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

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Anonymous

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Thanks all, really appreciate you taking the time to give me a range of good advice.

As for where I got to after auditioning (some - what they could arrange) options today:

Audiolab 8200CD/Audiolab 8200A - very good

Audiolab 8200CD/Naim Nait5i - better

Audiolab 8200CD/Rega Brio-R - better still

Rega Brio-R/Rega DAC - best for me - I'm not qualified to explain intricacies of depth, detail, soundstaging etc - just made me smile the most

All with Rega RS3 and Tannoy DC6T, out of these I preferred the Rega and will be better in my home setting I think.

Lots more to consider still, thanks again for all your advice
 

WinterRacer

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Jan 14, 2009
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Did you get a chance to listen to the AVIs?

For a separates system, I found Cyrus CD player, Roksan Caspian amp and Monitor Audio a good match, but have since moved on to a Squeezebox Touch, AVI ADM 9.1 and AVI sub which together adds up to around 2k. Fewer boxes and a big step up in both functionality and sound quality. I'd recommend hearing some AVI stuff if you get a chance.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for that, haven't yet but agree they should be on my list as long as I don't get impatient and go with the Regas I heard today, the Rega DAC, Brio-R and RS3 combination drew a big smile - broadening to wide grin status often.
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
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If I were starting from scratch with £2000 I would probably buy an XTZ class A -100 D3 integrated amp £625 new , it has an excellent built in DAC as well , so you can just connect your laptop to it .

You can try it at home for two weeks on a loan scheme to see if you like it before committing to purchase .

Then look for a pair of second hand PMC FB1i speakers probably between £1200 and £1400 .

This would be a fantastic system IMO and what I would choose in your position .

It should have a detailed powerful but natural sound not edgy or thin at all with top class imaging , it will also sound very good at low listening levels allowing a balanced sound for late night listening , but when called for will go very loud effortlessly because the FB1i's are quite efficient and the XTZ integrated has very high current output .

Definitely worth a try IMO.
 

AlmaataKZ

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Jan 7, 2009
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WinterRacer said:
Did you get a chance to listen to the AVIs?

For a separates system, I found Cyrus CD player, Roksan Caspian amp and Monitor Audio a good match, but have since moved on to a Squeezebox Touch, AVI ADM 9.1 and AVI sub which together adds up to around 2k. Fewer boxes and a big step up in both functionality and sound quality. I'd recommend hearing some AVI stuff if you get a chance.

strongly support this advice.

this approach would not only give you excellent sound but also very user friendly, functional and compact system. a must try.
 

altruistic.lemon

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Jul 25, 2011
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But it doesn't give you much in the way of choice. Also, you may not like how the AVIs sound - I always found their older models a bit dry, and there isn't that much choice out there.

Probably, and didn't listen that much, some of those studio monitors can scratch the hell out of your ears, Adams are a good choice as they're a touch less cold and a lot more flexible in that you can choose your own preamp and DAC or a combined preamp and DAC such as the new Audiolab DAC.
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
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What about these:

preview.jpg
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
altruistic.lemon said:
But it doesn't give you much in the way of choice. Also, you may not like how the AVIs sound - I always found their older models a bit dry, and there isn't that much choice out there.

Probably, and didn't listen that much, some of those studio monitors can scratch the hell out of your ears, Adams are a good choice as they're a touch less cold and a lot more flexible in that you can choose your own preamp and DAC or a combined preamp and DAC such as the new Audiolab DAC.

Well the argument is that you don't need choice except in terms of source. You forget about the hundreds of boxes and cables that you could be buying and get on with fulfilling the requirement of listening to music. If you actually want a hobby of swapping out boxes and cables then, yes, you're absolutely right.

In my experience a more detailed and controlled sound is considered dry compared to systems without these characteristics. It comes down to preference but I like detail. The OP may not prioritise this though.

Some active speakers do indeed sound a bit poor, as per the account of many others. Some actives spice up the treble which can be a bit too much. Many are quite cheap and possibly compromise on component quality. Active doesn't mean scratchy treble though, in fact, it can alleviate such a quality found in many passives. This isn't just my own experience.

Auditioning is key. As for any purchase of audio kit where fair sums of money are spent. It's a worthwhile step for the OP though, for the potential cost savings and benefits.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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SteveD said:
...as long as I don't get impatient and go with the Regas I heard today, the Rega DAC, Brio-R and RS3 combination drew a big smile - broadening to wide grin status often.

It's important to remember that reaction. It doesn't happen very often, but is often later ignored in favour of technical arguments and specs or pressure from dealers to spend more.

You need to ask "could I listen to this system every day?" and "does it make me happy?"
 
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Anonymous

Guest
chebby said:
SteveD said:
...as long as I don't get impatient and go with the Regas I heard today, the Rega DAC, Brio-R and RS3 combination drew a big smile - broadening to wide grin status often.

It's important to remember that reaction. It doesn't happen very often, but is often later ignored in favour of technical arguments and specs or pressure from dealers to spend more.

You need to ask "could I listen to this system every day?" and "does it make me happy?"

Despite favouring further auditions, Chebby has made a very good point. If you've already found a system that makes you really enjoy the music, cling to it. Analysis of equipment can become poisonous. There's always a compromise with audio equipment so as long as you're willing to accept that not everthing will be perfect then you're sorted. Get on with the music :rockout:
 

altruistic.lemon

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Jul 25, 2011
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Hundreds of boxes? A CD player/preamp or DAC/preamp as source with other actives or CD/DAC/Amp with passive, which makes 1 more box. And less cables for the passives, too.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
altruistic.lemon said:
Hundreds of boxes? A CD player/preamp or DAC/preamp as source with other actives or CD/DAC/Amp with passive, which makes 1 more box. And less cables for the passives, too.

You misunderstood what I posted. There's a choice of hundreds of boxes and cables out there. Not that you need hundreds of boxes. :roll: And I was referring to passive systems. I agree, with some actives, just another box is also a good solution in comparison.
 
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Anonymous

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Is it just me or does this site do funny things with respect to the browser cache? I post, log off and it vanishes. Even with a CTRL-F5. I log in and it's back. Ho hum.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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WinterRacer said:
AVI ADM 9.1 and AVI sub which together adds up to around 2k. Fewer boxes and a big step up in both functionality and sound quality. I'd recommend hearing some AVI stuff if you get a chance.

+1 for AVI's 2.1 systems. If you like a detailed and natural sound that doesn't have any harshness then AVI are definitely worth an audition.

Considering my cheaper AVI Neutron 2.1 system sounds better than just about every other £2000-£3000 system I've heard then the more expensive active ADM's must be pretty special. I haven't actually heard them myself but apparently they offer a considerable improvement over the Neutron system while still having a similar natural and uncoloured sound.

Quested active monitors are also very good. If you can live with their functional looks then you'll find that they have a sound quality that will match ATC's active monitors but for about half the price.

altruistic.lemon said:
Probably, and didn't listen that much, some of those studio monitors can scratch the hell out of your ears

I agree that some studio monitors can have too much treble but I also think that most active monitors are more detailed and easier on the ears compared to equivalent priced hifi amp/speaker combos.

(Generalization warning) I find that many American studio monitors have a slightly exaggerated treble where British monitors tend to be more natural and easier to listen to.
 

Helmut80

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Jan 8, 2011
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igglebert said:
Is it just me or does this site do funny things with respect to the browser cache? I post, log off and it vanishes. Even with a CTRL-F5. I log in and it's back. Ho hum.

You what? You log off? :O I do not understand.
 

altruistic.lemon

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Jul 25, 2011
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steve_1979 said:
+1 for AVI's 2.1 systems. If you like a detailed and natural sound that doesn't have any harshness then AVI are definitely worth an audition.
And there you have the problem with any system. Detailed and natural to one set of ears is unlistenable to others :)
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
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altruistic.lemon said:
steve_1979 said:
+1 for AVI's 2.1 systems. If you like a detailed and natural sound that doesn't have any harshness then AVI are definitely worth an audition.
And there you have the problem with any system. Detailed and natural to one set of ears is unlistenable to others :)

Very true, different people have different tastes. :)

When I first heard the AVI's after previously owning a warm sounding Q Acoustics/Yamaha system I found them to have a bit too much treble. But once I listened for a couple of days they sounded perfect with no harshness at all. Going back to the Q Acoustics/Yamaha combo afterwards sounded too dull like there's a pillow over the tweeter.

It's a mistake to think that accurate, detailed and natural also means harsh because it doesn't. But it may take a couple of day to become adjusted to a new sounding system when you're already accustomed to you old system.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thank you all, lots to ponder..... the science of sound vs the ART of sound eh (frown factor vs smile factor).

I agree with these posts. Sometimes I do find myself wondering if I'm being more driven by the science of sound vs the real test of good quality audio which is how much it makes me smile when listening to my favourite music - I spent until the early hours of this morning looking up sample rates and bit rates to try to understand whether it should bother me that the Rega DAC can only do 16/48 through the USB and whether any improvement above 24/96 is physically possible to be audible only to remind myself that none of my 2,500 or so tracks in iTunes currently are above a sample rate of 44.1kHz (192 kbps or 256 kbps) which is CD equivalent anyway!!!) I did have plenty of drinks, cigs and good music on the go so it wasn't a bad way to spend some time and I concluded that pondering all that stuff will give me something to tweak around with in the future if I ever get fidgety and want to give myself more of a headache than I would have in the morning.

I expect for many (for me certainly) there is also a tendency to focus too much on:

How did it review?

What's being said about it on the forums?

Is this absolutely the best I can get for the money?

Shouldn't I audition much more?

Now that 'they've' released a mkII version should I upgrade my system to it?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this side of it and it's obviously sensible for me (particularly) to put a high value on this because I haven't bought quality audio equipment since the mid 90s and need to see what's available so these forums are essential reading for me (thank you all) and I think it's totally healthy as long as I remember to stop at some point and actually buy something so I can put on some music and enjoy, especially in my situation where I don't have a system at all at the moment so it's headphones only.

Funnily enough one of the stages I've enjoyed the most so far is choosing an auditioning list totalling 10 of my favourite songs and consisting of some different music styles - harder to choose than I thought and I reckon it's worth doing this every now and then whether you plan to audition anything or not.

This by the way was (in no order of preference):

1. In the Air Tonight (Phil Collins) - live

2. The Letter (Box Tops)

3. Baby Can I Hold You (Tracy Chapman)

4. The Flower Duet (All Angels). Stop sniggering.

5. Voices (Dario G)

6. Paper Romance (Groove Armada)

7. Teenage Crime (Adrian Lux)

8. E=MC2 (Big Audio Dynamite)

9. Are Friends Electric? (Gary Numan & Tubeway Army)

10. Be The One (The Ting Tings)

Stop sniggering............!

One thing I do know is that list will change regularly and REM's Find the River would have got in there also if time allowed.

As many of you have said, I am now clear that it's about whether I personally really enjoy my music through whatever I buy and don't sit there analysing whether it could be clearer/wider/deeper etc and whether I could have/should have got something different (this thinking is inevitable for true music lovers eventually but it should take me a good while if the enjoyment of the music is the thing that is winning out and I get the right kit for me in the first place).

As long as I manage to achieve that within a reasonable timescale and the budget I've set myself I'll be a very happy boy for a long time to come I'm sure.

And yes I'll no doubt be tweaking, reading reviews, wondering........................!
 

altruistic.lemon

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Jul 25, 2011
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steve_1979 said:
It's a mistake to think that accurate, detailed and natural also means harsh because it doesn't. But it may take a couple of day to become adjusted to a new sounding system when you're already accustomed to you old system.
Yes but as I said above, it's your ears that tell you whether a speaker is detailed, accurate and natural. We all have different definitions on that point.

It's also a mistake to think that adn is a property of active speakers only, because it isn't. There are plenty of active that are anything but, just as there are plenty of passives which abound in adn. Take my Maggies, for example.
 
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the record spot

Guest
Yes, but the references out there in this forum alone that suggest accuracy equates to scratchy or clinical and lacking emotion is misguided thinking. Compared with some of the current crop of passives, those Genelecs pictured above will leave most if not all standing. Interesting to note the trend in recent years for many electronics, not just some passive speaker brands, lean towards brightness which I imagine influences this excessive tendency.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
In a feeble attempt to re-rail this thread, my first order of business would be to audition a Sugden Mystro with a pair of Dali Mentor Menuets... :wave:
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
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SteveD said:
I spent until the early hours of this morning looking up sample rates and bit rates to try to understand whether it should bother me that the Rega DAC can only do 16/48 through the USB and whether any improvement above 24/96 is physically possible to be audible only to remind myself that none of my 2,500 or so tracks in iTunes currently are above a sample rate of 44.1kHz (192 kbps or 256 kbps) which is CD equivalent anyway!!!)

Bear in mind that hi res tracks do often sound much better if only because they are remastered with more care. Just listen to the 24/96 version of rumours and you'll see what I mean.
 

altruistic.lemon

New member
Jul 25, 2011
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the record spot said:
Yes, but the references out there in this forum alone that suggest accuracy equates to scratchy or clinical and lacking emotion is misguided thinking. Compared with some of the current crop of passives, those Genelecs pictured above will leave most if not all standing. Interesting to note the trend in recent years for many electronics, not just some passive speaker brands, lean towards brightness which I imagine influences this excessive tendency.
Which references?
 
T

the record spot

Guest
I'm assuming you'll have the same access to Google or the search facility in this forum I do, but they come up from time to time. I'm not here to list them, merely making the point.
 

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