Question New Set-Up for Small Room - HiFi Rookie

56suited

Member
Jan 13, 2024
1
0
20
Visit site
Hello, friends....new guy here. I started doing my research mid-December, and just when I think I'm close to pulling the trigger and actually buying stuff...my internet spiraling continues. I'll bet I never buy anything and I'll just continue nerding out on reviews and specs forever...I could use some opinions/feedback.

My room measures ~79" x ~113", and is a home office. I am leaning toward #1 or #2 right now, but in all honesty, I am in info overload and paralysis mode.

Option 1 - Bias Toward Turntable Quality & Scale
  • Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut Pro S or Pro-Ject X1B (for eventual upgrade to MC cartridge and balanced connections)
  • Phono Stage: Ifi Zen Phono
  • DAC/Amp/Streamer: Wiim Amp
  • Speakers: ELAC Debut Reference DBR62
  • recommended on Audio Science Review...but I don't understand a lot of the technical specs, I like that they will sound good near walls
PROS: my analog source is high quality and scalable (X1B can go to balanced connections with MC cartridges as an example) and I will be happy with any of these turntables for at least the next 5-15 years. I really feel like I am going to go deep on vinyl.
CONS: Although easier to accept than the budget imbalance in #3, I am spending ~50% of my budget on my turntable. The Wiim is not scalable if I move to larger spaces, and I can't use it as a preamp to something better/larger.

Option 2 - Direct Drive Convenience & Build, Bias Toward Speaker Investment
  • Turntable: Technics SL-1500C (built-in phono stage)
  • DAC/Amp/Streamer: Wiim Amp
  • Speakers: ELAC Debut Reference DBR62 or, because I would bypass a phono stage, I could pour an additional +200EUR over the 500EUR price into something more refined for small rooms with better sound quality. Or I could buy stands. Or a sub, not because I need more bass, but for the benefit of letting the speakers focus on mid/high frequencies. Likely I don't know what I'm talking about.
PROS: With the other options, I may be severely underestimating how important auto-stop convenience and direct drive speed accuracy is. The turntable's built-in phono stage allows me to pour more money into better speakers or stands as my budget breakout would be 50% turntable, 15% DAC/amp/streamer, and 35% speakers/stands
CONS: The Wiim is not scalable if I move to larger spaces, and I can't use it as a preamp to something better/larger. I wonder if I am doubling down too much on punchy, dynamic sonics with a class D, as well as Technics TT, instead of matching more warm and full sonics from other TTs to offset that dynamic.

Option 3 - Bias Toward DAC/Amp Quality & Scale
  • Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO or Rega Planar 2
  • Fully-integrated phono stage, DAC, streamer, amp: Marantz Stereo 70S
  • Speakers: ELAC Debut Reference DBR62
PROS: The Stereo 70S is likely a DAC/streamer/amp solution I can grow into, for home theater, gaming, and expansion into larger spaces with a stupid amount of input and output connections
CONS: I am spending ~50% of my budget on the Stereo 70S, and 25% on turnt
able and speakers each.

Thanks for everybody's engagement and patience!
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
room is tiny !
I'd go option 3 but may overwhelm room ?
speakers on stands or on iso-acoustic isolation or similar ?
Not all listening rooms come in size Large, mine is approx 108" square, I keep hinting that I could use the main lounge but that gets me the look and over her glasses and the following comments (polite versions quoted).

Not in your wildest dreams are you putting your hifi in the lounge

or

hahahahaha - NO

or

Have you been drinking again

or

I'm going to give that comment the complete contempt it deserves

or

No, not happening.
 
Welcome to the forum! Congrats on your research - it looks very thorough.

Have you ever heard the Elac speakers?

That’s not a loaded question, as they’ve a great heritage and haven’t enjoyed the best distribution here in the UK, while having some outstanding designers and products. They are a foot deep, so even close to a wall that’s a fair chunk out of your space. Unfortunately, many modern speakers are narrow and deep and it fools us into thinking they’re less obtrusive.

Do you have any records? If you have lots then emphasising the turntable makes sense.

For the longer term, I’m disposed towards Marantz, with their decades of heritage and now part of a big group. Wiim might have gone by the end of 2024. The Stereo 70S seems almost made for your needs!
 
Last edited:

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
Hello, friends....new guy here. I started doing my research mid-December, and just when I think I'm close to pulling the trigger and actually buying stuff...my internet spiraling continues. I'll bet I never buy anything and I'll just continue nerding out on reviews and specs forever...I could use some opinions/feedback.

My room measures ~79" x ~113", and is a home office. I am leaning toward #1 or #2 right now, but in all honesty, I am in info overload and paralysis mode.

Option 1 - Bias Toward Turntable Quality & Scale
  • Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut Pro S or Pro-Ject X1B (for eventual upgrade to MC cartridge and balanced connections)
  • Phono Stage: Ifi Zen Phono
  • DAC/Amp/Streamer: Wiim Amp
  • Speakers: ELAC Debut Reference DBR62
  • recommended on Audio Science Review...but I don't understand a lot of the technical specs, I like that they will sound good near walls
PROS: my analog source is high quality and scalable (X1B can go to balanced connections with MC cartridges as an example) and I will be happy with any of these turntables for at least the next 5-15 years. I really feel like I am going to go deep on vinyl.
CONS: Although easier to accept than the budget imbalance in #3, I am spending ~50% of my budget on my turntable. The Wiim is not scalable if I move to larger spaces, and I can't use it as a preamp to something better/larger.

Option 2 - Direct Drive Convenience & Build, Bias Toward Speaker Investment
  • Turntable: Technics SL-1500C (built-in phono stage)
  • DAC/Amp/Streamer: Wiim Amp
  • Speakers: ELAC Debut Reference DBR62 or, because I would bypass a phono stage, I could pour an additional +200EUR over the 500EUR price into something more refined for small rooms with better sound quality. Or I could buy stands. Or a sub, not because I need more bass, but for the benefit of letting the speakers focus on mid/high frequencies. Likely I don't know what I'm talking about.
PROS: With the other options, I may be severely underestimating how important auto-stop convenience and direct drive speed accuracy is. The turntable's built-in phono stage allows me to pour more money into better speakers or stands as my budget breakout would be 50% turntable, 15% DAC/amp/streamer, and 35% speakers/stands
CONS: The Wiim is not scalable if I move to larger spaces, and I can't use it as a preamp to something better/larger. I wonder if I am doubling down too much on punchy, dynamic sonics with a class D, as well as Technics TT, instead of matching more warm and full sonics from other TTs to offset that dynamic.

Option 3 - Bias Toward DAC/Amp Quality & Scale
  • Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO or Rega Planar 2
  • Fully-integrated phono stage, DAC, streamer, amp: Marantz Stereo 70S
  • Speakers: ELAC Debut Reference DBR62
PROS: The Stereo 70S is likely a DAC/streamer/amp solution I can grow into, for home theater, gaming, and expansion into larger spaces with a stupid amount of input and output connections
CONS: I am spending ~50% of my budget on the Stereo 70S, and 25% on turnt
able and speakers each.

Thanks for everybody's engagement an
You seem keep on the ELAC. I haven't heard them, but by reputation they are great. I would also consider Triangle Borea BRO3, they may be easier to pair and more forgiving in placement in a small room.

I would lean towards the Marantz over the WiiM, I like the Marantz sound, and they are tried and trusted WiiM are new to the game.

You should also consider an old fashioned integrated amp. without the streaming capability or DAC. The amp will last you years, the technology in streaming and DACs is still developing fast. Get the right £100 DAC and it will sound better than one that cost several times that from five years ago. You can get a WiiM Mini or Pro and an extremal DAC for £150 to £250 and upgrade without in a few years if you need to in a few years if needed.

The opposite is true of the record player, don't spend a fortune on one that is WAY better than the rest of your equipment, but equally don't buy a cheep one with the play on upgrading in a couple of years. Pro-Ject and Rega are the kings of this price bracket, just decide which one fits your needs.

Finally, adduction if you can. Maybe listen to a few amps in a store with a reference set of speakers, buy the amp then borrow some speakers to listen to at home. Many stores will let you do this.

Good luck with it.


d patience!
 

Cricketbat70

Well-known member
Feb 2, 2023
338
204
1,270
Visit site
Not all listening rooms come in size Large, mine is approx 108" square, I keep hinting that I could use the main lounge but that gets me the look and over her glasses and the following comments (polite versions quoted).

Not in your wildest dreams are you putting your hifi in the lounge

or

hahahahaha - NO

or

Have you been drinking again

or

I'm going to give that comment the complete contempt it deserves

or

No, not happening.
🤣
 

twinkletoes

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2021
635
436
2,270
Visit site
I think you’re missing a 4th option that will allow you to forgo a lot of boxes in a small space.

I’d be looking into an active speaker option

Like the acoustic energy ae1 with a wiim pro plus with turntable choice

Or some jbl 4305p with your turntable choice, no need for a separate streamer. I’d probably go with the technics.

Depending on budget. But they’re many brands at different price points with active options
 

Jasonovich

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2022
1,041
614
2,070
Visit site
I got word dyslexia reading your article but kudos to you for the tremendous effort in putting together your synopsis.
You're consistent in your speakers and that's a good choice. The Elac 6.2s have their port hole at front so no bass boominess when placed close to the wall.
Both options are viable, if analogue is your prime listening go with option one.
I would suggest as preference, you opt for the WiiM Plus Pro rather than the vanilla version.
You can either trust your gut and all the reviews or find a dealership and do some listening. Though a little pitch of salt, it's unlikely the well damped dealership room acoustics will have any semblance to your room, so curb your expectations a little. 😊
 

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
I think you’re missing a 4th option that will allow you to forgo a lot of boxes in a small space.

I’d be looking into an active speaker option

Like the acoustic energy ae1 with a wiim pro plus with turntable choice

Or some jbl 4305p with your turntable choice, no need for a separate streamer. I’d probably go with the technics.

Depending on budget. But they’re many brands at different price points with active options
I think the small room thing is a bit of red herring. its not cavernous but its as big as a 2nd/3dr bedroom, study, dining room in an average UK home. unless your setup is in the living room, or you live in a very large house its a typical size listening room.

Active speakers have their advantages. The obvious downside is the lack of upgrade potential.
 

record_spot

Well-known member
£1500 budget? Consider a pair of Triangle AIO Twin powered speakers (£700) and your choice of deck up to around £900.


Edit: the speakers cover your amp / speaker / streaming / phono stage (if you opt to give that a try) in one. Network inputs too, so do consider them. The Technics SL1500C at £1000 gives you semi-automatic operation, but you can get the Technics SL1200-Mk7 for £899, which might give you more room to play with for a better cartridge (the 1500C comes with the very good AT-VM95C - don't knock it at £35, it's one of the AT's stars - but you can spend £150 and get the AT-VM95ML).

If I didn't already have a set-up, I'd be shortlisting the Triangles alongside KEF's LSX2 and several other active options in the £700-1000 range (the Triangles aren't actives, but you can't have everything).
 
Last edited:

Jasonovich

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2022
1,041
614
2,070
Visit site
"I got word dyslexia reading your article but kudos to you for the tremendous effort in putting together your synopsis."

If you don't understand what you have written then why write it in the first place?
I said very clearly 'word dyslexia', it was merely a metaphor for my eyes being tired and I was seeing double when I was typing, probably from staring long at the small text on my mobile, and, by the same token, I wanted to commend OP for the effort he put in.

People have their own unique way of expressing themselves, it wasn't a gist and it wasn't self-assurance, like everyone here expressing an opinion I was doing exactly the same.

I do appreciate that not everyone has the same threshold but as long as it is absent of wilful malice, don't you think we should exercise some degree of tolerance?
 
  • Like
Reactions: DougK1

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts