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Old 28th November 2007, 23:27   #16
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You could, from abroad. Not from here unless you want to buy takamichi & takai. The floor standing speakers alone would set you back by the length of your budget.
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Old 29th November 2007, 00:25   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by determinus View Post
With the risk of sounding like a broken record, can I suggest SWANS from Hivi? The audiophile M200 monitors costs below $200 and is perfect choice for a 2.0 system.
Wow! I am interested in taking a demo of the Swans M200:



Have you heard them determinus? Where in Pune should I look for these?
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Old 29th November 2007, 00:46   #18
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Doc, get @razors onkyo 6.1 for 20k. It comes with a decent avr. Add Polk Audio Monitor 50 floorstanders when u want. They cost 19k a pair.
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Old 29th November 2007, 01:27   #19
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Guys has anyone taken a demo of the Dahlquist Orbit 5.1A? The specs seem impressive. A good friend from the forum recommended them to me once:



http://www.dahlquistcorporation.com/...bit_no_box.pdf

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Old 29th November 2007, 01:28   #20
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The cheapest semi decent floorstander you'd get in india is the wharfedale diamond 8.4.
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Old 29th November 2007, 01:57   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
Wow! I am interested in taking a demo of the Swans M200... Have you heard them determinus? Where in Pune should I look for these?
A colleague has/d them, bought in the US. It now costs $160 or so. Bookshelves, so easy to carry. Dont think you get them here. Things may have changed now.
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Old 29th November 2007, 02:18   #22
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You cannot use a Y connector to convert stereo to mono. It is not possible to sum electrical signals like that just by merging them with a Y connector. You end up creating a circuit between the left and right channels of your output device. suffice to say, thats not good.

But you may have luck if your DVD player lets you select "mono" for sound input.

For your question on audio DVDs. please be clear that there is a format called DVD-A, or DVD Audio. This format has exceptionally high sound quality (presuming the studio did the mixing right to take advantage of the capability), superior to CD. DVD audio can have 24bit with sampling rates upto 192kHz for 2 channels and upto 96kHz for 5.1 sound. This is in comparison to CD's 16bit resolution and sampling rate of 44.1Khz.

DVDs that are not DVD-A format usually have sound recorded with maximum CD quality, but usually reduced from CD quality by MPEG-2 compression in order to fit more channels in as well as make room for Video. Technically, a DVD that is not a DVD-A and can play in a regular DVD player, cannot go above 24 bit/92Khz sampling, even with just two channels. To get the full DVD-A benefit, your player needs to be DVD-A compatible, ie. it needs a 24bit 192khz D/A converter.

I don't about India atleast but in the US atleast DVDs have have only audio on them are nearly non-existent. They are either DVDs with video content, or they are DVD-As. I don't know if you can get DVD-As in India.

My presumption is that audio DVDs you'll get in India will either have CD quality music on them, just lots of it due to higher than CD storage capacity, or they will have lower than CD quality music, using mpeg2 or MP3 compression.

I hope this helps.
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Old 29th November 2007, 23:08   #23
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@Harbir - Thanks for a wonderful reply. How much does a DVD-A cost in the US?
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Old 30th November 2007, 04:56   #24
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Nura, DVD-A players start at around $130 for a basic one. Unfortunately, the DVD-A format did not take off and is mostly on its way out now. So the number of discs being released has declined steeply.

There are three reasons for this:

1. DVD-A came out just about at the same time that MP3, ipod, Napster etc were taking off and the interest of people shifted to cheap or free music, convenient to play on computers, send to friends, put in cellphones and portable players, and highly compressed for small size to enhance how much you could store. At this time the interest in better than CD quality sound, that could not be moved off the disc and made sharable or portable, that took up gigabytes of space for just a few tracks, virtually did not exist and the market showed no interest. CD sales have declined very steeply, and the idea of DVD-A did not fly at all with consumers.

2. Too many DVD-A releases were nothing more than the CD version put onto DVD-A and priced at double. No efforts were made to remaster the originals at higher resolution, or to record new music at higher resolution. SO when people bought these expensive discs and played them in their expensive new players and found they sounded no different from their 20 year old CDs on a 10 year old player, the reputation of DVD-A got a real thrashing.


3. At the same time as DVD-A, Sony released its own high resolution advance on the CD, called the SACD. it took a different approach. instead of 24 bit, 192khz, it went 1 bit, but over 2MHz sampling. The idea was that compared to analog, the digital format has one problem. What happens to music signal that falls in between the sampling rate cracks? You get a stair step interpretation of the original sound signal, not a linear analog shape interpretation. Sony thought that the way to kill this was with such a high sampling rate that the human sense could not distinguish the resolution loss. Thats the theory anyway. so they went with a 1bit, ultra high sampling rate. This format was embraced by audiophiles and indeed SACD discs can sound amazing. However, it was not proven conclusively that the advantage was due to the format, rather than superior studio mixing work. Anyway, the two formats were mutually incompatible and the backers of each decided that if their format won, they would face decades of profit, so they refused to compromise and put competing formats on the market. People, including me, chose to not buy either till one clear winner emerged.

The audiophiles who would have bought one or the other didn't buy them. With the early adopters staying away, the formats never picked up the momentum to come to the notice of the general public. most people have never even heard of DVD-A or SACD. So both formats are dying.

Ironically, now there are players that can play both formats. When they initially came out, these universal players, they were super expensive and had flaws or deficiencies. By the time the deficiencies got worked out, both formats were dead. So now you can get excellent, high functionality universal players for modest amounts of money, but the studios have largely backed off from releasing new discs, many classics released on these formats like Fleetwood Mac have been discontinued and command high prices used.

So, my suggestion, don't bother with DVD-A unless there are DVD-As that you want to buy and know where you will get them.
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Old 30th November 2007, 13:04   #25
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Harbir, thanks & wow!
Is there something new on the horizon, then, if DVD-A & SACD are nearly dead?
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Old 30th November 2007, 18:47   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nura View Post
Is there something new on the horizon, then, if DVD-A & SACD are nearly dead?
My question too. @Harbir, you should write white-papers on these things. Your explanations are very lucid.
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Old 30th November 2007, 18:59   #27
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yes and no.

Yes, the new big deal is Dolby TrueHD. It uses a lossless compression algorithm so that the signal can be compressed to take up less space but comes back to full resolution when uncompressed. this is in contrast to mpeg2 on DVDs, or MP3, which are "lossy" formats, ie they discard data when compressing so that when decompressed, you don't get back the orginal signal.

True HD is limited to 24bit/192 khz sampling, so its the same sound quality as DVD-A, but on upto six channels, where as DVD-A can manage this resolution only with 2 channels. This is because TrueHD uses compression while DVD-A is uncompressed. SO essentially, True HD lets you have DVD-A quality sound all multiple channels, on discs that also have high definition video content (HD DVD and blu ray).

I said Yes and No. No in that so far all the discs with TrueHD have been video discs (movies, music videos), not music discs. Nobody so far is using TrueHD to release music.

But perhaps one can hope that as TrueHD capable players become common and receivers with the ability to decode TrueHD become widespread, music studios may get the incentive to start using True HD to release their music in this format.

but so far, like I said, its only in movies and the such.
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Old 1st December 2007, 22:37   #28
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I am thinking of cobbling together an av receiver & 5.1 speakers from different manufacturers, instead of going in for an HTIB. Guess I love to confuse myself thoroughly before buying anything & as I'm a complete noob, my head is brimming with a thousand questions.
I guess it's essential to get the front, centre & surround speakers from the same series to keep the same timbre. But is it ok to get the sub from a different series or manufacturer?
Are all HT subs, active subs? Or are there passive ones too? Do they need special amps/ av receivers to drive them?
Are entry level av receivers from most manufacturers "hybrid" products built with a mix of ICs & transistors & are better av receivers built with transistors only? Or was this just some meaningless technobabble that my friendly neighbourhood HT dealer threw at me?
Would appreciate comments about the Yamaha RX-V459 av receiver. At $250, it fits into my budget pretty sweetly.
Would also appreciate speaker & sub suggestions in the vfm category. The same dealer has Klipsch & Paradigm. Any good? Any better for cheaper? I like retro looks & wooden cabinets.
TIA.

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Old 1st December 2007, 22:59   #29
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HTiBs are almost always crap. I never recommend HTiBs to anyone unless I happen to see a particularly unique one that happens to really fit the specific situation of someone.

yes, it is essential to get matching front, center and rear speakers. The subwoofer absolutely does not have to be from the same manufacturer.

Almost all subwoofers are active (with amp built) in but not all. For example, a respected sub manufacturer in the US, Hsu Research sells subs without amp and you can buy a separate power amp from them of choose your own. If you buy a passive sub, you will need an external amp to drive it. Your receiver, if its anything decent, should have a subwoofer (LFE) output, and its settings should allow you to set the crossover frequencies appropriately. You send the subwoofer/LFE output to the external power amp that drives the passive sub.

The best receivers will have "discrete" amplification instead of ICs. Cheaper receivers use ICs for amplification. Unless you have very good speakers, the advantage of discrete amplification won't matter.

The Yamaha you mentioned is a decent receiver, about as good as it gets at that price.

I don't know know what the vfm category is.

Paradigm makes good speakers. a friend of mine started with Paradigm Spirit, then moved up to Paradigm Mini Monitors, then Paradigm studio 20, then Paradigm Studio 60, before he moved up to B&W 803D a few weeks ago. Which paradigms are you considering?
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Old 2nd December 2007, 13:39   #30
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Thanks, Harbir. I actually read about Hsu just yesterday & will have a look at their website soon. I am not sure I can find Hsu subs & amps in India, though. And it's tough to get bulky subs & speakers from abroad.
The Yamaha AVR costs double in India so I might try to get that from elsewhere.
If I am spending $250 on the AVR, how much should I allocate for the front, centre & surround speakers & how much for the active sub to have a well-balanced system.
I have no clue yet what I am going to end up buying. At the moment I am trying to learn a little bit about the subject. Then maybe I can demo some stuff here in Kolkata & then finally buy.
Would really appreciate your recommendations.
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