• 12-27-2006, 06:52 PM
    Tom Lunak
    Another newbie intro - HELP
    I've been lurking out here in the forums for a few days looking for info on speakers and receivers and finally decided to post an intro. It's been quite awhile since my last purchase. Some of my kids are going to be out of college soon so I will have a few $$ to spend to upgrade. My current system consists of a Sony CD player, a pair of 30 year old Klipsch Heresys and a recently broken Yamaha CR-620 receiver (the CD player is 10 years old and is the newest component). I am looking to buy a new receiver and some new speakers. The Heresys are in the living room and I would like to buy a receiver/amplifier that can handle multiple speakers in multiple rooms. My thought was to keep the Heresys where they are and put new speakers and receiver in the family room and hook it up to the TV. I am looking to spend $2500 - 3000. Other questions I have are:

    How do you hook up a computer to a home audio system to play MP3 files?
    Does Klipsch still make a good product? I heard they were recently sold.
    What receivers should I be looking at? Denon, Yamaha, NAD, others?
    Same for speakers.


    Any guidance would be most appreciated!
  • 12-27-2006, 07:05 PM
    Carl Reid
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tom Lunak
    I've been lurking out here in the forums for a few days looking for info on speakers and receivers and finally decided to post an intro. It's been quite awhile since my last purchase. Some of my kids are going to be out of college soon so I will have a few $$ to spend to upgrade. My current system consists of a Sony CD player, a pair of 30 year old Klipsch Heresys and a recently broken Yamaha CR-620 receiver (the CD player is 10 years old and is the newest component). I am looking to buy a new receiver and some new speakers. The Heresys are in the living room and I would like to buy a receiver/amplifier that can handle multiple speakers in multiple rooms. My thought was to keep the Heresys where they are and put new speakers and receiver in the family room and hook it up to the TV. I am looking to spend $2500 - 3000. Other questions I have are:

    How do you hook up a computer to a home audio system to play MP3 files?
    Does Klipsch still make a good product? I heard they were recently sold.
    What receivers should I be looking at? Denon, Yamaha, NAD, others?
    Same for speakers.


    Any guidance would be most appreciated!


    I'm not the best person to give advice on a full blown HT setup since my love is 2 channel audio... but here goes:

    As far as I know Klipsch is still as good as they always were... So if you really like the Klipsch sound, then check out their speakers packages (they have a wide range of options.... as for Receivers I'd suggest checking out Denons and Yamahas instead of NAD.... Though NAD would probably be the best sounding of the three, I wouldn't recommend them for Receivers because of issues with Video Switching....

    Since I assume that you liked your old klipsch/Yammie combo, I'd suggest just checking out updated versions of both those products... since both companies are still respected for producing good products...

    Anyway good luck with your search.... and hopefully the real HT experts will jump in with ther advice...
  • 12-27-2006, 09:44 PM
    Mr Peabody
    You will definitely benefit by some updated digital playback. I'd suggest going to some place like www.crutchfield.com and checking out new receivers for price range, features, looks etc. Crutchfield also has some pretty decent advice articles. Then, once you have an idea of what is available, go do some listening. Some receivers offer auto set up, you can get built in amplification for multiple rooms and other features you might find interesting In what I call "mass market" receivers, I favor Onkyo, then Denon or Marantz. More upscale, sound quality wise, I'd suggest Rotel or Arcam, both of which will take a good portion of your budget.

    Speakers are a very personal thing. I don't care for Klipsch myself. In your budget take a listen to Paradigm, B&W or Acoustic Energy. There is a lot of possibilities out there.

    Many who use a system for both HT and music will get a decent DVD or Universal player and just use the receivers built in decoder. This would eliminate you buying both a DVD and separate CD player. Marantz DVD players seem to be very good for the money, picture quality, as well as Sony.

    As far as computer to stereo, I can't help you there. I'd suggest posting that separate under an appropriate forum, so it gets attention. There is a member here, Mike Anderson, who seems to know is stuff in this area.
  • 12-27-2006, 10:18 PM
    Rock789
    receivers listed above are good brands, pioneer elite, and integra are also a couple receivers to check out...
    B&K if you want a really nice receiver...

    I really like the paraidgm studio series if they are in your price range, and add focal jm lab to the speakers to audition if you can find a dealer ;o)

    I have a marantz sacd player which I use for dvd';s sometimes... it works good...

    for connecting to the computer... I simply use the fiber optic out from my soundcard, and put it straight into the receiver...
  • 12-29-2006, 09:15 AM
    Rick684
    Hey Tom...

    From one "newbie" to another, welcome! My first post here also. I found your post intriguing, so I thought I'd pipe-in with yet another opinion. I'd guess we're about the same age. Anybody with kids getting out of college is old! My two have been out for a few years. Now the fun has begun!

    I did what you're about to do back in 2004. Believe me; it takes a lot more investigation/research than it did back in the seventies when we were listening to Pioneer quad receivers. The stuff that's out there today is just incredible! The biggest problem I have is using half of the features in some of the electronics I own.

    I had a mostly Sony home theatre system with a Bose Acoustimass speaker system. It was fine for watching movies with 5.1 surround. It sucked for listening to music. The cubes were sadly lacking in the mids and the passive sub just couldn’t go very low. So, I proceeded to start studying what was out there. I hadn’t purchased what I’d call mid to high-end stuff before, so I wanted to get it right the first time. Most of my stuff had always been “Best Buy” kind of products. When I started looking around (and reading the forums like this one), I found myself more confused than ever!

    The first thing you have to consider is what you want your new system to be capable of doing. If all you’re looking for is an HT system to replace what you have then that’s one thing. But, if you’re like me, you’ll want a system that can reproduce audio as well as movie sound tracks. That cuts down on the available options a bunch! Most of what is sold in the mass-market stores does an OK job of one or the other; not both.

    I agree with what Carl, Mr. P, and Rock say above. Good advice from all. I’ve never been a fan of Klipsch. Always seemed too shrill to me. Great reproducers of mid to high freqs, but sadly lacking on the low end. And, no sub will take away that shrillness for me. Just my opinion. I have no listening experience with the Heresy’s. As far as what’s out there today for speakers that are reasonably priced, I don’t think you can do better than Paradigm. I have them in three systems in my house and am just amazed every time I crank ‘em up. The company makes a fantastic product; all the way from their low-end bookshelves up to their high-end monitors. Their new subs (UltraCube 10 & 12) are unbelievable. I have the 10” sitting under an end table in my family room and it can still rattle the crystal in the china cabinet! Another brand to consider that the guy’s above didn’t mention is Wharfedale. I have their Diamond 9.2’s, Diamond 9.CC, and a Paradigm PDR-10 set up as a 3.1 system in one of my bedrooms. It sounds great. Give the Diamond series a listen. I think you’ll be impressed. And, as a bonus, they're not a lot of bux.

    As for electronics, Denon has impressed me most out of all that has been mentioned in this thread. Pioneer used to make decent electronics. No more. Most of the mass-market stuff has been so cheapened as far as build quality goes that I stay away from all of it. That includes Sony, Marantz, Technics, Yamaha, Harmon Kardon, and Onkyo. I have a Yamaha R-900 that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I love its sound and versatility. I wouldn’t buy a Yamaha today though. I also have an NAD L-53 “all-in-one” box in one of my bedrooms. If you were buying a single box solution for one of those college kids, you couldn’t beat it with a stick. Pair it with the Paradigm’s or Wharfedale’s and you have what is currently termed a “kick-ass” system! But, it’s limited as far as I/O goes for a complete HT system. If you want a box that can do it all and do it all well, go buy a Denon AVR-2807 or 3806. You won’t be disappointed. And, it’ll cover all your requirements. The 2807 ($1100 retail) has a dedicated iPod port for MP3’s. Both of them will do XM Radio. Both have the Audyssey MultiEQ setup system; currently recognized as the best in the industry. And, they are both multi-room capable. I’ve had my AVR-3805 about 2 ½ years now and the only ***** I have with it is that my tired OLD eyes can’t see the front panel display very well from 20 feet away! Other than that, and the fact it doesn’t do XM, I’m totally happy with it. I’ve been thinking of dumping it for the 2807 simply because I like XM and I got an iPod for Christmas.



    To answer your questions directly:

    Ques. How do you hook up a computer to a home audio system to play MP3 files?
    Ans. All sound cards have an “audio out” connection; usually a 3.5mm jack that’s either blue or green. Look for the arrow out symbol around the jack. It’s a low-level signal that can be directly input to any of your AUX connections on your receiver.

    Ques. Does Klipsch still make a good product? I heard they were recently sold.
    Ans. They still do, if you like that sort of sound. You already know my opinion.

    Ques. What receivers should I be looking at? Denon, Yamaha, NAD, others?
    Ans. See above.

    Ques. Same for speakers.
    Ans. See above


    That’s it for my first LONG-WINDED post here. Have a blast looking around for your new system Tom! :6:
  • 12-29-2006, 10:21 AM
    Carl Reid
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rick684
    As for electronics, Denon has impressed me most out of all that has been mentioned in this thread. Pioneer used to make decent electronics. No more. Most of the mass-market stuff has been so cheapened as far as build quality goes that I stay away from all of it. That includes Sony, Marantz, Technics, Yamaha, Harmon Kardon, and Onkyo.

    Though I agree on suggesting the Wharfedale Diamonds.... Wharfedale is one of the few speakers I like other than Missions.... (though if you like Klipsch, you may not be impressed with either of these options, since they have a very different sound to what you like)....

    I do have one word of caution though, Don't write off mass market products! A product that is hand crafted in a small audiolab in London is not necessarily better sounding than a mass market product.... Yes, I know this seems contrary to most of what is said on this site.... but it is true....

    Don't know about any of Marantz other products, but I find their CD players to be some of the best value for the money..... And though Technics no longer exists (well apart from DJ turntables)... I still think that my old cheapo Technics Setup that I had 4 years ago was good (for the price)....

    So it really just depends on your budget and what your goal is....
  • 12-30-2006, 09:49 PM
    Rick684
    Agreed....
    OK, I hear you Carl. I was looking for what Tom could buy considering his budget and what he wanted the system to do. Actually, the system I have set up using the Diamond's is driven by a Technics receiver. Why? Because it has provision for a direct-connect 3.1 setup. I don't need a 5.1 setup in that room and the system is mostly used for audio anyway. Only occasional movie viewing. But, I still maintain that if someone expects to spent 2.5 to 3k for a receiver and speakers, they should look elsewhere than a "mass-market" store. For that kind of money, one would have to assume that the persons taste in equipment is a little more than what can be purchased at places like Best Buy or Circuit City. And, Technics turntables, modified non-DJ style, are still sold. I almost bought one recently from KABUSA but decided I wasn't as much of a vinyl person as I thought. My Marantz does just fine.....:6:
  • 12-31-2006, 11:22 AM
    Rock789
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rick684
    Pioneer used to make decent electronics. No more. Most of the mass-market stuff has been so cheapened as far as build quality goes that I stay away from all of it. That includes Sony, Marantz, Technics, Yamaha, Harmon Kardon, and Onkyo.

    I have to say Pioneer Elite and Integra (high end Pioneer and Onkyo) are about equal to the Denon...
    I did a lot of comparing 3 years ago...
    I decided to go with the Denon 2805 due to the # of digital optical inputs... which I did use at the time...
    if I did not need them, I thougth the equally priced Pioneer Elite sounded a little better (better amp section imo)

    later
    Mike
  • 01-01-2007, 06:55 AM
    Rick684
    Point Taken Rock
    We have a Mac dealer here in the KC area that also carries Integra & Elite as their "low-end" lines. I listened to both and didn't think they measured up to the Denon line. Guess that's what makes this hobby so interesting......:6:
  • 01-01-2007, 03:14 PM
    Tom Lunak
    Thanks for the responses, you've given me a lot to think about; 2-channel vs. HT being the most significant. I noticed that several posters list both a 2-channel and HT system. Is that due to there being a big difference in the music quality from a HT receiver versus a 2-channel?

    I am in process of locating dealers in the area that carry the speakers recommended and plan on doing some listening over the next couple of weeks. Thanks again for the information.
  • 01-01-2007, 08:31 PM
    Rock789
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tom Lunak
    I noticed that several posters list both a 2-channel and HT system. Is that due to there being a big difference in the music quality from a HT receiver versus a 2-channel?

    my ht system plays 2ch audio better than my 2ch system...
    my 2ch system is simply what I have in my bedroom

    I picked out my ht system for 5ch sacd's rather than movies... but it does play movies nicely ;o)
  • 01-01-2007, 08:58 PM
    Carl Reid
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tom Lunak
    I noticed that several posters list both a 2-channel and HT system. Is that due to there being a big difference in the music quality from a HT receiver versus a 2-channel?

    Nope.... not exactly.... it's just a lot cheaper to put together a good 2 channel setup for music than a good HT setup for music....

    Let's pretend you have a budget of $5K for the entire setup....

    for a 2 channel setup you could spend $2.4K on a pair of speakers, $2k on an integrated, $0.5K on a CD player and $0.1K on speaker wires and cables....

    On the other hand, if you tried to buy a HT for that money you'd end up with: $2.4K on 5 speakers and a sub... so essential you end up with 6 inferior speakers for the price of 2 good ones... then you spend $1.9K on a 5.1 channel receiver which will be inferior to a good similiar priced 2 channel integrated amp... you then get the same cd player for $0.5K but you have to double your cable and speaker wires budget to $0.2K....

    So it's not a matter that you can't get good sound with a HT, it will just cost you a lot more to do so than to set up a simple 2 channel system...