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ProAc D18 and which amp.

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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In the process of trying too sell my d18s, I've had a rump of advice from other ebayers. Almost all have suggested changing my amp; on the basis that Cyrus plus ProAc is much more sublime than Caspian and spendor. I really don't like Cyrus amps below mono blocs, but that's always been with downspouts speakers. System synergy and all that...
 

MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
SteveR750 said:
In the process of trying too sell my d18s, I've had a rump of advice from other ebayers. Almost all have suggested changing my amp; on the basis that Cyrus plus ProAc is much more sublime than Caspian and spendor. I really don't like Cyrus amps below mono blocs, but that's always been with downspouts speakers. System synergy and all that...
Hi SteveR750

Proac speakers form an excellent match with amplification from Naim and Densen Audio Technologies :)

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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Hi Steve

Just a quick thought. I've read most of your recent posts regarding the ProAcs and how they don't gel as well as the Spennies with your M2.

Slightly confused because I'm not sure whether you want to persevere with the ProAcs or whether the M2 is the building block?

If you say ProAcs and need a different amp, I'd suggest Primare I30. A little long in the tooth now but still immensely capable. Or perhaps try Leema Pulse. Or even Audio Analogue, but not sure about Cyrus gear with ProAc. If the Roksan doesn't synergise comfortably with the D18s, can't see Cyrus improving on it.

By chance, if you want to keep the Roksan then perhaps the new PMC 'Twenty' range may fit the bill - should be a cracking match for your Roksan. That said, perhaps try further up the Spendor range, A6 maybe?

Edit - just found this: http://www.audioconnect.com/63.pdf
 

Shanka

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Jan 10, 2011
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Hi,

Just my thoughts but I found the M2 didn't really drive the D18's well enough to get the best out of the speakers and to my ears and taste the 140's were a better match but would not say they were a better speaker.

I heard the M2 with Spendor A6 and would say that would be a better match if you like the Spendor sound which was just a touch too polite for my listening as I prefer a bit more punch at the bottom end but a good pairing.

I don't think the pulse would help as I feel the caspian was a big improvement over driving speakers on my listening and I also wasn't thrilled when I heard the Primare pairing next to the Caspian.

To match the speakers I did hear the D18's with a Naim pre/power set up which I think was the 202 /200 and that did sound great or you may get away with a Supernait but not the xs, maybe the xs pre/power combination could be an option.

I would suggest having a look through the Naim forums as the combination is quite popular.

Personally I have nver enjoyed cyrus too hifi not enough music but have never heard their monoblocks but if you basically enjoy the caspian signature Naim may be a way forward.

I have not heard Densen so can't comment but would be well worth a look.

I presume you have passed over the 140's but they are a great match with the Caspian, I have had mine for 6 months and still delighted with them, saw a pair in £1200 ex demo last week.

Have fun , interested to see how you get on.
 

Shanka

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Jan 10, 2011
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Oop's forgot to add that I thought PMC were also a good match and that was the GB1i's, I have seen reviews of the new twenty series and would agree they would certainly be worth a listen too as would be Audio Vector if you can find them.
 

Macspur

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May 3, 2010
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Hi Steve R,

Sugden are an excellent match for ProAc... the Company use ProAc themselves.

Some good bargains to be had at the moment on the A21 range.

Good luck with your search
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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I agree with the idea of a Sugden amp, and my first choice would be the Masterclass IA-4, followed by Pathos (Logos). Other amps that I rate are those from Musical Fidelity, Electrocompaniet and Leema (Tucana).

The Proacs are revealing speakers and will expose any weaknesses upstream (more so than your old Spendors).....it is for this reason that I keep banging on about a good source.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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I have to admit. Even though we don't sell it, Sugden works really well with ProAc. You should also look at Naim, Leema, and Bryston. If you've not heard the current X Power from Cyrus, it might be worth investigating.
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
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Thanks for all the comments. This is my dilemma: build around the amp our the speakers. I suspect the ProAc are capable of a higher ceiling than the m2, the sugden suggestion keeps coming up I need an amp with real drive though because I like to listen at high levels, so perhaps its no the m2 simply running out of control....much as it updates me, I think the m2 might have to go....
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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I think the secret starts with a completely open mind, an eclectic shortlist, no preconceptions and being very honest with yourself (which is harder than it sounds).

IMO The speakers are the best part of your system, and strongly believe that you have only scratched the surface of their capability. The problem is that it will be expensive to get the most out of them...everything has to be in balance.

If you are moving house in the future, use this time to do some demos to come up with your shortlist; but don't make a decision until you hear your potential system in its new home.
 

basshound

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Sep 23, 2007
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Hi Steve

I have the Proac`s driven by an ATC pre-power combo (see sig) and am very impressed with the SQ so maybe they are another option to add to your ever lengthening shortlist :) but it`s all pretty subjective,one man`s meat etc.
 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
284
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Hi Steve,

Sorry to hear the D18s are not working out. I loved them when I demoed them a few weeks back. That was using an ARC DSi200 integrated amp.

My advice would be counter to all this previous advice. I'd say keep the Caspian and sell the speakers. Buying a new amp is a very risky proposition. Yes, an different amp will sound different, but it's a far more subtle change than changing speakers. If you truly don't like the D18s, then an amp change will probably not change things enough to make you satisified for the long term.

As I recall, you had your spendors for a long time. I think you should go listen to some spendor A6s with your Caspian. That seems like the logical solution to me. Good luck!
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Given your current dilemma, you might find these threads valuable, if you haven't seen them before: http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/newbie-help-please-0

and

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/driving-proac-d38s
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
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The problem of keeping the Acs is they needed a step up in budget for the upstream components, and its starting to get a little eye watering. The lower cost option would be to downgrade to the A6. There is a masterclass preamp, and a signature 41 on the bay as we speak though at sensible money.....
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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A difficult predicament Steve. I'd suggest thinking back to how you felt about your system with the Caspian and the S6e speakers. Would you say that was more or less enjoyable than the Caspian with the D18s?

If that sound was more enjoyable then why not go back to Spendor and skip the eye watering costs?
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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basshound said:
I have the Proac`s driven by an ATC pre-power combo (see sig) and am very impressed with the SQ so maybe they are another option to add to your ever lengthening shortlist :) but it`s all pretty subjective,one man`s meat etc.
Good call basshound, the ATC's slipped my mind for some reason. The slightly smoother sound of the ATC amps should take the edge off that Steve is experiencing, unless it's a spike issue, which I'll have some news for him about that on Monday :)
 

CnoEvil

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matthewpiano said:
A difficult predicament Steve. I'd suggest thinking back to how you felt about your system with the Caspian and the S6e speakers. Would you say that was more or less enjoyable than the Caspian with the D18s?

If that sound was more enjoyable then why not go back to Spendor and skip the eye watering costs?
As usual, MP has brought it down to brass tacks.... If you can't get the Proacs singing properly, go back to what gave you enjoyment, for without that you have nothing.

Don't compound mistakes with more mistakes, or you will end up spending the money that would have put it right in the first place.
 

El Hefe

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Jun 21, 2008
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Best is to work around on the unit you like best....in this case is your Roksan M2. Thats what I did when I was looking for new speakers...Used my faithful MF XA1 to demo various speakers. Settled with D18 where I found a good match to MF XA1. Then, once I knew the synergy between D18 and MF amp was good, I started to look for a higher end and more modern MF amps which I settled with the MF M6i.
 

CnoEvil

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El Hefe said:
Best is to work around on the unit you like best....in this case is your Roksan M2.
I think part of the problem is that until one hears the D18s sounding right, it's impossible to know which is preferable.

In the end, it will come down to funding...I have always thought that the M6i is a good possible match.
 

Helmut80

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Jan 8, 2011
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CnoEvil said:
El Hefe said:
Best is to work around on the unit you like best....in this case is your Roksan M2.
I think part of the problem is that until one hears the D18s sounding right, it's impossible to know which is preferable. In the end, it will come down to funding...I have always thought that the M6i is a good possible match.
You just love the MF gear :grin:

Having said that, I've heard the M6i with quite a few different speakers and it is one of those amps that works with a wide variety. Tell you what though, the Proac D18s with an Electrocompaniet PI-2, that is a match made in hifi heaven IMO.
 

CnoEvil

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Helmut80 said:
You just love the MF gear :grin:

Having said that, I've heard the M6i with quite a few different speakers and it is one of those amps that works with a wide variety. Tell you what though, the Proac D18s with an Electrocompaniet PI-2, that is a match made in hifi heaven IMO.
I think it (M series) happens to give good value for money and get the basics right. I actually prefer Sugden, Lavardin and Pathos. Electrocompaniet is every bit as good, maybe even better, depending on the situation. :shifty:
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
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matthewpiano said:
A difficult predicament Steve. I'd suggest thinking back to how you felt about your system with the Caspian and the S6e speakers. Would you say that was more or less enjoyable than the Caspian with the D18s?

If that sound was more enjoyable then why not go back to Spendor and skip the eye watering costs?
This is precisely what I am trying to do.

What I do know, is that the S6e were not get up and boogie speakers, but they went loud without changing much, with the K2 and the M2 even more so. The D18s seem to lose it sooner, hence my wobbly suspicions. I have careflly set the cones so that there is no movement of the base unit, but they do move slightly if you try to wobble them with your hand. The Spendors were absolutely rock solid. However at lower levels I prefer the sound of the D18s, the tonality is more to my liking - mope open, faster and a much more tuneful if no more extrended bass. When it gets louder, to the point where you need to raise your voice they get a bit shouty, a bit harsh - hence I concluded it could be the stiffness of the box stood on the floor could be colouring the sound. In the final analysis, my system sounds better than it did, perhaps I expected more. We are realy only talking marginal edges here.

I don't think they will sell because the price is too high, if they do well I can more than cover the cost of something like a pair of A6s so not a disaster; but I think I'll wait and see what David has in mind

FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Good call basshound, the ATC's slipped my mind for some reason. The slightly smoother sound of the ATC amps should take the edge off that Steve is experiencing, unless it's a spike issue, which I'll have some news for him about that on Monday
and get the house move done. New lounge is carpeted so that's going to dempen things down a bit.

Also should apologise for the bizarre words in prevous posts - combination of a mobile phone predictive texts and a bit of bubbly! My typing is pretty poor at best!
 
A

Anonymous

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The Spendor A6 isn't a downgrade. I think they're better balanced than the D18s. Go and try them, they're more alive than the S6e. You might be surprised with how good they are.
 

6th.replicant

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FWIW, during late-summer '10 I demo'd many floorstanders, up to £2600 RRP, incl Spendor, ATC, PMC, ProAc, B&W, Vienna, MA and Amphion.

All were demo'd with an Arcam A38 - recipient of lukewarm 3-star from WHF? but, curiously, enthusiastic 5-star reviews from 'other leading publications' in the UK and US. (BTW, the A38 pumps out 100W.) And IME the A38 responds very well to bi-amp'ing.

To my ears, when hooked up to the A38, all the speakers I demo'd sounded either 'dry', limp or hideously unbalanced (ie, top-end brightness).

However, ProAc's D18 was all-round chuffing gorgeous: instruments sounded realsitic/musical and exciting; heaps of detail/separation/imaging/soundstage; impressive bass in mid-range and low-end. And the D18s look cool :dance:

Try a D18 + A38 home-demo - there's now't to lose? A38's RRP is £1500 or can be had ex-demo/display for approx £900 or £700-800 2nd-hand on eBay etc.

IMVHO, the D18 is so good it's almost worth building a system around it.
 

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