Best mid sized streaming amp for Dali Menuet or KEF LS50 Meta

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pauliG

Active member
Dec 5, 2022
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There is also the Technics SA-C600.
Thanks for the suggestion. Not sure about the Technics...no HDMI for TV and I don't need the CD player so wondering if I'd be paying for stuff I don't need. The retailer's pitch on the Rega Brio was that it's all amp, no DAC or CD etc so better quality?
 

pauliG

Active member
Dec 5, 2022
10
3
25
Within the OPs budget:

Marantz CR6612
- Ditto - NA 7001

Over OPs budget

Naim Atom
Leema Quasar

Other than that I'm stumped.
Cheers. The Melody X is compact size but the shop advised that if you don't need the CD then you're wasting a bit of your money - ie go for a streaming amp without CD! The NA7001 is full sized it seems so too big I'm afraid.

If my challenge has stumped the audiophiles in the know...then maybe my budget does really need to be stretched a bit....:unsure:.

Tbh I'll probably end up going with the Rega + Node if I can't test the Cyrus or Powernode options. As long as the Rega won't overheat inside a TV cabinet (with a hole at the back for cables, ventilation granted).
 
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pauliG

Active member
Dec 5, 2022
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25
@pauliG

I’ve read some of the same thread over on AVF, and I’m not going to answer it there as I want to say there’s a lot of BS being banded around by people who have no idea what they’re talking about.

KEFs lend themselves very well as a replacement for a soundbar, as the wide and evenly dispersal of the sound from the point-source UniQ driver allows a larger sweet spot. Many conventional speakers will have quite a narrow sweet spot, so when you sit in the middle, you can move your head a few inches from side to side and the whole balance falls apart. KEF speakers hold it together over a wider area, ideal for more than one listener/viewer.

With regards to the likes of LS50 Meta and R3, and partnering them with smaller amps like Sonos and Bluesound, I personally wouldn’t. It’s ok for background music, but these aren’t really background music type speakers. These speakers need plenty of power and control, and will only sound as good as the accompanying amplifier will allow them to. And don’t allow sales assistants to demonstrate speakers like this to you on the end of £2k amplifiers, where they will sound great. Listen to them on an amplifier within your budget, otherwise it’s a useless demonstration.

How big your room is isn’t so much of an issue if you’re sitting fairly close to the speakers - the most important thing is the direct sound from the speakers and how far that has to travel.

And while the Q350 isn’t as good a speaker as an R3 or LS50 Meta, it will be a better match for the Sonos and Bluesound amps you mention. Theyre an easier load for an amplifier to deal with, and the less you tax the amplifier, the better it will sound.

As far as the Sonus Fabers are concerned (as mentioned on AVF), have you listened to them with movies/TV viewing? The last set of SFs I heard were way off the mark with movies. Probably fine for music, but not movies. Not for me anyway.
Thanks for the suggestions.

Unfortunately I'm one of those who doesn't know what he's talking about :unsure: ...but learning all the time thanks to the forum.

You're absolutely right about demoing within my price range. The first demo of speakers was with a Cambridge Evo :ROFLMAO: To be fair I just walked in and that's all they had hooked up, The second demo (same place) was with a Sonos amp (the Cyrus didn't work and they didn't have a Powernode) so I had to imagine a better amp! The KEF LS50s were unfairly demoed with the Sonos, but deep inside I think I'd already discounted them. (The KEF R3s I'm sure would sound great but they're a bit big for the wife's criteria!!)

So I'm pretty much set on the Sonetto 1s which I did demo with TV and music. Both ok to my ears. The only nagging doubt was how they compared with the Dali Rubicon 2s which are on sale for the same price. They didn't have a pair for me to test and compare which left me wondering...though I did like the Sonettos.

Which SF did you listen to with movies. You've got me wondering again now....
 

pauliG

Active member
Dec 5, 2022
10
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25
If you’re choosing £1450 Sonus faber speakers then don’t skimp on your amp, especially in your largish room. I’m surprised a Brio is enough, frankly. However, if you’re not listening at concert hall levels…

Have you tried the Lumina II at £999? They’re a bit smaller but you could get a beefier amp. That said, by the time you’ve added decent stands to your Sonettos, you could’ve bought these. Far better for a 30 sq.m room, surely?

I will think about the amp. You really need a class D streaming device, like a Cambridge Evo. But they’re a bit pricy. Perhaps the Pwernode is the only thing close to budget?
Cheers. I agree that it'd be a shame to skimp on the amp, and am starting to think I need to stretch my budget a bit. Having said that the Brio+Node combo driving the Sonetto 1s sounded fine to my (untrained) ears. In fact they also connected a pair of Dali Epicon 2s just for comparison (and a laugh at £3500!!) and they were fine with the Brio/Node. We didn't crank up the volume and to be fair I probably wouldn't at home either. Interestingly the Sonetto 1s seemed to perform well in comparison (taking into account price difference of course).

So I'm back to Sonetto 1s (probably) or Dali Rubicon 2s (if I can test...unlikely), and which amp/streamer to drive them with - probably Brio/Node combination if I can't test the Cyrus and Powernode and in the absence of other options in my price range!?
 

skinnypuppy71

Well-known member
Aug 10, 2021
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Exposure xm5, a half width integrated with on board dac and mm phono stage might be a option to consider if you do decide to stretch that budget a bit. I'm sure it'll be a fine amp with a healthy 60 wpc...your TV optical into the dac and add a wiim mini ii in the other optical input, sorted for streaming Spotify and tv audio duties.
 
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pauliG

Active member
Dec 5, 2022
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Thanks for the advice guys.

Any thoughts on the NAD C700 to pair with the Sonus Faber Sonetto 1s? I can get an ex display for the same price as the Rega Brio + Node combination. It also has HDMI for tv connection. Also bigger output.

Does it compare well against the Brio + Node combination (similar price) ?
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Cheers. The Melody X is compact size but the shop advised that if you don't need the CD then you're wasting a bit of your money - ie go for a streaming amp without CD! The NA7001 is full sized it seems so too big I'm afraid.

If my challenge has stumped the audiophiles in the know...then maybe my budget does really need to be stretched a bit....:unsure:.

Tbh I'll probably end up going with the Rega + Node if I can't test the Cyrus or Powernode options. As long as the Rega won't overheat inside a TV cabinet (with a hole at the back for cables, ventilation granted).
Your list of requirements is challenging the hi-fi industry. Think you may have to re-think and decide what to compromise on.
 
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RoA

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Feb 11, 2021
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The Cyrus ONE HD or Cast sound imho substantially better than the Powernode (as does the Audiolab 6000A or Play). I would only choose the Powernode for convenience and if future upgrades are not imminent.
 

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