• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Major life moment: first true Hifi system

GXAlan

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
3,983
Likes
6,141

That is the “AVSForum Theater of the Decade” and gives you a good idea about what is possible with a ground up design.

If there is one piece of advice, it would be to reach out to @amirm

Your dream setup is also our dream setup. We just get to experience it vicariously. Amir has the combination of a) running a company similar to Keith Yates Design to also include commercial sites b) running this site as an independent hobby c) A technical Emmy Award when he was high enough at Microsoft to have his name on the website’s executive leadership page

That means you could get every piece of gear you put in your setup ALSO tested on the Klippel NFS or Audio Precision APx555. That way you ALSO know that your specific serial number is performing fully up to spec.

You can see what Steinway Lyngdorf can do versus something like Meyer Sound or JBL Synthesis.

If you do go with something that Amir’s Madrona Digital company doesn’t sell, you can still get it tested by Amir’s ASR, again to make sure the actual performance matched the claims/advertised specs. You should get that level of quality control with Accuphase and McIntosh which famously talk about specifications as explicitly guaranteed as opposed to “specifications subject to change without notice”. But you never know if something slips through QC and you could get a replacement unit from the factory because something is out of tolerance — but don’t know to ask for a replacement since you haven’t measured its performance.

Most of us have a lot of audiophile and HT experience over time, and have heard million dollar systems too. Few of us have *owned* such million dollar systems. Amir’s company has built out such systems.

But my vicarious vote is Meyer Sound. Truly made in USA, paying livable wages and reportedly having such tight control of supply chain to the level of the wood pulp used for their paper cones. They power Metallica (rock and roll legends) and Ed Sheeran (one guy with a guitar) on tour and are used as reinforcement at symphony halls like San Francisco Symphony which covers an extremely wide range of genres.

Meyer Sound was selected by the Directors Guild of America after a shootout with JBL Pro while having Dolby as a consultant for their new flagship theater. It is exclusively used at Skywalker Sound, and the flagship rooms at Fox Studios, Warner Bros, Netflix, etc.

Their entry level bookshelf, the Amie, was measured here and got the golfing panther score which is the highest rating here. The Amie’s are mine, so I speak from experience that within my budget of about $10K and under for a system, and having heard a quartet of Western Electric 97A monoblocks powering a custom planar ribbon system ($250K for the amplifiers alone) and a fully decked out MBL 101e setup, I genuinely can say that the Meyer Sound is the best sound in the price range I have heard, with the added knowledge that this is exactly the same gear used at places like Skywalker Sound. Pianos and violin sound true to life and for things like lightsabers in Star Wars Ashoka where there isn’t a reference, and no two speakers are 100% identical in character, I know that the version I am getting is what the sound designers were also hearing too.

By working with a company like Amir’s you could build visually attractive ways to integrate these professional studio level gear into a residential environment with various acoustically transparent fabrics, etc.
 
OP
A

Altair

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2023
Messages
13
Likes
18
Thank you for the detailed reply. Wow that theater is off the charts!!!
Unfortunately I am not able to use Amir's services as I reside in Oman.

My den is a far more humble project than that dedicated theater, my wish is to build a multi purpose area that will include all my hobbies,an espresso bar, a billiards table, cigar walk in humidor, and an attached display garage so I can see my work in progress Chevrolet restoration and my brand new Lamborghini while I listen to music on a HiFi system or watch movies in full surround sound.

I am leaning towards the B&O system with the 90s up front and 50s in the back now, with support speakers if needed in the ceiling and perhaps an extra sub or two? That seems to guarantee the best results as Olufsen have room EQ figured out of the factory with dedicated mics in each speaker. The second option I was thinking of ( lower end Olufsen system and higher end Focal/Accuphase) doesn't seem like it makes sense from what I understand now.

I am open to having the members of these forums design an alternative system for me, and can set aside a 100k for the forum members to use to build the system as long as an uninitiated person such as myself can get it done on his own ( with the help of a contractor for the construction part)

If I was to create a dedicated thread and start this project, what kind of system would we build? Will we be able to achieve summit-fi with it in terms of quality and immersive effects?
 

anotherhobby

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
651
Likes
1,429
Let's start from scratch with a lower budget and a better sound experience target.

If you had a 100k to spend and a room to design, what would you do?
I would put most of my efforts and focus into the room as opposed to what goes into it, and I would hire and work with somebody who has a good reputation in designing and building these types of spaces.
 

WillBrink

Active Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
188
Likes
157
Thank you for the detailed reply. Wow that theater is off the charts!!!
Unfortunately I am not able to use Amir's services as I reside in Oman.

My den is a far more humble project than that dedicated theater, my wish is to build a multi purpose area that will include all my hobbies,an espresso bar, a billiards table, cigar walk in humidor, and an attached display garage so I can see my work in progress Chevrolet restoration and my brand new Lamborghini while I listen to music on a HiFi system or watch movies in full surround sound.

I am leaning towards the B&O system with the 90s up front and 50s in the back now, with support speakers if needed in the ceiling and perhaps an extra sub or two? That seems to guarantee the best results as Olufsen have room EQ figured out of the factory with dedicated mics in each speaker. The second option I was thinking of ( lower end Olufsen system and higher end Focal/Accuphase) doesn't seem like it makes sense from what I understand now.

I am open to having the members of these forums design an alternative system for me, and can set aside a 100k for the forum members to use to build the system as long as an uninitiated person such as myself can get it done on his own ( with the help of a contractor for the construction part)

If I was to create a dedicated thread and start this project, what kind of system would we build? Will we be able to achieve summit-fi with it in terms of quality and immersive effects?

That's a cool idea! No doubt you could benefit from distance discussions with Amir even if he's not there to oversee it in person. I don't know what the SME's here think of those B&O 90s but they cover a lot of ground as to a one and done solution to high end sound. Actives, DSP included, etc. Not heard them myself. Amir did not come away terribly impressed:

 

GXAlan

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
3,983
Likes
6,141
Unfortunately I am not able to use Amir's services as I reside in Oman.
You won’t be able to use ASR testing but companies like Keith Yates and Madrona Digital should still be able to consult and work with your architect remotely.

My den is a far more humble project than that dedicated theater, my wish is to build a multi purpose area that will include all my hobbies,an espresso bar, a billiards table, cigar walk in humidor, and an attached display garage so I can see my work in progress Chevrolet restoration and my brand new Lamborghini while I listen to music on a HiFi system or watch movies in full surround sound.

I am leaning towards the B&O system with the 90s up front and 50s in the back now, with support speakers if needed in the ceiling and perhaps an extra sub or two? That seems to guarantee the best results as Olufsen have room EQ figured out of the factory with dedicated mics in each speaker. The second option I was thinking of ( lower end Olufsen system and higher end Focal/Accuphase) doesn't seem like it makes sense from what I understand now.

I think if you want a setup looks good turned off, next to some nice cars, it’s really hard to beat B&O. You get the party-trick of variable dispersion. But you are sacrificing some performance for convenience and looks.


Meyer Sound does have distributors for Oman

It seems like a lot of the luxury hotels in Dubai use the 4” MM4XP which means service and support will be top notch.

Will we be able to achieve summit-fi with it in terms of quality and immersive effects?
When it comes to the cinema, the question you have to ask yourself is: is having the same setup used by Hollywood directors and Hollywood studios summit-fi enough? I don’t know what production studios make the content you watch the most, but for music Genelec is also very popular.
 

Vacceo

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 9, 2022
Messages
2,747
Likes
2,907
First and foremost, I'd try to get an idea of what is the kind of experience I want. Do you want to play Doom as in being at hell itself? Do you want Edge of Tomorrow to rip your intestines at its very beggining? Do you want to read something nice while listening Blue Oyster Cult?

Do you also want something that can do all the previous?

Depending on your desired experience, it can be worth spending one some parts or some others.
 

Galliardist

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
2,559
Likes
3,286
Location
Sydney. NSW, Australia
so I can see my work in progress Chevrolet restoration and my brand new Lamborghini
and here comes another warning. If you want to put lots of glass into this room, you are making problems for yourself.

It should be possible for you to overcome them within your budget, but another reason to consider having an expert in on the project.

From what you're saying, it seems that you are a visually oriented person - billiards, the original system you posted, wanting to see the cars, you want to see the fruits of whatever labour you did that brought in that money - and I find myself wondering whether your first instinct to go with the looks and the value of your initial suggestion is spot on for you after all. There is nothing wrong with owning Accuphase...
 

CleanSound

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 30, 2023
Messages
1,654
Likes
2,522
I could not bring myself to invest serious money up to this point in this world, I started working straight out of high school and earned my college and masters degrees while working a full time job, my priority was always family, my 4 children specifically. Them having everything they could want was more important than music and a high end Hifi.

Fast forward to today, kids are out of college and the youngest just got employed, I had decided to retire early at 55, we will be moving to a smaller home in a nicer neighborhood and I will be helping my wife persue her life dream of opening up and operating a small Cafe and bakery. She really does make the best muffins and cookies.
You sound like an awesome father and husband.

with a cigar room,
Please do yourself a favor, cut down on the cigar, there is no need for you to risk getting lung cancer given how great your life is now.

hifi, home theater.
Spend most of your budget on the room with proper acoustic properties and the speakers. The speakers will make the most difference in sound. I personally would look into speakers where the manufacturer focuses on science and engineering and the good news is, you can get a pair of state of the art speakers for under $20k - $30k. Some speaker brands to consider, all of which I would or have personally brought: Revel, Dutch & Dutch, Kii, Perlisten, Ascend Acoustics, Philharmonic Audio.

Wishing you all the fun and enjoyment in retirement and know that you will get all the real and legit info you need about HiFi on this forum.
 

CleanSound

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 30, 2023
Messages
1,654
Likes
2,522
Also watch as many videos from Erin's Audio Corner on YouTube as you can, you will learn A LOT about speakers.
 

Keith_W

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 26, 2016
Messages
2,771
Likes
6,390
Location
Melbourne, Australia
If I was to create a dedicated thread and start this project, what kind of system would we build? Will we be able to achieve summit-fi with it in terms of quality and immersive effects?

To achieve summit-fi, you need a LOT of knowledge. Take a look at that HT system of the year that was posted earlier. It's not about throwing equipment together and hoping for the best. EVERYTHING about the room needs to be carefully considered, e.g. placement of speakers, multiple measurements, optimization of DSP to create an even and immersive soundfield, how much room treatment to apply and where to place it. You can even see that they took the air conditioning into consideration to lower the room's noise floor. To create a system like that, I will bet that multiple consultants from different professional fields were involved. One guy to do the air cond, an electrician to wire it all up, an acoustics engineer to model the room, etc. I doubt if all that knowledge resides in one person, for sure a team was involved just to come up with the design. And not to mention all the tradesmen involved to actually build it.

This is not ASR territory, this is "hire a professional" territory. It will take you years of learning every bit that you can from ASR before you acquire enough knowledge to put together a "summit-fi" system by yourself. Some other forums might tell you to get million dollar speakers and amplifiers worth $2.2 million and that is "summit-fi". It is not. Even if you put together a system recommended by ASR, it still takes a lot of knowledge to set it up properly - you have to learn to take measurements and interpret it, use DSP, and so on if "summit-fi" is what you are after.

I am not saying that the journey is not worth taking, the fact that all of us are here is proof that we all think that it is :) But the question is, do you want to go down this rabbit hole? If you are after the best possible hi-fi system, your options are (1) if you don't have time to read all the books and acquire all the knowledge yourself, you have to lower your expectations a little bit; or (2) hire a professional, or (3) hang around ASR for a few years and read relevant threads, buy a copy of Toole, etc.
 
OP
A

Altair

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2023
Messages
13
Likes
18
Thank you to everyone who commented and all the wonderful advice! Such a helpful wonderful bunch of people!

I have contacted Meyer Sound and got a quote for the blue horn system which includes professional room calibration and treatment. I am convinced based on the comments here and the history of the company this will provide the finest home theater experience. I just have one question, will I get the same musical experience I have heard in very high end Hifi systems? The Focals for instance and the Hegels have a quality to vocals and the midrange in general that is just special, very real, unlike some speakers that have a mechanical steral sound. Will the Blue horns have a similar effect since they afe described as neutral?
 

Keith_W

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 26, 2016
Messages
2,771
Likes
6,390
Location
Melbourne, Australia
If DSP is involved and if they know what they are doing, I have full confidence that they will handily blow away any Focal or Hegel system your friends might own.

Justification for my reply: any traditional speaker in any traditional audiophile setup will have two serious deficiencies which are both corrected by DSP: (1) they use passive crossovers, and (2) integration of the speaker into the room is crude.

They use passive crossovers because the audiophile market has overwhelmingly voted with their wallets in favour of this. You can not perform fine corrections, and certain corrections are almost impossible with a passive crossover. Moreover, adding components to the XO network increases insertion loss, i.e. all that amplifier power you paid for is wasted as heat. So most passive speakers use relatively simple passive crossover networks. With DSP, the sky is effectively the limit. You ideally want DSP controlled active speakers, with one amp channel per driver, for this to work at its best. Rather than one big amp driving the speaker, you have multiple smaller amps driving each individual driver, all with their own DAC channel and all computer controlled. This is what @dualazmak recommended. I smacked him back then, but if you are hiring a professional to do it for you then I am comfortable to recommend it ;)

In any setup, speaker placement and choice of listening position is extremely important, because the room modifies the response of the speaker. However, careful positioning only takes you so far. The room will create peaks and dips in the response as shown in my graph earlier upthread. The traditional way to deal with this is to use room treatment, which is frankly a bit controversial on ASR (half recommend it, half don't). But DSP allows you to turn your speaker and your room into a single unit and tie the system together in a way which is not possible any other way. I personally think that ANY system that aspires to be high end MUST have some form of DSP.

As for "neutral", the beauty of DSP is that you can alter the response of the speaker to preference (within limits, of course). If you want a fatter midrange, you can do it. If you want massive bass, it's a tweak of a knob away. I tuned my speaker to neutral, and then I played around with different tunings until I was happy with the sound. It is definitely not ASR approved but I like it, and that's all that matters.
 

Mr. Widget

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2022
Messages
1,204
Likes
1,838
Location
SF Bay Area
Thank you to everyone who commented and all the wonderful advice! Such a helpful wonderful bunch of people!

I have contacted Meyer Sound and got a quote for the blue horn system which includes professional room calibration and treatment. I am convinced based on the comments here and the history of the company this will provide the finest home theater experience. I just have one question, will I get the same musical experience I have heard in very high end Hifi systems? The Focals for instance and the Hegels have a quality to vocals and the midrange in general that is just special, very real, unlike some speakers that have a mechanical steral sound. Will the Blue horns have a similar effect since they afe described as neutral?
At this budget, I think you need to first plan on a trip (air fare is a small investment to make sure you get the best system for you). You should audition a few high end systems in purpose built rooms. In our better systems the audio equipment is typically a little less than half the cost. The room must also be considered a component in the system and it is typically the single most costly one. Whether you have a house with a basement or a penthouse atop a high rise, the room can be significantly improved and isolated so you can enjoy the best from the gear you purchase.

Regarding the Bluehorn system specifically, it has very little character. The goal of the system is to be a clear window onto the source material. Some people prefer tinted glass to stick with that analogy. I personally appreciate the lack of character that the Bluehorn system provides, but you may not. Only you can determine that.
 

AudioJester

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
964
Likes
1,300
Regarding the Bluehorn system specifically, it has very little character.

I thought we were beyond this audiophile myth that accurate/neutral gear lacks "character".

Its the opposire - you can tune it to any character you want, and switch on the fly!

I mean you could can create a Focal, B&W, etc style profiles
 

JustJones

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
1,750
Likes
2,473
Thank you to everyone who commented and all the wonderful advice! Such a helpful wonderful bunch of people!

I have contacted Meyer Sound and got a quote for the blue horn system which includes professional room calibration and treatment. I am convinced based on the comments here and the history of the company this will provide the finest home theater experience. I just have one question, will I get the same musical experience I have heard in very high end Hifi systems? The Focals for instance and the Hegels have a quality to vocals and the midrange in general that is just special, very real, unlike some speakers that have a mechanical steral sound. Will the Blue horns have a similar effect since they afe described as neutral?
If you're close to Dubai you could contact the local dealers of Genelec and see if they could give you a similar service. I believe there are 2 in the area. You might be able to travel to their location to hear the Genelecs.
 

Mr. Widget

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2022
Messages
1,204
Likes
1,838
Location
SF Bay Area
I thought we were beyond this audiophile myth that accurate/neutral gear lacks "character".
To misquote Laurie Anderson, talking about audio is like dancing about architecture.

However you want to describe it, the point is that unlike many audiophile speakers that are "voiced" to sound one way or another, by design the Bluehorn system is attempting to have no sonic signature of its own.
Its the opposire - you can tune it to any character you want, and switch on the fly!

I mean you could can create a Focal, B&W, etc style profiles
You can tweak any system once you add a DSP. Yes, an integral part of the Bluehorn system is the Galileo processor but it is not meant to be user adjustable. It is set by a Meyer Sound technician for the room the speakers are in and not meant to be changed.
 

Galliardist

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
2,559
Likes
3,286
Location
Sydney. NSW, Australia
Thank you to everyone who commented and all the wonderful advice! Such a helpful wonderful bunch of people!

I have contacted Meyer Sound and got a quote for the blue horn system which includes professional room calibration and treatment. I am convinced based on the comments here and the history of the company this will provide the finest home theater experience. I just have one question, will I get the same musical experience I have heard in very high end Hifi systems? The Focals for instance and the Hegels have a quality to vocals and the midrange in general that is just special, very real, unlike some speakers that have a mechanical steral sound. Will the Blue horns have a similar effect since they afe described as neutral?
The best systems have neither the "special quality" nor the mechanical sterile sound.

You can tweak any system once you add a DSP. Yes, an integral part of the Bluehorn system is the Galileo processor but it is not meant to be user adjustable. It is set by a Meyer Sound technician for the room the speakers are in and not meant to be changed.
There's no reason why you shouldn't add additional controls earlier in the system to change the sound further if you wish. What you will have is the good room setup and the initial calibration, which is what you need for things to work properly.

Spend six months listening with the system before deciding on changes though. It sometimes takes time to get used to any system, even a neutral one, and even that "sterile mechanical sound" can expose itself as "right" instead, given time.
 

RZarc

New Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2023
Messages
1
Likes
1
Welcome to ASR! Sorry, I will try to explain what he said. And congrats on your retirement and all the fun projects you have planned BTW. Exciting times ahead!

Firstly, this place is different to other audio forums. This is Audio Science Review. Other forums believe in "synergy", that cables sound different, and all sorts of tweaks to improve the sound. The focus here is on evaluating equipment and claims objectively and getting the most for your money. Expensive products do not necessarily perform better or sound better, in fact many of these "high end" products have misguided notions about design that objectively worsens performance. So a lot of advice given here will conflict with what you will hear in other forums and conventional hi-fi wisdom, which is why many people are antagonistic towards ASR. I hope we can demonstrate that we are a friendly bunch and our mission is to educate.

"High SPL ability" means the ability for your system to go loud, and do it cleanly (SPL = Sound Pressure Level). This means selecting speakers which are appropriately sized for your room, and providing enough amplification to hit those SPL's without clipping. I agree that this is a good goal.

"In room linearity" means that the frequency response of your loudspeaker in your room is as even as possible. The two most important factors for good sound are (1) room and (2) speakers. The moment you place speakers in any room, the room will have a major influence on the behaviour of the speaker. There are various strategies to deal with this, which we can discuss, but the first principle is select the correct and appropriate speaker, and spend a lot of thought in placing it properly in your room.

"Controlled low end" refers to the bass. The room has a major effect on bass performance, and WILL produce huge peaks and dips. My sound system is no exception, and this is a before and after measurement of my sound system:

View attachment 335823

Red = before. You can see that the curve is all over the place. Green = after room correction (I use DSP - Digital Signal Processing). The red curve is the typical performance of any speaker in any room.

A "controlled directivity" speaker is a bit more difficult to explain. You can have a stab at reading this article by Geddes or this article by Linkwitz. Basically, when your speaker is facing you directly, the entire audio spectrum is at its loudest (not strictly true, but I am ignoring all the other variables for the sake of simplicity). As you move off to the side, it will get softer, and parts of the audio band will drop off faster than others. Usually, higher frequencies are more "directional" (more like a flashlight that directs light into a beam), and lower frequencies are more "omnidirectional" (more like a lamp that throws light everywhere). You want the entire audio band to IDEALLY drop off at the same rate and do it smoothly, because the reflections from the side walls will reflect any unevenness back to you and colour the sound. There are various strategies to deal with this, and this has resulted in many different speaker designs.

The B&O Beosound 90 you mentioned is an omnidirectional speaker. If you remove the cover, you will see that there are speaker drivers pointing in every direction. By manipulating the output of the speakers using DSP, the
Welcome to ASR! Sorry, I will try to explain what he said. And congrats on your retirement and all the fun projects you have planned BTW. Exciting times ahead!

Firstly, this place is different to other audio forums. This is Audio Science Review. Other forums believe in "synergy", that cables sound different, and all sorts of tweaks to improve the sound. The focus here is on evaluating equipment and claims objectively and getting the most for your money. Expensive products do not necessarily perform better or sound better, in fact many of these "high end" products have misguided notions about design that objectively worsens performance. So a lot of advice given here will conflict with what you will hear in other forums and conventional hi-fi wisdom, which is why many people are antagonistic towards ASR. I hope we can demonstrate that we are a friendly bunch and our mission is to educate.

"High SPL ability" means the ability for your system to go loud, and do it cleanly (SPL = Sound Pressure Level). This means selecting speakers which are appropriately sized for your room, and providing enough amplification to hit those SPL's without clipping. I agree that this is a good goal.

"In room linearity" means that the frequency response of your loudspeaker in your room is as even as possible. The two most important factors for good sound are (1) room and (2) speakers. The moment you place speakers in any room, the room will have a major influence on the behaviour of the speaker. There are various strategies to deal with this, which we can discuss, but the first principle is select the correct and appropriate speaker, and spend a lot of thought in placing it properly in your room.

"Controlled low end" refers to the bass. The room has a major effect on bass performance, and WILL produce huge peaks and dips. My sound system is no exception, and this is a before and after measurement of my sound system:

View attachment 335823

Red = before. You can see that the curve is all over the place. Green = after room correction (I use DSP - Digital Signal Processing). The red curve is the typical performance of any speaker in any room.

A "controlled directivity" speaker is a bit more difficult to explain. You can have a stab at reading this article by Geddes or this article by Linkwitz. Basically, when your speaker is facing you directly, the entire audio spectrum is at its loudest (not strictly true, but I am ignoring all the other variables for the sake of simplicity). As you move off to the side, it will get softer, and parts of the audio band will drop off faster than others. Usually, higher frequencies are more "directional" (more like a flashlight that directs light into a beam), and lower frequencies are more "omnidirectional" (more like a lamp that throws light everywhere). You want the entire audio band to IDEALLY drop off at the same rate and do it smoothly, because the reflections from the side walls will reflect any unevenness back to you and colour the sound. There are various strategies to deal with this, and this has resulted in many different speaker designs.

The B&O Beosound 90 you mentioned is an omnidirectional speaker. If you remove the cover, you will see that there are speaker drivers pointing in every direction. By manipulating the output of the speakers using DSP, the Beosound 90 is able to change its radiation pattern to something more suitable for your room and listening preferences. Other speakers, like the Dutch & Dutch 8C that was mentioned, are not omnidirectional but "controlled directivity". It uses clever design of the shape of the speaker to create a close to ideal radiation pattern.

I realize that there is a lot to digest, and all I am doing is explaining his post. Thoughts of my own:

- DON'T get those McIntosh amps because they don't perform very well objectively. Of course, getting them for their aesthetics, build quality, sexy glowing tubes, and pride of ownership is a valid reason to get them, but most people on ASR are dispassionate about things like looks and only focus on performance. You can get better performance by spending less, for example getting an amp like the Benchmark AHB2.

- DON'T get a PS1250 power supply. It will not do anything to improve the sound, and it is astoundingly expensive.

- DON'T buy expensive audiophile cable. It does not perform any better than cheap cable.

- Class A amps sounding "musical" is a myth. Amplifiers can be evaluated objectively.

And lastly, speaker choice is very personal. We can suggest speakers that are known for good performance, but ultimately, nobody here can tell you which speaker to get. We can only tell you which speakers not to get, i.e. those with misguided designs, are overpriced, etc. Only you know your preferences, your room, your personal situation, whether your speaker has to fit in with your decor or not, and so on. Sometimes speaker choice is limited by what the wife will allow! All these are valid considerations above and beyond the actual performance of the speaker.

is able to change its radiation pattern to something more suitable for your room and listening preferences. Other speakers, like the Dutch & Dutch 8C that was mentioned, are not omnidirectional but "controlled directivity". It uses clever design of the shape of the speaker to create a close to ideal radiation pattern.

I realize that there is a lot to digest, and all I am doing is explaining his post. Thoughts of my own:

- DON'T get those McIntosh amps because they don't perform very well objectively. Of course, getting them for their aesthetics, build quality, sexy glowing tubes, and pride of ownership is a valid reason to get them, but most people on ASR are dispassionate about things like looks and only focus on performance. You can get better performance by spending less, for example getting an amp like the Benchmark AHB2.

- DON'T get a PS1250 power supply. It will not do anything to improve the sound, and it is astoundingly expensive.

- DON'T buy expensive audiophile cable. It does not perform any better than cheap cable.

- Class A amps sounding "musical" is a myth. Amplifiers can be evaluated objectively.

And lastly, speaker choice is very personal. We can suggest speakers that are known for good performance, but ultimately, nobody here can tell you which speaker to get. We can only tell you which speakers not to get, i.e. those with misguided designs, are overpriced, etc. Only you know your preferences, your room, your personal situation, whether your speaker has to fit in with your decor or not, and so on. Sometimes speaker choice is limited by what the wife will allow! All these are valid considerations above and beyond the actual performance of the speaker.
This is the BEST advice I have seen in quite awhile. I am retired and slowly getting back into sound. In my early engineering career I worked for the major producer of duplicator tapes in manufacturing so I do know a bit about sound. My interest is more in design and building as I can't seem to give up engineering in retirement. I built my own Bose 901's in college as I was able to source the drivers locally and could afford them. I made a few tweaks like adding a front firing high frequency driver. I found this forum doing some research on simple RCA cables for my turntable taken out of storage.

I will add a few thought and facts to yours as well.

- DON'T worry about modding the sound to your likes. You're not hearing the original music to start with. It has already gone through almost countless steps from the instrument to your ear. I have heard and seen the process first hand.

- At 55 and old you CANNOT hear high frequencies. I used to hear 20K and perceive 24K in my younger days. I am lucky to sense 15K today with a lab signal generator and good earphones.

- REPEAT your speaker comments. Speakers are totally subjective unless they are cheap ones, damaged, or have a really poor source path. The B&O 90's follow the same philosophy as the Bose 901's I made. That is how sound traverses the ether.. Something similar to what I am working on now.

- DO buy shielded amplifier source power cable. They make all the difference in the world. Duke power company insists they can't twist and shield their 660,000 volt power transmission lines from their nuclear power stations on the way to my house. I know they are wrong. (SARCASM)

Like the "wife allow" point. There is a reason to buy good earphones...







-
 
OP
A

Altair

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2023
Messages
13
Likes
18
Major setback: Venue tech, the local dealer for Meyer Sound, only work on commercial or very large residential projects. They got back to me with a quote for flying in a team to my town and installing a Bluehorn system and it's ridiculous. I have a feeling they gave me that quote to scare me away, just over 300k.

With that I am back to the drawing board, I have been researching and asking around locally and found a small company that does home theater installs. The guy that owns the company did study AV science and has a reasonable understanding of what is required to do a good sounding home theater, but is really geared towards average home theaters. He mostely does Bose and Yamaha based home theaters and similarly low cost stuff but he is the best I got and he is very very cheap, the package he offered me was about 1000 USD and includes overseeing the room insulation during construction and doing the wiring and placement of the speakers plus the installation and calibration afterwards. So thats that.

I also found a company online that specializes in room acoustic treatments and they do have a service that helps with treating the room post construction.


So that's the room taken care if best I can.

So I am back to considering a dedicated Atmos 7.4.2 HT setup, my previous thinking was that I could go with a dedicated set for the HT and a dedicated set for the Hifi. I would like to have a reading chair facing the stereo in one direction and a couch that seats three facing the HT. The couch and reading chair would be back to back obviously, but I am informed here that it would be best to just have one system.

For the hifi, I am now of the mindset that the Sonos Faber STRADIVARI G2 and the integrated amp Accuphase E-5000 are perfectly fine for my target listening ( classical, opera...) now comes the issue of the HT....

1- Do I integrate those speakers into the HT and forego dedicated systems, which speakers would be suitable to complement these choices? How would the Accuphase work in a HT system? Does it connect to a standard AV receiver? Will that cause loss of sound quality?

2- Do I proceed with the dedicated systems, and if so do I build two smaller rooms or one larger room with the aforementioned seating arrangement?

I do apologize for the basic questions, this is all very new to me and it's turning out to be more involved than just buying stuff. I do appreciate the valuable advice I am receiving here.
 

Keith_W

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 26, 2016
Messages
2,771
Likes
6,390
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I am sorry to hear that. May I suggest you check out AVS Forum? HT is a different discipline to stereo.

Re: room treatments. I would be very cautious about room treatments if I were you. The problem with those companies is that they are usually overzealous and sell you more treatment than you need. Too much room treatment is just as bad as too little, if not worse. As a very quick primer, to attenuate a wave, the treatment needs to be the thickness of 1/4 wavelength of the wave. If you place treatment against the wall, it reflects and travels through the absorber twice, which means 1/8 wavelength. At 40Hz, the wavelength is 8m, so it needs to be 1m thick (!!!). You can see how this quickly becomes intrusive, and most room treatment is only effective above a certain frequency anyway. This distorts the audio spectrum and leaves high frequencies attenuated with boomy low freqs. Worse, too much high frequency treatment removes clarity and "openness" from the sound. PROCEED WITH CAUTION! The ONLY way to apply room treatment properly is to take measurements and buy as needed!

Re: dedicated rooms for HT and stereo. Nice to have a luxury like that. It depends on how much space you have after you divide your rooms into 2. In general, the larger your speakers, the larger your room needs to be. I wouldn't put those Sonus Fabers in a room smaller than 5 x 7m. Don't forget you have to place those speakers away from the walls - read this article on SBIR. I have never heard of anybody using half the room for HT and the other half for stereo with seats pointing in the opposite directions, but this is an aesthetic decision more than an acoustic one. Umm, I am not sure if it is a good idea aesthetically.

Re: sound quality loss from passing signal from an AVR to Accuphase. In a nutshell, it's nothing you need to worry about. The SQ loss will be minimal. Your only concern is what your "traditional audiophile" friends will think (and I know what they will think because I have many friends who are traditional audiophiles!).

If you want to chat, feel free to inbox me.
 
Top Bottom