Building Hi-Fi Systems: Same Make Separates vs. Multiple Branded Ones


New member
Mar 28, 2011
Hi all Building Hi-Fi Systems: Same Make Separates vs. Multiple Branded Ones Is there any inherent advantage of trying to build a Hi-Fi System using same brand of components (Amplifier, CD Player and Speakers etc., if possible) in terms of better matching and getting higher quality sound output as against a system made up by choosing different branded components? Steven Kay


New member
May 28, 2008
Well with a same brand system, you would hope that the components were designed to have good synergy, meaning that they work very well together and you get high quality sound for your given budget. The 'high end' system recommended by What Hifi does indeed using a matching CD player and amp (Leema).

That said, there is no reason why non matching brands cannot absolutely shine. It may be more important to demo the combination first to make sure they don't clash with each other, but then you should be doing that anyway if you were buying a single brand system. The mid range recommended system by What Hifi is indeed a mix a match - we have Audiolab, Cyrus and EB Acoustics ll in one system.

Ultimately, it all comes down to what you can hear in the demo room/home trial. Unless of course there is a certain someone else who prefers the nice matching aesthetics of a same brand system in the lounge


New member
Aug 21, 2009
Generally speaking, very few companies are great at everything.

There are also specialist companies that only concentrate on one area eg. Velodyne and Rel for subs; Kef and B&W for speakers.

If you are into SS Class A or Tubes, with the exception of Audio Note, you are also most unlikely to end up getting everything from one make.

The way I personally put together a system, is to start at the source, and work my way through to the speakers, short listing the best exponents of each that are to my taste. In 35 years ,I've yet to get a system all from the same make.


the record spot

I used to have a Marantz PM6010-KI amp with my SA7001-KI CDP which wasn't the best partnership - beautifully detailed, but a little too clinical, so robbing some life from the music. Bass was too lean really and with the 752s, already a lean speaker, then it was too much of the one kind of sound in the mix. Swapped out the Marantz amp and in time replaced with the wonderful old 717 I have for the time being and it was a revelation. Anything I played enjoyed a great leap forward, so I tend to advocate a mix and match approach, but it depends on so many variables.

Neither is better than the other really, it simply depends on which manufacturers best deliver the sound you're looking to achieve and the means by which you need to do that in your environment.