If you were starting from scratch with £2k.........?

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Starting from scratch and auditioning session set up for tomorrow, current thinking which I would be grateful for views on please:

OPTION 1
Rega Brio-R
Rega DAC
(possibly Rega Apollo-R CDP but most music on laptop so DAC most important)
Rega RS3

OPTION 2
Audiolab 8200CD
Audiolab 8200A
Rega RS3

Have heard Audiolab amp is a little too analytical and lacking natural warmth - is this your experience too?

Should I consider Naim Nait5i Amp with 8200CD?

Rega Brio-R amp with 8200CD?

OPTION 3
Naim Nait5i amp
Naim CD5i cdp
Rega RS3
Not sure what DAC would work with this??

Also for me this is a pushing the budget out expensive option and not sure the sound will be worth the extra cost.

Would also be particulary grateful for views on speakers for these options, based on research and comments am thinking RS3s as had floorstanders before (old ones!) and the RS3s can be situated close to a wall with great reviews.

Thanks
 
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Anonymous

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For me, my signature. And I've spent a lot more before.
 

gregvet

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Personally I am always looking for good deals, so at the moment I would be looking at a Cyrus 8xpd qx (£1199 from several online retailers currently). Would go nicely with your laptop as a source, and leave £800 for speakers. Bound to be some nice options at that price point, especially if you look at ex dem and second hand options. Personally I love Spendor and Pmc speakers with Cyrus, but loads more to consider.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks all

Audioaddict, will have a listen then, they're selling the Marantz MCR603 for £379 in the store I'm going to so even better price but they don't stock Dali's unfortunately so will have to be a different pairing.

Igglebert, thanks, have been reading up on the AVIs and agree should be on the list for a listen.

Gregvet, cheers, need to look the Cyrus up, not familiar although probably should be!

The RS, I should have said I've certainly not discounted the Onkyo TX 8050 either (how could I having read your thread!) but unfortunately although the dealer I'm going to see tomorrow stocks Onkyo they don't have it in so will have to try that elsewhere. By the way I hope, if you read my 1 month journey back into Hi-Fi thread, you saw the funny side of my comments which are totally tongue in cheek.

The traditionalist in me says to go for separates (I had a separates set up last time) but it's very interesting to see all the responses are variations on a theme of "less is more" when it comes to boxes.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks, what would you recommend for the speakers, up to £1k max and need to be able to position close to a rear wall but with space at the sides?
 

chebby

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Option 1 with the same speakers. Look at P46 of the January 2012 issue (same brand systems group test) for why.

The very same system you listed (in option 1) was the group test winner (even against a Naim/Neat system costing almost £3000 more).

The Rega RS3s were rated highly with 5 stars - in the same test - so don't be discouraged from giving them a demo.
 
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Anonymous

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Appreciate your comments Chebby, it's looking like the number 1 option still. Didn't know about that review so will try to look it up - your review of the RS3s and comments on your own speakers were a big influence in my thinking to shortlist them along with comments from JonathanRebecca.

Surprised that people don't seem to rate the Audiolabs though, especially given the review the 8200CD got in the 2011 awards?
 
T

the record spot

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I wouldn't want to have multiple components, I'd look for a centralised solution that works right out of the box; not necessarily the Onkyo I have, that's but one example of the same. But easy accessibility, convenience and sound quality are a must.
 
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Anonymous

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Hi SteveR, not meant to be limited to those, looking for views on what else to consider and very interested in yours?
 

SteveR750

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When I had that budget to spend 2 years ago, being impatient, and only visiting on dealer in cardiff, I was limited to Naim, Arcam, Cyrus and Roksan. I listened to a one make version of all, except roksan as there was no K2 CDP in stock, so we used the cyrus CD6se as a control reference.

I thought the combination of the forwadness and bounce of the cyrus matched the slightly more conservatibe K2 well, and was to my ears the best of all of the combinations, though the Naim system was very close, and were it no so idiosyncratic in its looks and operation I might well have gone for it. I think ulitmately that most half decent bits of kit will work brilliantly when partnered with something "right" which is why the star ratings should only be used as a rough guide; frenkly choose something if you really like it / look of it, as with the right partners it will shine.

The CDP has since gone in favour of a laptop as it was better again, though suspect a linn sneaky might appear some time in the future.

Have you thought of used gear?

£2k will get you some very nice slightly used gear indeed, possibly from a level higher than you are looking.
 
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Anonymous

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Hmmm. "Patience is studied as a decision-making problem, involving the choice of either a small reward in the short term, or a more valuable reward in the long term. When given a choice, all animals, humans included, are inclined to favour short term rewards over long term rewards. This is despite the often greater benefits associated with long term rewards."

I suspect like all the animals(?!) I may succumb sooner rather than later but really appreciate what I know is very good advice.
 
T

the record spot

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SteveD said:
The RS, I should have said I've certainly not discounted the Onkyo TX 8050 either (how could I having read your thread!) but unfortunately although the dealer I'm going to see tomorrow stocks Onkyo they don't have it in so will have to try that elsewhere. By the way I hope, if you read my 1 month journey back into Hi-Fi thread, you saw the funny side of my comments which are totally tongue in cheek.

Absolutely fine Steve; I hope you're happy with whatever you end up going with. It's what's right for you in the end that really counts.
 

tino

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If you don't mind hanging on a bit ... look around at less well known brands and see what fits within your budget. It may be a bit more difficult to arrange an audition though ...

I've seen my amp (a digital only Wadia 151) and Sonus Faber Toy speaker package brand new at around £1200-£1300. The amp power may be a bit low for your requirements?
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks Tino, had discounted as thought out of my price range. Looks (from reviews/info) like an excellent option, possibly - if I break (into) the bank - with the 171i Transport, but to hear it, like you said, I'll probably have to be patient and looks like I'd need to go to Epping.

Do you mind me asking where you saw that package with the Sonus speakers?
 
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Anonymous

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I would go for a Cyrus 8xpd QX (ex-dem would get you a great price), a pair of Vienna Acoustic speakers (again, ex-dem will get you a pair worth a lot more - plus some are up to 50% off currently), and your source could be laptop, cheaper CD player (which is only a transport as the DAC is in the amp).

This is pretty much what I have and I smile ever time I put a CD on... Good luck.

:grin:
 

DIB

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matthewpiano said:
I'd probably go for a Marantz CD6004 with the Onkyo TX8050, and a pair of Quad 12L Classics and spend the rest on music.

MP

Are you aware of how the Quad 12L Classics differ from the Quad 12L2's (I used to own a pair)? They look alike to myself, yet the 12L2's can be had for £150 less.

.
 

altruistic.lemon

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Avoid, if they're anything like the 12L2s. A mate has them back in oz. Used to set my teeth on edge.

Back on topic, the HK HD990 CD player has digital inputs, so you can use it (I do) as a DAC. Plus, it's cheap, so you could couple that with the Brio - R and give yourself £1200 to spend on the business end of things.

That puts lot of speakers into range, including the Spendor A3 and a couple of others from the Spendor range, the Vienna Acoustics Haydn (my pick) and the Opera Mezza (second choice) range.
 

tino

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All Wadia dealers should be able to offer the deal ... check out http://www.mdc-hifi.co.uk/ who are the distributors. You might be able to shave another 10% off if you ask nicely? Also available at Clicky (where you can swap the speakers for the 171i transport instead for the same price) and get your own speakers.

I think the speaker pairing has something to do with the ownership of the two companies rather than best system match, although they do go well together aesthetically.

As for the dock, you can also get the earlier 170i transport brand new for £160 nowadays.
 

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