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Question Amplifier + 2.0 speakers with a budget of 3,000 USD

Lilitti

Active member
Apr 30, 2021
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Hi Audiophiles,

This is my first post in the forum.
I have always been into hi-fi and read a lot about it, but for lack of money and space I had to compromise a lot: my current main system is an old Bose 3.2.1 that I bought used in 2016.
I want to upgrade to a hi-fi system. I only need an integrated amplifier with at least an optical in and 2 speakers.
Yesterday I visited a shop and tried the KEF LS50 Wireless II. They are already much better than the Bose but I suspect that I can get something even better with a similar budget if I look at amplifiers + passive speakers. Am I right?
My favorite music genres are rock and jazz + some acoustic in a 400 sqft room, at low-medium volume.
Look forward to receiving your suggestions.

Thank you :)
 

muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
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I'd doubt you'll do better than the Kefs at budget but you'd certainly probably get as good with options that may suit better.

Is it for just streaming, do you want to plug tv/cd player/ turntable etc
 
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Lilitti

Active member
Apr 30, 2021
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Hi, thanks for your replies.
I am a bit surprised to read that those KEFs could still be the best option for this money, it means they must be very good!
The source would be digital for now, yes, namely a Bose Soundtouch Link that streams FLAC and MP3 from the WiFi network and has both digital and optical audio out (which I won't need anymore if I buy the KEFs of course).
 

Al ears

Moderator
Hi, thanks for your replies.
I am a bit surprised to read that those KEFs could still be the best option for this money, it means they must be very good!
The source would be digital for now, yes, namely a Bose Soundtouch Link that streams FLAC and MP3 from the WiFi network and has both digital and optical audio out (which I won't need anymore if I buy the KEFs of course).
They, like all speakers , are only good if they suit your listening room.
audition at home if you can and beware the hype.......
 

muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
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4,970
If you're only streaming the Kefs give you a very tidy and able system.

I wouldn't however drop 3k on anything because some guys on the net said it was good.Try to get an audition. It may come down to your room also, but I can't see any problems in a 400 sq foot room

If you went more conventional you could look at a bluesound node 2i as an example with amp and speakers.

Another option to look at is Dynaudio xeo 20s with it's supplied hub (*edit, buy separate) - a real contender in most aspects
 
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muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
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You say 400 square foot which is pretty meaningless, can you state length by width?
I don't know, a speaker that size can be made work in a room that size unless it's shaped really odd. Room size and layout etc def makes a difference but more in a set it up type way unless there are some really unusual aspects to the room.
 

RoA

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2021
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Whot about a nice MF M5si and a lovely pair of ProAc Tablette 10's ... classy.

Spend a little more and you could bag a Sugden s21a Signature instead of the MF ... even classier.

Neither have built in Optical but ... a Hegel H95 does.

The Wireless are decent too.

Ah, I don't know, so many choices :)
 
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Lilitti

Active member
Apr 30, 2021
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The dimensions of the room are about 7 meters by 5.5.
Thank you for all the suggestions, I will read about them and see if I can find a shop where they let me try them.
 

muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
311
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4,970
If you decide to go more conventional (ie not active speakers) have a look at the Emotiva website. They do good value equipment.

The node 2 for example could be paired with an Emotiva poweramp for a solid system
 
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muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
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thanks, I would suggest the KEFs might not be able to do it justice
I haven't enough experience with these speakers ( only heard mk 1s in showroom) that was smaller than your room

However if as @Al ears suggests these aren't powerful enough for your room, you'll need to spend considerably more on an active system to get a significantly bigger sound.

I suggest again a node 2i with an Emotiva power amp and possibly a pair of their floorstanders as an alternative to try
 
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rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
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Hi. If you're in the US, look at Rogue Audio Sphinx V3 and a pair of Martin Logan Motion 20i or Golden Ear Triton 5, with a separate device for optical DAC duties.

Other stuff on your audition list could be Wharfedale Linton, Dali and PSB speakers, Schiit Ragnarok 2, Musical Fidelity, Naim, Rega for amplifiers.
 
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Lilitti

Active member
Apr 30, 2021
11
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25
Thanks, unfortunately I live in the UAE so my choice (especially for listening) is quite limited.
There is a shop in Dubai that has the Emotiva catalogue anyway.
I will see what I can do and report in the next weeks :)

Thank you guys!
 
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RoA

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2021
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thanks, I would suggest the KEFs might not be able to do it justice
The Kef will easily fill a room that size with good volume in the 80 decibels without straining. Mine are in a room not that much smaller.

I remember Kef's room at the Bristol show some 4 or 5 years ago. Larger than the OP's and they had no issue. I'd probably add a subwoofer though.
 
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Al ears

Moderator
Hi. If you're in the US, look at Rogue Audio Sphinx V3 and a pair of Martin Logan Motion 20i or Golden Ear Triton 5, with a separate device for optical DAC duties.

Other stuff on your audition list could be Wharfedale Linton, Dali and PSB speakers, Schiit Ragnarok 2, Musical Fidelity, Naim, Rega for amplifiers.
Good call on that Rogue Audio, almost bought one myself a while ago.
 
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Al ears

Moderator
The Kef will easily fill a room that size with good volume in the 80 decibels without straining. Mine are in a room not that much smaller.

I remember Kef's room at the Bristol show some 4 or 5 years ago. Larger than the OP's and they had no issue. I'd probably add a subwoofer though.
why do you need a sub if they will adequately drive the room?
Just buy speakers that can do it properly themselves, simples!
 

RoA

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2021
155
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170
why do you need a sub if they will adequately drive the room?
Just buy speakers that can do it properly themselves, simples!
In some ways, combining a subwoofer with a smaller speaker has advantages, big ones.

Especially nowadays where so many good subs are available for more music orientated purposes.

Such a system is usually far more flexible in terms of positioning, especially in combination with active speakers that also offer DSP/crossover customisation. Add app control on some (SVS) and integration is even more simplified, do it from your seat.

Take one bigger speaker, passive, with an amplifier and things can get more difficult unless you are lucky enough to have a perfect room.

Going back to the Kef's, owners opinions on whether they need a sub seems to be split. I use mine without at present and there is enough of it but have no doubt things could be improved further.

As to 'just buy speakers that can do it properly, simples' ... I am afraid that is often easier said than done and don't just take my word for it.
 

Lilitti

Active member
Apr 30, 2021
11
4
25
How do the Devialet speakers compare to the KEF?
2 x 95 dB Phantom II cost about the same.
Can they be considered Hi-Fi?

Thank you! :)
 

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