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Boomboomshakeshake

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Hey all so I need some hand holding here. I love my music. I am always wanting a better mind-blowing sound experience only I am an audiophile trapped in an amateur's body and want to learn. I wish I had a consultant who could come look at the system I currently have and give me a total assessment and recommend what I would need based on what I am hoping to achieve. My eternal search since about middle school has been for bigger, better, louder, more bass ever since my first cd player for Christmas.

I know nothing about audio and want to know, like I literally need a beginners crash course to understand any of the discussions I have been skimming through here since joining.

Explain it to me like a 2 year old!

My plan is to go home today and take some pics of what I have. It is very old and there is a part of me that is going to struggle immensely with breaking up with my old school equipment if I need to but I don't know anything about it! No idea if it is good or not. My floor speakers were a prized gift from my mother years ago from Best Buy, a pair of KLH speakers. I had had an old pair of crackly old ones from the 70s or 80s that came with a turntable system from a thrift store. I loved it because it was the real deal from the 1970s but it was garbage lol. We had seen a sale in the circular ad and she offered to take me to go get a new pair. I was disappointed when we learned the sale price was *per speaker*. I thought that meant no deal but she decided to go for it and spend the money to buy me both anyway, YAY!

They have been my besties since but they have seen better days. I think one or both have actually blown one of the speakers but not sure. I have a hard time considering if it is time to part with them if only for sentimental reasons. My boyfriend hates them. He insists they are too big and tries to convince me (unsuccessfully) that technology has improved so much (since the late 90s early 2000s) that you no longer need a big honkin' pair of speakers and can get a really good pair of Bose bookshelf speakers or something that will deliver the same sound. I don't want nice quality sound. I want mind blowing earth shattering night club sound so I can be swallowed up by my EDM and disco and rock. I want J horn speakers. I want blow away like Marty McFly. I don't know that I will have the money for that kind of sound anytime soon but I would like to have a plan and know now what my goal should be. I always fantasize that one day if I ever won the lottery I would build a nightclub for myself lol. I love parties and entertaining and playing DJ at my tiki bar (separate story) and use a pair of bluetooth Ecoxgear speakers up there for that. They're alright, but still could be better when I am having a party.

Currently, my stereo is in a small room. The components are in a console cabinet with the floor speakers on either end of the cabinet and my turntable remains collecting dust in a closet unhooked up because there is no where to put it. I realize this is maybe or probably not the ideal setup but this is the space I have at this time. Will follow up with images and/or specs later. Right now 99% of the time I am playing music from YouTube through my tv that is connected to my stereo. It is absolutely, I realize, not going to deliver the best sound quality. Other times I will hook my phone up with the aux cord and it does not take long for the sound to completely fall apart as I turn the volume up and get crackly. Again, I think I accidentally blew something out recently trying to crank my volume full blast. I can't really use my extra bass ( I do not yet have a subwoofer) because it gets too crackly when I do. Most of the music I want to play these days is only available to me as digital files, as I said, streaming from the internet. I wish I had it all on cd or better yet, vinyl, but we are talking 1000's of songs, here. My stereo is pre-bluetooth by like 2 decades although I do not know exactly how old everything is. I bought the components used from an audio shop in 2005.


Is there any willing volunteer out there to become my audio guru/mentor/guide/teacher?
 

JeffS7444

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I'm nobody's guru, but why don't you start by telling us the general size and shape of the room, what components you've got, and where the speakers are located?

Avoid playing the system so loud that the speakers make crackling noises - likely the speaker drivers are hitting bottom, and that's not good for them.

Oh, and beware of hearing loss: Don't become one of these older people who moan about hearing loss!
 

Pogre

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I'm nobody's guru, but why don't you start by telling us the general size and shape of the room, what components you've got, and where the speakers are located?
Agreed. These are all relevant questions. The room, speaker placement and seating position are going to have a huge impact on sq. Almost as important as the speakers themselves.
 

JayGilb

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I'm thinking Behringer B112W.

I don't want nice quality sound. I want mind blowing earth shattering night club sound so I can be swallowed up by my EDM and disco and rock. I want J horn speakers. I want blow away like Marty McFly.
I would go with a pair of powered 2x15" with horn and at least one 21" inch powered sub.
Probably JBL or Peavy for the powered 2x15s and Cerwin Vega makes good and loud 21" powered subs.
A system like that combined with a balance knob would allow your hair to be parted on any side just by air pressure alone.
 
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Boomboomshakeshake

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Update:

The room is 12'x15'

Here are the pics as promised:
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Boomboomshakeshake

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I'm nobody's guru, but why don't you start by telling us the general size and shape of the room, what components you've got, and where the speakers are located?

Avoid playing the system so loud that the speakers make crackling noises - likely the speaker drivers are hitting bottom, and that's not good for them.

Oh, and beware of hearing loss: Don't become one of these older people who moan about hearing loss!
Thanks for your reply! I have added some photos of the room, setup and stereo. The room is 12'x15'.
 
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Boomboomshakeshake

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I should clarify, while I want nightclub sound, it has to be attainable and reasonable for a residential space lol meaning this is just for a home stereo set up so I will pocket any suggestions I get but it does need to work with my current space.

The other thing is that I do not know any thing about any of this or how the various elements relate. If someone could perhaps start by breaking down each piece I currently own and am working with and explain basically what I got and like what would work better with these... are my speakers not powerful enough or quality enough handle what I am playing music through? Is the receiver too old or not good enough to do ITS job, etc?

Overall how do these speakers compare?

I was tempted to experiment with my first sub, probably not the best choice, but one I saw at Costco, just to see what kind of difference it makes having one. But then I ask myself where the hell I would put it. I barely have enough room as it is. And then the burning question of course...is my boyfriend correct in his non-audiophile assumption that I could replace my KLH speakers with two bookshelf speakers and get better sound? I don't think so even in what little I know.
 

NTK

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OK ... Mmmm ... There are a lot to cover here. Where do we start?
(Are you considering replacing your system? If so, what is your budget and which country you are in, as not all brands are available in all countries.)

For this post, before talking gear, let me first start with speaker placement. Placing your speakers right next to a cabinet as in your current arrangement isn't optimal, especially when the cabinet protrudes well beyond the front plane of the speakers. Below are 10 tips from KEF (you can ignore the KEF specific verbiage on their Uni-Q speaker drivers). I know many of the tips may not be feasible for your situation (e.g. item 3), but they are good to know.

Ten Tips For Positioning Your Speakers
  1. Your speakers should be between 6 and 12 feet apart, with a wall behind them, and the prime listening position should be the same distance from the speakers as the speakers are apart – forming an equilateral triangle. Of course, with KEF's Uni-Q technology, the "sweet-spot" for the best stereo image is broadened considerably, giving you a wide range of "sweet spots" in your listening room but it's good to have a baseline to start from.
  2. For best low-frequency response, experiment with the distance between your speakers and the front wall (the wall behind the speakers). The typical optimal distance is between 1 and 5 feet and both speakers should be the same distance from the front wall.
  3. Try to have the listening position as far away from the rear- (or side-) walls as possible.
  4. For optimal stereo imaging the left and right side-walls should be the same distance from the loudspeakers and the surface should be made of the same material.
  5. The optimal distance to the side-walls from the speakers varies with the speaker and the room’s audio environment Proximity to the side-walls can create an imbalance in the timbre of the speakers, but conversely, a complete lack of interaction with side-walls may result in a very small stereo image. Experimentation is the key.
  6. If you are going to acoustically treat your room, think diffusion instead of absorption. Absorption may quiet some reflections, but it may do so at the cost of making your room sound dull and lifeless – a little reverberation or "liveness" is a good thing!
  7. Toeing in the speakers may help with high-frequency response and the perception of the stereo image (make sure you toe both speakers in equally). With KEF's Uni-Q, balance doesn't suffer as you move off-axis (off the equilateral triangle) so keeping the speakers flat (not toed-in) may actually be an excellent solution for rooms that are too lively. Experiment before you invest in acoustic treatments.
  8. Make sure your distances are equal. Use a tape measure. Your brain is very sensitive to differing arrival times of sound to your ears.
  9. Bass traps can help if they are done right. Bass traps can do wonders to increase low-frequency response in your room, but a bass trap that is not constructed correctly, or is not the right size, can do more harm than good. Remember that in a standard room there are twelve corners, not just four, that affect your bass response. A bass trap that is effective on frequencies below 80Hz typically needs to have a volume of 15 cubic feet, so yeah, that could potentially take up a lot of room in your room.
  10. If you're still not happy, you may need to start with a different approach to your set-up. Change your room around. Listening position is just as important as speaker position, and the elements and surfaces in your room play a huge role in how your room sounds as well.
Link to the KEF blog post:
 
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Deleted member 46664

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Okay... right off the top based on the photos ...
  1. Get behind that amplifier and fix those speaker connections.
  2. With music playing softly put your ear up to each driver and confirm they're working.
  3. Rearrange the room so that you are looking straight at the stereo from the centre of the couch.
  4. You want your speakers equidistant from your sitting position so it forms a triangle.
  5. Get the speakers off the wall and at least even with the front of your credenza.
  6. Move the speakers out slightly from the sides of the credenza (a couple of inches will do)
Try that and see where you're at.

(One thing I can tell you is that if you've never heard the "stereo soundstage" you're in for a real treat)
 
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ZolaIII

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@Boomboomshakeshake how loud do you really like to listen?
How would you like it to sound (full preference with your own words)?
Seams those speakers you have fall apart when you crunch volume up.
You could either buy better and smaller one's which won't cost a fortune or for a sentimental reasons (it whose a gift from your mother after all) try to fix those trough DSP (with a microphone shave peaks when they are playing loud and level them and add up a room correction if you want/need) it won't do miracles but it will help a lot and you don't even need a calibrated measurement mic for starting up. If you want deap bass energy feel (club typically) you need a serious sub wafer and real question is can you accommodate such in your living space (not regarding space alone but also isolation and neighborhood).
Anyway keep it slow and learn especially about EQ-ing in digital domain for starters. Best would be if you can find someone to demonstrate and explain it to you in person.
By the way I liked your commode (a lot).
 

soapsuds

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My eternal search since about middle school has been for bigger, better, louder, more bass ever since my first cd player for Christmas.

I don't want nice quality sound. I want mind blowing earth shattering night club sound so I can be swallowed up by my EDM and disco and rock. I want J horn speakers. I want blow away like Marty McFly.
You're already getting some great advice on technology.

I may be reading too much into some of your original post, but I respectfully suggest that you listen safely to ensure you continue to enjoy the music for as long as possible.
 
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freemansteve

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My 2c - for power amps: Hypex nCore NC502-based or more.
Or any decent class-D with bags of power, even NC252-based might be enough.
Now, they are better quality than you need, but pretty fine on power per buck, and will drive any weird stuff you connect to.
 

JeffS7444

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Ultimately, you'll probably either want different speakers or a powered subwoofer. Subwoofer would take a lot of burden off the KLH speakers, allowing you to play louder without damaging the speakers.

Meanwhile, I found a user manual for that Sony A/V receiver here:
https://manualsdump.com/en/manuals/sony-str-d550z-str-d650z-str-de605-str-de705/17070/16
And it seems that receiver lacks a key feature much beloved here: User-adjustable Digital Signal Processing (DSP). Nor does it have a mic input which would let the system automatically eq itself. But before talking about replacing things, let's see how far we can go with the stuff that you already got.

Page 16: Turn sound fields off by setting to Music 2 (as you have only 2 speakers connected, I don't know that you'd benefit from any other settings)

Page 17: Adjusting the Tone Parameter. If you haven't tried it, see how you like it. Pretty basic stuff, just bass and treble, but it's a start. Season to taste.

Right now in DSP terms, you've got 2 fixed "filters": Your Bass and Treble controls. You can alter their amplitude, but otherwise, they're "fixed", because you can't alter the center frequencies or change how broad a range of frequencies they affect (the filter's "Q"). In comparison, some more recent DSP software (including stuff built into newer AVRs) may offer 2, 8, even 32 user-adjustable filters. That can be a big help in getting the best sound in the space that you've got.
 
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