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starting off with my Hi-fi setup, need sugegstions

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sreenath.kr

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Hello folks,

I just joined the forum and this is my first post. I want to pick your brains on this topic.

As I mentioned in the title, I am starting off with my hi-fi setup and I am mostly focused on music. Also, my starting budget is within 45k INR. My music collection is mainly CDs and ripped CD tracks. I have tried to rip them at 256 kbps, but, they are all mp3s. The tricky thing is, I think I have strange musical tastes - I listen to many varied kinds of music Carnatic classical to rock (not metal), western classical, jazz and blues. Not much of techno nor Rap though.

Anyway I want the ability to play CDs and be able to stream from a NAS disk as well. As such, in all my searches, I have found only Denon RCD N7 mini hifi and Marantz CR603 that meet my criteria. If I buy CR603 though I will have to buy a wifi adapter (as the music player will be in my bedroom and the router and NAS will be in the living room). I was also briefly considering Onkyo Tx-8050. But, now I am not sure. What are your thoughts? I have a month's time to finalize what I will buy.

Thanks in advance for your time ...

Regards,
Sreenath
 

sonosphere

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Hi Sreenath,
Considering your budget of 45k, musical tastes.. and need to play mp3, I suggest following... (BTW you should convert your CDs to flac and hear the difference ;))

1. Source: Xonar ST soundcard* @10k installed in Win XP pre-owned PC@ 8k = 18K approx (NAS connectivity not budgeted in this)
2. Amp: Norge-1000 @ 11k approx (Generally the amps in receivers like Marantz CR603 don't match SQ of dedicated stereo amps... of course exceptions may be there. In a demo last year I found a 60k "latest" marantz receiver being outshined by Norge-1000)
3. PSB Alpha B1 Bookshelf speaker: 15k approx

*This is one of the few sources that allows you to change SQ & signature dramatically, by changing opamps. No need to upgrade (and regret :eek:) if you don't like the stock sound... try different opamps and something will suit your taste. The only caveat is that CPU fan noise is noticeable if you hear below 75dB @ 1mtr (i.e conversational sound level).

Regds,
 
Last edited:

sreenath.kr

New Member
Joined
May 21, 2012
Messages
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Location
Bangalore
Hi Sonosphere,

Thanks a lot for you advice!! I did go through the reviews of all the products you mentioned and they all seem very good. Especially your own review of Norge 1000 amp. It was very detailed and informative.

However, if you may, I want you to suggest an alternate source for me. My stereo setup will be in my bedroom and I would prefer that the source be without a display and if possible a proper audio specific device.

Additionally, I am starting off the process of ripping all my CDs into flac format soon. I am also quite excited about the possibility of higher SQ.

Thanks again for your time...

Regards,
Sreenath K R
 

aakashr

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Hi Sreenath,
Considering your budget of 45k, musical tastes.. and need to play mp3, I suggest following... (BTW you should convert your CDs to flac and hear the difference ;))

1. Source: Xonar ST soundcard* @10k installed in Win XP pre-owned PC@ 8k = 18K approx (NAS connectivity not budgeted in this)
2. Amp: Norge-1000 @ 11k approx (Generally the amps in receivers like Marantz CR603 don't match SQ of dedicated stereo amps... of course exceptions may be there. In a demo last year I found a 60k "latest" marantz receiver being outshined by Norge-1000)
3. PSB Alpha B1 Bookshelf speaker: 15k approx

*This is one of the few sources that allows you to change SQ & signature dramatically, by changing opamps. No need to upgrade (and regret :eek:) if you don't like the stock sound... try different opamps and something will suit your taste. The only caveat is that CPU fan noise is noticeable if you hear below 75dB @ 1mtr (i.e conversational sound level).

Regds,

Hi, needed your advise............have a kenwood AC3 150W RMS receiver which is lying around unused. I understand a integrated amp would be more suited but I just want to make use of the receiver. I am thinking of getting BS to go with the receiver and get started on some stereo listening. Have the specs if you need.

what speakers would you suggest, I was thinking of Wharfedale, MS Aviano...........would PSB Alpha B1 also be a good match with the receiver?
 

pvsravikumar

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May 27, 2012
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Even I am looking to purchase the right dongle for LW6500. Can any one suggest what is the right model for my LW6500 (LG)?
 

sreenath.kr

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May 21, 2012
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Hi guys,

I can really use some more advice (Please look at the first port on this thread). Again, sonosphere, thanks for your advice, but, can you recommend an alternate audio source player ...?

Regards,
Sreenath K R
 

sonosphere

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Hi, needed your advise............

what speakers would you suggest, I was thinking of Wharfedale, MS Aviano...........would PSB Alpha B1 also be a good match with the receiver?

Hi,
From my (limited) past experience I suggest as follows:
1. If bass as low as 40 Hz is important for you > Wharfedale 9.2 (I didn't like The new Wharfe 10.1). This spkr has laid-back sound. Should cost approx 13k.
2. If bass limited to 50-60Hz is ok for you > PSB Alpha B1 (@15k approx), Usher S-520 (@23k approx). These spkrs will sound "mildly" forward with more treble-end details. If you have budget, go for Usher.

If your amp sounds laid-back then avoid 9.2. If it sounds forward, then avoid the PSB and Usher. If the amp is neutral, then choose depending upon your preference for laid-back or mildly forward sound.

Regds,
 

sonosphere

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Messages
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63
Location
Pune
Hi guys,

I can really use some more advice (Please look at the first port on this thread). Again, sonosphere, thanks for your advice, but, can you recommend an alternate audio source player ...?

Regards,
Sreenath K R

Hi Sreenath,
Before I went for Xonar ST I looked around for a simpler /smaller solution in Hardware media players. I was ready to spend till 20k. The cheaper players didn't have good SQ... Expensive player around 20k, like Squeezebox Touch could come close to entry level CDP in SQ, but didn't have flexibility of Music PC.

Though I haven't heard Squeezebox Touch, going by opinion of others, I can only recommend Squeezebox Touch.

Regds,
 

sreenath.kr

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Okay guys, one update - I ordered the Squeezebox Touch from Amazon. I am expecting it to reach me by this month end. I was able to order it for 305 USD including shipping and customs.

As for the other parts - Norge amp and the PSB speakers, do you know where I could buy these in Bangalore? Also anyone in Bangalore already has any of these two items and is willing to let me hear it at your place?

Thanks a lot for your advices, hopefully by end of June or first week of July I should have my first stereo setup ready!! I am really excited about this!!

Regards,
Sreenath K R
 

sreenath.kr

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May 21, 2012
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Okay, tomorrow, I will audition the Norge 1000 amp at the Vector Systems. I am thinking of going there in the afternoon around 4:00 pm. I am still not sure about the speaker. Among the speakers that Vector systems carries, which one is best suited for this amp? Do you guys have any idea?

On another note, currently, amazon is allowing a couple of HK amps to be ordered online for delivery in India: HK 3390 and HK 3490. If anyone wanted to pick them up ...

Sreenath K R
 
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