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My first HiFi set


New member
Feb 2, 2014

This is my frist post here. I've been reading this forum for a long time trying to find an answer "what to buy".

I am building my first HiFi set. For now i own PC with Creative's Audigy 2 soundcard and Creative Gigaworks S750 7.1 speaker set (Gigaworks are speakers made by Creative on Cambridge Audio patent, i guess, they look like old Minx or something). System is fine as far the sound quality is concerned for my taste, but I really don't need so much power, i live in residential house so I can't play music very loud. This system's been playin on 30% most od the time and subwoofer was set to 10%. So I will gave system to my father and buy myself a decent entry level Hifi.

I have music mainly on PC in FLAC format (16bit,44khz), and some MP3, I ripped all my music to FLAC. I will not connect my PC directly to AMP or Streamer, I wil use external HDD or in last resort CDs. My room size is 5x5m, so there is enough place for floorstanding or bookshelf speakers to be 0.5m from the wall. I don't want to buy something too powerfull again that I won't use, neither something that would not be compatible (too weak amp). Just need something for listening mostly Metal/Rock on decent levels.

My budget is 1500-1700€

So my choices are:

Setup 1

NEW Cambridge Audio 351A (400€) + NEW Cambridge Audio Stream magic 6 (650€) + NEW Kef Q300 (500€)

Setup 2

Second hand (450€) NAD C356BEE + NEW B&W 684 (800€) or NEW B&W 685 (500€) + NEW NAD C516BEE (300€) or NEW NAD C446 (which I'll buy later)

As I read on forum you have to listen a few speakers and then choose, but it's difficult around here.

So far I have auditioned KEF Q700 on Cambridge Audio 351A and same speakers on NAD C356BEE, dealer didn't have Q300 but he said they are on the way to shop so I will audition those to. KEF Q700 played nicely on NAD but I thing this is too much for my room, they have played nice too on CA 351A (I know this is not preferable amp for this speakers) but sound vary from song to song. I like design of Cambrige but I like sound from NAD better in some songs. Black Sabbath sounded more like I know them. They did't sound bad on Cambridge but I heard some new istruments I have never heard before in those tracks. I don't know is it good or bad thing. Rolling Stones 40licks album sounded nicer on Cambridge, I think there is more pronouced treble on Cambridge but better bass on NAD. Maybe because it is more powerful amp...

Aerosmith and Mark Knopfler sounded better on NAD also. (more definition) Pantera sounded too bright on CA. But Phill Collins ounded better on CA.

I don't know what to buy. I have a chance to buy second hand NAD for almost same price as NEW CA351a, and then go with my amp and test speakers around shops.

As I read reviews I think B&W 684 and NAD would be great kit but I did't have a chance to listen to B&W, neither KEF Q300.

Should I wait for KEF Q300 to come and try it with Setup 1 (Does anyone have experience with that combination), or should I buy second hand NAD (I'm in hurry because dealer has other offers).

Or do you suddgest something completly different, I also have a chance to test some Focal and Monitor Audio BX2 and BX5 speakers.

I thank you in advance for your answers and sorry for my lousy English.


New member
Jun 5, 2013
Typically I've found that B&W speakers work better with rock/alternative/metal music, though it might just be my tastes. If you do decide to demo the B&W speakers, make sure you try them on the end of something Rotel; namely the RA-12 or the RA-1570 integrated amplifiers.



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