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Hi-Fi Newb Seeking Advice On Amp-Speaker Combination & Connections

gigmagig

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Apr 7, 2021
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Hi, first off my thanks to What Hi Fi forum Admin for accepting my request to join the community here.

I'm thinking about buying a Rega io stereo amplifier and pondering on a few things. If anyone can help that would be great.

The speakers I'm drawn towards are Q Acoustics, but I'm unsure which would best work with that amp and its 30 watts per channel into 8 ohms.

Of the two choices; the 3020i and 3010i I'm guessing with my room size around 16 by 14 feet the 10i would be more suitable. The space is pretty box like and my distance to current speakers is about 4 feet. In those conditions I'm guessing smaller is better, right?

Looking at the10i speakers specs: Frequency Response (+3 dB, -6 dB): 65 Hz – 30 kHz, Nominal Impedance: 6 Ω
Minimum Impedance: 4 Ω Sensitivity (2.83 Vrms@1 m): 86 dB

Am I right to see no issues of these working with the Rega io?

My second question concerns hooking up, via playback output from a USB audio interface into the auxiliary ports of the Rega io amp.

I'd connect using a 2 x 6.35 mm to 2RCA Cable,Dual 1/4 inch TS Stereo Jack Male to 2 RCA Male Stereo Audio Cable Splitter Adapter.

Doing that I'd be hoping to play Flac files from my laptop through the amp/speakers. That sound doable?

It will be really helpful to receive your advice and thoughts.
 
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jjbomber

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Dec 22, 2006
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If it was me, which it isn't, I would go for the Wharfdale Diamond 220 speakers and the Denon PMA30 amplifier, or Denon PMA600 if you have room for a full size amp. Both these amps have digital inputs. I would use a Behringer UCA222 to take the digital sound from the laptop via USB and connect via an optical cable to the amplifier of choice.
I don't know what laptop you have, but my guess is that the DAC in the Denon amps will be superior to the built in DAC in the laptop. This should give you a better sound.
As I say, it's not me who's buying, but you. Therefore you need to listen for yourself, but I would certainly add the above to the audition list.
 
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muljao

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Jul 18, 2016
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I agree with above about getting something so you can use a hifi dac rather than your computer one.

None of these options are bad. The q acoustics, even the small ones are really good, despite their size. I have read a few times rega and q Acoustics sound well together (obviously subjective). If it was me I'd go for the 3020i or even end of line 3020 if I got them cheap over the 3010.

If you don't get an amp with a built in dac I recommend you budget about 100 pounds for one, it would open up loads of options for you going fwd
 

gigmagig

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Apr 7, 2021
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If it was me, which it isn't, I would go for the Wharfdale Diamond 220 speakers and the Denon PMA30 amplifier, or Denon PMA600 if you have room for a full size amp. Both these amps have digital inputs. I would use a Behringer UCA222 to take the digital sound from the laptop via USB and connect via an optical cable to the amplifier of choice.
I don't know what laptop you have, but my guess is that the DAC in the Denon amps will be superior to the built in DAC in the laptop. This should give you a better sound.
As I say, it's not me who's buying, but you. Therefore you need to listen for yourself, but I would certainly add the above to the audition list.
Thanks, really appreciate your insight and suggestions..I'm using Behringer UMC240d as the DAC, connecting that to auxiliaries into the amp, to hopefully play Flac audio from my laptop, That's the plan anyway :)
 

gigmagig

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Apr 7, 2021
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I agree with above about getting something so you can use a hifi dac rather than your computer one.

None of these options are bad. The q acoustics, even the small ones are really good, despite their size. I have read a few times rega and q Acoustics sound well together (obviously subjective). If it was me I'd go for the 3020i or even end of line 3020 if I got them cheap over the 3010.

If you don't get an amp with a built in dac I recommend you budget about 100 pounds for one, it would open up loads of options for you going fwd
That's very kind and helpful. My plan involves connecting up a Behringer UMC240hd to my laptop, to use that as an extrnal DAC, connected to the auxiliary ports on the Amp. Touch wood!
 

gigmagig

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Apr 7, 2021
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They should work ok but why have you limited yourself to one make when there are more efficient speakers out there?
Hi :) Because I am a noob to such choices, diversity and technical options. I guess too I'm seeking to get the best possible sound for the limited funds available,
 

gigmagig

Member
Apr 7, 2021
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Are you really going to be listening from just four feet away, or have I misunderstood?

These might be more suitable than the generally recommendable QA models. https://www.rega.co.uk/products/kyte

Note the QA are all very deep, so check with your tape measure they’ll fit where you think before deciding.
Hiya . . . yep the layout and restrictions of my room impose that short distance. Thanks for the speaker recommend, beyond my price range. It was my budget that lead me to QA as decent speakers for a modest outlay
 

jjbomber

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Dec 22, 2006
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Another option would be active speakers.
 

gigmagig

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Apr 7, 2021
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Another option would be active speakers.
Thank you, I can see the logic of such an option, they are beyond my allocated budget. Besides my preference would be to use an amp and connected passive speakers, if only (when not hooking up my laptop for flac file playback) to enjoy my vinyl collection.
 

nopiano

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Feb 15, 2009
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Hiya . . . yep the layout and restrictions of my room impose that short distance. Thanks for the speaker recommend, beyond my price range. It was my budget that lead me to QA as decent speakers for a modest outlay
Yes, as a stand alone buy they’re a bit pricy, but for £999 you can get speakers, the io amp, and a Planar 1 turntable. That’s better value, but I realise you may not be playing LPs.
QA are an easy listen if you’ve the depth. For an easier to place speaker (shallower cabinet design) at a low price the Dali Spektor 1 or 2 are worth a look/listen.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
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Yep stands and headphones are an option
Cool. So if you want a speaker setup, the Io will be great, but I'd second the Dali Spektor suggestion. If you don't mind having headphones on, you'd probably get better quality with a hp setup, something like a Schiit stack (Modi + Magni), or a Chord Mojo or whatever DAC with headphone amplifier + a pair of Sennheiser HD 559 or 569, for instance.
 

gigmagig

Member
Apr 7, 2021
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Cool. So if you want a speaker setup, the Io will be great, but I'd second the Dali Spektor suggestion. If you don't mind having headphones on, you'd probably get better quality with a hp setup, something like a Schiit stack (Modi + Magni), or a Chord Mojo or whatever DAC with headphone amplifier + a pair of Sennheiser HD 559 or 569, for instance.
much appreciated suggestions.
 

gigmagig

Member
Apr 7, 2021
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Update: Happy to share that having today received a decent set of RCA to RCA cables I tried connecting up my laptop > Behringer usb audio interface > playback output > auxiliary port on vintage Pioneer amp with Gale Gold speakers and .... it worked :) The Behringer output is 192k so it gives a much noted improvement to audio files. Now that it works on my ancient gear, time to invest in a Rega io amp and I'm thinking of hooking that to Wharfedale Diamonds, either the 12.0 or 12.1.
 
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