Question Fighting with amp upgrade (Focal speakers)

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Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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Customs charges/duty/stuff - VAT would be I imagine the same as it always was.

So e.g. the same charges that a UK buyer has always paid if importing from say the USA now apply to importing from the EU - do not know if there are extra charges to pay if an EU buyer imports from the UK, but I assume they do.
Yes but we always paid VAT before on goods when importing from the EU....it was just paid to the EU country at their VAT rate. Now exports from the EU to UK are zero rated for VAT so we pay it in the UK instead.
 

treesey

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May 18, 2015
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Yes but we always paid VAT before on goods when importing from the EU....it was just paid to the EU country at their VAT rate. Now exports from the EU to UK are zero rated for VAT so we pay it in the UK instead.
Yes.... but you asked what has changed exactly?

Because of Brexit there is now an additional extra significant charge - Customs Import duty and charges for applying the duty, and a moving-it-about-in-the-warehouse charge, and a barbed-wire fence charge, plus VAT is applied on those charges as well.... have you not imported anything recently?

And VAT isn't flat either - there are a myriad of thresholds depending on goods type, whether it's a gift, what day of the week.....
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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Yes.... but you asked what has changed exactly?

Because of Brexit there is now an additional extra significant charge - Customs Import duty and charges for applying the duty, and a moving-it-about-in-the-warehouse charge, and a barbed-wire fence charge, plus VAT is applied on those charges as well.... have you not imported anything recently?

And VAT isn't flat either - there are a myriad of thresholds depending on goods type, whether it's a gift, what day of the week.....
My understanding is there is currently no import duty on audio equipment from the EU. (0% preferential tariff) I asked what had changed because for the consumer nothing really has.

"a moving-it-about-in-the-warehouse charge, and a barbed-wire fence charge"
Really....?
 

Hansen

Active member
Feb 10, 2022
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All UK customers pay VAT at 20% (standard rate). You either pay it directly to the UK supplier as it is included in the retail price, or you pay it on import from outside the UK. So what has changed exactly.....? 🤔
+25% VAT at the Swedish border.....
So a 1.000 £ unit ends up at 1.500£
 

Hansen

Active member
Feb 10, 2022
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Well seems like I opened the Pandora's box of import/export after our divorce. Sorry about that. It was of the topic.
I'm aware that 3 or 4 pieces at home over the weekend is to press it a little. But I do have a feeling that one or two will be sorted out pretty fast. Availability of the Primare is not certain either.
 
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treesey

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May 18, 2015
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It's your thread - we can shut up if you like? It's not a problem is it? I thought it was informative if we get the info out to prospective importers, which ever way around.
 
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treesey

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May 18, 2015
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My understanding is there is currently no import duty on audio equipment from the EU. (0% preferential tariff) I asked what had changed because for the consumer nothing really has.

"a moving-it-about-in-the-warehouse charge, and a barbed-wire fence charge"
Really....?
I haven't bought any audio from the EU - so this is useful stuff now you've said that. I mostly import car parts, new. And yes they have all kinds of ridiculous charges added, and then VAT on top. I'll find a receipt if you are interested.
(ETA just found one - Duty charge, then a 'Clearance fee' which is their term for moving-it-about-in-the-warehouse - there was another receipt which added a charge for secure area something.... and then VAT on top of all of those.)

But I presume you mean new audio equipment? Anything 2nd hand has a value attached, and I don't think Customs care what it is? Please correct me if wrong.

Even new goods can have the 'Clearance Fee' added.
 
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Hansen

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Feb 10, 2022
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It's your thread - we can shut up if you like? It's not a problem is it? I thought it was informative if we get the info out to prospective importers, which ever way around.
No, it's no problem as long that people don't begin fighting over a 6 y.o. referendum. What's done is done. Clearing out there facts is never bad.

For me importing electronics from UK to Sweden it's 25% on the sales price. If I was dead sure about the purchase I would think about it.
 

treesey

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May 18, 2015
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"Clearance fee" is an admin charge imposed by the transport company, it's not a government tax.
Sure... I have no idea whose pockets it goes into. It's an extra charge that is only part of the 'new' customs process, and it then has VAT on top of it, which does go to GOV.
 

Hansen

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Feb 10, 2022
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Well I had my home filled up with amps during the weekend.

Borrowed an Arcam SA30 and a Primare i15 Prisma from the dealer where I bought my Focal. Also I borrowed a NAD M10 V2 and a Lyngdorf TDAI 1120.

During the weekend I had a list of 8 or 10 numbers that I listned to on all 4 amps (and my old NAD C326BEE). Of course several numbers was added ;)

Also it was my condition to expose my poor TV to the Eurovision that all 4 amps was tested.

In all we where 4 people listening to the amps (not all the time), and som of the kids had there saing too.

When I listen to an amp I - until friday - have to criteria.
1) it has to sometime give me a "wauw"-feeling
My experiance is that amps (and speakers) that gives a wauw-feeling on one kind of music often are quite dull with other kinds. That it my problem today where some pieces of music actually sounds quite "meh". Therefore criteria:
2) It has to let the music that I like sound good.

Until friday I didn't realise how importent the ease of use for everybody in the family is. All amps is now controlled by an app. The consequence is that I am the only one who today use my system. I want my 11 y.o. to be able to push a button and use the system. That is not obvious for all systems.

In general I like a little more clear sound rather than warm sound. Also I like the sound to come to me and like fill the room around me. I think it's called "open" or "dynamic". I have a good friend who have KEF R-xx speakers, and for me the sound at his place is like in a shoe-box and that it never comes to me, but "stay" in the speakers. He loves it and think my sound gets to clinical.

BTW before the borrowing I have been listening to Marantz 40n, Marantz PM700n and Naim Uniti Atom.
The PM700n is a step to the side. The 40n didn't give me the sound I like. The Naim was good, but over my budget at €3.000.

None of the amps was bad. All 4 pointed att one as "the least good". Surprisingly enough it was the Lyngdorf. Nobody pointed out the Primare as the best sounding amp.

Here is a littel about what we experienced. And note this is whit my ears and taste, so you could get a different result (cheapest to most expensive):

Primare i15 Prisma (Class D, €2000)
The Primare was a nice acquaintance. It got a really clear sound, but with the Focal it maybe is too much of the same. They doesn't challange each other. Listening to Randi Laubek "Cunningly Concealed" was the highlight of the weekend. All 4 of us was like "bravo!!". Also Beatles "Blackbird" and Portishead "Glory box" was very nice. But on other pieces it fel through and laked "soul". It was clear and good - but.... boring. It made the crowds reaction to Steve Ray Vaughn to be "that man can't sing"... So it didn't reach criteria no 2.

Lyngdorf TDAI 1120 (Class D, €2200)
This one was a little favorite of mine, but it did not meet my expectations. It was the first amp I listened to, and i thought it was good - until I listened to the other amps.
Out of the box it's so-so, but RoomPerfect really does a lot. I was disappointed that there wasn't that much difference between the setups for different music - I know that I in theory can do it myself - but do I have the knowledge to not f*** it up at make it even worse?
Opposite the Primare it made Steve Ray Vaughn sound like a decent singer, but that was the only number where it was the "winning amp". On other pieces the sound was actually rather closed.
I do understand why many like the Lyngdorf. In general it was felt safe playing almost all kind of music.

NAD M10 V2 (Class D, €2700)
This amp was the most easy to set up out of the box, but I never got to use Dirac. But even though I only heard it "out of the box" with no room correction it was certainly better than the Lyngdorf with room correction.
It was the clear winner or runner-up in all classical music, like Bachs Cello Suite No. 1 and Hvorostovskys act 1 for the barber in Sevilla was really good. The last of the two the second "high" of the weekend (after Primares Randi Laubek). And that even though I'm not really into Hvorostovsky. On my notes I can't se anywhere that the M10 ended up last.
Also the use of the amp is easy. Without my knowledge my 13 y.o. went to the amp, changed it to Bluetooth and began to plan from Youtube.

Arcam SA30 (Class G, €2800)
Overall the Arcam had the best sound. So even though the NAD is very good - Class D still has a little way to go, but it's so little that it's a matter of taste.
The Arcam had a rich sound. There is nowhere in my notes music-tracks where I haven't written "good". Playing Beatles, Steve Ray Vaughn and Portishead was where it was best.
But........ It feels like a 10 or 15 y.o. amp. The app to the Arcam was only controlling volume. Also we never succeeded connecting via Bluetooth. So nobody else but me could use it. So it got disqualified 2/3 into the weekend (but after the Eurovision....). It disconnected one time and it certainly didn't like that we swapped amps so often.
It had a good sound. But it's not up to date, and I found the software unreliable. Futhermore the dealer told me that Arcam has left Sweden and aren't even answering his emails anymore. Just ghosting him.

So what now?

Well, as you can reas I liked the NAD best. Monday evening I listened to some different music and among other 5-6 tracks from Leonard Cohen.
To the people wondering if Class AB is still better than Class D I have to say that a €500 Class AB is certainly not better than a €2500 Class D - but it should be like that - shouldn't it?

Returning the Aracam and Primare the dealer pointed to my attention that Rega in june will come with a new Elicit MK5. Paired with Primare ND5 he think that will be the answer for me at a price at €3000

Returning the NAD and Lyngdorf, the dealer recommended that I either by the M10 before it will go up i price (probably next month) or order the NAD C399 without having listened to it. If I don't like - I can return it.

Soo..... Confused at a higher level ;)
 
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bigfish786

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Jan 29, 2013
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Well done for having a go at working through those amps.
if you are still looking, try Marantz (reference) amplification, I had Focal Chorus 826v with a PM14S1SE and to me it was brilliant. I’ve had it a few years now and it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. It definitely brings the best out of my Triangle speakers.
i Haven’t ever demo’d equipment, but by the looks of it you are doing the right thing.
 
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WayneKerr

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2022
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Well done for having a go at working through those amps.
if you are still looking, try Marantz (reference) amplification, I had Focal Chorus 826v with a PM14S1SE and to me it was brilliant. I’ve had it a few years now and it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. It definitely brings the best out of my Triangle speakers.
i Haven’t ever demo’d equipment, but by the looks of it you are doing the right thing.
Hansen doesn't appear to like the Marantz sound but must agree that their higher offerings are where it starts to get really good.
 
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Hansen

Active member
Feb 10, 2022
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Both yes and no.
There was a difference. I wouldn't say it's huge. I think it's mostly a matter of taste. The Primare I15 I think is the only one that would divide with some loving the clarity and other would find it tiresome
 
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Gray

Well-known member
The Primare I15 I think is the only one that would divide with some loving the clarity and other would find it tiresome
If I found clarity tiresome, I honestly wouldn't bother with a hi-fi.
They're arguably in the wrong hobby - who wants anything less than clarity?
Live music must be horrendous for them, they must walk out - "too much clarity for my liking in there" 😆
 
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treesey

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May 18, 2015
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If I found clarity tiresome, I honestly wouldn't bother with a hi-fi.
They're arguably in the wrong hobby - who wants anything less than clarity?
Live music must be horrendous for them, they must walk out - "too much clarity for my liking in there" 😆
Well... only if the sound engineer got the balance incorrect at the 'live' music.......

I presume Mr Hansen means 'too bright/fatiguing' as can happen quite easily in hifi.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Well... only if the sound engineer got the balance incorrect at the 'live' music.......
Yes and it is of course incorrectly balanced hi-fis that usually lead to fatigue.
I say usually because there are those that get fatigued by a normal balance - they need distinctly rolled-off treble for example.
They like a warm sound. Good luck to them 👍
 

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