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Checking in before I light some money on fire... Or not?

Dan Needs Help

Active member
Oct 20, 2020
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Hello again - Can't thank everybody enough for the community, and the continued help (on admittedly similar topics) to all my fellow newbs out there.

So I've taken all your advice, and have been working with a local dealer. Now I'm just hoping you all could check me on this/his plan for a brand new kit.

I know the general consensus is to spend at least half the money on speakers, but on about a 4k (USD) budget, this I what I am leaning towards for a 12' x 14' primary room with wood floors and one wall "missing", expandable and linked into a whole-home system. Primary inputs will be digital, either via streaming or a drive, with a little vinyl thrown in for good measure. Primary tastes run from the Grateful Dead, to 50s/60s pop, and a bit of jazz. So...

NAD M10
B&W 606 Anniversary
Bluesound Flex 2i (x2)

Seems to check all the boxes, and the M10 seems pretty future proof for the price. The alternative could be to flip the spend and go with something like the NAD 368 w/the BlueOS card and the KEF Metas. Just trying to get balance and the most bang for the buck.

Last wrinkle is due to Covid, not going to be able to audition anything so am flying blind, really relying on 'down the middle' selections. Reviews, this forum, etc. Although the local shop will let me make swaps if I truly hate something.

Or your suggestions...

Special shout out and appreciation to matthewpiano, rainsoothe, al ears, and all the other kind souls who patiently answer so many "basic" questions here. I've learned so much just from reading the forum. Probably time to just pull the trigger and then start thinking about the first swaps and upgrades.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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Last wrinkle is due to Covid, not going to be able to audition anything so am flying blind, really relying on 'down the middle' selections. Reviews, this forum, etc. Although the local shop will let me make swaps if I truly hate something.
That last wrinkle is a big one Dan.
You say your dealer has a plan. Unless you've listened for yourself, it's not much of a plan I'm afraid.
Don't get me wrong, I like the people here but there's no way they'd be making my amp / speakers buying decisions.
I bought some speakers blind once. I won't be doing it again.
Sorry if it's not what you wanna hear, but it's best not to be thinking about your first swaps and upgrades already....best to get this bit more right.
 
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Dan Needs Help

Active member
Oct 20, 2020
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Thanks Gray. I know you're right of course. The wait just seems interminable since our city just can't get past the virus.

Perhaps the best course of action is to get a couple bluesound speakers for now to tide me over until I can audition the rest, since I know that's going to be part of the solution one way or another.
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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It was your 'light some money on fire' bit that amused me and caught my attention Dan.
Point is there are often massive differences, especially with speakers.
When you listen, you might be surprised at how bad a 'best buy' sounds to your ears.

If some of us here could get back the money we've set on fire, buying / selling, we'd be very happy.

It's possible you could strike lucky buying blind, people do and there's no doubt it's easier (even without a pandemic). Best to take the luck out of it.
Once you've bought, the skill is to be contented. A skill very few hi-fi enthusiasts master.
The good news is, there's some great value stuff around.

Choose well.
 
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jjbomber

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Dec 22, 2006
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When you listen, you might be surprised at how bad a 'best buy' sounds to your ears.
That quote deserves a thread of it's own. In my case it's PMC speakers. Multi award winning and often recommended on here by people who own them. I can't get on with them at all. Each to our own and why people must audition in a perfect world or have a home trial in a lockdown world.
 
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rainsoothe

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Apr 30, 2012
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Hi. If your dealer is comfy with swaps, then it should be fine, since you get to audition in your own room. If you want an alternative, that also lets you stay within the Bluos ecosystem, for the budget of the M10 you might be able to get a Node 2i and a Schiit Ragnarok fully loaded, which should have a DAC section on par with the Node, better amplifier section than the M10 and a very good integrated phono pre if the Schiit Mani is anything to go by. Schiit also have a great return policy, so you should be safe on that front. Only downside would be that you (probably) won't be able to control volume from the app (again, I'm not sure about this). Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

P.S. - if you can fit Revel Performa 3 M106 in your budget (maybe sh or ex-dem), go for them. They should be cheaper and more widely available in the US than in EU.
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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That quote deserves a thread of it's own. In my case it's PMC speakers. Multi award winning and often recommended on here by people who own them. I can't get on with them at all. Each to our own and why people must audition in a perfect world or have a home trial in a lockdown world.
...As a PMC owner I agree with all the best-buy reviews :D
But I reckon you've made the point perfectly for OP Dan.
 
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Dan Needs Help

Active member
Oct 20, 2020
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Really appreciate all the advice.

I'm going to call the dealer today and see if he'll send me home with a few different speakers. I think I'm comfortable with the amp selection as an all 'rounder, especially since I don't have the knowledge base to start mixing and matching components yet.

Wish I did, and that's really what I was getting at with my "swaps" comment, as it seems like that's part of fun and obsession in these parts.

Schitt HQ is just up the road a bit and the Ragnarok 2/bifrost/node combo was also on my radar, but again the lack/unwillingness to demo right now puts a damper on things. And since I really have no knowledge base, I'm not even sure how to make that comparison since it wouldn't be in the same room at the same time.
 
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Dan Needs Help

Active member
Oct 20, 2020
12
9
25
So I went in yesterday. For about 2 seconds. After the store officially closed so it was empty. Heard the new LS50s, the 606s and the Dalis - all off the C368 and M10 for one track each. Not the best process but a start.

Going to get the M10. It really is the cleanest solution for now and a cool piece. Tempted by the other component choices (some discussed above, some new ones, and especially because I do see the logic separating a developing technology from the rest) but we've already expanded the budget plenty and emotionally I need simple right now. Probably a newb move...

When I pick it up next week he'll send me home with the 606s and the Wharfdales. He doesn't stock the Revels but can order them if I want, but no swaps on those. Of the three I heard, on the one track (Althea, G.D.) my novice ear felt more enveloped in sound by the 606s.

I wouldn't dare try to use audiophile language like "bright" or "warm" or "soundstage" yet... But for whatever it's worth, the sound just felt more detailed. Like I could both pick out the instruments more and feel the band together more like at a show.
 
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Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
1,742
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So I went in yesterday. For about 2 seconds. After the store officially closed so it was empty. Heard the new LS50s, the 606s and the Dalis - all off the C368 and M10 for one track each. Not the best process but a start.

Going to get the M10. It really is the cleanest solution for now and a cool piece. Tempted by the other component choices (some discussed above, some new ones, and especially because I do see the logic separating a developing technology from the rest) but we've already expanded the budget plenty and emotionally I need simple right now. Probably a newb move...

When I pick it up next week he'll send me home with the 606s and the Wharfdales. He doesn't stock the Revels but can order them if I want, but no swaps on those. Of the three I heard, on the one track (Althea, G.D.) my novice ear felt more enveloped in sound by the 606s.

I wouldn't dare try to use audiophile language like "bright" or "warm" or "soundstage" yet... But for whatever it's worth, the sound just felt more detailed. Like I could both pick out the instruments more and feel the band together more like at a show.
Great stuff. That M10 looks like a nice unit.
Let us know your thoughts, in your own time.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
616
268
19,270
So I went in yesterday. For about 2 seconds. After the store officially closed so it was empty. Heard the new LS50s, the 606s and the Dalis - all off the C368 and M10 for one track each. Not the best process but a start.

Going to get the M10. It really is the cleanest solution for now and a cool piece. Tempted by the other component choices (some discussed above, some new ones, and especially because I do see the logic separating a developing technology from the rest) but we've already expanded the budget plenty and emotionally I need simple right now. Probably a newb move...

When I pick it up next week he'll send me home with the 606s and the Wharfdales. He doesn't stock the Revels but can order them if I want, but no swaps on those. Of the three I heard, on the one track (Althea, G.D.) my novice ear felt more enveloped in sound by the 606s.

I wouldn't dare try to use audiophile language like "bright" or "warm" or "soundstage" yet... But for whatever it's worth, the sound just felt more detailed. Like I could both pick out the instruments more and feel the band together more like at a show.
It's not a newb move, convenience is just as good of a factor as any - whenever I think about moving to better separates, I always wonder if the little extra quality is worth going for, over the convenience of being able to play something of change volume wherever I am in my small flat. You did the best thing one can do - audition.

As for the Revels, it's your money, I for one, think they're in a completely different league (and they should be, at twice+ the price). But if you're uneasy, just get what you heard and liked, and be happy. Enjoy your music and your gear! :)
 
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Dan Needs Help

Active member
Oct 20, 2020
12
9
25
You guys don't know how much you've helped. My sincerest thanks.

I spent upwards of 50 hours on review sites and forums (conservatively), on the product side. And then even more trying to teach myself the science of sound. Definitely overkill for this spend/kit, and definitely getting into 'paralysis by analysis' territory.

My last great hifi experience was in college, so I'm looking forward to having at least this level of "real" sound in the house, and being able to share that experience with our new daughter.

Seriously - gray, rainsoothe, jjbomber - whoever and wherever you are, many thanks and all the best. I'll be back with pics and updates soon...
 

PegDolson

Member
Apr 7, 2021
1
0
20
That's true, sometimes you read all the reviews and advice before selecting something you need, but in the end, you buy a pig in a poke and you are satisfied with the result. At the beginning of the pandemic period, I decided to find some apps that pay so I could have an income. I tried many different programs until I found a proven one. Really, the market is full of offers, but it is difficult to find a reliable and proven implementation. I'm glad that in the end, I found exactly what I was looking for and I remained satisfied.
 
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