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

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manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
590
64
18,970
Well I have the Mini and the 685s and intend to milk it for all its worth. The F80? No way unless you're confined to the kitchen. I'm also a bit short of space but for little more than F80 you can the above Arcam setup + Blu-ray player + plasma/lcd which gives you a pretty decent AV 2.0 system ( I think a sub can be added to the Mini though)!! And within sane limits the Mini is not short of volume.

As others would suggest here, I think other speakers than the 685s may be better suited taking into account your living space, I'm beginning to think MA RS1s or Dali Lektor 2s, or perhaps Rega R1/R3s. The 685s are good but they really need space apart, anything less than 2m won't do imaging any good at all, and yes you need to dial up a bit to get the best of them, which the Mini can - just. However sited correctly and on good stands their bass is excellent, for me I won't need a sub in an AV2.0 setup..
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
2,027
13
19,695
chebby:EDITED BY MODS - please do not discuss banned posters



Just wondered (from the 15 pages of WHF forum search results you get for Drummerman + avi) if there was a connection.

I think they have even been in the same room together with a small (in all senses) hifi manufacturer of note

 
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Anonymous

Guest
EDITED BY MODS - please do not discuss banned posters is that they've both heard the speakers and for reasons mentioned above and many more peculiar to ADM9.1s, they are quite a shock and they do quickly convert people.

However, and I hear this from all over the world; Why is it that the Brits are so cynical, bitter and suspicious of a something they obviously haven't heard.

Active speakers have massive advantages over passives and that has never been in dispute. All we've done is have what we believe is a better, more cost effective idea that takes things a stage further.

I'd ask people to suspend their disbelief till they've heard them.

Ash
 

Clare Newsome

New member
Jun 4, 2007
1,657
0
0
Ashley James:...for reasons mentioned above and many more peculiar to ADM9.1s, they are quite a shock and they do quickly convert people.

However, and I hear this from all over the world; Why is it that the Brits are so cynical, bitter and suspicious of a something they obviously haven't heard.

Active speakers have massive advantages over passives and that has never been in dispute. All we've done is have what we believe is a better, more cost effective idea that takes things a stage further.

I'd ask people to suspend their disbelief till they've heard them.

Ash

Would love to hear them and spread the word - just as we did with the five-star ADM9s.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Chebby

The reason for the extra power is not to play louder, although they obviously will very much so and without distorting, it is more to do with clarity and more accurate reproduction at normal listening levels.

The problem with low powered amplifiers is that they do not have sufficient headroom for many recordings and so will clip or limit. In a good design this will make for a gentle and pleasant sound, but in a bad one it may make voices harsh and forward, it can soften the bass and it can make the top more strident. I'd go as far as to say that the biggest difference between competently executed modern amplifiers is caused by headroom and that if you are into very high sound quality you need to buy a big amp.

We spent considerable time measuring music and its impact on the replay system and are happy to prove all this to anyone who'd care to visit. In fact we first showed all this at the last Heathrow Penta more than 10 years ago.

Ash
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Clare Newsome:
Ashley James:EDITED BY MODS - please do not discuss banned posters is that they've both heard the speakers and for reasons mentioned above and many more peculiar to ADM9.1s, they are quite a shock and they do quickly convert people.

However, and I hear this from all over the world; Why is it that the Brits are so cynical, bitter and suspicious of a something they obviously haven't heard.

Active speakers have massive advantages over passives and that has never been in dispute. All we've done is have what we believe is a better, more cost effective idea that takes things a stage further.

I'd ask people to suspend their disbelief till they've heard them.

Ash

Would love to hear them and spread the word - just as we did with the five-star ADM9s.


I'd like you to hear them too Claire, but I'm a little worried after the first review and considering their impact if my claims are true. Don't forget that I've stated that for scientifically provable reasons, they will out perform traditional legacy separates costing many times their price.

We're selling a lot of these things, all over the world and we're achieving good growth. Experience has shown that a good review may help, but that feint praise might do a great deal of damage. The previous 5 star review produced no response at all if I remember correctly.

I'd also remind you that WHF killed a CD player for us some years ago when we were able to prove that it was as good as the technology would allow. Basically all DAC manufacturers supply Evaluation Boards that are the very best incarnation that they manage for the purposes of persuading us that we should use theirs not others. We'd bought five of six of these and compared them to find that they were virtually indistinguishable from one and other, so we picked the best (on paper), designed a CD player and sent it in to WHF for review knowing we couldn't do better.

I shall never forget the result, although I may have the words slightly wrong, it was something like this: "The AVI CD player differs from the other in this group in that it is sweet sounding and detailed, but lacks the attack and hard edged excitement of the others, so only rates four stars." Sales stopped instantly and yet the measurements would quickly have show we were right and the others more distorted.

AVI is small and an outsider, it is in a similar position to an English Boxer in an Italian match. He'd have to knock his opponent out for the referee to award a draw.
 

Clare Newsome

New member
Jun 4, 2007
1,657
0
0
Ashley James:Clare Newsome:
Ashley James:...for reasons mentioned above and many more peculiar to ADM9.1s, they are quite a shock and they do quickly convert people.

However, and I hear this from all over the world; Why is it that the Brits are so cynical, bitter and suspicious of a something they obviously haven't heard.

Active speakers have massive advantages over passives and that has never been in dispute. All we've done is have what we believe is a better, more cost effective idea that takes things a stage further.

I'd ask people to suspend their disbelief till they've heard them.

Ash

Would love to hear them and spread the word - just as we did with the five-star ADM9s.


I'd like you to hear them too Claire, but I'm a little worried after the first review and considering their impact if my claims are true. Don't forget that I've stated that for scientifically provable reasons, they will out perform traditional legacy separates costing many times their price.

We're selling a lot of these things, all over the world and we're achieving good growth. Experience has shown that a good review may help, but that feint praise might do a great deal of damage. The previous 5 star review produced no response at all if I remember correctly.

I'd also remind you that WHF killed a CD player for us some years ago when we were able to prove that it was as good as the technology would allow. Basically all DAC manufacturers supply Evaluation Boards that are the very best incarnation that they manage for the purposes of persuading us that we should use theirs over others. We'd bought five of six of these and compared them to find that they were virtually indistinguishable from one and other, so we picked the best (on paper), designed a CD player and sent it in to WHF for review knowing we couldn't do better.

I shall never forget the result, although I may have the words slightly wrong, it was something like this: The AVI CD player differs from the other in this group in that it is sweet sounding and detailed, but lacks the attack and hard edged excitement of the others, so only rates four stars. Sales stopped instantly and yet the measurements would quickly have show we were right and the others more distorted.

AVI is small and an outsider and in a similar position to an English boxed in an Italian match. He'd have to knock his opponent out for the referee to award a draw.

I'm sorry, Ashley, but your thinking still seems rather confused. We loved the ADM9s, and are keen to hear what the ADM9.1s can do - especially if they're as good as you and others claim.

You're happy to come on here regularly and use our Forums as a platform, but not to submit your products for testing - even with the invite to come down and hear the speakers in situ in our test rooms. Missed opportunity, I feel.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Chebby

You have a problem in that you're allowing prejudice to rule your judgement.

There is a film you could watch that is very funny indeed and it turns up most Christmas's if you don't feel like paying to watch it.

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines mocks every nationality in a good humoured way by depicting them as stereotypes. The Englishman, played by Terry Thomas is a cheat and a rotter, but everyone enjoys it because it's funny and they know it's not true.

And while I'm at it, you might like to visit the Analogue Devices and order yourself a DAC and the instructions to build it. At retail prices it'll probably cost you £6.00 plus another £20-30 to build it.

It might surprise you that I care about audio more than you could possibly imagine and I probably also know more about it than you too.

Ashley
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Ashley James:I care about audio more than you could possibly imagine andÿI probably also know more about it than you too.Ashley

Ashley, I would love to have a listen to the ADM9.1. Where is your factory? Given that I get little time off work and don't own a car I think a factory visit is ruled out. I don't think there are any dealers close by either. Going on what you have said they sound amazing - the only way I can figure out of me getting an unbiased opinion is if you could send me a pair out for a home test?
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
EDITED BY MODS - please do not discuss banned posters.

AJ of AVI is very helpful and polite but some people's comments are rather agressive and border on personal. How do you defend yourself against that? He also appears far more frequently on this forum than any of the other heads of companies which normally make their 2 post appearances and then dissappear for long periods. With larger postings you also leave yourself much wider open for criticism. He has, often, also given good technical advise on subjects other than his own product/s though I must admit he would make a terrible diplomat.

Cheer up and audition your Stirling 3/5's, another subject you seem to have strong views about, without actually ever having heard a pair, unless I've missed something, in which case I apologize. I genuinely hope you like them, I did, but then preferred the baby Harbeth's. Back to subject and both the Meridian and Arcam are fine solutions for people that don't want boxes cluttering up their rooms or perhaps as second systems. They have limitiations but thats not their point. However, if you have the space to place a pair of speakers in your room you can do better than either one of those imo, especially with a budget of £1500.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Phew . . . I need the holiday after all that!

So let's say my budget is £1000ish and I do want a discrete but quality set up which needs to be built around a CD but with ipod compatibility, what's my 2-3 best options?
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
590
64
18,970
Jarnesque:

Phew . . . I need the holiday after all that!

So let's say my budget is £1000ish and I do want a discrete but quality set up which needs to be built around a CD but with ipod compatibility, what's my 2-3 best options?

Your best bets are:

1. Arcam Solo Mini + Speakers + rDock - discount = 1000:

And don't skimp on the speakers, the Mini deserves it - its amp is fundamentally sound as FM proves pretty transparent sounding even on my 685s. And 320k WMA sounds pretty good on USB as well. UK units have DAB too, don't forget.

2. If you have pc you could go the laptop/PC route where you get a decent DAC + amp + speakers:

I would say Beresford 7520 USB Dac (<200 - a steal if you ask me) + others here could guide you on the amp + speakers. I think such a system could sound stunning - def. better than the Mini above (itself not bad at all).
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Well, after all the dallying around (although it has only been a week and in the shop three times!) I've gone for the Arcam Solo Mini with the B&W 685s. Took my girlfriend in to get her 'common sense' take on all this and she didn't think the 685s were too big for my lounge (which surprised me as I thought that was the first thing she'd say). We initially sat down and listened to the BR2s which I quite liked (and liked the look of in the walnut finish - sorry, but aesthetics are important on this one!) and I was just going to go for these, especially as Arcam were doing a deal where you could get 30% off of them (15% off the B&Ws). I did though then get the 685s back on the stands, swapped them around with the BR2s and my girlfriend actually preferred the 685s by a long way. I was a little more mixed but my girlfirend's not one to go for the dearer option if she can get away with something cheaper and she was actually very definite in that she felt the BR2s sounded harsh and tiring in comparison to the 685s.

So there we go, the deed is done - only time will tell if it's the best choice!

(and no, as in a different thread connected to this, I didn't audition the Dali Lektors - they may be great sounding but I just can't get beyond looking at them and thinking 'Currys'! That's my loss though.)
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
590
64
18,970
Jarnesque - so you made my mistake twice


No, just kidding but what cable do you have? I got Chord Carnival Silverscreen. Are you biwiring?

Anyway hope you enjoy the system, please let me know how the listening goes. BTW it's FM tuner is fantastic (mine does not have DAB - no broadcasts in my country). And another tip - ripped 320k WMAs don't sound half-bad either on USB, and I'm using plain old WMP11 to rip.

And finally, when listening remove the 685s grills, they do get in the way.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yes, Carnival Silverscreen it was and no, just single wire - weight of opionion seemed to suggest it wasn't worth the expense to biwire.

Yes, enjoying the listening so far and will give it a few months before I make a judgement - don't think there's any probs with either the Solo or 685s, just whether they prove to be a good combination (though once you're away from the direct comparisons you just get used to that sound anyway).

Yes, FM is great and DAB's pretty good, though I'm not sure why it's not picking up my local BBC station when the radio a few metres away in the kitchen does? And the DAB aerial is an eyesore - really out of place on a sleek piece of kit like the Arcam! I've angled it down the back (still works!) but might take it off and just have the FM.

Am thinking of getting the mains cable (Clear Audio??) to see what that does - for £35 might be worth a try.
 

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