Audio[phile] Discussion

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by shadowfax, Apr 19, 2003.

  1. shadowfax macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    Houston, TX
    #1
    Hey guys, i made this for WM, who drifted off in the aluminum PMacs thread :D

    anyways, a short while ago, i bought an Onkyo TX-8211. i had no more than $200 to spend on a receiver (my sweet 23-year-old Yamaha had fizzled its way to audio hell), and it looked like the best value i could find at that price. so far, i like it. i have those cheap Bose shelf speakers (don't flame me, they were 1/2 price. you can't beat these speakers for 50$. they weigh like 10 lbs each), and i am pretty pleased with how they put sound out. They also sound sweet with my Sennheiser HD570s, which were well worth the ca$h.

    do you guys think i could have done better on buying a new receiver? by the way, i don't do surround sound; i only need and only want stereo audio.

    a note about "buying into BS:"
    I know WM, that you don't need to be that picky. but i wasn't talking about it effecting the way the electronics worked, rather the resonance of the metal and whether it can rattle or anything. It wasn't a concern of mine, though, i was just taking a mild interest in it for the sake of pointless reverie. i look at those $2000 stereo racks and laugh, heh.

    feel free to talk about your own setups, though i am not that interested in computer speakers unless you had to go into debt for them :p
     
  2. naumann macrumors newbie

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    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #2
    I LOVE my Yamaha. Everything Yami is shweet. I have the HTR-5280 and it's running my Xbox, Gamecube, DVD, sattelite and PVR with tons of room to grow with no sweat. The Yami remote is a little funky getting used to it, but it also runs every peripheral with no prob due to its learning capability.

    Don't worry about your speakers. I'm currently running some cheap Aiwa speakers from my old stereo through this bad a$$ reciever and a 32" Toshiba flatscreen. The flatscreen has better built in speakers. I'm about to move so I haven't taken the time to go get new speakers yet. I might do "in wall" built in speakers. I don't know.
     
  3. shadowfax thread starter macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    #3
    yeah, i don't worry about them. they fill my room with sound easily, and my dorm won't be too much bigger when i go to college.

    yamaha does some pretty good stuff. my dad has an RX-595 with some sweet floor standing sound dynamics speakers. he got the pair for 300$ on sale, and my god! each speaker has dual 6" woofers on it, and they are bi/dipoled (forget which; it's supposed to be some bose-developed technology for their acoustimass woofers to make 2 6 inch woofers produce the same sound as a 19 inch woofer. they sound absolutely incredible in our living room, especially with some kickin' jazz. that RX-595 puts a ton of power through them. it's uncomfortable to listen to when the volume guage is about halfway.

    what stock you guys put in cable? i have 16 guage monster cable for my setup, and my dad went all out and got the 14. my goodness, that stuff is thick!
     
  4. naumann macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
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    Atlanta, GA
    #4
    Yea, cable can be exspensive. Especially when you're running component video cables, as well. the good stuff "ain't cheap" (in Texas terms), but it's a must have for any audio afficianado (sp?).

    so what's up with that Crackedbutter guy? What a loser.

    I'm new to these posts, how do you get that pic in your name box?
     
  5. shadowfax thread starter macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    #5
    yeah, audio cable is insane sometimes. i have seem some component cable up in the hundreds of dollars for a 3 ft cable. intense!

    i think it's afficionado... yes, it is. you'll get an avatar [image by the name] after 500 posts, if you post on here enough. you can click on the profile link, or someone's name, to see info about them, including their post count. also, please keep the comments about other threads in those threads, especially nasty ones ;)
     
  6. ibookin' macrumors 65816

    ibookin'

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    Jul 7, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #6
    What a coincidence as we just got our stereo system hooked up today. The amp and preamp had been in repair. As we had not had a very good setup for a while (the best thing in the house was my old Cerwin Vega speakers hooked up to an Optonica integrated amp) this system was a breath of fresh air audio-wise. It has A/D/S Tower Speakers (3-way), NAD 2600 Power Amp (150Wpc), NAD 1300 Preamp, and a Nakamichi CD Player. Patched in my iPod, too. :D

    Choosing audio equipment is a matter of person preference as well as what is "good" or not. I have heard that Onkyo makes good recievers, though, so you probably got a great deal on your reciever. Enjoy it.

    By the way, I have seen a $10,000 run of speaker cable. How's that for expensive? It was called simply "The Speaker Cable" and made by (I believe) XLO.
     
  7. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #7
    I hope your .mp3 files are encoded at something higher than 160 Kbps. According to what I've seen 256 Kbps is CD-quality.

    Shadowfax:

    $200 isn't much but Onkyo is a good brand. As long as the sound is there for you, don't worry.
     
  8. shadowfax thread starter macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    #8
    yeah, that's what it looked like when i got it; i was wanting a yamaha, but it didn't look like i could afford a decent one. i hear people with these things manage to keep them for a long time; i'd like it to last till i make my first billion when i'm 30-35... yeah..... :D
     
  9. ibookin' macrumors 65816

    ibookin'

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    #9
    Most are 192 but I even have some 320Kbps MP3s. Those sound pretty good, but the CD has something more that I just can't quite put my finger on. We have a very good CD player, though.
     
  10. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #10
    The receiver doesn't make *too* much difference - mostly output power for the speakers which should be match to the max input on the speakers.

    1. Cabling does make a *big* difference - Monster cable is stupid - get 12 or 14 gauge oxygen free cabling, it's all the same - people like Monster because it has a reputation for being expensive.

    2. There is no Bose satellite setup that can really reproduce what a larger woofer can put out. They are wonderful for hiding the sound source, but since you wrote audiophile, I'll give you the real deal - it is physically (as in physics) impossible to accurately do what the satellites are touted to do. The mid/highs come from the little cubes and the bass sound comes from the subwoofer. It will sound great for most people; for audiophiles who listen to music recorded at high bit rates (or who have great ears,) a larger woofer will provide a much warmer, more accurate sound. For mid-range budgets, check out JBL speakers. The S-26 are great bookshelf speakers that you can get for about $130 for the pair. Always spend a little extra on the speakers, since they have to *make* the sound, not just pass signal through.
     
  11. ibookin' macrumors 65816

    ibookin'

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    #11
    So if I plug a $100 Sony reciever from Good Guys into my speakers they'll sound just as good as if I plugged in a Mark Levinson, McIntosh, or you-name-it, as long as they both output the same amount of power? Why is it that the NAD equipment in the living room sounds so much better than my Optonica integrated amp?

    I do agree with you on the Bose speakers, though. As goes the old audio saying, "No highs, no lows, must be Bose"
     
  12. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #12
    You're Onkyo should more then handle your stereo needs. In todays world you have to get pretty picky when it comes to plain stereo sound to exceed the need of a basic quality receiver. That is of course unless you have a set of $10,000 speakers. Then you are just sick or have the hearing acuity of a bat and need a beater receiver.

    I have an Integra 7.2. Integra is the high end branch of Onkyo. I love this reciever and couldn't be happier. If anyone else out there is looking for a nice higher end receiver or theater equipment consider Integra. I have never been treated better by a company. On top of a 5 year full warranty they keep sending me stuff. Soon after I bought the receiver and registered I received a very nice stainless designer pen. Then a short while later I received a stainless buisness card holder with a spring loaded top. Then just recently I received one of those new one page paper cutters (the ones that won't cut your skin but they will cut paper).
     
  13. shadowfax thread starter macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    Houston, TX
    #13
    ahhh, i guess so... though not so much for a small enclosure; i was pretty impressed with my speakers in my room... i sit... 3-6 feet from them, heh.

    the coolest audio experience ever for me would have to be with Sonus Faber, some italian speaker company. we demoed some "concerto" speakers... maybe 8 inches tall? very small; they filled the room with incredible sound, utterly disappeared. but the amp going to them was big as hell.
     
  14. ibookin' macrumors 65816

    ibookin'

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    #14
    I've heard of them. The speakers you are referring to are the lower end Sonus Fabers. The company also makes the Guenari (I spelled that incorrectly, I know) and Amati Homage speakers that are supposed to sound incredible. I believe Michael Fremer (writer for Stereophile) has the Amatis an loves them. They cost $20,000 if you care to know.

    There are a lot of small speakers like the Concertos. They seem to disappear more fully than the money in your wallet disappears after you buy a pair.
     
  15. shadowfax thread starter macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    Houston, TX
    #15
    seriously. even those were over $1000 apiece.

    they had some much pricier sonus faber speakers in the room, but my dad and i weren't interested in agonizing ourselves :p
     
  16. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #16
    That Bose saying must have come along with the Acoustimass speaker systems. I've never found my Bose 901/601 combination to be lacking even compared to much more expensive speakers.

    Amazingly expensive equipment doesn't always sound so good, no matter whose name is on it although the amazingly cheap stuff tends to have performance from the past and the expensive stuff just looks that way. :)
     
  17. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #17
    Bose speakers have a very specific way that they reproduce high frequencies that drive a lot of people including me nutsl. They make an almost chirping sound when they are reproducing high frequencies. Most people don't notice it I didn't until someone pointed it out to me now it's all I hear when I listen to BOSE. The thing with expensive speakers is they are like wine. They sound like crap when they are new and warm in. Also like wine each type has there own personality. Some are warm and mellow and others are harsh and exact. I prefer British speakers as they have a very warm precise sound reproduction.
     
  18. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #18
    Taste will also vary with the style of sound you put through the speakers. Some lower grade speakers will not be noticeably different from higher grade speakers with certain music.

    The best test is to listen to a variety of musical styles when testing speakers - go to an expensive dealer and toy around with their stuff. Make it look like you are loaded with $$$ and they will let you do whatever you like.

    {keep in mind that at a certain point, natural aural perception limits kick in - some people have better ears than others, if you can't hear the difference, don't let your ego force you into buying high-end speakers.}
     
  19. ibookin' macrumors 65816

    ibookin'

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    #19
    This is indeed very important. I've heard stories of people ready to spend tens of thousands at an audio dealer, but were treated badly because they were wearing jeans and a t shirt. Went to other stores and spent their money there. Retailers: Don't be snobby about that kind of thing.
     
  20. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #20
    I'm happy with my Polk speakers and Sony receiver. It's my DVD player that's bringing me down right now...give me something that's more forgiving of dust/smudges/etc and can play CD-Rs, MP3 CDs, SACDs, DVDA and I'll be happy. :)
     
  21. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #21
    People should always keep in mind that they can lower their budget a bit on the audio components themselves - a $2000 CD player will sound the same as a $60 player, provided that they have the same audio outs (optical being the best.)

    It is the receiver or preamp that decodes multi-channel sound so feel free to skimp $ on a DVD player (just make sure it has the right outputs).

    With a little higher order reasoning, you can skimp a *little* on the receiver if you want to put more into the speakers - they make the sound, the receiver just decodes it. Think of the whole process from a top-down perspective

    Speakers
    Receiver/Preamp/Amp
    Component Pieces
     
  22. WM. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #22
    I'm here! I'm here!

    Hi,

    Sorry guys! I was gone all day yesterday (Sunday) and just got home.

    I really should try harder to keep up with discussions I sparked. :)

    Looks like y'all've been getting along fine without me. :) I have to say, I'm not really an audiophile per se. I listen to my music on a Discman hooked up to a pair of speakers that (as I recall) are designed for use in a (low-budget) project studio or for semi-high-end computer audio. (They're Audix PH-15's, I think...here, but they've been replaced by the PH-150's, which are basically the same thing; I also listen to music played through a pair of 150's hooked up to an FP iMac.)

    Rather than the consumer/home theater/hi-fi side, my interest (and involvement) in audio lies more in the pro side. To address some of the questions in this thread...let's see...I'd say use at least 14-gauge wire for home-theater purposes. Pros will use just about anything that's around as long as it's big enough, including the zip cord you buy at the local True Value. In the live world, at least, cable selection is much more about the quality of the connectors (if you're buying assembled cables), the ease of stripping back the insulation (if you're not), and the cable's flexibility and durability (either way). As far as we're concerned, cable only has an effect on the sound if a) it's too small, b) it's too long, c) the contacts on the connector are corroded/tarnished/whatever, or d) there's a shielding and/or grounding problem (there's also the related issue of how tightly twisted pairs are, uh, twisted--it matters for rejection of RFI and (I think) EMI). I'm probably forgetting a few things in there, but you get the idea.

    When it comes to component selection (back to the land of consumer audio now), I'd say just use whatever makes you happy. If those $10,000 speakers make you $5,000 happier than the ones that are half the price, that's great. But don't delude yourself that there's really a difference. :) This is all very much open to debate, of course. I fall on the more cynical side of things when it comes to audio (and most anything else, for that matter). Obviously, other people are thrilled to pony up that kind of dough for speakers (that don't have any ROI, unlike gear in the pro world). In short: suit yourself.

    As for not being able to PM me...well, hmm. I decided not to turn that on when I registered, but it looks like you check them by logging in, which doesn't seem too arduous. So I'll turn that on. :)

    WM
     
  23. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #23
    It's great to see people talking about using sense when buying audio equipment rather than buying the most expensive.

    The one thing that I think requires more money would be a turntable, although most people don't want those things anymore. Most of those I've seen lately look like works of art. :)
     
  24. shadowfax thread starter macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    #24
    yeah, turntables are insane... $1500+ for a freaking pin, lol. and the designs i have seen are definitely very avant garde, compared to say, McIntosh...

    i'd kinda like a McIntosh amp, just to say i have one, lol. "i have 2 macs!"
     
  25. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #25
    This is not the case with receivers when you are dealing with home theaters. Quite often from my own personal experience the feeling of being in the movie comes from the quality of decoding the receiver is capable of and less to do with the spearkers. Speakers do make a huge difference but when everything is all washed together due to poor separation no amount of speaker will fix that.

    Also with DVD players more money does often mean better video quality though you have to have the tv quality to notice the difference.
     

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