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Hi from Adelaide: Looking at 1st Loudspeakers purchase


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Hello, from the Adelaide Hills.

 

BACKSTORY

I've been lurking for a couple of days as I have a 30th coming up and my family want to get me a good set of speakers for my birthday. These will replace my small, but wonderful Bose Companion 3 Computer Speakers. I have been running my Technics 1200 through them (via the help of a cheap photo tube amp from ebay). Considering they are marketed as just computer speakers, they sound quite nice - especially for my small apartment living. Coincidently, they were also a present from my parents for my 21st. This time I caught on to the fact that speakers were to be the present again, and wanted some input on them.

 

About me: I've also been into music, both making music when younger and listening to records, but never put a great deal of attention onto speaker systems. I was always too busy spending the money on music making gear, or records. But now it's time to take my first serious step.

 

WHAT I'M AFTER

I'm looking at spending in the $1500 - $2000 range ($2500 if I really want to stretch it and the speaker is worth it). I believe they will be used most for music (a very wide range from classical, to rap, to jazz, to random world folk recordings). Let's say a 50/50 split between my turntable and mp3s or Spottify. Since starting my research I see that the speakers I am looking at can also be used in a home cinema setting, so they may be used a bit for that as well. I like my movies about as much as my music :)

 

The main wild card issue is that I'm currently in an apartment, and I'm not sure where I will be onto next, so that is why I don't know if it will be a TV/Music room, or the music will be placed in a different room. And unfortunately I can't even provide any room size details. I like the idea of bookshelf speakers (for the size / look) but understand that floor speakers will probably give me a better result. Maybe I could go with a bookshelf  and sub setup (somewhat like the setup of my Bose Computer speakers - although I assume this leads to some other issues with sound quality, or consistency which depends on how and when the sub kicks in and how loud it is?). I will never the less check out the bookshelf speakers at the places I visit for floor speakers as well.

 

WHAT I'M LOOKING AT

Note: I'm based in Adelaide.

I plan on going to listen to the:

VAF DC7-mkiii at VAF (my parents have had a vaf home theater system for years and always seemed very good)

Krix Pheonix mk2 at Blackwood Sound

And I wanted to call Ascension Speakers to see if I could drop in to listen to some of theirs.

I also wanted to check out some Osbourne Interludes, but Covid is making that trip to Melbourne difficult. Not sure if I will hold off buying until I can get to Melbourne, or just forget they exist (as I don't want to buy blind). Anyone in Adelaide own a pair and wouldn't mind me blasting some music? Happy to exchange listening sessions for a sixpack or bottle of wine :)

 

AMP

Now the amp is another wild card. That would potentially be my present for myself. I know less about amps then speakers, so may need some help with that - but I'm guessing a good starting point would be when I go visit the speaker retailers. My parents have a marantz sr5200/n15 (for home theater) and a Denon DRA 925 stilling in their basement (their old setups), so if either of them could do the job initially, I might stick with them and then get myself an amp after I learn a bit more.

 

SIDE NOTE

I have also come into a pair of used krix atmospherix ceiling speakers. Not sure if they could be repurposed in a box (as I cant install in ceiling where I live) and used as surround speakers with my new purchase. Is there any issues with running different sets of spears in a home theatre set up? For example if I were to get VAF DC7s and use them with the Krix atmospherixs?

 

Sorry for the long post, but there is so much to dissect in what is a totally new hobby!

 

 

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Welcome , your interest in Vaf is a good one , they also would be able to suggest an Amp , worth checking them out , good people to deal with .

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Hi Ilixix. My best advice is to take some music with you that you are familiar with (CD or LP) and audition some speakers. Listen to the music you like and then pick something that suits you and your budget. The hifi shop you visit will have amplifiers that suit the speakers on offer. Lots of fun shopping for new gear.

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B&W (Bowers & Wilkins) from UK make excellent speakers whether floor standers or bookshelf models to suit your budget so if you have the chance to audition them, they may suit your needs.

 

Amps are a little different and may require more research to get what you really want / like. As others will attest, the shops will suggest amps suitable for the speakers that you like so their advice should not be ignored.

 

Another supporter for Vaf speakers. I have heard a few and must admit they sound brilliant so visit their factory / showroom when you get a chance.

 

Good luck with your hunting.

 

 

Edited by progladyte
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I’m about a year ahead of you in doing a similar thing. You are looking at some nice speakers (I bought a pair of Wyndham BR1). I think floorstanders are a great place to start as long as you are pretty sure you will be able to put them in the main room of whatever apartment you end up in. If there is a chance that you will have to listen in a bedroom in future, maybe steer towards something smaller and a sub.

You could get away with any amp (as long as it’s not dodgy) for a while. Some streamers have a decent DAC built in and also serve as a preamp, possibly narrowing down your amp choice. At a later stage you can match amp power to the space you have and/or the sound signature that you want.
 

Active speakers are also a good option if you want to pick a good match for your use case now and not spend time (and money) tweaking the sound down the track.
 

I think two channel will get you better quality audio at a lower price, so you will have to trade off either price or quality if you want to have it double as a surround sound home theatre setup. Trading off some quality here makes it harder to tell the difference between upstream improvements like DACs, cables, streamers etc. The classifieds are great if you want to try out different amps or streamers with the speakers you get.

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I have been dealing with VAF for about 6 years, starting out as you are. Great product and service second to none. As stated above, take some of your own music in and they will accommodate you. Give them a call.

 

I have a pair of i66 Signature Mk3 SE, not long back from the upgrades. Not sure where you are in the hills, but you are more than welcome to come for a listen. PM if interested.

 

Cheers

Doug

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On 13/10/2020 at 11:54 AM, ilixix said:

Is there any issues with running different sets of spears in a home theatre set up? For example if I were to get VAF DC7s and use them with the Krix atmospherixs?

Hell no!  As in: no real issues at all....

Especially if you are using quality bits and pieces, as you've described.

Yes, having speakers well matched is ideal.

But here in the real world, a bit of Frankenstein-like improvisation to throw together a home theatre system never hurt anyone!

 

And as for your main speaker selection... anything you've listed would be awesome.  You can't go wrong with the classics - like VAF, Krix, etc.  Go and have a listen to whatever you can and buy something that blows you away.

And ENJOY!!

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i would dig out the Marantz amp, hook it up to your parents VAF and get an idea of older models, then take that with you and your music choice   when auditioning speakers and compare it to current speakers and amps of today, this may make the task less overwhelming, good luck 

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Hi all.

 

Thanks for the feedback. Good to know VAF seems to be held in high regard for so many of you and based on that Speaked Audition Shortlist I'll have to check out the i90s while I'm there. There is more replies here then I was expecting, so unfortunately I can't quote you all or else this post will get too big, but as an update from all your advice:

 

I'll be audition the speakers in the next couple of days and will provide an update. I'm taking some music with me. I'll bring my computer that has some flac files on it, and also spottify. I know spottify isn't the best quality, but in this day and age it is probably going to be how I listen to music 30-50% of the time if the speakers are in the living room. I'll also bring well known record along in case they have a turntable.

 

Also, this may sound a bit like I'm cutting myself short, but I think I'm going to stick with Aussie made speakers. It's good to know we have so many reputable speaker manufactures here. I thought there was only one or two, but after coming on here it's amazing to see big and well regarded the local industry is. So, thanks to anyone who recommended overseas products, but I think I'll be sticking with Aussie made.

 

58 minutes ago, wen said:

i would dig out the Marantz amp, hook it up to your parents VAF and get an idea of older models, then take that with you and your music choice   when auditioning speakers and compare it to current speakers and amps of today, this may make the task less overwhelming, good luck 

This sounds sensible, but in reality I don't know if I'm brave enough bringing it along with me. Might put it in the car just in case I'm feeling comfortable.

 

12 hours ago, DBM said:

I have been dealing with VAF for about 6 years, starting out as you are. Great product and service second to none. As stated above, take some of your own music in and they will accommodate you. Give them a call.

 

I have a pair of i66 Signature Mk3 SE, not long back from the upgrades. Not sure where you are in the hills, but you are more than welcome to come for a listen. PM if interested.

 

Cheers

Doug

Thanks for the offer Doug, but I gave them a call and will have what I'm looking for in store. Good to know you have had a good experience with them.

 

 

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No worries mate, good move giving them a call. I have pretty much dealt solely with Simon, great bloke, and no bulls#$t.

 

Good luck with the search.

 

Cheers

Doug

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On 13/10/2020 at 5:39 PM, progladyte said:

Amps are a little different and may require more research to get what you really want / like. As others will attest, the shops will suggest amps suitable for the speakers that you like so their advice should not be ignored.

Yep! Absolutely. And you need to visit a hifi shop that can audition amplifiers with the same speakers in the same listening room. Humans' auditory memory is not the best, so I think back to back listening works well. And take some music you are familiar with and enjoy, so you don't have to rely on music sources the shop has on hand. Sometimes this takes a booking. Some shops like to be able to set aside a little time for someone who is serious about choosing a piece of equipment.

 

What I do know for certain is that this a a seriously enjoyable thing to do. Shopping for good gear. So have fun. And take your time.

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Welcome to SNA @ilixix 

You've come to the right place to seek advice about HiFi. The Adelaide Hills also has a strong cohort of SNA members which are all very helpful and a friendly bunch.

I see you've already got lots of great advice above. One thing you could consider is to look for second hand gear in the classifieds as there's a treasure trove of fantastic stuff at well below retail price, probably where you'd get the best bang for buck, I know it's not for everyone but just something to consider. Cheers

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Hi Mate ,

Welcome to SNA and I second Willmax's sugggestion. There is plenty of almost new stuff in the classifieds or you can post a want to buy as well... Your $$ will go a long way and you might be able to snag speakers worth double your budget...Good luck....I have Adelaide Speakers in my home theatre / Lounge room and they are value for money. My 2 channel gear was all bought here on SNA second hand. Cheers

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There's lots of good advice here.

 

Let me add that when you audition be sure to listen to the music and pay attention to how much you enjoy it, rather than just listening to the equipment or the 'sound'.

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21 hours ago, GregWormald said:

There's lots of good advice here.

 

Let me add that when you audition be sure to listen to the music and pay attention to how much you enjoy it, rather than just listening to the equipment or the 'sound'.

Exactly. This is about listening to music played by musicians using musical instruments. Good equipment will attempt to present all of that without adding to or subtracting anything from what is on the record.

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My son bought his first home unit last year, he also purchased some Vaf DC7 Mk3 speakers and a Rega P6 turntable to go with his Cambridge amp all from Vaf, The DC 7's are really great speakers.

Simon and Keith are not only top helpful blokes, but also have vast experience in audio.

BTW I live in the Northern Adelaide Hills/ Southern Barossa.

Many years ago i purchased some small floorstanders from Edward at Adelaide Speakers as a housewarming present for my daughter , that was also a good purchasing experience.

Edited by Rhythm Willie
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