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  1. #1

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    Default What makes yours, a 2ch rig?

    I can't believe I'm considering this.

    Without spending several thousand dollars (if possible), what makes up a "decent" 2ch rig that includes a turntable and CD player?

    My guess is; a stereo receiver or pre-amp, a tube amp, a pair of stereo speakers and the afore mentioned two sources, and cables of course. What am I missing?
    Draggn' knee is exhilarating, 150mph wheel standers are pretty cool too


    Home Theater-7.2
    Display-SamsungPN64D8000 | Receiver-Onkyo TX-NR807 | Source-OPPOBDP-103 | Amplifiers-Emotiva; XPA-2 x2, XPA-3 | Speakers: PolkAudio; mains-RTiA9, rears-RTiA9, center-CSiA6, surrounds-FXiA6 | Sub-Epik Empire x 2 | Interconnects-Emotiva


    Cans
    Grado RS2i

    2 Ch Rig
    First purchase will be; a pair of ? but I'd love a pair of SDA SRS

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    a comfortable chair.

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    Tapes,CDs or LPs. It's kinda funny to me that what is considered today, a low end Carver set-up like mine, could have kicked the living crap outa' some of the expensive, "state of the art" solid state rigs of 30-40 years ago. I know because I was around to hear them. High -end /high dollar didn't neccessarily mean high fidelity/quality sound reproduction back then. Washington has a lot of Carver gear "floating around" that you might find thru CL. SDAs are the "heart" of my 2channel bliss. (p/bl SRS2s ) Seldom used is my Thorens TD-145 TT which is great bang for very few bucks compared to many new, inferior tables at 4-5 times what I paid for it. ($200 ) Happy accumulating !

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    my 2 channel rig is when my center, rears aren't playing :)

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    Anything short of what DarqueKnight calls his 2-ch rig....well, why even listen at all?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post
    Without spending several thousand dollars (if possible), what makes up a "decent" 2ch rig that includes a turntable and CD player?

    My guess is; a stereo receiver or pre-amp, a tube amp, a pair of stereo speakers and the afore mentioned two sources, and cables of course. What am I missing?
    You've already got an AVR capable of use as a stereo pre amp, you've already got a left and right set of speakers, you've already got a (cough) power amp. Not sure if your Blu-ray player does CD's, but I'm guessing it does. TT....well, you sure don't need one to have a 2 channel rig. So, what is it about your rig in 2 channel that you don't like?
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    So, what is it about your rig in 2 channel that you don't like?
    That's a fair question. Your right, my BD player does play CD's and since the addition of my A9's, I've really been enjoying my music a whole lot more.

    I really didn't know what I'd been missing and now I'm spending a lot more time in 2ch "pure audio" mode, more and more.

    So my "gotta have more" tendency flared with the question; can I get even more out of my music if I dedicate a 2ch rig, or should I just appreciate my current set up as a dual action rig and call it a day?
    Draggn' knee is exhilarating, 150mph wheel standers are pretty cool too


    Home Theater-7.2
    Display-SamsungPN64D8000 | Receiver-Onkyo TX-NR807 | Source-OPPOBDP-103 | Amplifiers-Emotiva; XPA-2 x2, XPA-3 | Speakers: PolkAudio; mains-RTiA9, rears-RTiA9, center-CSiA6, surrounds-FXiA6 | Sub-Epik Empire x 2 | Interconnects-Emotiva


    Cans
    Grado RS2i

    2 Ch Rig
    First purchase will be; a pair of ? but I'd love a pair of SDA SRS

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    Thats a loaded question there. Alot depends on budget, and a seperate 2 channel system or combineing the 2 for one system.

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    2 for 1 system is nice. Having a powerful amp opens up far more speaker choices. Not scared of 4 ohm speakers now.
    "My wife likes my rig......HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!"


    B&W CDM 1NT; B&W CDM CNT; Infinity us 1; Velodyne DEQ-8 x2; Pio Elite VSX-23; Sony SCD-CE595 SACD, Denon DP11-F TT[/COLOR]

  10. #10

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    The reference to a 2 channel rig basically means 2 speakers. The rest of the gear is irrelevant, though using an avr in a 2 channel rig seems like a waste, some do it and are happy I guess. Most 2 channel rigs have seperates, maybe an integrated amp even, seperate pre, dac, then source of choice, cdp, SACD, vinyl, SB/Sonos, or just computer. Some incorporate subs, some don't. Whatever floats your boat on the gear side, but 2 channel is 2 speakers.

  11. #11

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    are you asking about "mine" or "yours" (to be)? :-)

    For record playback, you need a record player (duh...), a cartridge, an appropriate phono cartridge preamp/equalization network (about which more in a moment), some sort of preamplifier device that allows you to control volume and channel balance, a power amplifier, speakers, and cables to hook it all together.

    Us old guys will often use the archaic word stereo to refer to a "two-channel hi-fi system" ;-)

    It is possible to buy a single box containing the phono preamp, preamp and power amp components in the form of an integrated amplifier or a "stereo receiver" (integrated amplifier with built in AM/FM or at least FM stereo tuner). These are still available, but vintage/used is a very cost effective way to go.

    A word about phono cartridges - practically speaking, there are two main families of popular cartridges, moving magnet (MM) types - which usually have output voltages on the order of several millivolts (mV), and moving coil (MC) types. There are, further, two flavors of MC cartridges; low output (LOMC) with outputs on the order of 100s of microvolts (uV) and high output (HOMC) with output levels similar to most MM cartridges. MM and HOMC may be used with typical phono preamps found in amps, receivers, and as standalone boxes. LOMC require either a pre-preamp ("head amp"), a step-up transformer (SUT), or a high-gain phono preamp. The latter will usually have switichable gain (amplification factor) for MM and (LO)MC cartridges. The situation is actually a little more complicated than that, as the optimum loading parameters (load resistance and capacitance) varies for different families of cartridges.

    Generally speaking, the path of least resistance (no pun intended) is an MM cartridge and an appropriate preamp.

    It is possible to get excellent sound for around a thousand smackers, or even less, by buying used.

    ... as to my 2-channel system, it looks a lot like this...



    ... actually, technically, it's a "2.1" channel system, I guess, as I do use - sometimes - a powered subwoofer (the charming black box in the photograph).
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 03-12-2012 at 09:16 AM.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    D...I...V...O...R...C...E

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    Default in the interest of disclosure

    The photo above shows an older incarnation of the real hifi here in the living room... at the time, the phono preamp was a home-made SUT and a Bottlehead Seduction phono preamp (built from a kit, www.bottlehead.com ). The Seduction is a decent sounding preamp, but really doesn't have enough gain (I don't use an "active" preamp downstream from the phono preamp, only a "passive" autoformer-based volume control equipped with a source selector switch).

    This is the phono preamp I am now using. It has built-in higher gain for LOMC cartridges, variable cartridge loading the easy way (two RCA phono jacks into which loading resistors may be inserted). Looks cheezy (especially with that "cyogenetics" [sic] labeling!) but it sounds great. Not exactly an entry-level product, though.



    The best value in MM phono preamps is probably the Bugle kit from Jim Hagerman: http://www.hagtech.com/bugle.html

    There are many other popular choices, as a search here will readily disclose.
    all the best,
    mrh

  14. #14

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    My 2-channel rig is a Denon DCM-460 CD player connected directly to an Adcom GFA-545 amp via the variable analog outputs. I've tried many times to improve on it, but failed. Adding any sort of pre-amp into the mix takes away a little bit of clarity and adds a smidgen to the noise floor. Of course no pre-amp means no source switching, so I am pretty much stuck with just the CD player as my 2-channel source. If I do decide to eventually get back into vinyl and hook up the old Dual 1229, I'd looking into getting a passive pre-amp/input selector to switch between the sources, with a separate phono pre-amp.

    RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
    Adcom GFA-545II, GFA-6000, Outlaw Audio 990, Netgear NeoTV
    Denon DCM-460, DMD-1000, Sony BDP-360, Bravia KDL-40Z4100/S
    Monster AVL-300, HTS-2500 MKII

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    First: What Tonyb said.

    Second: Well, a 2 channel rig is much more fun and portable and usually in another room and easily changeable. You get to try out different stuff and see what it sounds like, you make it pretty and mostly you have FUN.

    You can put a 2 channel rig in your dining room, your living room, your workshop, your basement or cave or in your garage. As you begin to assemble the pieces your mind will start to wonder what if and then your creative brain cells will begin to take over.

    Home theaters are a lot of work and very complex and once assembled I think leaving them alone is a good thing. 2 channel rigs allow us to continue to spend money and move things around without messing up the primary HT rig.

    I'm always working on some kind of a 2 channel rig and thankfully I just recently went vinyl-less and said good-by to my last turntable which really simplifies potential 2 channel rigs. A DAC with some FLAC, some CD's redbook or SACD and maybe a tuner/receiver and u-b-good to go. As you know I like the big AVR's of yesterday as I think some can be excellent units for 2 channel like the TXSR 805 Yamaha Z1, etc., and they can be had for cheap.

    My latest creation will be an Emotiva XDA-1 DAC/PRE with a killer remote, Emotiva ERC-2 CD player (whenever it ships) and an old Parasound HCA 2200. This combo will allow me to experiment with most any speakers and I'll start with some RTI A9's and then try these really pretty little (but heavy) LSI-9's and then switch to my old Maggies MGII coupled with a little REL-3 sub. I will want to rig up some a-b-c switching to compare and may look into other stuff along the way

    Have fun.
    Main Family Room: Sony 46 LCD, Sony Blue Ray, Sony DVD/VCR combo,Onkyo TXNR 708, Parasound 5250,
    Polk SDS-SRS with mods, CSI 5 center + Klipsch SC2, Polk RT2000P rears, Klipsch KG 1.5's sides, Polk Micro Pro 1000, Polk Micro Pro 2000, Polk SW505, Belkin PF60, Signal Cable Classics,Monster IC's, 2 15 amp circuits & 1 20 amp circuit.

    Living Room: Belkin PF60, Parasound HCA2200, MIT ProlineEXP balanced IC's,Emotiva XDA-1 DAC/Pre,Emotiva ERC2 transport,MIT AVT2, Polk LSI 9's.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post
    That's a fair question. Your right, my BD player does play CD's and since the addition of my A9's, I've really been enjoying my music a whole lot more.

    I really didn't know what I'd been missing and now I'm spending a lot more time in 2ch "pure audio" mode, more and more.

    So my "gotta have more" tendency flared with the question; can I get even more out of my music if I dedicate a 2ch rig, or should I just appreciate my current set up as a dual action rig and call it a day?
    Jesse's question remains! Are you happy with what you hear in Stereo (2 channel) or are you looking to go with a separate rig for that?

    You could just upgrade your current system. Better CDP source would be the first thing I would do.

    I use separate systems for HT and stereo. Below are the so-called two channel systems. Neither includes a TT. So that's optional.

    I do also run some vintage systems that are dirt cheap and sound really good.

    Example

    Yamaha CR-800 receiver ($50)
    ADS L520 bookshelves ($30)
    Technics SL-D3 ($60)

    Grand total $140. But sounds several times its worth. So you can put together a cheap phono system for not much. Unless you're really into vinyl and you want to go all out.

    That cheapo Yamaha system above rivals the LSi 7/NAD system I have below...believe it or not?

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 03-12-2012 at 01:02 PM.
    Onkyo TX-SR 805 System #1 HT AVR
    Office Two Channel: LSi-7s (Nakamichi CA-5, NAD 214, Pioneer BDP51fd)
    Vintage Polks: Polk Monitor 5As, Monitor 7Bs [HK 730], Monitor 10As [Marantz 2265], SDA-2Bs [Jolida JD-303, Jolida MV-MK4]
    Headphones: HD600, Q701, ATH-M50s etc. Bravo Audio Ocean amp., Onkyo P-304, Adcom GFA-555, Technics Direct Drive TT

  17. #17

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    On a budget, you could do it pretty cheap. An older NAD, Denon integrated, ETC.
    Maybe an old receiver of good quality. Add a basic TT, and a set of classic speakers.
    Old Snells, AR's, Kefs, missions, the list goes on and on. Watch CL, do a little homework,
    and you're all set.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    ...
    Example

    Yamaha CR-800 receiver ($50)
    ADS L520 bookshelves ($30)
    Technics SL-D3 ($60)

    Grand total $140. But sounds several times its worth. So you can put together a cheap phono system for not much. Unless you're really into vinyl and you want to go all out.

    That cheapo Yamaha system above rivals the LSi 7/NAD system I have below...believe it or not?

    cnh
    That would be a fine-sounding collection of hardware.

    FWIW, the record player in my living room at the moment is a Technics SL-Q2 (the semi-automatic, "quartz-lock" sibling of the SL-D3 cnh mentioned). Note that you'll have to acquire a cartridge appropriate to the medium mass arm of the Technics. There are plenty of good choices from the bargain priced "Red Ed" or a bevy of Audio-Technica offerings, up to stratospherically-priced, hand-made, esoteric LOMCs.

    FWIW^2, I use a Denon DL-103 LOMC, a cartridge with very low compliance and barely compatible with the Technics' arm... but a very satisfying phono cartridge to my ears and tastes.

    EDIT: and, oh, out of deference to the fine folks providing us with this forum's bandwidth :-) ... a pair of Polk Audio Monitor Series 5, 7, or perhaps even 10 would also be a fine choice at a reasonable price point!

    Last edited by mhardy6647; 03-12-2012 at 02:27 PM.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    Jesse's question remains! Are you happy with what you hear in Stereo (2 channel) or are you looking to go with a separate rig for that?

    You could just upgrade your current system. Better CDP source would be the first thing I would do.
    Yes! I'm actually very happy with my current set up. My curiosity has me wondering how much better, if any, it could get.

    What CDP would be an upgrade over my LGBD390?
    Draggn' knee is exhilarating, 150mph wheel standers are pretty cool too


    Home Theater-7.2
    Display-SamsungPN64D8000 | Receiver-Onkyo TX-NR807 | Source-OPPOBDP-103 | Amplifiers-Emotiva; XPA-2 x2, XPA-3 | Speakers: PolkAudio; mains-RTiA9, rears-RTiA9, center-CSiA6, surrounds-FXiA6 | Sub-Epik Empire x 2 | Interconnects-Emotiva


    Cans
    Grado RS2i

    2 Ch Rig
    First purchase will be; a pair of ? but I'd love a pair of SDA SRS

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post
    Yes! I'm actually very happy with my current set up. My curiosity has me wondering how much better, if any, it could get.

    What CDP would be an upgrade over my LGBD390?
    How much better is only limited by your wallet. For a good cdp, there were a few Jolida's in the FM that would be a significant upgrade, but before you go and spend 4-5-6 hundies on a cdp, maybe consider a Squeezebox Touch or Sonos system and put the cd's away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post
    Yes! I'm actually very happy with my current set up. My curiosity has me wondering how much better, if any, it could get.

    What CDP would be an upgrade over my LGBD390?
    No disrespect to you or your system, but you have only scratched the surface as to "how much better is could get". A DVDp and Emo gear and Mono price cables isn't really close to being the pinnacle. Again, just having a dialog not ragging on you or your gear.

    H9
    "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!

  22. #22

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    Send me about 15 grand and I'll put together a very nice stereo system for you and you can come over and listen to it whenever you want to. I'll heap on lots of praise for your system to boost your ego and I'll always let you know when we, er you, need to upgrade.. My paypal addy is ............
    Last edited by decal; 03-12-2012 at 04:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    a comfortable chair.
    hahaha so true, I would add a good beverage.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    No disrespect to you or your system, but you have only scratched the surface as to "how much better is could get".
    H9
    None taken. I completely agree with your comment. I know my system is isn't low budget, but I also know it would be considered "entry level" compared to the high end that's out there.

    I mean sure, one look at my gear and it's no secret I saved where I could (I especially appreciate the restraint shown by F1nut when referring to my amp).

    And I've been looking into a handful of tube amps, yikes, those alone ($) would have my wife send me down the river.

    So it's mostly intrigue that has me wondering, how much of an effort both financially and gear wise would it take to achieve a substantially better sound than what I have now.
    Draggn' knee is exhilarating, 150mph wheel standers are pretty cool too


    Home Theater-7.2
    Display-SamsungPN64D8000 | Receiver-Onkyo TX-NR807 | Source-OPPOBDP-103 | Amplifiers-Emotiva; XPA-2 x2, XPA-3 | Speakers: PolkAudio; mains-RTiA9, rears-RTiA9, center-CSiA6, surrounds-FXiA6 | Sub-Epik Empire x 2 | Interconnects-Emotiva


    Cans
    Grado RS2i

    2 Ch Rig
    First purchase will be; a pair of ? but I'd love a pair of SDA SRS

  25. #25

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    I always like to incorporate a turn table with the sytems I put together for music only. I like the ritual of cleaning and preparing a few albums for the evenings listen , a comfy chair, beverage, and some good old fashioned liner notes that have been read a time or two, 2 channel rigs can be a good time, and fun to put together.

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    Just my two cents Geoff,think shop setup.Many hours of enjoyment while doing your projects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post
    Yes! I'm actually very happy with my current set up. My curiosity has me wondering how much better, if any, it could get.
    A lot.

    Any real hifi shops in your neck of the woods? If so, check them out and take some of your music with you. Explain that you are just testing the waters right now, stating how much you might be willing to spend (if you were to actually buy new), so that they can show you what your money could buy. Also ask to hear their TOTL rig as a base line to compare with what you can afford and to hear how much better it can get.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    Geoff, I'm scratching the surface of 2 channel like you are, but can say that the more gear you rotate through, the better idea you get of what is possible with 2 channel. The improvements my system has gone through over the last year is phenomenal, and I haven't even begun the journey into separates yet. Once you start hearing the differences, its hard not to get excited about future improvements.

    As far as actually hearing the differences, I was finally able to express to my dad (thinks I'm crazy for having this hobby) what its like since he got a new plasma TV. He was telling me about how now he sees the issues with his older Sony LCD. Its a nice TV, but compared to the Panasonic ST30, well, there is no comparison. As he ran through what he didn't like about the Sony, I told him that's exactly what I hear now when I listen to music. My ears have "matured" like his eyes have, and even though he doesn't hear the difference, it doesn't mean it isn't there. That was the first time he didn't just shake his head when I was trying to explain the hobby. In fact, he actually nodded.

    I know my ears are still not on par with those more traveled, but I feel like I'm going to get there eventually. My journey started when I got the SR components in my car and started really tuning it using time alignment. My first real home system was a Marantz 2216 and some Monitor 10s, running CD's through a 5 disc Sony DVD player. Now I listen through the RT3000p's, an Integra DTR-9.1, and a Toshiba HD-XA1, connected with MIT eXP1's and Belkin PureAV Speaker Wire. Its not going to win any awards, but the improvements over the original setup are very noticeable. The best part is, my total investment is under $500 for that setup.

    Now, my favorite hobby is 2 channel, not video games or movies like it used to be. Those hobbies just can't seem to compete with a good CD on a decent system and some bourbon in hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    A lot.

    Any real hifi shops in your neck of the woods? If so, check them out and take some of your music with you. Explain that you are just testing the waters right now, stating how much you might be willing to spend (if you were to actually buy new), so that they can show you what your money could buy. Also ask to hear their TOTL rig as a base line to compare with what you can afford and to hear how much better it can get.
    This never did any good for me until I became VERY familiar with my own system. I could always tell it sounded better than my system, but I didn't know why. I now have a better idea of "what to listen for", but not a complete one. Not saying it isn't a good idea at all, just saying it didn't do me as much good as I had hoped it would my first few times.

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    DSkip:

    I had the same experiences just last October when I purchased decent gear. I replaced a Yamaha R9 and a Sony 5 disk CD changer with a Adcom GFA-555 amp, Adcom GFP-565 pre, and a Marantz CD5004 player. Jesse knows the trials I went through but really don't think he understood just how green I was. I never had a listening space which is a must. Still minimal at this time so space is critical I think. I went through my speakers 1st, multiple times I might add, with different brand of capacitors. Anyways after replacing all the electrolytics in my gear and learning that setting the bias current makes a huge difference I am finally also learning what "good" sounds like. My system is very solid but baseline stuff compared to many. So now I am looking to start upgrading as I see I can. Next stop a bottlehead DIY preamp for the 555.

    To the OP listening space is something you really need to look at. Then purchase gear that fits the space you are listening in.

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