Can Anyone Recommend a Decent 2-Channel System?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Joe Lauderdale, Jun 2, 2003.

  1. Joe Lauderdale

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    Howdy!

    I am about to redesign my 2-Channel stereo system in my bedroom and start from ground zero...

    With a budget of about 4k... what do you folks recommend for the 2 speakers, amp, preamp, cd player...etc?

    I plan on using this system with CDs, CDRs, and docking my iPod to...

    As for the speakers, I'd like some gaudy/bling-bling looking speakers too (willing to stretch the wallet if worth it)... that of course, must sound as good as they look or better...

    Can anyone give me suggestions....Thanks!

    Joseph
     
  2. Troy R

    Troy R Stunt Coordinator

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    couple questons:

    How big is your room?
    Will the speakers be able to get plenty of breathing room? (meaning can you get them away from the back wall?)
    What kind of music do you listen to?

    And just my 2 cents... with a $4k system you're going to learn to HATE mp3's really quick! at least that's my experience. They sound like crap! you may want to take your ipod to a store and see if mp3 sound is still to your liking on a system the caliber you're about to buy!
     
  3. Dean Mar

    Dean Mar Stunt Coordinator

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    What does your present system consist of and what do you like or dislike about the sound of it?Forget what it looks like. Do you plan on running a sub ?
     
  4. Debbie_L

    Debbie_L Stunt Coordinator

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    Howdy back at ya Joe!

    Troy and Dean brought up some good points -- can't really recommend speakers without knowing more info. As for an amp/preamp/integrated amp (which you didn't mention, but I thought I would)/CD player, here's what I'd be looking at in your price range:

    Rotel
    Naim
    Arcam
    NAD
    Rega

    As for what Troy said about MP3's........I second that emotion.
     
  5. Debbie_L

    Debbie_L Stunt Coordinator

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    Back again Joe,

    Even though I don't really know what you're looking for in terms of speakers for your bedroom, I just couldn't resist coming back to tell you what my dream speakers would be for a 2-channel system in your price range, or at a significantly higher $$$ level as well: the Thiel CS1.6 Note I said "dream" because 4K is currently out of my realm [​IMG] , but when that day does come, the Thiel's it will be! I would hardly call them "gaudy" and to tell you the truth, I'm not sure what "bling-bling" even means, but I can tell you that to my eyes, the Thiels are absolutely gorgeous. Of course you know what they say ......beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

    PS -- The Thiels should run you about $2,000 - $2,400 list, depending on finish.
     
  6. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

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    What type of music? Some spks.do rock really well,some do mozart well,some mozarts can't rock n roll.
     
  7. Joe Lauderdale

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    Hello Again and thanks everyone for the input...

    In response to everyone...

    Troy R: My room is approx. 18'x22' with 10' ceilings. There's not too much room for breathing (furniture in the way) since i had initially planned to have them up against the walls... but if spacing them forward to produce better imaging, etc... i think maybe like 1'-1 1/2' out from the wall is max...
    Yeah, I figure the MP3s would have a harsh sound to them... but i would still sometimes listen to them if i just want to hear a new favorite song before i go out and buy the actual CD....

    Dean Mar: My current system for my HT is a Rotel 1066/1095 combo with Swan Diva 6.1 package. I enjoy the setup a lot but think it's a bit too laid back... but i still find it to be pretty darn nice sounding and not tough on the ears... i can listen to them @ high volume all day if i really wanted to.

    Debbie_L: Integrated amp would be an option too that i wouldn't mind considering... I really like all the brands that you listed, but with the lack of available vendors who have those brands in my area, it's tough for me to choose which gear sounds best combined with the others... How does B&K stack up to the others?


    As for music selection...i truelly have an eclectic taste... i seriously listen to all genres of music...except country. Bjork, Portishead, Luscious Jackson, Garbage, No Doubt, Depeche Mode, 80s, Ska, Reggae, Classic Rock, Classical, etc... sorry if i can't provide specifics... i just LOVE MUSIC!

    Well, if anyone has any other tips I'm eager to hear more!

    Thanks!
    Joseph
     
  8. Troy R

    Troy R Stunt Coordinator

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    Well it seems like I've been doing recommending this a lot lately but Dynaudio does all musical genres very well. I own the 1.3mkII and they do everything I throw at them well. The only downside to the Dynaudio contour line is they need a LOT of breathing room. You could check out Dynaudio's Audience Line. The audience 72 and 82 would be a good way to go. They are front ported so you wouldn't have to get them too far away from the back wall. Side walls shouldn't be a problem since your room is pretty wide.

    For integrated amps I am thinking of getting the Arcam A85 or the little more pricey Arcam FMJ A32. Don't let the low watts fool you. You don't use all of them anyway. The Arcam CD players are also outstanding for the money. I've been told that Rotel also mates well with Dynaudio.

    I have also heard the Thiel 1.6 that someone mentioned. They are very good too but a totally different sound than Dynaudio. They are a little more forward in the high end, at least that is my experience. They did sound awesome when I gave them a demo.

    I'm sure you'll get a bunch of other suggestions but I also listen to all kinds of music and my Dyn's SING through everything I've thrown at them.

    Good luck.
    Troy
     
  9. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    If you're going to consider Thiels, component matching will be VERY important. I auditioned them at my local dealer and loved them. I was sure they were going to be my next speaker.

    I brought them home for an audition and could only listen to them for half an hour before my ears were ringing.

    The dealer showroom is very well treated acoustically which my living room isn't and he was powering them with about $8k of Mac gear which my $2k Adcom/Rega gear just can't compete with.

    No matter what speaker you get, I strongly urge you to arrange for in home auditions on the final couple of speakers you narrow your choices down to. If the dealer won't allow for in home auditions, go to a different one.
     
  10. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    I would start with speakers and work around them. Trying to do the entire system at once is overwhelming. I would suggest something that is ported in the front. If they are rear ported than your 1.5ft clearance will probably not have them far enough away from the wall as they need to be.

    What you really need to do though is audition locally. 2 hours at your better retailer is more valauble than 1000 of these posts.

    If that is not an option, than my first choice would be the Triangle Cerius. Retails for 2k, can be driven by anything and has received incredible reviews, including the elusive class "A" from Stereophile. 2k a pair, figure -20% or around $1600
    I have heard these and they are wonderful!

    I would also ask at audioasylum.com, there is a lot of expertise over there.

    Also, regarding mp3. I find >128k encoded material fine for casual listening.

    Good luck

    -rob
     
  11. Debbie_L

    Debbie_L Stunt Coordinator

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    Joe,

    I can't really comment on B&K because I haven't heard any of their components. Their A/V receivers seem to be well reviewed, but I haven't heard anything about their 2-channel amps or preamp/tuner.
     
  12. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    If you need the speaker to be close to the wall, try and audition the Totem Arro. Very thin, small floorstander. Very musical and the soundstage is awesome.
    Thiels are a treat too but need to be away from the walls.
     
  13. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

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    Marc, but the Totems aren't "Bling-Bling" LOL [​IMG]

    There are SOOOO many choices in your price range it's insane, but you will have to comprimise a little due to wall spacing. I have no issues with the Dahlquist QX-10's that Marc sold me, they are only about 1.5' from the wall and sound great. They are hardly bling-bling unless maybe if you get them in piano finish! [​IMG]
     
  14. Victor Chan

    Victor Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    I would look at a pair of Onix Rocket RS750s. They have gotten rave reviews on the AVS Forum (avsforum.com) as well as on audiorevolution.com. Unfortunately, they are only available online so you may be out return shipping if you don't like the sound. Wonderfully wide soundstage and a detailed, but laid-back sound with amazingly tight bass. Craftsmanship is second to none and the internet direct model gives you a bigger bang for your buck ($1400/pr). If the voicing is to your taste, a no-brainer. Unusual look that some people think is gorgeous and others hate. If the red color doesn't do it for you, suppose to be available in a glossy ebony color scheme sometime this month.

    http://www.av123.com/products_produc...kers&product=4

    For components, would look at the Musical Fidelity A3.2 integrated amplifier ($1500) as I think it provides world class performance at a real world price. Definitely has some "bling, bling," too.

    http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/m...delity_a32.htm

    CD player? Hm... Would prefer the Musical Fidelity A3.2CD for its wonderful musicality, but that's outside your price range at $1500. To stay within budget, I'd go with the Rotel RCD1070 at $800, a wonderful CD player which I think is a lot better than many players out their costing much more.

    http://rotel.com/products/specs/rcd1070.htm

    That's just my take.
     
  15. JeromeS

    JeromeS Stunt Coordinator

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    How about Red Rose Spirit System. It's made by Mark Levinson's company and can be bought for $2,000. It has an integrated amp and speakers. With what you have left over you can get one nice CD player.

    Here is a review or go to Red Rose .
     
  16. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    How about a Cairn Fog v2 CD player, a Unison Research UNICO integrated amp and Opera Super Pavarotti speakers. With typical dealer discounts that would leave you enough for Harmonic Technology Melody speaker cable and interconnects and still be around $4000.
     
  17. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    Just gotta throw in a back up to Scott's words (and I'd never thought I'd do this!).

    Can't vouch for the CD player but I did hear that amp and those speakers matched together (details in an earlier thread I started if you want to look it up). Made for one incredibly sweet sound, but they'll struggle with anything at higher volumes (and apparently are magnetically shielded, but I would never put them in a HT).

    Though the speakers are gorgeous (handcrafted works of art), they're more classy than bling-bling :p)
     
  18. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  19. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Never say never Jason!!! [​IMG]
     

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