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mojomc

Looking for a good two channel listening combo

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So I recently inherited a pair of 1977 LS. I'm looking to create an above average 2 channel listening experience. I've been thinking about replacing the AA network with an ALK Universal instead of recapping the originals for $100. I'm also trying to figure out what to power them with. I've read good things about integrated HK x30 series amps. I think that I would like a tube amp but I'm not into Chinese knockoffs and would prefer newish or a rebuilt older but the combinations are mind boggling to someone coming into it with little knowledge and limited budget. I'm a 41 year old in the central Arkansas area with a family.  I'm hoping some of you good people here can use this info to help me out. Very many thanks in advance for your taking time to read. 

 

Room size 16x16 (decided to use spare room for listening)

Speaker placement - 10-12ft center to center

Listening distance - 10ish ft

Loudness - Mostly listening level but occasionally turn it up to hear in the back yard

Music genres - Rock (Black Crowes), Blues, Jazz and for my Mom, Neil Diamond

Source - Digital. An HTPC I put together. Output via auzentech dedicated sound card. All files were encoded FLAC from source cds by myself. 

Possibly hook up a SW10 II to supplement bass

Preamp? 

 

The ever important budget discussion. If I pick up the universals then that would leave around 1k for a power source and accoutrements. I'm just looking for a good, clean listening experience. I was thinking the universals would allow me to tailor the sound without having to recap for any xfrmr tap changes but when I got to powering them I became dizzy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10ft ceilings

Hard wood with an area rug. Unsure of exact measurements but guessing it's 8x8

8ft of windows centered on one wall

Sofa and rowing machine.

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Recap the originals with good film and foil caps.  That'll keep the original voicing.  The ALKs run the tweeter too hot.  Disconnect one of the KLiP diodes to remove that from the circuit; not normally needed in a home and it chops off the HF peaks giving a hashy sound.  After you listen for a while, you might want to add some other simple mods that would be impractical in a commercial setting. 

 

I'd spread them further apart, if possible.  You will need 3 or 4 SW-10s, maybe more.  How about building your own with a Parts Express or Madisound kit.  Go big to ensure low distortion.  

 

Have a look at vintage Yamaha integrated amps.  The CA-x00 series can be switched to Class A.  Nice smooth, warm sound in either mode.  A CA-800 drives La Scalas comfortably.  Also look at the 70s/80s Denon and Luxman Integrateds.  NOS Valves refurbishes old tube gear, so maybe he will have something you would want.  Forty watts/channel is a good range to be in to avoid any clipping.  More is fine.

 

Add curtains and soft furniture to deaden that room.  Some folks like rugs on the walls.  Live front/dead rear is a good rule of thumb, if SWMBO accepts it.  Hand claps can be used to test if it is dead enough for your tastes.

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I can deaden the room, no problem. We can probably move a love seat. This is a new idea that has recently taken shape. Initially I was going to setup in the living room but SO approved the plans to use the extra room. I can move the speakers to the corners. I was planning on placing them on the same wall as the window.

 

I'll take a look into the vintage Yamaha receivers. Thanks also for the info on the ALK Universal. It was a thought. I'll get with Bob Crites regarding gaskets and caps.

 

On the subject of subs I'll look into the kits mentioned. Thankee!

 

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I like the CA series of the Yamaha but the CR can be pretty decent too...  If they haven't been recapped I'd send it to Paul (Paul79) of Many Moons Audio.  

Running in class A is pretty sweet!  The CA-2010 provides plenty of watts in class A as well as heat to keep your room warm.  

 

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Don't bother with the expensive crossovers. Simply re-cap the originals (go to Parts Express and get the Solen PolyProp caps and bypass them with some Dayton film/foil caps). This will be substantially less than the $100 price you quoted above. Do not re-design the crossover, that can get expensive and there are many ways to do it wrong.

 

I would shy away from the old HK receivers because of the age and they may need TLC. Instead check out Craigslist and pick up an Adcom GFA 535 or 545 for an amp (about $75-150) and a Adcom pre-amp (less than $100). If you want to get fancy, then bypass the PS caps on the Adcom amp). Search the threads for what is meant by "bypass". 

 

Good luck and you system will sound great.

 

IMO, more time and energy should be spent on speaker placement and room treatment (DIY) than on crossovers and worrying about boutique electronics. 

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Thanks for the replies. All things to think about. With the speakers came a bit of $$ intended to be used for this purpose. I'd like to see it used to its fullest potential. I'drather be able to get a receiver or amp from someone local or a well respected member here on the forum that is rebuilt and/or proven. I've always had good luck doing this on other sites and this community seems respectable as long as due diligence is adhered to. Thanks again and any suggestion at all is welcome!

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15 minutes ago, mojomc said:

Thanks for the replies. All things to think about. With the speakers came a bit of $$ intended to be used for this purpose. I'd like to see it used to its fullest potential. I'drather be able to get a receiver or amp from someone local or a well respected member here on the forum that is rebuilt and/or proven. I've always had good luck doing this on other sites and this community seems respectable as long as due diligence is adhered to. Thanks again and any suggestion at all is welcome!

You hinted at your budget above. If you get a competently rebuilt receiver / amp you will probably blow your budget. 

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15 hours ago, John Albright said:

Live front/dead rear is a good rule of thumb

 

Who's thumb are you talking about? Standard practice is to deaden the front of the room and keep the rear live by using diffusion. LEDE, as it is called, controls early reflections which reduces multiple arrivals that "smear" the sound.

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