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qirex
Feb 15, 2001



Oh good, The Amplifier Knower is here to reveal the shocking surprise that audio manufacturers exaggerate power ratings to an audience of people who have been in the hobby for decades.

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Panty Saluter
Jan 17, 2004

Making learning fun!


Honestly if they state power ratings with at least two channels driven at full bandwidth that's good enough for me. 4 ohm ratings give you a decent idea of how much headroom you have/how wacky your impedance load can be too.

Honestly if you're not getting into specialty weirdo speakers most of them are going to play nicely with a broad range of amps

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009





Does calibration matter if I'm only going with a 2.0 or 2.1 setup? It seems unlikely to be a huge different between L/R and it would be fairly straightforward to adjust the crossover to my taste if I have a sub.

Josh Lyman fucked around with this message at 14:27 on Apr 17, 2020

GnarlyCharlie4u
Sep 23, 2007

I have an unhealthy obsession with motorcycles.

Proof


Josh Lyman posted:

Does calibration matter if I'm only going with a 2.0 or 2.1 setup? It seems unlikely to be a huge different between L/R and it would be fairly straightforward to adjust the crossover to my taste if I have a sub.

depends on what "calibration" means.
My Emotiva had built in room correction that made a big difference with just a stereo setup.

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009





GnarlyCharlie4u posted:

depends on what "calibration" means.
My Emotiva had built in room correction that made a big difference with just a stereo setup.
Yeah I think thatís what Iím talking about like Audyssey and MCACC and Yamahaís solution.

GnarlyCharlie4u
Sep 23, 2007

I have an unhealthy obsession with motorcycles.

Proof


"The room is the most important component of an Audiophile's stereo."

Wasabi the J
Jan 23, 2008


Yeah room correction is huge and I wish I had it.

Even basic stuff I've played with.

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009





Only a couple listings include the room correction mic, so it sounds like I need to factor in $40 to all the other listings for a replacement?

I came across this sexy little Kenwood KA-60 from 1980 but just lol at paying $100 for 40 year old capacitors.

Wasabi the J
Jan 23, 2008


I mean that's sexy as hell tho and capacitors can't be THAT pricy can they?

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009





Wasabi the J posted:

I mean that's sexy as hell tho and capacitors can't be THAT pricy can they?
I meant that the listing is $100. I donít know how long itíll last before something fails, but seller is confident enough that he says in the listing heís willing to demo it.

Itís only 35W per channel at 8 ohm so it doesnít compare to something like the Sony DH190 which is $150 new which I would argue also looks very nice.

I just donít know if this is the best choice as my only unit. I mean, surely receiver quality has improvement in 40 years.

polyester concept
Mar 29, 2017



I run equipment with older caps daily. If they havenít blown by now theyíre probably just a little off spec but otherwise fine

Iím not anti-recapping but itís not the end of the world if you donít as long as the equipment is working fine, not running too hot or distorted or anything else obviously wrong

Edit: also the specs of the Sony canít be directly compared because they used to measure wattage differently 40 years ago. I would agree that $100 is too much considering you can get a modern amp with modern conveniences for $50 more.

polyester concept fucked around with this message at 01:12 on Apr 18, 2020

Dirt Road Junglist
Oct 8, 2010

There's a ghost in me
Who wants to say I'm sorry
Doesn't mean I'm sorry






Speaking of old caps, check out this 1950s guitar amp I dug out of storage recently

ddogflex
Sep 19, 2004

blahblahblah

I stg flipping out about old caps just started like 1-2 years ago. If they work, you're prob fine. Prove me wrong, but I haven't seen anything beyond singular people baselessly claiming re-capping made any noticeable change to sound to anything.

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009





This whole week I've been eliminating receivers based on whether they have ARC under the use case that I could pass through lossless audio from my TV to the receiver for it to decode, but it turns out ARC doesn't support lossless audio and actually carries the exact same audio signal as SPDIF, so any receiver with optical input would be sufficient in this particular aspect... except that ARC supports DD+ but not optical, but DD+ is basically only used for (lossy) Atmos which I won't have for a long time. And ARC may not even work since CEC is apparently flaky, especially so when connecting to older equipment like the receivers I'm considering. Ugh why is this poo poo so complicated.

It seems silly to me that HDMI 1.3 put in support for lossless audio from say a Bluray player to a receiver but then in HDMI 1.4 they introduced ARC without the ability to carry that lossless audio.

Josh Lyman fucked around with this message at 11:44 on Apr 18, 2020

Panty Saluter
Jan 17, 2004

Making learning fun!


I don't think any broadcast TV spec includes lossless audio so that's probably why. Just have to deal with laugh tracks missing some overtones

strtj
Feb 1, 2010


They have a bridge to sell you!



https://mytekdigital.com/hifi/products/brooklyn-bridge/

Panty Saluter
Jan 17, 2004

Making learning fun!


"Well that could be a good way to add networked audio to an older receiver"

*checks price*

"Nah"

EL BROMANCE
Jun 10, 2006
TUBGIRL ENTHUSIAST



I wouldnít base purchasing around either ARC or CEC, neither work as well as youíd hope and will one day lead to a boatload of frustration.

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



The reason classic ARC doesn't support full quality HDMI audio is they shoehorned it into some "spare" bandwidth, eARC was designed to do it from the start. In my experience CEC is getting more reliable but buying something 5+ years old will probably be a world of hurt.

qirex
Feb 15, 2001




Mytek is a weird brand to me, their stuff is priced up around big boy gear like Naim or Benchmark but completely lacks the "ooh check out what I've got" brag factor like high end companies do. I guess it's the "boutique shop made in the USA" angle?

You could get a NAD M10 for the price of that homebrew-looking Mytek and that has an amplifier included.

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009





For a slightly different question, the 2.1 system I'm trying to build will replace my current 2.1 which includes Klipsch RSX-3 satellites paired with a Klipsch Promedia subwoofer. I listen to a lot of EDM so bass performance is important, but I also listen to a lot of classical so dynamic range and detail are also important. I'm generally happy with my systemóthe small sub is plenty loud and punchy though sub bass extension is lacking, but the main reason I'm looking to upgrade is that the detail just isn't there when I listen to the same track on my Sennheiser HD-650 headphones. For example, from 1:20-1:40 in Bach's Cello Suite 1 Prelude, I can clearly hear Yo-Yo Ma working the fingerboard on my headphones but it's mostly inaudible on my speakers.

I'm wondering how much I would need to spend to get a noticeable improvement. My satellites originally sold for $260/pair so Iím not sure my $300 budget for bookshelf + sub is enough, in which case Iíll hold off for now.

Josh Lyman fucked around with this message at 00:21 on Apr 20, 2020

Take the plunge! Okay!
Feb 24, 2007



What are you using to drive the speakers? Have you considered the option of going for a pure 2.0 setup with a decent pair of sub-$300 bookshelf speakers? ELAC, Klipsch, Dali, Q Acoustics... they all make good bookshelf speakers that probably sound better and even punchier than your current setup.
I would normally advise you to go to a store and audition some speakers, but that is probably not possible at the moment.

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009





Take the plunge! Okay! posted:

What are you using to drive the speakers? Have you considered the option of going for a pure 2.0 setup with a decent pair of sub-$300 bookshelf speakers? ELAC, Klipsch, Dali, Q Acoustics... they all make good bookshelf speakers that probably sound better and even punchier than your current setup.
I would normally advise you to go to a store and audition some speakers, but that is probably not possible at the moment.
Yeah auditioning would be best to get a baseline of "this is the level of speaker I need to get a noticeable improvement over my current setup."

The subwoofer's integrated amp is driving the speakers (it's from a 2.1 computer system), but there are a number of receivers circa 2000-05 on Facebook marketplace I can pick up for under $40. I'm trying to target Yamaha/Denon since it seems Sony, Pioneer, and Onkyo have more reliability issues , but I don't really know if makes much of a difference here.

One option is a local seller who's willing to do JBL P20 bookshelves, Sony DE197 stereo receiver (100wpc at 0.09% THD), and Sony W2500 10" sub for $100. From what I can tell, the P20 are "okay" and might be able to give me that baseline. Thoughts?

e: Looks like I'm going to pick up a Yamaha S202 for $30. It's a current model and reviews seem to think it's a good option for a $150 stereo receiver.

Josh Lyman fucked around with this message at 15:51 on Apr 20, 2020

Take the plunge! Okay!
Feb 24, 2007



I donít have firsthand experience with any of the gear your local seller is offering, maybe someone else can chime in.
The idea of my first post was to suggest that you should reconsider the need for a separate subwoofer. I think that a couple of decent modern bookshelf speakers can do as much, possibly even a lot more than the smallish subwoofer from your current setup.
My 2.0 setup (Dali Spektor 2s and Yamaha R-S202) has enough bass IMO, and I listen to a ton of bass heavy music - techno, experimental electronica, contemporary hip hop... The speakers cost me $260 in a high markup audiophile store. And they have amazing detail. If you can wait, I would suggest to try and audition some gear once the stores (hopefully) reopen.

edit: just saw the edit, I can vouch for the Yamaha, itís good

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009





So... I did a thing.



The S202 was located 50 minutes away. On the way, I remembered there was someone near there selling a Sony 5.1 system + receiver + 2 speaker stands for $50. I was mainly interested in the subwoofer, a Sony WM40 12Ē 120W which has good reviews, albeit from 20 years ago. It has an adjustable crossover so I figured it was worth the gamble.

Iím... unconvinced. I tested the bookshelf side by side with my Klipsch satellite with the aforementioned Yo-Yo Ma performance of Bach's Cello Suite 1 Prelude. The Sony really held its own here, but I wanted to minimize the influence of its 8" woofer, so I tried a capella version of The Star Spangled Banner. The Sony sounded ďfullerĒ presumably because itís a physically larger speaker, but my Klipsch had better clarity. Either way, I canít really use the Sonys because one of them has damaged speaker foam.



At the seller's house, I only tested that the receiver and speakers workedóI didnít remove the grills. Maybe I couldíve negotiated off another few dollars, maybe not. Itís also possible the seller accidentally damaged it when he was helping move them to my caróhe was holding one of the bookshelves under his arm and it slipped, causing the grill to come off. As the speaker fell from a short height, his hand slid across the face of the speaker and may have damaged the foam. Actually the more I think about it, the more Iím convinced this is what happened. Talk about bad luck.

I was probably never going to use them anyway, but it would have been nice to sell them and recoup some of my purchase price.

As for the subwoofer, it's better than my Promedia 6.5Ē sub, but it's a bit boomy and not as punchy or clean as the Klipsch 8Ē 100W sub that came with my satellites. That sub is basically perfect for my use, but it only works intermittently.

Basically: Yamaha S202 great, Sony subwoofer okay, and really pissed about the damaged speaker. I think Iím going to try to sell all the Sony stuff just because it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Josh Lyman fucked around with this message at 15:07 on Apr 21, 2020

Panty Saluter
Jan 17, 2004

Making learning fun!


Refoaming a speaker is cheap and easy, as long as you're patient

Neurophonic
May 2, 2009


Likewise if you have an intermittent issue with your sub, itís likely a loose wire or dry solder joint somewhere in the signal path, whether thatís on the connections or internally.

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009





One thing that was pointed out to me is the Yamaha stereo receiver doesn't have bass management, though I don't know how much of a difference it makes. I guess itíll do for now and Iíll keep an eye out for a deal on a surround receiver.

On the bright side, I've pretty much committed to spending $200 on main speakers so that opens up actually decent options. A store has the DCM TFE60 on clearance for $200/pair and they were recommended to me but, and I know this is gonna sound dumb, I don't really like how they look. I can get over it if they sound amazing though:


Neurophonic posted:

Likewise if you have an intermittent issue with your sub, itís likely a loose wire or dry solder joint somewhere in the signal path, whether thatís on the connections or internally.
Because the sub came as part of a 2.1 system, it has a wired control pod which sets volume, bass level, and mute/standby. Both the sub's power system and the control pod are known to fail. Mine stopped working 4 years ago until this weekend when I took it apart and inspected the electronics for damage. It worked long enough yesterday for testing, and again today it worked for a few hours. It's the perfect sub for my current living room, but it's an unreliable electronics project at this point. I've conceded to spending $100 for a used 8" or 10" sub. I know 12"/120W is considered the ~minimum acceptable level~ for a sub, but having tested the Sony, it's overkill for my apartment.

Speaking of which, I have a buyer coming tomorrow to take all the Sony stuff off my hands for the same $50 I paid. No skin off my back and a nice 2-day learning experience.

e: v To be clear, I have 2 subs: the Klipsch 8" 100W that came with my speakers as part of a 2.1 set but only intermittently works, and the Klipsch 6.5" I grabbed from a Promedia 2.1 set that's been pretty good for the last 4 years, just lacking extension.

Josh Lyman fucked around with this message at 06:50 on Apr 22, 2020

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



For $200 maybe check these out? Theyíre big enough you should be able to live without a sub until you can afford a decent one. Also they donít look like that. They also have the s15 if you want something not quite as huge.

qirex fucked around with this message at 04:10 on Apr 22, 2020

TheMadMilkman
Dec 10, 2007



Polk designs are competent and follow good engineering principles. The S20 is a good speaker and, as a bonus, is available at Best Buy, so itís easy to grab a pair, try them, and return them if theyíre not your cup of tea.

Given your listening preferences, Iíd vote for the S20 over the S15, even if you plan on getting a sub. In my experience, 5 1/4 drivers distort too much in the midbass region, and that distortion is a huge issue with classical music. I lím presuming, of course, that youíre setting these up in your main living space instead of a bedroom, and that you like to listen at ďhigher than background musicĒ volumes.

I bought a very highly rated pair of bookshelf speakers with a 5 1/4 driver, set them up in my combo living/dining/kitchen area, and got so annoyed with the speakerís lack of clear midbass output at even moderate volumes that I ultimately upgraded to floorstanders with dual 8Ē woofers. That definitely solved my bass issues.

The S20s would give you usable bass extension and buy you time to figure out the sub and bass management issues.

I would also say that a 10Ē or 12Ē sub would not be overkill for any room. You can always turn down the volume on the sub. You canít ever increase the low frequency extension of a smaller sub.

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



My current speakers have 6" woofers and pretty good bass for their size but they're inefficient and that's the real tradeoff with small speakers. I'll probably go one size up to 7" Cantons if I upgrade [boy do I love my Cantons].

A great subwoofer value right now [well, not this very second since they're closed due to global pandemic] is the RSL Speedwoofer 10S.

LRADIKAL
Jun 10, 2001

A Very Useful Person



Fun Shoe

You are ruining this thread! There's another thread for quick audio questions and opinions!

Stuff like this! Portable headphone amp for 700$! Not the best audio quality, but pretty fair for the very low price!
https://www.audioadvice.com/mcintos...ZxoCHlEQAvD_BwE

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



My bad, please accept this ridiculous Darko review of a ten thousand dollar steampunk DAC as compensation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gcqj1cfDOpI

Wasabi the J
Jan 23, 2008


LRADIKAL posted:

You are ruining this thread! There's another thread for quick audio questions and opinions!

Stuff like this! Portable headphone amp for 700$! Not the best audio quality, but pretty fair for the very low price!
https://www.audioadvice.com/mcintos...ZxoCHlEQAvD_BwE

This is the other thread for newbies too: https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3384469

LRADIKAL
Jun 10, 2001

A Very Useful Person



Fun Shoe

qirex posted:

My bad, please accept this ridiculous Darko review of a ten thousand dollar steampunk DAC as compensation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gcqj1cfDOpI

Wow, I hate that guy. That bottle of wine price comparison, then jumping right into audiophile bullshit.

Foxtrot_13
Oct 31, 2013


LRADIKAL posted:

Wow, I hate that guy. That bottle of wine price comparison, then jumping right into audiophile bullshit.

He just made the connection between wine snobs and audiophiles in my brain.

Both groups are full of idiots who couldn't tell the difference in a blind test and knowledge bias is a bigger factor than anything else.


To be honest though if I won the lottery I would buy the Dave, mostly because it looks funky as poo poo than being any better than an SMSL to my ears.

GonadTheBallbarian
Jul 23, 2007


Grimey Drawer

Oh yeah, I need to find my wine score program and see if I can finish it

namlosh
Feb 11, 2014

I blew up


LRADIKAL posted:

You are ruining this thread! There's another thread for quick audio questions and opinions!

Stuff like this! Portable headphone amp for 700$! Not the best audio quality, but pretty fair for the very low price!
https://www.audioadvice.com/mcintos...ZxoCHlEQAvD_BwE

Crap, I was hoping I wouldnít see McIntosh in this thread, but here we are. I should have seen it coming with all the tube crap they still sell to idiots.

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009





Based on feedback on AVSForum, I got the last pair of DCM TFE60 bookshelves, a brand I've never heard of, for $212 after tax/ship from the Ebay store of PricedRightSales.com, a reseller that apparently bought all the new old stock. This feels like a full on dumb audiophile move.

I'm also picking up a Hsu Research STF-2 subwoofer for $80 later today. Apparently it's just a step below SVS. The seller listed it for $100 but I only found out after offering $80 that he doesn't know anything about electronics, he just bought a bunch of stuff at an estate sale. I probably could've gotten it for $50.

e: Subwoofer is incredibly . Seller also threw in an old Sony STR-DE875 for $10 which was apparently a top end receiver in 2001. It has optical in and sub out which is the most important for now. I should probably sell my Yamaha S202 because I don't have a use for it. Then again it's a nice stereo receiver and I only got it for $30.

Josh Lyman fucked around with this message at 22:49 on Apr 23, 2020

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qirex
Feb 15, 2001



namlosh posted:

Crap, I was hoping I wouldnít see McIntosh in this thread, but here we are. I should have seen it coming with all the tube crap they still sell to idiots.

This is the best McIntosh product:

It's a light up logo you can put on top of your sweet Mc stack because their normal branding is apparently too subtle. It can turn itself on and off with the rest of your system.
$1500

runner up is this, a bargain at one thousand eight hundred of your earth dollars

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