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Newbie here, looking for input for upgrading my current 2-channel system

VMAT4

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#21
Analysis, Synthesis, then Evaluation. One step at a time is the way to go. Don't even consider what to buy until the problem(s) or lack of problem(s) is/are known and defined. Use REW and the UMIK-1 first. Go from there. Incidently, I need to take my own advice here. It just occurred to me that I own one one those mics and a computer. Hmmmm.
 

Blumlein 88

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#22
Analysis, Synthesis, then Evaluation. One step at a time is the way to go. Don't even consider what to buy until the problem(s) or lack of problem(s) is/are known and defined. Use REW and the UMIK-1 first. Go from there. Incidently, I need to take my own advice here. It just occurred to me that I own one one those mics and a computer. Hmmmm.
Come on now. What kind of person takes their own advice?

Just kidding. REW has gotten so capable, and those mikes are good enough while being so simple to use, a person can spend quite a bit of time exploring how to make good use of what they have.
 

Julf

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#23
Amps, amp design, they all sound different.
Your subjective, personal opinion is noted, but as this is Audio Science Review, subjective, personal opinions don't count for much. Do you have any objective evidence to support your claim?
 

maty

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#24
With those speakers it is assumed that you have the room with a certain acoustic treatment and that you listen to high quality recordings and dynamic range. And you are also supposed to have a clean power. And that the speakers, so expensive, have a relatively flat frequency response.

My advice, stay as you are and try to tweak the sound from a good DSP and PEQ 64-bit software without doing it very aggressively.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...inimum-phase-vs-linear-phase.8762/post-225351

To spend (a lot of) money you will always be on time.
 

maty

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#25
https://www.stereophile.com/content/legacy-audio-focus-2020-loudspeaker-measurements





If they are yours, they need some tweaking. It is best to do it with a minimum phase PEQ 64-bit and not exceed +/-3 dB in the few adjustments you make. JRiver MC 64-bit is the soft player you need.

You SHOULD watching the Danny Richie's chapter about measurements.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...eo-speaker-measurements-by-danny-richie.8840/


New speaker design by Danny Richie:

New Line Force model up and playing with pics

https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=165469.0

Cleared to see the details

New-Line-Force-by Danny-Richie.jpg


Other option, if you like the sound after the soft tweaking, is a new crossover. Made by you or... Danny Richie. You can save money again!

I bet I can make your speakers sound better

https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=137288.0
 
Last edited:

Hipper

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#26
The number one improvement would be to your room
Firstly I whole heartedly agree with this.

1. Move speakers and chair for best sound.
2. Add room treatment - bass traps etc..
3. DSP/EQ to complete the job.

If for practical reasons you can't do 1 and 2, use DSP/EQ for everything.

Concentrate on getting the bass right.

Another way of getting bass right is using four small subs carefully placed and adjusted.

If you've never done anything to get the bass right in your room you are missing out.

Could you tell us more about your 'PC'. Is this any old PC or one specially designed for playing music?
 

BillG

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#27
Current setup
PC
Emotiva UMC-200 preamp/processor
Emotiva RPA-2 amp
Legacy Audio Focus speakers
PS Audio Power Plant Premier Power Regenerator
TV
Your current system is just fine. I'd look at grabbing a DAC maybe, and it need not be as expensive as that Matrix Audio one in order to be transparent.

As others have suggested, if you're not happy with the current sound, some Room EQ/Correction at the very least is what I'd look at first. And, if you want to go as far as acoustically treating the room, that need not be expensive: some inexpensive rugs on the floors and walls (I'm serious) can work wonders... :cool:
 
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#28
WOW! thanks so much for all the responses!

My decisions so far....

keep Focus speakers
use PC for music streaming via Tidal or Qobuz
buy Martix Audio X-Sabre Pro MQA
buy Benchmark AHB2 amp
connect TV to DAC
use TV as video input selector
plug everything into the PS Audio Power Plant Premier Power Regenerator
Look into room improvements AFTER (ha) new setup.

Everyone's responses are much appreciated!
 

LTig

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#31
I’ve been reading the threads here for suggestions in improving my 2 channel system.
My only music source is streaming and using a PS4 to access YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.
I have a TV connected to the system.

Current setup
PC
Emotiva UMC-200 preamp/processor
Emotiva RPA-2 amp
Legacy Audio Focus speakers
PS Audio Power Plant Premier Power Regenerator
TV
What's the problem with your current setup? Are you sure you need a power regenerator?
New DAC
Matrix Audio X-SABRE Pro seems the best but maybe the Topping or Sabaj would be good enough.
Since I’m only streaming music would it be best to get a DAC that connects to the internet, or run USB from PC to DAC?
USB from PC to DAC should be fine. See below (Classè).
Need to output TV audio to DAC.

New PC or upgrades
If PC is required, then what upgrades or new PC is recommended?
As long as the PC is able to deliver audio/video without stutter there's no need to replace it.
New Preamp
Do I need one?
And if so, which one?
Don't know, try a Classè Sigma SSP MK2. Works also as a USB soundcard (DAC).
New Amp
Benchmark AHB2

Speakers
Budget for new speakers is 10K, but prefer to keep current speakers if they won’t be the weak link.
Don't know, try Neumann KH420.
TV
All the video sources connect to the UMC-200 via HDMI, but since the DACs have no HDMI, I can use the TV as a video input selector.
A beamer with a big screen is a nice thing.
 

HammerSandwich

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#32
I'm late to this party, but a few thoughts...

First, "ktm125," huh? Wear earplugs!

All the comments about taking measurements & addressing acoustic issues are good advice.

If your Focus SE speakers have an impedance curve similar to Stereophile's 20/20 measurement above, the impedance below 100Hz is a concern. At 30Hz, they have 2 ohms at -45*, which is a serious current hog! I'm not convinced streaming-only demands the very highest-fi amps, but you definitely want an arc welder for that. Perhaps check with @John_Siau before ordering the AHB.

If he tells you to look elsewhere, I'm not even sure what to suggest. An old Krell? Pro amps rated for 2-ohm speakers? Maybe biamping, just to isolate the bass load... Whatever amp(s) you buy, do NOT bridge them.

(Honestly, after seeing those measurements, I'd at least audition a few speakers before spending $5k on electronics, but that's 100% IMO. I fully understand hanging on to old stuff you love.)

As noted above, you can get smoother bass over a wider listening area with multiple subs and EQ. This would also allow you to highpass your mains, skirting the impedance issue. Seems a shame not to get full bass from those big speakers, but it's definitely worth experimenting with. Before buying subs, you could try a filter in, say, EQ APO to see if midrange clarity improves, dynamics seem tighter, etc. It's hard to judge when you lose 1-2 octaves of bass, but testing it is free.

If you want to experiment with subs, Dayton's $150 12" is the budget choice. Hsu, Rythmik & SVS all have solid models for about 3x the money or more. I'd lean to Rythmik L12s, if I were feeling spendy, but I'd try three Daytons first.
 

Julf

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#33
If your Focus SE speakers have an impedance curve similar to Stereophile's 20/20 measurement above, the impedance below 100Hz is a concern. At 30Hz, they have 2 ohms at -45*, which is a serious current hog! I'm not convinced streaming-only demands the very highest-fi amps, but you definitely want an arc welder for that. Perhaps check with @John_Siau before ordering the AHB.

If he tells you to look elsewhere, I'm not even sure what to suggest. An old Krell? Pro amps rated for 2-ohm speakers? Maybe biamping, just to isolate the bass load... Whatever amp(s) you buy, do NOT bridge them.
The Hypex nC400-based amps are specifed down to 1 Ω loads.
 

Julf

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#34

HammerSandwich

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#36
The Hypex nC400-based amps are specifed down to 1 Ω loads.
Yes, thank you for the reminder!

@ktm125, quad NC400 monoblocks look like a good choice for about the same price as an AHB. But note the Heat Dissipation section of the datasheet, because low impedances increase waste heat quite a bit. At 150W into 4 ohms, the amp dissipates about 15W. But the same voltage out into 2 ohms equals 300W to the speaker & 45W in the amp.
 

Julf

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#37
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#38
My typo, sorry, 360.



Any sort of regenerator will actually limit peak current to your amp.
My PS Audio is rated at 500 Watts continuous average and 1200 watts peak...so should be good for the amp with is 190 w/channel
 
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#39
I'm late to this party, but a few thoughts...

First, "ktm125," huh? Wear earplugs!

All the comments about taking measurements & addressing acoustic issues are good advice.

If your Focus SE speakers have an impedance curve similar to Stereophile's 20/20 measurement above, the impedance below 100Hz is a concern. At 30Hz, they have 2 ohms at -45*, which is a serious current hog! I'm not convinced streaming-only demands the very highest-fi amps, but you definitely want an arc welder for that. Perhaps check with @John_Siau before ordering the AHB.

If he tells you to look elsewhere, I'm not even sure what to suggest. An old Krell? Pro amps rated for 2-ohm speakers? Maybe biamping, just to isolate the bass load... Whatever amp(s) you buy, do NOT bridge them.

(Honestly, after seeing those measurements, I'd at least audition a few speakers before spending $5k on electronics, but that's 100% IMO. I fully understand hanging on to old stuff you love.)

As noted above, you can get smoother bass over a wider listening area with multiple subs and EQ. This would also allow you to highpass your mains, skirting the impedance issue. Seems a shame not to get full bass from those big speakers, but it's definitely worth experimenting with. Before buying subs, you could try a filter in, say, EQ APO to see if midrange clarity improves, dynamics seem tighter, etc. It's hard to judge when you lose 1-2 octaves of bass, but testing it is free.

If you want to experiment with subs, Dayton's $150 12" is the budget choice. Hsu, Rythmik & SVS all have solid models for about 3x the money or more. I'd lean to Rythmik L12s, if I were feeling spendy, but I'd try three Daytons first.
thanks...I spoke with John and he gave me a bunch of technical data that shows the amp will be great with my speakers
 

Julf

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#40
My PS Audio is rated at 500 Watts continuous average and 1200 watts peak...so should be good for the amp with is 190 w/channel
Power is one thing, current another.
 

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