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Shintsu
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:47 pm

Have made a new purchase since the last I was around:






A Denon AVR-4802 THX Ultra 7.1 receiver. Not going to mention what I paid, but it retailed for $2,200 in 2004. Here's the control center:


This by itself is $500. Needless to say, I will be using this for some time. The receiver weighs 45 lbs, 125 watts x 7 with 7 individual amplifiers. Made in Japan, not China. A picture of the internals (not mine, same model):


Was formerly a stereo person, but I am now surround. In the process of obtaining a pair of B&W DM 601 S2 bookshelf speakers:


A matching B&W center, and possibly a B&W subwoofer. Currently using a pair of Infinity Qe's with EMIT tweeters (Not mine again, but they look the same):


If you were looking for an audio system near $200 you should've bought a set of Logitech Z-5500 speakers - full 5.1, THX certified, remote, etc. They're $280 on sale regularly and well worth $80 more. A picture of Z-5500s:


After using this Denon for some time, I fail to see how anyone can live with Home Theaters in a Box (HTIB). Speakers by Sony, Panasonic, JVC...lowest quality. Shamefully, Bose is also up there in the low quality department but instead the high price. Did you know Bose is an acronym? Indeed - Buy Other Sound Equipment - BOSE.
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PostSubject: Home audio   Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:00 pm

Wondering if anyone has any recomendations on home audio speakers. I have a Sony ES 1 receiver that I will be powering them with. I'd like to try and keep it under a $1000. Looking for a 5.1 set up with a powered sub. I know Klipsch makes some good speakers but I also know you get what you pay for when it comes to home audio. Thanks
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:17 pm

You are somewhat limited to your choices in the $1,000.00 range. But still capable of getting a great set-up. My first 5.1 set-up was much less than that and over time i bought and replaced individual components as I could afford to and as I wanted to based on something new to market.
What I tell everyone I know that is in the market for their first 5.1 system is to not skimp on the center channel speaker. This is by far the most important speaker of the system as it broadcasts all the voice dialog and other sounds when watching a movie. It will consist of multiple tweeters and mid-range speakers.
I suggest going to the High End stores to start listening to systems as they will have separate rooms set up for listening to different systems and they should be set up so you can watch a movie recorded in Dolby 5.1 comfortably and generally speaking a more knowledgeable staff than a Best Buy or similar. The Best buys and others do sell some nice equipment if you already know what you want to buy you can get a good deal. But not the best places to evaluate the speakers. Too noisy and busy a place for that.
You DO NOT want to try and make a decision based on listening to music as that is not going to give you any idea how it will sound using it the way you intend, watching movies. If you get a system that sounds great listening to a movie then it will sound great listening to music, but not necessarily the other way around.
That is why I say you need to start the process by going to different High End stores even if half of their equipment is outside your budget. You will be able to sit and watch part of different movies with different things going on in the movie that will allow you to evaluate the performance of the components, such as explosions (sub woofer) and front main speakers, and just dialog, people communicating - can you understand what they are saying clearly, etc. Some of the better equipped stores will have actual theater seating or couches for you to get comfortable and listen - in as close to a home environment as possible.
Do yourself a favor and bring a small notepad and something to write with so you can write down the different manufactures name and the model numbers of the products that you listened to. When you get home after a day of listening look up the individual components and see what is written about quality, sound, value and warranty. Each piece of equipment does not necessarily have to come from the same manufacturer while you are evaluating the quality of sound. But when you do make a choice you will probably buy a set up from an individual manufacturer as it is more cost effective, generally speaking. But not necessarily the case. I have a mixture of equipment from adding and changing things over the years. I started with a JBL 5.1 set up with powered sub woofer, back when all there was was Pro-Logic. Dolby 5.1 came after. Just be sure they are all Impedance Matched and you shouldn't have a problem. You already have a good Amp to start out with.
Take your time and listen to a bunch of stuff before you buy. You have a better chance of liking what you've purchased that way. Also, when you bring home your components and hook them up they will probably sound different from what you remember at the store due to each room having different acoustics, So make sure you buy from a store that has a hassle free return or exchange policy in case something needs to be returned or exchanged.
Good Luck, Take Your Time and enjoy the shopping experience.


Last edited by Rickw on Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:18 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:08 pm

Occasionally, Best Buy will put a Yamaha 5.1 Receiver, and Klipsch Quintet III with Subwoofer on sale for $999.99. That is what I bought and I love it.

You can get everything in 1 box sets that sound great for $500.

If you have nothing, you can get a cheap (disposable) Surround set for a little over a $100 that, while admittedly limited, is much better than the sound from any TV.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:42 pm

I have nothing hooked up right now so anything will be better than nothing. I have a 55" Mitsubishi rear projection with HDMI inputs but my receiver does not support it so I will be using the ol Red green blue connections. jump
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:28 am

To much effort to post pics but if your really dying to see I can take sum.

Home theatre:
Nakamichi DVD 10S
Nakamichi MB 10
Nakamichi AV 10 reciever
Sony BlueRay player
Nakamichi surge protection hub

Energy RVSS surrounds
Energy Center Channel (dual 5.25 ported with single ferril fluid cooled tweet)
Energy C-8 fronts
Energy C-4 rears
Energy XLS 12" 600w ported woofer

61" flat screen HDTV
Kimber cable braided speaker wire
all speakers running on bi-wire setup

burnout
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:47 pm

Nice! I always loved the Nakamichi stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:48 pm

How much did the Kimber Kable set you back?

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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:20 pm

Kimber Cable was mid grade for what they offered and was $4.25 per foot. I think I bought close to 100ft overall have to look at the bills its been like 7 years.

"deekster_caddy": I fell in love with Nakamichi the first time I saw it. I was torn between Harman Kardon and Nakamichi. Every1 and their dog had Harman Kardon around here so I dared to be different, and I couldn't be happier. Specially knowing that my friends that had the Harman's both had to replace them, and all my gear is still going hard. It really is a shame you can't buy Nakamichi in N.A. anymore. IMO the best Japanese audio maker to ever produce a "quality" piece of home audio. I loved the style of them most of all, nice squarish edgey style, not overloaded with lights and displays.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:06 pm

AA wrote:
Quote :
Stuff from the 70's isn't all that great though. I will say the 80's seemed to be the hayday of audio equipment. I have seen a lot of nice equipment from the 80's but everything I've seen from the 70's - save my Pioneer turntable and Luxman integrated amp - is old and not working. Commonly I see the old stuff at Goodwill and everytime I look at it there's knobs missing, stuff broke off, you plug it in and only half the display lights up and it looks in generally shoddy condition.

Well, like most any product, technological progress makes the quality get better. The stuff being made now is superior to the '90s, '80s, etc. But the fundamentals of amp and speaker design have not changed in over 50 years, so the companies you're speaking of, who make the good gear: Krell, Adcom, Pioneer, Marantz, Carver... they made good gear in the '70s, too. It's generally not as good as the stuff they're making now, but it's still better than a lot of the consumer level components you can buy nowadays. A few of the good names did things right back then, and a some of their vintage gear is now regarded as classic.

Agreed, tubes aren't as good technically, but up until a class-A tube amp begins to reach its limit, I imagine it's pure sonic bliss. Solid states give you more power, less distortion, and longer life. but there's just something sexy about tubes glowing in the dark. If I was designing a high end stereo system, it would be powered by a pair of these McIntosh monoblocks:



While technically not the most powerful or lowest distortion amplifiers, they represented the pinnacle of Hi-Fi back in the '60s, and amazingly, they will still crank out the dynamics of today's music with ease. There are several of the originals floating around. Like a classic Corvette, they are highly prized and hold their value well, but they aren't out of reach price-wise, if a good system is important to you.

my friend has 5 of those and a 275 i believe powering his Gallo 3.1 theater system and has some gallo in wall rears too. the 275 powers a pair of $4,000 ATC bookshelves in a different room, just for he hell of it. I kinda envy his speaker collection =[quote="Shintsu"]ulti thousand dollar theater systems like his multiple systems costing that much. I mean who has that system in their entertainment room next to their kitchen, then some JMlab utopia's in the basement with berylium tweeters in them?


Shintsu wrote:
Have made a new purchase since the last I was around:






A Denon AVR-4802 THX Ultra 7.1 receiver. Not going to mention what I paid, but it retailed for $2,200 in 2004. Here's the control center:


This by itself is $500. Needless to say, I will be using this for some time. The receiver weighs 45 lbs, 125 watts x 7 with 7 individual amplifiers. Made in Japan, not China. A picture of the internals (not mine, same model):


Was formerly a stereo person, but I am now surround. In the process of obtaining a pair of B&W DM 601 S2 bookshelf speakers:


A matching B&W center, and possibly a B&W subwoofer. Currently using a pair of Infinity Qe's with EMIT tweeters (Not mine again, but they look the same):


If you were looking for an audio system near $200 you should've bought a set of Logitech Z-5500 speakers - full 5.1, THX certified, remote, etc. They're $280 on sale regularly and well worth $80 more. A picture of Z-5500s:


After using this Denon for some time, I fail to see how anyone can live with Home Theaters in a Box (HTIB). Speakers by Sony, Panasonic, JVC...lowest quality. Shamefully, Bose is also up there in the low quality department but instead the high price. Did you know Bose is an acronym? Indeed - Buy Other Sound Equipment - BOSE.


you're better of going to partsexpress.com and buying a $30 pair of dayton bookshelves, a decent tight bass sub, and a cheap amp and going stereo for a while. THX certified or not, those satellites have trouble hitting 80hz, and have a horrible EQ curve to them on both highs and lows due to diaphragm size and no tweeter. then we get to the distortion. Logitech amplification always has at lweast around 10% THD (total harmonic distortion). this will always make the audio sound bad, even on a $20,000 pair of Legacy towers. then we get to the horrible designed enclosures which have horrible plastic resonation on top of the bad distortion. the recipe is actually just as bad as bose.

not gunna lie though, that sub driver isn't half bad, nor are the satellite drivers themselves on that model of speaker. Tang Band produces them and makes decent drivers. the problem is that they have horrible amplification and enclosures, and no tweeters, full range or not. you have no idea how hard it is to actually design a nice sounding full range speaker. I have some gallo nucleus orb speakers 3 inches which don't even hit 80Hz, sound way better on highs and bass than the z5500 drivers, and still don't sound that good other than for a center in home theater application only, seeing as most of the vocal hits the center. they are very natural sounding so thats what i use it for. as for THX certified, i have serious doubt's this is a true THX system. part of the THX certification is that the sub must not go above 80Hz, but my ears can locate the sub in this system, and under 80Hz is non directional, so I'm thinking logitech paid some BIG money to pay their way into that certification, or got it certified, then tuned it above 80hz for production. there's no way those small drivers are going to produce shit for lows int hose shitty plastic enclosures, and you can totally hear exactly where the suub is.


a good sub is supposed to be felt, not heard. meaning you are supposed to think there is no subwoofer unless you crank it up and feel it.

and I agree with your hatred for bose. I could rant for quite a while about how shitty bose is.


AA wrote:
I have a story to tell. So if you have a few minutes, sit down, crack open your favorite beverage, and read along. I'm enjoying a Sam Adams blackberry witbier while writing this post - and listening to some tunes through my new speakers. Cheers to good music and hi-fi sound!

My fiancι and I have been at our new home for about a year now. It's a small place, nothing special, just a humble 2-bedroom starter home. The living room is about 15 x 20 ft, hardwood flooring, couch, table, tv, not much else. We do most of our "living" there. We also watch a few movies every week, but our entertainment system is lacking. Until today, it consisted of a tube TV, a DVD player, and a DTV box w/ bunny ears. That's it. It's gotten us by so far.

I've always been a music and film nut. I try to see at least 10 concerts per year, and probably go to twice as many movies (hey, I save money not having cable). I don't watch much TV, but we use the set-up described above for watching DVDs. For private music listening, I've always resorted to my car. This lets me turn up the volume and really enjoy the sound. In the house, I have an $80 Tivoli Audio single speaker radio from Target on the table in the kitchen. It sounds amazingly good for what it is.

About a month ago, I got this idea that I would install some kind of "home theater system" in the living room. The objective was to have the best sound possible for the least about of money - what an original idea! But seriously, like the Tivoli radio, I liked the prospect of having a simple set-up that delivered the goods, so thought I'd do some research and see what my options were. I knew one thing, whatever it was had to be small. My fiancι wouldn't permit a stack of components and floor-standing speakers. How do I explain it - she's a clean freak, and likes to have as little of everything as possible.

So I made a decision: my home theater system would be "Dolby 2.0" or basic 2-channel stereo, and this fact alone should keep the cost down. I knew from experience that you can have great sound quality from just a pair of good speakers and a modest amplifier. Take headphones, for example, and car stereos. No, it's not Dolby Digital 7._ THX certified Pro Logic, whatever... nope, a simple pair of stereo speakers can sound very, very good. And so the search was on.

I started Googling bookshelf speakers, and eventually migrated into Logitech and Klipsch desktop speakers for the PC. Since I use a set of Boston Acoustics PC speakers at work that sound pretty good, I looked into this area as a very real possibility. No fancy bells and whistles, just a set of left and rights, maybe a small subwoofer. The best part was, most of these PC speakers had the amplifier built in, so that meant no external components. Also, I know the gamers like to blast their sound effects pretty loudly, so maybe a good set of PC speakers could take a beating and sound good doing it?

Not sure how or when I made the discovery, but I think it was sorting by price at some on-line electronics dealer like newegg or J&R. The cut-off was $200. Yes, I had made the decision to buy an entire home theater system for under $200. I figured a set of desktop PC speakers for $200 might actually be a good starting point. At least I could take notes, then visit a local store and test a few out.

The "discovery" was a pair of speakers called the Audioengine 2. I had never heard of this company, but after reading a few reviews and consumer postings, I became very interested. Basically, here was a pair of stereo 2-way speakers, about 6" tall, employing Kevlar woofers & silk dome tweets - with 30Wrms of built in amplification, for $199. The idea was to connect your computer or iPod, but with RCA and 1/8" phono inputs, anything is possible. The big audio magazines like Stereophile were eating this up, saying some damn good things about this product.

Here's a photo of the system:



Yep, that's it. Two speakers. Sure, there's a power supply, and a single 6 ft long piece of speaker wire, and a cord to plug in your iPod, but really, that's it. As far as looks go, I think they're pretty elegant, using the traditional piano gloss black, or if you want them in white, there is that option. One reviewer said he couldn't decide which color to get, so he bought a pair of both!

Other comments I read slowly convinced me that for $200, this was a sweet deal. Probably the single thing that made up my mind was this quote from the cnet review:

"I moved the Audioengine 2 out from the desktop and played them in my bedroom hooked up to a CD player. Wow, with more breathing room the sound was even better and stereo imaging stretched way beyond the actual locations of the speakers."

So at least one reviewer thought the Audioengines were well-suited for more than desktop use. I was ready to buy.

Trying to find these speakers new for under $199 is near impossible. It's like trying to find a new Lotus Elise for under $50k - you just can't. Everyone in the market knows they are worth the price. But I wanted to see if a better deal was out there, so searched Amazon for a couple weeks and finally found my deal: used, "like-new" for $169. Done. (I would have paid the $199 eventually).

A week later, I received the Audioengine 2s in the mail. The box they came in is minuscule, appearing only big enough for one speaker, not two. But then I opened it, and the fun began. The packaging people must have been given an unlimited budget for this project:



Yes, they put everything in its own velvet bag:



And here is everything. I doubt it's ever been used. Looks new, anyway:



And here is what the back sides look like. Note the volume knob placement:



Here is my less-than-$200 home theater after the 10 minute installation. All I had to do was hook up three wires:



How does it sound? Well, as the Stereophile reviewer put it:

"With every tune I played, I heard no noticeable coloration throughout the speaker's entire range; it was as neutral-sounding as any under-$1000 speaker I've heard. The highs were extended and detailed, and the Audioengine 2 was able to recreate room ambience and low-level dynamic articulation at levels of quality I'm used to hearing from far more expensive speakers."

I agree, even though I don't know very well what a pair of $1000 speakers sounds like, I would say with 100% confidence, if I paid a professional $1000 to install an "audiophile" quality stereo system, and it sounded as good as these two little 6" cubes, I'd be quite happy. That's all I can really say. They sound flawless.

First test: DVD copy of the classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, recorded in stereo in 1967, and still one of my favorite movies. I watched the first few scenes, and was stunned at how loudly and accurate these little monsters slammed out the kettle drums of the opening theme. Also, they played Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz with such grace that I really haven't heard before, even during a theater playing of the film in 70 mm I saw last year. Listening through the film, there are all of the background effects, sound of the space craft, and that unmistakable voice of HAL - all perfect.

Next, a modern action flick - The Bourne Ultimatum was the first one I found. Wow, again. These little speakers really can perform like much larger models. I even felt the floor shake at times, and we're talking about 2.75" woofers here! Voices, music, foley affects, it was all in there. Simply amazing. Forget the fact that there's no surround sound. I didn't care, because the front channels sounded so friggin' good!

Now I had to connect my iPod and play some music. Pachelbel's Canon in D was first - flawless (and loud). Then some Ben Lee followed by Death Cab. I'd been to see both of these artists within the past 6 months, and the Audioengines impressed me with their tonal accuracy. Finally some Radiohead and Aphex Twin to test the bass range. Incredible, almost hard to believe these little woofers can move so much air. I tried to turn them up and distort, but it was pretty hard to do. The only noise I could create was from air turbulence blowing out of the slot vents. The speakers and cabinets were dead silent except for the music coming from them. Even with the air noise, the bass sounded very good from a few feet away. Not distorted at all. I can definitely use these without a sub.

Finally, to wrap up, I just want to say (if you can't already tell I'm excited about these speakers) I'm excited about these speakers! I'm excited about the low price, the fact they are heavy and made from wood, and that they look like something the average person wants to see sitting in their living room. It's truly great that a couple of dudes in California can set up shop and design a new product that blows away competition costing 5 or 10 times the price. Sure, these little speakers have limits - they aren't 2000W Marshall Stacks - but otherwise they sound great, and it helps that they have the story and the looks to seal the deal. One of the best products I've come across in a long while, maybe since I bought my Riviera.

very nice find sir. those are VERY AMAZING SPEAKERS for the money. I almost forgot about that option.


instead of shitty logitech or bose, you can get some decent studio monitors like that for around $200. they are TRUE AUDIOPHILE QUALITY. and there VERY LITTLE ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT on them.

literally, a nice sub and 5 of those can compete with a MULTI THOUSAND DOLLAR sound system. EASILY. they don't need a sub, but I can't live without one, so that's why i reccomended the $30 dayton bookshelf option. for $50 you can get the bookshleves and amp., then the rest is up to the sub.


but really, those silk domes sound so natural it's amazing. I used to work at microcenter, and got my M-Audio BX5a for $180 on employee discount, hooked them up, and haven't looked back since, until recently, when my silk dome blew out of my right one, and the transformer, which was my fault actually.

I hooked my BX5a up to my friend's $1,000 musical fidelity cd player. yes, a grand for just a cd player. He put on Jack Johnson and i could hear everything so clear even without a sub. the bass is super tight. the highs are perfectly natural and delicate. basically I could hear the inconsistanccies in each drumstick's tap on a symbal, so well. there is barely any room for improvement beyond this type of speaker. think about it. studio monitors are designed to have a flat as possible response. you will hear EXACTLY how the sound is recorded with good studio monitors. there is no harsh, or warm to it. this is why i like them, and even use them as a diagnostical test to test other speaker equipment. there's no other better way to hear the true recording than good studio monitors.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:34 pm

AA wrote:
I have a story to tell. So if you have a few minutes, sit down, crack open your favorite beverage, and read along. I'm enjoying a Sam Adams blackberry witbier while writing this post - and listening to some tunes through my new speakers. Cheers to good music and hi-fi sound!

My fiancι and I have been at our new home for about a year now. It's a small place, nothing special, just a humble 2-bedroom starter home. The living room is about 15 x 20 ft, hardwood flooring, couch, table, tv, not much else. We do most of our "living" there. We also watch a few movies every week, but our entertainment system is lacking. Until today, it consisted of a tube TV, a DVD player, and a DTV box w/ bunny ears. That's it. It's gotten us by so far.

I've always been a music and film nut. I try to see at least 10 concerts per year, and probably go to twice as many movies (hey, I save money not having cable). I don't watch much TV, but we use the set-up described above for watching DVDs. For private music listening, I've always resorted to my car. This lets me turn up the volume and really enjoy the sound. In the house, I have an $80 Tivoli Audio single speaker radio from Target on the table in the kitchen. It sounds amazingly good for what it is.

About a month ago, I got this idea that I would install some kind of "home theater system" in the living room. The objective was to have the best sound possible for the least about of money - what an original idea! But seriously, like the Tivoli radio, I liked the prospect of having a simple set-up that delivered the goods, so thought I'd do some research and see what my options were. I knew one thing, whatever it was had to be small. My fiancι wouldn't permit a stack of components and floor-standing speakers. How do I explain it - she's a clean freak, and likes to have as little of everything as possible.

So I made a decision: my home theater system would be "Dolby 2.0" or basic 2-channel stereo, and this fact alone should keep the cost down. I knew from experience that you can have great sound quality from just a pair of good speakers and a modest amplifier. Take headphones, for example, and car stereos. No, it's not Dolby Digital 7._ THX certified Pro Logic, whatever... nope, a simple pair of stereo speakers can sound very, very good. And so the search was on.

I started Googling bookshelf speakers, and eventually migrated into Logitech and Klipsch desktop speakers for the PC. Since I use a set of Boston Acoustics PC speakers at work that sound pretty good, I looked into this area as a very real possibility. No fancy bells and whistles, just a set of left and rights, maybe a small subwoofer. The best part was, most of these PC speakers had the amplifier built in, so that meant no external components. Also, I know the gamers like to blast their sound effects pretty loudly, so maybe a good set of PC speakers could take a beating and sound good doing it?

Not sure how or when I made the discovery, but I think it was sorting by price at some on-line electronics dealer like newegg or J&R. The cut-off was $200. Yes, I had made the decision to buy an entire home theater system for under $200. I figured a set of desktop PC speakers for $200 might actually be a good starting point. At least I could take notes, then visit a local store and test a few out.

The "discovery" was a pair of speakers called the Audioengine 2. I had never heard of this company, but after reading a few reviews and consumer postings, I became very interested. Basically, here was a pair of stereo 2-way speakers, about 6" tall, employing Kevlar woofers & silk dome tweets - with 30Wrms of built in amplification, for $199. The idea was to connect your computer or iPod, but with RCA and 1/8" phono inputs, anything is possible. The big audio magazines like Stereophile were eating this up, saying some damn good things about this product.

Here's a photo of the system:



Yep, that's it. Two speakers. Sure, there's a power supply, and a single 6 ft long piece of speaker wire, and a cord to plug in your iPod, but really, that's it. As far as looks go, I think they're pretty elegant, using the traditional piano gloss black, or if you want them in white, there is that option. One reviewer said he couldn't decide which color to get, so he bought a pair of both!

Other comments I read slowly convinced me that for $200, this was a sweet deal. Probably the single thing that made up my mind was this quote from the cnet review:

"I moved the Audioengine 2 out from the desktop and played them in my bedroom hooked up to a CD player. Wow, with more breathing room the sound was even better and stereo imaging stretched way beyond the actual locations of the speakers."

So at least one reviewer thought the Audioengines were well-suited for more than desktop use. I was ready to buy.

Trying to find these speakers new for under $199 is near impossible. It's like trying to find a new Lotus Elise for under $50k - you just can't. Everyone in the market knows they are worth the price. But I wanted to see if a better deal was out there, so searched Amazon for a couple weeks and finally found my deal: used, "like-new" for $169. Done. (I would have paid the $199 eventually).

A week later, I received the Audioengine 2s in the mail. The box they came in is minuscule, appearing only big enough for one speaker, not two. But then I opened it, and the fun began. The packaging people must have been given an unlimited budget for this project:



Yes, they put everything in its own velvet bag:



And here is everything. I doubt it's ever been used. Looks new, anyway:



And here is what the back sides look like. Note the volume knob placement:



Here is my less-than-$200 home theater after the 10 minute installation. All I had to do was hook up three wires:



How does it sound? Well, as the Stereophile reviewer put it:

"With every tune I played, I heard no noticeable coloration throughout the speaker's entire range; it was as neutral-sounding as any under-$1000 speaker I've heard. The highs were extended and detailed, and the Audioengine 2 was able to recreate room ambience and low-level dynamic articulation at levels of quality I'm used to hearing from far more expensive speakers."

I agree, even though I don't know very well what a pair of $1000 speakers sounds like, I would say with 100% confidence, if I paid a professional $1000 to install an "audiophile" quality stereo system, and it sounded as good as these two little 6" cubes, I'd be quite happy. That's all I can really say. They sound flawless.

First test: DVD copy of the classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, recorded in stereo in 1967, and still one of my favorite movies. I watched the first few scenes, and was stunned at how loudly and accurate these little monsters slammed out the kettle drums of the opening theme. Also, they played Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz with such grace that I really haven't heard before, even during a theater playing of the film in 70 mm I saw last year. Listening through the film, there are all of the background effects, sound of the space craft, and that unmistakable voice of HAL - all perfect.

Next, a modern action flick - The Bourne Ultimatum was the first one I found. Wow, again. These little speakers really can perform like much larger models. I even felt the floor shake at times, and we're talking about 2.75" woofers here! Voices, music, foley affects, it was all in there. Simply amazing. Forget the fact that there's no surround sound. I didn't care, because the front channels sounded so friggin' good!

Now I had to connect my iPod and play some music. Pachelbel's Canon in D was first - flawless (and loud). Then some Ben Lee followed by Death Cab. I'd been to see both of these artists within the past 6 months, and the Audioengines impressed me with their tonal accuracy. Finally some Radiohead and Aphex Twin to test the bass range. Incredible, almost hard to believe these little woofers can move so much air. I tried to turn them up and distort, but it was pretty hard to do. The only noise I could create was from air turbulence blowing out of the slot vents. The speakers and cabinets were dead silent except for the music coming from them. Even with the air noise, the bass sounded very good from a few feet away. Not distorted at all. I can definitely use these without a sub.

Finally, to wrap up, I just want to say (if you can't already tell I'm excited about these speakers) I'm excited about these speakers! I'm excited about the low price, the fact they are heavy and made from wood, and that they look like something the average person wants to see sitting in their living room. It's truly great that a couple of dudes in California can set up shop and design a new product that blows away competition costing 5 or 10 times the price. Sure, these little speakers have limits - they aren't 2000W Marshall Stacks - but otherwise they sound great, and it helps that they have the story and the looks to seal the deal. One of the best products I've come across in a long while, maybe since I bought my Riviera.

very nice find sir. those are VERY AMAZING SPEAKERS for the money. I almost forgot about that option.


instead of shitty logitech or bose, you can get some decent studio monitors like that for around $200. they are TRUE AUDIOPHILE QUALITY. and there VERY LITTLE ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT on them.

literally, a nice sub and 5 of those can compete with a MULTI THOUSAND DOLLAR sound system. EASILY. they don't need a sub, but I can't live without one, so that's why i reccomended the $30 dayton bookshelf option. for $50 you can get the bookshleves and amp., then the rest is up to the sub.


but really, those silk domes sound so natural it's amazing. I used to work at microcenter, and got my M-Audio BX5a for $180 on employee discount, hooked them up, and haven't looked back since, until recently, when my silk dome blew out of my right one, and the transformer, which was my fault actually.

I hooked my BX5a up to my friend's $1,000 musical fidelity cd player. yes, a grand for just a cd player. He put on Jack Johnson and i could hear everything so clear even without a sub. the bass is super tight. the highs are perfectly natural and delicate. basically I could hear the inconsistanccies in each drumstick's tap on a symbal, so well. there is barely any room for improvement beyond this type of speaker. think about it. studio monitors are designed to have a flat as possible response. you will hear EXACTLY how the sound is recorded with good studio monitors. there is no harsh, or warm to it. this is why i like them, and even use them as a diagnostical test to test other speaker equipment. there's no other better way to hear the true recording than good studio monitors.[/quote]

I'm actually gunna put my m audio drivers IN MY RIVIERA soon =] they are 5 inch kevlar woofers. hopefully a perfect fit for door speakers. I will need to procure silk domes from somewhere and the rear speakers from somewhere though, but I have an audiophile mbquarts amp with 0.5% THD in the amplification willing to power my door speakers smile

I'm going to rebuild my studio monitors with 8 inch Hivi M8n magnesium and aluminum alloy drivers and some dayton audio 1 1/8" silk domes, using the amplification provided from the m audio studio monitors and build my enclosure for them out of MDF and piano finish it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:32 pm

Thanks for the comments, Corey. The Audioengine 2s are serving us very well. The home theater got an upgrade last December. The TV in the previous photos was my wife's CRT, which performed fine, but we found this Sony Bravia 40" LCD online for $500:



I didn't actually want to buy the LCD just yet. I had a Toshiba 26HF85 flat widescreen CRT bought in 2005 that I considered pretty good as far as tubes go, but it failed to turn on one day, so tried a TV repairman who couldn't bring it back to life. I let him keep it. My Toshiba looked like this one:



Anyway, we really like the Sony with the Audioengine 2s (still no sub). It's simple and sounds realistic. When I listen to some "home theaters in a box" or mix & match creations, they often are set up wrong, and the sound is not well balanced. Just having the equipment hooked up doesn't guarantee a living room will sound like a THX theater. I think a simple stereo set-up with speakers in the right locations can sound just as good, or better even, in most average rooms. The wiring is minimal, so there's a lot less to go wrong connection-wise, imo.

The extreme bottom end bass is missing, but it's easy to add later if we want to upgrade. For now I just like watching TV that sounds real. Sometimes I forget the speakers are even there, which I'll take as a good thing.

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'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180Ί t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:22 am

Haha, I bet you the color accuracy on your CRT was far better than that new LCD you just got. They don't make IPS panels for tv's, so LCD tv's aren't NEARLY as good as people think they are. Plasma is pretty much the way to go now.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:26 am

The LCD is good enough, but you're right, the color is not quite like the CRT. More importantly, the LCD is much larger size, and the resolution is way better. I've had to try a lot of different color settings to get it where it works, but it's decent. For TV we have no problems at all. Once in a while during movies the darkest blacks get a little weird. Otherwise, it's not bad for $500 we paid. Another thing, the LCD lasted longer than the CRT, somehow. The CRT gave me less than a year of service. A CRT repairman said he can't fix the last generation of TV's because of how they're manufactured. Oh well, I tried.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180Ί t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
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EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:31 am

Haha, yeah. Crt wont look as sharp and crisp as an LCD, but unless the LCD is an IPS panel, it wont have nearly as good color accuracy. Almost every big screen LCD is made with a TN panel (twisted nematode crystal display) basically, they need to use adjacent sub pixels to fill in colors to get true 16.7 million colors, which washes out the image and smears colors. This is why almost every LCD big screen TV looks bad in my eyes, lol.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:04 am

Here's my new system that I got in December. Also have 2 surround speakers and the subwoofer that you can kinda see in the corner of the picture.



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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:27 pm

oh man,thats pretty!
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:18 pm

Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:53 pm



Here's a little 15 watt RMS @ 4Ohms per channel stereo amp I built with 0.07% THD (total harmonic distortion), 98db signal to noise ratio Class A amplifier. it's simple and effective, and I know for a fact the specs are no joke. 6Hz-60Khz frequency response is no joke either.how do I know? I hooked it up to my Velodyne ULD18 subwoofer which has a broken servo controller, and it sounds almost as clean as the servo did, albeit not nearly as loud.



It's hooked up to both amp circuits, bridged, putting out maybe 25 watts RMS into the 10 ohm 18 inch driver, and it gets REALLY loud for 25 watts, I was really surprised. easily gets down to 20Hz, but subsonic isn't as effective without the power behind it. I forgout how much I loved this sub, and how musical it is. I'd take this sub with 25 watts over my 400 watt kevlar Alpine sub setup in my trunk ANY DAY.


but so you know, it's going to go in an ipod dock I'm going to build soon, and it's just hooked up to the sub until then. it will be battery powered and will have a USB DAC as well as line input, hopefully optical input, usb charging, and sub out would be amazing but I think that's pushing it, haven't seen any portable DAC's with sub out.


Then again you probably think I don't know what I'm doing :3 but I need to get a hold of a service manual for my Velodyne ULD servo controller >_>

by the way, the fact this sub can put out 104db @ 20Hz (with the servo working) with 0.5% THD, or over 120db with under 3% THD, bottoms out at about 14Hz with only a QUARTER INCH of excursion is nothing short of amazing, for a sub made before I was born. Never heard a better sounding sub in my life, yes Iv'e hears louder, but not better. wish the servo worked though.
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:24 pm

Nice! thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:27 pm

Quote :
by the way, the fact this sub can put out 104db @ 20Hz (with the servo working) with 0.5% THD, or over 120db with under 3% THD, bottoms out at about 14Hz with only a QUARTER INCH of excursion is nothing short of amazing, for a sub made before I was born. Never heard a better sounding sub in my life, yes Iv'e hears louder, but not better. wish the servo worked though.
It's not that surprising, really. Large cone area = higher efficiency and lower distortion. There's a misconception among many that bigger speakers require more power to get loud and sound good, but actually the opposite is true. An 8" sub with the same 15-25 watts won't perform nearly as well as the 18". The Velo is a fine driver, but most of what you're noticing would be true of any 18" in a proper enclosure.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180Ί t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
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'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe • 116k miles • 455 Rocket V8
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:29 pm

Good point!
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:33 pm

gmann3001 wrote:
Nice! thumbsup

Thanks smile

AA wrote:
Quote :
by the way, the fact this sub can put out 104db @ 20Hz (with the servo working) with 0.5% THD, or over 120db with under 3% THD, bottoms out at about 14Hz with only a QUARTER INCH of excursion is nothing short of amazing, for a sub made before I was born. Never heard a better sounding sub in my life, yes Iv'e hears louder, but not better. wish the servo worked though.
It's not that surprising, really. Large cone area = higher efficiency and lower distortion. There's a misconception among many that bigger speakers require more power to get loud and sound good, but actually the opposite is true. An 8" sub with the same 15-25 watts won't perform nearly as well as the 18". The Velo is a fine driver, but most of what you're noticing would be true of any 18" in a proper enclosure.

there's also other factors though, like diaphragm stiffness, the surround shape, and material, whether the enclosure is ported or sealed, the F3 of the driver, voicecoil weight, the impedance of the voice coil, with higher output, whether or not it is ferofluid cooled, RMS vs peak power has a little to do with how a sub will sound. The stiffness of the spider and spider material will affect sound output as well.enclosure size relative to woofer stiffness (stiffer woofers need smaller enclosures)

but, the same wattage wouldn't work as well in all 18 inch drivers, as many higher end drivers have heavy aluminum cones, and others are for PA speakers, not meant to go much below 40Hz.


In the case of the Velodyne, if it was working right, the Servo would also be affecting the sound. there is an accelerometer attached to the woofer cone inside, that measures and samples woofer movement about 3000 times per second, and corrects the woofer movement, reducing distortion dramatically which also improves woofer stiffness. I'm told that Velodyne still uses pretty much the same servo circuits today, just much smaller. By the way, that driver is made of Tar treated paper with a rubber infused foam surround razz

Also, while an 18 inch driver is more efficient, a quarter inch of excursion is much less than even 5 inch speakers use for the most part. it is somewhat abnormal, and only possible because of the servo circuit :3

and yes, I know, there are much better drivers now, like the TC Sounds LMS Ultra 5400, which can push 135db @ 0.7% THD, has 3 inches of excursion, can take 5,000 watts and not die, 8,000 watt peak, but, from a sub made in 1989, I give this one props smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:12 am

Quote :
there's also other factors though, like diaphragm stiffness, the surround shape, and material, whether the enclosure is ported or sealed, the F3 of the driver, voicecoil weight, the impedance of the voice coil, with higher output, whether or not it is ferofluid cooled, RMS vs peak power has a little to do with how a sub will sound. The stiffness of the spider and spider material will affect sound output as well.enclosure size relative to woofer stiffness (stiffer woofers need smaller enclosures)
Most of these factors apply to all (bass) drivers, regardless of diameter. Part of the very reason the F3 of an 18" is lower than an 8" is because of the extra cone area, resulting in higher efficiency in the lower frequencies.

Quote :
but, the same wattage wouldn't work as well in all 18 inch drivers, as many higher end drivers have heavy aluminum cones, and others are for PA speakers, not meant to go much below 40Hz.
Again, these factors apply to all driver diameters, not just 18"s. All things being equal (apples to apples), the 18" will play louder and lower than the 8" at equal power input, just because it has a larger cone area. This is why sensitivity specs are always higher as diameter increases for drivers in the same family (using like voice coils, cone materials, suspension, etc.)

Quote :
In the case of the Velodyne, if it was working right, the Servo would also be affecting the sound. there is an accelerometer attached to the woofer cone inside, that measures and samples woofer movement about 3000 times per second, and corrects the woofer movement, reducing distortion dramatically which also improves woofer stiffness.
What information do you have to support the servo technology is still functioning? The way I understand servo feedback, the accelerometer must provide corrections to the amplifier, which adjusts the signal to compensate for distortion. You've wired the feedback loop into your homemade amplifier's input and verified it is tuned correctly?

How does the servo technology improve "woofer stiffness"?

Quote :
Also, while an 18 inch driver is more efficient, a quarter inch of excursion is much less than even 5 inch speakers use for the most part. it is somewhat abnormal, and only possible because of the servo circuit :3
Large drivers such as an 18" don't need as much excursion to move a specific amount of air. The amount of air displaced determines the SPL. It's simple physics at work, not mystery materials or active servos.

Example: surface area of 18" driver = 9" x 9" x pi = 254.47 sq in

Under .25" peak-to-peak excursion, the 18" sub will displace approx 63.6 cu in of air with each stroke.

An 8" driver's surface area = 4" x 4" x pi = 50.26 sq in

In order to move the same 63.6 cu in volume of air, the 8" cone must throw 1.27" peak-to-peak! That means the motor in the 8" must push the cone 5X as far in order to produce the same SPL as the 18" moving 1/4".

And that's why an 18" is louder per watt - because it's bigger.

And because excursion is less the 18", it's movement is more linear, so distortion is less.

That's why an 18" is cleaner per watt - because it is not required to move near the edges of the gap.

Yes, there are some losses due to added mass of the cone and VC, but the cone efficiency makes up for it. It's similar to how a roots blower steals about 50 HP from the crank under boost, but the power bump yielded is much more (100 HP or more), resulting in a net gain overall. The result is, an 18" will not play 5X as loud as an 8" with equal power, but it may play 2x as loud.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180Ί t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO • 85k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe • 116k miles • 455 Rocket V8
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PostSubject: Re: The Home Audio thread   Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:37 am

Interesting way to put it! I'd say we were both right. And some 8 inch drivers would probably be as loud as that lms ultra 5400 under the same wattage because of mechanical resistance of the woofer I'm thinking. Big time wattage woofers have lower SPL sensitivity and efficiency overall, and those certain drivers will take a mass of wattage to move properly, but this defeats the point of our conversation. I'mjust saying sometimes other factors out play diaphragm diameter :p

That little amp is just directly hooked up to the voice coil bridged up both channels into it. There's an RCA connection supplying 12 volts and the 400 watt servo amp doesn't work without the servo sercuit being active. Its possible to trick it into thinking there's a circuit with the right resistor, I think, but the servo circuit LED on the sub as well as power LED on the amp light up. Voltage output work on the transformer for sure as well. There's a leg that burned off a big opamp looking thing which I tried to solder back on with a little copper wire which didn't fix the amp.

I'm not entirely sure how the circuit works, but my friends dad was explaining it a little not so in depth to me. When the servo worked, if you pushed on the woofer, it was much stiffer, and it would move on its own, past normal excursion to adjust itself very slowly, and if you tapped on the cone, it was a loud high pitched hallow knocking sound, with the servo off, it was a drum type lower thunk noise with a lot of bass. I'm thinking it used the voice coil of the sub itself to correct woofer movement

Velodyne no longer supports this model and I'm going to have to call them and try to get a service manual for it to fix it :3
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