Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Deep Breath

  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    70

    Deep Breath

    Hello everybody. Certifiable newbie from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Songwriter/singer.

    OK, here we go. I've been hangin' by the water's edge, working up the courage to take the plunge into high end hi-fi. So much info, brand loyalty, hype...I don't know which end of the pool to jump into. I'm thinking toward the high end of entry level, and my research has me leaning in the following direction:

    Amp: Portal Audio Panache ($1,800) Also considering Emotiva XPA-5 ($700)

    Speakers: Paradigm 20 V3 ($1,000) Also considering B&W 685 ($600) and Monitor Audio Silver RS1 ($650) QUESTION: Are any or all of these speakers adequate to maximize the amps' capabilities? Any compatibility issues?

    CD player: Don't know. Looking for something basic, well built.

    Suggestions welcomed.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    6,307
    Quote Originally Posted by cackalacky
    Hello everybody. Certifiable newbie from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Songwriter/singer.

    OK, here we go. I've been hangin' by the water's edge, working up the courage to take the plunge into high end hi-fi. So much info, brand loyalty, hype...I don't know which end of the pool to jump into. I'm thinking toward the high end of entry level, and my research has me leaning in the following direction:

    Amp: Portal Audio Panache ($1,800) Also considering Emotiva XPA-5 ($700)

    Speakers: Paradigm 20 V3 ($1,000) Also considering B&W 685 ($600) and Monitor Audio Silver RS1 ($650) QUESTION: Are any or all of these speakers adequate to maximize the amps' capabilities? Any compatibility issues?

    CD player: Don't know. Looking for something basic, well built.

    Suggestions welcomed.

    Thank you!


    Welcome to AudioReview.I have some questions about your choice of Amps. Are you aware that the Emotiva XPA 5 is a power amp and you would need a preamp?. The Portal Panache is an amp with a passive preamp. The Panache has input selection and volume control so you could plug in your sources and be ready for music. Unless your cd player you are considering has a volume control you would have no way to adjust the volume with the Emotiva.

    The Panache is a two channel integrated amp and the Emotiva is a five channel power amp. There are many good integrated amps that will work with the speakers you are considering.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  3. #3
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    70
    Thanks. No, I wasn't aware that the Emotiva would need a pre-amp.

  4. #4
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Analog Synagogue
    Posts
    4,363
    Welcome to AR!!

    Does that mean your first jump was into an empty pool? I kid, I kid. There are still other Emotiva options. Even seperate amp/pre combos from them are affordably priced. Just continue looking.

    As for your CDP question, I heard a Marantz SA-11S2 a few weeks ago that blew me away. This is reference and expensive but how about considering their SA-8003, a fine machine.

    http://us.marantz.com/Products/2592.asp

    As for amps and speakers, I prefer tubes so I am not sure how much relevant help I can give you. Just hang out long enough and some others will start contributing. We just love to spend other peoples money around here.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    70
    I don't have the knowledge/experience to have a brand loyalty yet, but the Emotivas have an impressive following. I had gotten the impression that entry level tube amps were going to be out of my price range ($1,800 max).

  6. #6
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Analog Synagogue
    Posts
    4,363
    Quote Originally Posted by cackalacky
    I don't have the knowledge/experience to have a brand loyalty yet, but the Emotivas have an impressive following. I had gotten the impression that entry level tube amps were going to be out of my price range ($1,800 max).

    No, no, no. Listen, I have some family obligations right now. It's the long weekend here in Canada. I will give you some tube options for well under a grand. The thing about tubes is not the upfront costs but rather maintenance. Even then, once you have tubed it satisfactorily and it's been serviced, it can play without issue for years.

    There are new or used options well within your budget.

    I think the real question is whether you would prefer tubes to solid state. I would suggest hitting up a local shop to have a listen and compare.

    I'll post again probably late tonight or tommorrow.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    France
    Posts
    2,523
    IMO I would spend most of the cash on speakers because you'll hear the difference between speakers a lot easier than you will between amps.
    If you are new to this than I suggest you lurk around and gather as much info before you take the plunge. If you have questions be sure to fire away, it's a great way to learn.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    70
    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    No, no, no. Listen, I have some family obligations right now. It's the long weekend here in Canada. I will give you some tube options for well under a grand. The thing about tubes is not the upfront costs but rather maintenance. Even then, once you have tubed it satisfactorily and it's been serviced, it can play without issue for years.

    There are new or used options well within your budget.

    I think the real question is whether you would prefer tubes to solid state. I would suggest hitting up a local shop to have a listen and compare.

    I'll post again probably late tonight or tommorrow.
    Huh Oh. You sound like a Harley rider ("I'd rather push my Harley than ride a rice burner).

    Unless the sound is discernably and distinctly superior, I'll shy away from maintenance that's not very simple. Local shops are pretty much nonexistent, but a Saturdy drive to one of the big cities (Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Greensboro) might be fun. Thankee.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    70
    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    IMO I would spend most of the cash on speakers because you'll hear the difference between speakers a lot easier than you will between amps.
    If you are new to this than I suggest you lurk around and gather as much info before you take the plunge. If you have questions be sure to fire away, it's a great way to learn.
    Yep. I'm new and have been lurking for a couple of months. You nailed it. The investment ratio between amp and speakers is where I could really use some help. There has to be a point of diminishing returns in which the quality of the speaker exposes the weaknesses of the amp, but I've not sniffed out a consensus.

    On the speaker front, I really like what I've heard about the Axiom M80s ($1,300). If I went that route, budget constraints would dictate an amp in the $800-1,000 range.

  10. #10
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    2,710
    Going by what you heard about any speaker means as much as eating an apple as far as speakers are concerned. Spending real money ($1300) on speakers without listening to them first puts you in the same category as someone who buys the Brooklyn Bridge from a pimp in Times Square.

    Never, never, never buy speakers without listening to them first. If you are familiar with them that's a different story. If that was the case you wouldn't be asking for advice.
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts, Yamaha DVD-S1800
    Behringer UCA222, Emotiva XDA-2, HiFimeDIY
    Accuphase T101, Teac V-7010, Nak ZX-7. LX-5, Behringer DSP1124P
    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    6,307
    Quote Originally Posted by cackalacky
    Huh Oh. You sound like a Harley rider ("I'd rather push my Harley than ride a rice burner).

    Thankee.


    Poppachubby what handle should I hold onto when you give me a ride?
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  12. #12
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    3,326
    Quote Originally Posted by cackalacky
    Hello everybody. Certifiable newbie from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Songwriter/singer.

    OK, here we go. I've been hangin' by the water's edge, working up the courage to take the plunge into high end hi-fi. So much info, brand loyalty, hype...I don't know which end of the pool to jump into. I'm thinking toward the high end of entry level, and my research has me leaning in the following direction:

    Amp: Portal Audio Panache ($1,800) Also considering Emotiva XPA-5 ($700)

    Speakers: Paradigm 20 V3 ($1,000) Also considering B&W 685 ($600) and Monitor Audio Silver RS1 ($650) QUESTION: Are any or all of these speakers adequate to maximize the amps' capabilities? Any compatibility issues?

    CD player: Don't know. Looking for something basic, well built.

    Suggestions welcomed.

    Thank you!
    Hey guy, if your going to drop 3-4 large on a sound system it's my opinion that you do your shopping "by ear" so to speak. Got a recording you really like? Shop it around at the high end stores in one of the larger cities. Don't be afraid to tell them your going to spend whatever your budget is and see if they can hook you up with something that sounds the way you like. Do yourself a favor too and audition speakers you normally wouldn't. The new Magnepan 1.7 comes to mind right away. Whatever your budget the best bet is to spend 1/2 to 2/3 of it on the SPEAKERS. The speakers are going to make the biggest contirbution to how your system sounds by far.
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  13. #13
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Analog Synagogue
    Posts
    4,363
    Quote Originally Posted by cackalacky
    Huh Oh. You sound like a Harley rider ("I'd rather push my Harley than ride a rice burner).

    Unless the sound is discernably and distinctly superior, I'll shy away from maintenance that's not very simple. Local shops are pretty much nonexistent, but a Saturdy drive to one of the big cities (Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Greensboro) might be fun. Thankee.
    Perhaps I wasn's specific enough. If you bought a vintage American tube amp, you would want to have it serviced. This would hopefully be as one time proposition. All other maintenance can be done by accessing info from places like this forum.

    Many people will tell you to buy your speakers first, snd spend the large portion of your budget on them. I am with Joe and Geoff. I mean, would you buy a car solely based on what you've been told? You indeed must try to get out and listen if you want to not re-invest too soon.

    As for the tube amp, perhaps have a listen and see what you think. If you want suggestions, I have some.

  14. #14
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Analog Synagogue
    Posts
    4,363
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    Poppachubby what handle should I hold onto when you give me a ride?
    They're all pretty big John, but we already know the answer to this question.

  15. #15
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Analog Synagogue
    Posts
    4,363
    Quote Originally Posted by cackalacky
    Huh Oh. You sound like a Harley rider ("I'd rather push my Harley than ride a rice burner).

    .
    BTW, you're welcome to pop by and hear what a pushed Harley sounds like. You may want to do some pushing too.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    70
    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Perhaps I wasn's specific enough. If you bought a vintage American tube amp, you would want to have it serviced. This would hopefully be as one time proposition. All other maintenance can be done by accessing info from places like this forum.

    Many people will tell you to buy your speakers first, snd spend the large portion of your budget on them. I am with Joe and Geoff. I mean, would you buy a car solely based on what you've been told? You indeed must try to get out and listen if you want to not re-invest too soon.

    As for the tube amp, perhaps have a listen and see what you think. If you want suggestions, I have some.
    The biggest knock that I've heard of entry level tube amps is their tendency to lack detail. D you agree with the principle of 60/40 dollar allocation for speakers/amps?
    Would appreciate your perspective and suggestions.

  17. #17
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Analog Synagogue
    Posts
    4,363
    Quote Originally Posted by cackalacky
    The biggest knock that I've heard of entry level tube amps is their tendency to lack detail. D you agree with the principle of 60/40 dollar allocation for speakers/amps?
    Would appreciate your perspective and suggestions.
    That's a pretty broad statement. It really depends on topology, and then of course speakers with source after that.

    I would say generally speaking, entry level tube amps will have exceptional detail in the mids, but lack the high and low dynamics of solid state. Of course, this is still subjective to taste.

    If it was me personally, I wouldn't spend that ratio, BUT...I would seek out a great USED pair of speakers and pump a bit more cash into the amp. To do this, you must be confident of what you like and the gear that can give it to you.

    With the 60/40 you will end up in a good situation if you land the correct synergy. Again, it will take some auditioning to learn what's what. You will find that once you hear certain gear, you can umbrella other similar gear. Whereas some stuff has a house sound that MUST be heard.

  18. #18
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    70
    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    That's a pretty broad statement. It really depends on topology, and then of course speakers with source after that.

    I would say generally speaking, entry level tube amps will have exceptional detail in the mids, but lack the high and low dynamics of solid state. Of course, this is still subjective to taste.

    If it was me personally, I wouldn't spend that ratio, BUT...I would seek out a great USED pair of speakers and pump a bit more cash into the amp. To do this, you must be confident of what you like and the gear that can give it to you.

    With the 60/40 you will end up in a good situation if you land the correct synergy. Again, it will take some auditioning to learn what's what. You will find that once you hear certain gear, you can umbrella other similar gear. Whereas some stuff has a house sound that MUST be heard.
    I'd like to stay close to a $3,000 amp/speaker budget. While common sense says "listen to it" first, I'd like to narrow the field a bit before driving to the big city.

    Did you leave amps out of the "used" equation intentionally? When looking for "great used speakers," how heavily are they typically discounted from suggested retail? Suggested sources other than Audiogon and Ebay?

  19. #19
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Analog Synagogue
    Posts
    4,363
    Yes exactly. Look, I'm an enthusiast, but no expert. In the realm of speakers I am even less so. However, there are quite a few VERY seasoned members here and on other sites who firmly believe that in the big picture, speaker technology has moved slowly. Therefore, buying a great pair of 5 year old speakers (not vintage!) will have exceptional depreciation, but still sound incredibly good. In terms of how much? You could be looking at as little as HALF price within 5 years of ownership. Maybe as much as 75%, it depends on age and wear. Significant savings.

    Of course, your options to actually hear these will be through local sellers or hi-fi shops who are trying to sell off trade ins. The shops generally mark things up quite a bit, but if you are researched you can talk them down quite easily.

    So yes, I would personally find the speakers I need used. Frankly I would shoot for a used amp also, but would shop around new also.

    Speakers aside, there is a large amount of audiophiles who feel that used is the way to go for just about everything. The reason? Easier to get your money back out if you need to flip. At this point in your journey, you can assume that your tastes will change as they develop, and you WILL NEED to flip.

    New gear is for the guy who is 100% of what he is buying, and that it will satisfy his needs for quite some time.

    Again, used becomes a trickier field when one doesn't know the gear they are looking at. Or more importantly, does not know how to cess out deficiencies.

    Still, even with new gear, if one isn't researched there are plenty of salesmen who would love to overcharge for gear.

  20. #20
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Analog Synagogue
    Posts
    4,363
    Quote Originally Posted by cackalacky
    I'd like to stay close to a $3,000 amp/speaker budget. While common sense says "listen to it" first, I'd like to narrow the field a bit before driving to the big city.
    Your budget will narrow things down. Unfortunately, you will want to hear things to truly narrow the field. Major PITA? Yes. The ends justify the means in this case. Besides, how would you feel if you bought some gear and in a month or so, realised you are unsatisfied?

    Don't rush!!!

  21. #21
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    70
    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Your budget will narrow things down. Unfortunately, you will want to hear things to truly narrow the field. Major PITA? Yes. The ends justify the means in this case. Besides, how would you feel if you bought some gear and in a month or so, realised you are unsatisfied?

    Don't rush!!!
    OK, took the first field trip to a couple of shops that turned out to be pretty limited selection-wise, but the main thing I learned is that I need to learn more. Would appreciate anyone pointing me toward links, site, books, etc. that can get me acquainted with the basics of hi-fi lingo and terminology. Thanks.

  22. #22
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    sylmar, ca. in beautiful so cal earthquake country
    Posts
    1,442

    if youre leaning towards low maintenance

    solid state may be the way to go. certainly THIS amp will do:

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....egrated-Amp-aw

    google-
    Plinius-8100 and you can find some reviews. plinius products are built like tanks and are quite widely respected. otherwise i recommend an adcom 5400 and a tube preamp like this:

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....rc-sp-6c--sp6c

    that still leaves room for speakers.

    throw in a pair of magneplanar MMGs and you have i NICE affordable system. a sub would be a good addition.

    here are other maggies:

    http://cgis.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/src...Magnepan&B1=go

    youll need some space for them though.


    ...regards...tr

  23. #23
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    70
    Thanks. The Adcom 5400 and MMGs are on my short list. I'll be pulling the trigger toward the end of summer.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •