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  1. #1
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    New to the game, in need of guidance

    Iím an audio student and recently have decided to make my home stereo the best I can, with the money I make. As of now I have a Scott 299 amplifier and a pair of Magnepanlanar SMGa. What I want to know is what you all think I can do/buy to make my system sound better. Specifically if I should buy a sub woofer, a surge suppressor, better cables...If I should buy these things what is a good brand/model. I realize that this is a very broad topic but please help me.

  2. #2
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    What don't you like about your current rig? What is it lacking? How much do you want to spend?

  3. #3
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    It's not that i don't like anything or that it's lacking asnything specific. I really like my SMGa's and I like my scott amp, but I don't know if they're a good combo, seeing as the amp is 25 watts per channel. What I'm interested in knowing is what is in the overall sound quality, what should I spend money on. A new amp? A Sub? A pre-amp? I hope that makes it a little more clear.

  4. #4
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Having owned Maggies in the past I know how they respond to power. If you wish to upgrade more power would be first on my list.
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts, Yamaha DVD-S1800
    Behringer UCA222, Emotiva XDA-2, HiFimeDIY
    Accuphase T101, Teac V-7010, Nak ZX-7. LX-5, Behringer DSP1124P
    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  5. #5
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Great start!

    Quote Originally Posted by Adamshar15
    Iím an audio student and recently have decided to make my home stereo the best I can, with the money I make. As of now I have a Scott 299 amplifier and a pair of Magnepanlanar SMGa. What I want to know is what you all think I can do/buy to make my system sound better. Specifically if I should buy a sub woofer, a surge suppressor, better cables...If I should buy these things what is a good brand/model. I realize that this is a very broad topic but please help me.
    There's plenty of ways to get better sound from your current rig. If you can give a budget you have in mind for this project then I could give you some suggestions.
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  6. #6
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    Seems like most people with Maggies run at least one sub and I think you mentioned you didn't have one, so that's an option. Rel is very good but will cost as much as a high quality amp. I like my Velodyne for HT but have never used it for music. I think if I did use it for music I'd cross it very low.

    Is your Scott tube or Class A? If not, 25 wpc is small. You benefit from more power.

    And a given improvement is upgrading your source. You didn't mention what you have. You could try adding a better DAC to your existing CD player or getting a new player. If you have a turntable you could consider a better cartridge or upgrading your phono stage.

    In my experience if you have good equipment quality cables are a must and you will hear the difference.

    Unless you have a entry level CD player, if I was you, my first upgrade would be a sub and more power. If your CD player is entry level then I would start there. A good sound system always starts with the best possible source, the rest of the chain cannot create what isn't there in the first place.

    Joe E, nice analog rig.

  7. #7
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    more power!!!

    Before I purchased my pioneer elite receiver (100 wpc 20hz-20,000) I was running my infinity tower speakers with an onkyo tx ds575 (70wpc 20hz-20,000). When I hooked up the pioneer, I could hardly beleive my ears. It was like a whole new system, the speakers sounded substantially better at all frequencies. I had a couple of my buddies there when I did this, and they were almost as surprised as I was, and they both have very little experiance with audio. This resulted from only 30 more watts per channel. The onkyo retails for about $500, the pioneer about $900. So in short I would say I agree that upgrading your amp should be first on your list.

    Another way to improve overall sound quality is to add a good subwoofer, because this is like indirectly adding more power to your system. A good sub will free up your main speakers from the job of making bass, and increase their performance at all frequencies. I would strongly recommend the Infinity SW12. It's Infinity's newest sub, and it utilizes both their ceramic driver technology and their room adaptive adjustment system (RABOS) which takes the "boom" out of the sound and thus makes it sound alot better for music. It retails for about $800, but you can find it for about half that if you shop around on ebay.
    TV-Panasonic CT-27L13
    Receiver-Pioneer Elite VSX-14
    Main Towers-Infinity RS-5's
    Subwoofer-Infinity SW-12
    Center Speaker-Infinity CC-3
    Surrounds-Infinity RS-3's
    DVD Player-JVC XV-F80
    DVD Recorder-Philips DVDR75

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