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Arcam Solo Mini + B&W 685s OR Meridian F80??

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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Now here's a question . . . you're looking for a new Hi-Fi system and can afford to put £1000 - or at a stretch (and some more ummming and arghhhing) £1500 - towards it. You want something that's discreet, all-in-one, stylish, but above all still high in the sound quality stakes.

Do you . . .

A. Go for an Arcam Solo Mini with the B&W 685 speakers?

B. Go for the Meridian F80 and be a bit different?

C. Go for both (not possible, but what a great thought!)?

D. Go for something else?

E. Go for a holiday and stick with my Denon DM30?
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
2,027
13
19,695
Jarnesque:
Now here's a question . . . you're looking for a new Hi-Fi system and can afford to put £1000 - or at a stretch (and some more ummming and arghhhing) £1500 - towards it. You want something that's discreet, all-in-one, stylish, but above all still high in the sound quality stakes.

Do you . . .

A. Go for an Arcam Solo Mini with the B&W 685 speakers?

B. Go for the Meridian F80 and be a bit different?

C. Go for both (not possible, but what a great thought!)?

D. Go for something else?

E. Go for a holiday and stick with my Denon DM30?

If it has to be discreet and pretty, A or E.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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AVI ADM9.1. Why play with toys?? Admittedly a nice toy in the shape of the Meridian but its still only a boom box.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
AVI ADM9.1s will kill any of the options above (apart from a holiday!)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I see your point Chebby, but you could use any existing transport to good effect. I know Ashley like the Mac - AVI interface, but Ive used ADM9's with a cheapo dvd player and a DAB unit to amazing effect. The results were much better than any traditional hifi at similar price point. Far better sonically than Ive heard CDslossless through DAC Magic's and such like.

I would wager that the OP has a transport, either a cd-based one or a computer. If not, a sturdy one can be bought under budget and it would still sound better, way better sonically than the other options imo
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
2,027
13
19,695
chebby:Yes indeed, but it would cease to be compact - with a seperate CDP - and there would be no FM/DAB and it would be right against the manufacturer's explicit recommendations on their usage.

Even use of PCs is discouraged by AVI (it is why they removed the USB option on the 9.1 revision). Not just discouraged either. The manufacturer has been absolutely forceful on this point even to the extent of dis-missing his 5 star WHF review because a PC was used!

(Ashley's view on such matters are plain, vociferous and rather famous by now.)

If misguided (on the PC point)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Chebby, using the ADM's with an existing transport is surely very much a 'compact' system?!? It would still be one box. Granted DAB would be extra, but still dont see how it would be described as anything other than a minimalist solution

The USB ADM 9s were discontinued owing to (lack of) demand iirc. You can still order the USB unit I believe by special request.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
If those 'speakers have an optical input and the DAC is as good as they claim, then any old source should be fine, be it a PC or an old DVD player.

Most people have a laptop these days, so there wouldn't really be any additional expense to have a complete system.

If the manufacturer is recommending Apple it is likely that it is becuase it works well and has a nice interface to "complete the experience".
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Eddie Pound:

If those 'speakers have an optical input and the DAC is as good as they claim, then any old source should be fine, be it a PC or an old DVD player.

Most people have a laptop these days, so there wouldn't really be any additional expense to have a complete system.

If the manufacturer is recommending Apple it is likely that it is becuase it works well and has a nice interface to "complete the experience".

Yes, fully agree. The DAC is great in the ADM's
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
So any source sounds about the same? Be it a cheap DVD player or a Mac or whatever?

That's been my experience with a good reclocking DAC.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yes and most DAC's cost less than a tenner as Im sure you know! However in terms of implementation, quality can vary.

I previously owned a 6-7k system comprising of a Cyrus DAC-X then a Chord 64. The implementation of this DAC is excellent and marries well with the active crossover design. The AVI's compare favourably to my previous set up in terms of detail and resolution.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The uniti looks very good. I have reservations over the power available, but would love to hear one.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
chebby:Small matter but ADM9.1's do not provide FM/DAB tuner or a CD player whereas the other options do.

The ADM9.1's are therefore not an 'all-in-one' system. (No sources.)

They are also NOT recommended (by their manufacturer) for use with CD players or FM/DAB tuners.

I think - to be fair - we should keep to the 'brief' of all-in-one systems posted by the OP.

To make ADM9.1's into a complete system requires (at least according to it's manufacturer) an iMac or MacBook which costs about £1000 extra if you don't happen to have one already. I doubt AVI would be too thrilled if you proposed to use a PC or a stand-alone CD player or even an FM/DAB tuner with it :)

(It would also cease to be compact.)

Even if you just added a PS3 or Apple TV - as a source for the ADM9.1's - then the total cost would exceed £1500 and is therefore outside of the budget limit the OP set in the question.

There is quite a lot of misinformation here:

Internet radio gives you 10,000 radio stations using better compression and having better sound quality than DAB/FM.
What is wrong with the iPlayer for radio too and Podcasts? It's a better and more flexible way to do it IMO.

We are perfectly happy for people to use CD players and Tuners and some do, but it's terribly restricting. This is all new to everybody, so we explain what we think is the best way to use the system.

An Apple TV will do it for £200 or any Netbook from £175 upwards. SO IT IS VERY COMPACT AND FAR MORE VERSATILE.

A PS3 + ADM9.1S would cost £1425 according to my maths.

Don't forget that the ADM9.1s have 325 WPC or that an active crossover has one hundredth of the distortion of a passive one and one hundred times the damping factor, so there is also fairly dramatic improvement in sound quality to consider.

I really do recommend anyone interested in an Integrated modern system to consider what the right computer can do for you. Not only does it do hi fi and radio, but it also allows you to rent or buy TV programs and Movies, stream video and slide show your photos on the TV.

We prefer Apple computers that start at a little under £400 because their Media Program, Front Row is the best there is and operates from an included handset, so the whole family can manage it with upsetting computer functions. Apple is almost immune to virus's, silent in operation, beautifully made and designed, easier to repair and longer lived than windows PCs.
 

Clare Newsome

New member
Jun 4, 2007
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I think we've all accepted that Drummerman is the 51st State of the US of AVI, but in his defence, with more than 2000 posts on these Forums, you could pull up 15 pages of search results for him on many other subjects, too
 

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