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Home Audiophile Setup Advise Required

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  1. delrosa81
    I am interested to do a home setup, mainly a good set of speakers, a full size amp and thats about it. As for the transport, I would use my portable DAPs and the pre-amp would be my portable amps.
    1) Can anyone recommend a good set of speakers for purely music listening?
    2) Is it possible to get the Chord Hugo and use it to power my speakers and still have good sound?
  2. goldendarko
    KEF LS50's are a great value, but really it all depends on your budget. They cost $1500, what are you looking to spend?

    Also, no the Hugo will not power your speakers, it is a portable amp/dac.
  3. delrosa81

    Thanks goldendarko :)
    Maybe something not more than $2000?
    I just saw the KEF LS50, it not only sounds good, it looks absolutely beautiful as well !
  4. goldendarko
    Yeah, I think it's the best value under $3000 from all the speakers I tested. So good I bought them myself!
  5. TubeHiFiNut
    Happy to provide recommendations. The following will help:

    Room size?

    Seating position/distance from speakers?

    Dedicated or shared listening room?

    Type(s) of music?

    Personal preferences (lots of bass? Pure mids? Etc?)?

    Thank you.
  6. cel4145
    Emotiva makes some good, cont effective performers for amps. The XPA-200 could be a good fit if you just want a power amp.

    With a $2000 budget, you might also consider a sub to fill in the lower end.

    What does your listening room look like? Can it accommodate towers? If so and you listen to bass heavy genres that definitely need a sub? If not, towers could be a good approach. It depends in part on your room size, how important good bass is to you, and how loud you listen.
  7. delrosa81
    Wow sounds good! Thanks goldendarko!
    Thanks for the help TubeHifiNut but I'm a noob at all these and I have not decided where to place my speakers as my room is real messy now
    But maybe I can come up with an estimate:-
    Room Size:              11.5 Sq Metres
    Seating Position:       Front/ 2 Metres away from speakers
    Music Type:              Mixed Genre, usually, Pop, Jazz, Classical and Rock
    Personal Preference: I like good clarity plus good bass.
    Thanks so much!

    Thanks cel4145! I just need a power amp, what do you think of the Oppo HA-1? I am a real noob at desktop amps actually. Would a sub muddy up the sound?
    My listening room is pretty messy but imagine standing in the middle of a room,
    front extreme left is a computer desk plus computers,
    right in front of you is a TV + game console,
    front extreme right is a display cabinet
    and thats all to what is in my room.
  8. cel4145
    This may help. Check out these two guides on speaker placement: http://www.audioholics.com/home-theater-connection/speaker-placement-setup-tips-for-upgraded-home-theater-systems
    The advice for a stereo setup is the same even if you don't add in the other speakers. Figuring out where your speakers will go will help you to make some decisions.

    So if you are setting up your speakers for use with your TV and Xbox, if movie and gaming use is important, then you definitely want a sub. Lots of sub bass content in movies and games. And in movies, lots of 20 to 40hz content that towers would never reproduce. And if movie watching and gaming is important to you, then you might want to think about a surround system.

    Asking whether a sub will muddy up the sound is almost like asking if a hammer is a poor choice over your shoe for hammering in nails. A sub is THE specialized tool in home audio designed for producing low frequency content below 80hz. Unfortunately, most people have only ever heard cheap subs that are boomy, with distortion, and that are poorly integrated into a room. If you like bass heavy music like EDM, dubstep, reggae, hip hop, or rap, a sub is a necessity for best sound. I recommend 12" subs from SVS Sound. They are an Internet direct subwoofer vendor that provides such good price/performance values that they would sell twice as much or more if they were at brick and mortar store. A good sub from them will reproduce the bass in movies accurately, more like a good movie theater (and even better than a cheap theater).

    I have not heard the Oppo, but keep in mind that there are greatly diminishing returns as you spend more on electronics. On the other hand, a home audio speaker system (particularly HT setup) is much more expensive to achieve the same level of sound quality as a good pair of headphones. So it sort of depends on what your priorities are. Then think about your total budget you have to spend on everything and prioritize it. Could be that a mid level Audio-GD DAC/amp would be the way to go for everything you are trying to do so that you can put more money toward something else.

    So more questions:

    What are your primary headphones you want to use with a new desktop dac/headphone amp?
    What are your priorities here?
    Is gaming and movies important with your setup? Do you want a surround sound setup?
    Do you like bassy music?
    Do you want a really good sounding room audio system?
    What is your total budget for everything?
    Also what country do you live in?

    Then go from here :)
  9. cel4145

    I missed this. I like good bass, too. I have dual 18" subwoofers in my living room. So clean it makes bass effects in movie seem real and my living room sound like a club with the right kind of music. So powerful, I'm afraid it might be slowly damaging the plaster on the walls of my 100 year old house :D
  10. TubeHiFiNut

    Just my opinion but the set up for Video and/or gaming will be different than one that maximizes audio fidelity.

    Personally, I would go with something vintage. Efficient speakers that work reasonably close. Nice 70's integrated amp.

    What is your total budget?
  11. cel4145

    I know a lot of people with high end systems that would disagree with that statement. I know some people don't appreciate audio fidelity with movies and gaming (perhaps they don't care about the audio quality of movies or are more into screens), and that's where that opinion comes from. If anything, an HT setup is more demanding of audio fidelity than a music only setup, requiring better dynamics, deeper bass extension, and more speakers. It requires more knowledge about setup and speaker placement. It can take more knowledge to configure. Plus, movies often have music soundtracks, so even those that don't care about the rest of the movie audio fidelity can benefit. And then there are some marvelous blu ray concerts that are amazing for experiencing music. And don't forget that blu-ray supports very high sampling and bit rates and is typically lossless from the original audio masters. So can you clarify how that is true, or are you saying it doesn't matter to you (which is OK)? Or that you have not experienced a high fidelity HT setup (which is OK too)?

    As for vintage amps, modern amps can be just as good. And unless one knows what they are doing, it's hard to shop for vintage equipment. Plus, any 70s' integrated amp will need to be serviced if it has not already. And vintage speakers may need to be reconed or have surround foam replaced. Sure. There are some great stories about "I found this at Goodwill" or "I found this at a yard sale," but those are the exception, not the rule. The vintage market is not nearly as good a value as ten years ago because now it's the "cool" thing to do. However, if one knows what they are doing, buying used audio equipment (five year old electronics/ten year old speakers) can be a great way to get some good values.
  12. delrosa81
    Thanks cel4145 for all the info!
    Wow 18" sounds really big for a subwoofer. But i love bass, especially when watching action movies lol
    Actually I am looking more for just audio and listening purposes as I'm more finicky when it comes to listening music. I have a creative home theatre for movies and gaming that comes with a woofer as well. My budget is not really much, maybe $3000 to $4000 max for the whole system. I intend to use my portable DAPs and DACs to hook up to a desktop AMP thats all. I think it is a pretty simple setup.
    Actually for me, Im not expecting that much for movies and gaming. My main focus is into listening to music, that relaxes me and I enjoy it therefore I am more into just a purely audio setup :)
  13. TubeHiFiNut
    Have you thought of something like a McIntosh MA-6100 or MA-6200 driving some Tannoy, JBL or Altec monitors? The Mac will also drive almost any headphone and it looks great.

    Tannoy, JBL and Altec monitors are used in recording studios all over the world. They sound great at the listening distance you have. Should have enough bass for all but the most ardent bass-heads. Reasonably efficient. Good match for the Mac.

    The great thing about going this way is that you can always get your money back out if you want to do something different in the future

    Just my opinion..... :cool:
  14. cel4145
    OK. If good bass is important to you, then you need to figure out whether or not to get a good sub. What genres of music do you listen to?

    And then you haven't said yet whether or not your space accommodates towers or monitor size speakers for placement.

    Also, where do you live? You are talking about a budget in dollars, but expressing measurements in meters. Price/performance values are different depending on what region of the world you live in.
  15. delrosa81
    Seriously I don have much knowledge on home audiophile setup let alone, brands, models, etc but I will go read up on the McIntosh Amps as you mentioned. Will do more research before committing on any purchase :)
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