Suggestions for my First Hifi setup

sandeepmohan

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So I am now confused and not sure how and what I can get.
Is true that the space is a not exactly sound friendly. Then again, most of us have our own challenges in this space. We find ways to get around the problem over time. You're not going to get anywhere rushing into this so take it slow.

You can fill that room with good sound for sure. The problem is you will have a lot of clutter when you head down the path of Home Theater. You don't want to ruin a space filling it up with speakers.

If those active options are a bit pricey, get a cheaper passive option. Something like a KEF Q950 paired with a Denon PMA-900HNE. This is just one option. There are hundreds of combinations possible with different brands. KEF/Denon's are sort of easy as they are sold under one roof, that is Pro Fx. Not the best of dealers to strike a bargain but its not always about getting a bargain. Atleast, not for me.
 

DB1989

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The models you mentioned seem to be way too expensive and I have a budget of 2.5-3 lkh only.
I wanted to setup a 2.0 channel setup and gradually move on to 5.1 in this room. But as other forum members have suggested that it's not possible to fill this room with a good sound as it has a lot of open space.
So I am now confused and not sure how and what I can get.
Hi Deep, don't be disheartened. Back in the day in my hometown, i had a similar layout to yours with open spaces everywhere but i still managed to eke out a good sound.

What your primary goal at the moment should be is to get a good and even sound in your major listening position (MLP). That can be achieved with a bit of care during placement.

What would be harder to get is an even bass throughout the entire listening area. I would imagine the floorstanders in itself would not be capable of flooding the entire space with deep palpable bass that they would be capable of in smaller rooms.

However, this can be alleviated to a large extent with the use of a subwoofer or two. I run three subs with a pair of 6.5 inch bookshelfs in a 450sq.ft room. The combo is more than capable of filling the space with incredibly deep bass. In fact, two of my 10 inch subwoofers were more than capable of giving me great room filling bass extension down to 25hz. I added a 15 inch later to increase extension down to 8hz at -2db.

Therefore, insofar as bass is concerned, you needn't fret much since it can be resolved to a great extent with a strategically placed subwoofer or two.

Now, it is worthwhile to remember that all rooms are different and owing to their owns quirks and nuances, they can behave rather unpredictably, sometimes in a good way too.

You might get good bass in your room, notwithstanding the perceived faults. I've seen a pair of tiny 5.25 inch PSB Alpha P5s send tremors through a not insubstantial 220 sq.ft room.

As such, you never know till you know.

To start out, you can get a pair of floorstanders with a decent amp within your budget. A good thumb rule would be to get a pair of substantial ones. Check out the KEF Q950 and the Dali Oberon 9 (there are a few dealers in Gurgaon and Noida). Live with them for a month or two and try and get the best sound possible in your MLP.

If it feels inadequate, couple it with a large 15 inch ported subwoofer from the likes of Rythmik or a couple of 12 inchers. That should resolve bass woes to a substantial extent and it would be possible to achieve an enjoyable enough sound.

Very few of us have perfect spaces. I surely don't, not in this life and neither in the past (back in my hometown, no past life crazies here). That's never stopped me from making the best of my circumstances. All that is required is a bit of careful planning.
 

DB1989

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The models you mentioned seem to be way too expensive and I have a budget of 2.5-3 lkh only.
I wanted to setup a 2.0 channel setup and gradually move on to 5.1 in this room. But as other forum members have suggested that it's not possible to fill this room with a good sound as it has a lot of open space.
So I am now confused and not sure how and what I can get.
To start out, you can get a pair of floorstanders with a decent amp within your budget. A good thumb rule would be to get a pair of substantial ones. Check out the KEF Q950 and the Dali Oberon 9 (there are a few dealers in Gurgaon and Noida). Live with them for a month or two and try and get the best sound possible in your MLP.
You could also add the Polk Reserve R700 and the Magnat Transpulse 1500 to the shortlist of loudspeakers to audition. All of these loudspeakers sport 8" woofers or even larger.

The Marantz PM8006 is also available on Hifimart at a stellar price and would be a good starting point for a stereo, especially considering it has tone controls which can help you tailor the bass output without the need to add a subwoofer right away. Else, check for the last generation of Marantz Receivers such as the 6xxx series (it has been replaced by Cinems 30/50/60 series) if you can find it for less than 1L. They are quite capable, even for stereo listening, and would be available to check out at most retailers.
 
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deeps007

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You could also add the Polk Reserve R700 and the Magnat Transpulse 1500 to the shortlist of loudspeakers to audition. All of these loudspeakers sport 8" woofers or even larger.

The Marantz PM8006 is also available on Hifimart at a stellar price and would be a good starting point for a stereo, especially considering it has tone controls which can help you tailor the bass output without the need to add a subwoofer right away. Else, check for the last generation of Marantz Receivers such as the 6xxx series (it has been replaced by Cinems 30/50/60 series) if you can find it for less than 1L. They are quite capable, even for stereo listening, and would be available to check out at most retailers.
@DB1989 Thanks a lot for such detailed information and suggestions. I will try to audition the mentioned speakers and update you.
 

deeps007

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Is true that the space is a not exactly sound friendly. Then again, most of us have our own challenges in this space. We find ways to get around the problem over time. You're not going to get anywhere rushing into this so take it slow.

You can fill that room with good sound for sure. The problem is you will have a lot of clutter when you head down the path of Home Theater. You don't want to ruin a space filling it up with speakers.

If those active options are a bit pricey, get a cheaper passive option. Something like a KEF Q950 paired with a Denon PMA-900HNE. This is just one option. There are hundreds of combinations possible with different brands. KEF/Denon's are sort of easy as they are sold under one roof, that is Pro Fx. Not the best of dealers to strike a bargain but its not always about getting a bargain. Atleast, not for me.
@sandeepmohan Thanks Sandeep for your suggestions. Will try to audition them.
 

Passive_audio_enthusiast

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Hi guys,

I am new to hifi world...need help to decide on my first setup.
I have a fairly large room of 20*16 ft(pictures attached) and seating position would be atleast 10-12 ft from speakers/TV. Room is kind of an open hall cum living room.
I have an 65 inch sony Oled TV and would mostly be watching movies/ott series and casual music listening..60 to 40 ratio of movies to music.
I have shortlisted the below but now sure as this would be my first speakers ever and I am not an audiophile...I want my music to sound good, balanced(not over the top bass or treble) bit a tight punchy bass and smooth enough highs.

Please suggest speakers(preferably floor standing) and compatible AVR under a budget of 2-2.5 lakh including AVR.

So far with my limited knowledge, I am considering these:
Evo 4.4
Linton
Paradigm premier 800f
Elac debut 6.2

Note that these are just based on youtube reviews...I have not audioned any of them yet. I live in Delhi ncr region.

Thanks
Deepak



View attachment 72984 View attachment 72985
I see two potential problems here:

1. Your right speaker will be too close to the wall that it would sound more “boxy” due to the gain from the corner. On the contrary the left would sound very bass light and open.

2. Your possible seat is quite far from the tv so that sitting inside the “stereo triangle” is almost impossible.

Buy a speaker which has lower distortion that the sound can be corrected with DSP. Sometimes we might need high gains on certain frequencies to “fix” the room problems, and in this case your speaker should not bottleneck.

Get something with a very good directivity so that applying a DSP would give only desired results. So if you listen at a showroom you get the basic idea about how the speaker would sound, but many times at home it would to totally different depending on your own rooms acoustics.
 

deeps007

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I see two potential problems here:

1. Your right speaker will be too close to the wall that it would sound more “boxy” due to the gain from the corner. On the contrary the left would sound very bass light and open.

2. Your possible seat is quite far from the tv so that sitting inside the “stereo triangle” is almost impossible.

Buy a speaker which has lower distortion that the sound can be corrected with DSP. Sometimes we might need high gains on certain frequencies to “fix” the room problems, and in this case your speaker should not bottleneck.

Get something with a very good directivity so that applying a DSP would give only desired results. So if you listen at a showroom you get the basic idea about how the speaker would sound, but many times at home it would to totally different depending on your own rooms acoustics.
Thanks for pointing this out(1st point) but I didn't understand the 2nd point. Please remember that this is going to be my first setup and I am not an audiophile( atleast I don't understand if I am). I do get the difference in sound signature though when I listen to difference speakers.
 

vkalia

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Good sound and perfect sound are not the same thing, audioweenie neuroses notwithstanding.

Even when you go to a concert - not everyone is on the sweet spot. Some people are on the edge of the hall, towards the side wall. The balance of the music may change but the live experience does not.

Is your room perfect for balanced sound? No.

Can you still get good sound there? Yes.

I will suggest that you start with a relatively inexpensive pair of speakers so that you understand what type of sound profile you like. All speakers involve some compromise or the other, and the nature of that compromise depends on the designer’s preferences. And figuring out what kind of sound palette you like is very important.

For example, I would rather listen to a pair of 30k Q Acoustics 3030is than a pair of 10L Focals. B&W speakers make me want to stab my eardrums. And others likely have similar feelings about my choice of speakers.

And more $$ isn’t necessarily better. Everyone has their own threshold of when diminishing returns set in. Case in point: after looking for speakers with a budget of 5L, maybe going to 10L for The One, I have just found satisfaction with speakers that cost less than a fifth of my original budget and see no reason to spend more. Others here are probably aghast at the notion that one could be satisfied by spending only a fraction of their budget.

So you need to understand the sound you like and the degree to which you are willing to obsess over sound. The way to do that is to audition in a shop and perhaps try at home with less expensive speakers. Once you decide what you like, go for it.

TlL;DR - there is no real correct answer.

The one recommendation I will give you - allocate the bulk of your money to speakers. They make a far, far greater difference than whatever minute differences may exist in DACs or various solid state amps.

(And again, others will disageee).
 

deeps007

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Good sound and perfect sound are not the same thing, audioweenie neuroses notwithstanding.

Even when you go to a concert - not everyone is on the sweet spot. Some people are on the edge of the hall, towards the side wall. The balance of the music may change but the live experience does not.

Is your room perfect for balanced sound? No.

Can you still get good sound there? Yes.

I will suggest that you start with a relatively inexpensive pair of speakers so that you understand what type of sound profile you like. All speakers involve some compromise or the other, and the nature of that compromise depends on the designer’s preferences. And figuring out what kind of sound palette you like is very important.

For example, I would rather listen to a pair of 30k Q Acoustics 3030is than a pair of 10L Focals. B&W speakers make me want to stab my eardrums. And others likely have similar feelings about my choice of speakers.

And more $$ isn’t necessarily better. Everyone has their own threshold of when diminishing returns set in. Case in point: after looking for speakers with a budget of 5L, maybe going to 10L for The One, I have just found satisfaction with speakers that cost less than a fifth of my original budget and see no reason to spend more. Others here are probably aghast at the notion that one could be satisfied by spending only a fraction of their budget.

So you need to understand the sound you like and the degree to which you are willing to obsess over sound. The way to do that is to audition in a shop and perhaps try at home with less expensive speakers. Once you decide what you like, go for it.

TlL;DR - there is no real correct answer.

The one recommendation I will give you - allocate the bulk of your money to speakers. They make a far, far greater difference than whatever minute differences may exist in DACs or various solid state amps.

(And again, others will disageee).
When I decided to put my first foot into this world...I never imagined it would be such a maze. As I delve more into it, I find myself confused more than before. I thought there were just two sound profiles - Warm and Bright
Bright means highs are more pronounced and might sound harsh to ears. Warm means smoother highs(the ones that don't pierce your ears in high volume). As far as Bass is concerned, my understanding was that it is either boomy or tight.
Someone said 'Welcome to the madness', I get it now.
I do understand all the fuss about placement as well but I am sure I am not the only one to have this problem and people still must be listening to great sound despite of space constraints. So I should also be able to get a decent sounding speakers, if not perfect, for my case per se.
And thank u all for the detailed comments and suggestions pouring in from all. I do appreciate all.
I have started auditioning...so hopefully I will be able to find something that suits my weird space, with ur guy's help.
Thanks again!!
Still hoping to get more suggestions regarding the speakers I could listen to, now that you all know how my space looks like :)
 

grindstone

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Strongly agree with vkalia's advice. It is good that you are auditioning. Try also to borrow things from friends for short times if you can--to hear as much as you can in your own space.

You must realize that some of us are "committed" to sound and thus on the other end of the spectrum from "tasting". I too wouldn't even hesitate to flip the room all around (but we all understand limitations). Everyone is at a different place in their audio travels.

Just keep it fun and know that you get to listen to a lot of things you like. It is easy to spend too much money and be disappointed--and it's not necessary. There are many roads to satisfaction, the key is knowing your own needs/preferences.
 

vkalia

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I thought there were just two sound profiles - Warm and Bright
Bright means highs are more pronounced and might sound harsh to ears. Warm means smoother highs(the ones that don't pierce your ears in high volume). As far as Bass is concerned, my understanding was that it is either boomy or tight.

There is a lot more to reproducing music than just a frequency response.

Here is a thought experiment - imagine yourself listening to a violin in an open square. Or in a subway station. Or in a concert hall, where you are sitting up front. Or in a concert hall, where you are seated in the back.

For a given note, will the frequency response as perceived by you be the same in each case? Not at all. Yet, in all cases, the violin will sound real.

What people chasing just FR miss out is that a response chart doesn’t let you know things like harmonic/timbral accuracy, attack and decay and dynamic range/slam.

How relevant each of these are to you depends on the type of music you listen to and what your ears are sensitive to.

Trust your ears. Your goal in this is to enjoy the music - if you like how some hardware reproduces the music you listen to, that’s what matters.

Re speakers to listen to - here are a few whose sound I really like:
- Indiq Platinum Mishra 2.0
- Sonus Faber Lumina / Sonettos
- Q Acoustics 3030i
More midrange, warm and having a characteristic I call presence.

And here are some which are highly regarded but with a different sound palette:
- B&W
- Focal
- Monitor Audio
More detailed, greater ability to analyse the recorded notes, etc.

Splitting the difference between them:
- PSB Alpha - all around good, inoffensive speakers that just sound good
- Wharfedale Linton - slightly warmer but not excessively so, based on my audition of them.
 
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Passive_audio_enthusiast

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Thanks for pointing this out(1st point) but I didn't understand the 2nd point. Please remember that this is going to be my first setup and I am not an audiophile( atleast I don't understand if I am). I do get the difference in sound signature though when I listen to difference speakers.
This is what I meant. Apparently where you sit infront of the speakers matters in getting the right stereo sound.
 

argho

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My 2 bits.

While your budget is decent, it makes more sense to go with reasonably priced equipment and gradually build up.

AVR :
My experience is all with Denon and has always been positive.
I would suggest the Denon X3000 series as minimum for a room of that size. Current model is Denon X3700H.

If you can fit in budget, get the 4000 series.

Prices are currently very high. Shop around , and get multiple quotes, before deciding.

Speakers :
Try to audition many speakers.
Go for a brand whose sound signature you like, and prices fit in your budget.

Brands I would suggest checking out :
- Q Acoustic
- Dali
- Polk R series

All of these will allow you to start with 2 floor standers and a sub, and then later add centre, surrounds etc.

For example, you cna start with :
- Q Acoustic 3050i floor standers, and
- Q Acoustic QB12 sub woofer

These should be able to fill your space with sound.



Hope that helps.

And as I said, prices are high right now. Shop around for deals.
 

deeps007

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My 2 bits.

While your budget is decent, it makes more sense to go with reasonably priced equipment and gradually build up.

AVR :
My experience is all with Denon and has always been positive.
I would suggest the Denon X3000 series as minimum for a room of that size. Current model is Denon X3700H.

If you can fit in budget, get the 4000 series.

Prices are currently very high. Shop around , and get multiple quotes, before deciding.

Speakers :
Try to audition many speakers.
Go for a brand whose sound signature you like, and prices fit in your budget.

Brands I would suggest checking out :
- Q Acoustic
- Dali
- Polk R series

All of these will allow you to start with 2 floor standers and a sub, and then later add centre, surrounds etc.

For example, you cna start with :
- Q Acoustic 3050i floor standers, and
- Q Acoustic QB12 sub woofer

These should be able to fill your space with sound.



Hope that helps.

And as I said, prices are high right now. Shop around for deals.
Thanks for your suggestions!
 

deeps007

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There is a lot more to reproducing music than just a frequency response.

Here is a thought experiment - imagine yourself listening to a violin in an open square. Or in a subway station. Or in a concert hall, where you are sitting up front. Or in a concert hall, where you are seated in the back.

For a given note, will the frequency response as perceived by you be the same in each case? Not at all. Yet, in all cases, the violin will sound real.

What people chasing just FR miss out is that a response chart doesn’t let you know things like harmonic/timbral accuracy, attack and decay and dynamic range/slam.

How relevant each of these are to you depends on the type of music you listen to and what your ears are sensitive to.

Trust your ears. Your goal in this is to enjoy the music - if you like how some hardware reproduces the music you listen to, that’s what matters.

Re speakers to listen to - here are a few whose sound I really like:
- Indiq Platinum Mishra 2.0
- Sonus Faber Lumina / Sonettos
- Q Acoustics 3030i
More midrange, warm and having a characteristic I call presence.

And here are some which are highly regarded but with a different sound palette:
- B&W
- Focal
- Monitor Audio
More detailed, greater ability to analyse the recorded notes, etc.

Splitting the difference between them:
- PSB Alpha - all around good, inoffensive speakers that just sound good
- Wharfedale Linton - slightly warmer but not excessively so, based on my audition of them.
Thanks again. Will try to audition as many before deciding.
 

grindstone

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Very good :) Have fun and please keep us posted with your impressions. Also notice (don't fixate on, but notice) where things are in rooms when you listen and what kinds of walls/space are around. If you love something the way it is, ask yourself if you can do that in your space (set it up that way).
 

deeps007

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Very good :) Have fun and please keep us posted with your impressions. Also notice (don't fixate on, but notice) where things are in rooms when you listen and what kinds of walls/space are around. If you love something the way it is, ask yourself if you can do that in your space (set it up that way).
I just can't change the way my room is right now bcoz it was not thought out to be a theater room, it's an open space living room without any partitions and my wife is gonna kill me if even think of cordon off my listening area.
Also it's not practical as lot of thought was given into deciding how we wanted the hall/living area to look like. My music preferences were not given enough importance for obvious reasons( married guys would understand;))
So I am handicapped in this regard(changing the layout). I just need to ensure that the speaker I buy doesn't get bothered by my right side wall as I don't have an option there. Max I can keep the speaker a feet and half from right wall, not more than that as that would obstruct my baby( sony oled):)
 

grindstone

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Understood. Not lobbying for changes (lovely room, BTW, just "live"/reflective), more trying to prevent "it sounded better in the store"-type disappointments. I am excited for the fun you are about to have :)
 

deeps007

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Understood. Not lobbying for changes (lovely room, BTW, just "live"/reflective), more trying to prevent "it sounded better in the store"-type disappointments. I am excited for the fun you are about to have :)
Thanks! I get it. Let's see how it plans out eventually.
Might take a month or two as I am 90 km from Delhi and that's my best bet to find a store to audition as many speakers.
Would really appreciate if FMs could suggest me places to audition as I am not that familiar with Delhi and I can only audition on weekends.
Thanks!!
 

Passive_audio_enthusiast

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The models you mentioned seem to be way too expensive and I have a budget of 2.5-3 lkh only.
I wanted to setup a 2.0 channel setup and gradually move on to 5.1 in this room. But as other forum members have suggested that it's not possible to fill this room with a good sound as it has a lot of open space.
So I am now confused and not sure how and what I can get.
In my view, the open space isn’t the real issue here, but the distance at which you are sitting would be the problem. Like I mentioned earlier to listen anything with a proper stereo effect, you have to sit somewhere in the middle of the two speakers. As the distance increases since your walls are untreated, there is a possibility that the reflections would add up to kill this effect by the time it reaches you.

I am no longer a Kef fan, but a pair of R3 or R7 would work in your room better than traditional speakers due to their narrow directivity beams sound to the front more compared to traditional speakers. Also, this speaker is works well with eq to correct the response to your room. Also look at revel f35 or f36- they sound wider but still has good directivity but radiation towards ceiling and floor is not even on this speaker but still would work better than traditional brands in this space.

For a treated room, or with proper listening space dimensions other speakers would work.

Please audition a pair of kefs r series near to a reflecting walls (not in a treated room)in a showroom against some regular boxes.
 
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