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Becoming An Audiophile - Page 2

post #16 of 95
Thread Starter 
So the Onkyo should serve me well for awhile....I'm assuming it would make more sense to upgrade my CD player first...mine is actually starting to die, so do you have any recommendations for good sounding affordable single-tray cd decks (under $200, possibly under $150)?

I need to find a picture of the Advent model you mentioned to see if that's what I have.....
post #17 of 95
Mr. X,

If you are not into SACD or DVD-Audio, I would recommend looking into a single-disc CD player from the likes of NAD, Cambridge Audio, Rotel, or Marantz. There's also a Technics single-disc model that has been raved by the British Hi Fi press in recent years....I have seen it at less than $150.00.

Regarding buying equipment or upgrading, do it one piece at a time. Otherwise, you'll not be able to tell the benefits (or harm) of the new gear.
post #18 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by soundboy
Mr. X,

If you are not into SACD or DVD-Audio, I would recommend looking into a single-disc CD player from the likes of NAD, Cambridge Audio, Rotel, or Marantz. There's also a Technics single-disc model that has been raved by the British Hi Fi press in recent years....I have seen it at less than $150.00.

Regarding buying equipment or upgrading, do it one piece at a time. Otherwise, you'll not be able to tell the benefits (or harm) of the new gear.
Yes, I am into SACD *and* DVD-Audio. However, I won't be ready to jump into either until I have full surround sound speakers (and a new receiver/amp...because mine is 5.1, and I believe you need 6.1 for SACD, right?)

I went ahead and picked up an inexpensive Yamaha single-tray CD deck. It should serve me well, and will probably be a decent match for the Onkyo receiver.

So...the current chain is Onkyo receiver, Yamaha CD deck, Samsung DVD player, Technics 1200.

Next up: speakers. (I'm guessing a high quality DVD player to replace the Samsung and Yamaha for CD's and DVD's (along w/ stands and better cables) would be the next logical choice..followed by the other three speakers & sub..followed by new receiever...SACD player..turntable...... Yeah, that sounds like the right order..)

SOOO... I think I'll be deciding between 601 and 602. Someone told me that 602's might be a better choice to replace the Advents...that my Onkyo might make the 601's sound a little thin, where the 602's will help make up what's lacking from my receiver output...plus 602's may be all I'll need for front speakers, where the 601's can be purchased for rears in a future upgrade....

...anyway, that's where I am right now...

(BTW, soundboy, you've been a great help)
post #19 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by soundboy
Mr. X,
Sounds like you have the Advent Graduate.
Nope! I just found a picture, and those are bookshelf speakers. What I have are definitely towers--ones that came out before the Maestro's, I believe...They look similar to them, just not quite as tall... Any other guesses?

EDIT--> I found a picture of the Prodigy....mine look almost exactly like them, except that mine are a little wider, and "Advent" is engraved to the right of the top tweeter instead of underneath....
post #20 of 95
Mr. X,

Congrats on the Yamaha CD player. Regarding SACD/DVD-A, you don't need to have surround sound for either format. Currently I am using a Sony DVP-NS500P SACD/DVD player as my source, which will be hooked up to a Cambridge Audio A500 stereo integrated amp that will drive my Energy C-1 bookshelf speakers. My system is in a small room, so I can't imagine putting 5.1 speakers in it (although a small sub may be in the plan). For all SACDs, a stereo high-rez mix is required. And since most of my SACDs are just stereo discs, that's why I went with the stereo integrated amp.

As for whether you should get the 601 or 602, is it possible to have these for home auditions? If you have a small room, even the bass of a small bookshelf speakers can overwhelm the sound quality. I was auditioning a pair of Paradigm MiniMonitors years ago and they sounded great at the dealer. When I got them home, the bass was just too boomy. No matter what I did, the bass was just too heavy-handed for my taste. I am not saying the Paradigms are bad speakers, just that they will work better in a bigger room. You may want to get the 602 now, then when it's time to get surround speakers, get the 600 bookshelf speakers.

Hmmmm....not the Graduate? Not the Prodigy??
post #21 of 95
Quote:
Originally posted by Zoomie
You will be happy with the 601s. I bought a pair a short while ago and really like them. Sure, I was able to find bookshelf speakers that sounded better, but not without spending more than five times what I paid for the 601s.

I also feel that the B&W 601/2's are overpriced. Their sound is in my opinion too polite, boring, and thin. I don't really like any speaker in their range for the price, even the venerable 801 which has slammin' bass.

I prefer in the price range the Energy Connessieur C-3 (I own the older C-2) or the Paradigm Studio Reference 20.

Both the Energy and the Paradigm offer excellent performance for the money and I feel offer a much more involved presentation and tighter bass response. I think the Paradigms are $650 but I feel they are significantly better than the 602's. Both the Energy and the Paradigm are also more solidly built and nicer to look at.

Audio Advisor might still have the deal for Energy Veritas bookshelf speakers for $500 (1/2 price). I have only heard the floorstanding version, but if there is a family resemblance there, they should be pretty awesome, especially for the money.

Don't forget to add in cost of speaker stands too. They make a huge difference.
post #22 of 95
Not to confuse you, but you should also consider Monitor Audio as well. These are highly regarded as 'B&W killers' and for good reason . I got a pair of the Bronze B2, which replaced my Energy C-1, and I am really happy with them. They easily outclass anything in their price range.
post #23 of 95
Quote:
oth the Energy and the Paradigm are also more solidly built and nicer to look at.
The only weird thing is that Paradigm speakers actually DO sound better with the grilles on, they designed them to be used with grilles...anyway, I guess it keeps people from getting dusty drivers...but they DO look nice, and they have weird pointy phase-plug like dust-caps on the midwoofers now (it's on the 20).
post #24 of 95
Thread Starter 
I am shocked by the realization that audiophiles have been right this whole time. Equipment labeled as “better” and/or “more expensive” truly does equal better sound. My new Yamaha CDX-396 completely blows away the Sony 5-disc changer I’ve been using. Listening to CDs played on this $199 single-tray deck through my K240M’s is heaven.

BTW, I got ripped off...I found it online for $129.....that’s three strikes against the shop I’ve been going to: first they told me that my Onkyo receiver could damage 601’s--an obvious ploy to get me to buy a new amp---then they charge me $199 for the Yamaha deck---man, I wish I would have done more research before I bought it----and finally, right as I was purchasing, the guy said, “well, they come with cables, but they’re soooo terrible”...in which I responded (in an annoyed tone) with, “Thank you, but my monster optical cable will do just fine.” I am DONE with them. Unfortunately, they’re the only place I’m aware of that lets you take speakers home for a few days to demo..and they also have a deal where you can trade new speakers for a full refund (within a year) for a different pair. They charge $450 for 601’s....

As for speakers.... basically, I’m looking for something that sounds very very close to my AKG 240M’s: lean, accurate, tight bass (hate “boomy” and “punchy”), and CLEAR. The B&W’s seemed to do this very well---I loved the sound (when I listened in the store).

Since I’m in a small room, the 602’s could potentially give me boomy bass, where the 601’s may fill the room better. When I move to a condo, it might be better to upgrade to 602’s for front speakers, but the 601’s may be the best choice for now. I keep reading an awful lot on how room size really should determine what size speaker is best.

My Advents MUST be a version of Prodigy’s..they look exactly the same as the pictures I’ve seen, but they’re a little wider & the woofer appears to be slightly bigger. Perhaps they’re an earlier version? (late 80’s)

I’m learning sooooo much, this is great!!!
post #25 of 95
Thread Starter 
OKAY..

I'm 99% sure I'm going w/ the 601's!

So....I want to make sure I budget in good stands and cables (which I know nothing about)....

I've been trying to search for info; not much luck. Are those $200 B&W stands really worth it?

I want to know what my total price will be when the day comes....
post #26 of 95
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. X
(and a new receiver/amp...because mine is 5.1, and I believe you need 6.1 for SACD, right?)
Nope. I have a 7.2 system at home, but I must admit that, with the exception of about 40 DVDs, it really is overkill. Prologic 2x is on its way, but I think that most audiophiles would prefer simple stereo rather than processed 7.1 sound.
post #27 of 95
Quote:
I believe you need 6.1 for SACD, right?
No. SACD is at most 5.1 channels. Every SACD, whether they are a hybrid or single-layer disc, must have a separate stereo mix. No downmixing from the multi-channel mix; that's a completely separate mix.

Since music is my primary focus, I am sticking with 2 channel stereo. I am not against multi-channel recordings at all; in fact, I think they are the future. But for now, 99.99% of my music, including my SACDs, are stereo recordings. I think I should get it right for 2 channel stereo first before I move toward multi-channel.

I am considering getting a dedicated CD player myself and let my Sony DVP-NS500V just handle SACD/DVD duties.
post #28 of 95
Thread Starter 
I'm only interested in 2-channel right now, as well, so when I get SACD, I'll only care about listening to it that way. Therefore, since I'm slowly building, my next upgrade will probably be an ES reciever (ready for all audio & video, plus it will have 100W power @ each channel)---that should hold me until I'm ready for more separate components...AND it will be SACD ready (at which time I'll probably get an ES SACD deck..or perhaps that Yamaha deck that plays all formats, since I'm really liking the CDX-396......)

So, what's more important for the 601's? Stands or cables? If you could only choose one, what would it be? I'm thinking of just using my Advent Prodigy's as shelves for the 601's & saving the extra money for cables. If possible, I'd like to keep my total purchase under $550. However, if spending a LITTLE more makes a huge difference, I'll bite the bullet..

(Then, when I move, I'll either pour some money into great stands, or upgrade to 602's.....)
post #29 of 95
Well if you really decide on the 601 IMHO you should get some good stands.. Maybe buy just some un-terminated speaker cable and only upgrade later if it makes a difference.

On another note I too might recommend Paradigm Studio series, or Dynaudio.. As these are speakers I might someday really consider buying, though I haven't listened to them. (I do though follow reviews and these seem to be good value.)

Few year ago I too was looking at speakers and almost bought B&W 601 S2:s, but since I bought a whole 5.1 setup I got Mordaunt-Short speakers for somewhat less.. (This headphone listening is deffinitely much more cheaper =)) And have not regretted one bit. (After some seriously needed for burning in... What a horrible treble when new. BTW I drive them with the same receiver as you. Quite good for a cheap A/V setup (and deffinitely not too weak as to damage speakers) and does SACD just fine, thank you. Only for stright out 2ch I think it's little sub-optimal: dedicated 2ch amps are probably much better and there are no preouts (just sub)! So one can't add an power amp to get it any better.. (But this affects all other cheap receivers too.)
(Also, if I were to upgrade I'd definitely go with separates as I don't think other receivers are that much better value.. At least in stuff below Rotel RSX10x5 level anyway..)

Eh.. I probably was not much help, but I think you'll enjoy 601's from you receiver just fine (for now ! Good luck.

(PS actually this receiver dishes out 93 W to 8ohm continuous in 2ch.. And this is a third party measurement. It gives 70 when driving all 5ch continuously. Newer Onkyo models supposedly skimped little on the power supply and can't drive continuous loads for as long.)
post #30 of 95
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. X
Thanks, everyone!

I'm on a tight budget and want to keep it under $500 for now, so I'd really like to hold off on stands and cables. They can be the next upgrade, followed by a better amp/receiver, followed by CD player, DVD, more speakers, upgrades, etc.
If more speakers are going to be quite a while down the road, be sure that the series will still be around when that time comes around. Most people recommend matching speakers pretty closely and you don't want to struggle to find a good match years from now.
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