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ProAc D18 and which amp.

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matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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If you do end up going with a new amp for the D18s, you could do much worse than 6th Replicant's A38 recommendation. Superb amplifier and one of the ones I would buy without hesitation if I had that sort of budget. Not heard it with the ProAc speakers though so can't comment on synergy.

FWIW, if you are moving soon, I would wait until you have moved in, as you mention above. See how your system sounds in a different room and then make some decisions. No point changing the system to suit your current listening space.
 

6th.replicant

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2007
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matthewpiano said:
... FWIW, if you are moving soon, I would wait until you have moved in, as you mention above. See how your system sounds in a different room and then make some decisions. No point changing the system to suit your current listening space.
Very true, IME...
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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6th.replicant said:
CnoEvil said:
6th.replicant said:
IMVHO, the D18 is so good it's almost worth building a system around it.
Mr.R, if you don't mind me asking, what was your source?
Arcam CD37. And, FWIW, the D18s had a marked effect - ie v positive - on the CD37's SACD playback.
Thx

I think Steve now has a lot of good stuff to mull over.
 

paradiziac

New member
Jan 8, 2011
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Some good advice, I also think you have to wait and see how the speakers sound in the new surroundings.

My guess is that the more revealing ProAcs are showing the limitations of your source. The shoutiness you describe on the other thread sounds like tiny amounts of distortion that become unpleasant at higher volumes. As you go up the digital source food chain, you certainly lose this brittleness in the treble / shoutiness and it all sounds more natural and unforced.

Did you hear this system with the Chord DAC? Was the shoutiness still there?
 

paradiziac

New member
Jan 8, 2011
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What hifi said:
There's an edge to the treble[/b]
The sound is detailed and clear but there is an edge to the treble, despite plenty of running-in

http://www.whathifi.com/review/cambridge-audio-dacmagic-plus
In fact, if you check the WHF review, it's pretty "revealing"!
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
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Well impatience got the better of me, but there is a rational financial judgement, kind of.

I agree that I am probably not getting the best out of the ProAcs, so jumped at an ex display A38 for £849 which only had a few minutes left so bit the bullet. There are several other ex display / dem version on ebay, but all closer to £1k. If it dosnt work out, then I should be able to sell either it for little loss, if it does work out the M2 should go for more for more than this, although I'll lose on the original price for the M2 it's not bank breaking. I am a secret fan of Arcam gear, if only because it looks the mutts thingys; years ago I really wanted a delta 90.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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SteveR750 said:
Well impatience got the better of me, but there is a rational financial judgement, kind of.

I agree that I am probably not getting the best out of the ProAcs, so jumped at an ex display A38 for £849 which only had a few minutes left so bit the bullet. There are several other ex display / dem version on ebay, but all closer to £1k. If it dosnt work out, then I should be able to sell either it for little loss, if it does work out the M2 should go for more for more than this, although I'll lose on the original price for the M2 it's not bank breaking. I am a secret fan of Arcam gear, if only because it looks the mutts thingys; years ago I really wanted a delta 90.
Blimey....you don't hang about.

Well, one things for sure, it will sound quite different....I look forward to your thoughts.
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
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I re-read a lot of the M2 reviews and this jumped out off the page at me.

"It is not the answer to all musical requirements and if it runs out of steam it can sound a little harsh and messy"

It is exactly what I have found, I can't believe the ProAc is losing the plot so easily, and is most likely more revealing than the s6e ever was. I also know that I like the tonal balance of the D18, so adding smoother, better controlled electronics seems a sensible way to go.
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
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Helmut80 said:
Fantastic Steve! Nothing like blind-buying second hand gear.
Yup! :dance:

Live fast.

It's a risky strategy, can easily go horribly wrong, but I will say this, in truth nearly all of the amp demos I have done have been compromised - all done with different speakers from the ones I own, so maybe I chose the K2 becaue it was connected to some A5s at the time, so naturally it worked with the S6e, which worked similarly to the Caspian and so on.
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
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paradiziac said:
Some good advice, I also think you have to wait and see how the speakers sound in the new surroundings.

My guess is that the more revealing ProAcs are showing the limitations of your source. The shoutiness you describe on the other thread sounds like tiny amounts of distortion that become unpleasant at higher volumes. As you go up the digital source food chain, you certainly lose this brittleness in the treble / shoutiness and it all sounds more natural and unforced.

Did you hear this system with the Chord DAC? Was the shoutiness still there?
No, the demo for the M2 was with GX300 using initially a peach DAC. With both the K2 and the M2 I thought the system was no better than the s6e, without that organic mid band. Switching to Cyrus pre / mono x smoothed things out, but the biggest jump was the £3k chord dac with the unmemorable name. As I recall, it was still slightly shouty as a complete system, and not one I would have paid the thick end of £5k for on the day if I was looking for a new system.
 

6th.replicant

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2007
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CnoEvil said:
Blimey....you don't hang about ...
+1 :O

matthewpiano said:
Will be very interested to hear your thoughts once you've got it. I love the A38. I hope this turns out to be a solution for you.
+1 :)

And if your D18s have had the 150-200 hours run-in required to release their low-end bass, the A38 will be very 'happy' to co-operate... ;)
 

Helmut80

New member
Jan 8, 2011
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SteveR750 said:
Helmut80 said:
Fantastic Steve! Nothing like blind-buying second hand gear.
Yup! :dance:

Live fast.

It's a risky strategy, can easily go horribly wrong, but I will say this, in truth nearly all of the amp demos I have done have been compromised - all done with different speakers from the ones I own, so maybe I chose the K2 becaue it was connected to some A5s at the time, so naturally it worked with the S6e, which worked similarly to the Caspian and so on.
I always buy my hifi that way. With a bit of luck and common sense, it's an excellent way of doing extended home demos IMO. As long as you buy items in good condition at sensible prices, it can be a lot of fun.
 

6th.replicant

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2007
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SteveR750 said:
I suspect the speakers have had no more than 50 hours use. They have had a good workout in amongst that 50 though....
Once they've chalked up 150+ hours they'll sound even better. But until that time, don't give them too much of a "good workout".

During my compulsive diligent research, I read a D18 online review, can't remember publication's title, by an ultra-obsessive audiophile bunch - in comparison, Stereophile reads like a Dixon's staff member's blog.

The nutter gentleman reviewing the D18s gave 'em 200 hours - as recommended by ProAc, he claimed - during his review process, noting heaps more low-end oomph after run-in.

Apart from vino and the engine in the 16-valve Golf GTI Mk2, not many things get better with age :)
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
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 :)
??

I'm sat salivating here like a rabid dog!
 

Shanka

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2011
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Hi,

I know you are trying the Arcam and hope that works for you as I said I think the D18 is a great speaker and I didn't think the Caspian got the best out of them but was wondering if you had considered with the Caspian's new power amp ?
 

Excitable Boy

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2011
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18,540
Shanka said:
Hi, I know you are trying the Arcam and hope that works for you as I said I think the D18 is a great speaker and I didn't think the Caspian got the best out of them but was wondering if you had considered with the Caspian's new power amp ?
Give him time - he'll order that over the weekend !! :shhh: :)
 

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