Different audio systems for different needs

June 11, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

8 comments on “Different audio systems for different needs”

    1. SG,
      In my experience a home-audio system that does Rock ‘n Roll well is not necessarily on top
      of it’s game to reproduce unplugged (jazz, female vocals, acoustic guitar) music & vice-versa.
      To illustrate this point, Alan Shaw, the CEO of ‘Harbeth’, will tell you to your face that if you’re
      mainly into Rock ‘n Roll then don’t bother buying his loudspeakers; & I don’t have to tell you
      how very-well regarded Harbeth loudspeakers are…ok, that is only one example.
      Of course if you’ve got heaps & heaps of money to throw at a “decent” home-audio rig then
      yes, you can achieve a rig that will do all music competently, however most of us, not all of
      us, are limited by our financial budgets & so, in my opinion, it’s best to choose carefully &
      maximise the ‘bang for your buck’ with regard to the genre of music that you mostly listen to.

  1. A decent system will do all that but I think a key point is the letter writer’s comment about moving speakers to make room for party guests and Paul’s later recommendation to invest in some real estate to set up a high end system. I’m in the middle of that now – a decent dedicated space, room for the speakers to breathe, acoustic treatments, etc. Some folks can make all that work with one system in one space.

  2. Wouldn’t a system with in-wall loudspeakers fulfill the different needs? (Don’t most car stereo systems feature “in-wall speakers? 🙂 ) Or the kitchen radio mounted under the wall cupboard for background music and a fine pair of headphones with cross-feed for immersive sound? The inherent problem of Paul’s two system approach is that it requires two (!) listening rooms.

  3. I have three systems for three different purposes.
    The one in my living room, which is the largest one in the house, allows both me and my wife to jam out whenever we feel like it.
    But it also can be used for background music if that’s what we want to do with it.
    And also, we listen to the TV threw it as well.
    My desktop system, is the one that I sometimes listen to music and also listen to Paul’s videos on.
    But offten times, I’ve used it to help me put together some recordings.
    But when I need to really proof listen to recordings that I’ve made, then I have a more reveelingg system in my bed room.
    But that system, is in deed the sweetest sounding system in the hole house.
    It’s very ritch with sonic detail and sound staging.
    So, this is why I will mostly do my mixing down on it.

  4. One system: 2+2 a/v set-up with ceiling mounted surrounds

    Stereo only with mains
    Stereo with a bit of rear / surround fill
    Ceiling only for background / entertainment

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