Question First Hi-Fi setup! Please help with some advice

richdaws7

Active member
May 17, 2022
12
1
25
Hello everybody,

I'm new to this forum so to the Hi-Fi world and would like to purchase a decent system that I can start with and improve over time.

My goal is to build a 2.1 system capable of playing music in high definition, connect it to the TV to watch movies, and in the future add a turntable and an external streamer. I don't listen to CDs. I mostly use Tidal, Spotify, and some FLAC albums I have on my PC. The room where the system will be located is rather small, almost 3 x 5 meters. My idea is to buy the components one at a time, considering that I don't have the money to buy everything at once.

Sound Profile:
The ideal system for me has a very wide soundstage. I want to feel that I am transported to a jazz concert, to be able to differentiate and recognize the position of the different instruments in a classical music orchestra piece. I want to feel that the loudspeakers disappear from the room. I want an immersive sound.
The system I am looking for should also have fast, precise, and detailed highs and mids but should not be fatiguing. The bass has to be agile and punchy but controlled. For the lower frequencies, I plan to buy a subwoofer later on.
I tend to lean more towards a balanced sound profile with sparks of treble and depth in the bass if that is even possible.

Budget:
Around 1000-1500 EUR. for Speakers + integrated Amp
(I'm also open to active speakers options if sound quality is competitive)
Streamer, Sub, and Turntable will come later.

Speakers that I've tried and opinions:
-Whaferdale EVO 4.1: I liked it but lacked soundstage and punch (paired with Audiolab 6000a Play)
-Sonus Faber Lumina 1: their clarity and precision impressed me but it lacked bass. Sounds very refined but is a little expensive for the size in my opinion.
-Wharfedale Denton 80: I loved the soundstage was so big. It felt more laid back and not so fun, a little on the warm side.
-Wharfedale Denton 85: It's too big for my room. Same for EVO 4.2
-Triangle Borea BR03: I loved it. It has the sparkle I am looking for. However, the bass was not very agile. I love the ports on the front and had a nice soundstage. It is a little too big also (paired with some Cambridge amp)
-Triangle Borea BR02: I loved it has the same shine on the highs that the BR03 but lacks the soundstage.
-Dali Oberon 1: Sounded dull after listening to the Borea BR03
-Klipsch The Fives: I was expecting a lot after watching some reviews but the sound felt compressed and the bass is very dominant.
-Q Acoustics active 200: Impressive soundstage, lacks bass and I don't like the looks at all. Expensive also

Sorry for the length of my message. I have tried to be as precise as possible with regard to what I expect from this system and above all with the intention of finding the best value equipment.

I would appreciate hearing your honest comments and realistic recommendations if only to prove to me that I am asking too much for my budget or maybe to show me some other alternative that I have not taken into consideration.

Thanks!
 
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If you are adding a sub the agility of the BR03's bass is pretty irrelevant.
Buy the BR03 would be my advice, although not sure how much they cost where you are but should leave around 600-1100 for the amp
Perhaps others can assist with the amp itself
 
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richdaws7

Active member
May 17, 2022
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Al's point is good - but have you tried all of those speakers in your room, or in hifi outlets?
Hi, I've tried them in the outlets I visited. In some cases the rooms were huge and they were placed against the wall in a shelf next to other speakers..
 
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richdaws7

Active member
May 17, 2022
12
1
25
If you are adding a sub the agility of the BR03's bass is pretty irrelevant.
Buy the BR03 would be my advice, although not sure how much they cost where you are but should leave around 600-1100 for the amp
Perhaps others can assist with the amp itself
Thanks for the advice. I live in Barcelona atm. The BR03 retails for 450 EUR. the last time I checked. I really liked the boreas but I'm not sure about the bass. If buying a subwoofer is a bad idea I can scratch it from my list.
Is there any other speakers that sound similar to the boreas?
 
Thanks for the advice. I live in Barcelona atm. The BR03 retails for 450 EUR. the last time I checked. I really liked the boreas but I'm not sure about the bass. If buying a subwoofer is a bad idea I can scratch it from my list.
Is there any other speakers that sound similar to the boreas?
in a room that size I would say a sub is unnecessary but that's just me. Use the money you would have spent on a sub to find more suitable speakers.
Try Focal Chora 806 if you can audition them...
 
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treesey

Well-known member
May 18, 2015
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18,620
Hi, I've tried them in the outlets I visited. In some cases the rooms were huge and they were placed against the wall in a shelf next to other speakers..
I love Barcelona :)

Anyway - I would strongly recommend demoing in your own space - the bass will be very different from that heard at the outlet's rooms.

Also, especially with speakers, I would consider 2nd-hand. You'll be able to afford the 'next level'. And if they don't suit you, you can always sell them on at minimum loss.
 

andybebbs

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2020
154
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1,670
there are lots of different subs out there but i use a rel t5i alongside Kef Q550 speakers in a room simular to the size of yours but have it intergrated with a lyngdorf amp and it sounds great.
I would suggest you audition sub and speakers at home before you buy.
Also in my small room the differance in quility bass was increadable once i installed the sub and that was before i had the lyngdorfe amp now its even better.
 
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I love Barcelona :)

Anyway - I would strongly recommend demoing in your own space - the bass will be very different from that heard at the outlet's rooms.

Also, especially with speakers, I would consider 2nd-hand. You'll be able to afford the 'next level'. And if they don't suit you, you can always sell them on at minimum loss.
Of course you cannot demo second hand in your own room but it could be the way to go if you don't mind losing a bit of money in the process.
 

richdaws7

Active member
May 17, 2022
12
1
25
I love Barcelona :)

Anyway - I would strongly recommend demoing in your own space - the bass will be very different from that heard at the outlet's rooms.

Also, especially with speakers, I would consider 2nd-hand. You'll be able to afford the 'next level'. And if they don't suit you, you can always sell them on at minimum loss.
What would be the 'next level' speakers? Can you give me an example? Any recommendations? I really appreciate your comments!
 

richdaws7

Active member
May 17, 2022
12
1
25
in a room that size I would say a sub is unnecessary but that's just me. Use the money you would have spent on a sub to find more suitable speakers.
Try Focal Chora 806 if you can audition them...
I didn't look much into Focal speakers because I thought they were expensive (in relation to my budget). I'm going to search somewhere I can try them. Thanks for the advice!
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
1,417
841
2,070
Hello everybody,

I'm new to this forum so to the Hi-Fi world and would like to purchase a decent system that I can start with and improve over time.

My goal is to build a 2.1 system capable of playing music in high definition, connect it to the TV to watch movies, and in the future add a turntable and an external streamer. I don't listen to CDs. I mostly use Tidal, Spotify, and some FLAC albums I have on my PC. The room where the system will be located is rather small, almost 3 x 5 meters. My idea is to buy the components one at a time, considering that I don't have the money to buy everything at once.

Sound Profile:
The ideal system for me has a very wide soundstage. I want to feel that I am transported to a jazz concert, to be able to differentiate and recognize the position of the different instruments in a classical music orchestra piece. I want to feel that the loudspeakers disappear from the room. I want an immersive sound.
The system I am looking for should also have fast, precise, and detailed highs and mids but should not be fatiguing. The bass has to be agile and punchy but controlled. For the lower frequencies, I plan to buy a subwoofer later on.
I tend to lean more towards a balanced sound profile with sparks of treble and depth in the bass if that is even possible.

Budget:
Around 1000-1500 EUR. for Speakers + integrated Amp
(I'm also open to active speakers options if sound quality is competitive)
Streamer, Sub, and Turntable will come later.

Speakers that I've tried and opinions:
-Whaferdale EVO 4.1: I liked it but lacked soundstage and punch (paired with Audiolab 6000a Play)
-Sonus Faber Lumina 1: their clarity and precision impressed me but it lacked bass. Sounds very refined but is a little expensive for the size in my opinion.
-Wharfedale Denton 80: I loved the soundstage was so big. It felt more laid back and not so fun, a little on the warm side.
-Wharfedale Denton 85: It's too big for my room. Same for EVO 4.2
-Triangle Borea BR03: I loved it. It has the sparkle I am looking for. However, the bass was not very agile. I love the ports on the front and had a nice soundstage. It is a little too big also (paired with some Cambridge amp)
-Triangle Borea BR02: I loved it has the same shine on the highs that the BR03 but lacks the soundstage.
-Dali Oberon 1: Sounded dull after listening to the Borea BR03
-Klipsch The Fives: I was expecting a lot after watching some reviews but the sound felt compressed and the bass is very dominant.
-Q Acoustics active 200: Impressive soundstage, lacks bass and I don't like the looks at all. Expensive also

Sorry for the length of my message. I have tried to be as precise as possible with regard to what I expect from this system and above all with the intention of finding the best value equipment.

I would appreciate hearing your honest comments and realistic recommendations if only to prove to me that I am asking too much for my budget or maybe to show me some other alternative that I have not taken into consideration.

Thanks!
Welcome to the rabbit hole..! 🙂
It's good that you have a clear idea of the sound you are seeking. My only 'warning' would be that speakers that sound impressively detailed in a store demo can sound totally different in your own room and can often be fatiguing in the long run....
Also matching the right amp to the speaker can be crucial. The Dentons for example need plenty of power to really show what they can do.
Be prepared to experiment as most of us have taken quite a while and a few changes of equipment to get the sound we prefer.
Good luck!
 
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treesey

Well-known member
May 18, 2015
151
40
18,620
What would be the 'next level' speakers? Can you give me an example? Any recommendations? I really appreciate your comments!
Well I don't know what is available in Spain/France, but imagine that older e.g. PMC speakers would be 'next level' bookshelf. DB1 are available for around 400-500 GBP in the UK. But you may not like the sound. :D
However, as I said, they will always be worth what you paid, 2nd hand, as long as you look at the 2nd market prices before buying of course.

As you have nothing to start from, for you there is no clear path :) - in your place, I would probably buy a popular amplifier, new, then demo as many bookshelf speakers in my own room (as you are in a city this should be easy).

If you don't like the real sound in your room of any of these, then look at 2nd hand speakers that cost 1000 GBP new a few years ago....
 
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Witterings

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2020
112
28
620
To the OP

You've possibly listed virtually every decent speaker within your price range but found a reason to crticise every one of them.

That's not me being critical as it may seem but every system and every song you play will have bits you like about one speaker and play the same song on another speaker and you'll hate ... this can go as far as having what you consider the perfect setup and crossover on your sub for one song and it seems to be pounding for the next.

It also sounds like you've heard them in totally different settings which will have a major impact on how they sound.

I learnt this recently as I blasted out a song I thing is brilliant - Billy Joel ... Captain Jack - and when you crank it up things start to distort and I thought it was the stereo so bought a new one ... it was the same.

Pick tracks you know will play well on most systems ... take them to a HiFi store on a memory stick or something and compare and whilst Mozart may sound great on one Led Zep may not sound so good on ... there's no such thing as perfection unless you have a completely unlimited budget so choose what works with the majority of your preferred music.
 
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richdaws7

Active member
May 17, 2022
12
1
25
Welcome to the rabbit hole..! 🙂
It's good that you have a clear idea of the sound you are seeking. My only 'warning' would be that speakers that sound impressively detailed in a store demo can sound totally different in your own room and can often be fatiguing in the long run....
Also matching the right amp to the speaker can be crucial. The Dentons for example need plenty of power to really show what they can do.
Be prepared to experiment as most of us have taken quite a while and a few changes of equipment to get the sound we prefer.
Good luck!
Thanks for your advice and the good vibe. The only way to test the speakers on my room is by buying them. Maybe I can start by buying a good amp that works well with different speakers and hopefully find a second hand speaker to start with.
 

richdaws7

Active member
May 17, 2022
12
1
25
Well I don't know what is available in Spain/France, but imagine that older e.g. PMC speakers would be 'next level' bookshelf. DB1 are available for around 400-500 GBP in the UK. But you may not like the sound. :D
However, as I said, they will always be worth what you paid, 2nd hand, as long as you look at the 2nd market prices before buying of course.

As you have nothing to start from, for you there is no clear path :) - in your place, I would probably buy a popular amplifier, new, then demo as many bookshelf speakers in my own room (as you are in a city this should be easy).

If you don't like the real sound in your room of any of these, then look at 2nd hand speakers that cost 1000 GBP new a few years ago....
I will look for the PMCs. Thanks for the advice! Maybe investing first in a good amplifier a little over the 'popular beginner' level can be a good idea so I have more room to try different speakers in the future? The thing is I can't afford right now buying different speakers just for testing. That will be a very long process for me and I will probably move to another place in the next couple of years and all the testing will be in vain. I understand that entering into the world of HIFI is complex and expensive and is also a process. That's why I would love to hear system recommendations according to your experience and my budget and space restrictions.
 

richdaws7

Active member
May 17, 2022
12
1
25
To the OP

You've possibly listed virtually every decent speaker within your price range but found a reason to crticise every one of them.

That's not me being critical as it may seem but every system and every song you play will have bits you like about one speaker and play the same song on another speaker and you'll hate ... this can go as far as having what you consider the perfect setup and crossover on your sub for one song and it seems to be pounding for the next.

It also sounds like you've heard them in totally different settings which will have a major impact on how they sound.

I learnt this recently as I blasted out a song I thing is brilliant - Billy Joel ... Captain Jack - and when you crank it up things start to distort and I thought it was the stereo so bought a new one ... it was the same.

Pick tracks you know will play well on most systems ... take them to a HiFi store on a memory stick or something and compare and whilst Mozart may sound great on one Led Zep may not sound so good on ... there's no such thing as perfection unless you have a completely unlimited budget so choose what works with the majority of your preferred music.
Thanks for your reply! That's a great idea. I usually take with me a playlist I made just for testing with the music I love to listen but also with songs that push a little bit on the lows and highs justo to compare between speakers. I try to play them on every speaker. However sometimes there are different amps between speakers and I can't tell if the difference in sound quality is due to the speakers or the amps.
 
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Witterings

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2020
112
28
620
Thanks for your advice and the good vibe. The only way to test the speakers on my room is by buying them. Maybe I can start by buying a good amp that works well with different speakers and hopefully find a second hand speaker to start with.
Some audio places will have demo gear and let you pay a deposit and take then home to try.
Not sure where you're based but Audio T in Portsmouth did this for me (they have other branches across the country as well), I took home a Bluesound Powernode and a set of B & W 607's ... I didn't feel the Powernode was enough of an upgrage from what I had to justify the cost so took it back but kept the speakers.

Worth asking audio outlets near you if they'll do this.
 
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richdaws7

Active member
May 17, 2022
12
1
25
Some audio places will have demo gear and let you pay a deposit and take then home to try.
Not sure where you're based but Audio T in Portsmouth did this for me (they have other branches across the country as well), I took home a Bluesound Powernode and a set of B & W 607's ... I didn't feel the Powernode was enough of an upgrage from what I had to justify the cost so took it back but kept the speakers.

Worth asking audio outlets near you if they'll do this.
Oh I didn't know that was possible but makes a lot of sense. I will ask for that service. Thank you
 

richdaws7

Active member
May 17, 2022
12
1
25
UPDATE

First, thank you all for your answers, and comments. :)
After digging more into speakers and listening to some of your recommendations, I have come to some conclusions:

- My budget has gone up a bit considering the equipment that I liked after testing in store and that was recommended.
- My budget is flexible (max. 2200 ish EUR if I buy one piece at a time)
- I liked the most the Sonus Faber sound profile so the Lumina I and II are the biggest contenders. I can push it to the Sonetto I too.
- There are some interesting Packs also I would like to share with you to see if there is something exceptional
- Due to a delicate matter of domestic diplomacy. I can't get a big speaker (Borea BR03, EVO 4.2, Chora 806, Sonetto II out).
and makes no sense for the size of my room.
- I couldn't find anything interesting in the second-hand market of Spain.
- Whatever I pick will be tested at my house before I make the purchase.

Without further ado, here is a list of the models I have liked and the current prices in my area. There are 3 lists: speakers, int.amps. and pack. In RED currently available discounts.

It would be very helpful if you can advise me on the best value combinations or pack that you consider being worth spending that kind of money.

1.JPG

2.JPG


3.JPG

Please let me know what you think :D
 
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