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gatorjon
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Putting Together First System. Narrowed Speakers Down, Need Advice on the Rest.

Hi folks,
Long story short, I'm turning 30 and my wife asked me what I wanted. Without hesitation I said I wanted to build a listening room setup. Since then I have done a huge amount of research and, to be honest, I am simply overwhelmed. The only things I have been able to narrow down are the speakers and the Budget:

Budget: I can spend $2500-$3000.

Possible Speakers:
-KEF Q900: $1598.98/pair
-PSB Image T6: $1300/pair
-Dynaudio Excite X12: $1200/pair

I am unsure if should get a sub with the KEF or PSB as they are full range.
I also unfamiliar with amplification and am unsure if I can use an integrated amp by itself or if I need a pre-amp or power-amp.

Other Pertinent Details:
-I listen to every thing from classical to acoustic folk to heavy metal to very heavy metal.
-The system will be primarily used with LP's and computer based sources
-The room size is negotiable, I have several candidates ranging from small to medium. No carpet in any of them.
-A turntable must be included in the budget as I do not own one.
-It is almost impossible for me to audition anything because of my location. I am at the mercy of other's opinions.

Please help me build a system that I will be happy with for many years.
Thank you all in advance for any advice you can offer.

jackfish
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Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
First, where are you located? City, State or Province.

Auditions in the home are possible with some very nice direct marketed pieces.

Second, please describe each of the rooms you have available. Size, placement of doors, etc.

Third, you mention computer based sources. What are those?

With more information we will be better able to respond productively.

My first inclination is to have you try some pieces you can listen to at home in your own room.

Ascend Sierra-1 piano black loudspeakers $838 delivered http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/SRM1/srm1.html

Ascend SP-30 speaker stands $128 delivered http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/access/spkstnds/sp30stands.html

Rythmik F12 subwoofer $805 delivered http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/subs/f12se.html

Emotiva USP-1 preamplifer $369 delivered http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/processors/products/usp1

Emotiva UPA-2 power amplifier $299 delivered http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/amplifiers/products/upa200

Schiit Modi USB DAC $110 delivered http://schiit.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=14 For your computer sources.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon turntable $411 delivered http://www.needledoctor.com/Pro-Ject-Debut-Carbon-in-Black?sc=2&category=45

$40 worth of cables from Monoprice to connect it all. http://www.monoprice.com/products/department.asp?c_id=102

You would need to order the Emotiva products today or tomorrow to get the sale pricing. All of the above except the turntable and DAC can be auditioned in your own room and returned for a purchase price refund within 30 days if you don't like them.

http://audioreview.ca/default.aspx?pagename=review&reviewID=15

http://www.avrev.com/home-theater-loudspeakers/bookshelf-monitor-loudspeakers/ascend-acoustics-sierra-1-monitor-loudspeakers.html

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0908/bestof2008.htm

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/reviews/ETM_ascend_sierra1.pdf

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/reviews/AA_Sierra1.pdf

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0709/rythmik_f12se.htm

http://hifi-unlimited.blogspot.com/2011/10/boom-boom-room-rythmik-audio-f12.html

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=88374.0

http://www.tonepublications.com/review/the-emotiva-usp-1-preamplifier-and-upa-1-amplifiers/

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

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/amplifiers/emotiva-upa-2-stereo-amplifier

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/home-theater-receivers-processors-amps/43587-emotiva-upa-2-review.html#axzz2HxbyTjBG

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1250225/emotiva-upa-2-review

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/frr.pl?ramps&1236023450&&&/EMOTIVA-UPA-2-AMPLIFIER

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/emotiva-audio

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/review-schiit-modi-dac-%2499-14356/

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=490471

http://www.whathifi.com/review/debut-carbon

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/test-report-pro-ject-debut-carbon-turntable

http://www.tonepublications.com/analogaholic/pro-jects-latest-table/

I think you would be surprised with the sound quality you will get from this system.

gatorjon
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Wow! Thank you for the

Wow! Thank you for the detailed and informative response. 

I am located in Boca Raton FL. I should have made the point more clear that I can't audition anything because I do not currently have a car. It's in the shop and I'm waiting on a hard to find part. Land Rover Defender owners will understand. 

The rooms are an issue because they are all highly irregular. The largest is in an open living room with a staircase rising on one wall a recessed entry behind that and a doorless entry into another room on the opposite wall. No wall is remotely uniform in size. approx 400sq/ft 

The other smaller rooms are enclosed but have slanted entry and recessed closet spaces creating all kinds of odd angles of reverberation. approx 200sq/ft

The Computer sources will be a laptop through a DAC or direct out from a tablet headphone jack. 

I am very open to the idea of home auditions but it seems when shipping is taken into account the system you outlined will put me well over budget. That being said I think I can use most of the things listed and play around with some others to attempt to cut some cost (ie going with a full range floor speaker and eliminating the sub or a cheaper turntable) I am very curious about the emotiva equipment. Have you had any experience with it? 

hcsunshine
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about emotiva...

i enjoy my emotiva UPA-1 mono block amps as recommended by jackfish. though they are discontinued now. i am currently recommending the emotiva XPA-100 mono blocks. they are a step up from the U series amps. these are 250 watts and are on sale now for $379. these amps crank and produce a nice sound too. good luck and happy listening. live your mono block dream! 

jackfish
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Those are all delivered prices. $3000 on the head.

I wouldn't get anything less for a turntable, you are likely to be disappointed. You could get Magnepan MMGs with the Rythmik F12 subwoofer to save a couple hundred bucks. Emotiva definitely delivers a lot of bang for the buck delivering sound quality way above its price point.

Here is my system:

13.3" MacBook Air, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD, iTunes/BitPerfect
MacBook Air SuperDrive
Western Digital My Book Essential 2TB USB HD
Schiit Bifrost USB DAC
Emotiva USP-1, ERC-1 and two UPA-1s
Pro-Ject Xpression III and AT440MLa
AKAI AT-2600 and Harman Kardon TD4400
Grado SR80i
Magnepan MMG Magnestands
Rythmik Audio F12

commsysman
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SYSTEM

I suggest that you consider the following system:

The PSB Image T6 speakers (I had them for two years and they are IMO the best full-range speakers you can get without going way higher in price). ($1300...or $1050 from Saturday Audio)

A Music Hall MMF-2.2 turntable. ($450)

A NAD C326BEE integrated amplifier. ($550)

A Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp. ($200)

That is a $2500 system that you can live with and love for many years. I had the identical system for two years before I got the bug to upgrade some things, but it is very very good. ( I would still have it if the devil hadn't made me go out and blow some more money...rofl).

You might also want to consider a OPPO BDP-103 CD/SACD/DVD player, which is $500 or so and one of the best players for both audio and video discs on the market.

I think Audio Advisor has all of the above stull, so you could just order online or by phone. They give you 30 days for a full return on anything that is not to your liking.

 

 

P.S.- I will pray for you; Land Rover owners need all the help they can get...lol.

 

gatorjon wrote:

Hi folks, Long story short, I'm turning 30 and my wife asked me what I wanted. Without hesitation I said I wanted to build a listening room setup. Since then I have done a huge amount of research and, to be honest, I am simply overwhelmed. The only things I have been able to narrow down are the speakers and the Budget: Budget: I can spend $2500-$3000. Possible Speakers: -KEF Q900: $1598.98/pair -PSB Image T6: $1300/pair -Dynaudio Excite X12: $1200/pair I am unsure if should get a sub with the KEF or PSB as they are full range. I also unfamiliar with amplification and am unsure if I can use an integrated amp by itself or if I need a pre-amp or power-amp. Other Pertinent Details: -I listen to every thing from classical to acoustic folk to heavy metal to very heavy metal. -The system will be primarily used with LP's and computer based sources -The room size is negotiable, I have several candidates ranging from small to medium. No carpet in any of them. -A turntable must be included in the budget as I do not own one. -It is almost impossible for me to audition anything because of my location. I am at the mercy of other's opinions. Please help me build a system that I will be happy with for many years. Thank you all in advance for any advice you can offer.

gatorjon
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Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Jan 13 2013 - 9:18pm
Jackfish, I stand corrected.

Jackfish, I stand corrected. I think I need to brush up on my remedial math skills. 

Thanks Commsysman,

I will definitely take into account the system suggested. I have a few questions though. What DAC do you recommend? I am leaning to the Dragonfly since the majority of my music will be played from a laptop. Thoughts? Secondly, in your use with the t6's did you ever feel it needed a subwoofer to "fill out" the sound? 

I have some interesting news. Through a random conversation I found out that my neighbor is a bit of an audiophile. He brought me over to listen to his system. One important point, we live in a designed community so his house is identical to mine. Anyways, he had a pair of Monitor RX6 speakers powered by a Yamaha R-S700 with a Sunfire 8" subwoofer. His turntable was directly linked to the receivers' phono stage. Anyways, I loved the sound but I have no frame of reference having never listened to a hifi setup previously. 

Do you guys have any opinions about the components of this setup? 

Is it ok to have the turntable directly linked to the receiver or should you have a phono stage?

JoeE SP9
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TT

You must have a phono stage, either built in or external.

It depends on the receiver/integrated. If the receiver/integrated includes a phono stage there's no need to have an external one. Many newer receivers and integrated amplifiers don't have a phono stage. The NAD you have listed is one that doesn't.  You could look for an integrated with a built in phono stage or stick with your original thinking.

gatorjon
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Joined: Jan 13 2013 - 9:18pm
update

I wanted to thank you guys for your advice. I got my truck back and went out to demo a bunch of speakers. I tried magnepan's, martin Logan electro motion, various b&w's, and dynaudio's. After all that, I still liked the sound of my neighbors Monitor Audio RX6's the best, even after demoing them next to the RX8's, so I ordered a pair. I also ordered the receiver he used, a Yamaha r-s700. I'll see if I need a sub once I get it all setup. 

I do have one question though; Why is the Yamaha a-s700 more money than the r-s700 when it has additional features and presumably the same amp section?

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