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Newbie needs advice - £1500 on amp and pair of speakers.

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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Hi Feel a bit out of my depth here, I've trawled the forum and am not familiar with any of the kit ot terminology, I'm getting lost! I'm moving to a lovely new house in the country and have some money left over for gadgets, I have had the same old Marantz amp and Mission speakers for years, I'm sure I can improve on that, no? Sadly, (and I'm sure commonly) a lot of the music listened to will be mp3 (does that make this a waste of time?) but my favourites will be uncompressed. The room is 4.2m x 3.53m. I really appreciate your help J
 

Clare Newsome

New member
Jun 4, 2007
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Hi there,

Don't ever be afraid to ask - and you'll always get a plain-English answer from me (I hope!)

When you say you'll be listening to MP3, do you mean via your laptop or by plugging your iPod into your amp via an iPod dock? And do you want a CD player too?

Let us know and we'll talk you through the options - you've got a great budget to play with, so i'm sure we can point you in the direction of some superb-sounding kit.

Clare

PS And no, listening to MP3 - especially uncompressed - is not a waste of time. It's your life and your music - we're just here to help you get the most of the latter, without making the former too complex....
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for your reassurance!

Re the mp3 thing, I was thinking of using Apple Airport Express to wirelessly transmit the music from our Mac laptops to an amp connected to speakers. There may be some better wireless options I don't know about. There seem to be quite a few moaning about that on the Apple forums, but I guess you never hear from the ones who are happy.

I don't think a CD player will be necessary as the desire is to transfer them to a drive on the laptops or some other centralised drive (all the uncompressed files might be needed to get off the laptops as they are filling up!) - iTunes is very 'family friendly' so I'm kind of hoping to use that as the 'front end'.

thanks very much for your help

j
 

Clare Newsome

New member
Jun 4, 2007
1,657
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That's fair enough - I run an Airport-Express based system at home when i'm having parties, so I don't have to bother changing discs. Sounds fine through a good hi-fi system, as long as you keep things Apple Lossless.

Talking of which, I'd budget some of your cash for a good removable hard drive, to make sure you're keeping those music files uncompressed, or consider a network media player, which would cover the streaming as well as the storage. We've tested four of the latter in our next issue (out July 26).

After that, i'd plump for the Roksan Kandy L.III amplifier (£650), or the Cyrus 6vs2 (£600) if you want a more compact amp (that's also upgradeable in the future).

Then add the Monitor Audio Bronze BR5 floorstander speakers (£400), with some decent speaker cable (QED Silver Annivesary XT at £5.50/m). If you want smaller, standmount speakers, try the Epos M12.2 (£450, plus a decent pair of stands - Custom Design's RS300 at £85 or the Soundstyle Z2 at £60), or the Monitor Audio Silver RS1 (£350) plus the same stands.

Of course, these are just suggestions, and i'd strongly advise trying before you buy, ideally taking along your laptop to a dealer and hearing the system just as you would do at home.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Wow that's brilliant - I now have somewhere to start..

Seems I'm lucky on the networking drive aspect too, looking forward to the next issue.

Now to find somewhere in Cornwall I can hear this stuff!

Thanks very much, you've made an ill person very happy and on a sunday too!

J
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I did a 'quick reply' - didn't seem to work, never mind.

Thanks very much I have something to start with now - I know this is crap but I prefer the look of the Cyrus!

I will check where I can hear these in the Cornwall area and let you know how I get on. (I will listen to both).

Your help is much appreciated from this ill person,

on a sunday too..nice one

j
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Update - I managed to listen to various music on Roksan and Cyrus amps thru Epos and Monitor Audio speakers but didn't get to hear the floorstanders.
Sadly i found both underwhelming - the Cyrus was way too bright and lacked power, the Roksan better but bland (not to mention one of the ugliest designed pieces of kit I've come across).
I presume that floorstanders would give a bigger 'size' of sound(and bass presence?) , which I think I need for the room.
Somehow I thought I would get more for the money in terms of impressive interpretation.
I have to qualify this by saying that I produce music through an RME interface worth £800 and Dynaudio BM5A's worth about the same - so maybe I've been spoilt?

Failing that I would welcome any other ideas.
thanks
J
 

Razz

New member
Jun 25, 2007
2
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I understand your frustration, J - 1500 quid is a lot of money yet it doesn't seem enough for a proper high-quality amp/speaker match... One solution would be to buy a better amplifier second hand - such as the AVI integrated, or the Primare i30 - these should not exceed 900-1000 quid on ebay. One of these partnered with the Epos m12.2 or the Dynaudio 52s would give far better results... Of course auditioning would be much harder...

Also since you probably have a variable output through the (stunning!) RME interface - you might not necessarily need an integrated amp - since you can control the volume from the interface - right? In that case you could focus on a different type of systems - such as the Quad 909 power amp + 12L speakers (together for 1400 quid) - a combination which has been higly praised in several magazines; or AVI's Pro-Nine-Plus speakers with AVI's dedicated powerpacks (separate mono blocks that are attached to the speaker cabinets) (together for around 1400 quid). Both these systems present the advantages of high power amplification + perfect sonic match between electronics and speakers since they were developed together...

Active speakers should also be considered - although the cheapest 'serious' ones I can think of - the ATC SCM20 actives (the cheapest active ATC) retail for around 2000 quid... You could also check prices for the actives from PMC - these companies are unlikely to mismatch amplification and speakers, as they have very high studio/pro standards...

Maybe this can help...

Razz
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks very much that is very helpful.

I have been checking ebay and it is amazing how much you can save, there is a problem with auditioning but you can get your money back by re-selling.

Unfortunately the RME can't be part of my system - its in the studio.

Your thoughts about matching the power and the speakers makes sense to me - I already checked out AVI and I like their spiel, refreshingly honest, I am quite excited by the ones with the powerpacks as they would be perfect for a wireless system, (there does seem to be a gap in the mid-range market for actives as the wi fi thing catches on), but now I'm on ebay and I can get much more for the money - I'm just confused by the choice !

I like the look of PCM LB1's for around £450 for example, but what amp would you pair them with?

There are also a lot of B & W available and these seem well thought of.

I will look at your recommendations I really appreciate your help ,
thanks again

J
 

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