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Sight Un-Heard

BigVU's

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#1
So, I have digested more audio information from this site in the past week than I could have ever done visiting hifi shops and attending seminars or shows in many years. I am a sponge.

As I scroll through ebay and other sites for audio gear with a budget of sorts looking for a mix of quality and price I am left wondering what it sounds like.

My goal as I step into the space of home audio is an av separates ht system capable of 2 channel stereo mode with the option to have 2 subs (2.2 stereo mode if that is possible.) Thinking a vintage 2ch amp with Big Vu's, 2 powered subs, 5 or 7ch amp with a capable AV processor to round out some movie nights could work?

If its not against the principles of objectivity can anyone share a vid or sound clip of their system?
 

solderdude

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#2
You need a well treated room, some excellent recording technology and playback gear for a recording of a home sound system to actually be able to say how something truly sounds.
Listening to a well sounding sound system in a room in the actual situation will sound very different (as in much, much better) as when a microphone is used at the same listening position and played back. Certainly when you can also use your eyes.
 

M00ndancer

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#3
If its not against the principles of objectivity can anyone share a vid or sound clip of their system?
First: Will not do you any good. How are you supposed to listen to a recording of a recording? What will you be using to listen to such recording?
The sound you get will be from my room with my speakers that are most likely not like your room. That's why we use measurements of the quipment we use if we can.

Second: budget?
 

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#5
Agreed and agreed... which is why sight unheard can be frustrating... And also why I agree with applying measurement and integrity as this site does. Otherwise I have no means to say it is or isn't value or a crap shoot purchase. Acknowledged and thankful for the truth in science. Also acknowledged and agree that the room dimensions, air pressure, heck even hairy ears can determine what may be preference to some. Still interests me to hear these things.

The budget - 2500 in around about somewhere in that range or so - ish kinda maybe more or less depending and all that and stuff and depends on the value of the gear. I saw a proceed 5 for sale for example, Plenty of yeah sayers to validate a potential purchase though couldn't find any test measurements.
 

Willem

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#6
Let me first put out some goal posts. These days, electronics are pretty cheap and good. The sonic differences between decent units are small at most. Speakers are far less perfect, so they make or break the sound of your system, and good ones are far more expensive than decent electronics. Hence it is a good idea to spend perhaps 10-20% of your budget on electronics, and the rest on speakers. So within your budget I would suggest something like the Yamaha AS501 stereo amplifier. It has enough power for small to medium rooms, measures very well, and has optical and coaxial digital inputs. Here in Holland it costs 350 euro. The AS 500, its identical predecessor but without the digital inputs was tested here: https://www.avhub.com.au/product-reviews/hi-fi/yamaha-a-s500-amplifier-review-test-395710 For speakers I would go for the little Harbeth P3ESR that costs 2035 euro a pair. This combination is only marginally above your budget and will give you clean and natural sound in a small to medium size room. If the room is larger you may upgrade the speaker to the Harbeth Compact 7 at just over 3000 euro a pair. These are more efficient than the P3ESR, so the almost 100 watts of the Yamaha should still be OK in a medium sized room. If you move to a larger room and want deep bass, you can always add a pair of small subwoofers to either of these speakers. If you are in the US Harbeths are relatively expensive so you may prefer a local offerering.
 
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Xulonn

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#7
If it is mostly for music but also some movies you can easily watch movies in stereo sound. Good 2 ch video audio sounds a lot better than low budget multichannel.
Agreed - I have an excellent LF-limited 2-channel system with my bookshelf speakers on either side of a 40" LED TV and am happy with it. For me, the visual aspect of movies and other videos is dominant, and the sound tracks complement the video - except when watching musical performances, and then the visual aspect complements the dominant sensory input - the music.

Any way I look at it, however, any modern A/V system like my relatively modest one is vastly superior to the A/V experience provided by my aunt and uncle's late 1940's B&W TV with its magnifying glass and rooftop antenna in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Although, back then, when television itself was a new thing, we thought that the magnified TV was an amazing piece of modern technology.)

Magnifier-TV.gif
 

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#8
Anyone have intel on this piece Arcam FMJ AV-888? I looked to see if there was a review on this already here but didn't see one. Older amp but still has things like dual sub outs.. Anyone have one of these?
 

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#10
Fantastic! Thank you Sir. I got the sense you were a bit frustrated with it in all though the bypass was a nugget in the unit? And perhaps that you could get PCM over hdmi.

Curious now, with the Marantz 8802 - 05's and 8 years into the future, is there any resemblance, whiff of the past, that at maybe a few hundred less for a used AV888 would be in the same sensory league - wingdings and widgets aside of course.
 

Sal1950

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#11
(Although, back then, when television itself was a new thing, we thought that the magnified TV was an amazing piece of modern technology.)
I remember them, I also had the thin plastic screen that was tinted blue across the top, a fleshy tan in the center and green at the bottom to give the occasional matching TV picture a taste of color. We'd do anything LOL. Would have never believed then what we would have today. o_O
 

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#12
Let me first put out some goal posts. These days, electronics are pretty cheap and good. The sonic differences between decent units are small at most. Speakers are far less perfect, so they make or break the sound of your system, and good ones are far more expensive than decent electronics. Hence it is a good idea to spend perhaps 10-20% of your budget on electronics, and the rest on speakers. So within your budget I would suggest something like the Yamaha AS501 stereo amplifier. I would go for the little Harbeth P3ESR .
I am actually considering this. Reasonably priced for sure. Those speakers are big for being little. Remind of some Tanoy studio monitors I had. Of course not as fancy. I just can't get my head out of the clouds with thinking somehow I will marry a decent 7.2 HT and Stereo combo.
 

Kal Rubinson

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#13
Fantastic! Thank you Sir. I got the sense you were a bit frustrated with it in all though the bypass was a nugget in the unit? And perhaps that you could get PCM over hdmi.

Curious now, with the Marantz 8802 - 05's and 8 years into the future, is there any resemblance, whiff of the past, that at maybe a few hundred less for a used AV888 would be in the same sensory league - wingdings and widgets aside of course.
Sorry. I don't have any useful memory of it. I generally find their stuff to be quirky but good-sounding.
 

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#14
Ahh - that was exactly how I took your review from 2009 - just wrapped up in one sentence. :) And for sure that was most helpful and of value to me. Thank you again.

Got an eyeball on a Proceed 5 Amp and Integra 80,3 combo for around 1200. not sure this should be the ones to pop the proverbial Hi Fi cheery with. Didn't find any measurements on the site for either of those either.... you didn't happen cover one of those audio devices in the past? :)
 

Sal1950

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#15
I just can't get my head out of the clouds with thinking somehow I will marry a decent 7.2 HT and Stereo combo.
Of course you can, better than "decent", damn excellent in fact.
Now if you insist on SOTA you'll need 5 Revel Salon2's like Don has, etc.
Not in my ball park sadly. LOL

Got an eyeball on a Proceed 5 Amp and Integra 80,3 combo for around 1200. not sure this should be the ones to pop the proverbial Hi Fi cheery with.
I'm really liking the sound of that option.
From the beginning you've tended to lean towards a multich rig and I'd be one to encourage you in that direction.
IMO any very minor difference that might result from very slightly less than SOTA measurement of the Integra over a top of the line pure 2 channel preamp would be extremely subtle and next to impossible to detect without a side by side well executed blind listening test.
On the other hand, the difference between the sound of the playback of a 5.1 multich recording and it's 2 channel version would be very large indeed.. Right now I was listening to the 5.1 BluRay of Roger Waters - Amused to Death. This 24/96 high resolution recording offers amazing inner detail and smoothness, plus adds to the plate the immersive listening experience that can never be equaled by a 2 channel only system.
Completely ignoring the HT aspect, todays fully decreet 5.1 music recordings surpass anything that can be done in stereo in much the same way stereo surpasses mono. Add to that the added enjoyment you can experience with music videos and movies, I think you would be well served either opening your budget some or looking at ways to build the system in financial stages. If it was me, if the price is right I'd grab the Integra/Proceed and do the best you can in the speaker department looking at what might be available used or even in the affordable new lines. If you haven't comb thru the below post and read a bit from some of the other multich folks here.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-for-music-standards-setup-thoughts-etc.3295/

OK hard core 2 channel guys, I got my flame suit on. Let me have it. :)
 
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Kal Rubinson

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#16

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#17
Of course you can, better than "decent", damn excellent in fact.
Now if you insist on SOTA you'll need 5 Revel Salon2's like Don has, etc.
Not in my ball park sadly. LOL

I'm really liking the sound of that option.

Completely ignoring the HT aspect, todays fully decreet 5.1 music recordings surpass anything that can be done in stereo in much the same way stereo surpasses mono. If you haven't comb thru the below post and read a bit from some of the other multich folks here.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-for-music-standards-setup-thoughts-etc.3295/

OK hard core 2 channel guys, I got my flame suit on. Let me have it. :)
Yeah not ready to take a loan out. Especially when there is so much to discover and research - thanks ASR. And yet *I suppose I am a bit like many who want decent gear but not wanting to go all in as disposable cash is something better saved for things like... oh maybe a busted water heater, rear differential or dare I say a vacation. When I grow up I do want to do the ridiculous and build a real HT with real cinema gear and to the side of that room build an audio room / equipped with a glassed in mixing room to boot :) This would be where I'd have the hi fi. Well maybe the lotto will help me. ha!

Now if I could convince the wife that the feature wall I built with the standing waterfall for her is not as cool as having some Big Glowing Tube Amps and 7' speakers then I'd be in the game.

Reading the links now - appreciate it!
 

BDWoody

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#18
Ahh - that was exactly how I took your review from 2009 - just wrapped up in one sentence. :) And for sure that was most helpful and of value to me. Thank you again.

Got an eyeball on a Proceed 5 Amp and Integra 80,3 combo for around 1200. not sure this should be the ones to pop the proverbial Hi Fi cheery with. Didn't find any measurements on the site for either of those either.... you didn't happen cover one of those audio devices in the past? :)
I predict you will be very happy with that combo. That Madrigal/Proceed 5 is in the ML family, and you get some excellent engineering in that heavy box. I use the 80.3 preamp as my main daily driver in the theater, and I have zero complaints.

I'd say for 1200 it would make an amazing setup. Add an old adcom or two for 2 or 4 more channels... Very affordable high quality rig.
 

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#19
Going to run up to road a few hours drive to check it out. Maybe I will be in bliss of some old Rush tracks soon. Now what about all this stuff in External DAC's and Transport devices like Blu Rays etc...? I suppose this is another space to dive into this site on - sweet!
 

BDWoody

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#20
Going to run up to road a few hours drive to check it out. Maybe I will be in bliss of some old Rush tracks soon. Now what about all this stuff in External DAC's and Transport devices like Blu Rays etc...? I suppose this is another space to dive into this site on - sweet!
The Integra has 3x optical and 3x (dig)coax inputs, and its internal DAC hasn't given me any cause for alarm for anything that goes directly to it.

For most audio I go from my Nvidia Shield USB out to D70, then balanced out to Integra. It has a very decent 'direct' mode for any analog in source that takes it out of the DSP loop, other than splitting out the Sub channel for very easy 2.1.

Anyway, for the price for that package I can't imagine you being unhappy.
 
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