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like ray says. that's always been my logic - get the best speakers you can possibly afford (assuming you have some money anyway), then work your way from there.

f.e., i stretched my budget a bit when i got the cornwalls right out of college in '84 & i've been matching them up w/ various other components since. helps that klipsch has always made great speaks for a great price. & they have good flexibility in their lines so now when i upgrade to khorns the cornwalls & klf (maybe) should work well along w/ them. 16.gif

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I obviously hit a nerve with my post judging by your response in part:

<"and assuming that you're willing to continue to read a sentence from someone who obviously has no idea how to write concisely and clearly">

I respect your opinion and I know you are extremely knowledgeable about audio and the engineering behind it. I have a BS in engineering myself.

Ray, my post is a little Klipsh speaker biased I will admit there are lots of great speakers out there that I have never heard, or even heard of. However, I never stated that you should move up in speaker lines before upgrading components. I was saying you obtain a decent set of speakers that you like and then then importance of the upgrade and IMO their order of importance.

I don't dispute that the amps yur asking Ears about sound great and your comparisons to make the lower model speaker sound better are probably correct. Same line of speaker, only subtle differences in lower/higher model, etc. like you said, I agree. What's your point?

I personally felt your post implied that I was ignorant in my reasoning so please tell me and everyone else how to build a decent system and apply an importance factor to upgrades and components. I'm not being arguementative or sarcastic here, I really want to hear what you have to say about it without being brand specific, explain upgrades in dollars vs gain in sound quality and be sure to make it clear if the upgrade is subtle or very noticeable.

I'm mean a Krell, Halchro, Moon, WyTech, I have no idea what these cost but I'd be willing to bet they are considerably more than I paid for my RX-V1($1500) which I think is a respectable amp. What do you think, is it a respectable amp or is it sub-par? What about my speakers, Khorns, Cornwalls, Hereseys? Do you think they would sound good with the RX-V1? Ear, any comments. A Krell amp would cost me nearly what I have paid for my entire system, is it worth it to spend that money? What if I can't afford a 5 channel Krell, then what should I do?

BTW what is the difference in cost of a Rotel and a Linn Klimax? Is it the same as the difference between an RF-5 and an RF-7?

Nothing personal, I just think people can go a little overboard for subtle gains in sound quality. Especially when they spend more on an amp than they paid for their car, unless their rich, then who cares, beers are on me. Whoa life's a beach. No worries.


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uh, what?

The line about "...and assuming that you're willing to continue to read a sentence from someone who obviously has no idea how to write concisely and clearly..." was something I typed 'cause I had noticed that the sentence I was typing had gone on for, like, forever, and just the other night I had a parent - teacher conference with my senior-in-high-school-daughter's English teacher, who spent about 20 minutes driving home the point that she considers her primary function to be to teach kids to write lucidly and clearly, and that this involves an enormous number of rewrites and edits while learning how to pare down the words, and that people who write sloppy, run on sentences won't ever get into college, and I was trying to be self-depreciating and thought it was funny. 10.gif

How that came across as me being somehow critical of you I have no idea, but jeez, I'm really sorry.

As to suggestions on how to build a system,

(a) find the brand / model of speaker that sounds the most like you think you want your system to sound. This can involve a long period of listening to a lot of different kinds of speakers, and should be a lot of fun!

(B) Find a dealer who carries that brand of speaker, who respects you, and who will work with you.

© Don't go really cheap on the front end and electronics, but don't go nuts, either. Buy something you and the dealer agree is adequately powered for your type of music on your speakers in your room, that is made by a reputable company, that you've had the chance to listen to at home and think it sounds good with your speakers.

(d) Down the road, when the (inevitable?) bug to "upgrade" bites, consider that it might be worth listening to significantly "better" electronics on your existing speakers to see whether that provides a more worthwhile upgrade than moving significantly upscale in the speakers and using the existing electronics. This is where having a long term relationship with a good dealer can be very valuable - you might spend quite a while trying to decide where your investment pays you back the most in improved sound.

I personally believe that there are major differences in the ways that electronics, particulary amps, interact with various speakers. I also believe it's just about impossible to predict ahead of time, or in any general sense, how any specific combination of speaker and amp will match. When I was looking for something to drive my 1974 La Scalas with Al's crossovers, I had an Acurus DIA-100 mk II integrated amp. This has a good reputation, and had sounded great with the CF-4 I was using before I got the La Scalas, but into the Scalas the Acurus had a really hard treble and just didn't sound good. I tried a bunch of amps (ranging from a Jolida 502 with 6550C output tubes all the way to the polar opposite of a Krell KAV300i) and ultimately decided on, believe it or not, a Rotel RA850BX2 integrated amp that I had kicking around in my attic from sometime back around 1985. I have absolutely no idea why, but into those speakers, in my room, on the kind of music I like to listen to (Jackson Brown, Neil Young, the Dead, Trisha Yarwood, Peter Gabrial, Dylan, that sort of thing) the Rotel sounded better (more articulate bass, more natural timber in voices and guitars, less grain in the treble, quieter backgrounds) than anything else I tried.

So what's my point? simple. Sometimes you can find that switching an amp can do more to improve your system than moving upscale in speakers.

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ray makes a great point in having a good dealer relationship. the only true way to know is to demo things at your place w/ your stuff & w/ your ears. this can't be emphasized enough.

iow, posting for replies to get a general idea of what to look at is fine. sorta like a survey as a general starting point. but choosing & buying your gear via the net can have a much greater cost than any purchase savings compared to working locally w/ a good & fair dealer. 2.gif

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but choosing & buying your gear via the net can have a much greater cost than any purchase savings compared to working locally w/ a good & fair dealer.

And that is why I chose to get my stuff through a local dealer (Tweeter - the only dealer in this area that had Klipsch - the next closest one was some 50 miles away up in DC), despite it costing more than if I went on-line. The service that I have gotten I felt was worth more than what I would have saved going on-line, especially when I had that broken RC-7.

I'll admit that I did get my Denon reciever on-line, but that was before there was a local dealer that sold Denon in the area. The thing arrived like that weeek just before the local dealer opened its doors the first time for business in the area.

My general opinion still stands, get some good speakers that you like the sound of and then get an amp/reciever. Listen to everything in your price range that you can find and pick what you want.

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As with most people here I would agree that the speakers are closer to the core of the system than amplification.

However, a better speaker may or may not be better in your specific setup and in your specific room.

I would say that in many ways you could argue that room accoustics are more important than the speaker itself.

A KHorn is a better speaker than, for example, a Heresy 2, but if you are in a room that is a 10 foot cube the Heresy's may well sound better in there than the Horns.

In my opinion choosing your speakers is a function of selecting which will fit better into your listening environment and give you the sound you are looking for.

Once you have chosen the speakers for the room that is usually only the first step in the long haul towards getting the sound you want. Even with Klipsch speakers, which are relatively easy to drive, the selection of amplification can have a dramatic effect on what you get out of them.

Got the speakers you wanted? Got the ampification? Want to talk about source? Maybe not here but the differences of source are usually even more dramatic than the differences of amplification.

And we still havent got onto the thorny subject of the type of music you want to listen to. Asking a pair of Quintets to reproduce an orchestra on their own is a bit much but if all you are listening to is solo voice then they might well do at a pinch.

My take? Balance!

Properly matched components, sympathetically chosen for, and placed in, your listening environment stand the best chance of producing the best sound.

Badly matched components, similarly, can sound dreadful, however much they cost.

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to get back to what i originally said, you build your system around your speakers, again as i said, klipsches are amayzing, and they deserve the best amplification, the better the amplification the better they sound, in the past year i have thrown away alot of money experimenting with just that, and i have found that skimping on any phase just leaves you wanting more, it does me anyway (crazy?) anyway save your pennies, until you can do it right, it really does not cost that much more, but it sounds soooo much better. if i had more money i know that my klipsches still could sound better, it just never ends15.gif

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let me see if i can explain better, when i first bought my klipsches i had an onkyo 474 amp, sounded heads above anything i had ever heard, but it did not have enough power, so i went to the 797 ample power, outstanding power, excellent sound, good functionality, but it did not have the definition i heard everyone talking about, the being there feeling you got with seperates, or tube amps, so i after 6 months bought seperates, not only do i now feel the performance, but i hear new notes, really the same notes but i have found that there are many chords, or instruments making the tones instead of 1 combined sound, i hear breathing, blackness between notes, i hear the songs trailing off much longer background noise.... the list goes on and on, it is not onkyo, because i have had yamaha, denon, sony, all sounded good, but not good enough, so after all of this i know you begin with the klipsches, and you actually save money there, excellent speakers- outstanding price, but skimping on electronics, is skimping on sound12.gif

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While I generally agree with the above, I still think a lot of audiophiles do not properly allocate funds while assembling their systems.

IMO, component cost allocation also changes at system price points.

To simplify matters, I'd break systems down in to 2 price points, under $5K and over $5K based on retial. Budget systems don't apply

Under $5K. as a % of total system cost

Source components- 30%

Amplification- 30%

Speakers- 35%

Cabling- 5%

Over $5K, allocations change. Kinda like going from a BMW 323 to a Formula 1 racer. With FOrmula 1, things like spark plug gaps, fuel, tires, aerodynamics, etc. become critical. When it's set up right, it's great, but if not, then disasterous.

Source components- 35%

Amplification- 30%

Speakers- 25%

Cabling/accessories- 10%

As most of the SET gang will attest, cabling, power conditioning, suspension tweaks make a substantial contribution to the music playback.

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I bought my Klipschorns decades ago and have used them with a variety of different sources, amps, receivers, pretty much the electronics de jour.

This is because hearing Klipschorns for the first time was an epiphany for me that resonates to this day. I had dabbled in audio for about a decade prior to this. This was my first eye-opening experience with audio.

Like I say, I used a bunch of different stuff. None of it was ever as good as my speakers -- this is a good thing.

Then I got a weaselly little tube amp just a couple years ago. This was my second epiphany in my hifi career. No, it wasn't so much that 'tubez' are better than 'ss', but that the matching of amp and speaker is bery bery important.

With my SET amps and the khorns, I sit in the sweet spot and lose control of my voluntary musculature from the gorgeousity of the music.

My third and last (to date) epiphany was with vinyl. I won't bore anyone with details, but vinyl + tubes + horns > sex.

So, I would say, speakers are the most important thing. You should get speakers that are way better than anything else you have or may have for the next thirty years or so :)

Second would be amp/speaker matching -- a good SET and horns is a great combo.

Third would be source, if it doesn't come out of the source, your speakers won't play it.

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I would say the speakers first and foremost. Second the source i.e. phono cartridge, cd/sacd. Finally amps/receivers. I pick speakers first because of the way they directly interact with the room and most importantly your ears. Source is second because the sound can only be as good as what providing it. Fortunately there is less variability there and in general most half way decent stuff is at least that! Amps/receivers are important but often times depends on taste and on certain criteria that are paramount to the listener. For example, tube guys look that silky smooth midrange and peaks that don't get nasty on ya. Solid state guys like control, ultimate power and extended frequency response.

As for the other stuff like cabling, well, if your money is burning a hole in you pocket buy the weird stuff that nobody can pronounce and impress your friends 2.gif

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"Ears - which do YOU think would sound better - a Dynaudio Confidence C2 driven by a really good amp (Krell, Halcro, Moon, Wytech, whatever), or a Dynaucio Confidence C4 driven by, say, an Adcom or similar? A JMLab Mezzo Utopia driven by a LAMM, or a JMLab Utopia driven by a Denon? A Klipsch RF-5 driven by a Linn Klimax, or a RF-7 driven by a Rotel?"

Ah here the answer is still very easy

When speakers are so revealing,can reproduvce fine detail so well the amplifier quality is of utmost importance.

Dynaudio Confidence C2 compared to C4(while I did not hear these new models...yet,I heard the older Confidence,all of Contour(own a few) and the Evidence Master)you will get more bass and reach higher levels with the C4.NOT better quality(the tweeter and mid bass definition is the same).

Now I take the smaller model driven by higher quality amplification any day over the larger model driven by a pseudo ME TOO hi-fi.Any day of the week

To fully enjoy even a tiny Contour 1.1 you need a great quality amp,you can hear the chjange from a ATI 1505 to a Celeste 4150SE.Both may have similar power ratings,both have all the juice to power the Contour 1.1 up to high levels,the Celeste simply has a wider soundstage,lets more detail pass thru and sounds smoother.Its not voodoo magic here.

Some hacks claim all solid sate sounds alike,I piss in their general direction and have more respect for a clown then for these bozos.I say to all deaf biggots of the world who seriously think amps sound the same to get better more revealing speakers and sell the B0$e Acoustic Poop they use.

Changing batteries in hearing aids may help too 3.gif

I am amused by people with no real experience who quote some deaf reviewers.Amps dont sound alike,its time most get real revealing speakers and sell the junk they hold in high regard.

My next speakers...Dynaudio Special 25 now this is state of the art resolution,imaging,soundstaging and lack of coloration.$5000 may be alot for compact mini monitors,but so what for me these are worth it,after all my Pioneer DVAX10 SACD/DVD costs the same. Quality is never cheap,when a few people who saw and heard my system ask how much for the DVAX10...they change colour.When they see and hear the quality they begin to understand a bit why so much.

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LOL Randy, I won't bore anyone with details, but vinyl + tubes + horns > sex.

He he. I wont bore anyone here either but once I had a blind date with a girl who insisted on bringing her own vinyl, tubes and horns. It sounded strange at first. On the other hand the punch added to my midrange response remains unsurpassed and the experience definitely fried my oxygen free homegrowns. Wheres that dry ice?6.gif

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