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New System - Speaker & Amp Selection

CCC17

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Hello, new hifi enthusiast here hoping to get some support designing a new system. My budget is ~3000 preferably not upwards of 4000 dollars.

Listening Room will be the Living room of my house, it is an open concept; 14' deep x 40' wide with vaulted 9' ceiling. There is an island for the kitchen (3'x'7) in the rear right quadrant and a high top dining table in front of it. The living room is bare except for a recliner and a television connected to a MacBook Pro on the exterior wall. Recliner will be positioned ~10' away from speakers

Source will be the Mac streaming Tidal.

I need your help choosing a speaker/amp combo. Mostly will listen to alternative/indie rock, metal quite often, and classical/jazz occasionally. I don't really want to be going to extreme volumes because I like my neighbors and don't want any issues with the HOA.

I have been considering the SVS Prime pinnacle towers, KEF Q750 tower, or Triangle Borea Br09(if I can find these). Not sure a tower will be necessary, I don't plan on going home theater route at all, and prefer sticking to stereo. I am also considering a good bookshelf like the KEF R3 or SVS ultra.

**Amp selection is what I need most help with. I would prefer 2channel Class AB power and have been leaning towards the Rotel integrated Amps, like the A12, and A14 and even the A11 tribute.
I like the A14 because it has more power, I can plug directly to the Mac, and it has a nice DAC. Aside from that it supports MQA (MQA is definitely not necessary. I don't want to get into an MQA discussion here; but I do pay for it, so it would be nice to take advantage of).
Emotiva integrated amps are another option I have looked into.They would be nice power wise, but would probably have to go with an external DAC. I am not interested in any multichannel AV type receivers.
I can cut out a streamer or fancy apps for now. I use bluetooth keyboard and trackball to control the Mac(Tidal) from the recliner.

Would also be open to going with separates e.g. schiit Vidar amp and bifrost DAC, but I do realize this route could put me way over budget

I like the idea of the KEF R3 and Rotel A12. Maybe a powered sub later on.


If you can think of a more economical route (~$2000-$2500 ish) I am open to hear about that as well.

Looking forward to any input on this situation. I am most concerned with sound staging and precise sound reproduction.
Let me know your thoughts! I would like to have a solid system set up in about a month or so.
 
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CCC17

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Hi, thank you very much for your reply.

The Yamaha AS series looks great, I have seen some good reviews. Is it class AB, is it class D? It looks like this is something completely different.
I can't find any info on this. It looks like proprietary Yamaha Top-art technology. Can anyone provide any further detail about what kind of amp this is?

Will the AS801 pail well with the KEF R3? Does anyone have any specific amp recommendation for the KEF R3 for $1500 or less
 

radix

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The KEF R3 are great speakers. There are detailed reviews on this site. You will want a sub with them. I'd budget for a sub from the start.

The Revel M106 are also a good choice, but a bit more expensive than the R3.

Some of the newer small subs are pretty good, like the SVS Micro 3000.

Units like the minidsp Flex or SHD can be a great addition to do room correction. Or maybe you could add room treatments to reduce sound reflections? If you want detailed playback, you need to control reflections somehow.

At 3m listening distance, if you want, say, 90 dB SPL with 10 dB headroom into the R3 (87 db sensitivity), you need about 180 wpc. You should think about how loud you want to listen and how much headroom you need. You can then match speakers and amp to get what you desire. You might also want to think about normal listening volume and party volume. I just pulled those previous numbers out of the air (90 dB + 10 dB headroom). Depending on the type of music you listen to, you might want more or less headroom (dynamics). I normally listen maybe around 70-80 dB SPL, which would only need 18 wpc with the R3 at 3m.

There's a calculator at https://www.crownaudio.com/en/tools/calculators called "Amplifier Power Required" you can play around with.
 

Waxx

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The R3 will indeed need a subwoofer to have the full bass, and then you get more in the direction of +3500€/$ budget (dsp or other crossover and a cheap sub) with your choice. I would rather get active speakers then that can do that like the Neumann KH150 (tested here). And even if you want to use a sub, then many speakers will integrated easier with a sub in that priceclass. The bass boost on the R3 arround 100Hz makes the integration of a sub a bit tricky, certainly without dsp. But even with a dsp, it's easier when it has a relative flat or sloping downwards bass response (like the Neumann KH120 or the Kef LS50) than with that bass boost of the R3.
 

steve59

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with that much space I would look at the Dali oberon 9, I've seen them for $2k a pair and don't seem critical to amplify.
 

FlyingFreak

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Have you made any progress in your reflexion?

I just bought a system with a similar budget (but/and much smaller room).

If you have no issue trusting Chinese brands, going the route of a Topping dac + good class D amp could free some of your budget for speakers (or subwoofer). Depends of your attachment to get a class A/B one (check out what peeps have to say about this here, bottom line: class d are now as good if not better, in a smaller package and cheaper).
If you are ready to try DSP, the Flex is a great dac+dsp box, still need an amp. Otherwise you could add one later if you are ever curious.

Deciding wether you want a sub or not and if you want it now will also influence other choices.

Like others have said, your room is pretty large. I would first make sure to get speakers that can get loud enough and then choose an amp that can drive them with ease. I get that you dont want to have issues with neighbors and especially when listening to metal, you might want to crank up the volume on the weekend or something. It would be a shame if your speakers would end up sounding a little small.

Best of luck with your research!
 
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