2.1 Channel setup discussion with photos!

Hey guys and gals!

As we head into the new year one of my goals for 2020 is to review more speakers and 2.1 channel setups. I know this is a headphones forum but I also know that many of us love speakers as much as we do headphones. Headphones are a very personal experience but speakers can be shared with the ones we love. One of my favorite things to do is listen to music with my daughter every Sunday! So let’s see your setups and discuss building 2.1 channel setups including speakers, subwoofers, amps, dacs , room treatment, streamers, turntables, cables, stands, racks, power conditioners, magic crystals… you get the picture, so let’s see your pictures time to show up and show out ;).

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How old is your daughter? The following is a great favorite of mine since I was able to stomp around on two feet:

Just made for speakers. And you can use it as a test album, quite well recorded.

I see they have it in CD/SACD also.

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Great idea @MRphotography!

I will post setup details later today.

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:clap: awesome :sunglasses: thanks @pennstac I thought it could be fun @Roark :slight_smile:

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2.1 Setup

This is my humble 2.1 channel music only system:

Source 1 (Streaming/FLAC): Roon via Mac mini -> Rpi -> DAC
Source 2 (CD Player/Transport): Musical Fidelity X-Ray v3
DAC 1: Musical Fidelity V-DAC II
DAC 2: Chord Mojo
Integrated Amplifier: Musical Fidelity X-150
Speakers: Bowers & Wilkins CM5
Sub-Woofer: REL T5
Power/Surge: Monster HT3500

I started building it in 2005 when I first purchased the X-150 and X-Ray V3 connected to a pair of JBL 301 S38ii, speakers were then replaced to the B&W 603 tower speakers for a year in 2006. I bought them from a now closed AV store that was all over the DC metro area, they had a trade up program for any speakers purchased. It was a great program, as each year I would upgrade to a more expensive model of the B&W line until 2008 when I settled on the CM5 set. They also went out of business in 2008/09 so that stopped my upward progression, despite that I am satisfied. Somewhere in 2010-212 I added the V-DAC II &REL subwoofer, if you have not used one of these you are missing out.

That is it, no room treatment no other tricks or adjustments. I don’t take many pictures, and since I am away from the home base for a bit here is the most recent picture showing some of the set up. I had just finished mounting and setting up my OLED and was showing some friends the 4K picture quality (guess the movie):

This is a more complete picture from 2016 and a very cluttered shot, those who demand a neat and orderly set up look away. Back then I was barely at home, living out of a suitcase hopping from one continent to the next thus keeping it neat and organized was not a priority :grin:

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Nice setup brother @Roark ! Those monster 3500 were the best, I used to sell those like crazy in my previous life! Wish I would have bought one when I had my discount lol :joy:

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Be it ever so humble. My decidedly mid -fi system. Some compromises since my wife is working from home.UpIMG_0835 loading: image.png…
Technics SL-1200 MK2
Yamaha R-N500 Receiver (have a 1978 Yamaha CR-2020 in basement. Become too lazy to use it)
KEF Q300 speakers and a pair of HSU subs
Sony UBP-X800 M2 Ultra HD Blue Ray DVD/CD player
Sony XBR 55X950G TV For Amazon and You tube videos.

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How do you like those KEF!? I already know how awesome Sony XBR TV’s are some of my favorite! Great looking setup love the wood floors with the guitars!

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Here’s my Vintage HiFi setup I’ve put together over the last couple of years. No DSP. No Surround Sound. No THX. No subwoofers.

Just lush, warm, analog tape and vinyl.

Amp: Pioneer SX-650
Record Player: Elac Miracord 50H II
Reel to Reel: Sony TC-280
Speakers: B&W Matrix 1 Series 2
Cassette Player: Akai GXC-46D

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I love that vintage gear, especially the reel to reel. It brings back childhood memories of my Dad’s setup.

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I agree! The record player and reel to reel tapes were my Father’s. He recorded a lot of the tapes back in the 70’s and passed them on to me.

With the proliferation of digital music, I find myself skipping around too much and not taking the time to listen to an entire album. The physical formats force me to listen from beginning to end. It definitely helps me just relax and listen more!

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Love the setup! Looks awesome @Kishimotosan :slight_smile:

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Excellent idea for a thread! It gives me the oppty to inject a closely related, often problematic topic: how to cross the speakers/monitors over the sub(s)? If you don’t have a digital crossover box, built in high-pass crossover on sub(s), or a home theater-type receiver w/low-pass sub output–you’ll find yourself needing a crossover solution…

My desktop system changed a lot over the years. For quite awhile I had an all-NHT system w/small powered monitors & 8" powered sub. That sub had something I didn’t know at the time was the holy grail: a filtered high-pass output (RCA L/R pair) that actually sounded very good & transparent.

When I moved away from that system (gifted it to my brother), reality crashed down. My subsequent powered monitor + sub suffered from a lousy-sounding high-pass output on the otherwise very nice, inexpensive sealed sub, the SVS-SB1000.

A couple years ago I landed gently used pair of speakers that transformed my desktop system: passive ATC SCM12 Pro studio monitors. These are quite revealing (by design) and it soon became clear the sub’s high-pass output was holding them back. So I picked up a cherry used electronic crossover, the Marchand XM-44. Problem solved! It’s quiet, handsome, sounds like nothing at all, and lets me dial in the specific low-pass frequency (currently set @70Hz). The slopes are 24 dB/octave in both directions, optimal for signal clarity.

Since then I swapped out the SB1000 for a smaller but better sub, the JL Audio e110. It’s an extremely capable, good-sounding sub, perfect for this small home office setting. Interestingly enough, it has an 80Hz, 24 dB/octave high-pass output (RCA L/R pair). I’ve never tried this, but knowing JL Audio, this output should be transparent & well implements. I consider it my backup plan in event of failure of the Marchand.

You can just see the Marchand on top of PC & under Woo WA3 in picture below, with red crossover setting peaking out.

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Here’s my 2.0 setup. These speakers go down into the high 30Hz so I haven’t added a sub yet. The MiniDSP Dirac unit and the BluSound node are hiddenVery pleased with the output.

BluSound Node 2–>MiniDSP DDRC-22D (Dirac)—>RME ADI-2 —> Purifi 1ET400A stereo amp —> Dynaudio Emit 30

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Awesome @Pharmaboy digging your set up!

Wow @Andrew_Davis clean setup! Dig your towers! How do they image?

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That’s an interesting question to ask. Quite nicely. The listening position is a little to far back relative to the speaker spacing, so not ideal. But they track quite nicely, and instruments and vocals have good “location.”

They have fantastic layering/separation between each instrument, so that gives an impression of excellent imaging too. Thanks for asking!!!

EDIT: @MRphotography, I also found that the room correction via the MiniDSP added more to imaging, tonality, and overall sound quality MUCH more than any other improvement I’ve made. My room acoustics went from being a problem to a non factor.

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It looks utilitarian, nothing special. But on the infrequent occasions I crank the speakers + sub…it reaches escape velocity quickly w/sonic stability.

Not shown are DAC + 2 live-simultaneously HP amps, one of which (V281) also serves as system preamp; and to left of picture, a headphone-only listening station (currently the Audio GD DAC-19 + LC v2).

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Looks very clean! I like the looks of not having a TV and hanging some art instead.

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My (main) 2.1 set up is a little different from the normal set ups that most music listeners would go for in their homes.

As I don’t have space for a specific listening position, my set ups in each room are aimed at filling the room more than aiming at a specific position. My mains are installed just below ceiling height at one end of the room aiming towards the main seating area.

Due to this, my choice of speakers are 2x MeyerSound UPM1XP with an MM10 sub.

Sorry, I don’t have pics on hand but they are just white boxes anyway :wink:

This is something that I still haven’t solved to my liking. As my speakers (and sub) are powered, I need a way of dividing the signal and controlling volume before it gets there. I also need something that is simple enough for my better half to use (if it takes more than pressing two buttons, she’s out!).

My main players (in the living room and kitchen areas) are Marantz M-CR610’s, an all in one unit that she likes for the simplicity, I also distribute raspotify (she is a Spotify fan) via optical to each player, so she has multiroom that is all the same.

My issue is that the Marantz are RCA outputs while the Meyers are XLR inputs (and don’t like unbalanced), therefore, I need to balance it also along the way. I tried a few different combinations but I am currently using:

(Sources) > Marantz > BSS BLU-160 > Meyers

The issue with this is that I am using the DAC in the Marantz to output RCA, then the BSS is doing ADC before processing, then DAC out of the BSS. There’s a lot of DAC/ADC/DAC going on :smiley:

It does sound pretty darn good but I would really like to know how it would sound by taking the Marantz and BSS out of the equation, just doing a 2.1 DAC (do the exist?) into the Meyers.

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