I love my 2 channel setup... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 155 Old 03-18-2013, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I know that we gear heads are constantly wondering whether we have the best setup, etc. but I wanted to quickly give a shout out to my current setup that I really can't see replacing...ever. After experimenting with 5.1 and realizing that I prefer stereo, I set out to create a minimalist hifi that could operate in two different electrical voltage environments (I am a US citizen living in Switzerland...might stay, might return at some point).

At the heart of the design are two vintage ADS 710 speakers. They produce a wonderful sound; warm but clear (and highly detailed) with good bass (though two subs would certainly help at the lowest frequencies). These speakers operate best with some power behind them and favoring accuracy over distortion, I decided to go with a solid state amp. One of the few out there with the option to switch from 220v to 110v is the Parasound Halo series. I picked up their smallest model, the A23 which is rated at 125 w/ch. Very nice specs (http://www.parasound.com/halo/a23.php) and pretty much no-nonsense. As a younger guy (I'm 31), I've dispensed with CDs, records, etc. for a fully computer based setup (though all of my audio files are hi-res). I use a PS3 for streaming Netflix, Blu-ray movies, gaming and audio from my Mac via Medialink. The PS3 is set to process and output only PCM 2 channel regardless of the source. From here, I selected the Benchmark Media DAC 1 HDR to convert digital to analog. In addition to being an essentially audibly transparent link in the chain, the Benchmark is a DAC and a pre-amp in one. It is controlled via remote and I was able to use balanced interconnects between it and the amp for a nice purist connection. If and when the new Benchmark DAC 2 HGC comes down in price, it would be a nice upgrade for its 12v trigger to the amp (I can be even lazier!) and its additional digital inputs. At the moment I have no idea whether the other improvements and new technologies will actually improve the accuracy of the signal, but I'm not losing sleep over it. Otherwise, the interconnects are all well made but relatively inexpensive. I certainly believe in paying money for quality construction but definitely not voodoo. The choice then for me was from Blue Jeans Cable (http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/speaker/index.htm) and I can highly recommend their simple and unpretentious approach.

The result is a highly accurate, ultimately transparent delivery system to a pair of detailed but charming speakers. The separate components were all purchased slightly used from audiophile fanatics who were swapping out gear with the exception of the speakers which were well taken care of for decades before I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time to purchase. All in all, the system cost $2500 making me a happy guy. If you have any questions or thoughts please don't hesitate to ask!

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post #2 of 155 Old 03-18-2013, 12:03 PM
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Good for you. The constant upgrade-itis I read on so many forums seems to be a form of self regimented misery, always looking for something so tenous and ill defined they'll never make it. I used to buy LPs off a guy I think of as a real music lover. He had, last I saw him, 18k LPs (I saw them) and a couple of modest 70s/80s rack systems in various parts of the house, and his kids told me there was always music playing. Very well maintained though.

I lived with a good but modest system for 10 years during the 90s and am currently building a system that when completed, I hope to not change for a decade or more audio wise.
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post #3 of 155 Old 03-18-2013, 12:39 PM
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The heart of my music system is a $150.00 speaker system I got from Craigslist. Very happy with the sound quality.
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post #4 of 155 Old 03-20-2013, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by acd483 View Post

I know that we gear heads are constantly wondering whether we have the best setup, etc. but I wanted to quickly give a shout out to my current setup that I really can't see replacing...ever. After experimenting with 5.1 and realizing that I prefer stereo, I set out to create a minimalist hifi that could operate in two different electrical voltage environments (I am a US citizen living in Switzerland...might stay, might return at some point).

At the heart of the design are two vintage ADS 710 speakers. They produce a wonderful sound; warm but clear (and highly detailed) with good bass (though two subs would certainly help at the lowest frequencies). These speakers operate best with some power behind them and favoring accuracy over distortion, I decided to go with a solid state amp. One of the few out there with the option to switch from 220v to 110v is the Parasound Halo series. I picked up their smallest model, the A23 which is rated at 125 w/ch. Very nice specs (http://www.parasound.com/halo/a23.php) and pretty much no-nonsense. As a younger guy (I'm 31), I've dispensed with CDs, records, etc. for a fully computer based setup (though all of my audio files are hi-res). I use a PS3 for streaming Netflix, Blu-ray movies, gaming and audio from my Mac via Medialink. The PS3 is set to process and output only PCM 2 channel regardless of the source. From here, I selected the Benchmark Media DAC 1 HDR to convert digital to analog. In addition to being an essentially audibly transparent link in the chain, the Benchmark is a DAC and a pre-amp in one. It is controlled via remote and I was able to use balanced interconnects between it and the amp for a nice purist connection. If and when the new Benchmark DAC 2 HGC comes down in price, it would be a nice upgrade for its 12v trigger to the amp (I can be even lazier!) and its additional digital inputs. At the moment I have no idea whether the other improvements and new technologies will actually improve the accuracy of the signal, but I'm not losing sleep over it. Otherwise, the interconnects are all well made but relatively inexpensive. I certainly believe in paying money for quality construction but definitely not voodoo. The choice then for me was from Blue Jeans Cable (http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/speaker/index.htm) and I can highly recommend their simple and unpretentious approach.

The result is a highly accurate, ultimately transparent delivery system to a pair of detailed but charming speakers. The separate components were all purchased slightly used from audiophile fanatics who were swapping out gear with the exception of the speakers which were well taken care of for decades before I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time to purchase. All in all, the system cost $2500 making me a happy guy. If you have any questions or thoughts please don't hesitate to ask!
Yes the parasound halo a23 is a very very good amp!
I have mine powering a anthem pre-pro..I love 2 channel also..that comes first,I'm using a Cambridge audio 550 transport and a DAC/magic with upgraded power supply
And a oppo 103 for blu-ray..but I'm also using all hi.end straightwire level 3 interconnects.and pangae upgraded power cords for the halo and ac14se power cords for everything else..all being sent to paradigm studio 60s speakers and a velodyne spl.-1000r sub..music is just awesome!... You have a nice set up..I'm sure the benchmark will come down in price soon..enjoy that halo!
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post #5 of 155 Old 03-20-2013, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by esh516 View Post

I'm also using all hi.end straightwire level 3 interconnects.and pangae upgraded power cords for the halo and ac14se power cords for everything else
Complete and utter waste of money.
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post #6 of 155 Old 03-20-2013, 05:55 PM
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You have NO clue!
After doing this for over 25 yrs,these small tweaks yeilded sonic improvements way beyond what I was expecting..if you have never tryed these upgrades then you should not be saying anything!
My ears ..and everyone else that listens to my system..definitely hear what good hi-end cables do for a good system..details transperancy ,soundstage ..everything is a nice improvement!
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post #7 of 155 Old 03-20-2013, 06:18 PM
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esh516 just wondering how much of an investment were these upgrades?

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post #8 of 155 Old 03-20-2013, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esh516 View Post

You have NO clue!
Quite the contrary, I have at least as long in audio as a hobby and a similar period of time working on linear electronics in a professional capacity.
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Originally Posted by esh516 View Post

After doing this for over 25 yrs,these small tweaks yeilded sonic improvements way beyond what I was expecting..if you have never tryed these upgrades then you should not be saying anything!
I have tried similar, and never found anything worthwhile in them in either an audible or measurable sense beyond the lumped reactive component of the cables as applied in system, for this cables that are actually directly in the signal path.
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My ears ..and everyone else that listens to my system..definitely hear what good hi-end cables do for a good system..details transperancy ,soundstage ..everything is a nice improvement!
When you are reliably able to pick out the different cables blind, then I will believe you. Until then you are simply a victim to expectation and wishful thinking as well as a lot of desperate justification for purchases that make no worthwhile difference.
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post #9 of 155 Old 03-20-2013, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Guys, please. It's impolite to discuss religion with strangers wink.gif
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post #10 of 155 Old 03-21-2013, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by esh516 View Post

You have NO clue!
After doing this for over 25 yrs,these small tweaks yeilded sonic improvements way beyond what I was expecting..if you have never tryed these upgrades then you should not be saying anything!
My ears ..and everyone else that listens to my system..definitely hear what good hi-end cables do for a good system..details transperancy ,soundstage ..everything is a nice improvement!

I've been doing this for over 25 years as well. I was so interested in it, I went to college and majored in EE, then went on to grad school for more EE degrees. Then I got a job designing and testing audio and video electronics.

You may very well believe what you're saying, but the science says you're wrong.

For every new thing I learn, I forget two things I used to know.
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post #11 of 155 Old 03-21-2013, 03:49 PM
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esh516 just wondering how much of an investment were these upgrades?
Not much at all..one of my best investments...around 1500-1700$
That's for my interconnects and power cables..not inc. My HDMI cables..or power conditioner.
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post #12 of 155 Old 03-21-2013, 03:59 PM
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I've been doing this for over 25 years as well. I was so interested in it, I went to college and majored in EE, then went on to grad school for more EE degrees. Then I got a job designing and testing audio and video electronics.

You may very well believe what you're saying, but the science says you're wrong.
You don't think science is flawed?
Just wait ten years..or better yet,when we all go up to the gates of heaven and find out the real truth.. And what we all thought and believed is not even close to the reality that is!
Science is not perfect..there has been published test that prove power cords and hi-end cables do make a very nice improvement..I really think it depends on your gear..listen to some guy in a white jacket telling you its impossible, there is no difference.. Or listen to your ears..telling you the truth!
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post #13 of 155 Old 03-21-2013, 04:03 PM
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Please, please, please link to these published tests showing "that power cords and hi-end cables do make a very nice improvement."

I can't wait to see this.

For every new thing I learn, I forget two things I used to know.
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post #14 of 155 Old 03-21-2013, 05:56 PM
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Please, please, please link to these published tests showing "that power cords and hi-end cables do make a very nice improvement."

I can't wait to see this.
Shuyanta power cords.com
Published proof of power cable
Is one you can check out
Stereophile testing of the audioquest NRG x3 is another
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post #15 of 155 Old 03-21-2013, 06:36 PM
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Can you post a direct link to the test?
Quote:
Originally Posted by esh516 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

Please, please, please link to these published tests showing "that power cords and hi-end cables do make a very nice improvement."

I can't wait to see this.
Shuyanta power cords.com
Published proof of power cable
Is one you can check out
Stereophile testing of the audioquest NRG x3 is another
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post #16 of 155 Old 03-21-2013, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by esh516 View Post

Not much at all..one of my best investments...around 1500-1700$
That's for my interconnects and power cables..not inc. My HDMI cables..or power conditioner.

You're not gonna find better RCA interconnects than $22 Belden that www.cablesforless.com use. Anything over that amount is a waste of money. The Monoprice cables connectors are flimsy and not built well enough for my tastes and the Blue Jeans cable is overpriced IMO. I'm very pleased with quality at Cables for Less.
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post #17 of 155 Old 03-21-2013, 07:20 PM
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Not much at all..one of my best investments...around 1500-1700$
That's for my interconnects and power cables..not inc. My HDMI cables..or power conditioner.
Dang! That cost about the same as my entire 5.1 system.
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post #18 of 155 Old 03-21-2013, 07:23 PM
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You're not gonna find better RCA interconnects than $22 Belden that www.cablesforless.com use. Anything over that amount is a waste of money. The Monoprice cables connectors are flimsy and not built well enough for my tastes and the Blue Jeans cable is overpriced IMO. I'm very pleased with quality at Cables for Less.
Are you kidding me??
I tryed those cables last year..and I all I got was basic flat sound, no transparency, no depth, just sound...there only worth about 22$
But if you are happy with them that is all that matters..I gave mine to my son for his TV/bluray in his room
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post #19 of 155 Old 03-21-2013, 07:53 PM
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and I all I got was basic flat sound, no transparency, no depth, just sound

Aha, just sound. That is hilarious. Either you are comedian by profession - or stumbled into a new one...
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post #20 of 155 Old 03-21-2013, 08:04 PM
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wow I can never get to a forum without putting people down
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post #21 of 155 Old 03-21-2013, 08:07 PM
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just understand each and every person has different ears.
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im new here but I have 1st room magnepan mmg magnepan mgcc with rel subs 2. driven by audio research and parasound. 2nd room martin logan montis krell mono blocks and parasound pre for dsp. 3rd b/w 802 all parasound
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post #23 of 155 Old 03-21-2013, 08:12 PM
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can any one help me on crossover for the maggies
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post #24 of 155 Old 03-22-2013, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Complete de-evolution...

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post #25 of 155 Old 03-22-2013, 06:46 AM
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just understand each and every person has different ears.

Science says that they aren't that different.
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post #26 of 155 Old 03-22-2013, 06:51 AM
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can any one help me on crossover for the maggies

I did some googling on "parasound active crossovers" and didn't come up with much that gave me joy.

What is your budget?

How do you feel about introducing digital components into your system?

How are you doing it now?
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post #27 of 155 Old 03-22-2013, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esh516 View Post

Not much at all..one of my best investments...around 1500-1700$
That's for my interconnects and power cables..not inc. My HDMI cables..or power conditioner.
Dang! That cost about the same as my entire 5.1 system
A year ago, I bought a 500' roll of Belden 1694a along with an ICM Corp connection tool, which does F-connectors, RCA connectors and BNC connectors, for about $300. This cable is good for digital audio, analog audio, composite video and component video. At the time I thought it was a lot of money, but compared to esh516, I got off easy and I won't ever have to buy any more interconnect cables for the rest of my life.
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post #28 of 155 Old 03-22-2013, 08:19 AM
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A year ago, I bought a 500' roll of Belden 1694a along with an ICM Corp connection tool, which does F-connectors, RCA connectors and BNC connectors, for about $300. This cable is good for digital audio, analog audio, composite video and component video. At the time I thought it was a lot of money, but compared to esh516, I got off easy and I won't ever have to buy any more interconnect cables for the rest of my life.

I did the same thing few years back. I bought the compression tool and lots of RCA connectors so I can make custom lenght interconnects out of coax.
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post #29 of 155 Old 03-22-2013, 08:24 AM
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I did the same thing few years back. I bought the compression tool and lots of RCA connectors so I can make custom lenght interconnects out of coax.
The thing audiophiles need to remember is that none of these marketers of high-end speaker wire and interconnects manufacture the cable themselves, and the compression tools and connectors (even the gold plated ones) are relatively inexpensive.
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post #30 of 155 Old 03-22-2013, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

I've been doing this for over 25 years as well. I was so interested in it, I went to college and majored in EE, then went on to grad school for more EE degrees. Then I got a job designing and testing audio and video electronics.

You may very well believe what you're saying, but the science says you're wrong.
You don't think science is flawed?

Lets put it this way. If science has so many things wrong, why do we have to follow it so carefully to make just about anything work?
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Just wait ten years..

Audiophile cable mythology dates back to approximately 1976. It has been easy to demonstrate that it is wrong using established science for what 37 of the 37 years since then? And you expect something to suddenly change in the next 10 years?
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or better yet,when we all go up to the gates of heaven and find out the real truth..

That only works in the here and now if you can get God to jump through hoops for you. The all-time expert at that might have been Granville "Oral" Roberts and he died in 2009, so much for getting God to jump through hoops for you!
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Science is not perfect..

OK, but it only has to be approximately right for anglophile cable magic to be a bunch of hooey.
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there has been published test that prove power cords and hi-end cables do make a very nice improvement..

Please cite it.
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I really think it depends on your gear..listen to some guy in a white jacket telling you its impossible, there is no difference.. Or listen to your ears..telling you the truth!

Apparent complete lack of understanding of the ear-brain interface noted.
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