New micro system advice please?

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New member
Aug 10, 2019
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Hi all,

I'm looking to buy a new system, with a view to eventually connecting it up to a new LCD flatscreen when it is eventually purchased. I'm not too fussed about 5.1 or anything like that - I just don't have the space or wallet for that kind of stuff.

I am however a keen music lover and what's wrong with good ol' stereo anyway! I will probably want to include a sub at some point as well though.

Right now I'm pretty much set on the micro system we're getting, unless someone else has a better option for me. Again, due to the space options, I'm really keen on a micro hi-fi and not full sized seperates.

For this I was thinking of the ONKYO CR-715 (not the baby 315 version). I'm going with this because I believe through my research it is a great choice with top-end performance. Does anyone agree or disagree with this? i am also musing over the slightly CR-515 which is considerably cheaper, and I wonder what peoples general opinion is of this against the 715?

For the speakers I am torn between the Q Acoustics 1020, Q Acoustics 1030 or the Tannoy Mercury F1 Custom. The 1020's don't seem to have the extended bass I would like, the Tannoy are a little tall for my bookshelf but do have a slightly extended bass end ('cos they're bigger and more powerful) and the 1030's obviously are the most expensive and take up the most room, but do have a lower bottom end capacity. In case you didn't guess I like my reggae!!


To make matters more difficult to decide I notice the Q Acoustics people have brought the i series out - so there is the 1020i and 1030i to consider as well.

I know I have to sacrifice bottom end to an extent if I am getting small speakers because at a very basic level the thing that makes a speaker bassy is its ability to push air which is mainly due to the size of the woofer and the cabinet. Small speakers will never sound as big or full, but I wonder if anyone can offer any ideas here.

If anyone has any other ideas that I may have overlooked then please post some links to check out or tell me that they are and I'll look them up. Obviously I am aiming to spend the least possible, so please don't go crazy and suggest large Mission's (like M35i) of Kef's (like IQ9) because this is way way way way out of budget.

Ideally I'm looking to spend anywhere between £400 and £550 of our british pounds, although the lower the better.

Thanks to everyone in advance.
 

Q Bass

New member
Sep 5, 2007
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Hi

I'm in the same place I'm thinking about the Onkyo 715 or the Teac DRH300DAB at about the same price but it has a DVD player too so maybe that would be better for the LCD

They both have 50W x 2 and a sub out so that will be no probs - as for speakers if you're going to add a sub maybe the smaller speakers will do till you add a sub it really depends on how u want to do it

I asked a similar question earlier but never got a reply as I'm no expert so any further help would be great
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi Q Bass.

I'm sorry you didn't get a reply...maybe micro hi-fi chat is heresy on here :)

Thanks for your reply anyway...I appreciate it.

That Teac DRH300DAB looks sweet as a nut....talk about swinging my choice. It is considerably cheaper than the Onkyo CR715, but I can't help thinking it won't sound as good. But then again...I've got to consider if I will notice any sound difference or not and it would be sweet playing DVD and Divx discs into my LCD.

I take your point as regards the sub...don't know where I would put one so maybe I will just go for the bigguns (Q Acoustic 1030/1030i).

I expect we would both welcome further input here...anyone?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I seem to recall the Onkyo also has a handy digital input which accesses the upsampling DAC. I'm thinking of sticking one in the kitchen and streaming wireless audio through it when not listening to the radio...

BTW, since you listed the Tannoy F1 Customs as possible speaker choices, I came across this offer last night by chance:

http://www.thehomecinemacentre.co.uk/hifi-systems-onkyo-cs715.html

in which if you buy that Onkyo you get the Tannoys free. I don't know anything about the supplier, but I think you get a further ten percent off on top of that because it's the sale. Oh, and it's free delivery too. Happy Xmas.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for your input helisphon.

That F1 deal seems awesome. I see another about turn taking place here.

The F1s are my middle choice because they offer a balance between being loud enough and slightly more extended bass over the Q Acoustic 1020s, all at the expense of a slightly larger cabinet.

Hmmmmmm. Decisions decisions.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I have a Onkyo CR-715DAB system with Q-Acoustics 1020 wall mounted speakers and QED micro Bi-wire cable setup in my living room. The CR-715DAB is a quality little system with loads of power and the sound quality from such a small system is top notch and crystal clear. However, to my ears the output lacks a little in the bass department and I am contimplating replacing the 1020's with the floorstanding 1030/i's. Would the 1030's be suitable for my system and would I notice any improvement in the bass end? I'm not sure whether the lack of bass is a limitation of the system or my current speakers as the bass adjustment on the system is only 3 preset levels and a super bass facility which i always seem to have set on! Any advice greatfully appreciated.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I've gone for the Onkyo and Tannoy F1 deal now...will report what its like when installed.

Cheers.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yep, fingers-crossed for you Ted. I'm particularly keen to know how the upsampling DAC thing works out if you get a chance.

Regarding alternative speakers, I'm guessing, but I figure the Onkyo could power some of the easier-to-drive floorstanders; with that Onkyo/Tannoy deal since you effectively get the Tannoys for free, you could add some floorstanders/upgrade speakers later and effectively have the Tannoys free as a secondary pair for extra duties.

The Q Acoustic 1030s are supposedly 90dB sensitivity which is pretty good, so there's a reasonable chance the amp could drive them OK.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi Helisphon,

Well I'm taking delivery of it today at some point. Usual stuff is that they can't give me a time of delivery and you just know as soon as I pop out the van will come and leave a card!

I presume you mean the Wolfson 192 kHz/24-bit DAC. Yes...I wondered about this. Upsampling often puzzles me, because essentially you have to "invent" or interpolate values to add to the original signal and "upscale" it - where are the extra 8 bit coming from??. Downsampling is easy enough, but this whole idea of creating something from nothing does puzzle and concern me.

I trust the Onkyo boys though, so it should sound mint.

I'm not sure if I will be able to tell the difference though. I'm moving from a really rubbish 16 year old 3CD Pioneer combination system, to a top range modern mini Hifi...with quality seperate speakers and QED cable...so it will probably be hard to pinpoint specific improvements and link them to a certain subsystem or component...I'm expected to just be blown away by all of it.
 

Q Bass

New member
Sep 5, 2007
36
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It will be good to hear what you think about the system - I've been waiting for your comments

Cheers
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="tedrogers"]Hi Helisphon,
Upsampling often puzzles me, because essentially you have to "invent" or interpolate values to add to the original signal and "upscale" it - where are the extra 8 bit coming from??. Downsampling is easy enough, but this whole idea of creating something from nothing does puzzle and concern me.
[/quote]

Well, it all depends on the algorithm. You're right, it adds values to the original, filling in the gaps, so-to-speak, and to do this it has to "guess" at would "ought" to be there, based on what's there already. To do this, they use groovy maths, and the quality of the guessing depends on how good the maths is at these predictions. With upsampling, some algorithms are groovier than others. The same with upscaling in video, which is essentially the same process: some upscalers are better at it than others.

Some people really get themselves in a lather over the interpolation thing "Oh My God?!! How can you invent something that isn't there??!!!" (almost as bad as the cable thing), but don't let that happen to you, lol. If you think about it, even without upsampling, you have to interpolate to create the analog waveform to drive the speakers. You have a stream of numbers, capturing moments in time, which are missing the bits of time inbetween, and these have to be converted into a continuous waveform. Ordinary DACs operating at a standard 44kHz have to fill in the gaps between each sample, guessing as they do so.

In the end, some prefer the sound, some don't, so have a listen, see what you think. You can have a play with upsampling in software using foobar and the Secret Rabbit code plug-in, toggling between different sample rates etc. That plug-in is highly regarded: groovy algorithms, etc.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Well I have tried the system with Tannoy Mercury F1 Customs and my new Mordaunt-Short 904i's (Onkyo 715DAB with both) and I have some mixed, albeit hardly scientific, results. Bear in mind the 904's are floor-standers and the F1's a bookshelfs.

Obviously the 904's are naturally bassier than the F1's, but they're also more revealing and precise in terms of presenting the sound stage. The frequency response seems more even across the spectrum with the 904's compared with the F1's which, understandably, had deliberately coloured the bottom-end (sounds like 100Hz - 150Hz) to make them seem more bassy than they are. They have a slightly more boxy quality than the more open-sounding and bottom end of the 904s.

The results overall are complicated by the fact that the 904's are bi-wired whereas the F1's weren't. This is what I meant by "hardly scientific"!!!

Anyhow, I really couldn't fault either speaker, especially considering the dimensions of the F1's they're a damn good speaker and present the music evenly and stably at high volumes as well as low.

The Onkyo is quite a bright system (Digital amp), and it sounds bright on both speakers. This brightness is emphasised further by the 904's aluminium tweeters - the F1's a slightly duller by comparison. I, however, like a bright sound and so I'm chuffed really. I've never really owned an analogue amp and so I'm not used to the sound of the harmonic distortion that the valves introduce in order to introduce the warmth. I understand the principle though, just like overdriving an analogue recorder to induce tape-compression of the dynamic range. Overall the Onkyo is a nice little system for me, more that powerful enough to drive the 904i's (with their 96db dynamic range) and especially in my living room!!! I expect to be getting a knock from my neighbours one day soon.

Maybe someone can tell me about this bedding in of the 904's though. Apparently I have to leave them on for 36hrs to get the best sound quality. It also advises that you can speed up the process by wiring one of the speakers 180 degrees out of phase placing the speakers so they face each other. This, presumably, stresses the speaker drivers more as they will fight against each other (as well as some of the bottom end disappearing which is a cool trick!). Anyone know about this...how important is it to do. I doubt I will be able to tell the difference.

Thanks.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hi,

Was your Onkyo the DAB version and were the speakers the F1 Customs? On the web link it suggsts that the CS-715 is the no-DAB version and that the speakers are the straightforward F1s. While still a great deal as described, if they both were the uprated versions I'd have to bite their hands off!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yes this is a mistake they have made (I phoned and checked).

The Onkyo is the CR715DAB and not the CS715 as described.

The Tannoy are the Custom F1's.

They sounded great as I said, but lacked some low end body (as would be expected from bookshelf speakers) so I replaced them with Mordaunt-Short 904i which sound much fuller (as would be expected!!) and are running in at home as I speak!!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Cheers. They are now minus hands.

For that price - over £100 cheaper than anywhere else, I'll learn to live with the limitations...

With a further 10% sale discount it's almost silly!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I know...it's nuts really. But they must have so many bought on bulk that they can do it for that price. Mine came from Germany it seems by reading the side of the box.

My only gripe is that the UK VERSION sticker on the front is a little wonky! :)
 

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