Your home Stereo/sound system/s? What did you buy, how much, and why did you buy it?

Santilli

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What steps did you take to find out which speakers you favor? What stores did you go to?
 

Santilli

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What steps did you take to find out which speakers you favor? What stores did you go to?

We've got a bright group here, and, I'm wondering what you decided on for home stereo, home theatre,
computer speakers?

I use Klipsch 5.1's for the Beast. Decent inexpensive setup, and, I only blew the subwoofer speaker once, and had to
replace it. I bought these based on the Klipsch name, and got a good price through their website. 150-200, IIRC.
I'm happy with these.

Due to neighbors, most of my listening is done through Sennheiser HD 595's, about 150 dollars, on sale.

The home theatre is Klipsch Heresy Ones, bought in about 1980. I listened to all the speakers around at the time. The Horns, and La Scala's were the best, but,
took up too much room, and, at 2 grand each, where too expensive. I did like the sound quality, and, the fact that they were very clear, at moderate volume.

JBL's were the closest as far as sound quality, but, more expensive, and took more power to drive them. Yamaha 35Watt amp was fine for rattling the windows in Capitola.

Bose were a distant third.

The Yamaha 550 Watt amp I now have drives them very clearly, and, they have two book shelf speakers for surround sound, a Klipsch center speaker, and a 12" sub.
All picked after listening to them at different places, using different type of stuff, movies, classical, rock, etc.

Around 200 dollars for the book shelf speakers, about the same for the center, and the sub was around 300.
 

Santilli

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A major factor in the decision to buy the Heresy's was the size of the apartment, and the location. If you look at where the pier ends in this picture, you can see my old house.
I had the down stairs, and, it was built like a pillbox, with dirt, cement, etc. at the back, and, the speakers faced out over the ocean, from the back wall. The owner was rarely home,
and, I could crank the speakers as loud as I wanted, most of the time, without complaints.



It made a great listening room, even if small.

The house has a brown roof, yellow sides, and, was the last house before you went out to the wharf. Paid 250.00 a month.
 

Bozo

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Most of my equipment is Harmon-Karden with Klipsch 'bookshelf' speakers. I have a Pioneer belt drive turntable and a Pioneer cd player/changer.
I say 'bookshelf' but the speakers are 14" x 14" x 3' and weigh 40+ lbs.
Everything is over 20 years old.
 

Handruin

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I went with a local hi-fi store for my speakers and spent hours there listening to their music and my own. They setup a bunch of different speakers and I was left alone to switch back and forth through them until I narrowed down the ones I liked and eventually bought. There was no pressure from them to buy anything specific, at least not from the sales guy I worked with. I only bought my speakers from them and they offered a cash discount of 15% so I took it.

The speakers that I liked ended up being the B&W CM9 for the left and right and for the center (for home theater listening) I opted with their smaller CMC Center because I don't have the space for the larger center channel. Given the shape and space of my living room, I'm only running the three speakers for now. I was using a 10" sub, but found it was too boomy and detracted from the audio quality, so I've removed it. The room just isn't the right shape and size for it, so I run without it for now.

I shopped online for the other components. The electronics came from the AVScience store, monoprice, and Amazon. For the electronics I went with the Marantz AV7005 pre/pro (I paid far less than MSRP listed on their page [$1129]). I paired it with a class A/B Emotiva XPA-5 amplifier (5x 200W RMS) for the price you see online. My bluray player is a Samsung BD-P1600 which I bought a couple years ago before any of the other stuff I mentioned. It's ok, but I'd rather have the Oppo BDP-93 to drive the movies. Anyway that's more for video since this is a sound thread. I do use it for concerts on bluray which is a nice experience.

I also bought the Belkin PureAV PF60 to filter the electronics (everything minus the amp which goes straight into the outlet). Some might remember from the other audio thread that I basically got it for free because it was stolen from my doorstep after being delivered and the police recovered it.

All my music is now in FLAC format (re-ripped all my CDs using EAC) and it is streamed through my home network. I've also been downloading some of the demos and samplers from HD-Tracks, Society of Sound, and 2L labs for the higher 24-bit, 96KHz stuff (legit downloads). I'm using a piece of software called Mezzmo which is a DLNA media server. I downloaded the 15-day trial and it worked so seamlessly that I ended up buying it after they sent me a 30% off coupon via email. I know there are other free options, but this was so painless it was worth buying a license for. The AV7005 also has a web interface and an iPhone app that allows me to control the music streaming which is actually really nice.
 

ddrueding

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I found some stuff online from some brands recommended here with the features I was after. Not asking for much and wasn't disappointed.
 

Howell

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I mostly use the HiFi speakers built into the laptop. They are a very old design and have always worked well for me. Many laptops that were once outrageously expensive use the same design so I'm pretty happy with it.
 

BingBangBop

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I bought my stereo setup for my main HDTV. I bought a very inexpensive 1906 Denon AMP ($130) and Paradigm Cinema 90's ($850) from a local Hi-Fi store. I started with their recommendation from the maximum budget I supplied of $1000. I then compared it against several other choices (in their shop) and I really couldn't beat, for the money, the sound I heard. I then looked on the internet for reviews of the components and found them to be very good except for the Denon's number of inputs (At the time, I didn't need lots of inputs) so I bought their recommendation. I did not go to any other stores.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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My brother is an insane audiophile and has been since he was in college. He gave me some pointers based on his experiences and then I disregarded half of it because I know he's an idiot, but since music is very important to me and I thought it very likely that I wouldn't be able to be irresponsible with my money very often, I bought an extremely expensive setup after a lot of demo listening at Chicago hi-fi stores.

My speakers in my living room are Kef reference series, my receiver is an Integra (I went with a receiver rather than an amp and preamp setup because at the time I was using it for a whole-home audio configuration that it supported). In my bedroom I currently have Kef Q-series bookshelf speakers and an inexpensive Yamaha receiver, and in my back bedroom I have an Onkyo receiver and the collection of speakers I've had essentially since I was in college.
 

Tannin

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What did you buy? Nothing.

How much was it? Nothing.

Why did you buy it? Because I thought it would go OK, and indeed it does - it fulfills 100% of my expectations. ;)

Well, I do have a kitchen radio, which I don't use for music, and if by any chance I want to listen to something musical, I have computers and a set of ancient but good quality Cambridge Soundworks computer speakers which, had they been made 5 years later, would have been called a "2.1" system.

I don't especially care for music these days.
 

Sol

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I have an Onkyo SR-606 which I got because it was the cheapest receiver I could find with all the features I wanted and they seemed to have a reputation, here and elsewhere, of making pretty reasonable kit.

I have a set of Mordaunt-Short Premiere speakers hooked up to it because that's what they had/recommended at the shop. Since I don't listen to music "good enough" is probably a somewhat lower bar for me than for many people here. Plus I have a lot of trouble separating sounds out when there is a lot of noise which suggests to me that I may have some hearing problems anyway.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I don't especially care for music these days.
As I recall you used to swear by Harmon Kardon, but that was apparently back when you cared about music.

When I'm home there's always music on, to the point where I would rather sit in a 95 F apartment with no fans on than try to listen to my music with fans and AC.

Which is pretty much May through October, now that I think about it.
 

Handruin

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I think I just might update the receiver in my living room. I bet having HDMI is nice.
It really is, but I guess that would depend on your source components and if you would need to update them as well? The only non-HDMI source I have connected is my Wii. HDMI is very nice and wonderful even from a reduced cable situation regardless of it being digital for both audio and video.

Would you go for another Integra? When I looked at their offerings they were quite costly for what they offered. Even with going separates I think I paid less or the same than what a modern equivalent Integra receiver would cost. Which of the Kef Reference series did you get?
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Would you go for another Integra? Which of the Kef Reference series did you get?
Another Integra? No probably not. I'll probably look at Denon, Onkyo, Pioneer Elite and some other things are in the low-ish four figure range though. That might include an Integra, but I doubt it. I'm not terribly worried about getting a gazillion watts per channel since I don't typically listen to anything at more than a modest volume.

Though I will say that after my 20 year old neighbor tried to treat me to some 2AM thumpy thumpy "oh look I have a subwoofer" hiphop shit, I followed up with a 5:30AM performance of Daphnis et Chloe in its entirety. He hasn't done the 2AM thing since.

My brother gave me some suggestions for "crappy" separates if I wanted to go that route but as previously mentioned I think he's an idiot.

I have big 207s for left and right and 206s for surrounds, and a 204c for a center speaker. I have the smaller sub, which is "only" 500W. I see the prices for those on ebay sometimes and it makes me sad, but I also paid substantially less than some online retailers want for them now.

My thinking has always been that speakers are the investment. If you buy a really nice set you'll use them forever. The other stuff will change fast enough that it's probably not worth buying truly high-end. I'm certainly not buying a ~$2500 receiver again. I don't think there's really much to be gained from 7 or 9 speaker configurations. I could be wrong. But even 5 speakers is rather exotic.

Some huge percentage, probably 80%, is coming out of my computer. Every once in a while I'll play an SACD from my Oppo player. Since I don't anticipate that player working forever and no one seems to be in any kind of a rush to offer high resolution multichannel downloads, I suspect that I'm going to wind up mixing my own analog rips of those into .flac or something.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Speaking of Ebay, my bedroom set of Kef Q-series probably only cost me $600 to put together. I had to spend $100 to replace a driver on one of them but if I had paid retail or "hi-fi store used" that probably would have been $3000 worth of speakers.
 

CougTek

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When I'm home there's always music on, to the point where I would rather sit in a 95 F apartment with no fans on than try to listen to my music with fans and AC.

Which is pretty much May through October, now that I think about it.
Is that your secret for melting from +320lbs to ~225lbs?
 

ddrueding

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Well, I am now pushing 217...so congratulations. I had just started to diet, and intend to begin exercise this weekend, but today was a dark day. More in the Random thread.
 

Stereodude

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Well, I am now pushing 217...
I'm still hovering around 175.

On the topic of the thread I don't really feel like getting into the whole evolution of where I started to where I am now. In my library / office I have GR Research N2x retrofit into an AV123 X-SLS cabinet powered by a Pioneer Elite receiver and a DIY GR Research / Rythmik sub using 2 12" servo controlled drivers.

Speakers (lower pair):


Empty Sub Box (before protective film was removed):


In my basement I have AV123 X-LS bookshelf speakers + a small JVC digital receiver.


In my great room I have a full setup from AV123 2 RS1k's, 4 RS750s, and 1 RSC200 powered by a Pioneer Elite receiver. Subwoofer is a AV123 UFW-12 that has been modified with Motor City Custom Audio Big Block Kit. A 2nd UFW-12 is awaiting it's transformation.

Subs:


I don't have any pictures of the speakers setup in my great room handy.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Denon, Marantz and Onkyo all seem to have very good products with comparable features at around $900. It doesn't look to me like there's much gain to be had by moving up over the $1000 mark. I don't really give a crap about 802.11 or ipod support.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to make a pilgrimage to an audio shop this weekend.
 

Handruin

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Try calling the AVScience store in NY. That's where I got a great discount on my AV7005. I also went to my audio place this weekend and picked up a new pair of speakers. I think I'm done with the audio upgrades for a while now.
 

Handruin

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That's decent. You might still want to try calling them and ask. They were $370 less than amazon for mine when I called. I paid $25 in shipping which was still a good deal. Did you submit an offer to OneCall or just use their listed price? I've always found Crutchfield to be expensive.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Amazon has enough good will built up with me that I just pulled the trigger. Worst case, they will make me pay shipping on a return. Now I have to track down a new soundcard to go with it.
 

Stereodude

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I'll probably get an Auzentech X-fi HomeTheater if I can find one to buy.
Why? :scratch: The video cards are just as capable (if not more so) in terms of HDMI audio. But, if you want to pay $200+ for an Auzentech HDMI sound card I guess that's up to you.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Why? :scratch: The video cards are just as capable (if not more so) in terms of HDMI audio. But, if you want to pay $200+ for an Auzentech HDMI sound card I guess that's up to you.
In what way would a video card with HDMI be more capable? The Auzentech card uses a pass-through system to route audio from the video card to the sound card.
 

Stereodude

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In what way would a video card with HDMI be more capable? The Auzentech card uses a pass-through system to route audio from the video card to the sound card.
I thought the Auzentech card couldn't handle 1080p24. Can it pass 3D video? Regardless, the video cards with HDMI audio certainly aren't any less capable.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I really don't care at all about 3D video, and the card's performance for non-discrete AC3/DTS audio is a lot more interesting to me than the options that are available on video cards. I'll look into its support for 1080p24 but as I understand it, it's just a pass through for HDMI that originates in the video card anyway.
 
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