Is it proper hifi?

Cricketbat70

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Sorry this is going to be a bit long winded. In 1992 when I bought my first hifi separates system, a local TV and appliance retailer had a dedicated section/floor in each shop for hifi,they only sold Sony Kenwood and Technics but it was proper separates. I started working for the company in 2003 by which time hifi separates were long gone all we sold were Bose lifestyle and 321 systems. Over the years we've had brief periods of selling Yamaha and onkyo AV receivers and mini systems. Now all we sell is Sonos, Ruark, Panasonic and Sony mini systems and various soundbars from the TV brands we sell. Recently though one of our directors went to the Panasonic trade show and was smitten with the Technics SA-C 600 CD/Network streamer SB-C600 speakers and SL1500 turntable combo. He said they sound awesome and has put an order in for some. Like another dealer friend he is going to market them as "My first Hifi" knocking on for £3000 if a customer buys the full kit. £899 just for the CD/network streamer.

My questions, would you consider this as proper hifi? Has the technology in one box systems moved on so much that the likes of Denon CEOL systems and marantz Melody M-CR612 are now they way to go for budget systems and this Technics a genuine alternative to a midrange separates?

Nick
 

abacus

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They have been out for ages and have been reviewed plenty of times, so have a search on google and see for yourself.
In the end though only your ears can decide if it is right for you.
BTW: There are a boatload of all in ones out there that get top notch reviews, which should also answer your question.

Bill
 
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Cricketbat70

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They have been out for ages and have been reviewed plenty of times, so have a search on google and see for yourself.
In the end though only your ears can decide if it is right for you.
BTW: There are a boatload of all in ones out there that get top notch reviews, which should also answer your question.

Bill
To be fair, I'm not considering one I'm quite happy with my separates. Just wanted to know what people thought as to the progress of one box systems over the last 20 years, would you consider it proper hifi and if you had £3000+ to spend would you go with one of these technics or go full seperates. The director at work did say they sound awesome but I don't think he's compared it to a £3000 seperates system.
I often talk to the director about the demise - in our shops any way - of real hifi and how our customers just want Bluetooth speakers and sound bars.
 

DCarmi

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If you are happy with your current system then why do you feel the need to change it?

I have separate system in the main room, smart speaker in the kitchen and an all-in-one in the bedroom/office. They each serve a different requirement and fulfill their purpose reasonably well.

The only other thing I'd point out, is, upgrading separates is easier than upgrading an all-in-one, because you can do one component at a time.
 
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Cricketbat70

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If you are happy with your current system then why do you feel the need to change it?

I have separate system in the main room, smart speaker in the kitchen and an all-in-one in the bedroom/office. They each serve a different requirement and fulfill their purpose reasonably well.

The only other thing I'd point out, is, upgrading separates is easier than upgrading an all-in-one, because you can do one component at a time.
I don't feel the need to change it. I just wanted others views/opinions on the progress of one box systems, would you consider them proper hifi and if it was your money, would you spend £3000 on this technics or go full seperates. One of my thought processes is if anything goes wrong with a one box you're without a system until it gets repaired (if it can be) at least with a seperates if one component goes wrong and can't be repaired you don't have to fork out for a complete system again.
I have old but full seperates in the living room, an old Denon mini separates in the dining room ( DRA-F101, DCD-F101)
I also have a couple of echo dots 1 in the kitchen and one in the cellar, that is the gaming room for my offspring, it looks like NORAD down there with all the PC's and monitors
 

matthewpianist

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I've heard the Technics system (turntable, all-in-one and speakers) and it's superb - certainly 'real' hi-fi in my opinion, and can comfortably give equivalently priced separates a run for the money. All beautifully built too, and it is a step up from the (very capable) Marantz MCR612.

Such a system does limit further upgrades unless you want to change the whole amp/CD/streamer part of the system in one go, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Many of us on here have been serial box swappers and that hasn't always led to worthwhile improvements.
 

Noddy

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I’ve only seen one in a shop, not heard one, but it looks nice. Lifestyle systems are the big sellers these days. My concern about one box solutions is reliability. It’s Japanese though, which is a good sign, and a big company so they have economies of scale, unlike boutique brands

Pricewise you can get a decent amp and a Wiim Mini for less, unless you need a CD transport. Will the Yamaha be updated when new streaming providers appear, and existing ones go bust?

I have an Arcam Solo Movie, the analogue inputs are faulty, they have a loud hissing and distortion. If I want analogue inputs, I need to buy another amp. I also hate the horrible user interface. It’s easier for separate boxes to have a decent user interface as there is more real estate. It also sounds mediocre (boomy with exaggerated mid and bass), in contrast to the reviews including What HiFi which said it was as good as separates, it isn’t. You have to listen to it yourself and ignore the reviews.
 

Florestander

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There is certainly some good advice on here and I do not feel inclined to disagree with any of it. The only thing I would add is that there appears to be a perception in some quarters (but none of the opinions above, I hasten to add), that 'real' hifi' are separates and one box systems are a lesser entity. In my experience this is not true. There are many one box pieces of equipment that are of excellent quality and which sound great! Further there are many newer bits of kit that combine two or more functions that are also in other examples handled in different boxes. For example, I have a musical fidelity which is a music library, CD player, amp and more all in one box. I don't think anybody would argue that this is not 'hi-fi' (or maybe some purists would - I don't really know.

At the end of the day, if a bit of kit does what you want it to do, well, and sounds good to you then that is all that matters. Who cares what anybody else thinks - they all may have different opinions and may hear sounds to e greater or lesser effect than you. All well and good, but it should not alter your enjoyment of what you like (which may change over time too....)
 

Cricketbat70

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There is certainly some good advice on here and I do not feel inclined to disagree with any of it. The only thing I would add is that there appears to be a perception in some quarters (but none of the opinions above, I hasten to add), that 'real' hifi' are separates and one box systems are a lesser entity. In my experience this is not true. There are many one box pieces of equipment that are of excellent quality and which sound great! Further there are many newer bits of kit that combine two or more functions that are also in other examples handled in different boxes. For example, I have a musical fidelity which is a music library, CD player, amp and more all in one box. I don't think anybody would argue that this is not 'hi-fi' (or maybe some purists would - I don't really know.

At the end of the day, if a bit of kit does what you want it to do, well, and sounds good to you then that is all that matters. Who cares what anybody else thinks - they all may have different opinions and may hear sounds to e greater or lesser effect than you. All well and good, but it should not alter your enjoyment of what you like (which may change over time too....)
I know when I bought my first seperates back in 1991 that was the snobbery I perceived from the purists etc that midi systems where not proper hifi. Even Richer Sounds used to say in their monthly leaflets "show us/ bring us your midi system and we'll make up a budget seperates system that will knock the spots off it." Now they sell shed loads of one box systems.
Back then I upgraded from an Aiwa midi system that I'd only had about three years. The work colleague who got me into seperates bought the Aiwa off me as he couldn't at that time afford to get back into seperates, when funds allowed he upgraded the speakers and when he had a bit more money upgraded the turntable with a second hand thorens. He even said to me the Aiwa sounds great.
My first amp a Denon PMA250 MK2 is still going strong-after more than 30 years- running a pair of TDL speakers at work, playing Spotify from our phones via a Harman Kardon Bluetooth adapter.
 

Cricketbat70

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I’ve only seen one in a shop, not heard one, but it looks nice. Lifestyle systems are the big sellers these days. My concern about one box solutions is reliability. It’s Japanese though, which is a good sign, and a big company so they have economies of scale, unlike boutique brands

Pricewise you can get a decent amp and a Wiim Mini for less, unless you need a CD transport. Will the Yamaha be updated when new streaming providers appear, and existing ones go bust?

I have an Arcam Solo Movie, the analogue inputs are faulty, they have a loud hissing and distortion. If I want analogue inputs, I need to buy another amp. I also hate the horrible user interface. It’s easier for separate boxes to have a decent user interface as there is more real estate. It also sounds mediocre (boomy with exaggerated mid and bass), in contrast to the reviews including What HiFi which said it was as good as separates, it isn’t. You have to listen to it yourself and ignore the reviews.
I looked at the Wiim Mini last night. I think I will be getting a couple of them.
As for favourable reviews from magazines. I have recent experience. Based on reviews from what hifi and another mag a month ago I bought a pair of Sony
I’ve only seen one in a shop, not heard one, but it looks nice. Lifestyle systems are the big sellers these days. My concern about one box solutions is reliability. It’s Japanese though, which is a good sign, and a big company so they have economies of scale, unlike boutique brands

Pricewise you can get a decent amp and a Wiim Mini for less, unless you need a CD transport. Will the Yamaha be updated when new streaming providers appear, and existing ones go bust?

I have an Arcam Solo Movie, the analogue inputs are faulty, they have a loud hissing and distortion. If I want analogue inputs, I need to buy another amp. I also hate the horrible user interface. It’s easier for separate boxes to have a decent user interface as there is more real estate. It also sounds mediocre (boomy with exaggerated mid and bass), in contrast to the reviews including What HiFi which said it was as good as separates, it isn’t. You have to listen to it yourself and ignore the reviews.
I looked at the Wiim Mini last night I think I will be getting a couple of those.

As for reviews from the likes of what hifi and being disappointed, I have recent experience of that. A month ago based on reviews from what hifi and another mag, I bought a pair of Sony WF-C500 earbuds, both mags said they had good bass.
Err what bass it's virtually non existent, no amount of tweeking the eq settings on the earphone app or my phone made any difference,. They honestly sound no better than a £20 pair of eBay specials I bought about four year ago, harsh tinny awful things but I was expecting that from cheap eBay specials not Sony. I got slight improvement to the bass when I connected them to my Sony NW-A55L MP3 player but still nothing I would call good bass and I'm not talking bass that's overwhelming just a nice level of bass.
 
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npxavar

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Even Richer Sounds used to say in their monthly leaflets "show us/ bring us your midi system and we'll make up a budget seperates system that will knock the spots off it."
Let me fill in for Richer Sounds:

Cambridge Audio CXA81 (amp) + CXC (CD Transport) combo: £1,199
Cambridge Audio CXN V2 (streamer): £799

Remaining budget for speakers/turntable: £1000

There really isn't anything else to say.
 
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Sorry this is going to be a bit long winded. In 1992 when I bought my first hifi separates system, a local TV and appliance retailer had a dedicated section/floor in each shop for hifi,they only sold Sony Kenwood and Technics but it was proper separates. I started working for the company in 2003 by which time hifi separates were long gone all we sold were Bose lifestyle and 321 systems. Over the years we've had brief periods of selling Yamaha and onkyo AV receivers and mini systems. Now all we sell is Sonos, Ruark, Panasonic and Sony mini systems and various soundbars from the TV brands we sell. Recently though one of our directors went to the Panasonic trade show and was smitten with the Technics SA-C 600 CD/Network streamer SB-C600 speakers and SL1500 turntable combo. He said they sound awesome and has put an order in for some. Like another dealer friend he is going to market them as "My first Hifi" knocking on for £3000 if a customer buys the full kit. £899 just for the CD/network streamer.

My questions, would you consider this as proper hifi? Has the technology in one box systems moved on so much that the likes of Denon CEOL systems and marantz Melody M-CR612 are now they way to go for budget systems and this Technics a genuine alternative to a midrange separates?

Nick
In a word: Yes.

As technology has moved on and not everyone can accommodate trad separates, hi-fi had to change with the times and customer demands.

What I don't class as hi-fi are these one-box alarms (bedside units like Bose).

But the quality of the likes of Marantz Melody can be fantastic that can better budget separates.
 
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podknocker

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I think top quality HIFI can be squeezed into a single box, especially when Class D amplification is used. My Class A/B Audiolab Omnia includes a CD player and streamer and does sound really good. I used to buy separates and now I don't see the point. If you open up many devices, they are mainly fresh air inside and the 'standard' 44cm box, is no longer a requirement, unless you do have everything you need inside that box. I have so many interconnect cables and they will never be used again. I can see the cable market getting smaller from now on. I do like the new Rega Elex Mk4 amp and I'm waiting to see if Rega release a streaming version. I don't need a CD player next time, or a phono stage, or Dirac correction. I've never needed 2 sets of speaker terminals and I know I never will. I don't think many people use 2 sets of speakers. The sound quality from most kit these days is really good and I don't think you can get poor quality sound, even with budget designs. I'm old enough to remember 8 track receivers and cassettes etc. I know we have vinyl nostalgia and many people regard this format to be as good, or better than CD, but I really don't see this and it's a bulky, noisy format. The best sounding turntables don't sound as good as the best digital formats, so why bother with the bulk and faff? The point about having one box and this failing, is not relevant, in my opinion. If your CD player fails, you can't use your amp, or vice versa. Some people would argue you could have a spare amp, or CD player, but I would counter this and say that some people could have a spare all in one system. I currently have 4 devices, which allow me to play music, so there's no issue if anything does give up the ghost.
 
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npxavar

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In a word: Yes.

As technology has moved on and not everyone can accommodate trad separates, hi-fi had to change with the times and customer demands.

What I don't class as hi-fi are these one-box alarms (bedside units like Bose).

But the quality of the likes of Marantz Melody can be fantastic that can better budget separates.
Marantz Melody is not Hi-Fi. It is a top-self mini system without speakers. Hi-Fi is not about people liking the sound or not, otherwise mini systems wouldn't sell, not to mention cheap bluetooth speakers.
 

Cricketbat70

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In a word: Yes.

As technology has moved on and not everyone can accommodate trad separates, hi-fi had to change with the times and customer demands.

What I don't class as hi-fi are these one-box alarms (bedside units like Bose).

But the quality of the likes of Marantz Melody can be fantastic that can better budget separates.
That was my thought. The progress of one box systems over the last 20 years or so makes them a definite alternative to a budget seperates system, in the case of the technics even a midrange system and some modern houses are so pokey a seperates system would eat a lot of room space. Just wanted to know what everyone else thought.
 

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