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Questions on first system plan


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Hey guys, so im planning my first system after my original plan of using some inherited gear didnt quite goto plan. But thats okay because it has cause a reevaluation of what I am after.

So the over arching plan is to set up a 3.1 speaker system for the living room with 3 main uses;

-80% TV (mainly netflix and Ps5),

-Spotify (types of music is very broad rock, metal, rap, indie/ alt rock, electro stuff (excision/knifeparty/skrillex-dunno if thats the genre name)

-Vinyl (mlstly old rock with some newer metal or alt rock)

 

So originally i planned on spending like 500-800 without knowing the prices of things, i have quickly realised with what im wanting to do, and in not wanting to get stuff that will be rubbish, this was light on. So instead this will be a longer term project whereby it will be keeping an eye out for used stuff/sales, but also increasing the budget by spreading out the spend over time.

 

I currently have a Pioneer VSX517 reciever/amp i can use in the meantime until the final purchase point VSX517. So was thinking of getting the speakers first (bookshelf speakers for the smaller size), getting the centre to match (have heard you need to get the matching bookshelves and centre to get the same tpye of sound), and after a while adding the sub. Then when I can adding a turntable amd at the same time upgrading the reciever to one with phono input/ground as well.

 

What I am thinking of getting:

 

-speakers; without wanting to spend too much but wanting good speakers I am looking at Monitor Audio Bronze 1, they seem to review pretty well and go for about 500+3-400.

 

-sub; nfi yet on subs.

 

-turntable: primary e

 

-amp/reciever: a couple of questions to follow on this however if an all in one something like the Denon x1600h looks to have the functions needed (in supporting the LR, centre and subwoofer setup, obtaining audio from the tv but also having the phono input).

 

As for the amp/reciever situation, am i better getting an all in 1 unit like that, or getting something like a preamp, which looking at them im.pretty sure is just the ground R and L into the preamp, giving R and L out which can go into the existing reciever running the TV?

 

I guess the 3 key question here are; ---what are your thoughts on this plan/approach given you guys woudl have started out before and learnt along the way better methods.

-speakers: any recommendations on those or for this purpose/price are those speakers good?

-the turntable; is it better to get an amp that does it like the denon (or there is also a marantz at jb with similare functionality), or do i go turntable into something like the Phono Box S2, then into the existing amp? Or a completely different approach/recommendation?

 

Any thoughts on any part of this would be appreaciated. Or even just things to consider that i can go and research more on. Atm it has just been looking through reddit, here and whathifi to try and get a plan of attack together so i can start keeping an eye out on classefieds or sales.

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Do you need a 7.1 or a 5.1 amp if you are not planning on using it for surround sound?

 

A 2 channel amp might do everything you need and be far better for music.  I am not sure about the 3.1.  You what Left, Centre, Right and a Sub?  I think you could get away without using a centre speaker.  This would open your options right up with amps,  at a higher quality too for less money.  Better inbuilt DAC quality, better amp quality and great phono options and with better resale values.

 

I would look for a stereo with a LFE/.1 out to make your sub options easier.

 

So if you go 2 channel (I do 2 channel for my TV and stereo, I only have two ears so it makes sense to me anyway) you would be looking for an integrated amp with a built in DAC that will take a TOSLINK (digital) connection for your TV. Then run the Spotify app installed on you TV and controlled it by your phone or whatever with connect.  However you could Bluetooth to the amp but the Toslink would be better SQ wise I would say.  

 

Amps at comparable price to the Denon x1600h but 2.1 channel with DAC/Phono/etc.

Denon PMA-600NE  https://www.denon.com/shop/amplifier/pma600ne  -  Class A/B

NAD C 338  https://nadelectronics.com/product/c-338-classic-digital-dac-amplifier/   -  Class D 160W heaps of power with good Dac

Cambridge Audio AXR100 Stereo Receiver -  New Product 100w Class A/B

Audiolabs 6000a - Dac and sub out but $1499 I have this unit very good and can do sub out via its pre outs.

 

My recommendation would be to buy a a Schiit Modi 3 Dac 190$ or a Topping D10s 99$ or a Topping E30 $197 and pair with a Cambridge Audio AXA35  https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/row/en/products/hi-fi/ax/axa35 700$ Class A/B 35 Watts (real watts) which can output to a sub thought is RecOut.

Great amp for music and would power must bookshelves, relatively new product with great reviews.

 

You can run a sub without LFE/.1 out if the amp can provide pre-out full time like the axa35 or you get a sub with speaker level input /high level input, but you would be looking at a REL sub or similar for that $1000 plus.

 

Anyway food for thought.

 

 

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For that low budget you should lookout for used newish under 5-10 year HT system with everything in it like a mix and match Yamaha or other set and choice bits like a DAC but it’s not really needed as the low level system would not reveal the difference.

Edited by Al.M
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Thanks for the replies guys, some additional options to look at. 

As for the 3.1 portion, that was purely due to reading comments around the place saying that with a 2 speaker system the dialogue was hard to hear on tv/movies, and that the cnetre speaker provided that clarity. That said if that is not the case and a 2.1 (or even 2 bookshelves alone) will be fine then thats wven better. Itll be an easier pass with the misso too just having the 2 speakers in the living room, looks neater.

So the only reason I was looking at 5.1s was to be able to accomodate the centre as well, if i can do without the centre then awesome, jusr a normal amp.

Edited by tehkrohnz
Removed a stupid question
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Yeah 5.1 has the voice directed to the centre speaker in the edit for Dolby or whatever.  However in 2.1 it doesn't not matter as everything goes to the left or right.  So happy days.  

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On 22/01/2021 at 9:26 PM, tehkrohnz said:

Thanks for the replies guys, some additional options to look at. 

As for the 3.1 portion, that was purely due to reading comments around the place saying that with a 2 speaker system the dialogue was hard to hear on tv/movies, and that the cnetre speaker provided that clarity. That said if that is not the case and a 2.1 (or even 2 bookshelves alone) will be fine then thats wven better. Itll be an easier pass with the misso too just having the 2 speakers in the living room, looks neater.

So the only reason I was looking at 5.1s was to be able to accomodate the centre as well, if i can do without the centre then awesome, jusr a normal amp.

With 2.1 it depends on the set of speaker you end up with and also if you can adjust enough or pick settings on the amp to make up for perceived lack of vocals. Seated positioning helps so google how to do that. Some speakers have a stronger midrange voice than others and could be sufficient while others are lacking and then cant be adjusted enough and need for centre justified. Start with 2.1 and see if you need centre later.

 

Also a lot of HT amps at the low price end are terrible sounding muffled things, anything up to $2k rrp so if you get used items your spend has a better chance. Used HT amps depreciate terribly down to 20% rrp after some years, so try to find one that is correspondingly more than what would get at rrp and well reviewed.

Edited by Al.M
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