Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
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jp1
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by jp1 Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:51 pm

@Samson, I didn't consider durability. That makes a lot of sense from a business standpoint.

I've had mixed feelings about JBL, I know they make some really exceptional stuff...I've also purchased some really sub-par stuff of theirs that left a bad taste in my mouth. I guess first impressions are strong, I would be willing to give them another shot if I found something that sounded great though. I like the idea of studio monitors, but my wife's tendency to put on crappy quality streaming music really scares me about how unforgiving they can be.

My Uncle has a pretty nice setup consisting of mostly Carver components and some Bang and Olufsen speakers. Strangely enough I think the B&Os hold his setup down a little. They seem to be more about design than sound quality. Don't get me wrong, they sound good...but not nearly as good as they should for their price tag.

@Ziggy, I used to have a link for a DIY on making some pretty amazing thick gauge speaker wire and interconnects for a fraction of the retail price using power cable. I'll have to try and dig it up. I was really tempted, even though my soldering skills are weak.
I agree though, it is a sparse land between bottom of the barrel and supremely expensive. Speaker manufacturers have made some strides in trying to bridge this gap, but nearly everything else in your system will come with extraordinary compromises. I think this is why vintage gear gets so much attention these days, you can attain a level of quality that would cost you many multiples if you purchased new.

@TSTR, I really want to get a 2 channel going for my music. Well, 2.1 technically since I don't plan on dropping the kind of money necessary to get floor standing speakers in the quality bracket I'm looking at.
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Cronozilla
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by Cronozilla Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:11 pm

Yeah, I have everything hooked up through Optical Toslink.

But, I have noticed with passthrough on, it will grab, what appears to be, the normal Dolby track, not the HD track.

I'm not sure if that's what's going on, I just notice that Dolby HD sounds no better than Dolby on DVD sounded. So, I just assumed there was something like that going on.

The Advent speakers work, they work fine, but the material is too fragile. The woofers really are just done. The foam around it is brittle and just falls off.
It doesn't have dedicated mid-range either. I've thought about replacing the woofer with a new one. But I think, in general, if I'm doing that, I'd just build an entirely new set.

What I really need to build is a new sub. Far cheaper than buying one, and will vibrate the foundation of the house. :D
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by BRIK Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:34 pm

I'm the ultimate Budgetphile. Everything I'm about to show you, I received for free in one way or another.

The setup in my room:

Image

An Hitachi "Stereo Music Centre SDT-269OR" with Sansui speakers and a heavy as shit mid 1960's cabinet to match. I obtained this through my neighbour, which is a sort of sad story. She was friends with a couple that were quite elderly, and sadly the wife passed away so the husband moved into elderly care. The idea was that I would pay for the record player, speakers and cabinet and the money would go to charity (as per the husbands wishes) but instead my neighbour thought it would be better if I raked out her fire escape (my suburbs are in the bush) and she would donate the equivalent money :lol:
So I basically earned this for an afternoons worth of work, only having to replace the needle and the belt to get it working 100% (which came to no more that $20). Currently my collection of records sit at about 40, spanning lots of genres from grunge to metal to whatever DJ Shadow is.

The speakers I use for my games setup:

Image

These were free too. These were my Dad's, but he upgraded so these lived in the shed for years until I rescued them. They're AWA branded, but to be honest I don't know much about them, except for the fact they're loud.
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by irixith Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:43 pm

jp1 wrote:My Uncle has a pretty nice setup consisting of mostly Carver components and some Bang and Olufsen speakers. Strangely enough I think the B&Os hold his setup down a little. They seem to be more about design than sound quality. Don't get me wrong, they sound good...but not nearly as good as they should for their price tag.


They're probably not set up properly, placed properly in the room, or there's something with the room (flooring, size, etc) interfering. B&Os are amongst the best in the world, if they're not sounding right, there's something wrong. :)
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by jp1 Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:28 pm

@Brik, nice, nothing beats free. :D

Those Sansui look almost identical to my much larger set. The big ones are extremely heavy though. I've not heard of AWA, do you like the sound?

@irixith, They sound good, just not $3-4k good. I've heard some higher end Paradigm that could hold it's own with them as well as some PSB stuff. It could be a placement issue, he has absolutely no room treatments and it is a huge open room, so that could have something to do with it as well. It's a shame, considering the investment he made into all his equipment. I'd be a bit miffed if I could have gotten the same or better sound for 1/3 or less.
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by BRIK Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:54 am

jp1 wrote:@Brik, nice, nothing beats free. :D

Those Sansui look almost identical to my much larger set. The big ones are extremely heavy though. I've not heard of AWA, do you like the sound?


I looked them up and turns out they're an Australian company (Amalgamated Wireless Australasia).
I love the sound, it's clear as day.
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by 8bit Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:20 am

jp1 wrote:Sounds awesome guys. Infinity Kappa is a set I've looked at closely, I've damn near pulled the trigger on a Primus setup. If I had a chance to audition them I probably would have by now. 8bit, do those Kappa have the Emit tweeters?


Yep! My Infiniti's have the Emit tweeters and they are great! Probably the highlight of the system. And the virtual surround from my Sony sound bar, I don't hear it at all, ever. More modern sound bars available today, like a nice Sonos, may do a better job but I bet it is still mostly gimmicks. Sound bars are still well worth it though. Even the inexpensive ones will be a huge improvement over any built in sound thin LCD or Plasma TV.
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by fastbilly1 Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:47 am

Main setup:
Mains - Kenwood JL-1105
Center - JBL N-Center
Surround - KLH 911Bs
Sub - Sony SA-W303
Receiver - Sony something or another from the 90s
Low end Record player - ion iLP
Digital Audio Player - EEE 900a

Kitchen:
Mains - Cerwin Vega at10 - with unbranded woofers
Receiver - RCA RT2770
Digital Audio Player - EEE900

My main setup is in an L shaped room and setup for both movies and music. My wife and I often host parties and you need it to be loud enough to hear, but not booming. I have it setup so both of the linuxbased EEEs can log into the same audio stream on a third pc so you get the same music no matter where you are in the house - also helps for things like the Kentucky Derby. The total cost for all of this was $200 (well minus the pcs). The center, surround, and primary receiver were all free. The sub was $10, the Kitchen receiver was $10, the vegas $5, the main mains were $50, the recordplayer was $60.

Soon my Astro city will be running in stereo and added as a third speaker system. It is getting an amazing Lepai LP-2020A+, and the stock Sega 4om 3inch speakers...
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by Frag Mortuus Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:01 pm

Sorry, if this was mentioned earlier regarding getting lossless sound through older equipment. If I'm not mistaken Toslink can only transfer 2ch PCM. Those two channels are lossless, but the bandwidth for Toslink isn't high enough for all 6 or 8 channels.

However, I have used the 5.1 analogue channel inputs on my old receiver that were fed from the Oppo bluray player I used to have and it transferred the whole uncompressed signal. However it was MUCH lower in volume than using a digital connection. We had to turn the volume of the AVR nearly all the way up to get a normal volume. This could have been due to the receiver which was a Pioneer 914-K. It was a great receiver, but just got outdated.

Now, I have a Pionner Elite SC-63, which sounds amazing compared to anything I've had in the past. Like Ziggy, I like nice equipment but can't justify spending a whole lot on it. I bought the SC-63 on sale at the beginning of this year for $600, it is now discontinued but at the time was still going for around $1300. Newegg has them listed cheaply because I'm assuming they knew they aren't a viable retailer for this line of products from Pioneer. The Elite models are only supposed to be sold in Brick and Mortar stores. So, buying from an unauthorized seller means you get no warranty. But, you can get a third party warranty. So, I bought the AVR at a hugely discounted price and bought a Square Trade warranty. I have not regretted it.

My speakers are approximately 9 year old Cerwin Vega LS series. They are ok. I bought them when the only high end audio stuff I knew was car audio. I would love to upgrade the speakers, but speakers are something that need a decent budget to get good quality. So, that will have to wait for quite some time.

I will take pictures of my stuff and upload them at some point, lol.
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jp1
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by jp1 Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:32 pm

Frag Mortuus wrote:Sorry, if this was mentioned earlier regarding getting lossless sound through older equipment. If I'm not mistaken Toslink can only transfer 2ch PCM. Those two channels are lossless, but the bandwidth for Toslink isn't high enough for all 6 or 8 channels.

However, I have used the 5.1 analogue channel inputs on my old receiver that were fed from the Oppo bluray player I used to have and it transferred the whole uncompressed signal. However it was MUCH lower in volume than using a digital connection. We had to turn the volume of the AVR nearly all the way up to get a normal volume. This could have been due to the receiver which was a Pioneer 914-K. It was a great receiver, but just got outdated.

Now, I have a Pionner Elite SC-63, which sounds amazing compared to anything I've had in the past. Like Ziggy, I like nice equipment but can't justify spending a whole lot on it. I bought the SC-63 on sale at the beginning of this year for $600, it is now discontinued but at the time was still going for around $1300. Newegg has them listed cheaply because I'm assuming they knew they aren't a viable retailer for this line of products from Pioneer. The Elite models are only supposed to be sold in Brick and Mortar stores. So, buying from an unauthorized seller means you get no warranty. But, you can get a third party warranty. So, I bought the AVR at a hugely discounted price and bought a Square Trade warranty. I have not regretted it.

My speakers are approximately 9 year old Cerwin Vega LS series. They are ok. I bought them when the only high end audio stuff I knew was car audio. I would love to upgrade the speakers, but speakers are something that need a decent budget to get good quality. So, that will have to wait for quite some time.

I will take pictures of my stuff and upload them at some point, lol.


Thanks for pointing that out. I must have been mistaken, I haven't had first hand experience in streaming uncompressed over coax or optical but I thought I had read that it could be sent in pcm form for at least an uncompressed 5.1 signal, it turns out that I must have either remembered incorrectly or had a bad source on that. It's a shame more players don't offer full separate analog outputs. I hate to misinform folks so I appreciate you fixing that. And awesome receiver by the way, I'm a bit jealous...I won't lie. :mrgreen:

Though, a cheaper route to get that kind of output, rather than upgrading receiver or player would be to get a cheap htpc with discrete channel outputs. My APU A8 board was under $100, and the entire build was less than $200 and it will output 7.1 discrete channel analog.

@Fastbilly, I'm intrigued my those Kenwoods, it looks like they are top of the line legacy equipment, and you don't see a lot of 4-way setups these days. How is the sound? Is that a JBL Northridge? Lastly, I thought you had to have a preamp to hook up an LP (one of my main reasons for avoiding it to this point), how did you get around that?

EDIT: Also, what software are you running on those nettops to achieve that? I have a spare and would love to access my library from it, without using something as heavy as XBMC.
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