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Speakers for music

theokkid

Standard Member
Hi, i am very, very new to the audio world and have been listening to music over my panasonic sc-pt460 sound system up until now. I plug in my htc desire through a 3.5mm jack to phono cable and listen to it through that. The music that is stored on my phone is at 320kbps. The sound quality is not brilliant but i am not sure why that is. Crappy speakers or crappy source, probably both. So i am looking for an upgrade as far as that goes.

I have been trawling the internet for weeks trying to find the best speaker and amplifier set up and have got a £400, maybe £500 budget for everything. I have seen the wharfedale diamond 9.1 and 10.1 going for £100 and £170 as two front speakers. For amplifiers, i have seen the NAD c315bee or Pioneer VSX-820-K 5.1 amplifier. I am not sure whether the equipment will compliment eachother so that is the reason i am asking.

To be honest, i am open to anything because i am a beginner and don't have a clue what is out there! I listen to a range of different genres of music from drum and bass and dubstep to indie and pop.
So my main question is, what sort of set up should i have and if there are no bookshelfs that can pump out some bass in my price range, should i get a seperate subwoofer and which one. In my research i just got scared by the amount of speaker cables that are available and how much to spend on them so could i have some guidance on that?

Oh, and can i get a cable for my HTC Desire that will make it sound good, or is the Desire not capable of good sound quality and need to burn some CDs?
Thank you very much in advance!
 

Ben Jammin

Established Member
How did the music get on your HTC Desire? Surely you must have burned to PC in the first place? If you can use the PC as the source a £40 Behringer DAC will do you fine.

I have the Desire, good phone, not great sound quality. However, improving your speakers and Amp will make it sound a million times better than it does now. Something like this would sound good:

Denon DM38DAB Black | Mini System EXC speakers | Richer Sounds

Mordaunt Short AVIANO 1XR Black | Speakers Per Pair | Richer Sounds

That way you can use your CD's still, as well as your HTC and possibly a PC/Laptop? You don't need to spend a lot on speaker cable at all so don't worry about that.
 

Hifiver2

Established Member
I'd forget the Nad 315, good though it is, and go for the Nad 326BEE instead. It has more power and is a step up in quality for not much more money - £208. It also has a dedicated subwoofer output which maybe handy for you either now or in the future.

For speakers, you could go for something like Acoustic Energy Aelite 1's(£280 from Superfi). They are such a nice speaker and suit lots of music styles. Also, if you prefer, then Mission M33i floorstanders would sound good with that amp.

There are loads of cheaper alternatives(like the Wharfedales you mention) which you could mate with a budget sub such as BK Gemini 2 (£210) or Wharfedale SW150 (£150).

I don't know much about budget pc soundcards but there are plenty of people on here that do.
 

theokkid

Standard Member
thank you very much for the feedback!
There is an app where you can download any 320kbps music for free if you go to tunee.net on your phone browser.

Anyway, are you sure 30watt a channel would work with a 100watt rms pair of speakers. i have learnt in my research as a rule of thumb that the amp should be half the power of the speakers. does that apply or is it just a myth?

The speakers look brilliant though :)
 

theokkid

Standard Member
and where did you get the £208 for the NAD c326bee because i can only see £233.99, if it is £208 then that is a done deal! I will probably wait a bit for a subwoofer because they are a little expensive so they will be something to save up for.

Thank you
 

Hifiver2

Established Member
The Nad 326bee is £208 at Dixons.

Those Acoustic Energy speakers are quite sensitive and are relatively easy to drive. Hence I recommended them. Don't take power ratings too literally, Nad amps are always conservatively rated anyway and will easily drive those speakers.

Once you've got your amp choice sorted out I urge you to demo some speakers. I think Superfi stock the Nad, so get along there if there's a branch near you and ask to hear some speakers with it.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
At roughly £400 for amp and speakers, consider the Yamaha amp, plus the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1, 10.1, or possibly the Diamond 10.2.

Yamaha AS300, 60w/ch, £207 -

YAMAHA AS300 AMPLIFIER - available from Superfi UK

Yamaha AS500,85w/ch, £296

YAMAHA AS500 AMPLIFIER - available from Superfi UK

Pioneer A307R, 45w/ch, £199 -

PIONEER A307R AMPLIFIER - available from Superfi UK

Though this can be found for less from other sources.

NAD C326BEE, 50w/ch, £296 -

NAD C326BEE AMPLIFIER - available from Superfi UK

A highly rated amp.

If you really want to maximize your money, consider this amp -

Harman Kardon HK3390, AM/FM, 80w/ch, £259 -

HARMAN KARDON HK3390 RECEIVER - available from Superfi UK

I've used SuperFi to give sample price and specs, but these are all common amps and available from multiple sources, and sometimes at better prices.

In speakers, here are the Diamonds, the Diamond 9.1 being an especially good bargain -

Diamond 9.1, 5" woofer, 50hz, £99/pr -

WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 9.1 SPEAKERS (PAIR) - available from Superfi UK

Diamond 10.1, 5" woofer, 50hz, £170/pr -

WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10.1 SPEAKERS (PAIR) - available from Superfi UK

Diamond 10.2, 6.5" woofer, 40hz, £220/pr -

WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10.2 SPEAKERS (PAIR) - available from Superfi UK

As an alternative to the Diamond, consider the Monitor Audio Bronze BX series. The BX1 is about the equivalent of the 10.1, and the BX2 is about the equivalent of the 10.2 (BX1 ~ £180/pr, BX2 ~ £225/pr) -

Monitor Audio BX1 - Google Search

Monitor Audio BX2 - Google Search

I would think if you can push your budget a bit, the NAD C326 + Diamond 10.2 would be a powerful system. Though nothing wrong with other combination either, like the C326+10.1.

If you simply can't go over £500, then the Yamaha AS300 + Diamond 10.2 would bring you in under budget and would give you near floorstanding performance in the speakers.

The same could be done with the Yamaha AS300 + Monitor Audio BX2. That pushes you close, but still keeps you under £500.

Just a few suggestions.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Ben Jammin

Established Member
The Denon will drive the Mordaunt Short's, no problem. 100 Watts is the max power they can handle is all. Good suggestions all round from everybody else, listen and make up your own mind if possible. The advantage of the Denon is you get the CD player built in, in exchange for a little power and quality.
 

theokkid

Standard Member
Thank you everyone, really useful information!
I was ready to go out and buy the NAD C315BEE and the wharfedale 9.1 but you have pushed my money in the right direction!

Next weekend i am going to bite the bullet and buy the Yamaha AS300 because when i saw a hi res picture of it, my life was complete! And of course it is made out to be a brilliant amplifier also. And i will go for the Wharfedale diamond 10.1 or 10.2, depending on how i feel when i hit 'Add to basket'.

Thank you very much for the assistance!
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
If I calculate right, the AS300 + Diamond 10.2 would be (210 + 220 = ) £430. That's pretty close to your budget, and the Diamond 10.2 while not tiny speaker, are very close to the performance of floorstanding speakers. A 40hz low end is pretty amazing in a bookshelf speaker. Still, if you are put off by the size, or you want to save some cash, the Diamond 10.1 or 9.1 will still get the job done nicely.

I think the Yamaha amps are available in both Black and Silver, make sure you order the one you want. I prefer Silver, because black amps absolutely disappear, they are very hard to see. I think that might be the point of black, but it doesn't appeal to me. Still to each his own, just make sure you are clear which you are ordering.

Do at least take a look at the Monitor Audio BX, if they appeal to you, they are well worth considering. If not, you can't really go wrong with the Wharfedale.

Good luck, and happy listening.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Ben Jammin

Established Member
If your set on 10.1 or 10.2 get the 10.2 I beg you. Else you will miss the extra bass!
 

theokkid

Standard Member
BlueWizard! You are evil! You keep on throwing amazing speakers at me :) I am now intrigued by the distinct look of the bx2 and the big bass driver, much like the wharfedale 10.2. They look so much nicer than the wharfedales aswell! I am going to be up all night looking at reviews now!

Thank you for the late addition :)
 

Ben Jammin

Established Member
forget reviews. they will only drive you mad. go listen. or just order on a whim and be happy.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
forget reviews. they will only drive you mad. go listen. or just order on a whim and be happy.

Reviews are valuable, but in the end, they are just someone's opinion. We hope an educated experienced opinion, but we don't really know. We also don't know if the reviewer has a vest interest in a positive review.

The same is true of any responses you get in this forum, they are just opinions.

But, the Wharfedale Diamond series has been in production since something like 1983, and have consistently garnered positive reviews. So, you have the reputation of the maker, the history of the product line, and YES, absolutely, and most importantly, you have your ears. Trust those the most.

But there is ALWAYS a for the money aspect. I thought my Diamond 9.6 were pretty good, until I heard some roughly £2000 speakers. That was a mistake. After hearing those incredibly clear and detailed speakers, that played so effortlessly, my Diamonds can never sound the same. But, these better speakers are more than FOUR TIMES more money than I paid for my Diamonds.

So, you have to compare similar speakers. The Diamond and the Monitor Audio Bronze are comparable. They both have long history from companies with decades long reputations, they both have good reviews and many fans. They both have roughly similar specs, an they are both similarly priced.

Though, keep in mind there are plenty of other speakers that fall into the same catagory - Dali, Q Acoustic, Acoustic Energy, Tannoy, and others. That said, Diamond and Bronze are a pretty good place to start.

But, for any piece of equipment, regardless of what it is, it can and will be love and hated by Audiophiles a like. There is always the factor of the individual. You have your ears, you have your brain, you have your preference and priorities, and that means only you, your ears, and your wallet can make the final determination.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Ben Jammin

Established Member
Once again you articulate my opinions better than i can be bothered too :) I was being blunt and exagerrating in order to counter-act the temptation to pay far too much attention to reviews but your balanced answer is probably better.
 

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