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Help me! Please comment and advise

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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Hi - still needing help with selecting stuff for my shopping list. Here's the background - Got max £1800 to spend on electronics (with a speaker upgrade to follow once bank manager is rested and recovered) and listen almost entirely to Cds. Last bought hifi 20 years ago so I'm well out of touch. Now hope to buy stuff that will last me as long, (Also probably worth adding, don't want to sound funny but this is a lot of ££ for me to spend!)

Many helpful suggestions already from people on here resulted in a home test of Quad CDP-2 and 909 against a Pioneer A-a9 Mk2k and PD-d9 mk2k. I'm using existing speakers (Wharfedale 505.1) on stands and decent cabling/interlinks. I was offered the Kandy too, but turns out someone else had it out and so I haven't heard it.

But all that has happened is that I'm confused!

I found the Pioneer pairing clear and transparent, but bass seems to roll off quickly and wasn't really tight and distinct. Simple tracks (Leonard Cohen 'Tower of Song' or something like Norah Jones) sound very nice to me, but more complex stuff (Editors, Red Hot Chillis) seemed to turn a bit hard, bright and light. I think the build quality and 'feel' is really nice. It also plays mp3 cds. The best price is about £1350 leaving a bit over to start the speaker upgrade.

The Quad combination sounds warmer, with better bass control, but a touch less transparency on some materials - Leonard's vocals seem less nuanced and detailed, for example, but more complex stuff seems rendered better - 'easier listening' overall. Bach's suite for unaccompanied cello sounds great!. I was a bit disappointed with the seeming build quality of the Quad - the power switch is squint on the poweramp, the CD tray seems flimsy and rattles out (the Pioneer is smooth and rigid) and the buttons seem loose and rubbery on the CD player and a nasty plastic remote. The Quad also seems old-fashioned - won't play mp3 for example - and (because I can't afford the separate pre-amp) has limited inputs for conventional peripherals. The best price is about £1750 - so starting from scratch as far as saving for the speakers goes.

So - both systems have some limitations and I'd welcome any suggestions for something built as nicely as the Pioneer, with the clarity it offers, but with better bass extension and control? Is it sensible to wait for speakers or would I get a better all round system (since I'm not wanting to be a perpetual upgrader) by finding another £200 and shaving enough off the electronics to allow me to add speakers at this time?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I think you should investigate Cyrus as an option. I'm not sure by how much their new and current integrated amps would fit the bill but it sounds likely to me. They have a built in DAC too so you can add any old transport (DVD player?) to listen to CDs and also use it for PC audio, etc. The 8XPD springs to mind as the first option.

Another option that should be investigated if you have the time is the AVI ADM9.1 You might hate the concept or the sound but they're very good value indeed.

PS Your assessment of the Quad sounds like my experience of trying the 99CDP. Change that beastie to something with a bit more verve and bite and you're off!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Cheers Iggi - helpful as always - ghad I thought this was going to be easy!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I cant comment on the kit youv'e already mentioned.

Is your budget £1700 ish ???

How big is the listening room the speakers will have to fill ???

What type of music to you listen to ???

There is a hell of a lot of kit on the market at the moment, remember dealers are goin thro hard times to so bargains/ deals to be had anywhere...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Good luck mate. If you're not careful you can end up with analysis paralysis! Enjoy the journey though.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
igglebert:PS Your assessment of the Quad sounds like my experience of trying the 99CDP. Change that beastie to something with a bit more verve and bite and you're off!
Kinda stuck with the 99 because of the built-in pre-amp stage, unless I take a whole new route and look at 909 as power-amp wioth some other pre-amp - which I fear will exceed budget!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi Dave -

Yeah - max ££ is £1800.

Room is about 16ft x18ft x8ft

Music - most sorts - classical, jazz, rock, world, reggae, easy listening. favorite tunes at present:

Lady Gaga
Steely Dan
Bach cello concerto
Natacha Atlas
The Who

Thanks a lot
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
If I had £1800, I would have a very close look at:

a Musical Fidelity A5 integrated amp ... a good used one (boxed etc) on ebay will cost you approx £750 (250 watts @ 8 ohms)

a brand new Rega Apollo cd player for approx £450

IMF Reference Monitor speakers .... these are 4 way transmissions ... expect to pay approx £650-£700 for these .... although large and old, these are excellent speakers and prices are rising daily as they are becoming highly sought after

that brings the total to approx £1950 (slightly overbudget), and you will have a very good system IMHO .... although slightly overbudget, I would eat beans on toast for a month to get this system

sadly, it will most prob not be possible to audition all 3 of these together, ... you would have to rely on reviews from people who own/owned these individual components .... so that may be a downside for you (unless you buy 1 component at a time, then take that to whoever is selling the other components and test on his premisis before bidding) ...

although I have not owned the exact combination, I have owned IMF TLS80's and heard both the rega cdp and MF amp ... I would say that this would be a very good system and think that you would have to spend a lot more money for new items to find a similar setup that even comes close to this
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Second hand offers great value, but I'm even more at sea in the second hand market as I am in the new. It's great to have recommendations though,and I'll take a look. the cyrus stuff Iggi is recommending is too much money - each component is about £1200, but some of these (particularly as earlier models) are available 2nd hand.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The Cyrus is indeed £1.5k but you have your amp and source in one box.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
This may be a very dumb question, but let me check. Iggi - your plan would be to get the Cyrus and then plug in the digital output of any old banger CD player, let the decent dac in the Cyrus do the hard work, and Robert is yer Mother's brother?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
You've got it! The Cyrus has several digital inputs so you can have one from the TV, DVD/CD player, computer, etc. Just a thought, you might not even like the sound of it!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Ok thanks, so - another dumb one coming up!
I'm being told a lot about sampling rates and laser cofiguration etc, with folk stressing the necessity of reading the disc accurately. Much is made of the Pioneer's 196Khz, 4x oversampling etc.
I do understand that this is a chain process with each link contributing/detracting something from the sonic performance, but your approach might suggest that the relative importance of each bit/or the ability of 'average' components to do each stage varies quite a lot.
So - do 'average' cd players do a pretty good job of reading CD info, whilst the DAC is a more critical component?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
igglebert:You might not even like the sound of it!. Maybe, but now I know at least to have a listen.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
The Cyrus kit can leave some cold with its' sound. If you want something with that "old school" kind of feel to it, I hear the Leema Pulse from the contemporary field is worth a shout.

If you're prepared to get into the secondhand realm, see if you can land my amp (available from the US more readily than here and I know of one dealer who does a thorough service before sale). Massive sound, huge bass, not shy on midrange and with a lovely treble to it. You can listen to this one for hours (I am these days). It can take a power amp as well, but with 85wpc on tap (a conservative rating I think), you'll need a big room for it to struggle. Sansui made some great kit and the 717 really sings. I mentioned in another thread my current set-up cost me a whisker off £600 at used prices. New, I'd need to spend at least your budget and I suspect then some to better it now.

Failing that, try out Q Acoustics 1050i speakers - a huge box for the money, Hi Fi World Product of the year in 2008, big old "analogue" sound and bags of fun apparently. The new 2050 is out, so the 1050i is on for good prices, often less than £200 and for that price, it's a steal.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Been listening and looking all weekend - same as last w/e too. Coming to some conclusions I think;

[*]I think I do want new - I know second hand is better value often, but this is going to last until I'm too deaf to appreciate it!
[*]The Quad is not to my taste (I thought it would be my favourite!) at least with the 99 CDP2 and I cant afford any other config
[*]To me the Pioneer is very likeable. Sonically clear and detailed and suits my usual type of music. I've been messing about with speaker positions as well (just to introduce another variable!) and this has changed things for the better I think.
[*]Leaves me enough money for new speakers
 

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