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JRRdz
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Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2011 - 11:02am
80's Yamaha NS 8181 versus new bookshelfs

Hello All,

 

I need some advice on speakers and I am turning to you as I am completely disappointed with the knowledge of the sales training staff at my local stores.

 

Background:

I have a 20 by 20’ room that I have turned into my office/library/music room.  The room has cathedral ceilings that start going up at 3’ from the floor, giving it very good acoustics for indirect sound reflections; ergo no need for surround sound.  I am currently using two 1984 Yamaha’s NS 8181 that I have since high school.  They give me an incredible sound clarity and they can also fill the room with beautiful sound without the need to crank up the volume.  I am driving them with a 2006 Yamaha 200W per channel that has a very good signal to noise ratio.  The amp does have digital sound processing, but I am not using it.  I do like to listen to acoustic, classical, and jazz music and I truly enjoy being able to hear the sounds from different instruments.  For example listening to Casals playing Bach on the cello is a complete treat to the senses.

 

Problem:

My wife wants the floor space that the Yamaha’s take and she is willing to spend money on bookshelf speakers.  I have visited a couple of stores, but the sales staff is only trained on sounds for movies.  One even had a hard time understanding that I wanted to use an amp without digital sound processing turned on!  I loved this quote:  “What do you mean using A and B channels instead of Front and Back”

 

These are the questions that I have and I can use help on:

1) Assuming a subwoofer; Is it better to have two top of the line bookshelf speakers on one end of the room or four good bookshelf’s separated on four corners?  I know the theory, but I could use your experience and advice.

Theory:

  • Two top of the line should give better sound clarity, instrument separation and sensitivity

  • Four speakers should give me more air movement that will help fill the room with sound.

 

2) How does the new technology compare to my 30 year old speakers?  I find it hard to compare due to the room acoustics on the stores, but my first impression is that there has been significant improvement for movie sounds but hardly any for acoustic music.  I have been unable to find 30 year old reviews for my speakers, and for the new ones the sales personnel have no idea about frequency response curves, cross over curves, sensitivity, etc.

 

3) Any advice for a $600 budget? 

 

Thanks,

JoeE SP9
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Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm
speakers

Running four speakers for two channel stereo ruins the imaging and soundstage. If a decent soundstage and good imaging are not important to you then use four speakers.

A decent sub woofer and two good bookshelf speakers on stands will probably give better sound than your current setup. Having a DSP only effect the two rear  speakers will give you stereo in the front (highly desirable) and surround/effects in the rear speakers (also highly desirable). This will always sound better than two pair of stereo speakers set up in the corners.

BTW: Speaker specs mean almost nothing. The only thing that matters is how they sound to you. In todays world we listen to speakers instead of reading the specs. 

JRRdz
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Joined: Dec 20 2011 - 11:02am
  Thank you very much for

 

Thank you very much for the feedback.  I completely forgot about the imaging and soundstage!  I will not use them for movies, but I agree that with four speakers (A and B channel) it would sound odd.  It will be like having competing artists at the two sides of the room.  It would not make a difference for some Pop music (for example: why bars have many speakers), but it will for most good music (I am listening now to old spanish bohemian music).  I would still like to keep the impression that the artist is sitting with his guitar next to me in the room.

 

I am hoping that new technologies (cross overs, materials, cabinets, rare magnets) would have resulted in significantly better sound.  I have encountered different problems with this theory.  First, the speakers sound significantly different in different rooms.  Listening to my old (retro) speakers in my good acoustics room with good music is unfair to new speakers with store set ups listening to crappy pop music.  Second, I have other setups in my house including a Bose system for my tv in the living room, yet I still prefer my old speakers to listen to music.  Finally, I may just be biased and used to the sound of these speakers….

 

I plan to take my own music to the store next time out.  Any other advice for selecting speakers?  Any good values out there for realistic music sound (e.g. not plastic, or cardboard sound)?

ikymagoo
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Joined: Dec 1 2011 - 6:54am
how big is your space?

how big is your space?

i would also recommed going with a sub and 2 bookshelfs on stands

maybe NHTs

JRRdz
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Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2011 - 11:02am
I have a 20 by 20’ room

I have a 20 by 20’ room that I have turned into my office/library/music room.  The room has cathedral ceilings that start going up at 3’ from the floor, giving it very good acoustics for indirect sound reflections.

 

With regards to stands.... I am loosing the floor space as part of the changes in the room.  The new speakers will be located on top of bookshelfs that are lining the two sides with the cathedral ceilings.  They will be about 2.5' from the ground.

 

Thank you for the NHT lead.   They have excellent reviews.

ikymagoo
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Joined: Dec 1 2011 - 6:54am
You can look at ikyaudio

I have to let you know, that I make ikyaudio speakers 

www.ikyaudio.com

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