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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know you must get a thousand threads asking for help here. I apologize for contributing to that, but I'm finding it difficult to find information on these forums.


I'm looking to get into speakers. I've been a headphone guy for a while and have a midrange headphone setup, but there is something about speakers that has me interested. I'm really only interested in stereo because this will be strictly for music.


My budget will be around 400-500 CAD and I already have a source (FLAC files sent to my Audio-gd Compass DAC), I just need an amp and speakers (and maybe a preamp? I'm new to this stuff.) I'm looking for a recommendation for speakers and a receiver/amp/preamp/whatever, but I would also like some opinions about my budget. If spending a not-too-significant amount more would get a considerably better setup, I'd like to know. I don't expect to get all I want out of such a limited budget, I just want to know what my options are.


Listening preferences:

I listen mainly to a mixture of alternative rock, post-rock, progressive rock and metal. Some bands include Porcupine Tree, Radiohead, Mono, Sigur Ros, Tool and Genesis.


Sound signature preference:

Neutral to slightly emphasized treble, light to neutral bass, and I'm unsure where I stand on mids. Preferably nice mids, but my budget doesn't allow me to be picky.
I suppose what I'm saying here is that neutrality is good, but bright is okay, too. Bass extension and punch is nice but not a huge priority, so if I can piece together an okay setup that would benefit from a subwoofer later, that's fine. Detail is good but not my first priority.


Room specifications: This is where I am having some trouble. On the main floor none of the rooms are completely closed, since the house has an open design, and most of the rooms elsewhere have odd shapes. So my question here is: What is the ideal room design for a speaker setup, and what are major/minor problems? I may have to find a room that most closely resembles this.


I'd prefer towers to bookshelf speakers.


If I can buy used, that would be great. Also, since I live in Canada not all things are available or cheap for me, so keep that in mind.


If I can provide any other information that would help, please let me know. Once I get an idea of what room specifications are best I will probably submit some images of the potential places to put the setup.


With that said, I would appreciate any responses.



Also, how big would the shipping costs associated with buying online be? I'm used to buying all of my stuff from the US, but I know speakers are considerably bigger/heavier, so how 'local' should my purchases be?
 

· The Village Idiot
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I'm not familiar with the speakers you might have available to you so I'll just address the receiver question. You may want to get a multi channel receiver - a used one would be cheap - but still good. The reason I suggest multi channel is because you can use digital input from your computer - or the analog if you wish. You'd have a more versatile setup. You could add speakers later if you like and have a 5.0/5.1 setup.


Finding a 2 channel receiver with DACs (Digital to Analog Converter) onboard is not easy - the only one I know of is the Harman Kardon 3490. A very nice receiver but it'll cost you much more than someone's 3-5 year old cast off multi channel receiver and won't sound much different if at all - only more power than the typical multi channel receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I already am able to send digital via USB to the DAC section of my Audio-gd Compass which can then send the analog out via RCA to any receiver.


The Audio-gd Compass is a generally well-regarded DAC/headphone amp unit that supposedly has a decent entry-level DAC. It can be used in its "super" mode to separate the amp and DAC sections so I can just use it as a DAC.


The short of it is, I think any receiver with RCA inputs is fine (as long as the SQ is good for the price).


Thanks for the response.



I'm going to be stopping by Bay Bloor Radio today and they have some speakers in the few-hundreds-of-dollars range, I'll take a listen to their options. My only real speaker experience was a Wilson Audio Maxx 3 setup in a dedicated listening room in Montreal, and it was ridiculous, so I doubt I'll be able to make any informed decisions just by listening to my local options, but it might give me some perspective, or, something. :p
 

· The Village Idiot
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You might try CraigsList or your local want ads for speakers. Buying used speakers isn't too hard if you can listen to them before you buy. Same for a receiver.

Sounds like you have the DAC part taken care of - it probably sounds better than any DACs you'd likely find in a cheap AVR.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by s44 /forum/post/16847673


You may be the sort of person who enjoys DIY.



I believe the used site to see is here .

That's a great site for Canadians. You can get a decent stereo setup for $500

B&W DM 330 $300. This is a great rock speaker.

JVC RX-DP9 $200
Even if you dont get the speakers, you cant pass up this deal. You're not going to find a receiver this beefy for anywhere near this price.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hernanu /forum/post/16848939


How about these JAMO E680 towers at $125 each :

http://www.wwstereo.com/#/ecommerce/...103__0_0_0_-1/


Reasonable freq range (40-20k) and sensitivity (90).


And a two channel Onkyo receiver for $194

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it.../onkyo-tx-8255


An alternative if you can go to the clearance outlet for a Yamaha RXV365 5.1 for $179:

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it.../onkyo-tx-8255

Are those prices canadian?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the responses. I've checked Canuck Audio Mart out on numerous occasions but never knew which products were good deals.



Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to buy right now, so I may have to come back for help when I am. What I intended to get out of this thread was an idea of what's worth what, which it seems is far more difficult for speakers than headphones... It's easy to memorize headphone models, prices, sound descriptions, etc., but it seems like the sheer number of speaker models will take me a long while to become familiar with, if I ever do. I hope I'm wrong on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm going to need a receiver eventually anyway, so I'd rather go for a standard setup.



I read Stereophile's review of the Epos ELS-3 and they're going for 300 CAD on Canuck Audio Mart. I realize that Stereophile is merely one opinion and have heard audiophiles complain about some of their reviews in the past, so it would be nice to get some second opinions. Has anyone heard these, and if so, how do they compare to the competition?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oggranak /forum/post/16849451


I'm going to need a receiver eventually anyway, so I'd rather go for a standard setup.



I read Stereophile's review of the Epos ELS-3 and they're going for 300 CAD on Canuck Audio Mart. I realize that Stereophile is merely one opinion and have heard audiophiles complain about some of their reviews in the past, so it would be nice to get some second opinions. Has anyone heard these, and if so, how do they compare to the competition?

Those were actually the first pair of speakers I owned in my 2ch setup. I had them for about a year before I upgraded. Got them used locally though craigslist for $200 and were some great speakers. Now most people will say they are 4ohm speakers but they are actually 6ohm and only dip to 4ohm very briefly. The thing with them though is that love power. The more power you feed them the bigger the soundstage gets. Any decent 2ch receiver or amp that can put out 100watts or more will be able to handle them no problem. They can get a bit hot on top when you crank them up but if you play with placement a little you can tame them. If you play around with toe-in they will sound great in the sweet spot.


To put it in perspective I didn't upgrade them until I heard some better speakers that actually cost over 4x their price so they are a great bang for the buck.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 /forum/post/16849072


Are those prices canadian?

No - US, but given the exchange rate, the JAMO + the Onkyo is US 444 or 495 canadian. If you do the JAMOs and the clearance Yamaha, that's US 429 and 479 canadian. Don't know about customs, taxes or fees, but I figure that's within the ballpark.
 

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The Vann's web site implies that they don't ship to Canada.
 

· The Village Idiot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psgcdn /forum/post/16850627


The Vann's web site implies that they don't ship to Canada.
Accessories4Less does.


Shipping is rather pricey from what other Canadians have said.
 

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From electronics to speakers the often scoffed at Yamaha line offers very good value overall in performance and speaker accuracy for prices that are hard to match. It's not a brand that easily rolls off the lips of most here, but people I've steered them to have been happy with the product line. Be careful though, some of their low end HT line can be junky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mconno /forum/post/16854407


From electronics to speakers the often scoffed at Yamaha line offers very good value overall in performance and speaker accuracy for prices that are hard to match. It's not a brand that easily rolls off the lips of most here, but people I've steered them to have been happy with the product line. Be careful though, some of their low end HT line can be junky.

Interesting. I guess that means I'll have to give the Yamaha products a fair try when listening at local retailers. Thanks, I'd actually been avoiding them.
 

· The Village Idiot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oggranak /forum/post/16864343


Interesting. I guess that means I'll have to give the Yamaha products a fair try when listening at local retailers. Thanks, I'd actually been avoiding them.

You may want to read this article before you go out shopping. The Yamaha speakers did very well in the shootout.
 
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