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£1200 to spend on speakers and amp

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AL13N

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Nov 29, 2009
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BigH said:
subharmonic said:
Regarding the Arcam - I've also read elsewhere that the FMJ18 is very similar and can be had for half the price.
As you say the Arcam 18 is half price in fact you can get it for £300 inc 5 year warranty.
As he wants to remain with Arcam and you're getting a good deal, I'd say go for it.

This would leave the bulk of your budget to spend on speakers.

You could start by contacting Arcam and see what they recommend. Also, as mentioned by BigH, you could focus on speaker companies and dealers that offer a home demo.
 

subharmonic

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Apr 15, 2013
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Home demo would be ideal - if we can get something sorted out with a local shop.

AFAIK most of the components we're looking at are stocked by Superfi - but I'm unsure of the shops allow for home demo.
 

subharmonic

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Apr 15, 2013
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Here's the thing - us "enthusiasts" wouldn't be that put out, and would see the value in a home demo option from speaker manufacturers - such as Mordaunt-Short, or whoever - but I reckon he would just find it all too much like a pain in the ass - you know, having to pack them up in the event that they didn't suit (I mean, I would def try and sync deliveries to ensure I could A + B (and if possible C) test the components)!!!

This is why I'm trying to brain pick here.

I personally think the only reason he likes the idea of an Arcam amp, is because that's what his old one is and he likes it - it's quite simple - and he doesn't have a lot of patience - not because he's actually made any critical assessment of whatever is out there, or even that he has stacks of experience with Arcam gear.

It's his money I suppose - I just don't want to see him buying a lemon - and would rather, much rather, that he got the absolute best bang for his buck - regardless of manufacturer.

I tend to think that in order to get the best value, you need to be prepared to swap brands - you need to experience the stuff - scout out for advice, and then ultimately make a decision. If you've done your homework, and put in the legwork, you very very rarely get buyers remorse.

Some things maybe aren't so easyy to swap from - eg smart phones, or computer systems or whatever - but given the relative simplicity of audio gear, it shouldn't be a massive deal going from one great brand to another. For the most part, user interface design (ie knob location, dials, text screens and whatever) is fairly well established with amplifiers and the like - so making the leap from say Arcam to Yamaha, or Rega, or whoever won't be that tough - it's not going to take hours, days or weeks to adjust. Menu systems can be a minefield from a user perspective - but most amps are fairly simplistic anyway.

I also don't think the sonic signature of his existing system is such that a move to a non Arcam amp would be a big problem, or that other speakers such as what we've been talking about above, wouldn't be acceptable to him. I mean, his Arcam is over 20 years old being an 80s unit AFAIK. (Any ideas when it was launched by the way - wiki only mentions the A60)

Here's another way of looking at the issue I have - ruling out home demos and such.

If you had £1200 to £1400 (because overnight the budget went up) - what would you buy in an amp / speaker configuration - and with this budget - would a CD player and or DAC add more value to his set-up than putting the money towards the speakers and amp?

I think his existing CD is an Aiwa XC 700 deck by the way. (1 BIT D/A CONVERTOR, OPTICAL DIGITAL OUTPUT, 8 TIMES OVER SAMPLING, QUICK PEAK SEARCH)
 

BigH

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Dec 29, 2012
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I think a newer cd player maybe a good idea something like the Marantz 6004 at £225 should be a step up. For Arcam I think the A18 at £300 is best BFB. Speakers not sure if he wants floorstanders best let others advise. But I think the Tannoys, Epos or MAs would be OK. I would buy form somewhere you cam return if does not work like Sevenoaks or Richer Sounds, I don't know SuperHi policy on returns.

Think the Arcam amp must be about 1990, I have the Aplha 3 which is 1994.
 

altruistic.lemon

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Jul 25, 2011
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I'd stick with speakers and amp. Can't get beyond Creek and Epos for the money judging from an evening at a mate's place. Not convinced a DAC will do much to the sound. There's not a world of difference between my £30 DAC and my £270 DAC. There is a difference, but you'd probably need a top system to hear it.
 

BigH

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Dec 29, 2012
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altruistic.lemon said:
I'd stick with speakers and amp. Can't get beyond Creek and Epos for the money judging from an evening at a mate's place. Not convinced a DAC will do much to the sound. There's not a world of difference between my £30 DAC and my £270 DAC. There is a difference, but you'd probably need a top system to hear it.
Which Creek and Epos did you hear?
 

altruistic.lemon

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Jul 25, 2011
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Both Epic and Elan 30 floorstanders. Good question but: have to admit, bit of an Epos fan, had two systems with them in Oz. Really underrated now for some reason. Same with Creek amps, started off with one.
 

BigH

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Dec 29, 2012
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altruistic.lemon said:
Both Epic and Elan 30 floorstanders. Good question but: have to admit, bit of an Epos fan, had two systems with them in Oz. Really underrated now for some reason. Same with Creek amps, started off with one.
Will be hearing the Creek A50 and Epos Epic 5s on Saturday but hard to find dealers that do them. The Creek A50 sounds good from the reviews, pity WHF did not inc. it in their group test.
 

philipjohnwright

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Jun 26, 2009
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As you say, keep it simple. If he likes Arcam then stick with it. I think a new CD player would help, so why not stick with Arcam. and get the dealer to recommend speakers - in fact get the speakers on a 'return if he doesn't like them basis'.

Or a variation on that theme - go for this from Richer Sounds - A18 and 17 with Tannoy DC6T's for £1400 all in. Bottom one on the listing - some of the other options might be of interest as well. http://www.richersounds.com/search/a18
 

altruistic.lemon

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Jul 25, 2011
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BigH said:
altruistic.lemon said:
Both Epic and Elan 30 floorstanders. Good question but: have to admit, bit of an Epos fan, had two systems with them in Oz. Really underrated now for some reason. Same with Creek amps, started off with one.
Will be hearing the Creek A50 and Epos Epic 5s on Saturday but hard to find dealers that do them. The Creek A50 sounds good from the reviews, pity WHF did not inc. it in their group test.
Yup, the A50 could be a bit special. Some interesting comments here: http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?t=136711

Seems John Westlake (MDAC) had a bit to do with other components in the product line.
 

richardw42

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May 2, 2010
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For an amp. What about a Yamaha AV receiver. Plenty of power. Digital inputs so you can utilise its DAC with the current CD. My Yamaha has a phono input, I'm assuming most do.

Depending on the model he chooses you could have a look at the Monitor Audio GX stand mounts.

I used a Yamaha RXV3067 with Monitor Audio GS10s and it sound pretty impressive.

Ok the 3067 on its own was more than the budget, but the cheaper Yams aren't that far behind.
 

subharmonic

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Apr 15, 2013
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I'm not averse to an AV amp - really it's just getting the right one.

Given that Monitor Audio could be an option - how do the BX series stack up against the RX?

No contest?

Is there any other speaker options we should be considering - something else I've not come across in this bracket?

So far we 've got...

Monitor Audio - RX6

Monitor Audio -BX6

Aelite 3

Tannoy DCT6 Revolution

Focal 726V

Epos Epic 5

KEF LS50

Mordaunt-Short Mezzo

DB-1S+
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Multiple inputs, possible Spotify use in the future, various bits of kit, then I'll suggest Onkyo's TX-8050, although the phono stage is slightly weaker than the rest of the setup. Terrific amp, works well with music and movies and comes with not only 4 digital inputs that can be independently configured, but also network connectivity and has Spotify onboard, although you need to setup an account. Probably costs around £300-350 these days and will partner some good speakers easily enough. Works well with the Tannoys I use below, but you could also look at the Tannoy DC6 with stands or the DC6T. The Onkyo is an unassuming black box but delivers well beyond what its appearance would otherwise suggest.

http://www.uk.onkyo.com/en/products/tx-8050-43158.html
 

matt49

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Apr 7, 2013
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subharmonic said:
I'm not averse to an AV amp - really it's just getting the right one.

Given that Monitor Audio could be an option - how do the BX series stack up against the RX?

No contest?

Is there any other speaker options we should be considering - something else I've not come across in this bracket?

So far we 've got...

Monitor Audio - RX6

Monitor Audio -BX6

Aelite 3

Tannoy DCT6 Revolution

Focal 726V

Epos Epic 5

KEF LS50

Mordaunt-Short Mezzo

DB-1S+
I listened to the Dynaudio Excite X12s this morning. Very fine: good separation, rhythm, sparkling top end. £710.
 

BigH

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Dec 29, 2012
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A few people have complained about Monitor Audio - RX6 being harsh sounding so careful matching maybe needed. There were some Focal Floorstanders at half price a few weeks ago, not sure if they are still available. Others to consider are KEF and Mission FS.
 

tomlinscote

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Feb 12, 2013
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I have heard reports that the RX6s can sound harsh but I have tried them with an MF A3.5 and a Roksan Kandy 3 power amp using a SONOS connect (ZP90) and they sound great, no exoperience with the bronzes though

Tommo
 

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