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Broo
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Build Me a System (Also Need Your Opinions)

I'm new to writing in these forums but have found them helpful through other people's threads and always seem to find myself here after a quick Google search.

So here's the deal: I've got about $2,500 to spend on setting up an audio system. The room it will be going in will be quite large, but may differ to a smaller sized room in the future. They will be connected to my computer and record player, and will be mainly used to play music (including records), games, and the occasional movie. My musical tastes cover every genre, from classical symphony and free-form jazz to punk rock and even the occasional rap album.

I'd like to be able to play said music at reasonably high volume levels (probably around 90 - 100dB maximum), without worrying about loss of quality. That being said, I highly doubt that my house will turn into a dingy suburban nightclub anytime soon.

Note that that $2,500 must include the amplifier (Integrated, I'd assume. I don't think you can get a power/pre amp combo under $1,500?), but I'd like the brunt of the budget to be spent on the speakers.

I'd also like your opinions on the Cerwin Vega XLS-215 speakers. I've seen a few negative opinions, but they were easily swamped by positive ones. At about $1,800 for the pair and an amp, they're a serious consideration. I'd like to hear what Stereophile has to say.

Thanks for your time. Any extra information you need can be provided.

Lamont Sanford
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Go here
Broo
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I've already read that

I've already read that thread. It has two replies, neither of them are relevant to me. I already have an idea of the prices, brands and equipment I'll need, but I've posted here so that you can tell me exactly what would best suit my situation.

Lamont Sanford
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The fact that you want to

The fact that you want to design it around a large room for a later smaller room is probably throwing people off a little.  I wish I can help but outside the obvious build, which you already have in mind, there is not much I can add to the discussion.   Tell ya what.  List each item with the price, including cables.  Don't post anything else.  People will come and give their opinions.  There are actually only a few members on this particular forum that know just about every single thing you can possibly post.  An itemized list is always good bait.

Broo
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I'd like people to recommend

I'd like people to recommend exact speakers and amps, so that I can make such a list. Something like: "I think you should buy these speakers. These are $XYZ and have great blhablahlbhal. I'd pair them up with this amp, etc."

Could you also give me your opinion on the XLS-215's while you're here?

And just to clear something up: I don't want to build it for a large room, then put it in a small room at a later date. I want to put it in a smaller room. We're only talking a few square metres less.

Thanks for your help so far.

Lamont Sanford
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No

No problem:

http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/rr2150.html

http://www.energy-speakers.com/bookshelf-speakers/?sku=RC-10

 

Vega are known to be loud and that is about it.  Tower speakers are going to be overkill for a few square meters of listening space.  But if you insist on tower speakers than I would stick with Energy.  Based on your original post it looks like you have everything else.   Thick speaker cable from Radio Shack will work fine.  I realize you have over twice as much to spend but the extra technology would be overkill and lost due to the small space. Just my own opinion.  I hope others give suggestions as well.

Broo
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The RR2150 looks like it

The RR2150 looks like it might do nicely, unless I choose to go down the XLS-215 path. (120wp/c minimum.)

Quick question: have you heard the new Vega range?

Also, I think you misread my post. The room is probably about 23 - 25 square metres large, and the smaller room is around 17 - 20.

The Energy RC-70 seem like a good find, I'll keep them in mind.

Any suggestions for a slightly more powerful amp? Any other speakers? What about Monitor Audio RX8s and Vandersteens?

jackfish
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The XLS-215 have high sensitivity so I don't understand

where you are getting that they need 120 wpc minimum. In any case the Outlaw is likely to produce around 120-130 wpc into 6 Ohms. "Nightclub" is what comes to mind when I hear Cerwin Vega, not refined reproduction. If you are considering Vandersteen, the 2ce Signature II are very good for the money, http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/107vandy/ but they would take up most of your budget.

I'd also consider an all Emotiva system consisting of:

USP-1 preamp $382

XPA-2 amp $719

XRT-6.2 X-ref towers $629

X-Ref 12 subwoofer $594

http://shop.emotiva.com/

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/preamplifiers/preamplifiers-reviews/emotiva-usp-1-stereo-preamplifier.html

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/power-amplifiers/power-amplifiers-reviews/a-secrets-power-amplifier-review89.html

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/floorstanding/emotiva-x-ref-pre

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/subwoofers/subwoofers-reviews/emotiva-x-ref-12-subwoofer.html

Couldn't do much better for $2324.

Lamont Sanford
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The Outlaw was reviewed by

The Outlaw was reviewed by Stereophile and I don't think you will need a more powerful amp after read the review.  Also, all your suggestions for speakers are good ones as well.

Broo
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Hmm... What would you buy

Hmm...

What would you buy under my circumstances?

Lamont Sanford
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Under your cirumstances?  I

Under your cirumstances?  I would strictly stick with Onkyo components all the way.  Probably the most underrated electronic components out there.  The company has been around since 1946.  Check out their website.  You will find everything you need.

Broo
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What about speakers?

What about speakers?

Lamont Sanford
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Again, under your

Again, under your cirucmstances I would want studio monitor speakers because they are robust and designed for high volume as well as listening at shorter distances  (Example: JBL JRX115).  There used to be a time with a true studio monitor had a home HI-FI counterpart but the manufacturers have separated the two between pro and home consumer HI-FI.  A compromise would be something like JBL Studio 570 loudspeakers.

Broo
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Thanks, I'll keep those in

Thanks, I'll keep those in mind.

I thought the same about the Vegas, but after reading this review:

http://www.avrev.com/home-theater-loudspeakers/speaker-systems/cerwin-ve...

This thread:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/cerwin-vega-xls-215-1

And these reviews:

http://www.amazon.com/Cerwin-Vega-Xls-215-15-Inch-Series-Speaker/dp/B002...

I'm pretty confused. They seem to have changed their tune.

Lamont Sanford
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It certainly is a buyer

It certainly is a buyer beware market.  Whatever you do never buy anything from anyone on commission unless you know that person or have developed a trust.  Have you hooked up with the group at audiokarma?  Stereophile is mainly wine in an old bottle with rare cork.  Audiokarma has no problem with wine in a box if it sounds good and those people aren't stupid.  Not that we are stupid.  :)  The more advice you get the better off you will be.

 

Broo
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Thanks for all your help and

Thanks for all your help and suggestions, mate. I'll check in at Audiokarma for some more advice.

bierfeldt
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A few other options

I would look seriosuly at KEF's Q series.  They just introduced a new line so the old models are available on clearance in lots of places. 

For example, you could do the KEF iQ70BLs for $770.  This would be marked down pretty dramatically from the normal price of $1200 (includes shipping off amazon)

Def Tech Pro Sub 800 for   $399 (Crutchfield)

Parasound 2100 Stereo Pre-Amp for $649 (Audiodvisor)

2 Outlaw 2200 Mono Blocks for $674 (Outlaw Audio)

That is $2492

As always, if you could inch up your budget, The Parasound Halo P3 is a fantastic balanced stereo pre-amp at $849 and those outlaw monoblocks are balanced.  (Also available at Audioadvisor)

You may also want to look into a DAC if you don't already have one, Emotiva currently has one on sale for $199, NAD has one for $299.  Also, a separate phono prestage would be beneficial and Rega and Musical Fidelity both have one for under $200. 

Drtrey3
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In the process . . .

of going Emotiva. I so far I have the XRM 6.1 monitors and a XRC 6.2 up front. Man they make me happy! The silk tweeter is just sweet and extended without being over the top. I am not sure which way to add to my system next, but that is OK as I am still saving up! I will probably continue to upgrade speakers for the time. But the new products Emotiva is turning out in the electronics are very interesting indeed.

Trey

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