New Speakers and Amp

emptage

Well-known member
Jun 20, 2011
56
1
18,545
:) :)

I am in the process of updating my hi fi system which currently consists of a NAD 3020 amp and a pair of AR18's. Both at least 20 years old. I have recently invested in a Sonos ZP90 and Soundbridge 100 and am very impressed with them. I intend starting a subscription with Napster or similar and this will be the main source of Music. I also intend to re-rip my CD's to a high quality format such as FLAC. I listen mostly to folk and blues and 1960's and 1970's rock such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin etc with the odd bit of classical thrown in. My room is approx 25ft by 11ft, has solid floors and is carpeted. The speakers will be about 12 – 18 inches from the shorter walls. I have not decided on floor mounted or stand mounted speakers but cost will probably mean they are stand mounted. I have a budget of around £750, £350 for the amp and £400 for the speakers. I may also buy a DAC and this will be additional to the budget. I am not keen on a lot of bass. I have been looking at this form and the choice of amp seems to be NAD 326BEE or 355BEE, Marantz 6003 or Yamaha AS500. The speaker choice seems to be KEF or MA RX2. I know the sensible thing to do is to demo as much as possible but that is difficult for me to do. I need to make a decision by the end of Sept as KEF have a 20% trade in offer which ends then. Apologies for the length of this question but I wanted to give as much info as possible
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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2nd hand Klipsch Heresys or Cornwalls. You can put either of these speakers right up against the wall / corners to save you a bit of room. The NAD 3020 will be fine with either of these. You could also try a Chinese valve amp - preferably SET's with the high efficiency Klipsch - depending on how much you have left of your £750.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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Rega Brio-R (almost impossible to beat at the price) + Kef Q100/300/MF BX2/RX1/RX2/ Rega RS1

Add Rega Dac if funds allow.
 

Craig M.

New member
Mar 20, 2008
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look at active speakers too, they have a lot of inherent advantages. pro audio brands can offer serious vfm, if you can live with the looks.

actually, if you are thinking of adding a dac, have a serious look at the avi adm9.1 actives. a complete system, just needs a digital source (pc/laptop/bluray/etc). sensational sound quality that will better anything else available for similar money, imo.
 

Messiah

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2008
205
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18,795
Definitely check out the ADMs.

All you want in one package and they punch way above their price tag! (if budget will stretch of course)
 

emptage

Well-known member
Jun 20, 2011
56
1
18,545
Thanks for the suggestions. I am not keen on the all in one solution and would prefer seperates.

What are the pro's and con's of floorstanding and stand mounted speakers ? The additional cost of the stands has to be considered and I am assuming that £100 will cover a pair of Atacama Nexus i6 and atabites filing. I think this should be sufficient for use on a solid floor.

With regards to the amp. I am moving away from the NAD / Yamaha solution to a Marantz or Rega Brio. I realise they are not in the same price bracket

Also, can anyone recommend a good place, within 50 miles of Oxford, to demo these items.

Please keep the comments coming, they are very helpful to me.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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Looking again at the size of your room, you may well be looking at floorstanders.

Floorstanders give more scale, authority and bass.....which often works better in larger rooms.

Standmounts often sound better below the £1200 mark due to their speed, taughtness and imaging; though they can be "overwhelmed" if they are too small for the room.

Trial and error at your own home is the key, as it all boils dowm to personal taste.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
emptage said:
:) :)

I am in the process of updating my hi fi system which currently consists of a NAD 3020 amp and a pair of AR18's. Both at least 20 years old. I have recently invested in a Sonos ZP90 and Soundbridge 100 and am very impressed with them. I intend starting a subscription with Napster or similar and this will be the main source of Music. I also intend to re-rip my CD's to a high quality format such as FLAC. I listen mostly to folk and blues and 1960's and 1970's rock such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin etc with the odd bit of classical thrown in. My room is approx 25ft by 11ft, has solid floors and is carpeted. The speakers will be about 12 – 18 inches from the shorter walls. I have not decided on floor mounted or stand mounted speakers but cost will probably mean they are stand mounted. I have a budget of around £750, £350 for the amp and £400 for the speakers. I may also buy a DAC and this will be additional to the budget. I am not keen on a lot of bass. I have been looking at this form and the choice of amp seems to be NAD 326BEE or 355BEE, Marantz 6003 or Yamaha AS500. The speaker choice seems to be KEF or MA RX2. I know the sensible thing to do is to demo as much as possible but that is difficult for me to do. I need to make a decision by the end of Sept as KEF have a 20% trade in offer which ends then. Apologies for the length of this question but I wanted to give as much info as possible
Given you have wooden floors I'd look at something like Yamaha amp and Dynaudio 2/6 or 2/7. If you go floorstanders I'd avoid hard domed tweeters which will influence harshness.
 

Lo Fi

New member
Jul 13, 2011
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I purchased Settled on Rega Brio R and Audiolab 8200CD already have MA RX1s

Wired it all up, ran it in for a while and am delighted with results.


Everything sounds just how I wanted, plenty of strong clear clean taut bass, treble just right not too bright and not dull either. Midrange detailed and clear. Lots of detail revealed that I had not heard before.

I must say for the size of the MA speakers they have a surprising bass response.

At 9 oclock on the volume control it is really loud so plenty of power available, if I turn it up above that it is deafening.

Using the Optimal Transient setting on the Audiolab sounds best to me.

One useful thing is that the volume control and mute buttons on the Audiolab remote control actually operate on the Rega.
 

emptage

Well-known member
Jun 20, 2011
56
1
18,545
I do not have wooden floors, they are solid concrete with carpet.

The room is long and narrow and the speakers will go at one end and will be in corners. They will be about 40cm from the back and about 30 cm from the sides. There is nothing I can do to change the room layout

The Bio Reg is approx twice the cost of the Marantz. Is the difference in sound worth that ?

Thanks for all the helpful comments, please keep them coming.
 

Lo Fi

New member
Jul 13, 2011
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In my opinion I think the Rega Brio R is worth every penny.

It has so many good points sound quality wise that it may well end up as product of the year in my opinion.
 

emptage

Well-known member
Jun 20, 2011
56
1
18,545
Thanks for all the replies.

There are so many combinations that it will be impossible to demo them all, especial locally where demo faclities are limited here in Oxford. I am thinking of buying the amp first and then getting speakers for a home demo especially as I have a location problem with he speakers. They will need to go close to but not in a corner. The amps I am loking at are

Brio R This is at the vry top of my budget
Marantz 6003
NAD 356 scondhand
Yamaha AS500

My budget has now increased to £480 for the amp, anything else I should consider ?

Or would it be better to get the speakers first given that the KEF offer (if I go that route) at end of Sept

The speakers I have shortlisted are

KEFQ300
MA RX1
Dynaudio 6 or 7
BW 685

Budget is about £450. I would prefer to buy these new. Looks are immaterial.

Would this be a sensible route ?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
emptage said:
Thanks for all the replies. There are so many combinations that it will be impossible to demo them all, especial locally where demo faclities are limited here in Oxford. I am thinking of buying the amp first and then getting speakers for a home demo especially as I have a location problem with he speakers. They will need to go close to but not in a corner. The amps I am loking at are Brio R This is at the vry top of my budget Marantz 6003 NAD 356 scondhand Yamaha AS500 My budget has now increased to £480 for the amp, anything else I should consider ? Or would it be better to get the speakers first given that the KEF offer (if I go that route) at end of Sept The speakers I have shortlisted are KEFQ300 MA RX1 Dynaudio 6 or 7 BW 685 Budget is about £450. I would prefer to buy these new. Looks are immaterial. Would this be a sensible route ?
Well out of your shortlist I would choose either the Marantz with the Dynaudio 2/6
or the Rega with the Dynaudio2/6's

Maybe I am biased but seriously the Dynaudios are hard to beat at £429. I think I have stated before that I would have been happy to pay a lot more money for the. I just love the sound they put out.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
um maybe the EB 1 Acousitcs, they would have to be made to order and I think the wait time is 8 weeks. I don't think I would add any amplifiers to the list. Just my thoughts but I think the 6003 can work with speakers designed for more expensive electronics. That would give you more budget for speakers or save you some money.

Just remember speaker placement is extremely important, room acoustics are funny things . get the placement right and it will stop any expensive future upgrades.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
As for my own equipment I have settled on my amp and speakers, I don't think I would get any further gains improving them and can't and won't spend anymore mney on them.

If Marantz brought out a dedicated DAC, I would audition it.
 

Lo Fi

New member
Jul 13, 2011
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0
Whatever you buy ask for a discount you shoiuld be able to get at 7.5 % or even more if you negotite well.

I certainly got one one the Brio and Audiolab.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
In general, it is better get the speakers first because they have the most impact on the sound. Finding a likeable speaker that also works well with your amp is harder than finding a good amp for your speakers.

Of your shortlist, I'd pick Kef and Dynaudio for an audition. I'm not a fan of MA, and the B&W will probably not work in a corner. As you cannot demo home, try to find a store where they can let you hear the speakers when they're in a corner. At least that way you'll know what you're missing out on (and maybe rearrange your room ;) ). And I know it's above your budget, but listen to the Q500s too, I know the previous iQ50 did not need much space. You may be able to talk yourself a good deal if you buy amp+speakers at the same time.

Although I haven't heard the Brio R yet, I think that Rega works best with the Dynaudios. For the Kefs, the Marantz is possibly a better choice, but that depends on taste more than quality. Should you decide on the B&W speakers, the Brio might be your only amp choice that works.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
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0
emptage said:
The speakers I have shortlisted are KEFQ300 MA RX1 Dynaudio 6 or 7 BW 685 Budget is about £450. I would prefer to buy these new. Looks are immaterial. Would this be a sensible route ?
Don't forget Rega RS1
 

emptage

Well-known member
Jun 20, 2011
56
1
18,545
tremon said:
In general, it is better get the speakers first because they have the most impact on the sound. Finding a likeable speaker that also works well with your amp is harder than finding a good amp for your speakers.

Of your shortlist, I'd pick Kef and Dynaudio for an audition. I'm not a fan of MA, and the B&W will probably not work in a corner. As you cannot demo home, try to find a store where they can let you hear the speakers when they're in a corner. At least that way you'll know what you're missing out on (and maybe rearrange your room ;) ). And I know it's above your budget, but listen to the Q500s too, I know the previous iQ50 did not need much space. You may be able to talk yourself a good deal if you buy amp+speakers at the same time.

Although I haven't heard the Brio R yet, I think that Rega works best with the Dynaudios. For the Kefs, the Marantz is possibly a better choice, but that depends on taste more than quality. Should you decide on the B&W speakers, the Brio might be your only amp choice that works.
.
Thanks for a very useful post

Interesting dilemma as the Brio 3 is more than double the price of the Marantz. Also, when I demo the speakers at home I will be using a NAD 3020 amp.

I had thought abot buying the amp secondhand which means other amps could come into the equation. I will do a seperate post for this.
 

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