Kellytm272

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Hi,
I’ve recently purchased an Arcam SA-30 amplifier for the bargain price of £800, used but quite new.

My problem is that combined with my Amphion Argon 1 speakers, the sound is quite thin sounding and I’d say quite two dimensional. I have applied Dirac and the results were worse. Sounds very metallic I would say.

In terms of room size, it. Is 15 metres square. 2m between speakers and 2.8 m to listening position.
The distance between the left speaker and the side wall is 50 cm maximum and distance to rear wall is 45 cm maximum. Not much I can do with those dimensions.

I’ve been wondering if the amphions just don’t work with the amp synergy wise and whether a change of speakers is required?

I’m using AirPlay and streaming upnp from my Mac with Audirvana. Mostly listen to rock, dance, pop, hip hop music. No classical.

Just wondering what people’s thoughts are please?

Speakers I’m considering are kef LS50 Meta, focal aria 906,, triangle borea br08 and revel concerta2 m16.

Having had a Quick Look at some of the requirements in the manuals for these speakers for positioning, I believe the focal and kef speakers fit the bill. The triangle I believe works in all aspects except its recommended for rooms 20m^2 and larger - thus ruling it out. And I’ve not got so far as checking out the revels, which I read need careful partnering. Short of auditioning some of these speakers at home, I wondered what people might suggest.

My previous set of speakers were actually focal 906 , which I originally had in my previous flat on the end of Cyrus pre/ power amps. It sounded great there (larger room). But in my new house, it sounded wrong (can’t remember exactly how). Obviously they may work well with the Arcam and had read that focals and keg speakers work well with Arcam
 
Just to clarify, the area of the room is 15 square metres, not 15m x 15m :)
Always best to state length and breadth...
Where did you get your list of speakers from?
Can you actually audition any of these?
You might like to include some by Neat or Dynaudio although they aren't cheap.
Depends on your maximum budget I guess but depends on what you can actually audition with your amp.
 
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Kellytm272

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Well the distance from wall behind speakers to wall behind listening position is about 3.8m. The width of the room is about 4.5m. Shape of the room is rectangular with a 1.4m x 1.4m triangle cut out for the downstairs toilet…

The speaker recommendations came from googling speakers for Arcam sa-30 or speaker synergy with Arcam. What hifi stated in one of their articles, for when the SA-30 was being sold cheap that if you buy the kef or triangle speakers with it, it would make a great combo. Other forums seemed to suggest kef/ focal/ revel speakers work well. So I suppose I’m reiterating that here, and looked into it a bit.
I don’t think I can audition the ones mentioned as most are either uncommon or no longer produced.
 
Well the distance from wall behind speakers to wall behind listening position is about 3.8m. The width of the room is about 4.5m. Shape of the room is rectangular with a 1.4m x 1.4m triangle cut out for the downstairs toilet…

The speaker recommendations came from googling speakers for Arcam sa-30 or speaker synergy with Arcam. What hifi stated in one of their articles, for when the SA-30 was being sold cheap that if you buy the kef or triangle speakers with it, it would make a great combo. Other forums seemed to suggest kef/ focal/ revel speakers work well. So I suppose I’m reiterating that here, and looked into it a bit.
I don’t think I can audition the ones mentioned as most are either uncommon or no longer produced.
Thanks,
Always best to buy something you can actually audition or at least return if they don't suit.
Cannot really help here as never heard your amp but generally it's more important to get the right speakers for your room rather than speakers that may work well with a particular amp in the right room.... Or indeed are other people's suggestions
Ever thought of bigger Amphions?
 

Integralista

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Feb 9, 2024
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Hi,
I’ve recently purchased an Arcam SA-30 amplifier for the bargain price of £800, used but quite new.

My problem is that combined with my Amphion Argon 1 speakers, the sound is quite thin sounding and I’d say quite two dimensional. I have applied Dirac and the results were worse. Sounds very metallic I would say.

In terms of room size, it. Is 15 metres square. 2m between speakers and 2.8 m to listening position.
The distance between the left speaker and the side wall is 50 cm maximum and distance to rear wall is 45 cm maximum. Not much I can do with those dimensions.

I’ve been wondering if the amphions just don’t work with the amp synergy wise and whether a change of speakers is required?

I’m using AirPlay and streaming upnp from my Mac with Audirvana. Mostly listen to rock, dance, pop, hip hop music. No classical.

Just wondering what people’s thoughts are please?

Speakers I’m considering are kef LS50 Meta, focal aria 906,, triangle borea br08 and revel concerta2 m16.

Having had a Quick Look at some of the requirements in the manuals for these speakers for positioning, I believe the focal and kef speakers fit the bill. The triangle I believe works in all aspects except its recommended for rooms 20m^2 and larger - thus ruling it out. And I’ve not got so far as checking out the revels, which I read need careful partnering. Short of auditioning some of these speakers at home, I wondered what people might suggest.

My previous set of speakers were actually focal 906 , which I originally had in my previous flat on the end of Cyrus pre/ power amps. It sounded great there (larger room). But in my new house, it sounded wrong (can’t remember exactly how). Obviously they may work well with the Arcam and had read that focals and keg speakers work well with Arcam
Hi,

it is not so easy to give you solide advice. My experience with Arcam SA 20 was, it was borring lifeless amp, so quickly sold. I liked a lot more Rega Brio 2017 (which I still have and like it) Also old Cyrus Two was better on Xavian 230 speakers.
Amphion are very very good but demanding speakers. You need to try several combinations with amps. From mentioned speakers are close to them only Kef Meta LS50. But they also require an excellent amp and even better source of signal. Cambridge Audio CXA 81 or Rega Elex mk4 will work very good. Pls. Do not look on prices of amps as factor 1. Sound is much more important here.
I just want to say that your spekaers are a full class better than Arcam amp. First you have to decide, if you the sound they produce and if yes, you shall look for best match with the amp. On the other hand Kef R3 will work very good in your room, they are lot more universal than LS 50 or Amphions and still possible to combine with Arcam - you need to try and listen by yourself. Friend has Kef R7 with Audia Flight 3S amp, also excellent combo in 20 square meters.
 
Hi,

it is not so easy to give you solide advice. My experience with Arcam SA 20 was, it was borring lifeless amp, so quickly sold. I liked a lot more Rega Brio 2017 (which I still have and like it) Also old Cyrus Two was better on Xavian 230 speakers.
Amphion are very very good but demanding speakers. You need to try several combinations with amps. From mentioned speakers are close to them only Kef Meta LS50. But they also require an excellent amp and even better source of signal. Cambridge Audio CXA 81 or Rega Elex mk4 will work very good. Pls. Do not look on prices of amps as factor 1. Sound is much more important here.
I just want to say that your spekaers are a full class better than Arcam amp. First you have to decide, if you the sound they produce and if yes, you shall look for best match with the amp. On the other hand Kef R3 will work very good in your room, they are lot more universal than LS 50 or Amphions and still possible to combine with Arcam - you need to try and listen by yourself. Friend has Kef R7 with Audia Flight 3S amp, also excellent combo in 20 square meters.
Demanding speakers? How nany Amphions have you auditioned??
 

Kellytm272

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Dec 28, 2009
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Hi,

it is not so easy to give you solide advice. My experience with Arcam SA 20 was, it was borring lifeless amp, so quickly sold. I liked a lot more Rega Brio 2017 (which I still have and like it) Also old Cyrus Two was better on Xavian 230 speakers.
Amphion are very very good but demanding speakers. You need to try several combinations with amps. From mentioned speakers are close to them only Kef Meta LS50. But they also require an excellent amp and even better source of signal. Cambridge Audio CXA 81 or Rega Elex mk4 will work very good. Pls. Do not look on prices of amps as factor 1. Sound is much more important here.
I just want to say that your spekaers are a full class better than Arcam amp. First you have to decide, if you the sound they produce and if yes, you shall look for best match with the amp. On the other hand Kef R3 will work very good in your room, they are lot more universal than LS 50 or Amphions and still possible to combine with Arcam - you need to try and listen by yourself. Friend has Kef R7 with Audia Flight 3S amp, also excellent combo in 20 square meters.
Thanks, it does seem that the Arcam amp gets either very good reviews or not so great. Some say it’s much better than the SA-20 and others say there’s not much difference. I thought the R3 may be too much for my room. But it looks like they may just about fit the bill.
 

Kellytm272

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Are you 100% sure the speakers are in phase? What you describe occurs if speakers are out of phase, as well as no fixed stereo image.
Just checked. Definitely in phase. But I had the Dirac activated on harman curve, which is just tinny and nasty. Switching Dirac off is better, although it still exhibits a thinner sound than I’m used to. I suppose it’s maybe a bit more dynamics and slightly warmer sound I’m after. The detail is there
 

Kellytm272

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I suppose the best description is that the tweeter seems over-dominant. If the mid-driver was slightly increased in loudness, it would smooth things out. Hopefully that’s a better description.
 

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
Hi,
I’ve recently purchased an Arcam SA-30 amplifier for the bargain price of £800, used but quite new.

My problem is that combined with my Amphion Argon 1 speakers, the sound is quite thin sounding and I’d say quite two dimensional. I have applied Dirac and the results were worse. Sounds very metallic I would say.

In terms of room size, it. Is 15 metres square. 2m between speakers and 2.8 m to listening position.
The distance between the left speaker and the side wall is 50 cm maximum and distance to rear wall is 45 cm maximum. Not much I can do with those dimensions.

I’ve been wondering if the amphions just don’t work with the amp synergy wise and whether a change of speakers is required?

I’m using AirPlay and streaming upnp from my Mac with Audirvana. Mostly listen to rock, dance, pop, hip hop music. No classical.

Just wondering what people’s thoughts are please?

Speakers I’m considering are kef LS50 Meta, focal aria 906,, triangle borea br08 and revel concerta2 m16.

Having had a Quick Look at some of the requirements in the manuals for these speakers for positioning, I believe the focal and kef speakers fit the bill. The triangle I believe works in all aspects except its recommended for rooms 20m^2 and larger - thus ruling it out. And I’ve not got so far as checking out the revels, which I read need careful partnering. Short of auditioning some of these speakers at home, I wondered what people might suggest.

My previous set of speakers were actually focal 906 , which I originally had in my previous flat on the end of Cyrus pre/ power amps. It sounded great there (larger room). But in my new house, it sounded wrong (can’t remember exactly how). Obviously they may work well with the Arcam and had read that focals and keg speakers work well with Arcam


Given the dimensions of the room, I would try bringing the speakers closer together
Something between 200 and 400mm. 2m separation is often optimal but not always. You can often benefit more from the extra space at the sides. The same with the space to the wall behind, whatever the manual says is only guidance. Trial and error is the only way. I moved from a very forgiving pair of speakers a couple of years ago, it took ages to get the replacements in the right place.

If you do end up swapping, give the Triangle Borea BR03 a try. If they don't have enough bottom end for you, you can always add a sub. Possibly a better option than floorstanders in a room of that size.
 
Well the distance from wall behind speakers to wall behind listening position is about 3.8m. The width of the room is about 4.5m. Shape of the room is rectangular with a 1.4m x 1.4m triangle cut out for the downstairs toilet…

The speaker recommendations came from googling speakers for Arcam sa-30 or speaker synergy with Arcam. What hifi stated in one of their articles, for when the SA-30 was being sold cheap that if you buy the kef or triangle speakers with it, it would make a great combo. Other forums seemed to suggest kef/ focal/ revel speakers work well. So I suppose I’m reiterating that here, and looked into it a bit.
I don’t think I can audition the ones mentioned as most are either uncommon or no longer produced.
Based on your room size and amp this screams Totem Arros. Still fantastic speakers.
 
Just checked. Definitely in phase. But I had the Dirac activated on harman curve, which is just tinny and nasty. Switching Dirac off is better, although it still exhibits a thinner sound than I’m used to. I suppose it’s maybe a bit more dynamics and slightly warmer sound I’m after. The detail is there
Thanks for checking. I know very little about Dirac, but I thought with that you can adjust the tonal balance to suit. Is that not possible?

Before changing anything, you should surely set up the mic and calibrate, then check the results. Is that not covered in the manual?
 
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Kellytm272

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Yes I do feel that the
Thanks for checking. I know very little about Dirac, but I thought with that you can adjust the tonal balance to suit. Is that not possible?

Before changing anything, you should surely set up the mic and calibrate, then check the results. Is that not covered in the manual?
hi, I set everything up and did something like 13 sweeps with the microphone. The Dirac software then generated its ideal curve and saved that to the Arcam. It’s that curve that sounded very thin and metallic. I’m not sure yet how to make adjustments to the curve to change the tonality. I think I know how, but not 100% sure. I e read about people basically copying the frequency response of a given set of speakers into the Dirac software, to get a similar signature.
 

Stuart83

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Jul 22, 2023
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Thanks, it does seem that the Arcam amp gets either very good reviews or not so great. Some say it’s much better than the SA-20 and others say there’s not much difference. I thought the R3 may be too much for my room. But it looks like they may just about fit the bill.
I'm one of the ones who like the sa30

I box shifted through a few to get to it including a roskan k3 and Cambridge audio.
On top of that I demoed others and found the arcam to be very musical and with plenty of power.
For once the reviews rang true with my ears.

As far as speakers go I can't really help as I went for floorstanders and it would seem a format to be too big for your room.

I've had good results from the Q acoustics 3050i.

I leave direc off though and find the amp better without.
 
Yes I do feel that the

hi, I set everything up and did something like 13 sweeps with the microphone. The Dirac software then generated its ideal curve and saved that to the Arcam. It’s that curve that sounded very thin and metallic. I’m not sure yet how to make adjustments to the curve to change the tonality. I think I know how, but not 100% sure. I e read about people basically copying the frequency response of a given set of speakers into the Dirac software, to get a similar signature.
Fair enough, then I can’t help you with that, but at least you can disable Dirac. I read the importance of mic calibration, and then there was an option for tone controls over and above the suggested curve. But you may need a subscription for that, I’m not sure.

All I’d add is that modern amplifiers don’t really have a strong tonal character (unless faulty) so there must be something else going on, which is impossible to diagnose without seeing and hearing.

However, I think you wrote you chose the speakers by googling, which reminds of what I used to say to customers when I worked each Saturday in a Hifi store:-“You wouldn’t choose paint over the phone, so why would you choose speakers without listening to them?”
 
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Kellytm272

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Fair enough, then I can’t help you with that, but at least you can disable Dirac. I read the importance of mic calibration, and then there was an option for tone controls over and above the suggested curve. But you may need a subscription for that, I’m not sure.

All I’d add is that modern amplifiers don’t really have a strong tonal character (unless faulty) so there must be something else going on, which is impossible to diagnose without seeing and hearing.

However, I think you wrote you chose the speakers by googling, which reminds of what I used to say to customers when I worked each Saturday in a Hifi store:-“You wouldn’t choose paint over the phone, so why would you choose speakers without listening to them?”
That’s very true. I suppose I figured that if I ended up with a list of recommendations from reading online, that suggested good synergy with the amp, then I could look at the manufacturer specs to see whether they would fit size wise in my room. And then whittle the list down that way. Then compare with what people suggest on this forum. Maybe I end up with a handful of good candidates.
Perhaps then I’d be able to trial some, as I certainly agree that the greatest effect on sound is the interaction between speakers and the room.
As mentioned before, my Cyrus pre/ mono block setup with focal aria 906’s sounded fantastic in my old flat but not nice in my current house
 
That’s very true. I suppose I figured that if I ended up with a list of recommendations from reading online, that suggested good synergy with the amp, then I could look at the manufacturer specs to see whether they would fit size wise in my room. And then whittle the list down that way. Then compare with what people suggest on this forum. Maybe I end up with a handful of good candidates.
Perhaps then I’d be able to trial some, as I certainly agree that the greatest effect on sound is the interaction between speakers and the room.
As mentioned before, my Cyrus pre/ mono block setup with focal aria 906’s sounded fantastic in my old flat but not nice in my current house
Having home and shop demoed Amphion Argon 1 they are terrific speakers, even in a bigger space. Here's a pic I took in Richer Sounds.
 

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