Brand new HiFi set, confuzzled

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
2,556
2
0
Hi there,

I've been looking and listening around trying to build a brand new HiFi set from scratch. This'll be my first real HiFi set, I'm currently using a Logitech 5.1 set on my pc and an Technics amplifier/cd player combo which powers 2 National Panasonic speakers. Old stuff.

For gaming and other pc related stuff I'll just keep using my Logitech set, it actually is a great set for its intended purposes.

However I'm looking to play my cd's with a bit more quality and style, and without switching my computer on. The Technics set is mostly used in the bedroom, it works decently but it's nothing spectacular.

I've already spend a good 5 or 6 listening sessions at my two local HiFi dealers, yet I'm still undecided. I've got a few things to keep in mind:
[*]My main focus is music (the likes of Pete Murray, Portishead, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Editors, some trance/dance)[*]However, I want my tv sound from my set as well (I don't really think I need 5.1 yet though)[*]I love a bit of bass. [*]I love guitars.[*]I have room for floorstanders, but the room could be filled with standmounts as well.
This leads to a few questions:
  • Should I go for a musical 2.1 amp? Will this sound good for dvd movies as well? (thinking about Cambridge Audio 640a v2)
  • Should I go for a 5.1 AV-reciever? Will this sound good for music? (thinking about Denon 1909)
  • If I go for standmounts, will a €300,- subwoofer really add to my sound? (Velodyne?)
My total budget is somewhere around €2000,-. At this moment I'm leaning mostly towards:
  • Cambridge Audio Azur 640a v2 (stereo amp)
  • Cambridge Audio Azur 640c v2 (cd-player)
  • B&W CM-7 /OR/ Epos m22i
I suppose this would be a great starting kit for listening to some good sounding music, but how would this fare with a dvd movie? (I already have a dvd player).

How much would I lose music-wise if I'd switch the Cambrigde amplifier for the Denon 1909? How much would I gain movie-wise? The option of expanding to 5.1 somewhere in the coming years is tempting...

Other speakers I've listened and like:
[*]B&W 683[*]Monitor Audio RS6[*]Some Dynaudio (can't remember model) floorstander
I haven't spend much time on standmounts yet, since so far I've not had a solid reason to look into them... Is there any good reason to spend a session reviewing some standmounts? Like 685, Monitor Audio gold, Epoc mxx? Or will they just sound small to me after spending so much time with the floorstanders?

Please clear some of my confusion away ;)

Thanks a ton,
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hopefully this will help.

Re the 2.1 or 2.0 or 5.1 question.

You said your main concern was to listen to music so I'd go good 'ol stereo 2.0. If you have floorstanders like you have been auditioning then the bass will be pretty good. If you have a problem with lack of bass you can always add an active sub woofer later if you have a pre-out on the amp. so this should help you with amp choice.

Nature of the music and what you like

It's probably true that each manufacturer has a bit of a house style when it comes to sound. So I'd audition CD and amp combo's from each manufacturer you are interested in - forget mixing and matching between manufacturers at this stage. and find a manufacturer that you like at your price point.Personally I'd budget up to 50% on speakers and if you like bass then limit yourself to floorstanders to begin with.

My set-up below cost less than a grand and will give excellent musical separation and really brings out the individual instruments. It's a bit too clinical for a lot of folks though and that's the final point - in the end it's what sounds good to you.

BTW -demos are better than just hoping or guessing but a word of warning. Sometimes that really great sound you hear in the demo room can be very wearing when actually listening to the music and trying to relax.
 

Gerrardasnails

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2007
295
1
18,890
murphsy:
Hi there,

I've been looking and listening around trying to build a brand new HiFi set from scratch. This'll be my first real HiFi set, I'm currently using a Logitech 5.1 set on my pc and an Technics amplifier/cd player combo which powers 2 National Panasonic speakers. Old stuff.

For gaming and other pc related stuff I'll just keep using my Logitech set, it actually is a great set for its intended purposes.

However I'm looking to play my cd's with a bit more quality and style, and without switching my computer on. The Technics set is mostly used in the bedroom, it works decently but it's nothing spectacular.

I've already spend a good 5 or 6 listening sessions at my two local HiFi dealers, yet I'm still undecided. I've got a few things to keep in mind:
[*]My main focus is music (the likes of Pete Murray, Portishead, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Editors, some trance/dance)[*]However, I want my tv sound from my set as well (I don't really think I need 5.1 yet though)[*]I love a bit of bass. [*]I love guitars.[*]I have room for floorstanders, but the room could be filled with standmounts as well.
This leads to a few questions:
  • Should I go for a musical 2.1 amp? Will this sound good for dvd movies as well? (thinking about Cambridge Audio 640a v2)
  • Should I go for a 5.1 AV-reciever? Will this sound good for music? (thinking about Denon 1909)
  • If I go for standmounts, will a ?300,- subwoofer really add to my sound? (Velodyne?)
My total budget is somewhere around ?2000,-. At this moment I'm leaning mostly towards:
  • Cambridge Audio Azur 640a v2 (stereo amp)
  • Cambridge Audio Azur 640c v2 (cd-player)
  • B&W CM-7 /OR/ Epos m22i
I suppose this would be a great starting kit for listening to some good sounding music, but how would this fare with a dvd movie? (I already have a dvd player).

How much would I lose music-wise if I'd switch the Cambrigde amplifier for the Denon 1909? How much would I gain movie-wise? The option of expanding to 5.1 somewhere in the coming years is tempting...

Other speakers I've listened and like:
[*]B&W 683[*]Monitor Audio RS6[*]Some Dynaudio (can't remember model) floorstander
I haven't spend much time on standmounts yet, since so far I've not had a solid reason to look into them... Is there any good reason to spend a session reviewing some standmounts? Like 685, Monitor Audio gold, Epoc mxx? Or will they just sound small to me after spending so much time with the floorstanders?

Please clear some of my confusion away ;)

Thanks a ton,

I agree with Welshboy. You can always add an AV receiver and more speakers and sub at a later date. Or you could do it now! For 2000 euros, you can get a decent system. The Cambridge Audio amp (£300) and cd player (£250) you mention for instance with a decent receiver with front left and right pre outs (like mine - available at about £200), MA RS6 (£550 ex demo) with the matching centre speaker (£250) and some cheaper sats for rears (£50) and decent sub (£150). This lot would be around the 2000 euro mark but you could get a slightly cheaper cd player (I've just sold the very good Denon DCD-700AE on ebay for about £120 - you can get them online for £200 - just as good if no better than the Cambridge. Lots of options!! Good luck.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
murphsy:
Hi there,

I've been looking and listening around trying to build a brand new HiFi set from scratch. This'll be my first real HiFi set, I'm currently using a Logitech 5.1 set on my pc and an Technics amplifier/cd player combo which powers 2 National Panasonic speakers. Old stuff.

For gaming and other pc related stuff I'll just keep using my Logitech set, it actually is a great set for its intended purposes.

However I'm looking to play my cd's with a bit more quality and style, and without switching my computer on. The Technics set is mostly used in the bedroom, it works decently but it's nothing spectacular.

I've already spend a good 5 or 6 listening sessions at my two local HiFi dealers, yet I'm still undecided. I've got a few things to keep in mind:
[*]My main focus is music (the likes of Pete Murray, Portishead, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Editors, some trance/dance)[*]However, I want my tv sound from my set as well (I don't really think I need 5.1 yet though)[*]I love a bit of bass. [*]I love guitars.[*]I have room for floorstanders, but the room could be filled with standmounts as well.
This leads to a few questions:
  • Should I go for a musical 2.1 amp? Will this sound good for dvd movies as well? (thinking about Cambridge Audio 640a v2)
  • Should I go for a 5.1 AV-reciever? Will this sound good for music? (thinking about Denon 1909)
  • If I go for standmounts, will a ?300,- subwoofer really add to my sound? (Velodyne?)
My total budget is somewhere around ?2000,-. At this moment I'm leaning mostly towards:
  • Cambridge Audio Azur 640a v2 (stereo amp)
  • Cambridge Audio Azur 640c v2 (cd-player)
  • B&W CM-7 /OR/ Epos m22i
I suppose this would be a great starting kit for listening to some good sounding music, but how would this fare with a dvd movie? (I already have a dvd player).

How much would I lose music-wise if I'd switch the Cambrigde amplifier for the Denon 1909? How much would I gain movie-wise? The option of expanding to 5.1 somewhere in the coming years is tempting...

Other speakers I've listened and like:
[*]B&W 683[*]Monitor Audio RS6[*]Some Dynaudio (can't remember model) floorstander
I haven't spend much time on standmounts yet, since so far I've not had a solid reason to look into them... Is there any good reason to spend a session reviewing some standmounts? Like 685, Monitor Audio gold, Epoc mxx? Or will they just sound small to me after spending so much time with the floorstanders?

Please clear some of my confusion away ;)

Thanks a ton,

Hi there,

since you mostly intend to listen to music, in your place I'd spend the total 2000 on hifi separates for a couple of reasons:

-Hifi through a surround receiver really compromises the end result when music is concerned.

-In the budget to midrange price bracket a little more spent on individual hifi components will give you a substantial gain in quality. (not so much when spending more money on a surround receiver- when good sounding stereo replay is what you want !)

-Suppose you want a surround sound system in the future, you could always add a surround receiver at a later date and build from there (adding boxes).
With the front speakers running through the pre-outs of the surround receiver to your stereo amp- to power your front speakers you still enjoy the much needed sound quality in stereo.

Lastly: I noticed you specify your budget in euros. One thing to consider is that the cambridge audio components cost a lot more when buying outside the UK.

To sum it all up: go for midrange components, not budget plus surround sound.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for the replies, but now let me try to find opinions by asking a totally different question...

Say you have a room of 13mx15m. In this room there's a tv, a couch, a dining table, some bookshelves and not much else. The time has come to get some better sounds in this room. You have 2000,- ?. You want music as your top priority but you want your movie sound a bit upgraded as well (specifically bass). What equipment would you buy for the 2000??

And I'm indeed not UK based, I'm living in the Netherlands actually. So prices might differ slightly, although speakers seem cheap here by comparison.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
murphsy:
Thanks for the replies, but now let me try to find opinions by asking a totally different question...

Say you have a room of 13mx15m. In this room there's a tv, a couch, a dining table, some bookshelves and not much else. The time has come to get some better sounds in this room. You have 2000,- ?. You want music as your top priority but you want your movie sound a bit upgraded as well (specifically bass). What equipment would you buy for the 2000??

And I'm indeed not UK based, I'm living in the Netherlands actually. So prices might differ slightly, although speakers seem cheap here by comparison.

Either Avi adm9.1 or a harddisc based Nas + dac plus headphones. Due to limited space and value for money. A 500 pound cd-player simply cannot compete with 500 pound dacs fed by a Nas/mac or pc.
BTW I, too live in the Netherlands.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
JohnDuncan:Do you actually mean metres? As in 13m x 15m.

Jeez, I kind of overlooked that! Well, I guess a headphone would work well in any kind of room...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I think you are going to need more than 2000 euro.

So I'd start off by figuring out priority.

You say your is music so I'd personally start with a good amp and good floor standing speakers. The amp should have a pre-out in case you need a sub woofer later Buy a cheap CD player for now.

Now you can use the TV or CD as a source you can figure out if you need more bass. If so add a subwoofer. (Probably more for TV /DVD playback than for music.)

Next I'd add a decent CD player.

Next step - well DAB/ FM reciever or DVD or Blu Ray depending on what's most important.

Next add a DAC so you can stream music from your PC

Whatever you are going to have to do it in stages I feel.
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
2,027
13
19,695
I'm not so sure, welshboy, I think he can do pretty well - his first suggestion (Cambridge/Cambridge/Epos) is a good one, though personally I'd replace the amp with a Marantz PM7001 - and then maybe the matching CD player as well fro aesthetic purposes.

Depends on room size as to whether he needs a monster amp or not I think............
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Wow, and I though Ulysees was bad. I go with what Gerrard says though, only I hate Cambridge...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
JohnDuncan:I'm not so sure, welshboy, I think he can do pretty well - his first suggestion (Cambridge/Cambridge/Epos) is a good one, though personally I'd replace the amp with a Marantz PM7001 - and then maybe the matching CD player as well fro aesthetic purposes. Depends on room size as to whether he needs a monster amp or not I think............

You might be right. S'pose it depends how much you want to spend on speakers. In a big space like that I'd be buying some big monster expensive floor standers. (kinda knocks out the need for a sub!) Then I'd buy a big amp 'cos I don't like driving an amp too hard. But that's just me. On reflection you are right it should be do-able.
 

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