A Blank Canvas (sort of)

Haggy792

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I know this has probably been done a million times but, I’m about to do a complete upgrade and want some advice.

I plan to buy a set of Monitor Audio PL200 speakers (they look pretty), other than the speakers I have no idea what I want; all up I want to spend no more than say £5,000 excluding speakers.

I have a LOT of music on a hard drive and play it using iTunes via a PC, I accept that I’ll have to re-rip it to a lossless format if I’m to make the most of any new non-CD based set up. (if that’s perceived to be the best way forward)

So what would you advise, including cables?
 

CnoEvil

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Hi Haggy, and welcome to the forum.

Here are some suggestions for you.

SOURCE:
Linn Sneaky or Majik DS

AMP:
Sugden IA-4;
Unison Research Unico Secondo / Unico 100;
Pathos Logos
Musical Fidelity M6i
Electrocompaniet ECI-5 Mk11
 

VoodooDoctor

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You should also try the Platinums with some Leema Acoustics hardware such as the Tucana II (as well as the other suggestions). They're also about to release a high-end DAC in their Elements range that you could combine it with.

I use Van Damme speaker cable and a Wireworld Ultraviolet USB cable.
 

Haggy792

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Thanks,

I'm getting closer one piece at a time, I did think about the Pathos Logos, so now we have two items & interconnectors

Speakers: PL200

Amp: Pathos Logos.

Ecosse reference 2.3 cable (not sure I could spend more than c£20/m for cable)

Wireworld USB

If I went down the DAC route, using a dedicated laptop/hard drive what else would I need?
 

CnoEvil

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Once you have your system sorted in your head, it then needs to be heard in reality. Sometimes what works "on paper," has a way of turning out different to what is expected.

Given the money you are throwing at this, I think you should be looking at a Linn or Naim streaming solution (though others will disagree). I suggested Linn, as I prefer their presentation, with (imo) the Sneaky being the best source for the money.
 

altruistic.lemon

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macmini(headless)/iPhone or iPad as remote/appletv/benchmark DAC.

You won't hear much better as source, and gives you more money to spend on better speakers, such as the Martin Logans or Maggies (of course!).

Plus you get an iPad, everyone's favorite toy :)
 

oldric_naubhoff

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Haggy792 said:
Thanks,

I'm getting closer one piece at a time, I did think about the Pathos Logos, so now we have two items & interconnectors

Speakers: PL200

Amp: Pathos Logos.

Ecosse reference 2.3 cable (not sure I could spend more than c£20/m for cable)

Wireworld USB

If I went down the DAC route, using a dedicated laptop/hard drive what else would I need?

if you're considering a Logos maybe you'll be more interested in Ethos (from Pathos of course). it's 100Wpc but also has a built in DAC (2 USB inputs - type A and B, 1 coax input) supposedly taken from Digit CDP. if truly so I can vouch for that DAC wholeheartedly.

I would also consider Lemur's advice to look around for better speakers. GBP 5000 can get you a lot of high tech engineering.
 

CnoEvil

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oldric_naubhoff said:
if you're considering a Logos maybe you'll be more interested in Ethos (from Pathos of course). it's 100Wpc but also has a built in DAC (2 USB inputs - type A and B, 1 coax input) supposedly taken from Digit CDP. if truly so I can vouch for that DAC wholeheartedly..

Great idea. Another Pathos product I wasn't aware of.....must be fairly new.
 

Haggy792

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I accept that there may be better sounding speakers for £5k, I have to say I would have went for a set of TD710z's if I had my way but my wife doesn't like the look of them, she likes the PL200's so looks are as valid a criteria for component selection as sound quality in our house.
 

tino

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When looking at the Pathos Ethos ... be aware that the integrated DAC is an optional extra that will add another £600 to the price, bringing the overall price to not far shy of £4K. The Ethos is a magnificent looking thing though and if you search t'internet there is a great UK review of it online. Pathos also have a rumoured product called the Musiteca (another £1K over your budget) which looks like a Sooloos ... but nicer ... an oil painting for your blank canvas ;) . It does digital everything (CD ripping, hard drive storage, UI, playback), has valve/solid state hybrid amplification ... just add speakers!
 

Haggy792

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All change, I had a look at the Chord 2800 yesterday and I'd like to hear a Naim Superuniti. I know the Chord is twice the price of the Naim but it is a good looking bit of kit. The question is if I hold onto my cash will I feel deflated in a couple of months and regret not buying the Chord (Black with Nickel legs!!!!)
 

John Duncan

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Ooo...

435.jpg
 

CnoEvil

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Haggy792 said:
All change, I had a look at the Chord 2800 yesterday and I'd like to hear a Naim Superuniti. I know the Chord is twice the price of the Naim but it is a good looking bit of kit. The question is if I hold onto my cash will I feel deflated in a couple of months and regret not buying the Chord (Black with Nickel legs!!!!)

Chord and Pathos are at opposite ends of the spectrum....so don't go on looks alone.
 

Haggy792

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I've taken the plunge and after listening to a LOT of kit over the last week I went for nothing that I thought I would.

JM Lab Focus 1028Be Speakers

Naim NAC202 Pre Amp

Naim NAP 200 Amp

Naim ND5 XS Streamer
 

altruistic.lemon

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Hey, well done!

It's like that sometimes - was looking for a cheapo system system when I went into a hiFi shop in Paris merely out of curiosity, and ended up with Naim and Maggies ...
 

CnoEvil

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Haggy792 said:
I've taken the plunge and after listening to a LOT of kit over the last week I went for nothing that I thought I would.

JM Lab Focus 1028Be Speakers

Naim NAC202 Pre Amp

Naim NAP 200 Amp

Naim ND5 XS Streamer

Good job.

If you don't mind me asking, what other kit did you listen to?
 

Haggy792

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Excuse my haziness, I basically went with what the dealers had to offer:

I listened to variants of the naim and settled on what I bough due to the improvement over the one box solutions, the sound was just more defined.

I tried other speakers B&W 802s and 803s both were just too clinical and after the Focals just too lean.

I listened toa Linn set up streamer - speakrs (Sorry no idea what it was it cost about £8k though) better than the B&Ws but not as sonically rich as the Focals.

Finally tried the Chordf 2800 with the ML Platinum 200s which I initially thought I would buy OMG don't even go there it sounded like it had been put together by a surgeon, it was as clinical a sound as I have ever heard.

BTW my criteria for selection was how did it compare to live music, we played a number of artists we've seen live and used that as the benchmark. I wasn't initially hooked on the focals but after hearing the B&Ws and ML I had to admit it gave me goose bumps

(Shaking Stevens will never be the same again
grin.gif
)
 

CnoEvil

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Thank you Haggy for coming back and sharing your experience.

I agree with your assessment of Naim + 802/803 and especially Chord + PL200.

I hope you enjoy your new purchase for the foreseeable

Cno
 

Haggy792

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The Naim + Focals is far more bass heavy than any of the other setups I tried, that includes the Linn which was the next best for a solid sound stage.

Petty aesthetics but the Linn Majik setup didn't look half as good as I was hoping for, also a minor point but the Naim iPad app was a far more user friendly interface than the Linn app.
 

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