What do i need?-Requirement Audio stereo music only

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magma

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A warm hello to All

i have just about started research on my home music system
i am looking for a set of speakers and an integrated amplifier or stereo receiver for my home

i would like the choice of Tuner and hence i was considering a stereo receiver to an integrated amp however i am flexible with whatever the gurus here advice for me


requirements


im not an out an audiophile at all and i dont think i would be able to tell the difference between mid fi and hi-fi components (yes may be between entry level and mid fi/hi fi)

Budget 35-40K for speakers and an Amplifier/stereo receiver including cabling( source will be an ipod for now before i collect something for a decent upgrade)

Im strictly an audio fan so no movies/hometheatre/5.1 required here-just simple audio cds/songs recorded in stereo.

A 2.0 setup with sufficeint bass should do(mind you i like my bass and should not miss(too much) a seperate active sub-im used to a seperate sub in the car)

Room size is 11ft*16ft.No soundproofing done.Tiled floor.Distance from speaker location to seating is 6-8 feet furthest point of listening 10ft
im open to Floorstanders or bookshelves

Music prefeerence-Classic Rock (the boring old kind)-Eagles,Floyd/FleetwoodMac/Blowfish.Abit of instrumental

Not averse to purchasing from the grey market if it provides more bang to the buck
no used stuff

i like my bass
prefer tight and quick and hence choice of speakers should justify
(i use a Ground Zero sub in my car in a sealed box)

Some questions
do i require a 2.0 setup or a 2.1.how does one judge.

should i go for a stereo receiver or an integrated amplifier
(i would like radio capability but if the gurus feel that an integrated amp would sound considerably better im willing to sacrifice)


PLease do advice on speakers and amplifier and stero reciver choices i have

( i will be reading through the forums before i post )

looking forward to guidance from you all - please do suggest model nos

best reagurds
Ali
 

venkatcr

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You need

- a tuner
- a good base

What you should look for is a Stereo with a sub out. If you buy a stereo receiver from a good company, it will have all you are looking for and be musical to boot.

I am not sure your budget will fit for a bookshelves/sub combination now. So look for floor standers now, and you can add a sub later when you are able to shelve out some more money. That is the reason for advising you to have a sub out in the amp/receiver you are buying.

Cheers
 
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magma

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You need

- a tuner
- a good base

What you should look for is a Stereo with a sub out. If you buy a stereo receiver from a good company, it will have all you are looking for and be musical to boot.

I am not sure your budget will fit for a bookshelves/sub combination now. So look for floor standers now, and you can add a sub later when you are able to shelve out some more money. That is the reason for advising you to have a sub out in the amp/receiver you are buying.

Cheers

sir please could you quote model numbers so i can start off

if i understood you correctly, my ideal system should consist of good bookshelves and a sub correct?

but since my budget is not allowing that you are advicing floor standers to make up for some bass that i may not achieve through bookshelves..am i correct in assuming so?

if the above is true i would have to make do with paltry floorstanders rather than decent bookshelves.(noting my speaker budget of only 15-18k)
do you think that would be wise?
please note: i repeat i am not at all an audiophile ( my god i was content with 3 way Akai speakers! )

Also wouldnt floor standers require a lot more power
i mean, would a cambridge CA 540A be sufficeint to drive floorstanders with a 4-5 inch midrange 1inch tweeter and a pair of 8inch or 6inch woofers?
how much power would such floorstanders need?

im quite confused!

should i just find decent bookshelves and be content or go for floorstanders?

stereo amplifier or stereo reciver?

please do suggest options with model numbers
it is greatly appreciated
 
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arj

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im not an out an audiophile at all and i dont think i would be able to tell the difference between mid fi and hi-fi components ..
Budget 35-40K for speakers and an Amplifier/stereo receiver including cabling( source will be an ipod for now before i collect something for a decent upgrade)

Im strictly an audio fan so no movies/hometheatre/5.1 required here-just simple audio cds/songs recorded in stereo.

Ali you do not need to be an audiophile to tell the difference..what matters it is how much of value you place to the difference.. there is not "Special" in audiophiles ears other than the fact that most get a major kick in life out of any improvements

Looking at your reqauirement, adding on to what venkatcr has suggested, you could also look at some Good 2.1 Sub Sat arrangements. some options are
-Energy take
-Acoustic Energy

but all of these may only around 40Hz or so..although at a good SPL.

If you are ok for a 2.0 setup, for that budget, do try out a Sonodyne or a Norge setup. I am not at all knowledgeable of these but these have been posted in these forums as good options for your budget. With a good amp and Bookshelf, and placed well, you really will not miss a sub..believe me :)


One advice/request, do listed to musinc for at least 30 mons before you choose. what you like in the first 15min is usually Not what you will like after 1 hour of listening..if relaxing music does not relax you and at the same time fast music not move your feet without giving you a headache you may not be as happy as you could have been.

in the end it is of course a compromise between your budget and the "involvement"
 
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marsilians

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Ali,

Your music tastes do not call for too much bass!! Classic Rock or any version of rock does not have much bass (thinking rap / hip hop or western classical music).

Now if you want 2 channel, I suggest getting a stereo receiver and floor standing speakers primarily because they will take are of the bass requirements for most musi kinds.

Tannoy, Paradigm, JBL, come to mind.

Bookshelves do require a sub in most cases and you will be caught thinking how a floor standing one will sound. Best thing is to audition both by taking soem of your CDs to a store and getting an idea of the sound.

If you ahve extra mulla I would also look into a stero amplifier as well to give that extra boost to your listening pleasure. This can be bought off gray market as they last of long years. I suggest solid state over tubes since there is less maintenance.
 
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prakasse

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Hi Ali,

As others pointed out, your music taste doesn't encompass much bass. And within your budget you can go for Wharfedale diamond 9.2 bookshelves. Will be priced between 14-15K.

If you want an amplifier with pre sub out it might be costly. i have read somewhere that even with out this sub out, you can connect to subwoofer (high level in of the subwoofer) to have a better bass. Other members will be able to tell you more on this.

You can also get improved bass and clarity by biwiring these speakers. These support biwiring.

As for amplifier you can see CA 540A.

Thanks,
Prakash.
 
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marsilians

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You can also get improved bass and clarity by biamping these speakers. These support biamping.

Do you mean bi-wiring instead of bi-amping? Bi-wiring is mostly a myth as laboratory measurements or scientifically controlled double blind listening tests never demonstrated any audible differences with and without bi-wiring.

By the way, my speakers support bi-wiring and I did not notice any differene at all.

Now bi-amping is a different conversation altogether....(smile)
 
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prakasse

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Do you mean bi-wiring instead of bi-amping? Bi-wiring is mostly a myth as laboratory measurements or scientifically controlled double blind listening tests never demonstrated any audible differences with and without bi-wiring.

By the way, my speakers support bi-wiring and I did not notice any differene at all.

Now bi-amping is a different conversation altogether....(smile)

I meant biwiring. Edited the post :)
 
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neo

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Hey! magma.

I'm sure you'll be able to tell the diff if the stuff is demoed properly.

For 35-40K you can get a decent Mini -hifi form Onkyo, Denon, Teac etc.

Or else you'd like to go in for seprates be preared to forget you budget aka same as the ICE'ing on team-BHP:D.
I belive you are the same magma??

All the best.
Cheers
 
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afj

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try the monitor audio br5 or the kef iq series (not sure which model no) for speakers

for the amp check out nad / cambridge / marantz. the nads bass is a little too laid back and not too tight so that may not suit your tastes

whether you go for a 2.0 or 2.1 depends on who much bass you want

and your choice of music isnt boring. its what i listen to too - lol
 
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magma

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What you should look for is a Stereo with a sub out. If you buy a stereo receiver from a good company, it will have all you are looking for and be musical to boot.

That is the reason for advising you to have a sub out in the amp/receiver you are buying.

Cheers

thanks to all for pouring in their suggestions/advice.
it is highly appreciated.please do continue

Can venkat or others point me to a stereo reciever (good company which venkat describes would be musical to the boot!-i was happy to know receivers would deliver me good music too :) )
budget 15-18k

neo
yes im the same magma
i have entered this forum knowing the risks of all audio
final budget = 2*starting budget:D
(however thats for later!-currents budget stands at strictly 35k)

As prakasse and marsillians have pointed out - my music does not require a lot of bass, however i do like to hear the entire spectrum when possible
it is for this reason(the other reason being my wife and space at home!) i have decided that a 2.0 setup would be sufficient for me.


would the diaomond 9.2 or other bookshelves from KEF/paradigm be sufficent for me or should i look at only floorstanders(jamo606 or norge or sonodyne) considering a permanent absence of a seperate sub
(i read somewhere on this forum that it is bettr to buy good bookshelves rather than ordinary floorstanders)

please note - speaker budget 15k-18k ( i am considering the grey route here if i can achieve more bang for my buck)

please do advice on the points above


p.s : is there anyone here who uses only bookshelves for audio and does not miss a sub
 
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flanker.r

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I doubt if there are any.

If there is one, he really does not know what he is missing. They are not hearing almost 1 and a half octaves!

even very few floor standers go below 40hz (with any useful output at respectable SPL)

If you account for non-linearity of our hearing I feel the need for a sub even when you use floor standers

But do not dismiss bookshelves. They are extremely good for mid-range, highs and other things like imaging and sound-stage. Add in a sub and you have the best of both world
 
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marsilians

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even very few floor standers go below 40hz (with any useful output at respectable SPL)

Some floor stander specs reasonable quality ones:

Martin Logan Vintage : 3423,000 Hz
ML Vista : 4323,000 Hz
Axiom M60 : 27 - 22,000 Hz
Mythos Four : 35 - 37,000 Hz

and there are lots more....

Also note, around 25 Hz you are hitting the limit of human hearing. You can only feel the sound.
 
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venkatcr

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Can venkat or others point me to a stereo reciever (good company which venkat describes would be musical to the boot!-i was happy to know receivers would deliver me good music too :) )
budget 15-18k

Magma, almost all companies make Stereo Receivers. Without any prejudice, I am providing below some links for your to explore.

Yamaha
RX Series Stereo Receivers by Yamaha Electronics

Onkyo
Hi-Fi Components : Receivers | ONKYO Asia and Oceania Website

The Onkyo TX-8555 and TX-9555 have been praised by Stereophile.

Denon DRA Series
Look under Productts>Stereo Receivers

DENON SINGAPORE

Pioneer PD and SX Series
Pioneer USA - Audio Components

NAD
NAD Electronics :: Hi-Fi Receivers

Marantz
Welcome to Marantz

Harman Kardon
harman/kardon

Unfortunately the list is extensive and it will not be right for me to recommend anything without understanding the sound signature you are looking for. What I would suggest is that you audition a few of these brands and see which one you like. After that from that brand we can drill down to a product you can do a detailed audition of. Some of the popular brands/models are Onkyo's 8555 and 9555 and Pioneer PD Series, though they may be expensive. I have also been told by a dealer that the Yamaha TX-497 sells well in India and that is quite inexpensive - around 16K.

As I said before your ears are the best judge. Listen to a few and tell us what you like and dislike. Carry your own CDs, and listen to the same albums and numbers. Listen to songs you have heard a number of times and are very familiar with.

Cheers
 
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moserw

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Depends...
p.s : is there anyone here who uses only bookshelves for audio and does not miss a sub

You would need a sub for any kind of music. Even PC speakers are 2.1 and 2.0 really suck (I have personally used a pair of Altec Lansing 2.0 that I got from Singapore many years ago). Agreed some types of music/musicians might not have much bass output and good FS should serve the purpose in such cases, but I have always found its better to let a specialist do his job and a jack of all trades does not work in the AV business.
 
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flanker.r

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Some floor stander specs reasonable quality ones:

Martin Logan Vintage : 3423,000 Hz
ML Vista : 4323,000 Hz
Axiom M60 : 27 - 22,000 Hz
Mythos Four : 35 - 37,000 Hz

and there are lots more....

Also note, around 25 Hz you are hitting the limit of human hearing. You can only feel the sound.

The key word is 'Respectable SPL'. When they say Martin Logan Vintage : 3423,000 Hz, they also mention +-3db isn't it? This means that the claimed frequency response can vary by as much as 3 db, this is usually along the frequency plot but mostly on the lower and upper limits. Hence these speakers can reproduce a 34hz tone at -3db less than say a 1k tone. That's only about half the SPL of say a 1k tone. Linear output from the speakers is expected to be achieved from 68hz (one octave above).

Thats why I said 'respectable'. The same speakers mentioned above can even reproduce a 20hz, but whats the point if it plays that frequency at -36db. In theory all speakers can reproduce all frequencies. Don't speakers exhibit cone movement when connected to a DC source (thats 0hz), which indicates the speaker is responding to that frequency too. So in principle even a 6" speaker can respond to a 20 or even 10 hz signal but the output at that frequency is so low that we can safely say it does not reproduce that frequency

Added to this is the non-linearity in our hearing (fletcher-munson curves- equal contour plots, etc) a 34 hz will be harder to hear (or will sound lesser in SPL than a 1k tone played at same volume). So we now have 2 minuses against us

That's why I feel a sub is an essential part if any modern hi fi stereo system. We do not have floor standers like we used to have in the 80s (eg, JBL and Polk were known for their tower arrays - massive 14 inch woofers, two 10 inch mids and tweeters), the max that we find these days are mostly 8". Even with bass port tuning (again at the cost of humps in frequency curve) it is difficult (almost impossible) to achieve the notes and harmonics in the 1st octave
 
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flanker.r

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'Also note, around 25 Hz you are hitting the limit of human hearing. You can only feel the sound.'

Absolutely! And that's something you can die for. This comment of mine can start a war now but I feel Music transcends senses.

Whoever said that only what we hear is music? The harmonics generated by the slap of the E string on a bass guitar can be felt by the skin (it is proved that in the infrasonic range, our skin can perceive vibrations ya thats sounds!). If a system can generate that I think thats a positive attribute of the system and I would prefer it anyday. Why should we restrict ourselves to a some 30 or 25 hz just because research says we reach the limit of hearing? Maybe we do but we are equipped with other senses to perceive those frequencies

A funny way I test the frequency response of woofers (apart from referring to the T/S parameters and specs of course) is shampoo my hair, sit in the listening position and play a 15-18 hz tone. If my hair gets ruffled, and I feel air particles impinging my skin , the woofer makes it to the enclosure. If I hear something (indicating harmonics induced due to distortion) I take it back to the shop

So I strongly feel any system should be able to reproduce the entire range of frequencies. Isnt that the meaning of fidelity? Let the system not decide what we are capable of. It needs to reflect reality if it claims hi fidelity. It is said nature has bestowed on us such keen senses that human beings have been able to detect earth quakes hundreds of kms away just by the mere presence of harmonic infrasonic. Shouldnt a good hi-fi system exploit that trait of ours?

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the
most of us...very hard to explain why you're mad, even
if you're not mad..."
 
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arj

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Adding on to Flanker.r s post, the tactlile effect of sound actually starts at around 50 hz and increases while the aural aspect reduces..in fact we can actaully feel upto 15 Hz. quite well (Like that truck revving up)

Many of the animals actaully can hear down to 1Hz (eg tigers). thats the reason attributed to "ESP" of animals who can detect eartquakes. apparently these disasters do produce waves at the 1-5 hz range :eek:


Do readc up on the fletcher munson curves. it actually shows that we are extra sensitive to the 2khz-5khz range..thats where the female vocals reside and hence many people feel a sound is bright while the others feel its normal..
 
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marsilians

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flanker.r,

you make some excellent points. I will try to answer some points thought we are going into the nether world at this time. But its fun nevertheless. I will stop after this note as we can take offline and do more chatting maybe over some cold beers.

1. Interesting how you measure the sub performance. What tones do you use with what sub? My SVS PB Ultra certainly goes down to that level but my photos on walls start to shake! Thats when I know I am getting the desired effect. SInce its also ported I remove the grill and feel the air hitting me at a distance of 9 ft for some LFE tones that I have put together. I do understand your feelings when you hit that though.

2. Re: your desire for fidelity. I am not so sure (and I am guessing you know it as do the lakhs of people using HTs that cost more than our houses worth). If you think what we are all trying to get out of our HT, its a desire to reproduce the source as close as possible to the original frequencies that it was created in and recorded on the media. Now, material constraints prevent these. I believe the most expensive equipment aim to produce these at a very discerning level but not exactly. A system is only as good as we build it. No more no less.


3. Re: Respectable SPL. What is it to you? Think you can hear 32 Hz note as well as a 10K Hz? No! the +/- 3db is a audio standard documentation. So all masurements report it for kicks. All it means is that between any 2 neighbouring tones, there could be upto 6 db variation. As you speak F/R graphs, you may notice that there will not be a sheer dropof 6 db but rather a decline - thanks to continuous (analog) slope rather than a discrete one in this case!!

On paper 3 db means a lot but given the logarthmic scale on which freq (and in turn) octaves are based on, you need a 10 db to perceive double (or half) the volume. So, 3 db is decent but nor very discernable at low levels. The best analogy is outside temperature. You may hear its 31 or 32 degrees one nice summer morning. But will you be able to tell a difference between them? Probably not.


Towards the later half of your post, you do allude to this. So we are aligned ot this I guess.

I do agree that speakes are not produced like before (MDF is both a boon and a curse), but then again we won't have had a chance to taste HT as it would be the domanin of a few snobbish folks, and DVDs would not have been popular, nor CDs or Pods.

There is my take on yoru note. YOu have put it very well and all I wanted in the earlier post was to present evidence that floor standers can produce low bass but not like a sub. But then again they are called floor standers for a reason and not subs.

I still feel that for the most part with our crappy (audio-wise) listening environments, crappy sources (MP3s, copied or downloaded CDs, digitized crap that we all call music many times in a day), we could get by without ideal speakers but those that cost few 1000 Rs. without a sub.


BTW, my favourite setup is my 2 channel without a sub and its the one that give me bliss after my wife & children. This driven with an analogue source is pure bliss, cannot be explained but only felt. Some auditions like these make me so contented that I don't need much more before my life ends. Its only adding more of the great kheer on my plate :)

Good post and I enjoy reading yours.
 
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flanker.r

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Thanks for enjoying my posts and i like your line of thought too

Completely agree that 3 db is hardly discernable but at low frequency it really matters a lot

I am not into Home Theatres at all and when I mention of sub it is only in reference with music reproduction, that too in a home environment.

I also do not listen to Mp3 or other formats on my hi-fi. They are strictly restricted to the computer environment. You are absolutely right when you say any hi-fi is only as strong as the weakest link and the weakest link today seems to be the source material. My choice of source material is mostly vinyl and second audio CDs. But I dont think we should compromise on the quality of the system just because we listen to crappy source. We have a choice not to listen to them. I wouldnt be without buying a Ferrari just because the quality of fuel is bad in my city if the had the means to buy a Ferrari. I would look for ways to procure good fuel, maybe build a small refinery in my house and re-refine the fuel bought from the bunk.

Ya, we can discuss to great lengths the obstacles that are present in our quest for the perfect sound. Even frequency response changes with SPL so in one way when we listen to music at a level (volume) different from the one the engineer mixed it in, we are inducing distortion, arent we? Its not in the time domain, phase domain or frequency domain but in the amplitude domain. Now what am I saying - either way you turn the volume you are inducing distortion. Even if you do not turn up the volume it is distortion as long as the SPL is not the same as that in which it was recorded in. why this curse on us?

On a different note, maybe all CDs should mention the frequency response of the monitors in which the music was mixed, the frequency response of the engineer, amount of compression and volume in which the music was mixed. Then was can reverse-mirror equalize them and remove engineers contribution! Ya I know it sounds crazy but the search for fidelity makes me think in these lines

Ya we will take it offline (over the cold beers!). lets not drive the others too crazy here
:):):)
 
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