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Should I change my CD player as well as the Amp?

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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System- Rotel RA-06.....Arcam CD73T.....Pro-ject RPM4.....Focal Chorus 714V.

After many months of saving I'm nearly ready to replace my current amp (following helpful advice from WHF) with an RA-1520 as a general upgrade but mainly to inject more punch into my system. I'm hoping that the apparent forward-sounding and "in your face" character of the 1520 will counter the Focal's slightly polite delivery, but with the CDP being a touch laid back too I'm wondering if I'd need to eventually replace that as well?

On the other hand it may be an ideal partner for the Rotel by reigning-in some of its forwardness, while the amp in turn gives the Arcam a bit more kick? I know that an audition is the best way to determine this but I often find myself discovering certain sonic traits only at home and not in the environment of a store's listening room. So I'd really like to get some opinions from people who are already familiar with the hardware, particularly with regard to whether the 1520 has enough muscle to cope with the CDP and Focals together?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I'm not familiar with the amp or CD player that you're looking at so can't offer any specific advice, but what I will say is if you are going to replace the amp anyway and you know what you are going to be buying, then see how it sounds with your current CD player before deciding whether you want to upgrade that too. You may find that you don't feel the need for upgrading your CD player once you've tried it with the new amp...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yes, that would be the way to do it. I think I was probably fishing for reassuring opinions to satisfy me that I wouldn't have to fork out yet more money for a new CD player too! I really like the detail and rich quality of the CD73 sound and it's the same with the speakers so hopefully the 1520 upgrade will let me hold on to both. I used to have AE Evo 3 floorstanders but the treble was a bit dry and the port at the back made positioning a bit of a headache. The Focals solved these problems but I could hear straight away that something wasn't quite right and it took me a while to ascertain that some of the punch had been lost.
 

d_a_n1979

New member
Sep 6, 2007
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IMO no...

The Arcam CD73 is still a damn good player and it'll gel very well with the new Rotel amp and your AE speakers.

My only consideration would be to possibly look at new speaker cable and interconnects (QED Revelation or Chord Oddyssey speakers cables and possibly the Black Rhodium Prelude, Chord Cobra 3 or Atlas Equator interconnects)
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,637
84
19,770
I'm pretty much with d_a_n on this one. The CD73T is an awsome machine for the money and should synergise well with the new Rotel. If you adament about changing the CDP then the 192 is the sensible upgrade to make. But try to keep the Rotel/Arcam combo - they make very happy partners indeed.

As regards the slightly laid-back character to the CDP and speakers, and BTW the Focals are fantastic, it is hugely rewarding for long listening sessions...


As d_a_n says look at your cables first and see where it takes you.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
d_a_n1979: My only consideration would be to possibly look at new speaker cable and interconnects (QED Revelation or Chord Oddyssey speakers cables and possibly the Black Rhodium Prelude, Chord Cobra 3 or Atlas Equator interconnects)

Thanks for the opinions on the Rotel/ Arcam pairing guys. Regarding cables, the Arcam is connected with XLO/PRO type 125 and with QED Silver Anniversary wire for the speakers.

Would there be noticeable benefits in replacing these when I get the new amp?
 

d_a_n1979

New member
Sep 6, 2007
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Yes; the Silvery aAnniversary cable is good but it can be easily bettered now IMO

The cables that I mentioned above would be a very good upgrade.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi ChesterG. If it is useful to you, I'm using the ra-1520 with Focal 706v, and i'm very very happy with the combination. I haven't auditioned many brands because that's quite difficult where i live here in Argentina, so my opinions may be limited. But i also tried the focals with the previous rotel ra-05 (non -SE version), which i expect to sound similar to your ra-06. The speakers sounded very well for me with the 05 when i auditioned them, but they went some steps up with the 1520. Very nice combination for me. I'm using a marantz cdp; i suppose yours will sound even better with the arcam. I must say, however, that i listen to quite 'easy' music most of the time. Not sure with the tastes of more heavy rock, electronic and so on.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
cronopio:

Hi ChesterG. If it is useful to you, I'm using the ra-1520 with Focal 706v, and i'm very very happy with the combination. I haven't auditioned many brands because that's quite difficult where i live here in Argentina, so my opinions may be limited. But i also tried the focals with the previous rotel ra-05 (non -SE version), which i expect to sound similar to your ra-06. The speakers sounded very well for me with the 05 when i auditioned them, but they went some steps up with the 1520. Very nice combination for me. I'm using a marantz cdp; i suppose yours will sound even better with the arcam. I must say, however, that i listen to quite 'easy' music most of the time. Not sure with the tastes of more heavy rock, electronic and so on.

Thanks for the info! Even with the type of music you normally listen to, did you happen to notice a specific increase in punch or dynamics with the 1520/Focal combination?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I found bass notes were tighter and better resolved, and yes, more punchy also. Anyway, I don't expect very deep bass from the Focals, but rapid bass. I think you can hear improvements also in mids and highs, presentation is more refined in my opinion. Anyway, note that I got the 1520 on a deal at the price of the old ra-05, so I may be biased, no contest for the same money. Cannot compare directly with the ra-06 though.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Why change both? Try out a power amp on the Rotel's pre-out and use the -06 to run the tweeter with the power amp to run the bass driver. Alternatively, seek out the likes of the Audiolab 8000S & 8000P pre/power deals at AVLand (£349 and £299 respectively - £550 fro a crackign pre/power set-up).

CDP-wise, see the Harman Kardon HK990. A very bouncy little performer and worth more than a passing glance.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
d_a_n1979:IMO no... The Arcam CD73 is still a damn good player and it'll gel very well with the new Rotel amp and your AE speakers. My only consideration would be to possibly look at new speaker cable and interconnects (QED Revelation or Chord Oddyssey speakers cables and possibly the Black Rhodium Prelude, Chord Cobra 3 or Atlas Equator interconnects)

I've been looking-up the two speaker cables you mentioned and it seems that they would provide a worthwhile upgrade. I'm leaning toward the QED Revelation as most of my interconnects are QED and I've been pretty happy with the character of the Anniversary wire I've currently got. However, the Odyssey 2 seems particularly to possess good attack and dynamics. My local Audio Excellence doesn't stock Revelation so I won't be able to make a comparison. Has anyone already had a chance to compare the performance of these two?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
If no-one has actually auditioned both together, how about individually?

Did any particular characteristics stand out for you?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
After a further delay I've finally bought a 1520 and it certainly is an improvement over the RA-06. I'm hearing elements of songs that didn't seem to be there before and, most importantly, it's pulling the CD73T and Focals up by the lapels in terms of punch. When I'm listening to Dave Brubeck's Take 5 on CD the drums carry a leading edge wallop that wasn't previously present. There's still a slight warmth in evidence though so I'll probably upgrade with a secondhand CD192 at some point but for now I'm very happy with the difference. Also my RPM4 is livelier and tracks on vinyl sound more toe-tapping but still detailed and controlled. If I have a small gripe though its that the treble from all sources is a tad dry and hard but maybe this is a burn-in issue? (I'm also using new Odyssey 2 cables so maybe it'll take a while for the treble to open up properly).

As straw_hut mentioned in the "Your Opinion" section of this site's 1520 review, the power button is a little bright but Rotel are now including a self adhesive translucent ring you can stick over it. Anyway, I'll post again when the amp's had a decent run-in and let you know how it works out.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,637
84
19,770
ChesterG:

After a further delay I've finally bought a 1520 and it certainly is an improvement over the RA-06. I'm hearing elements of songs that didn't seem to be there before and, most importantly, it's pulling the CD73T and Focals up by the lapels in terms of punch. When I'm listening to Dave Brubeck's Take 5 on CD the drums carry a leading edge wallop that wasn't previously present. There's still a slight warmth in evidence though so I'll probably upgrade with a secondhand CD192 at some point but for now I'm very happy with the difference. Also my RPM4 is livelier and tracks on vinyl sound more toe-tapping but still detailed and controlled. If I have a small gripe though its that the treble from all sources is a tad dry and hard but maybe this is a burn-in issue? (I'm also using new Odyssey 2 cables so maybe it'll take a while for the treble to open up properly).

As straw_hut mentioned in the "Your Opinion" section of this site's 1520 review, the power button is a little bright but Rotel are now including a self adhesive translucent ring you can stick over it. Anyway, I'll post again when the amp's had a decent run-in and let you know how it works out.

Nice one - can I just say I've heard your Focals [and loved them] and they err on the warmish side too. So upgrading to a 192 is a good move I would also suggest, at some point, if the overall presentation is still lurching towards the warm side the the Focals is the major cause.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yes I really like the Focals too. They have a lovely rich and detailed sound and ideally I'd like to keep hold of them.

I was a bit surprised that the old RA-06 had a much sweeter treble than the 1520 though. This might alter with time I suppose as the amp and Oddy 2 get more use. If the highs don't improve much however I can always try reconnecting the Silver Anniversary wire as it tends to have a brighter character.
 

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