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  1. #31
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    Well choose your speakers first .

    Todays amp's driven within their spec's rarely impose any audible signature at all unless designed that way ( tube amplifier with transformers ) .

    Speakers are usually designed so that an amp with very low output impendance and a flat frequency response gives the output the designer expects and designed for . ( There are exceptions as always )

    So it comes down to speakers impedance demands ( complicated xover in multiway speaker ) sensitivity and room size .

    That sets how much power and stability you need then it's feature set build quality and compatibility with other things and even design if it's going to sit in fulll view in the music room .

    If you are frugal you get the cheapest amp that can still handle your speakers in your listening situation

    Anecdotaly I've has speakers from Canton and Snell that where quite happy with 50wpc and then Dynaudios that needed >200w
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Main hifi: Touch + CIA PS +MeridianG68J MeridianHD621 MeridianG98DH 2 x MeridianDSP5200 MeridianDSP5200HC 2 xMeridianDSP3100 +Rel Stadium 3 sub.
    Bedroom/Office: Boom
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    Misc use: Radio (with battery)
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  2. #32
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    Oh and "within specs" quality amps usually behaves ok when driven close and slightly over their limits and still sounds "ok" not so well designed stuff can behave really bad .

    In the early 90's I saw magazine actually measuring amps with a real speakers , they built a very robust speaker not intended for listening but it had typical anomalies that real world speakers have like phase and impedance shifts reverse EMF and such things , nonlinear coils in the xover .

    The best amps pretty much behaved as their specifications even if those where the typical 8 ohm resistive load specs, they did not change much with real speaker as load.
    Lesser amps did not reach thier specs in these kind of tests .

    What I want to say is that the old sayings that measurements don't tell the whole story is kind of true but not in the way many audiophile's think .
    But rather if we had the rigth kind of measurements against a common standard they could tell us much more that they actually do . Having the spec wars of the 80's in fresh memory
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Main hifi: Touch + CIA PS +MeridianG68J MeridianHD621 MeridianG98DH 2 x MeridianDSP5200 MeridianDSP5200HC 2 xMeridianDSP3100 +Rel Stadium 3 sub.
    Bedroom/Office: Boom
    Kitchen: Touch + powered Fostex PM0.4
    Misc use: Radio (with battery)
    iPad1 with iPengHD & SqueezePad
    (spares Touch, SB3, reciever ,controller )
    server HP proliant micro server N36L with ClearOS Linux

    http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

  3. #33
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    Amplifiers

    Hi Antonio!

    I fully concur with Mynb's last 2 posts & would simply note that the stand-mount style of loudspeaker which I have suggested for your room tend to be simple 2-way designs, usually with equally simple passive crossovers which present a relatively benign load for the amplifier.

    So go listen to loudspeakers, & allocate the majority of your budget to them: any halfway competent modern amplifier design (i.e. NOT expensive) should be able to drive them satisfactorily.

    Don't forget to damp out your piano, as recommended earlier, while you're quaffing the Ricard Cinquante Et Un (SO much better than Pernod, lol) & indulging your taste for contemporary music...

    Dave

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Earring View Post
    Hi Antonio!

    I fully concur with Mynb's last 2 posts & would simply note that the stand-mount style of loudspeaker which I have suggested for your room tend to be simple 2-way designs, usually with equally simple passive crossovers which present a relatively benign load for the amplifier.

    So go listen to loudspeakers, & allocate the majority of your budget to them: any halfway competent modern amplifier design (i.e. NOT expensive) should be able to drive them satisfactorily.

    Don't forget to damp out your piano, as recommended earlier, while you're quaffing the Ricard Cinquante Et Un (SO much better than Pernod, lol) & indulging your taste for contemporary music...

    Dave
    Thanks Dave and Mnyb

    Dave,
    By "2-way designs" do you mean something like yours, the B&W 805S ? with or without subwoofer ? At the moment, I have in this room a pair of little Audioengine A2, they're the speakers I take with me when I leave my home for some time, and a Audioengine S8 subwoofer that I added recently, because this is what I had available. I like very much the A2, for their nice sound for the size, but a bit disappointed by the S8, at too low volume I don't hear it, at too high volume it's boomy. I'm not sure that I like very much subwoofers actually.
    The Ricard 51 is a good drink for the aperitif, specially in summer, with some ice cubes, sitted at a Café Terrace or with friends at home. When I try to have some quiet time at home, I rather have a good rum from venezuela or an old Cognac , But my origins are Portuguese (please don't mention the paella, it's spanish) so I should have a vintage porto, except that porto wine is not a drink for aperitif or for the evening, it's a dessert wine. Hum, not so simple.
    As for my taste in music, I think you're asking what it is, and certainly it has its importance for choosing the gears, with the time it has changed, it's true I liked very much contemporary music when Stevie Wonder, the Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, the Dire straits or David Bowie were contemporary, now I still love them but I don't usually like the contemporary music, too much synthesizers pretending they're real instruments. I prefer jazz: Piano, Guitar, Organ, classic or modern jazz, everything except the female vocal jazz (really too boring), some blues, and I don't dislike some modern artists like Dave Matthews (with Tim Reynolds, I really love), John Mayer and a few others... To continue with the clichés, I don't like Edith Piaf, but I like Amalia Rodrigues (it's a "fado", the typical portuguese music, singer).
    Thanks a lot, your posts are very funny ! (and instructive of course)
    Antoniop
    Last edited by Antoniop; 2017-09-12 at 15:25.
    LMS 7.9.0
    on Linux Mageia 5 and RPI 3
    1 SB3, 2 radio, 1 touch
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  5. #35
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    Passive stand-mount speakers & (active) sub-woofers

    Hi Antonio!

    I'm gratified to hear that you appreciate my (slightly droll!) English sense of humour & equally that you find my posts, which are based upon a lifetime's interest in music reproduction which started in my teens & has continued unabated up to my present rather advanced age of 62, helpful.

    I also note that you yourself have a clear sense of what you like, whether it be drinks or recorded musical offerings!

    Now turning to your actual question about loudspeakers! My B&W 805S stand-mounts are the baby brothers of the 800/801/802/803/804 range of floor-standing B&W designs (they actually use the 800D model in the famous Abbey Road Studio #3, which has been the source of many excellent classical & contemporary recordings over the years. They also use pure Class A amplifiers from the Canadian manufacturer Classe to drive them, which are of course fabulous bits of kit but come at an equally fabulous price, lol): all of these designs are based upon the extraordinary B&W Nautilus loudspeaker (do check this beast out on Google images if you haven't seen one - it is definitely a modern work of art in itself... ). I haven't had the chance to hear a pair of these, but I am assured that they sound as good as they look! They are a 4-way active design, & the most unusual shape initially obscures one's realisation that the loading of all 4 independently-amped drivers have a transmission-line loading. Incidentally, B&W's trademark "outboard" tweeters all use a transmission-line loading, hence the tapered shape of the pod. Because they only operate at HF, the transmission-line does not need to be very long to give an acceptable practical approximation to the theoretical infinite transmission-line required by speaker design theory. OTOH, the single LF driver in my speakers has a bass reflex loading, which comes with advantages & disadvantages over the sealed-box "infinite baffle" alternative. The up-side is that if the designer does his work well in terms of matching the reflex port length, shape & location to the electrical & physical characteristics of the driver, & to the shape & internal volume of the enclosure, the LF extension of the loudspeaker can be extended by in-phase resonance from the port - indeed, eventually ALL of the LF is supplied by the port whilst the driver itself is constrained by the mechanical impedance of the cabinet (this is completely separate & different from the electrical impedance load of the loudspeaker which the amplifier sees... ). Obviously, you can only take this so far with a relatively small stand-mount enclosure & so the LF response of the speaker eventually begins to roll off, & within the audible range of much music programme material which is why having a good subwoofer (or even better two, as previously explained) can improve the musicality of your system. The most significant down-side is that, no matter how carefully designed they are, you will get more LF non-linearity (distortion), although this is not at a acute range of human hearing. Also, when they do finally roll off, they go at 6dB/octave which is twice the rate as for a sealed box design.

    A 2-way speaker is simply one that has a single crossover frequency around which the programme material begins to be directed to one driver (or sometimes in the case of the LF range, a set of drivers all doing the same thing) or the other. The precise location of the drivers in any loudspeaker with respect to each other is absolutely critical to achieving good sound because the designer needs to avoid interfering phase effects arising from the physical separation of the drivers - because the crossover frequency is going to be smack in the middle of the most sensitive range of human hearing (unlike the reflex port loading discussed above which only comes into play near the lower end of our hearing capability at which we are less discerning by nature's design of our ears). So the best approach is to "keep things simple" & the stand-mount design which will usually only have 1 HF driver (tweeter) & 1 LF driver (woofer) follows this maxim: this is why good stand-mount designs often provide the most accurate sound-staging (stereo image), usually better than that achieved by larger floor-standing designs which usually have more than 2 drivers... And why they are well suited to smaller rooms!

    The crossover in a passive full-range 2- (or more) way speaker is exactly that: passive. IOW, it is driven by a single amplifier & has the job of separating the frequencies between the drivers without the assistance of any separately-powered circuitry containing semi-conductors (valves, transistors or integrated circuits): so it will consist of a combination of resistors, capacitors & inductors only. Again the best advice is "keep it as simple as possible, but no simpler" - it has to help to suppress unwanted phase effects arising from the physical separation of the HF & LF drivers, so the designer may not choose the very simplest design but rather go for a quicker roll-off either side of the nominal crossover frequency. This is a highly technical design issue for the speaker designer & consists of trying to find the best compromise (which in itself is a subjective issue) usually through a process involving multiple iterative prototypes before settling on a final production design. But you also have your own musical taste & ears, so you should listen to a variety of speakers until you chance upon a designer (or brand) which has already settled for the same sort of audible compromise that you would be prepared to accept yourself when endeavouring to "suspend your disbelief" that these 2 boxes are really making music...

    By contrast, subwoofers are always active, that is to say they are mains-powered & contain active electronic crossovers & often DSP to extend the lower frequencies by boosting them prior to amplification by their in-built & generally very powerful Class D power amplifiers. The DSP is the main reason why the amps need to be so big. The active crossover enables them to present such a high input impedance that you can connect them to your amplifier speaker terminals (or to the terminals on your speakers themselves if it makes the wiring tidier) without this having any discernible effect on the sound from your full-range speakers (with which they are now connected in parallel).

    Most decent subwoofers will have both high-level (amplifier speaker output level) & line level inputs. Which you use shouldn't make a difference in theory, but the line-level input is really intended for use with a multi-channel A/V amplifier with a single (mono) subwoofer output which is controlled by the master volume control. A few stereo amplifiers have a variable level sub-woofer line output (& even fewer, e.g. the s/hand Pathos Acoustics INPOL-2 which I'm actively chasing as we talk, have one for each channel). But they do not filter out the extreme low frequencies from the signal passed on to the power amplifier stage (which a multi-channel A/V amplifier will do) in case you have BIG floor-standers or listen exclusively to string quartet music & elect NOT to use the subwoofer outputs...

    I have a pair of B&W PV1 subwoofers, both of which I acquired s/hand. When I bought the 1st one around 8 years ago, it was still a current model so I had to pay £700 for it (still £250 cheaper than a new one!). However the 2nd one which I bought this year & was made quite a bit later than my 1st one, only cost £425 because B&W now sell the PV1D model instead. Of course the older model still works just as well as it ever did. Apart from reducing the on-board power from 500W to 400W, & restricting the finishes to black or white (the PV1 also came in silver, which is my preference since it matches the colour of the stands for my 805S's), B&W have added pre-sets to match the subwoofer to a number of their full-range speakers (although not mine - they are also long out of production) & a remote control for fiddling with the settings whilst you're listening! I maintain that if you take the time to set your subwoofers to integrate with your full-range speakers properly in the 1st place, there should be no need to do this, & have it pegged as a marketing-inspired "innovation" of no real use. The PV1's are not the cheapest decent subwoofers around, but they are quite pretty (being spherical), compact & have opposed aluminium-mica 8" drivers in a sealed enclosure which are very rigid but lightweight - as a consequence they are very dynamic. By using 2 of them, albeit in full stereo mode, the 4 x 8" drivers have the same surface area to rattle the air in my room as a single 16" cone would have, but much less cone mass to start & stop (not to mention no cone break-up since they're metal, lol) so the final effect is very musical & seamless. If I crank my system up sufficiently there is ample power to make the metal RSJ's in my concrete ceiling resonate - I do try to avoid this level of self-indulgence (whenever possible... ) since the effect would be clearly audible in all 20 of the individual units in my apartment block & it is quite difficult to arrange for all of my co-residents to be out at the same time.

    So I would advise that you can get a decent sound quality with good subwoofers, although I concede that you have to be prepared to fiddle around with their settings initially to get an acceptably balanced & non-boomy sound. Now that it's done, I have a pretty but minimalist system & I can focus my attention on the (nearly!) music which is the point of the whole endeavour.

    Dave
    Last edited by Golden Earring; 2017-09-13 at 04:25.

  6. #36
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    Relief!

    Hi all!

    I'm much relieved that no-one has taken issue with any of the points that I have made about loudspeaker design, room acoustics & the art of selecting the most appropriate type of speaker for your listening space, which I must confess that I wrote seriously, but "off the top of my head".

    I can only presume that either no-one has read this thread or that there is broad agreement on the forum (which would be a first!) for what I said...

    Dave

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antoniop View Post
    Yes, after posting, I saw the posts about the SE, clearly it would be a better option, even if I like the big knob .
    I don't care about the color display and I'm not convinced about 24/96.
    But keeping (well, I'll keep it anyway) the touch an put a bit more money on the rest is not bad too. Interesting products these Nads, thanks !
    Back to the start of this thread -- buying a TP would allow you to keep the Touch and have it as a back-up; they're not making any more of either of these.

    R.
    LMS on a dedicated server (FitPC3)
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    Touch (WiFi) - home theater 5.1, Sony receiver, Energy speakers
    Boom 1 (WiFi) - work-space
    Boom 2 (WiFi) - various (deck, garage, etc.)
    Radio (WiFi) - home office
    Control - Squeeze Control (Android mobile), 2 Controllers (seldom used), Squeeze Remote (on Surface Pro 4)
    Touch x 1 - spare
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    Duet Receiver (backup)

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonM View Post
    Back to the start of this thread -- buying a TP would allow you to keep the Touch and have it as a back-up; they're not making any more of either of these.

    R.
    Hi RonM,
    I agree. Actually, I finally decided to buy one of these Transporter SE, because I always wanted to have one, so I was a bit frustrated. It's a very good DAC (from what I read), and it will also be a back-up to my touch (or my touch will be the back-up). The SE version is at a very good price, giving the fact it's new and it's quite the same as the one with the knob, which I don't really need. It will be enough to treat my frustration...
    I recently also bought a new radio, to have a back-up to the one I already had. I'm only missing now the boom and the duet, but I don't really love them anyway.

    EDIT : strangely, there were 4 Transporter SE available (color black), 70 sold before I buy one, now there are still 4 available, but 71 sold !
    Last edited by Antoniop; 2017-09-19 at 06:18.
    LMS 7.9.0
    on Linux Mageia 5 and RPI 3
    1 SB3, 2 radio, 1 touch
    Plugins : Trackstat, Smartmix, MusicIP, ...

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Earring View Post
    Hi all!

    I'm much relieved that no-one has taken issue with any of the points that I have made about loudspeaker design, room acoustics & the art of selecting the most appropriate type of speaker for your listening space, which I must confess that I wrote seriously, but "off the top of my head".

    I can only presume that either no-one has read this thread or that there is broad agreement on the forum (which would be a first!) for what I said...

    Dave
    Hi Dave,
    Actually, I wrote a reply, but it was rejected because the quote was too long (lol) and I didn't notice.
    I thank you for the lesson about electro-acoustics, physics, hifi, electricity and much more !
    I'll will not discuss with you about the points you mentioned, if I say I understood everything, I would be lying.
    I also thank you for your excellent and typically English humour. Most of the cultures have a weak sense of humour, especially regarding the understanding of the "second degré".
    Going back to your excellent post, I understand that your advise is to buy a pair of good stand-mount speakers with two subwoofers (second hand is wiser), put a thick rug on the floor, damp my piano, and maybe also change the excellent porto to a Jack Daniels.
    My first intention was to buy a pair of floor-standing, just because I thought it gives a better sound and I prefer the look of it, but then with your advice I'll try some stand-mount speakers, preferably from B&W, it seems to be your favourite brand in England, certainly for a good reason, while here Focal is very popular and Jean-Marie Reynaud is famous but also more elitist. And later I'll buy the subwoofers. I don't think my better half (nice expression) would be happy if I spend all the money for the holidays in the hifi this year.
    Regarding the Transporter, I decided to buy one, as I said in a previous post !
    Antonio
    LMS 7.9.0
    on Linux Mageia 5 and RPI 3
    1 SB3, 2 radio, 1 touch
    Plugins : Trackstat, Smartmix, MusicIP, ...

  10. #40
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    Just to keep everyone guessing, I would personally recommend floorstanding speakers for music and there's very little need for a subwoofer.. I do have B&W in mind however..


    Transcoded from Matt's brain by Tapatalk
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    Hardware: 3x Touch, 1x Radio, 2x Receivers, 1 HP Microserver NAS with Debian+LMS 7.9.0
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