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Suitable Amp & Speakers? "V-DAC196 & V-PSU2"

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[h=2]Suitable Amp & Speakers?fOR LAPTOP-V-DAC196 & V-PSU2::

Advice Appreciated[/h]

Hello Fellow Members From An Englishman In Norway;

 

I have read most threads on the Superb V-dac range both here and elsewhere.

I beleive the combination of
V-DAC196 &V-PSU2
would be ideal for what I have in mind?

I would like to find a compatible Amp & Speaker, but nothing to exotic.

My only music sourse is high qulity PC files,contained both on my Old 2008/9
DELL STUDIO 32 BIT LAPTOP
& external hard drives

 

I am as yet unsure of budget but I would guess about
£400/$600 Max
maybe a bit more.OR even less

Just a few ideas/suggestions would be great.Suitable cable advice would also be very much appreciated.

 

The room will be a dedicated music room quite small
10`x 7`x 7`High
it is a bit different in the fact it will also house a Latin -Percussion set up ;
CONGA + TIMBALES
it will have bass traps fitted to walls and roof ,there will be 8 panels in all.the floor will be wood on concrete base,roof pine.

 

I am thinking of playing my recorded percussion lessons,through the laptop..and of course it would be great to be able to switch over to just plain music.

 

Just trying to strike a balance here,I am not at all sure I can really try out to many Audio items..so it is even more important for good advice and personal feedback from fellow members

 

many thanks in advance

 

Regards Steve

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The most economical option I can think of that will yield a fair amount of performance would be powered/active studio monitors. Given your budget, I suggest the Mackie MR8mk2. I've spent some time with these and the smaller MR6's and I must say, you get quite a lot for your money...most important built in amplification.......150w per speaker to be exact. This option also eliminated the need for speaker cables.....both generic and high price snake oil varieties.

 

Oh and if you go this route, look for a DAC with volume control. The Cambride DacMagic Plus comes to mind.

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Good day Mayhem13

Many thanks for being the first to reply much obliged to you.

Funny you should mention the monitor route? I did own a pair of Audioengine A5s in bamboo and whilst they were ok,,I felt they lacked something.Now I am not totally against Actived monitors have had a couple suggested elsewhere,but I just felt this time around I could go the passive route and if needed adjust the budget a bit: IE Small bookshelf/Stand Speakers and something like the Pro-ject pre & power-amps.alternatively project do what I beleive to be the smallest intigrated amp to match there box sytemlater a graham slee headphone amp and a nice pair of headphones,again I have read a few reviews.,

 

Good thing is I have some time to make up my mind,so please keep the thoughts,advice coming

 

all the best Steve

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Hi Steve,

 

I'm not sure if you're considering headphones from what you wrote; you seemed to say you are. So I definitely suggest headphones. Both because of the room size (small) and your budget (small). What kind of music do you listen to?

 

There is also a Musical Fidelity headphone amp the V-Can which sells for about $200 in the U.S. Good value headphones to consider, Audio Technica AD900, Sennheiser 558, or 598 and several others. Check out Headroom, www.headphone.com for lots of headphones and info.

 

-Chris

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Good day Chris,

Good to hear from you ,much appreciated.

in answer to the headphone question,a big yes! the last time I purchased headphones they were top of the range grados & beyer dynamics! Massive mistake because on top of the phones being totally unsuitable for my meagre set up,I compounded things by taking all advice and spending a real fortune on exotic cables a usb costing£££ other cables costing 100s also a music streamer,a chinese head amp(valve) I got completely carried away in the end and lost a lot of cash selling the stuff..a lot of guilt and frustration ensued.

 

I had being looking afresh at current headphones and I must say the Audio Technica AD900, Sennheiser 558, or 598 all sound great I also think there is another AT model which is receiving good reviews but can`t remeber which one? I don`t like Grados...I listen to a mixture of music :allmans,skynrd,led zep,Pink Floyd,just to mention a few.

 

This time around I will take the tablets and be mor sensible I hope?

 

so as it stands

I have my dell 32 bit laptop (could get a new one) but not for some time

I hope to buy the new V-Dac & PSU(if felt it is needed?)

Graham slee solo or maybe the cheaper Slee headamp,there are one or two more also?including the V-Can as you suggest,have read little about the v-can)

 

I have also being looking at Pro-ject Boxes Like the compactness but would need more feedback on the range.Pro-ject do a integrated amp (small) 20 watt per chan?(is this to little)?

could go for the pre & Power amp combination from Pro-ject or anyone else..suggestions please on any Integrated amps but I liked the small size of the Pro-ject range and if I can match it all in together then that would be great!!

.

Cables (my nightmare) advice very much appreciated here!!!Finally small bookshelf/stand speakers

I have seen quite a few reviewed but am no expert on these...

 

As you have seen it is a small music room..I will aslo play my recorded latin percussion through the PC

 

anyway many thanks once again

 

cheers Steve

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Active monitors is one way to go,Mackies or Emotiva AirMotivs. Then you'd need some kind of volume atttenuation, pre amp if you will. Controlling the volume digitally is not always a good idea. If you do not want to use active monitors, you're already familiar wih AudioEngine; consider the N22 amp. 22 watts, small form factor, and good sound for the money with headphone connection. Speakers are a little more problematic. Try to find something you can listen to. Really good monitors can get expensive and 22 wpc may not be enough.

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Hi maximum kahuna

many thanks for your reply, much obliged to you

I am trying to avoid going down the active route,have being there before and think I would prefer the passive route this time around..

hope you understand

 

best wishes Steve

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No worries, I understand completely, especially since you have already been down that road and found it unsatisfying. It's hard to recommend speakers because Norway pretty much rules out the idea of trying Internet Direct speakers even with 30 day return rights. My only advice would be to listen to what you can. I'd save the cables for the very end. If you could get some well made, reasonably-priced cables (like Kimber Kable or even Monoprice,) I'd do that and put all my money into speakers. In your price range, 200 euros worth better speakers will change the sound a lot more than 200 euros for cables. You're set on the source end with the V-Dac. Now the trick is to find speakers that you like. Good luck on your quest.

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So your basis for the passive route is that you owned active speakers before and did not enjoy them? Please understand that by reading this, an unaware member would, by proxy conclude that you have developed the opinion that all active speakers will be unenjoyable?

 

That being said, all active speakers ARE NOT the same. The Mackies and other like them listed are purposes for nearfileld listening which in your case, is just about any listening position in the room. You're on a tight budget. If your goal is to spend a greater portion of your budget on small signal stuff like DACs, power supplies and......eh em......cables leaving the vulture's share for speakers and amplification.....your making a critical error in establishing a system. With such restrictions on space and budget, there's no more a clear case for speakers first.

 

Now for a case of active vs passive at your pricepoint. A properly designed active 2way offers the designer MUCH more flexibility in the design as he doesn't have to budget for an extensive passive network or expensive components to get his target slopes in order. As is often the case in a budget design, these passive systems will be designed with significant trade offs in the crossover network and working with drivers that would work with simple target slopes. The active network designer can achieve near any slope he likes, and can include phase correcting components and network ladder delays if need be. Companies like Mackie, Adam, Genelec, etc know how to get this right cheaply and have the resources to produce the active circuitry inexpensively without having to make compromises elsewhere. A case in point was the Behringer 2031 el cheapo 8" monitors that when measured were found to be an amazing speaker per measurements but to test the real world opinion, this $249 speaker was pitted against the Linkwitz Lab Orion.....often referred to as one of the finest speakers available. Guess what?. The little Behringer was actually preferred over the Orion. And it didn't just come down to quality of components, but it had more to do with the room and the speaker as the Behringer system was designed for near constant directivity, reducing the effect the room has on the sound by directing at the listener........VERY important in small spaces.

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maximum kahuna

Helo My friend

many thanks for kind reply much obliged.

Everything you said makes great sense and I will be following it,have no doubt

speakers will be main thing on my list and the V--dac at the other end of the chain

will look closely at everything in between and of course try (it is difficult) to listen to some good bookshelf speakers.

 

all the best for now

Cheers Steve

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Hello again mayhem13

So your basis for the passive route is that you owned active speakers before and did not enjoy them? Please understand that by reading this, an unaware member would, by proxy conclude that you have developed the opinion that all active speakers will be unenjoyable?

Simple answer is NO! You are if I may say assuming far to much and seem to not to give members credit for making up there own minds, weather yo go the active route or not.

 

I know all speakers are not the same,but I now beleive that the passive approach is for me,not everyones choice granted but mine. a pair of small stand/Bookshelf speakers+Int amp or pre/Power amp back to the V-dac/Psu-->Laptop I feel would give me more options not less.and from some feedback and reading I understand a lot of folk agree...

 

Sure it`s a small room,but it`s still a small room using some of the gear you suggest..I just feel passive will sound better,my opinion but thats what it`s all about differing opinions..only time will tell

 

all the best Steve

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My concerns about separates over active monitors is partially budget driven. You are correct in that seperates offer more options based simply on how many amps and passive speakers are available compared to the active market. I'm not one to suggest that someone spend more than they have intended so please understand my response to the previous posts. If your wish is to increase your budget to achieve your goals, I can support that decision without reserve. Your next step might be to narrow the pool of available passive designs by some limiting criteria such as size, bass response or limitations of, alignment type, radiation pattern and of course price. This would leave you with a more manageable group of available systems to compare and choose from. If you decide to spend time auditioning speakers, try and do so in a space similiar to yours as speakers performance is every bit room dependant as it is on the quality of the speaker itself. Good luck with your quest!

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Hello Again,

many thanks for taking the time to send such a good reply,I do appreciate it,,if though sometimes I appear frustrated with things,if there is anyone needs advcie it`s me.

 

The room being small and also containing (eventually) a latin percussion set up..means detailed planning..so as not to fall into mistakes as in the past?

 

I wish good sound quality and have being advised to look at GIK bass traps e.t.c.that is first thing.

next I (intend/plan?) to set up the percussion at the right hand end 2 mtrs wide

 

and my laptop (with music) at left hand end.I would like to buy the V-DAC but am unsure which other V-Dac items might be useful?(advice please)----> next I wish to connect to small integrated amp I have being looking at the PRO-JECT BOX-Range? are there similar items available from other companies?

would there be any advantage in me looking at a pre/Power amp combo or just go for the Integrated amp? next to the speakers I am thinking of small stand speakers :MISSION/KEF/ E.T.C. (open to more advice here ?) fianlly looking at Graham Slee head amp driving sennheiser 598 or similar.

 

Now all the above is my thoughts but I am really no expert..as can be seen in my earlier posts!

so any further help/advice much appreciated

 

all the best Steve

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The room being small and also containing (eventually) a latin percussion set up..

 

Another reason to go headphones, at least at first. The percussion instruments are going to have effects on your sound, and probably not good ones.

 

If I recall from your earlier post, bass will be important to you so the AT AD900s will probably not be great. They're a bit light in the bass, but very accurate with wonderful mids and highs. Great for Jazz and Classical particularly, although I like them fine for rock too. You might have been thinking of the AT 50s. They're closed back studio type phones. Plenty of bass.

 

If you must go speakers etc. I'd go very simple to start. The v-dac or similar, an integrated and the speakers of your choice. Remember if you use small monitors without a sub you won't have much deep bass, or bass at all depending on your choice. Don't worry about cables, get some basics from monoprice.com or the like. Forget about the PSU for now.

 

See what it sounds like in this basic format before you add other stuff. The cables and psu may make a bit of a difference, but it will be very small compared to getting the above components setup correctly for your room.

 

Start simple with good basic quality. You can add stuff from mundane to exotic for the rest of your life if you want to.

 

-Chris

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Hi Chris,morning..

Many thanks for yet again a most helpful and sensible reply.

I am now focused on which speakers,(not floor satnders) as I understand not to good in samll rooms?

so I was looking for a relatively small pair of stand speakers,,again not really sure what to look at?

I will need a short list of not to boomy boxes.but will give a pleasing amount of bass?

you are correct as to going with the V-Dac,can I ask how does the V-Link fit in to all this?

Then the Integrated amp rather than trying out any pre/power amp combi?and of course moderate cables.

 

Your headphone advice was very helpful it may well have being the AT 50s? I can check later..I suppose the sennheiser 538 or 598s are out of the running..are there others I may look at?

 

Head amp before I had beyer dynamic 990s I think they were playing through a LITTLE DOT valve amp not very good..and before that I bought the GRADOs can no longer recall which ones again not pleased with them either and to be honest both were over the top for the system I had put together at that time.

 

all advice welcome

 

many thansk

Steve

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Hi Chris,morning..

you are correct as to going with the V-Dac,can I ask how does the V-Link fit in to all this?

If you get the V-dac II you won't need a v-link, it's already built into the V-dac.

 

Then the Integrated amp rather than trying out any pre/power amp combi?and of course moderate cables.

For your budget and small space I don't see any reason to go with a pre/pro combo. There are very good integrateds available

 

Your headphone advice was very helpful it may well have being the AT 50s? I can check later..I suppose the sennheiser 558 or 598s are out of the running..are there others I may look at?

 

No, I think the Sennheisers should be a good possibility. Headfonia.com does a lot of headphone reviews.

 

As to speakers, read through Stereophile. They review a lot of little speakers. I remember a very inexpensive Pioneer speaker they reviewed about a year ago that they rated very highly. I don't remember the model though. You need to get ones with return privileges or find a place where you can listen to some.

 

Check for used equipment on audiogon.com. I'm not going to give specific recommendations in amps and speakers because I don't know them all or have heard them all nor do I have your taste. Read reviews and listen if you can, to speakers and headphones in particular.

 

-Chris

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morning Chris,

Great to hear back from you,and after yesterday in particy=ular,it is just brilliant to be discussing non BASS TRAPS e.t.c. not on these boards elsewhere just ends up in a bickering war between manufacturers and studio folk on one side and on the other ordinary members all rubbing each other up the wrong way with me in the middle like a tennise ball!Its a long story but I was asking as part of the overhaul room set up about Panels gave all the dimensions e,t,c, told them what I intended...then all hell broke loose

"Get me out of here"

 

Anyway many thanks for expalining I only really require the V-Dac not the V-link or PSU..really a plus that.I notice you use the V-Can what do you think of it and how does it compare to some of the opposition Chris.

 

I followed your advice and read a lot of reveiews e.t.c. at Headfonia very good site also looked at some length at Stereophile yesterday very good stuff also...

 

I don`t have to many options to go and try out to much gear but this time around I think I will have to buy most of it here in Norway (very expensive) but cheaper than shipping and import tax!!

 

Please keep the good news rolling..really do need it

 

all the best Steve

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+1 on crisnee's advice about keepng it simple. If you are somewhere near Oslo or some other larger city you should be able to find a place to listen to some speakers. You might give a listen to Focal or Canton. Cantons have seemed to have fallen out of favor in the US recently, but a while back I owned some very small Cantons that sounded amazing. I have heard Harbeths. They sound great but get pricey. I'm sure there are others; but I've heard some models of the brands I mentioned, and you should be able to find them in Norway. At least it will give you a base line of what you like or don't.

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Hello Maximum Kahuna,

strange you should contact me regarding Norwegian Audio/Hi-Fi shops..because I have spent sevaeral hours looking ..and I think even Norwegains will agree,Well some of them anyway) that Norway as probaly the fewest hi fi outlets anywhere..and the handful scattered around the country..are not all the brilliant when compared to US and UK shops.

 

Norway is a country of approx 5 million folk..but still I do not think they have access to really brilliant budget items!

Norway also as a big problem stocking certain luxury & Non Luxury items from abroad? I beleive it is something to do with the Tax system..and importation e.t.c. although I am no expert...

 

strange thing is the few Audio outlets there are, sell the most incredible hi end Gear, nearly exclusively...I know Norway is a rich country,but for the life of me I do not understand how they can just sell gear with prices equal to the national debt of some third world countries...I think we can forget Focal or Canton? although I could be wrong.I did however find a couple of shops that at least give you a small choice of UK/US gear.So I hope to get as much feedback on certain items and see how I go in tracking them down....

 

many thanks for your reply

 

best wishes Steve

ps I love Norway but there are so many things not available here.

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Man, I'm running out of ideas. How about Scandanvian brands? There are cable manufacturers that I've seen advertising in the US and manufacturers of tweeters, etc. There has to be some speaker companies as well. Any chance of getting to Sweden or somewhere else close by, even back to the UK? You're looking for smallish speakers so while not convenient, it's not impossible to bring them back with you. Hate to think you'd have to go on holiday, just to shop for speakers! Good luck, I don't envy you. It sounds like you have already explored a lot of these options, but I'm just tossing out thoughts. Checking out speakers is supposed to be fun, not work. We are spoiled here in the USA with the abundance of choices.

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Hi Steve,

 

The V-can is probably as good or better than anything in its price range, but I haven't actually compared it to anything more expensive so I'm just guessing. Having said that, unless you're looking for something that's also portable you probably can't go wrong with it at the price.

 

As to speakers, can you get the Pioneers that I mentioned? They're such a common company and the speakers are so inexpensive it might be worth just going for them and selling them (or using them for a second system or whatever) if you don't like them.

 

-Chris

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Hello Dear Friend

It is really frustrating is it not..I can not thank you enough for trying so hard to help..

I will eventually have to make some comprimises

Yes Norway as a few companies the esoteric stuff mainly(high end) Sweden is impractical so is UK really...

sure if I ever get back to UK? then I could pick up some small stuff...but will just have to use what there is

 

regards steve

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Hi Chris

Yes I will give the V-Can a go I think the Graham Slee stuff is costly,am looking at some Q Acoustics speakers if I can find them here they are well reviewed,also look at what else availble although it is limited

 

manyt ahnks once again

cheers Steve

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hello Guys

I have being non stop at all this on several forums,as it stands I have the following short list of audio components,does not mean I get them all at once but I am trying to slim the list down as far as I can,remembering it is impossible to audition some of this gear so your feedback is crucial,and more than that I trust you and the guys elsewhere to set me right .

 

 

SOURCE IS A DELL STUDIO 32 BIT RUNNING WIN7 HOME PREM:

 

 

 

Short List:-

 

V-Dac II

Hegel Dac (from Norway???

Matrix Mini-I Silver or Black?? (from Sweden I think)?

 

V-PSU

 

Pangea Audio P-100 high performance power supply.

Teddy Pardo:Teddy SB3 Power-

-Appears A Show Stopper Of A PSU By (Anyone Know Of This Amp??) Just Thought It May Be An Improvement On Almost Any Other PSU At the price range?--->

[There are sure to be others?]

 

Cables: Chord/QED Or Similar

 

Int-Amp: Cambridge Audio Azure-340?Cambridge Audio - Ca350a - Integrated Amplifier :Cambridge Audio - Topaz – Am10: /NAD - C-316bee - Integrated Amplifier/XTZ A-800 Class D Amplifier Black??

 

Speakers:Q Accoustics 2020i Or One Of The Mission Mx Range Or Boston Acoustics 26s* Or*Monitor Audio Bronze Bx2[Could be one or two more to consider]

 

 

Head Amp:V-Can or similar

 

Headphones:AT 50s/Akg K701'S/Sennheiser 558/598s/ Akg272hD's/Akg 242'S HD

AT~50s (Current front Runner)

 

So any further advice very,very much appreciated

 

all the best Steve

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