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Home Stereo

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by lwknives, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    What kind of home stereo systems are y'all running?

    I am graduating college in about 6 months and I hope to get a legit stereo system that will sound good for watching movies and listening to loud music! :hyper:
    My budget will be somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000. Right now I am thinking of getting a pair of midfield powered studio monitors like the ADAM a77x or the Dynaudio BM15A.
  2. First off, congratulations on graduating college. Second, that's a nice budget for stereo gear. Last year I finished putting together a system that I've been wanting to put together as my own graduation gift. I'm currently running the following:

    Rega RP-3 turntable w/ Rega phono stage
    NAD 565BEE CD player
    Cambridge Audio Azur tuner
    NAD 356BEE Integrated Amp
    PSB Tower speakers

    My own personal thoughts - if you decide to go in the direction of entry-level audiophile gear, you'll get more "bang for your buck" with building a system dedicated to either music or movies (if you want surround sound). The reason is that the ideal components for producing good stereo sound and good surround sound aren't necessarily the same, and trying to buy components that do it all in one box means making compromises with each. You can actually put together a really nice 2-channel system that sounds great for music, and you can still play movies through it and get a good experience. I pieced together my system by buying refurbished and sale components; do some looking around the intrawebs and you'll find some good audio stores scattered around the country that will offer good advice and ship straight to your door.

    You may also want to check out www.audiokarma.org, which is the stereo version of TalkBass.
  3. warwick.hoy


    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    My home stereo is pieced together from free bits.

    Got a Denon AVR-1403 Receiver at a thrift store drop off. Guy was in front of me unloading as I was pulling up to unload some stuff as well. He pulls out the receiver, which I had been on the market for for a long time. I asked him if it worked, he said tip top, I asked if I could have if he was just donating it and he said go for it. Scored it for free. I like it cause it's got a digital input which my TV outputs in.

    Speakers are hand me down Optimus deals. Got em from a friend who was downsizing.

    I'm not an audiophile so this gets the job done. I listen to everything on my iPhone which I find to be less than ideal (inconsistent sound quality due to inconsistent bitrates). So I am in the market for a turntable and I'm wanting to start buying up records of all the artists I think deserve my money.
  4. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    Mostly I just want the best possible music experience I can get. I'm fine with watching movies in stereo so long as I can hear the details.

    Also, Im mostly looking for clarity rather than a booming bass sound. I want to be able to listen to sound track like music and hear all the instruments clearly.
  5. warwick.hoy


    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    What is your source for music?



    MP3s or other lossy audio files?

    Again I am by no means an audiophile but I will say that the most expensive monitors in the world won't amount to a hill of bean if the source is lossy MP3 files.
  6. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    I dont care to listen to music in mono so vinyl is out!
    Most of the music I listen to now is CD, AAC, lossless and WAV.
  7. MetalSearGolid

    MetalSearGolid Cyperpunk Cowboy

    Aug 29, 2013
    Michigan, USA
    I'm running some kind of Onkyo. It's 7.1 capable but I only get 5.1 going through the optical as opposed to HDMI. The trade off to this is that I can switch the audio output without changing the TV picture (if you change the mode on the receiver, the video will also switch)
  8. And that's another thing I learned when I was researching stereo components. It's great to have a system that can re-produce booming sound effects when you want to watch Terminator 2, but you also want to think about the music you like to listen to, and a given stereo system may be great at one thing, not so great at another. And +1 to what warwick.hoy said - consider your source component, and invest in that right off the bat. You can spend thousands on amps and speakers, but all they're doing is amplifying whatever signal you feed them.

    Here's a link to a Buyer's Guide from a stereo store in Austin, TX; it covers the basics of "things to consider":

    And in case you're interested, here's my system:
  9. warwick.hoy


    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Perhaps I'm mistaken but isn't vinyl widely available in stereo these days?
  10. Bloodhammer

    Bloodhammer Twinkle Twinkle Black Star

    Jul 7, 2009
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    I did this not long ago because all my old components were worn out.

    Now I'm running a Sony BDP bluray player through a Denon (don't remember model) receiver and Klipsch Reference bookshelf speakers. My TV is a cheap Vizio, but I'm planning on getting a bigger, better one eventually (probably Sony or Samsung). All hooked up with two HDMI cables and two short lengths of speaker wire. Definitely go with HDMI connections instead of RCA connections.
  11. Onkyo here with Infinity speakers,,,
  12. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I'm running a vintage Pioneer SX-780 into Pioneer SP-BS41 speakers. I'm a huge fan of vintage stereos because A. they're built like tanks, B. sound great, C. look cool, and D. are easy to repair.
  13. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    Laptop or MP3 with headphones
  14. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    Apparently you can get stereo vinyl! Learn something new every day!
  15. warwick.hoy


    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    It stands to reason that you'd need a stereo turntable to accommodate as well.
  16. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Older Sony 5.1 receiver in the living room with bookshelf JBLs for the front and back and a powered Kenwood sub. Mainly used for movies. Decent car stereo with a 12" sub for listening to music, and okay computer speakers with sub for listening to music at home when I'm not using the iPod.
  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Fellow TB'er Brad Johnson is great about home audio, as is BartmanPDX. If they don't reply here, you may want to PM them.

  18. xk49w


    Apr 13, 2008
    I still run a 2-channel system. I have no vinyl and all CDs have been converted to FLAC. I have a pair of PSB Stratus Gold i speakers, an AR SP-6 preamp, a Hafler transnova 9505, a Sony multichannel receiver thing with a DAC, and an old hacked Xbox running Xbox media center connected to a RAID 5 NAS. The DAC is the weak point but my listening layout is so sub-optimum I don't know that I would hear a difference. I'm due for some upgrades/replacements.
  19. Only available since 1958... :p

    Most vinyl is stereo.
  20. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    In that case, the Dynaudios ought to work great. It would be a good thing to post the room's dimensions.

    Here are some links from the Dynaudio site that may be helpful-

    What id your plan for source switching and sending the signal to the speakers? If possible, get something that has balanced outputs, so the speakers will get the signal they're designed for.

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