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post #1 of 37 Old 06-25-2014, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Need Advice: 2 Channel Receiver & Bookshelf Speakers

Hi Everyone,

I am looking for a good quality 2 channel system for my office. I will be putting the speaker on a shelf so space is limited. Because of this i am looking at a decent pair of bookshelf speakers, and a good 2 channel receiver. I will be using this to listen to my Vinyl Records on a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Red. I mostly listen to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. However, every now and again a little Kanye West and Daft Punk make its way to my record player.

These are the receivers i am looking at:

1) Harman Kardon 3700 - http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-...an+Kardon+3700

2) Yamaha S700 - http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-R-S700B...724746&sr=1-31

These are the speakers I am looking at:

1) WharfeDale Diamond 10.2 - http://www.amazon.com/Wharfedale-Dia...4CM8A9229EYNN2

2) Energy RC-10 - http://www.amazon.com/Energy-RC-10-2.../dp/B00550VM66

3) Monitor Audio BX-2- http://www.amazon.com/Monitor-Audio-...r+audio+bronze

I am currently leaning towards the Harman Kardon 3700 Receiver and the Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 Speakers.

Based on my budget what do you all recommend? Feel free to recommend any receivers and speakers that i have not listed.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 37 Old 06-26-2014, 12:42 PM
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I have had bad luck with HK. Good performance, poor reliability. ( all three HK's I have owned) Drop over to someplace like Crutchfield to see that they have a lot of stereo receivers still around. The worst of them is better than the best speaker you can buy, so don't sacrifice ergonomics and functionality for a not so apparent quality difference. Cambridge and NAD are more noted as sound first. No matter the sound, if the features or usability are not right, you will be unhappy. ( you should not need a TV or a remote to change FM stations!) Before any argues, yes electronics matter, just that speakers matter more. A Krell amp won't fix a crap speaker.

Speakers are very personal. I had some 10.1's once. Very flat but distortion was high. Considering the price, an excellent value. As I build speakers, I do not know all the current offerings. Paradigm still has a decent rep. I gave my Nephew my Kef Q1's as they were not up to my own, and he thinks they are the greatest he has ever heard. I know more about speakers like B&W, Canton, Totem etc. Check out a new company, Golden Ear. Another splinter from the great trio that brought us Polk and Definitive. Don't forget Boston. Bookshelf placement is difficult as most "monitor" class speakers have their baffle step compensation assuming free standing. AR once sold an adjustable one, but no one understood what it did.
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post #3 of 37 Old 06-26-2014, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barcodeunit View Post
Hi Everyone,

I am looking for a good quality 2 channel system for my office. I will be putting the speaker on a shelf so space is limited. Because of this i am looking at a decent pair of bookshelf speakers, and a good 2 channel receiver. I will be using this to listen to my Vinyl Records on a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Red. I mostly listen to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. However, every now and again a little Kanye West and Daft Punk make its way to my record player.

These are the receivers i am looking at:

1) Harman Kardon 3700 - http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-...an+Kardon+3700

2) Yamaha S700 - http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-R-S700B...724746&sr=1-31

These are the speakers I am looking at:

1) WharfeDale Diamond 10.2 - http://www.amazon.com/Wharfedale-Dia...4CM8A9229EYNN2

2) Energy RC-10 - http://www.amazon.com/Energy-RC-10-2.../dp/B00550VM66

3) Monitor Audio BX-2- http://www.amazon.com/Monitor-Audio-...r+audio+bronze

I am currently leaning towards the Harman Kardon 3700 Receiver and the Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 Speakers.

Based on my budget what do you all recommend? Feel free to recommend any receivers and speakers that i have not listed.

Thanks!

I would suggest that you look at the Music Hall 15.3 integrated amplifier, which is much better-sounding and will drive those speakers better. It goes for $550, and includes a phono preamp.

I would rate the Monitor Audio speakers a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, and the Wharfedales a 6. The Energy speakers I would rate a 3; they are not nearly as good as the others IMO.

Another cool thing I would recommend is the GraceDigital Solo Internet Tuner. It has 20K preprogrammed internet radio stations, and a good user interface, and only costs $90.

It has analog output jacks to connect to any amplifier, and receives via WiFi or a direct internet connection. You can listen to oldies from Beijing, hard rock from Johannesburg, or anything that is on all over the world. Sound quality is excellent on some stations, but a few have lousy quality; the bit-rate varies a lot.

You can select stations by music genre, or geographic locations, or other criteria, and it has 10 presets for favorites. I mostly listen to classical stations from Boston, New York, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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Last edited by commsysman; 06-26-2014 at 04:51 PM.
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post #4 of 37 Old 06-26-2014, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
I would suggest that you look at the Music Hall 15.3 integrated amplifier, which is much better-sounding and will drive those speakers better. It goes for $550, and includes a phono preamp.

I would rate the Monitor Audio speakers a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, and the Wharfedales a 6. The Energy speakers I would rate a 3; they are not nearly as good as the others IMO.

Another cool thing I would recommend is the GraceDigital Solo Internet Tuner. It has 20K preprogrammed internet radio stations, and a good user interface, and only costs $90.

It has analog output jacks to connect to any amplifier, and receives via WiFi or a direct internet connection. You can listen to oldies from Beijing, hard rock from Johannesburg, or anything that is on all over the world. Sound quality is excellent on some stations, but a few have lousy quality; the bit-rate varies a lot.

You can select stations by music genre, or geographic locations, or other criteria, and it has 10 presets for favorites. I mostly listen to classical stations from Boston, New York, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Thank you for your advice. This was exactly the kind of recommendation i was looking for. On your scale of 1 to 10, can you recommend me any bookshelf speakers that would rate a 9 in your opinion? What do you think of the Klipsch RB-61?

I am also considering adding a subwoofer to the mix. Any recommendations there?

I appreciate your help!
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post #5 of 37 Old 06-26-2014, 06:25 PM
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What exactly is your budget? You never mention it in your original post.

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post #6 of 37 Old 06-27-2014, 02:28 AM
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Check out used speakers or internet direct. I sold a pair of paradigm studio 10s for 450 a while back, you might find similar offers.

On the internet direct front, I'd consider ascend acoustics Siera-1 about 900 for a pair, or depending on the budget the new sierra two with ribbon tweeter for about 1500. Another great small bookshelf is the Salk WOW1 Mini Monitor. Given you are going to put them on a shelf you probably want front ported, so I'd give the nod to the Salk WoW1, at 1199. It's a low sensitivity speaker (83db), so ere on the side of a little more juice from an integrated.

As far as your integrated choices go, I'd go with the Yamaha. I like the fact that it has a loudness control to help boost bass and treble for low level listening, although you can do the same thing more acurately with an AVR and audyssey. So don't rule out an AVR even for two channel, although for a phono input, you'd have to probably go fairly high end in the AVR lineup, but you might find a better deal.
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post #7 of 37 Old 06-27-2014, 04:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barcodeunit View Post
Thank you for your advice. This was exactly the kind of recommendation i was looking for. On your scale of 1 to 10, can you recommend me any bookshelf speakers that would rate a 9 in your opinion? What do you think of the Klipsch RB-61?

I am also considering adding a subwoofer to the mix. Any recommendations there?

I appreciate your help!

I would rate the Klipsch RB-61 very very low; I find its sound very harsh in the treble. I would rate it a 2.

One bookshelf speaker I would rate a 9 would be the Dynaudio Focus 160, but they run $2900 per pair.

I would give an 8 to the Focal Profile 908 speakers. Music Direct is now closing these out at $999; list price is $3000. That might interest you; quite a deal there.
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post #8 of 37 Old 06-27-2014, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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What exactly is your budget? You never mention it in your original post.
Budget was $1000, but i can stretch it to $2000. Speakers and Amp/Receiver.
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post #9 of 37 Old 06-27-2014, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
I would rate the Klipsch RB-61 very very low; I find its sound very harsh in the treble. I would rate it a 2.

One bookshelf speaker I would rate a 9 would be the Dynaudio Focus 160, but they run $2900 per pair.

I would give an 8 to the Focal Profile 908 speakers. Music Direct is now closing these out at $999; list price is $3000. That might interest you; quite a deal there.
I like those Focals... What integrated amp or Receiver do you recommend to drive those speakers?
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post #10 of 37 Old 06-27-2014, 09:40 AM
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FYI: you mentioned the Yamaha S700, but Amazon currently has it's little brother, the S500 for a crazy price. Might be something to consider if you don't need the extra 25 watts, and put the money saved toward something else in the setup - wire or whatnot.

There's only a couple left in stock. I don't have the S500 yet, but almost bought it @ $350 a couple months ago. I've been watching it as Amazon dropped it to $250, but when I saw it for $210 new -- I couldn't resist and ordered it.

Good luck with your setup!

EDIT: when I posted this a couple hours ago, the price was $210. Now it's up to $350!
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post #11 of 37 Old 06-27-2014, 12:54 PM
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I like those Focals... What integrated amp or Receiver do you recommend to drive those speakers?
The Musical Fidelity M3i is excellent, and the Music Hall 15.3 is also.

Arcam also makes a line of very good integrated amplifiers.
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post #12 of 37 Old 06-28-2014, 01:55 AM
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Kef LS50

IMHO kefs LS50 shines, amazing speakers - U$ 1500
With my old and good HK 3485, loud and clear !
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Last edited by galvs; 06-28-2014 at 02:13 AM. Reason: Add comment
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post #13 of 37 Old 06-28-2014, 10:27 AM
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IMHO kefs LS50 shines, amazing speakers - U$ 1500
With my old and good HK 3485, loud and clear !
This would be an excellent choice. The Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2 would be another good option. Pair either of these options with the Yamaha and you would have a very nice 2 channel setup.
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post #14 of 37 Old 06-28-2014, 11:22 AM
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fwiw, if placing on a shelf I would look into front ported or sealed speakers .my choice kef q300. very good flat measurements across the freq. response chart and very reasonably priced at accessories4less ($480).as for a receiver the outlaw rr2150 receiver( $700)($650 b stock)from outlaw audio, although a bit pricey it has everything you need (phono output for mm/mc carts. and also a sub output with bass management has plenty of power ,great looks and built to last ) also I would recommend a sub with a system especially if that daft punk or some dubstep finds it way to your tt.my choice the svs pb 1000 ($500) from svs sound. just my recommendations and 2 cents
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post #15 of 37 Old 06-29-2014, 05:30 AM
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fwiw, if placing on a shelf I would look into front ported or sealed speakers .my choice kef q300. very good flat measurements across the freq. response chart and very reasonably priced at accessories4less ($480).as for a receiver the outlaw rr2150 receiver( $700)($650 b stock)from outlaw audio, although a bit pricey it has everything you need (phono output for mm/mc carts. and also a sub output with bass management has plenty of power ,great looks and built to last ) also I would recommend a sub with a system especially if that daft punk or some dubstep finds it way to your tt.my choice the svs pb 1000 ($500) from svs sound. just my recommendations and 2 cents
I'd suggest the Marantz SR4023 receiver for $500 which has a phono preamp built in. I have a bunch of Marantz gear, and I love their warm sound.

http://us.marantz.com/us/Products/Pa...oductId=SR4023

For Speakers, Focal Chorus 706v are on sale $500 at music direct.
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-41246-f...eakers-pr.aspx. I have a pair of 716vs in my 2nd system, and I love them- they have the same tweeter and mid-woofer. Great for vocals.

I'd agree this the fellow above that if you have the $1500 for the KefLS bookshelves, they are the hands down winner in the sub $5k bookshelf speaker category.

Hope this helps!
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post #16 of 37 Old 06-30-2014, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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IMHO kefs LS50 shines, amazing speakers - U$ 1500
With my old and good HK 3485, loud and clear !
How do the kefs ls50 perform when you blast hard rock / metal through them? Zeppelin, Sabbath, Metallica.... etc.
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post #17 of 37 Old 06-30-2014, 09:31 AM
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How do the kefs ls50 perform when you blast hard rock / metal through them? Zeppelin, Sabbath, Metallica.... etc.
As good as other top quality speakers
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post #18 of 37 Old 06-30-2014, 10:41 PM
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Budget was $1000, but i can stretch it to $2000. Speakers and Amp/Receiver.
I just completed a 3-month process of selecting a music-listening 2.1 system at around your same budget ($1-1.5k). I am no technical audiophile by any means, but I do respect good equipment and good sound. And I love music. That said, many of us have a tight budget. Due to space I had to give up the floor speakers and go with bookshelves, to which I decided to add a sub. After reading every AVS Forum I could find and going to several big box and home audio stores, I initially was set on the B&W 686 bookshelves ($550/pr) paired with the smaller 8" 200 watt B&W sub to round out the sound in my medium size room. My mind was changed however when I happened to do a side by side listening comparison to the Polk RTi A3 bookshelf speakers (currently around $300/pr online). Normally I really would not have even done this as Polks don't always compete, but I have to say the Polk A3's, especially at that price point, changed my mind immediately. They are larger than the 686's, but well worth finding the space and in my opinion provided a much fuller sound than most bookshelves at that price. In addition, I ended up with the Klipsch sw-311 sub (10" 500 watt active plus two 10" passives on each side). This thing originally retailed at $1499 however can be found new in many stores right now for $550. In my opinion no subs under $600 can compete with this thing. It provides an unbelievable addition to my music listening without the "boomy" effect found in so many subs. As far as receivers go, I had narrowed it down to the Yamaha R-S700 ($500) and the Outlaw Audio RR2150 ($700). Both receive outstanding reviews for their power (100w x 2), construction, and quality inputs/outputs including phono and sub. The Outlaw has the USB digital input (with internal DAC) for quick input of digital music, where the Yamaha doesn't. However I went with the Yamaha R-S700 and have been incredibly happy with the entire setup thus far. Good Luck. Look forward to hearing what you decide on.
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post #19 of 37 Old 06-30-2014, 10:57 PM
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I just saw this post and I was going to say the Outlaw receiver with a pair of ascend acoustics speakers, but the last poster beat me to it. This pairing will cost you about $1400, give or take. To this, I would add the smallest Rythmik sub. For around $2k (perhaps a little more) you will have a killer stereo setup.
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post #20 of 37 Old 07-01-2014, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your help guys.

I decided to man up and double my budget. I am about to put an order through for the following:

1) PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium Tube Amp

2) KEF LS50

3) REL T-5 Subwoofer

What do you think of this system? I keep hearing the primaluna's pair really well with the kefs.
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post #21 of 37 Old 07-01-2014, 06:42 PM
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Have you heard that system yourself? If not, you are making a mistake.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #22 of 37 Old 07-01-2014, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Have you heard that system yourself? If not, you are making a mistake.
no one has this particular combo for demo/audition. why is it a mistake?
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post #23 of 37 Old 07-01-2014, 11:19 PM
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http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...SRM2/srm2.html


http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...ubs/f15hp.html


http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/rr2150.html


These will most likely run circles around your choices, but the decision is yours. Best of luck!
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post #24 of 37 Old 07-02-2014, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Have you heard that system yourself? If not, you are making a mistake.
Actually, I don't want your reasoning. I trolled on a few of your latest posts over the last few weeks and none of them seemed helpful to anyone, therefore, your opinion(s) would be useless to me even if you shared it.

Anyway for everyone else who took the time to share their thoughts on this thread - thank you. Based on your recommendations I took the time to do some extensive research and have almost come to a decision.
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post #25 of 37 Old 07-02-2014, 08:02 AM
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I agree with the Sieera 2, and recommended it as well in an earlier post. But the Rythimic 15 is way overkill for an office. A 12 would suffice. If it's for music only a good 8 or 10 inch would do.

I'd look at the SVS sealed subs for music. They have a 12" about half the price of the 15" monster Rythmic. No knock against Rythmic they are good subs, but way too much for an office.
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post #26 of 37 Old 07-02-2014, 08:23 PM
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I also agree that the Sierra-2s with their RAAL ribbon tweeters would be a better choice than the KEFs.

It's tough to make choices when you can't audition the components you are interested in, most quality speakers (such as the Ascends) give a fairly generous time window in which to return them if you're not completely satisfied.

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post #27 of 37 Old 07-02-2014, 09:09 PM
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I agree with the Sieera 2, and recommended it as well in an earlier post. But the Rythimic 15 is way overkill for an office. A 12 would suffice. If it's for music only a good 8 or 10 inch would do.

I'd look at the SVS sealed subs for music. They have a 12" about half the price of the 15" monster Rythmic. No knock against Rythmic they are good subs, but way too much for an office.

I don't disagree that the Rythmik is a lot of sub and it does cost more than a smaller sub, but his list was considerably more...in fact, his amp was nearly as much as all of the equipment I listed, so I shot for excellent speakers and a sub that can reproduce all of the lower music octaves without problems. the Rythmik servo is awesome for music and he can crank it loud (as he mentioned that he liked to do). The Outlaw has a sub out and decent bass management, so I chose that.


All in all, for the money, this is a better system than he had thought about. It will sound better, measure better and will cost less. He could go with a 12" rythmik also, but the 15 will play louder and will dig deeper. Office or not, it offers better performance than any 8 or 10 inch sub and most 12" subs.


I agree with your assessment about cost, but with his budget, this speaker/sub combo gives him awesome sound.


Just my opinion
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post #28 of 37 Old 07-03-2014, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by willscary View Post
I don't disagree that the Rythmik is a lot of sub and it does cost more than a smaller sub, but his list was considerably more...in fact, his amp was nearly as much as all of the equipment I listed, so I shot for excellent speakers and a sub that can reproduce all of the lower music octaves without problems. the Rythmik servo is awesome for music and he can crank it loud (as he mentioned that he liked to do). The Outlaw has a sub out and decent bass management, so I chose that.


All in all, for the money, this is a better system than he had thought about. It will sound better, measure better and will cost less. He could go with a 12" rythmik also, but the 15 will play louder and will dig deeper. Office or not, it offers better performance than any 8 or 10 inch sub and most 12" subs.


I agree with your assessment about cost, but with his budget, this speaker/sub combo gives him awesome sound.


Just my opinion
But who needs 14 hz from the rythmic for an office music system? The lowest note pipe organ in European catherdrals is 18 hz.
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post #29 of 37 Old 07-03-2014, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by barcodeunit View Post
no one has this particular combo for demo/audition. why is it a mistake?

1) PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium Tube Amp

Low power, high maintenance, reduced performance.
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post #30 of 37 Old 07-03-2014, 05:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post
But who needs 14 hz from the rythmic for an office music system? The lowest note pipe organ in European catherdrals is 18 hz.

I do. The lowest note (key) on a piano has a fundamental frequency of 27.5 Hz and the lowest note on a bass guitar has a fundamental frequency of about 30 Hz. People often quote these and figure that a 10" sub that plays to 28 Hz is "plenty". I disagree. A bass drum has a fundamental that is usually strongest around 40 Hz, although larger ones may be closer to 30 Hz. Yet, the spectrum of sound that they produce easily includes sound in the 20 Hz region and subsonic material down another octave. Synthesized bass can and does go into the single digits.


Most recorded music does not contain gobs of infrasonic material. True. Music will generally sound fine using a smaller sub. True. (in fact, most people have never heard the deep bass that some music contains because they have never listened to music on a system that plays below 60 hz or so...think radios and small systems). But, there is a fair amount of music that does contain information that reaches these lower levels.


Again, the OP listed components that totaled a lot of money. I offered a less costly alternative that would better recreate the audible spectrum for less cost. For the money he was looking at spending, why would I provide a system alternative that left out an octave or more of deep bass? I can tell you from experience that music sounds much more realistic when played through a system containing my dual Rythmik F25s than it does through the same system where my F25s are swapped out for my 16 Hz capable SVS 16-46 pci. There is NO chance that my beloved prior SVS even remotely hangs with the twin F25s when listening to well recorded music.


Again, just my opinion, but in this case, my opinion is based on a decade of substantial use of the SVS and at least a thousand hours of listening to the F25s (same room, same setups other than subs).
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