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Help Sound system configuration !!!!

319 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  thoeng
Hello all as i am a VERY beginner in sound system world i need your guys help !!

Soon i am planning to build a sound system probably with just 2 speakers (maybe JBL E20, E30 or Tannoy MK 3), centre (JBL EC25). Sub maybe added later on.

1. What receiver/ amp can you recommend me ? ( i heard panny SA-RX50 is good) but considering i'll just use 2 main speaker and 1 centre (sub maybe later) is it still worthy ?

2. Actually what is the difference between receiver and amps ? in my case which one will i need ?

3. CAn somebody explain to me about cabling ? what is the speaker to receiver/amps ?

4. I am planning to buil wireless music at my home using squeezebox ( www.squeezebox.com ) actually. WIll i be able to plug in receiver/amps in it ? and will it utilize the receiver/amp capability

I 've been using JBL Creature 2.1 (connected using mini jack) therefore knows nothing about cabling nor receiver/amps. I have very limited budget as well (i am a student) Therefore any help/recommendation is appreciated very much.


What you give you'll Get Back
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Having some idea of your budget would be helpful. Personally I subscribe to the school of thought that you don't have to spend a lot of money, but you do have to choose your equipment very carefully, especially the speakers, to get good sound.

Since you say your goal is a 2-channel system (as opposed to surround / home theatre) I can offer some advice on reasonably priced systems you can build - I've built several.

I like to go as simple as possible for music. For Home theatre, you have to worry about lots of inputs, lots of formats, etc. For plain stereo audio, it's much simpler.

As far as sound quality goes, speakers are the most important component you can choose, IMHO. When you listen to speakers at the store, keep in mind that the room you're listening in probably is completely different from your home. Room acoustics are the biggest factor in how everything sounds, and the hardest thing to tweak. It is very hard to judge how a speaker sounds until you've heard it at home. High-end shops will often let you take speakers home to "audition" - take advantage of this, and give them your business if it helps you find something you realy like!

My preferred speakers (again, not big bucks at all) are old fashioned big boxes with sealed woofers (not ported or bandpass). That means usually 3 or 4 drivers on the front of the box - a big woofer, medium mids, and a tiny tweeter. I have some Infinity Reference speakers (about 5 yrs old) that I'm just thrilled with - I tried to get another set but unfortunately the ones I wanted were discontinued.

Ported speakers constitute the majority of consumer floor-standing speakers on the market. People prefer them because they take less space. They make louder sound out of a smaller box, but I don't think they sound as good as big speakers. The speakers often have only a tweeter and two or three 4-6" drivers, with no woofer, or they have a woofer on the side instead of in the front. My opinion is if you have the space, go for a traditional speaker design with a progression of driver sizes, all of them facing you, with no funny business to save space or to make the speaker louder than you'd expect for its size. As they say in the automotive world, "there's no replacement for displacement."

Concerning receivers/amps:

This really depends on how you intend to control the sound. Does your source have its own volume control? If so then you might want to go with just a simple amplifier. If you want to use a receiver to control volume, go with a receiver. You can buy a full-featured receiver for less than a dedicated amp. They sound just as good at the lower power levels. For higher power levels, a simple amp is the best way to go. If you prefer the "component" approach, consider a preamp (which gives you volume control and balance) plus an amp.


Don't go overboard. When I spend extra on cables, it's because I want sturdy, good looking cables. Not because I expect that paying 10x will make them sound better.


Squeezebox can drive an amplifier directly. It has analog volume control, which means that it basically has a preamp "built-in".

Here's my bedroom setup:


B&O 9000, wall mounted

Adcom 2-channel amp

Infinity Reference floorstanding speakers

The B&O is the only expensive bit, and I admit, that's for looks more than sound. :)
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Well Thank you for replying me

i just bought panny rx-25 today for my receiver and now thinking what speaker to get. i've look at ebay and found that tannoy mx2 (bookshelf) and mk3 (floorstanding) but through research at their website its ported. i also still considering jbl e series. As you said that i should choose speaker carefully do you have any recommended speaker that might go well with my configuration ?
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