Hi Fi stuff

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  • Hi Fi stuff
  • soma_rich
    Member

    My mate is giving me an Amp (Yamaha). Now I like my music I am a bit techy and have some cash coming on friday (£200ish) I need some speakers. I am thinking I will get a cheapy CD player and upgrade that later but Want some pretty good Spearkers and cables.
    So what do I get?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Go to your local shop, ask them – they will let you listen to stuff.

    Answering “what speakers” is even more impossible to answer than “what bike”. There are hundreds out there at that price, dozens that could be considered a good buy – it comes down entirely to personal taste. What kind of music you listen to, and what you like to hear in that music. That’s why you need to speak to a shop first off, then listen to some stuff. Preferably with your own amp, CD player and CDs. Most shops will let you bring stuff in.

    soma_rich
    Member

    Hmmm I dont know if I could say what type of music I listen to. Anything from very heavy thrash metal to Lilly Allen.

    I will head down to Ritcher Sounds, but I did want to go with some recomendations in mind.

    Even if someone asks what bike in a price range you can point them in a general direction. A brand at least.

    I know nothing about Hi-Fi.

    Go and buy yourself a copy of What Hi-Fi for a couple of quid and look in the ratings section at the back. It will at least give you a start. That section also from memory tells you what proportion of your cash you should spend on each component, and remember that just because two bits of kit get very good ratings, doesn’t mean they actually work well together

    soma_rich
    Member

    Was looking at these:
    http://whathifi.com/Review/Tannoy-Mercury-F1-Custom/
    Anyone have any oppinion of them?

    RudeBoy
    Member

    I’ve got a couple of pairs you could have for a few quid, Rich. Bit of a hassle to get them down to you, though. And the’yd need a new tweeter. Not spensive, mind.

    Don’t get into all that ‘Hi-Fi’ techy nonsense. S’just a money pit. Unless you have a dedicated room for listening to music, it’s not worth spending more than a couple of hundred quid.

    I’ve used Mordaunt Short, B+W and Mission. All good

    Ones from companies that only make speakers tend to be a bit better than stuff like Sony, Goodmans, and yer normal electronics brands. And Brits make surprisingly good speakers!

    Those Tannoy ones look pretty decent. About the same sort of thing that i’ve got, actually.

    soma_rich
    Member

    Thanks Fred, I like the idea of going and listening to a few speakers first.

    At the moment I am using my computer speakers whih suck. So its going to be a world of change for me.

    juan
    Member

    slight Hi-jack here.

    I am moving in very soon and I was wondering about music too.

    It is very very likely that music and films will be played via the laptop, so should I
    buy a micro Hi-fi stuff or should I buy those fancy and rather cheap pc speakers?

    Cheers

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    At that level, I’d say buy something you can afford that seems to be well recommended by the magazines (I’d try to avoid What HiFi – awful. Try HiFi World) and worry more about how much you’re going to spend on a CD player.

    There’s an old maxim that gets lost these days: garbage in = garbage out. In other words, no matter how “good” your speakers are, if the CD player (or whatever source) is awful, then it’ll continue to sound awful at the other end. Think of it like polishing a turd….

    And don’t get too wound up with cables and all that nonsense. They can have a discernible difference, but it isn’t so great as to warrant spending vast sums.

    And, if you listen to a wide variety of music, then take a variety with you to listen to.

    Have fun – it’s not meant to be po-faced and it is meant to make listening to music more enjoyable!

    soma_rich
    Member

    ourmaninthenorth best advice yet!

    I was under the oppinion that if I got an average CD player I couldnt go too wrong but the speakers seem to be a mine field.

    I was told by a mate that cabling was seriously important and budget for some good ones. I this true especially as I am getting low end kit.

    Is it like saddles very personnel?

    Kieran
    Member

    General rule of thumb with hi-fi is weight. The heavier the better.

    With the electronics (up to a certain level) the more weight the better the power supply which is the overriding factor.
    With the speakers you want as heavy and ‘dead’ a box as possible with cones in good cast chassis.

    Go and have a look at the Tannoy’s, pick them up, if they feel a bit light and flimsy then avoid.

    For my money (and this is what I use) look for some good second hand speakers on ebay. I have some Celestion Ditton 15’s that I have cemented ceramic tiles to and then upgraded the crossovers with decent caps and coils.

    The 15’s will set you back about £20 with another £75 needed for the mods.

    You may find some little KEF’s for you budget as well, but likely the more recent stuff that will need a bit of upgrading as above to make them shine.

    Hifi’s the only thing I’ve found that can be more of a rip off than bike bits

    RudeBoy
    Member

    Juan, you can get some pretty good, and very bad sets of speakers for laptops. JBL make quite a few sets, but I dunno how good they are.

    A friend of mine has these Harmon Kardon Soundsticks, and they are surprisingly good! Give a ‘bigger’ sound than lots of other mini ones. Bose make very good tiny speaker systems; another friend has the Lifestyle system, but that is a bit spensive. What you want, is a little system with a sub-woofer, to give you a bit of bass. The HK ones above aren’t really really powerful, but they do sound good.

    Or, if you want to spend a few quid more, then get a little amp and some speakers, but you’re talking about £200 at least, really.

    Rich; as mentioned, don’t go mad on cables and that. About £10 on an interconnect (the cable between CD player/iPod/Tuner etc, and amplifier), and maybe about £1-2 per metre on speaker cable.

    Richer Sounds is quite possibly the best place for you to go to, really.

    sslowpace
    Member

    Hi Rich

    Don’t know if this will help but i have a pair of B&W LM1 speakers (black) that are going on ebay next week.

    info here: http://www.hifigear.co.uk/site/scripts/product_browse.php?product_id=4372&category_id=585

    Looking for £100 including recorded postage.

    Cheers
    Pete

    soma_rich
    Member

    Pete where in the world are you?

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    I have Missions and like them 700 series

    As for cabling – its worth IMO to get a level or two above the cheapest. worth a couple of quid a metre for speaker cables and some basic proper interconnects. With cabling you get into the law of diminishing returns very quickly. speaker stands the same – its worth getting some proper ones but not worth paying hundreds for them

    Many people slag richer sounds but at the £50-£100 a box end of the market I like them. When I got a CD player I couldn’t decide between two – they let me take both home ( having paid for both) and return the one that I liked least – I was amazed at the difference in sound between the two on my set up.

    StuF
    Member

    I’ve a very nice set of Mission 750 floorstanders that need a good home, let me know if you’re interested

    soma_rich
    Member

    StuF. I may be where are you?

    traildog
    Member

    Argh! Ignore all that. Just book yourself into a dealer, taking your amp and a handful of cds and listen to some without prejudice. Don’t ask how much they cost, read silly magazine review and get bogged down with brands or stuff written on the internet before hand. All that matters is what they sound like to YOU.
    Speakers can get confusing because they can sound quite different in your room, so bear that in mind. It helps to borrow what you are thinking of purchasing for a bit as well, as you initial reaction to them can change somewhat over time.

    Do you want stand mounters or floorstanding speakers? How big is the room that your Hi-Fi is going in?

    How much is your Yamaha amp brand new? This is a good guide as to how much you should spend on your speakers as well as CD player. Cabling, about 10% of the cost of your speakers or system. [Forget which!]

    Buy metal isolating feet [upside down cones] for the speakers, as this greatly improves sound for minimal outlay.

    soma_rich
    Member

    The amp is a Yamaha dsp595a, Hes also giving me a pioneer 565 CD player.

    My room is quite large 20 foot square ish.

    I will certainly be asking how much the speakers cost as there is a limit to what I can pay.

    I intend to take some CDs with me and listen. I may take a half day to save going in on a weekend.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Rich

    Yep, go on a weekday. you’ll get more time and attention. You may or may not need to book.

    Take no more than about 4 or 5 CDs, and on each one have a specific track in mind that ytou want to listen to.

    Be more concerned about whether the sound is right for you, rather than what you have been told/read is supposed to work well together.

    Consider what you are trying to achieve – there is no “better” in hifi, just variaitons on a presentation of sound. So, some like their sound prsented in a certain way, others don’t. There is no right and wrong, only what your ears tell you is enjoable.

    Also, if the demo man plays it too loud or too quiet, ask him to adjust the volume. It isn’t an exam and he hasn’t got “better” ears than you.

    Oh, and finally, if you go into a Linn or Naim dealer and he starts tapping his foot when you’re listening, stamp on it…. 😀

    StuF
    Member

    I’m in Nottingham – Leics area – where abouts are you?

    soma_rich
    Member

    StuF In Southampton so probably best if I buy new. Then I can hear the ones I want. Sorry

    ourmaninthenorth cheers. Will book a half day to go and have some fun 🙂

    Premier Icon xherbivorex
    Subscriber

    i liked the sound of the tannoy M1s i demo’d in richer sounds about 12 years ago (with a copy of slayer’s “reign in blood”!), so i bought them.
    so yeah, take your stuff to richer sounds and test things out till you find something you’re happy with.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Anything from very heavy thrash metal to Lilly Allen.

    Then that’s your answer. I didn’t mean pick a genre – if you listen to everything then you’ll probably want different speakers from someone who only listens to rock or electronic music.

    As for the thing about spending the most on your source – CD player or whatever – I think that’s rubbish. Most of the distortion and colouring of the sound happens at the speakers, so much more important to spend your money there getting what you want than on the source. If you swap out CD players, you’ll notice only a subtle difference – especially at entry level – but changing speakers makes a huge difference, even at the same price level. A CD player’s frequency response is far wider and flatter than that of a pair of speakers.

    As for Richer Sounds – years ago I had good experiences with the ones in Cardiff – now though they are literally just stacking stuff high and flogging it cheap. When they stocked their demo room up floor to ceiling with boxes, that’s when I knew not to shop there any more.

    Premier Icon funkynick
    Subscriber

    Whatever you get, don’t forget to get some uni-directional speaker cable… it makes all the difference… 😉

    conkerman
    Member

    Buy a cheap CD Player, upgrade it with a good DAC.

    Speakers and Amplifiers have’t really changed in Years so don’t fall for the marketing Guff! Dali speakers are really good and there are not many realy bad ones about. I would recommend buying 2nd hand though.

    Get hold of a 2nd hand NAIM nait3 (£300 fleabay), get it serviced, and match with decent speakers and you have a pretty kick ass system, and the amp will be pretty much worth what you paid for it if you want to sell.

    As for cabling, a decent interconnect should be had for less than £50 (New)

    Speaker cable, don’t spend more than £10/metre.

    Hope this helps.

    COnks

    soma_rich
    Member

    I cant wait to really listen to my music now!

    geetee1972
    Member

    I think there is a correlation between mountain biking and HiFi as hobbies. The guy that worked in my local bike shop in Chester was an ‘aduiophile’ and MTBer and I’ve seen quite a few MTB references in another (geek) HiFi forum for Naimophiles (of which I am one).

    Who else on here likes their music/HiFi kit?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a well considered system made up of budget bits, each of which was £100-180. It’s bi-amped and has decent cabling so it sounds way better than anything else I’m likely to hear where the price is low enough to contemplate.

    If I stay out of the hifi shop, my bank balance is safe 🙂

    retro83
    Member

    As for cabling, a decent interconnect should be had for less than £50 (New)

    Speaker cable, don’t spend more than £10/metre.

    LOL

    soma_rich
    Member

    I hope your laughing as thats too much not too little retro!

    RudeBoy
    Member

    £10 a metre?? For a basic little home set-up??? £50 for an interconect??

    IME; £1-2pm speaker cable does give an improved sound over thin wire. Generally, the more powerful the output from the amp, then the heavier duty the cable needed. S’why headphones only have thin wires, ‘cos you don’t need thick stuff to deliver a much lower energy signal. Plus, all electrical conductors have some degree of resistance; better quality cables have lower electrical resistance, resulting in a better ‘path’ for the signal. Amplifiers putting out larger wattages will require heavier duty quality cables, to avoid this resistance ‘distorting’ the signal. and the longer a cable, the higher it’s resistance. Hence, a smaller gauge cable, over a short distance, will perform as well as a larger gauge, over a longer distance. Short speaker cables,1-2m? £1pm will probbly be fine. For longer runs, maybe spend a little more.

    And something like £10 interconnects will be fine, for such a set up. £50 ones are for when each bit costs over £500 or so. You just wont gain any noticeable advantage, when using budget stuff.

    I’m not a hi-fi ‘expert’, and no doubt someone will be along to say I’m talking nonsense or whatever, but this is based on a basic knowledge of physics, which stays the same, however much you spend!

    You don’t need to spend a fortune. A very nice little set-up needunt cost more than about £500 in total.

    S’about the riding, not the bike, surely?

    mudshark
    Member

    Unless you have a dedicated room for listening to music, it’s not worth spending more than a couple of hundred quid.

    Rubbish!

    I use Naim CD 3, pre/power/hi-cap with 2nd generation casing and Kef 104/2 speakers – great! IIRC the Kef’s weigh about 32kgs so do well on the heavier is better scale….

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Plus, all electrical conductors have some degree of resistance; better quality cables have lower electrical resistance, resulting in a better ‘path’ for the signal

    There’s a bit more to it than that. Interconnects have a resistance and a capacitance too, which means that they have (at least one) resonant frequency. There’ll be a flat spot in response at that frequency. I bought interconnects that had the values specified on the back – the more expensive one had higher resistance and capacitance. I did a quick calculation and sure enough, the resonant frequency of the cheaper one was in the audible range, the more expensive one wasn’t.

    As for cables – between my £150 Cambridge Audio amp and £150 Celestion speakers (cheap stuff) I have QED silver cable – it was about £10 a metre I think. Well I only needed like 4m, and it made a big difference to the bass response and texture. Much cheaper than upgrading to a new system 🙂

    And in any case, isn’t part of the fun tweaking and sorting out your system? I mean, would you rather throw out your old bike and blow £2k a time on a shiny new one, or carefully fettle the one you have improving bits here and there? Tweak the damping here, save some weight there, longer stem, saddle back etc etc.

    RudeBoy
    Member

    Rubbish!

    I meant, on the speakers, or an individual component. And it’s not worth spending loads; stuff like soft furnishings, ornaments, pictures, furniture etc will all degrade the sound. If you want to have stuff like that, what’s the point of bunging them in a ‘normal’ living room?

    The OP is on about having a decent enough stereo to enjoy music on, not some esoteric super-spensive ‘Hi-Fi’ set up that only true ‘audiophiles’ can really appreciate. Be realistic.

    S’a bit like someone saying ‘I want a decent bike, to get out and about on, don’t want to spend a fortune’, and someone recommending they spend £7k on a TOTR Scott, or something.

    I’ve listened to ‘top-end’ Hi-Fi set ups, in purpose built listening rooms; stuff that makes your set up look cheap (no offence), and yes, it does sound very nice.

    But you know what? I din’t ‘enjoy’ the music any ‘more’…

    My set up consists of bits that cost no more than £200 per component. Sounds great.

    Don’t believe the hype…

    nicko74
    Member

    Go and buy yourself a copy of What Hi-Fi for a couple of quid and look in the ratings section at the back.

    Or… save yourself a couple of quid and read the ratings whilst standing in the shop!
    Another thing to bear in mind is that different speakers can sound better or worse depending on what they’re hooked up to. For example, if an amp is quite ‘bright’ and the speakers are generally ‘bright’, the combination could be painful. So definitely get yourself along to a hifi shop, take your amp if you can and try lots of speakers out. Enjoy!

    Hairychested
    Member

    Mordaunt Short 914 brand new are about £210. Great sound.

    Premier Icon snotrag
    Subscriber

    Just for something very useful – I run the Tannoy F1 Customs on my bedroom setup (teamed with a NAD C315).

    Very good – not much bass extension, which was deliberate, but they sound great for all my music (Lots of House, Jazz, Soul, Dance type stuff). Much preffered the sound to the Mordaunt Short MS whatever that are the same price.

    Get a listen.

    Premier Icon snotrag
    Subscriber

    Oh, and for what its worth, I’ve had expensive Hifi in the past, and some of my friends still do.

    Put it this way.

    My Tannoy/Nad combo sounds a shitload better than in an Aiwa box that costs half as much.

    But by spending twice as much again, it wont get twice as good.
    Think of it exactly the same as upgrading from Alivio to XT, then from XT to XTR or XO. Law of diminishing returns.

    Basic, lower end of the range but good quality seperates from respected names will sound absolutely fantastic to someone whos used to listening to a portable, boombox, or whatever.

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