£2000 budget for a new system

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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A friend of mine has just inherited some money and wants to buy his first proper hifi. He would like to keep the budget below £2000 but is willing to go a bit higher if he hears something really special. He has lots of CD's which he will rip to a PC and use this as the source.

Here's a short list of what we're going to listen to before he makes a desicion. Is there's anything else you think is worth considering and any other advice you can offer is welcomed too.

Option 1 - Naim UnitiQute or Cyrus Streamline used with some passive speakers such as the Dynaudio DM 2/6.

Option 2 - Audiolab 8200CDQ used as a DAC and preamp running some active speakers such as the Dynaudio BM 6A Mk2 monitors.

Option 3 - AVI AMD9T active speakers with a sub (either the 10" AVI sub or something a bit cheaper).
 

Azam

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Nov 19, 2008
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Steve - have listened to both the Cyrus and Naim - Cyrus for me every time as it sounds better: more dynamic, better soundstage and not laid back (which is what I prefer). Good Luck.
 

Azam

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Steve - have listened to both the Cyrus and Naim - Cyrus for me every time as it sounds better: more dynamic, better soundstage and not laid back (which is what I prefer). Good Luck.
 

Kevin Stephens

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Apr 16, 2009
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Musical Fidelity M3 amp ex demo £800 (rrp £1,000)

Musical Fidelity M1 DAC £400

Monitor Audio Silver RX6 £800
 

altruistic.lemon

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I wouldn't stuff around, you want something you ain't going to change in a long, long time.

Nait 5i plus some Magnepan MG12QRs will keep you happy for decades. None of the speakers mentioned so far come close to the Magnepans. They disappear, leaving you in the room with the artists. Astonishing, or, as we say, pretty bloody good.

You'll need a decent DAC, and the Cambridge AUdio one is hard to beat. Yes, this system'll be a couple of hundred over budget, but well worth it.

If the maggies are too big, and they need space, try Harbeth.
 
T

the record spot

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Traditional separates: the XTZ system.

Active: Genelec 8040a and a source / DAC.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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Does he want the best sound possible for £2000, or does he want something with high WAF that sounds acceptable?

How big is his listening room?
 

steve_1979

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lindsayt said:
Does he want the best sound possible for £2000, or does he want something with high WAF that sounds acceptable?
Sound quality is the top priority but good looks would be a bonus. I've asked what type of sound he wants but he doesn't know yet. He likes a bit of bass so long as it isn't boomy though.

lindsayt said:
How big is his listening room?
About 5 x 6 metres
 

lindsayt

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If sound quality really is the top priority, for his generous sized room and him wanting good bass he should get:

Speakers: Altec Model 19, EV Sentry III, Klipschorn, Yamaha NSM1000, Bozak Symphony or Concert Grand, Dahlquist DQ-10, Hartley Concertmaster, Goodmans Magister etc etc etc

Amp to suit speakers, or vica versa. Probably looking at something like an A&R A60 to get him going.

Modded Behringer DAC for £250 new.

There's a chance that he'll find some special speakers for £500, allowing him to get a really nice sounding system for under £1000. Just do a few (UK and German) eBay searches and Google anything that looks interesting for more info.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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Thanks for the advice guys.

He ended up going for an Arcam rDac with a Marantz PM6003 amplifier and some B&W 685 speakers. The total cost including stands and cables was just under £1000 so well below budget. For the price it's a fantastic sounding system and he just couldn't see the need to spend any more.
 
A

Anonymous

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If sound quality is the main issue, AVI ADM9T (uses the same DAC as some £12k NAIM Box), with AVI Sub and SB Touch. No foo cables or audiophoolery, just sound engineering principles. This combination will likely stay with him forever. He will struggle to find a better combination at any price. Do some internet searching and you'll find many owners who have given up way more expensive kit for the ADM's.
 

Lo Fi

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Jul 13, 2011
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If I were spending £ 2000 it would Rega Brio R, Audiolab 8200CD and Monitor Audio RX6s.

I have heard the Creek and Rega Brio R and could not find any difference IMO
 

CnoEvil

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steve_1979 said:
Thanks for the advice guys.

He ended up going for an Arcam rDac with a Marantz PM6003 amplifier and some B&W 685 speakers. The total cost including stands and cables was just under £1000 so well below budget. For the price it's a fantastic sounding system and he just couldn't see the need to spend any more.
I think this particular race has been run. :read:
 

shooter

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steve_1979 said:
Option 2 - Audiolab 8200CDQ used as a DAC and preamp running some active speakers such as the Dynaudio BM 6A Mk2 monitors.
I like this option. Havent heard it, only because i cant get myself to pull the plug on CD's yet.
 

steve_1979

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CnoEvil said:
I think this particular race has been run. :read:
Yes he's already bought the Arcam rDac, Marantz PM6003 and B&W 685's and is very happy with them.

We did listen to some more expensive systems which did sound better but he didn't think that there was enough of an improvement for it to be worth spending the extra £1000.

Azam said:
Steve - have listened to both the Cyrus and Naim - Cyrus for me every time as it sounds better: more dynamic, better soundstage and not laid back (which is what I prefer). Good Luck.
We both thought that the Cyrus just had the edge in terms of sound quality but the Naim does come very close. The Naim's also £200 cheaper and is better looking.

Windypopper said:
If sound quality is the main issue, AVI ADM9T with AVI Sub and SB Touch.
Unfortunately we never got the chance to listen to the legendary AVI's which was a shame. We did listen to a few pro audio active speakers though (Dynaudio, Genelec etc.) We listened to them together with a very nice TC Electronic BMC-2 pre amp/DAC. I thought that the active speakers were more detailed and generally better sounding than the passive speakers but they do seem to lack a bit of bass weight. From what I've read about the AVI's they're pretty much the same. If I had £2000 to spend I'd have gone for some active speakers with a small sub.
 
A

Anonymous

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steve_1979 said:
CnoEvil said:
I think this particular race has been run. :read:
Yes he's already bought the Arcam rDac, Marantz PM6003 and B&W 685's and is very happy with them.

We did listen to some more expensive systems which did sound better but he didn't think that there was enough of an improvement for it to be worth spending the extra £1000.

Azam said:
Steve - have listened to both the Cyrus and Naim - Cyrus for me every time as it sounds better: more dynamic, better soundstage and not laid back (which is what I prefer). Good Luck.
We both thought that the Cyrus just had the edge in terms of sound quality but the Naim does come very close. The Naim's also £200 cheaper and is better looking.

Windypopper said:
If sound quality is the main issue, AVI ADM9T with AVI Sub and SB Touch.
Unfortunately we never got the chance to listen to the legendary AVI's which was a shame. We did listen to a few pro audio active speakers though (Dynaudio, Genelec etc.) We listened to them together with a very nice TC Electronic BMC-2 pre amp/DAC. I thought that the active speakers were more detailed and generally better sounding than the passive speakers but they do seem to lack a bit of bass weight. From what I've read about the AVI's they're pretty much the same. If I had £2000 to spend I'd have gone for some active speakers with a small sub.
Active speakers like the AVI's provide accurate bass rather than the distorted type in passive speakers, which is often confused with bass. However, if you like this style of presentation, it's all good.
 

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