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VinylDisorder
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Equipment set up

Hey folks,

I'm some what new to the audiophile world and all it's terms and equipment. That being said, I could really use some advice/tips on the audio set up I'm planning. I have read some reviews and have done some research on each piece of equipment I'm considering. First of all, I want a set up for strictly record use and CD use. I'm not looking for movie surround set ups or anything like that. It will mostly be used for vinyl playing. The equipment I'm planning on purchasing, pending on your advice because I'm not 100% confident in the audiophile world yet, is as follows:

For speakers, I'm planning on going with the Revel F208 floor standing speakers.
Power Amp, the Mcintosh MC 302
Preamp, Mcintosh C2300

So here's my first question. Will this set up work for what I want to achieve?
Also, is there anything else I would need or should add to this system to improve it?

Thanks in advance

iosiP
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Sorry but wrong questions will only give you wrong answers
VinylDisorder wrote:

So here's my first question. Will this set up work for what I want to achieve?

And what exactly are you trying to achieve? Have a functional stereo system, blow up the plaster on your walls, impress your friends, or what?

VinylDisorder wrote:

Also, is there anything else I would need or should add to this system to improve it?

Yes a lot! Think cables, an equipment rack, room treatment (if needed) and plenty of listening experience (just to define your preferences in sound, i.e. what compromises you are willing to do and what are the things that you can't live without).

Catch22
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Yup, that's some good stuff to start with

You gotta love those big blue eyes.

VinylDisorder
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Well like most people on this

Well like most people on this forum, I assume, I'm trying to get the best sound quality without spending 100K+. So, I'm trying to achieve great sound quality. I'm aware of cables, room factors etc. that wasn't my question. My question was on the said equipment and any other component that I might need for achieving this or might want to consider. As far as impressing people? Blowing plaster off my walls? No, this is for my satisfaction in hearing vinyl at the best quality I can. I'm looking for suggestions, maybe someone that owns some Mcintosh equip or any feedback for improvements. Not sarcasm . Or big egos because some have dedicated 20 years to audiophile and I'm a learning noob. Also, the said pre amp is a tube amp. I've read that tube amps produce a great sound for vinyl and CDs? True? I also know this pre amp is unbalanced, will this cause me troubles? Can I remedy this somehow? Any suggestions or positive feedback or someone willing to educate a person with little experience in the audiophile world would be nice.

bierfeldt
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Go demo

It's been 22 years since I bought my first audiophile system and am a relative noob to the folks out here.

I have learned a few things recently though:
- everyone's tastes are different so while I love Revel speakers and think they sound amazing, others might say the are mediocre and even silly expensive speakers can sound radically different
- McIntosh is broadly considered exceptional equipment and every time I hear it, I want it. I can't afford it, but I want it. I feel the same way about Mark Levinson equipment but that's me. Bryston, Classe, Mark Levinson, Krell, Simaudio, Musical Fidelity, etc. all make amazing equipment and depending on your preferences, you might like one of these other manufacturers betters.

The best bit of advice I was given though is you must listen to the equipment, in your home if at all possible.
You can connect with your local dealers and see if they have an in-home demo policy. Listening in-home is optimal as you will then be able to hear it with your turntable in your environment. It does make a difference. You can weed stuff out that you hate in-store, but you won't know if it is optimal unless you hear it at home.

Catch22
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I really don't see any reason for concern

They are all top notch performers that will give you a lifetime of enjoyment. Mac guys take a bit of pride in owning a Mac and there's something special about those blue meters in a dark listening room that just relaxes the hell out of you.

And tubes rule!

iosiP
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@VinylDisorder

I did not intend to be sarcastic, it's only that you offered too little information for an educated advice.
It would be great if you would come forward with other elements such as the size of your room, the usual listening volume, your preferred music genres and (most of all) what are the features that you think to be most/least important - just realize all systems cut some corners, so you need to compromise.

With the info you provided my only answer is "bad choice", but then I never liked McIntosh very much. Therefore, I would genuinely like to help you but please give me some more data to use.

Regards,
Costin

wkhanna
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Valves (tubes)....Vinyl....& a Balancing Act...

My pre-amp is tubed & unbalanced (even though the rack it sits on is).
Yep, I WISH it was a balanced unit...
But even so, I have compared it to many other units (some balanced) in my own system.
What I have found in general, is there is no 'perfect' score to the symphony.
I prefer vinyl, though I also have dedicated much to my computer-based system.
I would not worry too much about specific technical babble.
But it is about assembling a group of components that work 'together' which bring forth the goods.
Your concern for synergy is well founded.
Your current list of equipment is a good foundation for achieving a system that will bring much joy in listening, in my humble opinion.

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please -

Bill B
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Unbalanced good

If you don't yet know exactly what balanced/unbalanced connections mean, electrically, that's fine and you don't really have to know. "Unbalanced" may sound pejorative but it's not. MOST home stereo systems, including high-end ones, are unbalanced and that's just fine. More details later if I have time but do not worry about the balanced/unbalanced issue electrically.

commsysman
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System Choices
VinylDisorder wrote:

Hey folks,

I'm some what new to the audiophile world and all it's terms and equipment. That being said, I could really use some advice/tips on the audio set up I'm planning. I have read some reviews and have done some research on each piece of equipment I'm considering. First of all, I want a set up for strictly record use and CD use. I'm not looking for movie surround set ups or anything like that. It will mostly be used for vinyl playing. The equipment I'm planning on purchasing, pending on your advice because I'm not 100% confident in the audiophile world yet, is as follows:

For speakers, I'm planning on going with the Revel F208 floor standing speakers.
Power Amp, the Mcintosh MC 302
Preamp, Mcintosh C2300

So here's my first question. Will this set up work for what I want to achieve?
Also, is there anything else I would need or should add to this system to improve it?

Thanks in advance

My experience with McIntosh gear is that it is fairly good and way expensive. I don't know the prices on that gear, but I suspect that you could get better-sounding gear for less money.

My experience is that Audio Research and Musical Fidelity make better-sounding products. The solid-state McIntosh products have never been able to deliver top-quality sound IMO; not nearly as good as the MC275 tube amp.

I am using the Audio Research LS27 preamp and a Musical Fidelity M6PRX amplifier, with Vandersteen Treo speakers, and the sound is to die for. You won't equal that with the McIntosh gear. The price is around $10,000.

The features of the LS27 are just off the charts, as is the sound quality. All seven channels are both balanced and unbalanced, as are the outputs. There are 3 gain choices for each channel to adjust for varying source levels. There is a MONO function and many more features. It is the most versatile and easy to use preamp I have ever seen. It also has a large display with six brightness settings and a 102-step volume control.

You could get the Musical Fidelity M6PRE preamp and the M6PRX amplifier for $6000, and that would also be superb.

I think the Revel speakers are a very good choice.

A turntable would also be nice, but perhaps you already have one...lol.

iosiP
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Budget, please!

VinylDisorder, if you could spell out your total budget (instead of letting us guess based on your current choice of gear) I think you could received beter advice.
Also, I think it would be useful if you clarify the issues outlined in my previous message.

Costin

P.S. Also, please tell us where you live - US, EU, somewhere else...

michael green
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Hi Vinyl

First welcome to the forum. Second I thought it was wise to put the egos and sarcasm on notice. Way to many people talking here that don't have a wide enough range of experience and that only leads to sound trouble even if they are trying to be helpful.

From my point of view way before looking at equipment I would ask about your room. Audiophiles have a really bad habbit of getting equipment and speakers then try to fit the other parts into the equation. From my experience this is backward. No matter what you decide on your going to be listening to the room and I would make my decisions based on what the room can or can't do. The hobbyist many times will take a system and completely destroy the sound of it by not letting it play, and this is something I have seen most people in this part of the hobby do. Then they spend most of their time defending their system, instead of enjoying it.

Stereophile is full of experts based on their own systems and a few based in their own minds, so I would say to anyone who is coming here for advice that they get to know the people advising them. You can visit me here http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/ and take a look at my points of view before trusting my advice.

I do take a different approach than many here, because of my testing and experiences and the advice I get from people who are doing the same types of things I do. Playback is made far to difficult in a hobby that pushes to be more complicated than it needs to be, then trying to backup to a place they should have started from in the beginning.

My first advice to anyone joining or refining their hobby would be and is, find the simple path to successful listening with a simple setup and include all the parts to listening, electric, source, cables, amp, speakers, room as equals. When I have seen people do this as a well thought out method they usually end up with a much simplier, a lot more balanced, and a TON less expensive system.

good luck and let me know if you have any questions specifically for me

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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