New to Separates - How much to spend ?

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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I know this something of a "how long is a piece of string question" but in What Hifi they give some example set ups. A Budget System of CD, AMP and Speakers for £740 and a Midrange system for double that.

There is no way I could afford the high end system at £7695. If I am going to get great sound from the budget system I would like to spend that amount but if I am getting a serious improvement in quality I would consider the mid range type of system.

I will go and listen to some different set ups but before I go I would appreciate views on whether I am likely to hear a significant improvement for the higher price type of system i.e. mid-range compared to budget. Would I be able to really tell the difference blindfolded.

The music I listen to most is classical - lots of Baroque instrumental especially Bach.

To my mind there is no point is spending more money if the advantages are limited. On the otherhand whatever I buy is probably going to be with me for say 10 years and so there is no point in missing out on significant improved quality if that is what you get.

Any thoughts or pointers appreciated.
 

fatboyslimfast

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2008
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Hi, I don't think anyone can fully answer your question apart from you yourself (i.e. after listening to a few systems at a friendly dealer).

But, to give my view on things, I would say that between there is a law of diminishing returns, i.e. between a £400 style system and the WHFSV budget system, there would be a world of difference. Between the budget and mid-range, there would be a significant difference, and between the midrange and high end, there would be a noticeable but not ground-shaking difference - the difference on this one is going to be subtleties such as instrument realism and fine detail.

So...you would probably think that I am recommending the midrange system. I personally think (and obviously this is only my opinion, guided by my possibly half-knackered ears - I am a motorcyclist and my hearing has suffered a little as a result) that my system (see below) sounds pretty darn good. Although I am looking for a new set of speakers which would take the purchase price of my system into the £1.5 - £2k bracket. Someone else might think that it sounds awful though!!!

I do wonder what you are used to sound wise - if it's a little style based micro system, then the £750 system will make you a happy listener.

Sorry for waffling - I would visit a couple of local dealers, have a chat, and find one you feel comfortable with - then ask them if they can put together a demo of a £750 system and a £1500 system to compare - any decent dealer will do this for you, as the best ones are actually music lovers themselves, not just salesmen.

Let us know how you get on...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hi there

A quick 'google' can reap massive savings if you've yet to commit and not just neccesarily on line only. Don't forget to factor in 'hidden' costs which can include..
Stands
Rack
Interconnects
Speaker Cable
Mains conditioners/cables
Extra Warranty
Aftercare/Service

The physical extras (interconnects etc) can have a dramatic effect on the quality without a significant additional outlay.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I had a "budget" system for 7 years which kept me happy (arcam 7se cd/rotel rb981/rotel rc972/b&w 603 s2).....whole set-up came to about 1300 pounds with interconnects......sounded great, I thought. My current set-up (see below) is heading beyond the 9k mark (I still consider it mid-end) and the difference is phenomenal........I agree that it can become hard to tell an audible difference at the mid to high end level sometimes. Also, it's not always as simple as choosing components within the same quality bracket......my speakers cost nearly 2k more than the cd player and 2 amps combined......but that's because i know I will upgrade the amps/cd after a few years.......I wanted the speakers forever, which is why I went for the Dalis. Mix and match......see how it goes.......play it by ear (pun intended)
 

d_a_n1979

New member
Sep 6, 2007
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Id agree with Thaiman about the NAD combo from Superfi but i'm not a fan of Epos speakers at all so i think you can do alot better speaker wise.

It all depends on whether you want standmount speakers or floorstanders and also, what music do you listen to?
 

Thaiman

New member
Jul 28, 2007
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Dan, I think Epos rocks
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JoelSim

New member
Aug 24, 2007
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I have heard two EPOS, the ELS3 which I thought was pretty poor, and the m12.2 which was pretty good.

However the m12.2 is not in the same league as my ProAc Tablette Ref 8 Sigs.

The answer to your question is to hear a range of kits, book in a good 2 hour demo with your local dealer and buy accordingly.
 

Thaiman

New member
Jul 28, 2007
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[quote user="JoelSim"]
However the m12.2 is not in the same league as my ProAc Tablette Ref 8 Sigs.

[/quote]

That is a fact mate, not many small stand mount can out do the Tab ref 8
emotion-21.gif


and when you move on from Arcam you will really hear what the ProAc can do
emotion-4.gif
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
2,033
27
19,720
[quote user="Thaiman"]and when you move on from Arcam you will really hear what the ProAc can do
emotion-4.gif
[/quote]

Oooooooooooo. 15-love
emotion-5.gif


I'm with all on the NAD deal, think is one of the big bargains out there at the moment - alternatively they do it sans speakers for an only-slightly-less-good deal, in case you find some speakers which you prefer (am a big fan of spending more on speakers). I do like Superfi though in that they can put together some seriously good value packages as well as some seriously expensive systems *and* will demo them, unlike a lot of dealers........
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Spend as much as you can mate. That way you will more than likely wind up with the best system you can and therefore get more pleasure from your music. If you do this find a decent dealer first and trust your ears. Most budget stuff is pretty rubbish to be honest. If you don't want to spend a lot consider good used equipment and again; a good shop should treat you the same wether you buy used or new! The only other advice I would offer is to leapfrog Japense kit and buy British as (other than the odd exception) it offers massive improvements in performance, musicality and build quality. I once purchased a 20 year old Naim amp (42/110) for £300 and it sounded as good as anything up to a grand. I later gave it to my son and he uses it now and that means it will be about 27 years old.
Good luck!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
You would definitely notice the difference between a budget system and a mid range system. If you have money to spend (I'm talking 1.5-2k) then imo you could do a lot worse than the Roksan Kandy amp and CD player. These can however be a bit bright and, erm, "exciting" at times (which I like but I know that some people don't). In demos in the past I've found that Arcam gear fares very well with classical music - I haven't heard any of their more recent kit in action though.

If I were going to listen to classical music on the Roksan combo I'd probably go for Quad speakers to calm it down a bit - I've heard both the 12L's (standmounters) and the 21L's (floorstanders) in the past and was very impressed by both. If I went Arcam I'd probably want the speakers to liven things up a bit - maybe B&W's...

Ultimately though it really is up to your ears - this game is all about opinions!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Try Rega, for a 2k budget I think you will love the detrail on your classical music. Look at my system, orchestral sounds stunning...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Is there an advantage to an integrated or a true seperate, i.e. pre-amp, power amp set-up? I know that the integrated will be more economical, but are there sonic advantages to the pre-power combination?

current system Rotel RA-1062, Denon DV-2900, Acoustic Energy AE-1
 
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Anonymous

Guest
In my opinion pre and power will give a better sound. BUT if budget is an issue then I think you would be better putting more in to an integrated. Also many integrateds (such as the Mira3) can be used as a pre-amp later on when you can afford a power.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Can anyone advise?

I own an Arcam DV27A DVD which is vastly superior to my PS3 for both sound and DVD picture quality (except for Bluray of course).

I now wish to purchase a bluray player which would replace both the DV27A and PS3 and am considering the Pioneer BDP 51FD or better (to partner with my Arcam AVR300). Is this gong to be as good or better than my PS3 and DV27A or do I need to increase my budget?
 

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