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Affordable Hi-Fi - StereoNET Sponsored Room - Input please

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An initiative originally inspired by John Darko and implemented at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is a room (or more) dedicated to showcasing affordable Hi-Fi.

 

StereoNET_Room.jpg

 

This is and has been very well received by all reports, and while we don't have the luxury of donating multiple rooms, we will offer one StereoNET sponsored room for a similar concept at our own domestic show. I also believe it's important to show that high-fidelity sound need not cost thousands and thousands of dollars. As show organisers, what is actually exhibited is completely out of our hands, so this is one room in which we can collectively piece together a system from brands that are often not even represented at our shows.

 

I'd like to throw it out to our members to design a Hi-Fi system, that includes speakers, components and cables, plus a physical or streaming platform source,  and/or turntable. I believe in this day and age it should also include Bluetooth for connectivity. The total value (excluding rack) is also up for discussion but in my head I am thinking $2,000 max, or even less if we discover it can be done.

 

Any brand suggestion is welcome, but it must be commercially available in Australia. We'd also love some StereoNET members to volunteer across the course of the weekend to manage the room and handle demonstrations. We'll get some pull up banners made explaining the purpose of the room and details of the system for the show, along with StereoNET shirts for those helping out.

 

Once decided upon, StereoNET will purchase the system as agreed here and we will give it away via a free raffle on Sunday (14th October) afternoon at 2PM. The winner must be present at the time to collect their prize at the completion of the show.

 

Let the suggestions begin!

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Now there's a challenge...

Me I'd go powered speakers (amp only no Dac like KEF 300 XA)...

Add DAC/Pre...use generic (what's in the box cabling)...

Bring laptop with music (laptop with music not part of the cost)...

Now to see what's out there...

 

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Admin

Certainly going to require some thought.

I'll be having a crack at this one tonight once the house is quiet (ie. kids are asleep!).

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Great idea by yourself and Mr Darko.

 

I know when I was selling sub 2k was kinda difficult to put together something pretty good but 2.5 to 3k got a real really good package. Still achievable though especially if a PC is involved as the source but is that cheating?

 

Actives really are a good option like the KEFs mentioned above 

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Moderator

I reckon a PC complicates the idea. Why not a streamer with a portable hard drive attached?

Not sure what might fit the price range.

 

 

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Hmmm...  a thought provoking challenge indeed, I wonder how the below combo would stack up against other suggestions in terms of capability vs. absolute performance.

 

Denon HEOS Link (HS2) (Streaming Source)  ~$600

Pro-ject Juke Box E (Record Player + Pre-amp/Amp)  ~$700

Mission LX-2 (Speakers) ~$350

Atacama Estilio 6 (Speaker Stands) ~ $260

5m QED Performance Original (Speaker Cable) ~$12/m = $60

1m QED Profile Interconnect ~$70 

Total of $2,040 (but I'd be disappointed if I couldn't knock off the $40 by asking!)

 

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This room is a terrific idea.

 

I know vinyl has made a comeback.

But lets face it,  most people coming into the hobby now or in the future will  almost certainly want to use their PC/phone/tablet like they do for everything else.

 

So we should be showing a system which incorporates these devices.

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6 minutes ago, Jeddie said:

This room is a terrific idea.

 

I know vinyl has made a comeback.

But lets face it,  most people coming into the hobby now or in the future will  almost certainly want to use their PC/phone/tablet like they do for everything else.

 

So we should be showing a system which incorporates these devices.

The PRO-JECT MaiA amplifier might be a good central piece to build around.  It has phono, line, USB/digital/bluetooth inputs

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Great idea this . . . looking forward to seeing what the room ends up containing . . . here's my 2 cents . . . both with RRP and online prices via AU retailers . . . 

 

Speakers: Dali Zensor 5 Floor Standing

@ RRP $1575

Available online for $895

 

Integrated Amp: Marantz PM5005 

@ RRP $710

Available online for $568

 

CD player: Marantz CD5005

@ RRP $599

Available online for $519

 

Digital Streamer (WIFI, Bluetooth, NAS): Yamaha WXAD-10

@ RRP $229

Available online for $200

 

Turntable: Pro-Ject Elemental Turntable with Ortofon OM5e Cartridge

@ RRP $299

Available online for $255

 

RCA Cables: just use the RCA’s that come with equipment

FREE

 

Speaker Cable: just some basic cable

@ approximately $20 (dependent on length)

  

So the total RRP of all of the above is $3,432 . . . however available online via Australian based retailers for only $2,457 . . . bargain right there!

 

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I like this concept but I think a 2K system without a turntable would provide better bang for buck, and is much easier to demo and set up at the show.  This also allocates more funds for speakers and amplifier which will have the most impact to building a good sounding system.

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As much Australian content as possible would be nice.

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Firstly, forget the sparseness of many demo rooms. Make it look like a family living room. A cheap television, a pair of speakers that look like they are casually dropped in. Tidal streaming, TV sound through the system, and something that anyone with a phone can walk in and hear their music.

In other words, not so much a cheap version of something a purist audiophile would use, but a system that sounds good but is also versatile and that people might say "that's something I could actually have in a typical modern living room".

 

Most importantly, someone who can talk to visitors about how it was done and knows enough about lower priced, higher quality components and won't talk BS or "audiophile" to people interested in just improving sound in their home. The budding audiophile will head towards the brand name rooms regardless.

 

It doesn't have to be the very cheapest either. In fact I think that could spoil it. And rather than "affordable", I'd call it the "real world" room or something like that.

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@Eggcup The Daft...

That...in my opinion is bloody brilliant...

Something that will switch between the two...

Outstanding idea...nailed it...

Except for the TV...every 20/30 something I know...

Don't do cheap TV's... 

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Just a thought, why not get a few of the dealers/distributors to each put together the best sounding system they can for $2000 ( and have it available as a "show special" for that price.

 

Set up 2 or 3 systems in the room, and let people compare the sound.

 

It could be fun if one system is vinyl based, and an other is digital/streaming.

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Posted (edited)

ELAC Debut F5 Floorstanding Speakers - $1169

MARANTZ PM5005 Black Stereo Amplifier - $639
Chromecast Audio streamer/DAC (analogue out) - $59

FIIO BTR1 BLUETOOTH APTX DAC - $75

 

Includes BT (AptX) requirement for @Marc

 

Above total = $1942

 

Add cables from Jaycar or Altronics

 

https://www.apollohifi.com.au/elac-debut-f5-floorstanding-speaker.html

https://addictedtoaudio.com.au/products/fiio-btr1-bluetooth-dac

https://www.audiotrends.com.au/marantz-pm5005-black.html

https://www.jbhifi.com.au/google/google-chromecast-audio/937282/

 

 

 

Edited by Music2496

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11 hours ago, Rob181 said:

@Eggcup The Daft...

That...in my opinion is bloody brilliant...

Something that will switch between the two...

Outstanding idea...nailed it...

Except for the TV...every 20/30 something I know...

Don't do cheap TV's... 

It can be whatever type of screen they use. I wouldn't include gaming as part of the mix here but others might differ on that as well... the important thing for me is to show that a good system can fit into your life rather than impose on it, as we tend to do with the typical audiophile setup.

 

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Posted (edited)

Audioengine HD6 active speakers-  approx $1000

Bluesound Node 2- $899

Cheap portable 1TB HDD to negate potential home networking weaknesses or lack of set up experience.

Roon?

 

Simple set up and simple to use. Chuck in an optical cable for TV sound directly to the speakers all other required cables come with the devices. Node comes with an RCA cable so it can work as the dac. Speakers also have a dac so will stream from smart devices via bluetooth or via optical in.

 

I use the older Audioengine 5+ speakers in my office with their cheap USB Dac from my laptop. Fantastic sound on a budget. These could also be used to save some coin and purely use the node as DAC.

Edited by blybo

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Music2496 said:

ELAC Debut F5 Floorstanding Speakers - $1169

MARANTZ PM5005 Black Stereo Amplifier - $639
Chromecast Audio streamer/DAC (analogue out) - $59

FIIO BTR1 BLUETOOTH APTX DAC - $75

 

Includes BT (AptX) requirement for @Marc

 

Above total = $1942

 

Add cables from Jaycar or Altronics

 

https://www.apollohifi.com.au/elac-debut-f5-floorstanding-speaker.html

https://addictedtoaudio.com.au/products/fiio-btr1-bluetooth-dac

https://www.audiotrends.com.au/marantz-pm5005-black.html

https://www.jbhifi.com.au/google/google-chromecast-audio/937282/

 

 

 

 

Here’s another one (Andrew Jones Elac Debut line is superb value so sticking with his speakers):

 

Elac Debut B6 bookshelves - $529

 

Stands - $120

 

MARANTZ PM5005 Black Stereo Amplifier - $639

 

Audioqueat Beetle DAC (USB/BT/optical) - $349

 

Chromecast Audio streamer (optical output)  - $59

 

Total above = $1700

 

Add an Apple Airport Express (optical output) if you need AirPlay - $149

 

Add cables from JayCar or Altronics

 

https://www.apollohifi.com.au/elac-debut-b6-bookshelf-speaker.html

 

https://www.minidisc.com.au/audioquest-beetle-dac

Edited by Music2496

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1 hour ago, blybo said:

Audioengine HD6 active speakers-  approx $1000

Bluesound Node 2- $899

We don't always agree...But I believe Blybo has nailed it...

This is the best "bang for buck" under $2k system I can find...

As Bluetooth connectivity is a MUST for music...

That the 20/30 somethings would would love...

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4 minutes ago, Rob181 said:

We don't always agree...But I believe Blybo has nailed it...

This is the best "bang for buck" under $2k system I can find...

As Bluetooth connectivity is a MUST for music...

That the 20/30 somethings would would love...

I agree, this looks appealing.

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Admin

I'm glad someone mentioned Bluesound as I also felt it needed to feature in there somewhere too.

I played with a few ideas last night. I think I'll sit back and see where the majority lead this first.


Great work so far 👍

I'm certain I've opened a can of worms but it should come together.

Do we have any volunteers willing to man the room at various times across the 3 days?

 

The other thought, and not part of the budget, is furniture and dressing of the room.
I think we can even set an example for some of the exhibitors to be honest.

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Admin
1 minute ago, aussievintage said:

What about a Raspberry Pi pre-built running Volumio - they start at under $200

I don't think that's really what consumers want to see.

I think we stick to commercially available, retail / consumer type products.

Next year, perhaps we'll have a DIY showcase.

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