My simple system

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by RSDeuce, Mar 20, 2017 at 6:30 PM.

?

I would replace the...

  1. PRO-JECT Debut Carbon Turntable

    11.1%
  2. Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge and Needle

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. PS Audio 4.5 Pre-Amp

    33.3%
  4. Kenwood KMF-X9000 Amplifier

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Kenwood LS-V730 Speakers

    55.6%
  6. Yamaha YST-SW160 Powered Subwoofer

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Something else...?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. RSDeuce

    RSDeuce New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Hey all,

    Long time lurker, it has been forever since I posted.

    This is my system. I like it and have few complaints. However I just left a long and painful relationship and want to reward myself a bit with an upgrade as I was happy just to have been able to keep everything.

    At the bottom is an imgur album with photos of each item, and all the specs I could find online are there as well.

    What should I replace or upgrade? My gut says the pre-amp as it is noisy and could use a thorough cleaning, but I can also clean it up and maybe spend actual $$ elsewhere.

    TL,DR! If this was yours tomorrow, what goes out the door first?

    Recommendations are appreciated but are not the priority.

    Equipment:
    PRO-JECT Debut Carbon Turntable - Bought new, excellent condition

    Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge and Needle - Came with turntable

    PS Audio 4.5 Pre-Amp - Bought used and for pretty cheap from a well-known hi-fi guy in San Diego. Needs work, it is full of static

    Kenwood KMF-X9000 Amplifier - Bought new in ~2004 while stationed overseas, matches the speakers

    Kenwood LS-V730 Speakers - Bought new in ~2004 while stationed overseas, matches the amp

    Yamaha YST-SW160 Powered Subwoofer - Bought on Craigslist for $25 about 3 months ago

    Photos!
    http://imgur.com/a/rF4mp
     
  2. Fitero

    Fitero Member

    Messages:
    96
    Welcome aboard!
    I've been lusting after audio gear for over 40 years and have changed gear many many times in those years. The beauty is, even listening to music through the most humble gear has been a joy to me. I hope that you can enjoy the music while on the futile search for perfect audio gear.

    That being said, if I were in your spot, I would get used speakers followed by a good used amplifier. The speakers (arguably) make the largest change in sound.

    You didn't mention a budget though.
     
  3. arclight73

    arclight73 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,748
    Your equipment is solid. The speakers I cant find much about which is not a good sign IMO. They look to be part of some complete system. Which is typically not a good thing. Speakers are typically the area where most corners get cut. But who knows there are always exceptions.

    But it's where I would upgrade then possibly a new integrated amp. :)
     
  4. RSDeuce

    RSDeuce New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Hey Fitero, I have had the speakers and amp (which used to have my computer / laptop / TV plugged directly in to in my dorm room) since 2004. They have played tunes for thousands of hours.

    As for budget, that might be a separate post in the dedicated forum. It looks like in general speakers is the direction we are heading in the poll. Kenwood isn't known as an epic brand, and I think these were some of the last "Home Theater" products they made, at least I don't remember seeing them past the JVC merger or so. The diagrams show this setup matched with a KRF-X9995D receiver which I remember seeing in the BX showroom and drooling over.

    From what I can tell the speakers themselves were either an AAFES-only item, or wear a separate model number due to being sold at the BX (which is very common.) You had the option of buying the entire 5.1 system, or separate components and my 2003 tax dollars got me that stereo. I have only ever seen a few other people who were in Japan at the same time I was mention owning these speakers.

    Here is the manual for them, and the specs (which I couldn't find earlier today.)
    http://www.nodevice.com/manual/ls-v730-b/get156677.html

    upload_2017-3-20_20-18-40.png
     
  5. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,335
    Location:
    Boise
    Get the preamp up to snuff. You still in San Diego? Maybe the original guy can do it.

    Look into cart or stylus upgrades.

    My first inclination was speakers too, but I don't know those you have.
     
  6. Xtinc

    Xtinc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    508
    Location:
    N. CAL
    Regarding your PS Audio Pre, a good cleaning of all electrical contacts with electrical contact cleaner may resolve the static issues.
    Speaker upgrade is my vote. The Kenwoods look skin deep and most likely use typical rack system drivers and crossovers.
     
  7. RSDeuce

    RSDeuce New Member

    Messages:
    23
    I love that quote, in that it is maybe the thing that makes the most sense regarding why people are saying replace the speakers. Other than the fact that they might be the most bang for buck change, can you tell me why you think that?

    Is it the era of Kenwood (~2004), or maybe the era of technology (mass production in high gear)? Do they literally look like another speaker that has been re-branded? They are very heavy (nearly 40lbs each) which could be solid lead for all I know.

    I was fairly certain I was going to see "replace the pre-amp / amp combo" over and over again. But I am also very new to this as a whole...

    Thanks.
     
  8. Xtinc

    Xtinc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    508
    Location:
    N. CAL
    Hope I didn't come off as insulting of your speakers...not my intention.
    Most speakers from Kenwood, Sansui, JVC, Pioneer, etc of that era leave a lot to be desired using generic drivers and crossovers. I have no experience with your exact model and may be wrong, but assumed they fit in with the general category of mass consumer HT systems.
     
  9. RSDeuce

    RSDeuce New Member

    Messages:
    23
    No offense taken at all! I don't have skin in the game, I bought these at 19 years old, I am 32 now. I have always been curious at what I have. I may end up disassembling them one of these days. When you mean generic crossovers and drivers, in general am I looking for unbranded / non-specific stuff? The manual had Kenwood part numbers, but re-numbering is easy.

    In general I have total respect for the community (and yourself) saying replace the speakers, I am just trying to learn more about them at the same time.

    I put up another post with some examples of what I see on my local Craigslist and would love some feedback there as well (in the Speaker-specifc forum.)
     
  10. Rome

    Rome Holsum Honey Buns Subscriber

    Messages:
    37,133
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Yea, enjoy the system until its time to upgrade. Nice!

    Rome
     
  11. Spitfirejoe

    Spitfirejoe Cheap Audio Aficionado

    Messages:
    354
    Location:
    Fremont, Nebraska
    Your systems looks to be decent. I hope my advice is worth more than it costs...

    Attack the problem first. (Like you just did in your ended relationship... congrats on that. Breathe in, breathe out, move on.) Noisy pre-amp? Fix or replace. I'd first try cleaning all the contacts/controls as suggested above.

    Maybe then a new stylus for the cartridge or a new cartridge. Is that set up correctly? Are you going to commit to vinyl, or will you add digital sources?

    Next step - set the system up properly and then take the time to LISTEN to it for a while and find out what works and what doesn't. Make little adjustments. Work on placement and room treatments. Pick out or acquire some good music that you really like, and pay attention to the little things. Listen for clarity and sound stage. Do you hear any other problems? Weak bottom end is probably taken care of by the subwoofer - if it is tuned to your room and ears correctly. How are the midranges - voices and acoustic guitars sound nice and rich? How crisp and clear are the high notes? Pianos and drummers cymbals sound right - without harshness?

    Don't forget to listen for enjoyment! Play music you like and let it just wash over you. Enjoy the peace of mind and the quiet you've earned by changing your life. Find a new band that interests you, get a few old albums to re-experience. I don't know your tastes, but if you haven't listened to female vocals much - try Diana Krall, Joni Mitchell, Adele, or Aretha. (Beyoncé ?!?)

    Then when you've trained your ears, find someone in your area that will let you listen to your music on their system. Some audio shops actually recommend and support this process. Compare and contrast to figure out what you like. Your source(s), electronics and speakers might be fine, but you won't know if you really like them until you listen to some others.

    Have fun!
     
  12. RSDeuce

    RSDeuce New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Great advice from both of ya :)

    Cleaning the Pre-Amp is a must. I play a mix of good digital (FLAC / Lossless library) and ok digital (Spotify / Youtube / Chromecast Audio) and vinyl. I gave up half of the vinyl in the split and I am working on replacing some key albums. Here is a link to the sort of stuff I either want, or need to go re-buy (I rarely buy from Amazon but it helps me keep track of prices.)

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/25BY5UFWVG00O
     
  13. Xtinc

    Xtinc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    508
    Location:
    N. CAL
    From your original post it sounds like you're happy with the system with exception of the noisy preamp and have an itch to try something new...sorta a comfort purchase to mark a new beginning. There are many members here that have gear most of us can only dream about and they get that itch for a change.
    I would use everything in your system, which looks nice together btw, except the Kenwood speakers (search Kenwood speaker scores and see the lack of Internet posts...there's a reason for that). Clean that preamp and go hunting...use your senses, if something isn't right walk away.
     
  14. RSDeuce

    RSDeuce New Member

    Messages:
    23
    You nailed it. I will start keeping a look out and get that preamp cleaned up this weekend.
     

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