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Help with a new set-up

saintedward

Active member
Apr 22, 2020
9
1
25
Hello,

I'm looking at building a hi-fi setup but this is a new world for me and I'm confused by the choice available to me...

I have an Audio Technica LP3 turntable, currently linked up to an old JVC mini system, it makes the turntable sound muddy as hell so I'm not currently using it. I previously used a Philips MCM760 micro system that it sounded okay through but I'm in a house now and want something that'll make it sing.

I'm looking at a £400-£500 budget (max) and I'm open to an amp that I could add a CD player to later as long as it's something that'll support either native streaming (though Spotify Connect) or decent bluetooth connectivity and ideally something bundled with speakers.

As far as amp & speaker units I've considered these:

So far as all in one units, i've considered the following:
Can anyone help suggest the best use of (up to) £400 for what I'm after? I know better audio would cost more and I could spend a lot more than my budget but any of these would be a huge sonic improvement on my current set-up. I just want my AT:LP3 to sound good, streaming to be simple and if no integrated CD player then something I can add one to in the future.

Thanks in advance, any help would be appreciated!
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
339
124
19,070
I think a CA AXA25 with Dali Spektor 2 and a Yamaha wxad 10 streamer falls within your budget. If you can stretch to the AXA35 (or find a discounted one), even better. The Denon Ceol units look appealing, but there's quite a few reports with WiFi dropouts, and they don't have an Ethernet connection.
 

saintedward

Active member
Apr 22, 2020
9
1
25
Yeah i think I discounted the CEOL, they look pretty but i'd rather put my money into substance.

Leaning towards the Yamaha R-N602, although the CA AXA25/AXA35 are nice looking units
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
339
124
19,070
Yeah i think I discounted the CEOL, they look pretty but i'd rather put my money into substance.

Leaning towards the Yamaha R-N602, although the CA AXA25/AXA35 are nice looking units
I'm not a huge fan of Yamaha amplification - it's a bit uninvolving for me - but a great lot of people like it. It's got very airy highs and a big soundstage - also, their music cast app is actually not the worst thing out there (that's why I recommended the wxad10). It's also a neat one-box solution, so it's worth a try.
 

saintedward

Active member
Apr 22, 2020
9
1
25
Yeah, I'm trying to find out if I can link the Yamaha to a Google Home or Alexa so I can ask Google/Alexa to play 'x' song and then it comes out via the Yamaha amp and speakers. That's the plan
 
Jun 5, 2020
5
1
20
I think a CA AXA25 with Dali Spektor 2 and a Yamaha wxad 10 streamer falls within your budget. If you can stretch to the AXA35 (or find a discounted one), even better. The Denon Ceol units look appealing, but there's quite a few reports with WiFi dropouts, and they don't have an Ethernet connection.
The latest CEOL model does have an ethernet connection... Now looks more appealing than earlier models.
 
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Jun 5, 2020
5
1
20
Hello,

I'm looking at building a hi-fi setup but this is a new world for me and I'm confused by the choice available to me...

I have an Audio Technica LP3 turntable, currently linked up to an old JVC mini system, it makes the turntable sound muddy as hell so I'm not currently using it. I previously used a Philips MCM760 micro system that it sounded okay through but I'm in a house now and want something that'll make it sing.

I'm looking at a £400-£500 budget (max) and I'm open to an amp that I could add a CD player to later as long as it's something that'll support either native streaming (though Spotify Connect) or decent bluetooth connectivity and ideally something bundled with speakers.

As far as amp & speaker units I've considered these:

So far as all in one units, i've considered the following:
Can anyone help suggest the best use of (up to) £400 for what I'm after? I know better audio would cost more and I could spend a lot more than my budget but any of these would be a huge sonic improvement on my current set-up. I just want my AT:LP3 to sound good, streaming to be simple and if no integrated CD player then something I can add one to in the future.

Thanks in advance, any help would be appreciated!
I'm posting too late to be helpful to the OP, but I have a very similar quandary. Shortlist is down to:
  • Denon CEOL RCD-N10 and Dali Oberon 1 - bundle deal £549 at Exceptional AV
  • Yamaha WXA-50 and Dali Spektor 2 - which I think can be had bundled for about £500 Richer Sounds / Peter Tyson
  • Yamaha NX N500 Powered Speakers - £400 refurbished at Peter Tyson
The first option looks like the most bang for the buck in terms of features, but I have no clue which would offer the best sound quality. I like the simplicity of the NX N500 and these might fit a £400 budget if you can find them.
 

saintedward

Active member
Apr 22, 2020
9
1
25
I'm posting too late to be helpful to the OP, but I have a very similar quandary. Shortlist is down to:
  • Denon CEOL RCD-N10 and Dali Oberon 1 - bundle deal £549 at Exceptional AV
  • Yamaha WXA-50 and Dali Spektor 2 - which I think can be had bundled for about £500 Richer Sounds / Peter Tyson
  • Yamaha NX N500 Powered Speakers - £400 refurbished at Peter Tyson
The first option looks like the most bang for the buck in terms of features, but I have no clue which would offer the best sound quality. I like the simplicity of the NX N500 and these might fit a £400 budget if you can find them.
Not too late!

I'm still looking, but mainly I'm trying to budget and figure out the best placement of a system, so I'm struggling with decisions on speakers and where to actually have my set up in my house. I've done a lot of reading and the CEOL looks really nice, but I'm not sure if they're more design-oriented. If I already had speakers I'd maybe be tempted by the Marantx Melody X because it looks awesome and it's specced out well.

Seems the thing is to decide what you want, I'd love to have everything all linked up together but I'd maybe settle for a decent unit for CD and vinyl then just have a couple of streaming speakers dotted around.:

1) https://www.richersounds.com/search/?q=Denon+DM41
2) https://www.richersounds.com/project-mm-phono-pre-amp.html
3) https://www.richersounds.com/search/?q=Cambridge+Audio+One

I like the look of the cambridge, but the DM41DAB is a huge step up from my current system and would be awesome, but I gotta be careful with speakers because of space in the room I think we'd want them in. The R-N602 by Yamaha has been recommended a lot but I want a CD player and can't afford to splurge on one of them at the same time and although the MusicCast ecosystem is meant to be very good it's both expensive and proprietary so you're very much tied in, altough for streaming speakers I've been looking at this https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/symfonisk-wifi-bookshelf-speaker-black-80357557/ which is almost a Sonos-1 but a lot cheaper, good reviews and price on it too.
 

saintedward

Active member
Apr 22, 2020
9
1
25
I'm posting too late to be helpful to the OP, but I have a very similar quandary. Shortlist is down to:
  • Denon CEOL RCD-N10 and Dali Oberon 1 - bundle deal £549 at Exceptional AV
  • Yamaha WXA-50 and Dali Spektor 2 - which I think can be had bundled for about £500 Richer Sounds / Peter Tyson
  • Yamaha NX N500 Powered Speakers - £400 refurbished at Peter Tyson
The first option looks like the most bang for the buck in terms of features, but I have no clue which would offer the best sound quality. I like the simplicity of the NX N500 and these might fit a £400 budget if you can find them.
Also, I'm looking at the Marantz Melody-M (https://www.richersounds.com/search/?q=Marantz+Melody+M-CR412) which is a decent price at the moment and the JBL Link speaker https://www.richersounds.com/jbl-link-portable-black.html?utm_source=emailmarketing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200605__mixed_7__actives&utm_content=2020-06-05 but not sure if it would really be better than the IKEA/Sonos option
 
Jun 5, 2020
5
1
20
Some thoughts, in a rushed and disordered list:
  • I thought your turntable has a pre-amp built in? So no need for that?
  • Melody X looks lovely but expensive and hard to find.
  • I've discounted the Denon DM41 because it lacks true streaming options - it's blue-tooth only which is a pain if you walk around with your phone in your pocket. Spotify Connect / other wifi streaming services are much more robust and can offer better sound quality.
  • Have also looked at RN602 but it looks big and bulky. The WXA50 offers all that the RN602 does in a much neater package. Don't be put off by MusicCast, it works well, and there's native support for Bluetooth / Spotify Connect / Airplay so you don't even need to use it if you don't want to.
  • I do own a Yamaha MCR-N470d which perhaps ticks all your boxes. Neat little system with enjoyable sound and better streaming options than the DM41.
  • My instinct is to steer away from Sonos, but I'm not sure it's particularly rational. The Ikea speakers seem well reviewed. Don't know if they have inputs for your turntable?
For me it's important to get some quality hifi gear that can scale / mix and match over time. The CEOL plus Oberon 1s probably offers the best value in that sense - and I'd expect those speakers to outlast the CEOL unit.

I'd be interested to know if the WXA50 sounds better than the CEOL N10... but it's perhaps unlikely anyone has done a side by side comparison.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Some thoughts, in a rushed and disordered list:
  • I thought your turntable has a pre-amp built in? So no need for that?
  • Melody X looks lovely but expensive and hard to find.
  • I've discounted the Denon DM41 because it lacks true streaming options - it's blue-tooth only which is a pain if you walk around with your phone in your pocket. Spotify Connect / other wifi streaming services are much more robust and can offer better sound quality.
  • Have also looked at RN602 but it looks big and bulky. The WXA50 offers all that the RN602 does in a much neater package. Don't be put off by MusicCast, it works well, and there's native support for Bluetooth / Spotify Connect / Airplay so you don't even need to use it if you don't want to.
  • I do own a Yamaha MCR-N470d which perhaps ticks all your boxes. Neat little system with enjoyable sound and better streaming options than the DM41.
  • My instinct is to steer away from Sonos, but I'm not sure it's particularly rational. The Ikea speakers seem well reviewed. Don't know if they have inputs for your turntable?
For me it's important to get some quality hifi gear that can scale / mix and match over time. The CEOL plus Oberon 1s probably offers the best value in that sense - and I'd expect those speakers to outlast the CEOL unit.

I'd be interested to know if the WXA50 sounds better than the CEOL N10... but it's perhaps unlikely anyone has done a side by side comparison.
I would think the main difference between these two is going to come from the speakers you use them with and not the amp themselves.....
 
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saintedward

Active member
Apr 22, 2020
9
1
25
Some thoughts, in a rushed and disordered list:
  • I thought your turntable has a pre-amp built in? So no need for that?
  • Melody X looks lovely but expensive and hard to find.
  • I've discounted the Denon DM41 because it lacks true streaming options - it's blue-tooth only which is a pain if you walk around with your phone in your pocket. Spotify Connect / other wifi streaming services are much more robust and can offer better sound quality.
  • Have also looked at RN602 but it looks big and bulky. The WXA50 offers all that the RN602 does in a much neater package. Don't be put off by MusicCast, it works well, and there's native support for Bluetooth / Spotify Connect / Airplay so you don't even need to use it if you don't want to.
  • I do own a Yamaha MCR-N470d which perhaps ticks all your boxes. Neat little system with enjoyable sound and better streaming options than the DM41.
  • My instinct is to steer away from Sonos, but I'm not sure it's particularly rational. The Ikea speakers seem well reviewed. Don't know if they have inputs for your turntable?
For me it's important to get some quality hifi gear that can scale / mix and match over time. The CEOL plus Oberon 1s probably offers the best value in that sense - and I'd expect those speakers to outlast the CEOL unit.

I'd be interested to know if the WXA50 sounds better than the CEOL N10... but it's perhaps unlikely anyone has done a side by side comparison.
It's just trying to find a way of ticking the boxes I want to tick while keeping the cost down, I've got a wee Google home, and I like being able to stream easily through that so I'm tempted to get something like the IKEA/Sonos which would like to the Google for steaming then I can use the system for physical media or add on a Chromecast Audio.

I've checked out that Yamaha and it looked good but the Cambridge One seemed to be a little better by way of power outputs. If I went for a streaming system I'd want something that will cooperate with Google.

Ideally I'd have a decent amp, speakers and cd player (integrated or not) and then the system would link up to Google Home and I would be able to choose what I play music through. If I could have a decent system in the lounge that utilises CD & vinyl as well as being able to easiy stream then add in another streaming speaker in the kitchen/diner but I might just have to settle for a decent system and separate streaming option, which seems a little daft when I'm looking to get something with half decent speakers in the first place.
 
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saintedward

Active member
Apr 22, 2020
9
1
25
The D-M41DAB seems to review better for audio quality than the MCR-N470d and it's cheaper so I'd rather go down that route... the WXA50 seems awesome but I'd still have to add a CD player to it sometime so it's not as cost-effective.

I'm thinking the D-M41DAB could be hooked up to a Chromecast Audio which then turns it into a streaming system, then I can add in a Sonos or similar in the other room so it's all linked together.
 

Vim Fuego

Active member
Jun 8, 2020
10
3
25
Thumbs up for the CEOL-N10 here. Picked one up with a pair of Q Acoustics 3020i for less than £500 from Richer Sounds, and I'm liking it ALOT. I can stream very high bitrate DSF files from SACD and it sounds superb. Even low bitrate Spotify and Internet radio sound great.

I got a chromecast audio connected via the optical in and that adds to my existing chromecast/Google home multiroom.

It's a shame the N-10 doesn't do native chromecast support (we can always hope they add it). That's really the only negative.

As well as loving the features and sound quality, the HEOS app is really good, I dont even the remote control.

Bluetooth support is lacking (SBC only), but then who even uses Bluetooth for listening to anything worthwhile?
 
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saintedward

Active member
Apr 22, 2020
9
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Thumbs up for the CEOL-N10 here. Picked one up with a pair of Q Acoustics 3020i for less than £500 from Richer Sounds, and I'm liking it ALOT. I can stream very high bitrate DSF files from SACD and it sounds superb. Even low bitrate Spotify and Internet radio sound great.

I got a chromecast audio connected via the optical in and that adds to my existing chromecast/Google home multiroom.

It's a shame the N-10 doesn't do native chromecast support (we can always hope they add it). That's really the only negative.

As well as loving the features and sound quality, the HEOS app is really good, I dont even the remote control.

Bluetooth support is lacking (SBC only), but then who even uses Bluetooth for listening to anything worthwhile?

I'd rather go for native Google support, the CEOL does that, the Cambridge Audio One seems closest to that but it's a tad cheaper. Placement of speakers is awkward in my lounge and I'm trying to find something that's easy to link up to other speakers downstairs, which might make Musiccast or HEOS good options, there's the IKEA/Sonos speakers which work with Google, well reviewed here but won't work with Yamaha.

I've spent a long time considering what I want out of a setup and it's making narrowing it down hard

- Decent power and good sound, but I'm looking for fairly compact speakers
- Preferably an all-in-one with a CD player
- Will connect to wireless speakersd
- Network connectivity, ideally via Google
- Nearer £400 but that doesn't have to include wireless speakers, they can be added later
 

iMark

Well-known member
May 16, 2008
227
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18,820
We bought the Yamaha R-N602 a couple of years ago and it is a great hub for our audio/video set up. It's a bit bulky but it sits in our hifi rack so that's not a problem. It's got a very nice sounding phono stage for our Pro-Ject record player. It sounds excellent with Spotify Connect, which is nicely integrated with the MusicCast app. Our TV sounds great through the optical connection. CDs sounds great through a coaxial connection from the bluray player. My old minidisc deck sounds great through a second optical connection. AirPlay streaming from the Mac works flawlessly. It powers two sets of speakers in separate rooms. What's not to like apart from the size of the box?

For the time being we also use the FM tuner connected to our analogue cable connection. But that will be switched off either in 2020 or 2021. The tuner sounds pretty good though.

The R-N602 is one of the best pieces of kit I've ever bought and it's really good value for money if you consider all the stuff it can do. There aren't many similar boxes on the market with a good phono stage, a good DAC and very good streaming capabilities.
 
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Vim Fuego

Active member
Jun 8, 2020
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I don't consider myself an audio snob, but Spotify Connect isn't a quality based music source, it's only marginally better than the connecting via Bluetooth (the work of the devil himself).

It's great to have the features for convenience, but if you are spending upwards of a few hundred quid, you should be insisting that whatever you buy supports HD audio 24/96 and or DSD. I know the CEOL-N10 does this, along with pretty much everything else (except Chromecast Audio, it only has Google Home support, which is different), but it's easily and cheaply upgraded to support that.
 
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Wop78

Member
Jul 31, 2020
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I don't consider myself an audio snob, but Spotify Connect isn't a quality based music source, it's only marginally better than the connecting via Bluetooth (the work of the devil himself).

It's great to have the features for convenience, but if you are spending upwards of a few hundred quid, you should be insisting that whatever you buy supports HD audio 24/96 and or DSD. I know the CEOL-N10 does this, along with pretty much everything else (except Chromecast Audio, it only has Google Home support, which is different), but it's easily and cheaply upgraded to support that.
I own a CEOL-N10 and it does support HI-RES audio and DSD up to 5.6 Mhz. It does that effortlessly.
 

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