Ageing System Requires Revitalizing...

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Have a turn of the century set-up: Yamaha AV Amp; Tannoy Mercury M3 Speakers; Arcam Alpha 7se; Pioneer DVD and CD Recorder - connected with QED cables throughout. Initially purchased while under the influence of many substances, eventually learnt to live with the sound, but now want to revamp. Unable to scrap everything and start over, I need to change one piece of kit at a time but where do I start? Any assistance would be most helpful.
 

chebby

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What is your 'phase one' budget?

Are you aiming for an AV or stereo set-up?

Which component needs changing most? (Assuming all are working fine, I would change the speakers first.)
 
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Anonymous

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Many thanks. My priority is music - I have an extensive cd collection, the majority of which is rock/indie. I do love movies, however, I am [currently] in no hurry to better what I have. My initial budget would be around £500. The Arcam Alpha has served me well and remains in excellent condition, as is the Yamaha AV Amp. The Tannoys sadly suffered some damage last week when a friends 4 year old daughter became a little too inquisitive - hence the descision to revitalise now. My listening room is approximately 24 ft by 18.
 
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Anonymous

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Additional Info: the model of the Yamaha AV Amp is - DSP-A5, and it's almost twelve years old now but remains in good working order. Therefore, perhaps I am looking at changing the speakers first.
 

John Duncan

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Which was a lovely amp, an award winner and has six-channel inputs and 24/96 DACs, so you could add a blu-ray player with pre-outs to give you high def sound, an airport express and a pair of nice speakers and you're away...

So. Do you want to stick with floorstanders or are standmounts an option?
 

Blackdawn

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The Tannoys have a good frequency range so i'm guessing you'll want to stick with floorstanders to give you lower frequency bass and a larger sound.

How about Monitor Audio's BX5?
 
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Anonymous

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Many thanks for all your help so far – much appreciated. Following the consensus, I have decided to replace the speakers first. Having lived with floor-standing Tannoys for a decade, I see no aesthetic reason to change, unless sound dictates otherwise. Therefore, given my £500 budget liking for rock/indie music, my Yamaha AV Amp and Arcam Alpha 7se CD, I now need to start auditioning some kit. Where do I start? Looking through the guides, the following caught my eye – am I looking in the right direction?

Tannoy Mercury V4;

Monitor Audio Bronze BX5

Acoustic Energy Neo V2 Three
 

Blackdawn

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Depending on whether you are using the speakers close to the wall it may be preferable to go for front ported designs. I would suggest a demo of the BX5 or similar priced speaker models.
 
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Anonymous

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Currently have the Tannoys about 60cm away from the rear wall. Need to start somewhere, so will arrange to audition the Monitor Audio Monitor Audio Bronze BX5's with a local dealer, then take it from there. What about speaker cable at this price point? Thanks...
 
rizzolved said:
What about speaker cable at this price point? Thanks...

Well, Talk 3 is a current favourite, but your dealer will probably offer you a package with the speakers (if not, ask!).

If the QED you mentioned above include speaker wire then that will do OK, as long as you remake the terminals. It is not critical in the scheme of things.
 

Blackdawn

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IMO I've not found cables to make a big difference. I've tried Chord cables but am happy with thick copper cables now. These are much cheaper. Same goes for interconnects. Your better off spending the money on music to play or money towards an amp, for example.
 

Big Chris

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A recent issue had a budget floorstander test, and IIRC, the newer version of your Tannoys came top. Looks like a good place to start, assuming you were more than happy with your old ones.

With regards speaker cable. I recently traded up from QED Silver Anniversary cable to Atlas Hyper 2.0 and found an improvement in punch and in the mid-range, without sacrificing detail.

I didn't pay £15 a metre though. I waited until a couple of pairs the correct length came up on eBay. (I paid £50 + £5 P&P for each 3metre pair). A worthy tactic whichever cables you choose. If you're patient enough something will turn up.
 
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Anonymous

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Once again, many thanks for the feedback. As it happens – Big Chris, apart from the lack of bass, I am happy with the sound of the Tannoys. That said - I have never really worshipped at the altar of bass, but something more than what I have would be nice, without losing the detail. Overall, the sound I currently have is pleasurable but at times, it sounds fragile or very bright, and I would prefer something a little less grating. Would I be right in thinking that this is because of the Arcam or Yamaha or indeed, both? All being well, I am looking to get things moving this week when I visit a number of local dealers - with an open mind. Cheers…
 

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