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Speakers and source for Yamaha AX396

Audiolab 6000A Amplifier

jai1611

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Folks,

I'm looking for speakers to pair with a Yamaha AX-396 amplifiers and, budget permitting, a source as well. I'm getting the amp used for a great price. The setup is for a small-ish room (12x12). I mainly listen to rock (with extensions into 1970s pop and 1980/90s metal). This is going to be the second, smaller setup in the house.

My budget for the speakers is ~15k (a little flexible). I dont have any stands or any other mounting mechanism in place so open to both bookshelves and floorstanders. Suggestions on speakers and where I can demo them in Mumbai would be much appreciated. Ideally, a place that would let me plug them into my amp.

I'm also looking to add a source but the budget is a little constrained (~10k). Ideally I would like something that plays MP3s as well. I was thinking of using a car stereo for this (Eclipse CD3200 - avail for 8k). Has anyone tried this? Alternately, if needed I can use my old CD player as a source for some time till I can increase the budget.

Thanks
Jaibir
 

jai1611

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I spent the weekend auditioning speakers. Was quite impressed with the Kef speakers(IQ10). Listened to the floorstander as well as the bookshelf. Found the bookshelf had better detail and similar reproduction range at half the cost! However, the sound was a bit too clinically detailed without the warmth of the wharfedales. Preferred the Wharfedale 9.2 (the 9.1 was a bit too weak). The Polk TSi200 didnt come close to either Kef or Wharfedale in terms of detail. I also heard a brand called Energy - sounded similar to the Polks, possibly a bit better. But expensive at 22k. Dropped in at the Sonodyne shop. They were only playing the speakers of the sonodyne amp so cant say whether the less than stellar quality was because of the amp or the speakers.

Finally picked up a pair of Yamaha NS-8390 towers from Hypercity. They were available at a discount (10.8k) and seemed great VFM, especially in light of this system being a secondary one. While these arent the best I heard (the Wharfedale 9.2's were better - warmer sound but narrower reproduction range), they beat everything at their price point (Sonodyne, Small bookshelves from Wharf / Polk) and seemed great VFM.

Still looking for a source though and would appreciate any inputs on that. Will try it with my existing Philips DVD player and Marantz 6001 SE CD player to gauge what kind of source the setup deserves. It it does justice to a proper CD player, will spend the extra money on one. Otherwise will make do with a 3k Philips DVD player or even my old discman (if it still works).
 
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prakasse

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If you are to spend only 3k for the source then i would suggest you to stick with whatever you have now.

You save money and go for a better source.
 
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jai1611

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I havent fixed a budget for the source as yet. As I already have a Marantz 6001SE that I use with my main system and a DVD player that I use for movies. I have the opportunity to try both with the amp-speaker combo to decide whether it has the transparency to distinguish between the two. On my main system the difference is obvious. If on the yamaha system as well it it as obvious, I'll buy a high quality CD player to use with it. Otherwise, make do with a DVD player. I also have an old Thomson discman to play with (this one has no skip protection, so no compression built in) which I'll try with the system.
 
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prakasse

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Then i would suggest first you experiment and come to a conclusion whether you need to go for a fresh source.

If you need a source then let us know the budget. Then the forum members should be able to adivce.

Thanks,
Prakash.
 
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jai1611

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Thanks Prakash. Will do that.

BTW, whats the cheapest decent quality CD player available these days?
 
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prakasse

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afj

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Folks,

I'm looking for speakers to pair with a Yamaha AX-396 amplifiers and, budget permitting, a source as well. I'm getting the amp used for a great price. The setup is for a small-ish room (12x12). I mainly listen to rock (with extensions into 1970s pop and 1980/90s metal). This is going to be the second, smaller setup in the house.

My budget for the speakers is ~15k (a little flexible). I dont have any stands or any other mounting mechanism in place so open to both bookshelves and floorstanders. Suggestions on speakers and where I can demo them in Mumbai would be much appreciated. Ideally, a place that would let me plug them into my amp.

I'm also looking to add a source but the budget is a little constrained (~10k). Ideally I would like something that plays MP3s as well. I was thinking of using a car stereo for this (Eclipse CD3200 - avail for 8k). Has anyone tried this? Alternately, if needed I can use my old CD player as a source for some time till I can increase the budget.

Thanks
Jaibir

for now just get a basic source (if you already have one use that) and spend the rest on your speakers. you can always get a better source later. a source is important but wont add as much value as better speakers will
 
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jai1611

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I got the speakers up and running with the amp and tuned the system to the room (since they are floorstanders in a relatively small room, some compensation needed to be dialled in through the amp). The speakers sound pretty good, even before being burned in and pair well with the amp.

Also tried the source comparison between the DVD player and the Marantz. There is just no comparison. The DVD seems to have about the same quality as my ipod plugged into the amp, with mids and overall fine detail being distinctly weak areas (especially with tracks having complex channel separation). I guess I'll have to get a proper CD player for this system as well.

Getting a standalone CD player seems to be turning into an expensive proposition though - the price quotes on the Marantz and CA CD players seem to be north of 15k (Cinebals actually quoted 20k for a Marantz CD5001!). Suggestions on specific shops in Mumbai where I can get better rates are desperately needed. In the meantime, I'm following up leads to a couple of used ones.
 
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jai1611

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I'm getting a good deal on a used Nad C515BEE. Will be trying it out over the next couple of days before deciding. Its a like-new piece so not as worried about malfunctions as I would otherwise be. Will see how it integrates with the rest of the system.
 
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venkatcr

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I'm getting a good deal on a used Nad C515BEE. Will be trying it out over the next couple of days before deciding. Its a like-new piece so not as worried about malfunctions as I would otherwise be. Will see how it integrates with the rest of the system.

Jai, if you can get the 515, it is a very good CD Player. If not, I will suggest an option though I have been beaten before for making this suggestion. Most standalone CD Players are, as you say, priced at a minimum of 15K. So the option is a simple CD Player based 2-in-1, preferably with a digital out. I have heard that Philips has some good models. I am sure other companies also would have them. 2-in-1s are available around 5K or even less.

Cheers
 
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jai1611

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Thanks for the tip Venkat. I actually found another budget alternative which I would have gone with if the Nad hadn't come through. There are Teac CD players available at very attractive prices. The CD-P1160 (Separates CD-P1160D CD Player) comes with a coaxial out and is available for 3.5k in Mumbai. The older CD-P1100 (CD player Teac CDP-1100) is cheaper still. They also have a budget stereo receiver at 8.5k (Separates AG-790A Stereo Receiver).
 
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moserw

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Would be interested in knowing how the Teac CDPs perform so do keep us posted if you purchase or even audition them. Also, where in Mumbai they are available and if delivery to other locations in India is an option. Will be obliged if you keep us posted.

Thanks for the tip Venkat. I actually found another budget alternative which I would have gone with if the Nad hadn't come through. There are Teac CD players available at very attractive prices. The CD-P1160 (Separates CD-P1160D CD Player) comes with a coaxial out and is available for 3.5k in Mumbai. The older CD-P1100 (CD player Teac CDP-1100) is cheaper still. They also have a budget stereo receiver at 8.5k (Separates AG-790A Stereo Receiver).
 
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jai1611

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Also, where in Mumbai they are available and if delivery to other locations in India is an option.

They are available through Shemaroo's home theatre arm. They have a showroom near Kemps Corner. Ph. 022-2380 8095. I haven't auditioned anything from Teac. Just called them yesterday to check what they have available. These guys are the distributors and hold a reasonable range in their warehouse. Can arrange for what you want to be available in store at a day's notice.
 
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moserw

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They are available through Shemaroo's home theatre arm. They have a showroom near Kemps Corner. Ph. 022-2380 8095. I haven't auditioned anything from Teac. Just called them yesterday to check what they have available. These guys are the distributors and hold a reasonable range in their warehouse. Can arrange for what you want to be available in store at a day's notice.

Unfortunately I'm from Hyderabad and really no idea when I will be in Mumbai next. If they can ship to Hyderabad then great, otherwise I will be depending on forum members I know from Mumbai to audition and ship it all the way here. I'm actually setting up a stereo rig for a friend but at a budget of under 20K or max of 25K hence the interest.
 
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jai1611

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Unfortunately I'm from Hyderabad and really no idea when I will be in Mumbai next. If they can ship to Hyderabad then great, otherwise I will be depending on forum members I know from Mumbai to audition and ship it all the way here. I'm actually setting up a stereo rig for a friend but at a budget of under 20K or max of 25K hence the interest.

Might make sense to start a separate thread to look for people who have auditioned Teac. Their store is a bit far from where I stay. I was thinking of stopping by there for an audition next time I'm going to that part of town. Will keep you updated in case I do.

I've just finished assembling a system similar to what you are looking for (in terms of budget). I picked up the Yamaha amp used at a very good price (6k) through a dealer I know. Its around 3 years old and has clearly not been used much (I think it was part of someone's second system). I have an old relationship with the dealer so didnt mind picking up a used piece from him. The floorstanders I picked up pair quite well with it. Overall 17k for the amp + speakers was good VFM. For speakers there are a number of other options which one can consider, but for the amp I just couldnt find anything comparable at a similar price. The closest would have been the Norge 1000 or 2000 - which are still more expensive.

I'm actually thinking of replacing the amp with a CA or Nad the next time I'm travelling to the UK (some great prices there).
 
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moserw

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Yes, that makes sense, but not many Teac users here I think.

The combo I was working on was NAD 315BEE + Wharfedale 9.x or KEF IQ. The costs are coming to more than the budget though. The source is a Philips DVDP for now, but planning to add a CDP later on.

Might make sense to start a separate thread to look for people who have auditioned Teac. Their store is a bit far from where I stay. I was thinking of stopping by there for an audition next time I'm going to that part of town. Will keep you updated in case I do.

I've just finished assembling a system similar to what you are looking for (in terms of budget). I picked up the Yamaha amp used at a very good price (6k) through a dealer I know. Its around 3 years old and has clearly not been used much (I think it was part of someone's second system). I have an old relationship with the dealer so didnt mind picking up a used piece from him. The floorstanders I picked up pair quite well with it. Overall 17k for the amp + speakers was good VFM. For speakers there are a number of other options which one can consider, but for the amp I just couldnt find anything comparable at a similar price. The closest would have been the Norge 1000 or 2000 - which are still more expensive.

I'm actually thinking of replacing the amp with a CA or Nad the next time I'm travelling to the UK (some great prices there).
 
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jai1611

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Yes, that makes sense, but not many Teac users here I think.

The combo I was working on was NAD 315BEE + Wharfedale 9.x or KEF IQ. The costs are coming to more than the budget though. The source is a Philips DVDP for now, but planning to add a CDP later on.

I auditioned the Kef IQ10 and the Wharfedale 9.1 and 9.2. The Kef has more detail than anything in that range (even more than the Kef floorstander). However, the sound is quite cold. The Wharfedales are warm speakers but dont have the same detail. Very listenable and should be easy to pair with a variety of amps. The 9.1s came across as a little weak and might not be suitable for a good sized room. Any of these speakers with the Nad amp are going to exceed the budget. I'd suggest doing it in phases. Figure out what the long term system you would like is (CDP + Amp + Speakers) and focus on one component at a time. Pick up the speakers now with a used amp (that way you'll lose less on resale). Change that to your "planned" when you get a good deal on one (usually when the dealer is clearing old stock with a new model in the pipeline).

My approach is a little different. The amp and speakers I have currently form a good pair and will probably be relegated to pc listening when I upgrade. I really didnt find any of the sub 20k speaker options convincing. The speakers I picked up seemed to offer the best value (especially when paired with this amp) but dont really come anywhere close to the Marantz 6000OSE CDP+Amp combo with MS 908 speakers I have as my main system. I'll eventually replace the entire yamaha setup with a good amp (nad 326/ CA540 level) and one level higher bookshelves. The amps are cheaper in the UK (the CA 640A V2 is available for 200) and the speakers can be sourced in India.
 
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venkatcr

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There are Teac CD players available at very attractive prices. The CD-P1160 (Separates CD-P1160D CD Player) comes with a coaxial out and is available for 3.5k in Mumbai. The older CD-P1100 (CD player Teac CDP-1100) is cheaper still.

Teac, along with Sony and Philips, has been supplying CD transports to a large number of companies for long time. For some strange reason their Esoteric brand is top of the line and highly regarded. From that super expensive products they jump straight to the low end, skipping the mid priced products completely. Their visibility flared a a bit in 2004-2006 when they brought out some superb AVRs for 1/2 to 1/3 the price of competitive products.

Teac is very popular as a attractive and cute set of budget separates that are small in size and can be used in the bedroom.

If you are serious about music, the Teac will be a good transport but will need an external DAC. I had started a thread on Teac transport some time ago as a option for Spiro to look at. I was not aware they are available in India now. But unless connected to an amplifier with good DAC or through a DAC, the Teac will sound ordinary. Anyhow, someone has to use it and see.

Cheers
 
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