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sambarock
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New system help

hey everyone,

This is my first post in here, so please go easy on me ok

I'm in the market for a new HI FI Stereo setup.

I have been collection punk and garage records for the last 14 years. 90% of my music collection consists of vinyl records and a feel CDs (great source for bootlegs and compilations).

My wife bought me for xmas a KAB Technics 1200 fully loaded with a Shure V15VxMR.
It was major improvement from my previous turntable but now my 90's Marantz PM-94 amp is falling apart.

This weekend I listened to a Mchintosh MA6500 with a much inferior turntable and I was blow away. It made realize it

BillB
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Re: New system help

I love punk and garage too and you will have a fantastic system if you can spend $4500. I will leave specific suggestions to others, but the brands you mention are super, so you won't go wrong. My one suggestion is to not limit yourself just to bookshelf speakers; you need good bass and for that, size does matter - it's not the only thing, but it sure helps.

sambarock
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Re: New system help

Thanks Bill.

I'm glad I'm not alone here with my musical choices

I was thinking about bookshelf speakers more anything because the limited space in my living room. I'm totally open to suggestions on floor speakers though.
On my testings my favorite speakers so far were the B&W 602 S3...

BillB
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Re: New system help

I'm thinking #1 that floorstanders don't necessarily take up any more space than bookshelf speakers that require stands, and #2 you may well move your residence within your speakers' lifetimes.
BTW, I have B&W 601's in my secondary system and they're good enough there, but when I want to rock I go to my primary system, bigger full-range, and it's more satisfying.

Monty
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Re: New system help

One of the biggest obstacles for new people entering the hobby (?) is developing the confidence to choose the gear that will satisfy them. I don't know anyone who dosen't consider $4500 a serious amount of money to spend on a luxury item and you certainly want to get it right for that kind of money.

It's easy to simply say "let your ears decide", but that's not all that helpful given the different rooms, gear choices and partnerships and all that goes with trying to identify relatively small tonal aspects under far less than ideal circumstances. Hell, just the stress of glad-handing dealers and trying to audition stuff can be a drag.

Anyway, my suggestion would be to not let how much you are willing to spend determine what you buy, but rather let what you enjoyed listening to determine how much you need to spend. And, I would start with audtioning dealers until I found one that I liked working with and that would listen to me and explain why they recommended what they were suggesting. That dealer will need to know how large your room is and what kind of music you enjoy listening to. If he's a decent dealer, he'll have more questions for you that you might not have thought of.

In your situation, a good dealer is worth the modest expense of buying retail. A bad dealer isn't worth a penny of your money.

smejias
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Re: New system help


Quote:
Anyway, my suggestion would be to not let how much you are willing to spend determine what you buy, but rather let what you enjoyed listening to determine how much you need to spend.

Such wonderful advice, Monty.

sambarock
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Re: New system help

Good point Monty.

I just put this number for my HI-FI allowance so people could see what is on my range.

I must say the majority of the sales people Audio stores in NYC are horrible. I'm from being a picky person, but I think they look at me and think "he can't afford this, so why bother showing".

At the infamous Stereo Exchange, the sales clerck was SO horrible that even told me that the MA6500 didn't have a MM phono built in... I had to leave the store right after that, I was feeling nauseous just of thinking of spending money there.

Talking about Phono stages, I was only able to test two models, the NAD and the Rega, everything else was above 1K. So I'm limited to what people write about different models and compare to what I listened.

sambarock
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Re: New system help

Stephen, you're a insider and New York resident, please, shed some light on my way to where to go for HI-FI auditioning in the city (including any of the 5 boroughs).
I would be eternally grateful for your expert advice.

Monty
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Re: New system help

In addition to Stephen's input, I'll bet Jeff Wong will chime in later tonight with some useful stuff. He also lives in NYC and has probably dealt with some of them.

We have several New Yorkers on the forum who will probably be able to steer you toward a good one.

smejias
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Re: New system help


Quote:
Stephen, you're a insider and New York resident, please, shed some light on my way to where to go for HI-FI auditioning in the city (including any of the 5 boroughs).
I would be eternally grateful for your expert advice.

Hi Sambarock.
First, I want to say that I'm excited for you. I'm also particularly interested in what you decide to purchase because you've got a really great budget to work with, I like your taste in music, and your room is just about the same size as mine!

Concerning hi-fi shops in the city: I'm afraid I need to do much more research into this myself. I've been meaning to visit several places, including (in no particular order): EarsNova, Sound By Singer, In Living Stereo, and High Water Sound.

I'm even less familiar with dealers outside of Manhattan, but, if you're able to explore a bit of NJ, I'd check out CSA Audio Design in very pretty Montclair, and then continue driving into Verona for Audio Connection.

Of the NYC places, In Living Stereo would be my first stop simply because they carry gear I'm most interested in. And after stopping by there, I'd probably go right next door to Other Music and buy some CDs.

I hope this helps a little bit. Have fun!

sambarock
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Re: New system help

Thanks again Stephen.

Actually I did go at In Living Stereo. Steve is nice guy, I listened to the Rega Mira and Brio. He told me to not even bother with NAD and Creek, which they sell (but didn't had at the store).
Besides that is was super high end tube monoblock amps...something that doesn't make sense to me.

Today I'm borrowing my friends Epos and Usher speakers. I want to try those at my apt and see how it works.

I've been reading good things about a new Pionner(!) integrated amp A-A9, but is exclusive for the British market.
Besides that I'm very curiousabout the Musical Fidelity A1008 and the Krell KAV 400xi

Perhaps you want to check thses mp3 music blobs I contribute with:

http://www.kbdrecords.com/

http://www.7inchpunk.com/

Mostly obscure/ small pressing 7"s that I collect.

Elk
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Re: New system help

Thanks for the info on 7" pressings. I didn't even know these existed. Cool!

sambarock
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Re: New system help

So after auditioning several different integrated amplifiers(most multiple times) I narrowed down between Onkyo A9555 and the Rega Mira.

Onkyo gives a brighter voice and highs tighter bass an less distortion when playing loud.
Rega has a really good phono input but when playing anything more fast paced it gets a bit muddy, but when playing Jazz and driving the floorstand Epos at Living Stereo it sounded pretty good to me.

Construction-wise the Onkyo looks more sturdy and has a better finish. It's manufactured in Japan, Rega in the other hand in made in China(not a crucial detail but overall it counts).

I think will go for the Onkyo and will add the matching DX 7555 CD player.
Down the line I will need to add a better phono stage, but for $800 combo, I can get a very good pair of speakers.

I know I will eventually get a Class and a Valve setup. But for now I just want want something I can fool around (phono stage mods anyone?)and won't suffer from buyers remorse .

So for speakers I need something that can be can be driven with the 85w 8ohms and 150w 4ohms from the Onkyo.

The Epos, Revel, Dynadio, Kef, Usher sounded good. I my home test the bookshelf Epos performed above the B&W and Usher, but i feel I should try floorstanding models. I think it would give a better bass and less distortion when playing out loud.

I have no clue what cables to get, any suggestion in that area would be appreciated

wkhanna
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Re: New system help


Quote:

So for speakers I need something that can be can be driven with the 85w 8ohms and 150w 4ohms from the Onkyo.

I have no clue what cables to get, any suggestion in that area would be appreciated


You will need V efficient speakers, 90 or better would be my guess.

As for cables, my choice on a realistic budget, and what I use: http://www.catcables.com/

sambarock
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Re: New system help

Thank you guys for all the recommendations.

I ended up going with this components in my stereo:

Onkyo A9555
Onkyo D7555
B&W 683 with mods in the base (I will writemore about it)
Kimber Kables 4VS biwire
Technics with all KAB mods
Shure V15VxMR
Custom Cork turntable mat and isolation feet
Monster Cable interconnect (no idea which model)

The I was surprised how the Onkyo amp worked so well with the B&Ws. I tried a bunch of different combinations of components. I simply follow the "sound that make me smile" rule and got something that I was really happy with the sound (well, the Luxman and the Plinius sounded better but too pricey).

I know that I will upgrade it some time soon (specially the phono stage and interconnects). But for now this is more power that my little living room can handle.

Another nice thing is how the repositioning of the speakers I can make it a more surround, more focus or more mellow.

Buddha
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Re: New system help

Congratulations!

Sounds like a killer new set up! If you live close to Stephen, invite him for an audition!

I've always thought that "audiophile profiles" would be a killer magazine or web feature of the magazine. Imagine how motivating it would be to know Stereophile was going to come listen to your rig!

One last thing to do...

That Shure cartridge has been out of production for a while, be sure to check it for stylus (needle) wear to make sure the Shure won't possibly harm your records.

I'm sure someone near you has a proper set up to do that, and it is HIGHLY worth your time.

Best wishes!

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