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SkepticJ
2005-Feb-23, 02:59 AM
I'm wanting to get a nice speaker set up but know nothing about them. What I'm wanting is something that will still be up to date and useful in thirty years. Not the electronics in the player itself of course but being able to still have good speakers. So they'll need to have "foresight plugs"(for electronic standards that don't exist yet; if I even know what I'm talking about 8-[ ) I'm wanting them for music but also being great for movies and computer. What do you suggest I do?

jami cat
2005-Feb-23, 03:14 AM
I'm wanting to get a nice speaker set up but know nothing about them. What I'm wanting is something that will still be up to date and useful in thirty years. Not the electronics in the player itself of course but being able to still have good speakers. So they'll need to have "foresight plugs"(for electronic standards that don't exist yet; if I even know what I'm talking about 8-[ ) I'm wanting them for music but also being great for movies and computer. What do you suggest I do?

I use my PA speakers and sound board for everything. (Since band is defunct). I have more controll over the sound then whats out there.
Playing Desert Combat Rocks on the PA. (I have EQ and effects too)

If you dont want all that, go get some BOSE just for speakers. Some of them small studio monitor speaker at the music store are small, clean and
loud.

Get electronics seperate. Don't trust the speakers that come with surround sound stuff anymore. No radio shak or walmart stuff. Stay away from car sterio places too.

If it looks cheap it's cheap. $300 at least for good speakers.

Ask a guy in the PA section of your music store on speakers. I've had these Yamaha 15" for 15 years.

Wolverine
2005-Feb-23, 03:34 AM
What do you suggest I do?

It'd be helpful to elaborate on what you mean by "nice", provide an idea of what your budget is, and list some specifics about the gear to which you plan on connecting them.

Given just the recent advances in audio technology, formats, etc, I wouldn't expect anything on the market to be "up to date" three decades from now.

Wolverine
2005-Feb-23, 03:51 AM
Ask a guy in the PA section of your music store on speakers.

PA is a different ball game, though. While generally well-built, it's designed for general purpose/live performance/DJ, and for the most part does not yield the fidelity desired in high-end home audio. Since "audiophiles" were requested in the title, I don't think such systems would be applicable in this case (but perhaps we'll receive more input).

tmosher
2005-Feb-23, 04:21 AM
It all depends on what you want to spend. How much money are you willing to part with for a good pair of speakers?

The last pair of speakers my brother bought (he's the audiophile) set him back $2,500 for the pair and that was close to ten years ago.

I'm using a pair of Advent Legacys I picked up years ago - still sound sweet after all these years and one rebuild. The foam surrounds on the woofers don't last ten years. However, they can be rebuilt easily.

The one thing you have to remember is that it's your personal taste in sound. One speaker may sound great to one person but to another it might sound harsh. If you have a high-end stereo or entertainment shop nearby, bring a couple of CD's of what you like to listen to. Any good dealer will let you demo the speakers using your taste in music.

...and remember that no matter how good an audio source you have, the choice of speakers will make or break it.

jami cat
2005-Feb-23, 04:23 AM
Ask a guy in the PA section of your music store on speakers.

PA is a different ball game, though. While generally well-built, it's designed for general purpose/live performance/DJ, and for the most part does not yield the fidelity desired in high-end home audio. Since "audiophiles" were requested in the title, I don't think such systems would be applicable in this case (but perhaps we'll receive more input).

Audiophile? Whats that? something to do with music?

Question was for "speakers" that last a long time, to hear TV/vcr/dvd Sterio PC games or whatnot on.

What I use is in fact "THE" top end. I have a set of BOSE studio monitors that were calibrated via EQ for my studio. That run Video games/TV/DVD Radio great. The PA speakers are for when my neghbors leave for work.
One flick of the swicth to the QSC and BAM. :o

I really doubt Sound Advice has anything better.

jami cat
2005-Feb-23, 04:25 AM
Forget it, I'll just give it all to Good Will and get a Harmonica.

Wolverine
2005-Feb-23, 05:17 AM
Audiophile? Whats that? something to do with music?

Question was for "speakers" that last a long time, to hear TV/vcr/dvd Sterio PC games or whatnot on.

What I use is in fact "THE" top end. I have a set of BOSE studio monitors that were calibrated via EQ for my studio. That run Video games/TV/DVD Radio great. The PA speakers are for when my neghbors leave for work.
One flick of the swicth to the QSC and BAM. :o

jami, your earlier post didn't mention your reference monitors, which are different yet, and also designed for a specific purpose. All I'm saying is that there's a difference between dedicated PA gear and high-end home audio. Different gear, different specs, different sound.

If I were still doing the band thing, I'd be pleased as punch with a pair of SP-1s (http://www.peavey.com/products/browse.cfm/action/detail/item/111461/number/00571360/cat/105/begin/1/SP%3F+1X+Two-Way+PA+Enclosure.cfm) and a couple of bass bins. But that gear isn't what I'd want to sit back and take in my favorite Mozart or Coltrane. 15" live sound enclosures aren't exactly synonymous with the term audiophile.

Enzp
2005-Feb-23, 09:11 AM
DOn't know if you wanted real audiophiles or just folks into audio. I gotta think if you plan to listen to TV and computer through it, then you are not on a path to audio purity.

I suspect you want something to sound good, but you are probably not going to arrange the room with a chair in the center so you can sit with your head EXACTLY where all the sound paths are the same length to get every sparkling high and all the snorting bass.

The audio biz has progressed so that even the real basic stuff sounds pretty good. You can't read audio magazines very long before you find something like "I tested my Pioneer receiver against so and so high end amplifer and it sounded pretty good."

You need enough power to get as loud as you like it. I think after that features start to loom into view. These days, few of the products have phono inputs for your turntables. But they also now are more likely to have additional inputs for TV, DVD, VCR, as well as CD, Tuner and other things like computers. If you are watching TV with it on, then a remote might be an important issue for you. If you still play LPs on a turntable you can either look for a unit with phono inputs or get an outboard phono preamp.

Or did you already have all the amaplifiers adn stuff and ALL you want is speakers?

The stuff at Best Buy will be more user friendly than the real high end stuff at Sound Snob Outlet. Not that SSO stuff doesn't sound good - it sounds great. But will the $5000 system really sound that much better than the $500 system? TO YOU?

And that is the dirty little secret of audio. I let my customers in on it all the time. (MY business is in pro audio) The best speaker is the one YOU like the sound of best. I don't care if it is Radio Shack, if it sounds good to you, that is it. You are pleasing you, and whether I like something better is not relevant.

DOn't worry about the connections. COnsumer speakers all accept bare wires, and so we will always be able to connect to them.

mid
2005-Feb-23, 10:10 AM
Don't Buy Bose.

Those studio monitors that Jami has are actually quite nice, but (a) difficult to find, (b) blimmin' expensive, and (c) will require a bit of hard work calibrating to sound 'right' when connected to a home system rather than a studio setup (studio monitors are normally quite top-heavy otherwise). On their home stuff you're mainly paying for styling and their heavily-advertised image, and they're also completely non-standard.

With that out the way, it really depends on how much you want to spend. I get the impression that by "speakers" you're actually talking about the entire system, or at least amplifier as well.

Speakers themselves don't get obsoleted particularly quickly - if you can afford it, then a set of Monitor Audio Bronzes are great, and sit at roughly the point where you need to spend an absolute fortune in order to get noticeably better sound quality, while themselves sounding much better than ones that are cheaper.

Then get yourself a seperate amplifier to the speakers. Arcam or Rotel are both good choices to start with if it's stereo you want; for surround I'd recommend starting with a Pioneer for low-mid range, or for a bit more the stereo guys start becoming good. But they are just recommendations; you really want to go to a shop and hear them before you spend any money.

Frankly, stereo music is pretty much sorted now - you're not going to get anything come along and dramatically blow it away any time soon, so you'll be sorted. Surround, however, is another matter. I'd actually be inclined to just buy that Pioneer amp, and be prepared to upgrade once the next daft bunch of encoding standards come along. "Upgradeable" amplifiers are so much more expensive, that it's similar to buying an Enterprise-level Unix server as your desktop, just so you don't need a new PC in five years. If you really, really want one, though, the only "sensible" option is Meridian. If you can afford one.

zebo-the-fat
2005-Feb-23, 11:47 AM
I recently bought a pair of small Monitor Audio speakers, Mrs zebo wanted something physicaly small so I replaced my old Heybrook HB1s. I am amazed how good the sound is from such a small box, they sound much better than the old speakers that were almost 4 times the size! I just don't know how they get such a good bass response from a small box like that!

Moose
2005-Feb-23, 01:46 PM
I can say only this: beware, for here there be dragons.

You might consider checking out the last, say, ten James Randi newsletters at JREF. There are several articles about a small subset of the scams running about audiophile circles.

We're talking homeopathy-level woo, for the most part.

I have two pair of ten dollar sony headphones that generally outperform every speaker I own except those in my car (in terms of "what-I-like" metrics).

The price difference between "satisfies me" and "can't tell the difference when double-blinded" is massive, especially when you start factoring in placebo-gadgets like gold-plated cabling and other woo-fodder like that.

mid
2005-Feb-23, 02:31 PM
That's quite possible. I just know that the system of Arcam CD player, Rotel amp and Monitor speakers sounds much better than the Technics CD, Cambridge Audio amp and Mission speakers that it replaced.

Swift
2005-Feb-23, 03:15 PM
I think tmosher had the best advice. I bought my stereo system about 15 years ago and still use the same speakers. That technology doesn't seem to change very quickly, though 30 years seems a little much to expect. I've replace some of my electronics (CD player for one) and no problem with swapping stuff. Absolutely listen to the speakers, what sounds good to you may be very different than what works for someone else.

farmerjumperdon
2005-Feb-23, 04:53 PM
I'd definitely side with the cautionary folks. Unless you are very, very serious and can tell the difference blindfolded between a $500 pair of speakers and a $2500 pair (most people can not), go with what sounds good to you. Forget the hype about the latest thing, trust your ears.

I've upgraded source components several times (and do still use a turntable at times), but still use the same Yamaha amp and speakers that I bought in 1979! They've been refoamed twice and sound great. I get compliments regularly on the quality of the sound from visitors, including fellow DJ's, and others in the music biz.

Room set-up is important for quality sound. Not too much hard surface area, good speaker placement. no gimmicks.

I used to have a set of a buddies PA speakers connected for extra punch. Great for volume at parties, but sounded horrible without the 2 sets of Yamahas behind them.

zebo-the-fat
2005-Feb-23, 05:05 PM
It is also worth remembering that the same equipment will sound very different in different rooms. A system that sounded good in the demo room of a HiFi shop may sound very different in your living room.

Swift
2005-Feb-23, 06:46 PM
I'd definitely side with the cautionary folks. Unless you are very, very serious and can tell the difference blindfolded between a $500 pair of speakers and a $2500 pair (most people can not), go with what sounds good to you. Forget the hype about the latest thing, trust your ears.

I had a former boss who fancied himself a big expert about sound quality (and everything else :wink: ) and would go on and on about how great his super expensive system was. I coined the phrase "differences only a dog can hear" thinking about him. :D

Nicolas
2005-Feb-23, 07:00 PM
I'm doing with priced of 50 euro speakers. High quality 50 euro speakers (double connector 3 way speakers in thick wooden casing with seriously 35W RMS lows and 15 W mid and tweeter, more than enough for a 2.5*5.5 meter room). They are connected to a high end vintage set and the set up is tuned for "music", not home theatre or just "bass". It sounds wonderful. Buy with your ears, and limit with your money. Don't choose according to the price tag.

Nicolas
2005-Feb-23, 07:02 PM
Added to that, nowadays quality speakers last even longer than old quality speakers, because they use better rubber (or whatever material they use) around the cones. That is just a result of artificial materials engineering which improved over the years, which makes them degenerate more slowly.

farmerjumperdon
2005-Feb-23, 07:18 PM
Not meaning to stray too much, but I need advice on how to copy from LP (yes, vinyl) to CD. I've got a nice collection of vinyl, some of which is not and will never be on CD. So I stopped in at Radio Shack and asked how I can use my computer to burn my old wax onto disc. He said I needed to go from the turntable, thru a special amplifier unit (which they sell but were out of), then into the mic input on the PC.

Since they did not have the part, and he did not sound expertly confident, I thought I'd ask here. The amp goodie he mentioned sounds unnecessary, especially since I don't think I worded my question in a perfectly accurate manner. I said from turnatable to CD, without mentioning that I have a pre-amp to go thru. (I'm thinking my pre-amp negates the need for the "special" unit he was going to sell me). Going in thru the mic also sounded suspicious.

So, I want to go out from the turntable, into the phono input of the pre-amp. Then out the pre-amp output jacks into the computer. So how do I connect the pre-amp out to the computer "in."

Any help?

Nicolas
2005-Feb-23, 07:24 PM
I do it this way:

-from my turntable to my radio's phono input.

From my radio's tape out to my soundcard's LINE in (better not use mic, it might work on another level). I record the line in data on my harddisc, chop the wav file into songs, and ready. I don't use any pop removal software, as I like the music like it is, which is almost without any pops on good records. From the wav file it is an easy step putting it onto CD.

Final tip in this approach: put your radio to neutral, otherwise you'll have your tone and equalizer effects doubled: once during recording and once during playback.

If you don't own a radio with phono input, you'll have to buy a phono preamp. This makes the Turntable's signal louder, so the soundcard's line in "eat's it".

farmerjumperdon
2005-Feb-23, 07:28 PM
Very good then. Many thanks.

zebo-the-fat
2005-Feb-23, 10:08 PM
-from my turntable to my radio's phono input.

If your turntable has a magnetic cartridge I think you need an equalised input to correct the signal, if I remember correctly the high frequencies are reproduced at a higher level than low frequencies. I think the phono input has this correction bult in but the line input if "flat".

Nicolas
2005-Feb-23, 10:19 PM
Your phono sstage needs to be suited for your cartridge.

For most cartridges a general phono stage is suited.
Some elements require different resistance (like 27k or 100k as opposed to 47kohm) of the stage, and moving coil elements (as opposed to moving magnet) often need a specialised preamp.
If your cartridge is set up correctly, your phono stage automatically makes the signal well balanced and your radio's tape out (or just "out" if it is a separate preamp) make it a suitable line signal.

A line signal has a different volume level than a phono signal (phono being much quieter, hence the phono preamp stage).

Wolverine
2005-Feb-23, 11:14 PM
I can say only this: beware, for here there be dragons.

You might consider checking out the last, say, ten James Randi newsletters at JREF. There are several articles about a small subset of the scams running about audiophile circles.

We're talking homeopathy-level woo, for the most part.

I have two pair of ten dollar sony headphones that generally outperform every speaker I own except those in my car (in terms of "what-I-like" metrics).

The price difference between "satisfies me" and "can't tell the difference when double-blinded" is massive, especially when you start factoring in placebo-gadgets like gold-plated cabling and other woo-fodder like that.

Absolutely, wise words! A difference definitely exists between high fidelity and wooČ, and it's disconcerting to see so many manufacturers/vendors cross that line in their zeal to sell product.

There were some great discussions of audiowoo claims on the JREF forum in the past, haven't been there for a while though, so I'm not sure if the threads have been pruned or not.

Nicolas
2005-Feb-23, 11:21 PM
While I'm not one of those that are going along with the wooČ audio talk (I don't put pucks underneath my cables to name a thing) I must say that I do hear the difference between quality and mundane equipment. It isn't always the most expensive equipment that sounds best however!

Personally I like both my cheap Roland headphones and the more expensive Sennheisers. BUt the rolands give more detail, while the Sennh. gives a warmer sound, so both have their use and specialty.

And I don't like the acoustics of a car. To me it sounds (in most cases) like you're inside your woofer, or else the kind of sounddamping it has "sucks up" the noise (meant in a literal non-Bad way :)). Therefore I never compare my equipment with car equipment.

Like I said before, you must buy with your ears and limit with your money. On the other hand, you'll be more likely to find your choice if you are willing to spend, say 400-700 dollar for your speakers, instead of 40-70 dollar. However, for some needs some 40-70 might perform better, or the 400-700 will at least be overkill. It's up to you, it's a personal choice. Just don't let the "I've got X dollar speakers" people push you into spending vast amounts of money as long as you don't clearly hear what exactly you are paying more for!

Maksutov
2005-Feb-24, 12:10 AM
Here's a suggestion you'll NEVER see in any high-end, golden-ears publication.

If you're intent on getting top-line stuff and spending many thousands of dollars on such, then do yourself a favor first. Evaluate the biological microphones that will be receiving all those golden tones that span the complete 10-20kHz spectrum and see if they'll respond to the entire range.

Get your ears checked. Have a simple sensitivity test performed by an audiologist. Depending on your age and the wear and tear your ears have experienced, the results may surprise you. I have a number of friends who played in rock bands during the 60s and 70s who were shocked to find that not only were they partially to completely deaf, but also that the partial hearing was extremely limited in frequency range sensitivity. Even friends who are symphonic musicians found this happening to their ears if they happened to be located in front of the trumpets and trombones, for instance. Appropriate earplugs, etc., have since helped alleviate this problem.

Age will have the same effect on most people. It cracks me up when I read reviews in high-end journals of equipment that extol the equipment's "audibly significant and smooth high frequency responses", written by persons in their 70s.

If tests show you can't really hear tones above, say, 10kHz, there's no point in wasting money on equipment that's ±0.1 dB from 11kHz to 20kHz.

tmosher
2005-Feb-24, 12:39 AM
Here's a suggestion you'll NEVER see in any high-end, golden-ears publication.

If you're intent on getting top-line stuff and spending many thousands of dollars on such, then do yourself a favor first. Evaluate the biological microphones that will be receiving all those golden tones that span the complete 10-20kHz spectrum and see if they'll respond to the entire range.

Get your ears checked. Have a simple sensitivity test performed by an audiologist. Depending on your age and the wear and tear your ears have experienced, the results may surprise you. I have a number of friends who played in rock bands during the 60s and 70s who were shocked to find that not only were they partially to completely deaf, but also that the partial hearing was extremely limited in frequency range sensitivity. Even friends who are symphonic musicians found this happening to their ears if they happened to be located in front of the trumpets and trombones, for instance. Appropriate earplugs, etc., have since helped alleviate this problem.

Age will have the same effect on most people. It cracks me up when I read reviews in high-end journals of equipment that extol the equipment's "audibly significant and smooth high frequency responses", written by persons in their 70s.

If tests show you can't really hear tones above, say, 10kHz, there's no point in wasting money on equipment that's ±0.1 dB from 11kHz to 20kHz.

I have to admit that I'm one of those people. I have tinitis and had my hearing checked - the high end of the audible frequency range is definitely affected. That's what happens when you work on a very noisy airport ramp for three years without proper hearing protection compounded by a really nasty ear infection (both ears at once).

However, it doesn't degradate my appreciation for good music played through a good stereo system.

As I've said before - buy with your ears and not with your wallet (although, you might find your wallet dented after you buy).

jami cat
2005-Feb-24, 10:24 AM
Good info all.

Don't get me started on Headphones.

1. Only buy the ones that cover your ears.
2. $30 or $300 = same difference.
3. Stay away from ones that have extra stuff on them like; volume, EQ ect...
4. They should be as light as possible and the cord from them should be bigger than 1/8 inch. (if you can find them anymore.)

(Had a pair of standard late 70's KOSS, lasted forever, including the dog munch duct tape fixes. Full ear phones with 1/4 "real" copper wire. They finally met their maker :cry: )

I go to get a few for the studio some years back. "I got ripped":
Any brand $60+.(I used a few different ones. No KOSS around?=**)

First day using a pair of newfangled phones; Turn music to decent listening level= they distort, cause= new device to save your ears called resistor=**=thrown in garbage.

Next pair; Little heavy, feel lopsided, whats up with all the extra buttons /sliders? Turns music up, lays back, music sound like poo. Oh, fix buttons/sliders, lays back music poo again? Phones hit wall before entering pail of gar'bage'.

Next...rrr...They fit well, music nice loud no distortion, cool these rock...goes to reach for another CD...POP...the 1/8" POS wire that is on these headphones broke in half under the wheels of my chair!!! Wire!? Not Wire! it's copper fiber and unable to resolder...

I concluded that AIWA HP-X223 $30 specials were worth the price for use, as long as you dont break the cables, (using the tensile strength to break aldante' spaghetti noodles). On my 3rd pair now...a pair a year @ $30 =somewhat acceptable.

Oh yea, DONT BUY OVER PRICED GOLD PLATED ANYTHING!
Unless your building a satelite to put into orbit.

Nicolas
2005-Feb-24, 12:25 PM
As light as possible doesn't fully agree with my experience. While it is easier on the neck, you do need some structure to give enough ear pressure. That structure often comes with weight.

I've got a headset which partially covers the ears, one which fully covers the ears flat and one which has complete ear casings. The complete ear casings do offer a nice atmosphere, but the sound of that headset isn't that good, so the ear caps don't say everything.

My earphones have titanium wires. They don't break, but if they should you can forget soldering...

An other set has a rather tin wire, suspected copper. I've ran over it sometimes and got it hooked behind a table, but the thing did not break. I don't know the reason. Maybe it is the fact that I have carpet underneath my chair?

I personally like the professional range of Sennheiser phones (I use professional to indicate the range, I don't mean they all can be used professionally) and I must say that I do hear a difference between the cheapest and the most expensive variants in that range. They go from 40-300 euro or something like that. I think my roof would be at about 90. Those sound really good, the more expensive ones aren't worth the price difference to me. I like my normal speakers anyway.

(On a sidenote: I just got an address where they sell massively cheap TT belts, so I'll look if they have something for my TT this afternoon. If they do, I'll spend the whole night tuning the thing, than listening to all my singles and some LPs 8) )

SkepticJ
2005-Feb-26, 04:40 AM
The ear test is a good idea, but I'm only 20 and didn't have loud music playing in my ears through my teens. I did have an ear infection when I was a baby though and had to spend time in the hospital for it.