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View Full Version : My First Separates Sound-System - Any Thoughts?




LERsince1991
Nov 20, 2009, 11:32 AM
Hi, I'm looking at investing in a proper sound system which I can add to and improve over the years and it will last a long time.

I listen to like 5 hours of music a day and will also use it for movies.

I mainly listen to electronic (House, Trance, Progressive, Drum n Bass etc...).

A local hi-fi shop has the Q Acoustic 1050i (http://www.qacoustics.co.uk/1000i/1050i.htm) for around 160 so they have me interested.

I will be using my dads old amp (Kenwood TOA VM-1120B Mixer power amp) as I cant afford an amp yet and I will also be using a small sub from my old pc speakers set just to slightly boost the bass of the floor standing speakers. Although they do have decent bass anyway. Then next year ill upgrade the amp and sub but I dont need to think about that yet cos the money just isnt there.

As for the input, i'll be running it off my 13" unibody Macbook.

Anyone have any thoughts about any better alternatives or about this set up?

Thanks
Luke



ChrisA
Nov 20, 2009, 03:58 PM
You have the right idea. A stereo system is a set of speakers,with some other, not-so importent stuff attached. So yes put as much into the speakers as you can. But have you done this? Have you listened to these speakers criticaly and for a long enough time?


When comparing speakers use music from a CD you know very well. tally up what you can and can't hear. For example can you hear where on the cymbal the drummer is hitting, fingers in the guitar strings. can yu tell the distance from the vocalist to the mic. things like that. Be objective. If these speakers pas that kind of test and you got the money buy them.

But loose that cheap sub woofer. It is not inthe same class as these and will only blast "mud" over the sound.

Onemore thing: If some day you decide to get into single ended tube amps these speakers are not so senitive. These speakers will always require 50W to 100W to drive well. Which means solid state amps are required. Maybe this if fine, but do think ahead.

LERsince1991
Nov 20, 2009, 04:06 PM
Yeh someone else has just told me not to use the cheaper sub :P

Thanks for the info, I'm taking in a cd and have a listen to them tomorrow.

The dealer asked me what music I like and I said electronic and he came to the conclusion these were the best for the price for that music, had a quick listen which they sounded good but it wasnt my music.

Im thinking that maybe floor speakers aren't for me though...

Im now looking into alternatives to these floor speakers though because I'd like them on the desk... I think so an alternative is the 1020i pair and the 1000si sub but it will cost a fair bit more than i can get the 1050i's for... hmm

...that would come to 230 though... As good as the floor speakers look I've just realised im not sure theyre for me....

I have no experience with separates and I'm confused of what I want lol...

ChrisA
Nov 20, 2009, 06:04 PM
... As good as the floor speakers look I've just realised im not sure theyre for me....

I have no experience with separates and I'm confused of what I want lol...

Speakers have to be a good match to the listening room, whatever that is.

You want a certain geometry. An equal-lateral triangle with you and each speaker at one of the points. You want the speakers pulled out a bit from the walls or other reflecting surfaces. You want to deaden the reflections from surfaces that are near either the speakers or your ears, surfaces that are "far" or OK. This is just a rule of thumb starting point. Look at thos place in the room and how much space you have


What this means is that speakers that are placed two feet apart on a desk want the listener to be two feet in front of them. And if you want to fill a room with sound the speakers needs to be rougghly a room width apart.

LERsince1991
Nov 27, 2009, 06:39 PM
Ok thanks for all the comments again everyone.

I went and had a listen to the 1050i's, I wasnt impressed... I dont know whether the equipment they were testing it off wasnt good or the room wasnt right or they didnt dare turn them up but I wasnt impressed really, I was prepared to buy them there and then as well!

So I went to the bigger hifi store here and booked an appointment to listen to their cheapest floor standers which were the Monitor Audio BR5's and they were absolutely amazing! Seriously never heard anything so good - not even near! But obviously out of budget by far. But the dealer was very helpful and definitely knew his stuff... Also he had some of the best equipment in that store, used a 'budget' onkyo hi fi amp and in a proper sound testing room...

So I'm going to go and test the 1050i's out tomorrow again, hopefully get the manager to hook them up to the proper hifi stuff. If I like them I will get them. If i'm again not impressed then i think I will take the risk and go for those Wharedale speakers from Hughes Direct. They are obviously way more powerful and rugged so I dont have to worry about blowing them up. Of course It's not like I'm going to be turning the amp up above 3/4's max or the distortion will affect the speakers (says the very helpful man I spoke to in the store... well, he said half but I would want to go a bit higher...).

Just wondering what peoples opinions are to all this?

P.S. You know most of the speakers have 'bi-wire' connections, does this mean I can use 2 cables for each speaker from the amp so I can get double the power but I wouldnt need to turn the amp up over than half to get good volume? i.e. would it give me more power with less distortion?

Also the amp my dad sent me is the wrong one so ignore the model in the first post :P I'll post what I'm getting tomorrow when i go home to collect it. It's either a good but old Pioneer or kenwood though.
____________

Update:
The Amplifier is a Kenwood Stereo integrated amplifier A-82
On the back it says its 150W I think. I can't find any specs for it online but its pretty decent! :D

Also I went to order the Wharfedale speakers but cant find them anywhere, sold out everywhere, I contacted hughes and they said they had no dates of deliveries from the manufacturers

Any other suggestions?!

J the Ninja
Nov 27, 2009, 07:10 PM
P.S. You know most of the speakers have 'bi-wire' connections, does this mean I can use 2 cables for each speaker from the amp so I can get double the power but I wouldnt need to turn the amp up over than half to get good volume? i.e. would it give me more power with less distortion?

Unfortunately, "buy-wiring" doesn't work that way. It's basically a very complex and esoteric alternative to just using a thicker gauge wire for your speakers. It won't give you "MOAR POWER", it will just reduce the resistance of the speaker wire somewhat. If you were using appropriately heavy wire to start with, it won't make any difference. If you feel your wires are not up to snuff, go down to your local Home Depot and buy some of the bulk heavy-guage light cord (12 or 14, maybe 16 if you have a small room). Cut and strip it to your needs. Best, cheapest speaker wire out there.

Frozonecold
Nov 28, 2009, 12:00 AM
Unfortunately, "buy-wiring" doesn't work that way. It's basically a very complex and esoteric alternative to just using a thicker gauge wire for your speakers. It won't give you "MOAR POWER", it will just reduce the resistance of the speaker wire somewhat. If you were using appropriately heavy wire to start with, it won't make any difference. If you feel your wires are not up to snuff, go down to your local Home Depot and buy some of the bulk heavy-guage light cord (12 or 14, maybe 16 if you have a small room). Cut and strip it to your needs. Best, cheapest speaker wire out there.
There is more to cables than just their gauge. Resistance, Capacitance, and some second order effects all have some affect on the sound of the speakers. Also bi-wiring improves the quality of sound by removing the powerful bass signal from the tweeter's input, thereby increasing the quality of the sound.

LERsince1991
Nov 28, 2009, 04:29 AM
ok :P I wont be bi wiring then. thanks for the info. Im getting some decent cabling anyway so its not a problem.

LERsince1991
Nov 28, 2009, 09:55 AM
Ok so I've found a few speakers that are in my budget and I've heard 2 of them.

2 will be second hand but well looked after and the 1050i's are an ex-display model.

First was the Q-acoustic 1050i's which I wasn't that impressed with when I heard them but maybe that the equipment it was tested on.

Second are the Monitor Audio BR5's which are the most expensive, I've found them just over budget. I heard these and was well impressed. But these would be the hardest to get my hands on and most expensive second hand.

Thirdly, I've found a pair of B&W DM604 S2's in my city i'm in so I can get them the easiest, these will be in budget (and the cheapest) but unfortunately I can't hear them first as I'm away atm.

What would you go for and why?!
Need replies asap please
THANKS!
Luke

J the Ninja
Nov 28, 2009, 10:37 AM
There is more to cables than just their gauge. Resistance, Capacitance, and some second order effects all have some affect on the sound of the speakers. Also bi-wiring improves the quality of sound by removing the powerful bass signal from the tweeter's input, thereby increasing the quality of the sound.

You're thinking of bi-amping, which does sort of have a point.

Heavier gauge will improve all the effects of wire that do anything to the sound. This is not complex. I don't feel like getting into a wire debate here, but it is a simple fact you CAN tell a piece of decent wire's suitability for speaker use with just gauge and run length.

Frozonecold
Nov 28, 2009, 05:42 PM
You're thinking of bi-amping, which does sort of have a point.

Heavier gauge will improve all the effects of wire that do anything to the sound. This is not complex. I don't feel like getting into a wire debate here, but it is a simple fact you CAN tell a piece of decent wire's suitability for speaker use with just gauge and run length.
I am not thinking of bi-amping, I think I may just have done a terrible job explaining a concept.
I too do not feel like debating wires, so I will simply recommend that you read the following article as it does a great job at explaining everything.
http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/spkcbl_e.html

kdb31
Dec 4, 2009, 09:02 PM
Not sure if I'm too late here but my vote goes for the B&Ws. I've listened to a lot of their upper end models and have never been dissapointed. Their design (aesthetics/build quality) is also top notch so that makes me a bit biased too :D You can IM me if you need more info.

LERsince1991
Dec 5, 2009, 08:35 AM
I tried to go for the B&W's but they went to 255 and I can only afford up to 200 max! Thanks for the comments