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Old 01-12-2023, 01:59 AM
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Default Basic Goddamned Home Stereo System

This is a little too tl;dr for the gadgets thread, and apologies if the thrad title attracts extra spammers. It can be changed to "Sock Is An Audioignoramus" if necessary.


I primarily listen to music in the car at this point, and occasionally via headphones/earbuds. The last time I bought a home audio system (close to a decade ago), I was miserly, and what I got was absolute shit - got rid of it at a garage sale or something. Since then, I've used various portable speakers with Bluetooth, and while the sound is there and the range is decent, it doesn't fill the room, even when I use a 2-speaker system (granted, the one I have doesn't allow for proper separation).

I started looking online, and it struck me that I thought the technology would've been more advanced by now than it is. Anything within a reasonable price point is still hard-wired, whereas I thought home speakers would just use Wi-Fi as a matter of course. Fuck flying cars; I thought this was a modest expectation. Anyway, I can deal with the wires, like a fucking refugee, even 4 plus a subwoofer, whatever.

All I want is a basic amp/receiver and speakers for a nice sound in the living room, which is around 24x24 feet (7.3x7.3 m) with vaulted gable ceiling about 16 feet (5-ish m) at peak, down to 10 feet (3m). Connecting it to the smart TV and a little record player with digital output would be nice, but just gravy - although surround sound for movies would be intriguing. I don't care about CDs or DVDs much at this point, and could do completely without them, as part of the basic audio system. Just Bluetooth for the iPhone.

Specifically, I listen to jazz-rock fusion, some classical, "world music," and both classic and neo-prog, a lot of it with the newfangled losslessness, so I want to hear crisp sound at all levels that my aged ears can still pick up. I don't need colon-vibrating bass, although I do want to hear the bass line & drums clearly, cutting through the upper levels without drowning them out, like they're supposed to.

I asked Jeff Bezos about it, and he suggested a haphazard pile of shit, all of which had some sort of drawback or uncertainty. I'm p. sure that nobody except a few trusted souls at :ff: can guide me properly. :wisesheep: :confuc: :confucius: Help me, Free Thought Talk Forum And Chat Emporium, you're my only hope.



(I left the documentation authorizing the creation of a new thread in the appropriate sections of the Secret Forums. Please PM me with any questions before alleging infractions.)
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2023, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: Basic Goddamned Home Stereo System

Being able to go somewhere and listen to the setup you're about to drop a load on is usually an important step. The but is finding a showroom that can do it at the pricepoint you may be targeting is, well, most likely non existent these days.

I'm out of the market for being able to say you want this amplifier or these speakers - and honestly that can be completely subjective to each listener.

The old says would have me sitting in a store - not one of the big box arenas mind you - where I could pester the sales person to load this disc so I can just listen for as long as I needed to make my decision.

Based on my own quick interneting search, since you don't really want or need high dollar ultra premium gear and are only looking for casual enjoyment of whatever; your keyword should be "home theater in a box" or HTIB.

I'm not in the habit of spending other peoples' monies and this stuff can jump in price based on all the things they think a home theater can use; but I don't think you'll be too terribly disappointed with a named brand even if it is an all-in-one and not a bespoke pieced-together with labor and love system.

I'm still playing with a positively ancient receiver - it doesn't even do surround! And just two speakers. The setup I've been using for, golly, two and a half decades by now. Even if I've wanted to upgrade, I just don't feel like doing it. :boh:

Anyhoo!

Where I would start is with this: Yamaha 5960 You should be able to go up or down in price based on your own knowledge of what you like and want from there.
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2023, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Basic Goddamned Home Stereo System

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Originally Posted by Sock Puppet View Post
apologies if the thrad title attracts extra spammers. It can be changed to "Sock Is An Audioignoramus" if necessary.
Is this an official :adminpwr: request?
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Old 01-12-2023, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Basic Goddamned Home Stereo System

Re the wi-fi topic, I think not. It seems that wifi is still too prone to unexpected interference (from other wifi devices and networks) and signal degradation.

Bluetooth seems OK, but you might want a vendor-dedicated non-interoperable equivalent, for full power and stability. The Bluetooth standards still implemented in most laptops may not be up to it. You don't really need autodiscovery and all the things we expect from gadget Bluetooth.

I'm not surprised if audiophile vendors stick to wired solutions. With gold-plated 1/4 inch jacks and titanium shielded cables.
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  #5  
Old 01-12-2023, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Basic Goddamned Home Stereo System

There will be a delay (latency) in the signal reaching the speakers with any wireless solution. The delay isn't usually enough to matter (for example, when video, or a graphic display on the main unit becomes visibly non-synced with the audio). But two or more separate wireless links to the different speakers might result in the audio channels being enough out-of-sync to spoil the stereo separation.

Given that a "wireless solution" will still require power wires to each speaker (battery power is not really practical for a permanent installation), I think it's better to run audio cables rather than power cables to the individual speakers.
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Old 01-12-2023, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Basic Goddamned Home Stereo System

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… it's better to run audio cables rather than power cables to the individual speakers.
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Old 01-12-2023, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Basic Goddamned Home Stereo System

Last time we upgraded (quite a few years ago), we went with a Sonos Playbar, subwoofer and two Play:1 speakers to add a surround element. (These models are retired now and replaced with Ray/Beam/Arc soundbars and the One SL as surround.) We connect the Playbar to the TV with an optical connection and the Play:1 speakers connect wirelessly over Wifi to the Playbar.

The sound quality is generally pretty good (I'm not overly picky), and the Sonos app allows you to tune the surround sound based on speaker placement. Watching TV and movies, the lag mostly unnoticeable.

The problems:
1. We had some trouble on initial setup - based on Mrs. Reasons' particular requirements, the playbar couldn't detect its orientation and I had to poke around a while to get it right.
2. The Sonos system is touchy when the network changes/router goes down. It had some trouble with the mesh network - more than any other devices in our home. Whenever I make a significant change to the home network, I have to power cycle all of the Sonos devices.
3. It was and is expensive - You can get just as good/better speaker system for much less. There's additional features that the Sonos speakers give you, but we don't wind up using it that much to justify it.

So, probably not what you're looking for....
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  #8  
Old 01-12-2023, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Basic Goddamned Home Stereo System

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sock Puppet View Post
apologies if the thrad title attracts extra spammers. It can be changed to "Sock Is An Audioignoramus" if necessary.
Is this an official :adminpwr: request?
It's an authorization, contingent upon increased spammage. :ptht:
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