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A new stereo for my office - help me decide!
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Caffeinated Theme Master
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Oct 30, 2005, 05:52 PM
 
As a gift to myself (work-related occasion), I have decided to get a new audio system for my office. Here are my "wants"/"must-haves"/"thoughts" on the subject ...
  • Office is approx. 28 sq. meters (300 sq. feet) in size
  • Cost no more than $500.00-$600.00
  • Stereo a must (duh!), surround sound nice but definitely not necessary (actually, I really don't feel like running 500ft. of addtl. wire through my office)
  • Decent bang for the buck (as in: "good sound", most important requirement)
  • Stylish/timeless look (second most important), no boom box crap, nothing that has more lights than your average PC
  • Size - the smaller, the better
  • Radio would be nice
  • CD player for occasional "silverling-listening"
  • DVD player would be nice but not a "must-have" requirement
  • AUX input to hook up my computer is a must

Now, I'm aware of the fact that quite a few of my "wants" are in conflict with each other (i.e. "good sound" and "small size") - I guess what I'm looking for is a good compromise between all of the above. Normally, I'd also be more inclined to simply go out and buy a few decent components in order to get the best sound possible for my $$$ - but keep in mind that this is for my office, not the living room (we already have a nice HT system) or an audiophile's "music room".



After a bit of research, I dug up a Yamaha mini system (MCR-E600) which, at first sight, seems to fit the bill - it even has DVD playback (nifty, but not necessary)



Here are the specs (from manufacturer's site):

Receiver
  • High Power 40 Watts x 2, 6ohms, 1kHz
  • 40 Station Instant One-touch Preset Tuning
  • Auto and Memory Preset
  • Linear Damping
  • High Dynamic Power and Low-Impedance Drive Capability
  • Discrete Configuration Amplifier
  • Bass/Treble/Balance Tone Controls
  • System Control Functions: Direct Input Source Selection, Timer Rec and Synchro Rec
  • Subwoofer Out

CD/DVD Player
  • Progressive Scan Processing (NTSC/PAL)
  • High Quality Audio DAC
  • Versatile Format and Disc Compatibility: DVD+RW/+R, SVCD, VCD, Audio CD, CD-R/RW, MP3, and JPEG
  • 54MHz/12-Bit Video DAC for High Picture Quality
  • Picture CD Playback with Display
  • MP3 Navigation Display
  • MP3 and JPEG (Multisession) Compatibility with Fast Forward, Rewind, Repeat and Shuffle Play

Speakers
  • 2-Way Bass Reflex Design
  • 5" Woofer and 1" Dome Tweeter
  • 110 Watts High Input Capability
  • 6-ohm Impedance
  • High Gloss Piano Finish

Comments? Thoughts? Any other systems out there that I missed? Should I look at something entirely different? And no, I don't want a Tivoli radio.
( Last edited by effgee; Oct 30, 2005 at 07:08 PM. Reason: because I like formatting my posts :-p)
     
effgee  (op)
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Oct 30, 2005, 05:54 PM
 
not a DP, but superfluous nonetheless
( Last edited by effgee; Oct 30, 2005 at 06:25 PM. )
     
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Oct 30, 2005, 06:08 PM
 
I have heard a lot of good stuff about JVC's line of mini-systems with wood coned speakers. They actually treat the wood by soaking it in alcohol... anyway supposed to sound great and in your price range.

http://www.jvc.com/product.jsp?produ...0000&pathId=11
2.7Ghz 15" Mid 2012 MBP 16GB RAM 7.2k 750GB HD anti-glare display|64GB iPad4 ATT LTE|
     
effgee  (op)
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Oct 30, 2005, 06:48 PM
 
Hmmm ... I like the look of the JVC EX-A1 ...



and the features of the EX-D5 ...



but that thing (EX-D5) is quite ugly, won't put something like that in my office (I know, I know - all a question of personal taste, I just don't like it). Not too keen about the cherry wood, either - it's not ugly, just doesn't fit my office all that well.

Anyone have personal experience with these JVC systems? Somehow I have a hard time imagining that a speaker so very tiny (8cm) should sound as good or even better than a 2-way bass reflex speaker with a 13cm woofer and a 2.5cm tweeter.
     
V12
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Oct 30, 2005, 09:49 PM
 
how about a tivoli unit... [img]http://tivoliaudio.com/product_image.php?imageid=155[img]

$479..available in several colors
     
V12
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Oct 30, 2005, 09:51 PM
 
how about a tivoli unit...




$479..available in several colors
     
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Oct 30, 2005, 10:01 PM
 
They don't seem have specs anywhere. Do they sell on looks alone or what?
     
V12
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Oct 30, 2005, 10:44 PM
 
nope...

www.tivoliaudio.com

go to hi-fi systems
     
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Oct 30, 2005, 10:51 PM
 
I did. "No specifications listed."
     
effgee  (op)
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Oct 30, 2005, 10:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by V12
how about a tivoli unit ...
Originally Posted by effgee's first post
... And no, I don't want a Tivoli radio.


Seriously though, I have no problem with the Tivoli - they're great little radios. And as such, they do a perfect job. There's two reasons why I won't put a Tivoli in my office:

1. The control unit is the speaker - you either have a speaker in front of your face or you get up to to change the radio station, put in a CD, etc. That alone is a deal-braker for me.

2. Beyond the original radio design and functionality, the addtl. features (imho, doesn't mean anyone needs to agree) seem "tacked on" and "cheaply implemented". I love the design of the original unit (aside from the cheap plastic look of the control knobs) but am not too psyched about the "new" stuff - CD player, subwoofer, etc.

So no, no Tivoli for me ...

     
effgee  (op)
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Oct 30, 2005, 11:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by paul w
I did. "No specifications listed."
And you won't find any, either. From the Tivoli site:

"... 2. Why don't you publish factory specifications for the Tivoli Audio radios? Specifications alone are not a measure of how an audio product sounds. The best way to determine whether or not you like the sound of our radios, and whether they receive the stations you enjoy, is to try them. When purchased direct, you have 30 days to return the radio for a refund for any reason. If purchased through a dealer or catalog, please consult their return policy. Check our website for the latest independent reviews. ..."
     
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Oct 31, 2005, 02:36 AM
 
Why not get one of these and the new iPod?

     
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Oct 31, 2005, 02:44 AM
 
Actually the iPod with speakers is a really great. You can even buy cheaper speakers and it allows you to bring all your songs, blogs, movies etc. where ever you go.
     
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Oct 31, 2005, 03:02 AM
 
What's going on with the forum? Something is real strange.
     
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Oct 31, 2005, 03:03 AM
 
Now it's working.
     
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Oct 31, 2005, 03:04 AM
 
Wow, that was neat.
     
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Oct 31, 2005, 03:09 AM
 
Does everyone see this?
     
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Oct 31, 2005, 04:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Buckaroo
Does everyone see this?
Yes. Well... maybe not everyone, but I do.
     
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Oct 31, 2005, 04:22 AM
 
I'd get a Bose Sounddock and leave the iPod conected to that but I'm Apple's bitch.

This is a computer-generated message and needs no signature.
     
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Oct 31, 2005, 04:50 AM
 
I personally recommend Bose.
     
effgee  (op)
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Oct 31, 2005, 01:06 PM
 
A Bose sounddock?

What happened to the AUX input for when I want to watch a movie on my computer? A tuner? The occasional CD I'd like to listen to? Being able to crank up the thing for a few minutes every now and then?

Plus, I was holding the Sounddock in my hands at the Apple store the other day - while it may sound perfectly fine (I didn't listen to it), that thing looks so cheap it's not even remotely funny. I'd rather put something made of LEGO bricks in my office.

     
effgee  (op)
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Oct 31, 2005, 01:08 PM
 
delayed echo? odd ...
     
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Oct 31, 2005, 01:15 PM
 
"That's okay, I'd like to keep it on manual control for a while."
     
Y3a
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Oct 31, 2005, 01:37 PM
 
Used quality equipment:

Marantz 2245 receiver
JBL 4311 loudspeakers
or Smaller Advents
Sony protable CD player
     
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Nov 1, 2005, 01:09 PM
 
The 4311s are great, classic boxes, however keep in mind two things: They're designed specifically for coherent near-field use such as placement on meter bridges in-studio, so depending on your room size and placement of the system that may or may not work for you. You can find a used pair of classic Yamaha NS-10s that will give you a little better imaging if you're sitting farther away. Just do yourself a favor, put a little Kleenex over the tweets.

They're also MONITORS, so they're intentionally flat as opposed to having everything 250 and below bumped up like speakers designed for home stereo use.
     
Y3a
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Nov 1, 2005, 03:24 PM
 
<< They're also MONITORS, so they're intentionally flat as opposed to having everything 250 and below bumped up like speakers designed for home stereo use. >>

So you don't know HOW to use 4311's in a non-studio environment?

It's EASY!!!

Put em on the floor, which couples the bass to the floor, increase the mids' and turn down the tweets. Put a plant on top and there ya go. Personally, most 'home' loudspeakers sound like crappe anyway, so I use KEF 104aB's as the home listening system. 2 pairs off a pair of DB Systems power amps controlled by a DB Systems pre-amp. Super clean! Solid response down to 11hZ.
     
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Nov 2, 2005, 04:48 AM
 
I'm quite aware of HOW to do so, however that isnt how.

Speakers on floors invariably suck for numerous reasons. Thats basic rules 1 through 3.

Coupling isn't a blanket concept, it's a very finite science with very specific things that do and dont work.

KEFs are a not-bad series of classic boxes, however you're past dreaming if you really think that they're responsive to 11hz. Aside from that "solid response" being far beyond anything you could hear (and thus judge how "solid"), its just not possible for a driver of that size to produce a wave that large with any substance. Their own specs only rate it to 30hz and even that is overly ambitious. My RCF loaded EAW boxes, or even mu Aura rigs, dont pretend to be capable of that, and thats with immense drivers and magnets and thousands of real watts behind them. Even if it was possible for little speakers like KEFs to produce those frequencies you'd need to be literally tens of yards away to even be in a position to potentially hear them since waves of that size take HUGE amounts of space to fully develop.

Home stereo speakers DO suck. Bose sucks a nut. My point, however, was simply that all other things being equal you should expect the monitors to have a much flatter (actually more realistic) response than the artificially boosted sub 500Hz response of a stereo speaker.
     
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Nov 2, 2005, 06:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by CMYKid
I'm quite aware of HOW to do so, however that isnt how.

Speakers on floors invariably suck for numerous reasons. Thats basic rules 1 through 3.

Coupling isn't a blanket concept, it's a very finite science with very specific things that do and dont work.

KEFs are a not-bad series of classic boxes, however you're past dreaming if you really think that they're responsive to 11hz. Aside from that "solid response" being far beyond anything you could hear (and thus judge how "solid"), its just not possible for a driver of that size to produce a wave that large with any substance. Their own specs only rate it to 30hz and even that is overly ambitious. My RCF loaded EAW boxes, or even mu Aura rigs, dont pretend to be capable of that, and thats with immense drivers and magnets and thousands of real watts behind them. Even if it was possible for little speakers like KEFs to produce those frequencies you'd need to be literally tens of yards away to even be in a position to potentially hear them since waves of that size take HUGE amounts of space to fully develop.

Home stereo speakers DO suck. Bose sucks a nut. My point, however, was simply that all other things being equal you should expect the monitors to have a much flatter (actually more realistic) response than the artificially boosted sub 500Hz response of a stereo speaker.
Man, I wish I had your ears. I'm serious. But I'll bet it's irritating when things don't sound quite right with such accurate hearing and knowledge of audio equipment.

It's like that way with colors for me. When colors don't match quite well and are just thrown together, I get a bit stressed out.

I "accidentally" bought a pair of Bose speakers when I was extrememly ignorant abuot their products. I had heard some rave reviews, in hindsight realized that the reviewers must have been nearly deaf, and based my opinion on those speakers without even hearing them. Plus I started working for GM and GM workers get a good discount on Bose products.

From now on, all future speaker purchase will be done only after in-home trials.
     
Y3a
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Nov 2, 2005, 11:17 AM
 
<< KEFs are a not-bad series of classic boxes, however you're past dreaming if you really think that they're responsive to 11hz. Aside from that "solid response" being far beyond anything you could hear (and thus judge how "solid"), its just not possible for a driver of that size to produce a wave that large with any substance. Their own specs only rate it to 30hz and even that is overly ambitious. >>

Actually , you CAN measure the 104aB's down to 11hZ. The passive radiator is tuned to 8hz free-air and in the box it's tuned to 11. the 104's are
30hZ-15khZ +/- 3dB
20hZ-25K +/- 5.5dB

and

11hZ-30KhZ +/- 10dB.
At least according to a B&K calibration system.
They ARE inneficient so I use 2 pairs with 400 watts RMS per side, in a 20 by 17 by 14 room. yea, 14 foot ceilings!
     
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Nov 2, 2005, 11:50 AM
 
dp go byebye
     
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Nov 2, 2005, 11:51 AM
 
Passive radiator equals meh. Purely car stereo.

Anyway, just because a driver will pass and attempt to reproduce a signal, it's overly ambitious to say that it has actual useful response in that range. Sure there are 256 shades of grey, but if I show you shades 1, 3 and 5 I doubt you'll be able to tell much if at all between them.


Railroader: I'm not saying that Bose is the worst thing out there. I mean, the physics of what they're trying to do are pretty sound. Its really just the idea that it sounds SO much better that is funny. All in all it sounds ok, just like any other moderately priced stereo equipment. Only problem is that it isn't moderately priced.

I always wondered a little if GM'ers got discounts on other things besides vehicles by virtue of the product being used in vehicles...
     
as2
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Nov 2, 2005, 12:09 PM
 
Go for a Denon DM31 - Absolutely awesome system.... the speakers for it if you get the system are made by Mission.

They have released a new version recently with a DAB tuner, but the speakers you get with it aren't that great so I'd recommend getting the system separately and add your own speakers.
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Nov 2, 2005, 12:26 PM
 
What's wrong with the Cambridge Soundworks Radio CD? That's what I was thinking of getting...
     
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Nov 3, 2005, 06:34 AM
 
i have this one, i drive a classic car and didnt want to ruin teh interior with speakers and stereo. this Altec Lansing charges an ipod and works with 4 aa batteries. very handy and elegant. it folds into a small box when not in use, so it fits in your backpack too. i now have 2 ipod 3rd genereation. i can use them as cassettes very geeky

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Nov 3, 2005, 08:16 AM
 


Better than BOSE!!
***
     
Y3a
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Nov 3, 2005, 08:40 AM
 
Does anybody know of a recording studio that uses Bose speakers? We always called them the Blows 901's. The amount of EQ they add really ups the distortion. Pee-Yoo!
     
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Nov 3, 2005, 09:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by CMYKid
I always wondered a little if GM'ers got discounts on other things besides vehicles by virtue of the product being used in vehicles...
What ever GM owns a part of we usually get a discount on. Bose, DirectTV, XM radio...

We even get a 10% discount on Apple products. Not that GM has any special connection to Apple.
     
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Nov 3, 2005, 01:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by CMYKid
You can find a used pair of classic Yamaha NS-10s that will give you a little better imaging if you're sitting farther away. Just do yourself a favor, put a little Kleenex over the tweets.
Quick note on the NS10s:
Don't bother. The StudioSpares SN10s are much better - and no need for the toilet roll over the tweeters.

If you absolutely have to go with Yamahas, go for the NS40, which is much better than the NS10.

Other than that, I agree.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
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Nov 3, 2005, 02:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by badidea


Better than BOSE!!
looks pretty. what is it?
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effgee  (op)
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Nov 3, 2005, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Paco500
looks pretty. what is it?
It's the iTeufel (German for "iDevil", ) from the German speaker manufacturer Teufel.

Pretty good stuff from what I hear - no pun intended.

     
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Nov 3, 2005, 07:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy
Quick note on the NS10s:
Don't bother. The StudioSpares SN10s are much better - and no need for the toilet roll over the tweeters.

If you absolutely have to go with Yamahas, go for the NS40, which is much better than the NS10.

Other than that, I agree.

With his major objective being price, there are huge #'s of NS10s about in music stores, pawn shops, even seen them in thrift stores occasionally.
     
Clinically Insane
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Nov 3, 2005, 08:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by CMYKid
With his major objective being price, there are huge #'s of NS10s about in music stores, pawn shops, even seen them in thrift stores occasionally.
Yeah, problem with that is he's gonna have to know his stuff to not end up with some thrashed ones, since IIRC the paper supply for the cones has dried up so there's no more spare drivers. I know what we used to do to our NS10s and I wouldn't buy them off us.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
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Nov 3, 2005, 08:25 PM
 
I'm eerily intrigued by this speaker flame-war between CMYK and Y3a.

For the record, BOSE do suck. I bought a used system for college bc of the size factor, but I'm hugely unimpressed. Now I'm stuck with them bc I don't want to unload $10k on the system that I do want. Oh well, they're good for analog TV output.
     
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Nov 3, 2005, 08:29 PM
 
The forum database sucks worse than BOSE. DP.
     
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Nov 3, 2005, 09:51 PM
 
Bose's new motto:

No highs, no lows, just Bose

ImpulseResponse
     
   
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