What is your system - classical and folk.

As a beginner, I would be interested in the equipment you all have purchased, if your favourite music is classical(both instrumental and choral), folk and any traditional style of music. That's what I listen to and it would be good to know what those of you with more experience have spent money on. It seems there would be a difference in requirements from those who listen to mostly rock.

Rock, R&B, Blues.

i might get yelled at for saying this, my impression is if you mostly listen to rock you dont have to spend a whole lot to get the best system for the genre. If you look at old posts about ROCK speakers, you see alot of reccommendations for LOW to MID-FI because they do rock real well. Equipment that seems to associate with rock is Klipsch, JBL, Cerwin Vega, and the like, not speakers like Puppys, Viennas, Martin Logans, etc etc.

Gotta spend a bit more if you want to hear good R&B, Blues and Jazz, there are more accoustical aspects and it generally is generally a more clear sound, so it shows the weaknesses in your system more than rock does.

Classical is where you gotta spend alot. there are alot of subtle nuances you want to hear.

Think of this, when you listen to rock, you might not really want it to sound like a concert. Most rock sounds better once it has been through some tuning equipment anyways.
Classical, you want not only to hear each of the 600,000 musicians, but also the accoustics of the place they are playing at, its alot harder to recreate this, thus usually needs better equipment.

blues seems to be somewhat in between.
In my opinion good rock is just as hard to acheive as good classical. It all depends on the recording. Pink Floyd has some sweet recordings.

Personally, I listen to everything except classical. I just can't get into it. You can click on my system below.

Looks like a slick rig man.

Maybe i have been stereotyping, but i got the impression that Tube amps were normally used with rigs that want to play classical. I hear (no personal experience on this) that ML's are not the greatest for rock. Ive heard MLs before, but never with good hard rock and roll.

How do you like them for rock? Also, how well does your tube amp drive them? i would have suspected that 50WPC would be too little.

then again, i dont know much about tube amps, ive never heard one. Im looking to get some GMA Europas here in a few months, and im thinking about getting some used Conrad Johnson to power them. Either a Sonographe, or maybe tube Im tempted to go all Tube.

Yeah, you are right with rock, there are some very good recordings out there, and it always helps to have a good system, better than what im using right now.
I guess what i mean is if you can do it, sport 10k for a good stereo system. but those 50,000 rigs for Rock might be overkill is what im saying, as it might show the weaknesses in the recordings, albeit, some are very very good, but alot of them are somewhat crappy as well. I just dont think that MOST rock demands a very high budget system to get the best sound from the recording...

So you like rock and use Tube gear.... were you a little bit hesitant at first to do go with tubes? When it comes to tube gear, i really dont know my butt from a speaker port.

man i wish i could hear a good tube system.
I listen to mostly classical, followed by folk, followed by a little jazz, rock and techno/electronic. My rule of thumb on buying a system is find the gear you like the best in your price range and enjoy the music! You can not put a price tag on a big grin while listening to your favorite music and that's all there is to it. You will notice not two people here at audiogon have the same system or more then a few of the same components. Its the journey that can be nearly as much fun as the end result. Just try not to be drawn into the gear to much thus losing sight of why you are doing this- the music! «to see my voyage click on my system its where I have ended up»

If you are new to this, take a step back and start reading the archives here. There's so much information at your finger tips just waiting to be found. Find some leads and go out and listen, try to meet other audiophiles in your area. Save the most you can afford to and get good deals on the equipment you find you like(here at audiogon, you can find nearly anything you want in very good condition used). Just don't rush or you will make mistakes that will cost you a lot of money- and that ruins the fun in a big hurry!
If you are taking chamber music going down to cello-like bass then you can get beautiful systems without doing the full montey.

My tastes run from rock & roll to full blown orchestral classics. In my experience, getting maximum liftoff with Stravinsky's Firebird Suite requires big iron (tubes) and full range speakers.

If anybody knows how to do it on the cheap I would like to know.

PS Ain't no way to get by The Rolling Stones' "Get Yer Ya Ya's Out" without substantial audio power, either.

Like you we listen to acoustic music, non-amplified human voices and non-amplified instruments, mostly classical. The goal for most who love that kind of music is a convincing reproduction of a live concert. No two ways around it, this is difficult.

I entirely agree with Slappy (!) about the relative difficulties of reproducing the different types of music. The more processed the music (eg, pop and most rock), the less critical the system. The more naturally acoustic the music, and the larger the forces in play, the more critical the system. Large scale orchestra + chorus + soloists is the toughest of all, and will show up ANY flaws in a system.

One mandatory first requirement is a good recording using minimalist techniques. Recording engineers who feed a forest of microphones through a 48 track mixer will never recreate a natural acoustic. That's patently impossible with so much technology in the signal path. So search out recordings by engineers/companies who understand that for acoustic music, less is more. Mapleshade, Analogue Productions and Reference Recordings come to mind, and of course the old stuff like RCA Living Stereo and Mercury Living Prescence.

We spent a large number of dollars (for us) seeking musical satisfaction, which we only achieved very recently. Until last month something was always wanting or just a bit wrong. That has just changed. Click on my system to see where we are now.

I don't know why you chose to post this in the "speakers" forum, had to put it somewhere I guess, but if you're just starting out I urge you to think and work and buy from the source forward, not from the speakers backward. You may come to discover, as we did, that acoustic music is most satisfying when your source material is as close as possible to the original event. The best thing is a live concert. An analog session tape would be second best. Since you probably won't ever hear either of those in your home, the next best thing is an analog copy of the analog master tape, ie, an LP. Give serious thought to finding someone with a good analog front end and inviting yourself over for a listen ;) You may be astonished at what is possible in musical playback, if you're willing to work at it.

Hope this helps, enjoy the music!
I mostly listen to classical music nowadays and when I was putting my system together some years back, I always came back to Spendors when auditioning speakers.

Sure, other speakers had cleaner highs, better bass, imaged better, had better soundstage, what have you, but no other speaker had the midrange magic of the Spendors.

The instruments sounded tonally, timbrally and harmonically correct through the Spendors and Spendors always sounded musical.

Mate it with a decent tube amp/preamp and you'll be in musical heaven (sonic heaven be damned! =)).
Follow his advice and you can either save money and / or produce the best sound you can afford. His comments should be the mission statement for a hifidelity shop.