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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Need advice on a new sound system upgrade.

    So we have a old B&W system (20 years old) and they are on their last line. It's time to upgrade, now I'm new to sound systems so I have a few questions,
    1. Is it better to get one kit with all the speakers, bass, and sound bar, or indivual parts ?
    2. We have a pool outside and would like some speakers out there. Now usually we just flip the tall speakers so they face outside towards the windows. I looked up a few outdoor speakers and they are expensive as hell.

    My price range: I'm not really sure because I don't know how much a good system would cost.

    Here are some pictures to give you a better layout. If you need one specific let me know.

    The speakers are in the left and right corners










  2. #2
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Chris, what are the dimensions of your room? Do you want a 2ch system or do you want it to double as a home theater system in a 5.1 or 7.1 configuration? And give us a ball park figure or at least a price range. What type of music do you listen too? Are you looking for just speakers or do you want to replace your Adcom gear and what model adcoms do you have? This info will help greatly in making some recommendations.


    Here is a pair of outdoor speakers that are reasonably priced that I have considered-

    Definitive Technology 612" IndoorOutdoor Speaker Each AW6500WHI - Best Buy
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    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

  3. #3
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    You've got a fairly nice stereo system, there. Granted, it lacks some modern refinements such as multi-channel for home theatre use and remote control, it's still capable of providing some pretty fine basic two channel sounds. Old does not necessarially mean osolete or useless in this hobby.

    We you say it's on its "last line", are you saying it's starting to have problems, or you simply want to something newer? The latter is perfetly acceptable and understandable, but before any real advice can be offered, you really should clarify your desires somewhat by answering Mr Raven's questions.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    You've got a fairly nice stereo system, there. Granted, it lacks some modern refinements such as multi-channel for home theatre use and remote control, it's still capable of providing some pretty fine basic two channel sounds. Old does not necessarially mean osolete or useless in this hobby.


    We you say it's on its "last line", are you saying it's starting to have problems, or you simply want to something newer? The latter is perfetly acceptable and understandable, but before any real advice can be offered, you really should clarify your desires somewhat by answering Mr Raven's questions.
    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    Chris, what are the dimensions of your room? Do you want a 2ch system or do you want it to double as a home theater system in a 5.1 or 7.1 configuration? And give us a ball park figure or at least a price range. What type of music do you listen too? Are you looking for just speakers or do you want to replace your Adcom gear and what model adcoms do you have? This info will help greatly in making some recommendations.


    Here is a pair of outdoor speakers that are reasonably priced that I have considered-

    Definitive Technology 612" IndoorOutdoor Speaker Each AW6500WHI - Best Buy


    ADCOM reciever: Model GFP 565
    ADCOM power amplifier ?: model GFA-545 II
    B&W Speakers: Model Nautilus 803 250w (each tower speaker is 250w)
    As for a price range I'm not quite sure because I'm fairly new to the audio systems. If I had to guess I would say 900$ ? I'm really not too sure though. What would 900$ give me ?
    We have an open kitchen that connects to the living room (where the sound system is) has a 20ft tall ceiling, so it's a pretty big area. With our current system you can hear it very well throughout the house (upstairs included). Here are a few pictures.


    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...616_120137.jpg

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...616_120140.jpg

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...616_120143.jpg

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...616_120150.jpg

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...616_120211.jpg - outside the far left and right windows are the ones we open and flip the speakers towards outside. (works fine).

    Like I said earlier, if we want to listen to music outside we just open the windows and flip the speakers out towards the windows (which works great). I'm not sure if we could keep doing that or get some outdoor speakers that would connect to the system inside (wireless) it depends on the price. We probably wouldn't it too much as a home theater system because we usually watch movies upstairs which currently has no sound system upstairs except the TV. I guess what I am looking for downstairs is a system for mainly all types of music that can be heard throughout the house and outside.
    The sound quality is depleting when I say it's on its' last line (not sure what the issue is). Would the current ADCOM gear I have work with the new technology now a days ?

    So would a two channel system be better for what I want ? or a 5.1 ch system ? Maybe I could get a 2 ch system downstairs and a 5.1 upstairs that serves as a home theater system and still be under the 900$ price range ?

  5. #5
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris16 View Post
    ADCOM reciever: Model GFP 565
    ADCOM power amplifier ?: model GFA-545 II
    B&W Speakers: Model Nautilus 803 250w (each tower speaker is 250w)
    As for a price range I'm not quite sure because I'm fairly new to the audio systems. If I had to guess I would say 900$ ? I'm really not too sure though. What would 900$ give me ?
    We have an open kitchen that connects to the living room (where the sound system is) has a 20ft tall ceiling, so it's a pretty big area. With our current system you can hear it very well throughout the house (upstairs included). Here are a few pictures.
    ...

    Like I said earlier, if we want to listen to music outside we just open the windows and flip the speakers out towards the windows (which works great). I'm not sure if we could keep doing that or get some outdoor speakers that would connect to the system inside (wireless) it depends on the price. We probably wouldn't it too much as a home theater system because we usually watch movies upstairs which currently has no sound system upstairs except the TV. I guess what I am looking for downstairs is a system for mainly all types of music that can be heard throughout the house and outside.
    The sound quality is depleting when I say it's on its' last line (not sure what the issue is). Would the current ADCOM gear I have work with the new technology now a days ?

    So would a two channel system be better for what I want ? or a 5.1 ch system ? Maybe I could get a 2 ch system downstairs and a 5.1 upstairs that serves as a home theater system and still be under the 900$ price range ?
    It's still unclear what you mean by "the sound quality is depleting". The Adcom equipment is old but ought to sound OK unless it is broken or failing -- however they are possibly the culprit. The B&W Nautilus 803 speakers are fairly new, high quality speakers and should not need replacement (unless somehow they're broken). Your room is largish with a high, sloping ceiling (and quite attractively decorated) but should pose no special problems

    If you don't generally use the room for home theater, then stick with 2-channel as most music is still distributed as 2-channel (and most of use listen that way).

    Do you listen to vinyl LPs? Do you listen mainly to CDs? Do you listen to FM radio? Do you listen to computer-based audio files? These will effect you budget and your choices. Assuming the problem is the Adcom amplification, though, a problem will be finding an amp of good enough quality to match the B&W Nautilus 803's for $900.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    It's still unclear what you mean by "the sound quality is depleting". The Adcom equipment is old but ought to sound OK unless it is broken or failing -- however they are possibly the culprit. The B&W Nautilus 803 speakers are fairly new, high quality speakers and should not need replacement (unless somehow they're broken). Your room is largish with a high, sloping ceiling (and quite attractively decorated) but should pose no special problems

    If you don't generally use the room for home theater, then stick with 2-channel as most music is still distributed as 2-channel (and most of use listen that way).

    Do you listen to vinyl LPs? Do you listen mainly to CDs? Do you listen to FM radio? Do you listen to computer-based audio files? These will effect you budget and your choices. Assuming the problem is the Adcom amplification, though, a problem will be finding an amp of good enough quality to match the B&W Nautilus 803's for $900.
    We listen to CDs we already have a FM/AM tuner- CD player. We listen to ipods on it also. The Amp has had some wiring issues in the past. How high quality are the B&W Nautilus 803's ? There are a few issues with the speakers such as the tweeter head is pushed in as you can kind of see in the 2nd picture of the original post. The music does not sound as the same quality as before. It's still good quality but not as it once was.

    See I never bought this system, my dad did so when he passed away I got it.

    I never realized amplifiers were that much.. How much is that whole system worth ? Maybe I could take it in and see if it's worth getting repaired ? Thanks for the compliments on the decorating!!
    Last edited by chris16; 06-16-2013 at 01:58 PM.

  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris16 View Post
    We listen to CDs we already have a FM/AM tuner- CD player. We listen to ipods on it also. The Amp has had some wiring issues in the past. How high quality are the B&W Nautilus 803's ? There are a few issues with the speakers such as the tweeter head is pushed in as you can kind of see in the 2nd picture of the original post. The music does not sound as the same quality as before. It's still good quality but not as it once was.

    See I never bought this system, my dad did so when he passed away I got it.

    I never realized amplifiers were that much.. How much is that whole system worth ? Maybe I could take it in and see if it's worth getting repaired ? Thanks for the compliments on the decorating!!
    The B&W Nautilus 803's were maybe $4000 new. If they are damaged, it would be well worth investigating having them repaired. If they were repaired, do you think the system would sound better overall??

    If your FM tuner and CD player seem to be working OK, then you priority for further improvement will be your amp. The Nautilus 803's are moderately efficient but I would recommend an amp with 60 watts per channel or more. Fortunately there are quite a few decent integrated amps in the $1000-1300 range that would do reasonable justice to the 803's. The second order of priority would be your CD player.

    An amp that appeals a lot to me for around $1000 (plus tax/shipping, etc.) is the Peachtree Audio Decco 65. Not to drown you in techno babble, it is a tube/class D hybrid that outputs 65 watts per channel. Importantly it has a very fine DAC (digital to analog converter) built in, which, assuming your current CD player has a digital output, could indefinitely postpone the need to buy a new player; further more it would permit a computer to be connected to the amp without extra hardware.

    Check out the Peachtree at Audio Advisor HERE, or at Peachtree's own website, HERE.


  8. #8
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    $900 won't get you into any thing near the system that you have. You should consider taking the speakers to an audio shop and have them take a look at them and see if they are ok. You might want to do the same with your amp and preamp to see what the problem is in the system to see what needs to be replaced. If its the amp or preamp there are some good options at around $1000, if its the speakers, there isnt anything that will come close to the 803's for $1K. Keep us posted.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    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. #9
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I actually own the exact same amp that you have. They are good amps and for the money sound good and they are usually reliable but that is not to say that it could not be your problems but I bought mine new in the early 90's and it still works perfectly even though I have retired it to a restfull duty of powering my rear channel speakers now. I think the other guys are right about looking at getting what is wrong with this system repaired since this system is much more than what your budget would get you if you bought another system. Those B&W speakers are well built speakers and while they aren't really my cup of tea sound wise they are good at the things they do well when they are working properly and properly powered.

    yamaha htr5560 receiver (HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Dynaudio audience 60 mains
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  10. #10
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    To chime in, you've got a pretty durn goos system to begin with. Throwing$900 will not make a dent on "improving" your sound. You can "change" it, but as for improving it, no. To improve it AND add a semi-decent 5.1 channel system upstairs, all for $900, is simply unrealistic.

    That pushed-in tweeter really doesn't affect the sound as much as it does it's looks.

    Now, if you could do a beter jobin quantifying what seems to have "detoriated" lately, perhaps some advice could be offered as to where repairs might help.

    I know it's hard to conceive of something that old still being really, really good and thinking newer will be an improvement, but your father chose his components wisely. But, you could add some outside speakers and a speaker selector swich and have some cash left over if that would help assuage your desire to spend money.

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