Help with a new speaker setup [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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11-03-2010, 12:33 PM
Hi guys :)

I'm looking to buy a speaker setup, by which i mean:
-Main set of speakers

I have just started at university and i am really looking to blow all the other people on campus away, to the extent that they can't hear there own music because mine is so loud.

From what i have read, i think for the speakers i want to buy some B&W 685's, and i was thinking about importing a velodyne impact 12 subwoofer from America, but i'm stuck on what to buy for an amplifier. I have been looking into arcam a lot, but i get confused because i don't understand the difference between a power amplifier and an i need both? The problem i face is that i don't have a great deal of knowledge on the subject of good brands, or anything to do with speakers if anyone could help me out with recommendations as to what is good and what isn't. As it stands i'm open to change on anything except for the speakers, i'm a devoted fan to B&W.

Thanks - Jack

11-03-2010, 01:21 PM
Hi Jack,

First off, you may want the system that sounds way better, not just loud. You have chosen a nice speaker and you can't go wrong with a velodyne sub. Arcam is very nice gear also. Your options are basically these

Preamp, Amplifier, CD player or whatever
Integrated Amp where it has the Pre and Amplifier in one box
Receiver which is same as integrated along with AM/FM Radio tuner and lots of other bells and whistles.

If you pair the Arcam FMJ A38 Integrated Amplifier with the B&Ws or other, not too many other guys on campus will beat it. You may have to use the 2nd speaker connections for the sub.

What other speakers are local to you?

11-03-2010, 01:24 PM
As it stands i'm open to change on anything except for the speakers, i'm a devoted fan to B&W.

Hi, Jack, welcome to AR :)

Let me first start off with the B&W thingy :)

not that it's a bad brand (not at all), but why so devoted? there are 2 brands that would definitely be on my list for your size and budget, Wharfedale, their new diamond 10 line, the 10.2 especially, and Monitor audio, their Silver range. Both british brands, and both sound very good.

for the amplifier:
an 'amplifier' is a general word, but it's also used to define "integrated amplifiers" which is basically a power amplifier and a preamplifier together in one box.

a preamplifier is basically "the thing" that holds the volume control, input selector, equalizer,... it preamplifies the signal from a source (cd player, turntable, mp3 player, ipod,...) so it can be amplified by the power amplifier.

A power amplifier is "just" a power amplifier, it amplifies the signal from the preamplifier, and so drives the speakers.

a seperate preamp and power amp, is often referred to as "seperates". You also have a receiver, which is a preamp + power amp, and a tuner in one box.

Arcam is a pretty good brand, you can also look at Rotel, Cambridge audio and Denon in your price range, along with some others.

for the subwoofer: You could look at MJ acoustics. a pro50MKII or 150 will suit your system very good, and will rock your room...

Keep them spinning,

11-03-2010, 02:28 PM
I've just looked at the Arcam FMJ A38, and i saw the price tag...unfortunately it is way too far out of my depth in money terms,

I'm looking to spend maybe a max of 300 on an amplifier...most probably second hand from ebay, the speakers i may well buy new, and the subwoofer by velodyne i have found for 250 including postage and import fees from america.

Is there any other amplifiers you could reccommend within this price range? I've been looking at Arcam Alpha 9's and they seem quite good to me, though they look a bit old but oh well.

Thanks to both of you for replying, both contributions have already helped me greatly and i now understand (finally) a little bit about amplifiers :D

Mr Peabody
11-03-2010, 05:25 PM
I'm not up on money exchange rates, look at a used Adcom gfa-555 or 5500, both 200x2 and great for the money.

Also, check this sale:

An XPA-2 should give you enough power to be heard on campus.

audio amateur
11-04-2010, 12:16 AM
You're not going to get what you want from hi-fi gear. You're better off looking at professional gear.

11-09-2010, 10:12 AM
If I heard you correctly, you are going to university. Have you ever considered that someone may want your boss system a bit more than you do? I suggest keeping your nice stuff at home until you know your university environment a bit better. As far as equipment to just play loud, get some Serwin Vega speakers and an integrated amp. Denon make a few systems with a lot of punch without breaking the bank. You can blast the Serwins Vegas all day long. They are not the cleanese thing on the market, but if you are playing music for the neighborhood, I don't think anyone will notice.
Sounds also like you plan to do a bit of partying. Remember grades first!!