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  1. #26
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Chamai, I still would consider the Marantz SACD/CD players. They tend to have a warm rich sound, almost tube like (which seems to be the sound you are going for, but there are so many options available to you, I wish I was able to start from scratch with that kind of budget!). At least the SA8001 and SA8003 did. I got to audition these in home for about 1 month each. Standard CD play is excellent. I'm sure the more expensive Marantz players sound similar but with more detail, air and resolution that these models tend to lack when compared to my DAC and the Cambridge Audio 840c.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  2. #27
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    hey everyone. i just had a quick chat with my uncle and he said that lots of tube amps are manufactured in China. So he told me to go back to Hong Kong to buy it since he said i will probably save some money. if i really want a tube amp.i am going to visit my dad in hong kong soon so i might buy something there. he is not a fan of tube's so he didn't really suggest anything. the only brand he told me to check out is Auidionote. He said thats the only decent tube amp he ever kinda liked.

    i am not really bothered with where a product is made as long as it is made well. i am really leaning towards the Mcintosh C2300. i am gonan check out a few more stores.

    this is what i have in mind so far
    Mcintosh c2300 pre tube amp
    TRIAD gold series subwoofers

    again, keep the suggestions coming~

    EDIT: the cd player i will look for is not gonna be ones i can buy @ best buy. it's still gonna be a quality one, but just one that doesn't support sdcd.
    Last edited by Chamai; 10-23-2009 at 09:35 PM.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    Chamai, I still would consider the Marantz SACD/CD players. They tend to have a warm rich sound, almost tube like (which seems to be the sound you are going for, but there are so many options available to you, I wish I was able to start from scratch with that kind of budget!). At least the SA8001 and SA8003 did. I got to audition these in home for about 1 month each. Standard CD play is excellent. I'm sure the more expensive Marantz players sound similar but with more detail, air and resolution that these models tend to lack when compared to my DAC and the Cambridge Audio 840c.
    hey, i am probably going have to pass on the Marrantz SACD player just because of the price. i don't think i will even own a sacd anytime soon. and this piece of gear is pretty expensive. i could use this money for some better speakers or something. i am actually still researching on how much a CD player really effects the overall sound of my system. i also like to ask other people on this forum the same questions.

    what is the difference between a $150 cd player vs a $4000 cd player. do people think the $4000 dollar cd player sounds better just because it is $4000? if i blinded fold that person, could they tell?

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chamai
    what is the difference between a $150 cd player vs a $4000 cd player. do people think the $4000 dollar cd player sounds better just because it is $4000? if i blinded fold that person, could they tell?
    I'm not an audiophile, and I can't speak for everybody, but I recently bought an Adcom GCD-750 used from EBAY and found it to be the best sounding CD player I've heard to date. (Don't take this the wrong way, I haven't heard many.)
    However, I firmly believe that if you were to bring a mass market CD player to my home and set up a blindfolded a/b test I could pick out the adcom, as long as I could choose the music and volume.
    Not everyone likes the adcom sound, but I can tell you this, for the money I spent on the GCD-750 and GFP-750 used, I just know I'm not very likely to find a better deal or better equipment for the same price without some help.
    Those in higher income brackets, or those with more disposable income, possibly with less hearing loss would be more discriminating yet, and could most likely pick their favorite transport/DAC combination from my beloved Adcom.
    Then again, I could be on crack-since I'm just another face in another crowd you have no way of knowing.

    I honestly don't think you have to spend $4000 to hear a difference in CD players, as long as the rest of your system is good.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by caz223
    I'm not an audiophile, and I can't speak for everybody, but I recently bought an Adcom GCD-750 used from EBAY and found it to be the best sounding CD player I've heard to date. (Don't take this the wrong way, I haven't heard many.)
    However, I firmly believe that if you were to bring a mass market CD player to my home and set up a blindfolded a/b test I could pick out the adcom, as long as I could choose the music and volume.
    Not everyone likes the adcom sound, but I can tell you this, for the money I spent on the GCD-750 and GFP-750 used, I just know I'm not very likely to find a better deal or better equipment for the same price without some help.
    Those in higher income brackets, or those with more disposable income, possibly with less hearing loss would be more discriminating yet, and could most likely pick their favorite transport/DAC combination from my beloved Adcom.
    Then again, I could be on crack-since I'm just another face in the crowd you have no way of knowing.
    EDIT" NO "worries~ what i meant was not the mass market stuff. i am still looking at the higher end stuff, but not sdcd player.
    Last edited by Chamai; 10-23-2009 at 09:55 PM.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chamai
    oh worries~ what i meant was not the mass market stuff. i am still looking at the higher end stuff, but not sdcd player.
    Honestly, I think I spent less than $500 for my adcom, and it seems like a good place to start-at least it was for me. I can't speak for the rest of the adcom CD players, just the GCD-750.
    I'm sure there are better sounding CD players-just not at my lite beer budget.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by caz223
    Honestly, I think I spent less than $500 for my adcom, and it seems like a good place to start-at least it was for me. I can't speak for the rest of the adcom CD players, just the GCD-750.
    I'm sure there are better sounding CD players-just not at my lite beer budget.
    for me, i still don't know how much a cd player affects the overall sound of the system. i might be on crack too. i just think as long as the thing doesn't break down, good power supply, doesn't make much noise. then thats a good cd player. i am going to do some blind tests after i decide on my choice of amps and speakers.

    thanks for the input though.

  8. #33
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Your mistaken if you think all CDP's sound a like. There is a huge difference in cheap and expensive CDP's. You just need a high end amp, preamp and speakers to tell the difference. Your an audio noob but will eventually figure it out.

    I've auditioned numerous CDP's head to head with very great differences in sound, detail, resolution, tone, sound stage, rhythm and musicality. Your source of sound greatly impacts what you hear.

    And by the way, you can't buy Marantz reference series at Best Buy although BB Magnolia stores can order high end equipment.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  9. #34
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I lived in China for a year and they copy everything they think they can sell. There are no laws - well there may be laws bit no one pays attention.

    I went to an outdoor market and they have copies of DVD movies for sale for 10 yuan which is about $2 - you can talk them down to $1 a disc. Copying DVD's is illegal as you know. But I picked up a season of Dexter for $2 - the complete BattleStar Galactica series for $5, Complete Frasier series for $10 and movies that were sent to film critics before they ever reached movie theaters for $1.

    And this with a policeman standing not 15 feet from the booths. Now apparently Americans who buy these and go back to the States could get in serious troubles with the authorities - so it's lucky to be Canadian where no such law exists.

    This applies to stereo equipment and cars - it's rampant. There is the Hi-Phone which is a dirt cheap copy of the Iphone - so popular was the face Hi-Phone that other companies started to copy the copy - which I found very amusing.

    There are fake Nike's, North Face, and Gucci's galore - I bought a Gucci wallet for $5 and it's real leather and looks exactly the same as the real one. A fellow travellor bought 15 North Face Jackets for $10 a piece to give away to friends when he got back. They're not quite as nice - but they look exactly the same.

    The issue of the DAC chip to me is something GF should not have bothered discussing. It makes something that could be interpreted several ways. I just don't know why Ian bothered putting it on the site without a clearer explanation. I think it suggests that they don't want copy cats to be able to copy the specific DAC chip being used. Perhaps that was to separate it from the clones out there. But really how do you know the clones are not usuing the same chips - the clones are also made in the same factory is my understanding - made by a company with a non friendly for north Americans to pronounce.

    Rachel of Grant Fidelity addressed the issue as follows - Note English isn't her first language

    "I would like to contribute some facts on the various version of the Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-09 and some discussion raised around it. Hopefully it will help confused readers to get closer to the truth rather than guessing:

    1) Maverick Audio is based out of Shanghai, China and is run by an individual. Maverick DAC is designed and manufactured by Xiangsheng out of China.
    2) Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-09 is also manufactured by Xiangsheng - we choose to distribute under Grant Fidelity brand as Xiangsheng is not a common English word for branding. Xiangsheng is following our quality control request in fulfill Grant Fidelity DAC orders.
    3) Grant Fidelity and Xiangsheng has reached agreement to be the sole distributor of Xiangsheng DAC product in Canada and USA.
    4) Maverick Audio has sold their existing stock DAC back to Xiangsheng and those stock will be re-printed for Grant Fidelity. Maverick Audio will no longer sell the DAC product to North America nor other international market after November.
    5) Grant Fidelity's coming DAC shipment will have both silver and black faceplate for customers to choose from.
    6) Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-09 MSRP US$390 is priced with consideration to allow audio retail stores to carry the product and allow consumers to 'touch, see and listen' to the product in-store before making a purchase
    7) Before retail network is set up for the Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-09, it will be on special price of $300 including free shipping in Canada and continuous USA - this will benefit internet shoppers who do not request a must-have audition before making purchase
    8.) Xiangsheng has confirmed to Grant Fidelity that Pacific Valve doesn't have any Xiangsheng DAC product in stock. Xiangsheng has never sold any DAC product to Pacific Valve and will not recognize Pacific Valve's sale as authorized resale so no manufacturer warranty will be provided.
    9) Many eBay sellers (out of China or Hong Kong) list a product for sale but has no stock of the product at all. Be aware of low priced eBay listings out of China or Hong Kong. When they get a sale on eBay, they will purchase one on Chinese market to fulfill the order. This practice is against eBay policy but still prevail in Asia. If the seller cannot spot a unit upon receiving a buyer's money, there is high chance that a buyer will be left without delivery for a long time. Grant Fidelity recently received a customer's email about an eBay seller with 100% positive feedback scammed him $700 on a Grant Fidelity brand tube amp (retail for $1900) but never deliver and disappeared off eBay. Be cautious when purchasing from sellers in Asia - 100% feedback doesn't mean it's a safe transaction all the time.

    Grant Fidelity will continue service Canadian and USA customers with high quality products along with top level service.

    If you have further questions on the Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-09, please feel free to contact us through http://www.grantfidelity.com or call us at our toll free number. We will be more than happy to help you with any questions you may have related to our product.

    Thank you.
    Rachel - Grant Fidelity
    Excellent stuff RGA!!! Thanks so much for this post, really clears up everyhting I was wondering. Man, doing business with the Chinese sure is a colorful affair. The whole Ebay thing has me a little freaked out. The particular seller I am looking at claims to have a stock of them. Maybe I'll spring for the extra cash. What do you think??

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    Your mistaken if you think all CDP's sound a like. There is a huge difference in cheap and expensive CDP's. You just need a high end amp, preamp and speakers to tell the difference. Your an audio noob but will eventually figure it out.

    I've auditioned numerous CDP's head to head with very great differences in sound, detail, resolution, tone, sound stage, rhythm and musicality. Your source of sound greatly impacts what you hear.

    And by the way, you can't buy Marantz reference series at Best Buy although BB Magnolia stores can order high end equipment.
    just to be clear~ i never though cd players sound alike. i have tested that putting cd's on dvd machines actually makes quite a difference in sound. but i have yet to do enough hearing tests on cd players alone to justify the extra $2000 bucks for the marrantz player. i am gonna really have to hear it first.

  11. #36
    RGA
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    Poppachubby

    I can't say too much on the Dac 09 at the moment - check with GF if you can return it if you don't like it. I believe they do have some kind of policy. I think it's an upgrade of basic cd players and has a lot of pluses and if you go to the Canuck Audio Mart forum which is the Canadian forum under DACs there is a pretty massive thread there about this DAC. The naysayers of course troll there - but none of them have actually listened to it. But I'm used to that. :-)

  12. #37
    RGA
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    Chamai

    Unfortunately I don't think you're getting the best advice. Tube amps are made all over the world and so are Solid State amplifiers (many of both designs are made in China - and that's not necessarily a bad thing since there are good Chinese companies and bad ones just like in Canada, Europe and the U.S. etc). And there are plenty of bad examples of both Tubes and SS.

    The difficulty with Tube amps is that within the tube amplifier umbrella you have two large groups of amplifiers - Single Ended designs and Push Pull Designs and within each of those a myriad of designs. It is very possible not to like the sound of one kind or another kind of tube design.

    Audio Note which I am most knowledgeable on makes numerous types of tube amplifiers and it's very possible to like one and not like another one. That is why it is silly to say "I heard the Audio Note SORO integrated - didn't like it so Audio Note stinks). Not when the OTO SE is a wildly different sounding amplifier from the SORO or even the OTO Push Pull (PP) version.

    Grant Fidelity is another example making big powerful amplifiers like the Rita which will drive anything and uses KT88 tubes but as much as some people may love the big beastly power of the Rita for the same money someone else may prefer the Audio note OTO SE which uses the very weak, in comparison, tube called the EL84 (The OTO is rated as 12 watts per channel but really only 4-5 watts without distortion per channel) and then there are even lower powered SET amps that offer a whopping 1.5 watts per channel.

    The lower powered tube amps require extremely careful matching to loudspeakers and many speakers are bad matches for low powered tube amps. You need high efficiency speakers(which is not the same as high sensitivity).

    I would not be buying a bunch of components hoping they'll work together - what I would be looking to do is to buy a system you really like. Try and go to Las Vegas around January 8th because they have their annual Consumer Electronics Show. For a $1000 spend a weekend and go through all the showrooms and listen to as many systems as you can - then you will know what you like and will make less mistakes.

  13. #38
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    ... high efficiency speakers(which is not the same as high sensitivity).
    How so?

  14. #39
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    I'm new too

    Hi all,
    My name is Ben and I just ran across this forum because I've been looking for a good radio and I saw a question from somone who was also looking for a good radio.
    All I found in the way of replys were people talking about their ipods and music systems.
    Does anyone have a line on a really good AM radio?
    Back in the days of tube type radios there were radios with 2 stages of RF amplification, 2 stages of IF, a seperate tube for the local oscillator and another for the q multiplier and the detector. Some even had push-pull audio amplifiers. Is there a solid state version of something like that?

  15. #40
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    How so?
    High Sensitivity is how sensitive a speaker is with a 1 watt input in relation to how loud it can play at 1 meter distance. 95db sensitive speaker 8ohm if given 1 watt will produce 95decibels. However, if the speaker drops to 4ohms it requires TWICE the power to produce 95db - or 2 watts.

    This doubling of power required occurs at higher levels so in other words if you were running a 50 watt amp and suddenly the speaker dips to 4ohms you need 100 watts to generate the same level. This is a grossly simplified model I am constructing here.

    Most Speakers do not operate at a consistent impedance of 8 ohms so your amplifier needs to continually adjust to the demands made by the loudspeaker. A speaker that has a relatively Flat impedance can be easier to drive than a high sensitive speaker with large impedance shifts. These impedance dips tend to be located in the bass and treble. This is why you often see people state that low power tube amps lose control of bass - even with some 95-100db sensitive speakers. If the speaker dips to 2.5 ohms at 40hz the amplifier has a big problem trying to generate 4 times the power. Single Ended amplifiers (SETS) or amplifiers like Sugden's famous A21a not only don't double their power into 4ohms they're power is cut in half. So it's a "double whammy" for such amplifiers.

    My speaker for instance is 6 ohm rated with a minimum of 5ohms and 93db sensitive. This is very very easy and quite highly efficient loudspeaker. But a 102 db 8 ohm speaker that dips to 2 ohms may look easy to drive but is actually considerably more difficult. And a number of seemingly low efficient speakers - like a number of Panel loudspeakers with mid 80's sensitivity have very flat impedance curves. Which is why you often see 10 watt amps mated to Quad electrostats. My amp has no trouble with such speakers. It will have trouble with a number of 90-95db+ speakers that dip under 3ohms speakers.

    There are several other factors involved but this is a very simple overview.

  16. #41
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    Hi!

    Not sure anybody is still reading, but I'd like to throw in a good quote I once read,
    which I think is very important to those who don't know so much yet, but want a good
    system anyway. (And who can blame them?)

    I think it was the audio critic (http://www.theaudiocritic.com/) who said it:

    "In audio, time buys you more than money".

    I've probably mangled the quote a bit, but the core message is hopefully still intact:
    Spending time (wisely) is going to give you a much bigger return on investment than
    spending a lot of money. Or rephrased once again: Putting in the effort of going many
    different places, bringing good recordings you know well, and listening critically to a
    broad variety (important!) of systems, will give you a *much* bigger return on investment
    than just throwing money at it.

    And apart from that, trying all those systems is actually great fun!

    Kind regards,
    Erik

  17. #42
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    hey all, i am back. didn't really go on my computer much these few weeks because i was either busy with my kid or was playing wii and ps3 with my wife.
    well, anyways. i went try out some systems.

    i tried out mctinosh MC2105 with C2300 with a mcintosh sacd player. the speakers were some Vienna Acoustics? it's gotta be something fancy since it's paired with mcintosh gear. the guy didn't tell me the model, but i didn't care about it because i wasn't impressed with the sound at all. i just told him i can hear quite a lot of treble distortion. the bass was very powerful and sounded great though. the salesman noticed it too AFTER i told him. i did expected a little more from a 20k+ setup. next, went to try out a system with everything by NAIM paired with some Linn or sonur faber speakers.this setup sounded worse. everything sounded flat. didn't feel any dynamics or whatsoever. the sales person was very friendly and he really took the time to explain things to me. i am just the kinda guy who trusts my own ear. so i left the store and i told him i will come back and try out more things next week. i really want to try out the b&w 802s, but they are over my budget. again, it was a great experience, but also a little dissapointing because i didn't really find anything i like. iwas in hong kong earlier this year and i listened to a pair of Triad gold mininoitors with gold sub with external amp hooked up to some ADA . a power conditioner by Equi-tech was used.i really thought the setup sounded very clean and crisp. i am definetly going to pick up the gold minimonitors and the gold sub. most likely i will pick up the power conditioner as well.

    so at least i got the speakers part done.

    now i just gotta find the right amp
    Last edited by Chamai; 11-25-2009 at 05:07 AM.

  18. #43
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Arthur, a belated welcome to you.

    Perhaps I'm getting mixed messages from you -- or maybe I need to reread your posts a few times.

    You have an adequate budget at C$14k but need to consider your goals more carefully. Your current talking points about equipment, especially McIntosh MC2105 & C2300, seem "strange" for want of a better word. (The MC2105 -- assuming you've got the model number correct -- is a relic of the '60s and '70s: forget about it.)

    You have mentioned 5.1 sound: this is a very important consideration for a young person with a wide range of music tastes. Please take a moment to read Sir Terrrance's insightful comments about multi-channel sound, HERE. If he's right, Blu-ray sound will deliver on a huge potential. If I were you, (of course, I'm not), I would start with the premise of a multi-channel system.

    Given M/C, I would first think about a highly versitile source component, that is, a universal player. The OPPO BDP-83 SE Blu-ray comes to mind, (see here). If you see yourself with a lot of computer sourced-material, I would look for a high-grade sound card with HDMI output as well as S/PDIF coaxial -- unfortunately I don't have a recommendation off hand.

    Next to consider is the multi-channel processor, (a.k.a. "prepro"). There are some very high-end units out there, but you might first look at the modestly price Emotiva UMC-1, (here). In any case, look for multiple HDMI inputs; check the specs for the capability to accept a DSD (SACD) datastream -- not necessarily essential but a nice touch if you have SACDs. Good "bass management" facilities are important: they ought to work with all types of input, i.e. stereo and SACD as will as Blu-ray, Dolby, and DTS. Balanced XLR outputs are another nice-to-have, especially if you might consider 'active' speakers, (see below).

    Then consider you speakers. Consider them before your amplfier because they will influence the amp or amps you'll want to get. I mentioned 'active' speakers (i.e. speakers their own, built-in amps). Good, entry level models include the M-Audio CX8, (here); they have balanced inputs and controls to accomodate various room placements. Wow! a 7.1 system with CX8s or say, three CX8s and four CX5s has me salavating.

    For standard, passive speakers, the Monitor Audio Golds are nice no doubt, but the PSB Synchrony's are very good suggestion. I would stick to two-way "bookshelf" speakers and look to my subwoofer(s) to carry all bass below 80Hz. If passive speakers, you'll need an amp or amps. The Emotiva UPA-7 is an good, entry-level option, (here).

    Lots to think about. Don't fixate on the first things you see in the dealer's listening room.

  19. #44
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Great Advice on the PSB Synchrony's Feanor. Excellent speakers, very deatailed, excellent bass and a warmer sound. I would also listen to Theil's. They cost more than the PSB's. Theils and Salk HTR-3's would be my choice for a non Magnepan speaker. Dynaudio are also worth a listen.

    For amps and preamps, consider these brands, Conrad Johnson, Classe, Krell, Ayre, McCormak, Bryston, Audio Research, Parasound Halo.

    CD players Cambridge Audio 840c, Rega Saturn, Niam, Ayre, Krell, the Oppo bdp-83 SE is a real bargain for a universal player. The Oppo has been rated a Stereophile Magazine Class A component comparing with players costing thousands of dollars.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Arthur, a belated welcome to you.

    Perhaps I'm getting mixed messages from you -- or maybe I need to reread your posts a few times.

    You have an adequate budget at C$14k but need to consider your goals more carefully. Your current talking points about equipment, especially McIntosh MC2105 & C2300, seem "strange" for want of a better word. (The MC2105 -- assuming you've got the model number correct -- is a relic of the '60s and '70s: forget about it.)

    You have mentioned 5.1 sound: this is a very important consideration for a young person with a wide range of music tastes. Please take a moment to read Sir Terrrance's insightful comments about multi-channel sound, HERE. If he's right, Blu-ray sound will deliver on a huge potential. If I were you, (of course, I'm not), I would start with the premise of a multi-channel system.

    Given M/C, I would first think about a highly versitile source component, that is, a universal player. The OPPO BDP-83 SE Blu-ray comes to mind, (see here). If you see yourself with a lot of computer sourced-material, I would look for a high-grade sound card with HDMI output as well as S/PDIF coaxial -- unfortunately I don't have a recommendation off hand.

    Next to consider is the multi-channel processor, (a.k.a. "prepro"). There are some very high-end units out there, but you might first look at the modestly price Emotiva UMC-1, (here). In any case, look for multiple HDMI inputs; check the specs for the capability to accept a DSD (SACD) datastream -- not necessarily essential but a nice touch if you have SACDs. Good "bass management" facilities are important: they ought to work with all types of input, i.e. stereo and SACD as will as Blu-ray, Dolby, and DTS. Balanced XLR outputs are another nice-to-have, especially if you might consider 'active' speakers, (see below).

    Then consider you speakers. Consider them before your amplfier because they will influence the amp or amps you'll want to get. I mentioned 'active' speakers (i.e. speakers their own, built-in amps). Good, entry level models include the M-Audio CX8, (here); they have balanced inputs and controls to accomodate various room placements. Wow! a 7.1 system with CX8s or say, three CX8s and four CX5s has me salavating.

    For standard, passive speakers, the Monitor Audio Golds are nice no doubt, but the PSB Synchrony's are very good suggestion. I would stick to two-way "bookshelf" speakers and look to my subwoofer(s) to carry all bass below 80Hz. If passive speakers, you'll need an amp or amps. The Emotiva UPA-7 is an good, entry-level option, (here).

    Lots to think about. Don't fixate on the first things you see in the dealer's listening room.
    hi~ thanks for the welcoming.
    ah, i was falling asleep while i was typing my post. the power amp was a 501 i believe. the reason why i went to check out the c2300 is because it had the HT bypass feature. it's funny you mentioned about the oppo player because while i was typing my previous message, i was set on picking up the oppo blu ray player as well. but i am still going to have a dedicated CD player. i don't have any SACD's and i don't think i will plan on buying any. 98% of my cd's are japanese and i don't think they released any SACD's for the artists i like.

    great advice on the prepro. i totally agree that this is a much better route. but honestly, it is very hard to try out different brands on combo's because speakers will really change the sound. so the only source i can rely on is the internet and people i know who is into audio.

    as for the speakers and sub, i am getting these at cost from my uncle, and better yet, my dad is paying for them. as a gift. so i am pretty much set on these.

    again, thanks for the reply~
    Last edited by Chamai; 11-26-2009 at 03:24 AM.

  21. #46
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chamai
    ...as for the speakers and sub, i am getting these at cost from my uncle, and better yet, my dad is paying for them. as a gift.
    ... thanks for the reply~
    Nice!!

  22. #47
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    As a newbie, you're pretty far ahead of the beat. Your knowledge of music gives you an ability to hear what others wouldn't. Your Uncle has exposed you to quality audio, and you've been able to hear what's possible. Also, you have an understanding of the Compact Disc format, and its inherent issues. All of this adds up to help you out alot in this hobby.

    Since you know that CD is horrendously compressed and degraded, have you given any thought to vinyl? Have you heard any quality turntables along the way?

    With your budget, you could set up a really nice analog end. I too am a musician, I play electric bass. I would recommend vinyl as an answer to your source issues. There is alot of factors involved with getting a good vinyl sound. This doesn't mean that it has to cost alot or require a dealers assisstance.

    I have a digital set up using a turntable as the source. The signal is then processed to 16 bit/44.1 Khz and believe me , there's not a lick of information unavailable to my ear. It sounds great.

    I don't want to knock you off your path, but perhaps consider the musical joy analog could bring a discerning musician such as yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Nice!!
    again~ thanks for the advice~ i am going to some 2nd hand shops when i head back to hong kong. going to see what deals i can get. the more money i save, more money i can spend on another TV heh.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    As a newbie, you're pretty far ahead of the beat. Your knowledge of music gives you an ability to hear what others wouldn't. Your Uncle has exposed you to quality audio, and you've been able to hear what's possible. Also, you have an understanding of the Compact Disc format, and its inherent issues. All of this adds up to help you out alot in this hobby.

    Since you know that CD is horrendously compressed and degraded, have you given any thought to vinyl? Have you heard any quality turntables along the way?

    With your budget, you could set up a really nice analog end. I too am a musician, I play electric bass. I would recommend vinyl as an answer to your source issues. There is alot of factors involved with getting a good vinyl sound. This doesn't mean that it has to cost alot or require a dealers assisstance.

    I have a digital set up using a turntable as the source. The signal is then processed to 16 bit/44.1 Khz and believe me , there's not a lick of information unavailable to my ear. It sounds great.

    I don't want to knock you off your path, but perhaps consider the musical joy analog could bring a discerning musician such as yourself.
    hi~ i never really considered vinyl because none of the music i like comes in vinyl. if i ever wanted a turntable, i can always take the one from my aunt's house, she has my uncle's old Technics turntable from the 70's. gonna give that a go if i ever decide to go the vinyl path. my old piano teacher has a very nice turntable setup. i forgot the brand, i should give him a call and ask him what he is using. we were listening to classical piano and i was quite pleased with the "live" sound i was hearing. ofcourse, it could be the source and i would love to compare it to a cd version if it had one. again, i am going to try to keep my budget down. getting a good sound without having to spend too much is probably my goal for this setup. i know the acoustics of the room also plays an important factor so i am going to do some research on what to do. going to pick up that Equi-tech power conditioner and going to get my friend to setup a dedicated line for my system.

    thanks for the input~

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    Great Advice on the PSB Synchrony's Feanor. Excellent speakers, very deatailed, excellent bass and a warmer sound. I would also listen to Theil's. They cost more than the PSB's. Theils and Salk HTR-3's would be my choice for a non Magnepan speaker. Dynaudio are also worth a listen.

    For amps and preamps, consider these brands, Conrad Johnson, Classe, Krell, Ayre, McCormak, Bryston, Audio Research, Parasound Halo.

    CD players Cambridge Audio 840c, Rega Saturn, Niam, Ayre, Krell, the Oppo bdp-83 SE is a real bargain for a universal player. The Oppo has been rated a Stereophile Magazine Class A component comparing with players costing thousands of dollars.
    thanks for the suggestions. i will check these out for sure.

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