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Thread: Anyone into home HIFI - Where to start

  1. #1
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    Anyone into home HIFI - Where to start

    I've recently become aware of a premium AV place opened up not too far from where I work, so, as you do, I popped in for a nosey. The guy there is really helpful, asked me how he could help, and unsure really, I asked how much I needed to spend to get a HIFI system that average joe would immediately acknowledge as being 'impressive'. A bit like the first time I watched something in 4K. Somebody in the know might start talking about grey scale etc, but I just though, yeah thats a bloody good picture.

    Anyway, we started at around a grand which quick rose to £2.5k. The best we demo'd was a Roksan K3 Amp and Monitor Audio silver 300, Dali's were in the mix too. Now this gear is well regarded pretty much everywhere but I was expecting more and it certainly didn't have me taken aback. The quality in the vocals etc was obvious but shear volume and bass were lacking I thought. We added a Sub which made it more appealing but I'm not sure what I'm missing.

    I used to be in to car audio in my teens and £1000 would have your ears bleeding and gut wrenching bass. To get the same from HIFI do I need a PA amp and some Jamo D365 speakers?

  2. #2
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    Reminds me of the old tailors saying ďnever mind the quality feel the widthĒ



  3. #3
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    What age are you?

    As a 47 year old, I'm very aware of my inability to appreciate HiFi quality as I could 20+ years ago.

    I have a system that's about £4k worth in new money (although components are all 10+ years old). I have given up on trying to get anything better. It's diminishing quality returns after a certain point and if your perception prevents appreciation of any 'improvement', it's money down the drain.

    Your underwhelming experience may be linked to this issue.

  4. #4
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    Iím 35.

    Donít get me wrong, I could tell the quality but it was definitely missing something, I guess Iím searching for that something so it can be addressed. Itís got to be bass, I suppose two 6 1/2inch drivers can only move so much air.

  5. #5
    Master subseastu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefmcd View Post
    What age are you?

    As a 47 year old, I'm very aware of my inability to appreciate HiFi quality as I could 20+ years ago.

    I have a system that's about £4k worth in new money (although components are all 10+ years old). I have given up on trying to get anything better. It's diminishing quality returns after a certain point and if your perception prevents appreciation of any 'improvement', it's money down the drain.

    Your underwhelming experience may be linked to this issue.
    This. I started to sink money into my hifi and av set up but soon realised that the most spent v perceived gains was very small once I got to a certain price point. Saying that I have the Roksan K3 amp which even when I purchased it a good few years ago was very highly regarded and was regularly compared to +1500 quid amps at the time. I paired it with some ex-demo Dali Royal tower floor standing speakers (bit of a risk as there was very little information about them at the time but they where 600quid so a relative bargain) and to me the sound was amazing. I've contacted Dali the other year and they said to replace them now with something from the current range I'd have to spend about 3500quid!! Needless to say that won't be happening. I use a NAS drive with FLAC recordings fed via a hard wired sonos into the Roksan amp. I found this to be a little flat, like the music was being played behind a curtain. I introduced a valve dac and that was a huge improvement. Increased sound stage and detail. Everyone is different and its easy to disappear down a hifi rabbit hole. Decide what you want from a system and research it making it as future proof as possible. Different amp and speaker combinations have different sound characteristics as well so bear that in mind. Look at the 2nd market, theres some real bargains that are a couple of years old but perform amazingly. Get on AV forum and (less so) what hi fi.

  6. #6
    Master inspector gadget's Avatar
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    As a starting point think about buying the best speakers you can afford and then spend the other half of the budget on the ancillaries...

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    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    I'm sure Rod will be along soon to give you his pro opinion on the matter.

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    Craftsman Anygreg's Avatar
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    Get yourself down to the festival of sound In Hammersmith and the Novotel end of this month. KEF are launching their new R series which is a bit special, plus you get to hear the competition

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    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inspector gadget View Post
    As a starting point think about buying the best speakers you can afford and then spend the other half of the budget on the ancillaries...

    Reminds me of the joke..............

    When I was 20, my father gave me some sound advice......

    ĒDonít skimp on speakers!Ē

    (seriously - spend more on input than output, would be my advice)

  10. #10
    Craftsman Go Big's Avatar
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    This should tell you all you need to know.

  11. #11
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    If itís more bass you want then you need to look at manufacturers who err on that soundstage (naim for one if memory serves me correctly), ignore the advice about spending a big chunk of your budget on speakers as rubbish in/ rubbish out and there is no substitute for good, powerful, clean and controlled amplification hooked up to a good source.
    If you want to get the maximum return for a small investment ( which most hi- fi bods would say 2k ish is) then look at secondhand and ex demo gear. You have to listen with your ears and not take too much notice of reviews and award winners as the best amp/ speaker combo is often not those than what hi- fi rave about.
    Finally, allow a sensible amount for interconnects and speaker cable as again this can effect sound despite what some non hi-fi folk may say.
    Iíve got a mixed bag of arcam, meridian and dynaudio kit but it took years to build up and find the right combo and whilst all components are several years old I now have an 8 year old and work away half the week so I wonít buy anymore hi-fi as my days of sitting on the sofa with my eyes shut listening for every bit of detail are long gone!!
    Good luck and hopefully Rod will add his professional input soon.

  12. #12
    Master mondie's Avatar
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    I am a life long audio & music nutter. However, it is difficult to say how much you would have to spend on audio kit to get a 'wow' in the same way it would be hard to set a watch budget thats sure to get a wow from a watch (excludng the halo brands). Do you want AV or HiFi as you use both terms; generally HiFi implies 2 channels?

    Most modern audio is 80% marketing and 20% substance. Start by looking at active speakers, 1.5k on active speakers and another grand for a CD player and entry-level TT will have you at a sound level that exceeds anything you heard at the demo in your original post.
    Last edited by mondie; 21st September 2018 at 22:56.

  13. #13
    Master inspector gadget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Reminds me of the joke..............

    When I was 20, my father gave me some sound advice......

    ĒDonít skimp on speakers!Ē

    (seriously - spend more on input than output, would be my advice)

    My Stan Kelly transducers have never let me down yet.

  14. #14
    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go Big View Post
    This should tell you all you need to know.
    That is SO true. There was a shop near me many moons ago, Doug Brady Hi-Fi. Manned by a tanktop wearing brigade of ar$es who really did make you feel like Tom Thumb when you ventured in there for information.

    My 80's set up was a NAD 3020A coupled to a pair of Monitor Audio R252's and an LP12 deck before CD came on the scene. It was a budget but big and good sound from it.
    Last edited by reggie747; 21st September 2018 at 21:28.

  15. #15
    Master Jardine32's Avatar
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    I'm a bit of a KEF fan, not a fanatic or expert mind you. Bang for buck, the LS50 wireless are stunning. Mine are hooked into a Innuos Zenith. I also use a Naim Qube for casual listening. The upper echelons of HiFi are a sure way to burn through your cash.
    J

  16. #16
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    Be prepared to spend money, and regularly. There is something called Ďupgradeitusí and we all have it!

    Seriously though, thereís HiFi stuff out there at any price range, pick one and stick to it as itís so easy to Ď...spend another few hundredí.

    As mentioned above, buy used (AVForums) or ex-demo / open box from specialists. Buying used sounds a bit pikey but it will allow you to find what brands you like the sound of for a fraction of the price vs. new. Youíll also tend to find AV geeks keep their kit in pristine condition too.

    Donít go mad on interconnects either, QED do a good basic range and reasonably priced speaker cable. Also remember that the listening room at a specialist store will have room correction and sound proofing, hence why everything sounds amazing. This does NOT always transfer to your lounge with wooden floor / windows / pictures on wall / mirrors etc... so donít be disgruntled when you get your kit home and itís sounds poor.

    In no particular order good amp brands IMO around the £500-£3k mark are; Rotel, Marantz, Arcam, NAIM, Cambridge Audio, NAD.

    Same for speakers; Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Dali, Monitor Audio, KEF, Wharfedale, Polk, Mission.

    Personally Iím a B&W / Cambridge / Arcam guy but each to their own especially when aesthetics come into it. I have a dedicated amp for stereo listening (Spotify, streaming, turntable, CD) and a separate AVR for movie duties, but they share the same front speakers via a Beresford speaker switcher.

    Local dealers will prob not stock every brand you want so shop around at; IdealAV, SSAV, Peter Tyson, Richer Sounds.

  17. #17
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    Go to avforums.
    Join up .

    Go to the classifieds .

    Unless you need some up to date streaming or hdmi feature just buy high quality used equipment.

    Then if you get dissatisfied just uograde from there.

    Speakers 50% Amp 30% Source 20% as a starting ratio.

    Donít waste money on expensive interconnects and wire. If its a big deal to you buy the cable off the reel and some decent plugs and learn to solder.

    Speaker wire : 2 core mains cable probably is as good as anything .

    Hdmi Amazon basics are good enough .

    Iíd slide towards Arcam ( rspecially for double duty as AV setup ) and B&W. Source , these days if works its usually good enough. If you care that much youíd be better off building your own with a PC and a well specíd sound card and making sure your bits are not being inflated are its not being resampled.

    Donít worry about equalisation until much much later but if you are going multi-channel a cheap sound pressure level meter is a must.
    Last edited by Mr.D; 22nd September 2018 at 03:01.

  18. #18
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    Have you tried a set of decent headphones?
    You can live in your car but you can't drive your house.

  19. #19
    I've been meaning to try the Kef LS50 active speakers. Great reviews and streaming included

  20. #20
    Craftsman Anygreg's Avatar
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    Anyone into home HIFI - Where to start

    Quote Originally Posted by Jardine32 View Post
    I'm a bit of a KEF fan, not a fanatic or expert mind you. Bang for buck, the LS50 wireless are stunning. Mine are hooked into a Innuos Zenith. I also use a Naim Qube for casual listening. The upper echelons of HiFi are a sure way to burn through your cash.
    J
    This. I run a set of these in the den, and for what they are they are great piece of kit. Active, wireless and can take anything you throw at them. Bang for buck, considered the best, hence multiple awards since the launch. Built on the hugely successful LS50 passive.

    Although I have on good authority that the new R series has raised the bar. Check out Q series as well which has just had a revamp also.

    I have far to much KEF kit, love the brand and heritage.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by anz3001 View Post
    Iím 35.

    Donít get me wrong, I could tell the quality but it was definitely missing something, I guess Iím searching for that something so it can be addressed. Itís got to be bass, I suppose two 6 1/2inch drivers can only move so much air.
    You want a sound that you want to hear and why not?
    When I bought my first kit in 1980,the advice was to try and replicate "the concert sound".
    That is one approach but everyone is different;aging ears or possessing one ear with some degree of disability leads,in my view anyway,to people really listening for a sound that they like.
    Check out your source.
    I'm not familiar with the Roksan amp but does it have any bass/treble controls?Some high end amps do not (it is felt they are not needed but I would disagree).
    Try and borrow an amp of similar power range but with those controls and see if you can hear a difference.
    Speakers are hard - I find that I need to hear them before I buy despite professional reviews.
    Good luck.

  22. #22
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    I started down this path a couple of years ago. Started with a £1k budget which ended up at about £7k....... like you said I just couldnít get anything I really liked/wanted for much less and I figured that if I was going to do this once then I might as well get it right. Took months of faffing and I could feel myself getting sucked into all the nonsense (there is a lot!) but got there eventually.

    Ended up with a Naim amp with built in DAC, B&W speakers and Sonos Bridge for the source. Added a turntable later on. Sounds great and have definitely gotten rid of the urge to upgrade as that way lies madness!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  23. #23
    Master chrisb's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter how much you spend on hi-fi if your house is made of wood and plasterboard. Get your room acoustically sound first.

  24. #24
    Master mindforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anygreg View Post
    This. I run a set of these in the den, and for what they are they are great piece of kit. Active, wireless and can take anything you throw at them. Bang for buck, considered the best, hence multiple awards since the launch. Built on the hugely successful LS50 passive.

    Although I have on good authority that the new R series has raised the bar. Check out Q series as well which has just had a revamp also.

    I have far to much KEF kit, love the brand and heritage.
    These look fantastic and just what I'm looking for in my study. Would they work in a near field setup on a desk?

  25. #25
    Master RossC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anz3001 View Post
    Now this gear is well regarded pretty much everywhere but I was expecting more and it certainly didn't have me taken aback. The quality in the vocals etc was obvious but shear volume and bass were lacking I thought. We added a Sub which made it more appealing but I'm not sure what I'm missing.

    I used to be in to car audio in my teens and £1000 would have your ears bleeding and gut wrenching bass. To get the same from HIFI do I need a PA amp and some Jamo D365 speakers?
    I think you're putting pressure on making something sound impressive by shocking you, rather than appreciating the music for how it's intended..?

    My Cambridge Audio setup, along with Marantz SACD and DAC focus more on warmth, clarity and overall sound reproduction - it sounds lovely, but won't knock you off your perch for bass or volume. I suppose I could add a Sub to the amp if I wanted more floor thumping bass, but then it wouldn't necessarily be correct, as it would be artificially changing the sound as it was intended by the artist.

    A few of my friends and I were recently at a holiday home that had an integrated Bose sound system. We mainly played my music through the system all weekend, and everybody was impressed by the Bose, mainly because the Sub was thumping through the floor as it was heavily bass biased. It was a laugh, but we all agreed, better for an action movie full of explosions, rather than listening to Fleetwood Mac.

    Maybe this is the type of thing you're after?

  26. #26
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    Red face

    Find a good dealer and take it from there. Iíd avoid the upcoming show in London or you could hear high end audio which leads to the path of ruin. Iím on it.

  27. #27
    Craftsman Anygreg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mindforge View Post
    These look fantastic and just what I'm looking for in my study. Would they work in a near field setup on a desk?
    They would at a push but my more suited to stands with room to breathe. I have the x300a wireless for my office on the desk and they are great for those duties.

    Not saying they wonít work but wouldnít get the best out of them I think.

  28. #28
    Craftsman Anygreg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slamdoor View Post
    Find a good dealer and take it from there. Iíd avoid the upcoming show in London or you could hear high end audio which leads to the path of ruin. Iím on it.
    Best way to meet the manufactures, compare kit, all under one roof. From hi end to budget itís all there. Although I personally prefer the bristol show myself. The FOS is pretty good and easy to get to on train etc ..

  29. #29
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Best to choose a system to suit your room's design, furniture layout, and acoustics.

    Forum experts would likely need to know room size etc before making recommendations.

    Vintage kit can be good value if you know what you're buying.

    Consider buying hi-fi magazines for a few months e.g. Hi Fi News - which covers both vintage and modern systems

    Consider buying a couple of secondhand 'how to' Hi Fi books from Amazon Ö sometimes only a few pennies to purchase plus shipping.

    Buy the best you can afford to avoid early upgrades.

    dunk
    "The energy expenditure of most people's weekly gym class workouts equates to the reward of one large doughnut afterwards" Ö Prof. Tim Spector, 'The Diet Myth' author

  30. #30
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    Wow, some serious money being spent.

    Of course it very much depends what you want in a system. Mine in comparison is humble and camparitivly inexpensive.

    Sound
    Yamaha CRX 550 cd, dab receiver
    Mission MX-1 speakers
    Infinity Oreus sub with 3x 8” drivers

    Vision
    Panasonic Viera TV, when they were “a thing”
    Toshiba Blu-Ray player

    It’s enough for a quality sound that can fill the house, a bit of Jazz FM (ironically listened through dab) while reading in the conservatory. Plenty of volume with bass so deep it could cause bowel movements. Perfect for the guilty pleasure of action or sci-fi films

    And all sits neatly under the TV no fuss.

    In the bedroom there’s a Teac mini system with cd, dab and iProduct(s) plug-in, control unit on the side, speakers and sub unit neatly hidden under the bed. Set the alarm on it and wake up to some smooth tunes, the best way of having to get up for work

  31. #31
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slamdoor View Post
    Find a good dealer and take it from there. Iíd avoid the upcoming show in London or you could hear high end audio which leads to the path of ruin. Iím on it.
    That's the first step to take, one that's happy to listen to what you want and not what the dealer want's to sell. Go armed with some of your well recorded CD's or vinyl maybe some acoustic instrument recordings, good vocal, and some rock.
    Give them a rough plan of your room, where furnishings are, wether it's carpeted or not, etc.
    Right a few pointers to tell......

    1) A 10 watt per channel (RMS 30hz - 20khz 8 ohms) in terms of volume level will not sound much different to a 100 watts per channel.... it will be a doubling of power or a 3db difference in sound level. Where the extra power manifests itself is in the dynamics of the sound, i.e. from the sound of a violin to the full scale orchestra playing....or from the quitest to the loudest parts (without distortion). (Power perceived is related to the speakers efficiency too)
    Liken it to a car, a basic car going at 70 mph will not be as relaxing as a powerful BMW at the same speed.

    2) Buy as much power as you can, my amp (Marantz PM Ki17 signature (2 x 120 watts RMS) works very well with my KEFLS50's (a highly recommended speaker) Not all volume controls are linear i.e. half way isn't half volume.

    3) Listen to speakers from quality manufacturers... KEF, B&W, Spendor, to name some good British companies ( We probably make the best in the world).
    I am a huge fan of KEF, and their recent ranges are superb. Also consider a stand mounted speaker on decent stands.. they can often sound better in the bass than a multi unit floor stander My LS50's are on dedicated stands and a friend who plays bass can't get over what comes out soundwise.

    4) If your a party/head banger, and you buy an under powered amplifier you will more than likely take your drive units out by causing your amplifier to 'clip' as it won't cope, so be warned.

    5) Buy decent cables to connect up... my rule of thumb is about 10% of budget.

    6) Once you've listened at to your dealer and his advice, ask for a home demo. A good dealer should do this at no cost and you will hear what it will sound like at home. The same system may sound even different from room to room depending on the acoustics. If it doesn't sound as good, the dealer should be able to make recommendations

    7) If you can, use the speakers firing across the width rather than the length of your room, that's better. Don't seperate them too far apart, think of an equilatarel triange to the listening position. Also allow a few inches behind the speaker from the wall.

    8) Enjoy the music

  32. #32
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    As Rod said install good interconnects, my system was about 10k eight years ago and is on the bottom rung of high end audio but with cheap interconnects it sounds very ordinary, high end ones really makes it sing.

  33. #33
    Master subseastu's Avatar
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    Not sure if its been mentioned yet but also look at isolation of your hifi from vibrations. A good quality rack for your hifi and good stands for speakers (if bookshelf ones) can make a world of difference

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdog View Post
    As Rod said install good interconnects, my system was about 10k eight years ago and is on the bottom rung of high end audio but with cheap interconnects it sounds very ordinary, high end ones really makes it sing.
    Depends on connections, if analogue then yes higher strand cabling reduces resistance, therefore less power is needed to ďpushĒ the sound through, meaning the amp doesnít have to drive as hard for the same volume also improving the quality of sound.

    If digital or optical connections then no, as the signal either gets through or doesnít.

  35. #35
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    I donít think I have ever come across a true HiFi system at any price with a bass response to rival the sort of SPL madness thats often the case on the car scene, and thatís from someone who had a boot full of Rockford Fosgate Amps and Earthquake subs back in the day. HiFi it was not but it was fun! I suspect most hifi buffs would have been appalled by the lack of balance and imaging though.

    Now Iíve grown up (a bit!) tastes have changed and I donít even run a sub in my AV system, let alone for music. I suspect taking an AV or even PA route rather than pure HiFi would be the way forward if you are seeking overblown bass rather than a tightly controlled Ďmusicalí bottom end.

    I just hope you donít live mid-terrace!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by nunya View Post
    Depends on connections, if analogue then yes higher strand cabling reduces resistance, therefore less power is needed to ďpushĒ the sound through, meaning the amp doesnít have to drive as hard for the same volume also improving the quality of sound.

    If digital or optical connections then no, as the signal either gets through or doesnít.
    Yep, obviously I am talking analogue as far as I am aware there is no benefit running high quality digital connections. I use Nordst interconnects and the difference between these and cheap ones are night and day, on the other hand I have never found much benefit running high end speaker cable.

  37. #37
    Craftsman Anygreg's Avatar
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    Biggest difference I have experienced with speaker cables came from moving to shielded cables. Currently running chord signature reference. Really rate the chord company cables including their interconnects

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdog View Post
    Yep, obviously I am talking analogue as far as I am aware there is no benefit running high quality digital connections. I use Nordst interconnects and the difference between these and cheap ones are night and day, on the other hand I have never found much benefit running high end speaker cable.
    If you crank it right up an amp can distort sound, so the ďqualityĒ aspect is diminished.

    High end speaker cable can be a myth, of sorts.

    Itís not the quality / price but the strand count. Simply higher the better.

    As mentioned, more strands = lower resistance so the signal runs more freely. It doesnít improve quality of sound as such, but the amp doesnít need to driven as hard to produce the same volume.

  39. #39
    you are going to get better value for money buying used , join a few hifi forums and get an idea of what works well together.
    im using a sub 1k used system atm (naim amp , art speakers and arcam irdac) - ive owned more expensive stuff over the years which doesnt sound any better to my ears (and my hearing is very good )
    just remember you are going to hear a lot of voodoo bullshit on hifi forums regarding cables/isolation/earths etc etc - take it with a pinch of salt and move on , most seem to forget your hearing starts going down the shitter at about 21yrs old so most listening experiences are subjective.

  40. #40
    You are confusing Hi-Fi with AV, the two pursue different goals. Hi-Fi is dedicated to purely sound reproduction. AV is visual with the addition of sound. When you mix sound/vision there will always be a compromise on the sound, even though it can be quite good. If you want the best sound a pure Hi-Fi system will give the best sonic results.


    Quote Originally Posted by anz3001 View Post
    I've recently become aware of a premium AV place opened up not too far from where I work, so, as you do, I popped in for a nosey. The guy there is really helpful, asked me how he could help, and unsure really, I asked how much I needed to spend to get a HIFI system that average joe would immediately acknowledge as being 'impressive'. A bit like the first time I watched something in 4K. Somebody in the know might start talking about grey scale etc, but I just though, yeah thats a bloody good picture.

    Anyway, we started at around a grand which quick rose to £2.5k. The best we demo'd was a Roksan K3 Amp and Monitor Audio silver 300, Dali's were in the mix too. Now this gear is well regarded pretty much everywhere but I was expecting more and it certainly didn't have me taken aback. The quality in the vocals etc was obvious but shear volume and bass were lacking I thought. We added a Sub which made it more appealing but I'm not sure what I'm missing.

    I used to be in to car audio in my teens and £1000 would have your ears bleeding and gut wrenching bass. To get the same from HIFI do I need a PA amp and some Jamo D365 speakers?

  41. #41
    Grand Master
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    Lots of sensible advice on here. Iíve been interested in music/ hi- fi for many years but Iíve always avoided getting sucked into the high-end stuff. I have a pair of Arcam amps (A85/P85 ) bought second- hand several years ago. I was sold on the advantages of bi- amping, itís not all about power itís the clarity and improved soundstage that I find convincing.

    Two most important items, in my view, are the room itself and the speakers. Iím 100% convinced that the speakers have to be a good match for the room, what works in one room possibly wonít in another. If theyíre too small, or have a Ď smallí sound, theyíll never work in a larger room. Conversely, a speaker thatís too big will never sound right in a smaller room. Furnishings make a big difference, as do carpets and curtains ( or lack of). Bay windows can create odd effects; my lounge has a rectangular bay window and if the curtains are removed the music has a slight echo and sounds bright......a weird effect but a real one! Others may disagree, but I think youíve got to get the apeakers right first and take it from there. I prefer floorstanders because they look nicer, but standmounted speakers probably give a wider choice.

    I play CD and vinyl, Iím a big fan of Arcam CD players but the Roksan player I heard recently sounded good. I donít do streaming/downloads/spotify etc, Iím happier with something I can literally get my hands around.

    Speaker cables and interconnects need to be reasonable quality, but I donít belive a lot of the mumbo jumbo written about cables. I tried different interconects and aid around £30 /pair several years ago, canít even remember the brand but they sounded just as good as the ones costing £80. Likewise speaker cable, something with reasonable thickness and enough strands should do the job. Fitting them under carpets is an art in itself, especially with a bi-wired pair to each speaker, and this limits the choice somewhat.

    I would always buy an amp with bass and treble controls despite what the purists say. My current system sounds best with bass turned down a tiny bit if playing CD, but turned up by a similar amount with vinyl.

    I recently bought a pair of Monitor Audio Silver 200 floorstanders and Iím very pleased. At around £950 theyíre not cheap but I think theyíre worth every penny. The room is around 16í x 13í with 8í ceiling and the speakers are a good match. Whatís particularly good is the sound quality at low volume, turning the volume down can be a more demanding test than turning it up!

    Good luck, let your ears make the decisions and donít believe all you read.

  42. #42
    Master mindforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anygreg View Post
    They would at a push but my more suited to stands with room to breathe. I have the x300a wireless for my office on the desk and they are great for those duties.

    Not saying they wonít work but wouldnít get the best out of them I think.
    Thanks, I'll check those out. Do they have the room correction functionality? Or I could just put the Ls50 on stands and toe them in, it's a fairly large room.

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by nunya View Post
    If you crank it right up an amp can distort sound, so the ďqualityĒ aspect is diminished.

    High end speaker cable can be a myth, of sorts.

    Itís not the quality / price but the strand count. Simply higher the better.

    As mentioned, more strands = lower resistance so the signal runs more freely. It doesnít improve quality of sound as such, but the amp doesnít need to driven as hard to produce the same volume.
    No, bigger cross section = lower resistance.

  44. #44
    My setup is Cambridge Audio cxa60 and Focal aria 906.
    I had Yamaha reciver before but it was very bad. So I changed it for integrated amp.

    Now is a good time to buy KEF R serius because they have big discounts. Try R300.

  45. #45
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nunya View Post
    As mentioned, more strands = lower resistance so the signal runs more freely.
    That's debatable.

  46. #46
    Master subseastu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Lots of sensible advice on here. Iíve been interested in music/ hi- fi for many years but Iíve always avoided getting sucked into the high-end stuff. I have a pair of Arcam amps (A85/P85 ) bought second- hand several years ago. I was sold on the advantages of bi- amping, itís not all about power itís the clarity and improved soundstage that I find convincing.
    Have you found it makes a noticeable difference when taking into account the cost. By bi-amping do you mean using a pre and power amp?

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by subseastu View Post
    Have you found it makes a noticeable difference when taking into account the cost. By bi-amping do you mean using a pre and power amp?
    Bi-amping uses dedicated amplifier channels for each driver (generally), if your 2-way speakers can be bi-wired you would need 4 channels of power amplification.

    Some integrated amps also have a pre-out where you can add additional external power amps.
    2 channels in the integrated amp and a 2 channel power amp drives your 2-way bi-wire speakers.

    If not then yep a pre-amp and 2 x 2 channel power amps or a single 4 channel amp.

    This is assuming Ďstandardí 2-way passive x-over bi-wire speakers.

  48. #48
    Master
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    If you want something that does stereo and home cinema Iíd recommend Arcam over pretty much anything.

  49. #49
    Craftsman Anygreg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.D View Post
    If you want something that does stereo and home cinema Iíd recommend Arcam over pretty much anything.
    Agreed. AVR 850 + p49

  50. #50
    Craftsman
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    A novel way of buying a satisfactory system that a dealer once proposed to me was as follows;

    Set up the 'best' i.e., often, but not always, the most expensive, system the dealer has. Listen and see if it floats your boat. If so, the get the dealer to substitute one or two components with a lower price/spec. item/s and listen again. If it still floats your boat do the same again. Eventually you will get to a level, hopefully, where you are no longer tapping along to the music and are getting fatigued. At this point you go back up to the previous set up and that will be your best bang for buck. If the dealer is suitably experienced and knowledgable he will appreciate the need for synergy between component parts of a system to get optimal performance at all levels. If home demo is possible all the better, particular wrt. speakers and placement of them. Great if you can get all this, but beware there is a lot of snake oil peddled in the industry; I know, I've been had myself in the past, but my current system hasn't changed much in the last 10 years and I'm totally happy with it in all respects although it takes up much more room than a modern equivalent would occupy I image. (btw: I only listen to CD and vinyl) Good luck.

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