the Interceptor's general AUDIO thread

the Interceptor

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Triggered by my job and some happenings of late, I thought why not open a thread dedicated to everything related to audio matters?!

Speakers? Amps? DIY? CD-Players? Tapedecks? Instruments? Guitar amps? PC-audio-hardware? ...

Everything audio-related can go in here, may it be questions, problems, advice-seeking or -giving, or just general discussion. I will not be able to answer all questions that may come up (especially regarding instruments), but as there are some musicians around, I think pretty much everyone should be able to get help here. Of course, everyone is welcome to ask questions as well as to give answers.

Post away! :)

EDIT: Just wanted to throw in that I basically am the man for DIY speakers and stereo hifi. I'll do my best to help you in other matters as well, but I won't guarantee.
 
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Lambos r4ever

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Hey interceptor, can you suggest a good website on speakers? (specifically home theater)
 

the Interceptor

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Depends on where you are from. I could recommend you a set of speakers if you tell me what you intend to use them for, what parts you already have and what you'd like to spend.
 

Lambos r4ever

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I have no cash right now, but I am interested in seeing reviews for an imaginary budget of around $500 in US. Or is that too low? Probably just watch movies in surround sound.
PS -I haz nothing right now
 

Derek

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I've been wanting to buy two good stereo (standing) speakers to go with my Azur 540R. I can't decide between the KEF iQ5 SE and Jamo S606 speakers, they're also similary priced making the decision even harder. Perhaps you could provide me with some insight.

I've also lost touch what are good and bad speaker cables to go with those two speakers. The speakers themselves have banana-plugs, where as the Cambridge Audio uses 'conventional' connectors (i.e. bare wire squashed together and stuck behind a pressure knob). Will this be a problem or can you always rip off the banana-plugs on one side?

And what cable should I use (optical) coax or SPDIF to run across my room (approx. 8-9 meters) from my computer to the receiver, without going berserk on the price?

Cheers and nice thread-idea.
 

the Interceptor

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I have no cash right now, but I am interested in seeing reviews for an imaginary budget of around $500 in US. Or is that too low? Probably just watch movies in surround sound.
PS -I haz nothing right now
Try this website for a start: http://www.avreview.co.uk/

I've been wanting to buy two good stereo (standing) speakers to go with my Azur 540R. I can't decide between the KEF iQ5 SE and Jamo S606 speakers, they're also similary priced making the decision even harder. Perhaps you could provide me with some insight.
Go for the KEF. The (KEF) Uni-Q is a very good coaxial driver, the whole speaker line is excellent for the money. The Jamo is made a bit odd, the measurements are worse, and so is the sound.

I've also lost touch what are good and bad speaker cables to go with those two speakers. The speakers themselves have banana-plugs, where as the Cambridge Audio uses 'conventional' connectors (i.e. bare wire squashed together and stuck behind a pressure knob). Will this be a problem or can you always rip off the banana-plugs on one side?
I'd use conventional speaker cables with a width of 1,5 mm^2, better 2,5 mm^2. You don't need bananas at either end, both the amp as well as the speaker can connect to a "naked" cable, which is the easiest and a good connection at that.

And what cable should I use (optical) coax or SPDIF to run across my room (approx. 8-9 meters) from my computer to the receiver, without going berserk on the price?
S/P-DIF can be both, optical as well as coaxial digital transmission. It doesn't really matter which one you use, since the prices are similar. You should just get a cable dedicated to such use, a standard cinch audio cable will eat the signals at that length. Both cable types come at under 20 Euros at a length of 10m here, so you should be able to get them for about the same. Note that the optical cable is insensible to electromagnetic fields (= good), but it doesn't like being bent too much.
 
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Derek

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Thanks alot!

Any specific speakercable brands I should stay away from? Or just use generic ones?
 

the Interceptor

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Any specific speakercable brands I should stay away from? Or just use generic ones?
You can't really go wrong on speaker cables. Buy something that looks like this...



... and be happy. Doesn't matter who makes it. Just make sure the width is alright (2,5 mm^2).
 

mautzel

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I've been into Hifi a couple of years ago and finally got off upgrading to everything I could afford. The only thing that I still consider to replace from time to time are my meanwhile ancient Elac 8060 speakers. I always liked the idea to own a pair of british speakers and often took a look on the B&W 600 series, but never was sure whether they'd be worth their price and if there'd be a better alternative to line up with my Sony TA-FA3 amp. Although I don't consider upgrading right now, would you recommend any alternatives, Interceptor?
 

the Interceptor

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There's not much to say against a B&W. They probably are not the gods they are being made to by so many people, but they do make good stuff. If you are to replace a bookshelf speaker, a B&W 685 is a good choice.

EDIT: I've done a bit of research on the 685. It's a good speaker. The sound has a tendency to the darker, moody side of things. Now, it depends on what you like. If you have to have the sound in your face and need a good slapping from time to time, this isn't your speaker. If you want it to play everything and just make you have a nice time without getting on your nerves, it's good.
 
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73GMCSprint

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You can't really go wrong on speaker cables. Buy something that looks like this...



... and be happy. Doesn't matter who makes it. Just make sure the width is alright (2,5 mm^2).
Shielded wiring is usually a good idea too. But other than that, wire is wire. Monster brand would have you believe otherwise, but it's not true.
 

the Interceptor

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Shielded wiring is usually a good idea too. But other than that, wire is wire. Monster brand would have you believe otherwise, but it's not true.
Shielding is important when the signals are tiny and fragile. After amplification, shielding doesn't really do much anymore.
 

Derek

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You can't really go wrong on speaker cables. Buy something that looks like this...



... and be happy. Doesn't matter who makes it. Just make sure the width is alright (2,5 mm^2).
Cheers. :thumbsup:
 

Hidden_Hunter

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We've got a Denon amp and some yamaha speakers here in AU, which asides from some HDMI issues with the amp initially (our reseller had to copy updated firmware to it)

My dad has Anthem AVM50 which is fantastic and connected to it are paradigm reference speakers and an ultracube 12"

Fantastic combination
 

Hercules286

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I fried an output stage of my soundcard when I connected an oscillating tube amp to it. The symptoms are lots of crosstalk and gross distortion when playing loud. Do you think it would be back to normal if I swapped the op-amp? Do you think I could swap the op-amp without frying the card? It's an Audigy SE.
 

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Anything but Bose.
 

Olie

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No highs, no lows, it must be bose. :)

<Home Theater>
Harman Kardon HD CD
Harman Kardon DVD
Harman Kardon Receiver
Digidesign M-Box
Beyond Audio X-One 12" with about 800wrms (yes its over kill, but I like my bottom end dynamics)
Mordaunt Short Festival Series

Cabling By Canare (Quadcore, 75Ohm for video)

Pics etc later.
 

the Interceptor

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I fried an output stage of my soundcard when I connected an oscillating tube amp to it. The symptoms are lots of crosstalk and gross distortion when playing loud. Do you think it would be back to normal if I swapped the op-amp? Do you think I could swap the op-amp without frying the card? It's an Audigy SE.
You could try, given you can get your hands on a new OP-Amp and you know how to solder. There is a chance you will fry more than your soundcard though (like the mainboard), since you don't know whether there's more substantial damage to the card already. Given it's low price, I'd just get a new one.
DTMracer said:
Anything but Bose.
A very general statement, but absolutely true. :mrgreen:
 

DTMracer

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I'm a big Cambridge Audio fan.
 
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