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Discussion Starter #1
Apologies if this is the wrong forum.

This is my first time looking into buying high-er-ish quality equipment and I have no idea what to get.

I live in an apartment building with neighbors above and below. Apartment is 1400 SF with a bedroom, large joint kitchen + living room, and guest bedroom.

I don't care about TV / video. I care a lot about music. Multiroom would be nice but not at significant sacrifice of sound quality.

Budget around $1.5k -- I know the sky's the limit with speakers and what-not but this is what I'm comfortable spending.

I listen to things in the post punk / punk / noise / indie / hip hop realm.

In my current listening situations (connecting to a laptop with my crappy bluetooth headphones) I am maniacal about using a software graphic EQ to tune things to my liking.

What setup should I be investigating? From what I can tell it seems like a couple floor standing speakers, a receiver that supports a wireless protocol, and an amp might do the trick. Am I on the right track?
 

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buy a sub w/biggest part of budget...then go from there...maybe elac
 

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With your musical tastes, a subwoofer in the middle of an apartment complex is a recipe for police calls.
Yup but "high-er-ish" AVR's can stop the sub travel somewhat, however budget here will be limiting anyway?

$1500 budget is not much when starting with nothing, going more like mid-level to lower.

My take for just audio
Denon AVRX2400H $599 (bluetooth and wireless options are great with this)
Klipsch Reference R-10SW 10" 300w Powered Subwoofer $299
Klipsch RF-62 II Reference Series Floorstanding Loudspeakers $499

So that person should go to a local store like BB and sample, as speakers are a personal thing and test out what works for ones ears and budget. One should also keep in mind space / audio traveling when in an apartment like you pointed out.

Just my 2 cents :)
 

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Yeah 1500$ is not a lot of money for your budget. I would start with a pre amp and power amplifier. I am using a NAD M51 master which is a stereo DAC and Preamp all in one for less that 1000$ https://www.whathifi.com/nad/m51/review
Power amplifier for your two channel setup and used speakers from craig list. I recommend KEF or klipsch speakers. What ever you get for subwoofer, make shore you add vibration legs to reduce noise and vibration. https://www.amazon.ca/SVS-SoundPath-Subwoofer-Isolation-Pack/dp/B00NCSQ5GK

your neighbor will thank you
 

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I highly highly recommend the new Klipsch reference premier speakers, go for the larger 8? cones, RP-280 somethingorother. Some kind of SubDude platform would probably my help with the downstairs neighbors; I know with my 15 inch sub adding a base really did improve the sound quality noticeably. For music, stick with stereo. If it was Me I would get some really nice used preamp/EQ, amplifier like the old Onkyo or Yamaha or something. Likely today there are much better digital versions; let me know if you find a good digital EQ that supports more than two channels!

If u have high ceilings, u can just about forget about bass. I have a similar space but with high ceilings that are slightly pitched. Two RP280s and two 15in 800w subs, and bass is all but nonexistent unless they?re all Front facing front and center

If you?re doing AVR, just make sure it supports HDCP 2.2 and Atmos for future proofing. Rca pre-Outs as well as pre-Ins for each channel (like a 7.1.4) so you can optionally slave this or other receivers / amps as you upgrade over the years. That?s what separates the low-end, they never have channel based connections. Highly recommend Arcam, if you can pick one up open box or used

Definitely go to a magnolia or something and listen. That?s half the fun of getting new gear right??

Cheers
 

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Affordable Pioneer, Onkyo, Denon, Marantz, et. al. AVR's nearly ALL have Auto-Equalization, AND the user can modify the Automatic Settings to "Tweak" the overall Room Response. In ANY of these AVR's, the user can modify the Automatic Settings to "Tweak" the overall Room Response. But there are ONLY TWO FILTERS [typ. 40-80 Hz centered on 63 Hz and 80-160 centered on 125 Mz] available to Equalize the LFE (SW) Channel. Which is why for THOSE units I recommend inserting Monoprice's 2-Channel 1/3-Octave Equalizer in-between AVR's SW Output and SW Input(s)....using [Free] "REW" S/W [or Equivalent TrueRTA] with a Calibrated Microphone to determine LFE Equalization Settings PRIOR to running AVR's Auto-Eq:
https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-31-Band-Graphic-Equalizer-Subwoofer/dp/B00KLRP5CK
FYI: Denon/Marantz has a more powerful Tablet/Cellphone APP to monitor and control Room Equalization....but ONLY on the AVR's outside your price range....and is STILL limited to only TWO Filters for adjusting LFE Room Response.

For you, I would recommend one of Yamaha's AVR's with YPAO (Parametric room Acoustic Optimizer are the ONLY "affordable" units that provide MULTIPLE Equalization Filters in the important LFE Band [Manual is USELESS wrt YPAO.....as I recall, I THINK it has 7 available on LFE Channel...and 7 for each of the other Channels]. ALL of the YPAO's Filters can be AUTOMATICALLY Tuned to VARIABLE Center Freqs with VARIABLE "Q" (Inverse Bandwidth...down to as small as 1/3-Octave):
https://simplehomecinema.com/2014/10/09/yamaha-ypao-and-ypao-r-s-c-advanced-topic

FYI: Fol. TWO inexpensive Yamaha AVR's on Amazon include YPAO-RSC [RSC provides latest bells & whistles], where only the SECOND is capable of growth for up to ATMOS 5.2.1, but you might want to look at other models and other sources. At the bottom of EACH of the fol. webpages, you will also see a comparison chart, showing other Yamaha AVR's....some with just the standard YPAO functionality:
https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V383BL-5-1-Channel-Receiver-Bluetooth/dp/B06XXR6JK3 [NO ATMOS]
https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V681BL-7-2-Channel-MusicCast-Bluetooth/dp/B01BY7YUKI [With ATMOS for Future Growth]
Since you are trying to live within a $1,500 Budget, you could put off buying anything more than a DD5.1 System to begin with and add more Surround Speakers at a later date....or even better, spend your entire remaining budget [such as it is] on More Upscale L/R Mains and one Sub-Woofer.
 

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I think you'll find it tough going from a laptop and BT headphones to a room system. You won't get the "intimate" sound you're used to. Just to keep in mind. Tuning your system to the room will be more difficult than what you're used to. It will be a challenge, but that's half the fun with this hobby. Plenty of support here if you need it.
 

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Thanks @torii @PrimeTime @satboy @Heman90210 @baberb @holl_ands @kjfalls for your detailed replies!
@baberb my ceilings are pretty high, especially in the living room. Converted warehouse.

Just to get this out of the way: should I ignore Sonos?

Second: do these setups also make it possible to have a receiver that streams to just one speaker in a bedroom?

If I can summarize what I'm hearing (plz let me know if I'm wrong):

- go to a store like best buy
- get a good subwoofer but be wary about how much disruption it may cause to your neighbors. Use some kind of equipment to muffle the impact
- get a receiver with lots of options
- get an amplifier
- get two very good speakers (various options suggested)
 

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Use some kind of equipment to muffle the impact
There is no such equipment, short of filling the walls, floors, and ceiling with thick, heavy material like cement. There is however a tremendous demand for such equipment so don't be surprised that people market all sorts of things to address this exceedingly common problem, such as rubber feet or mats for your sub. Don't fall for them.

The only way to avoid complaints from neighbors is to reduce your volume, especially the deep bass [the part that migrates through walls the most easily]. I put a kill switch on my sub so without having to negotiate through any menus or adjustments I can instantly mute my sub [for quiet hours] at the push of a button. It works well for me.
 

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Looks good to me.
 

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Thanks @torii @PrimeTime @satboy @Heman90210 @baberb @holl_ands @kjfalls for your detailed replies!

@baberb my ceilings are pretty high, especially in the living room. Converted warehouse.

Just to get this out of the way: should I ignore Sonos?
Yes.
Their market is providing background music throughout your home, not quality music listening in a central location.
Second: do these setups also make it possible to have a receiver that streams to just one speaker in a bedroom?
Only if you get one that explicitly supports what's called Zone 2.
If I can summarize what I'm hearing (plz let me know if I'm wrong):

- go to a store like best buy
They'll have a reasonable selection, although not the best pricing, and can help you set things up but will pressure you to spend money unnecessarily on things like over-priced cables and extended warranties. If there are any dedicated audio/video stores in your area, you should consider them, too. There prices tend to be higher but they can provide personal services that simply aren't available from internet-direct resellers. (e.g. the one I usually buy from offered me a loner receiver when the one I'd bought from them needed to be sent back for repairs. They handled all the shipping and paperwork, too.)
- get a good subwoofer but be wary about how much disruption it may cause to your neighbors. Use some kind of equipment to muffle the impact
Higher end Denon receivers have what's called "Low Frequncy Containment" which strips off the lowest frequencies, but they're outside your budget. Only by eliminating the lowest frequencies at the source (e.g. turning off the sub late at night) can you keep your neighbors from complaining.
- get a receiver with lots of options
Yup.
- get an amplifier
That's usually not appropriate until you have a much larger budget. The amps in a receiver are fine when starting out.
- get two very good speakers (various options suggested)
Yup.

Spending about 2/3 of your budget on speakers and 1/3 on electronics has been the rule of thumb for many years. Speakers and room acoustics make the most difference in the quality of the sound you hear. Electronics are a distant third, although the roomEQ software provided in modern receivers can help reduce the infelicities in speakers and room.

Buying the best speakers you can afford is appropriate. Starting with just a pair reduces the total cost and you can always add more later. Replacing speakers can be very expensive, but quality ones can last decades. Unlike electronics which have new "must have" features every year.
 
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