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scardeal
scardeal Dork
5/28/13 1:22 p.m.
RossD wrote: Maybe I don't have a good concept on how much power is needed to fill a room of that size, but I have a room that is 12'x40' (living room open to kitchen) with a 8' ceiling. For high volume rocking out, I've rarely had it over 1/3 to 1/2 of full volume for my 100wpc S.S. receiver with 91 db/w/m 12" floor speakers.

In my experience, the volume knob doesn't always accurately reflect the amount of power being drawn by the speakers. I had an issue with my current speakers whereby they were clipping the amp to the receiver at the -15 dB volume level. Different speakers at the same volume level didn't do the same.

It might have been drawing most the capacity of your receiver's amp...

Plus, most receivers' amps are way overrated in their power delivery.

Secretariata
Secretariata Reader
5/28/13 4:38 p.m.
Swank Force One wrote: For bang-for-your-buck vintage speakers, i REALLY like the old Polk Monitors. For your space, a Monitor 7 or Monitor 10 would probably be perfect. Hell, even a set of properly powered Monitor 5s would do. (The 7 is my personal favorite, though.) A tube amp that will generate enough power to fill that space well isn't going to be terribly cheap, though. What's your actual budget?

For 4 speakers and the amp (integrated or combo of preamp and power amp), I'd love to be at or under $1k, but could go to to $1.5k if I don't have to spend more to fix the stuff I buy.

Secretariata
Secretariata Reader
5/28/13 4:40 p.m.
scardeal wrote: I agree. Getting a tube amp powerful enough for a large room is a recipe for major $$$$. If you want a tubey sound, you might want to bi-amp the speakers, assuming they're bi-ampable, and do tubes for mids/tweets and solid-state for the woofers. Then again, that won't save you a bunch of money. If you're in Michigan or Toledo, I can sell you either a pair of Polk Audio RTI10s or TSI300s. I'm not really willing to ship them, though.

Thanks for the offer on the speakers, but I'm in the central part of SC, so unless you're going to the beach this summer I'll probably have to pass. I know good equipment is heavy and shipping large heavy speakers can't be cheap.

Secretariata
Secretariata Reader
5/28/13 4:50 p.m.
Swank Force One wrote: He's working with a REALLY big space, though. If he wants to do it on tubes, he's going to have to spend some money on either the amp(s) or speakers sensitive enough that don't sound like E36 M3.

Yeah, one of the problems with an open floor plan is that it's all open.

I know the volume of the space is an issue. I don't care how it sounds upstairs, but that space is open to absorb and reflect the sound and detract from the main listening area. I just don't realistically have any other space to set it up in. My wife & I listen to a very wide variety of musical styles and as a result I have a preference for the way tubes sound. Also, the space has very little "soft" material (carpet, curtains, fabrics, etc.) so I think the "harshness" of solid state amplification will be exaggerated.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
5/28/13 6:03 p.m.

I may have missed the reason why you needed 4 speakers? What was it?

Secretariata
Secretariata Reader
5/28/13 6:22 p.m.
Swank Force One wrote: I may have missed the reason why you needed 4 speakers? What was it?

Maybe I don't? Just figured with the space I would need them. I'm sort of a newbie when it comes to this. I've only had 2 real systems and the last one was stolen about 20 years ago. Been listening to crappy boom boxes, factory car audio, and the like since then.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
5/28/13 9:13 p.m.

For music, spending the same money on 2 speakers vs 4 will get you farther.

RossD
RossD PowerDork
5/29/13 7:18 a.m.

If you're willing to spend $1k-$1.5k, you might want to talk to a reputable high end sound store. You might be able to try stuff before you buy.

Secretariata
Secretariata Reader
5/29/13 5:48 p.m.
RossD wrote: If you're willing to spend $1k-$1.5k, you might want to talk to a reputable high end sound store. You might be able to try stuff before you buy.

Yeah, but "reputable" and "high end" rarely go in the same sentence in these parts...

scardeal
scardeal Dork
5/30/13 8:46 a.m.

For the $1k range, you're probably going to want to budget around the following:

$300x2 for speakers
$300 for amp/preamp or reciever
$100 for misc - wiring/etc.

Not a lot of wiggle room, there. Based on your budget, it sounds to me that you're definitely looking for used gear here, and so you're limited by availability.

It really depends on what you're looking for. I suppose you could jump over to the Polk Audio Direct eBay store, pick up 2 pair of Monitor 70s and a used surround sound receiver and have decent sound. However, that kind of puts you in a box if it can't really fill the room or you want to go to something nicer in the future.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
5/30/13 9:09 a.m.

I think especially if he goes on the used market, he'll get a better bang for his buck with a $300 budget for BOTH speakers, $600 in amp/preamp, and $100 in wiring.

Hell if it were me, i might even go even farther towards the amplification stage.

I'd probably be looking at $200 for the nicest set of Polk Monitor 7s in the world and the nicest Adcom separates i could afford. (Or B&K, or whatever tickles your fancy.)

On the new market, i'd probably start with a Marantz or Onkyo integrated, then pair them with the nicest Paradigm, Mirage, or maybe Polk with what i had left over.

scardeal
scardeal Dork
5/30/13 1:12 p.m.
Swank Force One wrote: Hell if it were me, i might even go even farther towards the amplification stage. I'd probably be looking at $200 for the nicest set of Polk Monitor 7s in the world and the nicest Adcom separates i could afford. (Or B&K, or whatever tickles your fancy.)

Do you think he could find separates, realistically, for $600? (I'm not trying to contradict you, but I've been unsuccessful in finding something similar.)

I've been looking around for a used cheap 2-channel amp (locally) that can do roughly 150-200w/channel, and I'm still having trouble finding something that's a better deal than a brand new Emotiva. And that's $500.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
5/30/13 1:46 p.m.
scardeal wrote:
Swank Force One wrote: Hell if it were me, i might even go even farther towards the amplification stage. I'd probably be looking at $200 for the nicest set of Polk Monitor 7s in the world and the nicest Adcom separates i could afford. (Or B&K, or whatever tickles your fancy.)
Do you think he could find separates, realistically, for $600? (I'm not trying to contradict you, but I've been unsuccessful in finding something similar.) I've been looking around for a used cheap 2-channel amp (locally) that can do roughly 150-200w/channel, and I'm still having trouble finding something that's a better deal than a brand new Emotiva. And that's $500.

Yeah, Adcoms in particular, probably even B&K with some shopping. Or Hafler. Hafler stuff is REALLY cheap for the sound/power you get, but isn't necessarily the most reliable stuff in the world. I wouldn't shy away from it, but just bear in mind that overall, it's MORE likely to break than an Adcom (brick E36 M3houses) or a B&K.

And if you're not a brand snob, i'm a BIG fan of the Onkyo M-5xxx series of amps. They never EVER sell for more than $150, and they're quite good sounding.

Though again, the "easy button" is to just grab one of the newer Marantz integrated amps. I've messed around with them, and they're quite good. When/if i ever get an office setup, i'll probably just do that for simplicity's sake. (If i don't get bitten hard by the Rega bug i've been trying to fight off.)

scardeal
scardeal Dork
5/30/13 2:13 p.m.

In reply to Swank Force One:

Where are you finding these, btw? Maybe I'm just looking in all the wrong places.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
5/30/13 2:21 p.m.

Craigslist, Ebay.

I also make extensive use of ClubPolk when i'm on an upgrade binge. Those guys tend to clear stuff out for very fair prices, as they typically buy from other ClubPolk members, Craigslist, or Ebay, and they believe very seriously in Karma.

I've probably purchased.... 6-7 Adcom amps off of Craigslist over the years, and 3 of their preamps. Including a super cool SLC-505 that i should never have re-sold. It sounded (poor choice of words for a fully passive preamp) incredible, and i only paid $80 for it.

I probably have less than $1000 into my entire setup right now due to piecing it together from Craigslist mostly through the years. It would have no problems pressurizing, let alone filling the space that he's talking about.

My weak point is my amp at the moment, an old modded Onkyo M-5150 "Cyclops" that benched over 200wpc into 8ohms and it SHOULD double down, though i've never presented a 4ohm load to it. It's powerful, but the caps are starting to get pretty worn/leaky on it. Takes a long time to warm up and it's starting to get a little microphonic, so i just leave it powered up 24/7.

Oh well... i paid $75 for it a good 5 years ago.

scardeal
scardeal Dork
5/30/13 2:51 p.m.

Hrmph. I've been trolling Craigslist over here, and I think it's a 99:1 ratio of car audio sub amps to hifi amps.

Secretariata
Secretariata Reader
5/30/13 5:48 p.m.
Swank Force One wrote: I think especially if he goes on the used market, he'll get a better bang for his buck with a $300 budget for BOTH speakers, $600 in amp/preamp, and $100 in wiring. Hell if it were me, i might even go even farther towards the amplification stage. I'd probably be looking at $200 for the nicest set of Polk Monitor 7s in the world and the nicest Adcom separates i could afford. (Or B&K, or whatever tickles your fancy.) On the new market, i'd probably start with a Marantz or Onkyo integrated, then pair them with the nicest Paradigm, Mirage, or maybe Polk with what i had left over.

I'm definitely planning to go used. Figure that's the best bang for my $. I was kind of thinking similar #'s to what you proposed. $200-$300 per pair of speakers (but I'm going to start with 2 and see if I want/need 4 after a while), $100 for wiring, and the rest for amplification. I was thinking a tube integrated amp, but after thinking about the space, I'm starting to consider a tube preamp and solid state power amp. I like the sound from tubes, but solid state power looks to be cheaper. I could always switch to tube power later if a good deal comes along.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
5/30/13 6:21 p.m.

Tube pre, solid state power is really one of my favorite things.

I need to go through and look at what tube preamps I've had. There was on cheapish one from ebay I got that really impressed me but the name escapes me. Wood face, had the word "angel" in the name. Was using it at the same time as a huge hybrid tube/ss amp.

I'll try to find info and report back.

Secretariata
Secretariata Reader
5/30/13 10:10 p.m.
Swank Force One wrote: I'll try to find info and report back.

That would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for all your input. It has been informative and helped me to narrow my focus which is exactly why I posted here. There are so many choices...

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/1/13 9:38 a.m.

By the way, look for some Polk RTA11Ts as well... very vintage speaker if you've got room for a tower. Small footprint, taller, but sound great.

Alright got some pictures!

Moscode 300 amp. This is a hybrid tube/SS amp. Very powerful, might be good for you if you can find one.

Music Angel tube preamp. This thing was incredible, and i believe they're in the $300 and under range.

Secretariata
Secretariata Reader
6/2/13 7:41 p.m.

In reply to Swank Force One:

Do you have personal experience with the Music Angel? Like many of the Chinese tube products, I find very conflicting reviews. I was looking into the Music Angel and the Yaqin MS-12B, but both have mixed reviews. I also found a Norh ACA 2B, but it scares me in that all the reviews (except one post recommending this last year) I've found are really good, but they are from 2005-2006 and the website looks kind of dated. Seems like a scam looking for credit card #'s.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/2/13 9:56 p.m.

Yep that's my component rack in those pictures.

My suggestion would be to shop for that stuff used. That way you know it's good and someone else took th chance on the factory quality control.

That said, the quality has skyrocketed on the chinese hi-fi gear. Yaqin in particular. I've had a Yaqin cdp through here that was great and I've had a cd-2 in my rig for about 4 years.

scardeal
scardeal Dork
6/4/13 11:43 a.m.

So... I just bought a DeWalt router and a bunch of router bits and a circle jig. 4 friends of mine have said that I can use their table saws. 2 of them live on my street.

Looks like I've got some speakers to build. Now, I just have to wait until I get paid to get materials...

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UberDork
6/4/13 11:58 a.m.
Swank Force One wrote: Alright got some pictures! Moscode 300 amp. This is a hybrid tube/SS amp. Very powerful, might be good for you if you can find one.

Um. Seriously?

I consider myself something of an audiophile, but I have never seen nor heard of that thing. Looks like it would be about as rare (and expensive) as a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe.

Where in the world do you find this stuff?

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/4/13 12:07 p.m.

Ebay, Audiogon, ClubPolk, Craigslist.

The Moscode is typically in the $500-$750 range for a nice one.

I liked it every bit as much as the Adcom 5802 i had through here. (Now that's a BRUTE of an amp, while still sounding very smooth and lush.)

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