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Old 26-02-2011, 22:20   #16
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Re: Bookshelf Speakers

What I was saying was that anything over $1000/pr in a boat is wasted money. Anything over $500 is too close to diminishing returns. I've never heard mirage speakers but I agree, they will give you a decent bang for your buck in a boat.
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Old 26-02-2011, 23:14   #17
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Re: Bookshelf Speakers

Specialty audio stores still exist around here, though there are far fewer than there used to be.

Return policy is important. Even speakers that sound great in the store might not give the same performance in your intended listening environment.

Generally, smaller spaces are less efficient than larger ones, & will require more power to get good sound. Cars are about the worst.
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Old 27-02-2011, 04:17   #18
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Re: Bookshelf Speakers

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Originally Posted by malovich View Post
What I was saying was that anything over $1000/pr in a boat is wasted money. Anything over $500 is too close to diminishing returns.
Ah okay, your definition of expensive speakers is way higher than for most people The problem is that their price is going up fast; I paid about half of what they cost today and got them in 2006. It normally takes 11 years before the price of something doubles but I now realize this is a Canadian product so the fall of the usd might be part of this.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 27-02-2011, 05:19   #19
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Re: Bookshelf Speakers

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The poor acoustics of a boat are exactly the reason that the Mirage speakers work so well. They have been designed to cope with "acoustically challenged spaces"
ciao!
Nick.
This makes sense to me - it's seems like speakers that have an indirect nature of delivering sound would sound better in an acoustically challenged space like a boat.

I'm trying to avoid a subwoofer if possible, so I'm thinking the OMD-5, with their slightly larger woofer (when compared to the OS3's) might have a little more expansive low end, making a subwoofer unnecessary.

I've been reading through the avs forums (thanks for the tip Malovich) to try and help me to determine what would be best for me - there's certainly no shortage of info/opinions there!

Zed - I agree with you about speakers potentially sounding different in the store than at home where you'll actually be using them. Back in the day, my area have all kinds of independent audio stores to go and listen to sound systems - now it's a 200 mile round trip. Hard to justify the time involved when the speakers may sound entirely different once home. Makes SW's comment about online retailers with good return policys all the more relevant.
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Old 27-02-2011, 07:32   #20
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Re: Bookshelf Speakers

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Originally Posted by slowshoes View Post
I'm trying to avoid a subwoofer if possible, so I'm thinking the OMD-5, with their slightly larger woofer (when compared to the OS3's) might have a little more expansive low end, making a subwoofer unnecessary.
It was what I hoped for and we did without a subwoofer for years because we have no room for one. But I really need to feel the bass just like at a live performance and found a shop here in Panama that does custom build subwoofers (for cars). They made one that fits between the two legs of the salon table for $100 (+ $80 for the speaker and terminals) so it is now hanging under the table. When I play something with Mark King on bass guitar or anything Bob Marley, people start checking out the OmniSats because they really think all the bass is coming from them

The speakers did 80% of the sound quality but don't overlook the Squeezebox systems as audio source because they provide the comfort of having all your music available at the touch of a button, plus complete control from iAnything app etc. coupled with high quality DA converters, a LF pre-stage with 0 noise and native support for lossless formats like FLAC. That makes up for the other 20% of sound quality. Last item needed is a decent amplifier but any decent brand of car amplifier is good enough. I send 80W RMS to each of the OmniSats and 160W RMS to the subwoofer.

I have older Squeezebox model(s) but the Squeezebox Touch is even better. You can connect it wired (Ethernet) or WiFi. I use a MacMini computer but any Windows or Mac or Linux PC/laptop is supported.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 27-02-2011, 11:26   #21
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Re: Bookshelf Speakers

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
The speakers did 80% of the sound quality but don't overlook the Squeezebox systems as audio source because they provide the comfort of having all your music available at the touch of a button, plus complete control from iAnything app etc. coupled with high quality DA converters, a LF pre-stage with 0 noise and native support for lossless formats like FLAC. That makes up for the other 20% of sound quality. Last item needed is a decent amplifier but any decent brand of car amplifier is good enough. I send 80W RMS to each of the OmniSats and 160W RMS to the subwoofer.


cheers,
Nick.
Right now all my files are lossless formats spread over two 160 GB ipods. When I order speakers, I'll probably get an amplifier at the same time. I don't want to wait on the amplifier because I think I'll need the additional power to get the most out of new speakers.

I want to at least have the option of adding a sub if I feel it's needed - so that means I'll need a four channel amp right?
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Old 27-02-2011, 12:27   #22
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Re: Bookshelf Speakers

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Right now all my files are lossless formats spread over two 160 GB ipods. When I order speakers, I'll probably get an amplifier at the same time. I don't want to wait on the amplifier because I think I'll need the additional power to get the most out of new speakers.

I want to at least have the option of adding a sub if I feel it's needed - so that means I'll need a four channel amp right?
You have the Apple lossless format (which is fine by itself) but the DA converters of the iPods are not top notch. It will sound good on the Mirage speakers but upgrading to a better source will be noticeable. Apple lossless is not natively supported by Squeezebox, but the SB-server can convert on the fly. You can also convert them (lossless) to the FLAC format (but FLAC isn't supported by Apple iPod because it doesn't allow DRM... think of FLAC as the lossless mp3).

Yes, buy a 4-channel amp that allows to create A, B, C+D for sub config but also A+B, C+D for just the two OmniSats. You need extra power to the OmniSats without a sub (bass requires most power). You also want to look at the frequency cut-off switches/filters. With just OmniSats you want full spectrum but when you connect a sub, you filter the low bass out from the feed to the OmniSats (hi-pass) while you use low-pass for the sub.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 27-02-2011, 13:20   #23
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Re: Bookshelf Speakers

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
You have the Apple lossless format (which is fine by itself) but the DA converters of the iPods are not top notch. It will sound good on the Mirage speakers but upgrading to a better source will be noticeable. Apple lossless is not natively supported by Squeezebox, but the SB-server can convert on the fly. You can also convert them (lossless) to the FLAC format (but FLAC isn't supported by Apple iPod because it doesn't allow DRM... think of FLAC as the lossless mp3).

Yes, buy a 4-channel amp that allows to create A, B, C+D for sub config but also A+B, C+D for just the two OmniSats. You need extra power to the OmniSats without a sub (bass requires most power). You also want to look at the frequency cut-off switches/filters. With just OmniSats you want full spectrum but when you connect a sub, you filter the low bass out from the feed to the OmniSats (hi-pass) while you use low-pass for the sub.

ciao!
Nick.
Bear with me Nick - you're definitely more knowledgeable about all of this than I am. So I can use my ipods through my existing Pioneer head (already doing this), with the Mirage speakers and a four channel amp, which would allow for a future sub upgrade, should I feel that's necessary.

If I but a DAC for the ipods, can this also be used with the Squeezebox should I upgrade to that at a later time? I know that the DAC in the ipods aren't the best, and upgrading to an external DAC can improve the sound - can it do the same for the Squeezebox or would the SB require a different type DAC? I'm trying to avoid spending money on something now that I just may replace at a future date.

I'm confused as to how I can use my music files for both the ipods and Squeezebox. I wouldn't want to convert my files to FLAC for use with the Squeezebox on the boat (should I buy one) because I use my ipods off the boat as well, and I know ipods won't support Flac files.

Lastly, do you have a recommendation for the power output for the amplifier?

Geez, this is starting to feel expensive - why is it alway such a slippery financial slope with all things boat related.

Anyway, thanks to you, and everyone else who replied, for the help and advice.
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Old 27-02-2011, 14:21   #24
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Re: Bookshelf Speakers

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So I can use my ipods through my existing Pioneer head (already doing this), with the Mirage speakers and a four channel amp, which would allow for a future sub upgrade, should I feel that's necessary.
Correct. I have a 4x80W RMS amp and wish for a bit more power which is silly but true anyway

Quote:
If I but a DAC for the ipods, can this also be used with the Squeezebox should I upgrade to that at a later time? I know that the DAC in the ipods aren't the best, and upgrading to an external DAC can improve the sound - can it do the same for the Squeezebox or would the SB require a different type DAC? I'm trying to avoid spending money on something now that I just may replace at a future date.
No, just use the iPods as you do now. Don't buy an external DAC. Get used to the improved sound quality and enjoy. Then, when you get your hands on another $300, buy a Squeezebox Touch. It has the DACs internally and they are of a quality that you would need an external DAC of over $1k to beat them. So, for a boat, the DACs in the Squeezebox are all anybody wants and for 99% of people it's the same for a house.

Quote:
I'm confused as to how I can use my music files for both the ipods and Squeezebox. I wouldn't want to convert my files to FLAC for use with the Squeezebox on the boat (should I buy one) because I use my ipods off the boat as well, and I know ipods won't support Flac files.
If your music files are free of DRM (can freely copy and play them) like when you have RIPed your own CDs, you should convert them all to FLAC and keep that as your primary music library. You can convert these back to original CDs or to Apple lossless or mp3 or whatever. There are even utilities that will convert while copying to iPods. FLAC is an open format like mp3. 100 years from now, FLAC will exist.

The Squeezebox uses a server-component on your computer that holds the files. This server can convert your Apple lossless files for use on the Squeezebox in real time. But it will consume more power and slow other work on the computer down. That's why it's better to keep a FLAC library... it's brand independent like mp3.

Quote:
Lastly, do you have a recommendation for the power output for the amplifier?
80-120W continuous per channel

Quote:
Geez, this is starting to feel expensive - why is it alway such a slippery financial slope with all things boat related.
No worries, the Squeezebox is only $300 and not needed to start. Good software to convert music files is about $20 and soon I will remember the best software for this and post it here
(edit: got it, dBpoweramp: CD Ripper & Audio Converter. Secure ripping to mp3, FLAC, m4a, Apple Lossless & WMA is the real deal)

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 27-02-2011, 15:06   #25
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Re: Bookshelf Speakers

Nick,

I think I've finally got it! Thanks so much - you've been a great help. I'll make sure and post what I bought, how the install goes and best, how it sounds.

Thanks again!

Shoes
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Old 27-02-2011, 15:35   #26
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Re: Bookshelf Speakers

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Nick,

I think I've finally got it! Thanks so much - you've been a great help. I'll make sure and post what I bought, how the install goes and best, how it sounds.
I'm turning up the volume as I write this and wish I could let you hear it

ps. I have a tip for shore based small speakers: these satellites: Audioengine 5 (A5) Premium Powered Bookshelf Speakers with this subwoofer: Audioengine S8 (AS8) - Premium Powered Subwoofer

These are all active so no amplifier needed. I rigged these up with a Squeezebox for my parents and the sounds quality is amazing, especially considering the cost.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 27-02-2011, 15:50   #27
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Re: Bookshelf Speakers

FWIW, I opted for PSB Alpha B1's for our 42'. Threaded inserts on the back made them ideal from a mounting standpoint. As I recall <$300 USD. No amp.
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Old 28-02-2011, 21:04   #28
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Re: Bookshelf Speakers

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I'm turning up the volume as I write this and wish I could let you hear it

ps. I have a tip for shore based small speakers: these satellites: Audioengine 5 (A5) Premium Powered Bookshelf Speakers with this subwoofer: Audioengine S8 (AS8) - Premium Powered Subwoofer

These are all active so no amplifier needed. I rigged these up with a Squeezebox for my parents and the sounds quality is amazing, especially considering the cost.

ciao!
Nick.
Thanks for the tip for the powered bookshelf speakers for home Nick. I have internet connection issues on the boat, so I'll have to get that resolved before I can seriously consider the Squeezebox for the boat.

I ordered the Mirage OMD-5's today! I decided to go with the OMD's to get the slightly larger woofer, which will hopefully get a more expansive lower end.

I'm still hoping to avoid a subwoofer, for both space considerations, and the fact that I still haven't heard a subwoofer that I really like the sound of. The one's I've heard have a bloated, mushy feel to them where I'm looking for a tight, defined and detailed sound. If I feel a sub is absolutely necessary, I'd almost have to go with a space saving design - anyone heard anything about these, pro or con?

I'm still looking at amplifiers and reading about things to consider for the installation. I have a below deck autopilot and have the brain of the pilot mounted in a locker underneath the quarterberth. Any idea if mounting the amplifier in that same locker would interfere with the autopilot? I'm thinking it probably would.

I'm still considering an external DAC for the ipods too - ah well it's only money.
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