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Newish to world of audio, am I ready for an upgrade?


Poncy
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Hey everyone

 

Got my first passive speaker 2.1 setup 6 months ago and loved every moment since. Thinking about an upgrade to enjoy even more, and because life is short. On other hand, perhaps I should chill a bit since I'm fairly new to audio and til my ears are more educated. What do you guys think - should I upgrade now, or later?

 

I have Kef q150s + basic sub and av receiver used for 50% music, 50% tv. Budgeting a 4k upgrade (real budget 6k). I’ve auditioned a few 2-4k RRP bookshelves - I think the 2ks (LS50) might be better than mine, and the 4ks (dynaudio) sounded amazing though not in a way I can pinpoint, slightly more detailed, maybe more emotional and full (or the placebo is real). I admit I can’t really discern differences between better models in the way that other members do, at least with all the wait time in between with swapping speakers, going to another store, etc.

 

I’m inclined to spend the entire budget on speakers, especially after reading a few other threads, and upgrade rest later. But this makes me hesitate since I’ll keep it for longer so it seems more important that I’m able to tell the difference between different models, and know what sound signature I like. Finally, it’s not obvious to me when auditioning at a store, how much improvement is due to their superior setup with room treatment, top end amp, etc versus the speakers.

 

Thanks for reading. Cheers for any insights

 

Nathan

 

 

 

 

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If you're enjoying your music then leave well enough alone, would be my advice. 

 

It won't be long before you'll be shelling out sums of money you wouldn't previously have even imagined to be plausible for electronic equipment... but you no longer have any control over coz you 'need' better sound.

Don't bring those days forward any earlier than need be ?

 

(written partly in jest)

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If you’re enjoying what you’ve got, there’s no need to rush your upgrade.

 

My advice is to you is to go out and listen to as many different speakers / setups as you can. No need to be too analytical about it. Relax and find the speakers you really enjoy listening to. The ones that engage you emotionally.

 

I think you’ll end up finding speaker(s) that you want to listen to again. Don’t resist. Do it.  Given time the speakers may end up choosing themselves.

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53 minutes ago, Bunno77 said:

If not going surround just yet sell the AVR and get a good 2 channel amp. Just need a dac which can be internal or external with toslink to get audio from a TV

i didn't even know about this! I thought TVs only supported audio out ha. Digital pass through is pretty nice. Even still I'm not sure its worth spending on a stereo amp to get a bit more out of my kefs when likely I'll want surround in a year or so

 

thanks all for the advice, much appeciated. I had a feeling I should slow down, guess I'm just excited ?

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Exactly.

 

Over excitement can cause premature spending, resulting in audiophile depression.

 

I'm only able to offer these comments based on the observations of others.......................nothing to do with myself, of course.

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Hey Nathan,

 

if you’re happy with your current setup then the main thing to do is enjoy listening to your music/movies. 
 

Take your time to trawl through the forums. More importantly as previously advised, listen to a few different setups. 
 

The longer you spend with your favourite tracks, the more you will be able to critique different setups too which can’t do any harm. 
 

 No matter what you get, if you get the bug, you could be looking for the next big thing ?. It’s a slippery slope! 

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Consider going to a stereo amplifier. But staying 2.1. A good stereo amp will sound better than an AVR (as a general rule). If you want to keep your AVR you could try HT bypass with the stereo amp.

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if you’re happy with your current setup then the main thing to do is enjoy listening to your music/movies. 

 

This is sensible advice but let’s be honest this ain’t going to happen once you have the upgrade bug - Half the fun is trying new stuff and learning about what you like and don’t like. The other argument against this strategy is that it takes a long time to understand what’s out there, what you like, what you don’t and where the value is. 
 

I have tread down this path and my advice would be to enjoy it. But I would also caution you about the law of diminishing returns. I would suggest you buy and sell from the classifieds here. This gives you a great opportunity to try many different speakers without losing a lot of money when you resell.

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One thing is absolutely certain, life is short. 

I would also try amplifiers:

1 x tube

4 x class AB

2 x class D

Active speakers are a nice option as well.

You can always separate HT from stereo and have 2 pairs of speakers. 

There are soundbars for HT as well.

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18 minutes ago, Dasher said:

Half the fun is trying new stuff and learning about what you like and don’t like. The other argument against this strategy is that it takes a long time to understand what’s out there, what you like, what you don’t and where the value is. 

agree! i live for the dopamine hit. on the second, just having the exposure to ideas and having them at the back of my mind has helped with other purchases in other hobbies

 

1 hour ago, Irek said:

I would also try amplifiers:

1 x tube

4 x class AB

2 x class D

Active speakers are a nice option as well.

many comments about trying out stereo amplifiers. i don't have personal experience but from trawling forums, people agree speakers are important, but only some think amplifiers impact sound a lot. that has inclined me to go with the certainty (speakers). for those that adivse trying out amplifiers, is most value in the power amp, or pre + dac too?

 

one eventual setup have considered for both HT and decent stereo is an AVR with L+R preout into stereo amp (power amp specifically?). i guess that would let me reuse any stereo amp purchase

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On 23/08/2020 at 8:07 PM, Poncy said:

Hey everyone

 

Got my first passive speaker 2.1 setup 6 months ago and loved every moment since. Thinking about an upgrade to enjoy even more, and because life is short. On other hand, perhaps I should chill a bit since I'm fairly new to audio and til my ears are more educated. What do you guys think - should I upgrade now, or later?

 

I have Kef q150s + basic sub and av receiver used for 50% music, 50% tv. Budgeting a 4k upgrade (real budget 6k). I’ve auditioned a few 2-4k RRP bookshelves - I think the 2ks (LS50) might be better than mine, and the 4ks (dynaudio) sounded amazing though not in a way I can pinpoint, slightly more detailed, maybe more emotional and full (or the placebo is real). I admit I can’t really discern differences between better models in the way that other members do, at least with all the wait time in between with swapping speakers, going to another store, etc.

 

I’m inclined to spend the entire budget on speakers, especially after reading a few other threads, and upgrade rest later. But this makes me hesitate since I’ll keep it for longer so it seems more important that I’m able to tell the difference between different models, and know what sound signature I like. Finally, it’s not obvious to me when auditioning at a store, how much improvement is due to their superior setup with room treatment, top end amp, etc versus the speakers.

 

Thanks for reading. Cheers for any insights

 

Nathan

 

 

 

 

Beware of "emotional" speakers.

They can be unpredictable when under stress.?

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7 hours ago, Poncy said:

is most value in the power amp, or pre + dac too?

 

one eventual setup have considered for both HT and decent stereo is an AVR with L+R preout into stereo amp (power amp specifically?). i guess that would let me reuse any stereo amp purchase

you can have one box solution (integrated amplifier) or preamplifier + power amplifier  or DAC + power amp or AVR + power amp or AVR + integrated with HT bypass.

Generally speaking integrated amps are the most popular for a good reason.  

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