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  #1  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:54 AM
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Audiophile speaker recommendations?

Hey all, I'm coming to realize that I'm pretty satisfied with my low-budget turntable, but increasingly not stoked about the low-budget speakers. I have a built-in preamp, I can connect to phono, aux, or video jacks. Just looking for recommendations of a good speaker system to bring out the really vinyl-y qualities of metal/hardcore/indie/atmospheric vinyl. Let's call my price range under $500. Any help?
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:46 PM
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I recommend you rest your head against the speakers at the next couple of gigs you go to. That should deteriorate your hearing enough that you won't be able to tell the difference. Save yourself the 500 bucks
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:56 PM
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Dude upgrade that preamp before thinking about speakers. Pretty much any built in preamp is automatically shitty. A Cambridge 540p phono stage will do the trick nicely for only 80 bucks.

Are you looking for hi-fi tower speakers or computer speakers? They're both completely different markets.

If there's one thing I've learned from my time studying audio engineering and working in a studio, it's that the most significant stages of the signal path are from the bottom up. Meaning your low-budget turntable is pretty much gonna make your whole system sound low-budget no matter what speakers you get. What model turntable do you have exactly?
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:04 PM
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I've looked at those serious audiophile forums where they talk about this kinda stuff. Their attitude is usually "if you're not willing to spend at least $2,000 on your set up, you might as well kill yourself".

I think i'm just gonna stick with my shitty $100 turntable w/10 year old stereo for a while.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:06 PM
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I should know, but I don't.
If I were you I would buy used off Craigslist or something.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BloodoftheKings View Post
I've looked at those serious audiophile forums where they talk about this kinda stuff. Their attitude is usually "if you're not willing to spend at least $2,000 on your set up, you might as well kill yourself".

I think i'm just gonna stick with my shitty $100 turntable w/10 year old stereo for a while.
Yeah, those audiophile forums are full of old people with tens of thousands of bucks burning a hole in their pockets. My setup at home is a $400 turntable, an $80 preamp, a $30 A-D converter (for "ripping" the records to my PC) and $40 computer speakers. It sounds great, it doesn't cost a metric fuckton and every component is easily upgradable if I get more cash.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onioner View Post
Yeah, those audiophile forums are full of old people with tens of thousands of bucks burning a hole in their pockets. My setup at home is a $400 turntable, an $80 preamp, a $30 A-D converter (for "ripping" the records to my PC) and $40 computer speakers. It sounds great, it doesn't cost a metric fuckton and every component is easily upgradable if I get more cash.
What kind of turntable is it? I've considered the Audio Technica 120 which is around $200 and seems to be the cheapest turntable that's considered acceptable. I figured once I get a job and start saving I could probably go a few notches above that but it seems like anything beyond the AT120 goes over $600.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onioner View Post
Dude upgrade that preamp before thinking about speakers. Pretty much any built in preamp is automatically shitty. A Cambridge 540p phono stage will do the trick nicely for only 80 bucks.

Are you looking for hi-fi tower speakers or computer speakers? They're both completely different markets.

If there's one thing I've learned from my time studying audio engineering and working in a studio, it's that the most significant stages of the signal path are from the bottom up. Meaning your low-budget turntable is pretty much gonna make your whole system sound low-budget no matter what speakers you get. What model turntable do you have exactly?
I really can't agree enough with what Onioner just said. Preamps in speakers, or turntables (there's a built-in preamp in that Audio Technica LP-120 that was mentioned), are bad bad bad. It's better to just remove them completely and send the signal straight into a real preamp. On the Audio Technica there's no way to bypass the preamp; if you don't want the signal to pass through it you have to remove it completely. That's one of the big disadvantages of that table.

Also, the "bottom up" theory is true in my experience as well. In the audio chain, importance goes in an order similar to this:

Vinyl itself > stylus > turntable's other components, such as its arm > preamp > power amp > equalizer if you choose to have one > speakers

I would invest the cash in a nice turntable and a nice stylus (most nice turntables already come with nice styluses), and find a relative or someone that has a pair of old speakers they never use anymore that they're willing to give to you.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BloodoftheKings View Post
I could probably go a few notches above that but it seems like anything beyond the AT120 goes over $600.
That's not true, the grades above that table are in the $350-$500 range. This range includes your basic minimalistic tables that are both solid and produce nice sound.

Pro-ject has a newer table out with a carbon fiber tonearm that's about $400.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illuminatus917 View Post
That's not true, the grades above that table are in the $350-$500 range. This range includes your basic minimalistic tables that are both solid and produce nice sound.

Pro-ject has a newer table out with a carbon fiber tonearm that's about $400.
I never doubted they exist, I just never really came across them since there doesn't seem to be any linear guides for buying turntables in certain price ranges like I usually find for most other things I want to buy.
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