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  1. #26
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    Wow! I had the DACmagic for a good 3 weeks and sent it back because it really was no better than my 10 year old Rotel RCC 1055 CDP....go figure. I guess the V-DAC wins by default.
    frenchmon
    LOL... kind of unfair to compare a DAC that costs about half the price of the very good (for the price) CD player that you had..... but truth is that I've never been someone to recommend A DAC that costs the same price or less than the CD player you want to upgrade...

    (Actually, I generally only recommend DACs to people who want to get into computer/music server audio)...

  2. #27
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    As a young and fairly new member of the audiophile community I appreciate being able to add my opinions. About a year ago I went out on a limb and purchased Dynaudio Contour 1.3 MkI speakers on ebay for $610.00 (because the seller couldn't take a decent picture). Those things were mint! I ran them with a Yamaha RX-V1300 A/V receiver until I could upgrade.

    For someone looking to get into a true hi-fi system the used market is the way to go! I currently own a Krell KAV 300iL ($1075.00 Audiogon), Dynaudio Contour 1.3SEs ($850.00 ebay), Pioneer BDP-51FD ($150.00 NIB ebay), Technics Direct Drive turntable (free), all cables are ZU Audio, Julian speaker and Oxyfuel interconnects (ebay). My total expenditure is about $2300.00 for an absolutely stunning system, for one that would have cost over $7800.00 at retail. As a bonus most of the equipment is nearly new except for the Technics turntable.

    My recommendation is to invest first and foremost in top of the line loudspeakers! These will make or break the system. Dynaudio, among others, make world class loudspeakers from which to choose but the best bet is to buy them used or the cost can be exorbitant. I have tried many, many different integrateds (some seperates, Bryston and Proceed) and found the best value in high quality integrated amplifiers. It all comes down to price/performance. We all have our own idea of great sound, I have found mine (for now).

    You will really have to experience upscale yourself. Nobody will ever be able to truly describe the difference to you. Mid-Fi (not being deragatory) is not the same but an apt moniker nonetheless. For example an NAD C320BEE along with B&W 600 series sounds very good BUT IMO are not comparable to the Dyn. 1.3 SE and Krell combination by any stretch of the imagination. All of the crazy sounding audiophile descriptions apply and most definitely. Massively deep bass from a minimonitor?, Yes. 3D imaging? Yes. Soundstage width and depth? Yes. When you see what 2K can do you will be fully impressed!

    Cheers,

    Earl

  3. #28
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ren9328
    As a young and fairly new member of the audiophile community I appreciate being able to add my opinions.
    Please do.

    About a year ago I went out on a limb and purchased Dynaudio Contour 1.3 MkI speakers on ebay for $610.00 (because the seller couldn't take a decent picture). Those things were mint! I ran them with a Yamaha RX-V1300 A/V receiver until I could upgrade.
    For someone looking to get into a true hi-fi system the used market is the way to go! I currently own a Krell KAV 300iL ($1075.00 Audiogon), Dynaudio Contour 1.3SEs ($850.00 ebay), Pioneer BDP-51FD ($150.00 NIB ebay), Technics Direct Drive turntable (free), all cables are ZU Audio, Julian speaker and Oxyfuel interconnects (ebay). My total expenditure is about $2300.00 for an absolutely stunning system, for one that would have cost over $7800.00 at retail. As a bonus most of the equipment is nearly new except for the Technics turntable.
    I think you got a great deal...congrats!

    My recommendation is to invest first and foremost in top of the line loudspeakers! These will make or break the system. Dynaudio, among others, make world class loudspeakers from which to choose but the best bet is to buy them used or the cost can be exorbitant.
    I think for some of us, looking for and then making a purchase of good gear at below the cost of new is part of the fun of this hobby. But some audio hobbyist only buy new and still enjoy it just as much. Nothing wrong with that.

    I have tried many, many different integrateds (some seperates, Bryston and Proceed) and found the best value in high quality integrated amplifiers. It all comes down to price/performance. We all have our own idea of great sound, I have found mine (for now).
    For now, I too am really enjoyinig my system. After all, that's what this hobby is all about....does the music your system produces get in and touch your soul....make you emotional from what you hear? Me myself I love passionate music for the most part. And I can get it from listening to Billy Holiday sing "Strange Fruit" or "Don't Explain" from Yo Yo Ma doing his thing on "The Mission", The Allman Brothers Band Live at the Fillmore East or even some New Age from Dave Lanz on "Return To The Heart" or Michael Jones on "Piano Scapes" I love good music so that's why I try to get the best gear my pocket can handle....that's why im down in my basement hours at a time.

    You will really have to experience upscale yourself. Nobody will ever be able to truly describe the difference to you. Mid-Fi (not being deragatory) is not the same but an apt moniker nonetheless. For example an NAD C320BEE along with B&W 600 series sounds very good BUT IMO are not comparable to the Dyn. 1.3 SE and Krell combination by any stretch of the imagination.
    And Im so glad you started your posting with your opinion....but you had to go there did'nt you! Some people will disagree with you. And im sure there are some systems that are not "up scale" as you say that may be able to rival some of the krells and Dynaudios at what they can do. Now dont get me wrong, I think Krell and Dyns are some great gear. Especially the dynaudios. I have a good buddy who has both and I love his system. The dyns to my ears where very neutral while being beautiful at the same time. And I did go to a local audio shop and listen to the Dyns...the Focus 140's. Wonderful speaker, but I did'nt want to shell out $1500 for book shelves. But you know what, I got some Canton book shelves with very close stats to the 140's at less than half the cost and they sound just as good as the 140's. Its being driven by a Rotel outfit...amp @ 200 watts and a preamp and what it does is makes me move and get into the music with out gazing at the gear and thinking I have the baddest and loudest system of anybody at a great price. Though I did get an unbelievable price on the Rotel

    All of the crazy sounding audiophile descriptions apply and most definitely. Massively deep bass from a minimonitor?, Yes. 3D imaging? Yes. Soundstage width and depth? Yes. When you see what 2K can do you will be fully impressed!
    Shoot....I get all that from my not so "upscale system". And on top of that...it moves me with emotion with beautiful and passionate sound. Can your system do that Earl? For some of us, Its not about who has the baddest and loudest...its about what it makes music do for you in your soul.

    frenchmon
    Last edited by frenchmon; 12-02-2009 at 10:12 AM.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  4. #29
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by ren9328
    As a young and fairly new member of the audiophile community I appreciate being able to add my opinions.
    Firstly, Welcome to the Forums!!! It's always good to hear from new members..

    Quote Originally Posted by ren9328
    For someone looking to get into a true hi-fi system the used market is the way to go!
    The used market is a great place to get expensive gear (sometimes even new in box) for half price or less... Though it has its own risks and so not everyone is willing to buy used...

    Quote Originally Posted by ren9328
    My recommendation is to invest first and foremost in top of the line loudspeakers! These will make or break the system.
    I agree, as that has been my experience... However, other Audiophiles feel that source, amplification or even (god forbid) cables are the best place to start... So you really need to test out various combos for yourself, to see what works best for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by ren9328
    You will really have to experience upscale yourself. Nobody will ever be able to truly describe the difference to you. Mid-Fi (not being deragatory) is not the same but an apt moniker nonetheless. For example an NAD C320BEE along with B&W 600 series sounds very good BUT IMO are not comparable to the Dyn. 1.3 SE and Krell combination by any stretch of the imagination.
    Unfortunately, that is an Apples to Oranges comparison... Switching brands will result in a different (not necessarily better) sound... So even a price comparable setup such as NAD M3 + B&W CM9 will sound very different from a Krell S300i + Dynaudio Focus 220...

    A real comparison of 'high end' versus budget gear would be the NAD/B&W combo you mentioned versus the M3/CM9 combo in my example... And whether the upgrade is worth it would really depend on each individual listener...

  5. #30
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Ajani...I can tell you are a very astute man when it comes to audio.

    frenchmon
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  6. #31
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    And Im so glad you started your posting with your opinion....but you had to go there did'nt you! Some people will disagree with you. And im sure there are some systems that are not "up scale" as you say that may be able to rival some of the krells and Dynaudios at what they can do. Now dont get me wrong, I think Krell and Dyns are some great gear. Especially the dynaudios. I have a good buddy who has both and I love his system. The dyns to my ears where very neutral while being beautiful at the same time. And I did go to a local audio shop and listen to the Dyns...the Focus 140's. Wonderful speaker, but I did'nt want to shell out $1500 for book shelves. But you know what, I got some Canton book shelves with very close stats to the 140's at more than half the cost and they sound just as good as the 140's. Its being driven by a Rotel outfit...amp @ 200 watts and a preamp and what it does is makes me move and get into the music with out gazing at the gear and thinking I have the baddest and loudest system of anybody at a great price. Though I did get an unbelievable price on the Rotel
    As, you no doubt realize, Brand preference is unique to the individual... I remember carrying a friend to a HiFi store to buy his first pair of quality speakers, and auditioning the Dynaudio Focus 140... Neither of us was particularly impressed and even the sales guy didn't seem all that interested in trying to push the Dyns... However we all loved the B&W CM1s at just about half the price of the Dyns... And my friend left the store with the CM1s (despite the fact that he was really looking to buy more expensive speakers - in the Focus 140 price range)...

    Now my point is not to claim that B&W is better than Dynaudio... that would be a stupid claim as this is all a matter of listening preference...

    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    Shoot....I get all that from my not so "upscale system". And on top of that...it moves me with emotion with beautiful and passionate sound. Can your system do that Earl? For some of us, Its not about who has the baddest and loudest...its about what it makes music do for you in your soul.

    frenchmon
    True... Audio Nirvana can be found for many persons, without getting into 'upscale systems'... Each person has to determine at what point, another upgrade is no longer worth it or necessary to achieve their sonic goals...

  7. #32
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    Ajani and Frenchmon you are both very astute!

    Sound quality is a very subjective topic. We do all have our own opinions of what sounds great and captivates us. I realized some time ago that I could not use my system as background music while doing homework because it would draw me in and make me listen.

    For someone on a tight budget (like myself) used is a great way to fly, though if I had the funds I would have no qualms buying new.

    I do have a lot of fun when I have guests over here though. Most all of my friends are, like myself, college students. Almost none of them have ever experienced a high performance two channel audio system. There has been many an expletive uttered, looks of bewilderment, and looks of astonishment from nearly all who have listened. The shock comes from seeing what is seemingly an unassuming system with small speakers and a small amplifer and then hearing what it is capable of. I would bet that most of you have done this at one time or another and what a lot of fun it is.

    I have been haunting numerous forums as of late and some of the product bashing that goes on is pure nonsense. I have heard some equipment that I personally didn't like at all but I will never badmouth it. I wonder how many individuals have been persuaded out of buying a product that in their system may have been magical? I damn near didn't buy my Krell due to the bashing. I was really happy with the YBA YA201 integrated that I had but I knew I could try the Krell out and not lose out monetarily if I did not like it. I have not one time regretted keeping the Krell.

    Thank you for the great input gentlemen.

  8. #33
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    As, you no doubt realize, Brand preference is unique to the individual... I remember carrying a friend to a HiFi store to buy his first pair of quality speakers, and auditioning the Dynaudio Focus 140... Neither of us was particularly impressed and even the sales guy didn't seem all that interested in trying to push the Dyns... However we all loved the B&W CM1s at just about half the price of the Dyns... And my friend left the store with the CM1s (despite the fact that he was really looking to buy more expensive speakers - in the Focus 140 price range)...

    Now my point is not to claim that B&W is better than Dynaudio... that would be a stupid claim as this is all a matter of listening preference...



    True... Audio Nirvana can be found for many persons, without getting into 'upscale systems'... Each person has to determine at what point, another upgrade is no longer worth it or necessary to achieve their sonic goals...
    I heard the B&W CM1's connected to some Rotel gear....not bad at all. I agree with you... We all have a different taste in gear and sound.

    frenchmon
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  9. #34
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ren9328
    Ajani and Frenchmon you are both very astute!

    Sound quality is a very subjective topic. We do all have our own opinions of what sounds great and captivates us. I realized some time ago that I could not use my system as background music while doing homework because it would draw me in and make me listen.

    For someone on a tight budget (like myself) used is a great way to fly, though if I had the funds I would have no qualms buying new.

    I do have a lot of fun when I have guests over here though. Most all of my friends are, like myself, college students. Almost none of them have ever experienced a high performance two channel audio system. There has been many an expletive uttered, looks of bewilderment, and looks of astonishment from nearly all who have listened. The shock comes from seeing what is seemingly an unassuming system with small speakers and a small amplifer and then hearing what it is capable of. I would bet that most of you have done this at one time or another and what a lot of fun it is.

    I have been haunting numerous forums as of late and some of the product bashing that goes on is pure nonsense. I have heard some equipment that I personally didn't like at all but I will never badmouth it. I wonder how many individuals have been persuaded out of buying a product that in their system may have been magical? I damn near didn't buy my Krell due to the bashing. I was really happy with the YBA YA201 integrated that I had but I knew I could try the Krell out and not lose out monetarily if I did not like it. I have not one time regretted keeping the Krell.

    Thank you for the great input gentlemen.
    And to you as well....and welcome to the forum.

    frenchmon
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  10. #35
    RGA
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    I would say the vast majority of younger people listen to non classical/Jazz music - they most likely listen to pop/rock/hip-hop/trance/alternative/metal etc. So on a budget I would recommend a system that will make that music sound good - not an MMG or their bigger brothers.

    I would start with something like the Grant Fidelity Tube Dac-09 http://grantfidelity.com/site/Grant_...ty_Tube_DAC-09 at $300. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that it allows for future upgrades without having to dump the unit. You can buy a better preamp - and use it just as a DAC - or buy a better DAC and use it as a preamp - or upgrade the headphone amp (which is only SS) etc.

    Why? Because it does most everything and it's cheap. It is a headphone amplifier, Preamp, DAC and it operates in the owner's choice of Solid State or Tube. This gives the beginner audiophile a chance to listen to tube sound and SS sound. It is also a USB DAC so user can run it from their computer. It's also very well built so it scores points on pride of ownership.

    To go with this I would buy a used power amp - Arcam Delta 290P power amps often can be had for $200 and is powerful enough to drive most speakers. Rotel or Nad or Cambridge Audio would be other decent power amps for cheap used.

    So now you have your source and amplification taken care of for $500. Then it is a choice of $500 speakers that will play the "typical" music the younger audiophiles would like. Floorstanding Klipsch speakers would be my first choice - many deals on the RF62 a more than decent rocker for $299 Canadian Each (less in US). For the price and for a floorstander and for the music above that;s tough to beat. With the tube stage of the Dac-09 that will offer a cleaner treble from the horns (slightly softening the blow) but the horns articulate clean attributes will be allowed to shine.

    I would recommend against all standmounts in this price range - take a bit of extra box colouration for the added bass, dynamics, and impact afforded by speakers like the Klipsch. Plus no stands are needed. Cables can be added later.

    $1100 gives a tube and SS dac preamp with USB dac and headphone amp - power amp, and a decent set of all rounder speakers.

  11. #36
    Ajani
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    That's actually a really good option RGA.... I like the mix of exotic (Grant Fidelity) with easily available (Klipsch)... and you've clearly considered the kind of music younger generations listen to...

    To be honest, I can't comprehend why American Audiophiles keep dissing their affordable local speakers (Klipsch, JBL and Infinity).... I've heard all three and they were quite respectable for the money...

  12. #37
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    Hello Everyone. Need advice on a hifi system. My budget is pretty good (around 3-4) but dont know much about DACs, amps, SACD etc. Mainly listen to electronic and metal but really listen to many different genres including classical music. I do not want to get ripped off and just want to learn a little more about the various equipment in a hi fi system. I also heard about turning your computer into a hi fi system which also attracts me since I have most of my music on my cpu. Any help would be great and im sure you guys dont mind helping out a learning audiophile, in the end its all about the music.

  13. #38
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by berzerkr
    Hello Everyone. Need advice on a hifi system. My budget is pretty good (around 3-4) but dont know much about DACs, amps, SACD etc. Mainly listen to electronic and metal but really listen to many different genres including classical music. I do not want to get ripped off and just want to learn a little more about the various equipment in a hi fi system. I also heard about turning your computer into a hi fi system which also attracts me since I have most of my music on my cpu. Any help would be great and im sure you guys dont mind helping out a learning audiophile, in the end its all about the music.
    Assuming you mean a budget of 3K-4K (and not 300 - 400) then you have a lot of great options available... and the best advice anyone can give you is to go to your nearest hifi dealer and listen to a few combos (but DON'T buy anything yet)...

    Also, I'd recommending starting a new thread for your request, that way you are likely to get more responses...

  14. #39
    music whore Happy Camper's Avatar
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    I'd go with as much front end as I could afford and use headphones until I could get my speakers/listening room.

    Used for value. Just learn what "value" means. Hearing it for yourself is the only way to decide if the investment is worth it. Find local audio clubs, meets, etc. to try gear. You can find some older gear that still compares with today's sound (amps especially).

    Decide what format you want before buying anything. Vinyl still kills, tubes still sings and analog rules. Until they make a digital speaker, they still sound best with analog gear.

    IMO
    d HC b

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