Amps/Speaker Selection Help Please

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by StateOfTheArt, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. StateOfTheArt

    StateOfTheArt Beatle Know-it-all Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    Uh -- what does that mean? lol Sorry noob - good or bad?
     
  2. Grateful Ed

    Grateful Ed Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vermont
    Well it depends - 92dB peaks may be more than loud enough for some or nowhere near loud enough for others.

    SPL is sound pressure level - measured in decibels. The sensitivity of a speaker is typically measured by how loud they can get at 1 meter with 1 watt of power. So for the ELAC, 1 watt will give you 87dB peaks if you are 1 meter from the speaker. Peaks tend to be about 6dB higher than the average SPL in music. You need to double power for every increase of 3dB. That’s why 50w is such a sweet spot in the integrated amplifier world. It becomes increasingly more expensive to get minor increases in volume after the 40-50 watt range.

    If you push your amplifier beyond what it can cleanly output to a given speaker (based on sensitivity and wattage), it will start to clip. Clipping, at best will add audible distortion or a compressed sound, and at worst, will blow your tweeter. I’ve done it before - it sucks. Unpowering your speakers can be very risky if you don’t have an idea of the levels you listen at.

    I’d say your probably safe considering you share walls with neighbors and don’t seem to blare your music, but I think it’s a smart thing for anyone investing money in hifi gear to have a good understanding of.

    Hope that all makes sense!
     
  3. StateOfTheArt

    StateOfTheArt Beatle Know-it-all Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    Much better - yes thank you. I don't blast it - but I don't want to leave myself trapped in the future. I requested another unit from Emotiva to see if it was defective. It'll have a bit more power on tap. That way I can do another AB
     
    Grateful Ed and SandAndGlass like this.
  4. souladdikt

    souladdikt Forum Resident

    Location:
    IL
    As others have suggested, it's time to just sit with what you have and enjoy the music. Listen to as much music as you can and then start to think about what you might be missing or what doesn't seem quite right to you. Play around with speaker placement, toe-in, height--whatever small things you can if space is limited. You have at least the 30 days to try out the Onkyo and become familiar with it and its pairing with your speakers in your space. I suggest you try not to look at what other amps might be out there for at least 2-3 weeks of that trial period because it puts you in a frame of mind that there is better. I'm not saying you shouldn't trial other amps, but you haven't really given this very new system a complete shakedown yet.

    Edit: Just saw you've got another Emotiva on the way. Should be a nice trial now that you've had the Onkyo for a few days and can compare after a slightly longer evaluation.
     
    SandAndGlass and StateOfTheArt like this.
  5. SoundDoctor

    SoundDoctor Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    Michael's system is fantastic!

    To answer @StateOfTheArt, I have the ELAC Debut B5 speakers and Onkyo TX-8260 amp. They sound excellent. The Onkyo has a built-in phono preamp and DAC, so it's very good for $300-350. I have no other experience in amps, though.
     
    StateOfTheArt and SandAndGlass like this.
  6. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    F.Y.I., Upscale Audio made a big purchase of Musical Fidelity integrated amplifier's, they are $999 retail and he is offering them for $599.

    MUSICAL FIDELITY M2SI INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER

    Now this does not have a built in DAC or phono stage, but it is a very nice product and the best deal going that I know of right at the moment. The M2si delivers 76 watts per channel into 8ohms and 137 watts into 4ohms. This means the M2si will drive a wide range of speakers.

    Here is a video by Kevin Deal, the owner of Upscale Audio, on the M2SI integrated.



    Specifications
    Power output: 76 W per channel into 8 ohm (19 dBW)
    THD(+ noise): <0.014 % typical, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
    Signal to Noise Ratio: >96dB ‘A’-weighted
    Frequency Response: +0, –0.1 dB, 10 Hz to 20 kHz
    Inputs: 6x Line Level RCA (1x includes Home Theatre Passthrough Option)
    Line Outputs: Preamp Out, Tape Out
    General: Remote Control Included
    Dimensions - WxHxD (mm): 440 x 100 x 400
    Weight (unpacked / packed): 9.2 kg/ 13 kg
     
    Grateful Ed and SirMarc like this.
  7. StateOfTheArt

    StateOfTheArt Beatle Know-it-all Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greenville, SC

    Wow that is a sweet deal - the lack of dac is a bummer but it's still very very nice. May call them up and audition one!
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  8. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I have a Emotiva Fusion Flex amp that is a 50-Watt amp that I use to drive my rear towers. It is about the same amp as their A-100 Stereo Flex Amplifier. The main difference is that it has a single channel input and a 1/4" headphone jack. Mine has two inputs. I use one of them for my rear HT towers and one for my stereo rear channel speakers. I like to have a more immersive sound when listening to stereo. For rear stereo I reverse the channels so the front right channel is now as the rear main channel and vice versa.

    [​IMG]

    I would like to replace it with one that has about 100-Watts. I was looking at the Musical Fidelity integrated myself.

    I have looked at the integrated that you had purchased from Emotiva. I looked to see it they had another one with more power, but no.

    They have the A-300 power amplifier, which has 150-WPC for $399 but I would need to get a small RCA switch box to use with that.
     
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  9. Yes. Well, then again I can't speak for everyone, but many of us do!

    IMO as long as at some point one can declare "completion / satisfaction" for long enough to enjoy the music before starting the next upgrade cycle :), and not get caught in the endless gear treadmill!

    For me, I'll get there.... just have to address my preamp... oh, and try a better phono preamp... oh, and it wouldn't hurt to compare my new speakers to something else... :) Argh.

    Oh what the heck, who am I kidding. But I do enjoy it, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it. Plus, my system is sound pretty darned good to me these days and that's what counts.
     
    StateOfTheArt and Helom like this.
  10. StateOfTheArt

    StateOfTheArt Beatle Know-it-all Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    It's extremely hard - I try not to fall for the marketing hype - but I have to admit - the exposure of the Elacs got me interested.

    That is why I asked such knowledgeable seasoned audiophiles, however this is so subjective it's hard with even suggestions.

    So - it's almsot if I were to phrase it like - If you could go back in time - knowing what you know now - you are just starting out. You have Approx $800 dollars or so to play with for a system. What would you buy?

    This is the best I could do not really wanting vintage stuff and avoiding snake oil. I am proud of my interconnects and speaker wire though - those were home runs for the price.
     
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  11. Grateful Ed

    Grateful Ed Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vermont
    $800 for new gear is challenging. Most amplifiers even worth your time will be at least $400 (as you've already found out), which only leaves you $400 for speakers, interconnects and maybe even a DAC depending on which amp you choose. In that price range, powered speakers may be a good option. The downside is that they don't offer flexibility in the future. I used to own a pair of Audioengine HD6 powered speakers, and they were great. Under $700 and they come with all the cables you need, plus a built-in DAC, bluetooth and a remote control. The amp built in to the left speaker is a true class A/B amplifier. Bass response is very good. They also have a great warranty, and their customer service is top-notch. I personally think they look very nice also.

    https://audioengineusa.com/shop/wirelessspeakers/hd6-wireless-speakers/

    I am glad you got a good deal on your interconnects and speaker wire, but in this price range I would advise to spend as little as possible on that stuff to save for money for speakers. Honestly, I don't think I'll ever go fancier than Blue Jeans Cable, no matter what the rest of my system is like. I've always subscribed to the philosophy of spending the majority of a budget on speakers, which is why $800 is such a tough budget for me to make recommendations.

    If $800 is your hard line budget, I would seriously consider powered speakers. If, maybe in a few months, you could extend that budget to $1,200 - $1,400, you will have way more options for passive speakers and an integrated amplifier.

    If you're not into the idea powered speakers and want to stay under $800, I'd say the ELACs are a good choice paired with the Emotiva TA-100 or NAD C 316 BEE. The PSB Alpha B1 is also a solid bookshelf speaker for $300/pair.

    And I know you said you don't want to buy used, but there are great deals to be had here in the classifieds section from folks who take really great care of their gear.

    Good luck!
     
    StateOfTheArt likes this.
  12. StateOfTheArt

    StateOfTheArt Beatle Know-it-all Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    I thought about the Vanatoo T1 Encores! those are solid looking - but I came from powered bookshelves - and you're right. No flexibility for the future.

    I want to start my audiophile journey - a serious one. I invested in BJC interconnects, and Canare speaker wire. Total came under 100 dollars. So - that came out of the 1K total budget. Elac B6. I am going to audition a TA100 again - I think my first was defective. I do like the of the NAD's but there are forums littered with complaints about how many problems people have with them.
     
  13. Grateful Ed

    Grateful Ed Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vermont
    I didn’t realize you were coming from powered bookshelves. Good call on the Blue Jeans Cable! Really solid, affordable stuff.

    I’ve had 2 of these NAD amps and have yet to have a problem (knock on wood)! I think that or the Emotiva are both solid enough to keep around even if you upgrade your speakers in the future. I doubt you’ll do better than the ELACs for $300.

    The Musical Fidelity amp mentioned above from Upscale Audio is an awesome deal. If you can swing that and the cost of a DAC, I would do it. That way when you’re ready to upgrade your speakers at some point, you’ll already have a great amplifier.

    I almost bought the Musical Fidelity from Upscale Audio earlier this year when I upgraded my system, but it was a little too deep for the space my amp currently is. If I had known about the Emotiva TA-100 at the time, I may have gone for that, but I have had good experience with NAD in the past and stuck with the C 316BEE V2. It was also recommended to me by Dave from Ascend Acoustics.

    Just out of curiosity, what are the main complaints people have with NAD these days? I haven’t read any, but I don’t participate in any other forums.
     
    SandAndGlass and StateOfTheArt like this.
  14. StateOfTheArt

    StateOfTheArt Beatle Know-it-all Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    Just a quick update: I decided the Onkyo doesn't have enough clarity and wattage for me. It's like it got so close to sounding perfect but something was just amiss. It could be the speakers, or my room.

    I have a new contender: Factory refurb NAD 356BEE w/DAC (80 Watts) - the addition of the usb module is a nice touch.

    I was offered a good price - is this a better option thatn the Emotiva TA-100?
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  15. SirMarc

    SirMarc Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    I'd go with the NAD all day long...
     
    Grateful Ed and StateOfTheArt like this.
  16. StateOfTheArt

    StateOfTheArt Beatle Know-it-all Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    Pulled the trigger on the NAD - it has a warranty and 30 day return policy - it seems like it has a lot of nice features! Excited to have a real setup.
     
    Grateful Ed, Morbius and SirMarc like this.
  17. SirMarc

    SirMarc Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    I've heard the NAD, its a nice sounding integrated. I think you'll enjoy it with the Elacs. Let us know what you think
     
    StateOfTheArt likes this.
  18. StateOfTheArt

    StateOfTheArt Beatle Know-it-all Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    Thanks SirMarc -I appreciate all of the help. Please let me know if you have any questions about Beatles vinyl - I am sure I could answer your questions!
     
    SirMarc likes this.
  19. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Who knows,, give it a try and find out.

    NAD makes excellent gear and they have strong power supplies, which counts more than advertised wattage.
     
    SirMarc and TheVinylAddict like this.
  20. StateOfTheArt

    StateOfTheArt Beatle Know-it-all Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    I mean it's an 800 dollar amp from 2014 - it has USB input - Burr brown DAC 24/96 - or optical 24/192, and the Line in - which is all I need for HiRes and vinyl playback. For a little over half price - it was a steal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018 at 2:36 PM
    SirMarc and SandAndGlass like this.
  21. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    That is what I like. You are catching on! Buy used and you get gear worth twice the price that you are buying it for.

    I buy as much gear, which is most of my gear used and every single piece is still working.
     
    StateOfTheArt and TheVinylAddict like this.
  22. SirMarc

    SirMarc Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    Thanks, but I'm pretty much Beatled out. I listened to them so much in the 70's and 80's, I rarely listen to them anymore. I do have an early White Album with all the posters still in it! I also have all the 80's represses and the stereo ones from a few years ago
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  23. StateOfTheArt

    StateOfTheArt Beatle Know-it-all Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    Aw man - well fyi its a good time to get interested again - check out the Pepper remix -it is quite good. the new remix of the white album is out next month! And in 5.1 if you're not a 2 channel guy! Check it out!
     
    SirMarc likes this.
  24. StateOfTheArt

    StateOfTheArt Beatle Know-it-all Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    For future reference only: Is PS Audio good stuff? I almost bought the Sprout100 - but I wasn't convinced a class D amp would do it for me. If I wanted a class D amp - I would buy the NAD D3020 with all the same functionality. Basically the same unit for 200 less.

    I mean - their stuff is a fortune! Is it mostly snake oil?
     
  25. StateOfTheArt

    StateOfTheArt Beatle Know-it-all Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    Sorry for double post - I forgot to hit quote button - Yes! It had the warranty and return policy intact from Safe and Sound in Mass. - that was a bit of a comfort!
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.

Share This Page