Hi-fi Story In 2010


New member
Apr 29, 2008
2008 i bought the core of my system (Arcams / Neat Motives) 2009 saw me upgrading the speaker stands and cables and add the wadia dock 2010 has been less about outlay and more on refining i purchased a Blok Stax 400 unit and traded up to a couple of Russ Andrews signature powerkords which has been icing on the cake really. living on the outskirts of London must mean my power supply is poor as the cables make a decent different in my house. finally my turntable was sold and a DAC upgraded to to Arcams rdac. has been a good year and some enjoyable tweaking - ive not much left to do for 2011 really but i would be tempted if Arcam or Naim produce a streamer / tuner / dock separate (without amp to keep the price down) - Naim is more focused on one box solutions at the moment. anyway thats my year in hifi - not so exciting as the previous two but still worthwhile - any more stories out there :)


Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
2006 - Got back into hif after a long break. Still had my 20 year old Yamaha RX series 70w/ch receiver and Yamaha CDP. Didn't have speakers so I purchased a pair of ex dem B&W CM7s at 20% off. Kind of did this on a whim. I was blown away by the quality sound. That purchase started the hifi fever in me. And it's still raging today.

2007 - Purchased a Denon DVD player to replace the Yamy CDP.

2008 - Purchased a NAD C355bee to replace the Yamy amp. Again, blown away by the improvement. The weak bass become powerful and deep. Everything improved in the mids and highs as well.

2009 - Purchased a NAD C545bee CDP to replace the Denon DVD player. Again, I could not believe how much difference this made.

2009 - Purchased Chord cables all around. Another step up in SQ.

2009 - Purchased Spendor A6 speakers to replace the B&W CM7s. Loved them, but sold them after about 3 months. Decided they weren't for me. Started a search for the perfect speakers.

2009 - Tried Monitor Audio RS6. Love them....until I tried Dynaudio Excite X12. Wow. Found the sound I love. Dynaudio! Traded the X12s fro X16s. Traded the X16's for Contour S1.4s.

2010 - Purchased a benchmark DAC and used the NAD CDP for a transport only. Love the DAC. Another step up in SQ.

2010 - Purchased NAD C165bee pre-amp and a QUAD 909 amp to replace the NAD C355bee.

2010 - Purchased a NAD C275bee amp to match the pre-amp. Sold the Quad.

2010 - Purchased Bryston BP6 preamp and 4Bsst2 amp to replace the NAD setup.

2010 - Purchased an Apple TV to replace the NAD CDP.

2010 - Lost my job, boxed up everything, moved to a small apartment and switched to a headphone rig.

2011 - Found a great new job. Built a new bigger home with a dedicated hifi room 12'x17'. Specially sound proofed. Dedicated power line. Unboxed everything. Retired my headphone rig. Mini-fridge and other man-cave accessories. Happy, happy, joy..... :)

Merry Christmas!


2008 bought my Spendor SA1 to replace my Monitor Audio RS1. This was driven by a Rotel RA03 and Roksan Kandy MKIII source. Major improvement.

Later bought a Musical Fidelity XRay v8 which cleaned up the bass and was less bright. Very nice.

Then upgraded an ebay'ed Quad 405 to the Netaudio MK3 with DMPSU and BB OPA627 opamps. The latter were upgraded from Analogue Devices 843 and sounded more detailed and clearer.

2009 I upgraded a stack of mains cables. Not sure about the changes.

Then we moved house. Big, big, big improvements. Wow.

Then I got some matching stands for the speakers which I thought made a good difference from my Apollo A6. The sound was less bright and the bass improved. More defined all round.

2010 (just) Got an itch to move to a much simpler set up with DAC. I was looking at getting a new amp, possibly mono bloc'ing my custom Quad and also getting a combined pre, DAC and CD transport. I was shortlisting the new Audiolab kit, the Naim Supernait, and other more messy solutions.

Then I bought some AVI ADM 9.1T, slightly randomly. I went to a couple of other forum user's houses and auditioned. I ordered some the same week. I'll post more thoughts on the results later this holiday break, but it has been a superb change.

This morning I unwrapped an Apple Airport Express. I'm not at home but will feedback soon.


Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
2007 - I had had an Arcam CD62 and Yamaha KX390 cassette deck into a Rega Mira amp and B&W DM301 speakers along with a Musical Fidelity X-CANV2 with Grado SR80s headphones for about 5 years. Then the Arcam etc went to a friend in need for a bottle of malt whisky. The X-CANV2 and Grados went into the loft. That Christmas I was given an ipod Classic and I bought a Bose Sounddock.

2008 - on the 2nd of January I joined the form to see if there was a way to connect the ipod to the X-CANV2. Got the Russ Andrews GQ-24. Intrigued by the idea of using the PC as a source, I asked some more questions. I went to upgrade my X-CANV2 and found that it was actually a previous version, the X-CANS inside. Told Musical Fidelity and got a phone call from the owner Antony Michaelson, an apology and an X-CANV8P for free!!! It has a DAC in it so I was now up and running with itunes off the laptop. Sent an invite for Spotify. Got the AKG K702s for Christmas.

2009 - bought Chebby's Firestone Fubar USB DAC and Supplier. Got the Goldring NS1000 as they appeared on Play.com for £49. Got sucked into the SHB bandwagon and replaced the no brand interconnects that had come with the Firestone DAC. Now hooked on Spotify bought the Premium version.

2010 - over the year the headphone collection grew significantly with purchases from ebay of AKG K240, 280 Parabolics, Sony DR4C and 5A, Quadraflex A40, Panasonic EAH500 and Pioneer SE305s. Dabbled in DIY and made my own cables, the grandly titled 'Out of This World Audio' range. In doing so realised cables make no difference to sound quality. Christmas and have just ordered the AKG K271 MkIIs.


Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
Nothing much to report from 2010. Started the year thinking about all sorts of changes (downgrades, upgrades, sidegrades etc.)

Realised by the end of the year that it's all *****locks.

Yes that's right. Goldilocks.

I concluded (after a serendipitous £43 purchase a couple of months ago) that my system is "just right" after all. I even unpacked my CD player and started using it again.


Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
Merry christmas everyone

2010's been a defining hifi year for me. I've spent far too much money and built my system from scratch but couldn't be more delighted with the consequences. A combination of auditioning and taking a few risks, I'm really happy with the looks and more important the sound of my system
It really has opened up my existing music collection again and inspired me to buy more new music than I have in about 10 years. Looking forward to an exciting music and hifi 2011


For me it's been a 12month journey December 2009 I bought my Adm 9.1's Cyrus discmaster and Partington Superdreads. Then this December I got the matching Adm Sub and I just got an Aex for Christmas, and I have truly re found my love of music. Oh! I am one of the other forum members that Iggle visited t listen to the Adms.


Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
I won't write a book, though I probably could on this topic.

Back in 2005 I bought myself a system of Arcam DiVa CD73T/A65+ and Quad 11L speakers, which I was blown away with and enjoyed for a good 2 years. For some insane reason I got seduced by the whole vintage thing and then ended up spending the next couple of years switching and changing like mad. I went through all sorts of equipment including Naim, Cyrus, Cambridge Audio, Marantz, Rotel, Denon, Sansui, Pioneer, Harman-Kardon, TEAC, Philips, Sony, NAD etc. At one point I went back to a CD73T but paired with an A70 amp hoping it would give me back the magic I'd previously had. The A70, sadly, turned out to be a a bit of a wet blanket and not anything like as good as the A65+ so I didn't find satisfaction there either and carried on my quest.

During this time I've had (amongst other things) Cambridge amps with poor channel balance, a Cyrus 7 amp that could strip wallpaper off the walls, some expensive Denon 1500 series kit that was tiring to listen to, a NAD C545BEE that was overly bassy and had a too-noisy mechanism and all sorts of other things.

2010 has continued the steady parade of kit. Yamaha CD-S700 and A-S700 with Mission 792s, NAD C545BEE with C326BEE and various speakers, and another go with the Rotel RCD965BX and Marantz CD63 KI Sig CD players with the Pioneer A400 amp.

Now? Well, in September I bought the Arcam A18 with some B&W 686 speakers. I could hear so much of what I was looking for but felt that the B&Ws weren't really making the most of the amp. Hearing the Dali Lektor 2s, after a brief dalliance with some KEF iQ10s, dropped everything into the right place. They work superbly with the A18 and punch massively above their price tag. Then, hearing the Arcam CD17 in place of a Cambridge 650C showed how much more performance the system is capable of.

So, in some ways, I've come full circle although I feel the current Arcam electronics are a good step up from those DiVA units I bought 5 years ago. I also feel that the Dali Lektors are a better all-round speaker than the Quad 11Ls. I think significantly improving the system now would involve spending massive amounts of money. The next worthwhile step up would be an A38 and a CD37, but I really don't feel the need. The system sounds wonderful with the full range of my musical tastes. Nothing is over-stated or uncomfortable and yet none of the impact or dynamic range of the music is softened in any way. It is a natural, realistic and involving sound.

Plans for 2011? I'd like a really good turntable and I would like to get the Arcam DAB tuner. A Squeezebox Touch is definitely on the cards as well.


april 2010. got a yamaha rxv-765 and a pair of monitor audio br5s, used my blu-ray player for cd's.

still in april. got a nad c326bee, big improvement, then got a marantz cd6003, another nice step-up.

may 2010. upgraded the br5's for rx6's, a nice improvement..

june 2010. swapped the nad for a marantz pm6003 which i much preffered to the nad..

sep 2010, sold the pm6003 and bought a pm7000, small improvement and some money saved too.

nov 2010. bought an acoustic energy radience sub. sold the pm7000 and bought a pair of mission 760i's, traded in the rx6's and bought a yamaha as-500..

still in nov. bought a pair of soundstyle z2i stands and a pair of dynaudio dm 2/7's (had some store credit left from the rx6s), the biggest improvement, like jax i knew instantly that the dyns were perfect for me
, sold the missions and my avr..

dec 2010. got spotify and an airport express..

2011? a job


2009 first purchase for 10 years of any Hifi equipment a NAD BEE545 cd player and have to say after a few teething problems has to be the best money spent in improving the overall sound of my Hifi system.

2010 purchase of the Sony BDP370 blu ray player and have to say that this has got to be the best purchase of any equipment that I have done for a long time... "stunning picture quality for very little money"

2011 i`m going to seriously look at going down the road of digital media etc....having being bought a Ipod Nano earlier last year for the car, feel that this is a new medium of discovery and am looking forward to a new adventure in this area

My resolution for 2011 is to spend more time in trying to discover new artists/music etc and try and sit down and listen to more music rather than sit and watching the telly


New member
Jun 20, 2008
I hadn't had a "proper" hi-fi for 25 years, only lots of portable plastic boxes! Then....

2009: Denon DM37DAB with Tannoy F1 Custom speakers. Simply amazing, and especially so when I got the speaker stands a month afterwards.

2010: Fairly early on
in the year bought myself the Marantz CD6003 to hook up to it, and that's when I started to get a bit of the bug!

Around June picked up a Pioneer A-400 with some Mission 780SE speakers; an amazing combination but couldn't reach it's potential as it wasn't too well suited to my bedroom set-up for low volume listening (I still have the amp which I won't sell). Then bought Dali Lektor 1's which didn't work out either. Wonderful little speakers but the bass would boom too much due to the room acoustics.

Next up the Marantz PM6003 and what a wonderful amp this is. The Pioneer is pretty exceptional but I really needed an amp with a remote and tone controls for little tweaks for late night listening (inconsiderate neighbours kept wanting me to turn the music down!). Next up were going to be a pair of AVI Neutron 5's but whilst I was waiting for them to come back in stock I chanced upon an amazing ex-dem deal on my Focal 706V's (£255, hardly used!) Now for stand mounts these are BIG and they are pretty dominant in the room but they sound simply incredible.

2011: Atacama SL600 speaker stands at some point. I really do need a stand with a large top plate to accommodate the Focal's. No plans/thoughts on anything else, but may have a look at an ex-dem Arcam FMJ A18 at some stage as I get the feeling it would work rather well with the Focal's.

Anyway, many thanks for all the help and advice I've been given on here by too many people to mention, and also for putting up with my many drunken ramblings!

Happy New Year to all members and WHF staff!!

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
2010 has served me well. A quick recap.

2007 - wanted music in the bedroom. Hence purchased Tivoli Audio Model Two Radio with iPod dock.

2008 - accidently got the hifi upgrade fever when the tweeter on my 10 years old TDL RTL3SE speaker blew and my Marantz CD6000 started to skip. Been using the same set up since 1997. In May, replaced the TDLs with EPOS M12.2 and the CD6000 with a CD6002. Also leaped into the world of Blu Ray by purchasing Sony flagship BDP-S1 and Samsung 40" Full HD LCD.

Added a matching Tivoli Audio CD player and Subwoofer to the bedroom set up.

2009 - replaced the Marantz CD6002 with Rega Apollo in July. Also upgraded my interconnects to QED Signature and power cables to QED Qonduit. Was introduced to the small wonder named Airport Express and started to stream music to AE which was connected to a DAC.

By Nov 2009, purchased the Samsung 55" LED TV and started to stream movies from laptop.

2010 - the upgrade fever was unstoppable. Started off in January where me and my wife was blessed with a second child, had me go into the world of HeadFi. Purchased MF XCANV2 from ebay and Bose Around the Ears headphones. In July 2010, made quite a big revamped to the whole system:

Replaced Rega Apollo with MF XRay V3 in July.
Replaced MF XCAN V2 with MF XCAN V3 in July.
Replaced Bose Around the Ear headphone with Alessandro-Grado MS Pro in July.
Added MF XPSU V3 and X10 V3 in August.
Purchased a second hand TEAC V6030S tape deck in June.
Replaced IXOS 604 speaker cable with QED XT Airloc(cant remember the full name)Biwire cables in July.
Added MF M1 DAC in September.
Added QED uPlay and NAD Analogue to Digital Converter in November.
Replaced the EPOS M12.2 with ProAc D18 in November.
Added Belkin PF50 power console in December.
Last but not least, could not resist the 64 GB wifi 3G iPad purchased in December. Stream music via the QED uPlay.

For the bedroom set up, replaced the Tivoli Audio set up with a simple Bose Wave music system in December (to be delivered this Wednesday)

Starting up a second set up using the EPOS M12.2 and Marantz CD6000 connected to ARCAM rDAC (purchased in October)

So, whats coming in 2011?

My wishlist:

1. MF CLiC
2. MF X150 or MF M6 amp with matching power amp
3. Creek Evo 2 amp for the second set up