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Marc

Affordable Hi-Fi - StereoNET Sponsored Room - Input please

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On 16/08/2018 at 11:45 AM, Marc said:

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 ūüĎć

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.

I'd be open to the idea of volunteering a bit of my time there.

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On 16/08/2018 at 3:59 PM, Eggcup The Daft said:

You know as well as I do that that is a big fat myth.

Discussing the 'myths' is what people on audio forums do.

 

Out in the real world there are people opening their wallets for vinyl.... and at a certain point there is an element of "the customer is always right" which should be recognised if you want to make the money.  ;) 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

Discussing the 'myths' is what people on audio forums do.

 

Out in the real world there are people opening their wallets for vinyl.... and at a certain point there is an element of "the customer is always right" which should be recognised if you want to make the money.  ;) 

 

 

I said I wouldn't say any more about this, but since you've quoted me directly, my point is that by including vinyl in this room we - @Marc did throw this open to us - would be reinforcing that myth. As it happens, I regard the matter as settled that vinyl will be in a room determined in whole or part by responses to this thread and for the reasons you give among others. The "myth" is of course leading to the spending of lots of real money to add what seems to me to be an "optional" format for beginners and families looking for good sound and not owning hundreds of records (yet).

As a community, and that's the point here, we feel otherwise about it and that's what is important in this thread, not my minority prejudice. I've retreated even to the point of recommending a turntable, see above!

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18 minutes ago, Eggcup The Daft said:

would be reinforcing that myth

I understand... and as you can imagine, I feel strongly about things like that  ;) 

 

... but I think once we get to hifi show land then the ship has sailed somewhat... and manufacturers need to be where the market expects them to be (otherwise, it's a sale killing move).

 

18 minutes ago, Eggcup The Daft said:

leading to the spending of lots of real money to add what seems to me to be an "optional" format for beginners and families

Exactly, you would imagine there is a price advertised for system with, and without, turntable.

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I like the earlier suggestion of @Marc and @blybo - Bluesound Node, active speakers and a TT.

I have found my TT getting dusty since I bought my Bluesound Node - the convenience is awesome, it sounds great and is dead easy to use - my wife and young kids are all over it, and if they can use it, anyone can.

To have a TT or not seems to be a sticking point in this thread.

With the target market in mind, I would include one. Vinyl is what the young kiddies are diggin' at the moment, and potentially what is bringing them to a HiFi show. It's almost the new iPod as far as I can tell. They all want one.

As a way of appeasing both camps on this thread, an option could be to have a Node, TT and active speakers to cover the digital / analogue bases - everything to everyone in as few boxes imaginable - Marc's original brief,

AND (possibly)

to showcase digital only, an alternative pair of better speakers that consume the TT budget, and provide an improvement in sound quality - "here's how good $2k can sound and look".

Not quite fitting the brief I know, but a compromise based on the feedback so far.

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8 hours ago, dirktoggler said:

I like the earlier suggestion of @Marc and @blybo - Bluesound Node, active speakers and a TT.

I have found my TT getting dusty since I bought my Bluesound Node - the convenience is awesome, it sounds great and is dead easy to use - my wife and young kids are all over it, and if they can use it, anyone can.

To have a TT or not seems to be a sticking point in this thread.

With the target market in mind, I would include one. Vinyl is what the young kiddies are diggin' at the moment, and potentially what is bringing them to a HiFi show. It's almost the new iPod as far as I can tell. They all want one.

As a way of appeasing both camps on this thread, an option could be to have a Node, TT and active speakers to cover the digital / analogue bases - everything to everyone in as few boxes imaginable - Marc's original brief,

AND (possibly)

to showcase digital only, an alternative pair of better speakers that consume the TT budget, and provide an improvement in sound quality - "here's how good $2k can sound and look".

Not quite fitting the brief I know, but a compromise based on the feedback so far.

Nice idea, but the problem as I see it is that this is a "living room", not a demo room with multiple items that you can swap in and out and such. One system, "this is what you can easily do in your home", a real world example. Audiophiles (of whatever age, including the "kiddies") tend to build shrines or unsightly racks of stuff, and not care about the look in a living room - my system has multiple big boxes (ironically the massive speakers fit in, it's the electronics that jar!) so I'm as guilty as the rest of us - and one challenge is to make a modern yet low priced turntable fit into a normal room as if it should be there, and be easy-ish to use at that - run through the number of threads here about ultrasonic cleaners, storage for thousands of LPs, massive turntables that take multiple arms, and such as we make things difficult for ourselves.

 

We've yet to discuss setup here, ways to store some LPs in a modern room (bookshelves and so on are out of fashion!), and so on. I'm sure @Marc has some ideas on that score as well - I see some LPs in a box or crate, and speakers possibly sat either side of a TV, chosen so that they can sit on a long TV stand or small stands to either side, close to the wall - but a surprisingly large number of these lowish cost active speakers are rear ported!

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11 hours ago, Eggcup The Daft said:

Nice idea, but the problem as I see it is that this is a "living room", not a demo room with multiple items that you can swap in and out and such. One system, "this is what you can easily do in your home", a real world example. Audiophiles (of whatever age, including the "kiddies") tend to build shrines or unsightly racks of stuff, and not care about the look in a living room - my system has multiple big boxes (ironically the massive speakers fit in, it's the electronics that jar!) so I'm as guilty as the rest of us - and one challenge is to make a modern yet low priced turntable fit into a normal room as if it should be there, and be easy-ish to use at that - run through the number of threads here about ultrasonic cleaners, storage for thousands of LPs, massive turntables that take multiple arms, and such as we make things difficult for ourselves.

 

We've yet to discuss setup here, ways to store some LPs in a modern room (bookshelves and so on are out of fashion!), and so on. I'm sure @Marc has some ideas on that score as well - I see some LPs in a box or crate, and speakers possibly sat either side of a TV, chosen so that they can sit on a long TV stand or small stands to either side, close to the wall - but a surprisingly large number of these lowish cost active speakers are rear ported!

Fair and valid comments.

 

I still think that the target audience would like the fact a TT can fit into this budget and still look minimal on a sidetable / sideboard / two besser blocks with a plank of timber. Whether that is totally practical or not is a matter of opinion.

Vinyl has been a big driver in this demographic's interest in sound quality. Not including it would be to misread who this is targeted at. Granted, vinyl won't sound it's absolute best on the proposed TT's but that's what the other rooms with megabucks systems are there for. 

As for cleaning, storage, care issues with vinyl, that's not an argument get into with this exercise. You could do the same regarding digital formats, storage, DAC's etc too. People can figure that out later on once they get into things.

Set up is the same - it's going to be somewhat compromised from optimum, particularly from our opinions.

But it's all relative - I'd wager it's going to sound way better than what they are currently listening to. And that's what will get them excited. That's what will make them consider getting into this - just like it did for you and I at some point in the past. 

Make it look simple, make it look and sound good and they will come. 

 

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12 hours ago, Eggcup The Daft said:

Nice idea, but the problem as I see it is that this is a "living room", not a demo room with multiple items that you can swap in and out and such. One system, "this is what you can easily do in your home", a real world example. Audiophiles (of whatever age, including the "kiddies") tend to build shrines or unsightly racks of stuff, and not care about the look in a living room - my system has multiple big boxes (ironically the massive speakers fit in, it's the electronics that jar!) so I'm as guilty as the rest of us - and one challenge is to make a modern yet low priced turntable fit into a normal room as if it should be there, and be easy-ish to use at that - run through the number of threads here about ultrasonic cleaners, storage for thousands of LPs, massive turntables that take multiple arms, and such as we make things difficult for ourselves.

I mustn't be an Audiophile then. My system is based on the same themes as we are trying to achieve here, all be it at 6-7 X the budget.

 

So my system is far from cutting edge, however I find it sounds excellent, and even preferable to my ears, to some systems costing 10-20 times as much

 

image.png

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12 minutes ago, blybo said:

I mustn't be an Audiophile then. My system is based on the same themes as we are trying to achieve here, all be it at 6-7 X the budget.

 

So my system is far from cutting edge, however I find it sounds excellent, and even preferable to my ears, to some systems costing 10-20 times as much

 

image.png

I've followed your progress with this, because I have similar aims for the future - mine falls into the unsightly category. Yours, may I say, falls close to the "shrine" category, but in a nice way - the speakers are  more dominant than I imagine is wanted for this project (and that looks like a treated room with panels behind the speakers, is that right?). Beautiful setup, though. Oh, and don't associate price with "cutting edge" - your amp is up there compared to many more expensive ones in that department in the DAC section at least!

 

@Marc - one idea for this room, could you decorate it with or otherwise have there pictures of setups as nice as this one so that newbies can see other examples of how nice a hifi can look when properly done? You don't get that sort of idea of things in most shows...

 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Eggcup The Daft said:

I've followed your progress with this, because I have similar aims for the future - mine falls into the unsightly category. Yours, may I say, falls close to the "shrine" category, but in a nice way - the speakers are  more dominant than I imagine is wanted for this project (and that looks like a treated room with panels behind the speakers, is that right?). Beautiful setup, though. Oh, and don't associate price with "cutting edge" - your amp is up there compared to many more expensive ones in that department in the DAC section at least!

 

@Marc - one idea for this room, could you decorate it with or otherwise have there pictures of setups as nice as this one so that newbies can see other examples of how nice a hifi can look when properly done? You don't get that sort of idea of things in most shows...

 

 

 

 

Thank you very much. As a family room system it does have to pass WAF so a fair bit of effort went into researching a simple but good sounding system, without breaking the bank. I'd love a pair of floorstander SGR's, but $$$ don't stretch that far. I even have little silver dots stuck to the floor where the speaker feet need to go. Makes it easy to slide them up against the back wall when the kids have friends over.

 

My room is not treated as such. I bought those wall panels for my parents to help reduce slap echo in their home but Mum said no ūüėÜ, even though she is the one I got my love of music from. My wife only allowed them as by chance they were so close to the colour of the wall anyway. I have black Polymax treatment all over the place in the HT and it looks horrible, but when the lights are out you can't see it ūüĎć.

 

I'll take another photo tonight as we are getting a new rug this arvo and the shelving is a bit neater with no Christmas decorations. That entertainment unit is from Nick Scali but chosen as it is a concrete top, so an excellent base for a TT from what I understand. I'm still tempted to put a bamboo chopping board under the TT though, but doubt there would be much improvement.

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Posted (edited)

Bluesound , Cyrus 1 and speakers of your choice eg :Q Acoustics 3020i,Mission LX-2 etc.

The Cyrus has bluetooth , a phono input and full remote control. It also has av-bypass for ht integration and pre-out to help with upgrading.

IMO, a turntable should be an optional extra for the budget system.

 

Active speakers have much to recommend them but they tend to be a bit of a dead-end when it comes to upgrading.

Edited by Ozcall

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48 minutes ago, Ozcall said:

Active speakers have much to recommend them but they tend to be a bit of a dead-end when it comes to upgrading.

Well, you can go to Devialet Phantoms - a range, the Kii Three, SGR, KEF LS50, ATC models, VAF, Dali IIRC, Linn, Legend (that list took about thirty seconds, I'm sure there are plenty more) - so I'd say upgrading active isn't so hard.

 

Nor is buying an amp and passives as a set, which I'd suggest is the right way to go about it with a lot of speakers anyway.

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12 hours ago, dirktoggler said:

 

 

I still think that the target audience would like the fact a TT can fit into this budget and still look minimal on a sidetable / sideboard / two besser blocks with a plank of timber. Whether that is totally practical or not is a matter of opinion.

 

Vinyl has been a big driver in this demographic's interest in sound quality. Not including it would be to misread who this is targeted at. Granted, vinyl won't sound it's absolute best on the proposed TT's but that's what the other rooms with megabucks systems are there for. 

 

Make it look simple, make it look and sound good and they will come. 

 

I think these are some great points, especially the last one.

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Admin

I've reached out to a number of retailers asking them what they would put together for this budget.

Let's see what comes back and if it differs greatly from what we have come up with so far.

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On 29/08/2018 at 5:25 PM, Eggcup The Daft said:

Well, you can go to Devialet Phantoms - a range, the Kii Three, SGR, KEF LS50, ATC models, VAF, Dali IIRC, Linn, Legend (that list took about thirty seconds, I'm sure there are plenty more) - so I'd say upgrading active isn't so hard.

 

Nor is buying an amp and passives as a set, which I'd suggest is the right way to go about it with a lot of speakers anyway.

Not saying you can't upgrade to other active speakers ETD but , and particularly in a starter system , if you decide to go to conventional speakers as an upgrade then you have to fund a new amp too.

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I can see how this could be quite lucrative for a retailer who puts forward a successful system.

 

Newcomers/potential enthusiasts all fired up from hearing the exotica at the show suddenly realise they can have a good sounding system for a very modest outlay and no need to do the homework of researching it for themselves.  I'd guess quite a few might be willing to order on the spot if the "right" system is chosen for this room.  I can certainly remember back when I would've found the whole idea of buying an expertly assembled, good-sounding, value-endorsed system a very attractive proposition.

 

Lots of potential here for everyone to benefit - hope it works out that way.:thumb:

 

 

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Well said Tony, imo the biggest impediment for newbies is the steep learning curve. A packaged , good allrounder system will help introduce a new generation to great sound. 

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Admin
1 hour ago, Ozcall said:

A packaged , good allrounder system will help introduce a new generation to great sound. 

Our aim from the very start. ūüĎć

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Admin

Slow progress. I'm stretched a little with normal show organisation at the moment.

I do hope to revisit this next week however and lock something down.

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On 17/08/2018 at 9:56 AM, AudioGeek said:

Well Iam learning a lot in this thread. Surprised to hear that those entering into hifi want to get into vinyl. Can understand the bluetooth thing for simplicity.

What.....of it's owners?ūüėĄ

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