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£500 budget for better music.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Ultima, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Ultima

    Ultima
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    Hi

    My current system is a cheapish home cinema unit (Yamaha AV70 Pack) which includes Yamaha AX-V350 Amp/Rec, S550 DVD Player and NS-P100 5.1 speakers.

    I now want to increase the quality of music from my system and need your comments on my initial thoughts aswell as any ither suggestions.

    The room is 14' x 12' and space is at a premium. My budget is approx £500.

    My initial thoughts are as follows.

    Replace the AX-V350 with a Yamaha DSPAX750SE, Mission M71 bookshelf speakers, and a Marantz CD5400 CD player.

    Would this system improve the music quality? Would they work well together?

    I am a newbie to all this so feedback would be much appreciated.

    Regards
     
  2. Ultima

    Ultima
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    Forgot to mention that I still require the Amp/Receiver to provide 5.1/DTS/Pro logic 2 for movies etc. Good stereo sound is also required.
     
  3. Mango Bob

    Mango Bob
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    I have a DSP-AX750, I was quite pleased with its performance in stereo...then I upgraded my cable to homemade cat5 (from cheap cable) and I'm thrilled by it in stereo! Have a listen to one if you can in Pure Direct mode, but it's a very good stereo amp :thumbsup:

    Can't advise on CD player, I'm using my toshiba DVD connected into the amps DACs and it's acceptable to me...future upgrades possible though!

    Bear in mind that if you upgrade the fronts you should also upgrade the centre to a tonally similar speaker or sounds panning across left-centre-right will sound odd...the 750 has centre EQ setting to try to correct but your better off with a matching centre.
     
  4. Ultima

    Ultima
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    thanks for the reply, I didn't think about the centre. Is there a centre that goes well with the missions?
     
  5. Mango Bob

    Mango Bob
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    used to be the mission m7c1 and c2 but I'm not sure if they're still around.

    another option is to upgrade to the canton CD1 (5.1) package at the same time as the yammie (buy it mail order from germany btw, you'll save a pile of cash - there're many threads about this). quite musical sub/sats when I heard them but I didn't find any sats really provided a "big" enough sound with music.

    other alternative bookshelves I liked were the mordaunt short 902s (I think, not sure if that's the right number!). I have the 905 centre with 906 floorstanders and can confirm they're excellent...906 are probably out of budget but the 905 is an excellent centre for not a lot of cash.

    wharfedale speakers are worth doing a search for also as I think their more recent packages have had good reviews - I've not heard them though.
     
  6. roversd1

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    try just replacing the front speakers first with the best you can afford, set your amp to 'no centre' an upgrade the centre channel later. the centre channel will be mixed into the fronts. some people prefer this to having centre spaeker.
     
  7. Ultima

    Ultima
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    Thx for the tip. I'll borrow my mates B&W LM1s and give it a go.
     
  8. Mango Bob

    Mango Bob
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    I found having no centre a bit wierd - it's pretty subjective but it might depend on how far away your fronts are from the middle of the screen...I find dialogue too spread out when I have it coming from the fronts rather than the centre as the speakers are each about 3ft from the screen centre.

    Does the NSP100 have a centre? You could leave it in and try to use tone EQ in the short term (I've not used this on the 750 so can't say how good it is!)

    Try the 350 with better speakers though you should see a big imnprovement - I also got a massive improvement when I upgraded my speaker cable from cheapy cable to homemade cat5...much more bass and presence.
     
  9. Ultima

    Ultima
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    The NSP100 does have a centre so I will give that a try also. They are a bit cheap though so it may make it worse not better. "homemade cat5" how much a metre? I will try anything within my budget so thx for the advice.
     
  10. Mango Bob

    Mango Bob
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    Have a look in the cables forum for cat5, there's tons and tons of info about it - I made up some cables last week and the sound from my speakers was much, much improved.

    You need >30 metres of cat5 ethernet cable (bought mine from B&Q, £15-ish for 100m), some banana plugs (£6 for 4 from Dixons or you might find cheaper at Maplin), some cable ties, a wire stripper (also from B&Q, you'll go nuts without it!) and about 3 HOURS...i did one cable a night, it's fiddly but cheap and good cable!
     
  11. Ultima

    Ultima
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    thx Mango Bob, B&Q here I come.
     
  12. Mango Bob

    Mango Bob
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    Bear in mind it's not a straight replacement, you need to separate out the internal twisted pairs and use each set of pairs as the "black" or "red" wire...just didn't want you to plug a single cat5 bundle in to each terminal!

    Good luck...you might find the speakers are the limiting factor though, not the wires...let us know.

    I'm interested to know how the AV50/100 pack sounds out of the box - are you happy with it for movies?
     
  13. Ultima

    Ultima
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    I think it is excellent for movies at its price. I previously had a Pioneer NS DV55 system that I thought was good but IMO the yamaha is far better. I think it deals with the surround bits (bullets and space ships flying past etc) better. It also sounds pretty good using pro logic 2 on stereo movies.

    The only thing I adjusted were the levels on all speakers. The default settings were -3db if I remember right and IMO sounded better increased to 0db. Gave the sound a little more meat.
     
  14. Ultima

    Ultima
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    Update, attached B&W LM1's to front,same cheap cable. Much better for music, maybe Amp is OK? Quick test with movies, with same centre speaker, WOW what a difference. I am thinking of getting the B&W LM1's but £200 a bit over budget, looks like I need to treat the wife extra special. I have the LM1's just on carpet at side of TV cabinet. Any sound difference on a stand or attached to the wall? Presumably new CD player would also increase music quality. Decisions decisions

    Regards
     
  15. Roohster

    Roohster
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    You've got to get them off the floor!
    Ideally mounted at ear level - I believe the LM1s brackets swivel for wall mounting .
     
  16. Ultima

    Ultima
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    Cheers roohster2, i'll give it a go if the wife lets me. :cool:
     
  17. Jake James

    Jake James
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    Dear Mango Bob and Ashworthacca


    another option is to upgrade to the canton CD1 (5.1) package at the same time as the yammie (buy it mail order from germany btw, you'll save a pile of cash - there're many threads about this). quite musical sub/sats when I heard them but I didn't find any sats really provided a "big" enough sound with music.


    You can get the Canton CD1's cheaper in the UK on the net than having to go to germany. You will have the correct plug and if anything goes wrong you do not have to send it back to your german dealer

    CD1 - £240 inc VAT & free deliver in the UK :thumbsup:

    check out the canton thread 'Canton in the UK'

    regards

    JJ
     
  18. Mango Bob

    Mango Bob
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    I'm aware of the thread JJ, I was talking about the RXV-750 amp...it's good to see we can now get the Canton's at a decent price!

    Are there any plans to offer other speakers (CD100 etc) at european prices?
     
  19. Ultima

    Ultima
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    After reading about this more, I think that maybe I can get more out of this Amp musically. I am very impressed with the B&W LM1's and was wondering whether or not to get these as rears aswell. What about a centre to go with these? and a better sub? Any suggestions? Anybody got this setup?

    I have now got the LM1's off the floor on some old stands that I had lying about, not at ear level though. Is there any stands made for the LM1's? Can't seem to find any.

    Regards
     
  20. Roohster

    Roohster
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    B&W do make stands specifically for the LM1s, have a look here
    Any B&W dealer should be able to get them for you.
     
  21. Ultima

    Ultima
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    Thx again roohster2, you are a great help.
     
  22. Ultima

    Ultima
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    Update,

    Purchased B&W LM1's for rears and B&W DM601 S3's for fronts. No new centre or sub yet but changed speaker cables to Monster XP cables £15 for 6 metres.

    Sound for music changed dramatically, very rich compared to previously.

    Thanks for all the help (Mango Bob thought about Cat5 but decided for the easier route. Cheers mate)

    If my system sounds this good then I can't wait to get CD Player and updated Amp when funds allow.

    Regards
     

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