Question Hi Fi 2.0 Music Purposes

cesarleeds

Active Member
Hi guys



I´m currently in the process of transferring my CD collection to Flac files stored in a NAS, so I can play them anytime anywhere.



We used to listen music in our bedroom on a very decent Panasonic SC-PMX70 with Chromecast audio attached, just some CD´s, mp3´s… but I wanna do some justice to my music so it is time for an upgrade.



I decided to move the main listening place to our living room, I know if it´s not the ideal place, but it´s the only one available and the one where we spend more time on, yes, there is furniture, yes there are windows, there´s even a closed terrace, so for you guys to have a proper idea of what i´m talking about, this is the living room including the location of where the speakers are.





My first budget was around 600 GBP, so I went for a Marantz MCR611+Q Acoustics 3020 set, the Marantz is a very nice machine, nothing is missing there, but the speakers didn´t seem to suit it very well, considering the wonderful reviews this speakers had I have to say I end up disappointed, I consider this more a question of pairing though, so I decided to change the speakers.



At the same time I had the chance to try some speakers attached to another MCR611 unit, Diamond 220, Audio Bronze 2, Zensor 3 , and what is perhaps the first thing WAT and myself agree when it comes to technology (I remember when we seriously upgraded our projector, she was still saying movies looked exactly the same), we concluded the Zensor where the ones with better sound, very clear and warmth sound, u could listen to every single detail and the bass was there.



I was sold on the Zensor 3, they were ok, not astonishing, but sure with time they will do the job perfectly…but I made the mistake of asking for a demo of the Zensor 5, u know, it can´t hurt, right, they look nice, they are small, it caught my lady´s eye, so let´s do it…and I enjoyed them more than the 3, fuller sound, front bass gives some extra punch, they played for me this acoustic song from Dream Theater “The Answer”, and that smile showed at my face, you know, the smile when music sounds so good u can´t help but laugh.



So budget had to be increased right there, unfortunately I was not able to commit on that increase, some unexpected familiar issues happened, so being unable to jump on the Zensor 5 I decided to return the whole thing, take a deep breath and start over again when the right time comes.



Thank god those familiar issues are now gone, so I´m back.



I decided to increase budget to something like 1100 GBP/1200 GBP, I do wanna respect that budget, once u start increasing it…it never ends, u always want more.



Now, what I need, well being able to play gapless from my NAS is a must (Hifi Cast does that for Chromecast, but I would prefer a proper network player), I would also like to have DAB+, CD player, an a USB port (if if reads 2.5HDD much better), for the speakers I really need them to fill the room, have very good bass, while sounding clean and with punch, I mainly listen to rock, hard rock but also some Prodigy or Daft Punk, so they have to work for both worlds.



So:



1) Single unit or separates : I really liked the Marantz MCR611 in the sense that it was small, and had everything I needed, but of course I know if I go on a different route, separates, audio quality will increase, thing it is not easy to find a proper set of components with all I need, CD+Network Player+Amp, while respecting the budget I set. The MCR611 (2x60W 6ohm 1khz) can be amplified but with that power output, is it really needed?

2) Speakers, bookshelves or floorstandings?…can´t really decide, i´m ok with the Zensors, but if there is something out there on this price range that I hadn’t had the chance to try, i´m listening….

Both the 3 &5 were fine, while I liked the 5´s more, it might be better to use some budget on better sources and stay on the 3´s…but at the same time i´m thinking….is it too brave to go for the 7s?, are they too big for my living room?, are the 5´s big enough for the same purpose?

So I´m a bit undecided here as well, mind tells me to go for the 5´s that I know…devil says go for the 7´s…or try more speakers!!





So this is is basically where I am, as you can see many factors to be considered, single unit vs components, speakers, room size and type…but i´m pretty sure with some tips, help and guidance I will get there and end up enjoying a very nice set up.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
The marantz has preouts-this means you can use all its functions, but could use active speakers with inbuilt amps to give out the sound. I know the marantz is about 300, this leaves 900 for a set of active speakers.

AE1 actives are respected but then that blows budget a little

http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/reference/ae1-active/

Many like Adam A7x, but the looks may throw you. There is an active speakers section under speakers, if the idea of these set ups appeals ask what's the best you can get for 900 in that section
 

cesarleeds

Active Member
Haven´t thought about active speakers, but it could very well a nice solution considering that i don´t have that much space to place separates.

Can´t demo those speakers, but considering i did listen to the Zensor 5 and enjoy them, i could to the Zensor 5 AX, they are exactly active speakers, but as long as they maintain the sound signature and provide a better powerful output, they could to the work,

The Marantz MCR 611 is rated at a 2x60w 6ohm, while the Zensor 5 AX are rated at 2x50w, how does this power thing work?
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The Marantz power output has to feed two drivers through a power eating crossover. So 60W is not a lot at all. Also in reality it's likely closer to about 40W.

Also the Zensor 5AX is not an active speaker. It is merely powered. That is it has a class D amp in one speaker that feeds both drivers in both speakers.

However as the Marantz has all you need and it's a bargain price at the moment and it has preouts then proper active speaker are the way to go.

There are tons to choose from...

However to keep things simple there are a few excellent sellers that have superb reputations, for instance these (all of which are priced singly)

Mackie XR624 B-Stock

And then the 8" version,

Mackie XR824 B-Stock

Though I think, as you're firing across ten feet, then the 8s might prove too bassy for your room. However they do have boundary adjustment and that will help.

These are truly superb speakers

Adam A5X

5" inch drivers but you'd never tell, they play entire orchestras with realistic levels. And bass is much deeper than you'd imagine possible.

Then there are these,

Adam A7X

Probably all the speaker you'll ever need. They take your budget a little higher than you'd like with the Marantz, but you'll be amazed at what they can do.

Then if you want to spend a good bit less, you could try these. Already legends and they come in white too.

JBL LSR 305 B-Stock

JBL LSR 305 White Limited Edition

The Marantz and the JBLs plus cables and stands will come in at around £600. They will sound better than any passive speakers through the Marantz.

As I said there are loads to choose from. The above are simply a couple.

And if you decide to go the active route I doubt you'll ever return to passive speakers again.

There is also the Adam Artist range, which in piano black do look very wife friendly if that's important.

Adam ARTist 5 Active Studio Monitor, Single at Gear4music.com

But for a huge sound with all the bass, texture, detail and sounstaging you'll ever need, if it were my cash, I'd go for the Marantz and the Adam A7X, forget about the equipment and enjoy all your music. Having said that, any of the others will do an excellent job.

Also I thought I'd lob this in here, pro reviews are usually a lot more trustworthy than hifi mags. Not least as they also specify possible alternatives.

Adam A7X |

Good luck sir.

Ps, as for filling a room and having top quality, deep, very clean and punchy bass, actives, because of the individual amplifiers built for each separate driver, (four power amps per pair of speakers), have control and extension aplenty.
 
Last edited:

cesarleeds

Active Member
Wooh, Paul7777x, thanks so much for your very detailed and useful reply.



I´ve seen on the forum you´ve always been a fan of active speakers, I have to say I never considered this option, mainly because my lack of knowledge about it and on top of that they are very hard to find in Spain, which means I can´t demo them.



However, i´m going to look into this solution, i can see it offers many good things that fit very well with my circumstances and needs.



End of the day most important thing is sound quality and power output being strong enough for the room the system would be placed, I can live with non-so-beautiful speakers, it´s me paying so the WAT factor is under control, not a deal breaker but a bonus.



I´ve just ordered on Amazon what I believe is a low end pair of active speakers, Edifier R2730DB, for testing purposes, by knowing how this model behaves and the quality it provides, I can have a better idea of what to expect on superior models as the ones you mention.



So out of that list, for the room size to be filled, I think all of them would be strong enough, what about sound quality, a clean and warmth sound, bass response…how would you rank them in terms of sound quality?



You speak wonders on the Adam A7X, wouldn´t be too much for a room like mine?, could the A5X be a better fit? Is the bass good enough? (I can find them, used, for 400 GPB /pair)
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The A5X are excellent speakers and the bass is humongous for their size.

But one mans humongous might be another's Pygmy, so until you've heard them...

The do have 'room correction' dials around the back which allows you to adjust the lower end up and down. Quite significantly. I found the bass controls best left alone in my front room which is only two feet wider than yours at the listening position...

So for your room and positioning I think the 5s would be just the job... but if you're after club level bass then only a sub or mountain sized standmounts can do that.

I am a fan of Adams speakers as I've owned quite a few and still do in my main room for listening.

But the Mackies have an excellent rep and are available reasonably frequently on eBay s/h and new.

And as I said, the JBLs are already legendary as an unbelievable bargain. Sevaeral users on here swear by them.

If you can afford the 7s though, I'd still go for them. Simply because you'll be very unlikely to need to 'upgrade', so it's a safe bet.

If not then the 5s are certainly worth the money.

And if you can get them for £400 do so as soon as you can. That's nearly half price for what is already an impressive bargain.

And I can't imagine that the Mackies are anything other than very good indeed. Too many laudings across the web from too many different places for them to be anything else.

As for sound quality, I think they're all likely to be a good improvement, all round, on anything you've heard at anywhere near the price. The extra detail and top class stop start of the bass alone is worth the effort of getting the cash together.

On the basis of what you've told us here, I'd immediately snap up the A5X.

However, I did once own a (cheaper than yours) pair of edifiers. They weren't. I thought them rather hollow and shrill. But they were cheap. They lasted about ten days before going back on ebay. And they were only for a little used room.

Ps, if by some chance the Adam 5s aren't for you, and I'd be surprised at that, then you'll lose nothing when selling them on.
 

cesarleeds

Active Member
Those JBL, saw some demos on YouTube, man, they sound good, even on such poor listening conditions.

Guy with that Adam 5 had already sold them, just forgot to delete the ad, however had a very nice chat with him, he was very happy with them but was about to move to a bigger house and wanted an upgrade.

One thing I keep thinking is, being all these active speakers nearfield and apparently made for small rooms, wouldn't lose sound quality when playing on a medium size room such as mine? Will they really fill a 25' x 10' room?
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Those JBL, saw some demos on YouTube, man, they sound good, even on such poor listening conditions.

Guy with that Adam 5 had already sold them, just forgot to delete the ad, however had a very nice chat with him, he was very happy with them but was about to move to a bigger house and wanted an upgrade.

One thing I keep thinking is, being all these active speakers nearfield and apparently made for small rooms, wouldn't lose sound quality when playing on a medium size room such as mine? Will they really fill a 25' x 10' room?
I have a pair of Mackies Mr6 mk3s. They easily filled a 30+ sq meter room, I mean easy. It's about 20 by 15 so different shape but similar to yours. By all accounts the Adam and jbls are better, so I wouldn't worry to much about it. As with everything there's hype about the inability to multitask on products to imply we need buy specific types, upping cost
 

cesarleeds

Active Member
Shame about the 5s :(

But yes... the 'Nearfield' bit is just studio talk.

Any and all of the speakers mentioned will easily fill your room with splendid music.

I don't know if this company posts to Europe. Worth asking them though. Or get a friend in Britain to post them on?

Adam Audio A5X Active Studio Monitors (Pair) | eBay
Thanks for the link, i send those guys a message regarding the shipping possibilities.

In the meantime i canceled the Edifiers, and instead ordered a pair of JBL LSR 305, i´ll test them on a stereo setting, using the MCR611 and a Chromecast, so i also ordered these cables, i guess they are the right ones:

Adam Hall 3 Star Series 3m 3.5mm Jack Stereo to 2x 6.3mm Jack Mono Audio Cable: Amazon.co.uk: Musical Instruments

Adam Hall 3 Star Series 3m 2x RCA Male to 2x 6.3mm Jack Mono Audio Cable: Amazon.co.uk: Musical Instruments


I have a pair of Mackies Mr6 mk3s. They easily filled a 30+ sq meter room, I mean easy. It's about 20 by 15 so different shape but similar to yours. By all accounts the Adam and jbls are better, so I wouldn't worry to much about it. As with everything there's hype about the inability to multitask on products to imply we need buy specific types, upping cost
Thanks muljao, i certainly hope so, i can say i feel more confident about it after your comments.

BTW, those Mackies are beautiful, sure they sound as good as they look.
 
Last edited:

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I'll be interested to hear your opinions on the JBLs. I've not yet heard anything but praise for them.

Hope you like them.
 

cesarleeds

Active Member
I'll be interested to hear your opinions on the JBLs. I've not yet heard anything but praise for them.

Hope you like them.

Thanks, let´s see how they goes.

BTW, it is my understanding that with the Marantz remote control i would be able to control the speakers volume, but with the Chromecast/NAS i will have to do it manually from the speakers, am i right?
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The Chrome cast can be connected to the Marantz either digitally (optical) or to the analogue inputs and used as a normal part of the Marantz, including remote volume control.

I think, but I'm not certain, that the rear USB might support a 2.5mm hdd as your nas (which would then be volume controlable by the Marantz). If so it should also be accessible as a music player via the Marantz app.

That last is more of a guess though.
 
Last edited:

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The Chrome cast can be plugged straight into the speaker and the volume is then controlled by your phone or tablet.

Just make sure it's not whacked up before playing a tune :eek:

Also, in this mode (and in any case), it'll likely be best to start with the rear gain (volume) on the speakers turned to around halfway.
 
Last edited:

cesarleeds

Active Member
The Marantz does it all, it is such a brilliant unit, but when it comes to USB it doesn´t support 2.5 HDD, even if they are formatted on FAT32, so what i have is a 2.5 HDD connected to my NAS Synology usb port, this way i can share 4tb of lossless music.

I will initially test the JBL, if they are as good as everybody says, due to the nice price they have, i might used them to set up an extra audio system on another room, more or less same size, made of the JBLs+Chromecast, and for the main living room i´ll ultimately go for the Marantz+Adam A5X.
 

cesarleeds

Active Member
The Chrome cast can be plugged straight into the speaker and the volume is then controlled by your phone or tablet.

Just make sure it's not whacked up before playing a tune :eek:

Also, in this mode (and in any case), it'll likely be best to start with the rear gain (volume) on the speakers turned to around halfway.
That is really nice, i was expecting this behaviour from the JBLs but i wasn´t quite sure about it.

I´ll have to take care with the phone´s volume everytime, that is for sure.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Thanks for the link, i send those guys a message regarding the shipping possibilities.

In the meantime i canceled the Edifiers, and instead ordered a pair of JBL LSR 305, i´ll test them on a stereo setting, using the MCR611 and a Chromecast, so i also ordered these cables, i guess they are the right ones:

Adam Hall 3 Star Series 3m 3.5mm Jack Stereo to 2x 6.3mm Jack Mono Audio Cable: Amazon.co.uk: Musical Instruments

Adam Hall 3 Star Series 3m 2x RCA Male to 2x 6.3mm Jack Mono Audio Cable: Amazon.co.uk: Musical Instruments




Thanks muljao, i certainly hope so, i can say i feel more confident about it after your comments.

BTW, those Mackies are beautiful, sure they sound as good as they look.
The Mackies sound great to me. They have good low end with plenty of power. When you take price into consideration they are a bargain ( if you like the sound of course).

You were asking about Chromecast, I'd say that marantz negates the need for one as it has so many built in functions
 

cesarleeds

Active Member
The Mackies sound great to me. They have good low end with plenty of power. When you take price into consideration they are a bargain ( if you like the sound of course).

You were asking about Chromecast, I'd say that marantz negates the need for one as it has so many built in functions
Yep, i´m aware, but i´m thinking about going with JBL´s + Chromecast on our bedroom, and pair the Marantz with some Adam A5X considering there are some options out there to find them on a good price.
 

cesarleeds

Active Member
Update

Got the JBL´s today.

Most important thing, if i have to describe them on such short period of time, i would say they sound clean and energetic, it´s been just a few hours so i only played the remastered edition of Def Leppard "Hysteria" plus latest Metallica album, FLAC files from Chromecast, and there is so much going on, you can really feel everything every bit, there could be some more bass but i can get used to.

I also tryed some mp3´s, they don´t do justice to what these speakers can do when feeding them with quality files, i mean, things still sounds good, but when you jump to FLACs they shine.

I set volume at 7, while ultimately controlling the volume from my phone, half of the phone´s volume was more than enough to fill the room, easily.

I´m very cautious when it comes to speakers and first impressions, sure they need more burn-in time and my ears needs to get used to them, but i have to say so far they feel very good, i´m confident they will grow on me...btw, they passed the WAT test, "those are Batmans speakers!!", i was even prepared to go for the white ones...not anymore.
 
Last edited:

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Phew. I pleased you weren't instantly disappointed.

I think you might like them even more after an acclimatisation period. Also there are some boundary controls on the rear panels that allow you to tweak the bass, though I'd leave it for a week or so until your more familiar with the sound.

And Batman speakers? :laugh: That's a new one for me.
 

Arcam_boy

Distinguished Member
@cesarleeds

I've had mine a couple of months now and still extremely happy with them - I've got mine around 8" from the back wall and the bass is very good. Not floorstander/subwoofer levels but easily on par with some of the larger standmounts I've had in the past with 6.5" drivers.

As you say give them a few weeks and I'm sure you'll be very happy with them.

I've set mine to 10 on the volume and left the bass/treble on 0 and just use my audiolab preamp for the volume. :clap:
 

cesarleeds

Active Member
Phew. I pleased you weren't instantly disappointed.

I think you might like them even more after an acclimatisation period. Also there are some boundary controls on the rear panels that allow you to tweak the bass, though I'd leave it for a week or so until your more familiar with the sound.

And Batman speakers? :laugh: That's a new one for me.
Well, i can only hope she meant Christian Bale´s Batman.:D

Thanks for your help and advice Paul, these JBLs are truly a special thing.
 

cesarleeds

Active Member
I received the Edifiers, couldnt cancel the order back in the day.

They sound loud, big, which they are! , but they were a bit screamers, not so gentle and warmth as the JBLs, these are clearly on a different league in terms of quality, so ordered a return.

I'm still very curious on the Adams, I mean, if they sound better...how good can they really be?

I'm gonna try to find a way to demo them.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
From your response and that of others who have the JBLs I'd be reluctant to spend any more on what might be a minor upgrade if it is one at all.

But if you can borrow a pair of Adams to demo next to your JBLs then that'd be fun anyway.

The Adams are excellent, and the tweeter can be superb on very good recordings, but unless you're going for a league change up to something like the SX series, you might be simply better off with the JBLs and keeping the cash difference.

I think, due to your endorsement and mr Arcams, I'm going to have to buy a pair of the JBLs. I swore I needed no more speakers... but a fellow has to have a hobby :rotfl:

I do have a Monitor Audio dock in my bedroom that I could change.
@cesarleeds

I've had mine a couple of months now and still extremely happy with them - I've got mine around 8" from the back wall and the bass is very good. Not floorstander/subwoofer levels but easily on par with some of the larger standmounts I've had in the past with 6.5" drivers.

As you say give them a few weeks and I'm sure you'll be very happy with them.

I've set mine to 10 on the volume and left the bass/treble on 0 and just use my audiolab preamp for the volume. :clap:
Sometimes it seems, a genuine game changing bargain appears out of nowhere. I'm beginning to think these JBLs may be one of them.

Have to have some now. :)

As soon as I've sorted out my MiniDSP Dirac thing in the main room I'll be getting a pair.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Panasonic HZ2000 OLED TV Review: The best OLED for movie viewing in 2020

Latest News

What's new on Disney+ UK for November 2020
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Denon, Marantz and Yamaha AV receivers hit by HDMI 2.1 bug
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
McIntosh launches MX100 AV processor and MI347 power amp
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung updates and expands access to Samsung TV Plus
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Disney+ UK introduces GroupWatch co-viewing feature
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom