rmtn

HiFi/Highend/Audio Gear

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Hi!

 

I've wanted to make this topic for a very long time but as I am just a relatively poor enthusiast and a bit shy in this group I have decided not to before.

But as we have TV-topics and music topics as well, I thought that one hifi gear topic might fit in as well.

 

I am intrested to hear and see what audio gear other members have in their homes.

As we are intrested in such highend cars, some of us surely like good sound too.

I know at least these guys must have amazing stuff:

 

It's a good thing I'm only an audio addict, not a TV guy.....I don't know how many more vices I can handle. :lol2:

 

I'm sure I can appreciate a great Sony or Sharp, but for those prices I see a greater need to upgrade the DAC or amps. :icon_thumleft:

 

 

LOL on the 1st line.

 

On the 2nd line: if you really want to indulge, go buy a turntable, tonearm, cartridge & phone amp (plus cables). Otherwise, just go buy better tubes! :icon_mrgreen:

 

 

Have all those things...even reel to reel tape deck.

 

Now a lifetime of upgrading awaits!

 

 

I know, just teasing. :)

 

Keep me informed on the upgrades please. :icon_thumleft:

 

Ofcourse I am not sure if they or any of you are intrested to share their setups.

And if not then forgive me and please kindly forget this topic. :)

 

For my self, as I said I am very poor guy compared to most of here, but I have this hunger for a decent sound and design.

I'm currently playing with these.

 

bedroom setup:

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livingroom setup:

_full.jpg

 

 

Note: speakers are too close to walls in these pictures and I dont have in this new home any acoustics yet.

I will attack the echoes and standing waves in future.

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I'm also running blue room speakers for my tv surround!

 

Cool, as you said blue room I suspect you have earlier stereo pods or big pods than these current which are made by Scandyna?

They are surprisingly good speakers (for the amount of monet good but not great, not even close), given the right opportunity.

Over the years I have upgraded amps, cables and such. I think I am getting the best sound that is really possible to get from these Megapods, only the room being the ultimate let down of course.

 

 

When I am not playing background music from ps3 or spotify, my sources are these:

_full.jpg

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Those speakers (and your avatar) would freak me out in the dark. They look like aliens. How is the sound quality?

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Those speakers (and your avatar) would freak me out in the dark. They look like aliens. How is the sound quality?

 

Lol :D Blue ones are very cheap, most of the guys here would not even describe those as proper hifi.

http://www.podspeakers.dk/product/megapod/

Sound is still quite decent all arounders, and enough for me :)

Would like to upgrade to B&W 800 in some point of life...

 

 

I love the looks of the setup and the minimalistic decor :icon_thumleft:

 

Wow, thank you sir!

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I got the hi-fi bug pretty early in life, and mowed enough lawns to buy myself a pair of Magnepans when I was 14. Things have only gotten worse since then. I really am pretty happy with my current system, though I do plan on a few upgrades in the near future. Here's my setup:

 

stereo.JPG

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I love the looks of the setup and the minimalistic decor :icon_thumleft:

 

:iamwithstupid:

 

What type/style of floor is that? Love the color and grain.

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RMTN, nice to see the interest in high end. It's a rewarding and fun hobby that's not without it's headaches as well, sorta like exotic cars in general.

 

First off, it's nice to have a lot of money to buy all the toys you want when you want to, but at the same time you don't have to be rich to start and there's pretty good gear for not a lot of money. It's also a cumulative hobby where you can buy one thing now, then buy/upgrade another thing a year from now (or 6 months, 2 years, whatever) and keep going. It's not an all or nothing proposition like buying a car. Another benefit also is you can really savor subtle upgrades along the way and appreciate it a lot more than if you made big dramatic jumps.

 

I like your nice simple room setup, both for the looks and potential to have nice sound. Regardless of gear, improving the rooms acoustics is something that translates everywhere and can be worth a lot of equivalent money in gear. You want to minimize reflections off walls and glass (and floor as well if possible) to counteract unnecessary high frequency boosts which makes the sound harsher and thinner.

 

I'm assuming you want to focus on the living room setup first. I can't see the right but can tell there are windows there. I would recommend putting these blinds on the windows:

 

http://www.hunterdouglas.com/our-products-detail.jsp?id=6

 

For the left wall, hanging a rug would help absorb reflections. As for the floor, wood floors most would agree looks nicer than carpeting but sound wise is not as good. Not a big deal though as one or two nice size rugs do a good job on dealing with the reflections.

 

Ok, enough of the boring room (but very helpful) room treatments....sure you want to hear about gear.

 

I think the strategy for you should be to get a nice integrated tube amplifier and do nothing else for a little while to appreciate what a good amp can do. I personally feel that the power/pre amp is the most important part of a system (even more than speakers), which is contrary to a lot of what you may read but from an audiophile point of view, a nice amp with average speakers will sound better than nice speakers with a poor amp or run of the mill receiver. And besides you have speakers that you already like, so even more reason not to get new speakers right now.

 

For quality entry level tube amps, you have Jolida & Synthesis.

 

www.jolida.com

www.synthesis.co.it

 

The Jolida is cheaper than the Synthesis line. I would recommend the 302BRC, which I believe is in the neighborhood of $900. Jolida is pretty well known in audio circles but Synthesis is a boutique esoteric Italian company that offers great value because they don't advertise and don't have high production rates. They are literally in the business of making very little money so other people can be happy (same with SAP Audio). :lol2: :icon_super:

 

I would recommend the Ensemble integrated amplifier....that is around $2000 and very nice.

 

I easily put either of these amps up against most tube amps under $7k, and I believe that solid state is best relegated to car audio use. :icon_mrgreen:

 

These amps will give you more bass, fuller midrange, and smoother top end without doing anything else. The difference will be very noticeable and appreciated. I had a good friend finally take the dive after years of pushing him (basically in the same boat as you), and when he finally did, it was nonstop Facebook status updates and pictures of "tubes, tubes, tubes", LOL!

 

He has a Jolida, I believe the 302.

 

If you have a little extra money I would highly recommend getting a stand alone DAC (digital to analog converter). Your sound quality on the digital end of things (CD, DVD Audio, SONOS, computer sources, etc) is highly dependent on the quality of the DAC, and a bit on the transport, but not as much. I've still yet to get a "proper" CD transport, haha.

 

Cambridge Audio DAC Magic is where I would start at a minimum....about $500.

 

http://cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?PID=951

 

You would connect your CD player to the DAC with a digital coax cable (no TOSLINK fiber please), and then analog RCAs to the amp.

 

That would be a nice start IMHO, and when you get bored with that we can talk about nice cables, turntables, phono amps, etc. At some point you will want to get into analog.

 

Feel free to PM me.

 

As far as what I have:

 

Synthesis Ensemble tube integrated amp

SAP Audio Duet speakers (8" coax in a studio monitor size cabinet)

Madrigal/Levinson Proceed DAC

Acoustic Research AR turntable with modified power supply, Linn tonearm, and Grado cartridge

Synthesis Brio tube phono amp

Teac X-10 Reel to Reel tape deck

DAC to Ensemble interconnect: NBS Serpent

Brio to Ensemble interconnect: XLO Reference shielded with ground

Tape to Ensemble interconnect: XLO Reference shielded with ground

Vintage Kimber speaker cable

 

I'm sure VCR will add some nice commentary. Hope this helps.

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I didn't realize you had a Proceed DAC Fellippe... the first real stereo I ever heard was Magnepan 1.5s and all Proceed electronics. I have such good memories of how that sounded that I'm tempted to pick some of it up one of these days.

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I didn't realize you had a Proceed DAC Fellippe... the first real stereo I ever heard was Magnepan 1.5s and all Proceed electronics. I have such good memories of how that sounded that I'm tempted to pick some of it up one of these days.

 

You should....not a lot of money. The next steps DAC wise for me would be an Audio Note DAC 1.1x around $2k, and a Synthesis Matrix around $3500.

 

Between a $500 DAC Magic and these nicer tube DACs, the jump is pretty big in price if you're not throwing a lot of money around. But if you can swing those DACs you will not be disappointed. After that it starts getting motorcycle/car expensive to get better.

 

Good vintage gear is always your friend. Audio is not like TVs, cars, cell phones, CPUs, etc. Newer is not always better.

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Fellippe, I am unable to answer all your text right now, but

-I had room acoustics done in last home, but have not had time to do it here yet,

 

-my bigger amp is Bada Purer 3.8.

It has tube preamp and class A-operation all the way to 80W/8ohm and then 150W/8ohm in mild AB-class.

I paid a little under 1000€ for it, used. 46kg weight and heats my home properly, lol :D

It was so cheap because it is Chinese, but very robust and very high quality components.

 

Smaller amp is Advance Acoustic MAP-305DA.

French new maker and also half chinese, so again great value for money.

 

My other speakers are Everything But The Box Pluto F's and Subterranean.

Speaker cables are Transparent MusicWave's and ViaAudio SC4's.

 

AccidentalChef, that is business like set up you have!

 

MORE PLEASE!

:zthread needs pics:

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:iamwithstupid:

 

What type/style of floor is that? Love the color and grain.

 

Thanks, it is called Zebrano wood. I love it too!

Google and you will find :)

 

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Another thing to keep in mind is room setup, particularly where the speakers are set. The difference can be dramatic.

 

I once heard Audio Note's flagship room at CES with their best of the best gear and it sounded very nice but wasn't living up to the billing I've known AN products to have. It was setup by someone who wasn't experienced in setting up rooms.

 

The owner of Audio Note, Peter Qvortrup, set up the "entry level" room with most entry level/mid level gear and it sounded better than a room costing about 4-5 times as much. Staggering and scary.

 

BTW, all of this in hotel rooms where you have to deal with what you've got.

 

It's a very special skill that is worth a lot of money for what it can produce. If you can find someone who you think is good (i.e. you like the way his setups sound) it's worth looking into as well.

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Chef, you are overdue for a turntable setup my friend. :)

 

I know, I know.... I have about 500 records in the closet and no way to play them right now. Turntables give me sticker shock... The only one I really want is the Brinkmann Balance. It's not just the turntable itself, but everything I need to go with it. Right now I run a CD player direct to the amps and I don't have an equipment rack. Once you add up the rack, preamp, phono preamp, turntable, cables, etc. the price tag starts to get scary. I thought about buying a cheaper turntable and figuring out a way to use it in the system, but it just doesn't seem worth the trouble. I love analog, but I'll take good digital over bad analog any day.

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This is a cool thread. Here is my set up. Mostly vintage stuff with some recent upgrades. (Sorry the pictures are crappy IPhone)

 

Speakers: Infinity RS-1B

LF Amps: Krell KMA-100 Monoblocks

HF Amp: Counterpoint SA-20 (Tube) Modified by Michael Elliot - Original Counterpoint Designer

PreAmp: Audio Research LS-25 (Tube)

DAC: Rega Research

Source: Apple MacBook Pro

Power Filter: Chang Lightspeed CLS HT 1000

Cables: Cardas and Purist Audio

 

I was using a Shanling CD-T100 Tube CD player until I recently went to the Macbook/DAC combination. It took me about three weeks to load up all of my CD's and get the labels right on my ITunes. Have about 6,000 songs in there right now. It's nice being able to control all the music via the IRemote app on the IPad. I never have to get out of my chair :eusa_dance:

 

post-471-1346706537_thumb.jpg

post-471-1346706567_thumb.jpg

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I know, I know.... I have about 500 records in the closet and no way to play them right now. Turntables give me sticker shock... The only one I really want is the Brinkmann Balance. It's not just the turntable itself, but everything I need to go with it. Right now I run a CD player direct to the amps and I don't have an equipment rack. Once you add up the rack, preamp, phono preamp, turntable, cables, etc. the price tag starts to get scary. I thought about buying a cheaper turntable and figuring out a way to use it in the system, but it just doesn't seem worth the trouble. I love analog, but I'll take good digital over bad analog any day.

 

Price tag gets scary if you want best of the best, just like anything else.

 

Vintage tables with good phono and cables can be had for $3-5k easily and that's a very nice setup that will compete with five figure DACs all day long. if people on LP can call new Plastic mess-06 vettes "cheap" then I'm gonna reserve the right to call those prices cheap too, lol.

 

There are also tables that cost a lot and suck for the price. Just like amps, speakers and everything else. Been to CES and too many shows to confirm that price is almost irrelevant at times when it comes to gear. It's scary if you're wandering the woods with no guidance. Stereo magazines I hate to say are not guidance (more often than not misguidance). They make car magazines look like the gospel by comparison.

 

You crossed over to the dark side a long time ago. Only a matter of time before you're dropping the needle on a good 12" single. :icon_mrgreen: :icon_pidu:

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Very cool topic guys; keep it coming!!

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This is a cool thread. Here is my set up. Mostly vintage stuff with some recent upgrades. (Sorry the pictures are crappy IPhone)

 

Speakers: Infinity RS-1B

LF Amps: Krell KMA-100 Monoblocks

HF Amp: Counterpoint SA-20 (Tube) Modified by Michael Elliot - Original Counterpoint Designer

PreAmp: Audio Research LS-25 (Tube)

DAC: Rega Research

Source: Apple MacBook Pro

Power Filter: Chang Lightspeed CLS HT 1000

Cables: Cardas and Purist Audio

 

I was using a Shanling CD-T100 Tube CD player until I recently went to the Macbook/DAC combination. It took me about three weeks to load up all of my CD's and get the labels right on my ITunes. Have about 6,000 songs in there right now. It's nice being able to control all the music via the IRemote app on the IPad. I never have to get out of my chair :eusa_dance:

 

post-471-1346706537_thumb.jpg

post-471-1346706567_thumb.jpg

 

What are you using to connect your MacBook to your DAC?

 

That's a sweet looking room with a strategically placed painting/photo!

 

I gotta get on that computer bit sometime. The technology is finally here to make it a legitimate source and the convenience is great.

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What are you using to connect your MacBook to your DAC?

 

That's a sweet looking room with a strategically placed painting/photo!

 

I gotta get on that computer bit sometime. The technology is finally here to make it a legitimate source and the convenience is great.

 

I am using a Minijack to Toslink from The Chord Co.

 

I have to admit, I was very skeptical of the whole "using the computer as a source" thing, but I am glad I made the switch. I have been really pleased with not only the unbelievable convenience of the thing, but the sound quality has been stellar as well. There has been a marked improvement in overall presentation, and bass performance was a dramatic leap forward.

 

I don't fall for that "this new thing will blow your old thing into the weeds" crap very often, but I have had these speakers since new, and I thought I was getting everything out of them, but I was wrong.

 

Thanks for the props on the room. Its a dedicated listening room (which basically means it has only my shit in it :icon_mrgreen: ), about 18' x 20' with a gabled ceiling to about 16'. Other than the audio gear, my pride and joy in that room are the Thierry Thompson prints, both of which are representations of Gilles Villeneuve. (see more crappy Iphone pictures below)

 

post-471-1346716255_thumb.jpg

post-471-1346716271_thumb.jpg

 

 

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What are you using to connect your MacBook to your DAC?

 

That's a sweet looking room with a strategically placed painting/photo!

 

I gotta get on that computer bit sometime. The technology is finally here to make it a legitimate source and the convenience is great.

 

 

If you want convenience for all your music then look at Sonos, they have a great product that sounds great. Control it from any phone, tablet or computer.

I run it to my Linn Aktiv system with Sondeck LP12 turntable.

 

The connect would suit you best. Sonos

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If you want convenience for all your music then look at Sonos, they have a great product that sounds great. Control it from any phone, tablet or computer.

I run it to my Linn Aktiv system with Sondeck LP12 turntable.

 

The connect would suit you best. Sonos

 

Totally down with Sonos. I've played with it in store and at a friend's house numerous times. Love it!

 

Need to overcome some laziness with setting up router and the wifi aspect. Perhaps I'm making a big deal of it. :icon_mrgreen:

 

The V-Link USB to Coax converter is pretty cheap and works well in situations where you cannot use wifi.

 

LP12, sweet table btw. A classic.

 

What else are you running?

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I'll use stereo RCA to CAT6 from my mixer to rooms. No configs to run, easy and cheap to hide cables.

 

Fellippe, any photos of your system? :)

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