You love researching the newest musical gadgets, and you may be a self-proclaimed audiophile. As someone with the knowledge of "how" and "why" surrounding the audio world, you ensure you have the latest sound equipment for your listening experience. But if you're someone beginning to create your sound setup and you don't know where to start, the good news is that it's not too difficult to achieve high-caliber sound with equipment that won't break your bank. After all, an audiophile is just a normal person with a passion for quality sound.
To begin your journey of recreating the live concert experience in your living room, there are a few standards to look and listen for as you select products for your stereo system: accurate instrumental timbre, dynamic range, and spatiality (a recording's ability to convey images within the space in which the recording was made). If a recording can produce focused images in a definable space, you'll know you have a properly set up system. Soon you can recognize these aspects in your own equipment.
Although speakers are the most crucial of a good stereo system, the quality of your media player plays an important part too, whether it's a CD player, turntable, DVD player, or another source. If you possess an older piece of equipment, like a vintage turntable, you may need to take it into a professional to make sure everything is in proper working order. You need the first link in your chain of sound to remain sturdy and reliable.
So how does sound move from the media player to your speakers? Your receiver serves as the central hub of audio flow, and its price point will be determined by your media source. A vinyl setup, for example, doesn't require the bells and whistles of a modern digital receiver; it would only be a waste of money. However, it would be considered a worthwhile investment to pair with a newer media source. Either way, if you decide to have a quality receiver, you’ll save money over owning a secondary amp and preamp.
For the ultimate optimization of your system's performance, bypass the receiver altogether and purchase a separate amp and preamp instead. Your amp supplies power, so closely examine its power handling when browsing. Your amp's RMS (Root Mean Square) is the rating for continuous power, and we suggest using the RMS to determine the power factor instead of its peak power number. The quality of your amp's power supply and heat sink will prevent your amp from overheating.
Your preamp supplies the audio source input and adjusts volume without the addition of noise. What does this mean? When you hook up your smartphone to a stereo, then turn up the volume, you’ll hear quite a bit of distortion. But, once you add a preamp to your chain, the distortion is removed without interfering with your audio signal. Consider selecting a product with plenty of inputs for your current and future needs. Although some audiophiles don’t consider the extra step of a preamp to be necessary, many prefer the “warm” sound it creates. But if you want to save some extra money, a receiver will do just fine instead.
Your stereo system deserves more than old cables from a dusty bin in your garage. By spending only a few extra cents per foot on a large gauge wire, a high-quality cable creates a high-quality signal. However, the most expensive brand isn’t necessary. Your local hardware store should provide a suitable brand, but a trusty audio store will have offerings that fully maximize your listening experience.
As the most crucial aspect of your stereo system, your speakers will require investing a bit more money. Everybody has varied sound preferences and different available living spaces for their listening setup, so you may find in-wall speakers ideal over large floor speakers. We suggest testing out speakers of all shapes, styles, and sizes in retail stores before choosing the set you want to take home.
Once every piece of the puzzle is in its place, your sound system is ready to create a symphony in your home. Whether you’re looking to feel like you’re in the front row of a live concert or sitting among the producers in the recording studio, our suggestions will grant you an unforgettable listening experience. If you want to have an audiophile’s sound setup, call the professionals at Origin HiFi to help you get started.