Genelec G Four (8040) vs Neumann KH310 vs DIY Active speakers - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Home-theater with Active speakers - which way to go...
Genelec G Four (8040) 3 42.86%
Neumann KH310 (costs about 28% more) 3 42.86%
DIY Active speakers (pl. suggest drivers, crossovers and amps) - quality should be comparable to above choices... 1 14.29%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 30 Old 09-14-2013, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Folks,

After much thought and consideration and demo of various brands both active (Dynaudio, Focal, ADAM, Mackie, Event) and passive (B&W, Golden Ear, Boston Acoustic, Yamaha, Harbeth, Martin Logan, Sonus)... I had narrowed down my selection to the Genelec G Four (8040) for the LCR and G Three (8030) for surrounds...

now an unexpected decision point has come-up...
due to the sudden fall of the Indian Rupee and pre-existing stock (before the fall) and more willingness of the Neumann dealer to negotiate etc... it turns out that I could get the Neumann KH310 at just about 28% more than the Genelec 8040... (all inclusive cost in Indian rupees after delivery, duties and VAT etc)..

KH310 is a 3 way (about US$2100) and is normally double the price of the 2 way Genelec 8040...(about $1050)
A dealer who sells both brands does concede that he prefers the Genelec as it has a very low failure rate and very few warranty claims - as compared to other brands...

this presents me with the dilemma of which one to go for...

in addition - since I've been quietly working on learning the ins-and-outs of a DIY sub-woofer - I've also been toying with the idea of making my own active... mains...and have some tantalizing ideas in mind...

for eg. : a coaxial 2 way driver powered by tube amps... will look really cool.

one of the expert dealers here has suggested that if I'm doing a DIY sub - I should probably go with DIY mains and surrounds as well - as that will help me keep the performance and voice consistent - there is no point in having very high end pro mains and a DIY sub...


any thoughts on ideas on this from the esteemed members of this great forum would be greatly appreciated...

thanks in advance and warm regards...
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post #2 of 30 Old 09-15-2013, 09:26 AM
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I'd do DIY of your choices.

http://meniscusaudio.com/statements-pair-p-1338.html

That set will compete with $15,000 speakers. It cannot be beat by either of the options you're considering.

http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/2.5-way-speaker-kits/zaph%7Caudio-zrt-2.5-way-revelator-tower-parts-only-pair/

This one competes with $10 - $15k speakers.

http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/2.5-way-speaker-kits/zaph%7Caudio-za5.5-tall-tower-2.5-way-pair/

These would compete with $5k speakers.

All DIY options are significantly better than the two you've listed in my opinion. I wouldn't listen to a dealer that encouraged you to try to match a subwoofer. They're the least relevant thing to match a system. You should simply strive for want the best sound quality, lowest extension, and highest output.

If you're looking for a good sub, here is one that is unattractive but is a top performer:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-766
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post #3 of 30 Old 09-15-2013, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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The voting so far has been a steady 1 vote each for the 3 options...

It'd be nice if people could post the reasoning for their particular selection...


@Valtyr,

Thanks for the Thumbs-up to DIY... and the links...
In my particular case - I don't think the floor standers will pass the WAF..

I'm somehow convinced on the Active speaker advantages and so even in DIY - I'm looking to go Active...

Are there active-speaker kits that you would recommend...
the main goal being a somewhat compact 2 way or 3 way Active main - not unlike the Neumann KH310 and KH120...
with the highest possible fidelity (true phase and flat frequency response)...

I'm thinking of coaxial 2ways... so as to do something like the Genelec 8260 (HF and Midrange setup)

http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/coaxial-speaker-kits/

what are the thoughts on these?
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post #4 of 30 Old 09-15-2013, 04:22 PM
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I think the Zaph audio bookshelf speakers are probably better. Again, anything DIY will be better than the Genelec option.

http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/preassembled-speakers/rhyme-acoustics-nuscale-216-2-way-pair/

http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/mtm-speaker-kits/new-odin-kit-pair/

http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/mtm-speaker-kits/zaph%7Caudio-za5.3-mtm-pair-with-cabinets/
^I have the center from this set and it is incredible

I don't understand any possible need for coaxial. They are wasteful, but you can easily put whatever type of binding posts you want on any set. I also am unclear why you want active speakers, why don't you let an amp or receiver amplify and equalize?
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post #5 of 30 Old 09-15-2013, 04:36 PM
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Is this a music or home theater set up?

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #6 of 30 Old 09-15-2013, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
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@flyng - This is for a home-theater in an apartment living room open to dining area...

@Valtyr
The coxial gives me a lot more flexibility in the design of the cabinet - for which I'm thinking of some really exotic shapes...
I know passives are a lot easier to make - provided the crossovers are bought readily... but I'm set on going the active route because everyone here convinced me that is the route to take.... its apparently easier & less distorting to crossover a line level signal than a speaker level signal and the passive crossover lose a lot in heat and alters performance over a given long session...

I see that all most all respected pro-audio monitors are active... I gez because of better fidelity, control and consistent performance
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post #7 of 30 Old 09-16-2013, 12:19 PM
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All of what I'm seeing are dome tweeters. Compression drivers mated to horns with pro drivers work a lot better for HT. Have you looked at the SEOS kits? Just go active with them and don't order the crossover.

Genelec s are no slouch mind you, but I would bet that the SEOS could keep up with them all day long for a fraction of the price.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #8 of 30 Old 09-16-2013, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intgenx View Post

one of the expert dealers here has suggested that if I'm doing a DIY sub - I should probably go with DIY mains and surrounds as well - as that will help me keep the performance and voice consistent - there is no point in having very high end pro mains and a DIY sub...

That's a bunch of malarkey. LOL

What does voicing have to do with matching subs and speakers? Never heard that one. I don't think I'd take any advice about subwoofers from whomever told you that.

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post #9 of 30 Old 09-17-2013, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

That's a bunch of malarkey. LOL

What does voicing have to do with matching subs and speakers? Never heard that one. I don't think I'd take any advice about subwoofers from whomever told you that.

Sounds like that expert dealer is an expert at dealing bs biggrin.gif

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post #10 of 30 Old 09-17-2013, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by its phillip View Post

Sounds like that expert dealer is an expert at dealing bs biggrin.gif


Yeah. I don't want to stereotype, but some hifi audio dealers are no better than car salesmen when it comes to telling you whatever they think they can get away with to make the sale.

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post #11 of 30 Old 09-17-2013, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Folks,

I'm having to make the decision in the next 2 days as the deal ends and the Neumann KH310 goes back to about 75% more than the Genelec 8040 and the whole question becomes irrelevant...

Will appreciate a bit more votes... opinions and suggestions...

btw: the only reason the DIY option has come-up for the mains is because one of my long time associates is a pro-audio dealer/installer and he has friends who are a speaker designer / builder and an electronics expert.

I should be able to reach out to them for guidance/collaboration in the DIY... without them... the most ambitious I would think of would be a DIY sub...

Thanks in advance...
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post #12 of 30 Old 09-17-2013, 12:57 PM
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If the 310s are replacements for the o 300, those K+H's are a steal. It's a pretty bad ass speaker.
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post #13 of 30 Old 09-17-2013, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes.. the Neumann's KH 310 is the updated K+H O300...
the differences are listed here:
http://www.neumann-kh-line.com/neumann-kh/home_en.nsf/root/prof-monitoring_knowledge_faqs_kh310-answers
Quote:
After 12 successful years of the excellent O 300 and 45 since the OY was first launched, techniques have continued to improve in all areas of product design and so we are able to offer the following performance and feature improvements:

Acoustics:
Flatter on-axis response
Smoother off-axis response (dispersion)
Lower harmonic and intermodulation distortions
7.4 dB higher maximum SPL: 114.2 vs. 106.8 dB SPL at 1m (100 – 6000 Hz)
New drivers with lower distortion
LF response below 100 Hz improved
Ribs on bass driver reduce radial standing waves across the surround material

Electronics:
All new electronics with lower distortion and noise.
Ergonomic acoustical controls
Wider range of input/output level adjustment: 35 dB vs. 18 dB
Higher maximum input level: +24 dBu
Ground lift moved from mains connector to XLR input
Higher maximum sample rate on the digital input: 192 kHz vs. 96 kHz
Buffered BNC output for robust interconnectivity
Digital input version has a built-in adjustable 400 msec delay for time-of-flight and lip-sync adjustment
Delay is adjustable on the rear panel or using AES3 user-bits
Switched mode power supply (SMPS) for use all around the world
No multipin input

Mechanics:
Neumann branding for increased international recognition
New cabinet design to reduce structural resonances
Recessed midrange driver to reduce accidental damage
Dimmable bi-color front panel Neumann logo
Latest manufacturing techniques
Lab approvals for CE, UL/CSA, FCC, and CCC

The result is a step change in overall product performance.

The KH 310 uses a wide range power supply. Isn´t that worse than a standard transformer power supply?
The switched mode power supply has the advantage of allowing the KH 310 to be taken anywhere in the world without having to use step-up or step-down transformers. Additionally this type of power supply is more robust to poor quality mains supplies (voltage fluctuations) as the input voltage is converted to a stable dc supply not stepped down based on a fixed transformer turns ratio. The SMPS is also designed to be able to deliver a more stable voltage supply, for example a very high current delivery is required for high level impulsive sound such as kick drums and so with a stiffer power supply from an SMPS the result is a more solid bass impulse reproduction. Also mains hum (50/100 Hz or 60/120 Hz) commonly seen in linear transformer designs is avoided. On the other hand, designing the supply is harder but we have managed to achieve a very good performance, plus the benefits just mentioned.
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post #14 of 30 Old 09-17-2013, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmichaelf View Post

If the 310s are replacements for the o 300, those K+H's are a steal. It's a pretty bad ass speaker.

That's the main reason I voted for the Neumanns. If you can get a very high quality powered monitor like that for ~$1300, jump on it and don't look back.

Concentrate your DIY urges on your subs. This is a relatively straightforward undertaking, where very good results can be had on a budget by building what are essentially proven designs. Despite the terrible advice from that dealer (he's no expert), there's no reason you can't build subs that will keep pace and work very well with the Neumanns.

Even with assistance from friends of associates, I think it's over-optimistic to expect your first active speaker build will deliver comparable performance to the very highly engineered and optimised offerings from Neumann (or Genelec). If after completing your subs, you still have the urge to build speakers, I suggest aiming lower and attempting to build (say) a couple of active, miniDSP controlled 2-way computer monitors.
.
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post #15 of 30 Old 09-17-2013, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Giegear, cel4145, its_phillip, jmichaelf

btw: I'm not getting it at 1300 - the KH310 is coming to around 10% less than the without discount US prices - which means it a great deal.. made only possible by the sudden 20% crash of the Indian Rupee. If I were to consider the price at the previous exchange rate then the KH310 is pretty much the same as US prices (which is still good because it includes duty and shipping)...
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post #16 of 30 Old 09-18-2013, 07:03 AM
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No problem!

I came up with the ~$1300 simply by adding 28% to the $1050 Genelec price. Are you saying the price for the Neumann's is ~$1900 each at present? I must admit, I'm having trouble understanding how a 20% currency drop results in a discount... I'll have to take your word for it that it's a great deal. wink.gif

If price is a bit of a concern, three of these can be had for the price of one Neumann:



The Rokits were one of the top full range speakers at the NE Spring Speaker Shootout. Here is the results thread. Below are the in-room SPL measurements from the shootout. This is for a pair of speakers playing program material measured with an Omnimic at a distance of 18 feet.


There was also an AVS review earlier this year.

In my estimation, the Rokits offer 90% of the performance of the Neumanns at 30% of the price.

US$500 each
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Rokit103G2/
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=246-463

AU$550 each
http://www.allansbillyhyde.com.au/prod/RP103G2/KRK_ROKIT_Powered_10-3_Studio_Monitor_(Single).aspx
http://www.gallinsmps.com.au/music-tech/music-tech-brands/krk/krk-rokit-rp10-3-powered-studio-monitors.html
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post #17 of 30 Old 09-19-2013, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
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@Giegear.. yes the Rokit are an exceptional value and the Rokit dealer is offering special discounts too (as in pre-rupee-fall price)... will listen to them and then make a decision...

The discount is notional in rupee terms (not in dollar terms) because...the Rupee has fallen over 20% and am calculating the dollar cost based on the lower value of the rupee...
The Neumann dealer is a "motivated seller" - willing to keep the price the same without increasing it by the amount of the fall and lose customers -

He needs to move this inventory which was ordered at the pre-fall price...but his next shipment will be arriving at a much higher cost to him and therefore he can offer this price only for a short time...

The Genelec dealer "apparently sold out of his pre-fall inventory and can only offer new inventory at the higher price after the fall..
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post #18 of 30 Old 09-19-2013, 04:14 AM
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Thanks for the explanation of the discount intgenx. I understand now. smile.gif

Hope the Rokit audition goes well for you. Please let us know your impressions.
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post #19 of 30 Old 09-26-2013, 04:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Folks,
Thanks to all your inputs - as the deal is expiring fast I'm now going for the KH310 for L/C/R...(although I have not yet had the chance to demo the Rokit.. I will post results of that demo as well).

I need to make a decision on the surrounds (RR/RL) as a similar (but not as great a deal) is available for KH120 as well.

My choice is between a Neumann KH120 (for about $700) vs Genelec G Three or 8030 (for about $900)... after duties, taxes and shipping.

Normally these speakers are priced about the same... the present price difference is due to the Neumann dealer retaining the pre-rupee fall price for a limited period and Genelec increasing the price.

Thanks again folks...
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post #20 of 30 Old 09-26-2013, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIEGAR View Post

No problem!

I came up with the ~$1300 simply by adding 28% to the $1050 Genelec price. Are you saying the price for the Neumann's is ~$1900 each at present? I must admit, I'm having trouble understanding how a 20% currency drop results in a discount... I'll have to take your word for it that it's a great deal. wink.gif

If price is a bit of a concern, three of these can be had for the price of one Neumann:



The Rokits were one of the top full range speakers at the NE Spring Speaker Shootout. Here is the results thread. Below are the in-room SPL measurements from the shootout. This is for a pair of speakers playing program material measured with an Omnimic at a distance of 18 feet.


There was also an AVS review earlier this year.

In my estimation, the Rokits offer 90% of the performance of the Neumanns at 30% of the price.

US$500 each
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Rokit103G2/
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=246-463

AU$550 each
http://www.allansbillyhyde.com.au/prod/RP103G2/KRK_ROKIT_Powered_10-3_Studio_Monitor_(Single).aspx
http://www.gallinsmps.com.au/music-tech/music-tech-brands/krk/krk-rokit-rp10-3-powered-studio-monitors.html


I have used monitors from each company and can say absolutely go with the Neumanns at that price! Genelec is an amazing company, but those Neumanns are sweet. The KRK are decent speakers, but nowhere near the quality of the other.

Ignorance is a choice
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post #21 of 30 Old 10-17-2013, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Folks,

The KH310 for L/C/R has arrived.
Absolutely can't wait to let it rip...


As I've blown way past (300%) of my original budget just for the LCR... I'm yet to decide/get the surrounds (KH120 vs 8030) and sub (DIY) - I'll add them may be next year - if the debt ceiling is raised by the speaker-of-the-household and my one-woman-congress...

I'm now looking for a cheap/used AV processor 2.1 ch or 5.1ch or 7.1ch. or 9.1ch... whatever I can find..

even HDMI is optional...

problem is... the used equipment market in India is practically non-existent...
any ideas?
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post #22 of 30 Old 01-09-2014, 05:12 AM
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Chiming in late, here.  I purchased the Nuemann KH310s the other day, and I'm listening now to a vast array of music through them.  

 

These monitors are, to my ears, by far the most accurate speakers I have ever heard.   The Genelecs and Dynaudios, also great monitors, but NOT in the same league, at least to my ears.

 

That's a value judgement, I know; but I feel pretty safe in making it in this instance.   They are near/mid fields; so they do not do "big."   They'll make you deaf before they clip, but they're not designed for big spaces.  A second set would go some distance to "solving" that issue, however.

 

JG

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post #23 of 30 Old 01-10-2014, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes.. I agree.. the KH310 is awesome... was simply amazed after I heard them...

After much thought, deliberation, polling etc I went ahead and got 3 - KH310 for L/C/R - then later I was torn between the Genelec 8040/8030 and the KH120 for the surrounds...

rather than deal with all the dilemma... I thought if I got the ideal (and THX recommended setup) of 5 speakers that are the same - I could then listen to 5ch surround music without having to worry about the surround speakers not keeping up with the mains or sounding tonally/timbrally different...

so I went ahead and put my head on the chopping block and defied SWMBO and have now ordered 2 more KH310s... which are on the way... that will make all the 5 speakers KH310

all in all... about $10,500 on just five speakers... (when my original budget was $2500 for 5.1 speakers and a receiver - now you can imagine the tensions around SWMBO)

its still not fully setup though - after considering Marantz, Denon, Onkyo, Sherbourn etc I went ahead with a used Motu Ultralite Mk3 hybrid (about $380) as my "processor/sound card"...

now looking for just the right cables... my choices are Belden, Klotz, Sommer, Canare, ProEl, Eurocable...

should I go for cables that can carry both signal and power - such as the one below?
http://shop.klotz-ais.com/cgi-bin/quickorder/lshop.cgi?action=showdetail&artnum=HD01PC_&wkid=2004g&ls=e

Also need advice on Power conditioners/surge protectors.
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post #24 of 30 Old 01-10-2014, 03:31 PM
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Since the KH310s use xlr connects, I'm looking for a balanced xlr out pre-amp.   I don't want to do xlr to rca or 1/4 jacks: that sort of "cheat" can introduce extra noise or low level hum, which I want to avoid.   4 xlr outs would leave it open to me to get another 2 speakers.  

 

Not doing surround sound.

 

JG 

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post #25 of 30 Old 01-10-2014, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh I never for once even thought or suggested unbalanced connections - RCA or 1/4" TS plugs (Tip-Sleeve connections...

We are talking only about balanced outputs which could be either in 3 pin XLR or 1/4" TRS plus (Tip-ring-Sleeve).. which are both used in balanced connections...
that's why I went with the Motu Ultralite Mk3 hybrid as my "sound-card/processor"... although if budget had permitted I would have liked to go for an RME Fireface UFX...

my "source" is a HTPC and my content is already on hard-disks... therefore I found no need for a bulky full featured processor/preamp like the Marantz AV7701 or Onkyo PR-SC5509 or Integra DHC80.3 - even though I now lack ability to take "other sources - such as a BD player or HDset-top box" that output in HDMI or the room-correction features of the processor... I will be using my setup almost entirely for music or movies fed off my HTPC... this may not apply to most people.

IF however you are looking at 2 channel setup ... then I would suggest the same route - try and get all your content as FLAC or other lossless compression formats onto a portable hard-drive or NAS and connect it to a good PC/Mac which can then be connected to a good 2 channel USB/Firewire - DAC and connect your speakers directly to the DAC... fewer systems in the signal path and less clutter... and no more pesky discs that got dirty and skip etc...
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post #26 of 30 Old 01-11-2014, 05:42 AM
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I think that's a pretty reasonable solution to the problem!   I have other issues, such as family members who want to run inferior sources (mp3 files and similar alternatives to clean wave content) into what I'd like to make a consistently balanced signal chain.

 

And I admit to having a ton of CDs, for which I will have to find a reasonably good (balanced?) cd player.  I notice that even lxr out rack-mounted CD players have somewhat inferior specs!!   Perreaux and the like are exceptions.   But here we are talking 2500 and up!   CDs are dead, but I'm forced to play that game.

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post #27 of 30 Old 01-11-2014, 09:06 AM
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The emo asp-1 balanced preamp is another possibility, if they continue production.   Once cd technoloty is totally dead, the fully balanced preamp provides a sort of one stop fully balanced intermediary for getting various alternative audio sources to the speakers via balanced xlrs.   

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post #28 of 30 Old 01-11-2014, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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nothing wrong with playing mp3s for a quick/casual music session...
I may be doing the same for the music on my phone - Bluetooth to my pc and then to the sound card...

but I find it quite old-fashioned to still have a CD rack or case ...

I think its time for you to use a good lossless ripper to convert your CD collection to portable hard-disks
a 1TB disk is about $60 and a 2TB disk about $99... that would be about 2000 CDs...
then you could carry your entire collection with you anywhere and play them with your PC any time and not have to worry about the CD getting dirty or skipping or deteriorating over time and the fact that your CD stand or rack will now be a relic of the past...

if you are talking about SACDs and such - then there must be a way to rip them lossless-ly too
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post #29 of 30 Old 01-11-2014, 10:42 AM
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True…. so true…. but even with a fast ripper, given the number of CDs I have…. would be mighty time-consuming process...

 

And I'm lazy.

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post #30 of 30 Old 01-11-2014, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
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To rip a cd would be about the same time as 2 or 3 times of cleaning it using a soft cloth and solution
even then CDs don't sound good after a decade or so... and start skipping heavily especially the tracks stored on the outer edges...
in that sense its a bit like tapes... CDs are perishable...

If you value your collection for the long term - I'd say its time to find yourself some child labor to exploit...

If you have 1000 CDs - offer up some bulk payment like $500 or to get them their next cool gadget.
For that kina money...a son/daughter, nephew or niece may actually rip it for you...which must be like a zillion dollars to a 10 yr old.

and think of the space you would save... and the ugly - funkadelic CD racks and stands you could drop off at Goodwill.
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