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  1. #1
    Forum Regular cyto's Avatar
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    2 channel system (on a budget)

    I started with an old Technics SA-390 receiver I had laying around. Found a pair of Klipsch KG4s on CL and upgraded the caps and horn diaphragms. Also picked up an old Sony CD player from the 80's.

    For the amount of money I have in this it sounds awesome

    My wife thought I was nuts for spending $150 on 20 year old speakers, now all she says is WOW.

    I may upgrade to a separate amp later.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Hitachi P505602 plasma
    Sony BDP-S360 blu-ray
    Onkyo TX-SR608 receiver
    Infinity P152 front L & R
    Infinity PC250 center
    2 Emotiva Ultra-10 subs
    Polk Audio R150 surrounds

    2 channel
    Yaqin MS-20L integrated amp
    Emotiva ERC-1 CD player
    Technics SL-1200M3D/Shure M97xe
    Onkyo T-4010 tuner
    Modded Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp/Pyramid PS
    1987 Heresy II Signature Editions/external crossovers

  2. #2
    stuck on vintage dingus's Avatar
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    nice pick up. i have a strong appreciation for vintage gear for this very reason. looks like you've got around $300 invested in this system and it would be very difficult to match it in sound quality with modern gear for the same $$.

    you may find the Klipsch's will benefit from being put on some small speaker stands if you've got some.
    Last edited by dingus; 05-02-2011 at 02:48 PM.
    AR MGC-1, AR C225 PS, M&K V-1B, Pioneer VSX 47TX, Oppo BDP-83, Squeezebox v3, Vortexbox Appliance.

  3. #3
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Very nice and I agree with dingus, bang-for-the-buck you can't beat vintage.
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  4. #4
    Forum Regular cyto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dingus
    you may find the Klipsch's will benefit from being put on some small speaker stands if you've got some.
    How high would you raise them?

    I have heard some people tilt them back with blocks under the front, I wonder if would have a similar effect?
    Hitachi P505602 plasma
    Sony BDP-S360 blu-ray
    Onkyo TX-SR608 receiver
    Infinity P152 front L & R
    Infinity PC250 center
    2 Emotiva Ultra-10 subs
    Polk Audio R150 surrounds

    2 channel
    Yaqin MS-20L integrated amp
    Emotiva ERC-1 CD player
    Technics SL-1200M3D/Shure M97xe
    Onkyo T-4010 tuner
    Modded Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp/Pyramid PS
    1987 Heresy II Signature Editions/external crossovers

  5. #5
    stuck on vintage dingus's Avatar
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    typically, you'll want the drivers pointing at ear level when in the listening position. how high the stands are depends on what you've got on hand, or how far you want to go towards making diy or buying stands. if you go for keeping the speakers close to the floor then you'll probably want to tilt them back. if you go for a tall stand you'll probably want the speakers level. either way you can get as elaborate as you want, but if you have a skill saw and a sander you could easily make simple low profile stands for about $10.
    AR MGC-1, AR C225 PS, M&K V-1B, Pioneer VSX 47TX, Oppo BDP-83, Squeezebox v3, Vortexbox Appliance.

  6. #6
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Strangely enough, I find it good to get below the projected direction of the tweeters, so I agree with tilting them back. My speakers are tall, so I can just sit low. But those people who aim their Klipsch speakers up seem to be doing it right, IMO.

  7. #7
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    i love it!!!

    Well done...oh and well done on the stereo system too. Keeping the wife happy is job 1.

    One thing I will say is that your speakers are keepers. Do you plan to do any upgrading? If so what would your budget be? At this point I would suggest a better CDP. Nothing too crazy, perhaps a vintage Philips, Marantz or Arcam. They will blow your Sony out of the water without making your wallet an additional victim.

    I am using a system very comparable to yours in my family room. It's tons of fun and sounds great. I have a Marantz 1515 with Mission 707's. Then I use an external dac, and use a Yamaha changer as a transport. I also have a Squeezebox lined into the dac.

    Like I said, not state of the art but really fun and enjoyable. Your Sony looks like a changer. The changer with an external dac is great. If your Sony has digital outputs, I highly rec looking into a budget external dac. The improvement in sound will have your jaw on the floor, and of course the convenience of the changer is great.

    Have fun and enjoy the music!!

  8. #8
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Schweeet....

    Of course you know this makes me jealous I wish I had roum enough for ANY kind of dedicated 2 channel righ... Harrumph!!!!! But in all honesty that's a cool set up that would make me smile every time I heard it and crap my pants with joy anytime someone asked how much the rig cost. Well played sir... well played.

    Worf

  9. #9
    Forum Regular cyto's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone.

    The only problem so far is that is I turn the volume up to the halfway point (which is ear splitting) the receiver cuts out for a split second every once in a while.

    The Technics is rated 50w/channel @ 8 ohms, the KG4s are 6 ohm so I assume the amp is just being over driven. I was seriously thinking of adding an amp anyway.

    I just had to post this photo on Facebook earlier today.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Hitachi P505602 plasma
    Sony BDP-S360 blu-ray
    Onkyo TX-SR608 receiver
    Infinity P152 front L & R
    Infinity PC250 center
    2 Emotiva Ultra-10 subs
    Polk Audio R150 surrounds

    2 channel
    Yaqin MS-20L integrated amp
    Emotiva ERC-1 CD player
    Technics SL-1200M3D/Shure M97xe
    Onkyo T-4010 tuner
    Modded Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp/Pyramid PS
    1987 Heresy II Signature Editions/external crossovers

  10. #10
    stuck on vintage dingus's Avatar
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    well, until you get a beefier amp in there, i guess you'll have to be a bit judicious with the volume. if you ever run across one, i'm thinking that a bigger, nice warm sounding Pioneer SA series amp would do nicely with the KG4's.
    AR MGC-1, AR C225 PS, M&K V-1B, Pioneer VSX 47TX, Oppo BDP-83, Squeezebox v3, Vortexbox Appliance.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular cyto's Avatar
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    I see a lot of Onkyo M series amps going for low prices on Ebay, what do you guys think about them?
    Hitachi P505602 plasma
    Sony BDP-S360 blu-ray
    Onkyo TX-SR608 receiver
    Infinity P152 front L & R
    Infinity PC250 center
    2 Emotiva Ultra-10 subs
    Polk Audio R150 surrounds

    2 channel
    Yaqin MS-20L integrated amp
    Emotiva ERC-1 CD player
    Technics SL-1200M3D/Shure M97xe
    Onkyo T-4010 tuner
    Modded Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp/Pyramid PS
    1987 Heresy II Signature Editions/external crossovers

  12. #12
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    I've had my Kg4 powered by a Yamaha M-65 2-ch amp at one time. Very nice sounding. The amp and speakers. Kg4 are a great bang for the buck. Nice tonal balance, excellent imaging. I've had mine since the 80's and won't sell them. I've even purchased a pair of the poly mid/woof should I need replacements.

    The original mid/woof drivers are very hard to find. You see them every so often on ebay, but a good percentage have dust cap wrinkles. I'm not sure why, but it seems to me they have uneven stresses within the driver, so I bypass them. Others I've seen want way too much money.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by cyto
    Thanks everyone.

    The only problem so far is that is I turn the volume up to the halfway point (which is ear splitting) the receiver cuts out for a split second every once in a while.

    The Technics is rated 50w/channel @ 8 ohms, the KG4s are 6 ohm so I assume the amp is just being over driven. I was seriously thinking of adding an amp anyway.

    I just had to post this photo on Facebook earlier today.
    Uhhh..yeah!
    Most gear these days is just not that sensitive to what OHM load the speakers are,
    however I BET THATS NOT THE CASE with the TECHNICS, which isn't exactly
    a high end piece of kit, maybe just an end.
    But you're having fun and learning stuff. If you're interested in getting serious(but not
    too serious) there is a variety of inexpensive stereo receivers out there.
    LIKE the one HARMON makes. I would look around for decent amplication.
    TECHNICS mainly existed so that PANASONIC could claim they had "high end" gear,
    but while reliable, their bean cutters always undercut everything.
    ANYWAY, have fun.
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  14. #14
    Forum Regular cyto's Avatar
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    I was planning to add an amp and then later upgrade to a better pre amp and I had also though of just getting a better receiver and not worry about a separate amp. Although I like the flexibility of separates.

    What type of deals I can find will have a lot to do with what I end up with, not really in a hurry either as it sounds good now, as long as I don't crank too much.

    I have also found that (after 21 years of marriage) the wife acceptance factor is easier to deal with slowly getting once piece at a time.
    Hitachi P505602 plasma
    Sony BDP-S360 blu-ray
    Onkyo TX-SR608 receiver
    Infinity P152 front L & R
    Infinity PC250 center
    2 Emotiva Ultra-10 subs
    Polk Audio R150 surrounds

    2 channel
    Yaqin MS-20L integrated amp
    Emotiva ERC-1 CD player
    Technics SL-1200M3D/Shure M97xe
    Onkyo T-4010 tuner
    Modded Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp/Pyramid PS
    1987 Heresy II Signature Editions/external crossovers

  15. #15
    Forum Regular cyto's Avatar
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    I just figured out why it has been cutting out at high volume. It is not the receiver but the Sony CD player.

    I tapped the CD player lightly and it cut out. So after some experimenting I guessed that the vibration from the volume was causing the CD player cut out. I will note that the Cd player had been dropped recently.

    So I hooked up the Blu-Ray player and cranked it and could not get it to cut out, I also tapped fairly hard and could not get it to cut out.

    This doesn't mean I won't get an amp but a new CD player is definitely first.
    Hitachi P505602 plasma
    Sony BDP-S360 blu-ray
    Onkyo TX-SR608 receiver
    Infinity P152 front L & R
    Infinity PC250 center
    2 Emotiva Ultra-10 subs
    Polk Audio R150 surrounds

    2 channel
    Yaqin MS-20L integrated amp
    Emotiva ERC-1 CD player
    Technics SL-1200M3D/Shure M97xe
    Onkyo T-4010 tuner
    Modded Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp/Pyramid PS
    1987 Heresy II Signature Editions/external crossovers

  16. #16
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyto
    I see a lot of Onkyo M series amps going for low prices on Ebay, what do you guys think about them?
    Congratulations on your system from a guy who knows a thing or two about building a system on a budget.

    I think you are correct in not pin-pointing the problem with the Technics. A better vintage receiver or separates might be an option. Most of the Onkyo M-series amps you see on E-bay are from late 80's-early 90's rack systems. I have owned a couple and still have a M-5000 sitting idle at the moment. They are not bad little amps and matched with a good pre-amp would not be too bad in a pinch. If you are thinking about separates for not too much coin you might want to consider the Kenwood "Basic" series. You could probably score a M1/C1 combo for around $100 and it would provide plenty of power.
    Last edited by thekid; 05-06-2011 at 07:06 PM.

  17. #17
    RGA
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    CYTO

    Yes the amp should not have been the problem. The Technics EASILY has enough power to play the KG4 very loud. 8ohms and 6 ohms means virtually nothing. Virtually all 8 ohm rated speakers drop to a little below 5 ohms and many below 4ohms. So big deal. It is more of a problem for an amp when it dips to under 3ohms.

    The fact that an amp is old means nothing as well. If it works it works.

    The CD players from the 1980s were often far more susceptible to skipping from vibration. I was about to attribute it to being because of less oversampling but it has to be more than that because I recently reviewed a zero oversampling cd player and had little trouble in this regard - though not the best when tapped.

    A new CD player blue ray will probably be better than most old cd players. Although certain players with certain DAC chips are somewhat popular - 1543 is one I believe but I don't pay too close attention to that stuff.

    The average life of cd players (according to Consumer Reports) is 7 years. So buying them used is not a great plan unless they're very cheap.

    Back in the day I almost bought the KG4. It was my first speaker purchase and it came down to that speaker and the Wharfedale Vanguard (based on the classic E-70). But we got such a good deal on the Wharfedale (also a horn but a ring design). Both were easy to drive and could play with a lot of thunder.

    If you can I would try and get the speakers up off the floor a bit. A cheap option would be hockey pucks. One under each corner. I have seem similar "audiophile like devices selling for hundreds and sometimes I wonder what the hell audiophiles are thinking - they sure look like glorified hockey pucks to me. And at least the hockey puck has a dual purpose.

  18. #18
    Forum Regular cyto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    CYTO

    A new CD player blue ray will probably be better than most old cd players. Although certain players with certain DAC chips are somewhat popular - 1543 is one I believe but I don't pay too close attention to that stuff.
    Keeping in mind that price is a major issue, I found a Marantz PMD 320 on CL for $59. Would I be better off with a new budget blu-ray player or the Marantz PMD-320?
    Hitachi P505602 plasma
    Sony BDP-S360 blu-ray
    Onkyo TX-SR608 receiver
    Infinity P152 front L & R
    Infinity PC250 center
    2 Emotiva Ultra-10 subs
    Polk Audio R150 surrounds

    2 channel
    Yaqin MS-20L integrated amp
    Emotiva ERC-1 CD player
    Technics SL-1200M3D/Shure M97xe
    Onkyo T-4010 tuner
    Modded Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp/Pyramid PS
    1987 Heresy II Signature Editions/external crossovers

  19. #19
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyto
    Keeping in mind that price is a major issue, I found a Marantz PMD 320 on CL for $59. Would I be better off with a new budget blu-ray player or the Marantz PMD-320?
    I am not in the camp that a DVD player can not make a good CD player as I use a Oppo DV-970HD as the SACD/CD player in one of my 2-channel set-ups. Having said that just because the Blu-Ray is newer than the Marantz it does not automatically mean better sound. I think you need to research the exact Blu-Ray players you are looking at for your budget and then if possible give them an audition to see if you like them. The Marantz appears to be a solid player but you always have to be wary of how much laser life is left on an older CD. I have purchased several quality stand alone CD players for less than $59 but I have been a bit lucky in that area. If you can get the seller down some on the Marantz and none of the Blu-Ray players sound good to you then I think you have your answer.
    Last edited by thekid; 05-07-2011 at 08:25 AM.

  20. #20
    stuck on vintage dingus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyto
    Keeping in mind that price is a major issue, I found a Marantz PMD 320 on CL for $59. Would I be better off with a new budget blu-ray player or the Marantz PMD-320?
    depends on where you want to go with the system. do you want to introduce newer technologies and abilities into the system, or do you want to stay vintage?
    AR MGC-1, AR C225 PS, M&K V-1B, Pioneer VSX 47TX, Oppo BDP-83, Squeezebox v3, Vortexbox Appliance.

  21. #21
    Forum Regular cyto's Avatar
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    Mixing new technology is fine. I am more concerned with the best sound for the dollar.

    I have a friend that is an electrical engineer his opinion is that blu ray drives are generally better.

    The Marantz PMD320 is "professional grade" if that really means anything, but it was made in the 90's, he want $59 for it and may take less.

    I don't think I can get even a budget blu ray for that unless I go to WalMart
    Hitachi P505602 plasma
    Sony BDP-S360 blu-ray
    Onkyo TX-SR608 receiver
    Infinity P152 front L & R
    Infinity PC250 center
    2 Emotiva Ultra-10 subs
    Polk Audio R150 surrounds

    2 channel
    Yaqin MS-20L integrated amp
    Emotiva ERC-1 CD player
    Technics SL-1200M3D/Shure M97xe
    Onkyo T-4010 tuner
    Modded Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp/Pyramid PS
    1987 Heresy II Signature Editions/external crossovers

  22. #22
    stuck on vintage dingus's Avatar
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    the combination of blu-ray and SACD\DVD-A ability is what moved me to change my all vintage main stereo system into a relatively modern 5.1 surround rig. however, my secondary system is all vintage and i want to keep it that way.
    AR MGC-1, AR C225 PS, M&K V-1B, Pioneer VSX 47TX, Oppo BDP-83, Squeezebox v3, Vortexbox Appliance.

  23. #23
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyto
    Keeping in mind that price is a major issue, I found a Marantz PMD 320 on CL for $59. Would I be better off with a new budget blu-ray player or the Marantz PMD-320?
    Personally I would opt for a machine that does not use a dual purpose laser - the manufacturers I trust harp on this a lot - so I would opt for a CD playing only player and not machines that are SACD/CD or DVD/CD or in worse that do SACD/DVD/Blu-Ray/CD.

    The one good thing about the Marantz if memory serves was that it had a lot of optional outputs and was probably their pro series so it should be built pretty strong in terms of them using a more robust transport - I had the Marantz CD 17 Reference player back in the day and it had a good transport mechanism and perhaps the PMD used the same one. I preferred the sound of the Cambridge Audio CD 6 (incidentally this would not be a bad one to look for used either as it uses a terrific TEAC transport (same as the DiscMagic). Mine is 15 years old and still works like the day I bought it. Can't say enough about how well made it is. One reason I didn't buy the last player i reviewed is that I think I'd rather buy a DAC.

    With the digital outputs on the Marantz you can always add a DAC later if you want to upgrade the sound - the DAC matters more for sound quality IME until you get to stupid price levels. Even then...

    So unless you need the Blu Ray DVD player I would opt for the Marantz or some other well regarded player - Pioneer sold CD players with their stable platter mechanism - you would place the CD upside down. I also felt their DAC - Legato Link conversion sounded smoother than most if a little dull. Still many people swear but the transport and build of these things so it might be worth looking at - they should be relatively inexpensive and there were a ton of them sold in the 1990s.
    Last edited by RGA; 05-07-2011 at 11:06 AM.

  24. #24
    Forum Regular cyto's Avatar
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    Well I replaced the Sony with a Denon DCM-290, from Ebay, no more skipping or cutting out.
    Hitachi P505602 plasma
    Sony BDP-S360 blu-ray
    Onkyo TX-SR608 receiver
    Infinity P152 front L & R
    Infinity PC250 center
    2 Emotiva Ultra-10 subs
    Polk Audio R150 surrounds

    2 channel
    Yaqin MS-20L integrated amp
    Emotiva ERC-1 CD player
    Technics SL-1200M3D/Shure M97xe
    Onkyo T-4010 tuner
    Modded Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp/Pyramid PS
    1987 Heresy II Signature Editions/external crossovers

  25. #25
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyto View Post
    Well I replaced the Sony with a Denon DCM-290, from Ebay, no more skipping or cutting out.
    That's nice system matching. I bet it takes you to some nice places
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

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