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Amp and speaker choice. Had made some decisions, but now I have confused myself. Please help!

frogcarmichael

Standard Member
I'm buying an amp and loudspeakers for living room. I have a budget of approximately 4000GBP. The room itself is a bit of an open plan and has a living area of 5ms by 6metre in an overall area of 9m by 6m.

I had decided to go with an amp and floorstanders, maybe something like the Rega Elicit and ProAc DT8, or KEFs

However having dug into the subject in more detail, with great help from all the posts on this forum, I have now managed to confuse myself!



I want to allow for room correction of some type. It seems that the influence of the room is very great on the performance of the overall system, so I want to make sure I'm helping that as much as possible. I can't do too much in the way of room treatment and I'm hoping that the large room size will reduce any problems with reflections etc. The side walls are curtained, the floor tiled, but with a rug – I feels quite lively, the main problem will come from the ceiling, which I can do nothing about.



Because of the thought on room correction, I had changed my mind from a normal integrated amp to an amp with room correction. This then led me thinking, if I am having room correction, am I better going with standmounts and a sub, rather than floorstanders?

Digging even deeper, I've seen several people suggest that for this budget active stand mounts would be better than passive stand mounts (the Darko guy on youtube is strong on this.).

As you can see, I have now confused myself!



So, now my cry for help!

This whole line of thought is being driven by room correction. Is it really that important? If not, I go back to a normal integrated amp and my floorstander plan. If it is then a 2.1 system seems far better suited.

Next question active versus passive. This is not something i really knew anything about until reading through this forum. For the sort of budget I have, am I going to get better performance from active, or passive. If active, can i still have room correction?. If active, can you still integrate asub?



I think I'm heading towards an integrated amp with room correction with a 2.1 system . If that is the case recommendations would be appreciated to try and reduce the amount of options I have.



To be honest the M10 from NAD seems a good choice. It fits with my source which will mainly be streaming , it has room correction, and seems to give good sound. I do, however, hear good things about Lyngdorf. I'm wondering whether this is a step I should take.

Any help trying to reduce option for me would be greatly appreciated!

Room correction – priority or not?

If no, then a floorstanders and a well matched amp

If yes, then NAD or Lyndorf?

If so, then which options for the 2.1 speakers?

Finally to confuse it all – 4000 grand for the whole set up – active or passive speakers?
 

rccarguy

Active Member
Buy a stereo integrated amp, or stereo pre amp, then buy a antimode for the sub.

Don't touch speakers with eq if you can help it. Sort the room out first.

I wouldn't use a avr for 2ch hiend hifi. There are a couple of brands which I believe make 2ch amps with Dirac or arc. Anthem have a new line str series.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Rega Elicit-R and KEF R Series speakers. Heaven. Sometimes you can get caught up in room correction and it simply takes over and you forget how to just sit and enjoy music. If you want absolute perfection then take the room out of the equation and invest in a top end pair of headphones and quality headphone amp.
 

frogcarmichael

Standard Member
Thanks! Headphones - now there's an idea - sure I can spend a whole load more cash there :)!! This is a dangerous game to be in! Joking aside, it's not a bad idea.
The elicit and KEF was where I was going, before I got myself all tangled up. Maybe should go back to the first plan!
@rccarguy - Definitely don't want an AVR, must stay on 2 (.1) channel, but I think there are some 2 channels with Room Correction. Do agree about sorting the room out, but there are limits to what I can do. A fully tiled floor, for one. I've got a rug down, but still...
 

rccarguy

Active Member
I just connected my audiolab 8000q into the ATI amp. No room correction at all and sounds fab. Floorstander speakers.

If you buy bass capable speakers to you don't need a sub for msuicy, mine go down to 36hz.

I suppose if you're buying a 2ch.amp and it has it, great. But you may prefer it off, and if you do paid for licenesing
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I've got the Elicit-R driving R300s in my main system. Great sounding combination very impressive bass control. I don't use a sub, the 300s go deep enough for me. I also take advantage of the Elicit's HT by-pass and have connected to the Denon receiver for film and TV.

My second system is purely for headphones. Although I find listening to the Rega very relaxing and enjoyable headphones get right into the nitty gritty of the music, for good or bad. I do listen to a lot on the headphones, especially late at night. That system consists of a Denon DCD 2500 SACD player, Lehmann Linear headphone amp with a pair of Oppo PM1 planar headphones amongst others.
 

rccarguy

Active Member
Ask the guys on the home cinema area

"Do you use peq on your avr with stereo music from cd or does it bugger up the sound?" Because the replies will be relevant to you.
 

jamieu

Active Member
I think you probably need to step back and ask yourself what you trying to achieve / what is most important to you…
  1. A living room HiFi setup you have always coveted and can now afford. Some beautify designed wooden cabinets, powered by a well-designed but simple amp. There’s an aesthetic beauty to that simplicity. I’d put this in the same class as a classic car, a beautifully made piece of furniture, a bottle of fine wine. It’s something you buy that may not be perfect, but it gives you pleasure when you sit back and turn it on. There is nothing wrong with this approach if it gives you pleasure.
  2. A sonically perfect, or near perfect setup. An analogy here might be a high-end modern electric car or an extremely functional piece of furniture like a high-end office chair.
If you think about it in those terms, it then becomes a choice between aesthetics and the beauty of simplicity vs function and the degree to which each of those is important to you. Ideally, you’d strike balance between the two.

But just as you might look at the latest Tesla and still crave a classic car, I think the same is true of HiFi. There is nothing wrong with that unless your trying to master an album and need to know that what your listening to on your monitors is 100% accurate. Or in the case of a car trying to accelerate from 0-60 as quick as possible.

If you want to chase the tail of perfection then you’d be far better off looking at proper active studio monitors (point-source coaxial drivers, 113db SPL, 32Hz roll-off, electronic crossovers, digital correction, no external amp needed). At the high end these are reference level ‘tools’ for musicians to reproduce sound as accurately as possible and they do. But they do require careful setup and may not be what you’re after aesthetically. But if you want accurate sound this is where your most likely to find it - after all these are probably the speakers that a chunk of your music was originally mastered on.

Which is all to say, go with what will make you most happy :)
 
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Khankat

Active Member
I would make a list of potential purchases, based upon what you would like and what you learn on here. Then, if time is not of the essence, wait for life to return to something like normal and then approach dealers with a view to them giving you a home demo of the equipment that interests you.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member



hard to imagine this combination being anything but awesome.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
There is a used lyngdorfTDAI 2170 in the classifieds at the minute.
 

frogcarmichael

Standard Member
@jamieu , good post. That made me think. What do I want?
1) Enjoyment - feel and hear the music and just get sucked in.
2) Knowing that I have not "missed out" or "made the wrong choice". I don't want to be sitting there listening thinking "maybe I should have done X, or Y instead"
3) Owning something I can feel proud of when I look at it - esthetics are important, however much I want to say they are not, they are. This could be seen as shallow, but heh ho. This also includes something that is easy to live with - part of that being a fairly wide listening position.

100% accuracy of reproduction of sound is not so important. But his I mean, if I enjoy listening, then I'm not going to worry about if this is totally transparent. That might not be an audiophile answer, but I am looking for an emotional enjoyment, not an intellectual or analytical one.

@Khankat . I will do that, just looking to narrow down the options.

All - my first question, then one that really got me into this, is the important of Room Correction. I see a lot of different opinions. Clearly, you can't know my room, but I've given the dimensions. It have a tiled floor with the area between speakers and listening rug covered. Curtains down one wall and a bit of the other, but it is a bit lively. It is not a cosy, warm, snuggly space that feels quite and 'damped".
If experience here says it is important, then I go Room Correction - which leads to bass management and therefore (I assume) a 2.1 system.
If not, I stay on amp and floorstanders.
 

frogcarmichael

Standard Member



hard to imagine this combination being anything but awesome.
Thanks for recommendation - very approximately, how much is that going to be?
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
It comes to around four grand on the nose. :thumbsup:

I know that that at least one stockist does home demos for the amps.

And he (Richard) does a useful discount for AVF members. Which means you may even be able to afford the second sub, which takes RoomPerfect even further.

It would certainly be worthwhile to contact him about a whole system setup.

He’s a friendly fellow.


ps, don’t worry about the thought of 2.2. The subs are super discrete by design and application.
 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
@jamieu , good post. That made me think. What do I want?
1) Enjoyment - feel and hear the music and just get sucked in.
2) Knowing that I have not "missed out" or "made the wrong choice". I don't want to be sitting there listening thinking "maybe I should have done X, or Y instead"
3) Owning something I can feel proud of when I look at it - esthetics are important, however much I want to say they are not, they are. This could be seen as shallow, but heh ho. This also includes something that is easy to live with - part of that being a fairly wide listening position.

100% accuracy of reproduction of sound is not so important. But his I mean, if I enjoy listening, then I'm not going to worry about if this is totally transparent. That might not be an audiophile answer, but I am looking for an emotional enjoyment, not an intellectual or analytical one.

@Khankat . I will do that, just looking to narrow down the options.

All - my first question, then one that really got me into this, is the important of Room Correction. I see a lot of different opinions. Clearly, you can't know my room, but I've given the dimensions. It have a tiled floor with the area between speakers and listening rug covered. Curtains down one wall and a bit of the other, but it is a bit lively. It is not a cosy, warm, snuggly space that feels quite and 'damped".
If experience here says it is important, then I go Room Correction - which leads to bass management and therefore (I assume) a 2.1 system.
If not, I stay on amp and floorstanders.
Room correction is the genie in the bottle of hifi.

I will never do without it.

The worse the room the more worthwhile it is, and even in the very best rooms it’s a veritable gift.
 

daddy999

Active Member
Best advice I can give is listen to loads of hifi options, the go with what you like the sound of best, hopefully with a home demo. You can spend a lifetime trying to factor in everything and you’ll still find something to upgrade in hifi. If you can get room correction, great, but I wouldn't let it be the driver behind my choice.

I use a Rega turntable with Yamaha amp and MA gold 100 speaker in an apartment lounge measuring 21’ x 10’ and 19 foot vaulted ceiling and it sounds bloody amazing to me, the neighbours aren’t moaning about bass noise through the floor and even the wife is happy with the looks!

We all suggest this amp, those speakers, this room correction, that turntable, etc, I say, buy what YOU like the sound of and is aesthetically pleasing to you.
 

1992

Member
I'm surprised more people haven't said--try some systems out to see what appeals to you! I read all the reviews and thought Rega amps were a no brainer...but found I didn't like their sound that much.

I spent similar money on a system recently and spent several months doing shop demos (maybe 20-30 speaker/amp combinations), then did a few home demos and ended up with a system that I know is the one for me.

Different people seem to have different opinions on room correction. I appreciate minimalism (in features) so I didn't buy it as a built-in feature. It is likely to come as an expense, will limit your choices and will be outdated before long. I can always do basic, cheap room corrections myself (e.g. heavy rugs, panels). I appreciate that some people swear by it though.
 

rccarguy

Active Member
It's shame all the different room corrections can be added and removed at will on all preamps, you pay and get refunded as needed. Say you pay for trial and get half of it back, then choose the one you like. Install it like computer software. Or if you like it just only on the sub pay for sub peq alone
 

jamieu

Active Member
It's shame all the different room corrections can be added and removed at will on all preamps, you pay and get refunded as needed. Say you pay for trial and get half of it back, then choose the one you like. Install it like computer software. Or if you like it just only on the sub pay for sub peq alone
If you use you computer as a source (even as a test) there's nothing stopping you trying out the various room correction packages (most have 30 day trials and PC/Mac versions) on your laptop or PC first to see if you feel any of them work for you / your room. Obviously this doesn't apply to DRC systems that rely on external hardware like RoomPerfect, Trinnov or GLM. But it might give you an idea of how well your room responds to DRC in general.

You might even be able to achieve basic room correction within your existing playback software. For example both Roon and Foorbar2000 include complex EQ plugins. There's a guide here for doing Room EQ in Roon for free using just a UMIK1 and a copy of REW.

But before you do any correction it's worth checking to see if you need it. A USB measurement mic and a free copy of REW will give you an indication of the effect your room is having on the sound at your main listening position(s).
 
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frogcarmichael

Standard Member
Thanks for the input all. Really appreciate it. Demoing is what I want to do, but don't have masses of free time, so I'm trying to get some options down.
I might have the option to get an Anthem AV system in for a bit - I could test the need for room correction with that.

Another question - If I do decide to go with room correction (understanding that will limit the amps available - probably to NAD M10, Arcam and Lyndorf) then is it a better idea to go 2.1, rather than floorstanders? As I understand this will give more flexibility in placement and more freedom for the room correction to work.

Is this a fair conclusion?
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the input all. Really appreciate it. Demoing is what I want to do, but don't have masses of free time, so I'm trying to get some options down.
I might have the option to get an Anthem AV system in for a bit - I could test the need for room correction with that.

Another question - If I do decide to go with room correction (understanding that will limit the amps available - probably to NAD M10, Arcam and Lyndorf) then is it a better idea to go 2.1, rather than floorstanders? As I understand this will give more flexibility in placement and more freedom for the room correction to work.

Is this a fair conclusion?
For the Lyndorf system definitely 2.1 and 2.2 is even better.

RoomPerfect works perfectly well with 2.0 But is designed to get the maximum effect with a sub and preferably two.
 

frogcarmichael

Standard Member
Okay. Looks like some choices are coming together in my head. I will be moving to a smaller house in about 3 years, so need to take that into account. Some big assed floorstanders might not be the way to go. a 2.1 will allow me some more flexibility in the future. My next question will be on recommendations for a 2.1 system - but I think that is another thread.
I have kept the idea of a rega + KEF combo from @gibbsy as my plan B. I'll see if a demo of this is possible
 

jreuter

Standard Member
Focus on the speakers first. Do listening tests at good shops. With your favorite material. Spend the majority of your budget on great speakers.

In a large room, a good floor stander that has room to breathe can be absolutely brilliant. You don't want something like that in a tiny room, but most reasonable open living areas are big enough.

I don't know about UK availability, but here in the US that process lead me to Vandersteen 2 speakers. KEFs and B&Ws towers use similar design ideas. I've not listened to KEF. B&W was a close second to the Vandersteens when I bought them. (That was 30 years ago, but today's products have essentially the same designs, because it is that good.) The designs used by those (essentially phase alignment) yield a spectacular soundstage.

You don't need a gourmet amp for great speakers to sound great. In fact, for a while (don't know about today) some of the gourmet amps touted their "open loop" design, which really means higher total harmonic distortion. I disliked those products. It sounds good and 'richer' on some material (solo acoustic guitar), bad on others (full symphony, Led Zeppelin, …). Again, use *your* favorite source material when comparing.
 

Nuri58

Active Member



hard to imagine this combination being anything but awesome.
In this case Lyngdoff with his subs. My neighbor has this and sounds really good and would be on the top of my list if looking for 2.1.
 

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