I'm done with Quad – again!

Bromiley

Well-known member
Feb 10, 2014
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My Quad Vena (version 1) has died again. I had one repaired a few times, a new one as a replacement and now that one has died. Time to move on.

I've been looking at the Audiolab 6000A (and the new 6000A Play) with interest but it's part of the AIG group and I don't want any similar problems. Perhaps I'm being too cautious and want to play it safe for my next purchase. I also read that Audiolab amps are very bright sounding, which is something I don't like.

As my primary music source is Apple Music with CD next in line, I am seriously looking at the Marantz PM7000N. It gets great reviews (here) and does everything I need on paper.

I'd also like to upgrade my speakers (B&W 685 S2) for something with more room filling presence as I have quite a large room and I feel I'm lacking a bit more bass.

The first thing I'd like to do is get the Marantz amp. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I read that Marantz amps are a good match with B&W. If this is true, I can add the amp to my existing speakers for the time being. Any thoughts?

As far as speakers go, I'm looking at the Dali Oberon 7 or Concept 40's.

Any thoughts would be welcome.
 
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shadders

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Nov 19, 2009
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I also read that Audiolab amps are very bright sounding, which is something I don't like.
Hi,
Is it possible that it was a Cambridge Audio amplifier where this was written ?

Other than that - i suppose demo the amplifier before deciding if you can.

Regards,
Shadders.
 

Gray

Well-known member
My Quad Vena (version 1) has died again. I had one repaired a few times, a new one as a replacement and now that one has died.
:( Do you know the details of the repairs on the first one Bromily?
And what's the fault symptom you've got now?
Can understand how you've had enough!

I had a Marantz (PM66KI) into B&W (CDM1-NT) which was quite a good match. Haven't heard the 6000A. Would expect it to sound brighter than Marantz, but not excessively so.
 

TrevC

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Jun 12, 2013
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I would expect that it's the speakers and room that change the sound, so buying any reputable amplifier with a good spec is fine without listening to it.
 

shadders

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Nov 19, 2009
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Hi,
I agree that any reputable amplifier can be purchased on spec, as that is what i do, but people may be able to tell the difference.

Regards,
Shadders.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Hi,
I agree that any reputable amplifier can be purchased on spec, as that is what i do, but people may be able to tell the difference.

Regards,
Shadders.
You've been lucky Shadders.
I'm very glad that I had home loans of a few amps before my last purchase.
All were from reputable manufacturers and highly rated by owners and reviewers. In terms of spec (and price) they were virtually identical.
The difference in tonal balance and attack between them was ridiculous. Beforehand I would have bet money against such differences.
 

Bromiley

Well-known member
Feb 10, 2014
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:( Do you know the details of the repairs on the first one Bromily?
And what's the fault symptom you've got now?
Can understand how you've had enough!

I had a Marantz (PM66KI) into B&W (CDM1-NT) which was quite a good match. Haven't heard the 6000A. Would expect it to sound brighter than Marantz, but not excessively so.
Unfortunately, I don't know the details of the repair. I guess it wasn't fixable which is why they gave me a new one. It seems there must be a design flaw somewhere.

I'm based in Cologne, Germany and have found a dealer with the Marantz and Dali Oberon 5 (maybe 7) speakers. I'll have to go and take a listen (with face mask;-)) and also take my B&W 685 S2's in there too.

This particular shop is very big on NAD and have this amp (see link below) but it's not sold in the UK for some reason:


Sorry the site is in German!
 

Bromiley

Well-known member
Feb 10, 2014
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Yes, you're right. Just noticed that. The amp looks nice, though.
In my opinion if Marantz, for example, made amps in a format similar to Cyrus or the Rega Brio, that would be right up my street.
 
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Deleted member 108165

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Yes, you're right. Just noticed that. The amp looks nice, though.
In my opinion if Marantz, for example, made amps in a format similar to Cyrus or the Rega Brio, that would be right up my street.
Down on power, but Marantz do have this "smaller" amp:
Review here, (apologies it's in English):
 

abacus

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Sep 24, 2008
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Just because an amp has a great spec does not mean it will work at its best in your system, as manufactures are very optimistic with their specs, and the amp may not react well with your speakers. (Particularly as most high end speakers tend to be a difficult load)

Another thing with Hi-Fi amps is that if you get them on the bench you will find variances in frequency response etc. between manufactures, which gives them their unique house sound. (Contrast this with pro equipment which aims to be as neutral as possible)

Unless extreme circumstances NEVER buy blind, but always try before you buy.

Bill
 

TrevC

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Jun 12, 2013
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If the speakers are a difficult load you can tell by the specs whether the amplifier is suitable by the quoted power at 4 ohms compared with 8 ohms. The closer the amplifier can get to doubling the 8 ohm power at 4 ohms the better it is at low impedance speakers. The frequency response is invariably quoted too and is usually flat well within audibility limits, so bang goes the house sound nonsense too. It would be nice if What hifi did proper testing instead of talking nonsense about 'timing' and what it sounds like on a Chemical Brothers CD.

Of course I'm only talking about SS amplifiers, not valve rubbish.
 
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abacus

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Sep 24, 2008
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If the speakers are a difficult load you can tell by the specs whether the amplifier is suitable by the quoted power at 4 ohms compared with 8 ohms. The closer the amplifier can get to doubling the 8 ohm power at 4 ohms the better it is at low impedance speakers. The frequency response is invariably quoted too and is usually flat well within audibility limits, so bang goes the house sound nonsense too. It would be nice if What hifi did proper testing instead of talking nonsense about 'timing' and what it sounds like on a Chemical Brothers CD.

Of course I'm only talking about SS amplifiers, not valve rubbish.
Go to audiohollics and other similar sites that do the measurements and what the manufacture quotes is usually quite different to what is actually produced, also most manufactures give very limited specs making it very difficult to work out if it will drive the set of speakers you are going to use.

In addition to the above, test equipment is very expensive (And you need to know how to use it) and beyond the normal Hi-Fi user, therefore the only way to be sure that the amp will work correctly with your chosen speakers is to listen, simple as that.

As to the house sound, then it does show up when the measurements are taken, so is most definitely not fiction. (Also look at studio production teaching sites where they explain how to achieve the sound descriptions most people use (Timing, clarity, fullness etc.) by simply adjusting EQ in small steps)

Bill
 

TrevC

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Jun 12, 2013
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In order to create any perceivable audible difference a considerable deviation from the desired ruler flat response will be required, and the components added to facilitate such an aberration will be exceedingly obvious in the schematic of the amplifier and any measurements. In short you are talking nonsense. You can have ‘house sound’ speakers, but not house sound amplifiers. House sound amplifiers might well be found in a Bose system, but they are not found in any amplifier that can be described as high fidelity. You might as well add a multi frequency equaliser to a system.
 
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Dazesperanto

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Nov 14, 2019
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An alternative proposition? 2 Homepods on some solid stands and perhaps an upgraded power bar and cable. Please, do not underestimate Homepods or equally effective speakers, especially if you enjoy your bass. If you are already subscribed to Apple Music, Homepods should definitely be considered. CDs? Rip them onto NAS and play them through your network (I use Uniti Core for this but other options are available)
 

Jimboo

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Oct 29, 2019
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I have thought about having a NAS but because I have a lifetimes collection and components to play them on the idea of ripping them and buying something else to do it and then something else to store them on while also paying for a monthly outlay where everything I ripped was already there and spending hours and money having my now redundant collection covered twice. I changed my mind. Your own network I guess is sort of cool but then I discovered that the internet can also be a network!
 

Bromiley

Well-known member
Feb 10, 2014
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Thanks for all the comments. Setting up a new system is a minefield and often confusing, especially when you can't demo all the kit you read about.

I'm British but live in Germany. There are no (for example) Richer Sounds or home demo luxuries. Each Hi-Fi shops have their own tastes. It's this or that in a way. The Germans like to add a very substantial premium on the the UK price for UK equipment too. They know the Germans will buy it! They love British Hi-Fi! Surprised?

This obviously leaves me with a demo problem and is why I'd like you all to be as much help as you can. I'll need it as I might have to buy semi-blind online with an opportunity to return.

I am by no means an audiophile at all. I was drawn to the Quad Vena for it's neutrality. It's important to me that an amp isn't overly warm or bright. I listen to a lot of jazz via CD but my family prefer pop via Apple Music. My room is 7m long by 4.5m wide. Our TV is on the long wall, so my listening position is about 3.5m away from a speaker set up.

This brings me to my short list. Given what you have personally heard, bought and know, what do you think of the following combinations:

1. Marantz PM7000N with Concept 40 speakers.
2. Marantz PM7000N with Dali Oberon 7 speakers.
3. Audiolab 6000A with Audiolab 6000N with Concept 40 speakers.
4. Audiolab 6000A with Audiolab 6000N with Dali Oberon 7 speakers.

Budget is about 2.500 Euros.
 

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