YOU CAN'T GO WRONG
It is easy to spend a great deal of money and create a great sounding audio system. It is
also easy to spend a lot of money and end up with something that sonically, falls far
short of perfection. Our objective at Newform is to work with you so whatever you spend
results in the most musical system possible for the price. And with our Ribbon
loudspeakers and even a modest receiver, entry level musical performance is
In this discussion our humble but highly biassed opinion is evident throughout: whatever the future holds in terms of electronic and digital advances, the acoustics of listening rooms and the hearing of humans will continue to dictate that the ideal loudspeaker for most home situations will be a tall, mono-polar, wide dispersion linesource planar design. Newform Research Ribbon loudspeakers would, of course, be the most advanced of the current designs.
We advocate buying strong performing components and always leaving your options open because it is always possible to buy better sounding equipment. We will maintain that stance for most people but there is a strategic change which comes in the form of the Tact system.
When you have the full Tact system, it probably isn't possible to buy better performance. Very few people are prepared to spend $18,000* on what is probably the best sound achievable in stereo hifi but it must be said that some people have spent over $250,000 with less realistic results. The reason is the fulfilment of the "digital chain" which we have been touting for many years.
Well, the full digital chain is here now. It just happens to be expensive but that will change. In 5 or maybe 8 years attainable systems are going to perform as the Tact system does now. Maybe, given the inevitable improvements, they will perform even better. The point is, the future is clear.
Few people can afford to scrap everything and go Tact. It is a new way of thinking with a new method of operation and very little in the way of plug and play component swapping flexibility. Most people want to take a deliberate path of upgrading their existing system one component at a time. For those without unlimited funds, this is the best approach.
Our advice is to understand all the options from a base level and then develop a building block strategy.
The first level of performance is a mid-fi $400 receiver from Pioneer, Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo or Marantz and say a pair of R630s. Very nice sound for $2000. But make sure that receiver has pre-outs for a better quality stereo amplifier. Then you can add a Bryston 3B SST** and take a huge step forward in sound quality.
If you aren't working on home theater, a Bryston B60 integrated amp and a pair of R630s or R645s form a distinctly high end system for under $3500.
Upgrades to existing systems can take to form of better amplifiers, cables and crossover components. The system starts to change and grow more complex as we move on to biamplification and electronic and DSP crossovers. All of these changes can be counted on to produce distinct improvements in sound quality with biamping and electronic (soon to be DSP) crossovers being the most dramatic.
Note that with biamping and DSP crossovers, the system architecture begins to resemble the digital chain template of DSP crossovers feeding an amplifier for each driver in a loudspeaker system.
This is the best you can do with a conventional system and the cost can be held to under $8000 with a pair of Bryston 3B SSTs, R645s and a Behringer or BSS Audio DSP crossover.
Subwoofers, surround sound etc will drive up the cost dramatically especially if you attempt to maintain the sound quality of the main stereo pair throughout the system. But $8000 will get you a world class hifi stereo system.
There are a few rules for buying the right components for your hifi audio - home theater system.
Make one change at a time.
Don't invest in digital futures.
Invest in substance not glitter. Alright, if you could be mesmerized by marketing hype, you wouldn't have gotten this far.
Below are a number of categories of components. Each section has a small overview. Products which are stellar performers and great values are listed. IF they suit your application, you can't go wrong buying them. Newform Research sells some of the items below, but in most cases, you have to go through other sources.
YOU CAN'T GO WRONG
HIFI BUYING ADVICE
PICKING THE RIGHT LOUDSPEAKER
SYSTEM BUILDING: A PROGRESSIVE APPROACH
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