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  1. #1

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    Default I want your input

    I have come to the conclusion that at this point in my life having a dedicated 2 channel system of high quality just isn't realistic. I will be moving to a 3 bedroom apartment in April with one room starting as the home office but becoming the home office/guest bedroom as our family grows. The rooms are both a bit small and will only become smaller as we move more things into the office. Since it will eventually be next to a child's room, AND in an apartment, loud listening wont really be an option.

    I have my bonus coming sometime around May of next year and in thinking of the best way to get my bang for the buck, I think instead of buying a REALLY GOOD 2 channel rig, I am going to re-invest in making the gear I have better, both for 2 channel and HT. I should be able to get a bigger bang for my buck.

    Tell me what you think.

    Here is what I am going to buy used or new:

    -Purchase a Grand Cinema 250x5 to replace my Carver AV-705x. While I really, really want the Signature 450x5 its just not in the cards right now. Plus the 4 ohm power of the Cinema Grand should be more than enough for the LSi 15?s, and LSiC

    -Purchase 3 really good IC?s for my front 3, along with quality jumpers for the Sunfire, thinking Audioquest dbs series.

    -Purchase a Logitech Squeezebox Touch to stream FLAC from my computer in the office downstairs (will be hard-wiring it). Connect it to my Integra via optical/coaxial to use the DAC's in my Integra (I think they are better, but not sure).

    -Purchase an Oppo 93 for blu-ray and 3D (we plan to purchase a Panasonic Plasma 3D TV w/ our tax return)

    -Use the Grand Cinema to bi-amp my LSi 15's and power my LSiC center. This gives me the most power to the best speakers I have. My Integra DTR 5.9 has more than enough power for the 2 surrounds I use now, or even 2 more if I went 7.1

    -Purchase either the BeyerDynamic DT-770's or AudioTechnica ATH-M50s for loud listening in the office

    Here is what I am re-using to save some on the cost:

    -Re-use my current bi-amp Audioquest wire FLX wire until I can afford to upgrade (another MIT wire deal, or over time)

    -Move the AV-705x upstairs to use with my Monitor 60?s and bi-amp them via Y cables

    -Keep using the HK3490 in my office since it takes coaxial. Upgrade that later on to a NAD pre paired with a Musiland Monitor 02 as my DAC.

    By spending the money in the HT, I get better HT sound and also can use the stereo setting in the Integra when I want to listen to music via the Squeezebox so its high quality. The downstairs living area is bigger, more conducive to listening and the wife will also be able to enjoy it. I have a mid-range setup in the office, with some really good headphones if I want to crank it.

    Thoughts/comments appreciated.

    P.S. this doesn't mean I am giving up on a good 2 channel setup, I just realize its going to take a house before I can probably realize that dream.

  2. #2

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    Default Me?

    I'd save the money and buy a house. Seriously - growing family, can't listen to loud music in an apartment anyway ...

    Chris

  3. #3

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    With a growing family, there are just too many more important things to be spending money on. A Polk,Sony or something similar HTIB would be more family oriented. In the long run, it's your money, use it as you see fit.

  4. #4

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    Seriously just because one has a growing family dosent mean one has to give up what he loves as long as its not a financial burden on the rest of the family. I say do what you want as long as family is always first.

    Having a good sounding 2 channel rig doesn't have to be BIG a couple of bookies and a small sub with some tubes in that room would suffice. Your other gear can always be replaced.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by wz2p7j View Post
    I'd save the money and buy a house. Seriously - growing family, can't listen to loud music in an apartment anyway ...

    Chris

    I agree withn this 110%, but if you want a desk-top two channel that will blow you away, look at the Magnepan mini-monotors... They blew me away with the detail and spaciousness they can deliver.

    http://www.magnepan.com/model_mini_maggie
    Last edited by nooshinjohn; 12-26-2011 at 05:52 PM.
    HT Setup... Pioneer Elite SC-37, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TL's , Oppo BDP 93
    Two Channel... Carver Statement 450~1 Vacuum Tube Monoblocks, Dodd Mid-line Tube Linestage with Psvane 12Ax7 tubes, Pioneer Pdd 9Mk II SACD Player, Yamaha PX-3 Turntable with Sumiko BPS EvoIII, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TLs.


    "Everything we have fought for has been lost, and everything we fought against, we have become...."

  6. #6

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    30+ years ago when we were very young, we saved every penny we could to buy a home with lots of room to grow. I remember crappy cars, ramen noodles and a free 36" curbside find TV in that home at one point, with a 13" portable nearby because the 36"er cut out after about an hour of heat buildup.

    In an ideal world, I would want separate a space, distant enough from family neighbors, to let a decent dedicated 2-channel rig loose nearly any time I wanted to (with an entirely separate space [or spaces] for TV/movies).

    Because of early sacrifices, I'm blessed to be living in that ideal world.
    VTL ST50 w/mods/RCA6L6GC/TlfnknECC801S
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  7. #7

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    There is a part of me that thinks you already have some nice equipment and so put all your $$$ into saving for a house.

    Then there is the part of me that knows what it's like to own a house, start a family, and have kids.
    Without knowing your whole situation (Do you already have kids? Have you owned a house before? Are you in an apartment because of relocating for a job, or are you just starting out?), that part of me says BUY ALL OF YOUR TOYS NOW! Because once you take on all of that other stuff, there won't be any $$$ or time for YOU, for quite awhile...
    Unless of course, you've already been down this road before and have everything you need for a house in storage, plus a pile of cash in savings. <-- In that case I say forget about the audio stuff and focus on getting into a house as soon as you can (sharing walls sucks).

    Good luck with whatever you do!
    HT
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  8. #8

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    LOL, you guys surprised me with your responses, so let me help give you some perspective.

    We have a plan in place to be in a position to get a house in the next 3-5 years, and we wont be able to until then, regardless of what we have saved. I will leave out the specifics

    We currently have no children, but are planning on making that happen sometime before we get a house.

    I am of the mindset of Toolfan66. The bonus money is the one time I can reward myself a year for working my ass off and NOT buying anything audio related through the year (despite everyone here tempting me with great gear at great prices :)). My wife WANTS me to spend it, as its just about the ONLY time I treat myself to anything. Then we both are ok with keeping our belts tight throughout the year as she doesnt feel she's keeping me from enjoying one of my passions. I do the same with her. When money allows she gets herself a new purse, or a new pair of shoes, etc.

    The main problem with building a 2 channel system right now is the cost of doing so as I wanted to do it all in one big swing so its done. Speakers + Source + Pre + Amp + IC's costs more than, Source + Amp + IC's. I figured by concentrating my money on less items, I could get better quality stuff.

    @John: That MiniMaggie system looks awesome, and honestly I was debating going with MMG's rather than LSi 9's + stands. The main factor in their favor if that they DONT do bass very well (good in an apartment). The MiniMaggie system is just too far out of the budget right now as I dont have the amps to drive it. That and the MMG's wont have enough room to breath in that room.

    @IRL, I agree with you as well. I fully realize that once children enter the equation my bonus becomes things like braces, college, etc. I am hoping to get most of my gear acquired BEFORE that happens. If not, I will make those sacrifices without blinking, but I am hoping to get some toys first and get that out of the way.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    LOL, you guys surprised me with your responses, so let me help give you some perspective.
    @John: That MiniMaggie system looks awesome, and honestly I was debating going with MMG's rather than LSi 9's + stands. The main factor in their favor if that they DONT do bass very well (good in an apartment). The MiniMaggie system is just too far out of the budget right now as I dont have the amps to drive it. That and the MMG's wont have enough room to breath in that room.
    Am I reading this correctly - your plan is to get LSi9's, when you already have 15's???
    I've wondered if I would have preferred 15's, instead of 9's....

    MMG's are on my radar for next year - I've read too many good things about them (especially for the price), plus I want to try something very different (from a design perspective).
    HT
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    Cary SLP 30 Tube Preamp | Polk LSi7 | Carver M1.5t | Audio-gd Digital Interface | W4S DAC-2 | MAC Mini | Denon DP300f & Pro-Ject Debut III TT's

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by IRLRaceFan View Post
    Am I reading this correctly - your plan is to get LSi9's, when you already have 15's???
    I've wondered if I would have preferred 15's, instead of 9's....

    MMG's are on my radar for next year - I've read too many good things about them (especially for the price), plus I want to try something very different (from a design perspective).
    I have 15's downstairs in the HT rig. IF I built a 2 channel rig in the office, I was going to go with 9's as the 15's would be downstairs.

    By combining my HT and 2 channel in the same system I would be utilizing my 15's as my speakers, and not having to purchase the 9's.

    I heard MMG's at Johns, 3.7's at a local dealer and also 3.6QR's. Here is the ONLY thing they don't do well, visceral bass. They totally will produce bass (bigger ones better than smaller ones at it), BUT its not the punchy bass you get with SDA's. Its the kind of bass that surrounds and envelopes you, but doesnt punch you straight in the chest. So listening to techno/electronic/rap isnt the best if you dont pair them w/ a sub.

    So if you get the MMG's I would recommend pairing them with a sub to handle the lower stuff so you get more of a punch. They sound GREAT otherwise. They react to the music quicker than any other speaker I have heard and the vocals are to die for.

    They also need some space from the walls, normally about 3 feet from the sides and maybe 3 feet from the back wall. The sweet spot is kinda like SDA's, its a bit small, but when your in it....GOOD GOD!!!!
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 12-27-2011 at 07:57 AM.

  11. #11

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    Neither the 15's and especially the 9's will output any punchy bass like you described.
    Gears shared to both living room & bedroom:
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    Usher Dancer Mini 2 Diamond DMD's / Logitech SB Touch / W4S STP-SE / W4S DAC-2 / W4S ST-1000 / Samsung 52" LN52B750
    Other rooms:
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    audio-gd NFB-10.2 / Denon AH-D7000

  12. #12

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    Nothing wrong with 2-channel HT, I have no desire to go multi-channel. Sure, maybe down the road if we get a house with a large secondary room, I may put my dedicated 2-channel in there; and finally assemble a 5.1 for the family room.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMara View Post
    Neither the 15's and especially the 9's will output any punchy bass like you described.
    I am aware, but I was planning on pairing the 9's with a sub later on in a dedicated 2 channel system. Currently when using the "Stereo" mode on my Integra it does incorporate the sub so that helps a bit. If I use "Direct" then its just the 15's.

  14. #14

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    A small monitor based system can sound incredible. I have a couple tube integrated's I swap in and out, an inexpensive USB dac, run Media Monkey on the computer, homemade speaker cables, Signal I/C's, Monitor 5B's and recently acquired RT25i's and for near field listening in my office rig it's perfect. The integrated's range from 9 to 18 wpc.

    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 12-27-2011 at 10:27 AM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  15. #15

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    Split the difference, spend some on you, save the rest. If kids are in the future, they sure aren't cheap bro and a house will be in order. Thats another budget buster too with furniture, drapes, etc. Depending on that scenario, once you get into a house you'll have a better grasp on budget and room and what gear will fit. So keep it small, buy some quality pieces that will allow you to integrate into something else down the road. You never know when life will throw a curve ball, best to have more than enough in the tank.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    A small monitor based system can sound incredible. I have a couple tube integrated's I swap in and out, an inexpensive USB dac, run Media Monkey on the computer, homemade speaker cables, Signal I/C's, Monitor 5B's and recently acquired RT25i's and for near field listening in my office rig it's perfect. The integrated's range from 9 to 18 wpc.

    H9
    Right now my office setup is a set of Monitor 60's paired with a HK3490 being fed a coaxial signal via my computer which is running MediaMonkey. Cheap Monoprice speaker wire and Monoprice coaxial cable. It works for what I need right now, and it would be what I would have setup in the office in the new place. My wife wont let me sell the Monitor 60's to get something smaller (they were a present from her) so I may as well use them in the office.

    If I spent the money in the HT the way I am thinking about, I could possibly sell the HK3490 and purchase a Musiland Monitor 02 and a tubed integrated, but not sure. Either way I would have a set of Signal Cable IC's for that setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Split the difference, spend some on you, save the rest. If kids are in the future, they sure aren't cheap bro and a house will be in order. Thats another budget buster too with furniture, drapes, etc. Depending on that scenario, once you get into a house you'll have a better grasp on budget and room and what gear will fit. So keep it small, buy some quality pieces that will allow you to integrate into something else down the road. You never know when life will throw a curve ball, best to have more than enough in the tank.
    I wont get into details but we had previously purchased some furniture for a baby's room, but due to unforseen circumstances its still in storage, so most of that is taken care of. We honestly have enough furniture in our 2 bedroom apartment to fill out a house, so thats taken care of.

    I think though you hit the nail on the head for my 2 channel system with this "Once you get into a house you'll have a better grasp on budget and room and what gear will fit. So keep it small, buy some quality pieces that will allow you to integrate into something else down the road". I can build up the office slowly after the fact and realistically the HK3490 has enough power/amperage/wattage to drive most pieces of gear I would use right now at moderate volumes, so maybe I will just get some better speaker wire and a USB DAC and call it a day up there.

    Our main living area gets the most use so I will focus on getting that area finished off with quality gear.

  17. #17

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    My only piece of advice, if you are going to spend money, is to get something that you will be happy with for a long while. Upgrading is a killer on the budget, and if you do not, then there are regrets.

    The changes I would suggest to your plans:
    1) rather than upgrade that Carver, is to upgrade your crossovers. You have heard my 9's. They do not sound any different with a Adcom 555, a Rotel 991 or a Rotel 980, and those are very different amps. Before the crossover mod, they only sounded good with the 991. Besides the all round improvement in clarity, they become easier to drive.
    2) The Squeezebox DAC is no slouch, and you should do a head to head with your integra before you decide on which route to go. Now if the Squeezebox is in the office, doing an analog run will not be a good idea. So you may want to keep the squeezebox in the HT room and run the coax to the DAC on your HK in the office.
    3) Use the Monitor 60's in your office if there is space, rather than cans.

  18. #18

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    I agree crossovers are on the list of things to do, however here is my thinking on your comments.

    1. Most will agree the 15's need some juice to really shine given the 8" woofer. I figured I haven't "really" heard them just yet with the wattage I have. The Sunfire will give them all the wattage they need and then some. In addition it gives me the option of messing with bi-wiring and bi-amping. I personally do not have the skill to do the mod's and shipping the 15's isnt an option (the LSiC can be shipped however). The last step in the LSi journey for me will be the crossover mod's I think.

    2. I would probably do a head to head with the Integra downstairs to see which DAC is better. Running a Coaxial cable to the office isnt really an option since your talking a 50 foot + run IF I go through the ceiling (office on top floor, HT on bottom floor), so its not really an option. However I could just move it as needed from one place to the other as needed since the location of the files wont change (HDD on computer in the office). The Integra lists it uses 192/24 bit DAC's but doesnt list brands

    3. I agree totally. I simply want the can's since I can use them at work, and then if I want to really jam out and its late I can use the cans rather than the 60's.
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 12-27-2011 at 08:52 PM.

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    I think you have a very sound plan in place and with the right gear most of which you already have, you can build a very satisfiying 2chnl/HT system that will keep you and your family happy for quite sometime.

    Follow your plan and you will be just fine.
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  20. #20

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    Do what makes you happy without taking away from your longterm goals.

    Do it and be glad you did. Rock on!

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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    I agree crossovers are on the list of things to do, however here is my thinking on your comments.

    1. Most will agree the 15's need some juice to really shine given the 8" woofer. I figured I haven't "really" heard them just yet with the wattage I have. The Sunfire will give them all the wattage they need and then some. In addition it gives me the option of messing with bi-wiring and bi-amping. I personally do not have the skill to do the mod's and shipping the 15's isnt an option (the LSiC can be shipped however). The last step in the LSi journey for me will be the crossover mod's I think.
    That 705 has power steering. Which means it can deliver quite a bit more than its WPC rating to the 15s if those are demanding it. Will the Sunfire make a difference? Yes. A lot? I'm not so sure.

    You have the skill to do the crossovers. I'm working on a massive DIY project right now, but depending on when you get started, I'll be happy to show you how with the crossover on LSiC. You can then do the 15s yourself.

    I would not recommend moving the Squeezebox around, especially if you are putting on high quality interconnects. Those tend to grip tightly onto the RCA connectors, and repeated moving is only going to make them loose. You could consider an all in one like the Peachtree Decco for your office, which can directly connect to the USB on your computer. It's a tubed integrated DAC, and sounds pretty awesome. I have one in my office.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post
    That 705 has power steering. Which means it can deliver quite a bit more than its WPC rating to the 15s if those are demanding it. Will the Sunfire make a difference? Yes. A lot? I'm not so sure.
    Yeah I have a couple months to figure it out, but I still think going with the amp is the better option, but will keep doing research.

    Quote Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post
    You have the skill to do the crossovers. I'm working on a massive DIY project right now, but depending on when you get started, I'll be happy to show you how with the crossover on LSiC. You can then do the 15s yourself.
    I might take you up on it, but I am still not sure about doing the crossovers myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post
    I would not recommend moving the Squeezebox around, especially if you are putting on high quality interconnects. Those tend to grip tightly onto the RCA connectors, and repeated moving is only going to make them loose. You could consider an all in one like the Peachtree Decco for your office, which can directly connect to the USB on your computer. It's a tubed integrated DAC, and sounds pretty awesome. I have one in my office.
    Yeah I agree about moving it, what I would eventually do is purchase a Musiland Monitor 02 and keep using the HK 3490 to power the speakers. Later on maybe get a decent integrated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    I agree withn this 110%, but if you want a desk-top two channel that will blow you away, look at the Magnepan mini-monotors... They blew me away with the detail and spaciousness they can deliver.

    http://www.magnepan.com/model_mini_maggie
    These things cost $1,500!!!!

    The OP would do well with a vintage receiver, a Pair of Minimus 7 speakers (modded for $25) and maybe an upgraded sound card for the computer. This could all be done for $200 - $250.

    Spend the money on your family. Be patient, the music will come!!
    Carl

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    Get a good set of headphones so you can listen at the volume some music requires and..........enjoy the peace and quiet they'll offer from "family noises". A lot of CD players have a headphone jack and volume knob built in already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwarcw View Post
    These things cost $1,500!!!!

    The OP would do well with a vintage receiver, a Pair of Minimus 7 speakers (modded for $25) and maybe an upgraded sound card for the computer. This could all be done for $200 - $250.

    Spend the money on your family. Be patient, the music will come!!
    Would go with a USB Asychronus DAC rather than internal soundcard. Specifically either the Musiland Monitor 02 or the HRT Media Streamer.

    Quote Originally Posted by gdb View Post
    Get a good set of headphones so you can listen at the volume some music requires and..........enjoy the peace and quiet they'll offer from "family noises". A lot of CD players have a headphone jack and volume knob built in already.
    Yup the AudioTechnica ATH-M50s and BeyerDynamic DT770 are the two I want to try out. Both get good reviews and the HK will have no issues powering either.

    For work I would use my iPhone via a Line Out adaptet paired with either a JLabs Cmoy or a PA2V2 headphone amp.

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