View Full Version : What's your Hi-fi setup?

31st March 2004, 07:59 AM
My family were audiophiles long before we had computers, and I was lucky that they purchased their equipment from one of Australia's premiere retailers, Duratone in Canberra.

At present, I have a Luxman CD and amp, from the days when their gear was excellent, though they are probably due for replacement. Speakers are Paradigm Atoms, and the cabling is Van Den Hul The Second from CD to amp and Van Den Hul Jade speaker cable. I have a pair of excellent Quart headphones to top off the package.

What does everyone else have?

31st March 2004, 08:22 AM
At home:

We have a 1992 Sony LBT-D105 HiFi system with a turntable, 5 disc CD player, and DVD player. It also has my LC630 media centre. For more info on that, go to the HTPC thread in software. Its a nice setup, although sometimes one of the channels is lost, and it doesn't have quite enough bass now that i've got my new H/K set.

Onto my newer setup, downstairs in my computer room, or "lair", as i often put it, i have the iMac hooked up to a HK-395 speaker set, with 2 speakers and an 8" subwoofer. It sounds awesome, especially with the Sound Enhancer in iTunes. Its got good bass, and the sound quality is just excellent. Nothing sounds the same anymore, now that i have this. :D

At uni:

Same setup, except that this time its the Dell that's driving the H/K set, rather than the iMac.

31st March 2004, 08:37 AM
I have the following:

Harmon Kardon AVR 230 (just got it after Christmas from the US - I made custom transformer for it to work under our voltages. I also custom build valve guitar amps so I'm pretty savvy with the soldering iron.) On paper, the Amp aint that powerful, but cranking it up, you can't hear yourself think, the sub woofer doesn't help either* details below.

Warefdale Atlantic series center, fronts, rears (surrounds) bought from a shop that I stumbled upon, was closing down. I hear the ones I liked the look of, then the guy said, "have a listen to these, they are the same price, you'll be pleasantly surprised." And how!!! 2X woofers in each front. The center is not over powering and the rears are real. I believe in matching speakers, but anything goes with other components such as DVD player and Amp (the receiver).

Philips DVD718 DVD player, nothing special, it does what I need (play DVD's) and has the necessary outputs, SVCD and Fibre Optic.

My tv is about 15 years old. 70cm Loewe (pronounced - Loo-vai) German. Only been repaired once because a cockroach shorted him/herself on a solder track. Once again, I did the work myself. The thing has SCART, SVCD and fibre optic audio input, not that I use the latter on the tv. that goes to the amp.

The sub is a custom built 2X12" isobarik box with 240Watts RMS built in Amp I made. I made everything except the speakers themselves. $99 items from Jaycar. Been going for a long time. I was driven to build this as I could not find a resonable sub with a resonable price. They are just too expensive in the shops. Mine would have cost a fortune if it was bought. It only cost me $600 for tools, wood, speakers, components to build the amp for the box. Majority of it was for the built in amp, those massive Transformers are not cheap. neither are those massive capacitors.


31st March 2004, 08:55 AM
Nice setup! :D Only needs a Mac running as a HTPC style system to round it off. :D

31st March 2004, 09:45 AM
Well, i don't have a HiFi setup at all - but i sure would like one.

At the moment, this is what i have:

31st March 2004, 10:27 AM
If my iBook have more than a headphone out port, then it would spend more time attached to the Home Theatre. It does get hooked up occasionally to the amp, but in stereo.

One day I will have a desktop mac again, one day :(

The iBook is great, but that 12 inch screen isn't ideal when there is a 17 inch flat screen sitting in my room, even hooking that up to the iBook, I have noticed that the quality is not that great. Also, I have noticed that after a while with a CRT monitor, my eyes hurt. but i can sit in front of the iBook all day and night, and i'm fine, not even tired.


31st March 2004, 05:16 PM
I have my computer hooked up to the Hi-fi, with an ok cable from Dick Smith (the fancy purple ones), but that's all you need for a computer.

If I had a few thousand to spend on hi-fi, I know there's a second-hand pair of Paradigm bi-polar speakers sitting around in Duratone, but I'd need to spend quite a bit to get the best ouf of them - they are truly stunning when powered by at least $15k of dedicated equipment. Since I mostly listen to MP3's, though, it's not really worth bothering with.

31st March 2004, 09:30 PM
My receiver is a Denon 1800 (can't recommend Denon's enough) though some time in the next few years I'd like to upgrade that to a higher end model, sony cd player, technics turntable, etc.

The highlight of my system are my speakers which are made by a south australian company called VAF (http://www.vaf.com.au) and are available pre-built, or for a reasonable amount cheaper in kit form. I bought the latter just as much for the fun of building my own speakers as for the savings. I have two DC-X for front speaks, DC-7s at the back, and an LFE-05 subwoofer. Oh, and a DC-6 centre speaker too... They are very nice and continually get very positive reviews for sounding much better than others in their price range. When I finished building them listening to a lot of my music sounded like I was listening to a different version of the same songs - the clarity and separation made me notice things I'd never heard in the music before... :-)

Unlike computers, I think that hi-fi stuff can be bought to last for a long time, and so it's best to choose wisely and carefully. I hope that the speeakers will last me for a good 20 more years, and anything else I buy from now on will be stuff that I want to use for similar time frames...

1st April 2004, 08:45 AM
I am completely familiar with VAF speakers. Jaycar sells some of their speakers.

I also have their catalgoues. I remember the first time I heard them at a home improvements show in Port Macquarie over 10 years ago. My friend was participating in the show at a stall he and his mum just set up when she first started the business.

I walked around until he was finsihed.

I listened to the speakers at their (VAF) stall. It was unforgettable how much you could hear. They would have been my speaker choice if I did not stumble upon this little shop which was closing down. These Warfedale's really kick ass. So bassy and punchy with the two 8 inch woofers per box.

And yes, with the nicer speakers you do hear more music. You hear noises you never heard on the same track of music. Its all about how clean the signal is from the start right up to the output. The sensitvity of the speakers is far more important to me then the handling capacity and size.

I was lucky when I auditioned the speakers, they had the same amp I did there, so I could really hear what it would be like.


2nd April 2004, 08:16 PM
I've a shithouse setup in comparision to other posters. But it still sounds good to me - older model Cambridge Soundworks 4.1 speakers - made before Creative started making lesser quality setups.

About 80W RMS, throaty deep bass and sweet mellow satellites - love 'em :)


2nd April 2004, 11:25 PM
Well, I have a Bryston SP1.7 Preamp Digital Surround Processor with a five channel Bryston 9BST Power amp driving Tannoy Dimension 8's and Tannoy Dimension Centre channel with KEF Monitor 2's in the rear. I am running AudioQuest cables to the speakers...

I have a Sony ES DAT Recorder and Multi Disc CD player, plus Myryad MDV-300 DVD Player and Myryad Stereo FM Tuner. I am without sub-woofer at the moment as I wait for the new Tannoy range to appear....

3rd April 2004, 09:06 AM
Don't knock the Cambridge Soundworks stuff. They are surprisingly good for what they are. They aren't just good sounding to you, they are to me also. My mate with the 15 inch PB still uses his today. been going for about 6 years. His is just the 2.1..two satellites and a 4inch sub, the sound that sounds bigger then it really is.

With Speakers its all about placement. My Atlantic 200 rears sounded shit until I mounted them in the back corners of the room. All of a sudden I had rear speakers. They use to sit on the side tables of the lounge...right next to my ears, but some reasont he sound was not very loud or nice. most the time I wondered if they were even working. Mounting them up in the corner of the room, Holy Moly. It was like a new room. totally different, even a friend commented on the sound which he never did before, then looked up and noticed that they had been moved.

So even a decent set of speakers can sound crap if they are not put in a decent place in the room.


3rd April 2004, 09:24 AM
Currawong, I also have a Luxman amp mines from the early 90's. I have two 150w linn nexus speakers. unfortuantly i don't get a chance to enjoy them much since moving into a unit block, my neighbors don't appreciate my setup :(

3rd April 2004, 10:01 AM
Do what I do. I live in a house and to avoid that conflict with the neighbours. I sometimes invite them over to watch a movie or when there's going to be a party, and music is to be cranked, I invite them also.


3rd April 2004, 02:49 PM
i walk past duratone every time i go to school, its a kick-ass shop.

Once i brought in a pair of beyer headphones, my father owned that needed the rubber surround replaced, they didn't have the surround in stock, and they couldn't order them in so they got them specially made up, only charged me 3 bucks too, which they said was for the glue...

Nice one guys! :)

(i love speeling mistakes that make words hilarious)

4th April 2004, 02:48 AM
The creative/cambridge soundworks speakers are decent, I bought the Inspire 2400 set (2.1) just after Christmas since I got sick of headphones (I have a cheapass pair with a mic I use for gaming)

They sound damn good for something so tiny, but I miss my old Bose 601's and Kenwood KA-5500 amp (sif die after like 20 years :( one day i'll get them all fixed up)

I'm moving overseas soon though so I'll have to find something else to use instead of headphones...

edit: forgot to add, switching from windows to linux on this computer gave me much better sound quality...

4th April 2004, 08:02 AM
I have a set of Bose AM-15's ceiling mounted in my apartment.

The TV is a Hitachi 42" Plasma

DVD is a Sonken NTSC/PAL progressive Player

Sony STR-DB940 5.1 Channel AMP

Strong 5390 & 5200 STB's

Sony SLV-X835 Hifi VCR

Dreamcast & XBOX

And at one stage had an iPod until i left it behind in a hotel in europe last year :(

One day I'd love to get a HTPC with HD-STB controlled by myHTPC


4th April 2004, 08:57 AM

I have also noticed the same phenomenon about sound quality changing from Micro$haft Windoesn't to Linux. My sound is louder, clearer and generally better.

I am not sure as to why but do remember that somtimes a midi file would play differently depending on what computer you used, what sound card and what drivers.

But yes, I am have also noticed this. Plus, Linux is better for you. Windows increases stress levels.


5th April 2004, 09:32 AM
my crap amp and scrap speakers are that make up my setup.

iDo have an old NAD amp under my deskt hat will be used when i get some better speakers

I could really dig a 5.1 setup


7th April 2004, 02:56 PM

when you have a few hundred spare, find yourself a pair of Paradigm speakers and some quality speaker cable. They will go nicely with the NAD :)

8th April 2004, 09:50 AM
sounds good curra, thanx. I've been tempted to get some customs made but who has the money.


8th April 2004, 01:16 PM
I've built my own 2.1 channel speakers for the computers I have.

Custom is cool. The speakers I have are small, not powerful but have high sensitivity so they sound loud with as little as 40Watts RMS.

I built them for under $300 a piece which included a woofer, tweeter, custom make crossover, 12mm MDF - enough to make four speakers which i did and sold two of them to someone else. Wiring and speaker sealant, speaker wire ports at the back. wood glue, screws etc...

I wont post the picture of them as the bandwidth of the forum as gone over its limit in the first week of the month. If you want to see them, pm me and I'll email you the pics.


8th April 2004, 01:24 PM
Did anyone else see this posting on /. yesterday morning?

BIG SUB (http://www.royaldevice.com/custom3.htm)

thats one big sub. The room looks like a peice of crap though, would you agree?

8th April 2004, 03:34 PM
Man i'd love to watch a movie in there, or listen to some music with craploads of bass.

But yeah, the room does look like a piece of crap. But thats why you turn the lights out when you put on a movie. ;)

8th April 2004, 03:42 PM
Something I've never seen mentioned (not that I've looked much) is the poor quality of the built in audio of Macs. I don't think it's confined to to Apple or anything, or that they should prioritise it differently - it just is.

I bought a Delta Audiophile 2496 card for MIDI a few months ago & I was completely unprepared for the improvement in the audio. I have some very ordinary powered speakers hooked up to the Mac - Monsoon 7 - and had assumed all the ugliness in the top end was due to them. My experience of hi-fi is that speakers are usually the weakest link. I wasn't expecting a significant improvement but I got one.

All the graininess is gone out of the top end and I now actually have a soundstage - I can clearly hear where everything is in well made recordings. A profound difference. It would sound great with some real gear hooked up to it.

What's left of my hifi is a pair of early 60's Quad 11 power amps and a few different speaker systems - ESS AMT Bookshelf & Wharfedale 12" coaxial drivers in classic 9cuft reflex enclosures - but I've had no time for it in recent years so none of this is in use at the moment. I'll get back to it one day, once I'm in a position to replace the bits that went when my marriage ended. :)

I was interested in pipsqueak's post noting his work with valve guitar amps. I play guitar & have built & modded a bit myself over the years. I have a collection of old Eminar, Moody & Goldentone amps from the 50's & 60's. Some of them are very nice amps - the old Aussie stuff was much better than I thought until I started collecting them. I use an old Boogie for gigs because it's compact, versatile & very tough. Their build quality was (and perhaps still is) very impressive. They've made some semi hifi stuff over the years too.

8th April 2004, 03:53 PM
Out of curiousity soulman, what mac are the speakers hooked up to?

8th April 2004, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by faction@Apr 8 2004, 03:53 PM
Out of curiousity soulman, what mac are the speakers hooked up to?
A G4 DP1.25 - the OS9 bootable ones they're still selling.

8th April 2004, 06:38 PM

Thats the one with Digital Audio right? Can you link that up to your amp?

9th April 2004, 01:08 AM
It is digital audio but the differences are internal. Outputs are the same - you just get a 3.5mm headphone socket. Some models have a 2.5mm speaker socket too but not this one. With the PCI card mentioned above I take line level audio straight from it, via RCA sockets. The G5s have optical audio out which could go straight to a D/A converter. That would be cool. :D

I don't know whether the digital audio Macs are better or worse than the previous ones but in any case, it's not really hi-fi. Some people pay more for a stereo D/A converter than the whole computer cost, so it's not surprising when you think about it (which I didn't until I got the card) that the built in audio out of a computer is going to be pretty ordinary.

And yeah, it is a nice machine. I'm lucky to get to play with such things. :) It still feels slow at times compared to my old G4/400 running OS9 but it's very hard to bog down & at least I can do a lot of things at once in X.

9th April 2004, 06:40 PM
Ahh...now you've got me hunting for prices for one. I plug my computer into my hi-fi setup, and I feel I'm wasting it, since I bought some Van Den Hul carbon interconnects - "The Second" for my CD player.

With the card installed, will all sound output, say stuff out of iTunes go straight to the RCA outs on the card?

I agree that what would be ideal is a G5 and a regular high-end hi-fi D/A converter. But the cheapest I know of those is the DAC-in-a-box, which costs as much as one of the higher end m-audio cards from memory.

10th April 2008, 12:50 PM
I remembered this thread from yonks ago, so having bought some new gear, I thought I drag it out so I can brag!!

Got myself a simple but capable Yamaha receiver (http://www.yamahamusic.com.au/products/avit/htavreceivers/RX-V361B.asp) which will run the main speakers plus some externals for elsewhere in the house (outside deck, kitchen ceiling), and instead of going down the 5.1 speaker solution, we opted for a simple pair of Dali Concept 1 speakers (http://www.dali.dk/int/page191.aspx?sub=213&prod=68). These things are incredible. Danish company, timber construction, gold components, just a pleasure to listen to and very small and discrete without compromising on sound and sheer volume (based on in-store testing from digital sources).

the Dali Concept 1's

We figured our listening comprises 80% music run from the Mac, 15% TV and 5% DVD's, so we had no need for a full surround setup which, unless you go to Jamo or Bose just aren't loud enough for our listening mix.

Once setup we will be connecting the receiver to the A.Express via an optical cable, and using another optical cable from our Panasonic 32" LCD, and digital co-ax from the DVD player.

Will give it a full test tonight.

10th April 2008, 12:54 PM
How much are those Dali Concept 1's?

10th April 2008, 01:45 PM
How much are those Dali Concept 1's?

I guess it depends where you go fella - Having done a heap of research I packaged them up at a JB store with the Yamaha amp and a heap of connecting cables for the components.. they were $280 in the end, though I felt like I really screwed them on the speakers (no doubt they got it back on the amp though!!). Online prices varied, though they didn't seem much more expensive here than OS..

They're listed on the Dali site and elsewhere as a rear/bookshelf speaker to couple with the Concept 8's or 10's as fronts, though given what I heard them pump out they were good enough for us to get them as stand-alone front L-R's. As I said, my intention was to buy a bundled 5.1 setup, but the Yama 5.1 speakers were shithouse for music, and I couldn't justify the Jamo 5.1's that JB had despite their amazing sound vs Bose cube size. So we now own Dali's!

I've gotta reiterate, the build quality is amazing! They each weight a tonne, and are bookshelf size. And did I mention they friggin' thump!! and the clarity at volume is bloody amazing!! I'm gonna go hire Transformers or something tonight and give 'em a belting through the DVD player.

The Concept Centre speaker is awesome, so that might be next if we ever bother to expand. The Concept sub is A$1100+, so I'd recommend another line.


11th April 2008, 05:02 PM
My hi-fi setup consists of 1996 Technics SC-CH770 home theatre and a Pioneer DV515 with wireless rear speakers.

29th May 2008, 12:20 AM
Technics EH760 Stereo, honestly listen to it if you have a chance you will be amazed. I just wish Technics still continued to make HIFI's.

And finally some pics, its still not finished as i spend most of the day cleaning up the room :D