Cheap and Cheerful HiFi | Audiophiles on a budget!


You know I could have ran all these goodies into a VPI Avenger, but at the starting price north of $ 9,000. I don’t think that would have made much sense lucky for us. Our good friends at music direct were kind enough to send over this little guy. The music-hall mm f 2.2, currently priced at $ 2.


9. This is a turntable I can endorse for those that want to skip the nonsense offerings from the likes of Crosley and get a table that will actually sound halfway, decent without digging deep grooves and your pricey records, including a pre-installed magic to moving magnet cartridge and a One piece alloy tone arm: this is a solid choice for those on a budget or looking to spend wax for the very first time, including a dust cover and is plug and play as it’s going to get yeah. This bad boy is going to work just fine to get. This party started with 100 watts of hybrid power using the hype, ex UCD 180 modules and a pair of 12 au 7s handling the front end. This Fink’s is a great option for those seeking the benefits of solid state muscle in the power section with 4 inputs, including an improved phono stage, and a discreet headphone section, rogue managed to push the original Sphinx design into new territories without jacking the price featuring a Custom toroidal transformer massive high storage, linear power supply gold, plated RCA inputs, machined aluminum, faceplate, active outputs for subs or by amping Alps volume pot, and to top it off, who entirely designed and hand-built in the United States and even comes with a three-year warranty yeah at 1200 bucks, the Sphinx, will get you where you want to go without the obnoxious price tag attached to it.


For those that had a chance to check out my lounge mark 3 LCR review, it was obvious that I was shall we say, excited well if you’re wondering what’s changed since that review, I’m happy to report not a dang thing. Well, ok, one thing has changed: lounge audio launched a new product which is their lounge audio copla, while many penny-pinchers will do just fine running the music-hall directly into the sphinx, with the included moving magnet cart. I wanted to add one more element into this review. For those that want to know what happens when you move up the line with a step-up amp like the copla priced at only 270 bucks, all we need is a decent moving, coil cartridge, which leads me to mention. Orda phone knows cartridges and when the red quintet hit the market, there were many reasons to get excited.


First of all, this guy is barely north of 300 bucks without standing versatility being its goal, while adding a touch of warmth. The red quintet pairs well with just about anything out there paving the way for greater detail, retrieval that moving coil cartridges are known for it’s going to be cool, to see where we land with the added expense and whether or not it’s actually worth it. Oh, a pair of speakers, whoo-hoo okay, we could do the sound, Sami A’s. I love those to death. Do It Yourself?


We could do the XLS encores from gr research. Those are fantastic, Andrew Jones, yeah. Let’S have a chat, mr

Jones you’re up to bat, standing 14 inches high, eight and a half inches wide and 10 inches deep. The ELAC b6 is offer a two-way bass. Reflex design utilizing a six and a half inch woven aramid fiber cone with an oversized magnet in a one inch cloth, dome tweeter with a custom deep spheroid waveguide spec wise.


The B sixes are rated at 6 ohms, with a sensitivity of 87 decibels on the back. Ile AK makes way for any kind of speaker wire imaginable, with 5 way binding posts and comes in a black brushed vinyl cabinet for a clean. You know what let me rant for a second I’m going to go. Freaking bonkers. If I read one more review that mentions one of the downsides or cons to the e Lacs is their typical black box?


Guys take a look at the speakers. These are hardly a typical black box. The covering on the eel axe has a nice vinyl feel to them and combined with the silver rings on the front yeah. They look great okay rant over. Let’S get this show on the road as I drop the needle on madelung prouse.


Half the perfect. You guys don’t actually listen to this kind of music. Do you? I don’t think so. Let’S have some fun today: dropping the needle on a CD C’s back in black and cranking, the snot out of the rogue Sphinx.


I was instantly engaged with seriously deep bass in a meeting musical mid-range. One of the reasons I pick the Sphinx to pair with the e lack b6 is for this review is because they complement each other so well to my ears. The Sphinx offers a tone that I would describe as truth-telling and unforgiving when the music calls, for it. Also, while the top-end is pretty darn good at the asking price, I have found it to be a tad harsh when paired with bright or forward sounding speakers coming from a lot of experience with class the amplification long before I start a new record day, I can Tell you for those that had bad experiences with mushy, top-end or weird sounding cymbals with older Class D designs. That’S not what I’m hearing in the Sphinx!


If anything, the hype ex modules, combined with the 12 au sevens, lay down the framework of a ballsy and aggressive sounding presentation softening the blow. I would encourage those hitting the check out button to take into consideration a number of factors, starting with your source and ending with your speakers. Mark O’Brien doesn’t seem all that interested in selling colored amplifiers and having hurt and owned a number of his designs, I will attest. The rogue sound remains true to the music signal bottom line. If you want gear that lies to you about how the recording actually sounds or you are looking for campfire warmth, the Rogue Sphinx 2 isn’t going to win you over anytime soon.


On the other hand, if you find your system sounding boring, mushy and feel like you could use a bit more detail in your music sessions. Well then, you know what to do from the moment. I heard that ELAC b6 is. I knew these speakers are going to pry open the ear canals of so many newcomers to hi-fi and stuff something awesome inside telling up the positive comments on the b6 at, with 81 % of 85 customer ratings being a perfect five-star score, it’s safe to say You don’t need a new record day endorsement to justify the purchase.


The b6 is offer unparalleled performance at their price point, and if you are looking for good, actually know great speakers on a budget, then you should just buy them. You will thank me later letting the cat out of the bag right away. I have a love and hate relationship with the B sixes base on one hand, it’s fat, punchy and deep is all get-out. Newcomers to hi-fi will love it and it will be the first thing that freaks people out when they don’t know what to expect from a serious hi-5 speaker. On the other hand, the B sixes can sound booming when you slam them back into a corner.


Now, look: let’s not play the blame game and go crazy on Andruw Jones, and it actually leads me to a celebration about the design newcomers to hi-fi. Welcome to proper speaker placement. If you decide to buy the e lacks, don’t put them in the corner. In fact, grab a tape measure and start with a good 12 inches away from the front wall to the back of the speaker, see that port back there. This will give it some room to breathe if side walls are in the picture, keep them a few feet away if possible, as well toss on a track with repetitive bass and listen carefully.


What you want to hear is not just deep bass, but you want to hear actual notes being played. I prefer a stand-up bass for this exercise and Ray Brown. Solar-Energy fits the bill nicely as you listen to whatever music you decided to play, pay attention to the lowest bass and, more importantly, listen for the mid bass in low mid-range. Do all the notes sound, pretty balanced if not try pulling the e Lacs further into the room and listen again I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts, the bass sounds even better and better. Doesn’T it well well?


Well, you are welcome free upgrades start with speaker placement and as good as the ELAC be sixes are. They are no exception to following the guidelines on getting good sound, so I ended up about three feet away from the front wall pretty aggressive. But for me every single time that I pull a speaker away from that front wall, I end up with a more natural soundstage and also with the e lacks toe them in. I typically don’t toe in hardly at all, and when I do it’s, not all that aggressive with the e lacks feel free to do it. That top end is never going to sound offensive or forward toe them, and trust me on this one guys for me celebrating the most salient attribute of the ELAC B sixes begins with their driver integration from top to bottom.


The b6 is sound like music, and rarely do I find myself going yep there. It is there’s that darn tweeter or okay, okay, that will for better stop that barking nonsense before I throw it out the freakin window. No for many listeners, these speakers will sing with one voice in considering the low price. This is something rare to find the top end of the ELAC B. Sixes are smooth, and while they don’t offer the most detail of any speaker, I’ve heard in this price range.


They do provide enough to satisfy, especially when paired with the right gear, when dropping the needle on Ben Howard’s every Kingdom and checking out old pine. I was greeted with all the familiar texture and tone. I know so well on this track and while some of the intricate details were tough to get a beat on, I was more than satisfied with this level of treble performance for listeners that, like the sound of snakes, hissing in your music selections and tend to steer In the direction of forward or ultra detailed top-end, you will probably find the b6 is a little tame. I remember the first time hearing these speakers at Newport last year I leaned over and said to Andrew yeah man. These are really smooth with a grin.


He replied. Well, yes, but there is a good bit of detail and folks that pretty much sums up where I’ve landed on the b6 is they are, in fact quite smooth. And yes, mr

Jones, they also offer a good bit of detail. Look if you want meat on the bones and plenty of it. Sometimes you just need to spend the money in order to get it.


Take the HAR bethe p3 es. Ours is a fantastic example priced around 2,000 bucks. The p3 show off exactly what the human voice can sound like when being played through a speaker. The fact that the eel acts don’t hang their head in shame when comparing to the p3 is comical when you consider the difference in price. While I find the HAR best mid-range, more refined, I think the B sixes could win over those that are looking for a bit more dynamics throughout the mid band.


Also, not everyone has 2,000 bucks laying around and it’s my job to reassure them know you aren’t missing out on another 17 hundred dollars worth of hi-fi by hitting the checkout button, as I played a number of tracks that showed off female and male vocals, I kept Coming back to the fact that anything pouring from the B sixes sounded superb, all too often with cheap speakers, mid range can sound super thin and vocals sound unnatural. In contrast, the B sixes mid-range hands over a golden ticket for those in line to hear what world-class mid band sounds like at a fraction of the cost. Alright, mr

Jones you’re not going to love what I’m going to say here. So let me toss out a positive opening. Disclaimer the base on the ELAC b6 is is perfect for those getting into hi-fi.


For the very first time I remember working for some audio retailers in a previous life and the customers would always I mean always pick the speakers on the dumb light-up selectors that simply had the most bass. I believe if the elac be sixes we’re on the shelves at your local Best Buy or whatever shops around you, the B sixes would outsell all the others ten to one based on this premise alone. To be blunt, the base on the B sixes can be borderline. Bhoomi into the experienced here, it’s pretty obvious now getting this out of the way. There are a number of things people can do to relax.


The bottom end is described in the previous section covering speaker setup. So, let’s not freak out about it besides Andrew could have voiced these with thinner bass, and you know what I think it would have been. A huge mistake. Listen take a look around at the current state of hi-fi and tell me that it’s going well yeah what the market needs is a wake-up call and the base on the b6 is is a fantastic way to shake things up. I remember my first hi-fi system and when bombs dropped, I couldn’t care less about how accurate the bass was.


I was just excited that I could actually hear it. Considering this, I listen to all kinds of music with the B sixes and in my opinion the bass is manageable enough to work in just about every situation when placement is done. Well, alright, folks, at this point we have a really nice sounding system that would cost south of two thousand bucks. What I want to do now is turn over one last stone and see what happens when we upgrade the cartridge and take the lounge copla for a spin. The lounge audio copla is an interesting take on traditional step up amps that works with many moving coil cartridges by adding more gain to the signal.


With the twist of the knob, you can also dial in loading options to your liking, which impacts the tone. Nearly identical in looks to the wonderful sounding lounge mark 3. We love so much. This little box takes listeners to new sonic possibilities with the turn of a dial. You are effectively doing two things at one time.


You are changing the impedance load of the cartridge, while increasing the gain of the copla lounge audios website makes it clear that any cartridge sitting between 40 to 300 ohms should play nice with the copla. It will also work with any kind of integrated, moving magnet section. Like we have in the Sphinx or better yet with the mark 3 from lounge, so that is exactly what we are going to do with the quintet installed. Look. I wish more than anything in the world that no matter what you decide to upgrade when you get into high five, that everything is just going to work out.


The truth is, that’s not the way things work, and I can assure you that at some point you might buy something that doesn’t play nice with the rest of the rig case in point, while the music-hall 2.2 got us really far in this review. That counterweight is never going to have the mass needed to hold up the quintet. Does this mean you need to rush out and buy a VPI Avenger heck? No, there are plenty of options out there and if you need some recommendations, you know where to find me.


I tossed on dire straits brother-in-arms and went straight for the dial on the copla Robert Morin of lounge audio calls this feature trans impedance. I call it a knob packed full of sonic possibilities to the far left with the gain at 9 decibels. Recordings will sound on the thinner side of the audio spectrum and I’d suspect, depending on the cart being used, your mileage will vary as you increase the gain and decrease the impedance. You essentially take a slab of sonic muscle and apply it to the thin recording, giving it body and depth, because the ELAC b6s have more bass. Muscle than most people will know what to do with this, knob came in handy by allowing me to tailor exactly what I wanted to pull from the b6 is and apply the tone I was in the mood for the order.


Foam red quintet proved to be more than a capable moving coil cartridge running through our rig featuring the lounge copla. I could clearly hear where this affordable tracker could be in game for so many listeners. While the quintet is not the most detailed cartridge, I’ve heard it traded squeaky, clean extension for a richer sounding experience that worked well with the rest of the rig. So the versatile copla brought the best out of this entry-level cart and forgave any shortcomings all at the same time. Top end extension was clear enough to render fine line details without sounding harsh or bright and with the smoother sounding elac B sixes.


This was a fantastic way to bring a tad more spark to the party. The mid-range was meaty when I wanted, and with the twist of a dial on the copla, more linear and transparent, sounding when desired dynamics and slam offered by the quintet reached into bass, notes and yanked out the best bottom of the barrel. Octaves had to offer in a smaller modest system, easily versatile enough to be used for any music genre that I can think of. Fans of rock will be rewarded the most, as I think, the quintet leans more to that classic wall of sound that I described in the Macintosh c52 review yeah. Anything ranging from the hoo to Neil Young would certainly sound right with the red quintet.


You know if this was my first budget system. I would have been hard-pressed to find a good reason to upgrade anything at all fun. No, it’s much more than fun its cheerful, yet cheap. With all things consider in the world of hi-fi, I mean guys this is it. While there are many more affordable options out there – and I have yet to hear them all and with the swap of the Sphinx to something else, you could even bring the bill down more.


But my goodness, this system just plain, rocks cheap and cheerful hi-fi dang straight. It’S never sounded so good. That is until now


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