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Help with system please!

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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Hi there!

I am writing to pick the brains of hifi minds far superior to my own!

I would like to upgrade my system which is currently

Project Debut/Cyrus CD8 > CA640p/Cyrus Pre Xvs > Cyrus Smartpower > Dynaudio DM 2/6

Mix of Chord/Van Den Hul cables
Room Size - Approx. 13ft x 10ft Standard Rectangle

I have been listening to more vinyl recently, and compared to my other 'clinical' source, the rich, slightly warmer and generally more involving sound of my TT is the sound I am after through my system as a whole.

My music tastes are varied, but as a sample, I would say Spiritualized, Bjork, The Flaming Lips, The Mars Volta/Omar Rodriguez, Massive Attack, Portishead etc..however I do like to listen to the odd 'rough' recording - old blues/northern soul etc.

My budget is limited to around the £500 mark, however I will almost certainly buy s/h or p/x.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks! :)
 

Overdose

Well-known member
Feb 8, 2008
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It all depends on what you consider an upgrade to be and what you want to achieve.

For example, another Smartpower could be added to give you two monoblock amps, these should give your system a bit more headroom in the volume stakes and better control your speakers.

Alternatively, sell the speakers and use the money along with your budget to get better speakers.

It might be that your room could benefit from an acoustic panel or two. These are relatively affordable and should come in well under budget.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for the reply

I think what I am aiming for is a more involving, maybe immersive (?) sound. (Sorry I'm not that good at explaining in hifi terms

I have thought about a second smartpower, also perhaps a s/h x-power? I feel that my speakers could offer more with a better power amp, but I am also after a more refined and analogue sound when playing cd's

I understand that I may have to spend more than my original budget to achieve all this - I have also been looking at CD players, namely rega or meridian

The acoustic panels - Can you give me some examples of these please? Are the expensive? Intrusive?

Ta!
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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tomski241082 said:
The acoustic panels - Can you give me some examples of these please? Are the expensive? Intrusive? Ta!
I made my own panel, but they need be no more intrusive than a picture, indeed some have printed covers that double as artwork.

Just google for acoustic panels. There are also a few threads on the subject in this forum.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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I'd suggest auditioning a Roksan Kandy K2 CDS. It is a more organic sounding CD player than most and might just give you what you are looking for and provide some balance with the more precise sound of your amplification.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
I'll mention a player that's a little older now, maybe around three years, but which was very impressive and with a nice rounded tone - Harman Kardon's HD990. Was £500 on release, but probably available for less now. Might need to hunt round a bit for it, but a nice player.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
If you want a warmer sound all through then the cash has to go on the speakers - I'm not a fan of bookshelf speakers as I wasted a lot of time and money on reputable gear trying to get a 'floorstander' sound that unfortunately cannot happen, despite all the claims!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for all the replies and information!

The info on the acoustic panels was very useful - Had actually thought of getting some of those fabric artwork panels anyway, so maybe they would have a double use! I have some free wall space so that shouldn't be a problem - Where is the best place to place them? The speakers are on either side of a chimney breast, I have a 'spare' wall to the left, and behind, but a window to the right (but curtains can be drawn)

Regarding the bass traps - I'm not sure where I would put them, as in one corner behind the R speaker is my hifi rack, and there are CDs behind the left speaker - I guess that option is a no-no?

I have never heard of floorstanding speakers being more analogue sounding? Or did you mean they give a more 'immersive, bold' sound?

The CD player options are good too thanks - Have looked at the Roksan before, but for some silly reason I always assumed Roksan was quite a bright sound? Wrong again?

I am currently reading reviews on the HD990 - Lots of people seem to agree with you! Do they come onto the s/h market much?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks RobinKidderminster, I'll try and get one up at some point today!
 

RobinKidderminster

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May 27, 2009
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My pleasure tomski2458935246258. Luv these catchy ames :) . Have u looked at my threads & advice. I have found benefits beyond any cable or blutac tweaks. Room treatment is hugely important IMO. Cheere
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Haha, yeah, I know - It doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. I didn't know that my username that I logged in with would be the same as my forum name for some strange reason! Any idea how to change it? More to the point - How do I upload pictures ?!
 

RobinKidderminster

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May 27, 2009
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Ah. Pic loadin'. There's a tale. Help here on forum but easiest to upload onto phtobucket. Then u can copy the link and paste it here on the forum using the photo icon. The icon between the 'text' icon & the link 'chain' icon as you post.

I presume your speakers are firing across rather than down the room. If so, like my room, then IMO base traps are essential.

Good luck

PS namechange rwcon mods may help if u ask thru new thread? They is all helpful, cheery chappies!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest


These are pictures of the room where I listen to music - Hope it helps! Any suggestions welcome (Shy of chucking the plants!)
 

RobinKidderminster

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May 27, 2009
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A piccy is worth 1000 words. Bringing setee forwards would help. I see the front bass trap prob. I would experiment as I did with rockwool and if it does the job then explore professional products. Email GIK for their free, pro thoughts. Probably a panel behind and possibly corner bass traps. But I think u knew that. I recon its not a bad room layout acoustically speaking. Hopefully a few others may chip in. Else a new thread since I have helped to steer your replies in another direction. Sorry and good luck

Cheers
 

gregvet

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Dec 24, 2008
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It sounds to me like you already accheive the sound you want with vinyl, just not with CD/digital. Therefore I dont think its fair to say that the speakers need changing, if they are already capable of giving you the sound you want. Similarly with room layout etc, if the system is already giving you the sound you want with one source, it doesnt make sense to chuck the baby out with the bathwater changing everything for the sake of the one source that doesnt give you what you want (IMO of course ;) )

I would be looking at DAC's to try and change the sound you are getting digitally. The Rega dac might be worth a demo for instance, as many people describe it as analogue sounding. In my system, the most analogue digital source I have had is my Linn DS streamer, so if you could borrow a Sneaky DS as a source, might be worth a try (and almost within budget if you pick one up second hand).
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks Overdose and gregvet -

The DAC idea is one that I had pondered for a while now, but wasn't sure exactly what difference it would make - I'm assuming that I would use my CD8 as a transport, then feed it through the DAC? Would that be a better idea than selling my current CDP and using the cash to go towards either a new CDP (rega for example)?

The Linn Sneaky DS looked fantastic, and from reading the reviews, just the kind of sound I am looking for.

How would that integrate into my system? Could you please explain in 'simple' terms. (I don't mind ripping CD's if that is needed, as long as I could convert to a quality of file that is equal to CD)

I will seriously consider the acoustic panels as you suggest - What kind of size should they be in order to make a difference to the sound?

Thanks again - This is all really great information!
 

Mr Beachams

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Oct 3, 2012
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Try looking for a S/H Micromega Stage Cd player (4.5 or 6), they have more of an analogue sound than most..... but do suffer from transport problems due to the grease used .... but a quick service should sort that out.
 

gregvet

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Dec 24, 2008
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tomski241082 said:
Thanks Overdose and gregvet - The DAC idea is one that I had pondered for a while now, but wasn't sure exactly what difference it would make - I'm assuming that I would use my CD8 as a transport, then feed it through the DAC? Would that be a better idea than selling my current CDP and using the cash to go towards either a new CDP (rega for example)?
I cant say that it would definitely be better, but it would certainly be more flexible. One the one hand, if you can add to your budget by selling the CD player, you may be able to get a better CD player that the £500 budget will allow. On the other hand, a £500 DAC may be the equivalent of a £1000 CD player, as it has fewer jobs to do, so its not a simple comparison.

I would suggest if you decide to go down this route, try and borrow or demo a couple of options in your system just to see the effect it has. For demoing second hand options I often buy a couple on ebay then sell on the one(s) I dont like!

tomski241082 said:
The Linn Sneaky DS looked fantastic, and from reading the reviews, just the kind of sound I am looking for. How would that integrate into my system? Could you please explain in 'simple' terms. (I don't mind ripping CD's if that is needed, as long as I could convert to a quality of file that is equal to CD)
It acts a a source, so will send an analogue signal to the amp via RCA cables. It also has to be connected to your network via ethernet (it has no wireless as linn feel this works less well, and they are probably right). I use homeplugs to connect to the network tho which make it more flexible.

The Sneaky then has access to any digital music files stored on either a standalone hard drive (NAS) on your network, or your PC/laptop/iphone etc. Computers need to have some free software installed, Twonky, and any NAS needs to have a version of this or similar software already in place (which I think almost all that are intended for home use do now anyway). CDs can be ripped in any software you choose (I use itunes cos I have apple stuff but you can use whatever you like), and as long as you use WAV, Apple Lossless or FLAC in the ripping settings then you shouldnt hear any difference from CD (I dont other than it sounds better than CD in my system).

Once you start using it, you realise that its better to have a separate NAS on the network for music storage, unless you dont mind your PC being on all the time. This has worked best for me, and it also acts as backup for my files as I keep them on my iMac as well as the NAS.

One definite advantage to the Linn is the ability to play HiRes files, of which there are getting to be more and more. They sound bloody amazing in some cases :O

Sorry if I sound like a Linn salesman, i dont get a cut honest ;)

If you decide to go down this route, one option would be to buy one here for £750, because if it turns out not to be for you then tend to sell on ebay for between £600-700 so you can have a lengthy done for not too much money if you have to pass it along.

The only problem is that the Majik DS sounds better again, so you might end up wanting to upgrade :doh:
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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tomski241082 I will seriously consider the acoustic panels as you suggest - What kind of size should they be in order to make a difference to the sound? Thanks again - This is all really great information![/quote said:
Do a search on the topic in the forums and there a a couple of titles about acoustic panels. There is a lot of information in there.

HERE is a link for acoustic treament relating to studios, but is still relevant.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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gregvet said:
If you decide to go down this route, one option would be to buy one here for £750, because if it turns out not to be for you then tend to sell on ebay for between £600-700 so you can have a lengthy done for not too much money if you have to pass it along.
That's a great price, which (imo) makes it tremendous VFM, and very hard to beat . In fact, anyone looking for something around this money, should seriously consider it.
 

gregvet

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Dec 24, 2008
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Look what you've done to me Cno!! Im almost as vociferous as you re the DS range now lol
 

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