Firstly I don't know what I am talking about at all here. I have took inspiration from Zero Fidelity channel on youtube with these questions and answers below.
I'm hoping people here can provide advice on things to consider on a first system and what DAC or Integrated AMPs and speaker manufactures I should research more and go demo.
1. Is this system just for you, or will others listen as well?
It will be just for me to listen to 99% of the time, sitting in the lounge opposite it. However, will likely turn it on when cooking, eating or chors like ironing.
2. What kind of room will this system be in?
Speaker Layout by Dean Beamish, on Flickr
carpetted flooring, 1990s build UK house, plaster internal walls. Some canvas pictures hang from walls. Speakers would be near foot traffic from hallway, through the lounge into the Kitchen/Diner. Not many other options for placement. Will need to be placed close to wall and can't be pulled into the room much as this will impede traffic into the kitchen.
3. Go over aesthetic preferences (if you have any)
None as such, I am open minded. As you can see from the drawing I live in a typical UK house so not looking for anything overpowering or dominating physically. I like the thought of Larsen speakers which can be placed directly against the wall.
I think realisitically the room lends it self to bookshelf speakers or small compact floorstands?
4. Talk about general listening habits
At the moment its just PC > Topping D50 DAC > Schiit Modi 3 headphone amp > Hifiman massdrop headphones.
I am kind new to music and still discovering genres I like the drilling into Artists and "like other artists" on Tidal/Spotify.
The trouble is I easily get distracted and either artist skip a lot or end up on youtube or with 50 web browser tabs open and not truely listening.
I am looking for this to be relaxing and not a techie bent hobby. I have enough of that with work and photography / gaming outside work.
I am looking at this to be about music discovery and enjoyment rather than system specs and stats measurements.
5. Talk about the kind of music that you like
I was a teenage in the 1990s and grew up with Oasis, Blur, Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, bands like that and from 2000s into things like Arcade Fire and Arctic Monkeys, Rival Sons, Dirty Honey, Richard Ashcroft, The Arcs, The Black Keys, Slaves, The Temperance Movement, Wolfmother.
I am very much on a journey of discovery, certainly not an audiophile. This is the level I am at - I recently discovered Led Zeppling and loved it more than my Indie/Britpop stuff, they were amazing. In my search for similar Artists I am now working through Rush, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top (love these bands) and will then look at Pink Floyd.
I have found a lot modern and classic electirc blues artists like Kingfish, Howlin Wolf, Fantastic Negrito, Guitar Pete, Joe Bonamassa and Stevie Ray Vaughan as a few examples.
Will I like - Jazz, Folk Classical? I don't know yet as I need to discover these genres..
This is where I am at, I am totally new!
6. Features. What do you need to connect?
I have a raspberry Pi3 and a HifiBerry Digi+ pro I need to digout and will use that as the source for my first system.
I have been buying CDs from charity shops and converting them to FLAC using Exact Audio Copy.
Will look to subscribe to Qobuz. At this stage I think I am happy with CD quality material. Would want the ability to decode 24/192. MQA I could take or leave if the DAC/AMP sounds 'great' that is paramount.
CD Transport - not sure I need it, happy to manually convert on PC and store on my synology box.
7. Talk about your preference in sound (if you know it).
I don't really know as my experience is incredibly
limited. If I was pushed now I would use words like fullness, smoothness, naturalness.
I want some detail and clarity but for it to be fun, enjoyable and not shrill and headache enducing or boomy at the bottom end.
8. Lastly, mention your budget.
Happy to go used, particulry buying from seasoned people on the classifieds here.
Would consider passive or active solutions.
Budget up to £2 -3k max, obviously if it can be done used for under £1000 then brilliant, I don't have to spend £2 - 3k.
Is this too much considering I know little about music and never had a proper system before?