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New here and have a couple questions

TheLorax

New member
Oct 22, 2016
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First off im new here but I would like to thank you for all the help you never knew you gave me over the past few years. My current system is Debut Carbon Esprit (2M Red)-->Behringer PP4400-->KRK Rokit 6 powered monitors. I also just got a Little Dot I+ headphone amp and a pair of AKG K240's. I mostly listen to indie, synth-pop/dream-pop and electronic but i have a fairly wide collection of records. I listen in a 14ftx17ft room at no more than a moderate level. Over the past 5 years I have invested quite a bit into vinyl but now i feel it is time to start putting more money into my system. My phono pre is the obvious weak link so I started to look into a new one. I have my eye on the Cambridge CP2 but im also planning on upgrading my speakers in the next year. I am planning on moving away from powered monitors and into a speaker and amp combo. This is where quite a few questions arose. It seems like all of the good "budget" amps are integrated amps and many have a phono pre built in. This made me wonder if I should wait on getting a new phono pre amp? I have no interest in a built in DAC, headphone amp ect but these integrated amps still seem to be the best entry level amps? So I ask all of you.

1. If I go seperates how do I control volume with TT-->Phone Pre-->Power Amp-->Speakers?

2. Should I get the CP2 now and figure the rest out later or save and spend $1000-1500 on an integrated amp and speakers in a few months?

3. If I get the CP2 will splitting the output to my powered monitors and headphone amp using audioquest hard Y adaptors degrade the quality?

4. Which route would you reccomend for my budget, TT, and listening space/habits and what specific models?

I should also add that I am happy to keep an eye out for used amps but I would prefer to buy speakers new or open box from a reputable dealer.
 

Al ears

Moderator
TheLorax said:
First off im new here but I would like to thank you for all the help you never knew you gave me over the past few years. My current system is Debut Carbon Esprit (2M Red)-->Behringer PP4400-->KRK Rokit 6 powered monitors. I also just got a Little Dot I+ headphone amp and a pair of AKG K240's. I mostly listen to indie, synth-pop/dream-pop and electronic but i have a fairly wide collection of records. I listen in a 14ftx17ft room at no more than a moderate level. Over the past 5 years I have invested quite a bit into vinyl but now i feel it is time to start putting more money into my system. My phono pre is the obvious weak link so I started to look into a new one. I have my eye on the Cambridge CP2 but im also planning on upgrading my speakers in the next year. I am planning on moving away from powered monitors and into a speaker and amp combo. This is where quite a few questions arose. It seems like all of the good "budget" amps are integrated amps and many have a phono pre built in. This made me wonder if I should wait on getting a new phono pre amp? I have no interest in a built in DAC, headphone amp ect but these integrated amps still seem to be the best entry level amps? So I ask all of you.

1. If I go seperates how do I control volume with TT-->Phone Pre-->Power Amp-->Speakers?

2. Should I get the CP2 now and figure the rest out later or save and spend $1000-1500 on an integrated amp and speakers in a few months?

3. If I get the CP2 will splitting the output to my powered monitors and headphone amp using audioquest hard Y adaptors degrade the quality?

4. Which route would you reccomend for my budget, TT, and listening space/habits and what specific models?

I should also add that I am happy to keep an eye out for used amps but I would prefer to buy speakers new or open box from a reputable dealer.
Welcome to the forum.

If, as you say, you are planning on going the seperates route, there little point in spending out on a phono preamp now, no matter how cheap.

Wait until you have time to audition some speakers and then think about your integrated amp. Many of these, as you state, still have a decent built-in phono stage and you'll find that most older second-hand amps will have also.
 

TheLorax

New member
Oct 22, 2016
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Im located in the states, salt lake city to be exact and unfortunatly I am limited on what I can hear before I buy. I beleive there is a very high end audio store not too far from me but I think most of their products are way above my budget. I suppose its still work checking out though. Other than that all I have is best buy and they carry some Polk and Warfedale.
 

Al ears

Moderator
TheLorax said:
Im located in the states, salt lake city to be exact and unfortunatly I am limited on what I can hear before I buy. I beleive there is a very high end audio store not too far from me but I think most of their products are way above my budget. I suppose its still work checking out though. Other than that all I have is best buy and they carry some Polk and Warfedale.
Aha, the home of the Mormon church eh?

Unfortunately I am not up on prices of European speakers for sale in the States so you ar probably better off sticking to the 'home grown' variety. These, however, apart from a couple of manufacturers I know nothing about.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
371
140
19,070
Hi. First of all, whatever you do, do NOT plug a phono pre into a power amp, unless you wanna blow something up. Phono preamplifiers are meant to go into a LINE IN on an integrated amp or a preamplifier (and in a LINE IN pair of sockets, NOT in a the Phono ones if there are any, as then you will plug the phono pre into another phono pre).

Secondly, since you live in the US, you have some nice options that are much cheaper there then in the EU. By this, I mean the Rogue Audio Sphinx v2 (or maybe you can find a discounted v1). It can drive a wide range of speakers, and, again, some nice options that are locally available - Revel, Martin Logan, Golden Ear - although I don't know how these would pair with the Sphinx. Two other great options to consider are Kef LS50 (if you can place them away from walls), Wharfedale Reva 2 (or Jade 3) or Focal Aria 906. And the best part about the Sphinx is that it has an inbuilt phono-stage for your TT - so less boxes.
 

TheLorax

New member
Oct 22, 2016
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Thank you! I did not know that but it makes sense. The sphinx looks awesome! I will deffinitly keep an eye out for any on sale or used and I will be sure to check out all of the speakers you mentioned. How far away from the wall would you recomend? I have enough room to place them no more then 2 feet away. I should also mention im more interested in floor standers because I have heard they tend to have better bass response and are a better option if im not using a sub. Is this correct or is it all dependent on the individual speakers?
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
371
140
19,070
It depends on your room, to be honest. If you say you don't listen loudly, floorstanders might be ok, but sometimes their bass can be a bit too much for a small room (mine is 4x4m, moderately furnished, and I prefer standmounts). You can (or should) test it for yourself.

For floorstanders, you could check Goldean Ear Triton Two, Focal Aria 926, Martin Logan Motion 20. 2 feet away from walls is very good, but remember, you have to experiment with positioning. Usually, putting stuff more in the open makes a bigger soundstage and helps with bass NOT blooming. If you feel like you want more bass (from standmounts, let's say) you can put them closer to the wall, but too close will destroy the soundstage.

The "away from walls" I was mentioning was like 30-50cm for standmounters, so you should really be fine. But again, experiment. Happy hunting.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
371
140
19,070
Oh, and another suggestion, the new Dynaudio Emit range should also pair very well with the Sphinx. For the record, I'd avoid buying stop-gaps (like a budget phono stage) and save up for buying in steps: amp first, let's say, then taking it to demos and adding speakers later. You could, for example, get the Sphinx and still use the KRK's until you can budget for some quality passives, as the Sphinx has variable pre-outs.
 

TheLorax

New member
Oct 22, 2016
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Thanks for all the info. I will hold off on buying a phono pre now and save for a nice amp (probably a sphinx). Then I will start looking into speakers. The floor standers you mentioned are well out of my price range so maybe bookshelves will be a better option because as I said I will only be able to spend like $1500 total on an amp and speakers even if I save and wait a while.
 

TheLorax

New member
Oct 22, 2016
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0
Hopefully....... I will have to ask if that is an option from my local HI Fi shop (assuming they have speakers within my budget). If that doesnt work then I do know of a couple online retailers in the states that have a 60 day money back guarantee but that wouldnt be practical for auditioning multiple speakers.
 

thewinelake.

New member
Jan 22, 2016
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0
Oh, sure. You should probably conduct a first round of auditions at the shop, and then try a shortlist at home. A good dealer will let you borrow (perhaps secured against a credit card) a couple of pairs of speakers.

I have often thought that a mobile hi-fi dealer in a van would be a cool idea, as the room is so important. There are plenty of reasons, it seems, why this is not a good idea, though - although I forget what they were now ;-)
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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thewinelake. said:
Oh, sure. You should probably conduct a first round of auditions at the shop, and then try a shortlist at home. A good dealer will let you borrow (perhaps secured against a credit card) a couple of pairs of speakers.

I have often thought that a mobile hi-fi dealer in a van would be a cool idea, as the room is so important. There are plenty of reasons, it seems, why this is not a good idea, though - although I forget what they were now ;-)
The main reason is, I am afraid the usual one.

Operating as a 'full service' retailer offering proper shop and/or home demonstrations is pretty expensive, quite frankly punters do not want to pay what it costs, particularly at the lower end of the market.

They will, in many cases, take full advantage of the service on offer, then buy the product elsewhere for the cheapest possible price. This was one of the primary reasons I gave up retail some 15-16 years ago, I imagine the problem is even worse now though. A few well established dealers are big enough and diverse enough to make it work, but smaller ones do suffer.
 

thewinelake.

New member
Jan 22, 2016
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Obviously there would have to be a non-refundable deposit (eg £100) to get a visit, but I suspect the market for HiFi is pretty small these days. In fact, I slightly wonder how shops survive. Even though it might be £100 well-spent, it doesn't sound good, does it?!
 

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