Question Should I change everything or improve the speakers?

corvinuz92

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Feb 17, 2024
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Hello everyone,
I'm new in this forum and in the hi-fi world, so please be gentle with me.
I moved to a new apartment and would like to improve my system. I currently have a Denon Ceol N11 paired with Lonpoo LP42. The listening environment is a living room of approximately 20m2. I wonder if it's better to change everything, buying an amplifier, a streamer and speakers, or if I can get good results just by changing the speakers. The main use will be listening to music (rock, blues, punk) and watching films. I'm not interested in CDs, but I have a turntable and some vinyl. the budget is around €2500-3000.
What do you recommend? Eventually there would be space for both bookshelf and floorstanding speakers.
TThanks
 

Integralista

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Feb 9, 2024
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Hi Corvinuz92,

I will tecommend to set up a new system. I am using 25 years Rega turntables (P25 since new and P9 used one) and still happy with them. As you are new to the area I will recommend:
1. Turntable Rega Planar 2 or Planar 3
2. As cartridge you may opt for MM Rega Exact. Later you may upgrage to some MC like Rega Ania or Golgring or Ortofon.
3. As an amp for 20 square meters, Rega Brio will work very well. I have it at home in bigger room like you and still works well. This amp is a real diamond up to some 1000 Eur. Brio controls even smaller florstanders without issue. Amp has very solide MM phono preamp inside. Just when you opt for MC cartridge you may upgrade for e.g. Rega MC phono or Rega Aria standalone phono preamp. I use Aria MK1, is still excellent machine.
4. Speakers pls. look for something with higher sensitivity and min 6 Ohm impedance. QA Acoustics 3050i will work well or similar Wharcedale Diamond, Triangle Chorus. Or also Dali Oberon 5 works very good with Brio. I have used Rega Jura towers, used ones. They were very good. Now I use Xavian Delicia. This is magic combination in my second "small" system.
5. Do not forget to put some 500-600 Eur on a side for solide cables ( some 200-300 for speaker, 100-200 for interconnect and also power cable) I use my Brio with QED speaker cable and Cardas interconnect and Rega Reference Power- this power cable is very good.
6. Turntable needs some solide rack or stand. This is seriously important for any turntable.
And in the end you get a serious very good sounding system!
 
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corvinuz92

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I didn't say that I already own a Pro-Ject turntable, which I would like to keep for now. Thanks so much for the advice in the meantime.
I use liquid music a lot, which is why I had opted for the Denon Ceol N11, so if I had to replace it I would still need a decent streamer
 
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DougK1

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5. Do not forget to put some 500-600 Eur on a side for solide cables ( some 200-300 for speaker, 100-200 for interconnect and also power cable) I use my Brio with QED speaker cable and Cardas interconnect and Rega Reference Power- this power cable is very good.
This amount of spend is not required, as long as cables are of sufficient gauge and well terminated that's it.
 

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
Hello everyone,
I'm new in this forum and in the hi-fi world, so please be gentle with me.
I moved to a new apartment and would like to improve my system. I currently have a Denon Ceol N11 paired with Lonpoo LP42. The listening environment is a living room of approximately 20m2. I wonder if it's better to change everything, buying an amplifier, a streamer and speakers, or if I can get good results just by changing the speakers. The main use will be listening to music (rock, blues, punk) and watching films. I'm not interested in CDs, but I have a turntable and some vinyl. the budget is around €2500-3000.
What do you recommend? Eventually there would be space for both bookshelf and floorstanding speakers.
TThanks
All Pro-Ject turntables are good, so stick with that.

Your speakers appear to be the weak point Your system, so start there. Spend about a third of your budget on some good speakers. If you are thinking of floorstanders, I like Triangle Borea BR07, but there are lots of choices in this price range. See How you get on there, you can upgrade your amp and Streamer later if needed.

Alternatively, find a reputable dealer in your area and ask them to demonstrate some options. Probably best to telm them your upper budget is a little lower that it really is, they will certainly push it up for you!
 

Messiah

Well-known member
You have a very healthy budget so there are a lot of options.

The Denon CEOL is a good starting point and I agree with Andy, whilst I am not familiar with those speakers, a quick Google suggest they are a very budget speaker so I would look to new speakers.

Do you have any dealers near you? I know this is recommended a lot (rightly so) but the best thing you can do is try a few speakers and decide what you like the most. One benefit of the CEOL is that you could easily take it to a demo. Then you can decide if you need to spend anywhere near that amount.

You just have to take a look at everyone’s signatures to see there are no two systems the same. Lots of ways to audio nirvana.
 

corvinuz92

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Feb 17, 2024
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A little update: I've had the opportunity to listen to a lot of speakers these days. The choice fell on the q acoustic 5040 and I am very satisfied with the purchase. I don't mind the pairing with the Denon. The only thing I miss on the Denon is an HDMI ARC, to control the volume with the TV remote control (Samsung S90C). Which amplifier/streamer could I get in its place? I don't want to add too many devices, I'd like to keep the setup as simple as possible. Thank you

20240224_184532.jpg
 

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
A little update: I've had the opportunity to listen to a lot of speakers these days. The choice fell on the q acoustic 5040 and I am very satisfied with the purchase. I don't mind the pairing with the Denon. The only thing I miss on the Denon is an HDMI ARC, to control the volume with the TV remote control (Samsung S90C). Which amplifier/streamer could I get in its place? I don't want to add too many devices, I'd like to keep the setup as simple as possible. Thank you

View attachment 6220
Looks good. Are you sticking with stereo or thinking full AV multichannel? If stereo I would suggest you Take a look at the Marantz Stereo 70. At around £900 not sure how much it will be where you are, but along with the Q's should be well within your original €2,500-£3,000 budget.
 
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ultraminiature

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I bought several systems for my parents before getting my own first system. I was not happy and thought if I changed the cartridge (one small change) it would magically be better. A dealer asked me to bring in my entire system and we did side by side comparisons with systems at different price points for me to compare and we also swapped out my amp for his and his speakers for mine etc. I had made excellent component choice just not the best match. More sensitive speakers worked better with my amp and just differently to their choice at that price point. My speakers needed a far more powerful and better amplifier to make them show what they can do. After that session I spent hours listening to set ups in the show room. switching source amp and speakers including some OTT priced ones that did nothing to my short list. Your ears, your budget, your choice.

I ended up spending ten times the amount on the turntable and upgrading to the nth degree everything. I kept them so far for 45 years. I have heard as good, different but not really better. Perhaps if I had the hearing of a 30 year old I might have a different view point. 20-20kHz well my 1980 speakers do that and most speakers even £15k ones simply do not.

In modern systems passive analogue speakers work and allow endless mix ,mis-match and struggle for the upgrade path piece by piece where one change makes for a magically better system (never does) but often is just different and some cases worse.

Active analogue speakers removed the need for a separate amplifier. The designer picked the best cabinet electronics and rivers for the price point so you don't have to. They plug into a pre-amp (for phono stage etc) or into an AV receiver for surround if wanted or with a toslink to RCA convertor to any aux input. They will scale up to 5.1 or 7.1.

Powered speakers often now are wireless and have built in streaming. Some have low end phono stages for tight budgets. They will not scale up to surround, Can have a sub added. Wireless to the primary speaker with secondary wired to the primary. External sources turntable, CD player, wired to it (not so nice) but some have a hub that can be hidden away acting like a pre-amp. HDMI input for stereo.

Wireless DSP streaming active speakers everything in the two speakers. Most have poor latency or if they have HDMI eARC are a stereo alternative to a sound bar. Some will scale up. WiSA is used by a number of manufacturers for stereo, 5.1, 7.1. Dali have their own wireless system. B&W Formation Bar, Bass and Flex to work with a television and the Formation Audio hub for inputs. Meridian have their speakerlink DSP system and B&O have powerlink in addition to WiSA choices.. Devialet have streaming speakers (optical from TV for stereo only) and separate Ethernet connected custom speakers for surround.

Some powered, active wireless speakers need the whole speaker in for repairs if the DAC or amp has a fault. Some can have the electronics removed yourself or by the dealer and just send that off - no different to getting a DAC or amp repaired. Some also allow for modules to be upgraded if wireless systems and connections change. Whether they do that every is another matter although B&O have made a four channel amplifier to fit into their 30 year old speakers to connect to a Raspberry Pi to get streaming services and convert the passive crossover CX50, CX75 and CX100 into active streaming speakers. They also have enable older systems to get connections to use with the latest products and mix in old speakers with current range for multi-room and multi-channel.

Streaming DSP active speakers have allowed improved bass, better extension, room correction and use smaller drive units and smaller cabinets for a better sound quality than cannot be done with passive speakers and separate amplifiers. The LS60 wireless speakers can not be built as passive speakers - the cabinet is too small, the drivers too small etc. At their current discount price they are a bargain.
 

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