listen to music for a long time with any fatigue. The Noa1s are very small speakers that look elegant in the stand that Rajev has designed for it. Along with the Subwoofer, they presented a good sound stage and good sound. I have also read a very favourable review in AV Max (again a couple of years ago)

At the same time, I have also read some other members who did not like Lithos speakers. So I would strongly recommend you audition the speakers personally before buying them. Please also read the following thread.

http://www.hifivision.com/speakers/664-opinions-regarding-lithos-speakers.html

Q2. How should I pair speakers and amps? The speaker webpage recommends an amplifier that can provide 30W-100W per channel. The Norge 2060 is rated at 80W per channel and the Norge 1000 is rated at 125 W per channel. Which one would be a better amp for the speakers? Plus, the 6 ohm rating of the speaker is also confusing me.

Generally it makes sense to match the impedance of an amplifier with the impedance of the speaker. But this is not very critical. What is important is that the power of the amplifier be a little more than the power handling capacity of the speaker. The Lithos have a decent sensitivity of 88dB.

At 4 ohms impedance , the Norge 2060 will deliver roughly 54 watts per channel into 6 ohms. The Norge 1000 on the other hand (assuming it is also at 4 ohms) will deliver roughly 84 watts.

Usually, unless you want to hear at very high volumes, the Norge 2060 should suffice for you. When Lithos says 70 watts, remember that is the max volume it can handle. But it may make sense to go in for the Norge 1000.

Q3. Will 70W RMS be sufficient for an apartment (Will it have any power headroom or will it be just sufficient)? I guess that furniture and drapes will also absorb the sound. I don't want it to be painfully loud but it would be sweet to have some extra power on tap.

Though it is difficult to say what is the correct wattage without bringing dB into the picture, I would say for normal listening, 40 to 45 watts is enough. This is assuming the room is quite and there is no ambient nose.

Q4. The speaker also comes with optional wallmounts and floor stands. Apart from aesthetics, is there any difference in the sound experience between the two?

The stand mounts are really beautiful. But you can use either.

Cheers
 

marsilians

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Hi Arun

My recommendations are mostly in line with what Venkat has said however with 2 differences.

1. As you are just starting out and have a limited budget, I would look into getting an AVR instead of a separate amplifier because with an receiver and an amp, you will have to compromise a fair bit to be within your budet. Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo and Pioneer come to mind

An AVR has a built in amp and nothing else is required to power your speakers.

2. While I have heard the lithos about a yr ago, i don't think it is the right choice for you since its impedance is a bit low i.e., they require more power to run drive them sufficiently.

Look for speakers that are of 8 ohms impedance so even a decent receiver should drive them cleanly. Wharefadles, Kef and Monitor Audio are some choices.

I have not prioritized the order of either the AVRs or speakers. All of them are decent.

Also plan to spend between 5 - 10% of your budget on cables and connectors to have a clean and good AV experience.
 

moserw

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Depends...
My take -

AVR - Denon

Speakers - Wharfedale 9.x

Will be a good setup and will be upgradeable to 5.1 later on for movies too...

I am more interested in knowing the source though and the format and type of music you play/listen to i.e. is it on a PC, or played on a CD player or a DVD player, is it mp3 or audio CD, what kind of music do you listen to like rock, pop, jazz, hip-hop, classical, etc.

And Arun, welcome!!!
 

hifiashok

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I have owned a Norge Amp. and Equaliser for more than 15 years and can vouch for their excellent quality. I would also like to suggest you trying the 'Invisible' speakers. These are built in Kolkata and are pretty good. They have both active and passive options.

However, I have now upgraded.
 

asliarun

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All, thanks for your prompt and detailed responses!

Marsilians, I want to keep my system purely as a stereo system, and do not intend to use it for video (except perhaps as a replacement for the television's inbuilt stereo speakers at a later date). Additionally, I would like to connect a Worldspace receiver to the amp (in addition to a CD player). Are there any benefits of still going for a stereo receiver? I am not interested in the AM/FM tuner, but would find it really useful if a receiver or amplifier provides more input options for me to connect more than one audio source.

A related question: Norge sells the Norge 1000 amp and also sells the Norge 2000 MOSFET amp (prices are similar ~10k). They're both rated at 125W RMS @ 4ohms (S/N=100DB). Can anyone please tell me the difference between MOSFET amplifiers and standard (I guess Class A/B) amplifiers? I did a lot of research but could not find a good answer on this one.

Apart from the Lithos speakers, I am also considering the Monitor Audio Bronze B2, Norge New Millenium, and as moserw suggested, Wharfedale Diamond 9.1. Can anyone please provide any inputs on any of these, in terms of price, performance, relative performance, and availability in Pune? The Monitor speakers seem to have a larger drive than the Wharfedales and go down to 42Hz as opposed to 50Hz. Will this make a difference, especially if I don't go for a sub-woofer? Please also let me know if I am theorizing too much!
 

marsilians

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All, thanks for your prompt and detailed responses!

Marsilians, I want to keep my system purely as a stereo system, and do not intend to use it for video (except perhaps as a replacement for the television's inbuilt stereo speakers at a later date). Additionally, I would like to connect a Worldspace receiver to the amp (in addition to a CD player). Are there any benefits of still going for a stereo receiver? I am not interested in the AM/FM tuner, but would find it really useful if a receiver or amplifier provides more input options for me to connect more than one audio source.

Sorry maybe I am misunderstanding your question - an amplifier does not provide any options for sound processing. It just enhances the signal. So the question still remains as to how you are processing the input signal. I would think that this should be in the form of a receiver but once you confirm then I will let you know as well.
 

asliarun

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Marsilians, I believe that the Norge amps are integrated amps, so I will not need to buy the pre-amp separately. I will also check out Denon receivers. Thanks for your help!
 

asliarun

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Thanks for the explanation, Cranky! That was very helpful.

I auditioned the Diamond 9.1 and thought the high-end was too sharp and wanted more bass than the speakers provided. I got the impression that it is excellent for classical music but not so good for rock or for punchier music, and was also sharper than I liked. They're superb speakers for the price and I guess for someone who likes sharp clarity, but I am rethinking my budget now, and want to go for full-size tower speakers. I heard the Diamond 9.6 and liked it, but am also looking for alternatives. Any suggestions? I would like to keep the cost for the tower speakers below 40k. How about Norge tower speakers? I am not able to find very many reviews for them, and am also not able to find any Pune dealers for an audition. The place I went to only stocks Norge amps, not speakers. I would be listening to rock and lounge mostly, and not so much classical.

Thanks once again,
Arun
 

psychotropic

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I would agree with cranky, at your budget you're much better off going for standmounts. The 9.1s should be a good option, but if you want a bit more bass you can consider the 9.2s. Cranky how much are the PSB Alpha B1s going for these days? Do invest in good stands, they make a difference.

Also to respond to what marsillians said earlier, i don't think an AVR is a good idea at all. Especially the budget AVRs use pretty basic components for their amplification, and you're always better off getting a budget integrated amplifier.

With regard to the Audioengine AE5, i don't think it needs a separate pre-amp as it has a built-in pre-amp, and I don't know how you'd bypass it.
 

psychotropic

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Correct me if i am wrong, but the pre-amp controls volume....and the AE5 has a volume control as well, so all you would need is an audio source, even a CD player without a pre-amp or a regular DVD player would work AFAIK....

IIRC someone recently picked up a pair of B1s around the 15K mark, maybe a bit more.

The AE5s are near 20K but come with their own amp/preamp and all they need is a source, so you need to pick a source that can control volume, like a PC, mixer, or some DVD players.

+1 to not going for an AVR. Entry level AVRs are quite a sorry patch job, and even a Norge amp will be better built and deliver greater performance. I've heard the entry level receivers from HK which sound reasonable, but for the 15K asking price one could do much better.
 

magma

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im a noob
but i liked Jamo 606 Floorstanders.they are what im looking at as well.
retail somewhere close to 23k.

any opinions about the above?
 

marsilians

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im a noob
but i liked Jamo 606 Floorstanders.they are what im looking at as well.
retail somewhere close to 23k.

any opinions about the above?

What AVR are you going to be driving these with? These are slightly less efficient and you need decent power to drive them.
 

magma

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What AVR are you going to be driving these with? These are slightly less efficient and you need decent power to drive them.

i have not yet purchased these speakers , i have only demoed them using the base ONKYO 304.
venkat has posted his review on these and said that one could do better than these particular jamo's.
However im just starting out with my audio journey.- obvoiusly i still cant make out the difference between a "flute and a fart". im not ashamed to admit it too
(p.S - I loved that expression used before by a fellow member)

i thought of driving the jamo with the norge 1000
 

psychotropic

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I've heard them and they sounded decent, but not extensively auditioned....can't you get the wharfedale 9.5s for the same or less? these might be a better option...

i have not yet purchased these speakers , i have only demoed them using the base ONKYO 304.
venkat has posted his review on these and said that one could do better than these particular jamo's.
However im just starting out with my audio journey.- obvoiusly i still cant make out the difference between a "flute and a fart". im not ashamed to admit it too
(p.S - I loved that expression used before by a fellow member)

i thought of driving the jamo with the norge 1000
 

biyer

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Thanks for the explanation, Cranky! That was very helpful.

I auditioned the Diamond 9.1 and thought the high-end was too sharp and wanted more bass than the speakers provided. I got the impression that it is excellent for classical music but not so good for rock or for punchier music, and was also sharper than I liked. They're superb speakers for the price and I guess for someone who likes sharp clarity, but I am rethinking my budget now, and want to go for full-size tower speakers. I heard the Diamond 9.6 and liked it, but am also looking for alternatives. Any suggestions? I would like to keep the cost for the tower speakers below 40k. How about Norge tower speakers? I am not able to find very many reviews for them, and am also not able to find any Pune dealers for an audition. The place I went to only stocks Norge amps, not speakers. I would be listening to rock and lounge mostly, and not so much classical.

Thanks once again,
Arun



Hi Arun How much were you quoted for diamond 9.1? Any idea about diamond 9.2 did u audition them too?
 

biyer

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if you want pure stereo system with low budget try sherwood 4109 Amp too
it very good with mission 33i with 105w per ch.
8.5k+16k

Hi Abhijit. Where is this sherwood amplifier available and whats its price?16k or 8.5k?
 

asliarun

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Hi Arun How much were you quoted for diamond 9.1? Any idea about diamond 9.2 did u audition them too?

Sorry, I forgot the exact amount. I didn't get to audition the 9.2 as it was not in stock (or the 9.3), but I did get to audition the 9.6 floorstanders. It definitely sounded like a bigger speaker vis a vis the 9.1, but I also thought that some clarity was lost.

I saw your other post as well... I listen to your kind of music as well (mostly rock but with a lot of variation), and I really did not find the 9.1 suitable for my kind of music (I played A Perfect Circle). Interestingly, there was another guy at the audition who played Shakti, and it really sounded good!

I'm also currently trying to find a place in Pune that stocks the Monitor Audio Bronze BR2.
 
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