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Speaker match for Sugden A21a

JohnD

Active member
Oct 17, 2020
10
2
25
Hi,

Current system comprises Sugden A21a (2004), Naim CD5i CD player and AVI Pro9Plus speakers soon to be joined by Arcam ST60 at end of month. I am considering changing my speakers as feel that they can sound a bit one dimensional in the low end and would like a bit more of a balanced sound. I am also conscious that the AVI's are possibly a wee bit too hard a drive given the fact the Sugden is rated at 25 watts. That said, with the right type of music, still makes me smile.

I am finding myself disappearing down a rabbit hole of sensitivity and impedance in trying to whittle down some demo options so if anybody has any suggestions / thoughts they can share would be most obliged.

Room is about 14ft * 14 ft narrowing to 10ft where the speakers sit and probably most I can bring them from the wall is 45cm.

Don't really have a preference in respect of floor or stand mounts. Budget wise, anything from £1,000 to £2,000

Listen to any type of music other than classical.

All the best
John
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,635
83
19,770
Hi,

Current system comprises Sugden A21a (2004), Naim CD5i CD player and AVI Pro9Plus speakers soon to be joined by Arcam ST60 at end of month. I am considering changing my speakers as feel that they can sound a bit one dimensional in the low end and would like a bit more of a balanced sound. I am also conscious that the AVI's are possibly a wee bit too hard a drive given the fact the Sugden is rated at 25 watts. That said, with the right type of music, still makes me smile.

I am finding myself disappearing down a rabbit hole of sensitivity and impedance in trying to whittle down some demo options so if anybody has any suggestions / thoughts they can share would be most obliged.

Room is about 14ft * 14 ft narrowing to 10ft where the speakers sit and probably most I can bring them from the wall is 45cm.

Don't really have a preference in respect of floor or stand mounts. Budget wise, anything from £1,000 to £2,000

Listen to any type of music other than classical.

All the best
John
Hi John.

A number of people like Harbeth speakers. Having recently demoed the P3 ESR XD, they are superb. I would recommend you demo C7 ES3. The only snag is brand new they will go well over your budget. But if you can demo a pair there are relative bargains to be had.

Otherwise I'd look at PMC, Dynaudio or even the new Kef range.
 

JohnD

Active member
Oct 17, 2020
10
2
25
Hi John.

A number of people like Harbeth speakers. Having recently demoed the P3 ESR XD, they are superb. I would recommend you demo C7 ES3. The only snag is brand new they will go well over your budget. But if you can demo a pair there are relative bargains to be had.

Otherwise I'd look at PMC, Dynaudio or even the new Kef range.
 

JohnD

Active member
Oct 17, 2020
10
2
25
Cheers for that, the Klipsch’s are on the shortlist although neighbours might no be too impressed lol!
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
271
153
19,070
I think your AVI s can be described as ‘mini monitor’ types, so new models of that size will also tend to be lowish sensitivity by design. Also, they'll have slightly limited bass, which usually suits a smaller room. However, to work well they need stands, and then they take up as much room as slim floor-standing speakers.
You really need to hear a few to get a shortlist, as otherwise it’s a bit like asking what wallpaper to choose!
Obviously, there are dozens of WHF reviews to browse, and the Awards have just been announced.
 

MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
Hi,

Current system comprises Sugden A21a (2004), Naim CD5i CD player and AVI Pro9Plus speakers soon to be joined by Arcam ST60 at end of month. I am considering changing my speakers as feel that they can sound a bit one dimensional in the low end and would like a bit more of a balanced sound. I am also conscious that the AVI's are possibly a wee bit too hard a drive given the fact the Sugden is rated at 25 watts. That said, with the right type of music, still makes me smile.

I am finding myself disappearing down a rabbit hole of sensitivity and impedance in trying to whittle down some demo options so if anybody has any suggestions / thoughts they can share would be most obliged.

Room is about 14ft * 14 ft narrowing to 10ft where the speakers sit and probably most I can bring them from the wall is 45cm.

Don't really have a preference in respect of floor or stand mounts. Budget wise, anything from £1,000 to £2,000

Listen to any type of music other than classical.

All the best
John
Until yesterday afternoon we had on a system which comprised Naim Audio NDX 2 > Sugden Audio A21 > Monitor Audio 5G Gold 100 > JL Audio Fathom f112 v2. Great synergy throughout and with power to spare.

Btw, in addition to 5G Gold 100's, the A21 also forms a great match with Acoustic Energy's AE500's and AE509's.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
299
95
18,970
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary on the dedicated stands would be well worth trying, but you definitely need to audition to make sure the sound presentation suits your preferences. They certainly aren't one-dimensional in any part of the frequency range and might just be what you are looking for.
 

JohnD

Active member
Oct 17, 2020
10
2
25
Until yesterday afternoon we had on a system which comprised Naim Audio NDX 2 > Sugden Audio A21 > Monitor Audio 5G Gold 100 > JL Audio Fathom f112 v2. Great synergy throughout and with power to spare.

Btw, in addition to 5G Gold 100's, the A21 also forms a great match with Acoustic Energy's AE500's and AE509's.
Thanks for the feedback. Interesting, as I discounted the Monitor Audios as being too much of load for the Sugden so that is good to know. Cheers john
 

JohnD

Active member
Oct 17, 2020
10
2
25
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary on the dedicated stands would be well worth trying, but you definitely need to audition to make sure the sound presentation suits your preferences. They certainly aren't one-dimensional in any part of the frequency range and might just be what you are looking for.
Cheers, yes the Linton are on my current shortlist to demo along with the evo 4.4.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,635
83
19,770
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary on the dedicated stands would be well worth trying, but you definitely need to audition to make sure the sound presentation suits your preferences. They certainly aren't one-dimensional in any part of the frequency range and might just be what you are looking for.
Mmmm... I actually purchased a pair of Denton 80th anniversary at a real dirt cheap price. Overall I was really disappointed, as I found some vocals and horn instruments to be a little on the shrill side. I've heard similar things about the new Lintons.
In fact I actually brought my RS6s down from the attic, and they have a more controlled - less bright - top end than the Wharfedales.
I did start a thread on the Dentons a few months ago.
They look great but the performance, in the main, left a lot be desired.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
299
95
18,970
Mmmm... I actually purchased a pair of Denton 80th anniversary at a real dirt cheap price. Overall I was really disappointed, as I found some vocals and horn instruments to be a little on the shrill side. I've heard similar things about the new Lintons.
In fact I actually brought my RS6s down from the attic, and they have a more controlled - less bright - top end than the Wharfedales.
I did start a thread on the Dentons a few months ago.
They look great but the performance, in the main, left a lot be desired.
I haven't heard the Denton 80th, but I have a pair of Linton 85th Anniversary boxed up in the cupboard. They certainly aren't shrill, even when paired with brighter electronics such as the Roksan K3. They have many enjoyable qualities but they do suffer from what in my experience is something of a characteristic of some Wharfedale and Quad speakers, which is an overall feeling of lethargy. Someone looking for a particular type of sound from sensitive speakers could find a huge amount to enjoy, but I do find my MA Bronze 200s more enjoyable overall.
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
375
148
11,070
i actually own i sugden a21sig latest version I use a pair of klipsch heresy 3 plenty of power. before that i had some revel m106s and they sounded nice more than nice but the amp certainly run out of steam when turing it up or the content got a little tough. Auditions are critical with this amp

To really enjoy the sugden the speakers need to be a above 90db efficient.

pro arc tabblet 10s are supposed to be a known entity with sugden.

tannoy though maybe a little out of budget

and you could look into sugdens own staple of speakers
 
Last edited:

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
375
148
11,070
Thanks for the feedback. Interesting, as I discounted the Monitor Audios as being too much of load for the Sugden so that is good to know. Cheers john
it is.... dont. The amp will certainly make sound but it wont enjoy it at all, and you'll notice dips in sound where it cant drive them bass will become strangely week. I completely disagree with musiccraft here
 

MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
it is.... dont. The amp will certainly make sound but it wont enjoy it at all, and you'll notice dips in sound where it cant drive them bass will become strangely week. I completely disagree with musiccraft here
Having used the A21 with 5G Gold 100’s over the last eighteen months and more recently for over a week solid until last Friday we’ve yet to notice ‘dips’ or the ‘bass becomes strangely weak’

The NDX 2 > A21 > 5G Gold 100 > Fathom f112 v2 was a joy to hear. Simply sublime.
 

JohnD

Active member
Oct 17, 2020
10
2
25
I haven't heard the Denton 80th, but I have a pair of Linton 85th Anniversary boxed up in the cupboard. They certainly aren't shrill, even when paired with brighter electronics such as the Roksan K3. They have many enjoyable qualities but they do suffer from what in my experience is something of a characteristic of some Wharfedale and Quad speakers, which is an overall feeling of lethargy. Someone looking for a particular type of sound from sensitive speakers could find a huge amount to enjoy, but I do find my MA Bronze 200s more enjoyable overall.
I had discounted the Dentons as want to be a minimum spend of £1,000 purely to try and reduce the shortlist. The Lintons and Evo 4.4 will be getting an audition and re the Quads, Vickers have a deal on the S5's reduced from £1600 to £1,000 which seemed an excellent deal but concerned might be a touch big for the room. I was auditioning the Project X1 a month or so ago (was torn between going down streaming or vinyl route) through Focal Chora 806's. The sound was definately more languid than I am used too but I did like it a lot so I am open to changing the sound characteristic of my system.
 

JohnD

Active member
Oct 17, 2020
10
2
25
i actually own i sugden a21sig latest version I use a pair of klipsch heresy 3 plenty of power. before that i had some revel m106s and they sounded nice more than nice but the amp certainly run out of steam when turing it up or the content got a little tough. Auditions are critical with this amp

To really enjoy the sugden the speakers need to be a above 90db efficient.

pro arc tabblet 10s are supposed to be a known entity with sugden.

tannoy though maybe a little out of budget

and you could look into sugdens own staple of speakers
Thanks for the feedback, I had read about the Tablettes working well with the Sugden and might give them an audition. You are correct about the Tannoys, over what I can spend although there are still one or two places stocking the Revolution XT6 floorstanders at £1,000 and I might be able to audition a set relatively locally, cheers john
 
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millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
375
148
11,070
Having used the A21 with 5G Gold 100’s over the last eighteen months and more recently for over a week solid until last Friday we’ve yet to notice ‘dips’ or the ‘bass becomes strangely weak’

The NDX 2 > A21 > 5G Gold 100 > Fathom f112 v2 was a joy to hear. Simply sublime.


WOW a week power bill must be through the roof

Granted the amp can handle more than people think and newer versions can handle more with the larger power supplies but this is preface lift

I've lived with the a21sig day in day out for the last 2 years for 6-8hr most evenings (and the OP even longer with his 2004 model I'm sure) watching tv, listening to music and podcasts and my experience tells me otherwise.

It would be a poor combo unless used for background music , I'm sure it sounds nice, fantastic in fact at lower volumes as my Revels did, but when the tracks get demanding or loud the amp will lose steam very quickly with speakers like that, 4ohm and 85-87db (which is probably optimistic) in fact these MA's are more demanding than my Revels where. I suspect the MA's drop to 3ohms in some places and stay there for quite a while with bass-heavy tracks ( most dealers don't listen to bass-heavy tracks that I'm referring to here) the little Sugden certainly wouldn't like that at a higher volume.

I could certainly see it in the cone movement swinging wildly indicating the amp has lost control and that wasn't even at 1 quarter on the volume dial, this was 7, 8 o'clock on the dial. Above that, you then start getting the strange weak bass as the amp runs out of puff again my experience with "demanding" speakers.

Some are using Kef ls50's and reporting good things but judging how hard they are to run with a "normal" AB amp i find that hard to believe as well but some are after different things.

Something about the speaker has to be easy eg 10ohm 87db (proarc tablette 10s) or 6-8ohm 90- 99db (Klipsch heresy 3 or Sugdens own line of speakers) there is nothing efficient or sensitive about the MA 100s. Fine speakers for sure but id certainly be staying away from this combo. The a21 SE id think a little different.

As I've said I'm sure it sounds lovely and sweet at lower everyday levels but if the OP has any Inclination at all to turn it up at all then id think twice.
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
375
148
11,070
Thanks for the feedback, I had read about the Tablettes working well with the Sugden and might give them an audition. You are correct about the Tannoys, over what I can spend although there are still one or two places stocking the Revolution XT6 floorstanders at £1,000 and I might be able to audition a set relatively locally, cheers john

Sounds like a plan to me
 

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