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shadow
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Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Apr 5 2012 - 9:02pm
Taking a pragmatic approach to entering HiFi

Having lived for so long with just bad quality audio equipment, and having a want for a higher fidelity experience, I have decided to take the plunge given I now have more disposable income than I ever had in the past.

Given the fact that my ears are "used to" bad audio reproduction, I have decided to take a pragmatic approach to entering the HiFi realm; giving more weight to versatility and all around performance while I "find my sound" and narrow in on exactly what is right for me as I upgrade down the road.

These are the components I have tentatively chosen to build my first 2 channel HiFi system, staying if possible within a $2500 budget:

Loudspeakers: JBL ES80 @ 700/pair

Subwoofer: None, have not found anything that resides within my budget that gives a significant benefit over what is produced (apparently) by the ES80's, that being said I'm open to suggestions if something can be had for ~300 that will compliment the chosen components.

Amplifier: Marantz PM6004 @ 600

CD Player: None, when not listening to Vinyl I will be listening to my digitized vinyl rips and other CD rips from my collection over my home network through a custom built music streamer.

Turntable: Music Hall MMF 2.2 @ 450

DAC: Schiit Bifrost w/ USB 2.0 input @ 450

Total cost: 2200

 

As a comparison, I offer the following list of current hardware being used:

(Not so Loud) Speakers: PSB Alpha B (B stands for currently blown spider in the left channel, so back to the Pioneer CS-53's) Paid 150 for the PSB's, 50 for the Pioneers

Subwoofer: None

Amplifier: Pioneer SA-6500II, paid 60

CD Player: None

Turntable: Sony PS-T33 w/ rebadged Goldring Elan cart (aka "RedEd"), paid 125

DAC: Built in soundcard on motherboard of current HTPC

Total cost: 385

 

As far as my musical preferences go, the majority of my vinyl and CD collections are comprised of 70's to current metal, rock and 90's to modern alternative, some Hip Hop (I don't listen to it for the tooth rattling bass, but more for tight clean bass and good vocals), electronic (House, Wub-Wub's and DnB), and have only recently started to enjoy Jazz, Soul and Classical.

 

How are my choices looking? Are there any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

PS, Living in a remote area precludes me from auditioning any of these choices for myself so I am forced to rely on reviews and your fine knowledge and experience :)

shadow
shadow's picture
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Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Apr 5 2012 - 9:02pm
Forgot to include

Interconnects and speaker wires from Blue Jean Cables

Lamont Sanford
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Last seen: 2 weeks 18 hours ago
Joined: Mar 31 2006 - 8:32pm
Good thinking!

Good thinking!

commsysman
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Last seen: 2 days 3 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
System

I would say thumbs up to the choice of turntable and speakers.

You might want to consider the Cambridge Audio 651A amplifier, which I think sounds better and may be more reliable than the Marantz. The Marantz 6004 is also a bit underpowered for those speakers. If you are sold on Marantz, you really want the 8004 amplifier, which is $999.

The Cambridge 651A also has a built-in USB input, which might eliminate the cost of a separate DAC, depending on your applications. It is set up to take music files directly from the PC hard drive, bypassing your soundcard, for highest quality. $799.

Regardless of what amplifier you get, I highly recommend that you get the Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp, which will make your vinyl sound MUCH better than the phono stage built-in to any integrated amplifier costing under $3000. It only costs about $150.

The ES80s have some bass; they will go down fairly effectively to about 40 HZ. You might want to consider the Polk PSW505 subwoofer, which is fairly good ($280), or the Rythmic FV12, which is a lot better ($499). You are probably not going to be satisfied with the bass from those speakers by themselves.

 

shadow wrote:

Having lived for so long with just bad quality audio equipment, and having a want for a higher fidelity experience, I have decided to take the plunge given I now have more disposable income than I ever had in the past.

Given the fact that my ears are "used to" bad audio reproduction, I have decided to take a pragmatic approach to entering the HiFi realm; giving more weight to versatility and all around performance while I "find my sound" and narrow in on exactly what is right for me as I upgrade down the road.

These are the components I have tentatively chosen to build my first 2 channel HiFi system, staying if possible within a $2500 budget:

Loudspeakers: JBL ES80 @ 700/pair

Subwoofer: None, have not found anything that resides within my budget that gives a significant benefit over what is produced (apparently) by the ES80's, that being said I'm open to suggestions if something can be had for ~300 that will compliment the chosen components.

Amplifier: Marantz PM6004 @ 600

CD Player: None, when not listening to Vinyl I will be listening to my digitized vinyl rips and other CD rips from my collection over my home network through a custom built music streamer.

Turntable: Music Hall MMF 2.2 @ 450

DAC: Schiit Bifrost w/ USB 2.0 input @ 450

Total cost: 2200

 

As a comparison, I offer the following list of current hardware being used:

(Not so Loud) Speakers: PSB Alpha B (B stands for currently blown spider in the left channel, so back to the Pioneer CS-53's) Paid 150 for the PSB's, 50 for the Pioneers

Subwoofer: None

Amplifier: Pioneer SA-6500II, paid 60

CD Player: None

Turntable: Sony PS-T33 w/ rebadged Goldring Elan cart (aka "RedEd"), paid 125

DAC: Built in soundcard on motherboard of current HTPC

Total cost: 385

 

As far as my musical preferences go, the majority of my vinyl and CD collections are comprised of 70's to current metal, rock and 90's to modern alternative, some Hip Hop (I don't listen to it for the tooth rattling bass, but more for tight clean bass and good vocals), electronic (House, Wub-Wub's and DnB), and have only recently started to enjoy Jazz, Soul and Classical.

 

How are my choices looking? Are there any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

PS, Living in a remote area precludes me from auditioning any of these choices for myself so I am forced to rely on reviews and your fine knowledge and experience :)

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