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Advice/opinions on downgrade from Arcam separates to mini system


New member
Aug 10, 2019
Hi all.

Due in equal parts to space/lack of need/faulty CD player, I'm considering selling my Arcam A85 amp, CD72 player and space hungry Atacama Equinox stand. I run them through B&W DM601 S3s on Mission Stance stands.

When I lived with a girlfriend, the kit got plenty of use and being in a house was often turned up LOUD! I now live alone and in a flat, it takes up space, gets only light use and only at reasonable volume, so it's time to downsize.

I like the idea of a DAB tuner, and have a large cd collection, so have been looking at the most recommended all-in-ones... Denon D M-37 and Onkyo's 725, although leaning towards the Onkyo as I've seen it for 179 quid, and I've also heard some reports of hiss with the Denon.

After all that, here are my questions: Which is the better unit?

Should I keep the speakers or ditch them too and buy something smaller?

As I also have lots of vinyl and tapes, would my Project Debut (with phono pre-amp) and Yamaha KX493 match up ok?

Am I mad to consider this?

Bearing in mind I don't have the finest ear, would I be bitterly disappointed, or pleasantly surprised considering the size and cost of the mini system.

I know sound quality is a subjective matter, but some opinions and comments would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance, Alan.


Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
I would suggest looking at the Cambridge Audio Sonata set-up and pairing it with some Mordaunt-Short Aviano 1 speakers. Its a quality little system with a dynamic, foot-tapping sound and will easily out-perform the Denon and Onkyo options. Richers often pair the Sonata with the Cambridge S30 speakers but the Mordaunt-Shorts aren't a great deal more expensive and offer much better all-round performance.

Alternatively the Marantz all-in-one might be up your street, again with the Aviano 1s or, if you can pick up a pair on offer, the now end-of-line Mordaunt-Short MS902i - a cracking little speaker and a bargain for the £100 or so I've seen it at lately.

Worth remembering that the volume control on the Denon is poor. I sent it back because I just couldn't set a comfortable listening level. I certainly wouldn't buy one blind. Otherwise its a good little unit.


Thanks Matthew, I'll check that out. Appreciate your advice.




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