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blybo

My family room "budget" system

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Finally dragged the TT out of the HT room to somewhere it will get used more. For some reason I don't feel comfortable isolated away in the ht room listening to music alone. Music should be shared IMHO so this will do for now. Amp is a Peachtree Nova125, hidden Sonos Connect, luxman dz121 CDP, foxtel iq2 and a Connoisseur kit TT my old man built. They are also sitting on a Denon 4306 AVR which is simply helping to hide the birds nest of cables. Until our kids are older we have decided not to buy expensive furniture of any description.

Edited by betty boop

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come together nicely blybo...I agree music should be shared :) I know what you mean with the "isolated away" "listening to music alone" something felt too with the last "music room" I had some nearly 10 years ago. my listening in a shared space now too.

 

glad enjoying the system and great been able to integrate in a pretty nice family space :)

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Thanks Al. Quite happy for now but will eventually upgrade everything over time. Chasing a more detailed sound as funds permit. Speakers are on permanent "loan" from my parents so they will be the biggest hurdle to upgrade

Will take dslr photos in daylight.

Edited by blybo

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Nice one blybo. I also like having my stereo in the living room so music is something the whole family shares.

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Thanks Monty. I'm looking forward to some extra tidying up of all the cables etc in the short term. I'll also be looking for a white-ish base for the TT from my local stone/slate yard.

Last night I refurbished my lava lamp too. The fluid had gone clear but a couple of drops of blue food dye and a big gulp of faith to open the bottle and all looks good. Will take shots of that in action later tonight

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Tidying up cables in the short term sounds ambitious to me. I might get round to that when I've finished tidying the kids' shite, so hopefully sometime in the mid- 2020s.

 

Top work on the lava lamp. Were you listening to the ABC radio coverage of the cricket from South Africa when they had a little diversion about lava lamps and fondu sets? The gist was that it's remarkable how many households still have these things tucked away somewhere.

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Fluid looks much more blue in real life but taupe feature wall sucks up colours. May need to add 1 more drop of food colouring.

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Nice one blybo. I also like having my stereo in the living room so music is something the whole family shares.

 

Me too. Admittedly sometimes they get to share it regardless of whether or not they want to.

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Little bit of an update and reshuffle of shelving

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The Peachtree Audio Nova 125 is gone and in comes an Arcam FMJ A28. I've also pulled my 2 piece shelving unit to its narrowest configuration and hidden the cable birds nest with my small but growing vinyl collection. Speakers are creeping forward mm by mm over time ;-). Just need to get a longer interconnect for Foxtel to hide that cable. This has also enabled me to send the old Denon AVR4306 upstairs for a less cluttered look. I've now got 2 quality AVRs sitting upstairs and need to decide which one to move on to help fund a new CD player...

Oh yeah, went to the local stone mason yesterday and got a white-ish piece of marble cut to the width of my TT, again just to allow me to place the TT a bit closer to the TV and reduce width of shelving.

Edited by blybo

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So I have an Audiolab CD8200 winging it's way to me from Sydney today or tomorrow... And I made the stupid mistake of just swapping my main L&R from my HT room into the family room. Big mistake...

 

Now I'll be on the lookout for some floor standing speakers to give me the bass AND top end sparkle I'm missing from my Whatmough's... :ph34r:

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blybo ,ay I ask why you got rid of the Peachtree? How does the Arcam compare?

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Arcam has less power/gain but more neutral sound. Was simply a synergy thing. I swapped amps with another member and then bought the Audiolab cd to gain the inboard dac I'd lost by giving up the Peachtree

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I also really wanted dual speaker outputs

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Clean simple functional ues of space well done

Sent from my iPhone 5.

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This family room system is causing no end of grief in extracting decent bass out of my Whatmough's which should be capable of more. Volumes are typically pretty low because of WAF and her fear of waking children or having to raise her voice to talk to me.

 

I've played with position and found a nice compromise using some boundary gain by having rear of the (front ported) speakers some 40cm's from the rear wall. If I move them out imaging becomes more 3d like and pin point but at the loss of bass response. Here's the floorplan of the house

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It's a big space and the hall is around 1.6m wide so quite a big area for sound to disappear down. The system is on the northern wall of the living room. The formal lounge/dining is now closed off to the hall and has been renovated to be our ht room with a door on the eastern wall near the living room window. I have also used my Focal 826w's in the living room to see if it was just the speakers, but even the Focals struggle in that large expanse.

 

I'll take some further photos of the system in it's current guise with Audiolab 8200CD and power amp in place.

Edited by blybo

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Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by blybo

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I got a very rare opportunity after  :) 's GTG last Saturday to crank up the 2ch system at home with an otherwise empty house. It was only 20 minutes but what a revelation. Was listening at around mid 80's db rather than the usual mid 60's and the system started to really sing, but not quite to Diva standards Al ;) . Okay there is no sub in the system but I was getting more than enough bass response to keep me happy...

 

Now how to achieve that same "happy place" at 65-68db? as measured by the JL Audio app on my iPhone. My Arcam FMJ A28 (currently acting as pre only) has no tone or loudness controls.

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The Happy Place at lower DB's. 

 

It's a conundrum that I can't resolve either. 

 

Unfortunately for me as well, the Happy Place is a very lonely place.

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I'm wondering if a big highly efficient floorstander might be the go, say Osborn? It's $$$ I don't really have atm though.

Edited by blybo

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Okay, so time for a little bit of an update. Some permanent, some on loan from my ht room while my Integra pro/pre is in for some warranty work

System as I'm listening tonight
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Seeing how much an over supply of quality watts makes. The answer is a lot!
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Arcam integrated working as pre. Audiolab Cd/DAC source
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Sonos connect and my Nighthawk phono pre
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What's that hiding out the back... W4S Remedy Reclocker[emoji12]
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New (dusty when zoomed in) cart on my Project Xpression III thanks to Wyndhamaudio
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TT rig w/ lamp as seen in The Martian [emoji41]
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SVS pb2000 on temporary loan from ht room
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So... My system continues to evolve and improve on a pretty small budget. Most purchases of late have been sub $500 and the only things in this post that were purchased new are the Focal 826W speakers (at a substantial discount) and the sub (purchased via a prepaid credit card from reward points).

The Elektra has been a revelation. To be honest it's been a demo I've half dreaded for quite awhile but my ht system being out of action for 2 weeks made it inevitable. It's a 7 ch ht power amp and I'm only using 2 channels but the detail and the way my speakers have blossomed whilst being powered by it will mean I'll have to find a really great power amp or integrated by years end. I'm hearing lots of new stuff in many recordings and being drawn in more... Saturday night my wife was out and I listened by myself for 4 hours, that never happens

The remedy has taken my digital front end passed that of my TT rig [emoji15] and I'm finding myself questioning whether I want to continue pouring money into analogue. The vinyl experience seems somewhat veiled in comparison, probably my pre amp being the weak link.

The SVS sub has also shown a great improvement over my Subsonic sub in tightness and integration. Interestingly the SVS doesn't have much extra headroom compared to the Subsonic but output is certainly of a better quality. Will be keeping an eye out for a sb2000 2nd hand.

Edited by blybo

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I should add... My Focal floorstanders have come from my ht room on a permanent basis. As I never really listen to music in there I've thought for quite some time they were wasted crossed over at 80htz. When the oppertunity came up to purchase some ex demo 807W's I thought I was on a good thing so the the 826W's now live permanently in the livingroom and I can sell off my parents Whatmoughs and partially pay back a loan from them.

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Did a bit of a tidy up in the under stair case void on the weekend. I previously had my Elektra Theatron hiding in here behind my HT gear in one of those 6 foot high knock together shelfing unit from Bunnings. That shelving had all manner of junk and HiFi component boxes thrown in behind it. Wish I'd taken a "before" shot.

As I was trialling the Theatron in my living room I had the opportunity to remove the shelving and put in some shorter shelves in there which allows much better use of the space. The Theatron will go into the HT cabinet once I adjust the shelves to allow it room to breathe.

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When building my HT room we found a void that could be accessed to put the equipment into without losing this storage area. As nobody ever goes in there except me, I've never bothered to tidy up the plaster I tore off the framing [emoji15]. The upright is also load bearing so couldn't be cut out, it's actually holding the staircase up.
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Edited by blybo

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Think I may have reclaimed enough space to put one of these inside the doorway to this area

 

http://www.selby.com.au/stands-racks/dvd-cd-storage/756cd-360dvd-oskar-white-38435065w.html

 

At least this way I'll have access to my old DVD's and CD's which are currently boxed up (1 box of CD's in that shelving unit above.)

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Upgraditus has hit again. Today I got my hot little hands on a 2nd hand Elektra Reference 2ch power amp. 250w into 8 ohm, 500w into 4, stable to under 2ohms. Hooked it all up while the family was out and so far nobody is any the wiser...

 

This thing takes the benefits I was hearing from the Elektra Theatron I trialled in here a few months back, and has taken them up a few notches at least. Wrapped with the result. The best I can describe the improvement is to use an oft over used term of increased PRAT. The sound almost has a liquid, flowing nature I never had previously and control and speed and attack of the speakers has gone off the charts. All this for speakers with a 91.5db efficiency and nominal 8ohm impedance. Just goes to show there's no replacement for displacement ;-)

 

So now I'm on the looked out for a new pre, preferably a matching Elektra pre or a Parasound P5.

 

I'm using my Arcam integrated as my pre currently but a spanner in the works is only 1 set of pre outs, and only 1 set of interconnects that reach from sub to pre or power amp. The power amp I've just swapped out had pre outs so the sub got it's signal from there.

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1 month on and a lot has happened. I've just acquired an Elektra pre and done a bit of a re-arrange, looks lovely with its stable mate

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I'm going to make a mini rack to separate the Cullen Sonos, Nighthawk phono pre and Apple TV

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Very happy with this system now. Not sure there is really anything to upgrade in the short/medium term

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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