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post #1 of 10 Old 08-06-2014, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Learning the ropes

Hey...This will be my first time buying a high quality audio system, and wondered if you guys could give me some advice.

I listen mostly to rock, folk, indie....And I'll be purchasing the Project Carbon Debut turntable so that I can re-discover vinyl and re-spend my savings on music I already own on other formats

I'll be doing my listening in a carpeted 12 x 17 ft basement, and am down to my final decision about speakers. I have around $700-$1000 so spend and have to buy from a local place (due to gift cards, etc...). So my options are pretty set in stone.

I'm learning towards the Wharfedale 10.1 tower speakers, but was curious as to whether the "higher end" Totem brand would be a better choice - although, at that price, I'd have to go with a bookshelf (without a sub) like the Mite or Rainmaker.

What matters more? The physical capabilities of the Wharfedale towers or the preciseness of the Totems? Sorry, if I have concepts/etc..mixed up, as I'm trying to learn on the go here. Thanks for any feedback.
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-06-2014, 02:35 PM
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I haven't heard either speaker so take this with a grain of salt. I would take the better sounding speaker regardless of whether it's a bookshelf or tower. I've had tower setups and bookshelf/sub. From what I've read, if it were me in your shoes, I would buy the Rainmakers and add a sub now/later/or you may find you don't even need a sub for music listening only. 42hz down 3 decibels plus boundary help from your room. You may be completely happy with that with your music preference. Of course I'm assuming the Totem is the better speaker. I may be wrong.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-06-2014, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djp2k7 View Post
I haven't heard either speaker so take this with a grain of salt. I would take the better sounding speaker regardless of whether it's a bookshelf or tower. I've had tower setups and bookshelf/sub. From what I've read, if it were me in your shoes, I would buy the Rainmakers and add a sub now/later/or you may find you don't even need a sub for music listening only. 42hz down 3 decibels plus boundary help from your room. You may be completely happy with that with your music preference. Of course I'm assuming the Totem is the better speaker. I may be wrong.
Thanks...seems like good advice. I think what I will do is bring in some music and ask them to set up both and alternate. You're right, my ears should make the final decision.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-07-2014, 01:21 AM
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^^ Just make sure when you A-B compare the speakers that they are level matched. Bring your own dB meter or ask them for a dB meter so you can judge them on an equal footing (speaker efficiency can vary making one speaker a bit louder than the other, thus coloring your perception).
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-07-2014, 02:03 AM
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The best way to know what sound you like is go through speakers like underwear if needed to learn what you like. I've had damn near 20 pairs of speakers. Most I didn't like enough and sold them, and even a few more I still do have may end up on the chopping block. I asked for opinions in the past, and sometime I wondered how anyone could like the speaker in question...after I already bought them.

I bought many used on CL so I generally made my money back if not a profit. Amps are one thing, but speakers are entirely another. Your room may make some speakers sound awful, or maybe you just don't like them.

It's impossible to know what speakers some will like or not like.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-07-2014, 05:38 AM
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I have read a lot of good things about the Rainmakers, they would probably be a good choice. What other speaker brands are there?

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post #7 of 10 Old 08-07-2014, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alstil View Post

I listen mostly to rock, folk, indie....And I'll be purchasing the Project Carbon Debut turntable so that I can re-discover vinyl and re-spend my savings on music I already own on other formats
I'll award you the prize for silliest plan of the day. Let me be hip by finding music I already have in a format that sounds worse and is a hassle to use.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-07-2014, 08:37 AM
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On the topic of sound meters I've found for those with a modern smart phone there are several free SPL/microphone apps on the Google play store (and presumably the Apple equivalent). I'd imagine they are accurate enough for the purposes russell mentioned. Just thought I'd note that as an option.

The specific app I've tried out is simply called "Sound Meter." This is what it looks like:
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-07-2014, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alstil View Post
What matters more? The physical capabilities of the Wharfedale towers or the preciseness of the Totems? Sorry, if I have concepts/etc..mixed up, as I'm trying to learn on the go here. Thanks for any feedback.
That which sounds more pleasant and accurate to your ears - like, does the sound call you in
or annoy you and push you away.

The speakers should sound good at any sound level - regardless of any level matching tests.

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post #10 of 10 Old 08-07-2014, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys...much appreciated.
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