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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm asking this question because I am not sure where my money will be most well spent when I make the next upgrade to my stereo.

These speakers are connected to my computer via toslink. My goal is to optimize music sound quality.

Equipment is as follows.

DAC - Adcom gda-600
pre-amp - Adcom gfp-565
amp - Adcom gfa-535
speakers - Paradigm Studio 60 v.1
 

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Speakers. Nothing at all wrong with the Adcom electronics if you're staying 2 channel. If you change them out for something else, it won't sound any different.
 
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Room treatments?

The speakers reviewed well, for what they are anyway. Not sure what your expectations are.

I encourage you to think outside the box on stereo. Subwoofer(s)?

Currently you are limited to about 30Hz in-room extension by the towers. A pair of subwoofers with built-in passive crossover could possibly get you the bottom end you are missing without having to invest four times as much in a new set of speakers that might not even sound as good as what you already own if they were augmented with subs.

If the thought of another passive crossover in the system gags you maybe you can implement it between pre-amp and power amp with active crossover component instead without having to go whole hog on separate power amp for the sub, with all the risk of woofer damage that entails.

With active crossover you can also get room EQ too for smoothing out room modes on the sub, where the most correction is needed and without corrupting the sound of your mains. Newer subs with DSP custom tuned to the woofer capability are very robust and very tight.

A set of PB1000 or SB2000 might do it for you, or maybe a couple of Rhythmiks. Not sure about Paradigm subs but I hear they are also good performers, likewise Hsu. For the best pipe organ sound you really should try to hit 14hz with your subs, at the very edge of audibility, and I would also recommend asking for detailed help in matching the sub to the tower so that the result is acoustically pleasing. This is a dedicated 2-channel rig and the blend between sub and mains should be as seamless as the review says the blend between mid and tweeter already is.

For stereo I would definitely go with stereo subs since it is a simple enough thing to do and for best overall sound you really want two anyway. They should perform like extensions of your existing system, not just a mono reinforcement of the bass. I know people all say you cannot hear directionality at those frequencies but the truth is that you can still hear the effect of the room modes on the bass. As you learn the new sound of your room you might still be able to detect the difference between mono and stereo bass anyway just because of the way the room interacts differently with each subwoofer.

Then for any program with mono bass you will gain smoother response from the combining of room modes too. It is a win-win.

What about the toslink? Have you investigated jitter issues? Maybe Amir of Madrona Digital (amirm on this forum) has a recommendation or test for you. Sorry, no relevant info there, my system is dual-use and I would not know the sound of jitter-induced dynamic range reduction if it bit me in the hiney given I live in an apartment and never use headphones plus hearing loss...:)
 

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Subwoofer.
good post

depends though on how much money he wants to spend

Upgrading the speakers could yield both better sound and improved bass.

But yeah, I think adding a sub is the best recommendation.
 

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good post

depends though on how much money he wants to spend

Upgrading the speakers could yield both better sound and improved bass.


But yeah, I think adding a sub is the best recommendation.
I would tend to veer towards what I bolded

I dont think you want booms down low when you are listening to music
if anything he should be able to buy some nice full range towers..if listening to music
AND they wont be cheap

Unless he is listening to rap or something similar
Too much bass in classical or instrumental jazz music..IMO...would sound fake and horrible

For theater use I would say subs ...


Warren
 

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For good old stereo music reproduction I would also say subs.......
I stated what genre's of music I thought would benefit from adding a sub/subs

If you are saying ANY music would...then we can agree to disagree
I recently went from a speaker system that heavily geared for movie watching...the Atlantic Technology 350thx system to a full set of Bowers and Wilkins
The Atlantics were great for movies...but lacked for music
I tried everything...more bass..less bass
Pure direct actually sounded more real but lacked bass due to the cross overs of the system
Some of this could have been due to Audyssey as well....it sounds a little "fake" for music IMO
At least for classical or instrumental jazz( with vocals) to my ears

Anyway my R/L are B&W CM10's and are much more capable of handling the full range than what I had
So..now I run full range R/L towers,no subs, for music and like it much better than my previous set up with 2 subs engaged with the Atlantic R/L speakers

Connected equipment hasnt changed...all have been powered by a 200x5( all channels driven) separate amplifier

Warren
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Room treatments?

I encourage you to think outside the box on stereo. Subwoofer(s)?

What about the toslink? Have you investigated jitter issues? Maybe Amir of Madrona Digital (amirm on this forum) has a recommendation or test for you. Sorry, no relevant info there, my system is dual-use and I would not know the sound of jitter-induced dynamic range reduction if it bit me in the hiney given I live in an apartment and never use headphones plus hearing loss...:)
Thank you for advising me.

Room treatments are definitely in my future plans.

I don't think that I want to use subwoofers with my 2 channel setup. I have two DIY subwoofers that are quite good for home theater use, but I prefer to listen to music without them. Even with different crossover, phase, and placement configurations I haven't been able to achieve a smooth transition between the main speakers and the sub(s). Also, I do not listen to pipe organ music and the open E on a bass guitar is 41 Hz so I don't think I am missing much.

I haven't investigated potential jitter issues because I do not know what that is. If someone could please post a link so I can read about it I'd be appreciative.
 

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I haven't investigated potential jitter issues because I do not know what that is. If someone could please post a link so I can read about it I'd be appreciative.
It's not an issue these days. Some sellers of boutique audio electronics will try to make it sound as if it is but all they are doing is throwing sales pitch. Don't fall for it. Current crop of audio electronics have low enough jitter not to create an audible issue and just because some boutique components with higher price tag have lower measurable jitter doesn't mean they make audible difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's not an issue these days. Some sellers of boutique audio electronics will try to make it sound as if it is but all they are doing is throwing sales pitch. Don't fall for it. Current crop of audio electronics have low enough jitter not to create an audible issue and just because some boutique components with higher price tag have lower measurable jitter doesn't mean they make audible difference.
My DAC is circa 1993. Was it an issue then?
 

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It always amazes me when I read a suggestion to use subs in a 2-Channel audio setup...

Been there before and honestly all I can say is if it sounds good to you with subs then just stick with it...

Otherwise, and in my opinion... I believe you're much better off with a 3-Way (full range) tower...
 

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I bet that system sounds great as it is!

Beware of anyone asking you to upgrade your preamp/amp (assuming they're in good working order). I owned a GFA-555 for 14 years, and that thing was an absolute brute! You could unplug it from the wall, and it'd play for about a minute. Great fun. I still miss it. (Hated the fixed rocker switch, but I miss it nonetheless.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I bet that system sounds great as it is!

Beware of anyone asking you to upgrade your preamp/amp (assuming they're in good working order). I owned a GFA-555 for 14 years, and that thing was an absolute brute! You could unplug it from the wall, and it'd play for about a minute. Great fun. I still miss it. (Hated the fixed rocker switch, but I miss it nonetheless.)
I've actually been considering changing the amp to a Parasound HCA-1500a. While my stereo does sound great, my Adcom amp and Paradigm speakers are both considered to be on the bright side of neutral; I suspect that switching to the warmer Parasound would yield an improvement.
 

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I've actually been considering changing the amp to a Parasound HCA-1500a. While my stereo does sound great, my Adcom amp and Paradigm speakers are both considered to be on the bright side of neutral; I suspect that switching to the warmer Parasound would yield an improvement.
Swapping around speakers will almost always have effects. Maybe not "better" or "worse," but probably "different."

As for your Adcom amp, it's as flat and neutral as any solid-state amp made then and any solid-state amp made now, and it's probably powerful enough to suit most people's needs. If you follow that route, you'll almost certainly be spending money for zero return.
 

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