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  1. #1

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    Default Help Needed Building a system from scratch

    Warning, audio novice at work here, so speak slow. ;)

    I thought I'd start with the speaker issue, then go to the amplifier issue. This is for an audio system only, not home theatre. I listen to all sorts of music, but want to "tune" my system for classical (esp. chamber and opera) and jazz.

    My first thought was to go with Polk again, which has been my choice since the 80's. Lived with it, loved it. But when I checked them out, I found to my surprise that the Sonus Fabers (coupled with a Martin Logan sub) gave a great sound. The plus is great sound in a small package. The shelf Polks didn't seem to compete. And the Polk towers seemed a bit bassy even without a sub. The other speaker that attracted me even more, til I checked the price tag, was a Martin Logan.

    I can use all the help I can get figuring this out. I also need some practical advice about where to get these, too. Am I better off buying locally or online, from a price point of view, from a service/warranty p-o-v? When looking at speakers like these, are there places that discount and are reliable or do I run the hazard of damaged goods?

    And in the case of the Sonus Faber (either Concertina or Concerto), does anyone know what's happening with their new versions? Am I better off getting the older version, discounted, and with, presumably the kinks worked out or will the newer version be so improved that it's worth paying more for?

    I see lots of advice here about buying high quality used components and I can see the logic of that. So many of you seem to be compulsively upgrading, there must be a lot of good used equipment out there. But with so little audio knowledge that seems a risky course for me to take.

  2. #2

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    Default

    Which Polks did you listen to? There's three lines, did you give the LSi's a shot? If not, those ones are worth a listen.

  3. #3

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    Default

    Yes I did get a chance to hear a couple. My remarks were based on listening to the Lsi25 - which I don't like. Way too bassy. Then last night I found a Lsi15 to listen to which I thought was more balanced. I'm going to listen to it again when I get a chance as this is one I will consider. I plan to see if Circuit City has Moniters that can be listened to with my own CD. Last night I checked out Best Buy which has some presettings to be listened to on their speakers, none of which stretch the speakers the way the CD I use will do.

    I also listened again to the Sonus Faber Concertina against the Lsi15 this time and I think the 15 would probably work better for me.

    I gather there are a number of people who sell audio equipment here, and I'm curious about how many times I can go back to listen to these speakers before the salespeople faint when they see me enter the door - again.

  4. #4

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    1. Buy used gear if you wanna save money. Check out the Flea Market on this forum, ebay and www.audiogon.com.

    2. In order to really determine what you like, you're gonna have to demo speakers in your own home. In-store demos almost always sound terrible. In many stores the "high-end" speakers are powered by home theater receivers (yuck!).

    3. You'll need to purchase a high quality 2-channel amplifier and preamplifier OR integrated amplifier for whatever speakers you buy.

    4. Your source (i.e., CD player) should be very high quality. Make sure you budget accordingly. A decent used CD player start at $550 and up. If buying new you should budget $1,000. Yeah, there are less expensive CD players on the market, but it depends on what you want and how deep your pockets are.

    5. For classical music, consider the best components you can afford. And since you like all kinds of music, you should realize that no single component or speaker will give you everything you want.

    6. There are hundred different brands of high quality speakers on the market. The reason some of us appear to be "compulsively upgrading" is because there's always something out there that's "better" than what we currently have. You gotta try out different components in your own home to determine what you really like. That's just the way it is. Over time your knowledge, experience, preferences, and disposable income changes. When that happens, it's time to upgrade again.
    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."

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