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Stereo Help

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  • Stereo Help

    I have recently been working to set up my home Audio system, and have gotten most of the pieces down, but am rather limited as though I have a fair number of components, and I think 4 or so nice speakers, I don't actually have an AMP. I was given most of the individual pieces from my mother, who apparently had a very nice system in her youth, but her amplifier was broken by her then best friend (who proceeded to leave as if nothing had happened), leaving my mother with a shelf of nice components and 2 great speakers that she couldn't use. For a couple years I've had her 2 20od year old Kef-104 speakers collecting dust in my room, and in hopes of getting some kind of surround sound going recently bought 2 more speakers that say "Lab Standard" and 505 but have no other clear markings, but in spite of my efforts I understand I can't play anything without power.

    So for what it's worth I currently have a:

    Denon DcD 1500 II CD player,
    Nakamichi dx 300 Cassette player,
    Bang & Olufsen Beogram RX2 Phonograph,
    the aforementioned speakers,
    and my trusty computer

    As a side note, it would be wicked if I could somehow tie in my Hallicrafters (not quite sure of the number), but I would be rather surprised if that worked (and it would be rather superfluous, as there seems to be nothing on the bands it receives these days, so maybe I just need it for the zombie apocalypse).

    Now I say I need an amp, but I truly have no idea what I am talking about, and my efforts to educate myself have left me more confused with receivers, and pre amps, and everything else under the sun, so from this point I think I will just call the missing component a "thingy". I have been doing some ill educated searches on Craigslist, but I truly have no means of filtering the results I get. So I really need some advice on what kind of thingy I need to make everything work (probably some wires too), and how to hook everything up together. Budget wise I would like to limit myself to about 200, maybe 230 including any misc pieces (like said wires, anything else I need). I figure you guys may be able to help me set up something nice.

  • #2
    Re: Stereo Help

    All you're missing is the receiver, which contains your amp, does the switching, provides your sound, etc. Oh yeah, and loads of good speaker wire and various cables for your different components. If you really are willing to spend $200 on a receiver, your variety can be huge. That should be buy you a super sweet used receiver or a pretty good new one. Personally, for the price if your going new, I'd say you should look at a Yamaha or Onkyo receiver.

    Take a look at this one. It should do the trick for sure... (and it's ~$179 with free shipping!)
    "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire


    • #3
      Re: Stereo Help

      And here's one question that should be as well. Are you looking to set up the turntable? Cause that will narrow down your selection noticeable. For example, that Yamaha does not have phono inputs. The big issue with the special inputs is that a turntable has to have its signal boasted before it even reaches the amplifier.

      The second thing you need to look into is the impedance of the speakers to see if the receiver would be compatible with you speakers. This should be printed somewhere on the speaker cases, unless they are home build jobbies. You might have to remove off the speaker cover to reveal the speakers and an info panel, don't worry it should just pop right off.

      Now hopefully some of the older TGer's might pop in to give you some more direction, or correct a lot of what I'm saying. :p

      PS: If you intend to buy from Craiglist/classifieds, bring a set of speakers and wire to test that bad boy out. It really does suck to have to get it repaired or to trash it, especially after you buy it. :(
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      • #4
        Re: Stereo Help

        The Kefs say:
        Impedance 4Ohm Resistive 20-20kHz
        Usable with amplifiers up to 200W at 4Ohm or 100W at 8Ohm

        The "Lab Standard"s only say 8Ohm

        Craigslist is not my only source, but it usually seems a nice one for getting local things. I know I went into the tweeter store, and was told quite rudely that I couldn't really us my very nice Kef speakers with anything short of a 300+ amp, and really I needed one that cost over a grand. I am perfectly fine with getting something used, especially if it lowers the price noticeably.

        I would like to be able to hook the phono up, but it is not the primary necessity. My primary goal is to get the two Kef speakers set up, sounding nice, and accepting input from my computer, and whatever other devices I can attach. Surround sound will be nice for gaming, but I understand I want two channel for listening to my music? I understand at least some receivers can do both, which would be an added plus (sorry if that sounds stupid, my primary audio experience is with computer speakers).
        Last edited by Adiventure; 11-23-2008, 04:20 PM.


        • #5
          Re: Stereo Help

          Originally posted by Adiventure View Post
          Surround sound will be nice for gaming, but I understand I want two channel for listening to my music? I understand at least some receivers can do both, which would be an added plus (sorry if that sounds stupid, my primary audio experience is with computer speakers).
          Yeah, just about all receivers are going to be able to do 5.1 surround and 2.0 stereo. And some albums are recorded in just two channel stereo, which would sound better being played in stereo; and some are recorded in quadraphonic or better surround sound.

          I'm with Warmonger on this. Get the most Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon or HarmonKarden that you can afford and you'll be happy. Trying to sort out which specific receiver is better than the other is difficult, as they'll release a new model just to support some new feature or format, even though the majority of the receiver is the same as the other one that is $300 cheaper.
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