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New system help

Elliottg

Member
Jan 25, 2021
1
0
20
Hi all, I know how irritating it is to active members when someone’s first post is asking for advice so I’m going to offer up ten of your finest British pounds via PayPal for the best answer here. Hope that sounds fair?

Here’s a bit about me and my hi-fi history, years ago I worked for an electronics company, one of the experts there built me a system. This was early 2000s and I don’t recall much other than a gigantic Denon amp (might have been an AVR that I used just as an amp, I wanna say AVR28...), Mission floorsyanders (in cherry, remember that much) and Marantz CD player that was pretty budget. All in it was about £600 with staff discount so far from high end. But it was good enough for me and it blasted out a lot of cool stuff like Jurassic5 and Kano in my 20s (also a lot of stuff that seems less cool in retrospect like Hadouken! haha). I remember buying QED cables from Superfi as well, my old man thought I was nuts Spending so much.

Anyway, that’s all long gone and I now have a house full of Sonos because I like the UI.

Am moving, just booked a garden office for installation and I’ve promised myself a ’proper hi-fi’ system. By pure coincidence, I’ve been gifted a Cambridge Audi’s DACmagic to get me going (mate of my missus has it left over from a divorce and it came up in conversation).

So here’s the million dollar question, if I connect my laptop to the DAC to play FLAC files, how much should I be paying for an amp and a pair of speakers to get a noticeable improvement on, say, a stereo pair of Sonos 3s? And what should I be looking at? Used familiar name (NAD/Denon/Marantz/Rotel) amp and a pair of DM601s off eBay? Or do I need to spend a bit more? Or should I bin off the DAC I have and do something different?

It’s a small room, 3M x 3M and I’ll never need to go super loud. Playing mostly Britpop, soul, Motown, country and morose singer-songwriter stuff from Willie Nelson to Ryan Adam’s to Paul Simon to Damien Rice. In fact, that sort of thing is where I’m really looking forward to hearing the difference, lower volume, delicate vocals etc.

Be really grateful if anyone wants to chip in with opinions.

Elliott
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,888
235
20,070
Hi all, I know how irritating it is to active members when someone’s first post is asking for advice so I’m going to offer up ten of your finest British pounds via PayPal for the best answer here. Hope that sounds fair?

Here’s a bit about me and my hi-fi history, years ago I worked for an electronics company, one of the experts there built me a system. This was early 2000s and I don’t recall much other than a gigantic Denon amp (might have been an AVR that I used just as an amp, I wanna say AVR28...), Mission floorsyanders (in cherry, remember that much) and Marantz CD player that was pretty budget. All in it was about £600 with staff discount so far from high end. But it was good enough for me and it blasted out a lot of cool stuff like Jurassic5 and Kano in my 20s (also a lot of stuff that seems less cool in retrospect like Hadouken! haha). I remember buying QED cables from Superfi as well, my old man thought I was nuts Spending so much.

Anyway, that’s all long gone and I now have a house full of Sonos because I like the UI.

Am moving, just booked a garden office for installation and I’ve promised myself a ’proper hi-fi’ system. By pure coincidence, I’ve been gifted a Cambridge Audi’s DACmagic to get me going (mate of my missus has it left over from a divorce and it came up in conversation).

So here’s the million dollar question, if I connect my laptop to the DAC to play FLAC files, how much should I be paying for an amp and a pair of speakers to get a noticeable improvement on, say, a stereo pair of Sonos 3s? And what should I be looking at? Used familiar name (NAD/Denon/Marantz/Rotel) amp and a pair of DM601s off eBay? Or do I need to spend a bit more? Or should I bin off the DAC I have and do something different?

It’s a small room, 3M x 3M and I’ll never need to go super loud. Playing mostly Britpop, soul, Motown, country and morose singer-songwriter stuff from Willie Nelson to Ryan Adam’s to Paul Simon to Damien Rice. In fact, that sort of thing is where I’m really looking forward to hearing the difference, lower volume, delicate vocals etc.

Be really grateful if anyone wants to chip in with opinions.

Elliott
It is tricky because everyone's taste in what they like or dislike is different. For a office/garden set-up I would be looking at a set of active or powered speakers. They'll have enough inputs for PC, and whatever else you might reasonably need.

Most of the major companies now make active or wireless speakers, ranging from Dali, Kef, PMC, Dynaudio and so on and so fourth.

As with traditional passive set-ups they will have their own distinct presentation.

Yes, if going the trad route then Marantz PM 7000N is a good place to start or perhaps something like this with say some Monitor Audio Bronze standmounted speakers.

Because this hobby/interest is so subjective we can only make suggestions.

Hope this is a good enough springboard.
 

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