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Question How to modernise a full Audiolab and B&W speaker system?

oxymoronracing

Active member
Jul 28, 2020
11
7
25
Decorating the house and the full Audiolab 8000 (CD, DAC, Preamp and 2 mono block amps) driving huge B&W floorstanding speakers (USA version I think) is looking messy and takes up space. Cables everywhere and manky old table plus all the CDs never being played. Added a Chromecast and stream everything from Spotify. Thing is ... It sounds amazing and we use it alot. Should I sell the whole lot and go to smaller active speakers? Go to multi room system? It doesn't seem like a practical option to keep it in its present state/position etc. I like great sound but not an audiophile geek ... Play if loud and hard. Last alternative is to bury the wife in the garden but quite fond of her really. Any ideas?
 

prince albert

Active member
May 7, 2020
19
2
25
Put wife on eBay and buy a decent support for the system
or look at the new Naim all in one systems
all the best
prince albert
 

oxymoronracing

Active member
Jul 28, 2020
11
7
25
Put wife on eBay and buy a decent support for the system
or look at the new Naim all in one systems
all the best
prince albert
Wife placed on eBay and bids being accepted! 😀 Did go to Richer sounds and listening to the latest Naim system was, well, a bit underwhelmed. Looks wise would fit into our home but sound wise ..hmm. that got me listening to the KEF LS ... Which I think sounded much better. So wondering if active speakers and a streamer might be better option? Wife currently trending at £75 ... Wonder if I should set a 'buy it now' price 😀
 

oxymoronracing

Active member
Jul 28, 2020
11
7
25
Kefs don't need a streamer.
I listened to the KEFs and quite impressive. Only downside is they have a slave cable between them so not truly wireless. Makes it difficult to place in the room as I have stone flooring and a fireplace which makes it tricky to conceal the cable. It's a tricky balance between losing the Audiolab rack of separates and big B&Ws for minimalistic quality hi fi. Maybe some smaller active floor standing speakers that don't have to be linked to each other?
 

Jez l

Well-known member
May 1, 2020
35
24
45
Keep the system. You'll only regret selling it.

Tidy up the cables, get a new rack for it. Be happy
 

oxymoronracing

Active member
Jul 28, 2020
11
7
25
Keep the system. You'll only regret selling it.

Tidy up the cables, get a new rack for it. Be happy
There's a reason I kept it so many years ... . When I was more into hi fi I never really found much to compete with it ... Your're right I'm going to regret it! Maybe I'll hide it in the lift and buy a crappy wireless one. My wife loves the music and sound just not the mess. If I went totally streamed I could get rid of the CD and DAC and get a smaller stylish rack. Good idea.
 

amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
128
48
4,620
What you are missing is some super-expensive mains cables, power blocks and interconnects constructed only from virgin mermaids 😉 .

I am of course kidding...

Seriously though, if it sounds great to you and you love how it sounds, as said above, change nothing.

Instead, buy some cable tidies (few quid), a nice rack to show it all off, chuck in a few hours of unplugging and replugging it all up so it's as tidy as it can possibly be, then kick back and spend all the extra time/effort/money on listening to music instead.

👍👍👍
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
363
137
19,070
I listened to the KEFs and quite impressive. Only downside is they have a slave cable between them so not truly wireless. Makes it difficult to place in the room as I have stone flooring and a fireplace which makes it tricky to conceal the cable. It's a tricky balance between losing the Audiolab rack of separates and big B&Ws for minimalistic quality hi fi. Maybe some smaller active floor standing speakers that don't have to be linked to each other?
Hi. If you do decide on sleek floorstanders, look at Piega Premium Wireless 501 or 701.
 
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jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
693
232
19,270
I listened to the KEFs and quite impressive. Only downside is they have a slave cable between them so not truly wireless. Makes it difficult to place in the room as I have stone flooring and a fireplace which makes it tricky to conceal the cable. It's a tricky balance between losing the Audiolab rack of separates and big B&Ws for minimalistic quality hi fi. Maybe some smaller active floor standing speakers that don't have to be linked to each other?
Active speakers will have a mains cable to each speaker. You are effectively replacing a speaker cable with a mains cable. If you have sockets either side of the fireplace, then great.
 

oxymoronracing

Active member
Jul 28, 2020
11
7
25
Update for anyone interested and thanks for the advice. Going to keep the Audiolab 😀 hooray. Investing in a new rack that looks more in keeping with the house. I will get rid of Audiolab DAC and CD player. I really don't listen to them anymore. Going to add an Audiolab 6000n streamer and invest in some new white cables that I can hide a but better. Controversial bit ... Going to keep the B&W DM 602s but going to get them wrapped. Lowish cost and if it doesn't work out well ...
 
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oxymoronracing

Active member
Jul 28, 2020
11
7
25
The big clean. 20+ years old and most of their time in a rack on tiled floors. I thought they would be full of dust. Not so. Careful while over a quick blast if compressed air and they look pretty good. Two Audiolab monoblocs and the pre-amp.
 

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oxymoronracing

Active member
Jul 28, 2020
11
7
25
The big clean. 20+ years old and most of their time in a rack on tiled floors. I thought they would be full of dust. Not so. Careful while over a quick blast if compressed air and they look pretty good. Two Audiolab monoblocs and the pre-amp.
Slow progress but everything now in the new rack.
The big clean. 20+ years old and most of their time in a rack on tiled floors. I thought they would be full of dust. Not so. Careful while over a quick blast if compressed air and they look pretty good. Two Audiolab monoblocs and the pre-amp.
 

oxymoronracing

Active member
Jul 28, 2020
11
7
25
Project finished! So what did I end up doing? Took a good deal of advice from you guys so thanks for that. Decided against the active speaker route. Did buy a new hifi rack which now stands on sorbothane feet. Had the shelves from the old one cut down to size as isolation plates. Stuck small sorbothane feet under them. Full cleaned up the Audiolab 8000 A and Ms and replaced old feet with sorbothane ones. Bought a new Audiolab 6000n Play streamer. Cleaned all the interconnects and they look like new. Spent ages hiding cables to keep Mrs P happy. Did buy new QED cables with banana plugs as the old ones were looking ropey. Kept the B &Ws and had them vinyl wrapped at a specialist s to bring the tatty exteriors back to life. Have to say they did a great job and after a good dust look like new. Mounted them back on their spikes and feet and then onto some circular isolation feet. Really improved the sound in my very bright room. Total cost just under £1500 and that is without selling the Audiolab CD and DAC.
 

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Al ears

Moderator
Project finished! So what did I end up doing? Took a good deal of advice from you guys so thanks for that. Decided against the active speaker route. Did buy a new hifi rack which now stands on sorbothane feet. Had the shelves from the old one cut down to size as isolation plates. Stuck small sorbothane feet under them. Full cleaned up the Audiolab 8000 A and Ms and replaced old feet with sorbothane ones. Bought a new Audiolab 6000n Play streamer. Cleaned all the interconnects and they look like new. Spent ages hiding cables to keep Mrs P happy. Did buy new QED cables with banana plugs as the old ones were looking ropey. Kept the B &Ws and had them vinyl wrapped at a specialist s to bring the tatty exteriors back to life. Have to say they did a great job and after a good dust look like new. Mounted them back on their spikes and feet and then onto some circular isolation feet. Really improved the sound in my very bright room. Total cost just under £1500 and that is without selling the Audiolab CD and DAC.
Can you clarify why you have put spikes back on speakers if you're trying to isolate them?
 

oxymoronracing

Active member
Jul 28, 2020
11
7
25
Can you clarify why you have put spikes back on speakers if you're trying to isolate them?
I put the spikes back on and located them in the feet. (Metal discs and rubber feet) then I stuck them into rubber feet to give (hopefully) better isolation and a bit more height. Seems to have worked well. Nice sound in a bright room. Surprisingly easy to move around which has been handy!
 
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record_spot

Well-known member
May 30, 2015
56
17
10,545
System getting too intrusive? Too many boxes and wires?

It's pretty remarkable. A decade ago, the pre/power/monobloc arrangement was considered the ideal to go for.

These days, we can take a more minimal approach if we wish and not at the expense of sound quality.

I've been using active speakers for about five years now. I started out with a pair of Acoustic Energy AE22s which I bought directly from AE. I'd long admired them for both the apparently excellent sound quality in the reviews of the day and for a rather bold design. Out the box, they were excellent. Then came Quad actives and these days it's AVI ADM 9RSS.

I love the simplicity of actives, but while I've lost a box or two in not needing an integrated amp, or pre/power option, I still have as many boxes as I did before - turntable, phono stage, passive preamp, universal player, CD player...but that's my choice. I could just as easily live with the speakers and the CD player alone.

So, after all that? Sure, go for it!
 
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