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Upgrading The Audio System - What To Tackle First?


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#126 Gior

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 11:42 PM

I know this thread's in the 2ch system and the advice I'm about to post comes more so from a home theatre perspective. Nonetheless, I do feel that a

BIG DAMN SUBWOOFER (calibrated and integrated properly of course)

would be one of the first steps in 'Upgrading The Audio System - What To Tackle First'

Reason for this, is a lot of the time, speakers have 'horrible' bass and midbass response given the limited placement options in the room required to achieve a nice stereo image.

A separate sub allows flexibility in placement to try and get the bass response much more even.

Yep 50% of the speaker budget on it as a rough rule of thumb :) - I think I'll trademark that.

Just my 2 cents on this

#127 bassett

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 02:05 PM

The question of up-dating, is a world wide search for something we all consider better, worth more or simply more expensive that at the start of the search was considered ''just '' out of reach.. Be it Cars, Houses, Hi Fi Kit or Woman. What we bought for a small fortune 20 years ago, and was the Ducks Nuts at the time, Has now been relegated to the garden shed, and is considered worth penny's compared with what we now have our sights on.

I used to up-date my wives, girl friends, etc every five years or so, But trade in values do drop considerably and more often then not, they cost more to
dump, then they cost in the first place, It's a sort of reverse inflation. I had a mate who used to import from Thailand, good value for money, fast delivery, worked well, But just about impossible to shift on E-bay. Unless they went with the house.. And strangely enough they get pregnant remarkably quickly..Must be the difference in the water.

Drew reported,,,,,

To illustrate this whilst auditioning pre amps I switched from a Parasound universal player (which would be of similar valkue to the Arcam) to my H/K 990 CDP and the difference was truly night and day, more dynamics, cleaner deaper bass, much much more detail, better channel seperation etc.



Your quote is correct of cause, In fact the HK 990, is one of those quirky products, that really is a ONE OFF, Apart from the fact it's a CD player, It's also an excellent DAC, in it's own right, having a coaxial "IN" connection. Simply use any old CD player [ providing it has a Coaxial OUT connection ] As a transport, and connect up an RCA Select source on the HK remote and switch from PLAY to Coaxial, Then run from the normal RCA out's to the Pre / Amp.

The Dac is exceptional, and is as good as any dedicated DAC on the market, even if you've spent silly money on one. And I've owned a few, in my time.

Also the HK DVD 47 is one of the best all round players on the market regardless of price, and will play just about any format, be it CD or DVD, including
SACD, and DVD-A, and DivX

As for 10 grand for a pair of speakers, Try running a price check on Hi-End Drivers [Scan Speak or Seas ] and see just how far your money goes.
And lets face it whatever you buy in speakers, there is always the gamble there not going to really suit your amplification, or the cook thinks there too big
or the wrong colour

Edited by bassett, 22 May 2010 - 02:19 PM.


#128 bassett

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 02:16 PM

I know this thread's in the 2ch system and the advice I'm about to post comes more so from a home theatre perspective. Nonetheless, I do feel that a

BIG DAMN SUBWOOFER (calibrated and integrated properly of course)

would be one of the first steps in 'Upgrading The Audio System - What To Tackle First'

Reason for this, is a lot of the time, speakers have 'horrible' bass and midbass response given the limited placement options in the room required to achieve a nice stereo image.

A separate sub allows flexibility in placement to try and get the bass response much more even.

Yep 50% of the speaker budget on it as a rough rule of thumb - I think I'll trademark that.



I'm sorry, But that's a load of rubbish,, The only logical reason, you would need a sub is if your speakers where not capable of delivering BASS

And your not going to get good bass from small crappy speakers or drivers under 8 inches. That's why they always sell these small plastic abortions, the
like of Bose with a supposed sub-woofer.. Bass is not some secret formula, that only apply's when you hook up a sub-woofer. Surprisingly enough it's there all the time, it just lacks the platform to deliver. EOS

#129 Gior

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 08:31 PM

I'm sorry, But that's a load of rubbish,, The only logical reason, you would need a sub is if your speakers where not capable of delivering BASS

And your not going to get good bass from small crappy speakers or drivers under 8 inches. That's why they always sell these small plastic abortions, the
like of Bose with a supposed sub-woofer.. Bass is not some secret formula, that only apply's when you hook up a sub-woofer. Surprisingly enough it's there all the time, it just lacks the platform to deliver. EOS


Umm, have you checked out MY gear and seen what speakers I am actually running? Also, have you checked out the room measurements of MY speakers that I've posted? After having a look at the design specs of my gear and the hard data of their real world performance, you may want to revise your statement.

I'm currently doing the redesign of the crossovers of my main speakers with a DEQX unit. I would like to think I kind of know what I'm talking about when it comes to audio design as if I don't, I'm obviously wasting a lot of time and effort for nothing with all the room measurement, driver measurement and general acoustic design software and books that I use. EOS.

#130 :)

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 08:43 PM

Umm, have you checked out MY gear and seen what speakers I am actually running? Also, have you checked out the room measurements of MY speakers that I've posted? After having a look at the design specs of my gear and the hard data of their real world performance, you may want to revise your statement.

I'm currently doing the redesign of the crossovers of my main speakers with a DEQX unit. I would like to think I kind of know what I'm talking about when it comes to audio design as if I don't, I'm obviously wasting a lot of time and effort for nothing with all the room measurement, driver measurement and general acoustic design software and books that I use. EOS.


I think you had better jus go back to your "small plastic abortions" Gior :lol:

and stop confusing us all wiht all this "big damn subwoofer" talk :P

ps one day you should post some decent shots of your room, now you have invested in "small plastic abortion" of a camera :lol: wonder in how many more contexts I can use this new phrase that I have learnt hehe

ps just kidding ofcourse ! :D

#131 Drizt

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 08:52 PM

lol... nice one :)

Subs can really make or break or system. Done right, they are super important in my opinion :)

#132 victortubeman

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 08:59 PM

I'm sorry, But that's a load of rubbish,, The only logical reason, you would need a sub is if your speakers where not capable of delivering BASS

And your not going to get good bass from small crappy speakers or drivers under 8 inches. That's why they always sell these small plastic abortions, the
like of Bose with a supposed sub-woofer.. Bass is not some secret formula, that only apply's when you hook up a sub-woofer. Surprisingly enough it's there all the time, it just lacks the platform to deliver. EOS


Even Wilson Audio alexandria X2,and other large array,s will improve with large sub,s XS or Thor subs(or other far cheaper options),not to mention the flexible placement and eq options.Not to mention sound improvements due to less amp stress.Something between 20% to 40% under 10k.Gior,s 5k mark is not bad my revels were 8.5 k each and are no match now for seaton submersive,s and sgr 18inch subs.

Cheers Victor.

#133 Gior

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:03 PM

I think you had better jus go back to your "small plastic abortions" Gior :lol:

and stop confusing us all wiht all this "big damn subwoofer" talk :P

ps one day you should post some decent shots of your room, now you have invested in "small plastic abortion" of a camera :lol: wonder in how many more contexts I can use this new phrase that I have learnt hehe

ps just kidding ofcourse ! :D


LOL Al :)

I think to avoid any confusion in the future, maybe I'm in need of upgrades to bigger subs for my 2500cu ft room eh? Maybe I have to give Mark AND Jeff a call and order a pair of Terraform XL's as well as a pair of Growler Duo's. My only concern is, I might not have enough space in the room to fit all that gear in after that. But at least I won't have to put up with the 'small plastic abortions' that I currently run. Have to say, moving the I-93's about 50 metres outdoors for free air measurements is NOT an easy task for 2 people.

You are right, I haven't utilised my latest small plastic abortion on the room yet. Off to take some pics of the new gear. Will post soon enough. Have converted one I-93 fully. The other still has the passive crossover in it which actually sucks about 6db off the entire spectrum (had to boost that side by 6db in the gains settings for each of the 3 way settings on the DEQX) to get the image centred again. It's really quite weird what's happening right now as I'm STILL getting this 'Voice of God' effect from the I-93's (a blurred centre image). Something is out of phase with the I-93's and I suspect that it's the tweeter and possibly one of the mids. I run the battery test, but it's proven inconclusive so far as the cone isn't moving enough for me to tell if it's going in or out. Am just ordering a Phase-it polarity checker so I don't have to pull off the front baffle and inspect the internal wiring.

#134 Gior

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:06 PM

Even Wilson Audio alexandria X2,and other large array,s will improve with large sub,s XS or Thor subs(or other far cheaper options),not to mention the flexible placement and eq options.Not to mention sound improvements due to less amp stress.Something between 20% to 40% under 10k.Gior,s 5k mark is not bad my revels were 8.5 k each and are no match now for seaton submersive,s and sgr 18inch subs.

Cheers Victor.


Victor's memory serves him well :) He's remembered my 50% trademark rule starts trailing off over the 5k mark :)

#135 :)

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:29 PM

LOL Al :)

I think to avoid any confusion in the future, maybe I'm in need of upgrades to bigger subs for my 2500cu ft room eh? Maybe I have to give Mark AND Jeff a call and order a pair of Terraform XL's as well as a pair of Growler Duo's. My only concern is, I might not have enough space in the room to fit all that gear in after that. But at least I won't have to put up with the 'small plastic abortions' that I currently run. Have to say, moving the I-93's about 50 metres outdoors for free air measurements is NOT an easy task for 2 people.

You are right, I haven't utilised my latest small plastic abortion on the room yet. Off to take some pics of the new gear. Will post soon enough. Have converted one I-93 fully. The other still has the passive crossover in it which actually sucks about 6db off the entire spectrum (had to boost that side by 6db in the gains settings for each of the 3 way settings on the DEQX) to get the image centred again. It's really quite weird what's happening right now as I'm STILL getting this 'Voice of God' effect from the I-93's (a blurred centre image). Something is out of phase with the I-93's and I suspect that it's the tweeter and possibly one of the mids. I run the battery test, but it's proven inconclusive so far as the cone isn't moving enough for me to tell if it's going in or out. Am just ordering a Phase-it polarity checker so I don't have to pull off the front baffle and inspect the internal wiring.


hehe if running out of space you could always go sub-floor or in ceiling :rolleyes: with a couple of 18" IB doubt youd need more to do any more damage to your house :P

seriously with the deqx no doubt been in touch with terryj ? given where your located be suprised he wouldnt drive over to give you a hand. "voice of god" sounds like fun though hehe maybe just due to some phase issues with one active and one passive ? ....I'm guessing :huh:

#136 Gior

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:59 PM

hehe if running out of space you could always go sub-floor or in ceiling :rolleyes: with a couple of 18" IB doubt youd need more to do any more damage to your house :P

seriously with the deqx no doubt been in touch with terryj ? given where your located be suprised he wouldnt drive over to give you a hand. "voice of god" sounds like fun though hehe maybe just due to some phase issues with one active and one passive ? ....I'm guessing :huh:


I've been in touch with TerryJ as you've guessed :). He actually invited me up last weekend (he was doing a major workover on his Cinderella speakers) but as Kim Ryrie (the CEO of DEQX) was coming over to my place to bring over the DEQX unit and help out with it (we used his Earthworks mic), I wasn't able to head up to Terry's place to see him redoing his setup.

Anyway, both speakers are actually active right now as the crossovers in use are the ones in the DEQX. However, having the original VAF crossovers still connected sucks out about 6db worth of sound from that speaker.

I've just put up some pics with the new Sony waterproof thing I got. Image quality is MUCH better than with the Olympus but still not the best. Good enough for me though lol. You can go and check em out here.

I understand why people would think my VAFs are small. They do look small next to the MONOLITH. But remember, that's only the Baby Monolith. The Bigdaddy version is yet to arrive :). Poor Brian over at GIK is having problems with the design to enable support of the weight of both the SubMersive AND a Quintuple. For reference, that's the 55 inch Series 9 Samsung looking fairly puny in these photos.

The VAFs have been measuring very strangely outdoors. Can safely say that there is NO WAY they can measure +/- 1.2db 21hz-19khz as our measurement technique in free air outdoors would simulate an anechoic chamber's performance. Anyway, will be running a lot more tests on them in room, once I finish the physical side of the conversion.

For the record, I'm liking the DEQX software a LOT. It is NOT however for the usual end user as it requires quite a bit of technical background knowledge to use properly. I've got quite a bit of reading to absorb before I'm familiar with it. I'm sticking still with my Audyssey Pro recommendation for most end users as that requires significantly LESS technical knowledge to utilise optimally. With the DEQX system, there are too many variables for most end users to stuff up. I'd recommend only playing with it once people are very familiar with room acoustics and speaker design and measurement principles.

#137 bassett

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 04:13 PM

Well theres nothing like a bit of name dropping, in a vain attempt to gain some sort of credibility <_< I was only asking Phil and Liz the other day, how the grand kids where going, now there both back in the army..

#138 Gior

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 08:44 PM

Well theres nothing like a bit of name dropping, in a vain attempt to gain some sort of credibility <_< I was only asking Phil and Liz the other day, how the grand kids where going, now there both back in the army..


And your problem is?

#139 bassett

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 11:16 AM

Ha, Unlike YOU, my problems are under control, But then compared with you I really don't have any <_< Adds Smiley in a vain attempt to be nice, Yawn

#140 Gior

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 11:42 AM

Ha, Unlike YOU, my problems are under control, But then compared with you I really don't have any <_< Adds Smiley in a vain attempt to be nice, Yawn


Well, that's true...I do have a bit of a spending problem atm :P . Have just done upgrades to my system that I would hope would last a very long time. Most of the forum regulars are quite familiar with this. Problem is, there are a number of them mid setup/upgrade as well and hence that's why we've been sharing advice on which bits of the upgrade path should be tackled first as some of us have been there and done that and are quite a bit more advanced along the path of 'audio nirvana' than others.

What irks me is when someone with no 'credibility' and seemingly little technical knowledge comes along and rubbishes a statement that has clearly helped quite a few people in designing their new HT systems/rooms without first reading a bit into the background of the issue at hand. I guess, unless you've been lurking on the forums and reading the multitude of other threads related to this issue, you probably don't have a basis to understand this and are still going with assumed knowledge rather than gained knowledge (that you KNOW Bose are crap indicates you have read all the Bose bashing stuff - they really aren't THAT bad - forum regulars are gonna flame me for that lol).

Anyway in my own vain attempt to be nice, I'll give you a friendly bit of advice. Have a bit of a read up into the bass/subwoofer and other issues. I and many others have put up a heap of information on this DTV forum regarding this. AVSforums are also an excellent place to tap into some of the minds of some very cluey people (designers/installers etc) and there is a wealth of knowledge to be gained there. Getting clued up in this just might help your own attempts at 'audio nirvana'. I apologise for being peeved at your earlier statement but hey, if you have an axe to grind, hell swing away, it's a public forum we are all entitled to our own views :D Flame wars are FUN intiially! But they require both parties to participate...you'll be able to get me pissed and all flaming for a bit (maybe) but I'll just reply with technical info eventually and so it'll fizzle out lol.

#141 yorac

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 11:51 AM

I'm of the other vein in that I strongly believe in getting your 5 surrounds in place first and then finding your sub afterwards, I realise that some will see that as non conformist but I really like to see how much bass output I can get in the home environment before adding a sub.......

end of the day each to their own but just like changing any component when you upgrade it changes the variable, obviously a sub offers much more from an involvement point of view but I don't know how many times even at specialist stores I've asked for the sub to be turned off so I can experience the speakers and then you get this dumbfounded look which again imo shows how little the droid knows in the first place.......

B)

#142 Gior

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 12:24 PM

I'm of the other vein in that I strongly believe in getting your 5 surrounds in place first and then finding your sub afterwards, I realise that some will see that as non conformist but I really like to see how much bass output I can get in the home environment before adding a sub.......

end of the day each to their own but just like changing any component when you upgrade it changes the variable, obviously a sub offers much more from an involvement point of view but I don't know how many times even at specialist stores I've asked for the sub to be turned off so I can experience the speakers and then you get this dumbfounded look which again imo shows how little the droid knows in the first place.......

B)


That's a perfectly acceptable counter view too :) The sub isn't the hardest thing to find to be happy with. The speakers on the other hand can be a pain to get right as yorac and many others have found out. That's why my philosophy is if on a budget for a first system, just spend a little bit on the speakers as chances are you are going to be swapping them out later. The less you spend, the less you lose :) But on the subs, it doesn't take much 'more' money to get a truly 'reference level' capable sub. Bass frequencies are easy to reproduce. Getting them flat and tuned correctly for the room is a whole different issue :)

But as yorac says, it's each to their own with audio at the end of the day and we can all agree to disagree which keeps all the manufacturers (even Bose) in business :)

#143 yorac

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 04:51 PM

But on the subs, it doesn't take much 'more' money to get a truly 'reference level' capable sub.

+1, the days of having to spend 4 to 5K to get anything near a reference sub are over there is a lot of quality out there and you can spend sub 2K and get a pretty damned good product now, think it's more a product of mass acceptance of HT rather than anything else but also see a lot of things price wise in HT now that are more affordable and like to think in many cases it's ourselves as early adopters that started the fire...... :)

#144 Drizt

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 05:09 PM

+1, the days of having to spend 4 to 5K to get anything near a reference sub are over there is a lot of quality out there and you can spend sub 2K and get a pretty damned good product now, think it's more a product of mass acceptance of HT rather than anything else but also see a lot of things price wise in HT now that are more affordable and like to think in many cases it's ourselves as early adopters that started the fire...... :)

There sure is some great value subs out there these days both locally and abroad :)

#145 Gior

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 10:49 PM

There sure is some great value subs out there these days both locally and abroad :)


As long as they look like they move air, I don't care :)

Even though those damn Supercube 1's move a surprising amount of air for their diminutive size. Wonder if Eastwood is going to do them at $1690 again? I think we picked up the last one (the demo one) the other week. My buddy has a new bass fetish lol. Trying to get him hooked now on the other aspects of audio like imaging and accurate reproduction now.

#146 bassett

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 05:03 PM

If you really must go for a Sub-woofer, this would be an exceptional good buy at the price

http://cgi.ebay.com....#ht_2665wt_1013