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  1. #1

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    Default Helping a friend build a system

    I have a friend who is going to upgrade her two-channel system (she's older and not into the whole HT experience--she couldn't care less about surround sound). The system will be primarily used for music, although for movies once in awhile. I have a system in mind, but I'm posting hoping for suggestions on how to both get her the most bang for her buck, and if maybe another system would work better for music. Her tastes are somewhat specific, so I had to work within certain peramters:

    Having had Bose for the last few years, she wants the speakers to be smaller, ie a bookshelf/sub combo. I could not convince her to get towers.

    She didn't give me a specific price range, but I told her the system I'm recommending is around $3k and she was open to that.

    So, we have $3k to work with and we need 2 bookshelf speakers, a good sub, a new receiver or separates, and a new DVD/CD player (does not need to be a universal as she will not be upgrading to surround anytime soon).

    My system so far:

    A pair of LSi 9's for the mains
    HSU VTF-2 for the sub
    B&K PT5 stereo Preamp
    2 Outlaw Model 200 Mono blocks
    Still not sure about the DVD/CD player, doesn't have to be fancy
    Blue Jeans bi-wired 14 guage speaker cable and analog connectors

    That's what I had in mind. This will be happening in the next few months. Is there a receiver that would adequately drive the 9's? I can get the B&K and Outlaws for about $1100, so antything up to or less than that would be desireable. She is very resistant to used equipment, so I'm doing the best I can to be economical w/ the new stuff.

    LSi 9's-$800/pr at Crutchfield
    Outlaw 200's-$575 for 2
    B&K Pre-$500 at newyorkwholesaleaudiovideo.com

    Any suggestions for better prices or better equipment choices would be welcome. Thanks.
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  2. #2

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    Why not a B&K amp??

    The ST 125.2 does 185x2 into 4 ohms and is a GREAT amp...

    Not to mention the B&K PT5 and Amp look AWESOME together....mmhmm

    Sound awesome too, cant go wrong...

    Here are some pics of them together....

    http://www.eandr.biz/Vr3_HT_Pictures.html

    The B&K can be had for a lil over 400...more money for wires and such
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro

  3. #3

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    If she's used to smaller speakers, and you're getting a sub for her anyway, why not save some coin on the LSi9's and drop that down to the 7's.....I could open up $450 of your budget if you decide against the 9's....

    Good luck.
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  4. #4

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    I feel the LSi7's are a better choice than the 9's for both price and performance. The 9's require a lot more amp and do not sound nearly as smooth. I had both and money is not an issue. I sold the 9's.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  5. #5

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    The HSU is a very solid subwoofer, I agree, get the LSi7's and use the "spare" money elsewhere.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Helping a friend build a system

    Originally posted by gregure
    She is very resistant to used equipment
    You need to get her over that ...

  7. #7

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    AMEN!

  8. #8

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    used equipment will definitly stretch the dollar.

    sounds like your set up plan is pretty solid to me if your going new.

    i cant say i have any experience with the LSi series, but if some knowledgable people say go with the 7's over the 9's, i would have to tell you to trust their judgement.

    i havent heard the hsu vtf2 but did hear the stf2 (basically the vtf2 in full extension mode) you aint goin wrong with that either

    i hear nothing but good things about outlaw monoblocks, i have the outlaw icbm bass manager and am very happy with their customer service and whatnot (nice cables to by the way).

    My .02
    Theater - Polk LSi15, LSiC, LSi9 speaks, DIY Sub (142.5L box, SVS plus driver, 500 Watt plate amp)...Outlaw 990 pre/pro, Carver TFM45, 2 X Outlaw M200 . Rotel RB980 . PS3, Monster 3600 power center

    2 Channel -
    Anthem Pre 2l, Jolida JD100 CD player, CAL Sigma DAC, Carver m4.0, Polk LSi9 w external modified Crossovers (thanks Trey!)

  9. #9

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    I can't comment on what to get for the cd/dvd player, I'd probably suggest the Toshiba sd-3960 (or five of them, cause they won't last that long) It actually performed very well in what I believe was a Secrets of home theater and hifi publication of budget dvd players (the best actually, out of the 12 reviewed or so) which is encouraging, and a lot of us are familliar with the sound quality. I would also drop the vtf-2 (unless you are referring to the b-stock for 299) in favor of the stf-2 unless she really needs that maximum output mode (I doubt it, based on what you've told us.) The stf would save a hundred dollars and you're only dropping like 70 on the dvd player (unless of course you actually do buy five) in which case you've spent 350. The outlaws are probably one of the better values out there in terms of amps, at least new. I'd also agree on the lsi-7's, simply because the hsu is a very competent subwoofer (shoudl have no problem playing clean, unlocalizable sound to the the 7's lower 3db limit). The biggest thing will be tweaking the system for her. If you opt for the 7's and the stf-2 as well as the toshiba dvd player that would give you a lot of money to spend on the preamp and amps if you wanted to consider it.

  10. #10

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    To clarify, the LSi7's I have are not used in any way/shape/form.

    Some may have an aversion though to items that are not purchased locally. Let me know if you decide on the 7's.....
    Last edited by brettw22; 09-06-2004 at 11:24 PM.
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  11. #11
    Polk-a-dweeb
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    Gotta disagree with the Pro- Lsi7 crowd on this one. I've got both and the 9's simply perform better than the 7's. Greater response, power handling and imaging, IMHO. Try to audition both and see what you and your friend think.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
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  12. #12

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    let's see, stepping up from acoustimess to lsi/svs,.. if she's not going to drive it too hard and she thought that bose sounded near good enough, something along the lines of nad, arcam or cambridge receivers might be plenty of a leap without overbuying, overcomplicating or overcrowding system and/or cabinet. just my 2 cents.

    you didn't mention a cabinet or stands,.. if she's gonna need them it might change the budget a bit. if it's a consideration, 7's are supposed to be wall mountable, 9's are not.

    )

  13. #13

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    Thanks guys. Been very busy today, haven't had a chance to log on until now (10pm my time). Thanks for all the great suggestions. We were planning a day trip to Fry's (nearest one to where we are is Sacramento) which is the only place I know that carries them in-store. We'll look at the 7's and 9's and compare. I'd love to recommend an SVS to her, but she probably wouldn't notice the difference. Thanks for the suggestion about the STF vs. VTF. You guys are probably right, not sacrificing too much by ways of performance but saving a bit of coin. Thanks again.

    Greg
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  14. #14

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    Originally posted by Vr3MxStyler2k3
    Why not a B&K amp??

    The ST 125.2 does 185x2 into 4 ohms and is a GREAT amp...

    Not to mention the B&K PT5 and Amp look AWESOME together....mmhmm

    Sound awesome too, cant go wrong...

    Here are some pics of them together....

    http://www.eandr.biz/Vr3_HT_Pictures.html

    The B&K can be had for a lil over 400...more money for wires and such
    Where can the B&K 125.2 amp be had for $400? I've looked around online and can't find a price that low. There is currently one on ebay, but the bidding starts at $500 (that's for a new one btw). If you can steer me in that direction, I think the B&K would be a better choice than the Outlaws.

    Also, although a listening test will be the ultimate deciding factor, I think from what I've read so far that the 9's will still be the better choice. She has a very large living room w/ vaulted cieling and will need the larger speaker.

    Thanks again.
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  15. #15

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    How about this --


    Polk Lsi 9's - $800
    Hsu STF-2 - $400
    Parasound PHP 850 pre-amp - $250
    Outlaw monoblocks - $575
    Cambridge Audio 540D DVD/CD player - $350
    Speaker stands - $175
    Interconnects and speaker cables - $300
    Audio rack - $150
    Sound - priceless

    TOTAL - $3,000
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  16. #16

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    That Parasound stereo preamp looks nice, especially for the money. None of the literature on the sight mentions a line out for subwoofer, though. Does it have one or not? Thanks.
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  17. #17

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    Nevermind, answered my own question.
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  18. #18

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    Default Cables and stands

    Just a couple of questions on cables and stands.

    First of all, thank for all the suggestions. Here's the system I've decided to make for my friend.

    Mains: Polk Lsi 9's
    Sub: The new SVS PB-10 ISD
    Pre: B&K PT5 (still like that one better than the Parasound)
    Amp: B&K ST125.2

    Now, on to cables and stands. How do the stands sold on the Polk website measure up? They look awfully small to suppor the 9, which is a lot bigger than I thought they were. Finally made it out to Fry's and saw them, and man are they nice, but big. I was thinking of more of a nice pedestal like these:
    http://www.designtoscano.com/jump.js...CT&itemID=5539
    What do you think?

    Also, for cables, I was going to go w/ Blue Jeans cable, but do I need something a little nicer for those Lsi's, or will 14 awg do fine?

    Thanks.
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Cables and stands

    Originally posted by gregure
    I was thinking of more of a nice pedestal like these:
    they certainly wouldn't be outclassed by lsi's. solid wood resonates at a higher frequency than, say, mdf, but unless she likes it loud, i doubt it would be a problem. even if it ended up being trouble after you bought them, you could fill them or decouple the speaks from the stands later. you'll have to figure out if you need spikes or whatnot. i know it's going to be tempting to put the speaks in the center of tops of those stands. i'd be careful that the speaks can be placed so that the driver side of the cab can overhang the edge without making them unstable or odd looking. even with that though, the rear port will fire down onto the tops of the stands.

    paul d. made a point on one of the stand height threads that i think rings true. i can't remember how he put it, and i don't want to butcher it, but in general, that as listening position gets closer lots of folks tend to like the tweet at or above ear level more and further away it becomes less important to many.

    i listen carefully nearfield and i definately like tweets above ear level when i'm there. but, when i listen at the other end of the room (maybe 15' away or more) i see his point and actually prefer them a bit below ear level. though, since i don't really listen from farfield critically, it's just not the priority.

    for stands as high a 36 1/2" though, one consideration might be the height of the ceiling and the mid-bass drivers and ports. if it's an 8' ceiling the lsi9 mid-bass driver and ports are near dead center between the floor and ceiling. floor and ceiling reflections reinforce each other if drivers are midway between them much like corner placement.

    it all depends on what she wants, maybe the monitor height, how critical she is and so on, but, if she's not in a rush, i'd suggest getting the speaks, experimenting with different heights the best you can, then get the stands. maybe use her current system to gauge what height she expects her music to be at and go from there. just remember, if her tweets are on top, it will be a different sound with the 9's mid placement.

    )

  20. #20

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    I'm not sure how important the height will be to her. She does like to play her music very loud, so if you think the marble stands would hinder the sound, I might research a different mounting option. My biggest concern is that these speaker stands would be on carpet, which doesn't help stand stabilization. Plus, the stand tops are so small, those 9's would be hanging over front and back. I'm looking for something that offers some stability for these large bookshelf speakers on carpet, which was why I was looking at marble columns (trying to be stylish about it), however, lowered resonance did occur to me, which is why I wanted some other opinions.

    As for her current setup, she has a couple of Bose cubes sitting about a foot off the floor, so comparing tweeter position and/or heighth is not an option. I think 30-36" would be about perfect for her living room. Again, no one really answered if the Sanus stands they sell on the Polk website would be fine or not. If they aren't, where might I find better speaker stands that have a larger top platform for decent prices? Thanks.
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  21. #21

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    i don't know how the marble in-lay will play into this. it might help, i doubt it could hurt. you might check to see if it would be possible to fill the hardwood base and/or columns with sand or shot. that will lower the resonance frequency, make them heavier and more stable *if* there is trouble. another route would be something to decouple the speaks from the stands. since it's carpet, if the weight of the speaks and stands don't crush the resiliency of the carpet and padding enough to keep them from rocking, spikes are next and should be doable.

    the way i read the dimensions on your link, the diameter of the top is 16". if i read it right, that would make the speaks smaller than the top and all 4 corners of the speak would be inside the top's edge if centered.

    if that's the case, some folks' concern might be that it would *look* odd that the speaks are smaller than the tops. the concern i would have (if they were for my 9's) is reflections off of the stand's top. i tried to say that it would be better if the front of the speaks did overhang to avoid this. in any case, it's ideal for the top of the stands to be smaller than the speaks. the base of the stands are a different story.

    if she's listening to acubimesses a foot off the floor now though, we might be doing the pinhead waltz here... i mean does she have any idea how many leagues her new system will be above her old system?

    )

  22. #22

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    Yes, she has a pair of older bose cubes (we're talking probably 10 years old here), and I think she fully appreciated that she can have much better, and has a great desire to have a kickass system. Especially w/ the newer SACD hybrids coming out, like the new Dark Side (her favorite album), she recognizes the need for an upgrade. I still don't think she has any idea what's in store for her though. I'll let you know what her reaction is.

    Thanks for the advice about the stands. I'll she what she thinks.
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

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