I'll pay you to spec my home stereo system.

pmarc

Novice Member
Room: 55'x30' rectangle. Hardwood floors, bare walls, 70% windows, 2 couches and a small rug. I listen to jazz trio, solo piano, and big-band music. See me on FB if that helps - Paul Marcus, San Diego.
 

Nico72

Active Member
Lucky you! Is that a converted barn?
Large active PA speakers for that volume maybe?
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Do you want to fill the room at party levels or happy with a dedicated listening area at moderate volumes?
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
No hint of a budget?
 

pmarc

Novice Member
Nico72 No. LOL. But the first floor of my new house has an open design... you know... kitchen/dining/liv room. No walls. And I can detect holes (where there's no music source). So gotta have balance.

Ugg10 Not party level. Dedicated listening at moderate volumes and mostly me - fam hates jazz LOL.

My plan: buy once very expensive, now used, wired speakers like circa 80's, 90's (Craig's list or like place). Place a converter on ea speaker to make wireless. And buy a bluetooth amp to receive YouTube and like streaming music from my cell. There will be no other music source. No turntable, no cd player, no TV, etc.

Hixs Budget. If I was buying new it be like $8,000 plus, for all components. Not goin that route. Largely, there's no need. Speakers were as good in yester-year as today... the downside they're bigger, not economized for size. I can deal with it.
 
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Hixs

Distinguished Member
I think you may want to look at active speakers.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
For source, you can get two chrome cast audio devices, add them to a group to sync them and then connect the left output on one to one speaker and the right on the other to the other speaker. A pair of monobloc amps, one behind each speaker would do the job.

So,

Internet WiFi > Chromecast audio left analogue output (or through dac)> monoblock power amp> left speaker.

Same for right speaker.

Example of U.K. used buy as an example -

Chromecast audio £20 each

Audiolab 8300mb amps £1600 250w each into 8 ohms.


ATC SCM40 speaker £2850, renoun for their mid range clarity.


Review http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/HiFi-Choice-Oct-2014-ATC-SCM40.pdf

As a bonus add an audiolab m-dac between each of the Chromecast audio and the monoblocs to get the best out of them, £350 each second hand.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Or active as @Hixs says, try these on for size -


And again add a Chromecast audio plus a better dac (audiolab m-dac) behind each.

The only issue I can find is that you will be controlling volume by the app you are streaming to it which may affect sound quality a little.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Just re-read you comments, I took the $8000 as your budget but on second read this is the new price 20 years ago, so is the budget more like $2-3000?

If so, I’d Still go for the chrome cast audio as a streaming source but sonos connect are reasonable price and you can sync/group/pair them.

You could add a pair of Khadas Tone Board dacs (plus case from amazon) to get the best out of the digital signal.

Add a pair of Dynaudio bm15’s, Mackie hr824 or Adam a8x active monitors.
 

pmarc

Novice Member
Ugg10 You're implying two speakers are sufficient for my room. Won't I get imbalanced sound if the speakers are only at one end of the room? Figured I'd need 4. Two at ea end.

Or, I never thought about it... but I suppose I could place 2 speakers in the middle of the rectangle (that's the shape of the room). But then the direction of sound is going perpendicular to the length of the room. Don't I need to get a surround effect?

What about sub-woofers?
 
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Hixs

Distinguished Member
Budget is important else you're asking people to waste their time suggesting ideas above/below what you want.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
For best listening a stereo pair if best. It's a different prospect if you want to fill a large room with speakers at both ends. It can be accomplished. Monitors may very well be the best option for filling a space like you have like a PA system.

Bit of Forum etiquette, no need to use a bold font.:smashin:
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
"Dedicated listening at modest levels and mostly me".

This suggested that you would have a seating position in front of the speakers and that is where you would do the listening from. Therefore, for sound quality stereo (2 speakers) is always best adding another stereo pair just muddles the sound particularly if you have 55' between them, that is a delay of 1/20s which would be noticeable (slight echo).

If you just want to fill the room with sound rather than trying to get the best sound in one part of the room then as others have suggested a PA system may be the best way to go.

Its also worth pointing out that acoustically the big space does help if you go for a dedicated listening zone but hard floors and windows will detract form the sound. Judicious placing of rugs and furniture can help.
 

pmarc

Novice Member
Thanx everyone! I couldn't figure out this stuff myself if my life depended on it.

Your concept - self-powered speakers using Chromcast - works regardless of price-point. I think I'm committed to buying 1990's speakers, for as little $ as possible. Which from 1990 will be challenging. But I know where to look. My default is buying high-end, newer speakers used or new. I can afford about anything but I have an ideal to beat the system! That's the way I am. I'll go with 2 speakers. I'll figure exactly where to put them, today. I need very high fidelity so although interesting I won't be getting monitors.

Question: are you sure I won't need a pre-amp, being that the cell phone is a weak source?
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
I thought monitors is synonymous with PA system, which is not high fidelity.
That's really not the case. Some of the most accurate, highly regarded speakers are active studio monitors. Check out reviews for the likes of Kii three, Event Opal, ATC SCM40A, the big Genelec, Adam and Focal designs etc.

Also, a few PA systems are considered to be sonically accurate too, such as the Funktion one system.
 

pmarc

Novice Member
So, using monitors, and I have recently recorded in studio's, where do I place them in my situation? In a large room would it not have the same delay mentioned above? Thanx.
 
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pmarc

Novice Member
Oops it looks like Chromcast needs an auxiliary port on the speaker. The vintage speakers I've seen don't have one. And only some vintage speakers are active. I think my options are narrowing, without buying on eBay vintage, mail order - the largest collection of vintage I've found.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
If you are set on "vintage" speakers, you are correct that the vast majority will be passive i.e. they need an amplifier to make them work. So, simplistically -
  • Data is stored in either an analogue or digital format and need a device to extract that.
  • For analogue this is likely to be a turntable, tape deck, FM /AM tuner
  • For digital this can be cd player, sacd player, DAB tuner, streaming device
  • These are all classed as sources and provide a small voltage output (less than 2V typically) that need to be amplified to a level that can drive the speakers
  • The amplifier cam be in one of two places - stand alone connected typically by long wires to the speakers (classed as a passive setup) or built into the speakers connected by long wires directly to the sources (classed as an active setup).
Sorry if I am teaching you to suck eggs but sometime getting a grasp of the basics will help you decide what you want.

So, set yourself a budget, decide on the type of system you want (passive/active/sources/features etc. and what you want from that system sound wise/musical tastes/useage/room etc. and then you can go window shopping in the various online and bricks and mortar establishments to creat a short list for audition/serious shopping. (Once you have this you can also post on her and ask advice, but do bear in mind that this forum is predominantly UK based and so response may need a little more effort by yourself to find out if they are viable in the US).

Hope this helps.
 

pmarc

Novice Member
Yeah, I noticed the UK thing...most of your brands aren't available here. But the over-all concept applies. There's 50 other high-end brands selling in the states, at retail. I'm dedicated to active speakers only because that's a formula. It simplifies things. Otherwise its chaos. My choices are: spend very little on vintage, buying mail-order. Sell em if I don't like em. Or buy used, modern, high-end by mail if I can't find em used, locally. My last resort is paying $2,000 USD per speaker, at retail. Being a bottom-feeder is very difficult at times.
 
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Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the extra info hopefully t will start to narrow down the replies and make them more specific.

So we are looking for used, older active speakers (likely to be studio monitors, rather than hifi, with larger woofers 8" maybe) for use in a very large room but in a localised listening area for moderate listening levels. Correct ?

Couple of point to bear in mind - each speaker will need a power outlet fairly close or extension cables will be needed to one/each. Ideally the speakers should make an equilateral triangle with the listener, so that may help plan your space, for the sort of speakers you are looking at this is probably going to be a triagle with 8-12ft sides. Finally speakers tend to work best around 2ft from any walls and wold benefit from having a rug between the speakers and the listener.

Finally if you want no equipment between the speakers then I posted a quick experiment using chromecast audio and my active speakers, this may be of interest. This would also work for Sonos Connect boxed AFAIK - Chromecast Audio Stereo Pair
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
So, using monitors, and I have recently recorded in studio's, where do I place them in my situation? In a large room would it not have the same delay mentioned above? Thanx.
Problems due to sound delay in a room would only happen if you used more than a pair of speakers at the same time so no problems with a stereo pair.

Room: 55'x30' rectangle. Hardwood floors, bare walls, 70% windows, 2 couches and a small rug.
wold benefit from having a rug between the speakers and the listener.
The likely reflective nature of your particular room could be an issue here. Have you used any music playback systems in this particular room before? If so, what did it sound like? If not, could you borrow a system just to try out in this room? Usually, a highly reflective space (which this room appears to be) requires pretty extensive acoustic treatment (to control the reflections) to make the sound good, I'm afraid. It's possible that room correction electronics may help though the cost would eat into your budget.

Do a quick 'handclap' check:

Smartphone apps are probably available to help determine the room acoustic characteristics too.

I'd be wary of purchasing an expensive setup only for it to sound poor due to room acoustic problems. If it were me, I'd want to satisfy myself that the room could sound good (or be made to sound good) before purchasing any equipment. Also, the further the listening position is from the speakers, the more the room acoustics are likely to impact the sound quality.
 

pmarc

Novice Member
It does help. I forgot about the wall plugs! And the decor, which is set in stone. I thank everyone here. But I get it, finally. I'll return here or another post when I get to the next step.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
If you do go down the active monitor route - here's a couple of examples of what you could get -

Mackie HR824 (I have these), 8" woofer with F3 of 37hz - $1500+ when new per pair


Dynaudiop BM12 mk3 $2500 per pair (this is a starting bid, not buy it now)

 

pmarc

Novice Member
Is it an absolute requirement to inter-connect the chromcast between the two speaks? Or can one chromcast unit / one speaker work independently?

Also - Do they make amps that receive a cell phone signal through wifi or are they all bluetooth?
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
"If I was buying new it be like $8,000 plus ..."

This is not helpful, we don't care how much money you would like to spend in theory, we need to know how much money you ACTUALLY have to spend.

Next, how can you have a room that large in new construction that is 70% windows? That does not seem structurally sound. So, we are going to need a better description of the place. For example, are the windows Floor to Ceiling?

You have a 50ft x 33ft space, but given that you said you don't need loud levels we would need to ask - How big is the Listening Space?

Next, we need to know how you will use the system? Will you need Network Streaming, will you use the system for TV & Movie watching?

Then we come to specific features that you will need from the Amp/Receiver?

- Tone Controls
- Network Streaming
- DAC (digital to analog converter)
- Phono-In
- Sub-Out
- Room EQ
- Bass Management
- How much Power?
- Silver, Black, or Other?
- How big can the speaker be? Large Floorstanding? Modest Bookshelf? Other?


I believe in one of your posts you said you could go up to $4000/pair for speakers. Can we assume that implies a budget of $2000 for the Amp/Receiver?

Also, do you just need Amp and Speakers, or are there other components you might need? CD Player? BlueRay Player? Turntable? Network Streaming (again)? Other?

Getting a system is as much about YOU and your personal preferences as it is about the other equipment. You define the system you need, and than narrows down the choices.

Here is an example for illustration -

The Klipsch Forte III have been getting very good reviews, and these are very high efficiency speakers. So, they can play loud and filll the space using only modest power, or they can play very quiet and still sound good.

Klipsch Forte III, 12" woofer, horn Mid/High, 15" passive radiator, 400w peak power - US$4000/pair -


Walnut, Cherry, Black, and Special Walnut.

Rotel RA-1572 Integrated Amp, 120w/ch, DAC, Tone, Bluetooth - $2000/each -



Should be available in Black or Silver. For those large efficient Klipsch Speakers, this 120w/ch amp should be more than enough.

Now, what else do you need? -

Rotel C14 CD Player - $800 -


Black or Silver

If you need Network Streaming of Audio, then you have some basic options in the $350 to $500 range -

Yamaha WXC-50 Streamer Pre-Amp - $350 each -


Bluesound Node-2i - $550 -


Black or White

Forte-III + RA-1572 = ~$6000

Forte-III + RA-1572 + CD14 + WXC-50 = $7150

Forte-III + RA-1572 + CD14 + Node-2i = $7300


Of course there are many other options to consider.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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pmarc

Novice Member
Problems due to sound delay in a room would only happen if you used more than a pair of speakers at the same time so no problems with a stereo pair.




The likely reflective nature of your particular room could be an issue here. Have you used any music playback systems in this particular room before? If so, what did it sound like? If not, could you borrow a system just to try out in this room? Usually, a highly reflective space (which this room appears to be) requires pretty extensive acoustic treatment (to control the reflections) to make the sound good, I'm afraid. It's possible that room correction electronics may help though the cost would eat into your budget.

Do a quick 'handclap' check:

Smartphone apps are probably available to help determine the room acoustic characteristics too.

I'd be wary of purchasing an expensive setup only for it to sound poor due to room acoustic problems. If it were me, I'd want to satisfy myself that the room could sound good (or be made to sound good) before purchasing any equipment. Also, the further the listening position is from the speakers, the more the room acoustics are likely to impact the sound quality.
The room passed the handclap test, better in two areas than the third. And I also just tried a portable Bose speaker. It's fine. But very interesting the Bose sound is much better from one end of the room than the other. In fact the Bose filled the room and sounded much better 50 ft away than from 4 feet away from me, at the other end of the room. I think this is due to the 26 linear feet of upholstered furniture and 3 rugs in between the kitchen and the other end of the room. Hence, this would tell me the ideal speaker placement.
 
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Ugg10

Distinguished Member
See the link in post #22. I had two Chrome cast audios, one for each active speaker. You set them up as a group in the google home app and then play to the group.

Amps like the Yamaha rn602 and rn803 have streaming built in, plus Apple, chrome cast and other protocols that run over WiFi. The rn803 may be useful for you as it has built in room equalisation which may help get the best out of your room.
 

pmarc

Novice Member
I appreciate all the help. But between power outlet limitations, placement of furniture and decor, and hassles with using wired, I have just seen the best way... I'm gonna do it empirically. Using several portable speakers to do a variety of tests. The bose portable test and handclap were illuminating.
 

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