The HiFi thread

Toff

Likes Dirt
Since there's plenty of music fans on here I figure there must be some audiophiles among us. So, who's into proper sound? What gear are you all running, how do you rate it, what's your setup?

Feel free to post up any new gear, custom modifications, reviews etc. in here.

If there's any interest I'll post pics of some of the various setups around the house (one for every room :cool:).
 

LJohn

Likes Dirt
Pretty modest at the moment due to lack of $$$

Sherwood 5.1 receiver with Dick Smith centre, Pioneer satellites, Dome floorstanders and a Dick Smith powered sub, tuned with extra wadding and a brace to increase resonant frequency. Cables are just regular ol thick oxygen free speaker wire.

Receives from my audio interface (digital coax) and my Macbook (optical out).

It sounds decent, not amazing. It doesn't distort until almost unlistenable volumes. However the frequency response in the upper mids is a little lacking, and I need to get some decent feet for the centre to lower its bass response. After modding, the LFE does the trick pretty well. Defined and clear enough to not be annoying. I've got some clever room tuning gear in my recording equipment that makes an astonishing difference.

Headphones wise I've got some Ultimate Ears monitoring in-ears, some Sony MDR 250s for over-ear and back up monitoring, a pair of Sennheiser CX400s for everyday use and a pair of AKG K240 on the way for studio use.

Sound. Whoo.
 

harmonix1234

Eats Squid
Thorens record player with 13lb plate
Orpheus Aurora Signature 1 speakers (rewired for a more natural crossover to match the silk dome tweeters that came with the speakers)
Denon Linear custom wired power amp (ceramic magnet transformer and complete EQ bypass)
TL Audio Valve/Tube stereo processor
Behrigner Tube ultrafex pro stereo harmonic filter
MIT interfaced cables
Denon CD player
Denon and SONY DAT players
Some Australian made three way speakers from the 90's. I don't know what they are, but they are beautiful and have a gold plate stamped to the base with a serial number 0013 and the makers signature and a 'Handcrafted In Sydney AUS' scribed in the plate. They are incredible. All gold contacts and gold (coloured?) solder, and the makers signature again on the inside under the insulation with the number 0013 again.

The list goes on but that's the basics.
The Aurora bookshelf speakers don't like a huge load, but I don't want to sit in my lounge room with 150db of noise ruining my audio experience.
For me it's more about getting the balance of frequencies right, and an accurate stereo image. If you get these right you don't need volume to get goosebumps.

No EQ, No iPod, No mp3s. Raw audio. Loud and silent.

There was a great quote by some producer who said "All the greatest albums have the black curtain" A perfect example is Dark Side Of The Moon.
When you hear music that sounds as though it exists in front of a black infinite curtain. Sounds weird I know, but that is the sound I aim for and it is a pursuit I am happy to invest in. Music is so much more than just sound. We take it for granted. Will be keeping an eye on this thread. Thanks to the OP!
 
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3viltoast3r

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Thorens record player with 13lb plate
Orpheus Aurora Signature 1 speakers (rewired for a more natural crossover to match the silk dome tweeters that came with the speakers)
Denon Linear custom wired power amp (ceramic magnet transformer and complete EQ bypass)
TL Audio Valve/Tube stereo processor
Behrigner Tube ultrafex pro stereo harmonic filter
MIT interfaced cables
Denon CD player
Denon and SONY DAT players

The list goes on but that's the basics.

No EQ, No iPod, No mp3s. Raw audio. Loud and silent.
Fucking awesome. Lack of money means nothing special from me, but i'll post up later.
 

lost it

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My main system comprises of:

Amplifier: NAD C352

Cd Player: NAD C521i

Turntable: Rega P3, Origin Live outboard motor, modified Rega RB3000 tonearm rewired by sonic art cable co. Custom bearing and platter.

Speakers: 1970 KEF Concerto (previously used in the SA festival theatre!).

Reasonably cheap considering some of the prices today, but sounds awesome for the price.
 

paulb

Likes Dirt
NAD C720BEE receiver
NAD C525BEE CD
Cambridge Audio DacMagic
PC - EAC -> FLAC -> Foobar -> Optical -> DAC
Also run DVD through DAC
Orpheus Aurora 1 speakers (The old rectangular ones)

I'm in a flat so volume is moderate - the amp is very rarely up to halfway.

Play CDs about half the time, flacs about half.

And Toff, it looks like there's interest ;)
 
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l +Jarrod+ l

Likes Dirt
Probably a weird/stupid question. Which EQ sound setting do you prefer for your ipod. I guess it depends on what music your playing but just in general ive found "hip hop" does well.
 

fairy1

Banned
Probably a weird/stupid question. Which EQ sound setting do you prefer for your ipod. I guess it depends on what music your playing but just in general ive found "hip hop" does well.
Ooh in an audiophile thread, they will grab sticks chase you and yell set it to flat, set it to flat!
 

jjperko

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I'm too poor to have anything of audiophile quality but my parents have a nice new pair of Elacs with Cambridge audio amp and speakers.

I have a question though. If I'm playing FLAC's or cds from my computer, is there any loss of quality through an aux cable to decent speakers when compared to a premium CD player? Am I better off using the laptops soundcard or ASIO stuff and my audio interface?
 

paulb

Likes Dirt
If I'm playing FLAC's or cds from my computer, is there any loss of quality through an aux cable to decent speakers when compared to a premium CD player? Am I better off using the laptops soundcard or ASIO stuff and my audio interface?
Your laptop is doing the digital-audio conversion. If you've got a digital interface to a better converter you're better off using it. I doubt the laptop soundcard is optimised for audio performance - it's not a feature the average buyer chooses on. For desktop PCs a lot of people recommend premium soundcards but I doubt this is an option for laptops. I took the easy way out with an external DAC which also gets me better DAC for DVDs.
 

vtwiz

Likes Dirt
There was a great quote by some producer who said "All the greatest albums have the black curtain" A perfect example is Dark Side Of The Moon.
When you hear music that sounds as though it exists in front of a black infinite curtain. Sounds weird I know, but that is the sound I aim for and it is a pursuit I am happy to invest in. Music is so much more than just sound. We take it for granted. Will be keeping an eye on this thread. Thanks to the OP!
Yeah, I know what you mean. Unfortunately a lot of CD's just aren't mastered very well and no amount of Audiophile kit will get the sound you want from them.
I'm currently re-settling in Australia and so don't have any proper HiFi gear other than a couple of Yamaha Mini Systems. Most CD don't sound that great on them except for a Radiohead Studio session i have on DVD that has a fantastic mix. You could swear the band were in the room with you even played on the Yamaha with bookshelf speakers.

No substitute for a full system but goes to show that the quality of the recording can really bring a system to life.

Nutcase, I wouldn't go for the Sony system. Looks like you get a lot of speakers but similar priced Yamaha 'Theatre in a Box' systems are better value.
 
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harmonix1234

Eats Squid
I have no idea when it comes to speakers or anything like it. are these any good?

or can you recommend a set of 7.1 for around 1000?

http://www.jbhifionline.com.au/hi-fi-home-audio/amps-receivers/sony-htddw7500-muteki-home-theatre-system/436370
This system will push a lot of air, and that's about it. Which means it will be pretty loud. But I'd save my $ and get something smaller that has better components.
This would be a good system if you just want to hook up your iPod, crank it up and throw yourself around the lounge room. Or, if your'e not the kind of person that chooses the paint in the living room for it's acoustic qualities rather than it's stain resistance.

Kind of like if you could buy a dual sus DH bike with 200mm of travel for retail $500. Sounds awesome. If you have never ridden a bike before it would seem like the ducks nuts. But get yourself on a $5,000 DH bike and you instantly will see why there is such a price difference.

It's all in the quality of the components.

If you buy it, you probably won't be disappointed. But when you hear the transparency, tight detailed bottom end and glassy highs of a clean, quiet and powerful system projecting an optimally aligned stereo image you will notice the difference straight away.

Hence, I cannot recommend any system of any decent quality for under $1,000, let alone a 7.1 setup. Sorry I can't help there. You should go down to the store and take it for a test drive anyway. Eye of the beholder and all.
 

Registered Nutcase

Likes Bikes and Dirt
This system will push a lot of air, and that's about it. Which means it will be pretty loud. But I'd save my $ and get something smaller that has better components.
This would be a good system if you just want to hook up your iPod, crank it up and throw yourself around the lounge room. Or, if your'e not the kind of person that chooses the paint in the living room for it's acoustic qualities rather than it's stain resistance.

Kind of like if you could buy a dual sus DH bike with 200mm of travel for retail $500. Sounds awesome. If you have never ridden a bike before it would seem like the ducks nuts. But get yourself on a $5,000 DH bike and you instantly will see why there is such a price difference.

It's all in the quality of the components.

If you buy it, you probably won't be disappointed. But when you hear the transparency, tight detailed bottom end and glassy highs of a clean, quiet and powerful system projecting an optimally aligned stereo image you will notice the difference straight away.

Hence, I cannot recommend any system of any decent quality for under $1,000, let alone a 7.1 setup. Sorry I can't help there. You should go down to the store and take it for a test drive anyway. Eye of the beholder and all.

Thanks:) can you point me in the direction of something good for 1K +/- 300
 

Bobby_Digital

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I have no soundsystem worth talking about at home (Cept the studio monitors in the garage/studio but thats another story)

My stereo was all in the car... sounded ok, won me a pile of trophys in SQ (maybe an Aust championship blah blah)
spent more money than i should have etc.
 
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ajay

^Once punched Jeff Kennett. Don't pick an e-fight
Thanks:) can you point me in the direction of something good for 1K +/- 300
Go and listen to some, avoid surround set ups in that price range. Look at a stereo pair for best dollar:quality ratio :)


My set up is very modest, and kind of hybrid...

A Diotran turntable with a Grado cartridge, I run that into a basic phono preamp then into my Focusrite interface. A few peripherals run into the interface too... Speakers are just Alesis active M1's.

Certainly a far cry from anything resembling audiophile, but the journey is just as fun as the destination - in some cases :)

In my opinion, and it may be wrong, the room is hugely important. So before I spend a cent on "nice cables" and all the wank items, I'll do my best to get into a room that has potential to sound good, some mild acoustic treatment is in the pipeline for that too.
 

ovadahill

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I think you can get a decent Cambridge Audio receiver and couple it with some Krix bookshelf speakers for less than $1300. You'd still need a centre speaker, cheaper rear speakers and a CD player (or a DVD player with a good DAC).

I bought a 5.1 surround sound system 11 years ago that I'm still using now: Solid Solutions speakers and sub (by B&W) and Onkyo receiver. I ditched the rear speakers a long time ago because I just don't watch enough to appreciate it that much.

I'm just about to put some money on a pair of Krix Acoustix speakers (identical to the Graphix centre speaker that I might get later). Unfortunately my Onkyo receiver/amp is way out of date with limited output options, no HDMI, etc - still good enough for a bedroom audio/radio setup.

As I'm already spending money on camera gear and bikes it's hard to justify big bucks on a new system when my old one isn't broken.

Does anyone have any comments about the low to mid range Denon amps?
 

harmonix1234

Eats Squid
Speakers are just Alesis active M1's.
Don't underestimate the M1's. They are one of the flattest speakers I have ever heard.
Compared to my old overpriced NS10's or active tannoy reveals for home reference and studio work and (the die hards are gonna hate this) even pre mastering mixes.
They are a tidy unit.

They are a great speaker for eq'ing vox too.
 

wespelarno

Likes Dirt
Ok. Before you anyone gets sticks and chases me, this is a genuine my friend has a problem story.

I was talking to a mate who wants to install a bose 5.1 System in his living room. I'm fairly certain it was this: http://worldwide.bose.com/axa/en_au/web/acoustimass_15/page.html

He thought bose were really good sound for money, I suggested he look elsewhere ie. a dedicated audio store and pick out components. For the $2200 he was planning on spending, are there better ways to do it?
 
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