Need help from audiophiles audio buffs on buying sound system


Andreq

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Jul 12, 2007
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#1
I am thinking of spending some money on a good sound system for watching movies and listening to music. Not the generic brands like Sony, Panasonic, but something higher end.

Could anyone here knowledgeable in audio stuffs please recommend me 1 or 2 good audio shops that are trustworthy? You know, like how we've got the usual few photo shops we go to for our camera gear? Cos I'm a noob in audio matters.... :embrass:

I read that if the speakers or set up on done correctly according to the room layout, then the sound quality may not be optimal. So that's why need a good audio shop that can advise me and maybe help me set up the sound system if I buy it.

Many thanks!! Appreciate any recommendation!
 

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#2
hmm... i know there's this complex opposite funan that has stores that specialize only in speakers. i also enjoy quality sound but haven't the cash to get those...

but are you prepared to spend hours configuring your set up afterwards?
 

Sgdevilzz

Senior Member
May 16, 2010
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#4
At first when i saw your thread title i thought it was "Pedophiles".
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
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#5
I am thinking of spending some money on a good sound system for watching movies and listening to music. Not the generic brands like Sony, Panasonic, but something higher end.

Could anyone here knowledgeable in audio stuffs please recommend me 1 or 2 good audio shops that are trustworthy? You know, like how we've got the usual few photo shops we go to for our camera gear? Cos I'm a noob in audio matters.... :embrass:

I read that if the speakers or set up on done correctly according to the room layout, then the sound quality may not be optimal. So that's why need a good audio shop that can advise me and maybe help me set up the sound system if I buy it.

Many thanks!! Appreciate any recommendation!

Read these links first, they will help you bro:

How to audition & buy: http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=73638.0

Important info on Home theatre: http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=48382.0

Remember when you post there, more info given, more info offered.
 

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dreaming

New Member
Oct 22, 2006
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#6
I am thinking of spending some money on a good sound system for watching movies and listening to music. Not the generic brands like Sony, Panasonic, but something higher end.

Could anyone here knowledgeable in audio stuffs please recommend me 1 or 2 good audio shops that are trustworthy? You know, like how we've got the usual few photo shops we go to for our camera gear? Cos I'm a noob in audio matters.... :embrass:

I read that if the speakers or set up on done correctly according to the room layout, then the sound quality may not be optimal. So that's why need a good audio shop that can advise me and maybe help me set up the sound system if I buy it.

Many thanks!! Appreciate any recommendation!
audio shop is entirely different from camera shop. in camera shop, they carry almost similar brand of cameras. most importantly, they are usually stand alone items (Hifi need matching of various component). there could be trustworthy shop in selling camera but i would not say trust-worthy audio shop. there is no 'something higher end' in audio. budget / entry level/ mid-hifi / highend end?

budget like cambridge audio with amplifier and CDP etc
entry level like rotel, marantz, rega brio, etc
mid hifi like rega , naim nait (wide range to high end)
high end like ....

BTW, how do you define high end? why not tell us your budget instead. most crucial component is the speaker and amplification. you mentioned 'watching movies and listening to music'. watching movies need high power or current amplification to produce the impact of the scenario. you should take the Home theater route cause you might need center speaker, sub-woofer etc.

music listening is easier but the choice of speaker is still crucial. high-efficiency speaker need easier amplification. system matching between speaker and amplifier is crucial and it determine the characteristic of the whole system.


rough guide
Harbeth C7es3 (C7es2 older model) are have easy speaker loading, good for both 'watching movies and listening to music'. get a Naim nait 5i and CD5i and you have a mid to high-end system. this system when new need S$8K. used price would be S$5K. this system has warmth feeling of the harbeth, and PRAT factor of the Naim.
Proac floorstander with Densen system, also ard S$8k (entry level component). Living Voice model Auditorium with Lavardin IS is about $11K new. remember, dont go for the low ohm, difficult-to-drive like TOTEM. you will have pain in matching them. pain as in paying $$$ for the amplifier. there are many system / brand. tell them your budget your music genre and there will be full of recommendation.

lastly rotel and rega brand> asia sound Mr lim, nice uncle who teaches you how to save money.


oh, i didn't do any room treament. and room layout placement is easy. speaker should always stay away from corner and back wall. this is to let the speaker to 'breath'. if room is tight, go for the front firing type speaker like the harbeth C7es3. room damping with furniture bookself bed pillow curtain etc. always tackle the first point of reflection from the speaker.


last but not least, audio is a deep hole, can suck you in financially and better to avoid it in the first place.
 

dreaming

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Oct 22, 2006
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#8
I cannot afford a great home theater so I bought the best headphones I can afford.
headphone are great tools for music as they are precise and doesnt interact with the room condition. Open-can type of headphone are the best for head-fi. Stax, grado, ...

eventually, one's will progress to full system setup once he find the music compressed with a headphone. Speaker is still the best mechanical tool to produce music with good soundstage and music
 

Benji77

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Feb 18, 2006
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#9
My experiences with audiophile shops in Singapore are left to be desired. Most of them want to close the sale rather than see how they can fit your needs. Of course, there are exceptions, and they are they ones who talk more about music, and how you enjoy it.
Everybody's listening styles differ, and I would ask you to take your time and walk around auditioning systems to see which suits your ear.
 

dreaming

New Member
Oct 22, 2006
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#11
My experiences with audiophile shops in Singapore are left to be desired. Most of them want to close the sale rather than see how they can fit your needs. Of course, there are exceptions, and they are they ones who talk more about music, and how you enjoy it.
Everybody's listening styles differ, and I would ask you to take your time and walk around auditioning systems to see which suits your ear.
ya, the rental is high.. some of the shop always pressurize ppl to get the full system from them. some of the shop in Aldephi are very friendly, usually they have their own customer base so we are like small fry to them. want to listen, listen; want to buy, buy.
some like alpha audio, audio note are keen to do business only so do some homework before you go. Asia sound, Electrade, Aural Design, music by design, absolute sound ... are better places to learn hifi. there are many shops ard the island like Arcam, Jay audio in Lavender, X audio, sky audio in Bukit timah, yishun and bedok also got some 2nd hand dealer shop.

personally i find Zenn audio sell pre-owned item reasonably. check their website regularly.
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
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#12
Don't get carried away and overspend.
Much of hifi is psychological where the salesman strokes your EGO.
Don't get to the point of spending thousands of $ just for the cables between the amplifier and the loudspeakers.
 

#13
Wow, I'm quite surprise to see people discussing audio stuffs in a photography forum. But nevertheless, I shall contribute my 2 cents worth..

Shops recommended by "dreaming" are decent places to start with. It will be a good idea to tell us what kind of budget are you planning to work with for the start. As a rough ballpark, a decent stereo setup based on book shelf speakers will set you back around 4 to 5k thereabout (2K - speakers, 1.5k amplifier, 1k - cd player/dac, 500 for cables/misc). Given that you will be spending so much money, it is certainly reasonable to audition as many setups as possible before committing. Some shops allow for home audition, but don't bet on it because this usually only happens if you are prepared to pay for the higher end gears. You are right that the positioning of the speakers in different room layouts will give rise to varying results. In fact, you will soon realize that room treatments i.e. foams around walls, carpets and optimal speakers positioning can greatly tweak your existing setup by a notch or two. Therefore, it is important that you consider that when you make your first purchase i.e. set aside some money to be use for room treatment. :)
 

2100

Senior Member
Mar 3, 2004
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#14
How much is your budget? Go to Aural Design lah..... Ah Tan and Victor there will provide lots of backup service. Room to interconnects/cables..... (talk to them) ;p
 

beachbum

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Jun 29, 2002
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#15
Warning!! if you are not into it yet... don't jump in... its a long way down and no way out :bsmilie:

1. state your budget. Don't be shy about it. Even at relatively modest budget you can get pretty decent sound.
2. don't get too caught up with all the latest products and push talk by the sales person or recommendation by some what lo-fi magazines. If you can't hear it, don't buy it. Even if you can hear the "difference", is it to your liking?
3. Education. Read up and actually hear as many systems as you can. bring some CDs that you like and are familiar with and pop in for audition. Don't be shy about it. The various showrooms with the various brands and set up do sound different.
4. If you are going to play your music via the computer, do check out site like: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/
5. Number 1 item in the hi fi ecosystem is the source. If you are gonna spend $$$ on your system, make sure you play good recordings/copies of music/movies.
 

Andreq

Deregistered
Jul 12, 2007
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#16
First of all, A very big thank you to everyone with the advice.

I think I will try with the suggested website for a read.

Contrary to some assumptions here, don't worry, I'm not "going into" audio. That's why I need help. I'm totally noob about audio equipment. I just got the money, want to get a professional (preferably from a reliable shop, that's why I asked), pay him to help me, and then enjoy the sound quality in my living room. I love movies and music.

I vaguely remember reading somewhere (think it's an audio website or forum some time back) that an audio shop in Adelphi is willing to go to the home and set up the system.

And yup, maybe it's good if I state my budget here. It's about $8-10k.

Thanks again... But maybe I should go over to the suggested website now for more info.
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
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#17
Bro
For 8-10k for a audio system you can do very well. I suggest you do some reading up first. Your sonic taste is very important and I Do Not suggest just plonking the cash down just like that. Go listen to a few systems.

Btw the people at xtremeplace are very friendly and will allow you to try out their systems.
And mixing and matching from different shops is better even if it is more work.
 

r0n1n

Senior Member
Mar 9, 2009
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#18
here's my 2 cents worth:

if you're into audio, what you basically need are:

1. a good source, CDP
2. an amp, can be separates or integrated
3. good pair of speakers, either bookshelf or floorstander

brands that I can suggest (disclaimer: I am in no way related to these :bsmilie: ) :

CDP: Marantz, Denon
AMP: Rotel, NAD, Cambridge Audio
Speaker: Monitor Audio silver/gold series, B&W, Dynaudio, Dali

Your budget for audio is actually huge :bigeyes: you can check out high end devices; but for me, what I listed above is very very decent (mid-end).

Adelphi (opposite funan) is a good place to check these items. You may also want to research each brands and find out who's the authorized distributor here.

TIPS: Audition, audition, and audition! At the end of the day, you ears will decide what is best for you. What maybe good for others may not be good for you. Bring your favorite CD when auditioning.

WARNING! audio and photography will drain your wallet! :sweat::sweat:

Hope this helps ;)
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
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#19
BTW are you using the word AUDIO loosely?
Do you mean Home Theatre and Audio?

Then your 8-10k will buy less...

Check out the "systems" thread in xtremeplace.
For an example, my Audio only system:

Oppo Nuforce Edition (good for music and plays Blu Ray too)
Musical Fidelity A 5.5 amp (stereo only)
B & W 805s

Plus stands and cables, it will set you back about 10k or so. If you don't mind 2nd hand, your choices increase.

PM me if you are keen to have a listen.
 

Dennis

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2002
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#20
Audio very different from Photography, the specs in Audio does not necessary mean anything to you. You need to listen to it and hear it and again remember when you bring the system back the sound will be change again. High end is very high even compared to photography, can be upwards of 6 figure. Can try shop like KEC at Adelphi but again depends on what you like and most shops sells different brands, they also do have people who can help you tune the system.
I suggest start small and slowly upgrade after knowing what you like and had learned more.
In audio one men's meat is another's poison so check it out on the shop and spent sometime listening to the system and get the sound you like.
Also important to note your placement of speakers etc. sometimes there may be space constrain and you are limited to only some choices.
Enjoy.
 

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