Your stereo.

Discussion in 'Music' started by AlloySkull, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. AlloySkull

    AlloySkull Member

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    I'd love to hear about what some of ya'll have, in terms of hi-fi and such equipment. Had a system so loud it give a Megadeth concert a run for it's money, but you met a girl, got married, had kids, got a mortgage on a house and had to sell it to make ends meet? Tell us all about it old man, relish in days past and compare it to watch you have now. Gradually upgraded over the years into one beastly system? Give me the output of it all! Kick back, put on some good tunes, and sip your favorite cold drink, it's time to tell us about your stereo, and I don't care if it's a $20 bookshelf system, I wanna know what you listen to music on!

    -------------------------------------------------------

    I'm gonna start with my list of what I have, and have had, and because I have OCD, (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) when it comes to my stereo I have to tell every little detail... So here goes. Also, I'd love to hear every little detail about your stuff as well, so please, hit me with everything you have!


    Receivers:

    -Yamaha RX-450 : Mfd. 1991, Stereo, 4 channels. 45 watts / channel. $50
    Used as my primary receiver for my important source equipment, powers two speakers. Leads out to the Sony STR-V5 through the tape monitor.

    -Sony STR-V5 : Mfd. 1978, Stereo, 4 channels. 85 watts / channel. $80
    Used as a secondary reciever and amplifier for 3 subwoofers.

    -Realistic STA-720 : Mfd. 1981, Stereo, 4 channels. 25 watts / channel. $3
    My first receiver ever, I use it as a third receiver for auxilary inputs. Goes out the tape monitor into the V5.

    -Sony STR-6055 : Mfd. 1973, Stereo, 4 channels. 60 watts / channel. $0
    Had the job of the V5 before I blew it out from a 2 ohm load years ago. Beautiful piece, so I keep it in my stack. D'oh!

    -Sony STR-7065 : Mfd. 1976, Stereo, 6 channels. 65 watts / channel. $65
    Took the job of the 6055 after I blew it out, but I blew it out also. I know, I should have gone straight to a V5 with an overload switch. Two amazingly beautiful receivers sitting around.


    CD Changers:

    Yamaha CDC 665: Mfd. 2003, 5 disc. $60
    An incredibly well made CD changer. Love it.

    Onkyo DX-C340 : Mfd. 1998, 6 disc. $20
    Got it, fixed it with duct tape, no lie, and it worked. Currently resides downstairs after replacing it with the Yamaha.


    Tape Decks:

    Kenwood KX57W : Dual deck. $10
    Got this for 10 bucks at a Goodwill in Burnett, Texas. Audio output does not work. :(

    Realistic SCT-16 : Single deck, crazy switches even I don't understand. $0
    Got this for free at a car show, needs a new belt but the VU meters rock!

    General Electric 3-5106A : Haha. $5
    One of those conference room recorders. Fun to put a tape in and skate around. :) 5 bucks at Goodwill. Only working cassette deck I have. >.<


    Equalizers:

    BSR EQ-II : 10 band, each channel. $15
    My only piece from eBay. Used to bring bass and only bass into my subs.


    Turntables:

    Pioneer PL-3000 : Mfd. 1983, Automatic drive. $0
    Got this bad boy for free from my aunt.

    Speakers:

    Sansui S-530 : 3-channel. Dome tweeters. $0
    Got these for 10 bucks at Goodwill, perfect shape. Sound wonderful too. Stopgap before I get some really nice vintage Boston or Klipsch speakers.

    Klipsch KG-2 : 2-channel. Horn tweeters. $60
    Got these and were my main speakers for a long time. Retired them and placed them downstairs so I never blow them out.

    Acoustics Research : 2-channel. Horn tweeters. $0
    Got these from my uncle. Don't remember the model number but I blew these in my early days before I learned to bi-amp my system and let the seperate subs do the bass work.


    Subwoofers:

    Dual : 12", x2. $0
    In a lighted bandpass box. Pretty sick.

    Pioneer : 12" x1. $8 (Goodwill haha)
    In a bandpass box. Really fills the room with bass from the rear.

    Sony Explod : 10" x 1 $50 for the speaker, $20 for the box.
    In a sealed enclosure. Retired this, keeping it for my car.

    Q-Power : 10" x 2. $0
    Not being used, I need to sell these. They're not even in boxes. I have probably no less than 30 speakers under my bed... :shock: Oh and empty speaker boxes? Probably around 15. Garage, attic. My parents hate it.



    That's it... Ummm... sorry I'm just up late hoping someone will actually enjoy reading this. My stereo has been a big part of my life because when I don't have people to turn to there's always good tunes to rock to.

    My stereo is so confusing though, with 3 receivers and numerous inputs, that it takes several tries to get the correct combination of switches and knobs to select "align" the inputs on 3 receivers. I hope someone understood that statement. The wiring, don't get me started. I've tried cable ties, tubes, everything. They lack access, quick change ability, and honestly, a mess of wires and cables is the easiest way to do it if you constantly change stuff like I do.

    Hope some of you guys enjoy this thread. I actually enjoyed writing it. :)

    Most of my stuff I get from either: My best friend who always gets new stereo stuff and just wants to get rid of stuff, Goodwill, random chances of luck, family, flea markets, and I get my really good stuff for extremely good prices from a dealer I've done a lot of business with, good guy. Deals vintage and high-end, and I NEVER buy new stuff. My rule of thumb, unless it's something like cables. Any receiver made past 1980 really is a waste of time, unless it's something like Yamaha or better.

    Monster cables, I don't waste my time with. Waste of money. You have to listen to classical and have some really really high-end stuff, as in better than Klipsch and Boston, to really tell a difference. I've tried it and, maybe it was just my system, but it didn't have a significant enough impact to justify a $30 cable. I took it back and I got my money back, had to fight a little, but I don't care.

    Also, this isn't to see if you have better stuff, because my stereo sucks compared to true high end. But I've matched some stuff together correctly, and for heavy metal, it sounds amazing. It's just right for what I listen to.

    I like to say if it sounds good to you, then damn what it sounds like to anyone else.
     
  2. Parmigiano

    Parmigiano Member

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    I am a long time audio freak too, here is my hifi story

    1976 (investing all the money earned in 3 years of summer vacation work...)

    Quad 33 pre amp
    Quad 303 power amp
    (i will never forget myself to have sold this pair...)

    Thorens 160 + shure V15 III turntable

    Bowers+Wilkins DM2a speakers

    1979

    Replaced Thorens with Dual 704 turntable

    1982

    Kenwood K1000 amp
    Canton GLS50 + Canton subwoofer
    Luxman K8 cassette deck
    Stax electret headphone

    1983

    arrival of CD : Philips CD204

    1986

    replaced amp with Quad 34 and Quad 306 pre+power amp

    replaced speakers with self-made project (3 way, DSR)

    replaced CD with Nakamichi CD2

    1991

    new self speaker project : 4 way, bandpass integrated sub
    replaced Dual with Michell Gyrodek + Mayware Mk V tonearm
    Stanton 881S pickup

    1994
    replaced Quad 306 with Rotel RHC10 power amp
    Rotel RHQ10 phono pre-amp
    Denon DL 305 pickup

    1996
    replaced CD with Marantz CD10


    2000

    new self made speakers (4 way, dual bandpass integrated sub, focal k515 midbass, Dynaudio 54 mid, Dynaudio 21 tweeter)

    2001

    self-made valve line pre-amp


    ... and that's it, nothing new since 6 years.

    Until last week, when I completed the self-made speakers for my wife in Atlanta (that I had to make with a very civilized shape for WAF reasons...)
     
  3. AlloySkull

    AlloySkull Member

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    Kick ass. I've been wanting a Stanton turntable ever since I laid eyes on one in a catalog years ago. But my Pioneer does well.

    You have gone through some pretty nice stuff. :shock:

    I also have made speakers, it's just the lack of decent crossovers, I always use the ones from scrap speakers, so it's really a botch job. My home made speakers are usually if I need speakers somewhere I don't have any. I'm not too good with crossovers, etc. :(
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Never had a crazy ass system. I allways considered it a waste of money. I do have a Bose Surround System and that is eneogh for me.

    I would rather invest money into either my Militaria Collection, my Snakes and music (such as amps and guitars).
     
  5. Parmigiano

    Parmigiano Member

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    Well Adler, is just that everyone is triggered by different toys... for instance , my cousin waste his money in Napoleonic era dioramas, others are happy to dump their money in label clothings, watches etc.
    I have never wanted (nor owned) a 'good' watch and always put my available money in music gear.

    And I guarantee you that, like you notice the difference using a $100 automatic camera or a professional Rollei, you would immediately notice the difference between a good 'true' hifi and a generic stereo, especially if you like music and go often to live concerts....

    Alloy, crossovers are the most difficult part of the engineering...
    You need to design them after simulating the electrical (TS parameters, impedance curve etc.) and acoustical response of the components (frequency response, geometrical building, expected panel reflections etc.): no way to do it decently without the help of some well designed software.

    The best would be to integrate the design sw with actual measurements of the components mounted on their definitive box (CLIO or similar, but in my case I am not now in shape to spend the necessary $1500) and replace the data-sheet info with the measurement file.

    After that, wait a couple of months for proper 'burn-in' and then start the trimming of the x-over by ear with a trusted set of records... it's a neverending story, but it's also a big part of the fun.
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I agree. It is personal taste. I would never waste my money on a good HI FI thing though. That is my personal taste. My opinion is that the Bose Surround gives the best quality sound.

    I go to about 50 to 100 concerts a year and I love music but I still would not buy an expensive HI FI system.
     
  7. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

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    I have a Bob Carver Sunfire receiver as part of my stereo and surround sound. Energy reference main speakers with a Definitive Technology sub.For the surround sound I have a Monster M design Eleganza frame which contains 75 drivers split between center,right/left channels. The plasma hangs inside the frame. Rear surrounds are Yamahas but I'm going to upgrade those one of these days.
     
  8. Parmigiano

    Parmigiano Member

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    This M-Design concept is interesting, I never heard of this brand before...
    Do you know where to find some technical literature about their 'inverted dome' drivers and the array study?

    Inverted dome is used since long time (epicure, focal etc.) for its dispersion parameters, but an array of many inv. domes is theoretically a nightmare for the combined interaction of the drivers (many wide dispersion drivers working on the same frequency=huge interference problems) so it would be very interesting to learn how this guys have resolved the engineering.
    It looks this speakers are well thought.
     
  9. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

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  10. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    I have an Awia that I bought in 1984 from the PX. Nothing special, turn table, amp, equalizer, dual tape player and old Bose speakers. It was packed up for 15 years. I hooked it up several weeks ago and was surprised that it both worked and sounded good.

    DBII
     
  11. AlloySkull

    AlloySkull Member

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    Killer stuff guys. I just realized I'm going to need new speakers quicker than I thought. I blew my left tweeter. Frickin' speakers only handling 60 watts. :( At least I now have an excuse to blow several hundred dollars. :)
     
  12. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    I have a 200watt half stack guitar amp. It goes off. Unfortunately selling it to upgrade :)
     
  13. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Like Adler, I have never had a kick butt system. Back in my previous marraige, we had a Bose Lifestyle system. That thing rocked!!!! At my company, we had an Audio/Visual department that designed systems for auditoriums and superbowls and theatres. I asked them about the Bose systems and they all said it sucks and is overpriced. So I asked them to show me the numbers of a system they like because I really liked mine.

    When they showed me the Ohms and reverbs and yadda yadda of "good" systems, I said, "Hey, most of these numbers your showing me are for levels the human ears cant even hear!!!" They just stared at me and said I don't understand.

    Well, I understand what I can't hear you bunch of dumba$$'s.

    Most of the music I listen to now is on my pc through Harman Karden speakers and sub. My wife has a junkie system from her past life that we turn on every now and then and it sounds just fine to us. I don't need or want a window rattling system. If I wanna blow my ears out, I'll play in on my pc and put on my headphones!!!! heh heh.
     
  14. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    200 watt?? what do you do with it, smash your neightbours windows?? :lol:
    I just have a 65 watt stereo fender amp, doing just fine for small gigs (never put the gain knob past 3) and with bigger gigs we put it over our our PA.
     
  15. Parmigiano

    Parmigiano Member

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    Ok, Thor, let's set things straight :) :) :)

    a 'window rattling system' that 'blows your ears out' is NOT a good music reproduction system.

    And a good music reproduction is something that you CAN hear, even if you are not a hifi junkie.

    The difference lay in the intelligibility of instruments, in ambience reconstruction, in the way an unaccompanied human voice (the most difficult test for every sound reproduction system) is returned.
    You should be able to 'locate' the voice and all played instruments in the virtual soundstage, with their right dimensions (a flute cannot sound as big as a trombone) and every instrument should be perceived in its individuality, not as big blob of sound.

    To obtain this results, an awful lot of acoustic parameters are involved, and it would take too long to explain in words (there are several books out there for those who are interested)
    Our ears are wonderful machines, and are able to recognize sounds even from very cropped information (think of a telephone conversation): that's why we are often happy to listen music even from a small radio or an Mp3.

    Besides, a great system MAY be able to reach high sound pressure levels, but this is not an absolute measure of its quality.
    Of course, if you must reproduce a 70-80 elements symphonic orchestra that play a 'fortissimo' your system need to push a lot of decibels, but is generally better to sacrifice volume for sound clarity in 'human budget' systems.

    ... and don't be trapped in Hertzs and Watts and 'show me the numbers' : things are a bit more complicated than that!
    You are right when you say 'to hell the 16Hz and the 25.000Hz, I can't need them less': the real difference is the WAY the 100 and the 2.000 hertz are reproduced.
    Eventually, go in a good REAL HiFi shop (not best buy or circuit city...), and ask for a demo: normally this dealers are available to invest some time for a potential new customer, even if you disclaim that you are not there for an actual purchase right now.

    Alloy: if you are happy with the sound of your speakers, why not just change the broken component? try for instance browsing partexpress.com or similar e-shop, you may also ask for some advice for compatible parts.
    Just a warning: 60W is a lot of power handling for a tweeter, are you sure that the crossover is ok? Maybe if you PM me speaker type and x-over currently in place I could help you on this.
     
  16. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

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    There is a difference in sound produced by different units, I had a Denon receiver on my Energy Reference speakers and thought it sounded great, When I installed my Sunfire I couldn't believe how much more I heard in detail,clarity and sound. Yes the Sunfire puts out 7x200 watts at .5thd in 8 ohms,do I use 200 watts,no. Alot has to do with the effieciency of your components in what you hear. And yes as one gets older 20k->20000k is not realistic anymore in what your ears can handle.
     
  17. Parmigiano

    Parmigiano Member

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    Just for Alloy, sorry but I could not find a way to attach pics on a PM


    Here the speakers I mentioned at different stages of evolution
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

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    Nice job Parm, how do they sound. Was it a kit?, what kind of drivers?
     
  19. Parmigiano

    Parmigiano Member

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    Thank you Torch,
    No kit, it was designed from scratch with 'low budget' in mind...
    Drivers are a woofer Dayton 10" , a bass-mid Audax 5" and a tweeter Vifa
    Component cost (driver+crossover) was around $200 and cabinet was about $50-60 with HomeDepot special offers.

    How do they sound... never ask the butcher if the steak is good!

    Not bad honestly, the filter refinement work is just started: I finished them 3 weeks ago and now the criminal crew is playing what they call music on them.
    In january the 'burn in' will be complete and i will start the trimming. At the moment my only planned correction is to reduce a bit the upper-mid (let's say the register of female voice); let's say that Leonard Cohen's voice feels a bit too young to be OK.
    We'll see (hear) after burn-in, normally all speakers sounds a bit sharp when brand new, but it's the first time I use this Audax 'aerogel' drivers so i don't know how they behave.
     
  20. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

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    Cool lotsa luck on the project..:D
     
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