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So Confused

btltez

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Hi. Wow this is a great forum! Been stalking and lurking for awhile and decided to post. Here is what I have in my living room:

For my vinyl playing I have all vintage 70's gear:
Kenwood Receiver/JBL LX 44 Speakers/Technics Turntable.

Since I have gotten more and more into hi res streaming with Roon/Qobuzz/Flac files on a Roon / Nucleus server; I bought a Bluesound Node 2i a few years ago. I connected the Node via a Pro-Ject phone amp to my Kenwood so I could play vinyl and stream music with ease.

In the last year, I have quit buying vinyl, and the older I get the less I want to deal with it. Blasphemy I know! But I am loving my hi res files via Roon and just the ease of it all.

So here is where my confusion lies. I am not an audiophile per se, so getting too technical on me will just be lost haha.

I see the new BS Powernode coming out. Saw a Darko new video on how much he loves it paired with KEF Meta speakers and the KEF cube sub. I love my KEF LSX speakers I have in my home office. Amazing.

So I'm wondering; should i go for that new set up which is just about what I can afford, or should I just get a better amp for my current Node 2i and the KEF Metas, or is nothing going to beat my Kenwood and JBL's ?? Or are these old components not good with hi res digital? I mean my current set up sounds good to me but if I can get better I want it.
I can move my vinyl set up to my home office where my records are when I want vinyl listening pleasure.

I live in Palm Springs and there is no good hi fi stores here to go listen to anything. Could drive to San Diego or LA I suppose but that is a hassle.

Anyways thanks for reading and any help/advice is appreciated.
 

DVDdoug

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I don't know anything about those particular components.

Digital sources are the biggest improvement over the last several decades...

The basic sound quality of receivers, amplifiers, and speakers hasn't changed that much. A a modern receiver is a lot different with digital inputs & digital features, probably more power, remote control, and surround sound, etc., Dirac or other automated EQ can help too. But ignoring all of the "features" a good quality receiver from the 70's can sound just as good as a modern receiver.

Speaker design has become easier because the Thiele & Small work and associated software has made it easier to predict low-frequency performance. So I'd guess there a fewer bad speakers on the market (above a certain price range) than in the 70's. But there were good speakers and most speakers are still 2-way or 3-way sealed or ported designs.

Another change, which isn't necessarily a sound-quality improvement is smaller speakers with the woofer/subwoofer in a separate box. That's mainly because with home theater 5 or 7 full-size surround speakers take-up too much space and since low frequencies are non-directional you can get-away with just one (usually larger) woofer/subwoofer.

In the last year, I have quit buying vinyl, and the older I get the less I want to deal with it. Blasphemy I know!
I'm kinda' new here but I'm pretty sure that's NOT case... There may be some vinyl lovers here but probably everybody here understands it's limitations and understands that digital formats are technically superior. Even back in the vinyl days I hated the "snap", "crackle", and "pop". After I got my 1st CD player I never bought another record and when I collected enough CDs I stopped listening to them. I still have a turntable for occasionally digitizing an album that's not available digitally.
 

Joe Smith

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Yeah, the change may be more about convenience/remotes/room coverage for you than sound quality. I am currently streaming from Amazon HD (until Spotify gets their act together, but my office system uses a Marantz 2216 and older PSB speakers. Good signal going into good older amp or amp/preamp still sounds good. If your amp is unrestored, is it still sounding as good as when new? Probably not, but if you like the sound and it's not exhibiting audible issues indicating component aging out (or DC leak to speakers)..fine to keep using if it sounds good to you.

Breaks my heart to hear that Palm Springs has no good audio store - good grief, with all that fabulous Mid Century real estate there - seems like a high end audio store would do very well. I'd move back and open that (I was LA born and bred).
 
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btltez

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I don't know anything about those particular components.

Digital sources are the biggest improvement over the last several decades...

The basic sound quality of receivers, amplifiers, and speakers hasn't changed that much. A a modern receiver is a lot different with digital inputs & digital features, probably more power, remote control, and surround sound, etc., Dirac or other automated EQ can help too. But ignoring all of the "features" a good quality receiver from the 70's can sound just as good as a modern receiver.

Speaker design has become easier because the Thiele & Small work and associated software has made it easier to predict low-frequency performance. So I'd guess there a fewer bad speakers on the market (above a certain price range) than in the 70's. But there were good speakers and most speakers are still 2-way or 3-way sealed or ported designs.

Another change, which isn't necessarily a sound-quality improvement is smaller speakers with the woofer/subwoofer in a separate box. That's mainly because with home theater 5 or 7 full-size surround speakers take-up too much space and since low frequencies are non-directional you can get-away with just one (usually larger) woofer/subwoofer.

I'm kinda' new here but I'm pretty sure that's NOT case... There may be some vinyl lovers here but probably everybody here understands it's limitations and understands that digital formats are technically superior. Even back in the vinyl days I hated the "snap", "crackle", and "pop". After I got my 1st CD player I never bought another record and when I collected enough CDs I stopped listening to them. I still have a turntable for occasionally digitizing an album that's not available digitally.
I still love the sound of vinyl. Also found some sites to download high quality vinyl rips which is another reason I'm just about going all digital. Thanks for all the info!
 
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btltez

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Yeah, the change may be more about convenience/remotes/room coverage for you than sound quality. I am currently streaming from Amazon HD (until Spotify gets their act together, but my office system uses a Marantz 2216 and older PSB speakers. Good signal going into good older amp or amp/preamp still sounds good. If your amp is unrestored, is it still sounding as good as when new? Probably not, but if you like the sound and it's not exhibiting audible issues indicating component aging out (or DC leak to speakers)..fine to keep using if it sounds good to you.

Breaks my heart to hear that Palm Springs has no good audio store - good grief, with all that fabulous Mid Century real estate there - seems like a high end audio store would do very well. I'd move back and open that (I was LA born and bred).
Yes it was restored. And it sounds good but I'm really wondering if new gear would sound better. And yeah it's so weird no audio stores here. And the only good record store just closed down as well. There are some audio/video installation type places but no showrooms that I'm aware of. I truly believe one could be successful here, especially since it would be only game in town.
 

Spkrdctr

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New gear may well sound better. I don't know how old your speakers are but if they are 20 years or older, then buying new will make a big difference. Speakers have really improved a lot (well, ASR tested ones) in the last 5 to 10 years. Also, a subwoofer will really make your system come alive. Fantastic great speakers without spending too much money are available. If you have any questions, just start a conversation with me by clicking on my name and a text box will come up.
 

Doodski

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So I'm wondering; should i go for that new set up which is just about what I can afford, or should I just get a better amp for my current Node 2i and the KEF Metas, or is nothing going to beat my Kenwood and JBL's ??
I am familiar with the JBL LX44. I retailed it for some years when it was a current model. The JBL LX44 have a bright sounding tweeter, great midrange with good efficiency. They should hold their ground compared to many speakers made today. If the amp is a 1970s Kenwood it will sound OK but a new amp may sound a little bit better. The KEF Metas and the LX44 comparison wise is a exercise in different sounding speakers. Both are made well but they are very different speakers.
 

dadregga

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The long and the short of it is that if there are gains to be had, they will not be had by getting a new Bluesound digital source.

Get new speakers and amp if you want - if you upgrade the amp to something made this decade I'd upgrade the speakers and vice-versa.

Or don't, if you're happy.
 

Spkrdctr

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OK, I vote for new gear including speakers! But, that is only one vote. But I'd like to think an important vote. :)
 

JRS

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The long and the short of it is that if there are gains to be had, they will not be had by getting a new Bluesound digital source.

Get new speakers and amp if you want - if you upgrade the amp to something made this decade I'd upgrade the speakers and vice-versa.

Or don't, if you're happy.
I don't think you'll regret it. IMO speakers have improved dramatically, esp at the lower price points. The megabuck speakers are likely better as well, but there the difference is moot given I will never spend 20K for a pair, much less 100k+.

You might start by visiting the speaker reviews section of the forum; simply double click in the area above "Brand" to get an alphabetical list. There are some fine speakers for less than a 1000/pr which may seem like a bunch of $$, but in the 70's that $1000. would be closer to $100-140. Hell the dreck at that price was found at places like Pacific Stere house brands. IIRC JBL 100's were 300/pr--so things have improved. Anyhow best of luck.

Edit: forgot to mention, a very high value option is to consider building a kit. It's not that hard if you have any woodworking skills, or a friend to help. There value is stretched maybe by a factor of 3. That's tougher to estimate at the inexpensive end, but I built some small minimonitors for not much at all at maybe 200.00 w/ cabinets that simply needed to be glued together. Anyhow lots of options.
 

steve59

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Aren't the KEF lsx powered speakers with a dac built in? I owned the very first kef ref that used their uniq driver and that thing is one of the most amplifier sensitive speakers i've ever used, so the idea of having basically an Ls50 with its own components built in sounds great and now that you mention it I may get a pair for my bedroom.
 
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