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10CamaroSS's picture
Last seen: 4 years 11 months ago
Joined: Nov 30 2013 - 1:08pm
Getting into midfi/hifi, what should I do next?

Hi all. I just moved into a new home and have family room that is 16'x21'x10' (ceiling) with wall to wall berber and an acoustic ceiling. I have my system set up along the 21' wall and it was lo-fi when I moved in and consisted of a Sherwood RX4105, a pair of Cerwin Vega VE12's and an ipod or PC though the aux RCA as a source. It sounded terrible at my old house which was a room that was approximately 10x15x7.5 and hardwood floors. To my surprise, when I hooked it up in the current house, it sounded like a different system and at the time, fantastic to my ears.

I knew the Sherwood had to go, it cut out when the bass kicked in, overheated and shut off. I replaced it with an Adcom GFA 555 and Adcom GTP500 preamp. Sounded a lot better, but it wasn't until I lost the ipod in favor of CD though my Samsung DVD 1080P7, connected though the TV with HDMI and then into the preamp, did I realize the HUGE difference compared to an Ipod source. So, next I bought an Emotiva ERC-1 CD player and that's my current setup, to my ears, it keeps improving and sounds fantastic when I listen to CD s burned with 320kbps MP3's or original CDs.

Next I want to add a music hall 2.2 record player. I keep reading how terrible my CV VE12's are....and I don't entirely understand because I THINK they sound good, but just wondering these are in fact the weakest link now with the setup and I could be much better served with proper audiophile speakers like B&W 801's, speaking of which, could the 555 drive used 801's to their potential?

any input helps. Thanks.

commsysman's picture
Last seen: 4 hours 36 min ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
System choices

I highly recommend the MMF-2.2. I have one at one of my houses and it is excellent for the money. I also suggest that you spend around $200 for the Musical Fidelity phono preamp, which is excellent; well worth the money.

The Emotiva CD player is pretty good from the reviews i have read, so you should be OK there. The OPPO BDP-103 sounds a bit better, but you would have to go to the BDP-105 to get sound that is MUCH better.

The Adcom amp and preamp are not the world's best, but they are not all that bad either. The Arcam 38 integrated amplifier would be a HUGE improvement in sound quality. It runs $2400, and has the power to run almost any speakers made.

Your speakers are the really big weak point in your system. B & W certainly makes some good speakers, but in general there are other speakers for a lot less money that are better.

There are a LOT of good speakers you could get. I use the Vandersteen Treo speakers now, and they are some of the best in the world, but they are $6000 per pair

One that i would recommend, and which has been rated best in class by both Stereophile and The Absolute Sound, is the PSB Image T6 tower speakers, which go for $1300 per pair. I had them for two years and they are VERY good. You will have a hard time finding better speakers for under $2000. If you put those speakers in your existing system you will love them, and you will be way beyond "mid-fi"

They have good bass response, but for really low bass extension you will want a good subwoofer. I recommend the one I use which is the NHT B12D (around $800).

I also find that the 320k MP3 files are essentialy lossless and give excellent sound quality.

I have about 50 320K CD albums on a 16GB USB memory stick that I downloaded from my PC and use it to plug into my car stereo, and also I can plug it into my OPPO player and play it that way if I want to; very handy.

I suggest that you order a pair of those PSB Image T6 speakers from Audio Advisor or Saturday Audio and put them in ASAP. Then you will have some very good sound, and will be able to easily hear the relative merits of other changes you make in your system.

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